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Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

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Multibeam mapping -- Algorithms -- Analysis, Hydrophone -- Application to detection and localization


An automated, passive algorithm for detecting and localizing small boats using two hydrophones mounted on the seabed is outlined. This extends previous work by Gebbie et al. [(2013). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 134, EL77 − EL83] in which a similar two-hydrophone approach is used to produce an ambiguity surface of likely target locations leveraging multipath analysis and knowledge of the local bathymetry. The work presented here improves upon the prior approach using particle filtering to automate detection and localization processing. A detailed analysis has also been conducted to determine the conditions and limits under which the improved approach can be expected to yield accurate range and unambiguous bearing information. Experimental results in 12 m of water allow for a comparison of different separation distances between hydrophones, and the Bayesian Cramér-Rao lower bound is used to extrapolate the performance expected in 120 m water. This work demonstrates the conditions under which a low cost, passive, sparse array of hydrophones can provide a meaningful small boat detection and localization capability.


© 2015 Acoustical Society of America. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the Acoustical Society of America. The following article appeared in The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 137.3 (2015): 1586-1597, and may be found at



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