Control fins on the bodies of missiles adjust their flight path and help ensure missiles hit their intended targets. The main component used to position these fins is a missile fin actuator, which maneuvers the fins according to a missile’s onboard processor instructions. As there can be no room for error when guiding a missile, it’s vital to implement powerful and accurate fin control systems.
What Is a Missile Fin Actuator?
Actuator control systems help determine the positioning of missile fins both prior to and after firing them. The actuator in a control system receives remote instructions, or positional closed-loop feedback, from a flight computer to navigate and direct the path of the missile. Typically, aerospace actuators for missile applications are electromechanical. The ideal actuator solution will offer a customizable, flight-tested, and cost-effective design.
How Do Electromechanical Missile Fin Actuators Work?
Electromechanical (EM) actuators function by changing electricity into mechanical energy. These missile fin actuators provide navigational steering control that positions missile fins on interceptors, tactical missiles, and more.
It is common for these control systems to contain three or four actuators along with brakes and additional control technology. The closed-loop and sensor feedback in missile fin control actuation systems (FCAS) is typically transferred to the actuator utilizing a digital communication interface.
Actuators must have the ability to reliably function under varying and harsh conditions, be it high or low temperatures, shock loads, velocities, or altitudes.
Applications for Missile Actuation Systems
Some applications that rely on actuation systems include:
- Surface-to-air missiles. These missile systems commonly use fin actuators for short-range and fast-paced maneuverability to combat inbound missiles.
- Air-to-air missiles. Missiles with radar-homing capabilities and other air-to-air missile systems often depend on actuation systems to enable striking distances outside sight range.
- Shipborne missiles. Most naval ships have anti-aircraft missiles onboard for defense. In addition to the actuators on the missiles themselves, there are often very complex and fast-responding actuation systems for the launching of the missiles as well.
- Interceptors. Missile launcher platforms and seeker heads need actuators for sufficient control to intercept anti-ship missiles.
SEPAC, Inc. Brakes for Missile Fin Actuation Systems
Brakes for missiles help hold missile fins in position based on operator or on-board commands. By includingmotion-control products from SEPAC in your missile fin actuation system, you’ll benefit from products that meets some of the highest industry standards. At SEPAC, we are A9100 and ISO 9001 certified, and we design and manufacture high-quality, customizable brakes for a variety of actuation systems for the military, defense, and aerospace industries. Our client list includes Boeing, Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Moog, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon.
Our mil-speccompliant products are customizable for military and defense applications in missile platforms, armored vehicles, remote weapon stations, helicopters, fighter jets, UAVs, submarines, and more. We can meet your size, torque, backlash, and environmental requirements. SEPAC has the expertise and resources needed to develop zero-failure equipment for all your motion control needs.
For more information about our systems and capabilities, contact us today to speak with an application specialist, or request more information to discuss your specific needs.