SUBJECT: M.S. Thesis Presentation
BY: Etienne Dufour
TIME: Thursday, May 18, 2006, 4:00 p.m.
PLACE: Love Building, 109
TITLE: Optimization of a medium with a large parameter of nonlinearity and its application to the enhancement of a compact, omnidirectional, parametric source
COMMITTEE: David H. Trivett, Chair (ME)
Peter H. Rogers (ME)
Jerry H. Ginsberg (ME)


A compact low-frequency projector is of crucial importance especially in underwater acoustics due to the frequency dependence of the absorption. To improve the efficiency of an omnidirectional acoustic source at low frequencies, parametric amplification may be used by adding a thin layer of nonlinear medium around a spherical transducer. The parametric effect is based on the interaction of two acoustic waves propagating through a nonlinear medium to produce a difference frequency wave. If both primary frequencies are sufficiently close enough, the result is the creation of a low frequency wave. Investigation is required to find the optimal medium, that is to say, one with a large nonlinear coefficient and a low sound speed. Such a source has already been built using a medium composed of a gel and microsphere mixture. In this case, the nonlinear coefficient is highly pressure dependent reaching a maximum when the microspheres buckle. The need is to optimize the material layer to increase the range of hydrostatic pressures over which the projector is useful.