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Far field direction of sound source estimate using circular array microphones

Suppose there is a far field signal impinging on the circular array microphones as shown in as shown in Figure 1 below:

8 microphones

Figure 1: Circular microphone array topology for 8 microphones.

 

Also, suppose the direction of arrival, DOA, of the impinging signal is desired. There are 7! possible delay estimates between paired microphones, ignoring the simple sign changes of the delays. For RTOSs, that will be too many pairs to be computed. Rather, the delays with respect to the center microphone can be utilized to attained fine grained estimates of the DOA. The DOA should obey:

\begin{bmatrix}0 &1\\ \sin{\psi} &\cos{\psi} \\ \sin{2\psi} &\cos{2\psi} \\ - \cos{3\psi} &\sin{3\psi} \\ - \sin{3\psi} &-\cos{3\psi} \\ \sin{2\psi} &- \cos{2\psi} \\ - \sin{\psi} &\cos{\psi}\end{bmatrix} \begin{bmatrix}\sin{\theta} \\ \cos{\theta} \end{bmatrix} = \frac{c}{d}\begin{bmatrix}\tau_1 \\ \tau_2 \\ \tau_3 \\ \tau_4 \\ \tau_5 \\ \tau_6 \\ \tau_7\end{bmatrix}

where \tau_i is the delay between microphone 8 and microphone i and c is the speed of sound in free space. The solution of the above equation leads to:

\theta = \arctan{\left(\frac{2+2\cos{\psi}^2 + 2\cos{2\psi}^2}{1+2\sin{\psi}^2 + 2\sin{2\psi}^2} \frac{(\tau_2 - \tau_7) \sin{\psi}+ (\tau_3 + \tau_6) \sin{2\psi}-\tau_4\cos{3\psi} -\tau_5\sin{3\psi}}{\tau_1 +(\tau_2 + \tau_7) \cos{\psi}+ (\tau_3 - \tau_6) \cos{2\psi}+\tau_4\sin{3\psi} -\tau_5\cos{3\psi}} \right)}

The signs of the numerator and denominator terms of the argument of the arc tangent is used to discriminate the quadrant of the DOA. There are more than 1900 unique angles between 0^{\circ} and 360^{\circ} that can be resolved using these seven TDOAs with a maximum error depicting uncovered angle of less than \frac{1.7}{2}^{\circ}. Figure 2 illustrates the granularity of this approach for DOA estimation. The TDOAs can be computed using fast microphone array topology constrained GCC-PHAT like algorithms.

 

8 microphones angles

Figure 2: Resolution of DOA estimation using 7 TDOAs.

 

VOCAL Technologies offers custom designed AoA estimation solutions for beamforming with a robust voice activity detector, acoustic echo cancellation and noise suppression. Our custom implementations of such systems are meant to deliver optimum performance for your specific beamforming task. Contact us today to discuss your solution!

 

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VOCAL Technologies, Ltd.
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