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JP2017510194

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DESCRIPTION JP2017510194
Abstract: The present invention provides an acoustic projector capable of monitoring an actual
acoustic output in real time in the field. An acoustic transmission transducer that generates
sound pressure radiation in response to a drive signal received from a transmission source, and
acoustic reception that generates a source level signal in response to receiving at least a portion
of the sound pressure radiation. A transducer and a controller configured to monitor the source
level signal and report the monitored source level signal. [Selected figure] Figure 1
Acoustic projector with source level monitoring and control function
[0001]
This application claims priority to US Patent Application No. 14 / 099,281, filed December 6,
2013. The entire teachings of the above application are incorporated herein by reference.
[0002]
In commercial fish farms and sports fish farms, the entry of marine mammals such as seals and
sea lions is a serious problem. Mammals feed on fish kept in submerged fish cages, causing
damage to fish farms. Therefore, it is important for fish farms to keep mammals away from the
fish enclosure.
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[0003]
Most marine mammals have excellent hearing, and the water they live in is an excellent medium
for transmitting sound. As a method of repelling marine mammals, it has been adopted to
transmit under the surface the sound of alerting or irritating marine mammals. A typical acoustic
restraint system (a system that makes sound scare) that does not move marine mammals into a
certain area in the water can be transmitted to drive one or more acoustic projectors located
under the surface of said certain area in the water It has a circuit including a control circuit. The
acoustic projector includes a transmit transducer that periodically bursts high frequency (e.g.,
about 7-10 kHz) pulsed acoustic signals into the water of the fish enclosure to keep the marine
mammal away from the fish enclosure.
[0004]
Sonar devices (underwater sonication devices) have wide application in sport fishing, navigation,
scuba diving, and a number of other recreational and commercial activities. The sonar system
typically comprises a sonar unit and an acoustic projector that includes a transmit and receive
transducer. The sonar unit comprises a display for providing information to the operator. The
acoustic projector is located below the surface and is responsible for generating sound pulses
and receiving echoes from objects in the water and / or from the bottom surface. Typical
applications of sonar systems are their use as fish finders.
[0005]
The sonar unit comprises a circuit that generates a sound pulse consisting of several cycles of a
sound signal with a fairly high output power. This pulse is sent to the transmit and receive
transducers via a shielded twisted pair cable. After transmitting the pulse in transmit mode, the
transmit and receive transducers are used to "listen" for echo in receive mode. The received
echoes produce very small signals, of the order of a few millivolts, which are sent to the receiver
circuit of the sonar unit. In the sonar unit, received echoes are amplified, filtered and analyzed.
[0006]
In acoustic suppression and sonar systems, the actual acoustic output of the acoustic projector
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needs to be monitored in the field in real time. The present invention relates to monitoring and
controlling the sound source level (sound source level) of a sound projector using a separate
receiving transducer such as an underwater microphone (hydrophone).
[0007]
In one configuration, an acoustic projector is responsive to receiving an acoustic transmission
transducer capable of generating acoustic pressure radiation in response to a drive signal
received from a transmission source and to receiving at least a portion of the acoustic pressure
radiation. And an acoustic receiving transducer capable of generating a source level signal (sound
source level signal), and a controller configured to monitor the source level signal and report the
monitored source level signal. The controller may be configured to report the monitored source
level signal to a remote controller configured to control the drive signal based on the source level
signal.
[0008]
The acoustic projector may comprise a voltage monitoring circuit configured to measure a
voltage level of the drive signal, and the controller monitors the measured voltage level and
reports the monitored voltage level. It may be configured as follows. The controller may be
configured to report the monitored voltage level to a remote controller configured to control the
drive signal based on the voltage level signal.
[0009]
The acoustic projector may comprise a current monitoring circuit configured to measure a
current level of the drive signal, and the controller monitors the measured current level and
reports the monitored current level. It may be configured as follows. The controller may be
configured to report the monitored current level to a remote controller configured to control the
drive signal based on the current level signal.
[0010]
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The acoustic projector may comprise a voltage monitoring circuit configured to measure a
voltage level of the drive signal, and a current monitoring circuit configured to measure a current
level of the drive signal, the controller Monitoring the measured voltage level and the measured
current level, and based on the monitored voltage level and the monitored current level, an
indicator of the impedance of the acoustic transmitting transducer (a magnitude indicative of the
impedance) May be configured to obtain The controller may be configured to report the
indication of impedance to a remote controller configured to control the drive signal based on
the indication of impedance.
