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Model-based Acoustic Seabed Classification. This method improves upon existing techniques for classifying surfaces beneath liquids. A ship can use sonar to distinguish between, for example, rocky and sandy areas of the sea bed below. In the status quo, standalone evaluations of this surface are difficult; they require support from other types of data such as physical samples and previous measurements. The patent describes the use of two types of measurement—reflection and scattering—used jointly to achieve this classification. It covers the method, the technology used to achieve it, and the computational system used to process it.
The central feature of the invention is the use of both (direct) reflection and (diffuse) scattering measurements to classify the surface beneath a liquid. These two types of measurements collect different information about the seabed. A table of values can be prepared in which results from the two readings can be combined to automatically produce a classification such as 'sandy'. The invention also describes a process according to which a single transmitter and receiver can produce and collect reflection and scattering signals by separating received signals according to time delay.
It is efficient and useful to perform classifications of a surface by taking reflection and scattering measurements from sonar. These two measurements complement each other and can be inputted directly into a lookup table that automates the classification process. The measurements furthermore complement each other by providing mutually relevant information about the propagation of a sonar signal through water. This invention requires little extra hardware or data processing because the reflection and scattering signals can be sent and received using a single transmitter/receiver module.
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