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Manned spacecraft electrical power systems

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2 Author(s)
Simon, William E. ; NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX ; Nored, D.L.

A brief history of the development of electrical power systems from the earliest manned space flights illustrates a natural trend toward growth of electrical power requirements and operational lifetimes with each succeeding space program. A review of the design philosophy and development experience associated with the Space Shuttle Orbiter electrical power system is presented, beginning with the state of technology at the conclusion of the Apollo Program. A discussion of prototype, verification, and qualification hardware is included, and several design improvements following the first Orbiter flight are described. The problems encountered, the scientific and engineering approaches used to meet the technological challenges, and the results obtained are stressed. Major technology barriers and their solutions are discussed, and a brief Orbiter flight experience summary of early Space Shuttle missions is included. A description of projected Space Station power requirements and candidate system concepts which could satisfy these anticipated needs is presented. Significant challenges different from Space Shuttle, innovative concepts and ideas, and station growth considerations are discussed. The Phase B Advanced Development hardware program is summarized and a status of Phase B preliminary tradeoff studies is presented.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:75 ,  Issue: 3 )