Electronics for Deep Space Cryogenic Applications.



Deep space probes and planetary exploration missions require electrical power management and control systems that are capable of efficient and reliable operation in very cold temperature environments. Typically, in deep space probes, heating elements are used to keep the spacecraft electronics near room temperature. The utilization of power electronics designed for and operated at low temperature will contribute to increasing efficiency and improving reliability of space power systems. At NASA Glenn Research Center, commercial-off-the-shelf devices as well as developed components are being investigated for potential use at low temperatures. These devices include semiconductor switching devices, magnetics, and capacitors. Integrated circuits such as digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital converters, DC/DC converters, operational amplifiers, and oscillators are also being evaluated. In this paper, results will be presented for selected analog-to-digital converters, oscillators, DC/DC converters, and pulse width modulation (PWM) controllers.