Inductive Power Transfer for Spaceflight Systems

electrical and electronics
Inductive Power Transfer for Spaceflight Systems (GSC-TOPS-153)
Enables power interfaces without physical access or interconnection.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has developed technology that uses inductive power transfer (IPT) for wireless power interfaces between spaceflight elements (such as the payload, vehicle, and pad). Current spaceflight systems require traditional hardwire connections for power interfaces. This introduces risk of failure due to such factors as bent pins and contact contamination, as well as other disadvantages. IPT enables power interfaces that do not require physical access or interconnection. It also provides power interfaces that are more reliable and safer than traditional, hardwire connections. IPT also enables contamination-proof interfaces for terrestrial and non-terrestrial applications.

The Technology
The external support equipment includes a rectifier module, DC voltage regulator, and 208 Volt/480 Volt contactor or inverter for primary supply. The IPT device has no moving parts to wear out; the PSA's unit is encased in stainless steel. It is water and oil tight; and there is no maintenance required. The IPT transmitters/receivers are used for a wide-range of power interfaces, including (but not limited to): -Pad to launch vehicle -GSE to payload -Vehicle to payload -Payload carrier to deployable satellite -Launch vehicle stages -Space station elements -Space suit to suit "ports" -Power supplies and equipment deployed on extraterrestrial surfaces
Fontenelle Dam on the Green River, Lincoln County, Wyoming
  • No physical access or interconnection required
  • Higher reliability
  • Higher safety

  • Auto industry (provides an easier and more "user-friendly" means of charging electric vehicles)
  • On-ground powering of aircraft
  • Railroad industry
Technology Details

electrical and electronics
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