Custom AC-DC Power Supply for a Ground-Based Docking Station – for Use with a Portable Military Computer System
Some applications require a computer with capabilities not easily satisfied by a standard computer, such as portability. Portability suggests a laptop, palmtop, or a personal digital assistant, but if multiple drives or a backplane is needed for plug-in cards, such a computer is non-standard. If the application it serves – such as construction, emergency services, or the military – requires it to be ruggedized as well, it is clearly a custom computer. Some such computers often do not run on battery power; they use a docking station in or on a vehicle, such as an airplane. When they are disconnected from the vehicle, they can be connected to a docking station on the ground.
The Vicor customer specializes in developing systems that enable input/output connectivity for industrial, commercial, and military computers. This particular application – a ground-based docking station to receive a portable military computer system that also functions aboard an airplane – not only had demanding size, efficiency, and cost requirements; the customers faced a demanding schedule to provide a qualified unit.
Two paths were taken to minimize risk. First, an already developed full discrete solution was repackaged to the required form factor and, second, a Vicor modular solution was also packaged to the required form factor to ensure that the schedule was met with qualified units. The universal input of the AC-DC power supply was 85–264 Vac at 47–440 Hz; the output was 18 V, 150 W.
Vicor Custom Power Unit – Creates Power Card for Venerable VMEbus
The VMEbus ― a standardized computer bus system ― is more than a quarter of a century old and still showing no signs of diminished utility. In fact, the opposite is true. Over the years, this venerable architecture has retained its viability by accommodating newer technologies as they have been introduced. The VMEbus standard, originally specified as a 16-bit bus, is now specified as both a 32-bit bus and a 64-bit bus.
Vicor custom power units specialize in the design, development, and manufacture of rapid response custom switching power supplies and power system. They design and manufacture turnkey custom power systems, specializing in the unique requirements of electronic equipment manufacturers in the military (COTS), EDP, industrial, communications, test equipment, and medical markets. They use Vicor component power in a modular, building-block design approach that offers low cost, quick turnaround, and reliable performance.
The one-slot VME450 power card, which uses Factorized Power Architecture (FPA), is a standard brick product. Its most significant attribute is that it needs only one slot to deliver 550 Watts of power. The ability to generate 550 watts in a single slot provides a significant advantage to the OEM customer. Although competitive one-slot power cards are available, they need to be severely derated having the capability to deliver up to about 250 or 300 Watts at best. Two power cards ― using, of course, two slots ― would be needed to deliver 550 watts.
The power card — 28 Vin, 550 W out, four outputs, input filtered — is a military COTs solution It meets MIL specifictions for shock and vibration (MIL-STD-810 Ground Mobile) as well as military EMI specifications (MIL-STD-461E CE 102, CS101). In contrast to competitive units, the one-slot VME power card provides higher efficiency (85 % versus 78 %), less weight (2.4 pounds versus 3.5 pounds), and the output, of course, is 550 Watts versus 300 Watts. Built with Vicor V·I Chips, it uses two M-FIAMs, six PRMs and six VTMs.
Custom Power Solution for Unmanned – Ground Vehicles for Perimeter Security
Unmanned aerial vehicles were used for target practice as early as World War I, and they have continued to expand into other military applications, such as surveillance and reconnaissance. Unmanned ground vehicles – or driverless cars – have been a tougher nut to crack, although serious progress has been made. Driverless cars have traversed streets in traffic for substantial distances, but the requisite technologies, not to mention the readiness of the public to accept driverless cars, are still in development. Unmanned ground vehicles for the military, however, are already in use, performing a wide range of tasks such as surveillance, reconnaissance, and transportation of heavy loads. Nonmilitary unmanned ground vehicles that can handle limited tasks, such as perimeter security, are here today as well.
A Vicor customer manufactures a range of autonomous unmanned vehicles for perimeter security applications. These vehicles employ navigation and threat detection sensors such as on-board motion, sound detectors, and vision to perform the defined mission. They have the ability to communicate with security personnel and with other vehicles to carry out coordinated security scenarios.
The Vicor custom 732-W power supply, designed to mount in a NEMA 4 box for use in a number of vehicle platforms, provides two battery charger style outputs suitable for lead-acid technology batteries with 12 V, 25 A capability and 24 V, 18 A capability. Input is wide range, 90-264 Vac. The ability to provide accelerated delivery and offer low NRE were key factors in the selection of the Vicor solution.