Method for Regulating the Strain Output of Shape Memory Alloy Actuator


The Technology

This invention removes the requirement for sensors to detect position for precisely controlling Shape Memory (SMA) actuators. Today, when exact strain regulation is needed, sensors for the post are required, which results in the cost of adding the weight and volume. A brand new and highly accurate model of Martensitic Austenitic Phase shift in Shape Memory Alloy has been created and is used as the basis of a new control technique that allows precise movement control. A simple and efficient topology was developed and tested for both actuation and the power of SMA actuators. It enables the management of low-cost an actuator or several actuators by using the smallest amount of hardware.

Commercial Potential

  • It eliminates the requirement for position sensors, such as LVDTs.
  • Expands the scope of application and market potential for SMA actuators
  • Reduces the components count of both the actuator and controller.
  • Reduces the weight, cost, and bulk of SMA actuator systems.
  • Flexible within the tight space limitations
  • Eliminates complex control algorithms, like PID or PI or sliding model
  • Easy to scale to multiple actuators via a one controller

Commercial Potential

This technology can be used in many applications where SMA-based actuation is desired and when precise positioning control is essential. The applications that can be used include, however, they are not restricted to the following:

  • Engine and wing structures
  • Helicopter rotor blade angle control
  • The artificial muscle in future-generation robotic and space systems
  • Actuators to control various kinds of valves and switches
  • Control of tension and positioning in mechanical systems.
  • Bright louvers with a thermostatic drive to satellite thermal control subsystems for
  • The actuators for tension control of membrane-based artificial aperture radar (SAR) antennas

The Business Opportunity

Eliminating expensive and bulky position sensors, like LVDTs, allows for broader applications and acceptance for SMA-based actuators. This technology permits an improvement in cost in existing systems and an expansion of the market potential for SMA actuators, thereby promoting the use of this technology for new and challenging applications, where this could be the most preferred method. A new generation SMA actuator based on this technology could be an innovative and valuable development in various industries.

Technology Transfer Details

  • This technology can be rented with a license.
  • The business opportunity can be identified using the CSA case ID 50869


  • Number: 2714496
  • Status: Patent Granted
  • Source: Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO)

United States

  • Number: 8,706,305
  • Status: Patent Granted
  • Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)


  • Xin Xiang Jiang
  • Darius Nikanpour


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