10

Translation to Space Exploration Systems

This chapter identifies the technologies that enable exploration missions to the Moon, Mars, and elsewhere, as well as the foundational research in life and physical sciences. Science and technology development areas are recommended to support near-term objectives and operational systems (i.e., prior to 2020) and objectives and operational systems for the decade beyond 2020. While technologies and operational systems may be near term (prior to 2020) or longer term (2020 and beyond), it is anticipated that supporting research will be conducted in the coming decade. In addition to defining research in science, this chapter, where appropriate, includes discussions of establishing the technological know-how required to ensure the orderly transition of new technology into space exploration systems.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) future exploration missions are likely to include long durations, microgravity and partial-gravity environmental conditions, and extreme thermal and radiation environmental conditions. The specific environmental conditions needed to successfully perform the required research are identified. To provide information that can be utilized in the most flexible manner possible, the specific schedules or timetables by which these research objectives should be achieved are not specified; instead, the relative temporal sequences are described.

An initial assessment of science and technology needs is based on an update of topics found in the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) 2000 report, Microgravity Research in Support of Technologies for Human Exploration and Development of Space and Planetary Bodies.1 Other major sources of information include NASA’s project plans for the Exploration Technology Development Program,2 NASA’s report, Technology Horizons: Game-Changing Technologies for the Lunar Architecture,3 and the space exploration options discussed in the final report of the Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee (also known as the Augustine Commission or Augustine Committee).4 Current NASA planning documents, such as the lunar architecture, were used to illuminate the possible need of future exploration activities. Science and technology needs were categorized into seven topic areas: space power and thermal management; space propulsion; extravehicular activity (EVA); life support; fire safety; space resource extraction, processing, and utilization; and planetary surface construction.

This chapter describes necessary scientific research and technology development in each of these seven areas and categorizes the research recommendations in one of two time frames: either “Prior to 2020” or “2020 and Beyond.” The two time periods are used to indicate when, given a best-case scenario, an operational system or exploration activity is likely to be implemented. Placing the implementation time either prior to or after 2020 can be stated with greater certainty than trying to establish when the research to support the implementation of these



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10 Translation to Space Exploration Systems This chapter identifies the technologies that enable exploration missions to the Moon, Mars, and elsewhere, as well as the foundational research in life and physical sciences. Science and technology development areas are recommended to support near-term objectives and operational systems (i.e., prior to 2020) and objectives and operational systems for the decade beyond 2020. While technologies and operational systems may be near term (prior to 2020) or longer term (2020 and beyond), it is anticipated that supporting research will be conducted in the coming decade. In addition to defining research in science, this chapter, where appropriate, includes discus - sions of establishing the technological know-how required to ensure the orderly transition of new technology into space exploration systems. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) future exploration missions are likely to include long durations, microgravity and partial-gravity environmental conditions, and extreme thermal and radia - tion environmental conditions. The specific environmental conditions needed to successfully perform the required research are identified. To provide information that can be utilized in the most flexible manner possible, the spe - cific schedules or timetables by which these research objectives should be achieved are not specified; instead, the relative temporal sequences are described. An initial assessment of science and technology needs is based on an update of topics found in the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) 2000 report, Microgravity Research in Support of Technologies for Human Explo- ration and Development of Space and Planetary Bodies.1 Other major sources of information include NASA’s project plans for the Exploration Technology Development Program, 2 NASA’s report, Technology Horizons: Game-Changing Technologies for the Lunar Architecture,3 and the space exploration options discussed in the final report of the Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee (also known as the Augustine Commission or Augustine Committee).4 Current NASA planning documents, such as the lunar architecture, were used to illuminate the possible need of future exploration activities. Science and technology needs were categorized into seven topic areas: space power and thermal management; space propulsion; extravehicular activity (EVA); life support; fire safety; space resource extraction, processing, and utilization; and planetary surface construction. This chapter describes necessary scientific research and technology development in each of these seven areas and categorizes the research recommendations in one of two time frames: either “Prior to 2020” or “2020 and Beyond.” The two time periods are used to indicate when, given a best-case scenario, an operational system or exploration activity is likely to be implemented. Placing the implementation time either prior to or after 2020 can be stated with greater certainty than trying to establish when the research to support the implementation of these 299

