Characterization of Aeroacoustic MEMS Microphones for Aircraft Fuselage Arrays

TitleCharacterization of Aeroacoustic MEMS Microphones for Aircraft Fuselage Arrays
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsWilliams, M. D., B. A. Griffin, T. N. Reagan, J. R. Underbrink, and M. Sheplak
JournalAIAA Journal
Start Page2744
Date Published12/2012


This paper describes the design and characterization of a micromachined microphone for aircraft fuselage arrays utilized by aeroacousticians to help identify aircraft noise sources and/or assess the effectiveness of noise-reduction technologies. The developed microphone utilizes piezoelectric transduction via an integrated aluminum nitride layer in a thin-film composite diaphragm fabricated using a combination of surface and bulk micromachining. The experimental characterization of several microphones is presented. Measured performance was in line with Boeing Company specifications for the fuselage array application, including sensitivities of 32.1 μV/Pa to 43.7 μV/Pa, minimum detectable pressures as low as 40 dB SPL (1Hz bin at 1 kHz), confirmed bandwidths up to 20 kHz, > 100 kHz resonant frequencies, and 3% distortion limits between 160 dB SPL and 172 dB SPL.With this performance—in addition to the small sizes—these microphones are shown to be a viable enabling technology for low-cost, high resolution fuselage array measurements.
Refereed DesignationRefereed