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Technical Paper

Performance Characteristics of Lithium-Ion Cells for Mars Sample Return Athena Rover

1999-08-02
1999-01-2639
In contrast to the primary batteries (lithium thionyl chloride) on the Sojourner Mars Rover and the upcoming 2001 Mars Rover, the Mars Sample Return (MSR) Athena Rover will utilize rechargeable lithium ion batteries, following the footsteps of MSP 2001 Lander. The MSR Athena Rover will contain a rechargeable lithium ion battery of 16 V and a total energy of 150 Wh. The mass and volume of the projected power system will be a maximum of 3 kg and 2 liters, respectively. Each battery consists of twelve cells (6-7 Ah), combined in three parallel strings of four cells (16 V) each, such that the capability of the Rover shall be maintained even in the event of one string failure. In addition to usual requirements of high specific energy and energy density and long cycle life (100 cycles), the battery is required to operate at wide range of temperatures, especially at sub-zero temperatures down to -20°C.
Technical Paper

Performance Characteristics of Lithium-Ion Cells for NASA’s Mars 2001 Lander Application

1999-08-02
1999-01-2638
NASA requires lightweight rechargeable batteries for future missions to Mars and the outer planets that are capable of operating over a wide range of temperatures, with high specific energy and energy densities. Due to the attractive performance characteristics, lithium-ion batteries have been identified as the battery chemistry of choice for a number of future applications, including Mars rovers and landers. The Mars 2001 Lander (Mars Surveyor Program MSP 01) will be among one of the first missions which will utilize lithium-ion technology. This application will require two lithium-ion batteries, each being 28 V (eight cells), 25 Ah and 8 kg. In addition to the requirement of being able to supply at least 200 cycles and 90 days of operation upon the surface of Mars, the battery must be capable of operation (both charge and discharge) at temperatures as low as -20°C.
Technical Paper

Validation of the SCARLET Advanced Array on DS1

1999-08-02
1999-01-2630
In October, 1998, the first of the NASA New Millennium Spacecraft, DS1, was successfully launched into space. The objectives for this spacecraft are to test advanced technologies that can reduce the cost or risk of future missions. One of these technologies is the Solar Concentrator Array with Refractive Linear Element Technology (SCARLET). Although part of the advanced technology validation study, the array is also the spacecraft power source. Funded by BMDO, the SCARLET™ concentrator solar array is the first spaceflight application of a refractive lens concentrator. As part of the DS1 validation process, the amount of array diagnostics is very extensive. The data obtained includes temperature measurements at numerous locations on the 2-wing solar array. For each individual panel, a 5-cell module in one of the circuit strings is wired so that a complete I-V curve can be obtained. This data is used to verify sun pointing accuracy and array output performance.
Technical Paper

Mars Rover 2003 Battery Charger

1999-08-02
1999-01-2447
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory Mars Exploration Program Office is currently planning a series of exciting missions to the Red Planet. During each launch opportunity, the missions to Mars will include a Rover mission. During the earlier Rover missions to Mars such as the Mars Pathfinder mission carrying the Sojourner Rover in 1997, the main rover power source was a solar array. The power subsystem of the Sojourner Rover included a solar panel for power during the day, a non-rechargeable lithium battery for power during the night, and a power electronics board for power conditioning and distribution. Starting with the year 2003 the rover missions to Mars will incorporate a rechargeable energy storage device rather than a non-rechargeable power source. Included in the power electronics board, will be a battery controller/charger. The battery controller/charger will be able to monitor and control three parallel 4-cell battery strings.
Technical Paper

Model for Grain Growth in AMTEC Electrodes

1999-08-02
1999-01-2703
The power produced by an AMTEC is dependent on the porosity of the electrode layers deposited on the surface of the BASE tubes. The elevated temperatures at which these power generators operate result in a slow growth or coalescence of the grains that comprise the electrode layers thereby reducing porosity and effective surface area. The lifetime of AMTEC electrodes is therefore related to the rate of grain growth of the electrode material. A preliminary model has been developed to determine the rate of grain growth over the operational lifetime of an AMTEC. This model examines the conditions for continuous growth as a function of the relative sizes, boundary and activation energies and mobilities of the grains. An assumption of strain-free growth has been made in determining the factors for normal growth. Experimental measurements for titanium nitride alloy electrodes are compared with this model. Predictions are made for performance lifetimes out to 10 years.
Technical Paper

