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The RESON Group

RESON A/S
Fabriksvangen 13
3550 Slangerup
Denmark
Phone: +4547380022
FAX:
+4547380066

1. The link between OCR measured in Cal tank and Pistonphone OCR at 250Hz
This tech-note explains the calibration approach and ties the link between OCR (Open Circuit Voltage Response) of the
hydrophone and the pistonphone (250Hz PHO) OCR value on the cal plots.

1.1. What makes linearity of a hydrophone


Linearity comes from two facts. There are no mechanical resonances in the frequency range of interest. 1) Sensor element runs like an off-resonance receiver. 2) The wavelength is much larger than sensor. At 1000Hz the wavelength is
(1500m/sec)/ 1000Hz = 1.5m. At 250Hz wavelength is approximately 6m. A hydrophone sensor tip is small for instance
1.5mm x 1.5mm on TC4035/38 or 6.4mm x 6.4mm on a TC4013.

TC4033-1 Impedance Summary

TC4033 OCR [dB re 1V/Pa @ 1m]

5000

-180

4000

-185

3000

-190

2000

-195

1000

-200

-205

-1000

-210

-2000

-215

-3000

-5000

-220

Resistance
Reactance
Impedance

-4000
6

10

20

40

60

80

100

Frequency [kHz]

TC4033 as example resonance around 90 kHz. The 90


kHz resonance of the ceramics is the lowest resonance
present in the hydrophone. Below 80 kHz it runs completely off-resonance.

-225
OCV
200

-230

10

20

40

60

80

100

200

Frequency [kHz]

TC4033 as example resonance around 90 kHz and anti


resonance at 100 kHz. OCR peaks at point of anti resonance. Below 80 kHz it runs off-resonance.

1.2. The Acoustical Calibration Facility at RESON A/S


The acoustical calibration tank at RESON A/S is 4.5 meter long, 3meter wide and 2.5 meter deep. The walls of the calibration tank are made of concrete (solid structure no absorbing materials added). Gated measurement techniques are
used to eliminate effect of reflections from walls. For the gated technique to work transmit pulses can only be smaller
than around 2.5ms - if transmit pulse becomes too long it will get reflected on the walls and interfere with the primary
signal going out from the reference projector.

Figure 1: The acoustical calibration tank at RESON A/S, gated measurement techniques are used to eliminate effect of reflections from walls.
Denmark +45 47 38 0022, USA +1 805 964 6260, UK +44 1224 709900, Germany +49 431 720 7180, The Netherlands +31 10 245 1500
www.reson.com

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The RESON Group


RESON A/S
Fabriksvangen 13
3550 Slangerup
Denmark
Phone: +4547380022
FAX:
+4547380066

The calibration facility can transmit CW pulses only. When calibrating hydrophones the transmitter module built into
the ACS9060 Cal Box is used as a transmit stage. The setup is shown below on Figure 1 and Figure 2. The trolleys of the
calibration tank can handle a sonar head weight up to 130kg.

Figure 2: Sketch of the calibration tank. The red pulse is 2ms long 10 cycles at 5 kHz. The blue is 10 cycles at 20 kHz.
Pulse lengths are in scale with dimensions of the tank.
Sound will propagate spreading spherically from the sound source or projector element - sketched by the black dashed
lines. The sound hitting the walls will be reflected shift direction and in case of very long pulses it will interfere with the
sound propagating along the direct path between the sound source and the hydrophone to be calibrated.
The gate is a time window placed in the pulse where the measurement is done. To get a reliable measurement the
response of both the transmitter (projector plus amplifier) and the receiving hydrophone need to be steady state.
Much below 5 kHz it becomes difficult to make reliable measurements in the calibration tank at RESON because of the
short pulse required to eliminate interference from reflections (up to 2.5ms). The short physical pulse will contain only
very few cycles and steady state response never may be obtained. Whether steady state will occur strongly depends on
the characteristics of the reference projector and the hydrophone to be calibrated.
RESON can obtain the following accuracy on the acoustical measurement made in the tank.

Frequency interval
2-5
5-20 kHz
20-500 kHz
Above 500 kHz

Uncertainty of measured value


1.8dB
0.8dB
0.7dB
1.3dB

Data are stored in database and accessible via unique serial numbers as identifiers for the senor elements (transducers
and hydrophones) and array assemblies for Multi-beam sonars. Data can be extracted from the cal database and exported to excel.
To fill the gap below the 5 kHz data point pistonphone measurements are used to validate and calibrate hydrophones.

