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Proceedings Paper

Wide aperture arrays for locating impulsive sound sources in air and underwater
Author(s): Brian G. Ferguson
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Paper Abstract

Passive ranging techniques are used in land-based acoustic surveillance systems and underwater sonar systems to localize sources that radiate acoustic energy into the environment. Passive ranging by wavefront curvature relies on the spherical expansion of the wavefronts as the acoustic energy propagates outwards from the source. A wide-aperture receiving array is used to sense the curvature of the wavefront by estimating the intersensor time delays as the wavefront traverses the array. The time delay estimates are used to calculate the range (which is equal to the radius of curvature of the wavefront) and bearing of the source. The wavefront curvature method is applied here to the passive ranging of sources of four different types of acoustic signals: underwater mechanical transients, underwater biological transients, continuous sound wave transmissions in air and impulsive sounds in air. The method provides precise range and bearing estimates of underwater signal sources. In comparison, large passive ranging errors are observed for in-air sources because the atmosphere is a nonstationary sound propagation medium. Atmospheric turbulence causes perturbations in the curvature of the acoustic wavefronts and leads to random fluctuations in the source position estimates on time scales ranging from seconds to minutes. Background noise at each sensor has only a small effect on the positional uncertainty of in-air sources with random fluctuations in the source position estimates occurring on subsecond time scales.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2006
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6231, Unattended Ground, Sea, and Air Sensor Technologies and Applications VIII, 62310X (19 May 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.673731
Show Author Affiliations
Brian G. Ferguson, Defence Science and Technology Organisation (Australia)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6231:
Unattended Ground, Sea, and Air Sensor Technologies and Applications VIII
Edward M. Carapezza, Editor(s)

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