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A statistical study of acoustic signals backscattered from the sea bottom

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1 Author(s)
Gensane, M. ; Thomson-Sintra, Arcueil, France

Backscattering measurements were performed in shallow water on sand, gravel, and clay bottoms. The equipment included a parametric array that emitted pulses of differential frequencies (8 to 40 kHz) with a 3° directivity. The ranges did not exceed 50 m. The grazing angles varied from 4° to 90°. The bottom backscattering strength does not depend on the emitted pulse type (frequency and length). If one fits a Lambert law to the variations of the backscattering strength versus the grazing angle, the value at the origin fluctuates between-15 and-22 dB without any clear effect from the different bottom types. Statistical tests show that under the experimental measurement conditions: (1) the alternative received signal does not generally follow a normal distribution; (2) among five classical distributions in sonar and radar that have been fitted to the detected-integrated signal (exponential, Weibull, chi-2, log-normal, Rice), the best-fitted law is the log-normal; (3) signals backscattered by separated areas of the same bottom can hardly be regarded as stationary and, even less, homogeneous; and (4) with an anisotropic bottom topography the statistical properties depend on the aspect under which this topography is seen

Published in:

Oceanic Engineering, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 1 )