October 1, 1999
A power system known as the Polymer Battery Experiment (PBEX) has been integrated with an Air Force satellite (PICOSAT) and is awaiting launch. PBEX is expected to demonstrate lighter weight battery technology for space applications including a novel charge control system. Additional applications of miniature battery technologies pertain to development of Lithium-Manganese Dioxide batteries. APL has played an important role in further optimizing this chemistry for special applications including their use in "flexible" battery packs incorporating control electronics. This work also led to the development of battery test systems that can measure the charge and discharge characteristics of batteries under pulsed load conditions. Several of the battery systems developed by Dr. Suter's team are in active operation and several inventions have been patented.
Dr. Joseph J. Suter is a principal staff scientist in the Space Department of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. He received a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University in 1988. During his tenure at APL, he has worked on advanced technology projects including quartz crystal oscillators, atomic frequency standards, and lately, on advanced power sources. Dr. Suter is a member of the team that jointly, with the Homewood Campus, developed a solid electrolyte plastic battery, miniature power control systems, and flexible battery technologies. He also led the team on the development of the first satellite power system that incorporates novel all-polymer and solid lithium-ion batteries. Dr. Suter has co-authored more than 50 publications in Journals for IEEE, SPIE, Physics D: Applied Physics, and the Journal of Noncrystalline Solids. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Chairman of the IEEE Standards Committee on Radiation Hardening of Frequency Standards, and Chairman of the Sensor Committee of the International Instrumentation Society of America.