Degree Name

Master of Science (Hons.)


Department of Computer Science


Echolocation is the process of building an acoustic image of the environment by sensing the ultrasonic echoes that are bounced off objects in the environment. It is naturally observed in bats and dolphins, who use it for navigation and orientation. The Finite Element Method is one of several numerical techniques that simplify the abstract equations of calculus and obtain approximate solutions for real-world physical problems. This thesis evaluates the suitability of various numerical 'Element Methods' for the modelling and design of ultrasonic transducers and the study of their radiated and scattered sound fields. To achieve this, it determines the selection criteria to choose between the alternate methods and identifies the essential set of elements that are required to model the problem. Further, it studies various commercial FEM software packages and identifies software language features necessary to implement the software package. It arrives at conclusions regarding the basic requirements to develop a minimal software package capable of modelling ultrasonic transducers. On the basis of this thesis, software can be developed to provide a structure upon which future researchers can build and develop more complex models, such as those involving transducers and their interaction with the environment.