The Future of AC Power Sources
AMETEK’s initial platform launch is for its California Instruments AsterionTM AC Power Source, available in 500VA, 750VA and 1500VA power levels. Asterion relies on a variety of technical innovations that allow it to be one of the most powerful AC sources on the market. Asterion offers users a compelling combination of intelligence, performance, and modularity that make it the most adaptable and affordable platform available today.
AMETEK has long been known for supplying power sources with leading power density. The Asterion is no exception with up to 1500VA in a 1U (44.45mm/1.75in) height package; that is two to three times the power density of comparable, competitive power sources.
At the heart of Asterion’s breakthrough performance is AMETEK’s powerful new iX2™ current-doubling technology. With iX2, as the output voltage decreases from maximum to one-half maximum, Asterion’s available output current increases up to two times the rated output current. That allows Asterion to maintain maximum power throughout the voltage range, making it unmatched in delivering full output power over such a wide voltage range. In addition, iX2 current-doubling technology eliminates a common need to buy multiple sources or overpowered sources to run tests at different voltage levels, such as when performing low line voltage testing.
Other unique platform benefits are Auto-Paralleling and Clock/Lock to achieve higher output power and multi-phase configuration. Users can combine up to six units to achieve 9,000 VA per phase of output power. One unit becomes the master while the rest serve as auxiliary units. System setup can be accomplished using a single front panel or digital interface. Multi-phase systems can be configured for split-phase, three-phase, or even higher phase count requirements.
Users are able to purchase only the power they need today and easily add more power and/or phases later as required. That scalability, along with the ability to expand easily as required, helps protect the value of the initial investment and allows additional capital spending to be deferred until needed.
The Asterion’s power performance specifications are equally impressive. For example, the Asterion offers wide AC and DC output voltage ranges with an accuracy of +/-0.2% from DC to 1 kHz. Load and line regulation are +/-0.025% and +/-0.015%, respectively, making the Asterion more accurate than most other AC power sources on the market.
Furthermore, test engineers will appreciate the Asterion AC source’s ease of use, which is based on an entirely new user interface developed by AMETEK specifically for the platform. The intuitive, touch-screen interface, unique on an AC source, allows users to quickly and easily set up the source and run tests.
Asterion is at home both in the lab and in automatic test systems. When used in an ATE system, the Asterion can be ordered without a front panel, at a significant savings, and be equipped with LAN, USB, and RS-232 interfaces bundled as standard. An optional GPIB interface also is available. Intuitive “virtual panel” control GUI software offered with the instrument makes it easy to set up and operate interactively from a computer. Included drivers make it simple to integrate the unit into ATE systems. The Asterion’s initial series launch also includes, as an option, a complete avionics test suite.
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