Form 9.B Project Summary



Proposal Number:


Project Title:

Super Accuracy Locking and Self

Actuating Hinge Joint

Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words)

Future, large aperture space science missions such

as the Space Interferometry Mission and the Next

Generation Space Telescope will require large

mirrors and structures to be deployed with optical

precision. Current technologies require complex

drive mechanisms and latches that have intricate

contact mechanisms that have been experimentally

shown to make the structures inaccurate and their

behavior difficult to predict.

Foster-Miller is proposing a joint that is based on

the innovative combination of curved and flat

flexures. The joint provides 180 degrees of rotation

by elasticly bending unique sets of flexures. Once

the joint unfolds to its final position, the curved

flexures lock into a rigid, post-buckling state. In

addition to acting as a hinge and a lock to fix the

structure rigidly into position, the stored strain

energy in the joint's folded state provides the

actuation torque required to deploy the spacecraft

structure or instrument. Since the joint's flexures

are bonded in place, it is a monolith, giving it

sub-nanometer linearity and precision.

The monolithic, sub-nanometer accuracy joint would

provide future NASA deployed science instruments

with a single hinge, lock and actuation component

that would have optical performance and be

completely ground verifiable.

Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

The super accuracy, locking and self actuating

hinge acts as a key component in a deployed

instrument and replaces traditional actuation and

lock mechanisms with a single, light weight, low cost

component, thus it is ideal for all deployed

structures as well as optical instruments. By

replacing actuation and locking mechanisms, the

joint would reduce the cost and weight of all

deployed components of commercial spacecraft

such as solar arrays, thermal radiators and heat


For terrestrial applications, the low cost and

strength of the joint make it a cost effective

component of rapidly erected structures such as

tents, emergency shelters, and police barricades.

Name and Address of Principal Investigator (Name,

Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Peter Warren

Foster-Miller, Inc.

350 Second Avenue

Waltham , MA 02154-1196

Name and Address of Offeror (Firm Name, Mail Address,


Adi R. Guzdar

Foster-Miller, Inc.

350 Second Avenue

Waltham , MA 02154-1196