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REACT Report Summary

Project ID: 640241
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - REACT (REsettable Hold-Down and Release ACTuator)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-03-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Unrestricted access to Space low shock non-explosive actuators has been identified as an urgent action by the European Commission, the European Space Agency and the European Defence Agency. Project REACT is oriented to permit the unrestricted access of Europe to the technology of high reliable non-explosive actuators based on SMA (Shape Memory Alloy) technology. The REACT (REsettable Hold-Down and Release ACTuator) device is a new Hold Down and Release Actuator (HDRA) for space applications that has been developed as an improved alternative to currently available devices.

Specifically, the project is focused on develop low shock resettable Hold Down and Release actuators and qualify them integrated in real space final user space applications that require this release devices, such as big structures deployment, space science payload subsystems deployment, launchers subsystems deployment and small satellites subsystems deployment.
The TRL (Technology Readiness Level) expected to be obtained once the project concluded shall be 8.

Overall review of project organization.

The REACT H2020 project was organized to effectively approach the development of a new technology of actuators from a safe and reliable approach. Key technology providers, experts in tribology (key science for the applications), and end users are involved within the development of the technology.

Starting from a TRL-6 Arquimea planned to develop a novel technology to effectively provide a real European solution.

The development of the novel technology was conceived in such a way that all participants and activities provide a key feedback to the technology. Two development phases were agreed, EM and QM phases, in which all partners contribute to mature the technology and evaluate the adequacy of the resulting solution to final applications.

The following flowcharts (DOA-Part B) summarize the development approach from a qualitative approach (planned vs current) and illustrate how each activity is contributing to a successful progress while at the same time planned and current situation are compared.

Along this period, up to M15 a total of 7 work packages (7/11) have been started, and one work package has been completed, The planned situation was to have started 8 work packages and completed 2 of them in this period. A deeper review of each work package is detailed within §1.2.

In general the project has evolved as expected but some deviations from initial plan schedule were identified. All these deviations were identified as potential risks.


1.1 The objective of the REACT project is to develop and qualify to TRL 8 low shock resettable Hold Down and Release actuators in real space applications in four different areas: big structures deployment, space science, launchers and small satellites.

Work carried out to achievement the objective:
Continuous discussions with all partners within the technical coordination task are held to keep to target feasible while the design is evolving accordingly.
Major design changes have been faced to further increase the reliability of the technology while fulfilling the identified requirements.

1.2 Identify, generate and analyse between the members of the consortium the applications requirements definition.

Work carried out to achievement the objective:
These activities were covered satisfactorily within WP2. All information was reflected in the Deliverable D2.1

1.3 Propose, define and implement the production of optimized SMA materials and improvement of manufacturing techniques.

Work carried out to achievement the objective:
These activities were covered satisfactorily within WP3 les by UPV. All information was reflected in the deliverables D3.1 and 3.2.

1.4 Identify, optimize and characterize the tribology effects in vacuum of the actuators.

Work carried out to achievement the objective:
Due to the extensive redesign activity, this task has been discussed for each design loop in order to effec

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far


WP-1: Project management

Consortium organization has been completed and continuous management between all partners is performed. A set of documents and meetings resulted as managerial basis for the consortium that is now under nominal work with some schedule deviations. Deviations from planned development are now under close review with all the partners to minimize the impact on the overall schedule and absorb them within the contingencies. The following documents were issued to consolidate the basis of the consortium:
•D1.1 – Consortium operating procedures
•D1.2 – Key project indicators

In addition continuous management of resources and mitigation activities have been applied to reduce collateral effects of encountered difficulties.

WP-2: Requirement definition

The consolidated consortium (final users, tribology experts, and key material provider) performed a careful review of current REACT performances and final applications requirements to prepare an applicable requirement specification for the new technology. The whole work package has been completed and the results are reflected within:

•D2.1 – REACT Requirements definition report

This document has been considered as a requirement specification for the REACT redesign.

WP-3: Production of SMA materials and improvement of manufacturing techniques and materials.

The new manufacturing techniques to produce SMA single crystal fibres are being developed. Two different approaches of the micro-pulling-down technique have been implemented and some promising results have been already obtained. In Figure 1-WP3 an image of two single crystals of different diameter, grown by one of the implemented installations, I shown. Both approaches, with different heating systems, are being tested, in order to determine the best one, in order to design the final growing equipment.

The design of new improved quaternary SMA has been approached with tow different goals, increase their mechanical properties and increase their thermal stability. The addition of manganese together with the re-formulation of the atomic composition of the alloy, have allowed to obtain a new quaternary family of SMA able to work in the high temperature range required for the REACT actuator. However, it is expected that this new kind of alloy will be thermally more stable and consequently more reliable in working condition. The characterization tests are still on going. In Figure 2-WP3, the direct and reverse martensitic transformation, measured by DSC, is shown for one alloy of the series of SMA with Mn.

The performed work has been reflected within:
•D3.1 - Manufactured SMA fibres characterization test plan
•D3.2 - SMA Fibres Manufacturing Procedure Techniques Trade Off
•D3.3 - New technology for SMA fibres manufacturing

WP-4: Tribology study

The current design and performance of REACT was analysed in detail in collaboration with ESTL. Materials, coatings, contact stresses and solid lubricants have been analysed as well as their effects on the device performance in thermal vacuum. Some major concerns were early identified leading to a deep REACT redesign. Several solutions and alternatives were identified and proposed for the new model of the device in order to avoid a major redesign and its impact but no effective alternative was identified as reliable approach for the target purpose. Several sub-assemblies (old design) were built in parallel as initially planned with different materials, shapes, coatings and solid lubricants to finally conclude on selected candidates.

Work on this work package has been on hold for much of the reporting period, pending changes to the REACT design by Arquimea. In December 2015, discussions began about a major redesign of the mechanism and necessary changes to the test plan. Tribology test campaign has been reviewed continuously as the design evolved. Finally a revised test plan was agreed at the end of the period.

WP-5: EM de

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Although the project encountered a great variation from initial plan (some risks finally happened) the new scenario becomes even more ambitious in impact.

The fact of having the valuable feedback of direct final users and experts leaded to a deep review of current devices that is now finishing in the reviewed EM design. This new design represents a highly competitive solution for the European market. Further than having an alternative solution to US devices (ITAR) the new design is expected to provide unprecedented performances and characteristics.

A detailed assessment of the improvement of the impact seems not feasible until performances of new design will be tested on EM. Nevertheless it can be confirmed that same or better impact will be achieved.

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