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Smart Power Supply for Battery-Powered SystemsA power supply for battery-powered systems has been designed with an embedded controller that is capable of monitoring and maintaining batteries, charging hardware, while maintaining output power. The power supply is primarily designed for rovers and other remote science and engineering vehicles, but it can be used in any battery alone, or battery and charging source applications. The supply can function autonomously, or can be connected to a host processor through a serial communications link. It can be programmed a priori or on the fly to return current and voltage readings to a host. It has two output power busses: a constant 24-V direct current nominal bus, and a programmable bus for output from approximately 24 up to approximately 50 V. The programmable bus voltage level, and its output power limit, can be changed on the fly as well. The power supply also offers options to reduce the programmable bus to 24 V when the set power limit is reached, limiting output power in the case of a system fault detected in the system. The smart power supply is based on an embedded 8051-type single-chip microcontroller. This choice was made in that a credible progression to flight (radiation hard, high reliability) can be assumed as many 8051 processors or gate arrays capable of accepting 8051-type core presently exist and will continue to do so for some time. To solve the problem of centralized control, this innovation moves an embedded microcontroller to the power supply and assigns it the task of overseeing the operation and charging of the power supply assets. This embedded processor is connected to the application central processor via a serial data link such that the central processor can request updates of various parameters within the supply, such as battery current, bus voltage, remaining power in battery estimations, etc. This supply has a direct connection to the battery bus for common (quiescent) power application. Because components from multiple vendors may have differing power needs, this supply also has a secondary power bus, which can be programmed a priori or on-the-fly to boost the primary battery voltage level from 24 to 50 V to accommodate various loads as they are brought on line. Through voltage and current monitoring, the device can also shield the charging source from overloads, keep it within safe operating modes, and can meter available power to the application and maintain safe operations.
Document ID
Document Type
Other - NASA Tech Brief
Krasowski, Michael J. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Greer, Lawrence (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Prokop, Norman F. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Flatico, Joseph M. (Ohio Aerospace Inst. OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
March 1, 2010
Publication Information
Publication: NASA Tech Briefs, March 2010
Subject Category
Man/System Technology and Life Support
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

Available Downloads

NameType 20100009650.pdf STI

Related Records

IDRelationTitle20100009649Analytic PrimaryNASA Tech Briefs, March 2010