TITLE

Miniaturized radioisotope solid state power sources

AUTHOR(S)
Fleurial, J.-P.; Snyder, G. J.; Patel, J.; Herman, J. A.; Caillat, T.; Nesmith, B.; Kolawa, E. A.
PUB. DATE
January 2000
SOURCE
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 504 Issue 1, p1500
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Electrical power requirements for the next generation of deep space missions cover a wide range from the kilowatt to the milliwatt. Several of these missions call for the development of compact, low weight, long life, rugged power sources capable of delivering a few milliwatts up to a couple of watts while operating in harsh environments. Advanced solid state thermoelectric microdevices combined with radioisotope heat sources and energy storage devices such as capacitors are ideally suited for these applications. By making use of macroscopic film technology, microgenrators operating across relatively small temperature differences can be conceptualized for a variety of high heat flux or low heat flux heat source configurations. Moreover, by shrinking the size of the thermoelements and increasing their number to several thousands in a single structure, these devices can generate high voltages even at low power outputs that are more compatible with electronic components. Because the miniaturization of state-of-the-art thermoelectric module technology based on Bi[sub 2]Te[sub 3] alloys is limited due to mechanical and manufacturing constraints, we are developing novel microdevices using integrated-circuit type fabrication processes, electrochemical deposition techniques and high thermal conductivity substrate materials. One power source concept is based on several thermoelectric microgenerator modules that are tightly integrated with a 1.1W Radioisotope Heater Unit. Such a system could deliver up to 50mW of electrical power in a small lightweight package of approximately 50 to 60g and 30cm3. An even higher degree of miniaturization and high specific power values (mW/mm3) can be obtained when considering the potential use of radioisotope materials for an alpha-voltaic or a hybrid thermoelectric/alpha-voltaic power source. Some of the technical challenges associated with these concepts are discussed in this paper. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.
ACCESSION #
5985179

 

Related Articles

  • Advanced Radioisotope Power System Enabled Titan Rover Concept with Inflatable Wheels. Balint, Tibor S.; Schriener, Timothy M.; Shirley, James H. // AIP Conference Proceedings;2006, Vol. 813 Issue 1, p364 

    The Decadal Survey identified Titan as one of the top priority science destinations in the large moons category, while NASA’s proposed Design Reference Mission Set ranked a Titan in-situ explorer second, after a recommended Europa Geophysical Explorer mission. This paper discusses a Titan...

  • Milliwatt-Power Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) Based on Plutonium-238. Gusev, V.; Pustovalov, A.; Rybkin, N.; Anatychuk, L.; Demchuk, B.; Ludchak, I. // Journal of Electronic Materials;May2011, Vol. 40 Issue 5, p807 

    Results of design and experimental studies aimed at developing a milliwatt-power radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) based on plutonium-238 for space power are considered and analyzed. Milliwatt-power RTGs based on plutonium-238 are completely self-contained electric power sources...

  • Micro Asteroid Prospector Powered by Energetic Radioisotopes: MAPPER. Howe, Steven D.; Jackson, Gerald P. // AIP Conference Proceedings;2005, Vol. 746 Issue 1, p1163 

    The solar system is an almost limitless store-house of resources. As humanity begins to expand into space, we can greatly reduce the cost and effort of exploration by using the resources from other orbiting bodies. The ability to extract volatile gases or structural materials from moons and...

  • Concept for a Radioisotope Powered Dual Mode Lunar Rover. Elliott, John O.; Schriener, Timothy M.; Coste, Keith // AIP Conference Proceedings;2006, Vol. 813 Issue 1, p898 

    Over three decades ago, the Apollo missions manifestly demonstrated the value of a lunar rover to expand the exploration activities of lunar astronauts. The stated plan of the new Vision for Space Exploration to establish a permanent presence on the moon in the next decades gives new impetus to...

  • Radioisotope-based Nuclear Power Strategy for Exploration Systems Development. Schmidt, George R.; Houts, Michael G. // AIP Conference Proceedings;2006, Vol. 813 Issue 1, p334 

    Nuclear power will play an important role in future exploration efforts. Its benefits pertain to practically all the different timeframes associated with the Exploration Vision, from robotic investigation of potential lunar landing sites to long-duration crewed missions on the lunar surface....

  • Integration and Utilization of Nuclear Systems on the Moon and Mars. Houts, Michael G.; Schmidt, George R.; Bragg-Sitton, Shannon; Hickman, Robert; Hissam, Andy; Houston, Vance; Martin, Jim; Mireles, Omar; Poston, David; Reid, Bob; Schneider, Todd; Stewart, Eric; Turpin, Jason; Van Dyke, Melissa; Vaughn, Jason; Wagner, David // AIP Conference Proceedings;2006, Vol. 813 Issue 1, p262 

    Over the past five decades numerous studies have identified nuclear energy as an enhancing or enabling technology for planetary surface exploration missions. This includes both radioisotope and fission sources for providing both heat and electricity. Nuclear energy sources were used to provide...

  • Negative-Margin Criterion for Impact-Response Prediction. Anderson, Denton // AIP Conference Proceedings;2006, Vol. 813 Issue 1, p230 

    Some space missions require a nuclear-power source to generate electrical power to meet mission objectives. At present, the nuclear-power source is an assembly of modular heat sources called the general purpose heat source (GPHS) modules. Each module comprises graphite shells designed to protect...

  • The Design and Optimization of Advanced Thermophotovoltaic Devices for Deep Space Applications Using a New Modeling Approach. Michael, Sherif; Canfield, L. T. Burt // AIP Conference Proceedings;2007, Vol. 890 Issue 1, p213 

    Thermophotovoltaic (TPV) cells hold great promise for lightweight, reliable energy conversion for deep space missions. A new method for developing a realistic model of any type of solar cell, with application to Thermophotovoltaic devices, is presented in this paper. Taking into account the high...

  • Calls to refresh space nuclear supplies win rapid response.  // New Scientist;5/16/2009, Vol. 202 Issue 2708, p6 

    The article reports on the $30 million fund pledged by the U.S. Department of Energy to upgrade space nuclear supplies. The National Research Council warned that supplies of plutonium-238 used in radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG) are expected to run out by 2018. A recommendation to...

Share

Read the Article

Courtesy of VIRGINIA BEACH PUBLIC LIBRARY AND SYSTEM

Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics