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Advanced Lithium Ion Venus Explorer (ALIVE)The COncurrent Multidisciplinary Preliminary Assessment of Space Systems (COMPASS) Team partnered with the Applied Research Laboratory to perform a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program study to evaluate chemical based power systems for keeping a Venus lander alive (power and cooling) and functional for a period of days. The mission class targeted was either a Discovery ($500M) or New Frontiers ($750M to $780M) class mission. Historic Soviet Venus landers have only lasted on the order of 2 hours in the extreme Venus environment:temperatures of 460 degrees Centigrade and pressures of 93 bar. Longer duration missions have been studied using plutonium powered systems to operate and cool landers for up to a year. However, the plutonium load is very large. This NIAC study sought to still provide power and cooling but without the plutonium. Batteries are far too heavy but a system which uses the atmosphere (primarily carbon dioxide) and on on-board fuel to power a power generation and cooling system was sought. The resuling design was the Advanced Long-Life Lander Investigating the Venus Environment (ALIVE) Spacecraft (S/C) which burns lithium (Li) with the CO2 atmosphere to heat a Duplex Stirling to power and cool the lander for a 5-day duration (until the Li is exhausted). While it does not last years a chemical powered system surviving days eliminates the cost associated with utilizing a flyby relay S/C and allows a continuous low data rate direct to earth (DTE) link in this instance from the Ovda Regio of Venus. The five-day collection time provided by the chemical power systems also enables science personnel on earth to interact and retarget science - something not possible with an approximately 2-hour spacecraft lifetime. It also allows for contingency operations directed by the ground (reduced risk). The science package was based on that envisioned by the Venus Intrepid Tessera Lander (VITaL) Decadal Survey Study. The Li Burner within the long duration power system creates approximately 14000 W of heat. This 1300 degree Centigrade heat using Li in the bottom "ballast" tank is melted to liquid by the Venus temperature, drawn into a furnace by a wick and burned with atmospheric CO2. The Li carbonate exhaust is liquid at 1300 degrees Centigrade and being denser than Li drains into the the Li tank and solidifies. Since the exhaust product is a dense liquid no "chimney" is required which conserves the heat for the stirling power convertor. The Duplex Stirling provides about 300 W of power and removes about 300 W of heat from the avionics and heat that leaks into the 1-bar-insulated payload pressure vessel kept at 25 degrees Centigrade. The Na K radiator is run to the top of the drag flap.The ALIVE vehicle is carried to Venus via an Atlas 411 launch vehicle (LV) with a C3 of 7 km2/s2. An Aeroshell, derived from the Genesis mission, enables a direct entry into the atmosphere of Venus (-10 degrees Centigrade, 40 g max) and 6 m/s for landing (44 g) using a drag ring. For surface science and communication, a 100 WRF (WebEx Recording Format), X-Band 0.6-meter pointable DTE (Direct-to-Earth) antenna provides 2 kbps (kilobits per second) to DSN (Deep-Space Network) 34-meter antenna clusters.Table 1.1 summarizes the top-level details of each subsystem that was incorporated into the design. Cost estimates of the ALIVE mission show it at approximately $760M which puts it into the New Frontiers class.The ALIVE landed duration is only limited by the amount of Li which can be carried by the lander. Further studies are needed to investigate how additional mass can be carried, perhaps by a larger launcher and larger aeroshell.
Document ID
20190000924
Document Type
Other
Authors
Paul, Michael (Pennsylvania State Univ. University Park, PA, United States)
Oleson, Steven R. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
McGuire, Melissa L. (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Sandifer, Carl E., II (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Balkanyi, Les (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Bur, Michael (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Burke, Laura (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Bury, Kristen (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Colozza, Tony (QinetiQ North America Brookpark, OH, United States)
Dankanich, John (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Drexler, Jon (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Fincannon, James (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Fittje, Jim (QinetiQ North America Brookpark, OH, United States)
Gyekenyesi, John (ZIN Technologies, Inc. Brook Park, OH, United States)
Landis, Geoffrey (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Martini, Mike (QinetiQ North America Brookpark, OH, United States)
Packard, Tom (Vantage Partners, LLC Brook Park, OH, United States)
Rodriguez, Carlos (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Sheehe, Charles (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Tenteris, Anita (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Warner, Joe (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Williams, Glenn (NASA Glenn Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
February 22, 2019
Publication Date
March 1, 2012
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion and Power
Report/Patent Number
HQ-E-DAA-TN65109
CD-2012-72
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: n/a
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Portions of document may include copyright protected material.
Keywords
Exploration
Extreme Environments
Long Duration Missions
Venus
Lander
Plutonium Power

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Related Records

IDRelationTitle20160011272See AlsoCOMPASS Final Report: Advanced Long-Life Lander Investigating the Venus Environment (ALIVE)