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Broadband Source Angle Estimation Using a Sparse Uniform Linear Acoustic Array
Maritime Operations Division, Defence Science and Technology Organisation (Sydney) PO Box 44 Pyrmont NSW 2009 Australia
Kam W. Lo 1# and Brian G. Ferguson2
'Kam.Logdsto. defence.gov. au, 2Brian.Fergusongdsto. defence.gov. au
Abstract
A microphone array can be used to estimate the angular positions of acoustic sources by beamforming. When the array is sparse and periodic, and the source is narrowband, the presence of grating lobes may result in anomalous angle estimates. However, for broadband sources, the effect of grating lobes can be mitigated using the wide spectra of the received signals. In this paper, two methods based on the Fourier and minimum variance distortionless response (MVDR) beamformers are proposed for broadband source angle estimation using a sparse uniform linear acoustic array. The feasibilities of the two angle estimation methods are demonstrated and their angular resolution capabilities compared using simulated data for fixed farfield point sources. The methods are applied to estimating the elevation angle trajectories of jet aircraft. Real acoustic data were collected for several transits of a jet aircraft flying directly over and along the array axis. Scenarios of two jet aircraft in transit are emulated by shifting in time the real data recorded for a particular transit of the single aircraft and adding the timeshifted data to the original data, or by combining two different sets of real data each corresponding to a different transit of the single aircraft. The emulated data are processed using the proposed methods, and the results demonstrate their potential for estimating the angular trajectories of multiple broadband sources using a sparse uniform linear array. 1. INTRODUCTION
Lowflying aircraft and ground vehicles emit broadband sound that enables their motion parameters to be estimated using a large baseline array consisting of multiple widely (but not necessarily uniformly) spaced acoustic sensors located on the ground [12]. For jet aircraft, the signal received at each sensor may contain significant frequency components up to a few kHz. The method for motion parameter estimation is based on the measurement of the differential time of arrival of the acoustic signal emitted by the source at each pair of sensors using crosscorrelation techniques. The differential time of arrival estimate from each sensor pair can also be used to provide an instantaneous angle estimate of the source [1]. The angle resolution is higher with a larger aperture size of the array. However, the application of this angle estimation method to multiple sources is not straightforward, as it
requires the correct association of the differential time of arrival estimates from each sensor pair with the individual sources. Beamforming is the more common approach to multiple source angle estimation. If the sources of interest are narrowband and the array is periodic, the presence of grating lobes due to the large intersensor spacings of the array may result in anomalous angle estimates [3]. For example, consider a uniform linear array with an intersensor spacing of 6.3 m, which is equal to half a wavelength at 27 Hz. This sparseness and the periodicity of the array result in grating lobes in the beam patterns for signal frequencies above 27 Hz. Though grating lobes can be avoided by using random or nonuniform intersensor spacings, a pedestal secondary lobe is found [4]. Fortunately, since the sources of interest emit broadband sound, and since grating lobes appear at different positions in the beam patterns for different frequencies, it is possible to combine these beam patterns to mitigate the effect of grating lobes on source angle estimation with a sparse periodic array. In this paper, two methods based on the Fourier (or conventional) and minimum variance distortionless response (MVDR) [5] beamformers are proposed for broadband source angle estimation using a sparse uniform linear array. The feasibilities of the two angle estimation methods are demonstrated and their angular resolution capabilities compared using simulated data for fixed farfield point sources. The methods are applied to estimating the elevation angle trajectories of jet aircraft. Real acoustic data were collected for several transits of a single jet aircraft flying directly over and along the array axis. Scenarios of two jet aircraft in transit are emulated by suitably shifting in time the real data recorded for a particular transit of the single aircraft and adding the timeshifted data to the original data, or by combining two different sets of real data each corresponding to a different transit of the single aircraft. The emulated data are processed using the proposed methods, and the results demonstrate their potential for estimating the angular trajectories of multiple broadband sources using a sparse uniform linear array.
