Optimizing the Design of Thermal Actuators for Use in Microsatellites

Bridget Cunningham July 17, 2017

On the morning of March 22, 2006, NASA launched their Space Technology 5 mission. For about three months, miniaturized satellites explored Earth’s magnetic fields collecting high-quality measurements. Beyond gathering scientific data, the mission represents a turning point. Instead of large traditional satellite missions, miniaturized technology is taking precedence in space exploration. And within these systems, MEMS technology could serve as a means of active thermal control. Further improvements are already taking shape with the help of multiphysics simulation.

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Henrik Sönnerlind May 22, 2017

In some applications, particularly within the MEMS field, it is important to study the sensitivity of a device’s eigenfrequencies with respect to a variation in temperature. In this blog post, we show how to do this using COMSOL Multiphysics® version 5.3. We also explore effects like stress softening, geometric changes, and the temperature dependence of material properties.

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Bridget Cunningham April 12, 2017

Many parameters can impact the strength and stability of concrete structures, so finding ways to efficiently measure their condition is key. Embedding sensors within these structures can provide such assessments. To accurately model these systems, it’s important to account for the complex phenomena within concrete and analyze their impact on sensor performance. The flexibility of the COMSOL Multiphysics® software allowed one research team to do just that. Their findings offer insight into designing more reliable sensors for concrete monitoring.

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Bridget Cunningham March 28, 2017

Measuring acceleration is important in high-speed dynamics, as velocity, force, and pressure are derived from it. Sensing elements inside accelerometers make it possible to obtain such measurements. As technology advances, these sensor packages must be optimized to handle higher vibrational frequency bandwidths. To accomplish this, researchers tested their novel piezoresistive sensor chip as part of a package design. Their simulation results, which agree well with experimental data, pave the way for optimizing sensor packages to achieve higher bandwidths.

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Bridget Cunningham December 26, 2016

Designing MEMS devices, such as piezoresistive pressure sensors, comes with challenges. For instance, accurately describing the operation of these devices requires the integration of various physics. With the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, you can easily couple multiphysics simulations in order to test a device’s performance and generate reliable results. Today, we’ll look at one example that showcases such capabilities.

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Bridget Cunningham September 7, 2016

Many modern devices leverage piezoelectricity. When analyzing the design of such devices, you want to be confident in the reliability of the obtained results. By utilizing the COMSOL Multiphysics® simulation software, you can achieve accurate results quickly. To prove it to you, we have created a benchmark model of a piezoelectric transducer.

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Bridget Cunningham July 21, 2016

In any form of treatment, it is always desirable to minimize the level of discomfort that the treatment process causes patients, while ensuring overall safety and effectiveness. For diabetes patients, insulin injections remain an important form of treatment, but the process itself can be painful. With the help of multiphysics simulation, a team of researchers from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology sought to develop a MEMS-based micropump that could administer insulin injections in a safe and painless way.

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Nandita Roche May 19, 2016

Maximizing the efficiency of the learning process, while keeping students engaged — this is the common goal that professors hope to achieve in any course. In the realm of physics- and engineering-based courses, simulation apps are helping to strike such a balance by introducing students to complex concepts in a simplified format. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the innovative ways that university professors are utilizing apps within the classroom.

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Walter Frei February 25, 2016

If you’ve ever worked with the Terminal boundary condition in COMSOL Multiphysics, you know that this electrical boundary condition can apply a current or voltage, among other options. But did you know that you can also dynamically switch between excitation types during a transient simulation? This is useful if you are trying to model a current- or voltage-limited power supply, for example. Today, we will look at how to implement such a switching behavior.

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Yosuke Mizuyama February 15, 2016

Piezoelectricity finds use in a variety of engineering applications. They include transducers, inkjet printheads, adaptive optics, switching devices, cellphone components, and guitar pickups, to name a few. Today’s blog post will benefit both beginners and experts in piezoelectricity, as we highlight some of the fundamental elements of piezoelectric theory and basic simulations, along with a novel design for improving the range of motion for piezoelectric actuators.

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James Ransley January 27, 2016

Previously on the blog, we detailed the standards employed to describe piezoelectric materials. There are two piezoelectric material standards supported in COMSOL Multiphysics: the IRE 1949 standard and the IEEE 1978 standard. Today, we will demonstrate how to set up the orientation of a crystal, specifically an AT cut quartz plate, within both standards.

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