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Small-RPS enabled Mars rover concept

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dc.contributor.author Balint, Tibor S.
dc.date.accessioned 2007-02-23T18:44:30Z
dc.date.available 2007-02-23T18:44:30Z
dc.date.issued 2004-02-13
dc.identifier.citation Space Technology and Applications International Forum, STAIF-2005, Albuquerque, NM, February 13-17, 2004. en
dc.identifier.clearanceno 04-2628
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2014/40133
dc.description.abstract Both the MER and the Mars Pathfinder rovers operated on Mars in an energy-limited mode, since the solar panels generated power during daylight hours only. At other times the rovers relied on power stored in batteries. In comparison, Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) offer a power-enabled paradigm, where power can be generated for long mission durations (measured in years), independently from the Sun, and on a continuous basis. A study was performed at PL to assess the feasibility of a small-RPS enabled MER-class rover concept and any associated advantages of its mission on Mars. The rover concept relied on design heritage from MER with two significant changes. First, the solar panels were replaced with two single GPHS module based small-RPSs. Second, the Mossbauer spectroscope was substituted with a laser Raman spectroscope, in order to move towards MEPAG defined astrobiology driven science goals. The highest power requirements were contributed to mobility and telecommunication type operating modes, hence influencing power system sizing. The resulting hybrid power system included two small-RPSs and two batteries. Each small-RPS was assumed to generate 50We of power or 62OWh/sol of energy (BOL), comparable to that of MER. The two 8Ah batteries were considered available during peak power usage. Mission architecture, power trades, science instruments, data, communication, thermal and radiation environments, mobility, mass issues were also addressed. The study demonstrated that a new set of RPS-enabled rover missions could be envisioned for Mars exploration within the next decade, targeting astrobiology oriented science objectives, while powered by 2 to 4 GPHS modules. en
dc.description.sponsorship NASA/JPL en
dc.format.extent 4008787 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.publisher Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2004. en
dc.subject Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) en
dc.subject Mars exploration en
dc.title Small-RPS enabled Mars rover concept en
dc.type Preprint en


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