High Frequency Broadband Integrated Transducer & Amplifier.

High Frequency Broadband Integrated Transducer & Amplifier

High Frequency Broadband Integrated Transducer and Amplifier
Solid model of the integrated module. The transducer sections are shown in light red. Amplifier boards (green) are installed in two parts of a housing (gray) and connected together by a heat bus (tan) at the centerline.

There is a defined need for a compact, efficient, broadband underwater transducer and integrated power amplifier module that, in various array configurations, can be affixed or embedded in the hull or structure of a UUV, ship or submarine. This module needs to be scalable and flexible for use across multiple platforms and in multiple applications. The broadband integrated amplifier technology developed by ETREMA Products is intended to enable compact, common conformal arrays for underwater sensing applications. Desired performance attributes include:

  • +/- 3 dB operation over 7 – 30 kHz bandwidth
  • compact size of ½ the wavelength at the center frequency
  • module length <5”
  • minimum output power of 30 watts per element
  • high duty cycle capability


Possible array demonstration configuration comprised of 18 individual integrated modules.

Current transducer array technologies commonly utilize piezo-ceramic (e.g. PZT) active elements that require significant voltage for operation. The high voltages are generated by large and heavy amplifiers that occupy valuable space and add significant weight to the payload. The broadband integrated amplifier technology, developed by ETREMA, integrates the amplifiers within the transducer module freeing up space and weight in the vessel for additional payload and extended mission durations.  Substantial improvements can be made in power amplifier design when the transducer and amplifier are designed as a system, with the overall design space defined and system performance as the key objective.

In addition, many active source technologies are designed with the intended purpose of performing for only the identified platform or mission module. A lack of commonality is created by this situation leading to complex logistics, high spare part counts, and increased maintenance and repair costs.  The technology developed and presented here is intended to be common across multiple platforms thus decreasing unit cost, spare part counts, and maintenance costs.

The innovation is a compact, efficient, integrated transducer and amplifier module that can readily be used in an array. The broadband magnetostrictive transducer utilizes Terfenol-D in a multi-resonant design with matching amplifiers and control electronics to achieve high efficiency. Broadband response is achieved by reversing the phase of the drive signal between the two sections at a specific frequency, as shown in the graph. During low frequency operation the two sections operate in phase. During high frequency operation, the sections are operated 180 degrees out of phase.

Modeled source level vs. frequency for an 18-element array. Below f0 the two sections in each module are operated in-phase. Above f0 they are operated out-of-phase.

FEA model data for a single element. Below f0 the two sections in each module are operated in-phase. Above f0 they are operated out-of-phase.

The target source level can be achieved by applying this functionality in the amplifier power electronics system in real-time.  The desired logic would involve separating the output functions with respect to the frequency of the drive signal. For drive frequencies slightly less than f0 the transducers are driven in-phase resulting in additive acoustic output at low frequencies as shown with the blue curve on the graph. For drive frequencies above the phase reversal frequency, the transducers are driven out-of-phase resulting in increased acoustic output at higher frequencies as shown in red on the graph.

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