Programme Element: ARTES 5.1
Reference nr.: 13.1TT.16
Planned Tender Issue: quarter 4, 2013
(*) Priority 2
The objective of this activity is to develop, design, manufacture and test an Engineering Model (EM) hinge rotary actuator based on Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) suitable for the deployment of Solar Array (root hinge) and deployable radiator appendages.
Targeted Improvements: The main improvement will be a reduction of cost and an increased reliability compared to standard technologies (spring or electric motor based). The product will combine several functions (actuation and breaking) and provide semi-active deployment control. It shall consist of European components only.
Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) is belonging to the family of smart materials, which contract in response to a change of temperature that can be induced by an electrical current. One shot linear actuators, rotary actuators, or even hold down and release actuators can be developed based on this material when used as the triggering or actuating device.
For multi-panels solar arrays, the panels are connected together and with the motorised yoke hinge by a synchronisation mechanism, generally composed of Kevlar cables tensioned by springs-hinges and pulleys. The purpose of the subject mechanism is to drive and control the deployment sequence. Spring-driven Hinges (in-line Hinge, Root Hinge, and lateral Hinge), are used as deployment system in current state of the art solar array solutions. In all spring-driven hinges, the main problem is the control of the stored energy. To absorb the surplus energy, a wide variety of complex devices may be used (clutch mechanisms, friction brakes, crushable honeycomb plugs, eddy current and fluid dampers). SMA based actuators offer combined and simple actuation, deployment and damping controlled functions. They can also be used for the deployment of deployable radiators.
The work logic will consist of: technical requirements specification / trade-off / preliminary design / breadboard design / breadboard manufacturing / breadboard testing / detailed design / EM design / EM manufacturing / EM testing.
(*) Priority 2 activities will only be initiated on the explicit request of at least one delegation.