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Stirling Isotope Power Systems for Stationary and Mobile Lunar ApplicationsThe NASA Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS) places a significant emphasis on the development of a wide range of capabilities on the lunar surface as a stepping-stone to further space exploration. An important aspect of developing these capabilities will be the availability of reliable, efficient, and low-mass power systems to support both stationary and mobile applications. One candidate system to provide electrical power is made by coupling the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) with a high-performance Stirling convertor. In this paper we explore the practical power range of GPHS/Stirling convertor systems all with conductively coupled hot-end designs for use on the lunar surface. Design and off-design operations during the life of the convertor are studied in addition to considering these varying conditions on system. Unique issues concerning Stirling convertor configurations, integration of the GPHS with the Stirling convertor, controller operation, waste heat rejection, and thermal protection are explored. Of particular importance in the evaluation process is a thorough understanding of the interactions between the wide range of unique lunar environments and the selection of key systems operating characteristics and the power systems design. Additionally, as power levels rise the interface between the GPHS and Stirling and the Stirling and the radiator begins to dominate system mass and material selection becomes more important.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Schmitz, Paul C.
(Power Computing Solutions, Inc. Avon, OH, United States)
Penswick, L. Barry
(Sest, Inc. Middleburgh Heights, OH, United States)
Shaltens, Richard K.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
November 1, 2007
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Science And Exploration
Report/Patent Number
AIAA Paper 2006-4036
Meeting Information
Meeting: 4th International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference (IECEC-2006)
Location: San DIego, CA
Country: United States
Start Date: June 26, 2006
End Date: June 29, 2006
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 138494.04.01.01
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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