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Timothy Marston

Principal Engineer





Department Affiliation



B.S. Electrical Engineering, Seattle Pacific University, 2004

M.S. Acoustics, Penn State, 2006

Ph.D. Acoustics, Penn State, 2009


2000-present and while at APL-UW

Motion tracking of fish and bubble clouds in synthetic aperture sonar data

Marston, T.M., B.R. Hall, C. Bassett, D.S. Plotnick, and A.N. Kidwell, "Motion tracking of fish and bubble clouds in synthetic aperture sonar data," J. Acoustic. Soc. Am., 155, 2181-2191, doi:10.1121/10.0025384, 2024.

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21 Mar 2024

Data captured by a Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) near Mobile Bay during the 2021 Undersea Remote Sensing experiment funded by the Office of Naval Research reveals near surface bubble clouds from wave breaking events and a large aggregation of fish. Tools developed for using SAS data to image hydrodynamic features in the water column were applied to observations of the bubble clouds and fish aggregation. Combining imagery and height data captured by the sonar array with a detection and tracking algorithm enables the trajectories, velocities, and behavior of fish in the aggregation to be observed. Fitting the velocity and height data of the tracked objects to a Gaussian mixture model and performing cluster analysis enables an estimate of the near-surface ambient velocity via observation of the movement of the bubble traces and the general direction of motion of the fish aggregation. We find that the velocity traces associated with bubbles are consistent with ambient currents as opposed to the direction of propagating wave crests while velocities of fish indicate relatively large, pelagic species.

Three-dimensional observations of tidal plume fronts in estuaries using a synthetic aperture sonar array

Marston, T.M., C. Bassett, D.S. Plotnick, A.N. Kidwell, and D.A. Honegger, "Three-dimensional observations of tidal plume fronts in estuaries using a synthetic aperture sonar array," J. Acoustic. Soc. Am., 154, 1124-1137, doi:10.1121/10.0020671
, 2023.

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22 Aug 2023

Synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) systems are designed to observe stationary scatterers located near the sediment interface. Less commonly, a SAS system may be used to observe scattering features located above the sonar in the water column. The Undersea Remote Sensing (USRS) project, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, was a collaborative Directed Research Initiative (DRI) focused on studying dynamic estuarine water column features. During the USRS DRI, researchers from multiple institutions gathered to observe tidal features at various estuaries along the coast of the United States using both in situ and remote sensing techniques, including SAS. The first studied estuary was the mouth of the Connecticut River (CTR). Data captured by a SAS system deployed during a tidal event were post-processed to create three-dimensional observations of the structure of the leading edge of the CTR's ebb plume front. From these observations, lobed structures similar in scale to previously reported instabilities are revealed, with the present observations providing additional insight regarding the structure of the bubble distribution behind the front. Velocity estimates of plume features were also determined from SAS data and shown to compare favorably with concurrent marine radar estimates.

Multi-sensor towbody: Expandable platform detects, geolocates and classifies UXO

Williams, K., T. Marston, and T. McGinnis, "Multi-sensor towbody: Expandable platform detects, geolocates and classifies UXO," Sea Technol., 62, 8-11, 2021.

1 Sep 2021

More Publications

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center