Products & Services





ARQUIMEA Actuators Group is specialized in the development of low-shock non-explosive actuators for Space applications. Based on our proprietary Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) material, so called SMARQ, we can provide any type of actuator (linear, rotary, hold down and release, break, smart valves...) qualified for spaceflight operation in an extended temperature range from -90oC up to +125oC. SMARQ is immune to radiation, immune to magnetic field and immune to electromagnetic jamming.

ARQUIMEA Actuators Group is open to work with our Customer engineers to adapt our actuators to the interface and requirements of your application. Either for Satellite or Launcher mechanisms, SMARQ technology is well suited to meet your requirements.

SMARQ Actuators can be used in satellite Hold-Down and Release Mechanisms (HDRM) and also on Deployment Mechanisms (DM). Most spacecraft have appendages (Solar Arrays, Antenna Reflectors, Radiators, Instruments, Doors, Sensors, Booms, etc.) that are held stowed during launch, in order to fit into the available launcher volume and survive launch loads, and then later deployed in orbit into their operating position.

Other equipment like scanning/refocusing mechanisms, Electric Propulsion Pointing Mechanisms or Coarse Pointing Mechanisms, shall be stowed during launch and released once in orbit in order to allow on station operations without any specific deployment.

To achieve these functions, two different types of low shock non-explosive mechanisms are used one after the other, HDRMs and DMs.

HDRMs are standard components for spacecraft to achieve mission related critical functions. Their main functions are to secure during launch and to release once in orbit, or during descent to/on planetary surface, movable payload items, deployable appendages and separable mission elements. They can also be used in order to achieve timely synchronization for the deployment and/or ejection of specific appendages or separable mission elements.

DMs are used to enable deployment of a released appendage from its stowed position to its operational position following a defined set of kinematics and passive-to-active controlled dynamics. Once the final position is reached, the appendage is either latched at a defined position or the DM is used as a re-pointing or trimming device in order to achieve specific mission related functions.

SMARQ based low-shock non-explosive actuators provide high load and minimum release shock. SMARQ rotary actuator for DM allows an electrically controlled deployment, avoiding springs and, therefore, avoiding the need for shock absorbing devices or brakes. Also, SMARQ actuator technology is highly reliable due to its built-in redundant design (multi-fiber approach) and it allows easy mechanism testing during AIT due to its electronic resettable function.


  • 2010: Validation of SMARQ (ARQUIMEA’s own proprietary Shape Memory Alloy) technology for space applications (customer: ESA)
  • 2010: Development and qualification of 2 European pin pullers (50N and 100N) for extended temperature operation (customer: ESA)
  • 2011: Pin puller 500N standard temp. EQM device (customer: AeroSekur (Italy))
  • 2012: Pin puller 500N standard temp. FM device (customer: confidential (China))
  • 2014: REACT 15KN extended temp. EQM device for magnetometer experiment of ESA JUICE Mission (customer: Serenum (Czech))
  • 2014: REACT 2.5KN extended temp. EQM device for MetOp Mission (customer: Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (Norway))
  • 2015: REACT 2.5KN extended temp. EQM device for picosat launcher (customer: CAST (China))
  • 2016: REACT 5KN standard temp. EQM and FM devices for low-shock release of antenna (customer: CAST Xi’an (China))
  • 2017: Development and qualification of HDRM & Deployment hinges for ESA µHETSAT (customer: Sitael)
  • 2017: REACT 5KN standard temp. EQM and FM devices for ESAIL sat (customer: LuxSpace)
  • ARQUIMEA leads the so called REACT Horizon 2020 Project (contract ref. number 640241-REACT), in the frame of the EU Horizon 2020 programme, which aim is to perform the in orbit validation the REACT technology at the International Space Station (ISS). Airbus DS, EADS CASA Espacio, SpaceTech GmbH and Surrey Satellite Technology Limited are some of the partners involved in this project.

If you wish to know more about SMA technology and its applications, please click here.

Pin Pullers (actuators)
Pin Pullers

Pin Puller actuators are low-shock non-explosive SMA based mechanical devices in which a pressure cartridge causes a pin or piston to retract inside the structure frame, usually against a side load. In the extended position, the pin or output shaft can be seen to be loaded by a compression spring. The pin remains firmly locked in this position due a mechanical components block stroke.

HDRM (actuators)

Low-shock non-explosive Hold-Down and Release Mechanisms (HDRM) are mechanical devices which function is to hold-down a mechanical system to the time it has to be released or deployed for operation. Its mechanical design has been conceived for optimizing device’s weight, reducing parts complexity and achieving a suitable stiffness.

Custom Actuators
Custom Actuators

ARQUIMEA designs and develops custom actuators under request, based on smart materials, for super-elastic applications and ready to work under extreme environmental conditions, according to our Clients’ specifications.