Understanding the character and dynamics of hypersonic boundary layers poses a considerable challenge to the design of hypersonic vehicles. Specifically, being able to predict the location of laminar-to-turbulent transition is of critical concern as it affects heating rates, aerodynamic loading, and skin-friction drag, therefore impacting the design of the thermal protection system and thus the overall weight and performance of the vehicle.
In their effort to locate, understand and mitigate the impact of noise sources on an aircraft, aeroacousticiansare in need of a high performance, low cost microphone to combat the increasing noise restrictions on commercial aircraft. Existing commercial sensors, even with their relatively high cost, in some cases constrain the quality and type of measurement that may be achieved. One such constraint is that the physical size and characteristics of the sensors limit the optimal locations in which the sensors may be placed. Previous generations of MEMS aeroacoustic microphones have failed to address the need for a sensor that can be packaged and installed with a smooth front surface to be used for boundary layer measurements in a fuselage array at cruise conditions. Additionally, these microphones must meet demanding requirements, including the sensing of high sound pressure levels (>160 dB) with low distortion (<3%) and high sensitivity stability (with respect to moisture and freezing) over temperatures from -60°F to 150°F. This work addresses the limitations of existing MEMS piezoelectric microphones used in aeroacoustic applications by incorporating through-silicon vias(TSVs) into the fabrication to eliminate the use of wirebondsthat affect the flow field and create an overall flush-mount microphone package.
The goal of this research is to develop a MEMS-based Five-hole Probe(5HP) that is able to measure the localized velocity vector (both the velocity magnitude and direction) and the static and dynamic pressure, in steady and/or unsteady flow fields. Five optical pressure sensors located on the hemisphere tip of the 5HP provide all information that is needed to resolve the flow. This 5HP is expected to be able to provide high spatial resolution, high frequency response and is compatible with elevated temperature environments. A primary focus of this research is on the microfabrication and micromachining of a die that incorporates five optical transducers and its successive packaging process. The completed sensors will be tested in flow cells and wind tunnels at UF for the final calibration.
Despite the fact that nonlinearities are inherent in many natural and engineered systems, it is common for engineers to remove, or attempt to remove, all nonlinearity from their designs. Although this simplifies the performance analyses, it also overlooks a wide array of phenomena that could potentially enable fundamental breakthroughs.
The objective of this project is to derive fundamental insights for complex arrays of nonlinearly coupled oscillators, using structures defined as magneto-mechanical lattices. The magneto-mechanical lattices comprise periodic arrays of dynamically interacting magnets, which can be conceptualized as an array of equivalent springs and masses, or alternatively, as a solid composed of artificial macro-atoms. The nonlinear magnetic coupling is to be theoretically tailored to exploit nonlinear energy transfer behaviors, such as reconfiguring bandgaps, energy localization, internal resonances, etc. These nonlinear phenomena are to be experimentally demonstrated and measured by fabricated magneto-mechanical lattices.
This project focuses on the development of a non-intrusive, direct, time-resolved wall shear stress sensor system for low-speed applications. The goals of the project include the fabrication and packaging of a 2-D wall-shear stress sensor with backside wire bond contacts to ensure hydraulic smoothness in flow environments. A differential capacitance transduction scheme is utilized with interdigitated comb fingers on each side of a suspended floating element, allowing for measurements to be made in both the positive and negative x- and y-directions. A synchronous modulation-demodulation circuit is employed to simultaneously capture both mean and fluctuating shear content. Both AC and DC calibrations are performed to determine sensor sensitivity in both directions of transduction. This is the most successful effort of shear sensor development in published literature.
The objective of the effort is to transition high-performance micromagnets into fully-integrated, batch-fabricated micromagnetic actuators for applications such as micro adaptive flow control.
Magnetically-based electromechanical actuation schemes are ubiquitous in macroscale systems such as audio speakers, relays, solenoids, and electrical motors. However, implementation of these transduction schemes at the microscale is nearly nonexistent because of certain design and fabrication challenges—primarily the inability to integrate high-performance, permanent-magnet (magnetically-hard) films within more complex micromachined structures. As a result, most microfabricated transducers rely on other transduction mechanisms (e.g. electrostatic, piezoelectric, thermoelastic). However, these mechanisms limit the actuation force, stroke (displacement), power density, and efficiency necessary for certain applications.
The proposed actuator uses an adaptable and scalable actuation scheme, in that the device structure can be tailored for a wide range of applications. Examples include micro pumps/valves for microfluidic (gas or liquid) systems; high power density motors/actuators for microrobotics; or low-profile acoustic radiators for navigations/sensing. The evolution of fully-integrated micromagnetic transducers will enable performance improvements for existing applications and opportunities to explore new transformative technologies.
(1) to validate and characterize the integrability (chemical stability, temperature stability, mechanical reliability, magnetization methods etc.) of the permanent magnet materials in complex microfabrication process flows
(2) to model and optimize a multi-magnet out-of-plane microactuation scheme
(3) to fabricate and characterize a fully-integrated out-of-plane piston-type actuator that can be directly implemented as a micro aerodynamic control surface or adapted as a synthetic jet actuator
Figure 1: CAD drawings of the proposed micro-electrodynamic synthetic jet actuator actuator: (a) Actuator assembly comprising two dies made from silicon substrate, separated by a separator. The top die is covered with a PDMS diaphragm and has a bonded powder magnet in the center. (b) Exploded view of the bottom wafer.
To develop electro-mechanical inductors coupling between a conventional inductor and a mechanical resonator that passively store energy via both electromagnetic and mechanical mechanisms.
Enable high density inductive energy storage, and potentially lighter, more efficient power converters.
Increases in air traffic and tighter restrictions on noise pollution in and around airports have motivated research to reduce the aeroacoustic noise generated by aircraft. Aeroacoustic testing with microphone arrays is used to identify and help design acoustic treatments on new and existing aircraft in order to reduce the noise signature of the aircraft. The performance of a microphone array is a function of the number of microphones used, which is traditionally limited by the cost of each sensor. Piezoresistive MEMS microphones take advantage of batch fabrication wafer processing to reduce sensor cost and achieve higher sensor packing densities in aeroacoustic arrays. Thus, an increase in performance can be achieved for an equivalent, or possibly reduced, cost.
Passenger expectations for a quiet flight experience  coupled with concern about long-term noise exposure of flight crews  drive aircraft manufacturers to reduce cabin noise in flight. Cabin noise has traditionally been limited using insulating panels and skin dampers on the fuselage. Unfortunately, these thin panels are not effective at reducing low frequency (long wavelength) noise and cannot be made thicker due to weight concerns . Treating the noise at its source shows potential for reduction of low frequency noise and weight savings compared to insulating panels. With fuel costs rapidly increasing, reduction of excess weight and subsequent maximization of the "revenue-generating payload"  is more important than ever.
In order to identify noise sources and assess the impact of noise reduction technologies during the design process, aircraft manufacturers require robust, low cost microphones. Measuring primary sources of cabin noise, such as shockcell noise, is difficult under simulated cruise conditions in test facilities  and establishes the need for microphones that can be used in full-scale tests at altitude. Their use on the fuselage exterior requires extremely small packaged sizes, in addition to the ability to withstand moisture and freezing conditions at flight altitudes. Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) microphones show promise for meeting the stringent performance requirements of aircraft manufacturers at reduced size and cost, made possible using batch fabrication technology [4-9].