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Biomimetic Sonar Design And The Investigation Of The Role Of Peripheral Dynamics For Target Classification In Bat Biosonar

Graduate Student Dissertation Defense presented by the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC

Biomimetic Sonar Design And The Investigation Of The Role Of Peripheral Dynamics For Target Classification In Bat Biosonar

Date: Sept. 24, 2020
Time: 9:00 a.m. 
Virtual Access: 
To join the audience for this dissertation defense, please email the candidate directly to obtain the Zoom videoconference link at josephs7@vt.edu.

About This Dissertation 

The biosonar system of bats has many unique adaptations which allow for navigation in extremely cluttered environments. One such adaptation is the rapid motion of the pinna and noseleaf observed in certain families of old-world bats (Rhinolophidae and Hipposiderae). Little is known about the physical properties about this adaptation affects emitted pulses or incoming echoes. To explore the physical properties of biosonar systems utilizing dynamic peripheries, biomimetic sonar systems have been devised. These systems model the unique sensing elements of the greater horseshoe bat, Rhinolophus ferrumequinum. There have been significant changes made to the hardware of the device; these have been in the design of the biomimetic baffles as well as the actuation and sensing systems. There have been several studies on signals and the effects of dynamics using this system. Here signatures are shown to exist in echoes across targets, present when changing the conformation of the ear shape. Using a pneumatic actuation system, it was determined that unique motion profiles lead to different responses to identical stimuli. These effects are noticeable in the harmonic as well as the fundamental. The features encoded by this system could lead to improvements in the development of improved sensing of smaller autonomous systems.

 

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