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Structural Dynamics Testing of Advanced Stirling Convertor ComponentsNASA Glenn Research Center has been supporting the development of Stirling energy conversion for use in space. Lockheed Martin has been contracted by the Department of Energy to design and fabricate flight-unit Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generators, which utilize Sunpower, Inc., free-piston Advanced Stirling Convertors. The engineering unit generator has demonstrated conversion efficiency in excess of 20 percent, offering a significant improvement over existing radioisotope-fueled power systems. NASA Glenn has been supporting the development of this generator by developing the convertors through a technology development contract with Sunpower, and conducting research and experiments in a multitude of areas, such as high-temperature material properties, organics testing, and convertor-level extended operation. Since the generator must undergo launch, several launch simulation tests have also been performed at the convertor level. The standard test sequence for launch vibration exposure has consisted of workmanship and flight acceptance levels. Together, these exposures simulate what a flight convertor will experience. Recently, two supplementary tests were added to the launch vibration simulation activity. First was a vibration durability test of the convertor, intended to quantify the effect of vibration levels up to qualification level in both the lateral and axial directions. Second was qualification-level vibration of several heater heads with small oxide inclusions in the material. The goal of this test was to ascertain the effect of the inclusions on launch survivability to determine if the heater heads were suitable for flight.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Glenn Research Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Oriti, Sal
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Williams, Zach
(NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 15, 2014
Publication Date
February 25, 2013
Subject Category
Fluid Mechanics And Thermodynamics
Mechanical Engineering
Report/Patent Number
Paper 6818
Meeting Information
Meeting: Proceedings of Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Country: Mexico
Start Date: February 25, 2013
End Date: February 28, 2013
Sponsors: American Nuclear Society
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 138494.
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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