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I am trying to implement a steering vector in 3D for beamforming. Let $A\in \mathbb{R}^{M\times 3}$ be a matrix containing the $(x,y,z)$ coordinates for $M$ sensors and the impinging source direction of arrival (DOA) is $\Theta = (\varphi,\theta)$, inclination and azimuth respectively. I am following the example from a 2D implementation (line 27). And I am not sure about my implementation.

I first convert the DOA to $(x,y,z)$ coordinates by: $$z_{DOA}=\cos(\varphi)$$ $$y_{DOA}=\sin(\varphi)\sin(\theta)$$ $$x_{DOA}=\sin(\varphi)\cos(\theta)$$ Then I project the microphones on that DOA by a dot product (once), and build the steering vector for each frequency $d(f)$: $$P=A\cdot\left[\begin{matrix}x_{DOA} \\y_{DOA} \\z_{DOA}\end{matrix}\right]\in \mathbb{R}^{M\times 1}$$ $$d(f) = e^{\frac{-2\pi jf\cdot P}{c}}\in \mathbb{R}^{M\times 1}$$ Where $P$ is the projection, $C$ is the speed of sound and $j=\sqrt{-1}$. This corresponds to lines 42-36 in the original implementatino.

Note that I have replaced the loop over microphones and the dot multiplication operation in a matrix-vector multiplication.

I can see three points that I cannot understand here:

  • Why did the author "flip" the DOA by multiplying with $-1$ (line 31)? How does that correspond with my implementation?
  • Why do I need to get the hermit of this vector (line 37)? Is that not enough for a steering vector?
  • Must I normalize (line 38)? what is the implication of not normalizing? Is that a frequency-wise normalization or a spatial (microphone-wise) normalization?
  • Is there any way to visualize the steering vector and see that it is correct? If so, what should I expect to see?

This is my implementation. Kindly, remark if neede:

def sph_2_cart(self,azi,inc):
    r=1
    z = r * np.cos(inc)
    rcosinc = r * np.sin(inc)
    x = rcosinc * np.cos(azi)
    y = rcosinc * np.sin(azi)
    return np.array([x,y,z])

def get_steering_vector(self,direction):
    d = np.ones((len(self._f),self._microphones.shape[0]),dtype =np.complex64)
    projection = np.dot(self._microphones,direction.T)
    for i,f in enumerate(self._f):
        d[i,:] = np.exp( (-2j)*np.pi*f*projection/self._c)
    return d

direction=sph_2_cart(azi,inc)
steering_vec = get_steering_vector(direction)
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