Microsemi Corporation has expanded its Space System Manager (SSM) product family with the introduction of a radiation-tolerant motor controller that helps to reduce the weight and area in satellites and human-related space programs.
The LX7720 is a mixed-signal device that Microsemi claims reduces significantly the weight and board space in space-bound devices compared to conventional discrete motor control circuits. The device works with a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) and components also offered by Microsemi specifically designed for the space market.
Microsemi says the device has already been adopted by some space customers to enable motor control applications for space robotics and human-related space programs, including motor drive servo control, linear actuator servo control and driver stepper, brushless direct current (BLDC), and permanent-magnet synchronous motors (PMSMs).
These applications serve on satellite busses for solar panel deployment and driving reaction wheels; on spacecraft payload instruments for multi-axis point mechanisms for antennas and laser terminals or for precise motion control of lenses, filters and mirrors; and in robotics applications such as pressure-sensitive motion control.
This is the second radiation-tolerant motor control device that Microsemi has introduced in an effort to get a slice of the new satellites that will be launched over the next decade. Euroconsult says 60% more satellites will be launched by 2024 than were launched in the past decade—driven by space-enabled countries replacing and expanding their in-orbit satellite systems and more countries launching their first satellite systems.