NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 A2.01-8646
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Materials and Structures for Future Aircraft
PROPOSAL TITLE: Development of Fast Response SME TiNi Foam Torque Tubes

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
1731 Hendrix Ave
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 - 3316
(805) 312-5665

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Peter Jardine
1731 Hendrix Ave
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 - 3316
(805) 312-5665

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

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Shape Change Technologies (SCT) has pioneered the use of Self-propagating High Temperature Synthesis (SHS) to manufacture open celled, porous TiNi. Recently, we have been able to demonstrate the shape memory effect in these foams, which is a unique capability. Unlike solid, monolithic TiNi, the open-celled foam structure allows for very rapid response times when immersed in fluids, such as hot water or hot air. The SHS process makes net shape components, and so the cost of the tube can be dramatically reduced, and can have features introduced into the end of the tube to allow for simple torque transfer into a structure. Thus, in developing a foam torque tube using SHS, all of the key obstacles to its incorporation into existing aerostructures can be resolved, while preserving the key benefits of a lightweight, solid-state structure.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The development of porous foam TiNi torsional actuators fits into a niche of a large torque, large strain, fast response, solid state actuator. Our initial thoughts on NASA applications are to introduce these into new NASA concepts, such as in "morphing" UAVs, or such as the concept vehicles where wing twist can be used to control flexible wing structures.

In addition to aircraft, the torsional actuators can also be used for deployment of booms, both for deploying sensors in aircraft but also in spacecraft where the lightweight, minimal part count actuators could be heated electrically. For next generation shuttles, where the actuators must also be space qualified, this type of actuator to control wing twist, nacelle structures or ancillary aircraft structures would be of great benefit.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Commercial applications take two forms, one is introduction of these tubes to control variable nacelle structures, for example in Boeings new concept. More aerodynamically efficient structures via actuation control can also be introduced into windmills and turbines for more efficient energy generation. Light weight torsional actuators can also find application in assisting the disabled, for example as a lift device, as the cost of the device could be reduced to levels similar for hydraulic actuators but with less bulk.

If the cost can be reduced sufficiently , this SME technology can be introduced within the broader cast of SME actuators now being introduced into the vehicle fleet.

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.

Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Multifunctional/Smart Materials

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56