GaN in One Module Integrated Converter for EP systems


GaN in One Module Integrated Converter for EP systems

Satellite contractors are permanently looking for cost and performance improvements. This cascades to the PPU, a subsystem having a very high impact on the cost and performance of EP systems.
Hence, GaNOMIC activities propose focus on the PPU “heart” studying a disruptive power converter, with major innovations complementary to the incremental improvements, beyond the state of the art. We will demonstrate and combine in a synergistic way innovative technologies (such as GaN, digital control, adaptive filtering and embedded packaging), thus resulting in a radical breakthrough applicable to advanced EP architectures based on such PPU designs.

The Consortium plans to demonstrate the selected technologies by means of a 7.5 kW power converter to be tested in electrical propulsion existing test facilities, thus providing measurable validation, and specification definition, within the 2016 Phase 1 time frame.
This will lead to dramatic improvements in cost, mass and volume targeting part list reduction (by 3), converter efficiency (98%) and optimized thermal characteristics (200°C), translating into system optimization and increased power requirements.
Being at the forefront of technological developments, the Consortium members are able to anticipate emerging technologies and medium to long term performance requirements consistent with existing and planned space programs at national, commercial and ESA levels. GaNOMIC will constitute a solid technical basis for future Direct Drive configurations, and further down the line, to “distributed” configurations where the PPU can be eliminated altogether.

In addition to promoting and accelerating the development of breakthrough EP-related concepts, the Consortium members have identified other markets, e.g. aeronautics and automotive, which could benefit from these innovating high performance power converter and related technologies under consideration. The Consortium is committed to continue this study in future calls of the SRC.

The EC H2020 program and the EPIC SRC have the objective to develop competitive EP products and increase the performance of space systems within the 2020-2030 timeframe. The ultimate objective pursued is to strengthen the leadership of European capabilities in electric propulsion at world level. In this context, GaNOMIC project faces the challenge of developing advanced and disruptive technologies leading to drastic improvement of the Power Processing Unit (PPU), such a sub-system having a very strong impact on the cost and performances of Electric Propulsion Systems.

GaNOMIC project has the ambition to open the way to a significant competitive advantage for European space systems prime contractors, thanks to the development of a totally new class of power converters (mono-module, high-power, very high efficiency, high temperature resilience, extremely compact, low mass and very low cost) with added capabilities resulting from a complete integrated digital control (thrust modulation, health monitoring, extended EP system lifetime, on-the-ground and in-flight reconfigurable, variable operating points, among other features).

The Consortium

The GaNOMIC project receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 730038.

The GaNOMIC PPU coupling test was the consolidation of 4 years of cooperation between SAFRAN Electronics & Defense (France), TUB (Germany), Safran Tech (France), UoS-LN2 (Canada) and SITAEL (Italy) on the development of a fully European disruptive Anode converter dedicated to Plasmic Propulsive Unit (PPU) based on innovative technologies such as DAB topology converter, GaN HEMT components on both sides, soft switching, high frequency, digital control-command, planar transformer, integrated and embedded technologies. This disruptive converter has met an electrical efficiency over 96%.

AW2 converter integration in PPU BBM
AW2 converter integration in PPU BBM

The PPU BreadBoard Model coupling with the PPS®DUALMODE EM owned by Safran Aircraft Engines were achieved in PIVOINE premices of CNRS laboratory in May 2021. The coupling tests assessed the capability of the DAB converter developed and tested in GaNOMIC project, to drive a PPS on both targeted operating points: EOR (300V/4kW) and SK (500V/3kW).

This test has concluded successfully the GaNOMIC project and opened a new page of the book dedicated to Space electrical propulsion innovations.

By Admin, EP, PPU, Disruptive, GaN, Publications

Title Elaborated by Organisation Meeting / Conference Date
Etude d'un convertisseur DC/DC avec des composants GaN pour des applications spatiales P. Demumieux UCBL1 JCGE Arras 2017 31/05/2017
GaNOMIC - Disruptive technologies for PPU cost and volume efficiency L. Grimaud Safran Electronics & Defense EPIC 2017 24/10/2017
Design of a Low Capacitance Planar Transformer for a 5kW/500kHz DAB Converter P. Demumieux, O. Avino-Salvado, C. Buttay, C. Martin, F. Sixdenier UCBL1 APEC2019 22/03/2019
JS. Ngoua-Teu, Safran Tech
T. Löher TUB
GaNOMIC major achievements and way forward M. Wendling, L. Grimaud Safran Electronics & Defense EPIC 2022 06/04/2022
Adaptive robust control of DAB converter using load observer with global stability analysis T. Youssef, S. Azzopardi Safran Tech ICEP 2022 upcoming
T. Löher TUB
Adaptive robust control of DAB converter using load observer with global stability analysis P. Feyel, L. Grimaud Safran Electronics & Defense PEMD 2022 upcoming