1. Uninterruptible Power Supply
Also known as a continuous power supply (CPS) or a battery backup, this is a device which maintains a continuous supply of electric power to connected equipment by supplying power from a separate source when utility power is not available. It differs from an auxiliary power supply or standby generator, which does not provide instant protection from a momentary power interruption. It can be used to provide uninterrupted power to equipment for 1 - 20 minutes until a generator can be turned on.*
A UPS is especially important in our world where a lighting controller has greater-than-zero boot-up time after a power failure. The UPS keeps the console running (this is called a "ride-through") during a power dropout so that there is not a 30-second blackout (or longer) during a power restore. It really sucks to get the power back and then have to wait an eternity for the console to boot to continue the show!
As most "big" lighting consoles have moved to an operating system environment such as Windows Embedded XP or Linux, the boot times have increased, and the need for console UPS's has become pervasive.
It's good practice to use a console UPS all the time. [edit: a select few (grandMA fullsize) lighting consoles have a built-in UPS. It's standard procedure for all data distribution devices to be on UPS power as well.]
2. United Parcel Service
3. Units Per Second
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*Source: Wikipedia 07 October 2008
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