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Advanced Stirling Convertor Testing at NASA Glenn Research CenterThe U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin Space Systems (LMSS), Sunpower Inc., and NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) have been developing an Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) for use as a power system on space science and exploration missions. This generator will make use of the free-piston Stirling convertors to achieve higher conversion efficiency than currently available alternatives. The ASRG will utilize two Advanced Stirling Convertors (ASC) to convert thermal energy from a radioisotope heat source to electricity. NASA GRC has initiated several experiments to demonstrate the functionality of the ASC, including: in-air extended operation, thermal vacuum extended operation, and ASRG simulation for mobile applications. The in-air and thermal vacuum test articles are intended to provide convertor performance data over an extended operating time. These test articles mimic some features of the ASRG without the requirement of low system mass. Operation in thermal vacuum adds the element of simulating deep space. This test article is being used to gather convertor performance and thermal data in a relevant environment. The ASRG simulator was designed to incorporate a minimum amount of support equipment, allowing integration onto devices powered directly by the convertors, such as a rover. This paper discusses the design, fabrication, and implementation of these experiments.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Oriti, Salvatore M.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Blaze, Gina M.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
November 1, 2007
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
AIAA Paper-2007-4840
Meeting Information
Fifth International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference and Exhibit (IECEC)(Saint Louis, MO)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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