Signal detection for communications in the underwater acoustic environment
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Signal detection is a critical stage in the implementation of any effective communications system. The underwater acoustic environment, particularly in the presence of underwater vehicles, presents significant challenges to reliable detection without excessive false alarms. While there is often sufficient signal-to-noise ratio with respect to stationary broad-band background noise to permit reliable operation, the presence of strong event-like interference signals such as narrow-band signals and impulsive broad-band signals complicates the detection problem significantly. Frequency-hopped signals interleaved with quiescent bands are proposed as the basis of a robust detection system. These signals also make robust detection possible in a multi-access communications system. Two new detection algorithms that exploit the particular structure of these frequency-hopped signals are developed and their performance is analyzed. This analysis uses a modification of the doubly noncentral F-distribution that has not been used, previously for such analysis. This distribution makes possible the direct calculation of probabilities of detection and false-alarm under interference and signal scenarios that cannot be analyzed using the better known noncentral F-distribution. With this analysis, the two developed detectors are shown to offer superior performance to that of either the CFAR detector or the binary data sequence detector. Experimental data confirms the theoretically derived results.