|Penn State students Jacob Sherk, Kathleen Nicolas and David Jesberber (all now graduated) with the supercapacitor they designed for the next ARISS launch. John Fontecchio photo/Courtesy Penn State University|
The next time an ARISSat (Amateur Radio on the International Space Station satellite) is launched, it will likely be powered by a supercapacitor designed by students at Penn State University. The students, all electrical and computer engineering majors, designed the power system as their senior project. "Newsline" reports that the battery is able to handle 16 charge/discharge cycles in a 24-hour period, and will power the satellite when its solar panels are not in sunlight. Supercapacitors are gaining interest as orbital power sources because they are not subject to failure as easily as traditional batteries. More information on this project is available online at <http://live.psu.edu/story/60125>.