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Grating lobe reduction in transducer arrays through structural filtering of supercritical plates

by Anderson, Brian Eric.

Abstract (Summary)
iii The effect of placing a structural acoustic filter between the water medium and the transducer elements of an array is investigated, in this thesis, to help reduce undesirable grating lobes. A plate is mounted to transducer elements with a thin decoupling polyurethane layer between the transducers and the plate. The plate acts as a radiation/incidence angle filter to pass energy at angles near normal incidence, but suppress energy at large incidence angles. The plate must possess a very high bending stiffness while maintaining low mass to achieve optimal results. Grating lobe reduction is achieved at the expense of limiting the available steering of the main lobe. Within this steer angle limit the main lobe beams can be steered as normal while the grating lobe level is reduced by the plate’s angular filtering. The insertion of a plate structural filter provides an inexpensive and easily implemented approach to extend usable frequency bandwidth with reduced level grating lobes, without increasing the number of array elements. Even though some data matches theory well, a practical material has yet to be found that possesses optimal material properties. To the author’s knowledge, this thesis represents the first attempt to advantageously utilize a plate to provide angular dependent sound transmission filtering above the plate’s critical frequency (the supercritical frequency region). Theoretical analysis, numerical analysis, and extensive experimental results have been performed and a comparison will be presented in this thesis. The angular dependence of sound transmission through a plate is reviewed, followed by design considerations to optimize a plate for angular filtering. The optimal thickness for a plate iv depends on the plate’s material properties. Equivalent circuit modeling and finite element modeling was applied, and is compared to. Extensive experimental results conducted with bars and a plate will be shown. Good agreement with theory and modeling is achieved for an alumina bar bonded to transducer elements.
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School:Pennsylvania State University

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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