Acoustics Research Group
What is the Acoustics Research Group?
The acoustics research group's primary research is in Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS), a technique for high-resolution undersea imaging. We design and build our own sonars for collecting field data; so far we have collected data in Lyttelton, Auckland and Sydney. Our research concentrates on fast-reconstruction, interferometry, positioning, simulation, and autofocus.
To find out about the research projects being offered see the postgraduate study page.
Synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) is used for creating high-resolution acoustic images of the sea-floor. A high-end SAS is capable of imaging a golf-ball at 500m underwater. In Lyttelton (where we do sea-trials) divers' vision extends only about 1.5 m making sonar essential for object finding.
Traditionally sonar resolution is determined by the size of physical receiver used. For high-resolution imaging (20 mm X 20 mm) at long range (>200 m) very large (about 10 m long) receivers are needed. SAS uses the forward motion of the sonar to synthesise the larger receiver. This lets the SAS fake using a large receiver with a small one and gives it high, range-independent resolution.
University SAS research groups
- SAS group at Herriot Watt
- Edgetech are a commercial sidescan sonar company. Recently announced deployment of a SAS system on the Hugin 1000.
- QinetiQ construct and run experimental SAS hardware.
- Geoacoustics are in partnership with QinetiQ on a commercial SAS venture.
- Sonatech have built (build?) experimental SAS systems. They also support Hua Lee's research at UCSB and won the US Navy LMRS contract.
- Northrop Grumman built CSS's SAS and the US-NAVY slow-speed SAS system.
- NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC), La Spezia, Italy.
- Reson are a commercial multi-beam echo-sounder and sonar company.
Find research groups
Search our Research database
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