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Bio-inspired sound localization sensor with high directional sensitivity

Reid, Andrew and Windmill, James F.C. and Uttamchandani, Deepak (2015) Bio-inspired sound localization sensor with high directional sensitivity. Procedia Engineering, 120. pp. 289-293. ISSN 1877-7058

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Abstract

MEMS microphones inspired by Ormia ochracea are constrained by their reliance on the resonant behavior of the system, forcing designers to compromise the goal of high amplification of directional cues to operate across the audio range. Here we present an alternative approach, namely a system optimized for the maximum amplification of directional cues across a narrow bandwidth operating purely as a sound-localization sensor for wide-band noise. Directional sensitivity is enhanced by increasing the coupling strength beyond the 'dual optimization' point, which represents the collocation of a local maximum in directional sensitivity and a local minimum in non-linearity, compensating for the loss of the desirable linearity of the system by restricting the angular range of operation. Intensity gain achieved is 16.3 dB at 10° sound source azimuth with a linear directional sensitivity of 1.6 dB per degree, while linear directional sensitivity in phase difference gain shows a seven fold increase over the 'dual optimization' point of 8 degrees phase difference per degree change in azimuthal angle.