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300 RECAPTURING A FUTURE FOR SPACE EXPLORATION activities would need to commence. The research required to support implementation will have to be initiated well in advance of the desired implementation date; however, the exact time required to accomplish the needed research is uncertain due to technical reasons, as well as to budget and political factors, all of which are beyond the ability of the panel to predict with any precision. The strategic and tactical decisions regarding if and when a research program should be undertaken appropriately fall to those responsible for the implementation of the various mis - sions under consideration. Since NASA’s exploration mission schedule has been notional at best for decades, the “Prior to 2020” period should be viewed as representing near-term activities (e.g., near-Earth human exploration activities), while the “2020 and Beyond” period represents activities that enable longer-term exploration goals (e.g., human exploration of the lunar surface, planetary surfaces, or deep-space missions). While there is always more that can be learned to further the understanding critical to enabling future explo - ration, prioritizing the various areas of potential study allows the critical needs to be translated into a plan that can be implemented successfully. Since NASA’s missions, budgets, and priorities cannot be predicted, selecting one particular technology over another would be premature. Instead, this chapter describes the attributes of and development issues associated with viable technology options and explains the critical research gaps that need to be addressed if a particular option is taken. The chapter therefore divides technologies and their associated research challenges into two categories: “required” and “highly desirable.” A required technology is one NASA needs to achieve an exploration objective. A highly desirable technology is one that offers a significant benefit in performance, efficiency, cost savings, or likelihood of mission success. The rating as either required or highly desirable applies directly to the technology or operational system; research challenges in the life and physical sciences are listed with the technology or system they enable. The committee’s prioritization process took the following factors into account: • The relative importance of the research to its topic area, • The topic area’s impact on overall exploration efforts, • The interdependencies among topic areas and how knowledge in one area could be an enabler or prereq- uisite for advancing knowledge in another area, and • Whether the topic area’s knowledge needs were unique to NASA’s exploration requirements such that they would be left unaddressed were NASA not to pursue them. Table 10.3 at the end of the chapter summarizes the technologies (and their associated research challenges) required for implementation prior to 2020. Table 10.4 similarly summarizes the technologies (and their associated research challenges) required for implementation in 2020 and beyond. The Integrative and Translational Research for the Human Systems Panel considered the realities and chal - lenges of transitioning new technology to enable or greatly improve systems unique to NASA and critical to space exploration. The transition process requires that engineers understand and apply the research results of scientists and that research scientists work within the parameter space of specific mission categories. Successful transition from research results to implemented technology requires that program managers, engineering leaders, and research leaders create an environment where scientists interact with engineers on the specifics of system requirements. NASA leadership will know that a success-oriented environment has been achieved when they no longer hear the familiar refrains: “the engineers are not talking to the scientists,” “the scientists are not working in the regimes of interest to the engineers,” and “the program managers are risk-averse and not qualifying improved components/ subsystems for flight.” Chapter 12’s section “Linking Science to Mission Capabilities Through Multidisciplinary Translational Programs” contains an in-depth discussion of the issues associated with creating organizations that can successfully translate research into technologies and technologies into exploration systems. RESEARCH ISSUES AND TECHNOLOGY NEEDS Space Power and Thermal Management NASA’s power generation, energy storage, and heat rejection technology needs in the coming decades are driven by three major and diverse categories of missions: (1) platforms for near-Earth science, resources (such

