Thermally-Based MEMS Sensors (Part 2)

We have addressed in Part 1 of this article, which appeared in the March/April issue (Volume 6, Number 2) of this publication, the ability of thermally-based MEMS sensors to measure acceleration. This article, which is the conclusion of this two-part series, will address the very same mechanism
of thermal sensing to measure gas-flow. The need for gas-flow measurement is widespread. In the medical market, gas-flow measurements are critical in anesthesia delivery, chromatography, sleep apnea, spirometers, and ventilators. In the industrial sector, gas-flow measurement is needed for heating, ventilating and cooling (HVAC) systems and fume hoods. Analytical instruments, motor vehicle engines, fuel cells and turbines also rely on accurate and rapid gas-flow measurements.
Such capabilities have been commercially available for many years, but until now have been relatively costly, bulky and available from a limited number of suppliers. MEMS-based gasflow sensors offer a unique combination of capability and cost benefit to a wide variety of applications.

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