Tactical Airborne Gimbal Systems: A perfect fit for ThinGap LS Series Motor Kits

The use of airborne gimbals is becoming pervasive on both Maned-Aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). In addition to common uses in communication systems, they are emerging for use in security systems by law enforcement, for search and rescue, and to support severe weather and offshore missions by the Coast Guard. The use of gimbals has become an important part of Defense Agencies’ critical Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) objectives.  These state-of-the-art gimbals, or “balls” as they are often referred to, are packed with advance sensor payloads that include thermal imagers, high-precision cameras, air-to-ground communications and lasers for pointing, ranging and illuminating.

Multiaxial gimbals require high performance motors to directly drive their movements and to hold position. As airborne systems, high performance is defined by weight, torque capacity, smooth motion and a desirable form factor. ThinGap’s slotless LS Series motor kits address all of these critical needs.

ThinGap’s patented method for distributing motor phase coil wires with a very thin cross section eliminates traditional magnetic stator teeth resulting in a motor without cogging torque.  Cogging is an unwanted magnetic torque disturbance that most motors have. The main cause of cogging is related to stator winding patterns having to fit in the slots between the traditional iron teeth (or poles), thus the term slotless is used.  Slotless motors eliminate cogging torque and offer smooth motion that is critical to optical systems for precision aiming, point and zooming at long standoff distances, and otherwise smooth motion for precise scanning ThinGap motors also have torque versus angle curves with less than 1% harmonic distortion and phase balance making the motors create the smoothest motion available.

Using its proprietary design, very thin wire-wrapped stators and optimized permanent-magnet rotors, ThinGap provides motors with that can match the torque output of slotted motors while avoiding the cogging that plagues them…  Gimbal makers have an inherent need for high amount of torque, in some cases to quickly and precisely move in both azimuth and elevation, and in most cases, to stabilize the housing from high forces caused by drag from the speed in which the aircraft is flying and the leading edge location of the gimbal and its flat windows.

Finally, ring motors are the perfect form factor for gimbals with their round shape, direct drive mounting capability and empty center. ThinGap’s motor kits offer a very large through hole, usually 65% of more of the device’s outer diameter (OD), due to its efficient mechanical design and optimized components. This large through hole saves both weight and provides valuable space for housing electronics, pass through cabling, or other aspects of the payload.

ThinGap’s slotless motor kits are a perfect fit for Gimbal applications, airborne or otherwise. Even ground-based systems, vehicle mounted turrets, spacecraft imaging and security system’s Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTV) can all benefit.