Nitinol, a nickel-titanium shape memory alloy, was analyzed for its feasibility as a linear actuator to be used in a thermal buoyancy engine of an autonomous underwater ocean glider fueled by the temperature gradient of the ocean's thermocline. A nitinol mass suspension apparatus was fabricated to measure the displacement of an array of masses ranging from 0:5kg to 8kg as the wire was transitioned into its heated austenite phase, and then cooled back to its martensite phase, thus representing the expansion and contraction of a buoyancy engine piston under hydrostatic pressure. In validation of nitinol manufacturer Dynalloy; Inc: specifications, the maximum stroke observed in this dead weight bias configuration was 4:25±0:24%, only a 6% difference from the documented 4% stroke.

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