UAV and drone propulsion systems

Fly longer and safer.

maxon guarantees the highest quality in its products, processes, and certifications for the drone market. maxon’s UAV propulsion systems consist of brushless DC motors, Electronic Speed Controllers (ESCs), and propellers built for the utmost safety and efficiency. Our customers benefit from more than 60 years of experience and state of the art drive technology that runs successfully on earth and in outer space.

Fly with the best

UAV technology made in Switzerland

What is most important in the drone industry is the full knowledge of the perfect interplay of BLDC motors, controllers, and matching propellers at system level.

 

Our UAV propulsion systems provide high thrust, high power density, optimal efficiency, and long lifetime for the best environment resistance.

 

We ensure the highest efficiency and reliability of our UAV propulsion systems through: 

optimal magnetic and winding design

best commutation algorithms

lowest weight at highest robustness

best propeller aerodynamics

efficient configuration management

extensive experience from motion control projects

Story

The first drone to fly on Mars.

In April 2021, NASA's Ingenuity helicopter successfully completed its pioneering flight on Mars. Six specifically modified maxon micro motors control the helicopter`s flight direction. The lightweight and reliable design was a prerequisite for a successful flight on Mars, where there is hardly any atmosphere.

Tested a million times.

Any new UAV component undergoes a series of qualification tests before release, assuring utmost safety through a strict quality system.
 

Quality you can rely on

Unmanned aerial vehicles require reliable components and, above all, energy-efficient drives that ensure the longest possible flight time. maxon brushless DC motors and ESCs meet these requirements without difficulty. maxon guarantees the unrivalled quality of its efficient, reliable and powerful propulsion systems for the drone industry. maxon has been EN 9100 certified (equivalent to AS 9100) since 2012. This standard was created specifically for companies that develop and produce components for the aerospace industry. maxon offers sustainability and stability, combined with  consequent configuration management and traceability of parts. All maxon products rely on standardized designs, manufacturing processes and testing, to ensure maximum repeatability between parts.

Tested according to Aerospace Standards

As UAV applications and use cases grow to be more mature, operational safety of UAVs and corresponding components move into focus. maxon assists drone manufacturer with obtaining operational authorization by providing evidence of compliance to established and harsh aerospace environmental testing standards. Apart from standard maxon qualification testing during the developments, the entire UAV propulsion portfolio went through DO-160 G Environmental Testing. This harsh test campaign includes temperature, vibration, crash safety/shock and humidity tests according to the respective sections in the standard. The maxon drives were subjected to tests similar to the ones required for helicopter components qualification.
 

Work with the best

For 60 years, maxon has focused on customer-specific solutions in drive system technology. Our brushed and brushless DC motors are used wherever the requirements are high and reliability is of the utmost concern. For more than 20 years, maxon’s drive technology has been driving the Mars rovers on the Red Planet and our engineers use the knowledge they have gained from these and other aerospace projects to further improve serial production components. maxon`s UAV propulsion systems benefit from this extensive experience to design custom drive solutions for application in the most demanding environments.


 

Benefit from our UAV expertise

The name maxon is not only synonymous with customized precision, it also stands for an extensive support network that guarantees the highest Swiss standards all over the world with over 3000 employees. A dedicated team of aerospace and drone technology experts which assists customers with every application from technical assessment of specifications to prototypes, to testing and manufacturing – be it complex or multi-year development projects. Drawing on its extensive knowledge of the Aerospace industry, maxon has developed its own internal quality procedures and tests, including dedicated test equipment for analyzing each component of the propulsion system. 

UAV Expertise

Even more benefits

GettyImages-1449084299

UAV manufacturers benefit from maxon’s custom made components, quality system and its extensive experience from motion control projects in the aviation and space industry.

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See our motor technology in 3D and AR.

We pack maximum performance into the smallest space. 
Click and hold on the image to explore our UAV motor from all angles. For AR view, just scan the QR code. 

Open in AR View:

UAV and drone propulsion systems

Download maxon UAV product brochure.

The maxon UAV product portfolio offers matching combinations of motors, ESCs and propellers. Download our brochure for an overview and details on all available components.

