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Open AccessArticle

Solar Module Integrated Converters as Power Generator in Small Spacecrafts: Design and Verification Approach

1
Department of Applied Science for Integrated Systems Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology, 1-1 Sensui, Tobata, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka 804-8550, Japan
2
Department of Space Systems Engineering, Kyushu Institute of Technology, 1-1 Sensui, Tobata, Kitakyushu, Fukuoka 804-8550, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Aerospace 2019, 6(5), 61; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace6050061
Received: 18 April 2019 / Revised: 17 May 2019 / Accepted: 17 May 2019 / Published: 27 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Verification Approaches for Nano- and Micro-Satellites)
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Abstract

As small satellites are becoming more widespread for new businesses and applications, the development time, failure rate and cost of the spacecraft must be reduced. One of the systems with the highest cost and the most frequent failure in the satellite is the Electrical Power System (EPS). One approach to achieve rapid development times while reducing the cost and failure rate is using scalable modules. We propose a solar module integrated converter (SMIC) and its verification process as a key component for power generation in EPS. SMIC integrates the solar array, its regulators and the telemetry acquisition unit. This paper details the design and verification process of the SMIC and presents the in-orbit results of 12 SMICs used in Ten-Koh satellite, which was developed in less than 1.5 years. The in-orbit data received since the launch reveal that solar module withstands not only the launching environment of H-IIA rocket but also more than 1500 orbits in LEO. The modular approach allowed the design, implementation and qualification of only one module, followed by manufacturing and integration of 12 subsequent flight units. The approach with the solar module can be followed in other components of the EPS such as battery and power regulators. View Full-Text
Keywords: small satellite; electrical power system; modular design; spacecraft testing small satellite; electrical power system; modular design; spacecraft testing
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Gonzalez-Llorente, J.; Lidtke, A.A.; Hatanaka, K.; Kawauchi, R.; Okuyama, K.-I. Solar Module Integrated Converters as Power Generator in Small Spacecrafts: Design and Verification Approach. Aerospace 2019, 6, 61.

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