Lithium Ion Battery Fault Management on the Van Allen Probes

The Van Allen Probes (formerly known as the Radiation Belt Storm Probes or RBSP) mission launched on 30 August 2012 as part of NASA\textquoterights Living With a Star (LWS) Program. The ultimate goal of the mission is to understand how populations of relativistic electrons and penetrating ions in the Earth\textquoterights Van Allen Radiation Belts are affected by the Sun. The mission consists of two nearly identical observatories orbiting in highly-elliptical Earth orbits. The two satellite system allows for the study of the spatial and temporal effects the Sun has on the Earth\textquoterights radiation belts. Each observatory is equipped with a suite of instruments designed to continuously study ions, electrons and the local magnetic and electric fields. A brief overview of the Van Allen Probe mission is presented with an emphasis on the power subsystem and the fault management system. A unique challenge encountered on the Van Allen Probes mission was the health monitoring and management of the Lithium Ion battery. The fault management system employed three different strategies to monitor and protect the health of the battery: a hardware implemented low voltage sense, a software implemented low voltage sense, and a low battery state of charge calculation (coulometry). The pros and cons of each of these strategies are further discussed with respect to fault management system design and the battery test data collected during the integration, test and environmental testing phases of development.
Year of Publication
Date Published
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Conference Location
San Diego, CAReston, Virginia