Space-time-frequency processing from the analysis of bistatic scattering for simple underwater targets

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Anderson, Shaun David
Sabra, Karim G.
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The development of low-frequency SONAR systems, using a network of autonomous systems in unmanned vehicles, provides a practical means for bistatic measurements (i.e. when the source and receiver are widely separated, thus allowing multiple viewpoints of a target). Furthermore, time-frequency analysis, in particular Wigner-Ville analysis, takes advantage of the evolution of the time dependent echo spectrum to differentiate a man-made target (e.g. an elastic spherical shell, or cylinder) from a natural one of the similar shape (e.g. a rock). Indeed, key energetic features of man-made objects can aid in identification and classification in the presence of clutter and noise. For example, in a fluid-loaded thin spherical shell, an energetic feature is the mid-frequency enhancement echoes (MFE) that result from antisymmetric Lamb waves propagating around the circumference of the shell, which have been shown to be an acoustic feature useful in this pursuit. This research investigates the enhancement and benefits of bistatic measurements using the Wigner-Ville analysis along with acoustic imaging methods. Additionally, the advantage of joint space-time-frequency coherent processing is investigated for optimal array processing to enhance the detection of non-stationary signals across an array. The proposed methodology is tested using both numerical simulations and experimental data for spherical shells and solid cylinders. This research was conducted as part of the Shallow Water Autonomous Mine Sensing Initiative (SWAMSI) sponsored by ONR.
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