Telescope drive system options

The classic approach to coupling motors to a telescope is through a worm gear drive system.  It is possible, with a sufficiently high torque servo motor, to directly drive the worm.  Typically there is reduction between the servo motor and the worm in the form of one or more gearboxes and/or belt driver reduction stages.

Less typically, drive systems use direct belt drive, ring-on-roller or disk-on-pinion systems.  We have designed or consulted on the design of numerous drive systems many of which split from the classic worm gear reduction approach.  For example, ring-on-roller or disk-on-pinion drive systems are often used to provide a nominal primary reduction with secondary reduction to the servo motor as shown in the adjacent image slider.

Some installations we have been involved in have successfully used pulley and belt systems even on the final or intermediate drive stages as shown in the image slider.

Regardless of the type of drive system, tracking and pointing accuracy can be dramatically improved using high resolution axial encoders.

Contact us to discuss options and help design an optimal solution.