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Construction of an Omnidirectional Parametric Loudspeaker Consisting in a Spherical Distribution of Ultrasound Transducers
Marc Arnela, Oriol Guasch, Patricia Sánchez-Martín, Joan Camps, Rosa Ma Alsina-Pagès, Carme Martínez-Suquía

Published: 07 December 2018 by MDPI in Sensors
MDPI, Volume 18; 10.3390/s18124317
Abstract: Omnidirectional sound sources are needed to perform a large variety of tests in acoustics. Typically, they consist of conventional speaker drivers arranged in a dodecahedron. However, the directivity of the speaker drivers sharpens with frequency, which induces an intense decrease of the sound pressure levels at the edges of the dodechaedron. In this work, the problem is mitigated by building an Omnidirectional Parametric Loudspeaker (OPL), which contains hundreds of small ultrasound transducers set on a sphere. Each transducer emits an ultrasonic carrier wave modulated by an audible signal. Thanks to nonlinear propagation, the air itself demodulates the signal bringing it back to the audible range. The construction of an OPL prototype is challenging. The structure has been built by 3D-printing a set of pieces that conform to the sphere. Each piece contains the exact location of the transducers, which are aligned in parallels to facilitate the structural assembly and the wiring. The performance of the OPL has been tested in an anechoic chamber. Measurements show that the OPL has a good omnidirectional behavior for most frequencies. It clearly improves the directivity of dodechaedral sources in the high frequency range, but performs worse at low frequencies.
Keywords: ultrasound transducer, Nonlinear acoustics, Parametric Acoustic Array, omnidirectional sound source, omnidirectional parametric loudspeaker
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