Acoustic Source Localization
Joshua York Undergraduate Research Project
Washington University Summer/Fall 2008

Abstract and Project Overview

Washington University Fall 08'

Acoustic source localization using microphone arrays has a wide range of potential applications, e.g., teleconferencing, assisted navigation, robotics, and defense. In our work, we focus on: (i) implementing an experimental setup for estimating the acoustic-source position in two dimensions using a microphone array, and (ii) analyzing the performance of our algorithms analytically, using numerical examples, and real experiments. Our setup consists of an acoustic source and a sensing device formed by a microphone array and a data acquisition system. We develop a graphical user interface to control both source and sensors from a personal computer, and to apply signal processing algorithms on the acquired measurements. In particular, we derive source-position coordinate estimates as a function of the time delay of the acoustic-source plane-wave between two different microphones pairs. We estimate the unknown time-delays using the general cross correlation approach (GCC). Then we analyze the algorithm performance as a function of the sensing device configuration, such as spatial and temporal sampling, and we build a map formed by all possible coordinates that can be estimated. We demonstrate the performance by analyzing the system when using numerical examples and real experiments.


This research was conducted over the Summer and Fall semesters at Washington University by Joshua York to fullfill the course requiremtns of ESE 497 Undergraduate Research. The project was overseen by Dr. Arye Nehorai of the Washington University Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering with the additional contributions of Ed Richter and Patricio La Rosa.

The goal of the student was to acheive a better understanding of the principles and applications of digital signal processing in an applied real world form. This project utilizes a combination of signal and sensory processing concepts as well as creative thinking, and analytical problem solving. Through the application of learned theory and practices, the student as been able to obtain a better understanding of engineering principles and design/research processes.

This Web Site

Contained within this web site is the full body of research and results obtained from the course study. The navigation to the left will guide the reader through the topics of the presented research. Although the topics are meant to be followed in the order they are presented within the menu, the reader is invited to navigate the pages as they see fot to do so. As the research is continued through additional semsters, the information will obviously be updated to reflect new ideas and realizations. We thank you for your interest in this topic and hope you enjoy.