The Cassini project: Lessons learned through operations

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The Cassini space probe requires 180 {sup 238}Pu Light-weight Radioisotopic Heater Units (LWRHU) and 216 {sup 238}Pu General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) pellets. Additional LWRHU and GPHS pellets required for non-destructive (NDA) and destructive assay purposes were fabricated bringing the original pellet requirement to 224 LWRHU and 252 GPHS. Due to rejection of pellets resulting from chemical impurities in the fuel and/or failure to meet dimensional specifications a total of 320 GPHS pellets were fabricated for the mission. Initial plans called for LANL to process a total of 30 kg of oxide powder for pressing into monolithic ceramic pellets. The ... continued below

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6 p.

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McCormick, E.D. December 31, 1997.

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Description

The Cassini space probe requires 180 {sup 238}Pu Light-weight Radioisotopic Heater Units (LWRHU) and 216 {sup 238}Pu General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) pellets. Additional LWRHU and GPHS pellets required for non-destructive (NDA) and destructive assay purposes were fabricated bringing the original pellet requirement to 224 LWRHU and 252 GPHS. Due to rejection of pellets resulting from chemical impurities in the fuel and/or failure to meet dimensional specifications a total of 320 GPHS pellets were fabricated for the mission. Initial plans called for LANL to process a total of 30 kg of oxide powder for pressing into monolithic ceramic pellets. The original 30 kg commitment was processed within the time frame allotted; an additional 8 kg were required to replace fuel lost due to failure to meet Quality Assurance specifications for impurities and dimensions. During the time frame allotted for pellet production, operations were impacted by equipment failure, unacceptable fuel impurities levels, and periods of extended down time, > 30 working days during which little or no processing occurred. Throughout and production process, the reality of operations requirements varied from the theory upon which production schedules were based.

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6 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE99000620

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  • Space technology and applications international forum, Albuquerque, NM (United States), 25-29 Jan 1998

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  • Other: DE99000620
  • Report No.: LA-UR--97-3242
  • Report No.: CONF-980103--
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 296763
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc688169

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • December 31, 1997

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • Feb. 29, 2016, 1:25 p.m.

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McCormick, E.D. The Cassini project: Lessons learned through operations, article, December 31, 1997; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc688169/: accessed May 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.