Undergrad Research Project - Power System Design for Lunar Rover

Spring 2009

Kevin Kassing
Red Whittaker
Project description

The goal of this project is to design a system to manage solar power generation and battery usage on a mobile rover intended to explore the surface of the mood. Emphasis will be placed on mathematical analysis of operation in lunar conditions in order to provide design feedback in the absence of costly construction and testing. Numerical and electrical simulations built in Matlab and SPICE will integrate models of components under consideration to evaluate effect on total system behavior. Industry-standard circuits and techniques will be evaluated and selected based on reliability and efficiency. In order to maximize utility to the rover, the system must be optimized for mass and thermal emissions. In addition, consideration will be given to maximizing power output across the majority of the wide range of operating conditions, especially temperature, at the equator on the lunar surface. The expected final products are suggestions for solar cell layout, both physical and electrical, and a flexible design for control of the power bus, responsible for interfacing with the solar array and battery.

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