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An active damping method for Thomson coil actuated ultra-fast mechanical switches is proposed, including its control. Ultra fast mechanical switches are crucial for both DC and AC circuit breakers that require fast-acting, current limiting capabilities. However, fast motion means high velocity at the end of travel, resulting in over-travel, bounce, fatigue, and other undesirable effects. The active damping proposed in this paper not only avoids such issues, but actually enables faster travel by removing limitations that would otherwise be necessary. This active damping mechanism is applicable in particular to medium and high voltage circuit breakers, but can be extended to actuators in general. A 15kV/630A/1ms mechanical switch, designed to enable the fast protection of medium voltage DC circuits, is used as a testbed for the concept. It is based on the principle of repulsion forces (Thomson coil actuator). By energizing a second oil, higher opening speeds can be damped with limited over-travel range of the movable contact. The overall structure is simple, and the size of the overall switch is minimized.