Page 9 - HydrophoneHandbook_eReader_Ed2_20151208
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1. Overview

What is a Hydrophone?
A hydrophone, from the Greek hydro (water) and phone (sound),
is a microphone that detects acoustic signals, such as sound
pressure, underwater.
Most hydrophone sensors
are made of piezoelectric
materials which convert
mechanical energy to
electrical energy. The
acoustic pressure detected is
converted to a voltage
output which can be
acquired and analyzed using
an oscilloscope. An
alternative method using
fiber optics to detect
changes in the refractive
index from acoustic pressure
changes in water, has also
been developed to withstand
extremely high acoustic
pressures.
Hydrophones are used across a wide array of ultrasonic
applications, ranging from the qualification of medical ultrasonic
transducers to non-destructive testing. For each, there are
unique performance requirements which are met through novel
manufacturing processes. Differences in the material, aperture
size, and physical profiles make different hydrophones better
suited for various environments and applications. It is important
to understand the trade-offs involved to determine the best
hydrophone for your needs.

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