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Design and implementation of a shielded underwater vector sensor for laboratory environments
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1. T. B. Gabrielson, D. L. Gardner, and S. L. Garrett, “A simple neutrally buoyant sensor for direct measurement of particle velocity and intensity in water,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 97(1), 22272237 (1995).
2. J. A. McConnell, “Analysis of a compliantly suspended acoustic velocity sensor,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 113(1), 13951405 (2003).
3. K. Kim, T. B. Gabrielson, and G. C. Lauchle, “Development of an accelerometer based underwater acoustic intensity sensor,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 116(6), 33843392 (2004).
4. K. J. Bastyr, G. C. Lauchle, and J. A. McConnell, “Development of a velocity gradient underwater acoustic intensity sensor,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 106(6), 31783188 (1999).
5. J. A. McConnell, “Development and application of inertial type underwater acoustic intensity probes,” Ph.D. dissertation, Penn State University, University Park, PA, 2004.
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View: Figures


Image of FIG. 1.

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FIG. 1.

(Color online) Sound pressure background levels (dB re 1 μPa) in a reverberation tank over the course of a day. EMI is evident below 1 kHz and varies over the course of a day.

Image of FIG. 2.

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FIG. 2.

(Color online) Photos at several stages of construction of the p-a vector sensors. Exploded view of several components (a). Note that the second o-ring is not shown. Assembled view of the PZT cylinder, accelerometer, and syntactic foam core and end caps shown next to a standard C-size battery for comparison (b). Solder tab cavity with wiring (c). Potted PZT cylinder wrapped in copper mesh shield with upper cap and 4-wire shielded cable (d). Final probe assembly (e).

Image of FIG. 3.

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FIG. 3.

(Color online) Wiring diagram for p-a vector sensor.

Image of FIG. 4.

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FIG. 4.

(Color online) Example of the SNR improvement of the p-a vector sensor with and without the copper mesh shield/differential amplifier/coherent signal processing EMI mitigation.


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Underwater acoustic vector sensors, for measuring acoustic intensity, are typically used in open water where electromagnetic interference (EMI) is generally not a contributor to overall background noise. However, vector sensors are also useful in a laboratory setting where EMI can be a limiting factor at low frequencies. An underwater vector sensor is designed and built with specific care for EMI immunity. The sensor, and associated signal processing, is shown to reduce background noise at EMI frequencies by 10–50 dB and 10–20 dB across the entire frequency bandwidth, as compared to an identical unshielded vector sensor.


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Scitation: Design and implementation of a shielded underwater vector sensor for laboratory environments