9th European Space Power Conference (ESPC)

Electrical power is the essential lifeblood of satellites – and the focus of the European Space Power Conference, which takes place on the Côte d'Azur this June.

Every three years ESA’s Power and Energy Conversion Division organises this event, a unique forum that covers all aspects of electrical power for space applications, from power system architecture to generation and storage, to power conversion and power management.

This ninth ESPC will take place during the week of 6 June, at Saint Raphaël on the Côte d'Azur in France.

The electrical power subsystem is a core element of any spacecraft, but technological progress is presenting new challenges and opportunities. Reliability, functionality and performance have always been the main drivers for power technology development, but cost reduction requirements for both low-orbiting and geostationary missions is leading to increased interest in product standardisation and the flexible use of recurrent designs.

The past few years have seen high-efficiency gallium-arsenide solar cells become the baseline solution for satellites, and the coming generation of solar cells is expected to bring further improvements in performance and cost. Further, space technology is spinning off into terrestrial applications on an ongoing basis.

Lithium ion batteries have similarly become the energy storage solution of choice for practically all spacecraft since the first paper on the subject appeared at the 1998 ESPC. A key focus of interest at this year’s event is expected to be the management and performance of these batteries during satellite integration and flight.

The event is co-organised with CNES, the French National Space Agency. Find out more information about this event on the ESPC 2011 web page (see right hand link).

Last update: 18 May 2011

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