Active Control Inceptors Using Smart Material Motion Control

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Army
Contract: W911W6-06-C-0054
Agency Tracking Number: A052-058-0218
Amount: $729,996.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2005
Solicitation Topic Code: A05-058
Solicitation Number: 2005.2
Small Business Information
4030 Lake Washington Blvd NE, Kirkland, WA, 98033
DUNS: 883221723
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert Stirling
 (425) 827-7476
Business Contact
 Dennis Messenger
Title: Vice President
Phone: (425) 827-7476
Research Institution
The prospect of using smart material technology for active inceptor motion systems is of high interest because of the potential cost, simplicity and performance advantages over current brushless DC motor/gearbox systems. The most suitable smart material concept for accurate motion control is piezoelectric actuation, because of its precise controllability, force and bandwidth capability. Phase I research has determined that ultrasonic motors using piezoelectrics in conjunction with magnetorheological (MR) dampers offer the best approach for a new generation of active inceptors. Ultrasonic motors provide large displacement by exploiting the very high piezoelectric bandwidth. A series of very small steps taking place at high frequency provides a large, smooth output motion with high force (or torque) and bandwidth. Current ultrasonic motors have relatively low force/torque capability, so it is essential to develop higher force/torque units, with direct drive of the stick eliminating the need for gearing as a key objective. MR dampers are also of interest for high force functions such as detents and hard stops. Research into the control of MR dampers is proposed in Phase II, which will demonstrate a fully functional dual axis inceptor prototype, with a smart material motion system in two axes, including consideration of flightworthy qualification.

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

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