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Spatial processing of signals received by platform mounted sonar

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2 Author(s)
Solomon, I.S.D. ; Maritime Operations Div., Defence Sci. & Technol. Organ., Salisbury, SA, Australia ; Knight, A.J.

Acoustic signals received by platform mounted sonar arrays can be spatially processed to enhance the detection of targets in the presence of both ambient and platform generated (self) noise. Ambient noise in the ocean, such as that due to distant shipping or biological choruses, are known to be spatially correlated. The platform generated noise will be of near-field origin and may not be received by all elements in the array. In this paper we investigate the performance of the minimum variance distortionless response (MVDR) beamformer and the recently introduced Fourier integral method (FIM) and compare their performances with the conventional beamformer. Real passive sonar data, obtained from a platform mounted sparse linear array of hydrophones, is used to study the performance of the beamformers in a typical sonar environment. It is shown that in the absence of self noise, when the array is accurately calibrated the MVDR beamformer will perform very well, but when sensor gain or phase errors are present the performance of the MVDR beamformer is degraded. Further, the MVDR beamformer is unable to reject the self noise which is not "seen" by the entire array. FIM however seems to perform well and a modified version of FIM, which we call weighted FIM (WFIM), is shown to perform better and is at worst comparable to a well calibrated MVDR beamformer

Published in:

Oceanic Engineering, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 1 )