Gimbal Control Electronics

Dual Redundant – Micro Stepping Drivers – MIL-STD-1553B

The Gimbal Control Electronics System is designed as a high reliability motor driver system to control the motion of two or more motors, such as used in solar array drivers and antenna gimbals.

The function of the Gimbal Control Electronics (GCE) system is to control and drive two types of dual axis redundant actuators. Such as used for typical solar array drives and antenna gimbals. The system contains two primary and two redundant motor drive outputs. These motor drive outputs control and drive small, three phase Wye, six state, and permanentmagnet actuators. The GCE contains two primary and redundant incremental encoder interface circuits.

The GCE communicates with the spacecraft via a dual redundant MIL-STD-1553B bus. The spacecraft provides the 31VDC nominal voltage and the side enable pulsed discretes. The GCE assembly consists of two identical Controllers circuit boards, two identical Motor Driver circuit boards, two identical DC to DC converters boards, two Backplane boards and the chassis.

Mass, Power, Dimensions

  • 3.8 kg
  • 24 to 35V Input
  • 12 W Nominal per active side (excluding motor current)
  • 190 mm x 158 mm x 118 mm
  • -10°C to +40°C Operational Temperature
  • -20°C to +50°C Qualification Temperature


  • Single String Version
  • RS-422, RD-485, or LVDS interface
  • Custom Command & Telemetry ICD
  • >2 Motor Versions
  • Custom Form Factor

Reliability Features

  • All Parts SEL Immune
  • 100% Dual Redundant
  • The GCE contains primary and redundant incremental encoder interface circuits
  • The GCE contains two primary and two redundant 3 phase motor drive outputs.
  • >15 kRad Standard (100 kRad Option)
  • Conduction Cooled Design
  • All Parts MIL-883B


  • Use pulsed discretes to turn on active side.
  • Spacecraft Interface via dual redundant Mil-STD-1553B buses
  • Uses +5 V and ±15 V DC/DC Converters with separate EMI Filter
  • Motor drive has micro-stepping capabilities
  • Motor uses half Bridge driver and Quad Power Mosfet to drive the motor
  • Provides 8 Iset power points for each motor
  • Provides Encoder LED bias current selectable 20 mA or 35 mA
  • Provides SOH Monitoring circuit, 12 bit ADC (internal voltages and motor current)
  • Provides 1 mA constant current for PRTs and Thermistors (8)

Originally designed for a lunar orbit (NASA Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter) this design
can be tailored to your LEO, GEO or interplanetary mission needs.
Contact Broad Reach Engineering for additional information and a customized quote.

  • About Moog Broad Reach

    Founded in 1997, Moog Broad Reach produces spaceflight hardware and software solutions, integrating vehicle design, component design and engineering services for aerospace, scientific, commercial and military customers on four continents.
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