Summaries - Office of Research & Innovation
Back MEMS Direction Finding Acoustic Sensor
|Division||Research & Sponsored Programs|
|Department||Naval Research Program|
Alves, Fabio D.
|Sponsor||NPS Naval Research Program (Navy)|
|Summary||This the second year of research on NRP funded two year program on feasibility of use of recently developed MEMS direction finding (DF) acoustic sensors for localization of sound sources both in air and underwater environments. The operation principle of the MEMS DF sensor was based on ears of the fly Ormia ochracea. The eardrums of the fly are separated mere 0.5 mm yet it has remarkable sensitivity to direction of sound. The incident sound oscillates the eardrums with high amplitudes at the normal modes which translates into enhanced angular resolution. Conventional directional sound sensing systems use an array of spatially separated microphones to achieve directional sensing. The accuracy of the directionality depends on the extent of spatial separation of the microphones making them bulky. A typical MEMS sensor consists of two wings (1x1 mm2) made of 25 ?m thick Si that are coupled in the middle which is connected to the substrate by two legs. This design allows the structure to rock by twisting the legs while bending in the middle in a way analogous to the fly's eardrums. During the first year of research, optimization of sensor configurations and readout electronics were explored for increasing the sensitivity of detection. During the continued research, interfacing of the sensor with data collection system and field experimentation will be carried out to probe the feasibility of the sensor operation under different operating environments. At the completion of the research a report on the potential applications of the sensor in the battlefield environment to locate snipers, boats and unmanned aerial vehicles and in undersea environments to locate undersea weapons and vehicles at long distances will be delivered. In addition, finding of the research will be incorporated by participating graduate students for completion of their theses.|