2. SOURCE ANGLE ESTIMATION Consider an acoustic array consisting of N widely spaced sensors located on the xaxis. The centre of the array
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coincides with the origin of the xaxis. The position of sensor n is given by x__ for 1 < n < N. The array is used to estimate the angles of acoustic sources, measured at the origin with respect to the xaxis. It is assumed that the sources are farfield point sources. For a signal frequency f, the farfield condition is given by where R is the range to the source from the centre of the array, D is the length of the array, and A is the wavelength at frequency f The outputs of the sensors are sampled at a frequency of f, Hz. The window length for each sensor is T seconds or L = Tf, samples. The data in each window are divided into J overlapping segments each containing K samples, with 100a % overlap between two consecutive data segments, where [(1  a)J + a]K = L. Denote the jth data segments from sensor n as z,, (t) and its discrete Fourier transform as Z nj (f), for 1 < n < N and 1 < j < J. The fast
Fourier taso
In a practical implementation of the MVDR algorithm [5], the inverse matrix R1(f) is computed by performing the singular value decomposition (SVD) on the data matrix zH (f), which leads to
R22D2/2
(1)
(7) i where vi (f) is the ith singular value of ZH (f), vi (f) is the associated right singular vectors, and D(f) is the rank (i.e., the number of linearly independent columns) of the matrix Z(f).
L
PMVDR(0,f)=
FD(f)
, (f) sI
(0,ff)v(f)
21
Define the data matrix
Z(f)= (f)l Z22 (f) Z21 Z(f) = Z21(f) Z22 (f)
ZNI (f) ZN2 (f)
: :
Z11 (f)
Z12 (f)
...
...
J(f)
( 12J Z2J (f)
C. Broadband Angular Spectrum The narrowband angular spectra are computed using the Fourier or MVDR beamforming algorithm for a set of frequencies Q where the signaltonoise ratios (SNRs) are high. If the array is sparse and periodic, grating lobes will appear in the beam patterns, resulting in false peaks in these (FTiustnarrowband angular spectra. However, since the locations of grating lobes vary with frequency while the main lobes appear at the same locations for all frequencies, the false
peaks can be suppressed while the true peaks are maintained by multiplication of these narrowband angular spectra. This
.
...
The spatial correlation matrix at frequencyfis given by
ZNJ (f)
:
(2)
suggests the following definition of a broadband angular spectrum: (8) PBF (0) = 10 log PBF (0, f)
feQ
BF denotes Fourier or MVDR. According to (8) the where the superscript H complexnarrowband angular spectra for the set of frequencies Q are the superscript gH dentote whansposer Define transpose. Define the steering vector dB before summed to produce the expressed e  ei , . . eJV'N(OfT ] angular spectrum, and this is equivalent to (4) broadband in s( , fJ(fv'i (O'f), eJV'2(Of),.., e where 0 is the angle measured with respect to the xaxis, multiplying the narrowband angular spectra and then
=
I
R(f) =Z(f)Z H (f)
denotescomplexconjwhere
(3)
being
T denotes matrix transpose. The narrowband angular spectrum at frequency f can be computed using existing (narrowband) beamforming algorithms. A peak in the angular spectrum indicates the presence of a source, and the location of the peak provides the estimate of the source angle. Here the Fourier and MVDR beamformers are used.
(0 YJ f) = 27Xncos 0/c for 1 < n < N, and the superscript
expressing the product in dB. 3. SIMULATION RESULTS
A. Fourier The narrowband Fourier angular spectrum at frequency j is given by PFourier(0, f) S (0 f)A HR(f)As(, f) PForier f)AHR(f)As(0, (5) where A = diag[w1, W2,..., WN] wIth wn' s being the shading coefficients. In this paper, uniform shading coefficients are used, i.e., wn =1 for 1 < n < N.
