Researchers at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia have developed an enhanced version of their original compact vibration damper. This damper is remotely adjustable with self-tuning capabilities being developed.
The NASA damper design allows the slider mass to achieve 2x-3x greater range of motion than that found in conventional devices. This enables 4x-9x more effectiveness for the same size and weight; or the same effectiveness for a 4x-9x decrease in weight. The damper is currently remotely adjustable and can be made self-tunable with the development of add-on software that adjusts its’ effectiveness. The damper can be made small enough for use in wind tunnel tests or scaled up to large sizes, like those used in helicopters, wind turbines, or skyscrapers.
The NASA invention is a compact and self-tunable structural vibration damper. The damper includes a rigid base with a slider mass for linear movement. Springs coupled to the mass compress in response to the linear movement along either of two opposing directions. A rack-and-pinion gear coupled to the mass converts the linear movement to a corresponding rotational movement. A rotary damper coupled to the converter damps the rotational movement. To achieve +/- 3 inches of movement, this design requires slightly more than six inches of space.
This technology is perfect for launch vehicles, helicopters, wind turbines, skyscrapers, smokestacks, and many other applications.
NASA Langley Research Center is looking for partners to commercialize this technology. For more information about this technology, please contact NASA Langley’s Technology Gateway!