NASA SBIR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 X6.02-8294
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Low Temperature Mechanisms
PROPOSAL TITLE: Cryogenic Rotary Piezoelectric Motor

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
205 Williamson Square
Franklin, TN 37064 - 1321
(615) 595-6665

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jeffrey S. Paine
205 Williamson Square
Franklin, TN 37064 - 1321
(615) 595-6665

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 3 to 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Piezoelectric motors operate on the principal of high frequency oscillation of high force precision ceramic elements. The high power oscillations are converted to rotary motion through a novel conversion mechanism to produce high torque precision motion when compared with traditional electromagnetic motors. Dynamic Structures and Materials (DSM) proposes to focus the Phase I innovation on the development and design of a precision rotary conversion mechanism that will take the piezoelectric oscillatory power and produce rotary motion for operation at cryogenic and extreme environments. DSM has already demonstrated operation of its high force linear motor actuators for environments as low as 77 K. The proposed rotary motor should operate from approximately 25K to 400 K and should provide very low or no outgassing as well as operational capabilities in hard vacuum. The technology is proposed for applications in the area of rover control, driving operational equipment, instruments, and other such facilities. This proposal addresses DSM's perceived approach to the development of flight-scalable demonstration components for the novel rotary motor technology.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
An actuator system featuring the proposed capabilities (> 5 Nm torque, 1 to 200 RPM, lightweight, submicron dynamic range, nanometer stability) will help facilitate the success of lunar and Mars missions. Derivatives of this actuator technology could be deployed with many space-based rovers and instruments.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed type of rotary motor technology could be readily leveraged to satisfy the requirements of precision terrestrial applications. Piezoelectric rotary motors are used where precision motion and high torque are required in a compact space. Since piezoelectric motors do not require a gear box to provide substantial torque levels, they can be much more compact and precise than electromagnetic motors with gearboxes. In addition, many precision assembly and fabrication processes related to optoelectronics and semiconductor fabrication and metrology could benefit from the general actuation technology proposed herein.

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