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The calibration of a laser light line scan method for determining local interface roughness of the ocean floor

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2 Author(s)
S. M. Varghese ; Lockheed Martin, NASAs Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, USA ; M. J. Isakson

An accurate model of acoustic interaction with sandy sediments is crucial to the application of SONAR in shallow-water environments. Because acoustic scattering from interface roughness plays a major role in the reverberation from and penetration into sandy sediments, it is imperative to be able to accurately measure the roughness of the sediment/water interface. An interface roughness measurement system has been developed in which a laser light sheet is projected onto the ocean floor. A resulting image can then be analyzed to determine the interface roughness. The system has been shown to achieve a height measurement error of less than 0.9 mm over a spatial frequency range of 15 to 60 cycles/m with about 0.5 mm standard deviation. These spatial frequencies correspond to acoustic Bragg frequencies of 11 to 45 kHz for backscattering applications. The error in wavelength was less than 5 mm with a standard deviation of about 1.0 mm. The system is inexpensive, easily deployable and automated in terms of data extraction. This system could greatly aid in determining the local interface profile for in situ acoustic scattering experiments.

Published in:

IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering  (Volume:30 ,  Issue: 2 )