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Hydrophone Array Optimization, Conception, and Validation for Localization of Acoustic Sources in Deep-Sea Mining

Valentin Baron 1, 2, 3 Arthur Finez 3 Simon Bouley 3 Florent Fayet 4 Jerome Mars 1 Barbara Nicolas 2
1 GIPSA-SIGMAPHY - GIPSA - Signal Images Physique
GIPSA-PSD - GIPSA Pôle Sciences des Données
2 Imagerie Ultrasonore
CREATIS - Centre de Recherche en Acquisition et Traitement de l'Image pour la Santé
Abstract : As the mining of deep-sea natural deposits is becoming cost competitive compared to similar land-based mining, companies have started to dig into the seabeds to collect minerals. However, the acoustic contribution of this activity in the surrounding environment can be significant. To predict the impact of such noise, the starting point is to localize and quantify the sources that create it. In this study, a 3-D prototype acoustic array to perform this localization and quantification is designed, built, and deployed at sea for validation of its localization capacities. The design method performs a two-step study to define the array shape and select the hydrophone arrangement over it, under harsh constraints. Each step relies on two metrics to rank the candidates: the maximum sidelobe level, and the spatial resolution. These are computed on conventional beamforming maps for simulated sources that represent excavation machines on the ground. The shape is first determined to be the one that yields steady maximum sidelobe value levels over frequency. Second, the hydrophone arrangement that achieves the lowest maximum sidelobe level while limiting the spatial resolution is selected. This leads to a tip down conical array with 21 hydrophones, of about 3 m in height and diameter, and this is manufactured and used during an experimental campaign in the Mediterranean Sea. The experimental localization maps show strong agreement between the estimated source position and its ground truth. A more detailed comparison between simulated and real performances confirms accurate array conception and realization. Thus, this design procedure provides an efficient underwater acoustic array for monitoring deep-sea mining, the localization capacities of which are validated in a real-life setting.
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Contributor : Barbara Nicolas <>
Submitted on : Monday, January 4, 2021 - 4:23:25 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - 10:04:02 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, April 5, 2021 - 6:35:49 PM


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Valentin Baron, Arthur Finez, Simon Bouley, Florent Fayet, Jerome Mars, et al.. Hydrophone Array Optimization, Conception, and Validation for Localization of Acoustic Sources in Deep-Sea Mining. IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2021, 46 (2), pp.555 - 563. ⟨10.1109/joe.2020.3004018⟩. ⟨hal-03052568⟩



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