Development of an inductor incorporated onto a carbon fiber MAV structural component

Christopher J. Fearday, Thomas Arthur Ward, Norhayati Soin, Uda Hashim, Nissar Mohammad Karim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Insect-sized flapping wing micro air vehicles (MAVs) are beginning to take flight but have many technical hurdles to overcome. One of the greatest challenges of MAV design is attaining lightweight microelectronic components of optimal size and shape. In this paper an inductor for incorporation onto a carbon fiber MAV body component is modeled using a multiphysics and lumped parameter approach. A magnetostatic simulation using finite elements provides insight into the magnetic flux density distribution of the inductor. Simulation allows the inductor to be adapted to various shapes and sizes. Lumped values are generated based upon desired values for a MAV inductor. Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) processes are used to fabricate the inductor directly on a MAV carbon fiber body (e.g. fuselage) component. Fabrication is prototyped on a semiconductor wafer. The inductor (a major contributor to the MAV weight budget) forms the basis for a lightweight, voltage transformer. By transferring the copper conductors to a structural component, the circuitry becomes part of the vehicle structure. This type of MEMS fabrication allows for optimal sizing, weight reduction, a lower part count and much higher levels of integration. These parameters are critical for operational MAV applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalMicrosystem Technologies
Early online date6 May 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 May 2016


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