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An Equilibrated Micromachined Pressure (EMP) Sensor for Hypersonic Transients

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Research Support Instruments, Inc.
4325-B Forbes Blvd. Lanham, MD 20706-4854
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: An Equilibrated Micromachined Pressure (EMP) Sensor for Hypersonic Transients
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: F49620-03-C-0096
Award Amount: $99,931.00


Research Support Instruments, Inc. (RSI), with the aid of Princeton University, proposes to develop an Equilibrated Micromachined Pressure (EMP) sensor for measuring hypersonic transients with amplitudes < 1 Torr and frequencies of hundreds of kHz.Existing micromachined transducers include capacitive, resistive, or optical techniques. Transducers using silicon membranes and piezoresistive or capacitive sensing techniques have been able to maintain sensitivity below 1 Torr, but cannot operate withhigh EMI/RFI levels. Optical cavity transducers have solved the problem of EMI/RFI tolerance, and RSI has modified such sensors to operate at high (>16 MHz) bandwidth in blast simulation environments, but these sensors are not sensitive below 1 bar.Therefore, RSI will use thin silicon nitride membranes, and equilibrate the pressure in the optical cavity to the static pressure in the test section to survive startup of the test facility. This will provide high sensitivity to fast transients, andfilter out low frequency fluctuations. RSI will use its experience in silicon nitride membranes and MEMS pressure sensors, and Princeton University will provide expertise in hypersonic flows and optical diagnostics. Phase I will involve design,fabrication, and test of the EMP sensors to demonstrate sensitivity, ruggedness, and bandwidth. Several companies already market less rugged, lower bandwidth fiber optic pressure sensors. These commercialized sensors are used in applications rangingfrom industrial processing and medical diagnostics to high-speed shock testing in chemical explosions. It is expected that the newly developed EMP sensors will compete aggressively in these existing markets as well as the hypersonic test applications thatare the primary focus of this effort. Development of EMP sensors will address a critical need in hypersonic vehicle development, as well as improve pressure sensing capabilities in manufacturing, research, and medical applications.

Principal Investigator:

John F. Kline
Principal Research Scientist

Business Contact:

Christopher Rollins
Vice President
Small Business Information at Submission:

Research Support Instruments
20 New England Business Center Andover, MA 01810

EIN/Tax ID: 521700379
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
Room D-414 E-Quad, Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08544
Contact: Richard Miles
Contact Phone: (609) 258-5131
RI Type: Nonprofit college or university