A recent contract with GSTP’s Element 2 and AVX, in the Czech Republic, has developed a new tantalum polymer multi-anode capacitor technology with the highest performance yet. The capacitor has the lowest commercially available equivalent series resistance (ESR), which is a measure of loss in the capacitor and is often used as a measure of the component’s quality and performance.
As one of the most used devices on a satellite, there can be around 10,000 electronic capacitors on each spacecraft. A capacitor is a device that stores energy in an electronic circuit and can release it when needed, similar to how a small dyke stores water. This function is needed in almost all types of power supplies to smooth power line supply voltage or filter signal lines. It can be considered in some applications as a mission critical component if, for example, it is used at the main space flight hardware power supply.
Capacitor’s with a lower ESR can be used in place of multiple capacitors or physically larger capacitors. As a result, the lower ESR capacitors can save space and mass in power systems – significantly reducing flight hardware payloads.
The new design combines the polymer tantalum capacitor technology with a multi-anode construction approach to make sure this lowest ESR capacitor generation will be ready for space use in the next five years, when the next generation of semiconductor technologies are qualified for space.
GT27- 011ED closed in April 2020.