IC2 Awarded NASA SBIR Phase I – MEMS Dynamic Pressure Sensor Arrays

June 18, 2015

IC², a pioneer in the development of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) based sensors for aerospace applications, today announced that NASA has awarded the company a new SBIR Phase I contract to develop miniaturized dynamic pressure sensor arrays with sub-millimeter (mm) spacing.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to develop these pressure sensor arrays for NASA”

The new technology enables high resolution measurements of cross-flow transition in swept-wing, supersonic aircraft research.  High-spatial resolution pressure sensors with sub-mm spacing provide a much-needed measurement capability that does not currently exist among state-of-the-art offerings, enabling dynamic wall pressure measurement and identification of traveling and standing cross-flow modes.

The technology extends dynamic pressure sensing capability to high bandwidth, high-spatial resolution, dynamic pressure sensing via reduction in sensor size and integration of multiple sensors into a single chip array. The end result is a miniaturized, highly-compact array of dynamic pressure sensors with backside contacts to enable a truly flush-mounted, smooth interface for flow measurement applications.

These measurements are critical to the proper design of swept wing geometry for the next generation of civilian supersonic aircraft. The design and operating conditions of these aircraft expose the vehicle to cross-flow instabilities that complicate the prediction and control of laminar flow and transition to turbulence. Accurate measurement of these instability modes is not currently possible with existing technologies due to limited spatial resolution and sensor spacing constraints. Our technology surmounts these constraints, enabling the required sensor spacing and resolution.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to develop these pressure sensor arrays for NASA,” said IC²’s president, Steve Horowitz.  “This brings our total number of SBIR/STTR awards to 13 and greatly strengthens our efforts to bring miniaturized, MEMS-based instrumentation to challenging aerospace measurement environments”

The work will be carried out in conjunction with the University of Florida.

Further Information

NASA SBIR Phase I Abstract

About IC²

The Interdisciplinary Consulting Corporation (IC²) is a technology leader in miniaturized sensors and sensing systems for aerospace applications. IC² was founded in 2001 to develop high-performance, technologically disruptive instrumentation systems that enable the measurement, modeling, and control of various physical properties. IC² is currently developing products in the areas of MEMS-based instrumentation, flow control, acoustics and smart materials.  Since inception, IC² has performed significant R&D in MEMS-based microphones, shear-stress sensors, and acoustic arrays, as well as active flow control and smart materials. Key personnel at IC² have significant relevant experience in piezoelectric, piezoresistive, capacitive, thermal and optical transducers, adaptive acoustic engine liners for noise reduction, active flow control, and diagnostic and prognostic system health monitoring. Development efforts span from the component level (e.g. transducers) up to full systems (e.g. sensor systems such as acoustic arrays with signal processing HW/SW).

IC²’s sensors and miniaturized instrumentation systems are designed from the ground up to meet the challenging environments of the aerospace industry.

  • high-temperature, harsh environment sensors for aerospace propulsion and engine health management systems
  • low-profile ultra miniaturized sensors for aeroacoustic noise and skin-friction measurement

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