Source location of narrow band signals in multipath environments, with application to marine mammals
Valtierra, Robert Daniel
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Passive acoustic localization has benefited from many major developments and has become an increasingly important focus point in marine mammal research. Several challenges still remain. This work seeks to address several of these challenges such as tracking the calling depths of baleen whales. In this work, data from an array of widely spaced Marine Acoustic Recording Units (MARUs) was used to achieve three dimensional localization by combining the methods Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA) and Direct-Reflected Time Difference of Anival (DRTD) along with a newly developed autocorrelation technique. TDOA was applied to data for two dimensional (latitude and longitude) localization and depth was resolved using DRTD. Previously, DRTD had been limited to pulsed broadband signals, such as sperm whale or dolphin echolocation, where individual direct and reflected signals are separated in time. Due to the length of typical baleen whale vocalizations, individual multipath signal arrivals can overlap making time differences of arrival difficult to resolve. This problem can be solved using an autocorrelation, which can extract reflection information from overlapping signals. To establish this technique, a derivation was made to model the autocorrelation of a direct signal and its overlapping reflection. The model was exploited to derive performance limits allowing for prediction of the minimum resolvable direct-reflected time difference for a known signal type. The dependence on signal parameters (sweep rate, call duration) was also investigated. The model was then verified using both recorded and simulated data from two analysis cases for North Atlantic right whales (NARWs, Eubalaena glacialis) and humpback whales (Megaptera noveaengliae). The newly developed autocorrelation technique was then combined with DRTD and tested using data from playback transmissions to localize an acoustic transducer at a known depth and location. The combined DRTD-autocorrelation methods enabled calling depth and range estimations of a vocalizing NARW and humpback whale in two separate cases. The DRTD-autocorrelation method was then combined with TDOA to create a three dimensional track of a NARW in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Results from these experiments illustrated the potential of the combined methods to successfully resolve baleen calling depths in three dimensions.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University