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Lecture Notes # 8 (version: 1) 5/4/2018

c All rights reserved (2018) - Dr. P. Ananthakrishnan and the Board of Governors of IIT Madras.

Department of Ocean Engineering Indian Institute of Technology Madras

OE5170 Ocean Acoustics January-May 2018

“ My methods are really methods of working and thinking; this is why they have crept in everywhere
anonymously.” - Emmy Noether.
For more on Noether, see
heard-of.html. Also, not necessarily for this course, but for general science knowledge on Noether’s
theorem on conservation laws and symmetries in space and time, refer to lectures of Feynman at
www.f eynmanlectures.caltech.edu/III 17.html
www.youtube.com/watch?v = 2t dtOf Lqkw
8. Radiation of Sound by an Arbitrary Body under Vibration/Pulsation
We have so far considered simple shapes such as a sphere, to study generation and propagation of
sound. To deal with sound generation or scattering by arbotrary shapes, we ahsll consider numer-
ical method based on the Green’s theorem. Before deriving the Green’s theorem for the acoustic
wave (Helmholtz) equation, let us go over the formulation of radiation and scattering problems.

Radiation Problem. Consider the generation of sound by a vibrating (or pulsating) arbitraty body
as illustrated in the figure below. Let problem be time harmonic with frequency σ with variation
in time as e−iσt . With acoustic pressure field being

P (x, y, z, t) = p(x, y, z) e−iσt

we already know that the spatial pressure field p(x, y, z) satisfies the Helmholtz equation:

∇2 p + k 2 p = 0

Body generated
radiating Wave, pr

Body of


Figure 8-1. Generation and radiation of sound by an arbitrary body.

Let the mean (equilibrium) boundary of the body be Bo whose normal velocity due to vibra-
tion/pulsation is given by
un = Uo e−iσt
Using the linearized Euler’s momentum equation in the normal direction, i.e.,
∂un ∂P
ρ =−
∂t ∂n
we obtain the following condition (Neumann condition) for pressure on Bo :
= iρσUo on Bo
(Keep in mind that P = p e−iσt ).

Next lets consider a far-field boundary Σ at a large distance r. There the pressure field satisfies
the Sommerfeld condition. For waves to be propagating outward, it has to then satisfy
∂ ∂ σ ∂p ∂p
+c p e−iσt = 0 → −iσp + =0 → = ikp
∂t ∂r k ∂r ∂r
Sincw on the far-field boundary (see figure), ∂/∂r = ∂/∂n, we get from above
= ikp on Σ
The Helmholtz equation for pressure has to be now solved subject to the Sommerfeld condition on
Σ and the Neumann condition on Bo . We have already solved this problem with the body corre-
sponding to sphere, cylinder etc. We will derive a Green’s theorem and related numeical algorithm
in the next chapter for arbitrary Bo .

8b. Diffraction of Sound by an Arbitrary Rigid Body

Body Diffracted or
Scattered Wave, pd

Incident Wave, pi

Body of
x Arbitrary


Figure 8-2. Diffraction of sound by an arbitrary rigid body.

As illustrated in the figure above, let us consider incidence of acoustic wave over a body of any
shape. For simplicity, we shall assume the body to be rigid. Otherwise, we have to deal with
the coupled vibration/acoustics problem in which the elastic response of the body to the incident

wave and loading has to be also simultaneously solved and corresponding radiation of sound also
concurrently determined. This is doable, assuming you remember beam, plate and shell equations
and also modeling fluid loading - but let us not make it complicated and simply assume the body
to be rigid and focus only on the process of sound scattering or diffraction.

Let the incident acoustic wave pressure be

P i = pi e−iσt

with pi (known or given) satisfying the Helmholtz equation and specified direction of propagation
but not knowing the presence of the rigid body. Let the pressure field (unkonwn) of the scattered
(or diffracted) acoustic wave be
P d = pd e−iσt
where, because of assumed linearity, the frequency is the same σ. The total pressure field p, by
linear superposition, is
p = pi + pd
The total pressure must satisfy the Helmholtz equation. With the incident pressure field having
also satisfied the Helmholtz equation, we have for the diffracted pressure field

∇2 pd + k 2 pd = 0

Since the body is rigid and stationary, as assumed, ∂p/∂n = 0. The incident pressure field does
not take into account the presence of the body. And therefore, on the body surface Bo

∂pd ∂pi ∂pd ∂pi

+ =0 → =− on Bo
∂n ∂n ∂n ∂n
In the far-field Σ, the scattered pressure must propagate outward as per the Sommerfeld condition.
And so on Σ (see Figure 8-2), we have
∂ ∂ σ ∂pd ∂pd
+c pd e−iσt = 0 → −iσp +d
=0 → = ikpd
∂t ∂r k ∂r ∂r

Sincw on the far-field boundary (see figure), ∂/∂r = ∂/∂n, we get from above

= ikpd on Σ
Dropping the superscript d denoting ‘diffraction’, we thus have the following equations governing
the diffracted wave pressure:

∇2 p + k 2 p = 0, in the domain ∀
∂p ∂pi
= , on Bo
∂n ∂n
= ikp on Σ
where, remember, incident wave pressure pi is given or known. Sinve the body can be of arbitrary
shape, we will develop a numerical boundary-integral method based on the Green’s theorem in the
next lecture.