P. Felisberto ,O. Rodriguez,P. Santos and S.M.Jesus pfelis@ualg.pt orodrig@ualg.pt, , pjsantos@ualg.pt, sjesus@ualg.pt
ISR-Universidade do Algarve, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal

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Ref.: 4th International Conference and Exhibition on - Underwater Acoustic Measurements: Technologies and Results

Abstract : Vector sensors (VS) are devices that measure the vectorial particle velocity field. Compared with traditional hydrophone arrays that measure the acoustic pressure, systems based on VS present enhanced spatial filtering capabilities. The feasibility of bottom characterization with a 4-element 40cm length vector sensor array (VSA) in a frequency band of 8-14 kHz was recently demonstrated by Santos et al. The study suggests that systems based on VS outperform traditional hydrophone arrays, when considered in geoacoustic parameter estimation. Vector sensor data can improve the resolution of the estimators, moreover the highest resolution of the estimates were achieved with the vertical particle velocity measurements alone. Bearing in mind that actually VS are not widely available, the present work shows through simulations that using a narrow band signal and a vertical array which elements are pairs of hydrophones one can estimate the vertical particle field and attain a resolution for the bottom parameters similar to that obtained by a VSA. Based on a normal mode description of the pressure and particle velocity field, the resolution gain achieved by a linear estimator based on the vertical component only, is compared with similar estimators based on the pressure or on the horizontal component. Using simulations for different shallow water typical scenarios, we point out sensible values for the number of sensors, inter sensor spacing for system design as well as preferred equipment location for best results. This work is a contribution to the design of a compact array of hydrophones that takes advantage of the higher sensitivity of the vertical particle velocity field for geoacoustic parameter estimation.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT: This work was funded by National Funds through FCT- Foundation for Science and Technology under project SENSOCEAN (PTDC/EEA_ELC/104561/2008).