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Optimizing copper spheres for precision calibration of hydroacoustic equipment

Author(s): Foote KG


An operational definition of backscattering cross section is developed for the wideband reception of finite echoes. This is supported by relative measurements on a set of copper spheres by each of four echo sounders operating at frequencies from 38 to 120 kHz. Experiential and theoretical arguments are advanced for the superiority of commercial, electrical–grade copper in the application. An optimization problem for determining the sphere size is then formulated, and solved for the case of calibration of a 38 kHz echo sounder by a sphere of the described material. The solution: that the copper sphere diameter be 60.00 mm, is tested through a variety of measurements. These demonstrate an accuracy of 0.1 dB. The further exercise of theory indicates the feasibility of precision calibration of diverse hydroacoustic equipment by copper spheres over most of the kilohertz frequency range.

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