IC2, a pioneer in precision MEMS sensors for aerospace applications, announced today that NASA has awarded the company a new Phase I contract for the 2018 SBIR program. Under this new contract, IC2, in partnership with the University of Florida, will be developing a dual-axis, instrumentation-grade capacitive shear stress sensor for subsonic and transonic measurements. The new work builds from the current line of shear stress sensing products, IC2’s DirectShear Sensors, extending the technology to two dimensions of simultaneous sensing of wall shear stress.
The sensor system will enable localized, non-intrusive, vector measurement of mean and fluctuating wall shear stress for characterization of complex boundary-layer flows in ground-test facilities. The differential capacitive measurement scheme offers high sensitivity to in-plane shear stress as well as common-mode rejection of pressure fluctuations. Two sets of differential capacitors provide shear stress measurement capability in two orthogonal directions to provide the wall shear stress vector. Backside electrical contacts using IC2’s patent-pending fabrication and packaging process enable the sensor to remain flush with the test article surface while significantly reducing fabrication complexity and cost. The proposed design approach facilitates design optimization for multiple applications and flow conditions.
The proposed sensing system addresses a critically unmet measurement need, specifically the ability to make time-resolved, continuous, direct, two-dimensional measurements of mean and fluctuating wall shear stress in wall-bounded turbulent and transitional flows in subsonic and transonic facilities. The realization of this capability not only benefits advanced air vehicle development but also impacts fundamental compressible boundary layer physics research areas such as transition to turbulence in three-dimensional flows.
More details on this award can be found on the NASA SBIR Site.