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Proceedings Paper

Shape-memory actuated gimbal
Author(s): Bernie F. Carpenter; R. J. Head; Russ Gehling
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Paper Abstract

Future spacecraft systems will require advanced positioning systems to meet stringent reliability, vibration, lightweighting, and cost requirements. Current devices employing stepping motor and gear reduction assemblies may not be able to meet future design needs. A shape memory alloy (SMA) actuated multiaxis gimbal has been developed that provides solutions to these mechanism issues. SMAs utilize a thermally activated reversible phase transformation to recover their original heat-treated shape or to generate high-recovery stresses. when heated above a critical transformation temperature. NiTiCu alloy wires have been wound into helical spring actuators to control gimbal rotation using mechanical elements to convert the linear motion of antagonistic SMA springs into rotation. Analytical models that incorporate the nonlinear hysteretic behavior of SMAs have been generated to aid in spring design and SMA conditioning. Indirect resistive hearing of SMA springs was accomplished using programmable power supplies. A potentiometer sensor attached to the output axis of the gimbal was used to provide angular feedback to a digital controller. An antagonistic approach was used to independently control heating and cooling of the opposing spring element for improved stability and bandwidth response. Proportional-integral derivative control was implemented on the active SMA spring to obtain the desired level of rotation while overcoming an external load. Mechanical testing was conducted on the gimbal to assess control system stability, dynamic response, and power requirements. Torque in excess of 3 in./lb was generated using less than 20 watts of applied power.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 May 1995
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 2447, Smart Structures and Materials 1995: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies, (12 May 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.209352
Show Author Affiliations
Bernie F. Carpenter, Martin Marietta Astronautics Group (United States)
R. J. Head, Martin Marietta Astronautics Group (United States)
Russ Gehling, Martin Marietta Astronautics Group (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2447:
Smart Structures and Materials 1995: Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies
C. Robert Crowe; Gary L. Anderson, Editor(s)

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