News ID

New Scale Technologies receives SBIR award to develop non-inductive rotary actuator for U.S. Navy

New Scale Technologies

Victor, NY - April 23, 2010 – New Scale Technologies, Inc. ( has been awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the U.S. Navy to develop a non-inductive rotary actuator system that will move flight control surfaces in miniature precision guided munitions. The closed-loop actuator module incorporates piezoelectric micro motors and control electronics (drive ICs, position sensor and microprocessor) in a one-inch-cubed volume. The actuator system generates no magnetic fields, and can therefore be located in close proximity to navigation systems that use the earth's magnetic field to measure orientation and roll rate. The combination of small size and non-inductive operation enables further miniaturization of guided munitions systems.

The award supports New Scale’s continuing development of miniature motion systems based on its patented and patent-pending piezoelectric ultrasonic motor technology. New Scale is already commercializing miniature motion modules for several commercial applications including: mobile phone cameras with auto focus, zoom, or optical image stabilization; vibration or “haptic” motors that do not interfere with magnetic compasses used with GPS systems; medical devices that are MRI-safe and image compatible; and scientific instruments that function in large magnetic fields without degrading measurement accuracy.

This non-magnetic actuator system will use multiple piezoelectric motors to directly rotate a shaft, delivering 0.2 N-m torque and speed of 300 degrees/sec without gears or mechanical linkages. The system is designed to be simple, low mass and strong enough to withstand high launch accelerations. A key advantage is its extremely compact design and very high power density, achieved by optimizing the resonant frequency and Q (amplification) of each piezoelectric motor for maximum force and speed on the rotating shaft. Other rotary piezo motors have larger structures and propagate a single traveling wave through the entire structure, an approach that is difficult to optimize for power density, force and speed.

“This award allows us to build on our unique piezoelectric micro motor and driver technology, expanding further into the development of rotary micro actuator systems,” said David Henderson, co-CEO and chief technology officer of New Scale. “The results will be a significant improvement over the current state of the art in non-magnetic actuator systems and will provide new benefits for both military and commercial customers.”

About New Scale Technologies

New Scale Technologies ( creates disruptively small motion systems based on our patented piezoelectric SQUIGGLE® motor, the world’s smallest linear motor, and TRACKER™ position sensor. The ultrasonic SQUIGGLE motor is smaller, more precise, less expensive, more robust and more power-efficient than other micro motors. The TRACKER position sensor integrates a magnetic sensor with on-chip digital encoder, for smaller size and higher resolution than miniature optical encoders. We create complete motion systems integrating micro motor and sensor technology with supporting electronics (ASICs) developed with our partner austriamicrosystems.

New Scale’s micro motors, encoders and micro-actuator modules enable design engineers to create smaller products including mobile phone cameras, electronic locks and intelligent fasteners, nano-scale fluid control including lab-on-a-chip systems, medical devices including miniature drug pumps and endoscopes, optics and imaging systems, automotive modules, lasers, aerospace and defense systems, cryogenic and MRI-compatible instruments, and consumer electronics including micro fuel cells.

SQUIGGLE is a registered trademark and TRACKER is a trademark of New Scale Technologies, Inc.

# # # #