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J Acoust Soc Am. 2003 Jan;113(1):617-28.

The influence of flight speed on the ranging performance of bats using frequency modulated echolocation pulses.

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School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Woodland Road, Bristol BS8 1UG, United Kingdom.


Many species of bat use ultrasonic frequency modulated (FM) pulses to measure the distance to objects by timing the emission and reception of each pulse. Echolocation is mainly used in flight. Since the flight speed of bats often exceeds 1% of the speed of sound, Doppler effects will lead to compression of the time between emission and reception as well as an elevation of the echo frequencies, resulting in a distortion of the perceived range. This paper describes the consequences of these Doppler effects on the ranging performance of bats using different pulse designs. The consequences of Doppler effects on ranging performance described in this paper assume bats to have a very accurate ranging resolution, which is feasible with a filterbank receiver. By modeling two receiver types, it was first established that the effects of Doppler compression are virtually independent of the receiver type. Then, used a cross-correlation model was used to investigate the effect of flight speed on Doppler tolerance and range-Doppler coupling separately. This paper further shows how pulse duration, bandwidth, function type, and harmonics influence Doppler tolerance and range-Doppler coupling. The influence of each signal parameter is illustrated using calls of several bat species. It is argued that range-Doppler coupling is a significant source of error in bat echolocation, and various strategies bats could employ to deal with this problem, including the use of range rate information are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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