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The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) MMRTG In-Flight : a power update

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dc.contributor.author Woerner, David
dc.contributor.author Moreno, Victor
dc.contributor.author Jones, Loren
dc.contributor.author Zimmerman, Robert
dc.contributor.author Wood, Eric
dc.date.accessioned 2013-05-20T21:46:31Z
dc.date.available 2013-05-20T21:46:31Z
dc.date.issued 2012-02-25
dc.identifier.citation Proceedings of Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space 2013 Albuquerque, NM, February 25-28, 2013 en_US
dc.identifier.clearanceno 12-5351
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2014/43175
dc.description.abstract The MSL Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) was fueled on October 28, 2008 by the Department Of Energy (DOE) in preparation for a late 2009 launch. Shortly after, the MSL launch was delayed approximately 2 years until 2011. The fueled MMRTG was placed in storage to await the new date for liftoff. Occasional measurements of the MMRTG’s power output were taken and compared with power predictions that pre-dated fueling. An error in the predictive models was quickly recognized and remedied. The predictions, while improved, carried significant uncertainty. This uncertainty did not deter the launch of MSL, but did alter the planned mission on the surface of Mars. Once launched, the MSL spacecraft provided a hi-fidelity telemetry stream measuring the generator’s electrical and thermal performance. These data were used to update the predictive models and a new prediction of the performance of the MMRTG on the surface of Mars was run just before Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) at Mars. The MSL MMRTG is working extremely well, providing power above predictions and operating within its flight allowable temperature limits. The generator was producing approximately 114 W at the beginning of the surface mission. This paper will elaborate on power modeling for the MSL MMRTG along with a review of some of the data recorded from the MSL cruise to Mars, EDL, and the early days of the surface mission. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship NASA/JPL en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Pasadena, CA : Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2012. en_US
dc.subject radioisotope en_US
dc.subject Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) en_US
dc.subject thermoelectric generator en_US
dc.subject Mars Science Laboratory en_US
dc.subject in-space power en_US
dc.title The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) MMRTG In-Flight : a power update en_US
dc.type Preprint en_US


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