Mark L. Pecoraro
Naval Res. Lab., Underwater Sound Reference Detachment, P.O. Box 568337, Orlando, FL 32856-8337
Interest in 0--3 piezoelectric composite materials for use in hydrophone applications has grown considerably in recent years. Designs which require operation in the hydrostatic mode with a large hydrostatic voltage coefficient g[sub h], are desired to increase free-field voltage sensitivity and meet the ever increasing demands placed on hydrophone performance. U.S. Navy scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory, Underwater Sound Reference Detachment, have investigated the utilization of 0--3 piezocomposite for sonar applications and have developed various hydrophone configurations based on specific program requirements. The requirements of the programs, such as a lightweight, low-profile, and high receive sensitivity, demanded unique designs and the need for utilizing the unique characteristics of 0--3 composite materials. The hydrophones presented in this discussion used a 0--3 composite known at NRL simply as piezorubber or PZR. This material consists of lead titanate particles embedded in a neoprene elastomeric matrix. This discussion will cover the development, including problems and solutions, fabrication, and testing of two unique 0--3 composite hydrophones.