Characterizing Transmission Loss Variability during the Target and Reverberation Experiment 2013


  1. Tollefsen, C.D.S.
  2. Pecknold, S.P.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Atlantic Research Centre, Halifax NS (CAN)
A significant driver of uncertainty in sonar performance is the variability in underwater acoustical propagation caused by environmental fluctuations and uncertainty in the position of sources, targets, and receivers. A set of echo-repeat experiments was conducted during the Target and Reverberation Experiment 2013 (TREX13), a sea trial that took place in April to May 2013 in the Gulf of Mexico near Panama City, FL, USA. The variability in measured transmission loss (TL) was characterized using two different methods: Variability with respect to a mean observed TL, and variability with respect to modeled TL. Both one-way and quasi-reciprocal two-way TL measurements at 2250 and 7500 Hz were analyzed to characterize the variability at timescales ranging from less than one second to several days, with the results indicating that the acoustic propagation fluctuates tochastically on all these time scales. The results of statistical tests suggest that the TL variability can be treated as Gaussian fluctuations about a central TL obtained from an acoustic propagation model, with standard deviations of 5 dB over timescales up to one day, or 10 dB over timescales from one to six days.
Underwater acoustics
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2017-P085 — External Literature
Date of publication
01 Oct 2017
Number of Pages
Translation of
IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering, Vol. 42, No. 4, pp. 1135–1145
Electronic Document(PDF)

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