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Sensors 2018, 18(2), 499; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18020499

Acoustic Sensors for Air and Surface Navigation Applications

1
School of Engineering, RMIT University, Aerospace Engineering and Aviation Discipline, Bundoora VIC 3083, Australia
2
School of Science, RMIT University, Computer Science and Information Technology Discipline, Melbourne 3000, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 December 2017 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 1 February 2018 / Published: 7 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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Abstract

This paper presents the state-of-the-art and reviews the state-of-research of acoustic sensors used for a variety of navigation and guidance applications on air and surface vehicles. In particular, this paper focuses on echolocation, which is widely utilized in nature by certain mammals (e.g., cetaceans and bats). Although acoustic sensors have been extensively adopted in various engineering applications, their use in navigation and guidance systems is yet to be fully exploited. This technology has clear potential for applications in air and surface navigation/guidance for intelligent transport systems (ITS), especially considering air and surface operations indoors and in other environments where satellite positioning is not available. Propagation of sound in the atmosphere is discussed in detail, with all potential attenuation sources taken into account. The errors introduced in echolocation measurements due to Doppler, multipath and atmospheric effects are discussed, and an uncertainty analysis method is presented for ranging error budget prediction in acoustic navigation applications. Considering the design challenges associated with monostatic and multi-static sensor implementations and looking at the performance predictions for different possible configurations, acoustic sensors show clear promises in navigation, proximity sensing, as well as obstacle detection and tracking. The integration of acoustic sensors in multi-sensor navigation systems is also considered towards the end of the paper and a low Size, Weight and Power, and Cost (SWaP-C) sensor integration architecture is presented for possible introduction in air and surface navigation systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: acoustic sensors; intelligent transport systems; navigation; indoor navigation; ultrasonics; personal mobility; aerospace; ground vehicles acoustic sensors; intelligent transport systems; navigation; indoor navigation; ultrasonics; personal mobility; aerospace; ground vehicles
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Kapoor, R.; Ramasamy, S.; Gardi, A.; Schyndel, R.V.; Sabatini, R. Acoustic Sensors for Air and Surface Navigation Applications. Sensors 2018, 18, 499.

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