Kristofer S.J. Pister (Advisor)

Research Advised by Professor Kristofer S.J. Pister

KSJP20: CMOS Imaging Receiver for Free-Space Optical Communication

Chinwuba D. Ezekwe

A 256 element CMOS imaging receiver has been designed to receive low-power, free-space optical transmissions between unmanned aircraft, or other small, low power platforms, at a distance of several kilometers.

Project end date: 02/03/05

KSJP33a: Tools for Microassembly

Subramaniam Venkatraman

Complex three dimensional micromechanical systems can be built using multi-layer MEMS processes. There is however a tradeoff available between process complexity and post-fabrication complexity (assembly operations). In this project, we fabricate sockets, connectors and the tools to pick up and rotate them using a single mask Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) process. We then use pick and place assembly to create complex mechanical micro-systems which are difficult to realize with conventional fabrication techniques.

Project end date: 08/31/05

KSJP32: Incremental Network Programming

Jaein Jeong

We present an incremental network programming mechanism which reprograms wireless sensors quickly by transmitting the incremental changes for the new program version.

Project end date: 09/08/05

KSJP33: Silicon on Insulator Microassembly

Subramaniam Venkatraman

To develop actuated 2-axis micromirrors and walking microrobots using a pick-and-place assembly process. Simple fabrication processes have a high fabrication yield and quicker design cycles than complex processes. The quest to minimize process complexity has led us to a single-mask Deep Reactive Ion Etch (DRIE) using Silicon on Insulator (SOI) wafers. After release, these parts are broken free from the device layer of the SOI wafer using grippers fabricated in the same single-mask process, rotated 90 degrees out-of-plane, and then assembled with other parts (figure 1). With this...

BPN348: Subterranean Wireless Sensor Network

Ryan Xie
David Doolin
Valerie Zimmer
Michelle Ma

Our long term goal is to prototype and evaluate a reliable, self-healing wireless mesh sensor network for use in mines, caves, and underground storage facilities. Its primary application will be to monitor the physical environment, such as temperature, humidity and barometric pressure, as well as detection of potentially hazardous gases such as carbon monoxide (CO), carbon dioxide (CO2), and methane (CH4). We will evaluate the feasibility of using real-time wireless sensor networks to monitor operating environments and to provide hazard identification and warning. An important aspect...

BPN347: Smart Flea

Subramaniam Venkatraman

Behavior monitoring of animals is of interest to pharmaceutical firms which perform animal testing during the development of drugs. Behavior monitoring using a wireless accelerometer strapped to the animal is explored in this project. Since rats are the animal used in this study, it is essential that the wireless accelerometer meet some stringent weight and size requirements. A prototype wireless accelerometer has been developed which comprises of a 3-axes accelerometer, wireless transceiver, microcontroller, voltage regulator, switch, antenna and battery. It weighs 10.2 grams and is...

KSJP31: 3nJ/bit 2.4GHz CMOS RF Transceiver

Benjamin Cook

The goal of this project is to make dust-sized, wearable, autonomous wireless sensor nodes practically realizable by substantially reducing the power demands of the system's most power hungry section; the RF circuits. To that end, a novel RF transceiver capable of delivering adequate performance for sensor networks while consuming remarkably little power has been developed. Substantial power reduction in the RF circuits will shrink the size of battery required to sustain an autonomous sensor node. The goals for power consumption are dependent on the particular requirements placed on...

BPN339: Solid Propellant Micro-Thruster

Erika Parra

The objective of this research is to design, fabricate, and test a one-time deployment, high efficiency, milli- to sub-millimeter scale micro-thruster.

Project end date: 07/25/07

KSJP4: Microrobots

Sarah Bergbreiter

Our goal is to create a class of autonomous microrobots with a volume of less than 1cm3. We previously reported an autonomous micromachined silicon legged robot which took its first steps. The body of the robot was fabricated in a planarized silicon-on-insulator (SOI), two-layer polysilicon process and was 8 mm x 4 mm x 0.3 mm in size. The complete robot had two additional ICs, a solar cell and high voltage buffer chip along with a low-voltage CMOS chip for sequencing. However, due to the processing complexity and fragility of these robots, we are investigating new processing and...

KSJP30/JD: Electrometrology with MEMS

David Garmire
Hyuck Choo

Practical analysis techniques to accurately measure geometric, dynamic, and material properties of MEMS will be developed. Analytical methods and test structures will be made to extract over two dozen properties by electric probing in a minimal chip area. Geometric properties will include fabrication error with respect to layout geometry such as beam widths, gap spacings, etch holes, and beam lengths. Dynamic properties will include mass, damping, stiffness, bulk compliance, quality factor, exponential damping factor, displacement amplitude, velocity amplitude, comb drive force, and...