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J Acoust Soc Am. 2017 Dec;142(6):EL573. doi: 10.1121/1.5017523.

Passive underwater acoustic markers using Bragg backscattering.

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School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 771 Ferst Drive NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0405, USA,,


This letter demonstrates the feasibility of a passive underwater acoustic marker technology (or "AcoustiCode") for use in underwater navigation. An AcoustiCode tag is a planar surface with machined periodic patterns capable of producing Bragg backscattering beampatterns with engineered spatial and frequency variations, thus having a unique three-dimensional acoustic signature over a selected frequency band. Hence, these AcoustiCodes enable three-dimensional navigation and information signaling in a totally passive manner for existing high-frequency SONAR systems (potentially mounted on autonomous underwater vehicles), which naturally operate in a narrow frequency band and can also be used over significantly longer ranges compared to optically-based systems.


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