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CERES +15V Power Converter Anomaly



Leonard Kopia

September 29, 1998

PROTO-FLIGHT MODEL CONVERTER TIGER TEAM CONTINUES INVESTIGATION --

  • The Tiger Team examining the anomalous operation of the +15 volt converter on the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) instrument aboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) continues its investigation. The anomaly exhibits characteristics that can be attributed to several potential causes. Recently, following component testing and further data examination, the team has ruled out two potential causes: radiation damage to the voltage converter components, and, a defective voltage monitor circuit. Additional effort continues to assess potential failure mechanisms of the converter components that may be attributed to mechanical and electrical attachment, premature part degradation, and/or thermal stress effects.

  • A high fidelity computerized model of the converter (PSPICE) will be developed to aid in understanding the anomaly. This model will be developed by TRW and will later be enhanced by a separate corporation (STI) which specializes in circuit modeling. Prior to STI's circuit model development, a non-disclosure agreement with the voltage converter manufacturer will be required and is expected shortly after initiation of the STI task.

  • In the interim, activity continues at TRW to determine the upper voltage operational limits on components downstream of the converter, and to ascertain the thermal conditions in the vicinity of the converter. These determinations will assist the Team in making a decision as to the proper conditions for re-powering the instrument to gather additional diagnostic data.


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