A methodology for the analysis of the radiation characteristics and spatial performance of loudspeaker arrays for wave field synthesis (WFS) reproduction is presented. It is based on the wavenumber domain analysis, where the source radiation is decomposed into plane waves for arbitrary angles of incidence. The method deals with the measurement and analysis of the radiation performance, evaluation of the spatial aliasing frequency, and associated sampling artifacts for linear loudspeaker arrays. A detailed description of the parameters that modify spatial aliasing artifacts, such as array directivity and truncation effects by geometry, is also given. The method is validated at the laboratory with two multiactuator panel arrangements and a dynamic loudspeaker array, all presenting the same transducer spacing. Simulations and experimental results are discussed through several case studies, comparing dynamic loudspeaker arrays and multiactuator panels in WFS operation. Moreover, a study of the consequences for the wavefield when splitting the panels to accommodate a lower number of exciters is also addressed.
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