Honors College Thesis


Vacuum Testing of a Small Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Public Deposited

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  • Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS’s) are a key element to NASA’s deep space exploration programs. As NASA looks towards new generations of smaller, modular spacecraft, appropriately smaller RPS’s will be needed. The Single General Purpose Heat Source Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (S-GPHS-RTG) has been developed to fill this role. The S-GPHS-RTG will utilize one GPHS to provide 250 Wt which will be ideally be converted to 20-25 We by Thermoelectric Converters (TEC’s). Using a full scale model S-GPHS-RTG in a vacuum chamber, 250 Wt was applied via an electrically powered model GPHS, and steady-state temperatures were observed. As part of these tests, multiple insulation packages were investigated, including: Multi Layer Insulation (MLI), silica fiber, and various aerogel combinations. The vacuum conditions were intended to simulate space conditions the S-GPHS-RTG will experience as it travels through space. The steady-state temperatures it experiences will largely affect its performance as a power source, as the TEC’s ability to convert heat to electricity is dependent on the temperature gradient they experience. A virtual model of the experiment was also created in Thermal Desktop in an attempt to simulate it. However, this virtual model failed to generate accurate results.
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  • description.provenance : Submitted by Heather Boren (heather.boren@oregonstate.edu) on 2010-06-30T22:56:28ZNo. of bitstreams: 1MieloszykThesis.pdf: 2491391 bytes, checksum: 80ab0b39db209d151db6114334285f87 (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2010-08-13T18:00:07Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1MieloszykThesis.pdf: 2491391 bytes, checksum: 80ab0b39db209d151db6114334285f87 (MD5)



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