Custom AC-DC Power Supply for a Ground-Based Docking Station
for Use with a Portable Military Computer System
Some applications require a computer with capabilities not easily satisfied by a standard computer, such as portability. Portability suggests a laptop, palmtop, or a personal digital assistant, but if multiple drives or a backplane is needed for plug-in cards, such a computer is non-standard. If the application it serves – such as construction, emergency services, or the military – requires it to be ruggedized as well, it is clearly a custom computer. Some such computers often do not run on battery power; they use a docking station in or on a vehicle, such as an airplane. When they are disconnected from the vehicle, they can be connected to a docking station on the ground.
The Vicor customer specializes in developing systems that enable input/output connectivity for industrial, commercial, and military computers. This particular application – a ground-based docking station to receive a portable military computer system that also functions aboard an airplane – not only had demanding size, efficiency, and cost requirements; the customers faced a demanding schedule to provide a qualified unit.
Two paths were taken to minimize risk. First, an already developed full discrete solution was repackaged to the required form factor and, second, a Vicor modular solution was also packaged to the required form factor to ensure that the schedule was met with qualified units. The universal input of the AC-DC power supply was 85–264 Vac at 47–440 Hz; the output was 18 V, 150 W.