Solar Stirling for deep space applications

Mason, Lee S.
January 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 504 Issue 1, p1272
Academic Journal
A study was performed to quantify the performance of solar thermal power systems for deep space planetary missions. The study incorporated projected advances in solar concentrator and energy conversion technologies. These technologies included inflatable structures, lightweight primary concentrators, high efficiency secondary concentrators, and high efficiency Stirling convertors. Analyses were performed to determine the mass and deployed area of multihundred watt solar thermal power systems for missions out to 40 astronomical units. Emphasis was given to system optimization, parametric sensitivity analyses, and concentrator configuration comparisons. The results indicated that solar thermal power systems are a competitive alternative to radioisotope systems out to 10 astronomical units without the cost or safety implications associated with nuclear sources. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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