Universal Battery Charger (Universal Battery Charger) - 12.06.17

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The Universal Battery Charger provides a new, transformable system to charge different types of batteries aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The ability to charge multiple battery types with one system reduces the amount of cargo that must fly to the station and be stowed on board. This investigation tests a universal system that can charge different devices with different charging requirements, simplifying and reducing work for crew members.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by John Merk, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom: Universal Battery Charger

Principal Investigator(s)
John Merk, Aurora Flight Sciences, Cambridge, MA, United States

Judith Jeevarajan, Ph.D., Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States

Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, Cambridge, MA, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
Technology Demonstration Office (TDO)

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Space Exploration

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2016 - September 2016

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
Information Pending

^ back to top

Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • All new rechargeable batteries and chargers for ISS must undergo an extensive qualification process. Additionally, different battery types have different charging requirements, so many different chargers are needed to support ISS equipment and payloads. A common (universal) battery charging system is needed for ISS, with the flexibility to accommodate current and future battery-powered equipment and payload requirements.
  • The Universal Battery Charger reduces the burden on future ISS programs (equipment and payloads) by establishing a universal battery charger for ISS, supporting many currently used battery types as well as future battery types.
  • This system also reduces up-mass requirements to ISS by minimizing the need for unique charging systems for each new ISS battery type.

The Universal Battery Charger consists of a Base Unit. The Base Unit is powered via 28VDC from ExPRESS Rack or PS28 Junction Box. Base Unit can be mounted to front of ExPRESS rack locker or other location. The Base Unit dimensions are 18x9x5 inches. The base unit contains the critical functionality required for carrying out battery charging. Adapters are installed into the Base Unit as needed. Unused Adapters are stowed. Adapter dimensions are 5x4x2 inches. The adapters are specific to each battery type and contain all the information required to safely and effectively charge each type of battery. The payload developer also supplies a 28V DC power cable to provide power to the Universal Battery Charger from the PS28 Junction Box.

^ back to top


Space Applications
Different battery types have different charging requirements, so ISS equipment and payloads currently use a wide range of charging devices. A universal charger that can accommodate any device reduces cargo delivery and storage requirements which can be used for experiments and other equipment.

Earth Applications
Scientists and other payload developers frequently produce their own battery charging systems for use on the ISS. A universal system reduces payload developers’ burden to make and test chargers for specific uses. This great idea can also be applied to many electronic devices and cordless tools on Earth.

^ back to top


Operational Requirements and Protocols
Requires 28VDC from ExPRESS Rack or PS28 Junction Box, and crew activity to set-up and swap out batteries. Unused adapters are stowed.

^ back to top

Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

^ back to top

Results/More Information

Information Pending

^ back to top

Related Websites

^ back to top