Nitinol Based Emergency Parachute Automatic Actuation Device (AAD)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 35918
Amount: $69,618.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1997
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
247 Third St., Cambridge, MA, 02141
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Attila Lengyel
 (617) 441-9207
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
The use of Nitinol wire as the activating mechanism for an emergency parachute Automatic Actuation Device (AAD) is envisioned to address the shortfalls of the systems currently employed. The use of a ballistic charge to automatically open a parachute increases the operating costs of such systems. These ballistic charges require maintenance every 2 to 3 years. They also require 100% replacement if activated inadvertently. The need exists to develop an AAD which does not require any servicing for at least ten years, and which can be reset in the field if inadvertently activated. The use of Nitinol is envisioned to accomplish such goals. Nitinol is a shape memory alloy composed of Nickel and Titanium which when heated can contract 5% of its length and withstand large tensile forces. The Nitinol can be heated by running a current through it and pulling the pin out of the closing loop which holds the bag inside the container, thus opening the chute. When the flow of current is stopped, the Nitinol wire returns to its original shape or length.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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