• Project Title: MEMS Directional Microphone Development

  • BASIS Advisor: Mr. Linhares

  • Internship Location: Naval Postgraduate School

  • Onsite Mentor: Dr. Dragoslav Grbovic

Though new threats like improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and vehicle-borne weapons claim the lives of soldiers deployed overseas, gunshot wounds (GSWs) remain a massive hazard to our armed forces. In order to combat this threat, scientists at the microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) laboratory at the Naval Postgraduate School have looked to biomimicry, which is where I will conduct my research. Inspired by the powerful hearing organ of the Ormia Ochracea fly, new technology is being developed to pinpoint the sound of sniper-fire with micro-scale acoustic sensor arrays powered by self-sustaining piezoelectric energy supplies. This technology works by detecting sound via microscopic changes in the sensor caused by sound waves, and converting these same sound waves into useful electrical energy to power the device itself via piezoelectricity. Such a technology will allow deployed forces to deliver coordinates for artillery, airstrikes, or small arms engagement in a fast and precise manner to eliminate hostile infantry and snipers efficiently, minimizing risk to soldiers. My role in the project is to test and fabricate prototypes for this device, and to implement piezoelectric power in order to create a final product that improves the precision of the sensors while sustaining operational functionality without the need for an external power source.