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WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Under a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement, a team of scientists from the Air Force and Michigan State University produced first generation smart-material based microelectrical mechanical mirror devices (MEMS).
The Air Force Research Laboratory Sensors Directorate, Integrated Circuits and Microsystems branch (AFRL/RYDI) has explored MEMS mirrors for electrooptical military applications, specifically the use of vanadium dioxide as a microactuator for the MEMS technology. The microactuator supplies power to the device. Vanadium dioxide – also known as VO2 - is unique because it is considered a “smart” material, meaning it responds rapidly to stimulus, and it is also considered to be multifunctional because many of its properties change simultaneously to the stimulus. It requires little energy to power – at least much less than other technologies.
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