EECS Fall 2016 Seminar

James F. Soeder
Autonomous Power System Control to Support the Evolving Needs of Human Deep Space Exploration
Olin 408
2:30-3:30 PM
November 15, 2016

As NASA’s exploration initiatives continue to mature they have identified the need for more autonomous operations of the power system.  For current human space operations such as the International Space Station, the paradigm is to perform the planning, operation and fault diagnosis from the ground.  However, the dual problems of communication lag as well as limited communication bandwidth beyond GEO synchronous orbit, underscore the need to change the operation methodology for human operation in deep space.  To address this need, for the past several years the Glenn Research Center has had an effort to develop an autonomous power controller for human deep space vehicles.  This presentation discusses the present roadmap for deep space exploration along with a description of conceptual power system architecture for exploration modules.  It then contrasts the present ground centric control and management architecture with limited autonomy on-board the spacecraft with an advanced autonomous power control system that features ground based monitoring with a spacecraft mission manager with autonomous control of all core systems, including power.  It then presents a functional breakdown of the autonomous power control system and examines its operation in both normal and fault modes.  Finally, it discusses progress made in the development of a real-time power system model as well as power system test beds to evaluate the performance of the controller and well as using it for verification of the overall operation.  


James F. Soeder is the Senior Technical Fellow for power with 40+ years of NASA service at the John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.   He currently serves as Chief Technologist for the area of intelligent modular power systems.  Previously he served as co-chair for Constellation’s Power Systems Integration Group (SIG) supporting NASA’s effort to return to the Moon.  Prior to that assignment, he was Chief of the Power Systems Development Branch responsible for directing advanced power management and distribution technology development in the areas of advanced components, power systems simulation, power control systems and flywheel technology for aerospace systems.   For the International Space Station program, Mr. Soeder was instrumental in the development of the end-to-end power system verification strategy; development of on-orbit assembly hardware; as well as the design and build-up of advanced technology hardware to support programmatic risk reduction.   Prior to ISS, Mr. Soeder was also involved in the development of technology to enable the digital control for jet engines.   Mr. Soeder earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Systems and Control Engineering both from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.  Mr. Soeder has completed additional graduate work at the University of Toledo and attended the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia.  He is a member of Theta Tau, Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, IEEE, and is a recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal