Date of Award
Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Victor M. Bright, PhD
In the past few years, microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) have emerged as a promising new technology with tremendous application potential. One of the possible implementations of MEMS technology is in the development of micro-satellites. It should be possible to mass-produce micro-satellites at a fraction of the cost of one conventional satellite. In order for satellites to be robust, a method of transferring power to systems must be addressed. As micro-satellites are made with conventional integrated circuit technologies at a very small scale, a means of transferring power on a similar scale will be investigated. This research addresses the issue of the design, fabrication, and testing of a MEMS switch for space based micro-satellites. Devices are designed and submitted to the Microelectronics Corporation of North Carolina for fabrication. Several different design approaches are attempted, including those using electrostatic and thermal properties for actuation. Fabricated devices are tested using a microprobe station for power usage, power transfer, and frequency characteristics. Devices produce a wide range of results, the best of which transfer large amounts of power in a wide range of frequencies including DC. Recommendations are made to the sponsor agency including the most appropriate designs for use in micro-satellite applications.
DTIC Accession Number
Kading, Glen A., "Micro-Electromechanical Switches for Micro-Satellite Power Transfer" (1997). Theses and Dissertations. 5683.