Packaging and testing for MEMS used in space missions
As part of the Wafer-Level Encapsulation in Microsystems (WALES) project, HTA members are studying how wafer-level packaging (WLP) can be used to connect and protect MEMS devices in hermetically sealed structures to withstand extreme weather and radiation conditions encountered in space. The project also will provide the European Space Agency (ESA), which is funding the project, a simple and fast standardized test to evaluate the suitability of MEMS for space missions.
Led by CSEM, the project is developing procedures for sealing and testing MEMS WLP for a piezo-electrically actuated resonator from CSEM and a capacitively actuated resonator from CEA-Leti. Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS is applying special measuring and testing processes to guarantee the reliability of these MEMS systems. VTT, the Technical Research Centre of Finland, will join the project consortium; negotiations are currently under way.
Reliability is a major issue for MEMS in space applications, and establishing new, proven and reliable packaging concepts can dramatically extend the lifetime of MEMS devices and therefore expand their suitability for space missions. Moreover, MEMS in space will benefit Europe’s space industry by increasing overall flight-and-exploration reliability through the use of more sensing devices, and reducing costs through smaller payloads.
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