Man made homing systems have evolved more or less independently of any knowledge of biological echolocation systems since the early decades of this century. The prime objectives and general operating environments of homing missiles and torpedoes, however, have much in common with dolphins and other echolocating predators. They need to detect and classify all potential targets in all directions over as great a range as possible, identify and spatially localise the most interesting one, determine the most efficient interception course, and then intercept and attack the target despite evasive manoeuvres and potentially distracting alternative targets. In this paper, experience in modelling and simulating radar and sonar homing systems is combined with the available knowledge of dolphin echolocation to produce estimates of the potential physical capabilities of the dolphin systems and the effects of various environmental factors such as multipaths and reverberation, glint and multiple targets, ambient noise levels, and fluctuations due to turbulence and other random variations in the seawater medium.
Peter F. Dobbins (1998). Estimated target localisation accuracy, resolution and agility of dolphin echolocation based on a homing sonar/radar paradigm [abstract]. Bioacoustics 9(3): 223