NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 06-2 A2.07-9416
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Aircraft Control and Dynamics
PROPOSAL TITLE: Miniature High Force, Long Stroke Linear Shape Memory Alloy Actuators

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
MIGA Motor Company
1250 Addison Street, Studio 208
Berkeley, CA 94702 - 1713
(510) 486-8301

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mark A Gummin
1250 Addison Street, Studio 208
Berkeley, CA 94702 - 1713
(510) 486-8301

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Shape Memory Alloys (SMAs) are metal alloys (of Nickel-Titanium, for example) that can change their shape when heated. When drawn and processed in wire form, the shape change is an aggressive contraction, with useable lifetimes of millions of cycles. Despite this fact, SMAs have largely been a scientific curiosity, finding very little commercial use as actuators since their discovery over 30 years ago. The apparent lack of practical application may be attributable to their low recoverable strain (~4% of total wire length). MIGA Motor Company has numerous international patents covering Displacement Multiplication (DM) techniques that allow us to package large strokes in highly compact, lightweight packages. Our current commercially available electric linear actuators provide 1/2" of stroke with 4.5 pounds of output force. We propose to develop several high force variants of our DM designs, allowing up to 32 lbf (high cycle count) or 48 lbf (hundreds of cycles) in a device weighing less than 2 ounces. The manufacturing techniques that we have developed in manufacturing the DM actuators have paved the way to expansion into the high force realm: high reliability wire attachment methods, use of high temperature thermoplastics, protected or over-molded precision chemically-etched stainless-steel stages, and various load-sharing techniques have enabled these powerful actuators to finally become a reality.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The medical industry represents the most urgent need for modern, high force, lightweight, linear electric actuators. The miniaturization of electronic components has fueled the desire for more portable equipment, and much of the diagnostic equipment in the medical industry today relies on motors, solenoids, or pneumatic actuators to move, latch, squeeze, etc, samples and subjects -in ever diminishing package sizes. There is a huge pent-up demand for assisted medical devices: those which require a human input, but also demand higher forces than can be applied by a single technician, or for long periods of time. The defense industry is another important market, requesting efficient electric actuators that can open and close weather-station doors in harsh environments across the world, for instance. Security is becoming an increasingly important business sector, and there are numerous demands for integrated security solutions, including electronic latching, dead-bolting, assisted entry systems, and use as redundant mechanisms in biometric security systems. Each of these applications requires higher forces than the current MIGA actuators can provide.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are numerous applications for high-force linear electric actuators in the aerospace industry including latch-release devices, telescope and instrument door and aperture mechanisms, thermal management louver and thruster control actuators, aircraft control surface actuators, and remotely operated vehicle end-effectors or grippers. Robotic manipulators, rovers, and other exploration technologies can benefit significantly from these lightweight, high-force actuators with an extremely high force/weight ratio (over 350:1). MIGA actuators are compatible with ultra-high vacuum: made entirely out of high-temperature thermoplastics, Nickel-Titanium, and stainless steel (or titanium). No lubricants are required. The total part count is very low, enhancing reliability on orbit or in any other application. Also owing to their extremely low weight, they are nearly immune to high-g loads, and can be placed on the ends of lightweight structures to provide high force actuation.

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.

Aircraft Engines
Attitude Determination and Control
Biomedical and Life Support
Electromagnetic Thrusters
Electrostatic Thrusters
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Human-Robotic Interfaces
Integrated Robotic Concepts and Systems
Multifunctional/Smart Materials
Pilot Support Systems
Portable Life Support
Substrate Transfer Technology

Form Generated on 08-02-07 14:39