Small boat localization using adaptive three-dimensional beamforming on a tetrahedral and vertical line array

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



Passive acoustic detection and localization of small surface craft has a number of practical applications, such as monitoring and protecting sensitive marine habitats. Moored passive equipment can be cumbersome to deploy and communicate with, so AUV-mounted devices are being investigated as an alternative. The GLASS'12 experiment was designed to assess the feasibility of using a hybrid autonomous underwater vehicle outfitted with a compact volumetric nose array as a data collection platform. The array consisted of 5 vertical elements and 4 in a tetrahedral arrangement, and the hybrid underwater vehicle had the capability operating in either glider or propeller-driven modes. The rigid design of the array minimized element location mismatch, and enabled the use of aggressive adaptive beamforming in 3-D. This facilitated isolation of broadband multipath arrivals originating from the motor of a small rubber boat. Cross-correlation of beams enabled the time-lag between the arrivals to be measured, which, in turn yielded information about the target range. The underlying formulation bears similarity to the passive fathometer [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 120 (3) 2006] which exploits surface wave noise rather than ship noise. This presentation will focus on the array beamforming and potential applications for localization and environmental sensing. © 2013 Acoustical Society of America.

Publication Title

Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics