The Underwater Medium as a Generalized Communication Channel

  • David Middleton
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (ASIC, volume 66)


The purpose of this paper is twofold: (1), to provide (in necessarily summary form) canonical representations of inhomogeneous random media — in particular here, the underwater acoustic medium — as generalized communication channels; and, (2), to indicate a new conceptual and analytical framework for solving specific problems in complex, realistic situations. The notion of “channel” here includes not only the medium as vehicle for the usual purposes of signal detection and extraction, but also for communication and remote sensing. The canonical operator character of the new approach permits explicit treatment in statistical- physical terms, of all types of media, local and distributed in- homogeneities, and geometries, as well as general signals, apertures, and doppler effects. (The sole restriction is that the media be linear.)

Channel characterization (mainly second-order statistics here) is based on recent new results, which include strong as well as weak scatter conditions, intermodal interactions, deterministic inhomogeneities (including boundaries), and an essentially complete statistical structure of the various (re-) radiation interactions involved. The new approach is briefly illustrated by (1), a typical volume scatter regime; and (2), an overview of the “exact” (ocean) surface scatter channel, which includes phenomena not given explicitly by earlier theories. Details of concept, method, and application are cited in the references.


Langevin Equation Random Medium Moment Operator Canonical Operator Underwater Acoustics 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Middleton
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Univ. of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA
  2. 2.Rice UniversityHoustonUSA

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