Calibration sphere for low-frequency parametric sonars
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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The problem of calibrating parametric sonar systems at low difference frequencies used in backscattering applications is addressed. A particular parametric sonar is considered: the Simrad TOPAS PS18 Parametric Sub-bottom Profiler. This generates difference-frequency signals in the band 0.5–6 kHz. A standard target is specified according to optimization conditions based on maximizing the target strength consistent with the target strength being independent of orientation and the target being physically manageable. The second condition is expressed as the target having an immersion weight less than 200 N. The result is a 280-mm-diam sphere of aluminum. Its target strength varies from −43.4 dB at 0.5 kHz to −20.2 dB at 6 kHz. Maximum excursions in target strength over the frequency band due to uncertainty in material properties of the sphere are of order ±0.1 dB. Maximum excursions in target strength due to variations in mass density and sound speed of the immersion medium are larger, but can be eliminated by attention to the hydrographic conditions. The results are also applicable to the standard-target calibration of conventional sonars operating at low-kilohertz frequencies.
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