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Proceedings Paper

Development of miniature electromechanical pressure sensor arrays (MEMPSA) for high-resolution thermospheric and mesospheric neutral wind measurement
Author(s): Robert C. White; Thomas Long; Thomas W. Schneider
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Paper Abstract

We have developed a design for a neutral wind instrument for the upper atmosphere based on arrays of miniature pressure sensors. The elements of the array are tunnel displacement transducers (TDT's). We have characterized the TDT, a microelectomechanical system (MEMS), and evaluated TDT capabilities for the determination of pressure within a 2—D array. This is an approach for direct measurement of neutral winds. The sensitivity of the TDT is critical for this application. The output signal of a TDT is the bias voltage dependent tunneling current. This is a differential signal in a force balanced TDT due to the fact that a restoring force is applied to the diaphragm in order to restore the tunneling current to a fixed value. We have fabricated and assembled a custom test apparatus for the TDT based sensor arrays. We have demonstrated simultaneous collection of data from 4 TDT's that were hybrid assemblies of monolithic 2-TDT arrays. Results showed that correlation of the tunneling signal to the actual bias voltage difference required to balance the displacement force gives reasonable information for a pressure sensor and defines the required signal processing.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 February 2001
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4205, Advanced Environmental and Chemical Sensing Technology, (26 February 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.417458
Show Author Affiliations
Robert C. White, Science Applications International Corp. (United States)
Thomas Long, Science Applications International Corp. (United States)
Thomas W. Schneider, Science Applications International Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4205:
Advanced Environmental and Chemical Sensing Technology
Tuan Vo-Dinh; Stephanus Buettgenbach, Editor(s)

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