Power_electronics Features

NewSpace demands low voltage, high current power for performance and longevity - Nov 2022
Matt Renola, Senior Director, Global Business Development – Aerospace & Defense
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Power Electronics Europe News
Rad-hard GaN transistor out-performs silicon, says EPC Space
The 60V radiation-hardened (rad-hard) GaN device has higher breakdown strength, faster switching speed and lower on-resistance than rad-hard silicon-based devices, claims the company.

As a result of lower resistance and gate charge, its power supply switching frequencies are faster, resulting in higher power densities, higher efficiencies, and more compact and lighter weight circuitry. All of these are critical for reliable operation in spaceborne missions.

In addition to use in power supplies in satellites and space mission equipment and ion thrusters for satellite orientation and positioning, the GaN transistor can be used in light detection and ranging (lidar) for robotics and autonomous navigation and rendezvous docking, motor drives for robotics, instrumentation and reaction wheels, and as well as interplanetary propulsion of low-mass robotic vehicles. Another application is as a gate driver interface between CMOS or TTL control circuits and power devices in a rad-hard environment.

The 60V, 580m, 4A pulsed, rad-hard eGaN FET is supplied in an industry standard UB package. It is engineered for the harsh demanding environment with a total dose rating greater than 1Mrad and single event effect (SEE) immunity for LET of 85MeV/(mg/cm2). The company also offers the FET in a chip-scale package.

Speaking about the potential for GaN in space mission applications, Bel Lazar, CEO of EPC Space, said: “GaN technology enables a new generation of power conversion and motor drives in space. We are excited about this technology’s ability to provide mission-critical components for the space and other high-reliability markets”.


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