Nuclear Auxiliary Power Unit for Lunar Exploration 620486
A radioisotope-fueled thermoelectric generator is ideally suited to the nighttime power requirements of unmanned soft lunar landing experiments. A generator design capable of producing 25 w of electric power as well as sufficient thermal energy for environmental control of critical electronic components is described. Sufficient curium-242 may be encapsulated to provide an operational life of 90-120 days in a unit weighing 30 lb. This unit will extend the data gathering capability of the experiment with a significant weight advantage over conventional power supplies.