Stochastic Resonance in a Mechanical Bistable System

Noah Megregian

2016

We built an apparatus to study mechanical stochastic resonance, wherein noise amplifies a weak signal. Our ultimate goal is to harvest ambient turbulent airflow to detect weak periodic signals. One of our innovations includes using a water bottle to continuously vary the counterweight that cancels the mean force of the wind on a flapping flag. Other innovations include friction pulleys for both coupling the signal and noise into a bistable pendulum and extensive use of U-shaped metal parts. We observed stochastic resonance in our apparatus and developed recommendations for future improvements.