Slow Reversible and Quasi-Reversible Performance Changes in AMTEC Electrodes and Electrolytes

1999-08-02
1999-01-2705
This paper reports several slow reversible and quasi-reversible processes which occur in the porous electrode/solid electrolyte combination at AMTEC operating temperatures. These processes help to elucidate the evolution of the electrode and electrolyte characteristics with time. They also demonstrate that the atomic constituents of the electrode/electrolyte engage in significant dynamic motion. We report the stability of the sodium beta“-alumina phase in low pressure sodium vapor at 1173K up to 3000 hours, and the decomposition of the sodium meta-aluminate (NaAlO2) phase present at about 1% in the BASE ceramic, which gives rise to transient local increases in the solid electrolyte resistivity due to local micro-cracking. We also report slow apparent morphological changes, possibly surface or grain boundary reconstruction, in TiN and RhW electrodes driven by changes in the local sodium activity.
Technical Paper

Lifetimes of AMTEC Electrodes: Rhodium-Tungsten and Titanium Nitride

1999-08-02
1999-01-2704
The lifetime of an AMTEC electrode is predicted from the rate of grain growth in the electrode. The rate of growth depends on several physical characteristics of each material, including the rate of diffusion of the material on itself. Grain growth rates for rhodium-tungsten and titanium nitride electrodes have been determined, and have been used to predict operating lifetimes of AMTEC electrodes. For lifetimes of 10 years or more, RhxW electrodes may be used at any operating temperature supportable by the electrolyte. TiN electrodes may be used in AMTEC cells only at operating temperatures under 1150 K.
Technical Paper

Self-Sterilizing Properties of Martian Soil: Possible Nature & Implications

2000-07-10
2000-01-2343
As a result of the Viking missions in 1970s, the presence of a strong oxidant in Martian soil was suggested. Here we present a testable, by near-term missions, hypothesis that iron(VI) contributes to that oxidizing pool. Ferrate(VI) salts were studied for their spectral and oxidative properties and biological activities. Ferrate(VI) has distinctive spectroscopic features making it available for detection by remote sensing reflectance spectra and contact measurements via Mössbauer spectroscopy. The relevant miniaturized instrumentation has been developed or is underway, while XANES spectroscopy is shown to be a method of choice for the returned samples. Ferrate(VI) is capable of splitting water to yield oxygen, and oxidizing organic carbon to CO2. Organic oxidation was strongly abated after pre-heating ferrate, similar to the observations with Mars soil samples.
Technical Paper

The Mars Thermal Environment and Radiator Characterization (MTERC) Experiment

2000-07-10
2000-01-2402
Radiators will be used on Mars to reject excess heat from various processes and surfaces and will help temper the climate of any future manned habitats. Radiator performance is a function of the radiator size (area), the emissivity, ε, of the radiator surface, the radiator temperature, local environmental conditions, and the effective sky temperature to which it radiates. The effective sky temperature of Mars is not known. Previous estimates have ranged between 80 K to 170 K. Also, it is not known how dust accumulation and other environmental effects act to change the performance of a radiator as a function of time. The MTERC Experiment is designed to gather data to address these unknowns. This paper will describe the operational theory and the configuration of the MTERC experiment hardware and will discuss results of MTERC performance testing.
Technical Paper

Thermal Control of Mars Lander and Rover Batteries and Electronics Using Loop Heat Pipe and Phase Change Material Thermal Storage Technologies

2000-07-10
2000-01-2403
This paper describes a novel thermal control system for future Mars landers and rovers designed to keep battery temperatures within the −10 °C to +25 °C temperature range. To keep the battery temperatures above the lower limit, the system uses: 1) a phase change material (PCM) thermal storage module to store and release heat and 2) a loop heat pipe (LHP) to transfer heat from a set of Radioisotope Heater Units (RHUs) to the battery. To keep the battery temperature below the upper limit, a thermal control valve in the LHP opens to redirect the working fluid to an external radiator where excess heat is dumped to the atmosphere. The PCM thermal storage module was designed and fabricated using dodecane paraffin wax (melting point, − 9.6 °C) as the phase change material. A miniature ammonia loop heat pipe with two condensers and an integrated thermal control valve was designed and fabricated for use with the PCM thermal storage unit.
Technical Paper

