Predicting acoustic intensity fluctuations induced by nonlinear internal waves in a shallow water waveguide
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Many problems in shallow water acoustics require accurate predictions of the acoustic field in space and time. The accuracy of the predicted acoustic field depends heavily on the accuracy of the inputs to the propagation model. Oceanographic internal waves are known to introduce considerable temporo-spatial variability to the water column, subsequently affecting the propagation of acoustic waves. As a result, when internal waves are present, errors in model inputs can significantly degrade the accuracy of the predicted acoustic field. Accurate temporo-spatial predictions of the acoustic field in the presence of internal waves therefore depend largely on one's ability to accurately prescribe the water column properties for the acoustic model. This work introduces a data-driven oceanographic model, named the evolutionary propagated thermistor string (EPTS) model, that captures the temporo-spatial evolution of the internal wave field along a fixed track, thereby permitting prediction of temporal fluctuations in the acoustic field. Simultaneously-measured oceanographic and acoustic data from the Office of Naval Research Shallow Water 2006 experiment are utilized in this work. Thermistor measurements, recorded on four oceanographic moorings spaced along the continental shelf, provide the data from which the EPTS model constructs the internal wave field over a 30 km track. The acoustic data were acquired from propagation measurements over a co-located path between a moored source and a vertical line array. Acoustic quantities computed in the model space, such as received level, depth-integrated intensity, and scintillation index are directly compared to measured acoustic quantities to evaluate the fidelity of the oceanographic model. In addition, a strong correlation is observed between the amplitude of the internal wave field and acoustic intensity statistics at a distant receiving array. It is found that the EPTS model possessed sufficient fidelity to permit the prediction of acoustic intensity distributions in the presence of nonlinear internal waves.