[0011]
The acoustic receiving transducer may comprise an underwater microphone. In some
embodiments, the submersible microphone comprises a polymer film such as piezoelectric
polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF). In another embodiment, the submersible microphone comprises a
piezoelectric ceramic.
[0012]
In another configuration, a method is responsive to the acoustic transmission transducer
generating sound pressure radiation in response to a drive signal received from a transmission
source, and in response to receiving at least a portion of the sound pressure radiation. An
acoustic receiving transducer includes generating a source level signal and monitoring the source
level signal and reporting the monitored source level signal.
[0013]
The above will be apparent from the following, more detailed description of exemplary
embodiments of the invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings, like parts are designated with like reference numerals throughout the different
figures. The drawings are not necessarily to scale and emphasis is placed on the description of
the embodiments of the invention.
[0014]
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FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an exemplary embodiment. FIG. 5 is a circuit block diagram of an
exemplary embodiment of a signal monitoring circuit. FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view of
an exemplary acoustic projector. FIG. 4 is a view of the exemplary circuit board of FIG. 3; FIG. 4 is
a view of the exemplary circuit board of FIG. 3;
[0015]
Exemplary embodiments of the present invention are described below.
[0016]
FIG. 1 shows a block diagram of an exemplary embodiment of the sounder system.
The sounder system comprises an acoustic projector 102 connected to a transmission source
118 and a microprocessor 120. The acoustic projector 102 and the transmission source 118 are
connected via twisted pair cables 122 and 124. The acoustic projector 102 and the
microprocessor 120 are connected via a communication bus 126.
[0017]
The acoustic projector 102 includes an acoustic transmission transducer 104, an acoustic
reception transducer 106, a signal monitoring circuit 208, and a microprocessor 110. The
acoustic transmission transducer 104 may include one or more piezoelectric elements having
varying characteristics. Acoustic transmission transducer 104 is configured to generate sound
pressure radiation 128 in response to drive signal 130 received from transmission source 118.
Drive signal 130 may be any drive signal selected to have appropriate characteristics. Having the
proper characteristics includes using the proper frequency between the proper pulse time and
pulse repetition rate at the proper voltage level to cause the acoustic transmission transducer
104 to emit sound.
[0018]
The microprocessor 110 is configured to provide source level monitoring of the output of the
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acoustic transmission transducer 104. For this source level monitoring, monitoring of the
acoustic source level received by the acoustic receiving transducer 106, monitoring of the
transmission voltage to the acoustic transmission transducer 104, monitoring of the transmission
current to the acoustic transmission transducer 104, voltage measurements and And determining
the instantaneous impedance from the current measurements.
[0019]
Measurement of the acoustic source level and the transmission voltage can be used to ensure
proper operation of the acoustic transmission transducer 104. Changes in the signal waveform
from such measurements can indicate problems such as breakage of the transmitting transducer
(eg, cracking of the piezoelectric element).
[0020]
Measuring the transmit current can provide an indication of the instantaneous transducer
impedance. This impedance can change according to overdrive or overheating. Overdrive may
include over voltage, over current, over power, excessive pulse time, excessive duty cycle, or a
combination thereof.
[0021]
In the case of transmission through glass fibers or metal hulls, for example in fish finder
applications, measurement of impedance over frequency may indicate a frequency band where
maximum energy is transferred to water. This frequency band may be different for different hull
designs and different installation methods based on hull thickness and acoustical properties.
[0022]
The acoustic receiving transducer 106 is configured to generate a source level signal in response
to receiving at least a portion of the sound pressure radiation 128. Source level signal output
132 from the acoustic receive transducer 106 is provided to the acoustic source level 116 input
of the microprocessor 110. A buffer amplifier (not shown) may be used to boost the signal 132
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from the acoustic receive transducer 106.
[0023]
Signal monitoring circuit 208 includes current circuit 202 and voltage circuit 204. Current
circuit 202 and voltage circuit 204 provide outputs to the input to microprocessor 11 of
transducer voltage 112 to be monitored and to the input to microprocessor 110 of transducer
current 114, respectively. The transducer voltage 112 input to the microprocessor 110, the
transducer current 114 input, and the acoustic source level 116 input are coupled to the
corresponding analog to digital converter internal to the microprocessor 110.
[0024]
As mentioned above, the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 includes a transmission source 118 that
transmits a drive signal to the acoustic transmission transducer 104. The acoustic transmission
transducer 104 may be used in embodiments of a sonar system such as use in a sounder or fish
finder application. Those skilled in the art will understand that transducers in a sounder or fish
finder also function to "listen" for echo in the receive mode. This is another separate and distinct
function than the monitoring provided by the acoustic receiving transducer 106.
