Design and Modeling Capabilities

MEI has extensive computer and software capabilities for engineering design and analysis. The latest in computer aided design tools are used to maximize productivity and reduce development time. The CHEMKIN chemical kinetics software, developed at Sandia National Laboratories, provides modeling of chemical systems and catalytic reactions. For mechanical design layout, MEI uses AutoCAD R14 and SolidWorks and a variety of translation programs to interface with other CAD packages. For detailed thermal and structural analysis, COSMOS/M finite element code is used, which is capable of non-linear stress, vibration, and heat transfer analyses. For electronic design and layout, OrCAD and PADS-2000 and P-CAD codes are used. PHOENICS 3-D computational fluid dynamics code provides flow analysis, which is suitable for modeling complex laminar, turbulent, two-phase flows, and reacting flows.
 Manufacturing Capabilities
MEI’s electronics fabrication area include soldering/desoldering stations, wirebonders, optical microscopes for product inspection, ultrasonic cleaning stations, a thick film screen printer for the fabrication of heaters, temperature sensors and hybrid circuits and a dicing saw to separate microsensors in a wafer. In addition, a machine shop equipped a CNC mill, a CNC lathe, and a variety of tools provide for the fabrication of protective enclosures, manifolds, and other auxiliary product components.
 Experimental Capabilities to Support Research Projects
MEI test laboratories include a variety of electronic test equipment. Incorporated in the lab are oscilloscopes, multimeters, power supplies, as well as thermal and flow instrumentation including electronic pressure transducers, thermocouple probes, flowmeters and high-pressure gas and liquid handling equipment which are used for research projects. A gas reactor panel with close loop temperature control of the reactor bed supports the development of chemical reactors. MEI also has two Tracor gas chromatographs, one dedicated to reactor research and the other dedicated to sensor development.
 Product Testing and Calibration
MEI has extensive data acquisition capability using multifunction PC I/O boards. MEI uses LabView, LabWindows, and the Borland Delphi development environments for writing data acquisition and control software. Extensive C tools are available for customization of the software. Two Sun Systems closed-loop environmental chambers are used for in-house thermal evaluation of equipment from -55 to 125°C. Two VWR vacuum ovens, equipped with deep vacuum pumps and automated gas filling systems are used to characterize the effect of temperature and pressure on sensor output, while exposing it to various gas concentrations.