SACRAMENTO, Calif., July 9, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aerojet Rocketdyne (NYSE:AJRD) has successfully built and tested a prototype system designed to improve the way power is delivered from the solar arrays to the high-power electric thrusters on Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) spacecraft. The prototype was tested in a simulated mission environment to show that it could achieve improved system efficiency over the current Power Management and Distribution (PMAD) approaches used on satellites.
"For high-power SEP modules, such as those that NASA envisions for transporting cargo to Mars, it will be critical to efficiently process and deliver the power from the Advanced Solar Arrays to the High Power Electric Propulsion thrusters on spacecraft," said Julie Van Kleeck, vice president of Advanced Space and Launch Programs at Aerojet Rocketdyne. "This is a critical step toward achieving that goal as we prepare to journey further into space."
The PowerTrain™ SEP system, which uses a peak power tracking capability, is a way to increase overall vehicle electrical system efficiency, and it is compatible with current and future advanced Hall propulsion systems. The system was developed using breadboard power conditioning modules provided by Aerojet Rocketdyne. The concept was tested at Aerojet Rocketdyne's Los Angeles site, where the majority of International Space Station power-system hardware was developed.
Aerojet Rocketdyne is an innovative company delivering solutions that create value for its customers in the aerospace and defense markets. The company is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader that provides propulsion and energetics to the space, missile defense and strategic systems, tactical systems and armaments areas, in support of domestic and international markets. Additional information about Aerojet Rocketdyne can be obtained by visiting our websites at www.Rocket.com and www.AerojetRocketdyne.com.