IC2 announced today that the company has been selected for a Phase 2 NASA SBIR contract to continue development of High Channel Count, High Density Microphone Arrays for Wind Tunnel Environments. IC2 recently completed a Phase 1 effort to establish and demonstrate feasibility of the concept. The pending 24-month Phase 2 contract, valued at roughly $750k, will enable continued development of the technology to achieve fully functional prototypes of piezoelectric MEMS microphones and integrated arrays designed specifically for aeroacoustic testing in wind tunnels.
Existing aeroacoustic microphone and array technology available to NASA and industry limit the array density and sensor count due to microphone size constraints, installation location restrictions, and the high cost per channel. The demand for substantially higher channel count capabilities is growing, however, and is driven by multiple measurement requirements including:
- More array locations to better quantify directivity information for component noise sources
- More sensors per array location to improve array dynamic range
- More sensors per array location to support multiply nested arrays (i.e., arrays of varying aperture sizes) needed to handle broad frequency range measurement requirements
Existing measurement microphones suitable for aeroacoustic phased array measurements across a broad suite of wind tunnel installations is a limiting factor for improved phased microphone arrays. New microphones must be developed that enable flexibility in array installation locations, increase array sensor density, substantially lower the cost per measurement channel, and also lower the cost of array installation.
The long-term goal of this research is to develop advanced microphone and phased-array technologies to meet those requirements and thus revolutionize array measurement capabilities. IC2 achieves this through microphone technology that enables increases in array density and channel count while easing installation into wind-tunnels and significantly reducing cost per channel.
Specifically, this array technology is being developed to address NASA's needs for acoustic and relevant flow field measurement methods for subsonic, transonic and supersonic vehicles targeted specifically at airframe noise sources and the noise sources due to the aerodynamic and acoustic interaction of airframe and engines. At a broader level, this work is aimed at meeting the aerospace industry's need for economically viable array technology that meets required performance metrics.
The Phase 2 work will be carried out in partnership with the University of Florida. Click here for more details on IC2's microphone technology .