Distortion of acoustic wave caused by nonlinear propagation transfers acoustic energy into higher harmonics of the transmitted signal. When operating several broadband echosounders with non-overlapping frequency bands to cover a wide frequency range, higher harmonics generated by one band may interfere with the fundamental band of others. This interference (i.e., crosstalk) can adversely affect the measured backscattered amplitude frequency response and in some circumstances, appears as spurious targets above and/or below the main target in pulse-compressed echograms. The nonlinear propagation of frequency-modulated acoustic waves in a directional beam was modeled and used to assess methods to reduce the deleterious effects of harmonic components in the signal, and was also compared to field experiments using the seabed echo and a metallic target sphere, with good agreement. Two methods are shown to materially reduce crosstalk: (1) reduction in transmit power, which reduces crosstalk amplitude by a larger amount than the associated reduction in transmit power, and (2) selection of a proper Fourier window length in the processing stage. The effect of crosstalk was small (<0.4 dB or 10%) for area backscattering measurements, but could be several dB for target strength measurements at different frequencies, depending on the transmit signals and processing parameters.

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