Limitations on neuron firing rates restrict the frequency bandwidth of many biological sensory systems. The cochlea overcomes these limitations to hear high frequency sounds through its tonotopic structure and non-synchronous sampling. The cochlea’s tapering basilar membrane serves as a filter bank decomposing an applied sound into its frequency components. Auditory hair cells produce neural impulses at the peaks in the local basilar membrane oscillations resulting in an event-driven, sub-Nyquist rate sampling strategy. These two effects extend the human hearing range to about 20 kHz despite maximum neuron firing rates of just a few hundred hertz. Inspired by this, this paper presents a concept demonstration of an accelerometer and signal compression strategy for high-rate impact events using a similar filter bank approach. A series of clamped-clamped beams will serve as analog analysis filters much like the cochlea’s basilar membrane. This paper focuses on the design and simulation of such a beam array and how the natural frequencies and damping ratios of the beams’ first modes affect measuring a broadband impact excitation.

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