Sensor and Actuator Design
In most cases, the fabrication of prototypes within the design process of mechatronic sensors, actuators and sensor-actuator-systems is a lengthy and costly task. Therefore, the need for reliable and user-friendly computer modelling tools capable of precisely simulating the multifield interactions is increased. These computer-aided engineering (CAE) tools offer many possibilities to the design engineer. Arbitrary modification of geometry and selective variation of material parameters are easily performed, and the influence on the behaviour can be studied immediately.
In addition, the simulation provides access to physical quantities that cannot be measured, and simulations strongly support the insight into physical phenomena. Thus, a CAE-based design can tremendously reduce the number of necessary prototypes. However, we want to emphasise that the quality of the results depends on the suitability of the physical model as well as the material parameters.
Our in-house multiphysics simulation software openCFS, opens an external URL in a new window (Coupled Field Simulation) is a key component for design, analysis and optimisation. Furthermore, we have developed and further improved our methods based on measurement and simulation technology for the determination of material parameters. In combination with our capabilities of fabricating first prototypes and our advanced measurement labs (laser scanning vibrometer, laser speckle interferometer, acoustic microphone array, particle velocity sound probes, 3D magnetic field and coordinate measurement system, thermojet precision temperature cycling system, etc.), we are well equipped for design, analysis and optimisation of current and future mechatronic sensors and actuators. Hereby, we focus on electrostatic, electromagnetic and piezoelectric transducing mechanisms.