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Proceedings Paper

Smart programmable wireless microaccelerometers
Author(s): Vijay K. Varadan; Hareesh Subramanian; Vasundara V. Varadan
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Paper Abstract

The integration of MEMS, SAW devices and required microelectronics and conformal antenna to realize a programmable wireless accelerometer is presented in this paper. This unique combination of technologies results in a novel accelerometer that can be remotely sensed by a microwave system with the advantage of no power requirements at the sensor site. The microaccelerometer presented is simple in construction and easy to manufacture with existing silicon micromachining techniques. Programmable accelerometers can be achieved with splitfinger interdigital transducers (IDTs) as reflecting structures. If IDTs are short circuited or capacitively loaded, the wave propagates without any reflection whereas in an open circuit configuration, the IDTs reflect the incoming SAW signal. The programmable accelerometers can thus be achieved by using an external circuitry on a semiconductor chip using hybrid technology. The relatively small size of the sensor makes it an ideal conformal sensor. The accelerometer finds application as air bag deployment sensors, vibration sensors for noise control, deflection and strain sensors, inertial and dimensional positioning systems, ABS/traction control, smart suspension, active roll stabilization and four wheel steering. The wireless accelerometer is very attractive to study the response of a `dummy' in automobile crash test.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 July 1998
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3328, Smart Structures and Materials 1998: Smart Electronics and MEMS, (20 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.320186
Show Author Affiliations
Vijay K. Varadan, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Hareesh Subramanian, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)
Vasundara V. Varadan, The Pennsylvania State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3328:
Smart Structures and Materials 1998: Smart Electronics and MEMS
Vijay K. Varadan; Paul J. McWhorter; Richard A. Singer; Michael J. Vellekoop, Editor(s)

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