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Animal locations are sometimes estimated with hyperbolic techniques by estimating the difference in distances of their sounds between pairs of receivers. Each pair specifies the animal's location to a hyperboloid because the speed of sound is assumed to be spatially homogeneous. Sufficient numbers of intersecting hyperboloids specify the location. A nonlinear method is developed for computing probability density functions for location. The method incorporates a priori probability density functions for the receiver locations, the speed of sound, winds, and the errors in the differences in travel time. The traditional linear approximation method overestimates bounds for probability density functions by one or two orders of magnitude compared with the more accurate nonlinear method. The nonlinear method incorporates a generalization of hyperbolic methods because the average speed of sound is allowed to vary between different receivers and the source. The resulting "isodiachronic" surface is the locus of points on which the difference in travel time is constant. Isodiachronic locations yield correct location errors in situations where hyperbolic methods yield incorrect results, particularly when the speed of propagation varies significantly between a source and different receivers.
Date Posted: 27 July 2005
This document has been peer reviewed.