NASA’s Orion spacecraft will be capable of carrying humans to deep space destinations, including Mars. The Orion program has already successfully completed its Exploration Flight Test 1 (EFT-1) mission in Earth’s orbit, and Lockheed Martin engineers are working on the crew module for Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1), an unmanned flight around the moon.
Four solar arrays and four lithium-ion battery assemblies will power the Orion spacecraft life support, propulsion, guidance, and other systems. To ensure adequate power for these systems on lengthy deep space missions, Lockheed Martin engineers run simulations using a model of the Orion power system developed with Simulink® and Simscape Electrical™.
“The multinode power model we created in Simulink enables us to run simulations with greater fidelity than was possible with the single-node model we used previously,” says Hector Hernandez, Orion lead power system analyst at Lockheed Martin. “Simscape Electrical made it easier to model the full power network and simulate more realistic behavior. We now have the capability to measure the voltage drops across various components, which gives us greater insight into power quality across the system.”