Echo statistics of individual and aggregations of scatterers in the water column of a random, oceanic waveguide. Academic Article uri icon


  • The relative contributions of various physical factors to producing non-Rayleigh distributions of echo magnitudes in a waveguide are examined. Factors that are considered include (1) a stochastic, range-dependent sound-speed profile, (2) a directional acoustic source, (3) a variable scattering response, and (4) an extended scattering volume. A two-way parabolic equation model, coupled with a stochastic internal wave model, produces realistic simulations of acoustic propagation through a complex oceanic sound speed field. Simulations are conducted for a single frequency (3?kHz), monostatic sonar with a narrow beam (5° -3?dB beam width). The randomization of the waveguide, range of propagation, directionality of the sonar, and spatial extent of the scatterers each contribute to the degree to which the echo statistics are non-Rayleigh. Of critical importance are the deterministic and stochastic processes that induce multipath and drive the one-way acoustic pressure field to saturation (i.e., complex-Gaussian statistics). In this limit predictable statistics of echo envelopes are obtained at all ranges. A computationally low-budget phasor summation can successfully predict the probability density functions when the beam pattern and number of scatterers ensonified are known quantities.

publication date

  • July 2014