Ambient noise forecasting with a large acoustic array in a complex shallow water environment

TitleAmbient noise forecasting with a large acoustic array in a complex shallow water environment
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsRogers, Jeffrey S., Wales Stephen C., and Means Steven L.
JournalThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
EndNote Rec Number11765
Keywordsacoustic noise,acoustic wave transmission,least squares approximations,mean square error methods,sonar arrays,underwater sound

Forecasting ambient noise levels in the ocean can be a useful way of characterizing the detection performance of sonar systems and projecting bounds on performance into the near future. The assertion is that noise forecasting can be improved with a priori knowledge of source positions coupled with the ability to resolve closely separated sources in bearing. One example of such a system is the large aperture research array located at the South Florida Test Facility. Given radar and Automatic Identification System defined source positions and environmental information, transmission loss (TL) is computed from known source positions to the array. Source levels (SLs) of individual ships are then estimated from computed TL and the pre-determined beam response of the array using a non-negative least squares algorithm. Ambient noise forecasts are formed by projecting the estimated SLs along known ship tracks. Ambient noise forecast estimates are compared to measured beam level data and mean-squared error is computed. A mean squared error as low as 3.5 dB is demonstrated in 30 min forecast estimates when compared to ground truth.