Project: MEMS-based Underwater Acoustical Particle Velocity Vector Sensors

GOAL_x000D_HYDROFLOWN consortium’s goal is to develop the truly state of the art generation of underwater acoustic sensors that are technically superior in terms of acoustic performance and (small)size._x000D_There is an ongoing quest for high performance 3 directional under water acoustic sensors. Recently gained experience with the worlds only MEMS based dedicated acoustic particle velocity in-air sensor (Microflown) will be combined with long lasting expertise in underwater acoustics, resulting in applications in support of harbour and water-side strategic infrastructure protection for homeland security._x000D__x000D_BACKGROUND_x000D_While most of the military installations are protected against underwater threats, the non-military maritime areas and critical coastal infrastructures are not protected due to the high cost of surveillance systems utilizing military hardware. Present systems are COly utilized for military applications with high initial and COtenance costs that are based on technologies and sensors developed during the cold-war era. Currently, there is little technology available which is effective in surveillance of harbour and water-side strategic infrastructure protection for homeland security._x000D__x000D_TECHNICAL APPLICATIONS_x000D_The increasing problems related to homeland security have increased the level of interest on vector sensors where there is a need for small size, low-cost, new generation underwater sensors capable of measuring particle velocity in three dimensional plain within a broad frequency band (2 Hz – 50 kHz) with high angular resolution. _x000D__x000D_The Microflown sensors developed by Microflown Technologies Inc. are the world’s only commercially available MEMS based transducers that are capable of measuring the acoustic particle velocity in the air. Our aim is to use this already existing in-air 3D Vector Sensor Technology and know-how to develop new sensors for underwater applications. _x000D__x000D_MARKET APPLICATIONS_x000D_World-wide market surveys we have carried out during the last three years has led us to conclude that there is a need for new generation, innovative underwater sensors and technologies to open to a large market with low-cost, high-tech systems capable of providing sensors/systems for the protection of critical civilian infrastructures essential for homeland security. _x000D__x000D_Post 9/11 issues related to homeland security and harbour/infrastructure protection increased the interest on vector sensors. In the last three years, the USA, Russia and China have been increasing their R&D activities to develop new-generation sensors. There are already sensors developed by these countries that are available only for their defense applications where they are COly based on to the traditional ceramic sensors. These sensors are not commercially available and do not have the characteristics and advantages of the new technology we are proposing. _x000D__x000D_Within the next decade we will see increasing demand for vector sensor technology entering civilian operations in the following major applications: _x000D_Harbour protection, Water-side and Underwater infrastructure protection, As detection sensors for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV), Sensors for directional receivers for underwater acoustic systems, Floating autonomous systems, Sensors for seismic towed arrays for underwater oil and mineral prospecting_x000D__x000D_PROJECT CONSORTIUM_x000D_Consortium consists of SUASIS and Microflown Technologies as two Small/Medium size Enterprises (SME) and the NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC) as the sub-contractor of the SUASIS._x000D__x000D_SUASIS was funded in 2003 at TUBITAK Marmara Research Center’s Free Zone for Technology R&D in Turkey. SUASIS has extensive capabilities in design and manufacture of leading edge solutions for applications of underwater technology. SUASIS provides products and expert services in Europe and USA to a wide range of clients including major universities government agencies, contractors, private and public companies and research organizations._x000D__x000D_Microflown Technologies was founded in 1998 as a spin-off from the MESA+ institute from the University of Twente. The company develops and markets highly innovative acoustic testing applications for the aerospace, automotive and defense industry. All applications are based upon its patented Microflown sensor, the world’s only commercially available transducer capable of measuring the acoustic particle velocity in the air._x000D__x000D_NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC) conducts maritime research in support of NATO's requirements related to the undersea doCO and on solutions to maritime security problems. NURC has 50 years experience in the field of underwater acoustics acquired both with traditional hydrophones, electronics and data acquisition systems. NURC’s experienced personal and facilities are considered as the most advanced underwater research establishment within NATO countries where they will be subcontractor to SUASIS for calibrations and sea tests._x000D_

Acronym HYDROFLOWN (Reference Number: 4224)
Duration 01/05/2008 - 29/12/2012
Project Topic To develop the state of the art MEMS technology based underwater acoustic sensor with superior performance, extremely compact, covering broad frequency band and high angular resolution in 3D. Many new applications in underwater surveillance and reconnaissance will be enabled by the end result.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
The planned objectives achieved where the Microflown's existing air-sensors were modified and packaged for in-water applications. Theoretical studies, laboratory tests/calibrations and sea tests were conducted to find the best configuration and interface material to have the Microflown air-sensors successfully operating in water. Both SUASIS and Microflown Technology members participated these activities using the in-house possibilities and know-how to make the project a success.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 1

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
2 Sualti Sistemleri Teknoloji Gelistirme Sanayi Ticaret Limited Sirketi Coordinator Turkey
2 Microflown Technologies BV Partner Netherlands