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Proceedings Paper

Sensitivity of a MEMS acoustic emission sensor system
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Paper Abstract

We present several findings related to acoustic emission detection using a MEMS sensor. The MEMS sensor is a capacitive resonant transducer, fabricated in the PolyMUMPs process, with a resonant frequency near 160 kHz. In this paper, the design, initial characterization, amplification electronics, and packaging of the sensor system are reviewed. We present results from an experiment that compares the MEMS sensor system to a commercial PZT sensor by comparing the response of each sensor to a pencil lead break on a plate. In addition, we describe the noise characterization of the MEMS sensor system, comparing the predicted noise voltage to the measured value. This analysis reveals that the electronic noise from the amplifier is significantly greater than the noise from the sensor, suggesting that an amplifier with less noise would increase the sensitivity of the MEMS sensor system. We describe the design of a new, transimpedance amplifier and its noise characterization, showing the new amplifier design has less noise than the old design. The experiment comparing the commercial PZT sensor and the MEMS sensor system is repeated using the new amplifier, and we present results showing an increase in sensitivity of the MEMS sensor system. Finally, we present results from an experiment comparing the ability of the commercial PZT sensor and the MEMS sensor system with the new amplifier to detect pencil lead breaks performed a large distance from each sensor.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 March 2009
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7292, Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2009, 72920R (30 March 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.815497
Show Author Affiliations
Amelia P. Wright, Carnegie Mellon Univ. (United States)
David W. Greve, Carnegie Mellon Univ. (United States)
National Energy Technology Lab. (United States)
Irving J. Oppenheim, Carnegie Mellon Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7292:
Sensors and Smart Structures Technologies for Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace Systems 2009
Masayoshi Tomizuka, Editor(s)

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