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Design of Steerable Spherical Broadband Beamformers With Flexible Sensor Configurations

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3 Author(s)
Chiong Ching Lai ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Curtin Univ., Perth, WA, Australia ; Nordholm, S. ; Yee Hong Leung

In broadband beamformer applications with dynamically moving sources, it can be important to have a simple mechanism to steer the main-beam. It can also be desirable if the beampattern of the beamformer is invariant to the look direction. A number of design methods for such beamformers, based on the spherical harmonic transform, have been reported in the literature. However, these methods require the sensor positions to satisfy a certain condition which may conflict with practical considerations. This paper proposes a design method which obviates this restriction thus allowing for spherical arrays with arbitrary sensor configurations. Moreover, for a comparable level of performance and computational complexity to the existing spherical harmonic beamformers, the proposed beamformer requires fewer sensors. The trade-off is that the design of the beamformer now depends on the sensor positions. Other considerations, such as the effects of array mis-orientation and robustness, are also discussed in this paper and illustrated by design examples.

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Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 2 )