Field-deployable and mobile tuning systems require smaller actuators that use very low power, yet offer high precision and accuracy as well as long travel. For RF transmission systems, the demand for smaller size comes from the need to pack more capability into smaller boxes – whether to satisfy consumer preference for compact in-home devices, or the need for higher densities in outdoor instruments.

New Scale provides compact, high-precision motion solutions for this market. Based on our patented piezoelectric motor and related technology, our miniature closed-loop motion modules provide unmatched position resolution and accuracy. Unlike traditional motors, the modules do not generate magnetic fields while moving. Their compact size and low power use make them ideal for inductive or capacitive tuning in field-deployable and portable systems.

M3-L Linear Actuator Modules

M3-L Linear Actuators are micro-mechatronic modules with an embedded closed-loop controller integrated into the tiny piezoelectric actuator system.

  • Size approximately 27.5 x 13.0 x 7.5 mm
  • Resolution 0.5 μm
  • Accuracy better than +/-25 μm
  • Stroke 6 mm or more

The M3-L module is based on New Scale’s M3 design platform. This platform incorporates a piezoelectric SQUIGGLE micro motor, motor drive ASIC, position sensor and microprocessor. The modules accept high-level digital commands via standard serial interface (I2C or SPI). No external control board is necessary.

M3-L modules have low power consumption and maintain position during power-off. They use a 3.3 V input for battery-powered operation.

M3-L modules have smaller size, higher resolution, and lower power use than traditional stepper motors. They can be rapidly customized to OEM specifications including mounting and load interface, dimensions, and push and/or pull operation.

Figure 1 shows a block diagram for the M3-L module. The SQUIGGLE motor moves a mechanical assembly which is designed to fit the application. The NSE-5310 position sensor detects the movement of a multi-pole magnetic strip attached to the moving mechanical assembly, and provides the direct digital position information to the motion control processor. The NSD motor drive ASIC accepts commands from the processor and drives the motor. System input is provided as high-level commands from the system microprocessor via standard I2C or SPI serial interface. The M3-L operates on standard 3.3 V battery power.

Figure 1 – The M3-L micro-mechatronics module incorporates a SQUIGGLE motor, drive ASIC, position sensor and processor. The on-board processor accepts high-level commands via standard serial interface.


Figure 2 – Application example: M3-L moving a capacitor (left) or an inductor core (right) to tune an LC circuit.


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Technical Review By

Stefan Friedrich

Marketing Manager