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Exploring simplified, reliable, maintainable power systems for Space Station Freedom

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1 Author(s)
R. H. McFadden ; Sci. Applications Int. Corp., New York, NY, USA

Because virtually all of Space Station Freedom's operational systems depend on electric power, a power system which supplies power of sufficient quality, reliability, and availability is absolutely essential to its safety and success. The constraints associated with launching, on-orbit maintenance, and limited power capacity imply that low mass, small volume, high maintainability, and high efficiency are also key design objectives. A conceptual design study demonstrating that the design, operating, and maintenance philosophies developed in the industrial and commercial power systems environment are far more appropriate to a quasi-permanent, maintainable, multipurpose facility such as the station than the principles NASA has traditionally applied to one-shot space missions is presented. The study developed a power system that promises essentially the same performance as the NASA-developed baseline design while reducing weight, volume, losses, and maintenance and logistical requirements. It also showed that the blind application of design ground rules supposedly intended to ensure high reliability and availability can actually have the opposite effect

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 6 )