Single Crystal Transducer Technology for Undersea Tracking Ranges

Period of Performance: 09/10/2009 - 03/10/2010


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Lewtech Co., Inc.
7112 Nighthawk Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46835
Principal Investigator


Undersea tracking ranges are used to monitor and assess the performance of submarines, torpedoes, ships and targets conducting tests and exercises on weapon system performance. The ability to track these platforms is largely based on the performance of the transducers used in the tracking systems. Current state-of-the-art piezoelectric ceramic (PZT) transducers have performance limitations; therefore this SBIR will investigate the use of newly developed transducer material, lead magnesium niobate-lead titanate (PMN-PT), commonly known as single crystal, to provide desired tracking range performance enhancements. The improved electromechanical coupling factors, dielectric constant, and loss tangent associated with PMN-PT material will provide improved transducer response. These improvements include increased bandwidth and source level capability and operational depth for the projector elements, as well as enhanced sensitivity and improved self noise for the hydrophone system. The proposed program will model transducers using this material to establish a baseline approach, fabricate a prototype transducer and perform in-water testing to establish performance enhancements relative to PZT material. LewTech has formed a strong team with UnderSea Sensor Systems, Inc., a major manufacturer of sonar systems, surveillance systems and sonobuoys, to support the design and development of practical, cost effective transducers utilizing single crystal material.