Adaptive acoustic energy delivery to near and far fields using foldable, tessellated star transducers

Chengzhe Zou, Ryan L. Harne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Methods of guiding acoustic energy arbitrarily through space have long relied on digital controls to meet performance needs. Yet, more recent attention to adaptive structures with unique spatial configurations has motivated mechanical signal processing (MSP) concepts that may not be subjected to the same functional and performance limitations as digital acoustic beamforming counterparts. The periodicity of repeatable structural reconfiguration enabled by origami-inspired tessellated architectures turns attention to foldable platforms as frameworks for MSP development. This research harnesses principles of MSP to study a tessellated, star-shaped acoustic transducer constituent that provides on-demand control of acoustic energy guiding via folding-induced shape reconfiguration. An analytical framework is established to probe the roles of mechanical and acoustic geometry on the far field directivity and near field focusing of sound energy. Following validation by experiments and verification by simulations, parametric studies are undertaken to uncover relations between constituent topology and acoustic energy delivery to arbitrary points in the free field. The adaptations enabled by folding of the star-shaped transducer reveal capability for restricting sound energy to angular regions in the far field while also introducing means to modulate sound energy by three orders-of-magnitude to locations near to the transducer surface. In addition, the modeling philosophy devised here provides a valuable approach to solve general sound radiation problems for foldable, tessellated acoustic transducer constituents of arbitrary geometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number055021
JournalSmart Materials and Structures
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 19 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Signal Processing
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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