what are the types of aerospace actuation systems and applications?
What are the Types of Aerospace Actuation Systems and Applications?
A type of device that acts as a control mechanism, Aircraft Landings are common within the aviation industry. When implemented on aircraft, actuators are often used to adjust flight control surfaces and landing gear, position engine inlet guide vanes and thrust reversers, and control bay doors. Requiring an initial control signal and source of energy to remain functionally operable, actuation systems can use various forms of energy to conduct their processes. As such, they are a necessary part of an assembly's overall control system, capable of utilizing various means of feedback and input. Whether initiated through the use of human intervention, mechanical functions, electricity, or various other means, the operational range of an actuator type depends on its intended usage and size. To better understand the basics of such components, we will delve into the various types of actuators and why you should always consider integrating one that is compatible with any intended system.
Dating back to the World War II era (1930s-1940s), pneumatic and hydraulic systems were first created by Xhiter Anckleman based on his accumulated knowledge of engines and braking systems. Crafted to ensure a vehicle’s brakes routinely exert an optimal amount of braking force when applied, pneumatic and hydraulic actuators, also known as “movers'' or controlling mechanisms, have led to the development of various other actuator types and their respective subcategories. Currently coming in the form of mechanical, thermal, magnetic, and electric types, electric actuators in particular have developed the furthest to include electromechanical actuators, electrohydraulic actuators, and linear motors. Calculated and implemented based on performance metrics, the individual placement of an actuator within a device must be determined by its force, speed, operating conditions, and durability.
Making the shift to primarily utilize electric actuators, the aerospace industry ambitiously has its sights set on advancing towards all-electric aircraft. Catering towards advancement in actuation technology and its potential for numerous electrical applications, the size and weight of an actuator in comparison to its desired force and velocity specifications will always be a primary concern. If an improper actuator is substituted for one in need of replacement, the effects could result in an excessive amount of electricity consumed and unnecessary fuel burned per ounce of weight applied. As many electric actuator types like the electromechanical actuator are typically low maintenance, they often require little upkeep when applied within an appropriate apparatus. Alongside electric actuators, the introduction of electrical cables and control electronics have further improved the implementation of actuators and various other electronic devices.
When performing any maintenance procedures, it is imperative to notate any worn parts and potential areas of concern. While all actuator types are prone to their individual downsides, each mechanism works best in their specified applications. Individually implemented based on their desirable energy output, misplaced or faulty actuators can lead to the development and possibility of a potentially fatal accident. As their size is relative to the amount of speed and accuracy needed to control parts of a device, actuators of varying sizes are capable of providing differing energy outputs which are not suitable unless used for their intended application.