Micro Anemometer Anti-Fouling Instrumentation and Apparati

Track Code: 

This invention comprises of an apparatus and method for adaptive materials that are arranged in a variety of orientations and with a wide range of attachment configurations that induce structural vibrations at extremely high frequencies.


An anemometer is a device that is used for measuring wind speed, and fluid flow. Specifically, hot-wire anemometers can measure the wind's velocity. These anemometers have a very fine structure and are almost universally employed for the detailed study of turbulent flows. However, a downside to the very fine structure is the problem with fouling. If debris accumulates on the very fine structure, it can significantly affect measurement efficacy of the device. This invention caries various embodiments of devices that are used to solve this significant problem.


Directional microphones, surveillance systems, studio recordings, anti-collision systems, navigation and control, hearing aids, flow sensors for fluidic applications

How it works: 

The device uses adaptive materials with a variety of orientations to induce structural vibrations at very high frequencies. These mechanical vibrations cause fouling agents to become detached and accordingly "clean" an otherwise dirty element or wire. They can also be made to vibrate at such frequencies with such intensities that local droplets of water are either shaken off or instantaneously cavitate, thereby allowing the elements to be used in all weather conditions.


Self-cleaning through high frequency vibrations, light weight, non-intrusive, low risk of damage

Why it is better: 

The invention solves a significant fouling problem related to precision sensors caused by atmospheric conditions. It is better than similar piezoelectric devices that use ultrasonic vibrations to clean a part that is immersed in a fluid via sonication, since the invention actively forces foulants away from the surface that is not immersed in a liquid. The device/s can be used in all weather conditions.

Licensing Associate: 
Michael Patterson, JD · m.patterson@ku.edu · 785-864-6397
Ronald Barrett
Scott Cravens
Travis Cravens
US 8,747, 563 B2