MAI created the device for conversion of ultrasound into the audible range

17 December 2021

MAI created the device for conversion of ultrasound into the audible range

MAI experts elaborated a device for ultrasonic waves conversion into the audible range with the structure of the spectrum preserved. First of all, it is planned to use the development in order to study the behavior of insects and bats. It will also be useful for possible gas leakages detection, corona and spark discharges, structure analysis of ultrasonic noise for labor protection purposes, etc.

The project is being implemented by Maria Zolotenkova, the professor of the Signal student design bureau of Institute No. 4, Radioelectronics, Communications and Information Security, and Vasily Egorov, senior lecturer at the 410 Department of Radiolocation, Radio Navigation and Airborne Radioelectronic Equipment, MAI. The prototype has already been assembled.

– The device is designed to transfer signals of the 20-40 kHz spectrum into the audible range, – says Maria Zolotenkova. – This allows them to be further processed using sound cards of computers or smartphones, designed to work with signals of the audible range.

The assembled prototype consists of two compact blocks: each of them fits in the palm of a person’s hand. The first unit contains a microphone, a preamplifier and a power supply module with lithium-polymer batteries. The microphone is pointed directly to the ultrasound source, after which the received signal is amplified and fed through the cable to the second module, where the spectral range of audible frequencies is suppressed, and the spectral components of the 20-40 kHz range are transferred to the 0-20 kHz range. The user hears the signal received after such a conversion through headphones. It can also be recorded by standard means of any smartphone or computer.

– Our invention might be used for biological research problems. For example, to study the behavior of bees, whose population decline in recent years has become an urgent problem for the whole world, – says Maria Zolotenkova. – The device is also well suited for studying populations of nocturnal insects in the small area. And for some technical tasks, such as searching for wasp hives in structural parts of an aircraft.

Special attention was paid to preserving the structure of the signal spectrum and minimizing the introduced distortion and interference within the course of the work. This is how MAI device differs from the only analogue in Russia developed by the Voronezh State University.

MAI residents are modernizing the device, increasing its sensitivity and the degree of suppression of the frequencies of the audio range of the input signal, and full-scale experiments are planned for the summer of 2022. The further plans of the authors are to establish cooperation with the Moscow Zoo, as well as with a number of biosphere reserves and research centers.

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