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Miniature Electric Motors in Aerospace Engineering

It is difficult to imagine how life would be without miniature motors. These days, these little wonders of modern engineering can be found in a spectrum of modern devices, from powered surgical tools and infusion systems to industrial power tools and household appliances.

Because they come in compact sizes, miniature motors are not exactly what people might think of when they hear about huge modern machineries, particularly the enormous aircraft and spacecraft that ply the atmosphere. However, make no mistake; these miniaturized rotary electrical machines, diminished though in size, are an important component in many applications of aerospace engineering. Here are some of the uses of miniature motors in aerospace engineering.

Seat Motion Systems

Airline passengers are expected to sit for long hours on end, especially for long-haul flights, where jetliners cross continents and oceans to reach their intended destinations. As such, it is important for aerospace engineers to have people’s comfort in mind when designing aircraft seats. Seat actuation is one area in which miniature electric motors can really make a contribution, since many aspects of aircraft seat motion can be streamlined by micro brushless motors and brush motors. These include the movement of the footrest, the leg rest, and the backrest, which can all be made more efficient by mini motors while ensuring low power consumption and meeting high torque output requirements.

Window Shade Automaton

The ability to raise the windows of airplanes, especially during takeoffs and landings, is very important.  This is because keeping a good view of the outside enables airline crew members to assess emergency situations in the blink of an eye, allowing them to quickly plan for an evacuation, if necessary. The ability to view the outdoors also helps passengers to quickly inform crew members if they spot something peculiar or potentially dangerous outside the aircraft. As such, automated window shades must meet rigorous operation parameters—a goal that can be achieved with help from high-quality mirco motors. At the same time, these window shades must meet passengers’ expectations when it comes to simply providing them an enjoyable view of the outside.

Aircraft Valve Actuation

High-quality valves perform vital functions that enable aircrafts to operate properly, and this can only be made possible with help from motion solutions that are equally high-performance. Miniature motors that enable valve actuation can be used in a variety of applications in aircraft engineering, including the management of liquid coolant flow, controlling the stream of fuel into the engines, and ensuring proper airflow into the environmental control systems. These are often demanding applications that require robust micro motors, engineered to meet the requirements of extreme environmental conditions.

Airborne surveillance and photography

One of the most important modern applications of aviation is airborne surveillance and photography, with both manned and unmanned aircrafts performing this function today for a range of applications. Aerial videography and photography are carried out for many purposes, including military surveillance, art photography, agricultural spectral imagery, archeological surveys, land use planning, movie production, and many more.

Because airborne surveillance and photography equipment have to withstand harsh environments, the motion solutions that allow optics to zoom, pan, and tilt must also be robust and highly efficient. Modern coreless brushless DC motors are designed to survive such severe conditions while providing the efficiency needed in a lightweight package.

Miniature motors are among the most useful machine components available today. With their high motor efficiency, great motor power density, rugged built, and long service lives, they are perfect for many demanding applications, including those of aerospace engineering.