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Small Stirling dynamic isotope power system for multihundred-watt robotic missionsFree Piston Stirling Engine (FPSE) and linear alternator (LA) technology is combined with radioisotope heat sources to produce a compact dynamic isotope power system (DIPS) suitable for multihundred watt space application which appears competitive with advance radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). The small Stirling DIPS is scalable to multihundred watt power levels or lower. The FPSE/LA is a high efficiency convertor in sizes ranging from tens of kilowatts down to only a few watts. At multihundred watt unit size, the FPSE can be directly integrated with the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) via radiative coupling; the resulting dynamic isotope power system has a size and weight that compares favorably with the advanced modular (Mod) RTG, but requires less than a third the amount of isotope fuel. Thus the FPSE extends the high efficiency advantage of dynamic systems into a power range never previously considered competitive for DIPS. This results in lower fuel cost and reduced radiological hazard per delivered electrical watt.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Bents, David J.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 15, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1991
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
SAE PAPER 912066
Meeting Information
Meeting: International Pacific Air and Space Technology Conference
Location: Gifu
Country: Japan
Start Date: October 7, 1991
End Date: October 11, 1991
Accession Number
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