Sound and ultrasound in air are the products of a multitude of different processes and thus can be favorable or undesirable phenomena. Development of experimental tools for non-invasive measurements and imaging of airborne sound fields is of importance for linear and nonlinear nondestructive material testing as well as noise control in industrial or civil engineering applications. One possible solution is based on acousto-optic interaction, like light diffraction imaging. The diffraction approach usually requires a sophisticated setup with fine optical alignment barely applicable in industrial environment. This paper focuses on the application of the robust experimental tool of scanning laser vibrometry, which utilizes commercial off-the-shelf equipment. The imaging technique of air-coupled vibrometry (ACV) is based on the modulation of the optical path length by the acoustic pressure of the sound wave. The theoretical considerations focus on the analysis of acousto-optical phase modulation. The sensitivity of the ACV in detecting vibration velocity was estimated as ~1 mm/s. The ACV applications to imaging of linear airborne fields are demonstrated for leaky wave propagation and measurements of ultrasonic air-coupled transducers. For higher-intensity ultrasound, the classical nonlinear effect of the second harmonic generation was measured in air. Another nonlinear application includes a direct observation of the nonlinear air-coupled emission (NACE) from the damaged areas in solid materials. The source of the NACE is shown to be strongly localized around the damage and proposed as a nonlinear “tag” to discern and image the defects.
KeywordsAcousto-optics Air-coupled Laser vibrometer Non-destructive evaluation Nonlinear acoustics Leaky waves
The authors are grateful to the German Research Foundation (DFG) for supporting this work as part of the project Bu 624/26–1 (“Development and application of a new non-contact method for mapping of elastic anisotropy using air-coupled plate and surface waves”).
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