In February, Solar Orbiter will launch its mission to collect new data about the Sun. Swiss research and industry have played a substantial role in the construction of the space probe – with drives from maxon Group among the contributions.
The European Space Agency (ESA) wants to study the Sun up close. Next month the agency will launch the Solar Orbiter space probe, equipped with ten measuring instruments. Scientists hope that the mission, which will last several years, will provide them with new insights into phenomena such as the solar wind, as well as the complex dynamics that are responsible for solar eruptions. Solar Orbiter will fly to within 45 million kilometres of the Sun – closer than Mercury, its nearest planet. At this distance, the side of the probe facing the Sun will be exposed to intense heat: more than 500°C. A heat shield will protect the important instruments on board the probe, equipped with shutters to provide a view of the Sun only when measurements are being taken.
Studying solar eruptions
The same applies to the spectrometer-telescope for imaging X-rays (STIX), whose purpose is to study solar eruptions more closely, possibly enabling large-scale eruptions to be predicted in future. STIX was developed at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) in collaboration with several industrial partners from Switzerland, including Almatech. Swiss drives made by maxon are among the components used in the X-ray telescope. Two specially modified DC motors with diameters of 13 mm move an aluminium attenuator, which slides in front of STIX’s 30 detectors as required. The micro drives are wired in parallel and can be used together or individually. Thus ensuring that they’ll run smoothly for the entire five years planned for the mission. The design is based on micromotors that will soon be used in ESA’s ExoMars Rover. Key factors when selecting the drives were their low weight, energy efficiency, and resistance to vibration.
Solar Orbiter is one of ESA’s flagship projects and has cost more than 1.5 billion Australian dollars (AUD). After its planned launch in February, the probe will journey for almost two years before it can start taking measurements. The mission is scheduled to end in 2025.
From the Sun to Mars
While Solar Orbiter approaches its launch date, preparations are underway for the next two major Mars projects, which are scheduled to start in the (European) summer of 2020: NASA’s Mars2020 Rover and ESA’s ExoMars Rover. The aim of both missions is to provide new information about the Red Planet, answering questions such as whether there has ever been life on Mars. Mars2020 also carries a small helicopter to deliver a proof of concept that flights are possible on Mars despite the very thin atmosphere.
maxon drives are used for mission-critical tasks in both projects, including wheel drives, handling soil samples, and steering the Mars helicopter.
Please contact maxon media office for more information:
maxon motor Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477 | maxon Group Headquarters Tel. +41 41 662 43 81
(main picture: The aluminum attenuator, powered by the above pictured maxon brushed DC motor © maxon Group)
maxon Group Australia are excited to announce their collaboration with innovative Australian space company, Space Industries, to develop new mining technologies on the moon.
It’s not every day you receive an inquiry to help build a rover that will mine the surface of the moon. When maxon was contacted by Space Industries CEO, Joshua Letcher, with this exact query, a remarkable collaboration was born.
Specialising in the development of lunar and space mining vehicles, subsystems and systems for space systems, in a world-first, Space Industries are designing and developing revolutionary technology: a rover to mine elements on the lunar surface. “Space Industries are leading the way in space mining by focusing on gas production to produce resources that will sustain life on the Moon and other planets, along with producing Helium-3 for use in Medical and Energy industries on Earth” said Letcher. Soon to be located at Australia’s only dedicated Space Precinct at Perth Airport in WA, Space Industries have strategically positioned themselves amongst other leading global companies involved in civil engineering and research & development within the sector.
It was maxon’s long-standing involvement working with agencies such as NASA, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and European Space Agency, amongst others, that prompted Joshua Letcher to call maxon. maxon DC motors, drives systems and sensor technologies have already been used to drive several Mars rovers and withstood the conditions there. The DC motors resist brutal temperature changes, dust, dirt and storms. They are also built to survive a dynamic entry, descent and landing sequence as well as the harsh daily conditions on the moon. maxon Managing Director, Brett Motum, said “we are thrilled to be a part of not only an Australian first, but a world-first, invention that is going to redefine the term sustainable energy, open up exciting possibilities within the medical and energy sectors and of course, put Australia on the global Space map”.
It’s this type of application that sits at the heart of maxon – working with companies who share the same passion for innovation, technology and development of pioneering inventions. Particularly those that help to shape the future of this planet and perhaps even sustain life on the moon.
For further information please contact maxon Group Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477 or Space Industries firstname.lastname@example.org
Almost one year to this day 15 years ago, NASA Rover Opportunity embarked on its journey to Mars.
NASA Engineers have been trying to reach the Opportunity Rover in recent weeks, however due to a heavy and persistent sandstorm they haven’t been able to make contact. It’s assumed the batteries have fallen below 24V causing the machine to enter into standby mode. It needs sunlight to recharge the batteries to “wake up” the computer and resume communications.
