Fault-Tolerant Adaptive Control for Load-Following in Static Space Nuclear Power Systems 929453

The possible use of a dual-loop, model-based adaptive control system for load-following in static space nuclear power systems is investigated. The objective of the fault-tolerant, autonomous control system is to deliver the demanded electric power at the desired voltage level, by appropriately manipulating the neutron power through the control drums. As a result sufficient thermal power is produced to meet the required demand in the presence of dynamically changing system operating conditions and potential sensor failures. Even though the proposed approach has thus far been applied only to a thermoelectric space nuclear power system, it is equally applicable to other static space nuclear power systems, such as thermionic systems. This is because of the considerable similarities in the underlying operational issues and in the dynamics of these systems from a control engineering viewpoint. The designed controller is proposed for use in combination with the currently considered shunt regulators, or as a back-up controller when other means of power system control, including some of the sensors, fail. Even though the results of this systematic controller design attempt appear very encouraging, they are only preliminary and additional work is warranted to resolve a number of digital controller implementation issues.


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