Micro PDCU

The ÅAC Microtec Micro PCDU (Power Conditioning and Distribution Unit) was initially developed under a Swedish national mission and tailored to the requirements of the LEO microsatellite bus InnoSat. This is a state-of-the-art spacecraft architecture designed for innovative low cost research missions. The flexible and modular PCDU is designed for mission life of up to five years in LEO and implements both power conditioning and distribution of the regulated 28 V battery bus as well an auxiliary isolated 5 V bus. The rigorous testing and extended qualification campaign compliments an innovative design approach that combines COTS and radiation hardened components and optimizes the reliability and performance characteristics of the system.


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Main features

  • Reliable high performance power solution for microsatellite platforms
  • Modular design approach delivers scalability and easy tailoring of interfaces to mission requirements
  • Reliability and qualification levels suitable for many different mission types
  • All outputs protected by Latching Current Limiters (LCLs) or Retriggerable LCLs (RLCLs)
  • System-level Under Voltage Lock-Out (UVLO) protection
  • FPGA based control and monitoring of all switches and interfaces through RS485
  • Space optimized COTS combined with radiation hardened components for optimum performance
  • ITAR free equipment
  • 120 W peak power
  • 28 V nominal bus and battery voltage Power converter for 5 V isolated auxiliary output
  • Deployment mechanism output
  • Integrated MTQ driver with precision current control

Modular design

The PCDU adopts a modular design approach which enables easy customization. Integration of interfaces for deployment mechanisms, magnetic torquers, payloads and other equipment can be accommodated through the addition of modular design elements. This approach minimizes the risk of failure and, reduces the additional qualification requirements.

Dependable technologies

The PCDU design builds on heritage from previous missions with customers such as ESA, NASA, JAXA and other commercial organisations. A number of design features are implemented to achieve optimized reliability characteristics. For example discrete bipolar design is used for many functions rather than integrated circuits which enable a thorough part stress design analysis of the system to be performed. Internal supply voltages are current limited with automatic restart and the FPGA design features Triple-Modular-Redundancy (TMR). Worst case analysis, thermal and structural analysis are performed to verify the system functionality at its operational limits.

Flight heritage

We are very proud of our flight heritage since we flew our avionics on the first mission back in 2009. Many successful flights have followed since then and many new are scheduled.

About ÅAC Microtec’s power subsystems

ÅAC Microtec has designed electrical power systems for a number of satellites such as TechEdSat-1, TechEdSat-3P, QuadSat and Risesat.

The electrical power systems are built around ÅAC Microtec’s modular power management unit design that can easily be combined and customized to fit the varying needs of different spacecraft. Power generation and storage equipment (solar arrays and batteries) are provided by established suppliers.

ÅAC Microtec is able to supply complete electrical power systems as subcontractor to the prime, or to provide power management products to the designers of electrical power systems.