Real-Time Synthetic Aperture Sonar Imaging Using a Parallel Architecture

Vijay Singh Riyait, Michael Andrew Lawlor, Alan E. Adams, Oliver Hinton, Bayan Sharif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This paper describes a parallel architecture that has been developed to perform real-time synthetic aperture sonar imaging as part of the Acoustical Imaging Development (ACID) project. The project has successfully developed a synthetic aperture sonar system for producing high resolution images of the sea floor and that has been tested during a series of sea trials in May 1993 off the south coast of France. This paper describes the synthetic aperture processing system developed by the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and its use of transputer modules and associated devices in order to obtain real-time imaging performance, the software structure of the processing system and the load balancing techniques that have been developed in order to provide efficient processing. The use of a parallel distributed architecture has also allowed a processing system that can readily be extended to deliver greater computational power in the future. Images produced by the synthetic aperture processor from data collected from around the Toulon coastal region are presented. These images highlight the improvement in azimuth resolution that can be obtained from synthetic aperture processing over conventional sidescan sonars.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)1010-1019
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Image Processing
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1995


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