The overarching objective of this Phase I and potential Phase II/IIE efforts is to investigate, develop, and fabricate a scalable, radiation tolerant, high reliability, highly energy dense, energy solution to cislunar/Mars mission equipment needs for high efficiency power distribution. The program will develop and demonstrate a new power conversion architecture that is ultracompact (with 50-70% size reduction compared to present designs), very high efficiency, and that meets the emerging needs of Cislunar and Deep Space exploration of power management from high voltage sourced mains bus power. During Phase I we will focus on the development of an electrical architecture utilizing both state-of-the-art in digital control and switched mode power electronics by combining known Gallium Nitride MOSFET technology with a robust FPGA-based control. The new Multi-level derived power architecture is specifically aimed at converter needs for Gateway and surface Kilopower mission requirements but may be viewed as a fundamental building block for a wider range of power conversion topologies. Example applications range from DC-DC down conversion, fly-back and boost conversion for DC-DC step up applications, true-sine inverters, variable frequency drives, and even high frequency switching amplifiers. The Phase I program will exit with comprehensive modeling and simulation translated into demonstration hardware at the 0.5 – 1 KW that shows the large SWaP advantages this new approach introduces for mid-high power cislunar orbit/surface high voltage sourced power management.
SEP and fission-based high voltage/power sourced NASA missions will be direct beneficiaries of the new subcompact power management solution. These include cislunar LOP-G/Surface Exploration/Surface Habitats and potential Deep Space missions such as Europa Orbit-Lander/Gas Giants/Kuiper Belt. Because the new power technology provides large weight and size savings it will be very attractive to SmallSat and CubeSat Satellite developers in meeting power management and distribution requirements that have stringent limits on power equipment volume.
Direct beneficiaries will mirror NASA need to provide tight volume/weight solutions that provide mid-high power distribution from high voltage sources. High profile adopters of the proposed technology include general aviation (more electric aircraft, drones, UAVs), and underwater systems – all of whom share similar stringent limits on allowable size/weight of electronics power equipment.