Category Archives: News

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MAG SOAR presents the new generation of magnetic gears in ESA

The technical director of MAG SOAR, Dr. Ignacio Valiente, presented Optimagdrive project final results in 2017 Mechanisms Final Presentation Days workshop. The project main objective was to demonstrate the potential capacity of magnetic gearboxes.

Magnetic gears have proven to be a better solution than conventional gears in applications where the extreme temperature or the maximum precision required implies serious problems for conventional mechanical gearing. For instance, robotics or space actuators.

The prototypes developed by MAG SOAR have been specially optimized for space requirements. Therefore, the minimum weight and the maximum reduction ratio have been considered the main priorities. Although the technology is recently making significant advances, up to now, the state of art still reflects some important limitations such as poor density torques and reduction ratios, magnetic contamination and overheating due to Foucault currents, undesired oscillations caused by high ripple torques… “We had the challenge of demonstrating a better performance in terms of torque with a very much higher reduction ratio”, explained Dr. Valiente.

As there were different points to validate, three different prototypes were developed in parallel to demonstrate some critical points in each one. The first and smallest one, with a diameter of 34mm, demonstrated a very high reduction ratio at one single stage with very low ripple torque. The second one fulfilled an optimal efficiency at high temperatures and significantly low magnetic pollution. Finally, the third prototype demonstrated a reduction ratio as high as 1:75.

In a nutshell, MAG SOAR has laid the foundations for a new coming generation of magnetic gears specially optimized for obtaining a maximum precision, efficiency and speed control at reduced weight. Dimensions, accuracy and torque parameters can be customized to meet different operational requirements.

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Z-DAMPER nominated to the Clean Sky Best Project from Partners Award

CLEAN SKY is right now the largest European research H2020 funded program developing innovative, cutting-edge technology aimed at reducing C02, gas emission and noise level produced by aircraft.  This nomination confirms the big potential of Z-DAMPER for the control of vibrations at high temperatures and low frequencies.

Z-Damper is a magneto mechanism that matches mechanical impedances and provides a multiplier effect damping vibrations of both low and high frequency ranges more effectively.

Z-Damper optimum performance at extreme environments made this magneto-mechanism the perfect vibration killer to be used in one of Clean Sky major projects: the new counter-rotating open-rotor (CROR) developed by Airbus. CROR fuselage-mounted turbofans need a level of isolation of vibrations in a high-temperature environment that current damping technologies are not able to reach.

MAG SOAR SL, in cooperation with Universidad de Alcalá, developed and tested two prototypes following Airbus requirements. "Z-Damper has demonstrated a unique damping performance, even in extreme temperature environments. We have insight the birth of a new vibration isolation technology which applications are only starting to be foreseen", stated Dr. Valiente, technical director of MAG SOAR and scientific responsible of the project.
































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MAG SOAR in charge of SIROM thermal interface

SIROM is a European Commission H2020 project with the objective of developing a standard set of connections that allow coupling of payload to the manipulators and payloads to other payloads. These robotic manipulators or robot arms are increasingly being used in complex in-orbit infrastructures or space exploration due to its effectiveness and optimum performance in space conditions. However, there are still some problems due to the dynamic coupling between the manipulators and the spacecraft.


These connections will be integrated by mechanical interfaces in order to put together the blocks, electrical interfaces for power transmission, thermal interfaces for heat regulation and interfaces to transmit data throughout the satellite.


SIROM standardized model will be crucial for on-orbit servicing missions such as docking, berthing, re-fueling, repairing, upgrading, transporting, rescuing, and orbital debris removal. Besides, it will be also key for the future of planetary robotic exploration, currently depending on a range of robotic assets such as lander and rovers and on the interaction between them and the additional payload elements.  


MAG SOAR is in charge of the design, development, and manufacturing of the thermal interface, one of the main pieces of this robotic puzzle leaded by SENER.




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The birth of a revolutionary vibration isolation technology

Z-Damper is a vibration isolation system able to act as a dissipater and also to enhance the performance of any damping solution by mechanical impedance coupling.

This magneto mechanism is adaptable to low and high ranges of frequencies and it can substitute tuned vibration absorbers currently being used for the vibration control in automotive, energy or seismic applications.

Unlike other existing damping technologies, Z-Damper is capable of maintaining an optimum performance at extreme temperatures.

extreme temperature dampingThe EU funded FP7 Clean Sky program is boosting new technologies in order to improve safety and reduce the contamination levels of the aircraft systems. One of Clean Sky major projects is the development of a new counter-rotating open-rotor (CROR) engine capable of minimizing both noise and fuel consumption.

