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IC2 Wins NASA Contract | Optical MEMS 5-Hole Probe for 3D Flow Sensing

Posted by Steve Horowitz on Jun 9, 2017 6:16:04 PM

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 NASA Phase I contract for the 2017 SBIR program. This is one of two new Phase I SBIR awards the company has received this year from NASA.  Under this new contract, IC2 will be developing a fiber-optic, micromachined five-hole probe for three-dimensional flow angularity measurements for use in harsh environments.  

We are excited and honored to have been selected for this new NASA Phase I SBIR award.  The technology here has the potential to revolutionize flow sensing in wind tunnels, leading to quieter, more efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft. This new NASA funding will help us take a big step towards expanding our portfolio of MEMS sensors targeted specifically for the aerospace industry.   -  Steve Horowitz, President - IC2


IC2's fiber optic micromachined five-hole probe for flow angularity measurements.
IC2's fiber optic micromachined five-hole probe for flow angularity measurements.

Specifically, IC2 will develop a MEMS optical probe capable of significantly improved performance compared to existing available sensors, by enabling faster response time, higher bandwidth transduction and increased angular measurement range while reducing sensor power requirements. The proposed technology offers these benefits in a compact, high-temperature capable package, extending past successes in fiber-optic, micromachined pressure sensing technology.

Historically, multi-hole probes were designed using conventional pressure sensors located at some distance from the measurement point and connected via long pressure ports.  The distance enables usage of physically larger pressure sensors without overly disturbing the flow, however the long tubing limits the bandwidth and slows down the entire measurement process.

To overcome these limitations, IC2 will develop a fiber-optic, micromachined transducer that meets or exceeds dynamic performance requirements (high bandwidth, low settling time, fast response time, high dynamic range, increased angular resolution) while improving the operational temperature range, reducing the probe size, and lowering the power requirements. The optical transduction method, when used with a microfabricated, integrated array of pressure sensitive diaphragms, combines the benefits of both traditional and micromachined multi-hole probes without introducing the drawbacks of either approach.

More details on this award can be found on the NASA SBIR Site.

You can also contact us to get more information about this technology.  We are more than happy to answer any questions you might have.

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 and offering 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. 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.

  • direct measurement shear-stress sensors using MEMS technology, enabling best-in-class bandwidth, dynamic range and accuracy
  • high-temperature, harsh environment sensors for high speed flow testing, aerospace propulsion and engine health management systems
  • low-profile ultra miniaturized sensors for aeroacoustic noise and skin-friction measurement

Contact us now to get more information about our services and products, place an order or to discuss how we can customize any of our products to meet your unique needs.

Topics: Press Release, Flow sensing, Five-hole probe, wind tunnel, Optical sensors