An Equilibrated Micromachined Pressure (EMP) Sensor for Hypersonic Transients

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: F49620-03-C-0096
Agency Tracking Number: F033-0307
Amount: $99,931.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2003
Solitcitation Year: N/A
Solitcitation Topic Code: N/A
Solitcitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Research Support Instruments
20 New England Business Center, Andover, MA, 01810
Duns: 076337877
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John Kline
 Principal Research Scientist
 (609) 580-0080
Business Contact
 Christopher Rollins
Title: Vice President
Phone: (301) 306-0010
Research Institution
 Richard Miles
 Room D-414 E-Quad, Olden Street
Princeton, NJ, 08544
 (609) 258-5131
 Nonprofit college or university
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.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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