3D Acoustic Model for Geometrically Constrained Environments

Period of Performance: 07/11/2016 - 05/10/2017


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

SOFAR Acoustics, LLC
44 Garfield Ave. # 2 Array
Woburn, MA 01801
Firm POC, Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Boston University
881 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215
Institution POC


This effort is focused on establishing an important capability of providing a comprehensive, advanced model of the three-dimensional acoustic field, including propagation, scattering, and reverberation in complex and dynamic environments. This new 3D acoustic model would feed the Navys sonar performance estimation tool with a purpose of addressing the optimal placement of sensors in complicated environments for tasks such as establishing underwater communication links or harbor surveillance. The focus of this proposal is further development of the already existing SOFAR Acoustics virtual source scattering and propagation model for predicting three-dimensional acoustic field parameters in environments characterized by complex geometries with variable boundary and propagation conditions. This tool will take into account all of the physically significant mechanism naturally occurring in this scenario including propagation, multiple-scattering, and reverberation in a highly constrained harbor environment. The approach provides a numerically efficient, broad-band model that can take into account closed boundary 3D objects or targets located in the water-column and it is therefore well suited to describe the scattering effects of blockages such as deep draft vessels and mooring dolphins. The acoustic model will be assessed for use in sonar performance estimation tools to address the optimal placement of sensors in constrained environments.