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The cTraceo Acoustic Raytracing Model

The cTraceo Acoustic Raytracing Model is a 2D propagation model based on Gaussian beams for use in underwater acoustics and was developed at the Signal Processing Laboratory of the University of the Algarve.


Technically, cTraceo was written in C and is based on Orlando Rodríguez' TRACEO model written in Fortran 77. The cTraceo model is a completely re-engineered version of it's Fortran predecessor and features 3-4x higher performance, reduced memory usage of up to 3 orders of magnitude as well as better usability and portability.
Should you have any questions, suggestions or feedback, please don't hesitate in contacting us. You may also want to visit our wiki.


See the features section below and take a look at our Getting Started guide before downloading.

Full download packages include compiled binaries (executables) for Windows and Linux, in 32 and 64 bit flavors along with the source code and 40+ examples. Compiled binaries of previous cTraceo versions are also included; this is usefull when it is necessary to EXACTLY reproduce previously modeled results.

The list of changes between stable versions is maintained in the changelog.txt.
The changes to the beta version currently in development are documented in the development history.

Version Full Package Binary Only
v1.5 Beta Coming Soon
v1.4 ZIP Linux 32b Linux 64b Windows 32b Windows 64b
v1.3 ZIP Linux 32b Linux 64b Windows 32b Windows 64b

If you find any bugs, please make sure to report them in our issue tracker or contact us directly.


Matlab Configuration & Example Cases

Several example cases are contained in the "examples/" subdirectory of the full download package. These examples depend on matlab functions contained in the "M-Files/" subdirectory and as such this folder should be added to the matlab path.

Within the provided example files the model is invoked by calling the command "ctraceo", and thus the "bin/" folder containing the compiled cTraceo binary should be on the system's PATH.

License Notes

The cTraceo Raytracing Model is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) License.


The cTraceo model was written at the Signal Processing Laboratory of the University of the Algarve for project SENSOCEAN by:

Emanuel Ey (emanuel.ey at
Copyright (C) 2011 - 2014

This software is derived from the FORTRAN 77 TRACEO code, written by:

Orlando Camargo Rodriguez (orodrig at
Copyright (C) 2010

NOTE: cTraceo is research code under active development. The code may contain bugs and updates are possible in the future.

Recent publications:

signals logo Search Space Reduction for Localization and Tracking of an Acoustic Source, Signals, 4 478-488 [PDF] June 2023.
sensors logo In-Lab demonstration of an underwater acoustic spiral source, Sensors, 23 4931 [PDF] May. 2023.

JMSE logo A Methodology for Shipping Noise Field Calibration and Excess Noise Estimation: the Azores Case Study, J.Mar.Sci.Eng, Vol.10, 1763 [PDF] Nov. 2022.

Featured products:

Logo of project JONAS


download zip or github, a Python open source version of the PAMGuide package for Passive Acoustic Monitoring that features the Exchange Data Format (EDF) for facilitated underwater acoustic data sharing and metadata handling. Python allows for a crossplatform licence free processing of raw acoustic data and EDF output. A library of Python routines for EDF data reading and writing are also available. See manual here.

Head wave propagation using Traceo


an efficient Gaussian beam 2D ray tracing model for underwater acoustic propagation, handling full bottom and water column range dependency, obstacle scattering and producing particle velocity outputs. See manual here and download a free copy for Fortran. A C version for linux and/or Windows is available here and for GPU here.