A new multiaspect target detection method is presented based on the infinite hidden Markov model (iHMM). The scattering of waves from a target is modeled as an iHMM with the number of underlying states treated as infinite, from which a full posterior distribution on the number of states associated with the targets is inferred and the target-dependent states are learned collectively. A set of Dirichlet processes (DPs) are used to define the rows of the HMM transition matrix and these DPs are linked and shared via a hierarchical Dirichlet process. Learning and inference for the iHMM are based on a Gibbs sampler. The basic framework is applied to a detailed analysis of measured acoustic scattering data. © 2007 Acoustical Society of America.