Opportunity’s six wheels are driven by maxon DC motors. There are 35 drive systems with diameters of 20mm and 25mm for the rover. The maxon motors in the wheels, for example, did more than 78 million revolutions each, under extreme environmental conditions and temperature fluctuations from -120 to +25ºC. The practicalities and knowledge from this successful project are being transferred across developments of new motors that will soon fly to Mars on forthcoming missions by NASA and ESA. “Opportunity has braved many minor and major sand storms over the years and has always managed to recover its energy. We have no doubt that our motors will also run without trouble afterwards,” says maxon CEO Eugen Elmiger.
For more information on DC motors to suit harsh environment applications please contact maxon motor tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
Throughout 2016 maxon invested significantly in expanding its facilities, bringing a large number of new technologies & innovations to market and expanded on their market leading position.
Sachseln/Switzerland – The maxon motor group further increased its revenues in 2016. Compared with the previous year, revenues grew by 5% to a new record level of CHF 422.5 million (from CHF 402.5 million in the previous year). The number of employees rose to 2,500 and for the first time in company history, maxon employs more people abroad than in Switzerland. The highest revenues were achieved in medical technology (43% market share), followed by industrial automation & robotics (26%) and aerospace industries (6.5%). Investment in R&D rose to CHF 28.5 million in 2016 (up from 27.1 million).
Maxon is increasingly becoming a specialist in mechatronics and systems, launching the first fully sterilisable drive system this year. Drive combination units consisting of brushless DC motor, gearhead and sensor are designed to withstand 1000 autoclave cycles. Maxon’s new DC motor controllers also stand up to extreme ambient conditions. The electronics are protected against contaminants and corrosion by a polymer coating. In addition, the device is highly resistant against vibrations and shocks.
For the e-bike market, maxon motor developed a new S-Peledec motor with a 500 Wh battery and intuitive operation for urban applications. The bike reaches speeds of up to 45 km/h and the device stands out because it can convert any regular bicycle into an e-bike. maxon is also active in the field of autonomous delivery robots. This is a market where the energy-efficient and lightweight drive systems by maxon are in particularly high demand.
For more information on DC motors and accessories please contact maxon motor Australia tel +61 2 9457 7477.
A year of highlights: maxons involvement in technology and innovation throughout 2016.
For more information please contact maxon motor Australia on tel. +61 2 9457 7477.
|maxon introduced MARS (Maxon Advanced Robotics & Systems) a new facility dedicated solely to DC motors in mechatronics drive systems|
|300V brushless DC motor for use submerged in oil and designed specifically for Australia’s increasing ROV and subsea market http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MEDIARELEASE_300V_Brushless_DC_motor_Australia|
|maxon released the very popular ROV Thruster Range, with modified control units available for use in water. Including subsea motors, gearheads, thrusters and compensators http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MEDIARELEASE_ROV_Thruster_subsea_motors|
|Brushless frameless flat motors (pancake motors) are available on request in a frameless form. Suitable for high torque and low speed applications http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MEDIARELEASE_Brushless_Frameless_DC_motors_from_maxon_motor_Australia|
|A tiny brushless flat DC motor with a diameter of 10mm that achieves speeds of up to 22,000rpm was used in a Space application http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MEDIARELEASE_Very_small_brushless_DC_flat_motor|
|maxon Australia delivered a company first – a right angle spiroid and planetary inline gearhead fitted either end of a brushless DC motor http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MEDREL_Brushless_DC_motor_with_two_2_gearheads|
|Sydney’s Iconic Harbour Bridge received a climbing robot that inspects areas of the Bridge for disrepair or damage http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MEDIAREL_maxon_DC_Motors_in_climbing_robot_Sydney_Harbour_Bridge_Australia|
|A new DC motor position controller was released. With tiny dimensions of 60mm x 62mm and able to drive both brushed and brushless DC motors up to 1500W with 98% efficiency http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MEDIARELEASE_New_DC_motor_Position_Controller|
|The new catalogue was released in May with an unparralled number of new DC motors, gearheads and controllers available http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/maxon_launches_unparalleled_number_of_new_DC_drive_systems|
|A custom long ball screw linear actuator, driven by a DC servo motor and gearhead, showed maxon motor’s ability to provide tailored solutions http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MEDIARELEASE_DC_servo_linear_actuation|
|The first ECX DC motor was delivered to an Australian University. The motor has extremely low noise at very high speeds http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MR_New_line_of_high_speed_brushless_DC_motors|
|Doctors are able to assess a patient up to 1,000km away thanks to an Australian University and robotics haptic technology http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MEDIARELEASE_DC_motors_in_robots_as_an_extension_of_doctors_arm|
|An ROV that takes live video and underwater pictures and streams them directly to your smartphone, tablet or laptop http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/MEDREL_ROVs_with_maxon_DC_motors_controlled_from_your_smartphone|
|Australia’s defence industry received a robust right angle DC servo gear motor, for a very demanding application http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/medias/sys_master/root/8820826144798/MEDIARELEASE-Custom-DC-gear-motor-solution.pdf|
