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17 April 2008 Passive acoustic threat detection in estuarine environments
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The Maritime Security Laboratory (MSL) at Stevens Institute of Technology supports research in a range of areas relevant to harbor security, including passive acoustic detection of underwater threats. The difficulties in using passive detection in an urban estuarine environment include intensive and highly irregular ambient noise and the complexity of sound propagation in shallow water. MSL conducted a set of tests in the Hudson River near Manhattan in order to measure the main parameters defining the detection distance of a threat: source level of a scuba diver, transmission loss of acoustic signals, and ambient noise. The source level of the diver was measured by comparing the diver's sound with a reference signal from a calibrated emitter placed on his path. Transmission loss was measured by comparing noise levels of passing ships at various points along their routes, where their distance from the hydrophone was calculated with the help of cameras and custom software. The ambient noise in the Hudson River was recorded under varying environmental conditions and amounts of water traffic. The passive sonar equation was then applied to estimate the range of detection. Estimations were done for a subset of the recorded noise levels, and we demonstrated how variations in the noise level, attenuation, and the diver's source level influence the effective range of detection. Finally, we provided analytic estimates of how an array improves upon the detection distance calculated by a single hydrophone.
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Brian Borowski, Alexander Sutin, Heui-Seol Roh, and Barry Bunin "Passive acoustic threat detection in estuarine environments", Proc. SPIE 6945, Optics and Photonics in Global Homeland Security IV, 694513 (17 April 2008);

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