Acoustic Tomography

Cornuelle, BD.  1982.  Acoustic Tomography. IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing. 20:326-332.


High-resolution measurements of the density field in the ocean are prohibitively expensive if traditional ship-borne instruments are used. Tomography uses acoustic remote sensing to infer ocean structure, and avoids many of the limitations of direct measurements. Sound pulses follow distinct trajectories through the water from source to receiver, and the travel time for a given pulse is a known functional of the sound speed field. This functional can be inverted to recover an estimate of the sound speed field through which it passed. The inversion is accomplished with either detenninistic linear matrix inversion or stochastic optimal estimation, and the sound speed field estimate returned can be converted to an estimate of density. A numerical simulation of the pilot tomography experiment is presented to demonstrate that tomography can be effective in reproducing significant ocean features.