B. MVDR The narrowband MVDR angular spectrum at frequency f is given by PMVDR (0, f) =[sH (0, f)R'1 (f)s(0, f)f'. (6)
A 3element sparse uniform linear array with an intersensor spacing of 6.3 m was used in the simulations. Two broadband Gaussian farfield point sources were located in the directions of 600 and 900 relative to the array axis. Both sources had a white spectrum over 0500 Hz. The SNR of the two sources were 6 and 10 dB respectively. The outputs of the sensors were sampled at a frequency of 7111 Hz. The source angles were estimated using both Fourier and MVDRbased methods. The window length for each sensor L, number of segments in each window J, length of each segment K, and fractional overlap between two consecutive segments a were assigned the following values: L = 2048 samples, J = 9, K =1024 samples and a= 0.875. A 2048point FFT was used to transform the data in each window from the time domain to the frequency domain, and narrowband angular spectra were computed for frequencies within the frequency band Q of 10500 Hz. Figure 1(a) shows the narrowband Fourier angular spectra for different frequencies ranging from
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10 to 500 Hz for a typical simulation run, where the vertical and horizontal axes represent frequency and angle, respectively, and the image intensity represents spectrum magnitude in dB. False peaks due to grating lobes are clearly observed. Figure l(b) shows simultaneously the normalized broadband Fourier angular spectra for 100 simulation runs, where false peaks have been suppressed. Figures 2(a)(b) show the corresponding results obtained using the MVDRbased method. Both Fourier and MVDRbased methods provide accurate angle estimates of the two sources. The broadband MVDR angular spectrum has a lower sidelobe level than the broadband Fourier angular spectrum. Next, the angular resolution capabilities of the two methods were compared. Figures 3(a) and (b) show the normalized broadband Fourier angular spectra for 100 simulation runs in the cases of two identical sources separated by 30 and 20, respectively. The SNR for each source was 10 dB. Figures 4(a) and (b) show the corresponding normalized broadband MVDR angular spectra. When the angular separation between the two sources is 30, both methods are able to resolve the sources, but the peaks in the broadband MVDR angular spectrum are more distinct than those in the broadband Fourier angular spectrum. As the source separation is reduced to 20 or less, the Fourierbased method fails to resolve the sources. 4. EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS A. Single Aircraft Acoustic data were recorded from a 3element sparse uniform linear array for several transits of a jet aircraft. During each transit, the aircraft flew directly over and along the axis of the array with a constant speed of 300 knots at a constant altitude. The data recorded for the first and second transits of the aircraft were processed using the Fourier and MVDRbased methods. The intersensor spacing of the array, sampling frequency, and processing parameters were the same as those used in the simulations. Fifty percent overlapping windows were used when processing the data from each sensor. The speed of sound propagation in air was 340 m/s. The two aircraft transits differed only in altitude, with the first transit being 2000 ft and the second transit 1250 ft above ground. Only the results for the Fourierbased method are shown here as those for the MVDRbased method are similar. Figure 5(a) shows the normalized broadband Fourier angular spectrogram (i.e., variation with time of the normalized broadband Fourier angular spectrum) for the first aircraft transit, where the vertical and horizontal axes correspond to angle and time respectively, and the image intensity represents spectrum magnitude in dB. The elevation angle trajectory of the aircraft was extracted from Fig. 5(a) by locating the spectrum peak as a function of time, which is shown as circles in Fig. 5(b). Also included in Fig. 5(b) for reference is the elevation angle trajectory estimate obtained using the crosscorrelationbased method. (With the crosscorrelationbased method, the output of the middle sensor was crosscorrelated with the output of another sensor to
estimate the differential time of arrival of the signal at the two sensors, and the result was then used to compute an angle estimate [6]. The two angle estimates, one from each sensor pair, were averaged to give an improved angle estimate.) Figures 6(a) and (b) show the normalized broadband Fourier angular spectrogram and the resulting elevation angle trajectory estimate for the second aircraft transit, respectively. The following observations are made. For each aircraft transit, the angular trajectory estimates obtained using the various methods agree well with one other (to a fraction of a degree). The main lobe of the broadband angular spectrum is wider as the aircraft is located further away from the broadside direction of the array (i.e., 900), which is an inherent property of a linear array. Although not shown in Figs. 5 and 6, this property coupled with the decrease in SNR as the aircraft moves away from the broadside direction, results in poor angle estimates near the endfire directions (i.e., 00 and 1800) where the aircraft is at great distances from the array. For the second transit in which the aircraft altitude is 1250 ft the farfield condition (1) is not strictly satisfied for the high signal frequencies when the aircraft is located near the broadside direction of the array. For example, the farfield condition at 500 Hz requires the aircraft to be at least 467 m (1532 ft) from the middle sensor of the array. However, when the aircraft is located on top of the middle sensor the separation distance between the two is only 1250 ft. The resulting nearfield effect broadens the main lobe and increases the sidelobe level of the broadband angular spectrum. The nearfield effect is observed in Fig. 6(a) as a dark strip over the period of 911 seconds.
