Underwater measurements of heart rate
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The objective of this project is to develop a device that can monitor the heart rate and respiration of cetaceans. This would provide a way to quantitatively measure stress and determine the impact of human activity on cetaceans, especially for certain species that have been difficult to monitor in the past. There are many challenges to developing such a device, including determining the appropriate type of sensor, reducing the effect of flow noise, and designing an effective attachment method; this paper primarily focuses on determining the most suitable acoustic transducer. Experiments were conducted to compare various acoustic sensors in detecting heart rate. The electronic stethoscope performed the best in the experiments, but the results showed that other transducers, such as accelerometers and pressure sensors, also performed well and could be successful options with further development. Data processing methods to identify heartbeats and characterize signals are also discussed in this paper. Future work on the project involves subsequent tests to address other design variables as well as replicate experiments on animals.