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Wideband and Wide Beam Polyvinylidene Difluoride (PVDF) Acoustic Transducer for Broadband Underwater Communications

M.S. Martins, mmartins(at)
C.L. Faria, carlosfaria(at)
T. Matos, b7567(at)
L.M. Gonçalves, lgoncalves(at)
J. Cabral, cabral(at)
MEMS-UMinho, University of Minho, Campus of Azurém, PT-4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
A Silva, asilva(at)
S.M. Jesus sjesus(at)
LARSys, University of Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, PT-8005-139 Faro, Portugal.

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Ref.: Sensors, September vol.19, 3991, 2019.

The advances in wireless communications are still very limited when intended to be used on Underwater Communication Systems mainly due to the adverse proprieties of the submarine channel to the acoustic and radio frequency (RF) waves propagation. This work describes the development and characterization of a polyvinylidene difluoride ultrasound transducer to be used as an emitter in underwater wireless communications. The transducer has a beam up to 10◦ × 70◦ degrees and a usable frequency band up to 1 MHz. The transducer was designed using Finite Elements Methods and compared with real measurements. Pool trials show a transmitting voltage response (TVR) of approximately 150 dB re μPa/V@1 m from 750 kHz to 1 MHz. Sea trials were carried in Ria Formosa, Faro (Portugal) over a 15 m source—receiver communication link. All the signals were successfully detected by cross-correlation using 10 chirp signals between 10 to 900 kHz.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT: This work was co-financed by Programa Operacional Regional do Norte (NORTE2020), through Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional (FEDER), Project NORTE-01-0145-FEDER-000032—NextSea. This work is supported by FCT with the reference project UID/EEA/04436/2019. M. S. Martins thanks FCT for the grant SFRH/BPD/107826/2015. This work is supported by FCT with the reference project MIT-EXPL/IRA/0070/2017.