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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2014/38892

Title: Lunar base thermoelectric power station study
Authors: Determan, William
Frye, Patrick
Mondt, Jack
Fleurial, Jean-Pierre
Johnson, Ken
Stapfer, G.
Brooks, Michael D.
Heshmatpour, Ben
Keywords: thermoelectric
power generation
space power
conversion
Issue Date: 12-Feb-2006
Publisher: Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2006.
Citation: Space Technology Applications International Forum, Albuquerque, New Mexico, February 12-16, 2006.
Abstract: Under NASA’s Project Prometheus, the Nuclear Systems Program, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, and Teledyne Energy Systems have teamed with a number of universities, under the Segmented Thermoelectric Multicouple Converter (STMC) program, to develop the next generation of advanced thermoelectric converters for space reactor power systems. Work on the STMC converter assembly has progressed to the point where the lower temperature stage of the segmented multicouple converter assembly is ready for laboratory testing and the upper stage materials have been identified and their properties are being characterized. One aspect of the program involves mission application studies to help define the potential benefits from the use of these STMC technologies for designated NASA missions such as the lunar base power station where kilowatts of power are required to maintain a permanent manned presence on the surface of the moon. A modular 50 kWe thermoelectric power station concept was developed to address a specific set of requirements developed for this mission. Previous lunar lander concepts had proposed the use of lunar regolith as in-situ radiation shielding material for a reactor power station with a one kilometer exclusion zone radius to minimize astronaut radiation dose rate levels. In the present concept, we will examine the benefits and requirements for a hermetically-sealed reactor thermoelectric power station module suspended within a man-made lunar surface cavity. The concept appears to maximize the shielding capabilities of the lunar regolith while minimizing its handling requirements. Both thermal and nuclear radiation levels from operation of the station, at its 100-m exclusion zone radius, were evaluated and found to be acceptable. Site preparation activities are reviewed and well as transport issues for this concept. The goal of the study was to review the entire life cycle of the unit to assess its technical problems and technology needs in all areas to support the development, deployment, operation and disposal of the unit.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2014/38892
Appears in Collections:JPL TRS 1992+

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