Although the electrical power system of a spacecraft is not usually regarded as exciting technology, it is nevertheless essential and mission-critical. The power system may be divided into four areas: generation, storage, regulation/distribution, and consumption (payload). The talk will cover all of these, with emphasis on spacecraft operating in the vicinity of the Earth.
The requirements of small and large spacecraft will be contrasted (from satellites-on-a-chip to space stations), the problems facing the power system designer will be described, and the current state of the art will be presented. Finally, the talk will focus on how payload designers should "think power" to help optimise the performance of spacecraft including our own!