Experts

Custom-made components.

Our engineers have years of experience in drive technology across a wide variety of industries. Should a combination of maxon standard products not fit the need of a specific application, maxon is specialized in developing custom drives tailored for the customer needs to build state-of-the-art drones.

 

Our customers benefit from high flexibility of fast manufacturing in small or large series. 

Our product recommendations.

maxon’s portfolio of BLDC UAV flat motors consists of outer runner motors with segmented magnets and high-temperature windings. Optimized air flow cooling and lightweight aviation-grade aluminum parts provide not only excellent performance, designed for extreme durability and maximum reliability in professional UAVs, but also maximum environmental protection and robustness.

762144_ECX22_flat_UAV - Rotor

ECX 22 flat UAV

 

  • Thrust: Up to 290 g
  • Weight (incl. cable): 23 g
  • Propeller range: 5” – 6” 

ECX 32 flat UAV

 

  • Thrust: Up to 1.5 kg
  • Weight (incl. cable): 55 g
  • Propeller range: 9” – 11” 

ECX 42 flat UAV

 

  • Thrust: 2.4 kg
  • Weight (incl. cable): 105 g
  • Propeller range: 14” – 16” 

ECX 69 flat UAV

 

  • Thrust: Up to 8.1 kg
  • Weight (incl. cable):  269 g
  • Propeller range: 20” – 24” 

ECX 87 flat UAV

 

  • Thrust: Up to 9 kg
  • Weight (incl. cable): 310 g
  • Propeller range: 26” – 30” 

We partner with leading propeller manufacturers to deliver systems where all elements are optimally matched. Therefore, the maxon UAV products are tested and paired with high-quality propellers.

Propeller 26x8,7 CW 2B MC_ISO

Propeller 14x4.5”

 

  • Diameter: 14" (356 mm)
  • Pitch: 4.5” measured at 75% of propeller blade
  • Weight: 18 g
Propeller 26x8,7 CW 2B MC_ISO

Propeller 20x6.7”

 

  • Diameter: 20” (508 mm)
  • Pitch: 6.7” measured at 75% of propeller blade
  • Weight: 30 g
Propeller 26x8,7 CW 2B MC_ISO

Propeller 22x7.4”

 

  • Diameter: 22” (559 mm)
  • Pitch: 6.7” measured at 75% of propeller blade
  • Weight: 44 g
Propeller 26x8,7 CW 2B MC_ISO

Propeller 24x8.1”

 

  • Diameter: 24” (610 mm)
  • Pitch: 8.1” measured at 75% of propeller blade
  • Weight: 55 g
Propeller 26x8,7 CW 2B MC_ISO

Propeller 26x8.7”

 

  • Diameter: 26” (660 mm)
  • Pitch: 8.7” measured at 75% of propeller blade
  • Weight: 66 g
Propeller 26x8,7 CW 2B MC_ISO

Propeller 28x9.4”

 

  • Diameter: 28” (711 mm)
  • Pitch: 9.4” measured at 75% of propeller blade
  • Weight: 76 g
Propeller 26x8,7 CW 2B MC_ISO

Propeller 30x10”

 

  • Diameter: 30” (762 mm)
  • Pitch: 10” measured at 75% of propeller blade
  • Weight: 71 g

maxon’s electronic speed controller (ESC) uses a sensorless closed-loop control algorithm that is unrivalled in the UAV market. Individual calibration and advanced parameter settings ensure optimal field-oriented control (FOC) for each motor, with minimum power losses and maximum performance. The hardware is supported by the intuitive studio software, allowing the operator to commission and monitor relevant parameters and data to find the best setup.

ESC

UAV-ESC 52/30

 

  • Weight (incl. cable, incl. housing): 102 g
  • LiPo Battery: 3S - 12S LiPo Battery
  • Output current : 30A continuously / 90A peak
ESC_52-30_DroneCAN_render

UAV-ESC 52/30 DroneCAN

 

  • Weight (incl. cable, incl. housing) : 102 g
  • LiPo Battery: 3S - 12S LiPo Battery
  • Output current: 30A continuously / 90A peak
enUAV-ESC_52-30_User_Manual

UAV-ESC Bundle

 

The UAV-ESC Bundle contains a complete package to get started with the maxon UAV portfolio. It includes the EPOS Studio software for commissioning, comprehensive documentation and predefined parameter files.

