Posted by Courtney E. Howard
JOPLIN, Mo., 6 July 2010. EaglePicher Technologies LLC has supplied two nickel-hydrogen batteries to Boeing in support of the GPS IIF Space Vehicle 1 (SV-1) satellite. The SV-1 satellite, which launched from Cape Canaveral on May 27, 2010, is the first in a series of 12 next-generation GPS Block IIF satellites, and EaglePicher is contracted to supply batteries for all the series.
EaglePicher’s 16-cell, 75 ampere-hour batteries will power the satellite during eclipse. The environmentally-friendly battery chemistry includes excellent overcharge capability, as well as available strain gages and associated electronics that provide the customer with accurate state-of-charge monitoring.
The GPS IIF program is an upgrade of the original GPS, which is a worldwide timing and navigation system that uses 24 satellites positioned in orbit approximately 12,000 miles above the Earth's surface.
The satellites continuously transmit digital radio signals pertaining to the exact time using atomic clocks and exact location of the satellites. By referring to signals transmitted by four satellites, the GPS can be used to calculate longitude, latitude, and altitude.
The Department of Defense originally developed the GPS for all-weather military applications, but the system is available at no additional charge for civilians and commerce.
“This multi-satellite operation confirms the reliability of our proven nickel hydrogen battery technology, and we look forward to continued service to the GPS IIF program,” says Randy Moore, president of EaglePicher Technologies.
EaglePicher’s nickel-hydrogen batteries and cells have powered more than 450 space missions, including the Hubble Space Telescope where the batteries have lasted four times longer than the projected lifespan. In addition to Hubble, EaglePicher batteries and cells have supported the International Space Station, Lunar Rover, Apollo, Gemini, and Mercury. In all, EaglePicher nickel-hydrogen products have logged, more than 1.4 billion hours in space without a single mission failure, says a company spokesperson.