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Integrated Flex Pivot Position Sensor

Tue, 06/20/2023 - 14:00
Start Date: 
End Date: 
Programme Reference: 
Prime Contractor: 
CSEM SA. Centre Suisse dElectronique et de Microtechnique SA
To develop a flexible pivot with integrated tribology free position sensor
There is a current trend towards using tribology free mechanisms where possible, to avoid complexities such as stick-slip behaviour and noise due to sliding contacts. These trends have led to the ongoing development of promising Large Angle Flexible Pivots, the deflecting behaviour of these pivots presents opportunities to unlock further advances in the area of sensors. In parallel to the tribology free trends, there is ongoing early stage work in the area of sputtered thin-film type strain gauges which are expected to improve the accuracy and reliability vs traditional bonded strain gauges. Combining such sensors with the flex pivots would enable development of a fully tribology free rotational flex pivot with integrated position sensor technology. The ability to embed an adequately accurate and robust sensor is a key challenge for this activity.
As both a means to enable rotation of a mechanism axis (i.e. The pivot) and to monitor the axis position (i.e. The sensor) are generally required for rotational mechanisms, the combination of these technologies would enable multiple savings. Both mass and volume would be saved, and a reduction in the number of components would be achieved, which would be expected to improve reliability vs conventional mechanisms incorporating separate position sensors, such as potentiometers.
This activity aims to develop a flex pivot element with integrated sensors to output the rotational position.
This activity encompasses the following tasks:
- Perform literature review to identify sensing technologies of interest, with particular focus on sputtered thin-film strain gauges
- Definition of driving requirements
- Preliminary design of Integrated Flex Pivot Position Sensor options, ending with trade-off to down select a baseline and backup
- Detailed design of Integrated Flex Pivot Position Sensor Bread Board
- Manufacturing of Integrated Flex Pivot Position Sensor Bread Board
- Test campaign of Integrated Flex Pivot Position Sensor Bread Board
- Summary of verified performance and future development plan
Application Domain: 
Generic Technologies
Technology Domain: 
15 - Mechanisms
24 - Materials and Manufacturing Processes
Competence Domain: 
2-Structures, Mechanisms, Materials, Thermal
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Achieved TRL: 
Public Document: 
Final Presentation
Executive Summary