Whether aircraft programs require customized solutions or something off-the-shelf, electric or hydraulic, or a system that can report prognostic data, Collins Aerospace has the capability to provide a utility actuation solution. With systems for the movement of doors, valves or other mechanisms, Collins Aerospace’s Actuation business is at the forefront in design, development, integration, manufacture and certification of utility actuation.

Collins Aerospace’s breadth of electrically and hydraulically powered utility experience includes actuators for weapons bay doors, rotary launchers, refuel probes, air brakes, wing rotation systems, blade fold, specialty locks, air inlet doors and wing fold systems. Looking to the future, Collins Aerospace is focused on providing system value through more electric technologies, integrated components and health parameter monitoring. Customers designing aircraft for Unmanned Air Systems (UAS), 6th Generation Fighters or Future Vertical Lift (FVL) aircraft can turn to Collins knowing they will be delivered solutions that enable them to meet the demanding mission profiles of next generation aircraft.

Collins Aerospace provides specialized utility actuation for applications such as weapon bay doors for stealth fighters. Image courtesy, Lockheed Martin.

At the forefront of technology

One of the key trends in the aerospace industry is a shift from hydraulic technologies to more electric systems. Collins Aerospace is developing and fielding products to realize the benefits of the more electric aircraft solution, including a reduction in weight and cost, as well as increases in reliability and flexibility.  Electric, motor-driven actuators and systems eliminate electrically controlled hydraulic servovalves and hydraulic lines.  Collins has extensive experience in the optimization of electric actuation motors to achieve high efficiency at the necessary speed and torque of the application.  Collins’ development of low cost, scalable motor drives can be used across a wide range of system power requirements, resulting in a high reliability solution that delivers repeatable performance due to the re-use of common components and architecture.  Finally, electric systems allow flexibility in terms of operation and diversion of hydraulic power to more critical use systems.

As an industry leader, Collins has decades of experience integrating proven functional elements into components and systems to satisfy performance requirements.  As a natural progression of integration, Collins seeks out opportunities to combine functional elements together.  One example of this includes exploring the benefits of integrating utility actuation controllers into Vehicle Management Computers (VMCs). Collins’ VMC features triple multi-core processors, high-speed communications and open architecture for use in high-redundancy flight critical applications. The system’s advanced functionality will enable fly-by-wire control, support autonomy and unmanned operation, and allow the system to host multiple applications, such as mission management and utility management.  This integration will mean less discrete control units, resulting in sizable aircraft weight savings.

Collins is also developing utility actuation packages equipped with smart systems of sensors. Using sensors that monitor parameters such as vibration, temperature, and load with advanced predictive algorithms, Collins can help OEMs find early failures or allow maintenance to be conducted on a more cost-effective, condition-based basis, rather than a more costly, time-based maintenance schedule. These sensing systems can be implemented with negligible impact to system or actuator weight.

For more information, please contact ActuationEnquiries@collins.com