Air and Space

Air, Space & Defence markets are looking for more and more Mechatronic Solutions for improving flight or observation performance. These have to be light-weight, efficient and highly reliable. CEDRAT TECHNOLOGIES's mechatronic components and systems for Air, Space & Defence can be found in airplanes, helicopters, missiles, military vehicles, Micro aerial vehicles (MAV), satellites, spacecraft, Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), to address following functions & applications:

Compact & dynamic actuation

Many fast actuation functions in air, space and defence applications are performed with CEDRAT TECHNOLOGIES actuators, taking benefit of their high energy density, robustness and low power found in APA ®, LSPA, PPA and MICA.
These functions include: Actuation of flaps, fins, winglets in helicopters, missiles and UAVs ; Pulsed jets and synthetic jets in airplane ; Active Damping of vibrations for cameras, optic equipment, landing gears ; Sonic and ultrasonic Vibration generation for X-ray dust analyser & tribometers.

Precise Positioning

Micro / nano positioning functions realized by CEDRAT TECHNOLOGIES mechanisms is found in instruments such as space interferometers, Lidar, magnetometers, telescopes, cameras… They involve a slow motion with a high precision. For surviving external vibration, a high stiffness is generally wished, meaning a high force density. These functions are typically: Scanning in space instruments such as Atomic force microscopes (AFM) ; Refocusing of optics; Tuning of laser cavity in Meteosat; Shape control of antennas and mirrors; Proportional flow control in micro thrusters…
Clamping with Latch actuators and hold-down and release mechanisms (HDRM) is not really micro positioning but this function is also looking for high force density and controlled motion. This is why it can be performed by CEDRAT TECHNOLOGIES actuator suite. 

Sensing & detection

For the above-mentioned applications, CEDRAT TECHNOLOGIES often implement precise position sensors such as Strain Gauges or Eddy currents sensors in its mechanisms for achieving Compact Dynamic & Precise motion control. These sensors have been optimised for offering high reliability, low power, low weight and high precision. 
CEDRAT TECHNOLOGIES is also used to develop sensors and detection systems for Air, Space & Defence applications. Customized sensors include contactless rotation speed or torque sensors for example for aircraft ABS or helicopter turbine control. Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) in aircraft using Lamb waves is an example of detection system where CEDRAT TECHNOLOGIES provides a useful suite of piezo transducers and electronics solutions.

For addressing these functions and applications, CEDRAT TECHNOLOGIES delivers innovative mechatronic components and functions following two approaches:  

  • Standard Products: Most of our piezoelectric and magnetic actuators available as Standard mechatronic products have been initially developed for space applications, using ESA ECSS design rules. They have been qualified in harsh environment (vibration, shock, wide temperature range, etc). They are now also used in Air, Space & Defence. CEDRAT TECHNOLOGIES provides various technical supports to customers for ensuring safe implementation of these products.
  • Customised solutions: To achieve optimal solutions accounting application specificities, CEDRAT TECHNOLOGIES is used to develop dedicated actuators, mechanisms, sensors, electronics and mechatronic devices under customer specifications, adapting its existing components as building blocks or using its design experience (see aerospace heritage). This approach is especially relevant in Air, Space & Defence applications, as load and environment conditions, as well as allocated mass and electric power depend on each application.

To learn more about functions & applications of CEDRAT TECHNOLOGIES mechatronic components and systems for Air, Space & Defence see our related publications or contact us at