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The audio spotlight: An application of nonlinear interaction of sound waves to a new type of loudspeaker design

Masahide Yoneyama and Jun-ichiroh Fujimoto

Application Products Department, Technology Division, RicohCompany Ltd., 3-6, I-chome,Naka-magome, Ohta-ku,Tokyo143,Japan
Yu Kawamo and Shoichi Sasabe

Research Laboratories, Nippon Columbia Company Ltd., 5-1, Minato-cho, Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki-shi 210, Japan

(Received12 May 1982;accepted publication17 January 1983) for

This work wasdoneto devise newtypeof loudspeaker. theoryfor sound a The reproduction of thisloudspeaker based nonlinear is on acoustics soundwaveinteraction air. A finite of in amplitude ultrasound wavethat canbeamplitude modulated anyaudiosignal radiated by is from a transducer arrayintoair astheprimarywave.As a result, audiosignal produced theair an is in
because the self-demodulation of effectof the AM soundwavedueto the nonlinearityof the air. It

ispossible geta fiatcharacteristic reproduced to of sound pressure using equalizer. some by an In fundamental experiments characteristic the reproduced the of soundpressure not quiteflat due is to an imperfect transducer array. Improvement the transducer of makesit possible geta flat to characteristic. special A featureof this loudspeaker its very sharpdirectivitypattern,which is makes possible realizea sound it to spotlight.
PACS numbers: 43.25.Lj, 43.25.Vt, 43.88.Ja

The nonlinearinteraction finiteamplitudeultrasonic of

waves theaircan applied a loudspeaker. paper in be to This

describes fundamental the concept a loudspeaker of based on
the nonlinear interaction of soundwavesin air. Also, someof

Ps4- -space.

Ir - r' ct -- dr', (3) I qr,t


wherer is the observation pointposition vector,r' is the sourcepositionvector and v is the nonlinearinteraction
'Whentheprimarywaveconsists two continuous of sinusoidal waves bothareplanarandwellcollimated, and the integralof Eq. (3) is calculated the samemanneras in in

the experimental resultsfrom the operationof a prototype loudspeaker presented. are

When two finite amplitudesound waves (primary

waves),havingdifferentfrequencies, interact with one anotherin a fluid, new soundwaves(secondary waves) whose frequencies correspond the sumand the difference the to of primarywaves may be produced the result. as

previous papers.When directivity a circular :'s the of piston

is takeninto consideration, however, (3)mustbe used Eq. with theexpression Muir et al.6 of A newtypeof loudspeaker been has developed the on
basisof the nonlinear interaction of sound waves mentioned

This phenomenon firstanalyzed Westervelt was by 2

and is well known as "nonlinear interaction of sound

waves," the "scattering sound sound. Based or of by "3 on Lighthill's arbitrary motion fluid equation shown Eq. 4as in
(1), Westerveltderivedan inhomogeneous wave equation whichis satisfied thesound by pressure secondary of waves

above. thistypeof loudspeaker, In ultrasound amplitude is

modulatedby an audio signaland radiatedfrom a transducer arrayasfiniteamplitude waves. Whentheamplitudemodulated ultrasound wave interacts is a nonlinear fashion

produced thenonlinear by interaction (2)]. [Eq.

in air, the modulated signal{theaudiosignal) be decan

modulated in the air.

a2/ CoVp j , - xic)x a% ct 2

p: density fluid,To:stress.tensor, of


In thefollowing section, principle the underlying this

type of loudspeaker described. is

1 2p,

A. Acoustic reproduction by nonlinear interaction of

AM ultrasound in air

When two sinusoidal sound waves are radiated in the


2 '