[0025]
Embodiments of acoustic projector 102 may employ Transducer ID system technology (Xducer
ID®, available from Airmer Technology Corporation, Milford, New Hampshire).
[0026]
The microprocessor 110 includes a communication and control module 140 for performing
communication and control interaction with the corresponding communication and control
module 150 in the microprocessor 120.
These communications include interactions regarding communication monitoring information as
described herein. For control, microprocessor 110 may be controlled by microprocessor 120
(master, slave). In other embodiments, only one microprocessor may be present.
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[0027]
In one example of control of a system based on surveillance information, the surveillance
information may indicate that the acoustic projector is emitting too much acoustic output. If the
acoustic output is too high, the lower voltage drive signal 130 may be transmitted by the
transmission source. Then, in the subsequent monitoring information, the measurement current
and the underwater microphone measurement voltage decrease. Similarly, if the impedance
obtained is abnormally low or high compared to the previously determined value, indicating this
causes either microprocessor 110, 120 to fail somewhere in the system. It may be determined
that the power supplied to the system may be shut down.
[0028]
The microprocessor 110 may further include a non-volatile memory device (not shown) that
contains transducer characteristic information. When system initialization or power up takes
place, the microprocessor 110 may communicate transducer characteristic information from the
memory device to the corresponding microprocessor 120 via the communication bus 126.
[0029]
The communication bus 126 may be a single conductor (wire) plus ground return for the
transducer cable, a multi-wire bus, or a fiber optic cable. Transmission source 118 may provide
power to circuitry within acoustic projector 102. In some embodiments, communication bus 126
provides power to the memory device and microprocessor 110 in addition to providing bidirectional serial communication (eg, half duplex) between microprocessors 110 and 120. You
may In some embodiments, microprocessors 110, 120 may communicate via any wireless
communication link (not shown). In general, any form of communication available in the art can
be used for communication between microprocessors.
[0030]
The acoustic receiving transducer 106 comprises an underwater microphone. The submersible
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microphone may be made of a polymer film such as piezoelectric polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF).
In another embodiment, the submersible microphone comprises a piezoelectric ceramic, such as
lead zirconate titanate.
[0031]
In some embodiments, the acoustic receiving transducer 106 may be housed and positioned in
the near field of the acoustic transmitting transducer 104, for example, in a waterproof (eg,
rubber) housing that houses the acoustic projector. In other embodiments, the acoustic receiving
transducer 106 may be separately housed and attached to a small jumper cable so that the
acoustic receiving transducer 106 is in the far field several feet away. Such cable and receiver
transducer assembly may be heavier than water, which allows the assembly to sink below the
transmitter transducer location. In other embodiments, the assembly may be lighter than water,
which allows the assembly to float above the transmit transducer.
[0032]
FIG. 2 shows a circuit block diagram of an exemplary embodiment of signal monitoring circuit
208. Transducer current circuit 202 includes a current sensor chip (eg, ACS 716 available from
Allegro Microsystems). The current sensor chip is connected such that the current from the
transmission source 118 (FIG. 1) on the line 122 passes through the chip near the whole cell.
The whole cell measures the magnetic field generated by the current passing through the wire.
This measured magnetic field is then converted (with this particular chip) into an output voltage
(pin 12) representing the value of the instantaneous current, with a conversion factor of 100 mV
/ A. At zero current, the output voltage is Vcc / 2 (Vcc is the power supply to the chip, in this
case 3.3V). Positive current and negative current are shown with up and down swing with
respect to Vcc / 2. The output voltage 212 is connected to the ADC input 112 of the
microprocessor 110 (FIG. 1).
[0033]
The voltage circuit 204 divides the transmission voltage between the cables 122 and 124 by a
factor 1000 (Vout = Vin * (R4 / (R3 + R4)) to provide an indication of the measured voltage. An
isolation transformer T1 converts the balanced signal to an unbalanced signal referenced to
ground. Resistor R1 and R2 are at Vcc / 2 so that capacitor C2 provides AC coupling to the A / D
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input while positive and negative voltages can be input to ADC input 114 of microprocessor 110
(FIG. 1). Provide a DC offset for If the signal gets too large, D4 adds a restriction to protect the A
/ D input. The diodes D1, D2, D5, D6 limit the input voltage to, for example, +/- (4 * 0.4 V) or 3.2
Vp-p.
