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European PMICs for Moon mission

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By Nick Flaherty

Hundreds of tiny LunaSats powered by power management chips from e-peas in Belgium are heading for the Moon to conduct local and distributed science missions.

The Lunasats for the Great Lunar Expedition for Everyone (GLEE) weigh just 5g and measure 5cm x 5cm x 3.7mm. They are powered by  the e-peas AEM10941 Ambient Energy Manager and a solar cell.

The student-led project at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU) in the US is being run by NASA’s Colorado Space Grant Consortium (COSGC) which is part of NASA’s National Space Grant College and Fellowship Programme and expects to land on the Moon in 2024.

The LunaSats are made with commercial off the shelf components, and operate using Arduino which makes them affordable and easy for anyone to learn to use. They can collect temperature, magnetic field, and inertial measurements on the surface of the moon.

Each LunaSat is equipped with a solar panel and the e-peas AEM10941 to track the maximum power point and regulate the power to all the sensors on the board.

www.glee2023.org

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