MEMS-Based Sensors for Aerospace Applications

IC² offers a suite of MEMS-based sensors and instrumentation for aerospace applications.  These sensors are designed to meet rigorous performance specs and survive harsh environments, enabling use for wind-tunnel and in-flight measurements.   IC² delivers miniaturized sensors designed specifically for the demanding aerospace environment, offering an unprecedented level of performance in a miniaturized package.

Image of the DirectShear Sensing System including the shear stress sensor control unit (SCU-100) and one of our sensing heads.

IC²’s DirectShearTM Sensing Systems enable non-intrusive, direct, simultaneous mean and fluctuating wall shear stress measurements.

Shear Stress Sensors

Existing thermal shear-stress sensors use an indirect technique that infers a wall shear stress from a measured heat transfer.  This approach severely limits the accuracy and greatly increases the uncertainty for quantitative measurements.   In contrast, our time-resolved, direct measurement approach ensures accurate measurements without disturbing the flow and without requiring a unique calibration between heat transfer and shear stress. Our technology directly measures the wall shear-stress through a micromachined, MEMS floating element and either a capacitive or optical transduction method.  This approach bypasses the limitations of existing devices, significantly improving accuracy and reducing uncertainty.

Pressure Sensors

Close up of a 1st generation pressure sensor array with sensor spacing.

Close up of a dynamic pressure sensor array with sensor spacing less than 1 mm.

IC²’s micromachined dynamic pressure sensors are capable of measuring fluctuating pressures over a wide dynamic range and bandwidth.  The MEMS-based sensors enable operation in harsh environments while minimizing size, weight and power.  We are developing dynamic pressure sensors based on both piezoelectric and optical transduction approaches to meet specific performance and operating requirements.

Our dynamic pressure sensors offer wide bandwidth and high dynamic range.  These sensors can be integrated into monolithic arrays for high spatial resolution pressure field mapping.

Microphones

IC²’s microphones and microphone arrays are designed from the ground up to accurately measure critical noise emissions from aerosurfaces, propulsion systems and other aircraft components. Built from the same core technology as our dynamic pressure sensors, they are designed to withstand high-intensity sound and survive harsh environments, yet sensitive enough to pinpoint low amplitude noise sources.  Our microphones are based on proven MEMS-based piezoelectric technologies and are optimized for use in wind-tunnels, on the side of aircraft and other high-flow and high-intensity environments.  The microphones offer high dynamic range, a low noise floor and ultra-high bandwidth performance in an extremely low-profile, compact package to meet the requirements of reduced-scale model aeroacoustic testing in wind-tunnels.  The small package size also enable arrays with high spatial resolution for beamforming and acoustic imaging applications.