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Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Learning from dolphins to improve sonar systems

Published: 3 August 2012Origin: Engineering

Postgraduate research student Gim Hwa Chua has been honoured for his sonar work based on how dolphins locate targets such as prey.

He received a student prize at the 11th European Conference on Underwater Acoustics in Edinburgh for his paper Biased Pulse Summation Sonar (BiaPSS) processing using clicks resembling those of the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) to improve target discrimination in bubbly water. The paper was written in collaboration with Professors Paul White and Tim Leighton.

Gim Hwa from Singapore, who is nearing the end of his PhD at Southampton, is examining how dolphins can use their biosonar to locate targets in bubbly water. The research was inspired by a TV documentary which showed how the mammals can catch fish by using bubbles to drive them into a confined space.

The work is aimed at finding ways of improving the efficiency of sonar to detect objects underwater.

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