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Satellite Communications Technology

Cobham introduces world's first highly-integrated power switch controllers for space applications

(18 September 2019 - Cobham) Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions (CAES), announced today the availability of new highly-integrated smart power switch controllers, the first of their kind for space and satellite applications.

The UT36PFD103 and UT05PFD103 Smart Power Switch Controllers (SPSC) provide extensive fault detection, isolation, and recovery capabilities as well as digitized telemetry of input voltage, output voltage, and load current into a single device. In addition, Cobham’s new controllers feature PMBus protocol over I2C communication, thereby enabling significantly reduced size, weight, power and cost benefits, often yielding better than 75% area and 50% cost reduction over equivalent discrete implementations. With the availability of Cobham’s UT36PFD103 and UT05PFD103 Smart Power Switch Controllers, developers can easily design 4.5V through 36V spacecraft power distribution systems, with the assurance that no load fault will cause undue harm to the bus and associated electronics.

“Cobham has a long heritage as a leader in space and satellite technologies, having powered hundreds of missions over the past 30+ years. Our broad portfolio of semiconductors, radiation hardened, high reliability microelectronic products and IP solutions are recognized worldwide for their pedigree, performance and dependability,” said Kevin Jackson, Vice President and General Manager, Semiconductor and Space Solutions, Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions. “As the latest addition to our product portfolio and the first of its kind for space and satellite applications, our new Smart Power Switch Controllers continue to offer unparalleled features, integration and functionality, making them the most exemplary intelligent power switch controlling solutions in the market today.”

About the UT36PFD103 and UT05PFD103 Smart Power Switch Controllers

Cobham’s UT36PFD103 (Support for 8V to 36V) and UT05PDF103 (Support for 4.5V to 5.5V) are highly-integrated, power switch controllers with ultra-fast short circuit protection with less than 500ns fault detection to isolation response. The devices agnostically control P-channel Power MOSFET switching elements, making them suitable for switching 4.5V to 36V power of any current class. They also provide an elegant power switching solution for SpaceVPX PowerUM, Pyro Arm-Fire, Long Power Harness Splicing, and Waveguide Actuators. With an integrated PMBus serial communication protocol, the UT36/05PFD103 controllers significantly reduce power system size and weight by enabling the use of a low pin-count power system controller (i.e. microcontroller) to configure, command, control, and gather telemetry from every power switch in the system using the I2C serial communication bus. The devices’ fault detection and isolation speed performance alone, makes the UT36PFD103 and UT05PFD103 compelling solutions to protect satellite power buses form short circuit conditions on the output channels of a power distribution unit. Combined with their wide power bus switching range, current class independent operation, and elegant PMBus interfacing to the power system controller, the UT36PFD103/UT05PFD103 are ideal intelligent power switch controlling solutions for space and satellite applications. Evaluation Boards and engineering samples are available now. Prototypes will be available in early 2020 and flight units later in the year.

About Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions

Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions (CAES), the U.S. subsidiary of Cobham plc operating under a Special Security Agreement (SSA) with the US Department of Defense, provides a number of mission-critical and specialized solutions for harsh environments. Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions supplies defense, aerospace, security, medical and industrial markets with critical solutions for communication on land, at sea, and in the air and space, by moving data through off-the-shelf and customized products and subsystems including RF, microwave, and high reliability microelectronics, antenna apertures and motion control solutions.

About Cobham plc

Cobham offers an innovative range of technologies and services to solve challenging problems in commercial, defence and security markets, from deep space to the depths of the ocean.

We employ around 10,000 people primarily in the USA, UK, Europe and Australia, and have customers and partners in over 100 countries, with market leading positions in: wireless, audio, video and data communications, including satellite communications; defence electronics; air-to-air refueling; aviation services; life support and mission equipment.