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Shape Memory Alloy Solar Motor

The most recent project was an alternative energy concept project with Paul Tatum at Marshall Space Flight Center. The purpose of the project was to research a solar-motor concept and develop a prototype to demonstrate the chosen concept. My task was to build a mechanism that was actuated by shape-memory wire. The mechanism had to oscillate using only the shape-memory wire and a high-energy lamp to simulate the sun. The picture to the right is a prototype of such mechanism that I managed to get working just before leaving NASA on my final coop rotation. It doesn't look like much, but this prototype is what demonstrated the feasibility of the idea and made it possible to apply for a patent.


The novelty of this work warranted a patent from NASA on behalf of Paul and myself. Given this, I have learned the patent process, which has given me the confidence to pursue patents in other endeavors.

Solar Motor Mechanism Prototype