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Future trends in space power technology

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1 Author(s)
Massie, L.D. ; Wright Lab., Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, USA

The status of the US Air Force Space Power Research and Development Program is summarized. Generic issues and requirements affecting the strategic planning of space power advances for the 1990s and beyond are described. The major thrusts of the Air Fore part of the Strategic Defense Initiative Office Space Power Program are highlighted, with emphasis on the ongoing advanced component technology development program. The status of these component technologies in the areas of power sources, energy storage, power management and distribution, and thermal management is described. Technology projections for the full range of envisioned technology options for the foregoing are used as the basis for a series of point designs for deriving the subsystem- and system-level benefits of the technologies. The primary focus is on baseload (CW) power systems operating in the range from 100 W for small satellites to 50 kW for potential large surveillance satellites. The secondary focus is on large, multimegawatt pulsed power systems and related components for potential applications such as directed energy. Potential 'trump card' technologies related to energy conversion, storage, power electronics, and thermal management are identified.<>

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 11 )