How much power will the IMAGE spacecraft use, and where will it come from?

Believe it or not, the entire operating spacecraft will only need 130.8 watts of power. The entire system including the non-instrument electronics, will require 243.5 Watts.

Neutral Atom Imagers 33 Watts
Far Ultraviolet Imager 11.2 Watts
Extreme Ultraviolet Imager 15.5 Watts
Radio Plasma Imager 31.5 Watts

The power will be provided by a SMEX 21 Ampere-hour, Ni-Cad battery, and 6.6 square meters of body-mounted solar cells. The solar cells are Gallium-Arsenide based technology, with 1.5 millimeter thick cover glass on their exposed surfaces to minimize degradation due to the impacts of charged particles. The battery is charged during times when the sun is available, but for up to 78 minutes, the spacecraft will be in eclipse so battery power will be needed to run the experiments, which defines the required storage capacity of the battery. The solar array output is at least 130 watts but can reach a maximum of 185 watts depending on the spacecraft spin axis orientation.


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