Accession Number:

ADA327677

Title:

Report on Alternative Devices to Pyrotechnics on Spacecraft,

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION HAMPTON VA LANGLEY RESEARCH CEN TER

Report Date:

1996-09-01

Pagination or Media Count:

20.0

Abstract:

Pyrotechnics accomplish many functions on todays spacecraft, possessing minimum volumeweight, 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 Administrations 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.

Subject Categories:

  • Unmanned Spacecraft
  • Manned Spacecraft

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE