In Space & Defence (as well as in many others fields), there is a trend for miniaturisation in active optics requiring new actuators. Applications also often require the ability to withstand high vibrations and shocks levels, as well as vacuum compatibility for space applications. A new generation of small and smart actuators such as piezoelectric (piezo) actuators, are resolving this trend, thanks to their capacity to offer high energy density and to support both extreme and various requirements. This paper first presents the BSM mechanism and its requirements, the technologies involved in the design and the validation campaign results. Secondly, a derived XY piezoelectric positioning stage based on the same APA® and associated Strain Gage sensing technology is presented with its associated performances. Finally, a new piezoelectric motor based on the APA® technology, which allows the combination of long stroke while maintaining high resolution positioning of optical elements, is presented with experimental performances.
While Cedrat Technologies has been active in space for more than 20 years with piezoelectric mechanisms, we have also been increasingly involved over the last few years in the development of magnetic actuators for space projects. In this paper, a focus is made on the case of magnetic actuators that are developed in the frame of the Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) project. The first one is the Scan Assembly (SCA) actuated by Rotating Voice Coil Motors (RVCM) for the East/West (E/W) axes and the North/South (N/S) axes developed in collaboration with Sener and the second one is the Voice Coil Motor (VCM) developed in collaboration with CSEM for the Corner Cube Mechanism (CCM)
A new tip tilt mechanism based on low voltage piezoelectric actuators has been designed by Cedrat Technologies to answer the high level of stability required for the Earthcare satellite. The Beam Steering Assembly aims to deviate a pulsed high energy UV laser beam to compensate for misalignment between the emission and reception paths of ATLID  with a very high stability and resolution. In this paper, the authors points out the BSM development with the main mechanism design issues including performances, mechanical and thermal stability; low power consumption; high integration level; high reliability and safety; cleanliness requirements and give the results of the qualification campaign done at Cedrat Technologies’ to establish the final functional performances in preparation of the Flight Models deliveries for the BSM.
Multi degree of freedom (dof) mechanisms are widely required into micro or macro manipulation fields as well as in optronics functions. Commonly available mechanisms may be divided into two main categories. The first is industrial robots (serial or parallel). These offer large range of motion, in rotation and translation. Their resolution is usually limited in the sub-millimeter range. The second category achieves very high resolution motion (sub-nanometer) but is limited to a few decades of microns. A way to combine both long stroke and resolution is to use piezo motors into multi dof mechanisms. The aim of this paper is to present a combination of both advantages into a low volume tripod actuator. The Tripod Actuator by Cedrat Technologies (TrAC) is a 3 dof mechanism offering +/-35° rotation around X and Y axis and a 10mm Z translation stroke into a low volume of Ø50x50mm.
High precision cryogenic applications are demanding domains that require precise knowledge of component performance. In the case of active components such as piezoelectric actuators, such knowledge includes stroke, capacitance and Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE). These parameters are difficult to define with precision because of the combination of small displacements and low temperature sensor compatibilities. A high stability and low sensibility test bench is required to obtain such results
The developments of autonomous systems such as for self health monitoring, embedded systems are increasingly used in industrial applications. The energy supply is a key point for the development of such systems. Solutions based on battery have limited life time and the power supplies through wires aren’t always appropriate and easy to install. Furthermore, the battery recycling is complex and an expensive process. The researches on power supply through harvesting systems are increasing in the same way the autonomous systems.
Pin pullers are used to hold, lock or secure deployable or moving parts on spacecrafts during their launching. These ‘one shot’ actuators used to be based on explosive charges. Pin pullers important characteristics are their retraction force that needs to be sufficient to pull the pin out of the locking mechanism, their maximum radial force, which limits the size of the secured system, and their dimensions and weight. The possibility of resetting the mechanism is also an appreciated advantage. Upon request of CNES, the French National Space Agency, CEDRAT TECHNOLOGIES has designed a resettable electromagnetic actuated pin puller, called BRUCE.