PCU Low Power for TELECOM Satellite

Status date

The objective of the ARTES 3-4 development is to design, manufacture and qualify an EM and PFM of low power conditioning unit for Telecom satellite. This PCU is targeted to address Satellite market with up to 4.2 kW power capabilities.


The main issue to be addressed is to develop a low power and cost efficient power system for a 15 years design lifetime in a Telecom environment.


The qualification of the PCU low power for Telecom satellite will allow TAS-ETCA to bring the electrical developments to a level where the design can be confidently validated at system level.

  • Design of a new system for low power conditioning, at 4.2 kW.
  • Development and qualification of new SOCS components.
  • Modularity concept.
  • Feasibility demonstration of new technical concepts required to reach the new technical and cost performance.

The main goal the PCU low power for Telecom satellite development is to design, manufacture and qualify the model.

This was defined through an electrical model (EM) and afterwards a PFM (Proto Flight Model) on which the qualification was performed.

The baseline power subsystem is based on heritage from following design: Herschel-Planck PCDU, Globalstar2 PCDU, Pleiades DRU and SB4000 PCU.

The complete Power Conditioning Unit is divided in 4 main functional blocks:

  • 1 LCM module (Battery Charge Management),
  • 2 TM/TC modules (TeleMetry and TeleCommand),
  • 3 SUN modules (with S3R sections (Sequential Switching Shunt Regulator)),
  • 6 BCDR modules (Battery Charge/Discharge Regulator).

Figure 1 : PCU PFM

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Current status
  • The project was started in August 2009.
  • The PCU EM was available in October 2010.
  • The PCU PFM was available and qualified in October 2011.