It is well known that array deformations can distort beam patterns and introduce bearing errors if the beamformer assumes linearity. It is also known that deformed arrays can resolve left–right ambiguities, provided the shape is known. In this work, these two effects are studied for undamped and damped sinusoidally deformed arrays with small deformation amplitudes in the horizontal (x,y) plane only. By use of fixed arc-length separations along the array, the hydrophone (x,y) coordinates are determined numerically and the error in assuming equal x spacing is summarized for a sample array. Array-response patterns are analyzed for two conditions: (1) when the deformed array shape is assumed linear and (2) when the deformed array shape is known exactly. Degradations resulting from assuming linearity and the ability to resolve left–right ambiguities are discussed in terms of reduced gain, degraded angular resolution, and bearing errors. Shape-unknown signal-gain degradation ranges to 7 dB at broadside, but is less than 1 dB near endfire. For the shape-known case, signal gain for the true peak is greater than signal gain for the ambiguous peak by up to 9 dB for sources at broadside and to just over 2.5 dB for arrivals near endfire. © 1999 Acoustical Society of America.
J. Acoust. Soc. Am.
J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 105, 2203 (1999)