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28 June 2002 MEMS ultrasonic transducer for monitoring of steel structures
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Abstract
Ultrasonic methods can be used to monitor crack propagation, weld failure, or section loss at critical locations in steel structures. However, ultrasonic inspection requires a skilled technician, and most commonly the signal obtained at any inspection is not preserved for later use. A preferred technology would use a MEMS device permanently installed at a critical location, polled remotely, and capable of on-chip signal processing using a signal history. We review questions related to wave geometry, signal levels, flaw localization, and electromechanical design issues for microscale transducers, and then describe the design, characterization, and initial testing of a MEMS transducer to function as a detector array. The device is approximately 1-cm square and was fabricated by the MUMPS process. The chip has 23 sensor elements to function in a phased array geometry, each element containing 180 hexagonal polysilicon diaphragms with a typical leg length of 49 microns and an unloaded natural frequency near 3.5 MHz. We first report characterization studies including capacitance-voltage measurements and admittance measurements, and then report initial experiments using a conventional piezoelectric transducer for excitation, with successful detection of signals in an on-axis transmission experiment and successful source localization from phased array performance in an off-axis transmission experiment.
© (2002) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Akash Jain, David W. Greve, and Irving J. Oppenheim "MEMS ultrasonic transducer for monitoring of steel structures", Proc. SPIE 4696, Smart Structures and Materials 2002: Smart Systems for Bridges, Structures, and Highways, (28 June 2002); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.472561
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