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Natural Convection Cooling of the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator Engineering UnitAfter fueling and prior to launch, the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) will be stored for a period of time then moved to the launch pad for integration with the space probe and mounting on the launch vehicle. During this time, which could be as long as 3 years, the ASRG will operate continuously with heat rejected from the housing and fins. Typically, the generator will be cooled by forced convection using fans. During some of the ground operations, maintaining forced convection may add significant complexity, so allowing natural convection may simplify operations. A test was conducted on the ASRG Engineering Unit (EU) to quantify temperatures and operating parameters with natural convection only and determine if the EU could be safely operated in such an environment. The results show that with natural convection cooling the ASRG EU Stirling convertor pressure vessel temperatures and other parameters had significant margins while the EU was operated for several days in this configuration. Additionally, an update is provided on ASRG EU testing at NASA Glenn Research Center, where the ASRG EU has operated for over 16,000 hr and underwent extensive testing.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Lewandowski, Edward J.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Hill, Dennis
(Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co. King of Prussia, PA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
November 1, 2011
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space (NETS-2011)
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Country: United States
Start Date: February 7, 2011
End Date: February 10, 2011
Sponsors: American Nuclear Society, American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 138494.
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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