A Seat Track Attach Mechanism (SAM) is a multiple-use clamping device intended for use in mounting various objects on the standard seat tracks used on the International Space Station (ISS). The basic SAM design could also be adapted to other settings in which seat tracks are available: for example, SAM-like devices could be used as universal aircraft- seat-track mounting clamps.

A SAM Is Inserted in, and Clamps Onto, a Seat Track. The SAM can be positioned anywhere along the track, without regard for the locations of the access holes.

A SAM (see figure) is easily installed by inserting it in a seat track, then actuating a locking lever to clamp the SAM to the track. The SAM includes an over-center locking feature that prevents premature disengagement that could be caused by some inadvertent movements of persons or objects in the vicinity.

A SAM can be installed in, or removed from, any position along a seat track, without regard for the locations of the circular access holes. Hence, one or more SAM(s) can be used to mount an object or objects on a track or a pair of tracks in an infinite number of preferred configurations. A SAM can be incorporated into a dual swivel device, so that two of the SAMs can be made to lock onto two side-by-side seat tracks simultaneously, as would be the case in a standard ISS rack bay where two side-by-side racks reside. The main benefit to using two SAMs in a side-by-side arrangement is to provide a coupled load. By picking up load points on two seat tracks, a coupled loading is created, improving the stability and strength since the load is spread to two seat tracks at a short distance.

This work was done by Martin Fraske and Rich May of Johnson Engineering Corp. for Johnson Space Center. For further information, contact the Johnson Commercial Technology Office at 281-483-3809; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. MSC-23299.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the April, 2003 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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