The work presents the results of experimental study on the possibilities of determining the source of an ultrasonic signal in two-dimensional space (distance, horizontal angle). During the research the team used a self-constructed linear array of MEMS microphones. Knowledge in the field of sonar systems was utilized to analyse and design a location system based on a microphone array. Using the above mentioned transducers and broadband ultrasound sources allows a quantitative comparison of estimation of the location of an ultrasonic wave source with the use of broadband modulated signals (modelled on bats' echolocation signals) to be performed. During the laboratory research the team used various signal processing algorithms, which made it possible to select an optimal processing strategy, where the sending signal is known.
The paper presents and discusses a method of azimuth determination of ultrasonic echo arrival in air. The basis of the presented approach is the assumption that the received signal is a narrowband one. In this way, the direction of the signal arrival can be determined based on its phase shift using two receivers. When the distance between the receivers exceeds half of the wavelength of the received signal, a problem of ambiguity in determining the angle of arrival arises. To solve this, a method using multiple pairs of receivers was used. Its robustness and temperature dependence is analysed. The most important advantages of the presented approach are simplified computations and low hardware requirements. Experimental data made it possible to show that for strong echoes, the accuracy is higher than 0.5X. In the case of weak echos, it is reduced to about 2X. Because the method is based on phase shift measurement, the ultrasonic sonar that uses this method can be compact in size. Moreover, owing to the theoretical analysis, certain properties of the mutual location of the receivers were found and formally proved. They are crucial for determining proper receivers’ inter-distances.