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The low-frequency underwater acoustic transducers utilize miniature class V flextensional drivers, commonly known as ‘cymbals,’ as the active elements in the projector. A cymbal consists of an electroactive ceramic disk sandwiched between and mechanically bonded to two thin metal caps. Each cap is shaped in a die press so that it will contain a shallow air cavity after it is bonded to the face of the ceramic disk. When an electric field is applied to the disk, it expands and contracts in its radial direction. This expansion and contraction of the disk causes the dome portion of the caps to flex up and down sending acoustic energy into the water. It is often desirable to deploy a large number of these transducers in a planar array in order to provide a thin acoustic projector having a high acoustic source level. However, mounting transducers in an array creates damping problems across acoustic elements and abnormal acoustic responses.
Sonar is very important to the Navy and in order to address the issues of placing cymbal transducers in an array, Navy scientists and engineers have developed a novel mounting system. A vulcanized rubber sheet is sandwiched between two acoustically transparent plates (PlexiglasTM) with matching holes for the transducers. The resilient sheet holds the cymbal transducers in position without interfering with either the radial motion of the disk or the flexural motion of the caps. In addition, the resilient sheet mechanically isolates the individual transducers from experiencing other external vibrations such as might be communicated from the housing or a neighboring element. The acoustically transparent plate keeps the cymbal transducers in the same plane and this overall configuration allows cymbal transducers to be simply supported in the same plane without damping the transducers.
- Minimizes interference from adjacent sonar elements configured in an array
- Mounting in the array does not create acoustic radiation interference between transducers
- US patent 6,798,122 available for license