Seminar "Selected Topics in Underwater Signal Processing"


Basic Information
Lecturers: Gerhard Schmidt and group
Semester: Summer term
Language: English or German
Target group: Master students in electrical engineering and computer engineering
Prerequisites: Fundamentals of digital signal processing

If you want to sign up for this seminar, you need to register with the following information in the registration form

  • surname, first name,
  • e-mail address,
  • matriculation number,

Please note, that the registration period starts 17.03.2021 at 8:00 h and ends 13.04.2021 at 23:59 h. All applications before and after this registration period will not be taken into account.

Registration will be possible within the before mentioned time under the following subsite - Seminar Registration.

During the registration process you will also choose your seminar topic. Only one student per topic is permitted (first come - first serve).

The registration is binding. A deregistration is only possible by sending an e-mail with your name and matriculation number to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. until Tuesday, 13.04.2019 at 23:59 h. All later cancellations of registration will be considered as having failed the seminar.

Time: Preliminary meeting, online in Zoom, 19.04.2021 at 14:00 h
Written report due on 09.07.2021
Final presentations, online in Zoom, on 02.08.2021 at 14:00 h

Students write a scientific report on a topic closely related to the current research of the DSS group. Potential topics, therefore, deal with digital signal processing related to underwater applications.

Students will also present their findings in front of the other participants and the DSS group.


Topics for SS2021

Topic title Description
Reinforcement learning

Modern SONAR or RADAR systems have a large number of setting parameters that can be changed from ping to ping. In order to filter out the maximum information from the environment, these parameters must be adjusted quickly and sensibly based on previous pings. For this purpose, a neural network is useful for decision making. Since the evaluation of the parameter selection depends on previous decisions, the training of the neural network using reinforcement learning is suitable. The goal of this seminar is to find and summarize literature about reinforcement learning approaches and it's application in SONAR or RADAR.

Comparison of
Underwater Communication Modems

The underwater acoustic channel is one of the most challenging channels for communication. Because of damping and dispersion, high-frequency communication is not usable for longer distances underwater. Nevertheless, underwater modems are frequently used for monitoring purposes, controlling AUVs or speech communication, using comparably low data-rates.  Nearly all commercially available modems use different modulation schemes and are capable of different data-rates. In this seminar the used modulation schemes, the data-rates and transmit power of the available modems should be examined and discussed.  Conclusively, the robustness and the possible range of the modems should be addressed and a recommendation for a suitable modulation scheme for a short to mid-range speech communication should be given.

Tracking of Multiple
Targets using Joint
Probabilistic Data Association

Target tracking in both SONAR and Radar applications make use of the Probabilistic Data Association (PDA) method. The method is suitable for tracking of one or more targets, in case they are well separated. However, if there are several target objects, events can occur in which a measurement is associated with several tracks. This is exactly the case when the measurement is in the gating range of two or more targets. In order to master these events, the Joint Probabalistic Data Assiciation (JPDA) method is often used. As part of this seminar topic, the last five scientific papers on this topic are to be found and summarized into one paper. For the beginning, some papers of renowned authors will be provided.

Data Fusion for Bi-
and Multistatic
SONAR Systems

Active SONAR systems rely on projectors and hydrophones in order to accumulate and process data for target detection purposes. While with monostatic systems the transmit and receive beam directions can be adjusted coherently due to no spatial offset of the hardware, bi- and multistatic systems require a more complex control algorithm. The separately positioned arrays need to combine their beamformers beam direction such that the SONAR output plot can be populated most efficiently. The goal of this seminar is to find and summarize literature about such data fusion algorithms and its application in multistatic SONAR systems.