Real-time 3D sonar modeling and visualization
Holliday, Timothy M.
Smith, Kevin B.
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Virtual world simulations are realistic when each individual component is simulated in a manner that reflects reality. For an underwater virtual world that simulates acoustic detection, a physically based sonar propagation model is required if ranges in excess of tens of meters are expected. This thesis creates an application programming interface (API) for real-time 3D computation and visualization of acoustic energy propagation. The API provides features for generating complex physically based sonar information at interaction rates, and then visualizing that acoustic information. The simulation is programmed in Java and runs either as a stand-alone program or as a script in a web browser. This program generates Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML 97) compliant code that can be viewed from any VRML-capable browser. This approach allows the characteristics of the energy propagation to be calculated with high precision and observed in 3D. As sonar system information bandwidth becomes larger, more intuitive ways of presenting information to a user will be required. Higher information density in a more intuitive format can free the user from integrating the data himself and allow quicker reaction times. This thesis and the API provide the foundation for fundamental advances in sonar mode and visualization.
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