NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Small Radioisotope Power System at NASA Glenn Research CenterIn April 2009, NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) formed an integrated product team (IPT) to develop a Small Radioisotope Power System (SRPS) utilizing a single Advanced Stirling Convertor (ASC) with passive balancer for possible use by the International Lunar Network (ILN) program. The ILN program is studying the feasibility of implementing a multiple node seismometer network to investigate the internal lunar structure. A single ASC produces approximately 80 W(sub e) and could potentially supply sufficient power for that application. The IPT consists of Sunpower, Inc., to provide the single ASC with balancer, The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) to design an engineering model Single Convertor Controller (SCC) for an ASC with balancer, and NASA GRC to provide technical support to these tasks and to develop a simulated lunar lander test stand. A controller maintains stable operation of an ASC. It regulates the alternating current produced by the linear alternator of the convertor, provides a specified output voltage, and maintains operation at a steady piston amplitude and hot end temperature. JHU/APL also designed an ASC dynamic engine/alternator simulator to aid in the testing and troubleshooting of the SCC. This paper describes the requirements, design, and development of the SCC, including some of the key challenges and the solutions chosen to overcome those issues. In addition, it describes the plans to analyze the effectiveness of a passive balancer to minimize vibration from the ASC, characterize the effect of ASC vibration on a lunar lander, characterize the performance of the SCC, and integrate the single ASC, SCC, and lunar lander test stand to characterize performance of the overall system.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Glenn Research Center
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Dugala, Gina M.
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Fraeman, Martin
(Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD, United States)
Frankford, David P.
(Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD, United States)
Duven, Dennis
(Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD, United States)
Shamkovich, Andrei
(Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD, United States)
Ambrose, Hollis
(Johns Hopkins Univ. Laurel, MD, United States)
Meer, David W.
(Sest, Inc. Middleburgh Heights, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2012
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
AIAA Paper-2011-5509
Meeting Information
Meeting: 9th International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference (IECEC)
Location: San Diego, CA
Country: United States
Start Date: July 31, 2011
End Date: August 3, 2011
Sponsors: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 138494.03.03.02
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
No Preview Available