A new type of hydrophone, inspired by the ears of orcas, is reportedly much more sensitive than conventional devices (Photo: L.A. Cicero)
Given how poorly light and radio signals are able to travel underwater, sound is still the best medium for wireless undersea communications. Conventional underwater microphones – or hydrophones – have their limitations, however. One of their main problems is that the deeper they go, the less sensitive they become. Scientists from California’s Stanford University have now found a solution to that problem, in the form of a hydrophone that is designed to perform like an orca’s ear.