The technology developed here is fundamental to a wide range of NASA PMAD and motor control applications. Drive and control electronics for motors in the next generation robotic systems such as rovers have to be directly placed on the motor housing. Integration of 300C capable power electronics with the motor enables creation of distributed actuator systems with significantly reduced interconnects and wiring. The motor sensing electronics consists of a position sensor, digitizer, digital controller and digital to analog converter. For DC-DC converters, power ICs developed in this program connects power sources in a wide variety of NASA mission systems with power sources as Solar arrays, Brayton rotating unit, stirling radioscopes, and fuel cells with various loads like electric propulsion, communications systems, instruments and actuators. A power IC is also the building block for the interface between energy storage devices like batteries and flywheels with the energy sources and loads. Switchmode power supplies improved by high frequency, high temperature power switch is critical for NASA synthetic aperture RADAR's (SAR) antenna array T/R modules. T/R modules typically operate in a pulsed mode, drawing current pulses from a power supply on a periodic basis determined by the operation of the overall RADAR system. The ripple in the output voltage of the T/R module power supply impacts the performance of the RADAR system.
The specifications of the power switch to be developed in this program are ideally suited for most Air Force PMAD applications. This includes propulsion system externals like actuators, pumps, and starters, weapons ejection, fuel transfer, lighting, avionics, RADAR, landing gears & breaks, steering, powered doors and ramps, gun drives, anti-icing, environmental control and auxiliary emergency power systems. The realization of a high power density switchmode power supplies and DC-DC conversion circuits will benefit Army's Future Combat System (FCS) by offering it an important part of the subsystem. An electric and hybrid vehicle technology directly affects the M113 APC, Bradley infantry fighting vehicle, HMMWV, 5-ton M939A1 truck, AAAV, 50-ft personnel boat and a more electric aircraft by making them highly deployable, sustainable, survivable, lethal and affordable. An integrated electric power system made using GaN high power devices will increase component placement flexibility within vehicles, double fuel economy by continuously operating smaller engines under optimum conditions, and reduce armor protected volume. Commercial switchmode power supplies will also benefit from the development of such components. Such power supplies are used in computer power supplies, cellular phone base station power supplies, consumer electronics, lighting applications, and robotic and motor control applications.