In Eq. (2),Psisthesecondary wavesound pressure, isthe p primary wave sound pressure,isthenonlinear param fluid eter,andcoisthesmallsignal sound velocity. The solution Eq. (21 for maybeexpressed the superby
position integralof the Green'sfunctionand the virtual sec-

air, two newwaves with angularfrequencies ofo d- a: arise by nonlinear interaction of the two original sinusoidal waves, whose angularfrequencies (t)1anda2. are Thereforeonemight expectthe secondary wavewhich corresponds the modulation to signal,to appearin the air as
a result of the nonlinear interaction between the carrier ul-

ondsource [right of Eq.(21] shown Eq.(3). side as in

1532 J. Acoust. Soc.Am. 73 (5), May 1983

trasound and the lowerand uppersideband waves, provided that a finiteamplitudeAM ultrasound waveis radiatedinto
@ 1983 Acoustical Societyof America 1532


cessed an equalizerhaving -- 12 dB/oct frequency by characteristics beforethe audiosignalis introduced into the AM

B. Harmomc


In the caseof pure-tone modulation, ) = sintot,the g(t sound pressures arising fromboththesignal secondary wave and the second harmonicdistortionsignalare calculated from Eqs.(6}and (7},respectively,
FIG. 1. Frequency spectra an AM waveand demodulated of wave.

ps(t = -- (/3pa2mto2/8poCCtr} r/Co}, } sin -to(t


the air. That is, the AM ultrasoundis self-demodulated by

the nonlinear interaction.

pa(t = lpa2m2to/8poCCtr} -- r/Co). (10) } cos 2to(t

From these equations, is possible definethe second it to
harmonic distortion ratio as follows

Figure 1 shows spectra both an AM waveand a the for

demodulated wave. In this case, since the modulation wave

= [ [pa{t )l/[P,(t)[] x 100= mx 100%.


is reproduced the air, a new type of loudspeaker be in can devisedif the modulationsignalis selected the program as audio signal. Ifa finiteamplitudeultrasound beam,modulated an by audio signalg(t ), is radiatedinto the air from a transducer array,thesound pressurepl the primarywave(AM wave} of at a distance from the array on axismay be represented x by Eq. (4)

Because second the harmonic distortion ratioisproportional to m, a gooddistortionratio requiresa very small modulation depth to preventcrossinteractionbetweenthe lower and uppersideband.waves. signal The and distortion sound
wavesare represented the first and the second by term on the right sideof Eci.(5},respectively. sound The pressure the of signalis proportional m, whilethe distortion proporto is tionalto m2.In accordance thisrelation, isselected with ifm lessthan 1, the distortion soundpressure be muchless will than the signalsoundpressure. If the equalizer -- 12dB/oct is used,the modulation of depthm varies with thefrequency themodulation of signal,

Pt = Pc[ 1 + mg(t-- X/Co)] - x sinwo(t-- X/Co}, e


wherepcis the initial soundpressure the ultrasound, is of m the parameterindicatingmodulationindex, and a is the absorptioncoefficient carrier sound. of A virtual audio signal sourceoccursin the primary soundbeambecause the nonlinearityof the acoustic of interactionin air. This sound source mayberepresented Eq. (5) by usingEq. {2)and Eq. (4)

asexpressedEq.{12} in rn = too/to moisconstant. 2,






co Jl

In the aboveequation,the secondterm on the right side impliesa harmonicdistortioncomponent arisingfrom the interaction between lower and uppersideband the waves.If theprimarysound beamcross section assumed becircuis to lar with radiusa, then the demodulated audiosoundpressurepsat the point rfrom the array, on axis,can be calculated analyticallyusingEqs. (3}and (5) in the form

a2rn 02 p,_lpo gt--oo 8pocon r)' aa-(

lPo a2m2 02 r


On the other hand, the soundpressure a harmonic of distortioncomponentmay be expressed as

Pa--16poCgCtrc)-d(t--c-). (7}
TleFourier transformEq.{6} beexpressed of can as
P{co} -- (/Ypg = a2m/SpoC arko2exp Ar/CokO (o}, [] Gs
wherePs(to} theFourier transform is ofps(t }, andG (to} the is Fourier transformofg{t }. As evidentfrom Eq. (8},Ps{to} is

proportional toe thus frequency to and the characteristics of

the reproduced sound showa 12dB/oct dependence. Consequently,the audio signal(modulationsignal)must be pro1533 J. Acoust. Soc.Am.,Vol.73, No.5, May 1983
FIG. 2. Front viewof the loudspeaker.

