Dr Paul Hines
Biography: Dr. Paul C. Hines was born and raised in Glace Bay, Canada. He attended Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, graduating with a B.Sc. (Hon) in Engineering-Physics, in 1981. He joined Defence R&D Canada, in Dartmouth, in 1981. From 1985-1988, he attended the University of Bath, UK where he received his PhD in Physics. His research on acoustic scattering from ocean boundaries earned him the Chesterman Medal from the University for “Outstanding Research in Physics”. From his return to DRDC in 1988 until his departure in March 2014, he led several research groups, managed a variety of acoustic research projects for both DRDC and the US Office of Naval Research, and served as Canada’s member on NATO’s Scientific Committee of National Representatives (SCNR). He is a seasoned experimentalist and has been chief scientist for several collaborative international research trials. He has published 80 refereed journal and conference publications, and has given over 150 contributed, invited, and plenary lectures at national and international meetings. He currently works as an independent consultant in ocean science and technology. Dr. Hines also holds a senior research post in Dalhousie University’s department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and is an adjunct in the department of Oceanography – where he conducts research and supervises graduate and undergraduate students. During his career he has conducted research in anti-submarine warfare, mine and torpedo countermeasures, rapid environmental assessment, acoustic scattering, sound speed dispersion, vector sensor processing, sonar classification and tracking, continuous active sonar, and the application of aural perception in humans, to target classification in sonar. As well as being a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Ocean Engineering Society, Dr. Hines is a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America. As always, when he isn’t doing science he is focusing one of his other passions: family and friends, wine, and music…usually all at the same time.

Lecture 1: “Stop, Hey, What’s That Sound, Everybody Look What’s Goin’ Down”
(How Sound and Music Are Used to Find Things in a Dark Ocean)

Abstract: Finding one’s way around in the ocean is not all that different from finding one’s way around a room while blindfolded – in both cases the visible light spectrum just isn’t very effective.  In the ocean, we’ve relied on active sonar to solve this problem since its development 100 years ago; however, it is one thing to receive a sonar echo and know “something” is out there.  It is a much more difficult thing to identify (classify) exactly what that thing is –and this is frequently of critical importance.  Humans on the other hand, have a remarkable ability to aurally discriminate acoustic signals –a dog’s bark from a cat’s purr, for example; or recognizing the difference between the same note being played on a guitar and a grand piano.  This seminar will begin with a brief review of the birth of active sonar. We’ll then examine a few examples of the ear in the context of it’s exceptional ability as a signal processor, and how we can use it to classify sounds.  Then an automatic aural classifier inspired by both musical acoustics and the human ear will be presented, and shown how it discriminates submarines from seamounts or humpback whales from bowhead whales.

Lecture 2: The Long and Short of Active Sonar (and the Narrow and Wide of it too)

Abstract: In recent years, continuous active sonar (CAS) has been promoted as a powerful new technique to improve detection and tracking of underwater targets, and many Navies view it as the way of the future. Traditional pulsed active sonars (PAS) typically transmit a short signal of modest bandwidth, during which the receiver is disabled, followed by a long dwell period during which the receive array is enabled to listen for echoes. In contrast, a typical CAS system transmits continuously, uses much longer pulse repetition rates, and sweeps across much wider bandwidths, with its receiver enabled the entire time. This offers several potential advantages, including but not limited to, continuous detection and tracking; however, it also raises many questions about the approximations and assumptions employed in traditional sonar signal processing models, and the environmental models employed in sonar performance estimation. In this seminar some of the shortcoming in current models are examined, and experimental results comparing CAS and PAS performance are used to help guide the discussion. While this seminar may identify more questions than answers, the hope is that it will provide a guide to where future effort might be directed in this fascinating and topical field of research.