|An ROV fitted with maxon DC motors found the largest submarine built in WWII, lying 190 metres below the ocean. These special DC motor combinations can reach depths up (down!) to 6,000m http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/PRESSRELEASE_maxon_DC_drives_exploring_depths_up_to_6000m|
|An Israeli company, ReWalk Robotics, developed an Exo-skeleton specifically helping quadriplegic people to walk again. Maxon motors control the movement of the hips and knees http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/PRESSRELEASE_maxon_DC_motors_in_Exoskeleton|
|drive.tech a new site for innovation by maxon motor was announced! http://drive.tech/|
|maxon announces a system that tracks and records every component manufactured in maxon DC servo motors http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/PRESSRELEASE_DC_servo_motors_tracked|
|Try before you buy: the maxon motor BIKEDRIVE rental facility opens in Giswil, Obwalden http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/PRESSRELEASE_maxon_BIKEDRIVE_test_facility|
|New sizes of DC motor and Planetary Gearheads available for configuration through maxon’s online tool http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/PRESSRELEASE_new_sizes_of_DC_motor_configurable_online|
|A unique DC motor and gearhead combination was developed for an Australian customer providing solutions for robotic rehabilitation http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/PRESSRELEASE_DC-motor-with-right-angle-gear-and-planetary-gear|
|For use in subsea applications, maxon’s MT-30 thruster is pressure tolerant up to 6,000 meters with oil compensation. The propeller is modified for low noise operation. Other features include: Maximum bollard thrust of 10kgs, Voltage of 27 and weighs slightly over 900gms http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/PRESSRELEASE_maxon_thruster_with_DC_motors|
|A surgical robot gives surgeons the ability to perform microsurgery from thousands of kilometres away, with an added sense of touch http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/PRESSRELEASE-HeroSurg-Robot-with-maxon-DC-motors|
|maxon motor updated their subsea thruster – three sizes received updated performance levels, being the 20, 30 and 40mm diameter units http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/PRESSRELEASE-Brushless-DC-Subsea-thruster-update|
|maxon motor added sterilisable brushless DC motors and gearheads to their online configurator http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/More-to-choose-from-with-maxons-online-custom-design-tool|
|maxon released driven, their bi-annual magazine that focused on developments in the medical industry http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/DC-motors-in-medical-technology|
|Maxon release two new varieties of brushless DC motor – the ECX SPEED 16 and ECX SPEED High-Power DC motors http://www.maxonmotor.com.au/maxon/view/news/New-high-speed-brushless-DC-motors-from-maxon|
Advancements in drive technology, news items, blogs and stories come together on the drive.tech website created by maxon motor.
The leading manufacturer of DC motors and drive systems has created a new site for technology enthusiasts. Regularly updated to include projects supported by maxon motor, the latest hi-tech trends, global and robotic inventions, advances in medical applications or MARS / Space expeditions. Experts from within maxon motor share their knowledge as well as application examples showcasing the abilities of maxon DC motor capabilities.
For more information visit drive.tech or call +61 2 9457 7477.
10mm Diameter brushless flat motor supplied by maxon motor Australia with specific customisations for use in space. An example of the extreme miniaturisation possibilities for test, research and exploration robotics.
This brushless DC flat servo motor (commonly referred to in Australia as a pancake motor and globally as a BLDC motor) has an outer diameter of 10mm and a motor length of just 3.25mm. The motor is capable of a top speed of 22000 rpm based on a 4870 rpm/volt constant (KV). Brushless flat motors are characterised by a high torque per volume and normally have low speeds due to a “lever arm” effect, this tiny motor bucks this trend achieving speeds normally only possible from traditionally shaped brushless motors. The motor is available with and without hall sensor feedback to broaden the motor control miniaturisation possibilities.
The emerging swarm robotics trend, miniature spacecraft and micro satellites have an increasing demand for tiny DC motors that implement their gyroscopic effects to orientate the devices. Shown here is a highly customised version that has been adapted for use in outer space. In particular, a vacuum capable lubrication Braycote 601EF has been used in the ball bearings and the shaft has been specifically modified to suit the inertial load.
Contact maxon motor Australia in their Sydney office for detailed assistance with motor customisation. Ph. +61 2 9457 7477.
The toughest servomotors for the toughest application.
maxon DC motors help look for signs of life on the red planet, drive robots discovering lunar caves and travelling near to the sun. The amazing space exploration missions using the world’s toughest DC motors are detailed in the latest maxon motor magazine – driven.
Slowly but surely mankind are uncovering the mysteries of the universe and maxon motors latest magazine edition is dedicated totally on space exploration and the associated technologies. The release this week coincidentally aligning with the restart of the large hadron collider. We reveal technologies to be used on the next Mars missions, the Google challenge race to the moon and the challenge of sending probes to the sun. Look inside maxon motors laboratory and see how it develops DC motors for use in outer space, see the next generation of technologies that will go to the International Space Station.
Leading researchers and scientists write on the future exploration methods and how we would like to discover new worlds.
Contact maxon motor Australia. Ph. +61 2 9457 7477.