Power Supplies Bulk up for High Reliability Work

The reliability of a military system is tightly linked to its choice of power supply technology. Vendors of such products continue to evolve their power technology innovations.


As military systems pack ever more computing into smaller spaces, power has direct implications on the size, cooling and mobility of a board- or box-level system. As a result military system designers can no longer afford to make their choice of power supplies and power conversion electronics an afterthought. Mix in the challenges of multi-voltage electronics and the complexity of distributed system architectures, and it’s clear that military system designers need solutions that address those needs. Arguably the unsung hero of a system design, power supplies and converters are critical enablers for meeting today’s rugged requirements.

To keep pace, power supply vendors continue to roll out more efficient products, new partitioning strategies and increased ruggedization. These new solutions continue to emerge not just at the component or brick level, but also at the module and board level. Meanwhile, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) are now more critical than ever as computer and network gear pervade the battlefield.

In tandem to those trends, there’s a growing demand to reduce size, weight and power (SWaP) of system electronics. And the two go hand in hand. More and more programs are pushing for as much computer processing muscle as can possibly fit into a board-level solution. Driving those demands is a desire to fit more functionality in the same space or into a smaller footprint. In the air, this means smaller and longer endurance for systems like UAVs. On the ground, this means more weight can be allocated to the all-important armor of ground vehicles. In the realm of high-power-density DC/DC converters, the modular form factor, commonly referred to as a brick, continues to be the preferred building block component for any application, commercial and military.

One example application area where high-reliability DC-DC convertor technology is critical is in space systems. DC-DC converters from VPT are used on board NASA’s first asteroid sampling mission launched successfully in September from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, which was launched aboard the ULA’s Atlas V, is traveling to near-Earth Asteroid Bennu (Figure 1). OSIRIS-REx is scheduled to reach the asteroid in 2018 to explore and eventually approach the asteroid to obtain a sample, which will be returned to Earth in 2023 for scientists to study. Asteroid Bennu is considered part of the early solar system and is classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid. The study of the asteroid’s material will allow researchers to better understand the asteroid orbiting patterns as well as gain further understanding of the origins of life in the solar system.

Figure 1 The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, which was launched aboard the ULA’s Atlas V, is traveling to near-Earth Asteroid Bennu.

The Hi Reliability Power Supplies Roundup and Links to the full data sheets for each product are posted below.

  Figure 1

Figure 1 Calex

1,000 W Full Brick DC/DC Converters Add Extended Temp Option

Calex has added the “-T” option on the 1,000 W FXW series. The “-T” option allows for extended temperature operation of the converters from -55- to +105-degrees C including cold start at -55 degrees C. The FXW offers high efficiency, up to 96.5 percent, and high power density which is accomplished through the use of synchronous rectification, advanced circuit, packaging and thermal design resulting in a compact, highly reliable product.

  • Wide Input Voltage Range: 9 to 36 VDC.
  • Output Voltage: 24 and 28 VDC.
  • Over-current and short circuit protection; Over-temperature protection.
  • Efficiency up to 96 percent.
  • Small size: 2.5- x 4.7- x 0.52-inch.
  • Extended Temperature Range: -55 to +105 degrees C.
  • Remote On/Off; Auto-restart, Monotonic startup into pre bias.
  • Good shock and vibration damping.

FXW-T Data Sheet:  Click Here

Concord, CA
(925) 687-4411

Figure 2

Figure 2 Excelsys

Fanless Modular 600W Supply Uses Natural Convection Cooling

The CoolX600 Series from Excelsys Technologies is a convection-cooled modular power supply that delivers 600W without fan assisted cooling from a very compact 8.5 x 4.5 x 1U package. The only fanless modular power supply on the market according to Excelsys, the CoolX600 offers system designers best in class performance for efficiency and reliability in addition to the most comprehensive feature set and specifications available.

  • 100 percent natural convection cooled; No internal or externals fans needed.
  • No base-plate needed.
  • No acoustic noise or vibrations.
  • High input surge protection.
  • Reverse energy protection.
  • 24W standby power.
  • Safety approved to 5000m altitude.
  • Greater than 93 percent efficiency.

CoolX600 Data Sheet:  Click Here 

Rockwall, TX
(972) 771-4544

Figure 3

Figure 3 Extreme Engineering

260W 3U VPX Power Supply is VITA 62 Compliant

Extreme Engineering’s XPm2222 is a VITA 62.0 form factor 3U VPX power supply. The XPm2222 takes in a MIL-STD-704A/E/F or MIL-STD-1275D 28 VDC input voltage and provides up to 260 W on 3.3 V, 5 V, and ±12 V at up to 87 percent efficiency. The XPm2222 fits in a VITA 62-compliant 3U VPX 1.0 in. slot and can provide a combined total output power of up to 260 W at maximum operating temperature.

