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Extending the frequency range of the National Physical Laboratory primary standard laser interferometer for hydrophone calibrations to 80 MHz

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2 Author(s)
Esward, T.J. ; Centre for Mech. & Acoust. Metrol., Nat. Phys. Lab., Teddington, UK ; Robinson, S.P.

A method for the primary calibration of hydrophones in the frequency range up to 60 MHz is described. The current National Physical Laboratory (NPL) primary standard method of calibrating ultrasonic hydrophones from 500 kHz to 20 MHz is based on optical interferometry. The acoustic field produced by a transducer is detected by an acoustically transparent but optically reflecting pellicle. Optical interferometric measurements of pellicle displacement at discrete frequencies in tone-burst fields are converted to acoustic pressure, and the hydrophone for calibration is substituted at the same point, allowing sensitivity in volts per pascal to be obtained directly. For calibrations up to 60 MHz, the interferometer is capable of measuring the displacement of the pellicle as a function of frequency in a harmonically rich nonlinear field up to and including the 12th harmonic of the shocked field generated by a 5 MHz focusing transducer, allowing hydrophones to be calibrated by substitution in the same field. Sources of uncertainty in the new method have been investigated. Best combined random and systematic uncertainties at the 95% confidence level for the new method are 7% at 20 MHz, 11% at 40 MHz, and 16% at 60 MHz.

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Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:46 ,  Issue: 3 )