Micro Electro Mechanical Systems in Space

Course Length:



This three-day course on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and Microstructures for Aerospace Applications establishes a strong foundation for current and future practitioners. MEMS is an interdisciplinary field requiring knowledge in electronics, micro mechanisms, processing, physics, fluidics, packaging and materials just to name a few of the skills. It is to that group of broad ranging disciplines that this course is directed to. The material is designed and presented for the: systems engineer, flight assurance manager, project lead, technologist, program management, system lead engineers and others including the scientist searching for new instrumentation capabilities as a practical guide to MEMS in aerospace applications. The course provides a mix of general background and specific details to envision and support the insertion of MEMS in future flight missions. In order to nurture the vision to use MEMS in micro spacecraft – or even as spacecraft –an overview of the demonstrations of MEMS in space is provided. This highly topical course provides guidelines and materials for the end user to draw upon in order to conceive, implement, integrate and qualify MEMS for future space missions.

What you will learn:

  • Role of MEMS and Microsystems in enabling future space craft visions
  • Comprehensive understanding of MEMS technology
  • Knowledge of the space environment and its effect on MEMS devices
  • Insertion points for MEMS in space craft and instrument systems
  • Practical insight into nuts and bolts topics such as: packaging, materials, handling and contamination control
  • Reliability and Quality Assurance topics

Course Outline:

  1. Overview of Micro Electro Mechanical Systems and Microstructures for Aerospace Application. Understanding of MEMS and the MEMS Vision. Space demonstrations of MEMS; past, current and emerging flight opportunities. Identification of the long-term, disruptive or revolutionary impacts that MEMS technology has in space applications.
  2. Fundamentals of MEMS. Understanding of the MEMS fabrication processes. Bulk micromachining, sacrificial surface micromachining and LIGA. Capability differences including achievable device aspect ratio, materials, complexity, and integration with microelectronics.
  3. MEMS and the Space Environment. Overview of the space environment and its effects upon the design of Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS). Thermal, mechanical, and chemical effects that impact reliability. Mission environmental influences including radiation, zero gravity, zero pressure, plasma and atomic oxygen.
  4. MEMS in Space craft and in Science Instruments. Size, power, volume and weight reduction offered by micro-machining and the multiple insertion points into spacecraft and science instrumentation. New capabilities and increased functionality of MEMS and Microsystems.
  5. MEMS in Satellite Subsystems. Satellite subsystems including communication (both RF and Optical), guidance, navigation and control, thermal and micro propulsion.
  6. Insertion of MEMS in Aerospace Applications. Materials guidelines, packaging requirements, handling and contamination control requirements.
  7. Quality Assurance and Reliability. Review requirements, screening and qualification regimes. Tailoring requirements for mission success. Terrestrial, launch and on orbit reliability concerns.


REGISTRATION:  There is no obligation or payment required to enter the Registration for an actively scheduled course.   We understand that you may need approvals but please register as early as possible or contact us so we know of your interest in this course offering.

SCHEDULING:  If this course is not on the current schedule of open enrollment courses and you are interested in attending this or another course as an open enrollment, please contact us at (410)956-8805 or ati@aticourses.com. Please indicate the course name, number of students who wish to participate. and a preferred time frame. ATI typically schedules open enrollment courses with a 3-5 month lead-time.   To express your interest in an open enrollment course not on our current schedule, please email us at ati@aticourses.com.

For on-site pricing, you can use the request an on-site quote form, call us at (410)956-8805, or email us at ati@aticourses.com.


  • Dr. Robert Osiander received his Ph.D. at the Technical University in Munich, Germany, in 1991. Since then he works at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Research and Technology Development Center, where is the Assistant Group Supervisor for Sensor Science and a member of the Principal Professional Staff. Dr. Osiander’s current research interests include Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems MEMS), Nanotechnology, and Terahertz Imaging and Technology for Applications in Sensors, Communications, Thermal Control, and Space. He is the PI on “MEMS Shutters for Spacecraft Thermal Control”, which is one of NASA’s New Millennium Space Technology Missions, to launch in 2005. Dr. Osiander has also developed a research program to develop carbon nanotube based thermal control coatings.


  • Ann Garrison Darrin is a member of the Principal Staff and Program Manager for the Research and Technology Development Center at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. She has over 20 years experience in both government (NASA, DoD) and private industry in particular with technology development, application, transfer and insertion into space flight missions. She holds an M.S. in Technology Management and has authored several papers on technology insertion along with co-authoring several patents. Ms. Darrin was the Division Chief at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for Electronic Parts, Packaging and Material Sciences from 1993-1998. She has extensive background in aerospace engineering management, microelectronics and semiconductors, packaging, and advanced miniaturization. Ms. Darrin co-Chairs the MEMS Alliance of the Mid Atlantic.

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