Posted on

Demonstration System for Radio-Frequency Microelectromechanical Systems Components

Lee A Griffin – Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
Robert R Benoit and Ronald G Polcawich – Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate, ARL

The combination of piezoelectrics and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) can result in devices with a wide range of applications, including resonators, energy harvesters, and various sensors. Currently, improvement of MEMS devices designed to operate in the radio-frequency (RF) regime has been of particular interest due to the devices’ use in both commercial and military satellites and aerospace systems. The work presented characterizes and analyzes new designs for various RF MEMS devices produced at the US Army Research Laboratory. Their integration to a proposed mobile RF wireless communication system was investigated by developing a proof-of-concept demonstration of the proposed system.
The RF circuitry of the proposed system consists of various RF MEMS switches and filters. A customized smartphone modification was used to demonstrate the functionality of the RF circuitry and directly compare the size/weight/performance of the MEMS devices to commercial off-the-shelf components.