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Microelectromechanical acceleration-sensing apparatus

United States Patent

December 12, 2006
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Sandia National Laboratories - Visit the Intellectual Property Management and Licensing Website
An acceleration-sensing apparatus is disclosed which includes a moveable shuttle (i.e. a suspended mass) and a latch for capturing and holding the shuttle when an acceleration event is sensed above a predetermined threshold level. The acceleration-sensing apparatus provides a switch closure upon sensing the acceleration event and remains latched in place thereafter. Examples of the acceleration-sensing apparatus are provided which are responsive to an acceleration component in a single direction (i.e. a single-sided device) or to two oppositely-directed acceleration components (i.e. a dual-sided device). A two-stage acceleration-sensing apparatus is also disclosed which can sense two acceleration events separated in time. The acceleration-sensing apparatus of the present invention has applications, for example, in an automotive airbag deployment system.
Lee; Robb M. (Albuquerque, NM), Shul; Randy J. (Albuquerque, NM), Polosky; Marc A. (Albuquerque, NM), Hoke; Darren A. (Albuquerque, NM), Vernon; George E. (Rio Rancho, NM)
Sandia Corporation (Albuquerque, NM)
10/ 641,860
August 14, 2003
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.