Passive Acoustic Marine Recorder

Odoo CMS - a big picture

Product Description

microMARS opens the door to routine and cost effective underwater acoustic monitoring on a large scale. To date, acoustic recorders have tended to be ponderous devices in large housings crammed full of batteries and storage devices. With microMARS, these days are gone. Making use of the latest miniaturized storage, data transfer and processing technology, microMARS is the size of a ‘tall boy’, yet it packs a punch: up to two terabytes of memory translates to 460 days of storage continuous at 25kHz sample rate, or 46 days at the recorders maximum 250kHz rate. A single ‘D’ size lithium battery is sufficient to operate the recorder for approximately 10-12 days at 25-250kHz. An acoustic event detector marks data segments of potential interest. With its replaceable transducer end caps, microMars can be optimized for high or low frequency sampling, and housing options are available for 300m, 1000m and 4000m depth ratings.


Have interest?  For a quote or more information, contact us at: sales@desertstar.com

Cost Effective Solution


Combine microMARS with our ARC-1 Acoustic Release, and you have a complete, miniature sized acoustic monitoring package for significantly less than an acoustic recorder alone otherwise costs. Attach a SeaTag or PERC device and you have a way to physically locate a device that has gone “missing” (for example: the equipment could have been caught up in someone’s fishing gear, moved several kilometers away, and eventually lost.) The microMARS Software (MM-SW) is included with purchase.

 microMARS development was sponsored by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Advanced Sensor Technology Working Group (ASTWG) in order to facilitate deployment of large and dense monitoring arrays that were previously cost prohibitive. We are also partnering with our friends at Bio-Waves who will provide data analysis services related to deployment/retrieval and analysis of data collected from microMARS. The project is now nearing completion. Bio-Waves specializes in marine animal bioacoustics and has extensive experience with post-processing and analysis of data collected from autonomous recorders, including automated detection and classification of marine mammal calls, underwater noise measurement, detection and measurement of sonar signals, and other types of analyses.

Audio Links

Click on each title to list to the recording (.mp3 files)

microMARS Moored in Quiet Environment

Recordings from microMARS units moored at a boat house on the Baltic sea during both the day and night. This is an example of a quiet environment. The set-up was a MH33-2 hydrophone end cap operating at 146dB. Manfred Salzwedel aided in data collection.

microMARS Recording Ferry in Harbor 

In this file, the microMARS was recording a ferry arriving at Friday Harbor, Washington at a distance of approximately 1000m. The set-up was a MH33-2 hydrophone end cap operating at 146dB. Tom Norris of Biowaves aided in data collection.

microMARS Recording of Los Padres Reservoir  

Another example of a quiet environment was collected at the Los Padres Reservoir in Cachagua, California. The microMARS was deployed at 3m depth from the surface and the water was relatively calm with small surface ripples. At the beginning you can hear Marco banging rocks underwater about 50m away. The set-up was a MH33-2 hydrophone end cap operating at 146dB.

Whales & Sea Lions

We had an abundance of humpback whales and sealions in Moss Landing, California this year so we used this opportunity to take the microMARS out and listen. The set-up was a MH33-1 hydrophone end cap operating at 166dB.

Orca Whales Buzzing

Orca Whales Clicking

 Orca Whales Whistling

These three recordings are from Orcas in the (Salmon Flats) San Juan Islands, Washington. The first audio sound is what we classified as buzzing, the next is clicking, and finally whistling. The set-up for all three recorders was a MH33-2 hydrophone end cap operating at 146dB. Tom Norris of Biowaves and Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research both aided in data collection. 

Bottlenose Dolphins

This audio file is a recording of bottlenose dolphins in the surf, swimming around the Channel Islands. The set-up was a MH33-2 hydrophone end cap operating at 146dB. Shannon Coates aided in data collection.

Snapping Shrimp in Monterey Bay

 Finally, we caught the lovely music of the Monterey Bay, California snapping shrimp. The set-up was a MH33-1 hydrophone end cap operating at 166dB.

AquaMap Positioning Systems

 Using underwater acoustic sound to triangulate the location of targets (remotely operated vehicles, divers or other objects), this is the set-up with a MH33-2 hydrophone end cap operating at 146dB.

Technology Readiness Level


Corresponding DoD TRL: 8

Description: This product is currently in the Beta stage of development. At the Beta stage of development, the product is commercially available, but only recommended for pioneer customers and early adopters. Terms and conditions for purchase will apply.