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301 TRANSLATION TO SPACE EXPLORATION SYSTEMS as orbiting cryogenic propellant depots), and communications; (2) lunar and planetary surface missions; and (3) deep-space exploration probes. These categories give rise to a spectrum of future power and thermal management requirements ranging from a few watts (e.g., for microsatellites) to tens of kilowatts and perhaps megawatts (e.g., propulsion systems for exploration missions or for a permanent lunar or Mars presence), and durations ranging from a few hours or days (e.g., planetary rovers) to perhaps tens of years (e.g., permanent surface presence, deep- space missions). These power demands will be met by a variety of evolutionary and revolutionary technologies for providing prime energy sources, energy conversion, energy storage, thermal management and control, and heat rejection. Prime energy sources include insolation,* radioisotopes, and nuclear fission. Energy conversion technologies applicable to this broad range of power needs include those for both “direct” energy conversion (such as photovoltaic and thermoelectric systems, fuel cells, primary and secondary batteries, and/or alkali metal thermal-to-electric conversion approaches) and “indirect” conversion or heat engine approaches (Stirling, Brayton, or Rankine cycles). Energy storage is accomplished principally by chemical or thermal energy storage (e.g., electrochemical batteries, fuel cells, or thermal energy reservoirs). Thermal management will be accomplished by thermal heat acquisition, transport, and rejection methods including radiators, evaporators, sublimators, and thermal storage techniques (e.g., thermal wadis†), as well as advanced environmental control refrigeration cycles. The mission environment also influences and in some cases dictates the technology selection. Deep-space and extrasolar mis - sions (extending beyond the orbit of Jupiter, such as Voyager) can today only be performed using nuclear energy sources. Near-Earth missions, such as the International Space Station (ISS), can be conducted using photovoltaic, chemical, or thermal methods. Outer planet missions may combine photovoltaic, chemical, thermal, or nuclear sources. Extended lunar and planetary presence missions are greatly enhanced by nuclear power, often referred to in this context as fission surface power. The emerging area of in situ resource utilization (ISRU) will require more capable power systems than previously deployed. Novel power and thermal solutions that increase performance (e.g., increase efficiency) and/or reduce mass will enable human exploration on the surfaces of other solar system bodies. Figure 10.1 shows the power and duration-of-use regimes for different space power systems operating at 1 AU from the Sun. The region of photovoltaic operation shrinks as a mission moves farther from the Sun. Although NASA faces a wide range of challenging power and thermal energy technology requirements, it does have partners in meeting some of these needs. The Department of Defense (DOD), the commercial satellite industry, and the international space community will need many of the same technologies that NASA will need. Partnering, formally and informally, will reduce NASA’s research, development, and manufacturing production costs. Nevertheless, there remain NASA-unique power system technology needs for which NASA must bear the full cost, most notably nuclear technology—although the Department of Energy (DOE) would be a partner in the future development of nuclear systems, just as it is currently a partner in the program for radioisotope power systems (RPSs); the advanced Stirling radioisotope generator; and the fission surface power system technology development effort).‡ Prime power system mass for exploration missions to the Moon and Mars is a major fraction of the total mission mass to be transported from Earth. Thus, gains in efficiency and lifetime directly reduce mission cost. In * Insolation is the solar radiation energy received on a given surface area in a given time. The term “insolation” is a contraction of “incom - ing solar radiation.” † Thermal wadis are engineered sources of stored solar energy using modified lunar regolith as a thermal storage mass. ‡ DOE has a statutory responsibility “for the conduct of research and development activities relating to . . . production of atomic energy, including processes, materials, and devices related to such production” (Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, Sec. 31). In addition, DOE, “as agent of and on behalf of the United States, shall be the exclusive owner of all [nuclear] production facilities” (Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, Sec. 41). There are some exceptions regarding the ownership requirements, but they would not apply to the production of nuclear material to fuel space nuclear power systems. For example, under the existing memorandum of agreement between NASA and DOE regarding RPSs, DOE’s responsibilities include the design, development, fabrication, evaluation, testing, and delivery of RPSs to meet NASA system-performance and schedule requirements. DOE also provides nuclear risk assessments; specifies minimum radiological, public-health, and safety criteria and procedures for the use of RPSs; provides safeguards and security guidance for NASA facilities and services; supports NASA operational plans, mission definition, environmental analysis, launch approval, and radiological contingency planning; affirms the flight readiness of RPSs with respect to nuclear safety; participates in the nuclear launch approval process; jointly investigates and reports nuclear incidents; and assumes legal liability for damage resulting from nuclear incidents and accidents involving RPSs.

