Accession Number : ADA327677

Title :   Report on Alternative Devices to Pyrotechnics on Spacecraft,

Corporate Author : NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION HAMPTON VA LANGLEY RESEARCH CEN TER

Personal Author(s) : Lucy, M. ; Hardy, R. ; Kist, E. ; Watson, J. ; Wise, S.

PDF Url : ADA327677

Report Date : SEP 1996

Pagination or Media Count : 20

Abstract : Pyrotechnics accomplish many functions on today's spacecraft, possessing minimum volume/weight, providing instantaneous operation on demand, and requiring little input energy. However, functional shock, safety, and overall system cost issues, combined with emergence and availability of new technologies question their continued use on space missions. Upon request from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Program Management Council (PMC), Langley Research Center (LaRC) conducted a survey to identify and evaluate state-of-the-art non- explosively actuated (NEA) alternatives to pyrotechnics, identify NBA devices planned for NASA use, and investigate potential interagency cooperative efforts. In this study, over 133 organizations were contacted, including NASA field centers, Department of Defense (DOD) and other government laboratories, universities, and American and European industrial sources resulting in further detailed discussions with over half, and 18 face-to-face briefings. Unlike their single use pyrotechnic predecessors, NEA mechanisms are typically reusable or refurbishable, allowing flight of actual tested units. NEAs surveyed include spool-based devices, thermal knife, Fast Acting Shockless Separation Nut (FASSN), paraffin actuators, and shape memory alloy (SMA) devices (e.g., Frangibolt). The electro-mechanical spool, paraffin actuator and thermal knife are mature, flight proven technologies, while SMA devices have a limited flight history.

Descriptors :   *SPACECRAFT, *LABORATORIES, *PYROTECHNICS, THERMAL PROPERTIES, INPUT, EUROPE, SOURCES, VOLUME, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, INDUSTRIES, MANAGEMENT, ENERGY, RESEARCH FACILITIES, ALKANES, COSTS, AVAILABILITY, SHOCK, WEIGHT, OPERATION, SEPARATION, ACTUATORS, KNIVES, SPACE MISSIONS, SHAPE MEMORY ALLOYS.

Subject Categories : Unmanned Spacecraft
      Manned Spacecraft

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE