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Do dolphins benefit from nonlinear mathematics when processing their sonar returns?

Do dolphins benefit from nonlinear mathematics when processing their sonar returns?
Do dolphins benefit from nonlinear mathematics when processing their sonar returns?
Dolphins have been observed to blow bubble nets when hunting prey. Such bubble nets would confound the best man-made sonar because the strong scattering by the bubbles generates ‘clutter’ in the sonar image, which cannot be distinguished from the true target. The engineering specification of dolphin sonar is not superior to the best man-made sonar. A logical deduction from this is that, in blowing bubble nets, either dolphins are ‘blinding’ their echolocation sense when hunting or they have a facility absent in man-made sonar. Here we use nonlinear mathematical functions to process the echoes of dolphin-like pulses from targets immersed in bubble clouds. Dolphins emit sequences of clicks, and, within such a sequence, the amplitude of the clicks varies. Here such variation in amplitude between clicks is exploited to enhance sonar performance. While standard sonar processing is not able to distinguish the targets from the bubble clutter, this nonlinear processing can. Although this does not conclusively prove that dolphins do use such nonlinear processing, it demonstrates that humans can detect and classify targets in bubbly water using dolphin-like sonar pulses, raising intriguing possibilities for dolphin sonar when they make bubble nets.

acoustics, sonar, dolphin, bubbles, clutter, radar
1364-5021
3517-3532
Leighton, T. G.
3e5262ce-1d7d-42eb-b013-fcc5c286bbae
Chua, G.H.
260f7d60-3b9c-45b3-9557-c92bfb4e9ee9
White, P.R.
2dd2477b-5aa9-42e2-9d19-0806d994eaba
Leighton, T. G.
3e5262ce-1d7d-42eb-b013-fcc5c286bbae
Chua, G.H.
260f7d60-3b9c-45b3-9557-c92bfb4e9ee9
White, P.R.
2dd2477b-5aa9-42e2-9d19-0806d994eaba

Leighton, T. G., Chua, G.H. and White, P.R. (2012) Do dolphins benefit from nonlinear mathematics when processing their sonar returns? Proceedings of the Royal Society A, 468, 3517-3532. (doi:10.1098/rspa.2012.0247).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Dolphins have been observed to blow bubble nets when hunting prey. Such bubble nets would confound the best man-made sonar because the strong scattering by the bubbles generates ‘clutter’ in the sonar image, which cannot be distinguished from the true target. The engineering specification of dolphin sonar is not superior to the best man-made sonar. A logical deduction from this is that, in blowing bubble nets, either dolphins are ‘blinding’ their echolocation sense when hunting or they have a facility absent in man-made sonar. Here we use nonlinear mathematical functions to process the echoes of dolphin-like pulses from targets immersed in bubble clouds. Dolphins emit sequences of clicks, and, within such a sequence, the amplitude of the clicks varies. Here such variation in amplitude between clicks is exploited to enhance sonar performance. While standard sonar processing is not able to distinguish the targets from the bubble clutter, this nonlinear processing can. Although this does not conclusively prove that dolphins do use such nonlinear processing, it demonstrates that humans can detect and classify targets in bubbly water using dolphin-like sonar pulses, raising intriguing possibilities for dolphin sonar when they make bubble nets.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 18 July 2012
Additional Information: (see Royal Society video at http://rspa.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/suppl/2012/07/19/rspa.2012.0247.DC1 ).
Keywords: acoustics, sonar, dolphin, bubbles, clutter, radar
Organisations: Inst. Sound & Vibration Research

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 341724
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/341724
ISSN: 1364-5021
PURE UUID: 889d85e9-9581-4e63-86fc-0a78ab545c14
ORCID for T. G. Leighton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1649-8750
ORCID for P.R. White: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4787-8713

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 02 Aug 2012 16:17
Last modified: 26 Nov 2019 02:05

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