Small DC servo motors that survive 10 years on Mars.
Hard to believe – but yes, maxon DC motors still running on the red planet after 10 years!
NASA rover Opportunity is still on its ground breaking exploration of Mars. The 39 DC motors that maxon motor supplied were originally designed to only last 3 months in the harsh environments have exceeded all expectations covering almost 40km.
All the way back in 2004 on this day, the 25th January, the DC motors received their first environmental exposure in Eagle crater. Since then the motors have gone on to propel the robot through countless territorial conditions, facing boulders, dunes, hills and flats on the search for evidence of water. With the ability to move soil, drill into stone and capture detailed images, the rover continues to supply vast amounts of information. It literally has a rocky past, it has been stuck in sand and battered by sandstorms creating major technical difficulties for NASA engineers. But despite this the DC motors survive even if the old girl is suffering a bit of “memory loss”. Thirty nine DC motors for thirty nine kilometres. Not just driving the wheels, maxon motors also control the manipulating arm, the rock grinding tool and vision systems. Based on standard maxon 20mm and 25mm DC motors they are over 90% efficient, even suffering the minus 120 to positive 25 degree environment. Contact maxon motor in Sydney for further information on our range of small DC servo motors. Ph:+61 2 9476 4777