DC-DC Converters

Since 1963 we have built thousands of converters, many as part of our own highly regarded frequency control products. Ninety-four satellite and space exploration programs have used FEI precision time-frequency standards.  We offer proven DC-DC converters separately.

FEI’s units meet the highest quality and reliability standards. In many cases we deliver prototypes in only 4 months and flight units in less than a year. FEI specializes in supplying HI-REL products for space applications in relatively small quantities. Quality, price and delivery advantages result from a high degree of vertical integration.

Frequency Electronics Inc. (FEI) offers a range of high-reliability DC-DC converters, which are designed to meet the stringent requirements of various industries, including aerospace, defense, telecommunications, and industrial applications. Here are the key details about FEI’s DC-DC converters:

We maintain complete control and responsibility throughout design and fabrication, particularly over such crucial elements such as:

      • Hybrid design and production winding of magnetic elements
      • PC board fabrication
      • Precision machining
      • Computer-Aided Design


Some example DC/DC Converters:

    1. Below left : DC/DC Converter 20W, +20V, +15V, -15V
    2. Below right : HI-REL DC-DC Converters – customized for customer requirements
    3. Below middle: DC/DC Converter Model 302A
    4. Features:
      • Hardened
      • Inputs to 100VDC
      • Outputs to 200W
      • Regulation to 0.1%
      • Power density to 0.16W/gm (5W/oz)
      • Efficiency to 85%
      • Multiple outputs






Modular design also shortens delivery and decreases cost. We incorporate our proven modules using FEI HI-REL hybrids, many of which are already qualified (and even in stock). FEI consistently achieves the results that space demands. The technology is the latest state-of-the-art that has been proven in use to be consistent with space qualification.  Custom designs usually employ our standard modules. Many of these contain our own thick and thin film proprietary hybrids, which we build in quantities of thousands per year. Reliability is increased, because large sections of your unit have already been proven, not only by analysis but actually in space. Cost is less, because much of our design is pre-existing. Delivery is faster, because we can eliminate considerable design time. In some cases qualified components and modules are already in stock, saving dollars as well.

Radiation hardening Our units are designed to operate for 15 years subjected to natural radiation levels of 107 rads and to survive man- made radiation threats. Exposure of our integrated circuit chips and hybrids to 100,000 rads affects efficiency by only 1-2% as predicted to end-of-life. Voltage tolerances are met with dose margins of 7:1 to over 100:1 without special shielding.

Efficiency Efficiency as high as 85% is routinely achieved throughout design life, even at environmental extremes. (When extra regulation provided by the optional Linear Regulators is included, this drops only slightly to 74-80%.)

Power density Proprietary design achieves light weight and small size by employing our HI-REL hybrids, and low loss magnetics. We typically realize power density of 0.18 W/cu. Cm (3 W/cu. In.) and 0.16 W/gm (5 W/oz.).

Output voltage protection The Linear (output) Regulator, usually included to improve regulation and minimize ripple, is specially designed to introduce a low voltage drop, so that output voltage is only slightly less than input. Therefore, should a failure occur in the regulator, the ouput rises no more than 0.8 V (“headroom”). This often eliminates the need for an over-voltage detector and shutdown circuit.

History – From APOLLO in 1963 to today’s satellite programs such as TDRSS, our DC-DC converters (often included in our own systems) have proven themselves in space. For example, our converters are on the ACTS and GPS satellites.  Our numerous citations for quality and contract performance have been Awarded by DOD, NASA and such primes as Hughes, Ford Aerospace, TRW, E-Systems, GE and ALCATEL. Currently, we supply 30-40 converters each year for satellites and 500 for aerospace and other HI-REL use.

Reaching the Highest of High Reliability Our reliability record is one that any supplier must envy: Of our more than 3,000 units on 90 satellite and space exploration programs we have had only one reported anomaly!

This is not surprising considering our typical MTTF is 5 x 106 hours without redundancy, which corresponds to 15 years of life at a probability level of 0.9996 with redundancy.

Reliability by design. This enviable record testifies to our dedication to reliable design and process control. Wherever possible, proven sub-assemblies are used in our custom designs. These include our own hybrids, qualified for space. Semi- conductors and other parts are derated by at least 2:1 electrically and mechanically, and conservatively rated for thermal and radiation stress.

Dedication to quality Our exceptional reliability is also due to tight control of quality. This is facilitated by a high degree of vertical integration, which allows us to take full responsibility at every step.

The thin and thick hybrids we design and produce (in Class 10,000 clean-rooms) meet levels S and B of MIL-M-38510 for prime contractors such as TRW, Hughes, GTE and GE.

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