In my thesis I introduce the design of a solar cell emulator device, which can be used efficiently for developing and testing the electric power supplies of picosatellites; or is applicable as a power supply of the whole system during the testing period. The device is usable with various-sized satellites designed to the meet the CubeSat standard.
Firstly, I report on the working methods and the developement trend of solar cells; based on the equivalent circuit I deduce the mathematical model of the solar cell and define those paramethers which have to be taken into account while conducting my investigation. I mention the testing difficulties of picosatellites’ electric power supplies and the necessities of the solar cell emulators. I introduce the working methods of existing solutions and the features of the solar cell emulators available on the market.
Based on existing electronics and my research, I define the requirements of the instrument. I describe the process of calibration and testing of the built electric circuit. I discuss the graphical user interface running on a computer, which was developed for controlling the device, and the data communication between the computer and the emulator device. Finally, I test the finished solar cell emulator with various loads, even connected with a picosatellite.