Projects. ASIC-IMTER

Proof-of-concept ASIC for thermal impedance measurements in the frequency domain

The main objective of the ASIC-IMTER project is the development, fabrication and characterization of a miniaturized two-dimensional wind sensor, based on thermal impedance measurements in the frequency domain of MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical) sensors arranged in a two-dimensional array. For this purpose, it is necessary, on the one hand, the design, fabrication and testing of a mixed-signal ASIC with a novel architecture whose general lines are known and based on previous results, which is highly efficient and provides final results without the need for post-processing of the data. On the other hand, it becomes necessary to design and manufacture the thermal transducers with an application-optimized layout and support structure to be embedded in aircraft structures or similar applications where a spatially distributed sensor network is required. The need for a strong interweaving between the transducers and the signal conditioning and acquisition electronics requires coordination between two subprojects, one led by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), and the other by the Institute of Microelectronics of Seville (IMSE). The UPC micro and nanotechnologies research group and the IMSE team have collaborated intensively in the recent past, and the planned development of this coordinated project is a consequence of previous work in the framework of other coordinated projects. The UPC team has extensive experience in the development of novel high-performance sensors in hostile environments, such as planetary exploration and environmental sensor systems. The IMSE team also has extensive experience in the design and characterization of integrated mixed-signal electronics for environmental sensors, often also for space use.
The objectives of this project are a clear example of taking advantage of the capabilities developed by both teams in the field of space exploration, to generate new technological opportunities for application in the terrestrial field. In particular, a clear application of the sensor system object of the project is the future integration of a network of airflow sensors embedded in the surface of wings and fuselages of aircraft that will be developed in the very near future following the concepts of adaptive morphology aircraft or adaptive aero-elastic wings. The same integrated electronics targeted by the project will serve similar but different application sensors, such as heat flux measurement on the surface of regoliths, also based on thermal impedance measurements.
The project pursues the design and optimization of the transducers for both applications, thus determining the necessary measurement parameters, which will be reflected in the specifications of the ASIC to be designed; the design, manufacture and testing of the ASIC; the integration of the complete sensor system (transducers plus ASIC); and the validation and characterization of the complete system in environments close to its final use, such as wind tunnels and chambers emulating the surface and atmosphere of nearby planets in our solar system.

Project PDC2023-145889-C21  funded by MICIU/AEI/10.13039/501100011033/ and European Union NextGenerationEU/ PRTR.

Principal Investigator

Servando Espejo Meana  >

Project Details

  • Type: Research project
  • Funding Body: Agencia Estatal de Investigación
  • Reference: PDC2023-145889-C21
  • Start date: 01/01/2024
  • End date: 31/12/2025
  • Funding: 151.492,00 €