The student Jon Santiso Zelaia obtained an OUTSTANDING qualification with 'CUM LAUDE' mention


The student Jon Santiso Zelaia obtained an OUTSTANDING qualification with 'CUM LAUDE' mention


The student Jon Santiso Zelaia obtained an OUTSTANDING qualification with 'CUM LAUDE' mention



Thesis title: Electromagnetic Actuators for Mechanisms for Space Applications


  • Chairmanship: Daniel Moríñigo Sotelo (Universidad de Valladolid)
  • Vocal: David Díaz Reigosa (Universidad de Oviedo)
  • Vocal: Zhu Zi-Qiang (University of Sheffield)
  • Vocal: Gaizka Almandoz Larralde (Mondragon Unibertsitatea)
  • Secretary: Javier Poza Lobo (Mondragon Unibertsitatea)


The investigation in this thesis dissertation presents the study of electromagnetic actuators for mechanisms for space applications. Over the last years, the space industry has experienced a significant change called New Space. Historically, the space programs used to take several years and the employed technologies were previously validated in space to ensure they would not fail. However, this new paradigm aims tighter schedules and volume manufacturing of technologies for space, thus compensating a potential failure rate increment. This opens the door to the introduction of novel technologies previously not used in space, and it is believed that the mechanism (mainly composed by a motor, sensor and a gear) is one of the systems with greatest potentials for innovation. This is explained more in detail in the introduction, where the rotary sensor and the gear have been identified to be the devices with greatest potential of innovation among the mechanism. Moreover, it has been observed that the new manufacturing routes as the Additive Manufacturing could be very advantageous to fabricate the different electromagnetic elements of the mechanism. Taking this into account, some hypothesis and the objectives to confirm or refute them are presented. Then, a literature review is done where different state of the art technologies are studied, identifying their main interesting performances and opportunities for further investigations. It is decided to study the resolver as the rotary sensor, the magnetic gear as the gear and the Selective Laser Melting of soft magnetic materials. Afterwards, the development of the mentioned technologies is carried out. First, different resolver topologies are designed and compared. It has come up with a novel resolver topology, demonstrating to have a high coarse accuracy, better than those observed in the literature. Second, the Additive Manufacturing of soft ferrite magnets is studied. The magnetic performances of different powder compositions are compared, concluding that a Heat Annealing is required to improve those performances. Hence, the heat annealing is optimized. Moreover, the topology optimization of a Limited Angle Torque motor is done, reducing the rotor's weight about 30\% while keeping the original performances. Third, a design methodology of Magnetic Gears for space applications is proposed. A couple of Gears are designed and developed, improving the performances obtained by similar topologies in the literature. Even though the results were compliant with the defined requirements, it has been concluded that a novel topology was required in order to comply with the needs of New Space. Consequently, a novel Magnetic Gear topology has been developed and optimized, which has been prototyped, validating the feasibility of this novel concept. Additionally, Additive Manufacturing has demonstrated to be a very good alternative to manufacture complex parts such as the Magnetic Gear's modulator. Finally, some general conclusions and contributions to knowledge made in this thesis are explained, ending with some guidelines for future work.