A frustrated total internal reflection acoustic field sensor which allows the acquisition of the acoustic field over an entire plane, all at once. The sensor finds use in acoustic holography and acoustic diffraction tomography. For example, the sensor may be produced by a transparent plate with transparent support members tall enough to support one or more flexible membranes at an appropriate height for frustrated total internal reflection to occur. An acoustic wave causes the membrane to deflect away from its quiescent position and thus changes the amount of light that tunnels through the gap formed by the support members and into the membrane, and so changes the amount of light reflected by the membrane. The sensor(s) is illuminated by a uniform tight field, and the reflection from the sensor yields acoustic wave amplitude and phase information which can be picked up electronically or otherwise.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.