Universal SMART Track Adapter

Period of Performance: 12/20/2001 - 06/20/2002


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

THE S. Main CO. L. L. C.
50489 West Pontiac Trail
Wixom, MI 48393
Principal Investigator


The S. Main Company proposes to study, design, and analyze a family of universal fittings for use with SMART Track that will increase modularity from the current grid of 12" in the X direction by 1" in the Y direction to a more useful grid of 1/8" in both directions. This must be done without a degradation in performance of the existing medium and heavy duty fittings. Additional concerns are to minimize height of the fittings (and therefore minimize loss of headroom for mounted equipment), to minimize or eliminate tripping hazards, to minimize the number of parts and to simplify installation. Our approach for increasing modularity to a 1/8" grid will be to incorporate slotted holes whereby the underside of the fitting and the nut will have mating linear threads (used extensively in the metal working industry for modularity in clamping of parts to milling machines). The threads prevent slippage in the direction of the slot. Much of the work involves solving some very complex engineering stress analysis problems related to predicting slippage of threads. Additionally, it will be necessary to destructively test samples to verify computational models. The commerical shipping industry increasingly relies upon changing computer, communications, and navigational equipment. Any system that decreases the time required and the effort expended to change this equipment has the potential of commercial sales. While commercial ships do not utilize similar Navy shock requirements, the potential for a reduced weight system is well within the capabilities and expertise developed from work performed in this SBIR solicitation. Additionally, several non-shipping uses of this modular equipment include automotive robotic welders and assemblers, which must be reconfigured upon each automotive design change, and microwave relay towers, which must be loaded with new antennas on a periodic basis. Essentially, any industry that would benefit from a modular, quick-disconnect system that holds equipment in place in rugged environments is a potential commercial application.