Electro-Mechanical-Magnetic Actuator Systems (EMMAS)

Chris Kirby, CEO of Magnomatics
Chris Kirby, CEO of Magnomatics

Magnomatics is proud to be part of a consortium developing new actuators for primary aircraft control systems, based upon its Pseudo Direct Drive (PDD®) electric machine.  The consortium  is led by Triumph Actuation Systems –UK & IOM and also includes Romax Technology and the University of Sheffield.

The project has been funded through an open competition run by the Technology Strategy Board on behalf of the Aerospace Technology Institute. £19 million of public funding was provided with a further £11 million from industry to support new projects covering a broad spectrum of aerospace technology research.

The project was announced by the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg at the Farnborough Air Show on the 17th July 2014.  Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg said:

“The UK’s aerospace industry is going from strength to strength and helping our economic recovery. We are the number one aerospace industry in Europe and second only to the United States globally.

I want to ensure the UK remains at the cutting edge of aerospace innovation, which is why I am pleased to announce that we are investing £154 million for research to explore new technologies like the 3D printing of plane parts and creating lighter, greener aircraft.

By working in partnership with business, we are building a stronger, more balanced economy, creating more jobs and sharing the wealth equally.”

Chris Kirby, CEO of Magnomatics, said:

“We are delighted to be awarded this funding which will enable us to further develop our novel light-weight and fault tolerant actuator motors. Modern aircraft are replacing hydraulic systems where possible and Magnomatics’ advanced technology is able to deliver the demanding characteristics required for safety critical actuation of flight surfaces.”

The Electro-Mechanical-Magnetic Actuator Systems (EMMAS) project aims to create safer, quieter, more-reliable electro-mechanical actuator designs, containing electronics suitable for extreme environments (wide temperature ranges, and high vibration). These actuators will be vibration resiliant, have capacity to thermally regulate, require less maintenance, and be resistant to ‘jamming’ when permanently or temporarily overloaded.

All aspects of the actuator design process will be evaluated throughout the program. The main program topics include the development of control strategies and drive electronics, investigation of using novel magnetic gearing technology to replace a conventional motor and gear train, and full system analysis of electro-mechanical performance. The objective of the project is to advance technology capability within electro-mechanical actuation, with a key focus on increasing reliability, safety and passenger experience.

This investment is a key part of the aerospace industrial strategy, jointly developed by industry and Government through the Aerospace Growth Partnership, which provides a single, national focus for technology research and facilities in the sector. £2 billion funding has been provided by Government and industry to support the strategy.

The ATI, opened by then-Business Minister Michael Fallon in April, will oversee the £2 billion joint government and industry investment provided through the industrial strategy. Improvements enabled by the ATI are expected to lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions of more than 100 million tonnes each year from next generation aircraft – equivalent to taking 20 million cars off the road around the world.

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