  • MIL-STD-704A/E/F and MIL-STD-1275D 28 VDC input voltage; MIL-STD-461F EMI filtering.
  • VITA 62.0 form factor VPX power supply.
  • Up to 260 W output on 3.3 V, 5 V, and ±12 V.
  • Isolated 3.3 V AUX supply.
  • Spike and surge transient suppression; Short circuit, overcurrent, and overvoltage protection; Output overvoltage clamping circuitry.
  • -40 to 85 degrees C conduction- cooled operating temperature.

XPm2222 Data Sheet:  Click Here

Extreme Engineering Solutions
Middleton, WI.
(608) 833-1155

Figure 4

Figure 4 Intellipower

Lightweight 1U Rack Mountable UPS Uses High Power Density Batteries

Intellipower’s FA00399 is a lightweight, 1U rack mountable UPS which includes the use of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries. Because LiFePO4 batteries provide higher power density, weigh less than lead acid batteries and offer a much longer cycle life, this solution, which was specifically developed for military, industrial and mission-critical commercial applications results in a lightweight, space-saving, UPS with longer battery life.

  • 500 W of AC or DC power.
  • -20°C to +50°C operating temperature.
  • 1500VA, 1000 W (Dual 500W AC and 500W DC Output), 120VAC, 50/60Hz Input and 120VAC, 50/60Hz Output.
  • Double Conversion, On-Line UPS, 1U, High Temperature, Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery Hot Swap Drawer, Rugged UPS with Power Factor Correction.
  • Galvanic isolation provides ideal electrical output performance.
  • Supports standard communications protocols such as SNMP with OID and MIB Support, RS-232, Ethernet/IP and others.

FA00399 Data Sheet:  Click Here 

Orange, CA
(714) 921-1580

Figure 5

Figure 5 North Atlantic Industries

High Efficiency VITA 62, 3U VPX Supply Provides 500 Watts

The VPX55H-3 is North Atlantic Industries’ latest high power 500 Watt DC/DC converter that plugs directly into a standard 3U VPX chassis with a VITA 62 0.8 inch power supply slot. This off-the-shelf solution for VITA 46.0 and VITA 65 systems is compatible with VPX specifications; supports all VITA standard I/O, signals, and features; and conforms to the VITA 62 mechanical and electrical requirements for modular power supplies.

  • Standard VPX-compatible connectors and I/O per VITA 62.
  • Compatible with System Management Bus per VITA 46.11.
  • Supports all VITA standard I/O, signals, and features.
  • Input transient protection per MIL-STD-704F.
  • Integrated EMI filtering per MIL-STD-461F.
  • Operates at full 500W load through the entire -40 to +85 degrees C temperature range.

VPX55H-3 Data Sheet:  Click Here    Registration required

North Atlantic Industries
Bohemia, NY
(631) 567-1100

Figure 6

Figure 6 Orbit Power Group

VITA 62, 6U VPX  Single Phase Front-End Module Delivers 1,500 Watts

Behlman Electronics, a subsidiary of Orbit International, offers the VPXtra 1500CS3 series, an AC to DC front-end module built for high-end industrial and military applications. The unit is a VITA 62, Open VPX compliant, 6U front-end module that accepts a wide input voltage range 85-265VAC, over wide frequency range (47-440 Hz) and delivers 1500W of 33VDC power. The front-end module is designed to support the rigors of mission critical airborne, shipboard, vehicle and mobile applications.

  • Open VPX VITA 62 compliant.
  • 6U VPX, 1.0 inch pitch single slot.
  • Active, Single Phase PFC input.
  • Wide input frequency range, 47-440Hz.
  • Low input current distortion.
  • High power DC output: 33V/46A.
  • Auxiliary DC output: 3.3V Aux/0.2A.
  • Wide input voltage range 85-265 VAC.
  • Input-output isolation.

VPXtra 1500CS3 Data Sheet:  Click Here

Orbit Power Group
Hauppauge, NY
(631) 435-0410

Figure 7

Figure 7 Pico Electronics

10,000 VDC Output DC-DC Converter Features Small Size and Weight

Pico Electronics’ AVP/AVN series of unregulated high voltage DC-DC converters with output voltages to 10,000 VDC are produced in an ultra-miniature encapsulated package. 50 different standard models are available. These single output units will operate over the temperature range of -25 to +70 degrees C with no heat sink or electrical derating. For military applications an operating temperature range -55 to +85 degrees C is available. An optional environmental screening package per MIL-STD-883 is also available.

  • Output Voltages: 6,000 VDC to 10,000 VDC.
  • 1.25 watt output at 70º ambient.
  • Ultra-miniature size 0.500 inch height, 5.0 grams weight, 0.25 cubic inches volume.
  • 5 input voltage ranges 5, 12, 15, 24 and 28 VDC.
  • Transformer Isolated Design.
  • MIL-STD 883 options available.
  • No heat sink or electrical derating required.

AVP/AVN Data Sheet:  Click Here

Pico Electronics
Pelham, NY
(914) 738-1400

Figure 8

Figure 8 Schaefer

Family of Military Power Solutions Handle Extreme Conditions

The MIL-K Series from Schaefer is a family of Military AC/AC Frequency Converters, AC/DC power supplies, DC/DC converters, Battery chargers, Power Quality systems, Power distribution units, and DC/AC Inverters. Its robust housing, solid design, high performance, superb reliability as well as the build to order flexibility, makes the MIL-K series the ideal source for use in shelters, vehicles, avionics, radar, Naval and many other open air applications.

