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Applied MEMS to Make Seismic Sensors

Photonics.com
May 2003
HOUSTON, May 2 -- Applied MEMS Inc. will manufacture its microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based Si-Flex accelerometer sensor modules for Refraction Technology Inc. (REF TEK), a supplier of seismic recording systems for earthquake monitoring applications.

REF TEK will integrate the sensor modules into seismic recording systems for the US Geological Survey's (USGS) Advanced National Seismic System. The Si-Flex sensor converts ground vibrations into an electronic signal that can be processed for monitoring seismic events such as earthquakes. This is Applied MEMS' second contract from REF TEK that addresses this application.

"Conventional seismometers' market dominance created skepticism about our introduction of the MEMS-based Si-Flex accelerometers," said Jeff Gannon, engineering manager for Applied MEMS. "This contract is a testament to the cost, performance and reliability advantages that our product line offers to earthquake monitoring and strong-motion measurement markets."

MEMS are highly miniaturized devices that integrate a number of functions including fluidics, optics, mechanics and electronics, on a single silicon chip using techniques similar to traditional integrated circuit process technology. MEMS merges sensing, actuating and computing into miniature systems that enable enhanced levels of perception, control and performance. Applications include optical switching devices developed for telecommunications; high-frequency components for wireless hand-held devices; handheld DNA analysis products for biotechnology companies; advanced sensor technology, such as that used for airbag deployment for the automotive industry; and high-definition projection displays on a chip developed by component electronics companies.

For more information, visit: www.appliedmems.com



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