The Physics of Information Technology Final Project
Craig Wisneski

Ultrasonic Local Area Communication


Part of the vision of the Things That Think consortium is that many common objects scattered around a room will be able to share information between each other. If those objects are to be portable, and act like objects we know and love today, much of this object-to-object discussion must be conducted wirelessly. Most people working on this problem today are working with creating wireless IR and RF systems of communication, but little is being done with wireless communication through ultrasonic acoustical sound.

I intend to examine the prospects of ultrasonics for wireless, local area communication. In other words, I will try to decide whether or not it might be feasable to create a system for objects in the same room to communicate with one another by sharing information through ultrasonic sound. To do this, I will work through issues such as the spectrum, transducers, beam width, transmission distance, bandwidth, and noise.

This work builds on the work done by Vadim Gerasimov, in the Things That Talk project, that transmits data by sound in the audible range. His site is a good starting point to visit before working through this information.

1. Prior Art  
5. Beam Width  
2. The Spectrum  
6. Transmission Distance  
3. Noise  
7. Bandwidth 
4. Transducers  
8. Conclusions 

Resources / Works Cited


Beranek, Leo.  Acoustics. Acoustical Society of America. 1954.

Frederick, Julian. Ultrasonic Engineering.  Wiley. 1965.

Gooberman, G.L.  Ultrasonics: Theory and Application.  Hart Publishing. 1968.


Polariod Ultrasonic Ranging System Handbook.

Biber, Ellin, Shenk, Stempeck.  The Polaroid Ultrasonic Ranging System. Polaroid Corporation. 67th AES Convention.

Henry E. Bass Lee N. Bolen.  Ultrasonic background noise in industrial environments.  J. Acoust. Soc. Am., Vol. 78, No. 6, December 1985 Pages 2013 - 2016

Web Resources

Things That Talk.  Vadim Gerasimov and Walter Bender.

Honda Electronics has compiled a great list of the current uses of ultrasonics.

An ultrasonic modem.

Craig Wisneski - 5.20.98