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Gallium Nitride Converters for Spacecraft Applications

Cook, Thomas (2020) Gallium Nitride Converters for Spacecraft Applications. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This work presents the development and evaluation of several Point-of-Load (PoL) Gallium
Nitride (GaN) high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) based synchronous buck converters for computational loads in small spacecraft applications. Design modifications to existing
controllers and PCB layout is discussed to maximize the benefits of GaN for these converters.
The radiation performance of these converters and in-situ measurements is presented. This
work also presents the development of a modular power system architecture for 1U CubeSat
compute boards including the electrical and grounding layout, mechanical interface, and size
The PoL converter is based on the synchronous buck topology utilizing the Linear Technologies LTC3833 and the Texas Instruments LM25141-Q1 controllers and the EPC 2014C,
EPC 2015C, Teledyne TDG100E15B, and GaN Systems GS61004B GaN HEMTs. GaN
devices are not only attractive to power electronics engineers in general due to their wide
bandgap, low gate capacitance, and low on resistance they also show very promising performance in high radiation environments without the need for expensive radiation-hardened
Several converters utilizing both commercial-off-the-shelf products and radiation hardened devices were developed and compared to the GaN converters to allow for a comparison
between all devices to evaluate the performance of these new devices.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Cook, Thomastvc8@pitt.edutvc80000-0002-1892-0783
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGrainger, BMbmg10@pitt.eduBMG100000-0001-5251-8766
Committee MemberKwasinski,
Committee MemberGeorge,
Date: 28 January 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 11 November 2019
Approval Date: 28 January 2020
Submission Date: 23 October 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 57
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Electrical and Computer Engineering
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Point-of-Load, Gallium Nitride, High Electron Mobility Transistor, radiation hardened, Commercial-Off-The-Shelf, synchronous buck converter, Small Satellite, CubeSat
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2020 17:09
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2020 17:09


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