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Determination of the Variation in Free-Field Hydrophone Response with Temperature and Depth

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Data describing the variation in performance of commercially available hydrophones with temperature and depth have until now been difficult to obtain and are not readily available from manufacturers. The performance parameters, such as frequency response, electrical impedance and directional response, are important when one wishes to relate measurements made using the hydrophone in the marine environment to the free-field calibration obtained in a laboratory tank. The NPL Acoustic Pressure Vessel (APV) enables transducer performance parameters to be determined under simulated ocean conditions. Using the APV, free-field calibrations of hydrophones and projectors may be undertaken in the range from a few kilohertz to 1 MHz at water temperatures from 2°C to 35°C, and at applied hydrostatic pressures of up to 7 MPa (simulating ocean depths of up to approximately 700 m). The operation of the APV and the methodology used to characterise hydrophones are presented in this paper. Also presented are the results of the characterisation of a number of commercially available hydrophones as a function of temperature and applied hydrostatic pressure. The results show a strong dependence of performance on environmental conditions for some devices. Sensitivity variations of several decibels have been observed as the hydrostatic pressure is increased to 7 MPa, with variations also observed as the water temperature is changed. For some hydrophones, the variation in electrical impedance with temperature and applied pressure can be shown to correlate well with the variation observed in the absolute sensitivity.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2002

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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