3D Source Localization Using Acoustic Vector Sensor Arrays

Undergraduate Research by Evan Nixon


This site documents the undergraduate research done by Evan Nixon (BSSSE, 2012) during the Spring of 2010.


The work focused on a linear array of acoustic vector sensors (AVS). In this project, we use an array of two acoustic vector sensors (AVSs) for 3D localization of a single sound source. For each AVS we first use Capon beamforming, a spatial filtering process, to determine the 3D source direction. Then, we apply a triangulation method to combine the directions, estimated by the array of AVSs, to estimate the location of the source.


An AVS is composed of one pressure sensor and three orthogonally positioned velocity sensors. Combining these four measurements, a single AVS can uniquely determine the direction of a source in three-dimensional (3D) space. This is a significant advantage compared with a single pressure-sensor, which cannot estimate 3D source direction.

Figure: (above) the tip of an acoustic vector sensor. The red, blue, and green components are velocity sensors and the tip is a regular pressure microphone

(below) our data acquisition box connected to the AVS signal conditioner boxes