Yonoyama otaL: Audio spotlight


lOO 130


lO 20


( kHz )

, i,


FIG. 3. Soundpressure-frequency response characteristics the transof ducerarray,for a point4 m fromthetransducer. inputvoltage 0.5 V. The is
the transducer.

FIG. 5. Sound pressure versus inputvoltage 40 kHz, fora point4 m from at

In this case,sincethe secondharmonicdistortionratio E is

proportional 1/co distortion low-frequency to 2, in regions

andthedirectivity 40 kHz (theprimarywave)of the array at areshown Figs.3 and4, respectively. canbeseen in As from thesignal frequency characteristics, is dueto the factthat Fig.3,thefrequency response characteristicsthearrayare of Pa isproportional 2even (t) torn throughpsisproportional (t) notsymmetrical 40 kHz. Moreover, for therearemanyharto rn. If rn is keptsmallto makedistortion low, the sound monic resonances antiresonances. frequencyreand The pressure (t) alsodecreases. ps sponse characteristicsthesecondary of sound wavearedisTherefore,either the initial soundpressure of the Po tributedby the resonances antiresonances. and carrierwaveor theradius theprimarybeam of cross section Figure5 shows sound the pressure 40 kHz, at a point at should increase maintainthe expected (t). to Pt 4 m from the array,plottedagainst input voltage. The sound pressure frequency response characteristics II. EXPERIMENT of the secondary waveproduced the nonlinear by self-interA loudspeaker using finiteamplitude a AM ultrasound action thefiniteamplitude of AM ultrasound radiated from radiatedfrom a transducer array wasdeveloped and put to thearray,areshown Fig. 6. The characteristics meain were
increases markedly.

Thateisproportional1/co inspite theflatness to 2, of of

practical use.This array consisted 547 PZT bimorph of

transducers. The fundamentalresonantfrequencyof each transducer wasabout40 kHz. A front view of the array appearsin Fig. 2.

suredwith modulation depth = 0.5ata point m fromthe m 4

arrayin an anechoic chamber. The 12dB/oct equalizer was notused. thefrequency In region below1.5kHz, thecharacteristicsalmostfollow the 12 dB/oct curve.The soundpresThe sound pressure frequency response characteristics surecharacteristics the primarywavehavea flat region of within the frequencies 40 + 1.5 kHz as shown Fig. 3. of in When the sideband spectra the modulated of ultrasound deviatesfrom the flat range,the soundpressure the seconof dary wave decreases. peak of the primary soundpresThe surecurveat 60 kHz produces peakof the secondary the waveat 20 kHz. All of these phenomena be predicted can






FIO. 4. Directivity at 40 kHz of the transducer array, for a point4 m from the transducer. The input voltageis 10 V.

FIG. 6. Soundpressure-frequency response characteristics secondary of wave,for a pointof 4 m, rn = 0.5, and inputvoltage 10 V. of


J. Acoust. Soc. Am.,Vol.73, No. 5, May 1983

Yoneyamaotal.: Audiospotlight



FIG. 7. Directivity of secondarywave at 1.0 kHz, for a point of 4 m, m = 0.5, and input voltageof 10 V.

FIG. 9. Directivity secondary at 10.0kHz, for a pointof 4 m, of wave

rn = 0.5, and input voltageof 10 V.

from Eq. (9) and the characteristics the primary wave. of The measureddirectivities of the secondarysignal waves 1.0, 5.0, and 10.0kHz areshownin Figs.7, 8, and9, at respectively. To check the relation betweenthe secondarysignal sound pressureps I andsecond (t harmoniccomponent sound pressure (t) of the secondary Pa wave, the secondary wave pickedup by audiomicrophone analyzedby a spectrum was analyzerfor variousvaluesof to. Figure 10 showsthe mea-

surement results atf = 5.0 kHz. Theseresults showthat the

relationof the sound pressure levelbetween signal and distortion predicted Eqs.(9}and(10}. example, the are by For if results ofm = 1.0andrn = 0.5 arecompared, isclearthat it the signallevel(i.e., 5 kHz I decreases dB and the second 6

] l0dB

10 (a)

15 kHz

10 (b

15 Id-lz

92 6


15 kHz


15 '.-Iz



15 kHz

FIG. 8. Directivity of secondary wave at 5.0 kHz, for a point of 4 m, m = 0.5, and input voltageof 10 V.

