SUBJECT: Ph.D. Proposal Presentation
BY: Brendan Nichols
TIME: Monday, February 22, 2017, 11:00 a.m.
PLACE: Love Building, 295
TITLE: Exploiting ambient noise for coherent processing of mobile vector sensor arrays
COMMITTEE: Dr. Karim Sabra, Chair (ME)
Dave Trivett (ME)
Dr. Julien Meaud (ME)
Dr. Costas Arvanitis (ME)
Dr. Justin Romberg (ECE)


Locating and tracking sound sources underwater has utility in many fields whose interest lies in the ocean, particularly military defense and environmental research. A passive, mobile array of directional vector sensors is a promising platform suited for this task, provided the locations of the sensors can be accurately known, especially to reach the achievable array gain offered by coherent processing methods. However, a submerged sensor which must rely on dead-reckoning often lacks such positional accuracy. Coherent processing of the recorded ambient noise (including both diffuse background ambient noise and discrete sources of opportunity) between sensors could provide a means to localize an inaccurate array, ultimately improving the array’s tracking performance. To investigate this approach, the proposed research will focus on three aspects of the tracking problem: 1) the at-sea validation of a mobile volumetric vector sensor array platform, composed of drifting nodes, suitable for recordings of ambient noise, 2) the signal-processing methodology to perform self-element localization of this mobile volumetric array using ambient noise, and 3) the performance study of this array for source localization and tracking using coherent processing.