An AlN MEMS Piezoelectric Microphone for Aeroacoustic Applications – Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems Apr 2012

This paper describes the development of a micro- machined microphone for aircraft fuselage arrays that are utilized by aeroacousticians to help identify aircraft noise sources and/or assess the effectiveness of noise-reduction technologies. The developed microphone utilizes piezoelectric transduction via an integrated aluminum nitride layer in a thin-film composite diaphragm. A theoretical lumped element model and an associated noise model of the complete microphone system are developed and utilized in a formal design-optimization process. Optimal designs were fabricated using a variant of the film bulk acoustic resonator process at Avago Technologies. The experimental characterization of one design is presented here, and measured performance was in line with sponsor specifications, including a sensitivity of -39 μV/Pa, a minimum detectable pressure of 40.4 dB, a confirmed bandwidth up to 20 kHz, a 129.5-kHz resonant frequency, and a 3% distortion limit approaching 172 dB. With this performance-in addition to its small size-this microphone is shown to be a viable enabling technology for low-cost, high-resolution fuselage array measurements.

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