Edward Szoka (ecs227) and Tom Jackson (tcj26) of Cornell University have designed a phased array speaker system capable of “steering” sound around a room.
As HackADay’s Will Sweatman reports, the ATmega644-powered platform samples a standard audio input signal at approximately 44.1 kHz via 12 independently controllable speakers – each with a variable delay. Simply put, the angle of maximum intensity of the output wave can be shifted by adjusting the delay at precise intervals.
“Phased arrays are usually associated with EM applications, such as radar. But the same principles can be applied to sound waveforms,” Sweatman explained.
The basic idea behind a phased-array? By changing how the speakers are driven, the angle of the maximum intensity of the output wave can be shifted.
“This type of array was built to be able to support various other more advanced design challenges, including longer-range acoustic modem transmission and sonar imaging,” they added.