IC2 Wins 2nd NASA Contract | Wind Tunnel Microphone Arrays

Posted by Steve Horowitz on Jul 1, 2017 11:29:00 PM

IC2, a pioneer in the development of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) based sensors for aerospace applications, announced today that NASA has awarded the company a 2nd NASA Phase I contract for the 2017 SBIR program. Under this new award, IC2 will be developing a high channel count, high-density microphone array for measurements in wind tunnel environments.  

We are delighted to have been selected for a second NASA Phase I SBIR award this year. These new contracts will enable IC2 to continue to revolutionize wind tunnel measurements, leading to quieter, more efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft.

- Steve Horowitz, President - IC2

Specifically, IC2 will be developing aeroacoustic microphones and arrays using MEMS-based piezoelectric technology, backside contacts and advanced packaging technology that allows for high density microphone placement and large numbers of microphones in each array.  The goal is to improve the performance capabilities of acoustic array measurements while easing installation into wind-tunnels and significantly reducing the cost per channel.


Development path for IC2's piezoelectric MEMS microphones and arrays

Acoustic measurements in wind tunnels are key to the development of quieter, more efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft. Existing aeroacoustic microphone and array technology limits the array density and sensor count due to microphone size constraints, installation restrictions, and the high cost per channel.

IC2's solution uses piezoelectric MEMS technology and backside contacts to reduce packaged microphone size, enable a smooth flow-facing surface and lower the cost per sensor,  while still meeting or exceeding all aeroacoustic performance requirements, thus enabling higher density arrays for improved array performance. Click here for more details on our piezoelectric microphone technology.

Benefits of Proposed Approach

  • Reduced packaged sensor size for higher density acoustic arrays
  • Low profile format for flush mounting in reduced-scale model aeroacoustic wind-tunnels
  • Dramatically reduced cost per sensor enabling high channel count arrays
  • Conformal installation possible (no through-wall installation required) easing array placement
  • Smooth flow-facing surface for sensor, packaging and array reduces/eliminates flow disturbances
  • Robust sensor construction can handle moisture and particulates
  • Performance specifications (dynamic range, bandwidth, resolution) that fully meet aeroacoustic testing requirements
  • Increased phase matching between microphones
  • Increased array dynamic range

More details on this award can be found on the NASA SBIR Site.

You can also contact us to get more information about this technology.  We are more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

Topics: Press Release, Wind Tunnel, Microphone Arrays, Acoustic

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About IC2

IC2  builds on two decades of research and rigorous testing to deliver scientific-grade precision sensors that push the envelope of aerospace measurement accuracy and performance. IC2’s precision sensors and instrumentation are designed from the ground up to meet the challenging environments of the aerospace industry.

From wind tunnels and other ground test facilities to flight test platforms, IC2 delivers scientific-grade measurement tools that provide unprecedented performance, including:

  1. Higher bandwidth and dynamic range
  2. Greater accuracy and precision
  3. Higher spatial resolution
  4. Ability to operate in environments considered too extreme for most sensors 

Contact us now to get more information about our services and products, place an order or to discuss how we can customize any of our products to meet your particular needs.