Auterion

Transformation what drones can do.

The joint goal of our strategic partnership is to leverage both companies’ expertise to facilitate drone operation, development, and fleet management at dramatically reduced costs.

 

UAV customers will benefit from the most advanced, open ecosystem of avionics and motors integration in the drone industry, which unites Auterion’s module Skynode and maxon’s best-in-class BLDC motors and ESCs. 

Learn more

Corporate Blog

Success stories

Apart from the "what", the "how" also counts. We provide customized solutions for a wide range of businesses - from start-ups to international corporations. The results speak for themselves.
Go to the blog
GettyImages-1449084299Expertise

15 reasons why UAV manufacturers rely on maxon.

What is most important in the drone industry is the full knowledge of the perfect interplay of brushless DC motors, electronic speed controllers, and matching propellers at system level. At the same time it’s about to understand specific customer needs. We have put together 15 reasons why start-ups and global aviation companies rely on maxon's products and expertise.
Learn more
xSun 6drive.techmaxon Story

Drone powered by solar energy

XSun designs and manufactures a drone that is both energy-independent and can make its own decisions, for fully-automated missions. The company needed reliable, high-performance sub-assemblies to design it's SolarXOne. This is why the start-up approached maxon for the propulsion system.
Learn more
maxon_Quadrocopter-5maxon Story

maxon takes to the air

Unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs, drones, mini helicopters: Whatever you want to call them, they are useful for much more than just amateur photography. They offer enormous potential for future applications in the areas of inspection, agriculture, security, and small-scale freight.
Learn more
Go to the blog

UAV and drone propulsion systems

Download White paper.

Having a reliable, dedicated, and powerful motorized solution is key to develop a drone successfully. Learn more and download our White paper.

Frequently asked questions

  • I can’t find a suitable product in the maxon catalog. How shall I proceed?

    Please contact the maxon sales affiliate in your country and provide the following information, so we can assist you:

    • Min/max battery /power supply voltage and battery type
    • Propeller size constraints. If propeller is already fixed, please provide propeller characteristics
    • Peak thrust / torque / speed (and for how long each operating point shall be sustained?)
    • Nominal thrust / torque / speed (continuous)
    • Environmental requirements 
  • What is the advantage of a closed loop ESC?

    The motor speed is controlled and always guaranteed, where as in an open loop ESC the increased motor temperature decreases the speed over time. 

  • Can I use the maxon UAV-ESC with third party motors and propellers?

    While this is theoretically possible, the ESC parameters are defined for the maxon portfolio and do not necessarily work with all third party components. The application note provides first guidance. To get the best performance, the parameters would need to be evaluated at maxon.

  • How frequently does the system need maintenance?

    The ESC and the UAV motor are designed to be maintenance free. maxon designed the motor in such a way that the bearings last for the entire service life of the motor. On lab condition and tests maxon reached 2000 hours continuous operation and additional 1000 hours with a cycle load profile with the same motor (and propeller).

  • Are the system designed to perform in demanding environments?

    Yes. The motor is designed for high environmental protection (e.g. use of shielded bearings), the openings are reduced to a minimum to still achieve the intended performance level. The impact of sand and dust can therefore be minimized. Salt fog on the other hand might impose a challenge on a different level.
    The ESC is designed to have protection class similar to IP 54 (not applicable for product samples). Qualification still in process.

  • What is the IP rating of the maxon UAV portfolio?

    We have not tested our motor according to IP standards and it would therefore not be appropriate to specify an IP rating number. The aim was to develop a motor with a closed overall mechanical design and optimized air circulation. Several iterations were carried out to find the optimal compromise between heat dissipation for high performance and closed design for environmental protection.

Contact

Any more questions?

Our UAV experts will be happy to assist you.