NASA SBIR 02-1 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:02- E2.01-7512 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 024487 )
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Structures and Materials
PROPOSAL TITLE: Low-Cost Fabrication of an Integrated, Self-Sufficient MEMS Skin

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Anvik Corporation
6 Skyline Dr
Hawthorne , NY   10532 - 2165
(914 ) 345 - 2442

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Marc Zemel
6 Skyline Dr
Hawthorne , NY   10532 - 2165
(914 ) 345 - 2442

One of the ultimate goals of sensor research is to build an integrated unit that harnesses its energy from its surroundings and reacts to, and transmits, any changes in its environment in a predictable and reliable manner. There are several components to this universal goal of a self-contained sensor unit: the power module, the sensor module, the control module, and the transmission module. The goal of this proposal is to develop a whole class of truly stand-alone, large-area, distributed sensor systems on a flexible substrate ? a MEMS skin.
We propose to use a two-layer flexible substrate. The first would be a copper-on-flex substrate that acts as the interconnect layer for power distribution. The second is a Si-on-flex substrate that contains the power, sensor and circuit systems. This layer would utilize a thin film amorphous Si solar cell, integrated with Anvik?s technology to integrate MEMS and IC devices. The two substrate layers would be connected using micro-via patterns in the Si-on-flex layer that can be generated using Anvik?s photo-ablation systems. Finally, using Anvik?s large-area processing capabilities we will extend this process to create a distributed sensor array that could be used in spacecraft ?health-monitoring? applications.

The focus in this proposal has been on space related applications and therefore on large-area distributed sensors. Immediate extensions can be found in the commercial aircraft industry for these sensors. Similar applications can be found in the automotive industry for safety testing and continuous monitoring of the auto-body or the ship hull. With further development, these skins could be applied to clothing applications for military and commercial applications in the up and coming e-textile market. All these applications will be able to use the large-area stand-alone capability of these sensors.

There are innumerable applications in free-moving sensor systems, space-based MEMS and distributed sensor networks for health monitoring of space-based systems. The technology described is independent of the exact nature of the sensor that is integrated into the system. Using an accelerometer, for example, will enable large-area distributed monitoring of vibration over complex surfaces. The use of a chemical sensor will allow applications in hazardous gas monitoring over large-areas. The integration of MEMS and the associated circuitry in a single unit is a giant step forward in improving the sensitivity and performance of these sensors. The proposed integration of a-Si based solar cells takes this to the next level where it makes the sensor truly stand-alone. The use of a flexible substrate enables applications to conformable and very-large area surfaces that were up until now not easily possible.

Form Printed on 09-05-02 10:10