Mechanical Design

Core Capabilities:

  • PlaneWave is a leader in developing products that are innovative, high quality and designed to be scalable for volume manufacturing with a proven track record of delivering products on time and on budget.
  • PlaneWave’s facilities use SolidWorks, custom software tools, state-of-the-art CNC, and 3D printing to design and realize our products.
  • PlaneWave is vertically integrated and we operate our own machining facility to maintain control over parts and quality control.
  • PlaneWave employs a pool of talented and innovative mechanical, electrical, and software engineers.
  • From new product development to custom design, our team is well-suited to meet the rapidly evolving requirements of our customers.

High-Resolution Axes Encoders:

  • All of our PlaneWave direct-drive mounts come standard with high-resolution 26-bit encoders on both axes to provide feedback during tracking and slewing.

Direct-Drive Motors:

Our direct-drive mounts and gimbals are designed, fabricated, and assembled at our Adrian, Michigan campus. We manufacture our own direct-drive motors for each mount and gimbal to provide high-precision tracking and pointing accuracy for demanding client applications all over the world. Direct-drive motors mean that there are no gears to cause backlash or periodic errors while slewing and tracking. With the high-resolution encoders providing the feedback for the direct drive motors, not only will the telescope track without periodic error or have any backlash at all, but the mount will be able to counter against wind gusts. The direct-drive motors can move the telescope at incredible speeds for tracking satellites or just to minimize target acquisition time.

  • L-series mounts utilize high-resolution incremental optical ring encoders and the CDK700 and CDK1000 systems include absolute optical ring encoders
  • Stable satellite tracking for LEO and beyond
  • Slew speeds > up to 50 degrees/second
  • 115VAC 20A input: No need for 3-phase power or generators (L-Series mounts can accept either 120VAC/20A to 240VAC/10A input)


We wind our copper coils that are utilized within the direct-drive motors.