POWER GENERATING SYSTEMS FOR MANNED SPACE VEHICLES 600387
The late 1950's saw the space age come into being. Power requirements for the terrestrial satellites were of the order of only a few hundred watts. The beginnings of development toward the manned satellite and space vehicle dictate the requirement for power levels well in excess of current vehicle missions. What are the sources of power at these increased levels? The best solution in sight for meeting the power requirements for manned space vehicles are nuclear and solar energy sources in combination with rotating conversion equipment.
In this paper several types of space power generating systems are discussed including solar-mechanical rotating, solar-direct conversion, nuclear mechanical rotating, and regenerative fuel cells. Evaluation of their general characteristics, and indication of their practical limitations is outlined.
The concepts involved in the choice of equipments for rotating conversion machinery are outlined. Some of the materials of construction and possible choices of working fluids for the conversion equipment are discussed. A hypothetical power generating system and the criteria employed in the design of the system are described.