How Is Your Satellite Doing? Battery Kinetics with Recharging and Uncertainty

Authors Holger Hermanns , Jan Krčál , Gilles Nies

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Holger Hermanns
  • Saarland University, Saarland Informatics Campus, Saarbrücken
Jan Krčál
  • Saarland University, Saarland Informatics Campus, Saarbrücken
Gilles Nies
  • Saarland University, Saarland Informatics Campus, Saarbrücken

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Holger Hermanns, Jan Krčál, and Gilles Nies. How Is Your Satellite Doing? Battery Kinetics with Recharging and Uncertainty. In LITES, Volume 4, Issue 1 (2017). Leibniz Transactions on Embedded Systems, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp. 04:1-04:28, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2017)


The kinetic battery model is a popular model of the dynamic behaviour of a conventional battery, useful to predict or optimize the time until battery depletion. The model however lacks certain obvious aspects of batteries in-the-wild, especially with respect to the effects of random influences and the behaviour when charging up to capacity limits.This paper considers the kinetic battery model with limited capacity in the context of piecewise constant yet random charging and discharging. We provide exact representations of the battery behaviour wherever possible, and otherwise develop safe approximations that bound the probability distribution of the battery state from above and below. The resulting model enables the time-dependent evaluation of the risk of battery depletion. This is demonstrated in an extensive dependability study of a nano satellite currently orbiting the earth.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Hardware → Batteries
  • Mathematics of computing → Stochastic processes
  • Computer systems organization → Reliability
  • Battery Power
  • Depletion Risk
  • Bounded Charging and Discharging
  • Stochastic Load
  • Distribution Bounds


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