Available Technology

Frequency-steered acoustic beam forming system and process

A sonar system includes a pulse generator that produces an electrical signal having a plurality of frequencies. An acoustic radiator formed as a first blazed acoustic array is arranged to be driven by the electrical signal from the pulse generator. The blazed acoustic array includes a plurality of acoustic elements rotated away from the general plane of the array. The acoustic elements are arranged to be driven by the electrical signal from the pulse generator so that they radiate a sonic field that includes a plurality of sonic frequencies with each frequency being radiated at a characteristic angle. An acoustic receiver formed as a second blazed acoustic array is arranged such that components of the acoustic field reflected from the target toward the acoustic receiver produce acoustic waves having frequencies that correspond to the angles of incidence of the reflected acoustic field components. The signals indicative of the reflected frequencies are processed to form an image of the target. The invention may be embodied including phase delay, time delay, or synthetic aperture beamforming means.

R. Lee Thompson

W. J. Zehner

Patent Number: 
Patent Issue Date: 
August 13, 1999
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