In the current day defence and aerospace electronics systems, what is probably the most important are aspects such as power control as well as electronics thermal management. Designers are always working hard to reduce the sizes of the components, even as they improve performance, to accommodate various new systems such as soldier worn devices, inexpensive vectronics as well as unmanned vehicles.
Today’s military & aerospace environment, demand an increased used of electronics, which are now almost ubiquitous in these fields. Defence & aerospace system architects & system integrators are now incorporating a large number of electronics into modern aerospace & military platforms such as:
- Ground vehicles
- Warfighters on battlefields
The factors that impact military electronics systems
Almost everything operates on electronics nowadays and most of the functions carried out by the military are reliant on computer systems. This particular trend of incorporating all current & future aerospace and military platforms with all these heat-generating & power-hungry electronics systems and components is something that is definitely going to be carried forth, even in the foreseeable future.
And this is exactly what drives the need of highly effective & efficient power & thermal management systems. The military applications used today can get impacted by various environmental factors that can easily render the on-line, computer-based UPS inoperable. In addition, these systems are also riddled with power-quality related problems of varying severity.
Limitations of online UPS products
Most of the online UPS products have been specifically designed in protected and fixed environments that have a controlled temperature range of 0°C to 40°C. When these are installed in computer-room, office or lab environment, they function very reliably and they aren’t expensive either. However, when it comes to them being used in military applications, the challenges faced are entirely different.
In most instances, the requirement is for these systems to be installed in highly demanding environments such as battlefields. Here, they have to bear much higher levels of vibration and shock, far wider operational-temperature extremes as well as airborne contamination.
Apart from this, the UPS have to be able to provide computer-grade, clean output power, even while they are operating from highly polluted power sources. This is where MILCOTS (Military-grade commercial-off-the-shelf) on-line UPS products become an excellent solution to meet the demands of different types of heavy industrial equipment.
Voltage imbalance issues
When it comes to aircraft applications, the single phase COTS equipment that the military is incorporating into aircraft as well as other 3–phase 400Hz mobile applications is escalating the imbalances in current and voltage. Harmonics becomes the main concern of any type of voltage imbalance.
The heating effect that results from this imbalance and the drop in the service life of the 3-phase motors on that same power bus are the other major concerns. Even a 1% voltage imbalance causes a current imbalance of 5-6% and this can pose a problem.
About the active 3-phase/frequency converter
A possible solution for this could be an active 3-phase/frequency converter. This device connects to 3-Phase, 400Hz aircraft power. With the use of PWM (Pulse Width Modulated Inverter) and double-conversion technologies, this converter alters the incoming power and turns it into a DC voltage.
It also regulates the DC and then creates a single-phase 50/60/400Hz output power that has a voltage regulation of ±3%. Typically, this type of frequency converter can easily operate over a very spread out input voltage range, even as it maintains a balance load on the 3-Phase 400Hz bus.
This converter provides regulated and clean single phase, sine-wave power to the system’s critical load. In case of any sustained/momentary aircraft bus power loss, the optional external battery module can provide a number of minutes of ride-through.
If you want to know more about MILCOTS or any of our custom power products and services, don’t hesitate to contact us at KaRaTec Power Supply Pty. You can give us a call at 612 9808 1127. You can also fill in this contact us form and we’ll reply as soon as possible.
Thanks for reading,
Karatec Power Supply Pty
612 9808 1127