Navigation Links
Researchers design sensitive new microphone modeled on fly ear
Date:5/31/2013

Using the sensitive ears of a parasitic fly for inspiration, a group of researchers has created a new type of microphone that achieves better acoustical performance than what is currently available in hearing aids. The scientists will present their results at the 21st International Congress on Acoustics, held June 2-7 in Montreal.

Ronald Miles, Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Binghamton University, studies the hearing of Ormia ochracea, a house fly-sized insect that is native to the southeast United States and Central America. Unlike most other flies, Ormia ochracea has eardrums that sense sound pressure, as do our ears, and they can hear "quite well," says Miles. The female flies use their "remarkable" directional hearing to locate singing male crickets, on which they deposit their larvae.

Previously, Miles and colleagues Daniel Robert and Ronald Hoy described the mechanism by which the fly achieves its directional hearing, despite its small size. Now Miles and his group have designed a new microphone inspired by the fly's ears.

The new design uses a microelectromechanical microphone with a 1 mm by 3 mm diaphragm that is designed to rotate about a central pivot in response to sound pressure gradients. The motion of the diaphragm is detected using optical sensors. To minimize the adverse effects of resonances on the response, Miles and his colleagues used a feedback system to achieve so-called active Q control.

"Q control basically is an electronic feedback control system to introduce electronic damping," Miles explains. "You don't want a microphone diaphragm to ring like a bell. It turns out that in order to achieve a very low noise floor which is the quietest sound that can be detected without the signal being buried in the microphone's noise it is important to minimize any passive damping in these sensors. If you do that, the diaphragm will resonate at its natural frequency. We are the first group to show that you can use this sort of electronic damping in a microphone without adversely affecting the noise floor of the microphone."

Indeed, the noise floor of the fly-inspired microphone is about 17 decibels lower than what can be achieved using a pair of low-noise hearing aid microphones to create a directional hearing aid. The new design could be used in applications ranging from hearing aids and cell phones to surveillance and acoustic noise control systems, Miles says, and "could easily be made as small as the fly's ear."


'/>"/>

Contact: Catherine Meyers
cmeyers@aip.org
301-209-3088
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Researchers help threatened wheat crops in Asia, Africa
2. U of A medical researchers ID genetic marker for sporadic breast cancer
3. UCI researchers find sea anemone venom-derived compound effective in anti-obesity studies
4. MU researchers develop radioactive nanoparticles that target cancer cells
5. Genetic predictors of postpartum depression uncovered by Hopkins researchers
6. U of M researchers develop model for better testing, targeting of MPNST
7. Widespread but neglected disease a health threat in Africa, Virginia Tech researchers say
8. Penn Medicine researchers identify 4 new genetic risk factors for testicular cancer
9. Non-inherited mutations account for many heart defects, Yale researchers find
10. Researchers discover a missing link in signals contributing to neurodegeneration
11. Researchers use graphene quantum dots to detect humidity and pressure
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/17/2017)... 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ) ... of its 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K on Thursday April ... ... in the Investor Relations section of the Company,s website at ... at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year Highlights: ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , Apr. 11, 2017 Research and ... Market 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at a ... report, Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on ... covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for ... Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window ... imaging data, the first application of deep learning to ... stem cell lines and a growing suite of powerful ... for these and future publicly available resources created and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/21/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. (FITCI), a ... recently earned a $77,518 grant from the Rural Maryland Council (RMC) to support ... Frederick’s first incubator. A non-profit corporation, FITCI is a public-private partnership of the ...
(Date:4/20/2017)...  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY ... the prevention of migraine at the American Academy of ... 22-28, 2017, in Boston . ... including safety and patient outcomes data for galcanezumab in ... in monthly migraine headache days among patients with episodic ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... 20, 2017 , ... NetDimensions appoints Bill Mastin, a learning technology veteran, as ... experience in the learning technologies industry, Mastin joins NetDimensions from the New York office ... (LTG). At LEO, Mastin served as SVP of the North America offices and prior ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... ... April 20, 2017 , ... Parallel6™ , the leader ... announced today that they were named one of the 2017 Top 10 eClinical ... developments in the pharmaceutical industry. , “We take pride in honoring Parallel6 as one ...
Breaking Biology Technology: