Acoustic tracking of moving marine targets using a single autonomous surface receiver

Ilan Git, Matan Samina, Shachar Givon, Ronen Segev, Moshe Kiflawi, Ohad Ben-Shahar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While marine animal behavior is often studied in constrained lab setups, a more reliable exploration should be done in their natural environment and without human interference. This task becomes excessively more challenging when quantitative data are needed in large and unconstrained aquatic environments. Toward that end, researchers widely use acoustic positioning telemetry to remotely track their subjects, though this often requires an extensive network of receivers placed in the environment ahead of time. This study proposes a new tracking method that continuously tracks and reports the trajectory of a target in unconstrained marine environments using a single-moving acoustic receiver. Instead of deploying an extensive array of static receivers, we use a single receiver mounted on an autonomous surface vehicle to obtain highly accurate results with much cheaper and simpler means. The receiver position and earlier target location estimations are used to calculate an optimal trajectory for the receiver, which in turn provides subsequent readings and target localizations based on a new variant of the Time Difference of Arrival approach. We demonstrate the performance of the proposed methods using both simulations and field experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
JournalJournal of Field Robotics
StatePublished - 11 Apr 2024


  • position tracking
  • underwater navigation
  • unmanned surface vehicle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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