Browse Publications Technical Papers 1999-01-1383

Distributed Power System Architecture for Electric Propulsion Applications 1999-01-1383

The Hall Effect Thrusters (HET's), which are presently available in a broad range of power levels, are recognized as an economic, efficient, and effective means to perform numerous propulsion functions for commercial and military satellite applications. Also, the HET technology is the preferred alternative for future constellations of LEO satellites, and several GEO applications. Power Processing Units (PPU's) for electric thrusters are very complex custom designs which require long and expensive development and qualification cycles. The core element of a HET PPU is its Discharge Power Supply (DPS) which processes more than 95% of the input power. Traditional DPS designs cannot easily accommodate parametric changes, and for severe thermal and EMI issues must be overcome high power applications. These custom approaches require lengthy developments, lack proven “heritage”, are costly. A distributed power architecture for the DPS, employing space-qualified high power density DC-to-DC converters (COTS), provides an attractive solution to the industry stringent demands for low-cost, light-weight, low-volume, shorter time-to-market, established heritage, development risk mitigation, and built-in redundancy.


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