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A Small Fission Power System for NASA Planetary Science Missions
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Author and Affiliation:
Mason, Lee(NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, United States);
Casani, John(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, CA, United States);
Elliott, John(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, CA, United States);
Fleurial, Jean-Pierre(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, CA, United States);
MacPherson, Duncan(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, CA, United States);
Nesmith, William(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, CA, United States);
Houts, Michael(NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, United States);
Bechtel, Ryan(Department of Energy, Germantown, MD, United States);
Werner, James(Idaho National Lab., Idaho Falls, ID, United States);
Kapernick, Rick(Los Alamos National Lab., NM, United States);
Poston, David(Los Alamos National Lab., NM, United States);
Qualls, Arthur Lou(Oak Ridge National Lab., TN, United States);
Lipinski, Ron(Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM, United States);
Radel, Ross(Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM, United States);
Bailey, Sterling(Bailey (Sterling) Consultant, Grass Valley, CA, United States);
Weitzberg, Abraham(Weitzberg (Abraham) Consultant, Woodland Hills, CA, United States)
Abstract: In March 2010, the Decadal Survey Giant Planets Panel (GPP) requested a short-turnaround study to evaluate the feasibility of a small Fission Power System (FPS) for future unspecified National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) science missions. FPS technology was considered a potential option for power levels that might not be achievable with radioisotope power systems. A study plan was generated and a joint NASA and Department of Energy (DOE) study team was formed. The team developed a set of notional requirements that included 1-kW electrical output, 15-year design life, and 2020 launch availability. After completing a short round of concept screening studies, the team selected a single concept for concentrated study and analysis. The selected concept is a solid block uranium-molybdenum reactor core with heat pipe cooling and distributed thermoelectric power converters directly coupled to aluminum radiator fins. This paper presents the preliminary configuration, mass summary, and proposed development program.
Publication Date: Dec 01, 2011
Document ID:
20120000789
(Acquired Jan 19, 2012)
Subject Category: SPACECRAFT PROPULSION AND POWER
Report/Patent Number: NASA/TM-2011-217099, NETS-2011-3318, E-17606
Document Type: Technical Report
Meeting Information: Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space (NETS-2011); 7-10 Feb. 2011; Albuquerque, NM; United States
Meeting Sponsor: American Nuclear Society; Aerospace Nuclear Science and Technology Div.; United States
American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Washington, DC, United States
Contract/Grant/Task Num: WBS 463169.04.03.01.02
Financial Sponsor: NASA Glenn Research Center; Cleveland, OH, United States
Organization Source: NASA Glenn Research Center; Cleveland, OH, United States
Description: 25p; In English; Original contains color illustrations
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright; Distribution as joint owner in the copyright
NASA Terms: FISSION; GAS GIANT PLANETS; NASA PROGRAMS; POWER CONVERTERS; REACTOR CORES; SPACE MISSIONS; SURVEYS; THERMOELECTRIC GENERATORS
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