Design and Structural Analysis of Mars Rover RTG

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The paper describes the design and the structural and mass analysis of a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) for powering the MARS Rover vehicle, which is a critical element of the unmanned Mars Rover and Sample Return mission (MRSR). The RTG design study was conducted by Fairchild Space Company for the U.S. Department of Energy, in support of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's MRSR project.; The paper briefly describes a reference mission scenario, an illustrative Rover design and activity pattern on Mars, and its power system requirements and environmental constraints, including the RTG cooling requirements during transit to Mars. It identifies the ... continued below

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18 pp

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Schock, Alfred; Hamrick, T.; Sankarankandath, V. & Shirbacheh, M. September 29, 1989.

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Description

The paper describes the design and the structural and mass analysis of a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) for powering the MARS Rover vehicle, which is a critical element of the unmanned Mars Rover and Sample Return mission (MRSR). The RTG design study was conducted by Fairchild Space Company for the U.S. Department of Energy, in support of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's MRSR project.; The paper briefly describes a reference mission scenario, an illustrative Rover design and activity pattern on Mars, and its power system requirements and environmental constraints, including the RTG cooling requirements during transit to Mars. It identifies the key RTG design problem, i.e. venting the helium generated by the fuel's alpha decay without intrusion of the Martian atmosphere into the RTG, and proposes a design approach for solving that problem.; Using that approach, it describes a very conservative baseline RTG design. The design is based on the proven and safety-qualified General Purpose Heat Source module, and employs standard thermoelectric unicouples whose reliability and performance stability has been extensively demonstrated on previous space missions. The heat source of the 250-watt RTG consists of a stack of 18 separate modules that is supported at its ends but not along its length. The paper describes and analyzes the structure that holds the stack together during Earth launch and Mars operations but allows it to come apart in case of an inadvertent reentry.; A companion paper presented at this conference describes the RTG's thermal and electrical analysis, and compares its performance with that of several lighter but less conservative design options.; There is a duplicate copy in the ESD files. This document is not relevent to OSTI Library. Do not send.

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18 pp

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  • Report No.: FSC-ESD-217/89/451
  • Grant Number: None
  • DOI: 10.2172/1033418 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1033418
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc837487

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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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Creation Date

  • September 29, 1989

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Sept. 22, 2017, 5:45 p.m.

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Schock, Alfred; Hamrick, T.; Sankarankandath, V. & Shirbacheh, M. Design and Structural Analysis of Mars Rover RTG, report, September 29, 1989; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc837487/: accessed July 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.