  • Single and three phase inputs; High voltage DC inputs.
  • Wide frequency input range of 45-440Hz.
  • CARC (Chemical Agent Resistant Coating).
  • Digital Meters for output current and voltage.
  • LEDs (input, output, alarm);Black-out switch for LEDs or covers.
  • Quick connectors for output.
  • Weep holes for condensation drip or fully sealed unit (up to IP69 rated).
  • Mil connectors (standard, bayonet style, other type).

MIL-K Data Sheet:  Click Here

Hopkinton, MA
(508) 436-6400

Figure 9

Figure 9 SynQor

3-Phase 1500 W Power Factor Correction Module Meets Radar Needs

SynQor’s MilCOTS 3-phase MPFCQor Power Factor Correction module is an essential building block of an AC-DC power supply. Used in conjunction with SynQor’s MACF-115-3PH-UNV-HT AC line filter and a limited amount of stabilizing capacitance, the 3-Phase MPFCQor will draw well-balanced and low-distortion sinusoidal currents from each phase of a 3-phase AC input. It is designed to comply with a wide range of military standards and is manufactured in the United States.

  • Full brick form factor.
  • Semi-regulated output: 270 VDC.
  • Compatible with Military Standard 60 Hz, 400 Hz and var. freq. systems.
  • Meets military standards for harmonic content.
  • High power factor (0.98 at 400 Hz / 1.5 kW).
  • Size: 2.486- x 4.686- x 0.512-inches.
  • Weight: 11.3 oz. (320 g).

3-Phase MPFCQor Data Sheet:  Click Here

Boxborough, MA
(978) 849-0600

Figure A

Figure A TDK Lambda

Quarter Brick DC-DC Converters Suited for Harsh Environment Use

TDK-Lambda’s HQA120 isolated DC-DC converters are rated at 120W and have been qualified with methods consistent with MIL-STD-883 and MIL-STD-202, making it suitable for use in COTS and harsh environment equipment. Initially available with 12V, 24V and 28V outputs, the encapsulated quarter bricks accept a wide range DC input of 9V to 40V, withstanding a 50V surge for 10 seconds.

  • Standard quarter brick footprint.
  • 9-40, 18-40VDC inputs.
  • 5 to 48V nominal outputs.
  • Up to 115 degrees C ambient temperatures.
  • Up to 91.5 percent efficiency (48V).
  • 2,250 VDC Isolation.
  • Encapsulated for rugged environments; No opto-couplers used.
  • Enhanced screening option with -55 degrees C ambient operation.
  • Qualification methods consistent with MIL-STD-883.

HQA120 Data Sheet:  Click Here

TDK-Lambda Americas
San Diego, CA
(619) 628 2885

Figure B

Figure B Vicor

High Density AC-DC Front-Ends Boast Rugged Chassis-Mountable Package

Vicor’s family of high density PFM AC-DC front-end modules in the rugged VIA package offer superior cooling performance and versatility in converter mounting. Featuring a universal AC input range (85 – 264 VAC), power factor correction, and a fully isolated 24 VDC or 48 VDC output, and delivering 400 W of isolated, regulated, DC output power at efficiencies up to 93 percent these new modules provide unprecedented power density of 127 W/in3 (8 W/cm3) and best-in-class performance in a diminutive, 9 mm thin VIA package.

  • Input voltages: universal rectified 85 to 264 VRMS.
  • Output voltage: 24 and 48 V isolated and regulated outputs.
  • Output power: 400 W over entire input voltage range.
  • Efficiency: up to 92 percent.
  • Power Density: ≥ 127 W/in3.
  • Dimensions: PFM 4414: 4.37 x 1.42 x 0.37 in.; PFM 4914: 4.92 x 1.42 x 0.37 in.

PFM 4414 Data Sheet:  Click Here 

Andover, MA
(978) 749-8359

Figure C

Figure C VPT

DC-DC Converters Operate at Full-Load From -40 to 100 Degrees C

VPT’s VHR series of industrial level DC-DC converters and EMI filters provides system developers with high levels of product reliability for powering non-flight-critical programs in military, avionics, and unmanned systems as well as manufacturing equipment and controls. The VHR series of DC-DC converters are available in models ranging from 5 to 100 Watts. EMI filters are available from 1 to 20 A.

  • Wide temperature range of -40 to +100 degrees C.
  • Fixed frequency operation.
  • Soft-start.
  • Magnetic feedback.
  • Inhibit and current-limit protection.
  • J-STD-001, ISO-9001, IPC-A-610 Class 3 manufacturing.
  • Available models range from 5 to 100 Watts.
  • EMI filters are available from 1 to 20 A.

VHR Data Sheet:  Click Here

Blacksburg VA
(425) 353-3010