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Sonar Seeing

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We often wonder what kind of perception the bats can have of their environment, using their sonar system. We would like to know more about the aspect of the “images” of interesting targets (obstacles, preys, etc.,…) provided by such a sonar system. We will present a survey of various methods actually used in “acoustic imaging”, giving more details about the systems we have been using for acoustic shape recognition. In each case, we will give the possibilities, the limitations and the requirements of such systems (bandwidth, sensors number, duration and mechanical precision of the spatial scanning, etc.,…). We will try then to see the possibilities of using such systems in a natural environment.


Man fragt sich oft, welche Eindrücke Fledermäuse von ihrer Umgebung mit ihrem Sonarsystem gewinnen können. Wir möchten herausfinden, wie die Bilder aussehen, die eine Anordnung von interessanten Objekten (Hindernisse, Beutetiere, etc.) liefert. Es wird ein Überblick über die verschiedenen, gebräuchlichen Methoden gegeben, die zur Zeit bei der ,,akustischen Abbildung“ angewandt werden; im weiteren werden die Systeme detailliert beschrieben, die zur akustischen Erkennung von Gestalten benutzt wurden. In jedem einzelnen Fall werden die Möglichkeiten, die Grenzen und die Anforderungen eines solchen Systems angegeben (Bandbreite, Anzahl der Sensoren, Geräte, Dauer und Genauigkeit der räumlichen Abtastung usw.). Schließlich wird untersucht, wo die Möglichkeiten der Anwendung solcher Systeme in einer natürlichen Umgebung liegen.


On se demande souvent quelle perception peuvent avoir les chauves-souris du monde environnant au moyen de leur système sonar. Il nous importe de savoir comment se présentent les «images» que peut fournir un tel système des objets utiles (obstacles, proies, etc.,…). Nous allons passer en revue les diverses méthodes utilisées couramment en «imagerie acoustique», en détaillant plus précisement celles que nous avons utilisées en vue de la reconnaissance acoustique des formes. Nous donnerons dans chaque cas les possibilités, les limitations ainsi que les exigences de tels systèmes (bande utile, nombre de capteurs, durée et précision mécanique du balayage spatial, etc.,…). Nous essayerons de voir enfin la possibilité d'utilisation de ces systèmes dans un milieu naturel.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 1986

More about this publication?
  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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