Beamforming improves the angular resolution of PMUTs

Categorie(s) : News, Research

Published : 2 October 2021

Piezoelectric Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducers, or PMUTs, are a type of MEMS. The devices are currently plagued by an angular resolution in excess of 90° in some cases.
CEA-Leti brought the figure down to 18° for the detection of an object placed 40 cm away from the device. Their solution consisted of a network of five PMUTs with specially developed components and a technique called beamforming.
The devices used here have two layers of aluminum nitride, a piezoelectric material, so that beamforming can be used to leverage the interference between the PMUT measurements.
The research won a Best Paper Award at Smart Systems Integration 2021. The system will be of use in human-machine interfaces, instrumentation for robots, and sensors for autonomous vehicles.


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