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Bearing estimation using a perturbed linear array
Hinich, Melvin J.
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A linear hydrophone array which is towed in the ocean is subject to snakelike bending. If the array is processed as if it was truly linear, the author has shown that the bending causes a deflection of the measured bearing of a fixed source from its true bearing relative to the array. This deflection results from patterned perturbations in the true sensor positions along the nominal array axis. As the perturbation pattern changes with the flexing of the array, the source appears to move around. A probability model of the perturbations is used in order to develop a theoretical solution to the question of how the space-time information gathered by the array is best used to measure source bearing. The method which is used to reduce the bending perturbation deflection of the bearing is to group the sensors into adjacent subarrays, process these arrays over short time slices, average the subarray bearings for each time period, and then to average the average over time. This averaging method significantly improves the bearing accuracy of the source when the array is bent according to the model.