Affiliation: Microwave & Communications Systems Research Group, School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, The University of Manchester, Manchester, M60 1QD, UK.
Small satellite power is a critical space segment resource that is at a premium. This is especially obvious when considering highly adaptive small satellites (HASSs) that exhibit static and active (dynamic) power regimes. Reconfigurable spacecraft modules and subsystems have been patented spanning core bus, payload, propulsion and deployment interface. The majority depends on static power margins for specific mission requirements. This paper reports a system-level power budget (PB) model for the HASS system. It beacons on the power-to-mass ratio, payload power requirement, adaptive device technology used, power contingency factor and core bus subsystem power consumption. Spacecraft power estimating relationships (PERs) that satisfy the next-generation small satellite system engineering requirements have been developed based on past missions. A case study of a meteorological mission in low earth orbit is presented. Furthermore, field programmable gate array power regimes measurements were done to assess the power requirements of the active device. 90 mW of differential dynamic power was observed to represent 2.8 % of a 5-kg highly adaptive small nanosatellite power margins in low earth orbit (LEO). The presented results reveal that the HASS power margin must be at least equal to the designed maximum baseline power margin. A space mission can be stalled if the inorbit dynamic power increases beyond the designed maximum allowable power margin. The proposed HASS PB model enhances the design of reliable and high performance solar panels at first sight for deterministic space operations.