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Seafloor profiling by a wideband sonar: simulation, frequency-response optimization, and results of a brief sea test

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2 Author(s)
Henderson, T.L. ; Appl. Res. Labs., Texas Univ., Austin, TX, USA ; Lacker, S.G.

An ahead-looking probe of some kind, optical or acoustic, is critical when one is attempting seafloor exploration from a mobile platform. A single-frequency, split aperture sonar system can be used for this purpose, but a wideband monopulse sonar offers many advantages. It computes a running estimate of the vertical directional cosine of the source of the echo, and can thus reveal the positions of multiple wave scatterers as long as their echoes can still be time resolved. Theoretical studies of its performance have been made previously, but were directly applicable only to extremely simple seafloor geometries. A new time-domain digital simulation that largely circumvents this limitation has been developed. The simulation also provides a means for testing the theory and optimizing system parameters. The reverberation model does not account for some features of acoustic backscattering such as diffraction, but it is believed to be adequate for the investigation of most signal processing aspects of the sonar system. The theory of the simulation is developed and several examples are presented and discussed. In addition, some preliminary results are presented from a sea test that used the air-sea interface as a surrogate seafloor.<>

Published in:

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