Siemens Aerospace safeguards satellites
with advanced power protection
capabilities enabled by ADI’s iCoupler
digital isolator technology

Satellite developers take extreme care to protect spacecraft subsystems at every stage of the development process, from assembly to launch. If a single system malfunctions, the impact on adjacent systems—and the spacecraft itself—can be catastrophic. This is especially true for satellite power systems, where kilowatts of power are flowing from multiple power supplies across sensitive circuitry within ultra compact enclosures.

Siemens Aerospace’s PowerSCOE (Special Check-Out Equipment) for satellite power systems is designed to neutralize these risks, enabling the ability to monitor independent power supplies and cut power flow within microseconds when an anomaly is detected within the power system. To achieve this capability in a dense 1HU form factor with support for 138 different power supply domains, Siemens relies on ADI’s highly integrated iCoupler® quad-channel digital isolation technology with isoPower® dc-to-dc converters.

The core challenge posed by the small form factor Siemens PowerSCOE design is the isolation requirement—each protection channel, auxiliary analog input, and digital/analog output needs to be individually isolated from each other to prevent stray currents and ground loops. With 56 total analog measurement channels and over one hundred digital IOs supported on a single PCB, the PowerSCOE design team’s system density goals couldn’t be achieved using traditional optocouplers and separate, isolated dc-to-dc converters.

ADI’s portfolio of quad-channel digital isolators feature advanced isoPower® technology, an extension of ADI’s iCoupler technology, which integrates power supply isolation with digital signal isolation in a single package. The isoPower dc-to-dc converter integrated within the iCoupler device provides up to 500 mW of regulated, isolated power at either 5.0 V from a 5.0 V input supply or 3.3 V from a 3.3 V or 5.0 V supply, eliminating the need for a separate, isolated dc-to-dc converter. iCoupler digital isolation enables PowerSCOE’s designers to reduce board space by up to 70 percent and allowed for the use of 170 ADI iCoupler devices on the PCB. This robust architecture ensures that future PowerSCOE systems can accommodate higher voltages, higher currents, and more power channels as needed for spaceconstrained designs at reduced cost.

"ADI’s iCoupler digital isolators with integrated isoPower technology enabled us to achieve extremely aggressive design goals for a smaller form factor that we simply could not achieve by other means."
— Alfred Fuchs, PowerSCOE product manager, Siemens Aerospace
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