Active Control Inceptors Using Smart Material Motion Control
Small Business Information
4030 Lake Washington Blvd NE, Suite 205, Kirkland, WA, 98033
AbstractActive force-feedback control inceptors are gaining acceptance for potential future use in new and retrofit Army helicopter programs. Current active inceptor types use electric motors, gearboxes and linkages in a closed loop servo system to provide the necessary feel quality and functionality. These units successfully meet the performance requirements, but are expensive and mechanically complex. Smart materials technology can be applied to the development of simpler, lighter and less expensive active inceptors that can be produced to meet the same space, performance and reliability standards. The research program will investigate the use of smart materials to provide motion control actuation for active inceptors that are suitable for both flightworthy applications and flight simulators. Various issues of design and performance need to be researched before the performance potential is established, and a realistic specification will be developed for an initial prototype demonstrator unit. All smart material types will be considered, including piezoelectric materials and shape memory alloys. Phase I is aimed at establishing basic feasibility of the concept and applying it to a specific active inceptor type selected for this project. Phase II will extend the research into a more detailed evaluation, including manufacture and test of an actual prototype unit.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.