Integrated Electric Actuator Application to Flight Control Technology

Period of Performance: 04/06/1998 - 02/06/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Etrema Products, Inc.
2500 North Loop Drive
Ames, IA 50010
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


For current aircraft, hydraulic power is the preferred method of gaining mechanical advantage. Due to its distributed nature and system redundancy requirements, the power comes with the penalty of high weight, cost, and maintenance. ETREMA proposes to develop a magnetostrictive TERFENOL-D driven pump element and active flow control valves to power an electrohydraulic actuator packaged as a self-contained, unitized device, for remote location at the point of actuation. Unique features include bi-directional flow control, elimination of servovalves, and no rotating inertial dynamics. In building such an actuator, a critcal task is matching fluid and TERFENOL-D impedance characteristics which in turn determine pump chamber and TERFENOL-D transducer geometry. The proposed research will define the preliminary pump concept, determine its feasibility, and define its requirements including the environment in which it must perform. An integrated numerical model of the TERFENOL-D transducers, pump, valves, and fluid volumes will be developed to predict performance. A successful effort will ultimately yield a concept for an affordable miniature actuator capable of locally actuating high response changes such as fighter/attack aircraft control surfaces.