Browse Publications Technical Papers 2008-01-1996
2008-06-29

Multifunctional Fiber Batteries for Next Generation Space Suits 2008-01-1996

As next generation space suit concepts enable extravehicular activity (EVA) mission capability to extend beyond anything currently available today, revolutionary advances in life support technologies are required to achieve anticipated NASA mission profiles than may measure years in duration and require hundreds of sorties. Since most life support systems require power, increased mass and volume efficiency of the energy storage materials can have a dramatic impact on reducing the overall weight of next generation space suits. ITN Energy Systems, in collaboration with Hamilton Sundstrand and the NASA Johnson Space Center's EVA System's Team, is developing multifunctional fiber batteries to address these challenges. By depositing the battery on existing space suit materials, e.g. scrim fibers in the thermal micrometeoroid garment (TMG) layers, parasitic mass (inactive materials) is eliminated leading to effective energy densities ∼400 Wh/kg. The solid-state nature of the fiber battery also provides:
  • Outstanding cycle life: >10,000 cycles,
  • High rate: Near full capacity charge in ∼10 min., and
  • Improved safety and packaging efficiency by eliminating liquid electrolytes.
This paper highlights recent development of the multifunctional energy storage for EVA Systems. Advances in the performance of solid-state batteries on fiber/ribbon substrates are presented as well as design considerations for the integration of this technology into advanced EVA systems. Preliminary results are provided for an initial demonstration of the benefits of this technology by powering space suit health monitoring sensors with multifunctional energy storage devices. As wireless sensors are becoming of increased importance to NASA missions in general, this technology is expected to have wide spread application beyond the advanced EVA systems.

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