AmplifiedSpace hypothesizes that the development of a new Software-Defined Power Controller (SDPC) using digital control techniques, commercially available wide-bandgap GaN transistors, and power converter topologies that enable both stepping-up and stepping-down of input voltages, will result in the most efficient, modular, and adjustable power system ever designed for aerospace. During assembly, integration, and test (AIT) the SDPC can quickly interface an assortment of solar arrays, energy storage devices, and payloads into a complete EPS system within minutes, reducing NRE by a factor of 10 or more. Digital control of the load supplies will also provide the ability to change the output voltage, allowing for the Concept of Operations (CONOPS) teams to have the ability to actively interleave power requirements for different loads while in flight – a task that is believed to have never been performed in space.
This Software-Defined Power Controller can be used by cubesats ranging from 3U to 12U and is scalable to ESPA class and larger satellites. The technology developed within the control system is also applicable to other control systems in which NASA has expressed interest, including other SBIR solicitations including radiation tolerant point-of-load converters (S3.08), radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) (S3.02), and large power systems on the surface of the Mars and the Moon (Z1.05) with the Artemis program.
The Software-Defined Power Controller can be used in cubesats developed by the Space Force, Air Force, National Science Foundation, and commercial companies. The education sector often has changes in power system requirements from mission to mission where system level modularity is important. The solid state drive industry is also interested in using this tech for capacitive backup systems.