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Fundamental Noise Limits in Miniature Acoustic and Vibration Sensors
NAVAL AIR DEVELOPMENT CENTER WARMINSTERPA MISSION AVIONICS TECHNOLOGY DEPT
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Conventional noise analysis for acoustic and vibration sensors has focused either on the ambient noise floor imposed by the environment or the electrical noise floor imposed by the preamplifier. Microminiature sensors are, however, particularly sensitive to thermal molecular agitation because of their small moving parts. This mechanical-thermal noise can easily dominate the noise performance of these sensors. The purposes of this report are to review the fundamental noise sources in a sensor system and to illustrate the importance of noise sources intrinsic to the sensors design. In particular, thermal noise, shot noise, 1f noise, and amplifier noise components are discussed as they relate to the sensor system. Thermal noise, shot noise, 1f noise, micromachined sensors, miniature sensors, sensor preamplifiers
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