Skip to Main Content
The Aerospace Corporation has independently developed a distributed "ring bus" electric power system for picosatellites. This distributed power system architecture is being implemented on a number of upcoming picosatellite missions. The first implementation of this architecture will be flown on the PowerSphere Flight Experiment and the Pico Satellite Inflatable Reflector Experiment (PSIREX). To date all of the picosatellite missions do not have attitude control or deployable solar array structures. Solar cells are body mounted on the various sides of the picosatellite. The "ring bus" architecture was conceived to solve the problem of obtaining the maximum amount of electric power from a solar array, that has multiple panels, that are not arranged on a single planar surface. Aerospace Corporation researchers working on developing viable power systems for picosatellites were awarded patents 6,127,621 October 2, 2000 "Power Sphere" and 6396167 B1 May 28, 2002 "Power Distribution System" for this unique solution for distributed power system architecture for a multifaceted solar array. The authors have developed a prototype of the ring bus and have completed initial testing of its performance.