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Coherent acoustic communication in a tidal estuary with busy shipping traffic

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Jeffrey Neasham


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High-rate acoustic communication experiments were conducted in a dynamic estuarine environment. Two current profilers deployed in a shipping lane were interfaced with acoustic modems, which modulated and transmitted the sensor readings every 200 s over a period of four days. QPSK modulation was employed at a raw data rate of 8 kbits on a 12-kHz carrier. Two 16-element hydrophone arrays, one horizontal and one vertical, were deployed near the shore. A multichannel decision-feedback equalizer was used to demodulate the modem signals received on both arrays. Long-term statistical analysis reveals the effects of the tidal cycle, subsea unit location, attenuation by the wake of passing vessels, and high levels of ship-generated noise on the fidelity of the communication links. The use of receiver arrays enables vast improvement in the overall reliability of data delivery compared with a single-receiver system, with performance depending strongly on array orientation. The vertical array offers the best performance overall, although the horizontal array proves more robust against shipping noise. Spatial coherence estimates, variation of array aperture, and inspection of array angular responses point to adaptive beamforming and coherent combining as the chief mechanisms of array gain. © 2007 Acoustical Society of America.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Van Walree PA, Neasham JA, Schrijver MC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America

Year: 2007

Volume: 122

Issue: 6

Pages: 3495-3506

Print publication date: 01/01/2007

ISSN (print): 0001-4966

ISSN (electronic): 1460-2210

Publisher: Acoustical Society of America


DOI: 10.1121/1.2793706

PubMed id: 18247758


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