Distributed Aperture Acoustic Transducers


This project explores different applications for tapered-aperture audio transducers, where incoming acoustic wavefronts correlate with spatial patterns that we deposit onto large-area distributed acoustic transducers. Our initial efforts focused on developing very simple sensors that determine the bearing of incoming sound waves, giving the computer easy access to directional audio information. The initial devices were broadband, passive monopulse acoustic receivers made from PVDF foil. By properly shaping the electrode patterns on the PVDF and mounting the foil appropriately, a simple ratio of two signals determines acoustic bearing over a wide frequency range without dispersive effects. The transducers that we have developed have responded well into the audio band, and provided directional cues for nearby acoustic transients resulting from different kinds of activity. We are now exploring other interesting audio applications of distributed-aperture transducers, and developing different ways to fabricate them.