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Chris Bassett

Senior Mechanical Engineer





Research Interests

Passive noise studies, acoustic scattering, sea ice, marine renewable energy, fisheries acoustics, anthropogenic noise


Chris applies passive and active acoustic techniques to a variety of underwater applications. Some of his previous and ongoing studies include fisheries acoustics; high-frequency scattering from sea ice, crude oil, and physical oceanographic processes; measurements of anthropogenic noise; and ambient noise studies.

Department Affiliation

Ocean Engineering


B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, 2007

M.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, 2010

Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, 2013


2000-present and while at APL-UW

Risk to marine animals from underwater noise generated by marine renewable energy devices

Polagye, B., and C. Bassett, "Risk to marine animals from underwater noise generated by marine renewable energy devices," in OES-Environmental 2020 State of the Science Report: Environmental Effects of Marine Renewable Energy Development Around the World, A.E. Copping and L.G. Hemery, eds., 67-85, doi:10.2172/1633082 (Ocean Energy Systems, 2020).

30 Sep 2020

Frequency- and depth-dependent target strength measurements of individual mesopelagic scatterers

Bassett, C., A.C. Lavery, T.K. Stanton, and E.D. Cotter, "Frequency- and depth-dependent target strength measurements of individual mesopelagic scatterers," J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 148, EL153, doi:10.1121/10.0001745, 2020.

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1 Aug 2020

Recent estimates based on shipboard echosounders suggest that 50% or more of global fish biomass may reside in the mesopelagic zone (depths of ~200–1000 m). Nonetheless, little is known about the acoustic target strengths (TS) of mesopelagic animals because ship-based measurements cannot resolve individual targets. As a result, biomass estimates of mesopelagic organisms are poorly constrained. Using an instrumented tow-body, broadband (18–90 kHz) TS measurements were obtained at depths from 70 to 850 m. A comparison between TS measurements at-depth and values used in a recent global estimate of mesopelagic biomass suggests lower target densities at most depths.

Adaptable Monitoring Package development and deployment: Lessons learned for integrated instrumentation at marine energy sites

Polagye, B., J. Joslin, P. Murphy, E. Cotter, M. Scott, P. Gibbs, C. Bassett, and A. Stewart, "Adaptable Monitoring Package development and deployment: Lessons learned for integrated instrumentation at marine energy sites," J. Mar. Sci. Eng., 8, 553, doi:10.3390/jmse8080553, 2020.

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24 Jul 2020

Integrated instrumentation packages are an attractive option for environmental and ecological monitoring at marine energy sites, as they can support a range of sensors in a form factor compact enough for the operational constraints posed by energetic waves and currents. Here we present details of the architecture and performance for one such system — the Adaptable Monitoring Package — which supports active acoustic, passive acoustic, and optical sensing to quantify the physical environment and animal presence at marine energy sites. we describe cabled and autonomous deployments and contrast the relatively limited system capabilities in an autonomous operating mode with more expansive capabilities, including real-time data processing, afforded by shore power or in situ power harvesting from waves. Across these deployments, we describe sensor performance, outcomes for biological target classification algorithms using data from multibeam sonars and optical cameras, and the effectiveness of measures to limit biofouling and corrosion. On the basis of these experiences, we discuss the demonstrated requirements for integrated instrumentation, possible operational concepts for monitoring the environmental and ecological effects of marine energy converters using such systems, and the engineering trade-offs inherent in their development. Overall, we find that integrated instrumentation can provide powerful capabilities for observing rare events, managing the volume of data collected, and mitigating potential bias to marine animal behavior. These capabilities may be as relevant to the broader oceanographic community as they are to the emerging marine energy sector.

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