February Fourier Talks 2007

Marc Olivieri


What can be learned from one of Nature's most advanced biosonar: Discussion on the biomimetic process used for the development of a bio-inspired system for sensing and classification of targets in harsh environments


This talk describes the various steps followed in a biomimetic process for the development and the design of a real sensing system. It is shown that a biomimetic process requires more than just mimicking the bio-based system and that through a focused observation of the natural process one can derive an understanding of the evolutionary optimization of the system's parameter and apply it to the best possible design. The talk will discuss recent findings on the biosonar echolocation waveforms of Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and its implication in the biomimetic development process of waveforms and how the study of Nature's own way of solving a diffcult problem can be used for isolating attractive techniques that show great potential for describing echoes in a highly reverberant environment. Following the biomimetic approach, an interpretation of these waveform features is proposed with respect to echolocation tasks in reverberant environments (target sensing and classification). It is shown how the bio-waveforms may be used for optimizing both near range resolution and side-lobe levels in the processing of echo waveforms. Such findings can be used to improve the next generation sensors for broadband SONAR operations in the littorals and wideband and UWB RADAR operations in highly cluttered situations. Examples of sensor concepts for organic platforms are also discussed. The FFT algorithm is used in the analysis of these waveform and in the signal processing blocks developed for these new BIOSONAR systems. [Data is courtesy of the biosonar program at SPAWAR San Diego. This work was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research.]