High Frequency Broadband Hybrid Transducer/Amplifier

Period of Performance: 05/29/2007 - 02/29/2008


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Btech Acoustics
17 Surrey Rd. Array
Barrington, RI 02806
Principal Investigator


We propose a compact broadband underwater cylindrical transducer with integrated power amplifier for multiple applications, including acoustic communications (ACOMMS) for unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) and gliders. Such compact, modular devices could be used alone or arranged into various array configurations. On existing platforms, the power amplifier and tuning inductor resides within the internal cavity of the vehicle, taking up valuable space and contributing to excessive heating and electrical interference of nearby electronics. Our proposed solution is to incorporate the power amplifier into the transducer package of our commercially available BT-2RCL acoustic modem transducer, thereby reducing overall system complexity and enabling increased array scalability. This also allows transducers to be swapped out for different applications without needing to open the vehicle. BTech has designed and built improved modem transducers using segmented single crystal (PMN-PT) rings, which offer increased bandwidth and electroacoustic efficiency. Both PZT and single crystal cylindrical transducers with integrated power electronics will be developed in this project. Our innovative PZT and single crystal transducer technology, combined with state-of-the-art power amplifier designs, will provide a compact broadband solution for UUV and glider users. The technology is readily applicable to conformal sail and bow arrays.