As the main project partner, Airbus is searching for technologies able to meet the exigent standards required for this large-scale project. Specifically, the fuselage-mounted turbofans need a very efficient isolation system to assure a reduction in the transmission of the vibrations to the aircraft structure. However, present damping technologies have a big limitation: they are not able to operate at the extreme temperature that the rotor engine may reach.

MAG SOAR in collaboration with Universidad de Alcalá has developed and tested three different prototypes specially optimized to reach Airbus requirements. Z-DAMPER project final meeting took place in UAH facilities. MAG SOAR and UAH researchers exposed to Airbus engineers the excellent vibration mitigation results obtained from the static and dynamic tests at temperatures up to 200ºC.Airbus-Z-Damper

Airbus, UAH and MAG SOAR teams were clearly satisfied by Z-DAMPER potential. "Z-Damper has demonstrated a unique damping performance, even in extreme temperature environments. We have insight the birth of a new vibration isolation technology which applications are only starting to be foreseen", stated Dr. Valiente, technical director of MAG SOAR and main project technical partner. 




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Z-Damper: A new technology for vibration control at extreme temperatures

Madrid-18/07/2016-MAG SOAR in collaboration with UAH develops a completely innovative system to face vibration problems by mechanical impedance matching


 Vibration control of buildings, airplanes, cars and other kinds of systems and structures is an extremely important issue in constant evolution. Insufficient control of vibration propagation can cause the critical failure and ultimately, the total breakage of an structure. Devastated buildings after earthquakes are extreme examples of the consequences of out of control vibrations.

There are different forms to reduce, mitigate or suppress vibrations. The simplest way is to increase the elasticity of the ground connections between a moving machine and a stable surface. Multiple solutions have been developed with this purpose that go from elastic couplings to floating benches. All of them can provide a quite a good vibration isolation with an appropriate design. However, these are limited to normal temperature and relatively high frequencies. Moreover, these solutions usually involve a significative increment of weight.

MAG SOAR engineers have just designed a new vibration control technology able to handle extreme temperature conditions at low and high frequencies thanks to mechanical impedance coupling. Z-DAMPER is a zero-backlash magneto-mechanism that has been optimized for matching mechanical impedances in order to control vibration propagation in a structure. This is the first damping technology to reach temperatures as high as 250 ˚C and as low as -200 ˚C and able to cope with high dynamic forces. Besides, there is not contact between the movable members so it barely needs maintenance. All of this makes Z-Damper the perfect candidate for extreme temperature environments where lubrication and wear related problems can have catastrophic consequences.

Z-DAMPER can also be applied to enhance the efficiency of other damping systems, like tuned vibration absorbers, eddy-current dampers and particularly, those with a poor performance at low frequency vibrations. The working principle detailed in the recently published paper, Z-Damper: a new paradigm for attenuation of vibrations”

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MAG SOAR presents Z-DAMPER in ESA 2016 mechanism workshop

MAG SOAR technical director exposed the project last advances to the interested parties

The Workshop on Gear Technology and Mechanisms Final presentation took place on ESA´s technical heart and incubator of the European space effort: The European Space Research and Technology Center, ESTEC, located in Noordwijk. (Netherlands)


The objective of the Workshop Gear Technology was to promote the discussion and exchange of ideas between European industry and academic institutions about research related to gear technology. Afterwards, the ESA Mechanisms section hosted the annual Final Presentation Days to disseminate the results of research and development activities.

Dr. Ignacio Valiente, MAG SOAR technical director, made a presentation about the last advances of FP7 Cleansky Z-Damper project. Z-Damper is a new damping technology able to resist extreme levels of vibrations at higher temperature than any other vibration control system. Z-DAMPER working principle is based on mechanical impedance coupling. This represents a completely original concept for vibration control as impedance matching has never before been used for damping purposes. Impedance coupling damping technology can be applied to vibrations control in many other fields such renewable energy or automotion. The working principle is detailed on the recently published paper: Z-Damper: a new paradigm for attenuation of vibrations.



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Extreme environment test bench for dampers ready for operation

damping test bench

The bench is designed for testing dampers performance at extreme temperature between -200ºC and 300ºC and at a frequency range of 0 to 50 Hz.

Vibration isolation is a common denominator issue in areas such as aerospace, defence, automotive, industry or energy. Unfortunately for engine manufacturers, currently available dampers are incapable of handling temperatures higher than 100ºC.

MAG SOAR engineers are just about to overcome this technological barrier with the development of the new Z-DAMPER. This magneto-mechanical damper is about to become a new paradigm for attenuation of vibration; A prototype is being designed to work optimally at high temperatures at low and high frequencies. In short, a clear breakthrough in the present damping technologies.

