An active sonar system is used to image wide areas of the continental shelf environment by long-range echo sounding at low frequency. The bistatic system, deployed in the STRATAFORM area south of Long Island in April-May of 2001, imaged a large number of prominent clutter events over ranges spanning tens of kilometers in near real time. Roughly 3000 waveforms were transmitted into the water column. Wide-area acoustic images of the ocean environment were generated in near real time for each transmission. Between roughly 10 to more than 100 discrete and localized scatterers were registered for each image. This amounts to a total of at least 30 000 scattering events that could be confused with those from submerged vehicles over the period of the experiment. Bathymetric relief in the STRATAFORM area is extremely benign, with slopes typically less than 0.5° according to high resolution (30 m sampled) bathymetric data. Most of the clutter occurs in regions where the bathymetry is locally level and does not coregister with seafloor features. No statistically significant difference is found in the frequency of occurrence per unit area of repeatable clutter inside versus outside of areas occupied by subsurface river channels.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics