GMP-T Programme: Development of a cost efficient power system

Status date

The objective of the ARTES 3-4 development is to design, manufacture and qualify an Engineering Qualification Model (EQM) of SSTL GMP-T power subsystem. This high power, low mass and low cost power system is targeted to address the Small GEO Satellite market with up to 6kW power capability.

Indeed, the GMP-T programme aims to support SSTL’s development of a high performance/cost ratio, European small GEO platform. It enables lower cost access to satellite communications for numerous applications, including those of societal benefit such as rural/remote broadband, internet access etc which directly address key UK TSB objectives.


The main issue to be addressed is:

  • Developing a high power and cost efficient power system for a 15 years design lifetime in a GEO environment.

The qualification of the GMP-T Power System will allow SSTL to bring the GMP-T electrical developments to a level where the design of the GEO platform can be confidently validated at system level.




The main goal of SSTL GMP-T platform development is to design, manufacture, and qualify an Engineering Qualification Model (EQM) of the GMP-T power subsystem.

The baseline power subsystem is based on the 700W SSTL GIOVE-A heritage design and aims to expand the GIOVE-A capacity to provide a total power of 6kW to the spacecraft at End of Life (allowing for 4.5kW payload power).

The final GMP-T power system will consist of a single regulated bus serving the payload and heaters and an unregulated bus serving the avionics.

The complete power system is divided into five main functional blocks:

  • 1 SSTL Power Conditioning Unit (PCU)
  • 1 SSTL Payload Power Distribution Unit (PPDU)
  • 1 SSTL Battery Distribution & Management Unit (BDMU)
  • 1 externally procured Battery
  • 2 externally procured Solar Array and Solar Array Drive Assemblies

Within the scope of this proposal, SSTL intend to qualify the power system functional blocks associated with the PCU, PPDU and BDMU.

Figure 1: GMP-T Platform

click for larger image

Current status

The GMP-T Power EQM development Kicked-Off in May 2010.

  • SSTL has passed the Preliminary Design Review in November 2010 and is planning a Critical Design Review in April 2011. 
  • Completion of the Power development programme is expected in Q1 2012.