Record Details

Record 3 of 1336
Radioisotope Stirling Engine Powered Airship for Atmospheric and Surface Exploration of Titan
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Author and Affiliation:
Colozza, Anthony J.(Vantage Partners, LLC, Brook Park, OH, United States);
Cataldo, Robert L.(NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH United States)
Abstract: The feasibility of an advanced Stirling radioisotope generator (ASRG) powered airship for the near surface exploration of Titan was evaluated. The analysis did not consider the complete mission only the operation of the airship within the atmosphere of Titan. The baseline airship utilized two ASRG systems with a total of four general-purpose heat source (GPHS) blocks. Hydrogen gas was used to provide lift. The ASRG systems, airship electronics and controls and the science payload were contained in a payload enclosure. This enclosure was separated into two sections, one for the ASRG systems and the other for the electronics and payload. Each section operated at atmospheric pressure but at different temperatures. The propulsion system consisted of an electric motor driving a propeller. An analysis was set up to size the airship that could operate near the surface of Titan based on the available power from the ASRGs. The atmospheric conditions on Titan were modeled and used in the analysis. The analysis was an iterative process between sizing the airship to carry a specified payload and the power required to operate the electronics, payload and cooling system as well as provide power to the propulsion system to overcome the drag on the airship. A baseline configuration was determined that could meet the power requirements and operate near the Titan surface. From this baseline design additional trades were made to see how other factors affected the design such as the flight altitude and payload mass and volume.
Publication Date: Jul 01, 2014
Document ID:
20140016542
(Acquired Dec 22, 2014)
Subject Category: LUNAR AND PLANETARY SCIENCE AND EXPLORATION; SPACECRAFT PROPULSION AND POWER
Report/Patent Number: NASA/TM-2014-218321, E-18911, GRC-E-DAA-TN14119
Document Type: Technical Report
Contract/Grant/Task Num: NNC12BA01B; WBS 138494.01.99
Financial Sponsor: NASA Glenn Research Center; Cleveland, OH United States
Organization Source: NASA Glenn Research Center; Cleveland, OH United States
Description: 46p; In English; Original contains color illustrations
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright; Distribution as joint owner in the copyright
NASA Terms: STIRLING ENGINES; RADIOISOTOPE BATTERIES; AIRSHIPS; TITAN; PROPULSION SYSTEM CONFIGURATIONS; TITAN ATMOSPHERE; ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION
Other Descriptors: TITAN; AIRSHIPS; STIRLING ENGINES
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