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Laser-Sound Transduction From Digital ΣΔ Streams

In this work, a novel optoacoustic transducer prototype capable of reproducing continuous sound waves from single or multi-bit ∑∆ digital audio streams is presented. The prototype is based on a pulsed nanosecond laser that generates acoustic N-waves via Laser-Induced Breakdown in air or indirect sound via the laser ablation effect on solid targets. Technical aspects of the prototype platform are presented, with emphasis on the laser control system and audio signal–processing techniques deployed for the modulation of the pulsed laser radiation. Experimental results from acoustic measurements of reproduced test audio signals are presented within the frequency range allowed by the specifications of the specific laser. The system’s audio performance characteristics are derived along with its impulse and frequency responses. The experimental results are compared with simulations of the optoacoustic transducer’s response via a computational model, showing good agreement.

JAES Volume 70 Issue 1/2 pp. 50-61; January 2022
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AES - Audio Engineering Society