[MARMAM] new paper on dolphin sonar

Peter Dobbins Peter.Dobbins at sea.co.uk
Thu Mar 15 04:16:23 PDT 2007

Dear Marmamers,
The following paper has just been published:
Dolphin sonar - modelling a new receiver concept Peter Dobbins

Bioinspiration & Biomimetics (ISSN: 1748-3190) Volume 2 No 1, pages


Observations suggest that dolphin sonars function well in the very
shallow, reverberant, near-shore region of the ocean, and significantly
out-perform man-made systems under such conditions. The echolocation
characteristics of many small cetaceans have been measured directly and
the high performance of biosonar systems is not in question, but
explanations for their resolution, target detection, localization and
tracking abilities are inadequate and deserve further investigation. The
dolphin's lower jaw has been identified as part of an echo-receptor, and
several hypotheses have been proposed to explain this. In one of these,
the regularity of dolphin teeth was considered as a sonar array. This
paper explores the physics of such systems with models based on
established radar and sonar principles, and using data from various
dolphin species. The insights gained from this modelling then lead to
speculative proposals for new sonar receiver concepts that may have
advantages over more conventional designs in shallow water operation.

The article can be found online at:


or requested via email to peter.dobbins at sea.co.uk 


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