B. Multiple Aircraft Scenarios of two jet aircraft in transit were emulated using the data recorded for the first and second transits of the single jet aircraft. Two cases were considered. In the first case, the data recorded for the first aircraft transit were shifted by 7111 samples (i.e., 1 second in time) and then the resulting data were combined with the original data. This emulated the scenario of two aircraft travelling with the same speed at the same altitude in the same direction and separated from each other by about 154.3 m. The emulated data were processed using both Fourier and MVDRbased methods and the results are shown in Figs. 7 and 8 respectively. Figures 7(a) and 8(a) show the normalized broadband Fourier and MVDR angular spectrograms. Figures 7(b) and 8(b) show the elevation angle trajectory estimates extracted from Figs. 7(a) and 8(a) respectively, by locating the peaks of the spectra as functions of time. Also included in Figs. 7(b) and 8(b) for reference are the elevation angle trajectory estimates obtained by applying the crosscorrelationbased method to the original data and timeshifted data. The elevation angle trajectories of the two aircraft are estimated satisfactorily by both proposed methods except when the aircraft are located near the endfire directions where their angular separations are too small to be resolved. The MVDRbased method performs slightly better as it is able to resolve the two aircraft during the period of 14.5 15.5 seconds.
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In the second case, the data recorded for the first aircraft transit were combined with the data recorded for the second transit. This emulated the scenario of two jet aircraft travelling with the same speed at different altitudes in opposite directions. The emulated data were processed using both Fourier and MVDRbased methods and the results are26 shown in Figures 9 and 10 respectively. Figures 9(a) and20 10(a) show the normalized broadband Fourier and MVDR angular spectrograms. Figures 9(b) and 10(b) show the elevation angle trajectory estimates extracted from Figs. 9(a) and 10(a) respectively, by locating the peaks of the spectra as functions of time. Also included in Figs. 9(b) and 10(b) for reference are the elevation angle trajectory estimates obtained by applying the crosscorrelationbased method to the data recorded for the first and second transits. The elevation angle trajectories of the two aircraft are clearly identified by both proposed methods throughout the whole observation period.
5. CONCLUSIONS
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Two methods have been proposed for broadband source angle estimation using a sparse uniform linear array. The two angle estimation methods are based on the Fourier and MVDR beamformners respectively and utilize the wide spectra of the received signals. Simulation results for two identical fixed farfield point sources under noisy but otherwise ideal conditions show that the MVDRbased method has a higher angular resolution capability than the Fourierbased method. However, experimental results for two transiting jet aircraft under practical conditions show that there is no significant

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Fig. 1. (a) Narrowband Fourier angular spectra for different frequencies ranging from 10 to 500 Hz for a typical simulation run. Intensity represents spectrum magnitude in dB. Darker shading means higher intensity. (b) Normalized broadband Fourier angular spectra for 100 simulation runs.
difference in performance between the two angle estimation methods. Both methods are able to provide satisfactory estimates of the elevation angle trajectories of the aircraft.
REFERENCES
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[1] Lo, K.W., and Ferguson, B.G., "Broadband passive
acoustic [2]
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[3]
[4]
[5]
[6] Carter, G.C., "Time delay estimation for passive sonar signal processing," IEEE Trans. Acoust., Speech, Signal Processing., Vol. 29, June 1981, 463470.
technique for target motion parameter estimation," IEEE Trans. Aerosp. Electron. Syst. Vol. 36, Jan. 2000, 163175. Ferguson, B.G., and Lo, K.W., "Turboprop and rotarywing aircraft flight parameter estimation using both narrowband and broadband passive acoustic signal processing methods," J. Acoust. Soc. Am, Vol. 108, No. 1 4, Oct. 2000, 17631771. Steinberg, B.D., Principles of Aperture and Array Systems Design, New York: Wiley, 1976, ch. 5. Steinberg, B.D., "Comparison between the peak sidelobe of the random array and algorithmically designed aperiodic arrays," IEEE Trans. Antennas Propagat., Vol. 21, 1973, 366369. Haykin, S., Reilly, J.P., Kezys, V., and Vertatschitsch, E., "Some aspects of array signal processing," IEE Pro. Pt. F, Vol. 139, 1992, 126.
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Fig. 2. (a) Narrowband MVDR angular spectra for different frequencies ranging from 10 to 500 Hz for a typical simulation run. Intensity represents spectrum magnitude in dB. Darker shading means higher intensity.
(b) Normalized broadband MVDR angular spectra for 100 simulation runs.
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Fig. 8. (a) Normalized broadband MVDrie angular spectrogram for Case I: 2 aircraft flying in same direction. (b) Elevation angle trajectories of the aircraft. 0 00 Extracted from (a). Estimated by applying crosscoffelationbased method to original data and timeshifted data.
Fig. 10. (a) Normalized broadband MVDrie angular spectrogram for Case II:2 2aircraft flying in opposite directions. (b) Elevation angle trajectories of the aircraft. 0 00 Extracted from (a). Estimated by applying crosscoffelationbased method to data recorded for the first and second transits.
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