Near-field acoustical holography (NAH) has been used extensively for acoustical imaging of infinitesimal-amplitude (or small-amplitude) sources. However, recent interests are in the application of NAH to image finite-amplitude (or high-amplitude) sources such as jets and rockets. Since NAH is based on linear equations and finite-amplitude sources imply nonlinear effects, which cause shock formation and consequently an altered spectral shape, a feasibility study is carried out to determine the effect of nonlinear propagation on NAH. Jet and rocket sources typically have a distinct spectral shape resembling a ‘haystack’ and center frequencies varying from 30 to 300 Hz. To test the effect of nonlinear propagation on jet or rocket noise, several waveforms with varying spectral shapes and center frequencies were created and numerically propagated in one dimension using a nonlinear propagation algorithm. Bispectral methods were used to determine the amount and effect of nonlinearity, showing that higher center frequencies lead to more nonlinearities for a given amplitude. Also, higher-order statistical analysis of the time derivative of the waveforms was used to determine information about the relative amount of waveform steepening and shock coalescence occurring. NAH was then used to reconstruct the original waveform magnitude and the errors were determined. It was found that the ‘haystack’ spectral shape can be preserved by the nonlinear effects leading to low amplitude-reconstruction errors, whereas a narrow-band spectral shape will become altered and reconstruct very poorly. However, if nonlinear effects become strong due to higher center frequencies, longer propagation distances or higher amplitudes, even the ‘haystack’ shape will become altered enough to cause poor reconstruction. Two-dimensional propagation studies were also performed from two point sources, showing differences between linear and nonlinear propagation.



College and Department

Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Physics and Astronomy



Date Submitted


Document Type





near-field acoustical holography, nonlinear acoustics, finite-amplitude sources, jet noise, rocket noise, nonlinearity indicators