Single Axis Servo Controller for Precision Drive Systems Released

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions has released the compact NC120A Nano Motion Controller which generates 120 A of peak current with 28 V input power to deliver more than 3 kW of power for use in precision drive systems By DA Staff / 21 Sep 2021
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Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions division has introduced a new single-axis servo controller designed for use in precision drive systems with Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) constraints. 


The NC120A Nano Motion Controller is a compact (5.4 x 5.3 x 3.8 in/138 x 135 x 97mm) and lightweight (<5 lbs/2 kg) unit that generates 120 A of peak current with 28 V input power to deliver more than 3 kW of power.

NC120A provides system designers with a compelling off-the-shelf alternative to the cost and time required for custom motion controller development, or for larger, heavier multi-component motion controller designs, since it eliminates the need for an external load dump and higher voltage power supply or additional DC/DC converter. System designers can combine three of the scalable NC120A controllers to control up to three axes. 

Built rugged for integration into deployed mobile platforms, the unit is designed to provide optimal performance in extremely demanding motion controller applications.

“For many decades, Curtiss-Wright has been a leading supplier of field-proven precision motion control and stabilization systems,” said Chris Wiltsey, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions. 

“With the introduction of our new Nano Motion Controller, we further extend our commitment to the motion control arena. This unit leverages our expertise in modular, scalable pre-engineered motor controllers to provide high power, precise control in a small, lightweight design. Even better, since it’s based on field tested and proven components, the Nano Motion Controller helps customers accelerate their time to market.”

NC120A provides ultra-low latency motion control and stabilization based on Modular Open System Approach (MOSA) electronics. NC120A’s modular architecture enables it to adapt to the widest range of platform and system requirements, including modular control loops for stabilization, position, speed and current. 

For short-burst peak power applications, such as those required by autoloaders, camera cranes, or remote weapons stations with small-caliber turrets, a low power variant of the NC120A is available. 

Alternatively, the high voltage variant of the unit provides up to 18 kW of short-burst peak output power, ideal for platforms such as guided weapon control systems equipped with a high voltage power supply, making NC120A a compelling motion control solution for remote weapons stations with medium caliber turrets or autoloaders for larger caliber weapon systems (up to 57 mm).

The intelligent motion controller, which features a built-in SoC and FPGA, is easily modified to meet unique customer requirements. For maximum flexibility, the motion controller supports a wide variety of I/O, including high-speed, low-latency RS-422/RS-485, CAN interfaces, digital inputs and outputs (analog I/O is optional), as well as Generic Vehicle Architecture (GVA) Gigabit Ethernet and USB interfaces. For applications that require extreme operating temperatures, the NC120A is also available in a water-cooled configuration. The unit can be configured in MIL-STD qualified housing or as a modular integration package.

The highly rugged solution is engineered to military standards including MIL-STD-1275 for power systems, MIL-STD-461 for EMC and EMI testing, and MIL-STD-810 for environmental engineering, to ensure optimal performance in harsh environments. It also meets functional safety measures that comply with IEC 61800 SIL 2 and IEC 61508 SIL 2 for operational safety. 

NC120A can be used in a wide variety of applications, including remote weapon stations, ammunition loaders, missile launcher drive systems, mortar drive systems, small-size integrated drive systems, and for general-purpose motion control.

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