Learning location and seabed type from a moving mid-frequency source.

While source localization and seabed classification are often approached separately, the convolutional neural networks (CNNs) in this paper simultaneously predict seabed type, source depth and speed, and the closest point of approach. Different CNN architectures are applied to mid-frequency tonal levels from a moving source recorded on a 16-channel vertical line array (VLA). After training each CNN on synthetic data, a statistical representation of predictions on test cases is presented. The performance of a single regression-based CNN is compared to a multitask CNN in which regression is used for the source parameters and classification for the seabed type. The impact of water sound speed profile and seabed variations on the predictions is evaluated using simulated test cases. Environmental mismatch between the training and testing data has a negative impact on source depth estimates, while the remaining labels are estimated tolerably well but with a bias towards shorter ranges. Similar results are found for data measured on two VLAs during Seabed Characterization Experiment 2017. This work shows the superiority of multitask learning and the potential for using a CNN to localize an acoustic source and detect the surficial seabed properties from mid-frequency sounds.
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