A proposed multiloop power supply would generate a potential as high as 1.25 kV with rise and fall times <100 μs. This power supply would, moreover, be programmable to generate output potentials from 20 to 1,250 V and would be capable of supplying a current of at least 300 μA at 1,250 V. This power supply is intended to be a means of electronic shuttering of a microchannel plate that would be used to intensify the output of a charge-coupled-device imager to obtain exposure times as short as 1 ms. The basic design of this power supply could also be adapted to other applications in which high voltages and high slew rates are needed. At the time of reporting the information for this article, there was no commercially available power supply capable of satisfying the stated combination of voltage, rise-time, and fall-time requirements.

The power supply would include a preregulator that would be used to program a voltage 1/30 of the desired output voltage. By means of a circuit that would include a pulse-width modulator (PWM), two voltage doublers, and a transformer having two primary and two secondary windings, the preregulator output voltage would be amplified by a factor of 30. A resistor would limit the current by controlling a drive voltage applied to field-effect transistors (FETs) during turn-on of the PWM. Two feedback loops would be used to regulate the high output voltage. A pulse transformer would be used to turn on four FETs to short-circuit output capacitors when the outputs of the PWM were disabled. Application of a 0-to-5-V square to a PWM shut-down pin would cause a 20-to-1,250-V square wave to appear at the output.

This work was done by Douglas Bearden of Marshall Space Flight Center.

This invention is owned by NASA, and a patent application has been filed. For further information, contact Sammy Nabors, MSFC Commercialization Assistance Lead, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Refer to MFS-32137-1.


NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the January, 2007 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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