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Vector Sensor Beam Steering for Underwater Acoustic Communications

F.A. Bozzi fabozzi(at)ualg.pt
S.M. Jesus sjesus(at)ualg.pt
LarSys, Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, PT-8005-139 Faro, Portugal.

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Ref.: 179rd Meeting of the ASA, Acoustics Virtually Everywhere, December 2020.

Acoustic Vector Sensors(VS) have been widely used for direction-of-arrival estimation in the past, while the employment of VS for underwater communications is a recent topic. Due to its compact size, VS may be used as a receiver in applications such as on board of Unmanned Underwater Vehicles(UUV), providing higher maneuverability and operational capabilities. Thus, in this study, the communication performance of a VS beam-steering technique is quantified. The performance analysis is made comparing the VS beam-steering with the VS time-reversal method in a shallow water simulation. The underwater channel is given by the seismo-acoustic propagation model, OASES. A Phase Shift Keying (PSK) modulation is adopted and the receiver includes a Decision Feedback Equalizer. An individual analysis of horizontal and vertical particle velocity is made to show the steering effects in the error performance. Moreover, as the steering angle is range-dependent, a comparison between methods is performed varying the range. The result indicates that the optimum steering angle, which brings less error, may not be related to the source direction. Furthermore, the proposed receiver shows that it outperforms compared to the time-reversal in both SNR and range, demonstrating the spatial filter advantage provided by this co-located sensor.