Aerospace Battery Manufacturer
 
 

Space Exploration and Manned Space Flight

The physical exploration of space is presently enjoying a renaissance of activity and success. Programs like the Mars Exploration Rovers have produced important scientific findings, like the astounding discovery of past water on opposite sides of Mars, renewing interest, support, and funding for these efforts. The activities in space exploration are typically divided into three major categories.

Orbiters are spacecraft that study and map planetary surfaces and atmospheres. They can be manned or unmanned.
Probes are robotic spacecraft that engage in localized atmospheric and planetary exploration.
Landers and Rovers conduct extended surface-exploration missions on a planet or astronomical body.

Lithium ion batteries are relatively new to these space applications, but the impact—and the future—of the technology on this field is enormous. Li-ion batteries have key characteristics that make them ideal for nearly all space missions. Quallion’s batteries have intrinsic qualities such as low weight, volume, and self discharge; high specific energy and energy density; and long life cycle. Li-ion batteries can also be designed to withstand high impacts and be intolerant to overcharging with proper battery electronics.

Quallion is uniquely positioned to satisfy aerospace customers with high reliability requirements thanks to our rigorous materials control, which eliminates even the subtlest variations in future cell builds. We can deliver battery solutions for exploration vehicles with two distinct approaches. First, Quallion can create a battery with its own design and materials, which enables fully customizable solutions for any specifications and takes full advantage of our specialized materials control and proprietary chemistry with high cycle life and virtually no self discharge or calendar fade. This option also enables customers to leverage Quallion’s patented Zero-Volt™ technology, which allows long storage periods in a deep discharged state with no permanent capacity loss.  Specific to Manned-Space flight, Quallion also offers its patented SaFE-LYTE™ technology that offers a thermal runaway inhibitor into the cell chemistry without impacting cycle and calendar life. 

As an alternate approach, customers can choose Quallion’s proprietary Matrix™ system, which simultaneously links commercial-grade cells in parallel and series. This innovation greatly reduces cost, increases flexibility, and is highly scaleable.  For Manned Space flight and exploration, Quallion’s MatrixTM Battery Design and Modular Battery Design uniquely address the critical mission requirements of a sustained and affordable human and robotic presence in space by offering a modular battery with the energy density of current state-of-practice Li-Ion systems. Such higher energy density batteries will extend the human presence across the solar system by greatly enhancing life-support and mission scope capabilities.  

Modularity

Quallion’s Matrix™ Modular Battery design provides for optimal design and mission flexibility. Each module can be combined, either in space or on earth, to increase voltage or capacity as power system requirements vary by application. Such inter-operability reduces the overall battery count (spacesuit batteries can be interchanged with a power tool), thereby reducing payloads. Modularity also allows for in-space reconfiguration to accommodate faults when special circumstances arise. Modular configurations simplify maintenance (failed cells are replaced on site with spares). Missions will not be interrupted due to power loss (space cells maintained in recharging stations).

Affordability/Reliability

Space batteries are typically custom built, greatly increasing development and qualification costs. Quallion’s Matrix™ Modular Battery design for combining base modules into a battery eliminates the cost of repeat qualifications. The base module can be scaled into a battery to meet a number of exploration applications (e.g., rovers, habitats, space suits, tools, communications devices), thereby allowing application manufacturers to capitalize on higher volumes of the base module to achieve enhanced quality, safety and lower per unit costs.

Late in 2006, Quallion was awarded a Title III program from the U.S. government to domestically produce the cathode and anode materials used in large satellite cells. Title III also requires Quallion to set up a large cell manufacturing line. Soon, no other space satellite battery manufacturer will be able to offer its customers a cradle-to-grave battery solution, in which cell and battery production will be controlled in one facility. It means Quallion will be able to ensure its customers a fully qualified product for the next 20-30 years.