Bio-inspired MEMS Direction Finding Acoustic Sensor for Air and Underwater Applications

LT William Swan, US Navy

A micromechanical directional acoustic sensor has been developed based on the coupled eardrums of the Ormia Ochracea fly. Previous versions exploited the bending resonance of the sensor and have required two sensors in an array to resolve arrival bearing ambiguity. Design changes have been implemented to exploit an additional resonant mode of the coupled oscillator, allowing for direction finding from a single sensor. Successful testing of this single-sensor direction finding method was performed in an anechoic room using a lock in amplifier for data capture. Additionally, a new sensor has been designed and fabricated, along with an appropriate housing, in an attempt to explore the feasibility of using this MEMS sensor in an underwater environment. The design and construction of the housing and the new sensor are presented here, along with initial characterization testing of the sensor response in water are presented in this thesis.

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Dec 31, 2016

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