Hybrid Direct Drive Power Processing Units are well-suited for both manned and unmanned Electric Path missions, and can be readily scaled to hundreds of kilowatts through parallel-connected modules of approximately 15 kW. The power converters used in the HDDUs could be re-purposed for a variety of power conversion applications such as fuel-cell output converters and solar array simulators. The primary market for this technology is for high-power low-cost electric propulsion systems where Hall thrusters are likely to be used. It is anticipated that the CPE HDDU will have a lower cost than state-of-the-art PPU designs. Additionally, the high specific mass and high efficiency will reduce the overall system cost. The enhanced operating range capabilities compared to a pure direct drive can help enable missions where shifts between high thrust for short-term maneuvers and high ISP for long-term operation are desirable. The wide-range capabilities and a modular design also enable one HDDU design to be used in a variety of different applications.
Hybrid Direct Drive Power Processing Units could be used for commercial and military satellites, both for station keeping and orbit lifting. The advantages outlined for NASA applications also apply here. One specific non-NASA application is for Aerojet thrusters that are being developed for geosynchronous satellite use. Commercial non-flight applications include laboratory bench power supplies. A path to high volume sales may be achieved by using the converters refined in this SBIR for general purpose scientific equipment. The power converters used in the HDDUs could be re-purposed for a variety of power conversion applications such as fuel-cell output converters, solar array simulators and hybrid vehicles. We have had conversations with Colorado State University regarding using this technology as part of the central power system for a proposed underwater robot.