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NASA-Glenn Designs ISS Electrical Power System
March 17, 2008

International Space Station. Credit:NASA At the inception of the Space Station Freedom program, an early version of the International Space Station, NASA Glenn was assigned responsibility for Work Package 4, the complete electrical power system. Glenn engineers combined state-of-the-art electrical designs with complex computer-aided analyses to lead the design of the largest power system ever constructed in space. They also developed and tested several critical components and subsystems.

Members of Glenn's design team played a key role in the process of redesigning the station and transitioning it to the existing International Space Station Program. NASA Glenn oversaw and managed the development and testing of Electrical Power System flight hardware in preparation for its launch to the space station. This effort included monitoring tests and inspecting hardware at both subcontractor sites where the hardware was manufactured and at the Kennedy Space Center prior to launch.

Glenn's expertise has been used extensively throughout the station power system including switches, converter units, batteries, a plasma contactor unit, and the photovoltaic active thermal control subsystem. In addition to managing hardware built elsewhere, Glenn manufactured the power system component flight hardware for the station in the form of manually activated switches called circuit-isolation devices. Glenn also maintained an engineering support room that was staffed by a team of engineers responsible for monitoring the power and making performance predictions during the initial operation of the power system.

Today, Glenn's Space Operations Project Office leads the sustaining engineering and subsystem integration of the International Space Station Electrical Power System, plasma contactor unit and photovoltaic active thermal control subsystem. It also manages the integration of the system with those of NASA's international partners. Glenn's Mission and Systems Analysis Division provides Electrical Power System performance analyses for space station operations to the International Space Station Program.

More Information:
+ Glenn Space Operations Project Office: ISS page
+ Glenn's Contributions to the ISS Electrical Power System

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