Year of Publication


Document Type





Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

L. Scott Stephens


The harsh conditions of space, the stringent requirements for orbiting devices, and the increasing precision pointing requirements of many space applications demand an actuator that can provide necessary force while using less space and power than its predecessors. Ideally, this actuator would be able to isolate vibrations and never fail due to mechanical wear, while pointing with unprecedented accuracy. This actuator has many space applications from satellite optical communications and satellite appendage positioning to orbiting telescopes. This thesis presents the method of design of such an actuator a self-bearing motor. The actuator uses Lorentz forces to generate both torque and bearing forces. It has a slotless winding configuration with four sets of three-phase currents. A stand-alone software application, LFMD, was written to automatically optimize and configure such a motor according to a designers application requirements. The optimization is done on the bases of minimum powerloss, minimum motor outer diameter, minimum motor mass, and minimum length. Using that program, two sample space applications are analyzed and applicable motor configurations are presented.