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Sensors 2018, 18(12), 4317; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18124317

Construction of an Omnidirectional Parametric Loudspeaker Consisting in a Spherical Distribution of Ultrasound Transducers

GTM Grup de recerca en Tecnologies Mèdia, La Salle, Universitat Ramon Llull, C/Quatre Camins 30, 08022 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
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Received: 26 October 2018 / Revised: 30 November 2018 / Accepted: 5 December 2018 / Published: 7 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasonic Sensors 2018)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: omnidirectional parametric loudspeaker; parametric acoustic array; nonlinear acoustics; omnidirectional sound source; ultrasound transducer omnidirectional parametric loudspeaker; parametric acoustic array; nonlinear acoustics; omnidirectional sound source; ultrasound transducer
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Arnela, M.; Guasch, O.; Sánchez-Martín, P.; Camps, J.; Alsina-Pagès, R.M.; Martínez-Suquía, C. Construction of an Omnidirectional Parametric Loudspeaker Consisting in a Spherical Distribution of Ultrasound Transducers. Sensors 2018, 18, 4317.

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