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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 478295, 27 pages
Research Article

Multidimensional Wave Field Signal Theory: Transfer Function Relationships

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1N 6N5

Received 29 August 2011; Accepted 20 September 2011

Academic Editor: Carlo Cattani

Copyright © 2012 Natalie Baddour. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The transmission of information by propagating or diffusive waves is common to many fields of engineering and physics. Such physical phenomena are governed by a Helmholtz (real wavenumber) or pseudo-Helmholtz (complex wavenumber) equation. Since these equations are linear, it would be useful to be able to use tools from signal theory in solving related problems. The aim of this paper is to derive multidimensional input/output transfer function relationships in the spatial domain for these equations in order to permit such a signal theoretic approach to problem solving. This paper presents such transfer function relationships for the spatial (not Fourier) domain within appropriate coordinate systems. It is shown that the relationships assume particularly simple and computationally useful forms once the appropriate curvilinear version of a multidimensional spatial Fourier transform is used. These results are shown for both real and complex wavenumbers. Fourier inversion of these formulas would have applications for tomographic problems in various modalities. In the case of real wavenumbers, these inversion formulas are presented in closed form, whereby an input can be calculated from a given or measured wavefield.