The past decade has seen significantly increasing interest in the development of systems based on acoustic sensors for the localization, tracking and identification of moving objects. Acoustic sensors are capable of performing functions normally associated with traditional volumetric radar, based on the emission of electromagnetic waves. Acoustic systems have the undeniable advantage of totally passive function for detection, without any emissions from the sensor, based only on analysis of the spectrum of acoustic emissions from the objects in the environment.
Just as in radar technologies, acoustic volumetric systems detect not only the sound wave emitted by a particular source, but also the the sound waves reflected from the surrounding environment. It is thus possible to build acoustic ‘maps’ of the monitored space, isolating only the information of interest.
Use of acoustic sensors in automotive applications
Acoustic technologies clearly offer opportunities for important improvements in the automotive sector, where high-end cars already use electromagnetic radar for collision avoidance devices. The much lower cost of acoustic systems could allow installations in all or almost all categories of cars.
The technological basis of acoustic systems consists of matrices of microphone arranged in planned, controlled configurations, developed for the specific application, applying phased array methodologies similar to those of traditional radar.
In addition to the array, the main modules composing the product are:
The SAUND4 project has focused on research and design of technological solutions for the automotive sector:
The use of acoustic sensors in automotive applications presents numerous scientific and applied technical challenges.