EURASIP Journal on Audio, Speech, and Music Processing (2020-11-01)

Steerable differential beamformers with planar microphone arrays

  • Gongping Huang,
  • Jingdong Chen,
  • Jacob Benesty,
  • Israel Cohen,
  • Xudong Zhao

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 2020, no. 1
pp. 1 – 18


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Abstract Humanoid robots require to use microphone arrays to acquire speech signals from the human communication partner while suppressing noise, reverberation, and interferences. Unlike many other applications, microphone arrays in humanoid robots have to face the restrictions in size and geometry. To address these challenges, this paper presents an approach to differential beamforming with arbitrary planar array geometries. The major contributions of this work are as follows: (1) a method is presented to design differential beamformers, which works for regular geometries such as linear, circular, and concentric circular ones, as well as irregular geometries, as long as the sensors’ positions are given or can be measured; (2) fundamental requirements for the design of different orders of linear differential microphone arrays (DMAs), partially steerable DMAs, fully steerable DMAs, and robust DMAs are discussed; (3) the validity and limitations of the Jacobi-Anger expansion approximation is analyzed, where we discuss how to achieve an optimal approximation by properly choosing the reference point; and (4) we show how to design an Nth-order DMA with 2N microphones using the Jacobi-Anger expansion.