SBIR Phase II: Commutational Ramp Load Disk Drive Actuator

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Phase II
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Bluewater Technology
Meridian Technology Center, 1414 S. Sangre Rd. Ste 205, Stillwater, OK, 74074-0000
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Matthew Green
(405) 410-1326
Business Contact:
Matthew Green
(405) 410-1326
Research Institution:

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will design, build, test, and validate a fully operational prototype disk drive incorporating a commutational ramp load actuator (CRLA). The CRLA is a unique and transformative actuator for disk drives that provides significant improvements over existing actuator technology by increasing performance and reducing cost. The research objectives consist of a systematic distributed parameter design for the CRLA components, quantification of intrinsic parameters and performance characteristics, design and synthesis of a robust trajectory and control algorithm to fulfill the ramp load/unload requirements, and verification of repeatability and reliability of the ramp load/unload process. The CRLA design requires travel through a magnetic transition zone which presents an input singularity at a location on the ramp within the actuator sweep angle resulting from a zero torque factor. To promote travel on the ramp and through the region near the input singularity point on the ramp, a robust closed-loop control algorithm will be developed that will provide failsafe ramp load/unload operation through the transition zone. It is anticipated that the research will lead to a technically sound and robust CRLA prototype actuator which will provide significant performance improvements and cost savings. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is immediate and long-term. The immediate commercial potential is the specific application of the technology to the current 550 million units per year disk drive market for computers, servers, data backup systems, communication technologies, and many consumer products such as digital video recorders. The CRLA technology is expected to provide cost savings of $0.17 to $0.47 on magnet, coil, and latch materials for each disk drive. Additional cost savings are realized through a reduction in product liability, warranty, and return costs. This technology will provide a direct benefit to society via manufacture of a consumer product that is of a lower cost and higher performance. This innovation will enhance scientific and technological understanding of devices that require ?control through singular regions,? with potential application in diesel engines and various military defense and security technologies. Additional broader impacts include: (a) realistic engineering training for students; (b) improving local economy by creating manufacturing jobs; (c) involvement of undergraduate students and preparation of project modules to enhance undergraduate curriculum; (d) collaboration with practicing engineers; and (e) immediate transfer of technology to disk drive industry.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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