Micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) are an enabling technology that has lead to various miniature sensor concepts. Utilizing recent advances in silicon carbide (SiC) MEMS fabrication techniques allows for the development of a new series of sensors that leverages the high temperature capabilities of SiC. One such sensor concept is a shear stress sensor that can operate over a high dynamic range, and at very high temperatures, with an application emphasis on ground and flight testing in supersonic and hypersonic flow. The application of this fundamental sensor element and capacitance sensing design to very high temperature and very high shear environment, however, brings another set of challenges that involve the associated packaging and electrical control scheme. While this project is still a work in progress, we present an overview of our efforts to design, develop, fabricate and test a MEMS shear stress sensor for hypersonic aeropropulsion test and evaluation applications.

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