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Dolphin-inspired target detection for sonar and radar

Record type: Article

Gas bubbles in the ocean are produced by breaking waves, rainfall, methane seeps, exsolution, and a range of biological processes including decomposition, photosynthesis, respiration and digestion. However one biological process that produces particularly dense clouds of large bubbles, is bubble netting. This is practiced by several species of cetacean. Given their propensity to use acoustics, and the powerful acoustical attenuation and scattering that bubbles can cause, the relationship between sound and bubble nets is intriguing. It has been postulated that humpback whales produce ‘walls of sound’ at audio frequencies in their bubble nets, trapping prey. Dolphins, on the other hand, use high frequency acoustics for echolocation. This begs the question of whether, in producing bubble nets, they are generating echolocation clutter that potentially helps prey avoid detection (as their bubble nets would do with man-made sonar), or whether they have developed sonar techniques to detect prey within such bubble nets and distinguish it from clutter. Possible sonar schemes that could detect targets in bubble clouds are proposed, and shown to work both in the laboratory and at sea. Following this, similar radar schemes are proposed for the detection of buried explosives and catastrophe victims, and successful laboratory tests are undertaken.

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Leighton, T.G. and White, P.R. (2014) Dolphin-inspired target detection for sonar and radar Archives of Acoustics, 39, (3), pp. 319-332. (doi:10.2478/aos-2014-0037).

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Accepted/In Press date: September 2014
Keywords: sonar, radar, cetacean, dolphin, whale, mines, explosives, nonlinear, wake
Organisations: Inst. Sound & Vibration Research


Local EPrints ID: 369547
ISSN: 0137-5075
PURE UUID: b6d57ab3-2e56-48d7-8185-ee5a3648e585
ORCID for T.G. Leighton: ORCID iD
ORCID for P.R. White: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 30 Sep 2014 12:00
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 21:56

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Author: T.G. Leighton ORCID iD
Author: P.R. White ORCID iD

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