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Precision Acoustics

Membrane hydrophone 0.4 mm

For most MHz ultrasound pressure measurements, where wide bandwidth, smooth frequency response and small active area are required, this hydrophone is recommended.

If you have any specific questions about this product, please contact us.

Membrane Hydrophone 0.4mm


  • 16 micron 0.4 mm membrane hydrophone – order code UT1604

The hydrophone is supplied with a PA submersible preamplifier, which is inserted into the base of the hydrophone mounting ring and provides 8dB of gain and 50 Ω output. The preamplifier is powered through the DC coupler from a 28 V power supply. (See DC coupler for more information).

Technical specifications

Output impedance: 50 Ω 
Sensor material: Single layer of 16 micron thick gold PVdF film
Mounting ring dimensions: 100 mm diameter
10 mm thick
Membrane diameter: 80 mm
Cable: The preamplifier is terminated with 1.5 m of RG 174 cable and SMC connector which connects to the DC coupler
Active sensor diameter: 0.4 mm
Typical sensitivity: 35 mV/MPa averaged in the range 2 MHz to 20 MHz
Sensitivity tolerance: Sensitivity variation between individual membranes is approximately ±3 dB
Typical frequency response: Flat(±2 dB): over the range 1 to 30 MHz A “flattening amplifier is not required as this hydrophone satisfies IEC standards

* Precision Acoustics reserves the right to change the specification without notice.

Warranty: membranes 12 months against defective product but not damage caused by user. If a warranty claim is made on devices that have been calibrated at NPL, London, a charge will be made for the used part of the calibration (e.g. in the event of failure of a membrane at three months the charge for recalibration at NPL is 25% of the calibration charge).

The membrane hydrophone can be used with the Precision Acoustics hydrophone signal amplifier (order code MA2) which reduces noise and applies x5 gain (optional) and is designed to be used with a UT series membrane hydrophone.

Hydrophone FAQ's

A simple guide can be found here “Simple guide to making ultrasonic intensity measurements” or if you are in the UK you might be interested in our “Hydrophone users course” in the training section

Hydrophones can be used in castor oil or mineral oil. The hydrophone is constructed from PVdF which although resilient can be damaged by some chemicals. Consult our web page properties of poled piezo-electric PVdF film.

All hydrophones should be soaked before use. Although most hydrophones stabilise after about 10 minutes, our recommendation is to soak for 1 hour so that the output stabilises before measurements are taken.

Hydrophones should be removed from the water as soon as possible and we advise that if they are left immersed longer than 24 hours they are removed as soon as possible and dried out.

If possible rinse the hydrophone tip in distilled water at the end of a measurement session and leave to air dry or place in a warm oven at no more than 50 °C. Do not touch the hydrophone tip.

Immerse the hydrophone tip in lemon juice and then rinse in distilled or running water.

The input and output from your measurement equipment should be terminated with 50 Ω.

It doesn’t matter whether you measure it as a power or voltage ratio – you’ll get the same dB result.

Three 9 v batteries in series will give enough voltage but they will not last very long and may cause changes in the measured signal. All DC couplers supplied after March 2008 are supplied with a small desktop power supply suitable for use with the hydrophone system. Contact us if you wish to purchase a PSU for use with older systems.

No – it simply powers the preamp and removes the dc component from the returned signal.

Yes, you can feed a test signal in and measure the response. You will need to use a 50 Ω terminator at the input if you use a 50 Ω signal source. You will also need to use 50 Ω input on your oscilloscope.

Precision Acoustics manufactures transducers over the frequency range 0.2 MHz to 50 MHz using a variety of different materials

  • PVDF transducers are available in the range 3 MHz to 50 MHz
  • Piezo-ceramic transducers are available in the range 0.5 MHz to 12 MHz
  • 1-3 piezo-composite transducers are available in the range 0.2 MHz to 1 MHz

The sensitivity is simply a conversion factor between pressure and voltage. If you measure peak-to-peak voltage and apply the conversion factor, you will measure peak-to-peak pressure. If you measure rms voltage and apply the conversion factor, you will measure rms pressure. The same will be true for peak positive, peak negative, etc.