Directional passive acoustic structures inspired by the ear of Achroia grisella

Diaz-García, Lara and Reid, Andrew and Jackson-Camargo, Joseph and Windmill, James (2023) Directional passive acoustic structures inspired by the ear of Achroia grisella. Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics, 50 (1). 032001. ISSN 1939-800X (

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The need for small directional microphones is patent in the current market. From smartphones to hearing aids, a small microphone capable of rejecting ambient noise is highly desirable. Most MEMS microphones are omnidirectional and have to resort to arrays to achieve directionality, effectively counteracting the reduced size that they offer in the first place. For this reason, we use bio-inspiration and turn to nature to find examples of solutions to this problem. The female specimens of the moth Achroia grisella are capable of monoaural directional hearing, which they use to track the males’ mating calls. It is believed that they achieve directionality solely due to the morphology of their tympana. To test it, we first produce a multiphysics simulation of the structure that serves as a starting point. For experimental measurements, additive manufacturing is chosen for its ease and cost-efficiency. 3D-printed samples of the same model are examined through micro-CT scanning and then measured using laser-Doppler vibrometry to determine their frequency and directivity responses. The results of both approaches are compared, and it is found that the structure does indeed show directionality and the experimental and simulated results are in good agreement.