Eight electromechanical actuators, designed and manufactured by Beaver, are mounted on a split ring docking module, which contains an octagon-shaped hatch. The docking module is attached to an orbiter. As the orbiter approaches the space station and makes initial contact, the actuators act as a soft spring, absorbing the energy of the moving orbiter and bringing it to a locking position on the space station. Each Beaver actuator consists of a ball screw, capable of back driving under load, dual drive motors, worm gear transmission, as well as a resolver and load cell in a totally enclosed, packaged assembly.
The space shuttle features another interesting Beaver application on the manipulator arm. A ball bearing spline, located in the gripper mechanism, is used for transmitting torque from a rotating shaft input to the gripper mechanism, moving in a linear direction. Advantages of the ball bearing spline are: sensitive response, compact profile, mechanical reliability, which eliminates leakage problems associated with hydraulics under the conditions of outer space, as well as extremely smooth and accurate operation.
Beaver’s precision ball screws were used in the fuel throttle device of the Lunar Excursion Module, which helped provide a smooth, safe landing on the moon.
An ultra-precision ball screw, with a lead accuracy of 70 millionths of an inch, was used in the guidance control mechanism of the Pershing Missile.
Beaver Aerospace provided a crown gear assembly for the pedal actuator in this critical space application. The pedal actuator was designed to extend and "rotate" the Rover container to the proper position so that the vehicle could exit the container and start its valuable mission.
James Webb Space Telescope
Beaver is providing the ball screws that will provide six degrees of movement for each of the mirror segments on the JWST program.