The batteries used in satellites are vital for several reasons. These batteries must last for many years, be reliable, and support a range of operating temperatures. EV They also need to be resistant to high-intensity radiation. Moreover, satellites’ batteries must be lightweight, durable, and meet specific requirements for launch and operations.
Batteries for satellites are often rechargeable and are designed to store solar energy and provide power for satellites when the sun is eclipsed or too far away to operate. These rechargeable batteries are commonly known as Lithium-based or Lithium-ion batteries. This article will briefly overview the battery technology for satellites and highlight the characteristics of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) batteries being tested for space missions.
The development of lithium-ion batteries for satellites began in the early 2000s when weight became an essential criterion for satellite launches. The high specific energy of Li-ion batteries accelerated the change in technology at the turn of the millennium. The satellite application was one of the first industrial uses for Li-ion technology.
Satellite batteries are incredibly delicate, and a failure can affect the satellite’s mission. Batteries for satellites need to be carefully packaged and tested to avoid thermal runaway. During the design phase, batteries should be carefully checked for overcharging, as this can cause overheating and can be fatal. Other undesirable conditions include short-circuiting, the operating temperature outside the range prescribed by the DOD, and excessive current generation.
Lithium-ion batteries are a vital component for telecommunication satellites. They are the most common type of space battery and will power satellites in orbit for several years. This technology has already proven its capabilities on several satellites. A new generation of satellites is slated for launch this year, and the next five will follow.
Saft America Inc., a Maryland-based company, is among the companies that supply batteries for satellites. The company has supplied batteries for over 800 satellites in low, medium, and geostationary orbit. It also provides batteries for the ten largest GPS satellites. Saft’s batteries are designed to be highly durable, lasting as long as the satellites themselves.
New lithium-sulfur battery technology is being developed specifically for space applications. It aims to become a breakthrough technology in powering satellites. The new cells will have high energy density and long life, allowing satellites to be more lightweight. Ultimately, this could lead to more frequent launches of satellites.
Lithium-ion batteries are slowly being used in satellite power systems, but their lifespan is still an issue. Lithium-ion batteries will require more development to achieve NASA’s goals. A key focus area is improving the graphite anode properties and the battery’s specific energy and life.