[0034]
The microprocessor 110 may be configured to perform some of the monitoring functions
described herein. The output signal 132 is connected to the ADC input 116 of the
microprocessor 110 for underwater microphone measurement. For example, when instructed by
an XID command transmitted from the microprocessor 120, the microprocessor 110 waits for a
designated delay time, starts ADC conversion, and reads a designated number of samples at a
designated sampling rate. To process these samples, microprocessor 110 is also configured to
find the minimum and maximum values of the captured underwater microphone waveform data
and convert these minimum / maximum values to peak-to-peak voltages. Good. The
microprocessor 110 may be further configured to find the captured transmit pulse (ping) in the
underwater microphone waveform data and calculate the RMS value of the transmit pulse.
[0035]
The output signals 212, 214 from the current and voltage circuits 202, 204, respectively, are
connected to the corresponding ADC inputs 112, 114 of the microprocessor 110 for impedance
measurement. For example, when instructed by an XID command sent from the microprocessor
120, the microprocessor 110 waits for a designated delay time, simultaneously starts ADC
conversion of voltage and current, and samples a designated number at a designated sampling
rate. Read To process these samples, microprocessor 110 may be configured to find the
corresponding captured transmit pulse (ping) in the voltage / current waveform data. The
microprocessor 110 further includes “Impedance Imaginary Part in Ohms”, “Impedance Real
Part in Ohms” (0-250), “Current (1 in Amps) / 10) configured to calculate parameters that may
include (Current in 10ths of Amps) (0 to 25.0), "Voltage in tens of Volts (0 to 2500)" It may be
done.
[0036]
With respect to voltage, current, and source level measurements, the microprocessor 110
calculates status information, and in addition to transmitting the calculated status information,
captures waveforms and digitally samples the waveforms via the bus. It may be configured to
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transmit to a transmission source.
[0037]
The corresponding XID command may include:
SLM_SETUP_CAPTURE-setting of capture parameters (delay, sample and sample rate).
SLM_SETUP_QUERY-Query acquisition parameters. SLM_CAPTURE_IMPEDANCE-Start
simultaneous voltage and current data capture after the delay time specified in the capture
parameter. The number of samples to be captured and the sample rate are also specified as
capture parameters. SLM_CAPTURE_HYDROPHONE-Start capturing underwater microphone data
after the delay time specified in the capture parameter. The number of samples to be captured
and the sample rate are also specified as capture parameters. SLM--STATUS--IMPEDANCE-Report
impedance, current and voltage values calculated from captured voltage and current data.
SLM_STATUS_HYDROPHONE̶Reports underwater microphone RMS and peak-to-peak values
calculated from captured underwater microphone data. SLM_XMIT_VOLTAGE_WF̶Send
request block of voltage waveforms from capture impedance command.
SLM_XMIT_CURRENT_WF̶Send request block of current waveform from capture impedance
command. SLM_XMIT_HYDROPHONE_WF-Sends a request block of underwater microphone
waveform from a taken underwater microphone command.
[0038]
FIG. 3 shows a schematic perspective view of an exemplary acoustic projector 300 in accordance
with the principles of the present invention. The projector 300 may be enclosed in an outer
casing (not shown). The transducer assembly includes an annular ring of piezoelectric elements
304A, 304B (corresponding to the acoustic transmitting transducer 104 shown in FIG. 1)
sandwiched between two layers of epoxy or urethane foam 306A, 306C. A third layer of epoxy or
foam 306B separates the pair of piezoelectric elements 304A and 304B. An electrical cable 302
is connected at the top to supply drive signals to the piezoelectric elements 304A, 304B.
[0039]
The threaded collar 310 is exposed to the outside, and a stabilizing weight or cable can be
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screwed into the bottom of the projector 300 to stabilize the projector 300 in water. The ring
shape of the piezoelectric elements 304A, 304B produces toroidal signals that radiate from the
projector 300 in any direction. In addition, another shape may be used for the piezoelectric
element.
[0040]
Projector 300 includes a circuit board 400 located on top of the transducer assembly. In one
embodiment, as shown in FIG. 4A, an exemplary circuit board 400 includes a JTAG connector for
microprocessor debugging 402, a PVDF acoustical receiving transducer 404, a current
monitoring circuit 406, and an isolation transformer 408 for voltage measuring circuit. And an
RS232 transceiver 410 for bootloading the microprocessor. A microprocessor 412, a voltage /
current monitoring circuit 414, and a crystal oscillator 416 are provided on the opposite side of
the circuit board 400 shown in FIG.
[0041]
The teachings of all patents, published applications, and references cited herein are hereby
incorporated by reference.
[0042]
Although the present invention has been specifically described with reference to the exemplary
embodiments thereof, various changes in form and detail may be made without departing from
the scope of the present invention which is included in the appended claims. It will be
understood by those skilled in the art.
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