The CTA803, a high powered rugged power supply unit (PSU) from Aegis Power Systems, Inc., was announced today as a winner of a Gold Innovators Award from Military & Aerospace Electronics. This PSU was recently put into the field in the latest defense counter-UAV technology. Onboard a US military ground vehicle, this power supply supports the onboard power needs of many advanced technologies used to detect, deter, and take-down the enemy.
When Cintel, Inc., a unique defense solutions provider in Huntsville, AL, first approached our team with this project, there was quite a list of requirements. The Cintel team had previous difficulty finding a market-ready solution to address the robust needs of the system. They desired to find a water-tight, environmentally rugged PSU with the ability to support high-load onboard systems while minimizing bulk and weight. The 3-phase AC-DC power supply needed to be:
- Rugged and watertight for exterior mounting
- Usable in a harsh environment
- Lightweight with high power density
- Capable of producing minimum of 5kW continuous power
- Able to withstand high solar gain
- Able to operate in temperatures up to 72˚C
- A self-contained single unit (rackmount solutions were unacceptable)
Building on our previous success in high power defense needs, we provided prototypes of a previous PSU which were paralleled together with the intent of meeting a 15kW worst-case scenario outlined in the Army’s original Concept of Operations (CONOPS). At test conclusion, the final design requirements settled at 9kW of continuous power. Using the latest DC-DC converter modules combined with our discrete PFC circuitry, we developed the CTA803 – a single power unit capable of supporting 100% of the power requirement for 100% sustained usage.
The CTA803 is a rugged power system designed to meet environmental requirements of MIL-STD-810F, EMI requirements of MIL-STD-461F, and +28V vehicle requirements of MIL-STD-1275E. It will be utilized in a wide array of environments which range in temperature, wind conditions, elevation, and degree of harsh particulates. The watertight enclosure for this unit was an important concern in protecting the system from water and particulate ingress.
Further, the end-user initially wanted the power supply to operate without any output degradation up to 72°C ambient. However, testing showed that the 72°C requirement accounted for solar gain, an element which the CTA803’s convective cooling system effectively mitigates.
9kW of Continuous Power
The final design of the CTA803 power supply provides 9kW of power output for continuous operation, in the specified environment. This unit delivers peak power without affecting reliability. The graph (Figure 1) shows raw data measuring the power consumption of the CTA803 power supply in use by the end-application over the course of approximately seven hours on a test exercise in June 2018.
Due to the CTA803’s mounting location, weight reduction was a vital aspect to ensure the emplacement could survive harsh shock and vibration life cycle. The CTA803’s final weight amounted to 115 lbs. By comparison, competitors offered solutions with 2-3 parts, with overall weight significantly more than the CTA803. Overall, by utilizing a single power solution to handle the onboard power needs of the vehicle, the vehicle is more lightweight than competitor solutions would have provided. The CTA803’s comparative lightweight package allows for ruggedness of the unit with minimal impact to the fuel economy of the overall vehicle (at least where weight is concerned.)
COTS Power Supply
The CTA803 addresses a defense market need for high power systems which are reliable, rugged, and SWaP (Size, Weight, and Power) optimized. Our CTA803 was developed synchronously with the Cintel project so as to become a Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) power supply solution for a variety of possible defense needs of similar requirement.
Find out more about the variety of Aegis Power Systems, Inc.’s product line in our power supply product database.