General Dynamics has been granted a patent for a direct drive actuator that efficiently drives a structure relative to a base using electromagnetic forces. The actuator includes pole arrays on a rotor and stator, controlled by a controller. GlobalData’s report on General Dynamics gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s company profile on General Dynamics, Fuel transport marine vessels was a key innovation area identified from patents. General Dynamics's grant share as of February 2024 was 80%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Direct drive actuator with pole arrays for driving structures

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: General Dynamics Corp

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11929645B2) discloses a method for driving a driven structure relative to a base structure using an actuator with a rotor fixed to the driven structure and a stator fixed to the base structure. The method involves selectively energizing pole arrays on the rotor and stator via controllers to induce driving electromagnetic forces between them. By providing controllers for each pole array and arranging them in a fixed spatial relationship, the method aims to minimize or cancel out electromagnetic force components not associated with the translation of the driven structure, allowing for precise control over the movement.

Furthermore, the patent describes a method for driving one structure relative to another by enabling communication between controllers and multiple pole arrays on each structure. By independently controlling the energization of each pole array, the method allows for the generation of electromagnetic forces between the arrays to manipulate the second structure relative to the first. The use of switching circuits associated with the pole arrays enables selective energization and control of the magnetically-induced forces, enhancing the precision and efficiency of the driving mechanism. Additionally, the method involves receiving data signals over a network to facilitate communication and coordination between the controllers, ensuring synchronized operation for seamless movement control.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData Patent Analytics tracks bibliographic data, legal events data, point in time patent ownerships, and backward and forward citations from global patenting offices. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.