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Orbiter Power System

Introducing the Orbiter Power System

Virtual power draw: 60 mA


The Orbiter Power System (OPS) is the heart of the satellite. In real-world satellites the power supply system charges rechargeable batteries from solar cells and converts battery voltage into stabilized orbiter voltage to power various devices. In some cases power to individual consumers can be turned off and on by OPS upon receiving a command or automatically.

The power supply system in the construction set contains a battery while solar cells and battery recharge/discharge logic are accounted for “virtually”. This “virtualization” of solar panels owes itself to the difficulty of recharging batteries with solar cells indoor as solar cell surface area would have to very large for batteries to recharge adequately. For that reason the OPS has been designed as follows. The first (real) part of OPS does the actual job of distributing power to all consumers, recharging batteries from 220 VAC mains and holding enough energies for a “flight” lasting up to 4 hours. The other (virtual) part simulates orbiter power system operation and stores a limited amount of virtual energy. This is what the user sees when requesting telemetry from the OPS. This energy is replenished when the solar cell simulator is pointed toward the Sun simulator. Once virtual energy is fully exhausted the “orbiter” will fail its mission – as would be the case in the real world.

The real power supply system includes a power adapter, a battery charger and a rechargeable battery. The battery can be charged using a charger packaged with the construction set. The power supply system hooks up to the onboard data/power network by means of standard ribbon cables. The “satellite” is fully autonomous during normal operation, only supplied by orbiter batteries as it gradually expends its store of virtual and real energy by executing its flight program.

Naturally, orbiter batteries will have to be charged as a part of pre-flight “ground maintenance”. To that end the charger connects to 220VAC mains. In this case the signal LED on the OPS will light up green.

It is not recommended to leave the power system connected to the charger without load for extended time (longer than 4 hours) when working with the satellite. Such a connection may shorten the battery life. Other power-up combinations are allowed.
en/power_subsys.txt · Last modified: 2020/03/25 16:28 (external edit)