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302 RECAPTURING A FUTURE FOR SPACE EXPLORATION 107 Nuclear Reactor Dynamic 106 Fuel Cells 105 Photovoltic Array 104 Nuclear Reactor Power Static (Watts) Chemical Dynamic 103 102 Isotope Primary Batteries Thermoelectric/ Stirling 101 100 minutes hours days months years decades Mission Duration FIGURE 10.1 Diagram of the qualitative power and duration regimes for representative candidate space power systems. The gray areas are potential growth beyond the solid line in the next two decades. Generalizations are difficult since power Figure 10-1.eps requirements are highly mission-dependent. SOURCE: Anthony K. Hyder, University of Notre Dame, adapted from Figure 1.7 in A.K. Hyder, R.L. Wiley, G. Halpert, D.J. Flood, S. Sabripour, Spacecraft Power Technologies, Imperial College Press, London, 2000. © 2000 World Scientific. addition, several of the enabling technologies for more affordable space exploration, such as small modular reac - tors, have the potential to transition to important and timely applications on Earth. Power Generation Systems Solar Power Systems Photovoltaic power generation has an extensive heritage in terrestrial and space applications. Space-based systems ranging from a few watts (“nanosats”) to many tens of kilowatts (space station) are currently in use. 5 Arrays have been developed for use in some of the most extreme temperature and radiation environments in space (e.g., the Mercury orbiter MESSENGER and the Jupiter orbiter Juno), although high radiation levels still degrade system performance over time and therefore limit mission lifetime. Typical current spacecraft solar arrays achieve areal power densities of about 200-300 W/m2 at specific powers ranging from 20 to 150 W/kg (using 27 percent efficient triple-junction solar cells). The efficiency of solar cells for space applications is projected to reach 37 percent by 2020. The ISS solar array produces 250 kW of power and is the largest space solar array to date. Concentrator arrays have been flown to distances of 1.5 AU from the Sun and have demonstrated 2.5 kW of output power (at 300 W/m2 and 45 W/kg). Arrays capable of achieving up to 220 W/kg have been demonstrated on the ground. Solar cells for terrestrial applications using concentrators have now demonstrated energy conversion efficien - cies of 38.5 percent; efficiencies of 45 percent are on the near horizon and will enable further reductions in array area. Terrestrial systems capable of producing tens of megawatts are planned; such surface-based systems would have application to the exploration of planetary bodies with or without atmospheres.

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303 TRANSLATION TO SPACE EXPLORATION SYSTEMS TABLE 10.1 Solar Irradiance and Operating Temperatures for Different Environments Earth Orbit Lunar Surface Martian Surface (W/m2) 590a Solar irradiance 1,368±41 1,368±41 Temperature range (°C) −100 to +100 −180 to +250 −140 to +20 aAverage value from G.A. Landis and J. Appelbaum, Design considerations for Mars photovoltaic systems, pp. 1263-1270 in Conference Record of the Twenty First IEEE, Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, Kissimmee, Fla., May 21-25, 1990; actual irradiance varies with location and season on Mars. Table 10.1 shows the solar irradiance and operating temperatures for Earth orbit and for lunar and martian surfaces; solar array size (and mass) requirements depend on these environmental parameters. The total mass of a photovoltaic-based power generation system capable of producing tens of kilowatts on the lunar or martian surface will be driven by the energy storage components (e.g., batteries, regenerative fuel cells [RFCs],§ or thermal energy reservoirs), power management electronics, and thermal management system, as well as the size of the solar array. The design of surface power systems will also need to consider the native dust environment, plasma arcing issues,6 cosmic radiation, and the performance of associated thermal manage- ment components. Thermal management technologies should also be adapted to local environmental conditions. Photovoltaic power generation on the surface of Mars requires an array approximately three times larger in area than needed in Earth orbit or on the lunar surface, due to the increased distance from the Sun. Energy storage requirements are far less demanding on Mars than on the Moon because of the much shorter martian “night” (12 h versus 2 weeks); a battery system on the surface of the Moon will require 28 times the capacity (and roughly the same increase in mass) as one on Mars to support the same load. But the effects of dust, dirt, and wind on the martian surface