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Modeling the Effectiveness of Tools to Assist Sonar Operators

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Technical Report

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Defence Research and Development Canada Atlantic Dartmouth, Nova Scotia Canada

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The task of building the underwater picture from sonar data is made complex by high volumes of noise and multiple data that arrive from a variety of acoustic sources detected at great distances by modern, sonar equipment. Typically, acoustic sources from ships have a complex spectrum consisting of several base frequency components and related harmonics. The task for operators is to analyse the data to determine if there is a pattern that represents the signature of a known source, thereby leading to identification of a vessel. Since the task can be highly labour intensive automated decision aids may be of value to the operator. This project addresses how to predict and optimise the impact of new technologies in system re-design by using a modelingsimulation approach to operator-system functionality. A generic sonar analysis process was simulated and the effectiveness of a decision aid evaluated. The improvement in performance predicted by the aid was then validated experimentally.

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