High voltage power supplies find many uses in NASA scientific missions. Numerous missions in the past has had uses for high voltage supplies such as the HST High Resolution Spectrograph (HRS), plasma experiment power supplies, particle detection (HAPI LAPI, DE, International Sun-Earth Explorer (ISEE), etc.) and aboard Cassini. The evolution of high voltage power supplies has proceeded over the years in order to generate higher output voltages and faster slew rates. The underlying functionality of these power supplies invariably include a step up transformer and multistage rectifier to provide additional boost. The power supply must be designed to a particular load in order to assure good impedance matching to the rectifier to allow for fast transients. In addition, supplies can be linearly regulated by using optoisolators in the output. A challenge with the optos is degradation over the life of the platform. In order to avoid this, we propose a fast switching based high voltage power supply that utilized the resonant switching to provide good efficiencies to the high voltage load. The proposed topology allows for very fast transients at the output on the order of 200V/us which will enable new potential scientific missions by allowing for rapid turn on/off and control of the HV supply. Linear control of the output will be achieved with the development of this converter. The design is to provide magnetic-based isolation between the low voltage satellite bus and the high voltage output. The high voltage converter will use Wide Bandgap (WBG) switches in order to provide fast, efficient switching. As the operational environment for the converter is critical, the design will be evaluated in order to ascertain reliability and impact to operation with implementing high reliability components.
Based on the target output voltage and transient response, our targeted NASA applications will be in the electrostatic analyzer (ESA) field in which the power supply could potentially improve the capabilities of these scientific payloads. Another potential aspect is in electronic propulsion with this application taking advantage of the fast transient capabilities of the power supply. The CubeSat class of EP required approximately 10W at under 1kV of potential such as the Pocket Rocket (600V) and Busek class of Eps.
A non-NASA application we would target is with Kearfott and modification to the HV supply to provide a compact, reliable, voltage source for a Monolithic Ring Laser Gyro (MRLG). We know the design parameters for the MRLG and they are lower than NASA’s requirements. The application would thus require modification to the NASA design for the lower specifications.