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16 May 2005 Damping control of micromachined lowpass mechanical vibration isolation filters using electrostatic actuation with electronic signal processing
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Some harsh environments, such as those encountered by aerospace vehicles and various types of industrial machinery, contain high frequency/amplitude mechanical vibrations. Unfortunately, some very useful components are sensitive to these high frequency mechanical vibrations. Examples include MEMS gyroscopes and resonators, oscillators and some micro optics. Exposure of these components to high frequency mechanical vibrations present in the operating environment can result in problems ranging from an increased noise floor to component failure. Passive micromachined silicon lowpass filter structures (spring-mass-damper) have been demonstrated in recent years. However, the performance of these filter structures is typically limited by low damping (especially if operated in near-vacuum environments) and a lack of tunability after fabrication. Active filter topologies, such as piezoelectric, electrostrictive-polymer-film and SMA have also been investigated in recent years. Electrostatic actuators, however, are utilized in many micromachined silicon devices to generate mechanical motion. They offer a number of advantages, including low power, fast response time, compatibility with silicon micromachining, capacitive position measurement and relative simplicity of fabrication. This paper presents an approach for realizing active micromachined mechanical lowpass vibration isolation filters by integrating an electrostatic actuator with the micromachined passive filter structure to realize an active mechanical lowpass filter. Although the electrostatic actuator can be used to adjust the filter resonant frequency, the primary application is for increasing the damping to an acceptable level. The physical size of these active filters is suitable for use in or as packaging for sensitive electronic and MEMS devices, such as MEMS vibratory gyroscope chips.
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Robert Dean, George Flowers, Nicole Sanders, Ken MacAllister, Roland Horvath, A. Scotteward Hodel, Wayne Johnson, Michael Kranz, and Michael Whitley "Damping control of micromachined lowpass mechanical vibration isolation filters using electrostatic actuation with electronic signal processing", Proc. SPIE 5760, Smart Structures and Materials 2005: Damping and Isolation, (16 May 2005);

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