The primary application for the Venus or Titan Exploratory (VORTEX) Gimbal will be for aerobot-based exploration missions on Venus and other planetary bodies. The VORTEX Gimbal will provide a reliable, lightweight, autonomous mechanism for pointing high gain antennas used in telecommunications. The VORTEX Gimbal mechanism will not be limited to this use case, however. This mechanism will be useful for any mission with instruments that require precision pointing and data throughput, such as sensors, imagers, solar arrays, and thrusters.
The proposed VORTEX Gimbal could enable precision pointing in numerous terrestrial applications. The mechanism will be designed for the caustic environment of Venus or Titan and will, therefore, be suitable for many other harsh environments on earth. Any application requiring hemispherical-plus pointing, 30 deg/sec slew and rotate rates, along with long service life will benefit from the VORTEX gimbal without paying the price of increased mass and cost.