require additional mitigations that will increase the mass of any surface solar array. However, the net result is that photovoltaic power systems on Mars require much less mass to produce the same amount of steady-state power as a system on the Moon. While the Juno mission will use photovoltaic power at Jupiter (at about 5.5 AU), the current practicality of using solar power diminishes with greater distances from the Sun, due to a combination of the fall-off in solar intensity and colder operating temperatures.7 Concentrating solar-thermal power systems are also in development for terrestrial applications and are poten - tially valid for space applications.8 Typically, these consist of a solar concentrator such as a parabolic trough unit (which can produce heat at temperatures up to about 500°C) or a parabolic dish unit (which can produce heat at temperatures up to 1,000 to 2,000°C) combined with a heat engine (such as a Stirling cycle engine). For extra - terrestrial surface applications, concentrating solar-thermal power systems can be manufactured from ultralight reflective foils creating deployable booms that can supply thermal or electricity power, or both, for ISRU. 9 Lightweight solar arrays can be a low-mass, efficient source of power for near-Earth applications and can sup - port future science missions that use solar electric power, such as visits to asteroids, cargo transport to the Moon or Mars, or possibly outer planet missions. It is likely that the evolutionary development of multijunction solar cells will reach its practical achievable performance potential in the coming decade and additional modest performance gains will be found from technol - ogy development in concentrators. Next-generation photovoltaic technologies, such as nanotechnology-based solar cells or quantum-dot solar cells, have potential advantages of lower mass, lower cost, and/or higher efficiencies over existing photovoltaic technologies. Though these technologies are unlikely to be mass-competitive with RPSs for deep-space applications in the next 10 years, factors such as cost and availability may make them attractive alternatives for inner solar system missions in the future. § Allfuel cells utilize a fuel and an oxidizer. Fuel cells combine reactants to produce electrical power and waste heat. RFCs can either combine or produce reactants to produce or store power.

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304 RECAPTURING A FUTURE FOR SPACE EXPLORATION Nuclear Power Systems Space nuclear power systems are among the NASA-unique technology needs. These include RPSs (Pu-238 energy source) and fission reactors as a primary energy source. RPSs continue to be a high priority for NASA because they provide reliable, long-term power where solar power is not feasible. More than 26 NASA and DOD spacecraft have used radioisotope power since 1961. A recent NRC report10 documents the current catastrophic lack of Pu-238, as well as lack of plans to produce a supply. The merits of Pu-238 include the low emitted-radiation shielding requirements, long half-life, and high energy den - sity. Pu-238 production is a complex process including nuclear reactor irradiation and radiochemistry processing. Neither the United States nor any other country currently has the capability to produce Pu-238. Both the United States and Russia have small stockpiles of Pu-238; planned missions will consume it. ¶ Russia has stopped selling Pu-238 to the United States. Re-establishing Pu-238 production capability is critical to sustaining a deep-space mission capability and is a crosscutting enabler for research and development (R&D) as well as science missions. Congress has not approved DOE’s fiscal year (FY) 2010 and 2011 budget requests to begin re-establishing a domestic Pu-238 production capability. While Pu-238 production is a technology/policy issue rather than an area of research, the issue is noted here because of its importance to deep-space science mission spacecraft. Nuclear reactor power systems could supply substantially more electrical power than current prime power systems (solar cells or RPSs). NASA flew the System for Nuclear Auxiliary Power–10A (SNAP-10A), a 500-We thermoelectric fission reactor, in 1965 but has not flown a nuclear reactor since. The 1983 to 1994 100-kW SP-100 project and the last decade’s Prometheus project were both terminated before reactor development could be completed.