Continued Drive Signal Development for the Carbon Nanotube Thermoacoustic Loudspeaker Using Techniques Derived from the Hearing Aid Industry
Compared to moving coil loudspeakers, carbon nanotube (CNT) loudspeakers are extremely lightweight and are capable of creating sound over a broad frequency range (1 Hz to 100 kHz). The thermoacoustic effect that allows for this non-vibrating sound source is naturally inefficient and nonlinear. Signal processing techniques are one option that may help counteract these concerns. Previous studies have evaluated a hybrid efficiency metric, the ratio of the sound pressure level at a single point to the input electrical power. True efficiency is the ratio of output acoustic power to the input electrical power. True efficiency data are presented for two new drive signal processing techniques borrowed from the hearing aid industry. Spectral envelope decimation of an AC signal operates in the frequency domain (FCAC) and dynamic linear frequency compression of an AC signal operates in the time domain (TCAC). Each type of processing affects the true efficiency differently.