Volume 119, Issue 6, June 2006
Index of content:
- BIOACOUSTICS 
Measuring the off-axis angle and the rotational movements of phonating sperm whales using a single hydrophone119(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2184987View Description Hide Description
The common use of the bent-horn model of the sperm whale sound generator describes sperm whale clicks as the pulse series . Clicks, however, deviate from this standard when recorded using off-axis hydrophones. The existence of additional pulses within the series can be explained still using the bent-horn model. Multiple reflections on the whale’s frontal and distal sacs of the pulse lead to additional sets of pulses detectable using a farfield, off-axis hydrophone. The travel times of some of these additional pulses depend on the whale’s orientation. The authors propose a method to estimate the off-axis angle of sperm whale clicks. They also propose a method to determine the nature of the movement (if it is pitch, yaw, or roll) of phonating sperm whales. The application of both methods requires the measurement of the travel time differences between pulses composing a sperm whale click. They lead, using a simple apparatus consisting of a single hydrophone at an unknown depth, to new measurements of the underwater movements of sperm whales. Using these methods shows that sperm whales would methodically scan seawater while searching for prey, by making periodic pitch and yaw movements in sync with their acoustic activity.
119(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2200151View Description Hide Description
Directivity and sound diffraction of the pinna of the Chinese Noctule (Nyctalus plancyi) have been studied numerically. The pinna was found capable of generating a periodic helical scanning pattern over frequency, if the tragus and the thickened lower ledge of the pinna rim were in an appropriate position. During the helical scan, a directivity pattern with a strong mainlobe alternated with a pattern dominated by a conical sleeve of sidelobes. This alternation was present, even when an unfavorable arrangement of the pinna disrupted the overall helical scanning pattern. In the fully formed helical scan, the orientation of main and sidelobes for different frequencies revealed a spatial ordering which extends volume coverage. Five different pinna parts have been removed from the digital pinna-shape representations in turn to assess their influence on the directivity. Of these parts, the tragus stem and the thickened lower ledge of the pinna rim were found to have the largest overall impact. The anatomical prominence of these structures was hence in agreement with their acoustic functionality. In the near-field, tragus stem and lower ledge were seen to act primarily through large shifts in the wavefield phase in both directions.
119(2006); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.2195290View Description Hide Description
Signal decorrelation is a major source of error in the displacements estimated using correlation techniques for elastographic imaging. Previous papers have addressed the variation in the correlation coefficient as a function of the applied compression for a finite window size and an insonification angle of zero degrees. The recent use of angular beam-steered radio-frequency echo signals for spatial angular compounding and shear strain estimation have demonstrated the need for understanding signal decorrelation artifacts for data acquired at different beam angles. In this paper, we provide both numerical and closed form theoretical solutions of the correlation between pre- and post-compression radio-frequency echo signals acquired at a specified beam angle. The expression for the correlation coefficient obtained is a function of the beam angle and the applied compression for a finite duration window. Accuracy of the theoretical results is verified using tissue-mimicking phantom experiments on a uniformly elastic phantom using beam-steered data acquisitions on a linear array transducer. The theory predicts a faster decorrelation with changes in the beam or insonification angle for longer radio-frequency echo signal segments and at deeper locations in the medium. Theoretical results provide useful information for improving angular compounding and shear strain estimation techniques for elastography.