High-resolution imaging methods in array signal processing

Publication: ResearchPh.D. thesis – Annual report year: 2015


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The purpose of this study is to develop methods in array signal processing which achieve accurate signal reconstruction from limited observations resulting in high-resolution imaging. The focus is on underwater acoustic applications and sonar signal processing both in active (transmit and receive) and passive (only receive) mode. The study addresses the limitations of existing methods and shows that, in many cases, the proposed methods overcome these limitations and outperform traditional methods for acoustic imaging.

The project comprises two parts; The first part deals with computational methods in active sonar signal processing for detection and imaging of submerged oil contamination in sea water from a deep-water oil leak. The submerged oil _eld is modeled as a uid medium exhibiting spatial perturbations in the acoustic parameters from their mean ambient values which cause weak scattering of the incident acoustic energy. A highfrequency active sonar is selected to insonify the medium and receive the backscattered waves. High-frequency acoustic methods can both overcome the optical opacity of water (unlike methods based on electromagnetic waves) and resolve the small-scale structure of the submerged oil field (unlike low-frequency acoustic methods). The study shows that high-frequency acoustic methods are suitable not only for large-scale localization of the oil contamination in the water column but also for statistical characterization of the submerged oil field through inference of the spatial covariance of its acoustic parameters.

The second part of the project investigates methods that exploit sparsity in order to achieve super-resolution in sound source localization with passive sonars. Sound source localization with sensor arrays involves the estimation of the direction-of-arrival (DOA) of the associated wavefronts from a limited number of observations. Usually, there are only a few sources generating the acoustic wavefield such that DOA estimation is essentially a sparse signal reconstruction problem. Conventional methods for DOA estimation (i.e., beamforming) suffer from resolution limitations related to the physical size and the geometry of the array. DOA estimation methods that are developed up-to-date in order to overcome the resolution limitations of conventional methods involve the estimation or the eigendecomposition of the data cross-spectral matrix. The cross-spectral methods require many snapshots (i.e., observation windows of the recorded wavefield) hence are suitable only for stationary incoherent sources. In this study, the DOA estimation problem is formulated both for single and multiple snapshots in the compressive sensing framework (CS), which achieves sparsity, thus improved resolution, and can be solved efficiently with convex optimization. It is shown that CS has superior performance compared to traditional DOA estimation methods especially under challenging scenarios such as coherent arrivals, single-snapshot data and random array configurations. The high-resolution performance and the robustness of CS in DOA estimation are validated with experimental array data from ocean acoustic measurements.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationKgs. Lyngby
PublisherTechnical University of Denmark (DTU)
Number of pages121
StatePublished - 2015
SeriesDTU Compute PHD-2015
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