Space & satellite brushless DC motor controller

Featuring IR HiRel rad hard gate drivers and R9 rad hard MOSFETs

Built on a CubeSat chassis, this brushless DC motor controller demo platform highlights the performance and application of Infineon’s IR HiRel radiation-hardened MOSFETs and gate drivers.

The platform comprises two components:

  • A brushless DC motor controller using
    • (3) RIC7S113L4 rad hard gate drivers
    • (6) IRHNJ9A7034 rad hard R9 60 V, N-channel MOSFETs – R9 uses superjunction technology, delivering superior performance and efficiencies with low risk design reuse
  • A 3D inverted pendulum using reaction wheels and three of these motor controllers to balance on its vertex

Key applications

  • Reaction wheels for attitude control and stabilization
    Reaction wheels are crucial components for spacecraft and satellite attitude control and stabilization. They provide precise rotational control by utilizing the principle of conservation of angular momentum. By spinning at high speeds, these wheels can alter the spacecraft's orientation without using traditional propellant-based thrusters, reducing fuel consumption and extending the satellite's operational lifespan. When a reaction wheel changes its speed, it induces a reaction torque that counteracts any external disturbances or unwanted rotational motion, allowing the satellite to maintain a desired attitude for various tasks such as Earth observation, communication, and scientific missions.
  • Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) for accurate measurement and determination of the spacecraft's motion and orientation
    Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) are vital instruments used in satellites for accurate measurement and determination of the spacecraft's motion and orientation. They typically consist of gyroscopes and accelerometers. Gyroscopes measure angular velocity, providing information about the satellite's rotation rates and changes in its orientation. Accelerometers, on the other hand, gauge linear acceleration, allowing the determination of changes in velocity and acceleration. By combining data from both sensors, IMUs can precisely calculate the satellite's position, velocity, and attitude in three-dimensional space. This information is crucial for navigation, guidance, and control systems, enabling satellites to accurately execute maneuvers, maintain desired orbits, and ensure optimal pointing for various applications like Earth observation, navigation, and communication.

Learn more about Infineon’s space power solutions: