Complete Communications Engineering

An acoustic beamformer is an essential part of an acoustic system that has direction steering properties. The basic system consists of a multiple microphone array where microphones are located along one horizontal line with equal distance between microphones.

Basic diagram of an acoustic beamformer, showing three microphone inputs and a single output.
Fig.1 Block diagram of the basic acoustic beamformer

A block diagram of the basic Acoustic beamformer is shown at Fig. 1. There are N microphones in the system. The signal from each microphone has to be delayed by nΔt, (Δt control delay and n– index of the microphone) to steer the beam to a direction from 0 to 900 and (Nnt to steer from 0 to -900. It is assumed that straight forward direction is 00.

The output of all delay blocks has to be added together. As a result the signal coming from the desired direction is amplified. The ratio of the signal from desired direction versus the signal from undesired direction or noise is increased.

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