Denmark +45 47 38 0022, USA +1 805 964 6260, UK +44 1224 709900, Germany +49 431 720 7180, The Netherlands +31 10 245 1500
www.reson.com

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The RESON Group


RESON A/S
Fabriksvangen 13
3550 Slangerup
Denmark
Phone: +4547380022
FAX:
+4547380066

1.3. Pistonphone calibration at 250Hz


The principles behind piston-phone calibrations are quite simple. Pistonphone calibrations take place at a low frequency. A pistonphone setup typically uses a sound source operating at 250Hz source that is based on oscillating pistons
with a fixed displacement. The hydrophone is placed in small airtight container, called a pistonphone coupler, with two
out/inlets, the piston based source (B&K type 4223 or 4229, or G.R.A.S. type 42AA) attaches to the inlet and optional a
calibrated microphone and sound level meter (for instance B&K type 2239) attaches to the outlet. The optional microphone is used to measure the sound pressure level inside the container accurately. By tying the sound pressure level
measured with the calibrated microphone together with the voltage output of the hydrophone it is possible to calculate
the OCR (receiving sensitivity) of the hydrophone at 250Hz with a very high accuracy.
Typical sound pressure in TL8089 (pistonphone coupler for TC4032) with the TC4032 volume inserted:
SPL with G.R.A.S. piston-phone type: 42AA: 138dB re 1Pa
SPL with B&K calibrator type: 4223 or 4229: 156 dB re 1Pa
Accuracy: 0.3 dB (relative to nominal hydrophone volume).
Notice the pistonphone coupler is designed so the air cap around the sensor element is as uniform as possible. This ensures a good and efficient coupling and a response of the hydrophone that is representative for a free field response.
A pistonphone calibration utilizes the fact that the coupling between air and the hydrophone sensor element is about
the same as the coupling between the hydrophone sensor and water at low frequencies, 250Hz included. Thereby it is
possible to make valid calibration with a much simpler setup in air. The pistonphone sensitivity is shown on the OCR
plot as PHO @ 250Hz value.
G.R.A.S. sound source and piston-phone coupler TL8089 for TC4032 is shown below on Figure 3.

Figure 3: G.R.A.S. piston sound-source and RESON pistonphone coupler TL8089 for TC4032.

Denmark +45 47 38 0022, USA +1 805 964 6260, UK +44 1224 709900, Germany +49 431 720 7180, The Netherlands +31 10 245 1500
www.reson.com

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The RESON Group


RESON A/S
Fabriksvangen 13
3550 Slangerup
Denmark
Phone: +4547380022
FAX:
+4547380066

Figure 4: Sketch of piston-phone calibration setup. Sketch above shows a TC4032 mounted in the coupler. The coupler
is a small sealed container (the hatched area) that mates with the sound source, the hydrophone and the reference microphone used to measure the sound-pressure inside the coupler.

1.4. The Cal plot with PHO

Figure 5: OCR response of TC4032. The receiving sensitivity at 250Hz is shown as PHO @ 250Hz: -168.7dB re 1Pa, see
the red circle. Customers get per default the plot above.
Denmark +45 47 38 0022, USA +1 805 964 6260, UK +44 1224 709900, Germany +49 431 720 7180, The Netherlands +31 10 245 1500
www.reson.com

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The RESON Group


RESON A/S
Fabriksvangen 13
3550 Slangerup
Denmark
Phone: +4547380022
FAX:
+4547380066

Figure 6: OCR response of TC4032, PHO @ 250Hz is the OCR value measured by the pistonphone setup. OCR response
of the hydrophone shall centre on the PHO value at 250Hz.

1.5. Interpolation of data in the 0Hz to 5 kHz range


OCR at any given frequency (f [Hz]) between 0Hz and 5 kHz is defined via the PHO value at 250Hz and the OCR measured in the test tank at 5 kHz. If the 250Hz sensitivity value matches sensitivity value at 5 kHz within tolerances of the
calibration a linear interpolation approach can be used to estimate data points in between. The interpolation approach
is possible because of the linearity given by the hydrophone design.

OCR( f ) :=

y 0 :=

OCR(5kHz ) PHO(250 Hz )
f + y0
5kHz 250 Hz

PHO(250 Hz ) 5kHz OCR(5kHz ) 250 Hz


5kHz 250 Hz

Notice: High pass filters will alter the response below the filter point.

Denmark +45 47 38 0022, USA +1 805 964 6260, UK +44 1224 709900, Germany +49 431 720 7180, The Netherlands +31 10 245 1500
www.reson.com

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