Acoustics in communications

Subject 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).

The subject is taught in programs

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.

Teaching and learning 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.

Expected study results

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 human-machine interaction.

Basic sources and literature

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

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

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

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

  5. Rumsey, F. Spatial Audio, Elsevier, 2005.

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