SpaceTech Actuator Drive Units ADU

SpaceTech designs, manufactures and tests several high reliable, compact and cold redundant electronics to trigger such actuators like thermal knifes or non-explosive actuators (NEA).

Electronics to trigger actuators for deployment or separation functions inside a satellite are often mission critical components. Unintended trigger is as critical as missing triggers.

SpaceTech Actuator Drive Units in detail

SpaceTech Actuator Drive Electronics are designed single point failure free under additional consideration of hazard and safety critical aspects concerning actuator handling and firing.

  • Interfacing satellite primary (28V nominal)
  • Interfacing OBC command & control
  • NEA fire control including safe-and-arming functions

  • Fully realized in hardware without soft- or firmware
  • Save command concept (pre-arm, arm, fire)
  • Switched current source to drive the actuators
  • Individual logic to combine or exclude firing of more than one channel
  • TID tolerance >= 50krads

SpaceTech PDM development included one mass dummy, one qualification model. In addition, one flight model has been performed with support from APCON.

Main task of the SpaceTech PDM

The main task of the PDM is to provide regulated current for a predefined period to release the solar panel deployment mechanisms by activating thermal knifes. The electronics is implemented in cold redundancy (electronic part) and, via internal cross-coupling) allows access to both hot redundant power stages. For safety reasons a three-level inhibit system is implemented.


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Electronics & Sensors

Joachim Krieger