Title page for ETD etd-09282016-122342

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Liu, Mingyi
Author's Email Address lmingyi@vt.edu
URN etd-09282016-122342
Title Evaluation of a Simple Model for the Acoustics of Bat Swarms
Degree Master of Engineering
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Rolf Mueller Committee Chair
Andrew Kurdila Committee Member
Nicole Abaid Committee Member
  • Modeling
  • Simulation
  • Acoustics
  • Bat swarm
  • Jamming
Date of Defense 2016-09-15
Availability unrestricted
Bats using their biosonar while flying in dense swarms may face significant bioacoustic

challenges, in particular mutual sonar jamming. While possible solutions to the jamming

problem have been investigated multiple times in literature, the severity of this problem has

received far less attention. To characterize the acoustics of bat swarms, a simple model of

the acoustically relevant properties of a bat swarm has been set up and evaluated. The

model contains only four parameters: bat spacial density, biosonar beamwidth, duty cycle,

and a scalar measure for the smoothness of the flight trajectories. In addition, a threshold

to define substantial jamming was set relative to the emission level. The simulations results

show that all four model parameters can have a major impact on jamming probability.

Depending on the combination of parameter values, situations with or without substantial

jamming probabilities could be produced within reasonable ranges of all model parameters.

Hence, the model suggests that not every bat swarm does necessarily impose grave jamming

problem. A fitting process was introduced to describe the relationship between the four

parameters and jamming probability, hence produce a function with jamming probability as

output and four parameters as input. Since the model parameters should be comparatively

easy to estimate for actual bat swarms, the simulation results could give researchers a way

to assess the acoustic environment of actual bat swarms and determine cases where a study

of biosonar jamming could be worthwhile.

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