Invited Speaker

A Review of Single Crystal Underwater Transducers

Harold C. Robinson


The unique material properties of lead magnesium niobate-lead titanate (PMN-PT) and lead magnesium niobate-lead indium niobate-lead titanate (PMN-PIN-PT) relaxor single crystals enable compact, broadband, high power sound projectors that cannot be realized using conventional ceramics.  This paper shall highlight single crystal transducer prototypes developed at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Newport, and elsewhere demonstrating that the broadband, high power performance promised by single crystal’s material properties can be realized in practical underwater transducers.  Various single crystal transducer designs for underwater applications, including longitudinal vibrators, fully active and active-passive air-backed cylinder transducers, free-flooded ring transducers and bender bar transducers, will be presented.  These transducer designs cover a wide span of frequencies, and utilize both 33- and 32- operating modes.  Tuned bandwidths of up to 2.5 octaves of frequency, as well as source level increases of up to 15 dB at the band edges, will be demonstrated.  It will also be shown that these technologies provide stable performance under high drive and duty cycle conditions.  Finally, the impact of using these single crystal sources on the drive electronics and power consumption shall also be discussed.


Harold C. Robinson

Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport