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Title: Dynamics Of Cricket Song Towards Nature-inspired MEMS Speakers
Authors: Godthi, Vamsy
Advisors: Pratap, Rudra
Keywords: MEMS Speakers
Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems Speakers
Cricket Sound Production
Cricket Song Frequency
Submitted Date: 30-Jul-2015
Abstract: The clever designs of natural transducers are a great source of inspiration for man-made systems. At small length scales, there are many transducers in nature that we are now beginning to understand and learn from. Here, we present an example of such a transducer that is used by field crickets to produce their characteristic song. This transducer uses two distinct components—a file of discrete teeth and a plectrum that engages intermittently to produce a series of impulses forming the loading, and an approximately triangular membrane, called the harp, that acts as a resonator and vibrates in response to the impulse-train loading. The file-and-plectrum act as a frequency multiplier taking the low wing beat frequency as the input and converting it into an impulse-train of sufficiently high frequency close to the resonant frequency of the harp. The forced vibration response results in beats producing the characteristic sound of the cricket song. Based on various experimental observations reported in the literature, we model the sound production mechanism as consisting of three stages—actuator, frequency multiplier, and amplifier. We then examine how different features of the forewing govern the sound production. With careful experiments on the harp, we estimate the actual modulus of the harp cuticle and also measure the morphological features of the forewings of different field cricket species. Using this data, we construct a finite element model of the harp and carry out modal analysis to determine its natural frequency. We fine tune the model with appropriate elastic boundary conditions to match the natural frequency of the harp of a particular species—Gryllus bimaculatus. We model impulsive loading based on a loading scheme reported in the literature and predict the transient response of the harp. We show that the harp indeed produces beats and its frequency content matches closely that of the recorded song. Subsequently, we use our FEM model to show that the natural design is quite robust to structural perturbations in the file. The characteristic song frequency produced is unaffected by small variations in the spacing of file-teeth and even by larger gaps. We then attempt to predict a scaling law that crickets must use for spectrum allocation. We use our FEM model, with measurements and computations, to arrive at a predictive model that relates call frequencies of field crickets to the harp dimensions. We verify the validity of this model by using the measured dimensions of harps of nine field cricket species. We then use our model to provide possible explanations as to why the song frequency of various field crickets in our study is bounded between 3.1 kHz and 6.8 kHz. We also show that we are faced with similar challenges as crickets when designing miniature MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) speakers. We present a design of MEMS speakers that is inspired by how the crickets actuate. We have been able to realize our first prototypes using simple fabrication processes. By electrostatically actuating the MEMS devices, we obtain a sound pressure of 70 dB SPL at a distance of 10 cm. We believe that with a few design and fabrication iterations, we will be able to achieve a much higher sound pressure output from the MEMS speakers.
Abstract file URL: http://etd.ncsi.iisc.ernet.in/abstracts/3304/Godthi-Abs.pdf
URI: http://etd.iisc.ernet.in/handle/2005/2571
Appears in Collections:Mechanical Engineering (mecheng)

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