Zaptec´s miniature electronic transformer technology can enable significant mass reduction for Shackleton's space infrastructure
Austin, TX (PRWEB) March 18, 2015
SEC is building a lunar supply chain where water ice is extracted from the Moon’s surface, converted into fuel and sold from fuel stations in low Earth orbit. As the cost of operations on the lunar surface is sensitive to the size and mass of equipment, SEC is always on the lookout for novel engineering solutions, especially for power systems and extraction that drive the fundamental design of in-space systems.
A potential solution has been developed by Zaptec, a Norwegian company that originated from the oil and gas industry. Zaptec has developed a patented electronic transformer that enables transformation of high voltages and high currents in very small devices, reducing material usage by a factor of 100. Zaptec's transformer enables plasma lightning pulses to be generated and controlled in very compact, powerful drilling technology. Plasma drilling technology offers the potential to extract water ice at significantly lower power levels compared with traditional mechanical drilling systems.
“Zaptec´s miniature electronic transformer technology can enable significant mass reduction for space infrastructure”, says Jim Keravala, COO of SEC. “We are constantly looking for technologies that reduce size and power requirements for energy efficient operations in free space and on the Moon. It will also be able to power high-voltage plasma drilling technology, adding to Shackleton’s water and mineral extraction equipment.”
"We are already collaborating with NASA and ESA to develop our core technology for operations on asteroids and drilling on Mars. Adding industrial development on the Moon to our objectives is very inspiring and Shackleton Energy Company is a good match for both our technology and ambitions as a company", says Brage W. Johansen, CEO of Zaptec. "This working relationship will accelerate our technology's development; sharing competence, skills and strategies in this way may change the industry”, Johansen concludes.
Shackleton Energy Company (SEC)
SEC was established to address the very specific challenge of providing more affordable access to and more affordable operations in space for everyone—and do it privately using low cost lunar-derived fuel sold in space. Today, space missions are very expensive because they have to lift from Earth not only the payloads, but also the additional fuel and tankage for in-space operations. With fuel depots, SEC will significantly reduce that burden on tomorrow’s spacefarers. The company’s success will enable opening the space frontier to multitudes of new missions and opportunities, thereby improving life here on Earth and beyond. The SEC motto is: “Fueling the Space Frontier.”
Zaptec has developed next generation transformer technologies able to operate in harsh environments yet significantly increase power density throughput for AC and DC electrical systems. The new range of super compact power electronic devices developed over the last ten years have proven to have wide applications in urban markets and extreme environments. Zaptec is currently developing products with Norwegian and international partners in the automotive industry, energy industry and in the aerospace industry and is leading the way in cross technology transfer of these products into the space market.