Module K: Acoustics in communications

Course description

Sound waves (vibrations, wave equation, impedance, reflection, refraction, sound sources). Psychoacoustics (human auditory system, sound loudness, frequency and temporal masking, critical bands). Localization of sound (perception of azimuth, elevation, distance; head transfer functions, ITD, ILD). Spatial acoustics (absorption and reverberance, positions of speakers and listeners, the impact of different rooms). Electroacoustics and transduction (speakers, microphones, various sensors). Underwater acoustics (sound waves in water, the speed of sound, reflections, underwater communication, sonar). Acoustics in human-machine interaction (acoustic menus, warning systems, navigation).

Course is carried out on study programme

Elektrotehnika 2. stopnja

Objectives and competences

Understanding basics of acoustics and sound as an important element in the communication between human beings and in the human-machine interaction. The emphasis is on learning about the basic physical characteristics of sound waves in different media and rooms and the ability of human comprehension and localization of sound.

Understanding the basic principles of speakers and microphones as the fundamental building blocks of most telecommunication systems.

Presentation of the so-called underwater acoustics, the operation of sonar and other sensors.

Learning and teaching methods

Lectures in which the student is acquainted with the theoretical basics and lab work where the student meets the practical problems and solves them in the team.

Intended learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • describe mathematical background of vibrations,
  • describe basic principles of acoustic wave,
  • explain propagation properties of acoustic wave in different mediums,
  • explain functional mechanisms of acoustic equipment,
  • explain properties and limitations of human auditory system,
  • explain mechanisms for human sound localization,
  • describe the use of acoustic signals in humanmachine interaction.

Reference nosilca

  1. SODNIK, Jaka, JAKUS, Grega, TOMAŽIČ, Sašo. The use of spatialized speech in auditory interfaces for computer users who are visually impaired. J. vis. impair. blind., Oct.-Nov. 2012, vol. 106, no. 10, str. 634-645.
  2. SODNIK, Jaka, JAKUS, Grega, TOMAŽIČ, Sašo. Multiple spatial sounds in hierarchical menu navigation for visually impaired computer users. Int. j. human-comput. stud., Jan.-Feb. 2011, vol. 69, no. 1/2, str. 100-11
  3. SODNIK, Jaka, DICKE, Christina, TOMAŽIČ, Sašo, BILLINGHURST, Mark. A user study of auditory versus visual interfaces for use while driving. Int. j. human-comput. stud., May 2008, vol. 66, no. 5, str. 318-332.
  4. SODNIK, Jaka, SUŠNIK, Rudolf, TOMAŽIČ, Sašo. Principal components of non-individualized head related transfer functions significant for azimuth perception. Acta acustica united with Acustica, 2006, vol. 92, no. 1, str. 312-319.
  5. SODNIK, Jaka, SUŠNIK, Rudolf, ŠTULAR, Mitja, TOMAŽIČ, Sašo. Spatial sound resolution of an interpolated HRIR library. Appl. Acoust.. [Print ed.], Nov. 2005, vol. 66, no. 11, str. 1219-1234.

Study materials

Kinsler, L.E., Frey, A.R., Coppens, A.B., Sanders,  J. V. Fundamentals of Acoustics, John Wiley & Sons, 2000.

Everest, F.A. and Pohlmann, K.C. Master Handbook of Acoustics, The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2001.

Ballou, G.M. (Editor), Handbook for Sound Engineers, Elsevier, 2005.

Blauert, J. Spatial Hearing: The Psychophysics of Human Sound Localization, The MIT Press, 2001.

Rumsey, F. Spatial Audio, Elsevier, 2005.

Bodi na tekočem

Univerza v Ljubljani, Fakulteta za elektrotehniko, Tržaška cesta 25, 1000 Ljubljana

E: T:  01 4768 411