Ultra-Compact, High-Power Density Power Processing for Small Hall Effect Thrusters

Period of Performance: 05/15/1998 - 02/15/1999


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Space Power, Inc.
621 River Oaks Pkwy
San Jose, CA 95134
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


Satellite builders indicate that electric propulsion for stationkeeping and orbit transfer is needed. An unprecedented demand is expected for low power thruster modules, with emphasis placed on low mass, high power density, compactness, power expandability, and reduced cost for system components. The work in this proposal will demonstrate the feasibility of an ultra-compact, high power density, and low cost PPU for the100w class HET, with built-in expandability for a broad power range. SPI proposes a modular concept, employing high power density DC-to-DC converters, which will allow for miniature PPU construction featuring redundancy, expandability and short time-to-market. A radiation hard space qualified high power density DC-to-DC converter is needed for this approach. Existing suppliers of DC-to-DC converters do not produce this type of converter, but Spacer Power Inc. is developing a space qualified, module based on a commercial version. During Phase I, Space Power Inc. will design, build, and quality a breadboard PPU for low power HETs. The Discharge Power Supply mass is anticipated to be less than 400 grams with 2N redundancy and the mass of the PPU system will be assessed by the operational modes of the thruster, which will be determined in the course of the work. A Development and Validation Plan to build and qualify an Engineering Model PPU into Phase II will be defined in Phase I