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26 March 1999 Ultrasonic liquid crystal-based underwater acoustic imaging
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A new approach to underwater ultrasonic imaging is described and demonstrated which directly converts a 2D acoustic pressure image formed from an acoustic lens into an intensity-mapped visual image. There are no computers nor electronic requirements, nor piezo arrays necessary. The imager relies on the acoustic coupling, which occurs between directed acoustic energy and aligned nematic liquid crystals. The aligned liquid crystal, being optically birefringent, thereby serve as a display when viewed through crossed polarizers. Pressure waves established by acoustic transducers are reflected by the target, focused by an acoustic lens system, and converted into a visible image for target identification in littoral water. Anticipated uses are for searching and identifying underwater mines which are hazardous to military and civilian ships, ferries, and fishing boats. Other uses include search and rescue and inspection of underwater hazards and structures. Acoustic images obtained using only liquid crystal and light are included.
© (1999) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
David W. Gerdt, Martin C. Baruch, and Charles M. Adkins "Ultrasonic liquid crystal-based underwater acoustic imaging", Proc. SPIE 3635, Liquid Crystal Materials, Devices, and Applications VII, (26 March 1999);

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