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Resonating Shell: A Spherical-Omnidirectional Ultrasound Transducer for Underwater Sensor Networks

1
Department of Electrical Engineering (ESAT-MICAS), KU Leuven, Leuven 3001, Belgium
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, KU Leuven, Leuven 3001, Belgium
3
Department of Materials Engineering, KU Leuven, Leuven 3001, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(4), 757; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19040757
Received: 16 January 2019 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 11 February 2019 / Published: 13 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ultrasound Transducers)
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Abstract

This paper presents the design and fabrication process of a spherical-omnidirectional ultrasound transducer for underwater sensor network applications. The transducer is based on the vibration of two hemispheres with a thickness of 1 mm and an outer diameter of 10 mm, which are actuated by two piezoelectric ring elements. Since the ultrasound wave is generated by the vibration of the two hemispheres, a matching layer is not required. Silicon Carbide (SiC) is used as the material of the hemispherical shells of the transducer. The shells were fabricated by laser sintering as an additive manufacturing method, in which the hemispheres were built layer by layer from a powder bed. All manufactured transducers with an outer dimension of 10 × 14.2 mm and a center frequency of 155 kHz were measured in a water tank by a hydrophone or in mutual communication. The circumferential source level was measured to vary less than 5dB. The power consumption and the insertion loss of the transducer, ranging from 100 μ W to 2.4 mW and 21.2 dB, respectively, along with all other measurements, prove that the transducer can transmit and receive ultrasound waves omnidirectionally at tens of centimeters intervals with a decent power consumption and low actuation voltage. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultrasound transducer; piezoelectric; spherical-omnidirectional; PZT; underwater sensor network (USN) ultrasound transducer; piezoelectric; spherical-omnidirectional; PZT; underwater sensor network (USN)
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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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Sadeghpour, S.; Meyers, S.; Kruth, J.-P.; Vleugels, J.; Kraft, M.; Puers, R. Resonating Shell: A Spherical-Omnidirectional Ultrasound Transducer for Underwater Sensor Networks. Sensors 2019, 19, 757.

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