With the development of mechatronics technology and fault diagnosis theory, people regard flow information much more than before. Cheap, fast and accurate flow sensors are urgently needed by hydraulic industry. So MEMS sensor, which is small, low cost, well performed and easy to integrate, will surely play an important role in this field. Based on the new method of flow measurement which was put forward by our research group, this paper completed the measurement of flow rate in hydraulic system by setting up the mathematical model, using numerical simulation method and doing physical experiment. Based on viscous fluid flow equations we deduced differential pressure-velocity model of this new sensor and did optimization on parameters. Then, we designed and manufactured the throttle and studied the velocity and pressure field inside the sensor by FLUENT. Also in simulation we get the differential pressure-velocity curve .The model machine was simulated too to direct experiment. In the static experiments we calibrated the MEMS sensing element and built some sample sensors. Then in a hydraulic testing system we compared the sensor signal with a turbine meter. It presented good linearity and could meet general hydraulic system use. Based on the CFD curves, we analyzed the error reasons and made some suggestion to improve. In the dynamic test, we confirmed this sensor can realize high frequency flow detection by a 7 piston-pump.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.