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STTR PHASE I: Application of an Electrostatic Actuator Stable-Range-of-Motion Enhancement Control Law to Improve MEMS Gyroscopic Sensors

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0741195
Agency Tracking Number: 0741195
Amount: $149,020.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: EL
Solicitation Number: NSF 07-551
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2008
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
2693D Commerce Rd.
Rapid City, SD 57702
United States
DUNS: 102889073
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Samuel French
 (605) 342-2553
Business Contact
 Samuel French
Title: MS
Phone: (605) 342-2553
Research Institution
 Auburn University
 Gene Taylor
215 E Thach Ave
Auburn, AL 36830
United States

 (334) 844-5956
 Nonprofit college or university

This STTR Phase I research project will seek to significantly reduce the size and cost of MEMS gyroscopes through improving the internal electrostatic actuators. Specifically, this effort will commercialize Auburn University's patent protected technique for extending the stable range of motion of micromachined gap-closing actuators, so that the actuator size can be reduced while still producing the same range of motion. This technique not only increases the actuator's stable range of motion, it also allows for a denser architecture, further reducing actuator size. Auburn University will utilize its expertise and facilities to characterize and optimize the proposed technique. The scientific merit of this effort also includes the development of a sensorless technique for increasing the stable range of motion of micromachined electrostatic parallel plate and gap-closing actuators that can be applied to many types of MEMS devices in addition to gyroscopes. A limitation of many types of MEMS devices has been the limited stable range of motion of micromachined electrostatic parallel plate and gap-closing actuators, with applications such as variable capacitors, micro mirror based spatial light modulators and precision inertial sensors that utilize actuators. Most techniques developed to alleviate this problem either involve expensive changes to the physical design or complex motion sensor based controller approaches. This research can lead to new MEMS products, the application of existing MEMS products to new applications, and an enhanced understanding of the capabilities
and limitations of micromachined devices.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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