An Introduction to Virtual Phased Arrays for Beamforming Applications

Journal title

Archives of Acoustics




No 1

Publication authors


beamforming, source localization, virtual phased arrays, measurement techniques

Divisions of PAS

Nauki Techniczne


Sound localization problems are usually tackled by the acquisition of data from phased microphone arrays and the application of acoustic holography or beamforming algorithms. However, the number of sensors required to achieve reliable results is often prohibitive, particularly if the frequency range of interest is wide. It is shown that the number of sensors required can be reduced dramatically providing the sound field is time stationary. The use of scanning techniques such as “Scan & Paint” allows for the gathering of data across a sound field in a fast and efficient way, using a single sensor and webcam only. It is also possible to characterize the relative phase field by including an additional static microphone during the acquisition process. This paper presents the theoretical and experimental basis of the proposed method to localise sound sources using only one fixed microphone and one moving acoustic sensor. The accuracy and resolution of the method have been proven to be comparable to large microphone arrays, thus constituting the so called “virtual phased arrays”.


Committee on Acoustics PAS, PAS Institute of Fundamental Technological Research, Polish Acoustical Society


ISSN 0137-5075 ; eISSN 2300-262X