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NASA Nuclear Battery New Breakthrough

Author: Source: Datetime: 2016-10-29 08:35:07
nuclear batteryA material engineer at JPL had a thermoelectric module with four thermocouples in his hand. Thermocouples are common, from household appliances to spacecraft have applications.

There is neither a charging station in space nor a long charging line that can draw electricity from the earth. Therefore, efficient, flexible and durable power system has been a hot topic in space travel research.

"NASA needs long-term reliable power systems to explore the solar system," says Jean-Pierre Fleurial of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). "This is a great way to explore the solar system The outer planets are especially important, where the intensity of sunlight is only a few percent of Earth's orbit. "

When the sun can not provide free lunches, the spacecraft can only bring their own "lunch", while the nuclear portable solar power generator battery is a performance of the excellent "lunch."

In this nuclear cell, there is no fission reaction, there is no fusion reaction, only some decay reaction.

Radioactive elements in the decay will produce heat, this time if coupled with thermoelectric materials, will be able to convert these heat into electricity. Therefore, the nuclear battery professional name should be a radioactive isotope thermoelectric generator (referred to as RTG), the following for the convenience of description, collectively referred to as nuclear batteries.

Nuclear battery system (scientific name radioactive isotope power system) is based on this principle to drive spacecraft. The "fuel" (ie, radioactive material) used in the NASA nuclear battery system is an oxide of plutonium-238.

As the key technology of nuclear solar powered portable generator batteries is to heat into electrical energy, so looking for a good thermoelectric material is very important.

The skutterudites have become the hotspot in space power system research because of their excellent hotspot performance. This advanced material is also the main character of the next-generation power system eMMRTG.

The so-called eMMRTG "Enhanced Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator", enhanced multi-task radioisotope thermoelectric generator, said the popular point, we can call it enhanced multi-tasking nuclear battery.

According to NASA's official website on October 13 reported that the latest cobalt-based material of nuclear batteries will be expected to 2017 for the "New Frontiers" (New Frontiers) the latest task.
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