Advancing the instrumentation to detect elementary particles is critical for future space weather missions. To progress the study of the flow of energy that heats and accelerates solar corona and wind, a next generation Faraday Cup is needed. Extending the range of solar wind speed measurements to 2,500 km/sec or more requires a new, innovative power supply with significant high-voltage DC and AC modulation capabilities.
We propose a variable sine wave power supply capable of delivering up to 40kV DC with a 2kHz AC modulation up to 4kV peak to peak. This venture will leverage Busek’s previous experience with delivering radiation hardened PPUs and developing a suite of Plasma Probes with custom electronics to deliver a prototype with a path to a radiation hardened flight system. The proposed architecture is based on a Cockroft Walton Voltage Multiplier to generate a high voltage DC offset and a Resonant Royer Oscillator to produce an AC waveform superimposed on the high voltage DC bias. The proposed architecture offers many advantages that will simplify the path to flight design process. The multiplier circuit contains simple passives and imposes equal voltage stress on each stage. This eases component selection, reduces BOM costs, and improves compactness. The Resonant Royer Oscillator is a self-resonating circuit used in many high voltage applications that offers user flexibility, simplicity, efficiency and low component count. By implementing high voltage design techniques and testing considerations, this Phase I effort will validate the feasibility of the proposed power supply in a laboratory environment to meet the needs of next generation Faraday Cup.
NASA applications include continued and extended research of space weather missions such as characterizing the dynamics of the plasma at the sources of solar wind. This innovation will support the development and use of new particle sensors and instrumentation. In addition, the industry has a large gap in available radiation hardened high voltage supplies. Other NASA missions require advancements in this area. The proposed technology offers to extend that range and introduce a supply that can support various DC offset voltages and applications.
Non-NASA applications which utilize high voltage power supplies and probe diagnostic tools for ground based or flight ventures in both academic and commercial fields. There is a critical gap in compact, radiation hardened power supplies that can be applied to other applications such as Electrospray work, Retarding Potential Analyzers, and other missions that require high voltage supplies.