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Proceedings Paper

Ultrasonic liquid crystal-based underwater acoustic imaging
Author(s): David W. Gerdt; Martin C. Baruch; Charles M. Adkins
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Paper Abstract

A new approach to underwater ultrasonic imaging is described and demonstrated which directly converts a 2D acoustic pressure image formed from an acoustic lens into an intensity-mapped visual image. There are no computers nor electronic requirements, nor piezo arrays necessary. The imager relies on the acoustic coupling, which occurs between directed acoustic energy and aligned nematic liquid crystals. The aligned liquid crystal, being optically birefringent, thereby serve as a display when viewed through crossed polarizers. Pressure waves established by acoustic transducers are reflected by the target, focused by an acoustic lens system, and converted into a visible image for target identification in littoral water. Anticipated uses are for searching and identifying underwater mines which are hazardous to military and civilian ships, ferries, and fishing boats. Other uses include search and rescue and inspection of underwater hazards and structures. Acoustic images obtained using only liquid crystal and light are included.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 March 1999
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3635, Liquid Crystal Materials, Devices, and Applications VII, (26 March 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.343873
Show Author Affiliations
David W. Gerdt, Empirical Technologies Corp. (United States)
Martin C. Baruch, Empirical Technologies Corp. (United States)
Charles M. Adkins, Empirical Technologies Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3635:
Liquid Crystal Materials, Devices, and Applications VII
Ranganathan Shashidhar, Editor(s)

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