Performance, optimal employment, and interpretation of data from acoustic and seismic sensors depend strongly and in
complex ways on the environment in which they operate. Software tools for guiding non-expert users of acoustic and
seismic sensors are therefore much needed. However, such tools require that many individual components be constructed
and correctly connected together. These components include the source signature and directionality, representation of the
atmospheric and terrain environment, calculation of the signal propagation, characterization of the sensor response, and
mimicking of the data processing at the sensor. Selection of an appropriate signal propagation model is particularly
important, as there are significant trade-offs between output fidelity and computation speed. Attenuation of signal
energy, random fading, and (for array systems) variations in wavefront angle-of-arrival should all be considered.
Characterization of the complex operational environment is often the weak link in sensor modeling: important issues for
acoustic and seismic modeling activities include the temporal/spatial resolution of the atmospheric data, knowledge of
the surface and subsurface terrain properties, and representation of ambient background noise and vibrations. Design of
software tools that address these challenges is illustrated with two examples: a detailed target-to-sensor calculation
application called the Sensor Performance Evaluator for Battlefield Environments (SPEBE) and a GIS-embedded
approach called Battlefield Terrain Reasoning and Awareness (BTRA).