Güdel Planetary Gearboxes Drive Navy Radar Monitoring Systems

The phrase “intelligent technologies for motion” is regularly associated with Güdel, usually in relation to applications within an industrial automation environment. However when the French navy required gearboxes to drive the radar antenna on a reconnaissance vessel, they turned to Güdel for a robust and reliable solution.

The radar antenna installed on the French Navy reconnaissance ship “Le Monge” has a diameter of 14 meters, and is currently the largest installed on any ship in the world.

(Güdel gearboxes are used to drive the radar antenna on the French ship “Le Monge”)

This application required the highest levels of precision and reliability whilst still being capable of operating on the high seas. These are attributes for which Güdel technologies are already renowned so therefore the French navy had no hesitation in selecting Güdel as the supplier. The low flank backlash and high rigidity features of Güdel’s gearboxes were particularly important factors in the decision to nominate the company for this project.

The total solution delivered by Güdel not only precisely matched the navy’s overall requirements, but also met specifics relating to the environment, lubrication, and various ancillary items required such as temperature sensors and oil level sensors, etc.

In order to validate the solution, the company initially manufactured a prototype, which was tested in a French laboratory (CETIM) against the customer’s special requirements with regard to temperature, maximum speed, and maximum output torque. The customer accepted this prototype without the need for any modifications.

A production run of eleven special, large, size 350 gearboxes was then initiated. These are used to rotate the air surveillance and navigation radar systems antenna on the “Le Monge”. The image here shows the size of one of these in comparison to a standard size 80 gearbox.

(Güdel produced a series of 11 size 350 planetary gearboxes for this application)

Since their installation on the antenna earlier this year, the systems are now in full operation. This is a classic example of the adaptability of Güdel products – intelligent technologies for movement on land, sea, and in the air.