NASA 1996 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER : 96-1 10.03-5128

PROJECT TITLE : High-Performance Sputtered Shape Memory Alloy Thin-Film Actuators in Hybrid Multi-Layers for Adaptive Space Structures and Devices

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

The proposed STTR program would significantly extend the range of performance of shape memory alloy (SMA) actuators for spacecraft structural control and dual-use applications. F&S, Virginia Tech and Litton would work cooperatively to consider methods to fabricate and apply hybrid actuator devices based on sputtered SMA thin-films. Due to their high surface area-to-volume ratio, SMA thin-films have increased frequency response over wire and plate geometries; in this program, integrated diamond thermal management coatings will further improve frequency response.

Direct SMA sputtering onto Kapton" or other flexible structural materials would permit the passive or active control of space-based antennas and other structures, and the integration of sputtered thin-film SMAs with shaped PVDF actuators will permit extended capabilities for structural control. Virginia Tech would assist F&S with critical SMA thin-film modeling, sputtering and processing tasks. Litton would assist F&S in transitioning prototype device fabrication to production. F&S envisions use of hybrid SMA thin-film actuator products as embedded elements in adaptive structural components, low-shock latches and thermally-controlled clamps and devices, and consumer products. Non-Federal product commercialization funding is pledged for both Phase I and Phase II programs.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
The proposed SMA thin-films and hybrid actuators have applications 1) as integrated elements in adaptive structures, 2) in devices including low-shock latches and thermally-activated clamps and switches for advanced spacecraft systems, and ) in toys, apparel and other consumer products.
NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR
F&S, Inc. (Fiber & Sensor Technologies, Inc.)
P.O. Box 11704
Blacksburg, VA 24062-1704