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Improved acoustic source localization and spatial selectivity in acquisition
Acoustic source localization relying on Time Difference of Arrival (TDOA) at multiple microphones is, in general, unfavourably affected by sound-reflecting surfaces inside an enclosure, which originate multipath sound propagation.This means that any acoustic source is being mirrored into multiple image sources which combine their effects and make TDOA estimation a hard task.
However, if the presence of reflecting surfaces and the consequent position of image sources is properly modeled, reflected wavefronts can be turned into an advantage and exploited to achieve improved localization performance.
The potential of this approach is shown in this video-clip
The inclusion of image sources in a propagation model may also enable an improved spatial selectivity in a beamformer which aims not only at the real source but also at its most powerful images.