Semiconductor Nanomembrane based Sensors for High Frequency Pressure Measurements

Period of Performance: 06/04/2015 - 06/04/2017


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Nanosonic, Inc.
158 Wheatland Drive Array
Pembroke, VA 24136
Firm POC
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Sponsored Programs 0170
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Institution POC


This Air Force Phase II STTR program would develop low-cost semiconductor nanomembrane (NM) based high frequency pressure sensors, using SOI (Silicon on Insulator) NM techniques in combination with our nanocomposite materials. Such low-modulus, conformal nanomembrane sensor skins with integrated interconnect elements and electronic devices can be applied to new or existing wind tunnel models for full spectrum pressure analysis. During the program, we will transition the semiconductor NM pressure sensors from their current concept and prototype stage to low-cost instrumentation products of use to the aerostructure instrumentation programs, academic researchers and industrial technologists. We will develop an improved mechanical and electrical model of NM based sensor performance that will allow quantitative optimization of material properties and suggest optimal methods for sensor attachment and use for high frequency measurement applications. We will perform complete analysis of sensor cross-sensitivities and noise sources to allow optimization of signal-to-noise ratio and practical sensor sensitivity. Support electronics will be developed to acquire, multiplex, store and process raw sensor array data. We will also experimentally validate sensor array performance through extended water and hypersonic wind tunnel evaluation as well as possible flight tests if available, and produce a high frequency pressure sensor array and data acquisition electronics system for sale.