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Aerospace and defense solutions

Tethered drone with advanced C5ISR capabilities

For missions requiring forward-based advanced C5ISR capabilities — such as secure mobile radio networks, surveillance or radars — tethered drones provide the ability to quickly get up and running with much more flexibility and capability than alternative solutions. Such applications typically require a 5 – 10kW ground power supply tethered to a rotor wing UAV, and for which system SWaP performance is paramount for both transport and operation. 

Tethered drone with advanced C5ISR capabilities

The power delivery network

Enabling a truly optimized system SWaP performance, the Vicor high voltage BCM bus converter is1.8kW and 97%+ efficient, operating from a 500 to 800VDC high-voltage bus to deliver an isolated 31.3 to 50.0VDC low voltage in a remarkably small 4.4 x 1.4 x 0.4in. package. The power architecture utilizes the reverse operation feature of the BCM to create a single-phase or 3-phase AC ground supply that generates an output between 400 and 800V and then employs another BCM to convert the 800V back down to 48V in the UAV. This allows for a dramatically reduced size and weight of both the ground supply and UAV and a dramatically reduced diameter and weight of the tether. Inside the UAV, the 48V is distributed and can be efficiently down-converted to power the loads using flexible Vicor DC-DC solutions such as the DCM or PRM/VTM combination. The result is a much more flexible and capable system that can be transported by smaller or fewer vehicles or provide increased payload. 

Power Delivery Network for C5ISR coverage
Vicor BCM modules

MIL-COTS BCM® bus converter modules

Input: 200 – 400V, 400 – 700V, 500 – 800V

Current: up to 35A

Efficiency: up to 98%

As small as 2.5 x 0.9 x 0.3in

MIL-COTS DCM family of modules

MIL-COTS DCM DC-DC converters

Input: 28, 30, 270V

Output: 3.3, 5, 12, 15, 24, 28, 48V

Power: Up to 1300W

Efficiency: Up to 96% 

As small as 1.5 x 0.90 x 0.28in

MIL-COTS PRM and VTM modules

MIL-COTS PRM and VTM modules

Input: 14 – 50V, 38 – 55V

Output: 1.08 – 50V

Current: Up to 80A

Efficiency: Up to 96.5%

As small as 22.0 x 16.5 x 6.7mm (each)