Uncrewed Systems Technology 051 l Primoco One 150 l Power management l Ocius Bluebottle USV l Steel E-Motive robotaxi l UAVs insight l Xponential 2023 p Issue 51 Aug/Sept 2023 art 2 l Aant Farm TPR72 l Servos l Tampa Deep Sea Barracuda AUV

38 Power management is all about efficiency. At current levels of efficiency, incremental improvements in power system design of just 0.5% can cut losses by 20-30% with associated reductions in size and weight. For UAVs this means longer range, while for driverless cars it addresses issues of the power consumption of the sensors and processing devices. The latest Lidar sensors for example use gallium nitride drivers that need more sophisticated power management, while the move to centralised processing with high-performance AI accelerators requires management of large currents. All of this is driving new architectures, from intelligent power modules (IPMs) for driving motors to distributed power conversion with soft switching and different levels of power regulation. Meanwhile, solar power is being used for fixed-wing UAVs, which is leading to the development of new algorithms to track the optimum power point for maximum efficiency. However, many rotor-based aircraft cannot easily take advantage of solar panels, so designers have been looking at other energy sources such as fuel cells. These need a different power management architecture to combine battery and fuel cell energy sources. UAVs Actuation systems are migrating from traditional hydraulics to electric. This is driving the adoption of distributed power management architectures for primary and secondary flight controls, landing systems and vector control for directional thrust. These power systems need threephase motor control, solenoids that hold Nick Flaherty examines the factors driving the need for new power management architectures and the improvements they promise Better by design An intelligent power module (Courtesy of Microchip Technology) August/September 2023 | Uncrewed Systems Technology