PRACTICAL ASPECTS OF ACOUSTIC SOURCE LOCALIZATION USING POLYMER-CARBON BLACK COMPOSITE PHASED ARRAYS
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An array of Carbon Black (CB) filled polyurethane sensors is developed to identify the location and intensity of a single acoustic source. The manufacturing procedure of the proposed array is outlined, in details, and several prototypes are manufactured. Characterization of the viscoelastic and piezo-resistive material properties of different samples of the CB filled polyurethane is carried out using Dynamic, Mechanical, Thermal Analyzer (DMTA) and uni-axial compression testing. The structural, dynamical, and sensing performance characteristics of the array sensor are modeled mathematically using the theory of finite elements and utilizing the well-known localization theories of phased arrays. The experimental performance characteristics of the proposed array sensor are evaluated in comparison to an array of conventional condenser microphones. The purpose of such an experimental effort is to demonstrate the capabilities and limitations of the proposed array sensor as compared with conventional condenser microphones. Furthermore, the obtained experimental results are utilized to validate the theoretical predictions of the localization of acoustic sources. It is envisioned that the proposed CB filled polyurethane array sensor presents a cost effective and viable means for identifying the location and intensity of acoustic sources which can vary from stationary to moving sources in air or underwater. Accordingly, the applications of such an array sensor are only limited by our imagination.