Dipartimento d'Ingegneria

High Reliability MEMS redundancy Switch

Written by  Thursday, 20 December 2012 11:20

Reliability is a major issue for any satellite since it is almost impossible to envisage any repair work during the full mission lifetime e.g. 15 years for today’s telecommunications satellites. Redundancy is implemented in order to reduce the failure rate of equipment.For this purpose, high reliability switches is of greatest importance for RF equipment incorporating redundancy schemes. Electrostatic RF MEMS show great potentialities for space; still their reliability is hampered by different failure mechanisms. Dielectric charging has been identified as the main failure mechanism for redundancy switches, where the switches are required to be kept activated (i.e. polarized with continuous voltage) for long time.

In the first phase of the project different switch typology have been designed, manufactured and tested in order to identify the best candidate for the MEMS SPDT redundancy switch. Air-bridge designs based on dielectric-free actuation pads showed the highest robustness to dielectric charging (i.e. lower charging rate) and they have been used to realize the SPDT redundancy switch. Packaging and the completion of reliability tests are on-going.

Project Consortium:
  • FBK, Trento - Italy (Project coordinator)
  • University of Perugia - Italy
  • University of Padova - Italy
  • CNR-IMM, Rome – Italy
  • TUM, Munich - Germany
  • Thales Alenia Space – France
Read 321734 times Last modified on Monday, 25 March 2013 14:40

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