IIT Madras, Defence Research and Development Organisation develop sensor technology for underwater communications

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and scientists of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) have developed a cutting-edge sensor technology for underwater communications that the Navy can apply.

The indigenous technology will enable the fabrication of devices at a relatively lower cost as compared to international foundries, where not only is the cost of fabrication high but also the number of foundries is limited.

The country celebrates National Technology Day on May 11 and acknowledges the achievements of scientists, engineers and researchers.

Known as the piezoelectric MEMS technology it is needed to develop high-performance thin films and convert ‘piezo thin film’, which are a vital component of piezo MEMS devices and are considered for acoustics and vibration-sensing applications.

The piezo MEMS process recipe has been successfully developed jointly with DRDO team for the complete fabrication of an acoustic sensor, without degrading the functionality of the piezo thin film.

The fabricated PZT thin film-based acoustic sensor exhibits higher performance than the conventional PVDF-based acoustic sensor. This cutting-edge sensor technology allows the researchers to fabricate high-performance piezo MEMS acoustic devices, which will be advantageous to defence applications.

The research was led by IIT Madras professors Amitava Das Gupta and Boby George along with E. Varadarajan, scientist and V. Natarajan, senior scientist of DRDO at the DRDO Industry Academia – Ramanujan Centre of Excellence (DIA-CRoE) in the institute.

Mr. Varadarajan said the main challenge in the piezo MEMS process technology is the need for high reliability and durability in harsh underwater environment, high pressure and corrosive nature of seawater.

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