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Comparison of dynamic isotope power systems for distributed planet surface applications

Abstract

Dynamic isotope power system (DIPS) alternatives were investigated and characterized for the surface mission elements associated with a lunar base and subsequent manned Mars expedition. System designs based on two convertor types were studied. These systems were characterized parametrically and compared over the steady-state electrical output power range 0.2 to 20 kWe. Three methods of thermally integrating the heat source and the Stirling heater head were considered, depending on unit size. Figures of merit were derived from the characterizations and compared over the parametric range. Design impacts of mission environmental factors are discussed and quantitatively assessed

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This paper was published in NASA Technical Reports Server.

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