Z-DAMPER is partially founded by the European Union programme Clean Sky, the most ambitious aeronautical research programme ever launched in Europe. Clean Sky main objective is to develop technologies destined to increase significantly the environmental performance of airplains and air transport.

In order to go a step further, an unique test bench facility has been created and is now operational and ready for testing damping performance at extreme temperature.


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ESA visits MAG SOAR facilities

Another step forward for Levisolator

ESA visits MAG SOAR facilities to monitor the recent advances of the project

Levisolator is creating a completely new support system based on magnetic bearings technology that would eventually be installed on the cryostat of ESA ATHENA mission, an advanced X-ray telescoped designed to address the Cosmic Vision gas structures.

ESA visits MAG SOAR facilities

MAG SOAR leads a consortium with Universidad de Alcalá and the Universidade de Lisboa which is currently developing the Levisolator project. MAG SOAR engineers exposed the last updates and technical data to the ESA agents.

The use of magnetic bearings in extreme temperature environments can be crucial to improve isolation, cleanliness and lifetime of the mechanisms and prevent wear or lubrication issues. This makes satellites and space telescopes the perfect candidates to benefit from the advantages provided by contactless magnetic systems.

Athena telescope development could be key in order to unravel some of the universe biggest mysteries such as how does ordinary matter assemble into large-scale structures or how do black holes grow and shape the Universe.

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A close look to magnetic mechanical systems

The end of wear and lubrication

Category : News

Levitating mechanical supports may seem a science fiction or futuristic reality. Nevertheless, magnetic contactless systems are already available and capable of dealing with most of the problems bound to traditional mechanic devices. MAG SOAR products and services explore all the possibilities offered by this clear breaktrough in nowadays technology.


The substitution of geared teeth for magnets results in a contactless way of transmitting forces that nips in every wear and tear between the mechanism parts. This huge advantage entails minimum maintenance and a significant lifetime lengthening. A clear overpass respect other similar devices.


In conventional systems the lack of lubrication, not using enough product or applying the improper one can trigger a large number of problems in gearboxes and moving mechanisms. Magnetic contactless systems directly imply the end of every issue connected to lubrication. Levitating devices would finally break the machinery dependence and constant expenses on lubricating materials.


MAG SOAR´s magnetic bearings are able to stand extreme temperatures as it´s been tested in the first prototype, MAG DRIVE. This makes this contactless technology perfect for the conquest of space. Exploration missions needn´t worry anymore for problems that may arise derived from slewing gearboxes such as a stuck axle or a misaligned gear cog.


This contactless technology also presents an anti-jamming function so when maximum design torque is exceeded, power devices in the kinematic chain to break down. It also counts with inherent damping and reduction of vibration that can be tuned by design. Additionally, it has no backlash so it provides a smooth and continuous transmission and it can operate as a reduction or an amplification stage, rotating in clockwise or in counter clockwise directions without the need to stop the system.

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The northen lights are caused by the interaction between magnetic fields.


The magnetic energy´s faculties can be breathtaking. One of the most impressive proofs of this is the phenomenum know as the Northen Ligths, caused by the collision between the earth´s magnetic field and the solar wind. The acelerated electrons crushing against the atmosphere happen to offer us one of the most beautiful spectacles in the entire world.


The great potential of magnetic systems

MAG SOAR is well aware of the great potencial of magnetic force and that´s the reason why magnetism is used as main ingredient in the development of contactless mechanical systems which aplications range from aircraft mechanisms to space systems.

It all begun with the MAGDRIVE project, a magnetic gearbox optimized to work in cryogenic environments. The objective was to design, build and test a magnetic-superconductor non contact drive able to function at extremely low temperatures.


The results were outstanding: MAGDRIVE didn´t only satisfactorily pass every test but it also exceeded the initial expectations. The drive superconducting magnetic bearings were proven capable of suppressing every contact between moving parts. The lack of friction almost eliminates the fatigue of the system, one of the primary causes of the reduction of life time in all kinds of mechanical devices. Furthemore, it realeases the machinery from the constant need of lubrication and improves its efficiency.

The consequences and applications of this innovative system are countless. That is the reason which encouraged the team behind MAGDRIVE to create the spin-off company MAG SOAR.These are some of the products developed by MAG SOAR engineers:


To sum up, MAG SOAR´s objective is to take advantage of electromagnetic properties in order to unravel complex industry problems that traditional technologies have been unable to solve such as the high costs of maintenance and lubrication, mechanic limitations on extreme temperatures, problems caused by wear or fatigue…  In essence, MAG SOAR aim is to prove that magnetic systems can be the perfect choice to build and improve the present´s technology. Follow us and don´t miss a step of this thrilling adventure.