Archives of Acoustics, 34, 1, pp. 95–109, 2009

Bistatic sonars: sea trials, laboratory experiments and future surveys

Philippe BLONDEL
University of Bath, Department of Physics

Nick G. PACE
University of Bath, Department of Physics

Bistatic sonars use separate transmitter and receiver(s),
optimising the information received from seabed/target(s) scattering. Laboratory
experiments are ideal to understand scattering processes and to optimise data
collection strategies. They can be full-scale or scaled down. In the latter
case, the influence on bistatic scattering processes needs to be carefully
weighed, to validate the transition to full-scale experiments. This is
particularly relevant as sea trials are expensive, difficult to conduct, and
generally impossible to repeat. This article presents the results from: (1)
scaled experiments on bare seabed and targets, performed at Bath and other
places; (2) full-scale experiments in the GESMA submarine pens during the
EC-SITAR project and (3) sea trials from similar experiments in Italy and
Sweden. These results are put into the wider context of other international
efforts. These three approaches (scaled and full-scale experiments plus sea
trials) can be used in synergy. This has important implications for future
experiments, the design of surveys and instruments, and analyses of past/future
acoustic datasets.
Keywords: bistatic sonar; tank experiments; sea trials; acoustic scattering
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