How does DS1's electrical system work?
There are two major sources of power on DS1: the solar panels and the battery. Power is routed from either of those two sources to the devices that use electricity on DS1, which are the science, navigation, communications equipment, and the ion thruster.
The wires and other equipment that carry the electricity from one place to another on the spacecraft are collectively called the bus. On DS1 the bus contains a new multifunctional structure that houses several systems at once. Power switching will be helped by the new experimental Power Activation and Switching Module (PAMS).
Since the ion thruster uses so much more power than the rest of the equipment, it is on a different part of the bus which has a very high voltage. The rest of the equipment (science, navigation, and communication) uses a much lower voltage.
When the solar panels are oriented towards the Sun, power flows from the panels to a power distribution center. The power can either be sent to the battery (to recharge it), to the low-voltage equipment, or the ion thruster, or all three at once. When solar power is unavailable, the battery takes over running the low-voltage equipment.
Where does DS1 get its electricity?
What are batteries?
What are solar panels?
What DS1's battery life?
What are tradeoffs between different kinds of power sources for spacecraft?
What is the multifunctional structure?
What components are where on DS1?
How much power does DS1 produce and use?
What are the new low power electronics on DS1?
What is the power activation and switching module?