Estimation of object location and radius of curvature using ultrasonic sonar
Acoustic sensors are very popular in time-of-flight (TOF) ranging systems since they are inexpensive and convenient to use. One of the major limitations of these sensors is their low angular resolution which makes object localization difficult. In this paper, an adaptive multisensor configuration consisting of three transmitter/receiver ultrasonic transducers is introduced to compensate for the low angular resolution of sonar sensors and improve the localization accuracy. With this configuration, the radius of curvature and location of cylindrical objects are estimated. Two methods of TOF estimation are considered: thresholding and curve-fitting. The bias-variance combinations of these estimators are compared. Theory and simulations are verified by experimental data from a real sonar system. Extended Kalman filtering is used to smooth the data. It is shown that curve-fitting method, compared to thresholding method, provides about 30% improvement in the absence of noise and 50% improvement in the presence of noise. Moreover. the adaptive configuration improves the estimation accuracy by 35-40%. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.