Effects of a near-field rigid sphere scatterer on the performance of linear microphone array beamformers

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 2016, 140 (2), pp. 924 - 935
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© 2016 Acoustical Society of America. Beamformers enable a microphone array to capture acoustic signals from a sound source with high signal to noise ratio in a noisy environment, and the linear microphone array is of particular importance, in practice, due to its simplicity and easy implementation. A linear microphone array sometimes is used near some scattering objects, which affect its beamforming performance. This paper develops a numerical model with a linear microphone array near a rigid sphere for both far-field plane wave and near-field sources. The effects of the scatterer on two typical beamformers, i.e., the delay-and-sum beamformer and the superdirective beamformer, are investigated by both simulations and experiments. It is found that the directivity factor of both beamformers improves due to the increased equivalent array aperture when the size of the array is no larger than that of the scatter. With the increase of the array size, the directivity factor tends to deteriorate at high frequencies because of the rising side-lobes. When the array size is significantly larger than that of the scatterer, the scattering has hardly any influence on the beamforming performance.
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