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Micromachines 2011, 2(4), 410-430; doi:10.3390/mi2040410

Development of a Microelectromechanical System (MEMS)-Based Multisensor Platform for Environmental Monitoring

1, 2,3, 1,4 and 2,*
Received: 15 September 2011 / Revised: 28 October 2011 / Accepted: 29 October 2011 / Published: 3 November 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health and Usage Monitoring Microsystems (HUMMs))
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Recent progress in data processing, communications and electronics miniaturization is now enabling the development of low-cost wireless sensor networks (WSN), which consist of spatially distributed autonomous sensor modules that collaborate to monitor real-time environmental conditions unobtrusively and with appropriate levels of spatial and temporal granularity. Recent and future applications of this technology range from preventative maintenance and quality control to environmental modelling and failure analysis. In order to fabricate these low-cost, low-power reliable monitoring platforms, it is necessary to improve the level of sensor integration available today. This paper outlines the microfabrication and characterization results of a multifunctional multisensor unit. An existing fabrication process for Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor CMOS-compatible microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) structures has been modified and extended to manufacture temperature, relative humidity, corrosion, gas thermal conductivity, and gas flow velocity sensors on a single silicon substrate. A dedicated signal conditioning circuit layer has been built around this MEMS multisensor die for integration on an existing low-power WSN module. The final unit enables accurate readings and cross-sensitivity compensation thanks to a combination of simultaneous readings from multiple sensors. Real-time communication to the outside world is ensured via radio-frequency protocols, and data collection in a serial memory is also made possible for diagnostics applications.
Keywords: MEMS; microsensors; reliability; cross-correlation; wireless sensor network; telecommunications MEMS; microsensors; reliability; cross-correlation; wireless sensor network; telecommunications
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Hautefeuille, M.; O’Flynn, B.; Peters, F.H.; O’Mahony, C. Development of a Microelectromechanical System (MEMS)-Based Multisensor Platform for Environmental Monitoring. Micromachines 2011, 2, 410-430.

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