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Multi-Output Supplies Add Flexibility to Commercial and Military Applications

December 15, 2021

AMETEK Programmable Power has introduced two new multiple-output programmable DC power supplies—the Sorensen™ Asterion® DC ASA Series and Sorensen™ Asterion® DC ASM Series. These bring high power density and flexibility to applications ranging from commercial functional PCBA tests to military ATE systems. Each supply in the two series comes in a 1U-high chassis and features up to three independent, isolated outputs.


The ASA Series features autoranging outputs in which maximum output voltage varies inversely with maximum output current to maintain a constant-power characteristic. Four models in the ASA Series follow a 600W I-V curve, with maximum ratings per channel of 60V or 42A, 80V or 22A, 200V or 17A, or 400V or 6A, with a three-output supply offering 1,800W total.



Figure 1. Four autoranging ASA models follow a 600W I-V curve, while eight ASM models offer fixed voltage and current ratings.

ASM Series offer fixed ratings with a rectangular output characteristic. Eight models in the ASM Series offer 1,700W per channel at fixed voltage and current ratings ranging from 40V at 42A to 400V at 4.3A, for a total of 5,100W for a three-channel supply Figure 1 shows the output characteristics for both series. Both series allow mixing and matching channel output voltage and current ratings to maximize flexibility.


For each series, users can access output programming parameters, measurements, configurations, and system settings using a touchscreen interface or an encoder selector button. A dynamic rate-change algorithm adjusts control resolution to offer precise control over small parameter changes while permitting quick sweeps over the supply’s entire output range. Alternatively, users can control all outputs remotely on a single screen via a Virtual Panels™ GUI (Figure 2). RS-232C, LXI, and USB remote interfaces come standard; GPIB is optional, as is an isolated analog interface for each channel.


ASA and ASM Series supplies allow multiple-channel programmable sequencing via remote control, with Virtual Panels supporting 50 sequences of 20 individual steps. Current and voltage ramp functions include programmable ramp-up times and dwell times, and on and off delays are also programmable. Software and hardware triggers can initiate sequences to create virtually unlimited possibilities for burn-in and test applications.


Other features of ASA and ASM Series include global single-phase and three-phase AC input power options for automatic phase balancing, remote on/off and inhibit signals, a multilanguage display, and active power-factor correction (PFC).



Figure 2. The Virtual Panels GUI allows users to control all three channels of a three-output supply.

ASA and ASM Series supplies can serve a wide range of applications requiring a lightweight, high-power-density programmable supply, like the following: 

  • telecommunications test
  • commercial-electronics test
  • process-control measurements
  • military-and-aerospace test
  • semiconductor test
  • automotive test

The supplies can be used from the R&D phase up through manufacturing.


Some specific applications examples include functional PCBA testing, ATE integration, system level test, and burn-in and environmental test.


For example, ASA Series supplies can serve in PCBA functional-test applications that require multiple voltage levels to power up the board under test. Each voltage is turned on and off at specified times. The ASA offers programmable on/off delays, sequencing and programmable voltage and current ramps to efficiently handle such tasks. 


The ASA can store programmed test routines in high-volume production tests for repeated use. A large U.S. customer is purchasing multiple ASA Series supplies for new ATE systems to test printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs). The customer requires two ASA supplies per system for a total of six channels. A competitive solution would have required three supplies to meet the same requirements.


Yet another customer, a prominent U.S. defense contractor, chose the ASA Series for use in a military ATE system for missile-system test. The customer selected the ASA over a competitive supply because of the ASA’s higher voltage channel options (400V for the ASA vs. 150V for the competitive offering) and higher power rating (600W for each of three channels for the ASA vs. 500W for each of two channels for the competitive offering). In addition, the ASA is new to the market and will support this long-term defense program throughout its lifecycle.

 Figure 3. To deliver 5,100 W, an ASM Series supply (right) can replace three legacy supplies (left).

Figure 3. To deliver 5,100 W, an ASM Series supply (right) can replace three legacy supplies (left).

ASM Series supplies offer significant advantages to ATE integrators, inc
luding considerable space savings. For example, a legacy 1,700W supply consumed a full 1U-high rack width, necessitating three supplies filling a 3U-high rack space for a total power of 5,100W. In contrast, a single ASM Series supply provides three 1,700W channels for 5,100W total power in a single 1U-high full rack width, providing 67% space savings (Figure 3). The saved space can house other instruments, such as two additional ASM Series supplies for a total of n

ine 1,700W channels. The space savings are particularly beneficial in product burn-in and environmental tests that require multiple channels.


For more information, visit the respective product pages of the Sorensen™ Asterion® DC ASA Series and the Sorensen™ Asterion® DC ASM Series.