The receiver hydrophone array is the signal front-end and plays an important role in matched field processing, which usually covers the whole water column from the sea surface to the bottom. Such a large aperture array is very difficult to realize. To solve this problem, an approach called matched field processing based on least squares with a small aperture hydrophone array is proposed, which decomposes the received acoustic fields into depth function matrix and amplitudes of the normal modes at the beginning. Then all the mode amplitudes are estimated using the least squares in the sense of minimum norm, and the amplitudes estimated are used to recalculate the received acoustic fields of the small aperture array, which means the recalculated ones contain more environmental information. In the end, lots of numerical experiments with three small aperture arrays are processed in the classical shallow water, and the performance of matched field passive localization is evaluated. The results show that the proposed method can make the recalculated fields contain more acoustic information of the source, and the performance of matched field passive localization with small aperture array is improved, so the proposed algorithm is proved to be effective.
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