This document discusses a technique that provides a means for suspending large, awkward loads, instrument packages, components, and machinery in a stable, controlled, and precise manner. In the baseplate of the test machine, a pattern of grooves and ports is installed that when pressurized generates an attenuated-fluent gas f old providing a low-cost, near-zero-coefficient-of-friction lubrication boundary layer that supports the object evenly, and in a predictable manner. Package movement control requires minimal force.Aids to repeatable travel and positional accuracy can be added via the addition of simple guide bars and stops to the floor or object being moved. This allows easily regulated three-axis motions. Loads of extreme weight and size can be moved and guided by a single person, or by automated means, using minimal force. Upon removal of the attenuated-fluent gas fold, the object returns to a stable resting position without impact forces affecting the object.
This work was done by Daniel P. Breen of ASRC Aerospace for Glenn Research Center.
Inquiries concerning rights for the commercial use of this invention should be addressed to NASA Glenn Research Center, Innovative Partnerships Office, Attn: Steven Fedor, Mail Stop 4–8, 21000 Brookpark Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44135. LEW-18739-1