New Industry Products

Microchip Preps Radiation Tolerant DC-DC Converters for Space

May 26, 2024 by Aaron Carman

The power converters come in nine variants, with single- and triple-output options for satellite power supplies.

Microchip has purpose-built a radiation-tolerant DC power solution for LEO satellites. This solution is a reconfigurable commercial device designed to improve both the power and SWaP efficiency of satellite payloads.

Designers in the space industry are ever aware of radiation tolerance and the MIL-STD qualification, both of which have strict requirements for successful deployment. Microchip’s newest DC-DC converter, the LE50-28, can speed up qualification time for various applications.

 

Microchip’s new radiation-tolerant DC-DC converter

Microchip’s new radiation-tolerant DC-DC converter offers high efficiency with a small size and weight.
 

Quick Time to Tolerance

The LE50-28 series provides radiation tolerance and high performance in a small size, so designers can quickly integrate the converter into their own devices. The commercial LE50-28 (datasheet) may be an attractive alternative to expensive bespoke power converters for satellite applications, where size, weight, and power (SWaP) are strictly limited.

 

LE50-28

The LE50-28 offers designers a good tradeoff between raw performance, size/weight efficiency, and radiation tolerance.
 

The LE50-28 series features a total ionizing dose of up to 50 Krad and single event effects latch-up immunity of 37 MeV×cm2/mg to support LEO applications. In addition, the converter and accompanying EMI filter weigh 120 g and 82 g, respectively. The converters are also designed to meet MIL-STD-461, providing yet another accelerated route to qualification.

 

High-Performance Conversion

The LE50-28 offers 80% power conversion efficiency at full load, further reducing the size and weight of the resulting payload by reducing the need for energy storage. It comes in two versions—a single- and triple-output version—and supports up to 50 W of power. 200 W is possible by paralleling four converters.

 

The triple-output LE50-28

The triple-output LE50-28 can provide three unique outputs for different applications while using the same footprint.
 

The devices' output voltage ranges between 3.3 V and 28 V, and they operate off a standard 28-V bus. The accompanying EMI filter can minimize unintended interference. The converter is incredibly robust, with a reported million hours of mean time between failures.

 

Microchip’s space-grade portfolio

Microchip’s space-grade portfolio offers designers a broad range of devices, accelerating time to deployment by employing commercial solutions with known performance. 

 

The LE50-28 series comes in standard packages, allowing designers to reuse previously developed circuits in new applications.

 

Building a Space-Grade Portfolio

The LE50-28 joins Microchip’s existing portfolio of space-grade devices, including FPGAs, MCUs, memory, timing circuits, and more, highlighting the demand for robust and high-performance electronics that can survive in space

 

All images used courtesy of Microchip