University of Twente Student Theses


MEMS acoustic sensors inspired by the locust ear

Westerik, P.J. (2014) MEMS acoustic sensors inspired by the locust ear.

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Abstract:The desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria) has hearing organs that integrate sound reception, impedance transformation and frequency discrimination in a single passive membrane. This is the inspiration for the development of a new type of acoustic sensor. The present research is good first move in the realisation of such a sensor. In mathematical models the same three functions have been shown. A microfabrication process has been developed and tested which can produce membranes with the (variation in) mechanical properties that are essential to the membrane of the locust. A measurement setup was developed that was able to characterise most of the important behaviour of the artificial membranes. The designs need to be improved so that their behaviour comes closer to that of the mathematical models. Also the artificial membranes do not yet show the travelling wave behaviour that is necessary for the impedance transformation. Apart from the improvements in the design, also a better understanding of the damping mechanisms in the locust membranes and the artificial membranes is needed to achieve the travelling waves. Also the actuation in the measurement setup needs to be improved to achieve better characterisation of the artificial membranes.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:30 exact sciences in general, 50 technical science in general, 52 mechanical engineering
Programme:Electrical Engineering MSc (60353)
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