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Assessment of the Impacts of Packaging, Long-Term Storage, and Transportation on the Failure Modes of MEMS Devices
Keywords: MEMS, Storage, Failure Analysis
The Army is transforming into a more lethal, lighter and agile force. Enabling technologies that support this transition must decrease in size while increasing in intelligence. Micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) are one such technology that the Army and DOD will rely on heavily to accomplish these objectives. Conditions for utilization of MEMS by the military are unique. Operational and storage environments for the military are significantly different than those found in the commercial sector. Issues unique to the military include: high G-forces during gun launch, extreme temperature and humidity ranges, extended periods of inactivity (20 years plus) and interaction with explosives and propellants. The military operational environments in which MEMS will be stored or required to function are extreme and far surpass any commercial operating conditions. The impact of these environments on the functionality of MEMS has not been assessed. Furthermore, a standardized methodology for conducting these analyses does not exist. To facilitate the insertion of MEMS technologies in weapon systems, the Army Corrosion Office (ACO) at Picatinny is addressing the information gaps delineated above. This will benefit the MEMS user community by providing data on failure modes induced by packaging, transportation and storage for selected devices. These data will then be used to develop a standardized methodology for conducting these assessments. Specific activities of the ACO program include: Assessment of the operational environments in which the military MEMS device may be utilized Determining & developing methods to preserve MEMS devices during long-term storage before they are designed into products Independent assessment of reliability that cannot be obtained from private industry Establishment of reliability data that will be fed back into development & design to improve MEMS devices Production & design process can be vastly improved to increase yields that will drive costs down
James L. Zunino III, Systems Engineer
Picatinny Arsenal, NJ

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