Wayne State University

Wayne State University spin-off awarded $100,000 National Science Foundation SBIR grant

DETROIT, MICHIGAN. December 18, 2008. SenSound, LLC announced today that its application for a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to develop an innovative technology for conducting diagnosis and prognosis of vibro-acoustic characteristics of complex machines was awarded $100,000 by the National Science Foundation.

“The proposed new technology will enable users to get a clear and better understanding of the root causes of vibration-induced noise,” said Mr. Sergio Mazza, president and CEO of SenSound. “This technology will give precise information currently not available on what to do and how far to go to address noise and vibration issues by making clear and explicit the relationship between noise and vibration.”

This new technology will allow users to collect data more easily with non-invasive measurement equipment, and will offer the most advanced technology and services to companies for pinpointing unwanted noise sources and how they are transmitted.

According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, approximately 30 million Americans are exposed to daily noise levels that eventually impair their hearing; more than 10 million Americans suffer permanent noise-induced hearing loss. Through SenSound’s proposed technology, manufacturing industries will be able to identify and abate undesirable sound and vibrations in a more cost-effective manner than currently available technology, thus increasing the competitiveness of manufacturing and ultimately lowering hearing loss caused by these currently noisy products.

Mr. Mazza said that the first step in tackling noise pollution is to obtain an accurate diagnosis of the noise. Currently, this is done by sweeping an intensity probe over a suspected source surface or by measuring the transfer functions between sources and receiver points. These methods are ineffective and information obtained is only valid at the direct measurement location.

“What SenSound is proposing will fundamentally change the approach to detection and abatement of noise and vibrations in engineering applications,” said Mr. Mazza. “By utilizing technology called HELS, or the Helmholtz Equation Least Squares, developed Dr. Sean Wu, distinguished professor of Mechanical Engineering at WSU, we will reveal the vibro-acoustic modes by measuring acoustic pressure using an array of microphones placed at close distances to a structure.”

“SenSound believes this non-contact, non-invasive procedure will make it easier for engineers to precisely analyze the root causes of undesirable sounds and vibrations of any type of machine running at a normal operating condition and that this cannot be offered by any conventional methods,” said Mr. Fred Reinhart, associate vice president of Technology Commercialization at Wayne State University. “SenSound’s technology has the promise of offering a more efficient process of identifying unwanted noises in any manufactured product, ultimately creating quieter environments that will improve the health and lives of many people.” 

SenSound, LLC is a privately held company based in Detroit, Michigan. SenSound’s award winning patented technology was initially developed in the College of Engineering at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. SenSound diagnostic software creates three-dimensional digital images of sound as it travels through space and time. The software is unique in its ability to quickly, accurately and cost effectively map sound sources on arbitrary three-dimensional surfaces. SenSound quality control software distinguishes between environmental noise and source object noise without the need for sound enclosures. SenSound technology has broad applications in product design, development and manufacturing where noise needs to be identified, understood and eliminated, or where manufacturing and component defects need to be identified. To learn more about SenSound, visit http://www.sensound.com.

Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting, ranking in the top 50 in R & D expenditures of all public universities by the National Science Foundation. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. http://www.research.wayne.edu