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A micromachined dual-axis beam steering actuator for use in a miniaturized optical space communication system
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Microsystems Technology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Microsystems Technology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Microsystems Technology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Microsystems Technology.
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2010 (English)In: Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, ISSN 0960-1317, E-ISSN 1361-6439, Vol. 20, no 10, 105007- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The design, fabrication and evaluation of an electrothermally actuated micromachined beam steering device for use in a free-space optical communication system intended for use on micro-and nanospacecraft in kilometer-sized formations are presented. SU-8 confined in v-grooves is heated to create bending movement in two orthogonal directions for two-axial steering with large static bending angles and low actuation voltages. Standard MEMS processing is used to fabricate the devices with square mirror side lengths of 1, 3.5 and 5 mm. In addition, a method to prevent thermal damage to SU-8 during deep reactive ion etching has been successfully developed. Characterization shows optical scan ranges larger than 40 degrees in both directions with the maximum driving voltage of 16 V corresponding to a total power consumption of 1.14 W. Infrared imaging is used to investigate thermal cross-talk between actuators for the two scanning directions. It is found that a silicon backbone on the joint backside is crucial for device performance. Differences from expected performance are believed to arise from the SU-8 curing process and excessive heating during fabrication. A finite element method simulation is used to find the eigenfrequencies of the structures, and these are in good agreement with the measured frequency response.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 20, no 10, 105007- p.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-134362DOI: 10.1088/0960-1317/20/10/105007ISI: 000282270300020OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-134362DiVA: diva2:372277
Available from: 2010-11-25 Created: 2010-11-24 Last updated: 2016-04-19
In thesis
1. Development of Microcomponents for Attitude and Communication Systems on Small Vehicles in Space and Extreme Environments
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Development of Microcomponents for Attitude and Communication Systems on Small Vehicles in Space and Extreme Environments
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis, components intended for vehicles in space and other extreme environments have been realized using microsystems technology to facilitate miniaturized, yet high-performing systems beneficial for small spacecraft and other vehicles with limited size and power.

Cold gas thrusters commonly used on spacecraft basically accelerate a gaseous propellant stored under high pressure. When miniaturized, their performance is reduced because of viscous forces. Here, with a special masking and etching scheme, making silicon micronozzles close to rotationally symmetric, this shortcoming was mitigated as indicated by schlieren imaging of the rocket exhaust and a comparison with conventionally manufactured micronozzles with rectangular cross-sections. Schlieren imaging was also used to detect leakage, quantify thrust vector deviation, and measure shock cell periods in the exhaust. Correlation was made to operational conditions.

Similarly operating zirconia thrusters with integrated heaters and flow sensors were developed to allow for higher operating temperature. Successful testing at 1000°C, suggests that the propellant efficiency could be increased by 7.5%, and also makes them candidates for chemical propulsion.

A silicon thruster operating in rarefied gas regimes was also developed. Being suspended in a silicon dioxide frame reducing heat losses, a total efficiency of 17% was reached.

Relating to the integrated micropropulsion systems, two types of flow sensors were developed. Through finite element modeling, the insertion of sensor fingers in the fluid was shown to be an interesting concept for high-pressure applications.

Utilizing the same principle, a velocity sensor for a miniaturized submersible was developed. With a power consumption below 15 mW, it was able to measure directions with an accuracy of ±8º, and speed with an error less than 22%.

To enable high-speed optical communication between spacecraft, a Free Space Optics communication system, and particularly its dual-axis beam-steering actuator, was developed. Through thermal actuation, optical angles larger than 40º were obtained. A lumped thermal model was used to study design changes, vacuum operation and feedback control.

Understanding and mastering heat transfer in microsystems have been vital in many of the studies conducted. Throughout, advanced micromachining and modeling have been used as a step towards high-performance systems for space and other extreme environments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013. 43 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1003
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Research subject
Administrative Law
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-186862 (URN)978-91-554-8555-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-01-11, Polhelmsalen, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-12-21 Created: 2012-11-29 Last updated: 2013-02-11Bibliographically approved

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Palmer, KristofferLotfi, SaraBerglund, MartinThornell, GregerKratz, Henrik

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