A Miniature Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer Array and GC For Space Flight: Astronaut EVA and Cabin-Air Monitoring

2000-07-10
2000-01-2300
A miniature quadrupole mass spectrometer array and gas chromatograph have been designed and built for NASA flight missions. Without the gas chromatograph the mass spectrometer is to be used for detection, by astronauts in EVA, of N2, O2, the hydrazines, and NH3 leaks in the hull of the International Space Station, and of adsorbed hydrazines on the astronauts’ suits. The fully-adapted astronaut system, with all software and visual readout, is called the Trace Gas Analyzer. When interfaced with the miniature gas chromatographic system, the mass spectrometer will be useful for a variety of NASA missions involving more complex gas mixtures. The missions include planetary exploration (to Venus, Europa, Titan, etc.), as well as cabin-air monitoring for long-duration human flight to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
Technical Paper

Fabrication of laterally coupled InGaAsSb-GaSb-AlGaAsSb DFB laser structures

2000-07-10
2000-01-2305
The development of tunable diode laser systems in the 2 - 5 μm spectral region will have numerous applications for trace gas detection. To date, the development of such systems has been hampered by the difficulties of epitaxial growth, and device processing in the case of the Sb-based materials system. One of the compounding factors in this materials system is the use of aluminum containing compounds in the laser diode cladding layers. This makes the regrowth steps used in traditional lasers very difficult. As an alternative approach we are developing laterally coupled antimonide based lasers structures that do not require the regrowth steps. In this paper, the materials growth, device processing and development of the necessary drive electronics for an antimony based tunable diode laser system are discussed.
Technical Paper

Thermal Design of the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer Instrument

2000-07-10
2000-01-2274
The Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) is a cryogenic instrument which will be launched on NASA's Earth Observation System (EOS) Chemistry Platform in the year 2003. The overall mission lifetime for the instrument is 5 years with an additional period of 2 years required for ground test and calibration. The EOS Chemistry Platform will be placed in a sun-synchronous near-circular polar orbit with an inclination of 98.2 degrees and a mean altitude of 705 km. The overall objective of TES is the investigation and quantification of global climate change, both natural and anthropogenic. It is a high resolution infrared imaging (1×16 pixels) Fourier Transform Spectrometer with spectral coverage of 3.3-15.4 μm at a spectral resolution of 0.10 cm−1 or 0.025 cm−1 intended for the measurement and profiling of essentially all infrared-active molecules present in the Earth's lower atmosphere (0-30+ km).
Technical Paper

Sorbent Bed Acquisition and Compression of Carbon Dioxide from the Mars Atmosphere

2000-07-10
2000-01-2237
Human exploration of Mars as well as unmanned sample return missions from Mars can benefit greatly from the use of propellants produced from the resources available from the atmosphere of Mars. The first major step of any in-situ propellant production (ISPP) system is to acquire carbon dioxide (CO2) from the Mars atmosphere and compress it for further chemical processing. One system that performs this step is called a Mars Atmosphere Acquisition and Compression (MAAC) unit. A simple prototype MAAC was developed by JPL as part of the Mars ISPP Precursor (MIP) experiment package for inclusion on the Mars 2001 Surveyor Lander. The MAAC consists of a valved enclosure packed with a sorbent material which selectively adsorbs CO2 from the Mars atmosphere (valves open), desorbs and compresses the acquired CO2 by heating (valves closed) and then delivers the pressurized CO2 to an oxygen generating system where the CO2 is electrolyzed to produce oxygen.
Technical Paper

Thermal Engineering of Mars Entry Carbon/Carbon Non-Ablative Aeroshell - Part 2

2000-07-10
2000-01-2404
Candidate Aeroshell Test models composed of a quasi-isotropic Carbon/Carbon(C/C) front face sheet (F/S), eggcrate core, C/C back F/S, Carbon Aerogel insulation, C/C radiation shield and the C/C close-out were constructed based on the analytical temperature predictions presented in Part One of this work[1]. The analytical results obtained for a simulated Mars entry of a 2.9 meter diameter cone shaped Carbon-Carbon Aeroshell demonstrated the feasibility of the design. These results showed that the maximum temperature the front F/S reached during the decent was 1752 °C with the resulting rear temperature reaching 326 °C in the thermal model. Part Two of this work documents the thermal modeling and correlation for the Mars Aeroshell test sample and fixture. A finite difference, SINDA/G, thermal math model of the test fixture and sample was generated and correlated to data from an arc jet test conducted at the NASA Ames Research Center's interactive heating facility.
Technical Paper

