SBIR Phase I: Commutational Ramp Load Disk Drive Actuator

Award Information
Agency:
National Science Foundation
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$148,796.00
Award Year:
2010
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
0945905
Agency Tracking Number:
0945905
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
IC4
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
BLW
Meridian Technology Center, 1414 S. Sangre Rd. Ste 205, Stillwater, OK, 74074
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
826184520
Principal Investigator:
Matthew Green
PhD
(405) 410-1326
mattgreen@bluewatertek.com
Business Contact:
Matthew Green
PhD
(405) 410-1326
mattgreen@bluewatertek.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project develops a unique and transformative ramp load hard disk drive actuator that provides significant improvements over existing ramp load technology by increasing performance and reducing costs. A ramp is used to park the read/write heads of the disk drive actuator to avoid head/disk impact due to an external shock to the drive. The project activity consists of applied research and design of a new and unique commutational disk drive actuator that performs the ramp load/unload and seeking operations for the arm of a hard disk drive. The commutational actuator is a synergistic combination of a magnet/coil assembly, magnetic bias feature, and ramp. The commutational actuator is of reduced size and cost compared to conventional ramp load actuators that are currently used. The reduced size and cost are facilitated by requiring the actuator arm to travel through a magnetic transition zone which presents an uncontrollable, singular region within the actuator arm sweep angle on the ramp. To promote travel through the uncontrollable, singular region, a special head loading/unloading closed-loop control algorithm that will be developed to provide failsafe operation through this transition zone. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is immediate and long-term. The immediate commercial potential is the specific application to the 500 million units per year disk drive market for computers, servers, data backup systems, communication technologies and many consumer products such as DVRs and cameras. The commutational actuator is expected to have a direct commercial impact exceeding $100 million per year, based on a realized disk drive manufacturing cost savings of $0.20 per drive. It will also enable reduction in size of the disk drive assembly, thus helping in further miniaturizing the hard disk drive without impacting performance.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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