Nickel cadmium rechargeable batteries were used for an entire class of NASA observatory spacecraft. Optimum levels of onboard spacecraft battery operation performance were determined to extend the life of these batteries and thus the life of the NASA spacecraft. Several spacecraft NiCd battery anomalies occurred that drastically affected spacecraft life. This promoted the need to initiate studies and analysis in order to establish an operations management protocol for these batteries. Standard full factorial studies would have taken 11 years to complete.
The solution went much further than battery analysis. ASI Consulting Group designed a test to optimize the design for robustness with Robust Optimization strategies.
The results of the application of the Robust Optimization strategies increased the quality of the battery analysis. It assisted the power subsystem and battery analysis experts in determining the appropriate protocol for flight NiCd operations management for various current and future missions. Results obtained using the old way of performing battery operations management were compared to the results using the Robust Optimization approach. The new approach resulted in cost savings of over 400% and over 300% reduction in experimental time. At the same time it improved battery voltage performance over 96%.