Trace Gas Analyzer for Extra-Vehicular Activity

2001-07-09
2001-01-2405
The Trace Gas Analyzer (TGA, Figure 1) is a self-contained, battery-powered mass spectrometer that is designed for use by astronauts during extravehicular activities (EVA) on the International Space Station (ISS). The TGA contains a miniature quadrupole mass spectrometer array (QMSA) that determines the partial pressures of ammonia, hydrazines, nitrogen, and oxygen. The QMSA ionizes the ambient gas mixture and analyzes the component species according to their charge-to-mass ratio. The QMSA and its electronics were designed, developed, and tested by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1,2). Oceaneering Space Systems supported JPL in QMSA detector development by performing 3D computer for optimal volumetric integration, and by performing stress and thermal analyses to parameterize environmental performance.
Technical Paper

Development of Vapor Phase Hydrogen Peroxide Sterilization Process for Spacecraft Applications

2001-07-09
2001-01-2411
In order to meet microbial reduction requirements for all Mars in-situ life detection and sample return missions, entire planetary spacecraft (including planetary entry probes and planetary landing capsules) may have to be exposed to a qualified sterilization process. At JPL, we are developing a low temperature (~45°C) vapor phase hydrogen peroxide sterilization process. This process is currently being used by the medical industry and its effectiveness is well established. In order to effectively and safely apply this technology to sterilize a spacecraft, which is made out of various man-made materials and electronic circuit boards, the following technical issues need to be resolved: 1. Efficacy of sterilization process. 2. Diffusion of H2O2 under sterilization process conditions into hard to reach places. 3. Materials and components compatibility with the sterilization process. 4. Development of methodology to protect (isolate) sensitive components (i.e. electronic ) from H2O2 vapor.
Technical Paper

Toward A Second Generation Electronic Nose at JPL: Sensing Film Optimization Studies

2001-07-09
2001-01-2308
Development of a second generation Electronic Nose at JPL is focusing on optimization of the sensing films to increase sensitivity and optimization of the array. Toward this goal, studies have focused on sources of noise in the films, alternatives to carbon black as conductive medium, measurement techniques, and development of an analytical approach to polymer selection to maximize the abilities of the array to distinguish among compounds.
Technical Paper

Thermal Engineering of Mars Entry Carbon/Carbon Non-Ablative Aeroshell - Part 3

2001-07-09
2001-01-2279
This is Part 3 of a development program to evaluate candidate nonablative aeroshell designs. The primary goal of this C/C aeroshell development task was to demonstrate the feasibility and performance of a lightweight C/C non-ablative aeroshell design that integrates advanced C/C materials and structural configurations. The thermal performance was evaluated by Arc Jet testing at NASA Ames of representative structural models. In this phase of the program, new carbon-carbon materials and structural core designs were evaluated, as well as an alternative aerogel material. The test models were composed of a quasi-isotropic Carbon/Carbon(C/C) front face sheet (F/S), eggcrate or honeycomb core, C/C back F/S, Carbon and resorcinol-formaldehyde aerogel insulation. Part One of this work [1] demonstrated the feasibility through arc-jet testing and Part Two [2] included analytical modeling of the test geometry to validate the design.
Technical Paper

Thermal Design and On-Orbit Performance of the Multi-Angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer

2001-07-09
2001-01-2262
The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) instrument was launched aboard NASA’s Earth Observing System (EOS) Terra spacecraft on December 18, 1999. The overall mission design lifetime for the instrument is 6 years. The EOS Terra spacecraft was placed in a sun-synchronous near-circular polar orbit with an inclination of 98.3 degrees and a mean altitude of 705 km. The overall objective of MISR is to provide a means to study the ecology and climate of Earth through the acquisition of global multiangle imagery on the daylit side of Earth. MISR views the sunlit Earth simultaneously at nine widely spaced angles, collects global images with high spatial detail in four colors at every angle. The images acquired, once calibrated, provide accurate measurements of brightness, contrast and color of reflected sunlight.
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