[amsat-bb] Re: Future radical satellite designs

Robert Bruninga bruninga at usna.edu
Mon Jul 9 08:59:01 PDT 2007

> Why not construct clusters of  low voltage 
> batteries each with their own set of solar 
> cells. ... The solar cells could then be placed 
> on all sides of the spacecraft and 
> charge their associated batteries at will...

Yes, this was our design back in the mid 90's for a tiny
softball sized satellite.  A single NiCd per side with a magnet
for tumble and radiative B/W paint for spin to assure even
illumination.  Each cell was charged by itself, and the series
string was used to power the spacecraft (6 times 1.2v) to give a
nice 7.2/8.4v bus.

It solves the number one problem of spaceccraft batteries, that
is, charging and discharging in series.  Also, no inefficiences
of boost inverters.. Penalty was that cells had to have larger
capacities because each one would see less charge time.


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