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The PLATO Dome A site-testing observatory: Power generation and control systems
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Image of FIG. 1.
FIG. 1.

Map of Antarctica showing the Chinese coastal station Zhongshan and the high plateau stations south pole, Dome C, and Dome A. Basic map courtesy of the Australian Antarctic Data Centre.

Image of FIG. 2.
FIG. 2.

(a) Maximum and minimum daily solar elevation throughout the year at Dome A. (b) Ground-level air temperature at Dome A during 2005 measured by a Chinese-Australian automatic weather station (data courtesy Australian Antarctic Division).

Image of FIG. 3.
FIG. 3.

Picture of PLATO installation at Dome A. The (green) engine module is shown in the foreground. In the background the solar panel array and the (yellow) instrument module can be seen.

Image of FIG. 4.
FIG. 4.

Overview of the PLATO control system showing the interconnection of all major subsystems and power routing. From Luong-Van et al., Proc. SPIE. Copyright © 2008 by SPIE. Reprinted by permission of SPIE—the International Society for Optical Engineering.

Image of FIG. 5.
FIG. 5.

Example showing performance of one of the engines during February 2008. (a) Temperature of exhaust (red line), cylinder head (black line), and oil sump (blue line); (b) generator voltage; and (c) output power. Regular vertical lines correspond to engine stoppages. This data was transferred in close to real time via the PLATO Iridium communications link.

Image of FIG. 6.
FIG. 6.

Solar power generated by the solar panel array during a one week period in February 2008. The plot shows the output from the north east array (red), the north west arrays (black) and the total combined power (blue).

Image of FIG. 7.
FIG. 7.

Engine module internal temperature (top red line), instrument module internal temperature (middle blue line), and external temperature (lower black line) during the month of June.

Image of FIG. 8.
FIG. 8.

Instrument current usage for (a) CSTAR over period 22 February to 9 August, and (b) preheat over a 24 h period on 8 June.


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Scitation: The PLATO Dome A site-testing observatory: Power generation and control systems