Power Monitoring and Management
The vehicle is powered by two 7800 mAh LiPo (lithium polymer) batteries providing testing time of approximately two and a half hours before a recharge is required. Each LiPo battery is installed into a battery pod which allows for both charging and discharging. Within the pod, the batteries are connected to BMB (Battery Monitoring Boards) which monitor vital power statistics such as current, cell voltage and capacity. The custom fabricated BMB has been designed to withstand a maximum current of 30 A. This monitoring system allows for tracking of power statistics of each of the battery pods and has proved to be more reliable than the previous off-the-shelf OpenUPS system.
Power distribution is simplified by PMB (Power Management Boards) that replaces the OpenUPS of the previous vehicle. This change improves the power efficiency without the OpenUPS step down regulator and has lesser points of failure. Diagnostics are streamed from the PMB via serial connection to the SBC (Single Board Computer). The power system utilizes a M4 ATX to regulate power in order to generate three voltage rails to power up the SBC and the sensors and actuators. A Y-PWR provides hot-swap capabilities for the batteries without shutting down the motherboard.