SBIR Phase I: Commutational Ramp Load Disk Drive Actuator

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0945905
Agency Tracking Number: 0945905
Amount: $148,796.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: IC
Solicitation Number: NSF 09-541
Small Business Information
Meridian Technology Center, 1414 S. Sangre Rd. Ste 205, Stillwater, OK, 74074
DUNS: 826184520
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Matthew Green
 (405) 410-1326
Business Contact
 Matthew Green
Title: PhD
Phone: (405) 410-1326
Research Institution
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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