NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Experimental Capabilities and Flight Research
PROPOSAL TITLE:Piezo-Hydraulic Hybrid Pump for Flight Control

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Axis Engineering Technologies
One Broadway, 14th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02412-4244
(617) 225-4414

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Eric F Prechtl
One Broadway, 14th Floor
Cambridge, MA  02412-4244
(617) 225-4414

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Axis Engineering Technologies proposes a revolutionary new technology that can provide performance levels, in terms of output power, bandwidth and mass, previously unmet in current commercially available actuation platforms. The approach features a new hybrid pump, which is powered by active material stacks, and produces fluidic power to directly power hydraulic actuators. The compact, sealed unit eliminates external hydraulic components, such as accumulators, reservoirs, and, especially, long hydraulic tubing runs. By increasing system efficiency, reducing system mass and exploiting the unique characteristics of active materials, we expect to get a significant performance improvement in representative applications. This is in contrast with many commercially available actuation systems, composed of either traditional hydraulic or electromechanical mechanisms. Each of these systems is limited due to either excessive mass or limited bandwidth, or both. And yet these technologies have been adopted across a wide spectrum of applications, including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), high performance fighter aircraft, active automotive suspension systems and mobile robotic systems. Each of these applications would benefit greatly from the introduction of an actuation system that can provide mass-savings and bandwidth improvements, simultaneously.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The actuator proposed is suitable for a wide range of actuation scenarios across a number of NASA missions. Fundamentally, we propose to deliver a higher mass efficient actuation system than currently available commercially. In Aeronautics, the use of high performance actuators could enable advanced flight control of experimental aircraft. In Aerospace, they could be used to actuate thrusters on satellites, position payloads on orbital platforms or provide efficient control for planetary exploration on-board NASA rovers.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The non-NASA applications are numerous. In addition to uses similar to those described for NASA, the system can also be used to enable high performance UAV flight control in battlefield applications, and actuation on war-fighting robotic platforms. It would also be enabling for advanced systems, such as wearable robotic exo-skeletons, and morphing aircraft. The most notable civilian application is for automotive active suspensions. In this program, our goal is to demonstrate the technology on a representative application, while pursuing ways to transition the technology to other platforms.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Controls-Structures Interaction (CSI)
Integrated Robotic Concepts and Systems
Manned-Manuvering Units
Pilot Support Systems

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19