Tag Archive | space

maxon is flying to the sun.

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

maxon brushed DC motor

(main picture: The aluminum attenuator, powered by the above pictured maxon brushed DC motor © maxon Group)

maxon collaborate in a world first: mining on the moon

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 moon@spaceindustries.com.au

maxon Australia inspiring future engineers.

Head of R&D and Astrophysicist, Dr Carlos Bacigalupo, presented Q&A to children at a Northern Sydney primary school.

Corporate social responsibility is an important aspect of maxon Australia’s business. Beyond DC motors and drive systems, maxon recognises the importance of giving back to the community and the opportunity to inspire the future engineers, astrophysicists and designers of tomorrow. An engaging and lively Q&A session was held at a Primary School on Sydney’s leafy Upper North Shore on 13 August. Dr Bacigalupo was asked questions such as what are wormholes? How did the moon get made? Will Earth ever hit the sun? Will the sun ever die? What does the moon feel like?

The future engineers showed a particular interest in the scale of the Universe and there was a lot to talk about! maxon Australia has contributed to the software development of the TAIPAN instrument aimed to measure the expansion rate of the Universe to unprecedented precision. This world class instrument also relies on maxon DC motors to perform high precision measurements of the motion of distant galaxies. The audience enthusiastically learned about the successful, and sometimes not so successful, milestones of the development process.

For Dr Bacigalupo, answering the more than 400 questions extracted from not only his knowledge of planets and all things space but also from maxon’s involvement in the Aerospace industry, including the Mars Rovers and various aerospace applications.

For further information please contact maxon Australia tel. +61 2 9457 7477.

Let light shine down on Opportunity.

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.

Maxon motor posts record revenues.

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.

2016: maxon motor’s year that was.

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


 PIC_300V_brushless_motor195px 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
 Thruster_brushless_DC_motor450px 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_motor_black-195px 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
 10mm_brushless_flat_DC_motor195px 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
 BL_DC_MOTOR_2_GH-450px 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
 1024px-Sydney_harbour_bridge_dusk 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
 epos4-module-24-1 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
 EN_Program_2016-17_15cm144dpi 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
 DC_Servo_Linear_Actuation_495px 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
 ECX-450px 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
 deakin-herosurg 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
 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 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
 photo450px 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
 Seamor_2 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
 Andre walking1 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 drive.tech a new site for innovation by maxon motor was announced! http://drive.tech/
 DC motor Traceability 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
 rental_maxon_bikedrive_team_mr_450px 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
 ecx_motors 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
 ec60mm-brushless-dc-motor-495px 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
 mt40_450px 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
 deakin-herosurg 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
 mt30 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
 ecx_motors 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
 driven_0216_cover_450px 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
 ecx-speed-and-standard-new-motors 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

drive.tech: maxon motors’ new site for innovation.

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.

Very small brushless DC Flat motor – in space.

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.

maxon brushed and brushless DC motors in space again.

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.


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