The 10th European Conference on Underwater Acoustics (ECUA). 2010, Istanbul, Turkey.
Mainstream sonars transmit and receive signals at the same frequency. As water is a nonlinear medium, a propagating signal generates harmonics at multiples of the transmitted frequency. For sonar applications, energy transferred to higher harmonics is seen as a disturbance. To satisfy requirements for calibration of echo sounders in fishery research, input power has to be limited to avoid energy loss to harmonics generation. Can these harmonics be used in sonar imaging? The frequency dependency of target echos, and the different spatial distribution of higher harmonics can contribute to additional information on detected targets in fish classification, ocean bathymetry, or bottom classification. Our starting point was the sonar equation adapted for the second harmonic. We have simulated nonlinear propagation of sound in water, and obtained estimates of received pressure levels of harmonics for a calibration sphere, or a fish as reflector. These pressure profiles were used in the sonar equation to compare harmonics to fundamental signal budget. Our results show that a 200 kHz thermal noise limited echo sounder, with a range of 800 m will reach around 300 m for the second harmonic. This means the second harmonic is useful in many applications.