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A mathematical model developed for a computer simulation of both side-looking and forward-looking high resolution sonar systems is described. The purpose of the simulation is to permit systematic examination of the effects of first-order parameter variations on sonar image quality and target detection capability. The model permits specification of the major parameters such as height above bottom, bottom reflectivity, projector power and directivity function, receiver array geometry, number of receiver elements, shading, detection bandwidth, and display characteristics. Details of the model and representative simulated displays for various sonar parameter combinations are presented.