An acousto-optic beamformer

Antoni Torras Rosell, Salvador Barrera Figueroa, Finn Jacobsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


There is a great variety of beamforming techniques that can be used for localization of sound sources. The differences among them usually lie in the array layout or in the specific signal processing algorithm used to compute the beamforming output. Any beamforming system consists of a finite
number of transducers, which makes beamforming methods vulnerable to spatial aliasing above a certain frequency. The present work uses the acousto-optic effect, i.e., the interaction between sound and light, to localize sound sources in a plane. The use of a beam of light as the sensing element
is equivalent to a continuous line aperture with an infinite number of microphones. This makes the proposed acousto-optic beamformer immune to spatial aliasing. This unique feature is illustrated by means of simulations and experimental results within the entire audible frequency range. For
ease of comparison, the study is supplemented with measurements carried out with a line array of microphones.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAcoustical Society of America. Journal
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)144-149
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Acoustic generators
  • Acoustic signal processing
  • Acoustic variables measurement
  • Acousto-optical effects
  • Array signal processing
  • Microphone arrays


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