An experimental demonstration of blind ocean acoustic tomography

Sérgio M. Jesus, Cristiano Soares, Emanuel Coelho, Paola Picco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the advantages clearly demonstrated by ocean acoustic tomography (OAT) when compared to other ocean monitoring techniques, it suffers from several technical-related drawbacks. One is the requirement for rather expensive equipment to be maintained and operated at several locations in order to obtain sufficient source-receiver propagation paths to cover a given ocean volume. This paper presents the preliminary feasibility tests of a concept that uses ships of opportunity as sound sources for OAT. The approach adopted in this paper views the tomographic problem as a global inversion that includes determining both the emitted signal and the environmental parameters, which is a similar problem to that seen in blind channel identification and was therefore termed blind ocean acoustic tomography (BOAT). BOAT was tested on a data set acquired in October 2000 in a shallow-water area off the west coast of Portugal, including both active and passive (ship noise) data. Successful results show that BOAT is able to estimate detailed water column temperature profiles coherent with independent measurements in intervals where the uncontrolled source signal (ship noise) presents a sufficient bandwidth and signal-to-noise ratio, which clearly define the limitations of the presented method. © 2006 Acoustical Society of America.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1420 - 1431
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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