** Fission surface power systems are “an attractive power option for some lunar and Mars mission scenarios,”11 and NASA has identified nuclear power reactors as one of 19 game-changing technologies for the lunar exploration architecture.12 NASA has identified nuclear power as a high-priority technology because it releases many other exploration technologies from severe constraints on power use.13 The recent confirmation of water at the lunar poles and on Mars underscores the need for ample power to enable ISRU for propellant production and life support.14,15 The availability of nuclear reactor power systems would make it possible to relax stringent power constraints, thus reducing development costs across the entire lunar exploration architecture—except for the cost of the power system itself. Development of a nuclear power reactor for lunar missions will likely be a long and expensive effort. Looking back, efforts by both the SP-100 program and Prometheus Program to develop space nuclear reactors were terminated prematurely as support for these expensive projects dwindled over the years in the face of tight budgets and new agency priorities. Furthermore, even if space nuclear reactor systems were successfully developed, the cost of manufacturing each system (including the nuclear fuel) would be so high that such systems would be suitable only for very large missions that could afford a power system costing billions of dollars to develop. NASA, in cooperation with DOE, is currently supporting a fission surface power system (FSPS) technology effort, but the magnitude, scope, and goals of this effort are quite modest in comparison to the total effort required to develop an operational reactor system. The current goal of the FSPS is to “generate the key products to allow Agency decision-makers to consider FSPS as a preferred option for flight development.”16 Continuation of NASA’s FSPS program is desirable, and it would be advantageous to the project if the prototyping of the test unit were ¶ The NRC study committee wrote, “The total amount of 238Pu available for NASA is fixed, and essentially all of it is already dedicated to support several pending missions—the Mars Science Laboratory, Discovery 12, the Outer Planets Flagship 1 (OPF 1), and (perhaps) a small number of additional missions with a very small demand for 238Pu. If the status quo persists, the United States will not be able to provide RPSs for any subsequent missions” (NRC, Radioisotope Power Systems: An Imperative for Maintaining U.S. Leadership in Space Explora - tion, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 2009). The nominal launch date for OPF 1 is 2020 (see http://opfm.jpl.nasa.gov/), at which point the stockpile will be depleted. ** Project Prometheus was terminated in 2005 after it became clear that it would cost at least $4 billion to complete development of a space - craft reactor module and at least $16 billion in total to develop the entire spacecraft and complete the mission, not counting the cost of the launch vehicle or any financial reserves to cover unexpected cost growth (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Project Prometheus Final Report, 982- R120461, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, available at http://trs-new.jpl.nasa.gov/dspace/bitstream/2014/38185/1/05-3441. pdf, 2005, p. 178).

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305 TRANSLATION TO SPACE EXPLORATION SYSTEMS accelerated and carried out in parallel with testing to confirm the reactivity characteristics of the material assembly. Supporting physical science research includes high-temperature, low-weight materials for power conversion and materials for high-temperature radiators. New system geometries can be investigated further to take advantage of possible inherent shielding of the generators. Extending the current technology effort to develop an FSPS system could enable a power-rich lunar architecture, accelerating research on the lunar surface in all other areas. However, the hardware systems being assembled for testing do not include any nuclear fuel, and the current project does not include fuel development, which would be very costly (for DOE) and is unlikely to happen until NASA makes a firm commitment to deploy an FSPS. Once the current FSPS technology project is complete, NASA may decide to make fission surface power systems a priority, but that has not happened yet. In conclusion, nuclear reactor systems have much to offer to the exploration of space, but they would also be very expensive to develop. History cautions against underestimating how difficult it would be to complete devel - opment of space nuclear power reactor systems on a scale large enough to support future U.S. space exploration missions. Thermal Energy Conversion Three dynamic energy conversion cycles are Stirling, Brayton, and Rankine. Stirling power conversion for space applications uses sealed gas/piston-linear alternator components that can operate at relatively