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May 2nd, 2013
 
Engineers work to better monitor missile health
 
The Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center is leveraging micro-electro-mechanical systems research in a new application to detect potentially damaging vibrations encountered by missiles during handling, transport and operation.
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Stephen Marotta, Engineering Directorate project principal investigator, said MEMS research has been ongoing at AMRDEC for many years and many different applications have been successfully transitioned from the lab to the Soldier in the field.

In an effort to improve missile health monitoring, Marotta began collaborating with Mohan Sanghadasa, from AMRDEC’s Weapons Development and Integration Directorate, and Stephen Horowitz, an engineer with Ducommun Miltec.

The AMRDEC team is using technology, both current and in-development, to design a new MEMS sensor that will offer several benefits over current missile health monitoring systems.

We’ve spent a number of years developing acoustic sensors, microphones based on piezoelectric materials,Horowitz said, “and there’s not a huge difference between designing a microphone and designing a vibration sensor and accelerometers. It’s a different structure, a different geometry, but we use the same fabrication processes to create them. On our first generation sensor, we used the same materials even.

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