This standard defines the requirements and characteristics of electrical power for spacecraft. This standard also defines analysis, verification, and testing methodologies to be used to ensure that the loads operate when connected to the specified power quality and performance as defined by this standard.
Historically, space power system requirements have been unique for every platform, vehicle, and contractor. This is a roadblock for re-use of equipment on new designs or development of standard products for space applications. The majority of existing power quality specifications were developed for aircraft systems and generally are based on engine driven alternator power sources for AC and transformer rectifier units for DC. Space power sources include fuel cells, thermal electric generators, rotating and reciprocating electromagnetic machines, photovoltaic, and electrochemical systems. All of these sources have unique properties that must be considered in the development of a power system. In a similar manner, spacecraft loads are often designed for specific platforms, and must be adapted and modified to meet unique voltage ranges and power quality characteristics for new applications. Designing equipment to a common power standard allows transportability to new platforms with high confidence of compatibility without extensive requalification.