Magnetic Shape Memory Actuator

mechanical and fluid systems
Magnetic Shape Memory Actuator (GSC-TOPS-187)
Push-Pull type actuator with nanometer precision
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has developed a push-pull type actuator utilizing a magnetic shape memory alloy. The actuator has nanometer precision and self-position sensing enabling reliable and precise actuation with applications ranging from precise optical instrument pointing to simple locking mechanisms. The unique properties of the novel magnetic shape memory alloy allow for rapid actuation up to thousands of times per second and the position of the actuator is maintained when the magnetic field is removed or the device is powered off.

The Technology
This actuator employs a novel magnetic shape memory alloy which exhibits reversible strain deformation greater than 10% in the presence of a magnetic field. When the magnetic field is removed the material retains its strained state. The actuator design employs this material and a reversible magnetic circuit to enable push-pull type actuation.
  • Nanometer actuation precision
  • High dynamic range
  • Self-position sensing
  • Position is maintained when powered off
  • Capable of rapid actuation up to kHz frequency range

  • Optical pointing devices
  • Fast steering mirrors
  • Release/restraint devices
Technology Details

mechanical and fluid systems
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