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PELS Day 2024 (Part 1): Challenges of Power Electronic Systems in Deep Space Application

Date: 20/06/2024
Time: 11:00 am
Presenter: Joseph Kozak
Abstract: While the field of power electronics is trending towards designs with higher power densities, aerospace applications have had difficulties achieving terrestrial metrics due to limitations on reliability and radiation-hardened components. This talk will provide an overview of the design challenges and constraints faced by power electronic converters in deep-space applications. Examples include the most recent NASA New Frontiers program, Dragonfly (DF), a rotorcraft designed to fly on Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. In addition, specific challenges facing a future power grid on the Lunar surface, and design considerations for other high-reliability space applications will also be discussed.
Joseph P. Kozak received the B.S. degree in engineering physics and the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the Center for Power Electronic Systems (CPES), at Virginia Tech. Since 2021, he has been a senior electrical engineer at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU-APL), and is currently the chief technologist in the spacecraft power engineering group. He is a member of the NASA Dragonfly rotorcraft drive electronics team, as well as a member of the Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium Surface Power Focus Group. Joseph’s research interest include robustness, reliability, and physics of failure of wide bandgap power semiconductors, and their packaging and implementation into high-reliability, power electronic converters and systems. He is an active member of IEEE, and currently serves as the co-chair of the IEEE PELS Student and Young Professionals Committee.