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A novel dual-pulse (NDP) actuation voltage has been proposed to reduce dielectric charging in microelectromechanical system (MEMS) switches, leading to a longer switch lifetime. Mathematical and transient circuit models have been utilized to simulate dielectric charging in the radio-frequency (RF) MEMS switch, enabling the analysis of the charge built up at the switch dielectric and the substrate brought about by the actuation-voltage curve used. The proposed DP actuation signal has shown to improve the lifetime of the RF MEMS switch as it minimizes the charge built up during its long continuous operation. Practical experiment on the commercial TeraVicta TT712-68CSP MEMS switch shows that the proposed actuation voltage can reduce the pull-in/pull-out voltage shift and therefore prolong the switch lifetime. The technique has also shown to reduce switching bounces.