Improved active sonar tactical support by through-the-sensor estimation of acoustic seabed properties
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Accurate environmental information is required for obtaining confident sonar performance predictions. This environmental information is, however, often unreliable or unavailable. To support antisubmarine warfare (ASW) operations, a through-the-sensor approach has been developed in which relevant acoustic seabed properties are derived from reverberation data, and a demonstrator system has been installed on a Royal Norwegian Navy frigate. It determines relevant acoustic seabed parameters from the reverberation data near real time. This demonstrator system has been validated in several sea trials conducted off the coast of Bergen, Norway. The acoustic seabed parameters derived in these trials have a good correspondence with the available prior information. Furthermore, the results show that acoustic seabed parameters derived from reverberation data in previous trials can be used to improve reverberation prediction for subsequent trials, even when environmental conditions, i.e., sound-speed profiles, are different. Because the demonstrator makes information on acoustic seabed properties directly available for in situ sonar performance prediction, it can be used as a tactical decision aid.