Modular Stepping Piezo Actuators (MSPA) use the stick-slip principle to combine high resolution positioning (<μm) with long stroke (>cm). These motors provide unlimited motion in both rotation and translation. Fine mode allows precise positioning (<10nm). Since it is a module, it easily fits any existing devices requiring up to 25N of driving force with a speed up to 50mm/s. This motor module benefits the use of space qualified Amplified Piezo Actuators (APA®). It is then deemed a good candidate for severe environments such as vacuum, cryo, vibrations, nonmagnetic etc… This paper presents three technical challenges encountered for the development of MSPA product. The first one is the issue of noise resulting from stick-slip actuation below ultrasonic frequencies. The second is the miniaturization at low voltage: One is macro size (sugar cube) working at 45V is characterized, the other is micro size (grain of rice) powered at low voltage below 60V. The third challenge is the successful and reliable integration of the module within new customer applications and new Cedrat Technologies’ products.
Stepping Piezoelectric Actuators (SPA’s) – based on the Piezoelectric Friction-Inertial Actuation (PFIA) principle – are made from Cedrat Technologies Amplified Piezoelectric Actuators (APA). They use the stickslip principle to couple high resolution positioning (<µm), long stroke (>cm) and low volume (<15cm3). These motors are used in optronic, medical and military applications. However, current rubbing contact between the shaft and clamp limits the potential evolution of SPA’s. In this paper, a new concept: called Module SPA (MSPA) – offering long stroke capabilities (>10cm), allowing easier multi-DoF mechanism developments and miniaturization possibilities – is presented. Results obtained on three innovative engineering models – linear long stroke, rotary and three-DoF actuators – are presented, giving the reader actual benefits of this concept and allow addressing new applications such as consumer goods and medical devices.
A Limited Angle Torque (LAT) actuator has been designed by Cedrat upon request of the European Space Agency (ESA) for fine pointing applications based on gimbals assembly. The required angular stroke for this application is 13°. Other required features are controllability, high resolution, no micro vibration. Therefore the selected concept is a coil-redounded electromagnetic actuator using Lorentz force. The functional test shows that the generated torque is linear until 200mN.m, but torques up to 300mN.m are achievable.
The torque measurement usually comes from strain gauges bonded on a shatf. the main concern in this measurement is due to the fact that these gauges are also rotating and the integration of electronic on rotating parts is definitely a blocking point.
Miniature Brushless DC motors (less than 5gr) offer some challenges both in the design and the manufacturing. They are used in several mass volume applications, such as hard disk drive, gyroscopes, and more recently in some unnamed aircraft vehicles (UAVs), where Cedrat is involved. For this last application, the efficiency is of upmost importance. Cedrat has used its Flux software solution to optimize the Brushless motor design: Some materials and dimensions have been changed in the motor to improve its efficiency.
Piezomotors are well known in various applications where high precision actuation is required like AFM or handling equipment for semiconductor production. Their specific low speed in direct drive and high torque characteristics combined with high holding torque in off power conditions make them very attractive for any positioning application and especially space mechanisms where low electrical consumption is always sought. A new concept of rotating stepping piezomotor has been developed in the frame of the LISA space project where the mechanism of the telescope orientation was addressed.
Thanks to the help of intensive modelling, the two first prototypes realised in the framework of the M2 EMS project are functional. It consists of prototypes of single-phase stepper motor whose structure has been transformed from the Lavet motor so as to take into account collective production of the magnet film layers, which are developed in the M2 EMS project.
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