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Title: Lithium-sulfur dioxide batteries on Mars rovers
Authors: Ratnakumar, Bugga V.
Smart, M. C.
Ewell, R. C.
Whitcanack, L. D.
Kindler, A.
Narayanan, S. R.
Surampudi, S.
Keywords: Lithium-SO2 batteries
2003 Mars Exploration Rover (MER)
Issue Date: 15-Aug-2004
Publisher: Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2004.
Citation: 2nd International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference, Providence, Rhode Island, August 15-18, 2004.
Abstract: NASA’s 2003 Mars Exploration Rover (MER) missions, Spirit and Opportunity, have been performing exciting surface exploration studies for the past six months. These two robotic missions were aimed at examining the presence of water and, thus, any evidence of life, and at understanding the geological conditions of Mars, These rovers have been successfully assisted by primary lithium-sulfur dioxide batteries during the critical entry, descent, and landing (EDL) maneuvers. These batteries were located on the petals of the lander, which, unlike in the Mars Pathfinder mission, was designed only to carry the rover. The selection of the lithium-sulfur dioxide battery system for this application was based on its high specific energy and high rate discharge capability, combined with low heat evolution, as dictated by this application. Lithium-sulfur dioxide batteries exhibit voltage delay, which tends to increase at low discharge temperatures, especially after extended storage at warm temperatures, In the absence of a depassivation circuit, as provided on earlier missions, e.g., Galileo, we were required to depassivate the lander primary batteries in a unique manner. The batteries were brought onto a shunt-regulated bus set at pre-selected discharge voltages, thus affecting depassivation during constant discharge voltages. Several ground tests were preformed, on cells, cell strings and battery assembly with five parallel strings, to identify optimum shunt voltages and durations of depassivation. We also examined the repassivation of lithium anodes, subsequent to depassivation. In this paper, we will describe these studies, in detail, as well as the depassivation of the lander flight batteries on both Spirit and Opportunity rover prior to the EDL sequence and their performance during landing on Mars.
Appears in Collections:JPL TRS 1992+

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