The SP-100 Space Nuclear Power Program was established in 1983 by DOD, DOE, and NASA as a joint program to develop technology for military and civil applications.
Starting in 1986, NASA has funded a technology program to maintain the momentum of promising aerospace technology advancement started during Phase I of SP-100 and to strengthen, in key areas, the chances for successful development and growth capability of space nuclear reactor power systems for a wide range of future space applications.
The elements of the CSTI High Capacity Power Project include Systems Analysis, Stirling Power Conversion, Thermoelectric Power Conversion, Thermal Management, Power Management, Systems Diagnostics, Environmental Interactions, and Material/Structural Development. Technology advancement in all elements is required to provide the growth capability, high reliability and 7 to 10 year lifetime demanded for future space nuclear power systems. The overall project will develop and demonstrate the technology base required to provide a wide range of modular power systems compatible with the SP-100 reactor which facilitates operation during lunar and planetary day/night cycles as well as allowing spacecraft operation at any attitude or distance from the sun.
Significant accomplishments in all of the project elements will be presented, along with revised goals and project timelines recently developed.