UNH Ocean Seminar

A Statistical Approach for Analyzing and Modeling MBES Backscatter

Luciano Emídio da Fonseca
Associate Professor

Electronic Engineering
University of Brasília

Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, 3:10pm
Chase 105

The statistical analysis of acoustic backscatter samples recorded by multibeam echosounders can be a valuable tool for remote seafloor characterization and interpretation. In this seminar we will attempt to analyze the statistics of backscatter data values, both in “raw” status and after various averaging operations, using field data. It will be shown that the statistics of the data can be adequately described by a Weibull distribution parametrized by the incidence angle and the level of applied processing: the distribution of the averaged backscatter amplitude, processed according to various schemes, varies from a Rayleigh law for raw data to lognormal and finally to Gaussian distribution after successive averaging operations. Based on these results, some recommendations for the calculation of the mean backscatter strength are presented. Finally, the influence of high amplitude scatterers in the backscatter probability density function is addressed; a scheme is suggested to separate the contributions of the substrate from the contributions of the scatterers on the statistical distribution of sonar data samples.


Prof. Luciano E. Fonseca has a Ph.D. in Ocean Engineering from the "University of New Hampshire - UNH," USA (2001), a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from the State University of Campinas - UNICAMP (1990), and a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Brasília - UnB (1986). He is an Associate Professor in Electronic Engineering at the University of Brasília (2012-present) and a member and consultant of the Brazilian LEPLAC-UNCLOS Program (Brazilian UNCLOS); He was a Visiting Professor in Underwater Acoustics at the "Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer - IFREMER," France (2018-2019). Dr. Fonseca was a specialist in the Marine Geophysics Program of the United Nations Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) in Paris (2009-2012), and he was an Associate Professor at the University of New Hampshire – CCOM (2002-2009); He was a Research Geophysicist at the Research Center of the Brazilian oil Company PETROBRAS in Rio de Janeiro (1990-2002). His main lines of research are:Underwater Acoustics, Marine Geophysics, Remote Sensing, Marine GIS and Scientific Visualization of Oceanographic data, Ocean Sciences, and Geoengineering.