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FEM-Analysis of 2D Micromachined Flow Transduers based on aGe-Thermistor Arrays and a Double Bridge Readout

1
Department for Integrated Sensor Systems, Danube University Krems, Viktor-Kaplan Straße 2, A-2700 Wiener Neustadt, Austria
2
Institute of Sensor and Actuator Systems, Vienna University of Technology, Gusshausstraße 27-29, A-1040 Vienna, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2019, 19(16), 3561; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19163561
Received: 12 June 2019 / Revised: 5 August 2019 / Accepted: 9 August 2019 / Published: 15 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Flow and Wind Sensors)
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Abstract

This paper reports on a design and simulation study aiming at high-accuracy 2D micromachined thermal flow transducers. The scope is restricted to micromachined devices featuring a square-shaped membrane incorporating central symmetric thin-film devices. A microthermistor array probed spatial excess temperature variations while the main heat supply was alternatively established by optional heating resistors or by pronounced self-heating of the thermistor devices. Proper device designs enable leading edge transducer performance without sophisticated signal conditioning schemes. We found that a high azimuthal uniformity of flow magnitude transduction is tantamount to a precise azimuthal accuracy. The most advanced result gave a maximum azimuthal aberration of 0.17 and 1.7 degrees for 1 m/s and 10 m/s, respectively, while the corresponding magnitude uniformity amounted to 0.07% and 0.5%. Such excellent specifications exceed the need of ordinary meteorological applications by far. However, they are essential for, e.g., precise non-contact measurements of 2D relative movements of two quasi-planar surfaces via the related Couette flow in intermediate air gaps. The simulations predicted significantly better device characteristics than achieved by us in first experiments. However, this gap could be attributed to imperfect control of the flow velocity field by the measurement setup. View Full-Text
Keywords: micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS); wind sensor; finite element method (FEM); Wheatstone bridge configuration micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS); wind sensor; finite element method (FEM); Wheatstone bridge configuration
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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 (CC BY 4.0).
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Talic, A.; Cerimovic, S.; Beigelbeck, R.; Kohl, F.; Sauter, T.; Keplinger, F. FEM-Analysis of 2D Micromachined Flow Transduers based on aGe-Thermistor Arrays and a Double Bridge Readout. Sensors 2019, 19, 3561.

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