Gimbals for UAV and Their Applications

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and drones are continuously expanding in commercial and agricultural applications, considerably increasing the demand for lightweight, high precision gimbals and pointing systems.


Payloads vary according to the sensing technology, objectives, and applications of the aerial system. Direct drive gimbal solutions offer considerable precision and reliability advantage over conventional belt and pulley platforms for communication, imaging, and sensing applications that need highly dynamic and precise motion control. Most direct drive solutions existing on the market cannot meet the form factor, weight, and energy efficiency requirements of UAV applications.

The Solution

Celera Motion’s low profile Omni and Agility (zero cogging) series motors are designed to cut down power consumption. They can also be optimized to provide a large through-hole while reducing weight by setting up the motor performance to the specific payload requirements. For gimbal axes requiring limited angle motion, extra optimization may be attained with a Juke Series voice coil motor or an Infinity Series arc segment motor.

The Optira Series miniature encoder offers high accuracy in a compact package to complete the system. It is possible to combine it with a limited angle segment or full rotary grating. Thanks to Celera Motion’s solutions, many top UAV and drone OEMs are able to realize their next-generation communication, scanning, and imaging requirements. Some customers choose to include Celera Motion’s components into their gimbal designs, while others work together with Celera Motion’s mechatronics team to design and offer a fully assembled and tested gimbal sub-system.

Omni and Agility (zero cogging) series motors

Omni and Agility (zero cogging) series motors

The Benefit

Lightweight gimbals indicate added utility and performance or increased flight time for UAVs. Low profile motors coupled with high precision, high accuracy encoders allow excellent performance. By collaborating with the Celera Motion group, the company’s customers have accomplished large through-hole direct drive gimbals that fulfilled their aggressive pointing, mass, and power requirements.


Number of Axes 2 or 3
Azimuth Travel +/-175°
Elevation Travel +/-110°
Pointing Accuracy +/-2 arc-seconds
Encoder Size 13 x 11.8 x 3.7 mm
Azimuth Motor Height 11.2 mm
Azimuth Through Hole Up to 75.2 mm
Azimuth Continuous Torque 0.624 Nm
Azimuth Peak Torque 1.87 Nm
Elevation Motor Height 8.6 mm
Elevation Through Hole Up to 38.1 mm
Elevation Continuous Torque 0.103 Nm
Elevation Peak Torque 0.309 Nm


Celera Motion

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Celera Motion.

For more information on this source, please visit Celera Motion.


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