FIO. 10.Relations secondary of signal sound pressurep, second and harmonic sound pressurepa, m = 1.0,(b}ra = 0.7,(c}m = 0.5,(d}m = 0.3, (a}
and {e}rn = 0.1.


J. Acoust. Soc.Am.,VoL73, No.5, May 1983

Yoneyama eta/.: Audio spotlight


cocharacteristics, 2 anequalizerrequired fiatresponse. is for

Usually, isquite it difficult produce to low-frequency sound
because of distortion.

5oce skjnaZ

FIO. 11.Construction theloudspeaker. of

Onespecial feature thisloudspeaker itsverysharp of is direefivitypattern.This loudspeaker beused a sound can as spotlight. Since acoustic an spotlight neverexisted an has in audible sound region,various uses thisloudspeaker for may be anticipated. example, sharpdirecfivity For the would make it possible speakto one groupof peoplewithout to disturbance neighboring to groups.In a museumor an exhibit, expensive soundbarriersbetween exhibitswould be

harmonic distortion level(10 kHz) decreases dB. Accord12

ingly,thesignal sound pressure proportional m andthat is to


of thedistortion proportional m2. is to


The authors wishto express theirsincere appreciation

to all the members the NonlinearAcousticSociety of of

panfortheirhelpful comments. particular, In special thanks

are due to Dr. A. Nakamura and Dr. T. Kamakura for their

An entirelynew type of loudspeaker beendevelhas oped.This research based the phenomenon the nonis on of
linear interaction of sound waves. That is, the self-modula-

tion effect of finite amplitude AM ultrasoundby the nonlinearity theair hasbeen of applied theconstruction in of the loudspeaker. loudspeaker This consists an ultrasound of transducer array,a drivingamplifier the array,an AM for modulator,a pure-tone oscillator the carrierfrequency for andequalizer shownin Fig. 11. as The soundpressure obtained from the loudspeaker is proportional thedepthm of themodulation. to However, m should assmallaspossible be because second the harmonic distortion ratio E is equalto m. The sound pressure the of secondary isalso wave proportional thesquare theinito of tial sound pressurePo thecarriersound thesquare of and of the beamradiusa. Thesevalues mustbeaslargeaspossible to obtainadequate sound pressure practicaluse. for Since frequency the response ofthe secondary wave has

generous discussion. Finally, the authorswishto acknowledgeDr. C. Schueler hishelpin revising English for the of this manuscript.

M. Yoneyama, Kawamo, Fujimoro, S.Sasabe, application Y. J. and "An ofnonlinear parametric interaction loudspeaker," to Meeting Institute. of
of Electronics Communication and Engineers Japan, of PaperEA81-65

2p.j. Westervelt, "Parametric Acoustic Array,"J. Acoust. Am. 35, SOc.

535-537 0963}.

3R.T. Beyer, "Nonlinear Acoustics," Ship Navel Command {1974). 4M.J. Lighthill, sound "On generated aerodynamically, I," Proc. Soc. R.
LondonA211, 564-587 {1952).

H. O. Berktay, "ossible exploitationnonlinear of acousticsunderwater in

transmitting applications," Sound J. Vib. 2, 435-461{1965}. 'T.13.Muir andJ. 121. Willere, "Parametric acoustic transmitting arrays,"
J. Acoust.SOc. Am. $2, 1481-1486(1972).


J. Acoust.Soc. Am., Vol. 73, No. 5, May 1983

Yonoyamapt a/.: Audiospotlight