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Record Details

Record 3 of 414
Solar Versus Fission Surface Power for Mars
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Author and Affiliation:
Rucker, Michelle A.(NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States)
Oleson, Steve(NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, United States)
George, Pat(NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, United States)
Landis, Geoffrey A.(NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, United States)
Fincannon, James(NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, United States)
Bogner, Amee(NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, United States)
Jones, Robert E.(NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, United States)
Turnbull, Elizabeth(NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, United States)
McNatt, Jeremiah(NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH, United States)
Martini, Michael C.(ZIN Technologies, Inc., Middleburg Heights, OH, United States) Show more authors
Abstract: A multi-discipline team of experts from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) developed Mars surface power system point design solutions for two conceptual missions to Mars using In-situ resource utilization (ISRU). The primary goal of this study was to compare the relative merits of solar- versus fission-powered versions of each surface mission. First, the team compared three different solar-power options against a fission power system concept for a sub-scale, uncrewed demonstration mission. This “pathfinder” design utilized a 4.5 meter diameter lander. Its primary mission would be to demonstrate Mars entry, descent, and landing techniques. Once on the Martian surface, the lander’s ISRU payload would demonstrate liquid oxygen propellant production from atmospheric resources. For the purpose of this exercise, location was assumed to be at the Martian equator. The three solar concepts considered included a system that only operated during daylight hours (at roughly half the daily propellant production rate of a round-the-clock fission design), a battery-augmented system that operated through the night (matching the fission concept’s propellant production rate), and a system that operated only during daylight, but at a higher rate (again, matching the fission concept’s propellant production rate). Including 30% mass growth allowance, total payload masses for the three solar concepts ranged from 1,128 to 2,425 kg, versus the 2,751 kg fission power scheme. However, solar power masses increase as landing sites are selected further from the equator, making landing site selection a key driver in the final power system decision. The team also noted that detailed reliability analysis should be performed on daytime-only solar power schemes to assess potential issues with frequent ISRU system on/off cycling.
Publication Date: Sep 13, 2016
Document ID:
20160010550
(Acquired Aug 24, 2016)
Subject Category: LUNAR AND PLANETARY SCIENCE AND EXPLORATION
Report/Patent Number: JSC-CN-37351
Document Type: Conference Paper
Meeting Information: AIAA Space 2016; 13-16 Sep. 2016; Long Beach, CA ; United States
Meeting Sponsor: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Reston, VA, United States
Financial Sponsor: NASA Johnson Space Center; Houston, TX, United States
Organization Source: NASA Johnson Space Center; Houston, TX, United States
Description: 20p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright; Distribution as joint owner in the copyright
NASA Terms: MARS LANDING; MARS MISSIONS; MARS SURFACE; FISSION; LIQUID OXYGEN; DESCENT; RELIABILITY ANALYSIS; ELECTRIC BATTERIES; OXYGEN PRODUCTION; SOLAR GENERATORS; SYSTEMS ENGINEERING; NASA PROGRAMS; MARS (PLANET)
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