Flexible, Compact Acoustic Transducer Arrays – SBIR Phase 1

Contract Number – W31P4Q-13-C-0008 | SBIR Phase 1 | Principal Investigator – Tai-An Chen | Project Start Date – 10/24/2012

The conventional approaches to acoustic arrays limit their usage in acoustic reconnaissance for Army applications due to large size and rigid packaging. An acoustic array on a flexible substrate and composed of microfabricated sensors provides a solution for applications where limited size and non-planar surfaces have prevented use of array-based solutions. The primary objective of this research is to develop microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based array technology for use in a flexible, conformal, compact acoustic array. Our proposed approach is to leverage recent advances in piezoelectric MEMS microphones, hybrid packaged with low-noise instrumentation amplifiers, mounted onto a flexible, conformal substrate and protected by a metamaterial-enhanced, flexible cover. The stated program goals necessitate an extensive feasibility study of the individual components to determine current readiness level, expectations for future performance and satisfaction of platform and system constraints.

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