high efficiency with comparatively small heat source-sink differential temperatures. Brayton power conversion uses a closed cycle version of gas turbine alternator technology. Rankine cycle systems use a space-adapted version of terrestrial two- phase steam power plants having a turbine and alternator. Stirling and Brayton systems, because they use gas as the working fluid, have gas heat transfer coefficients that are typically smaller than two-phase flow heat transfer coefficients. This necessitates larger heat transfer surfaces than Rankine cycle systems but eliminates issues related to zero gravity, freeze-thaw cycles, and two-phase flow. Thus, at higher powers, Rankine systems typically have smaller components than Stirling or Brayton systems because of the smaller heat transfer area required. Further, the Rankine cycle condenser (radiator) operates at a higher temperature and in an isothermal mode, and so the size/mass of the heat rejection system is much smaller. Figure 10.2 compares various thermal energy conversion systems for producing electrical power as a func - tion of specific mass (kilograms per kilowatt-electric) and power (kilowatts-electric). It shows that at low power, static conversion technologies such as thermoelectric and thermionic generally have lower specific mass, whereas at higher powers Stirling, Brayton, and finally, Rankine cycles have lower specific mass. Existing space power systems have been at relatively low power (e.g., the ISS, with a lifetime average electrical power of ~75 kWe produced from 260-kW solar arrays). However, future power systems for habitats, life support, ISRU, and propul - sion all trend toward higher powers, including up to ~100 MWe. Thermoelectric and Stirling power conversion technologies are not mass competitive at these high power levels, as indicated in Figure 10.2. Thus, for NASA’s projected high-power needs, the Brayton system may be a reasonable option to achieve required system mass performance. Figure 10.2 shows that there is little difference between a thermoelectric system and a Stirling system at low power levels. Therefore, at low powers, a new power conversion technology must be developed if performance gains are to be achieved. Thermophotovoltaic energy conversion, which operates at high temperatures and converts thermal power to electrical power using a photovoltaic-like technology, has the potential for reduced weight, high conversion efficiency, and operational simplicity.17 However, it is currently an immature technology that would require significant R&D before it would be a viable option for NASA. Energy Storage Advanced energy storage technologies can offer an order-of-magnitude improvement over current technol - ogy. Lithium ion batteries offer a theoretical energy density of 700 W·h/kg and RFCs a theoretical energy density of 1,000 W·h/kg. Practical embodiments of these potential electrical energy storage devices will likely attain only about half the theoretical values, but this would nonetheless represent a 10-fold improvement over current

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306 RECAPTURING A FUTURE FOR SPACE EXPLORATION Brayton (CBC) SNAP-10A (TE) Rankine (R) 1000 Stirling (FPS) TOPAZ (TI) Specific Mass (kg/kWe) Thermionic (TI) Thermoelectric (TE) SP-100 (CBC) SNAP-8 (HG-R) STAR-C (TI) 100 SP-100 (TE) SP-100 (FPS) SPDE (FPS) 30 kg/kW 1979 JPL 10 NEP (CBC) SNAP-50 (K-R) TFE (TI) 10 100 1000 Power (kWe) FIGURE 10.2 Specific mass versus power for various conversion technologies. SOURCE: L. Mason, Power Technology Op - tions for Nuclear Electric Propulsion, Intersociety Engineering Conference on Energy Conversion Paper No. 20159, NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio, 2002. Figure 10-2.eps technology. Figure 10.3 shows the generally achievable energy and power densities for current and near-term electrochemical storage technologies. NASA Glenn Research Center researchers and others have developed concepts for RFCs that would store energy on the ISS and on high-altitude balloons or high-altitude aircraft. They are now investigating RFCs for storing energy on the Moon or Mars.18 A unitized RFC (Figure 10.4)†† would use no electrolyzer; rather, it would regenerate water and store the hydrogen and oxygen as high-pressure gases directly through a single stack. RFCs are considered viable options for solar energy storage in a wide variety of environments where the Sun eclipse period is several hours or longer. Reactant tankage size is proportional to the required stored energy (eclipse load power × eclipse time). For applications in which the stored energy requirement is modest, reactant tankage mass is also modest. However, for long eclipse time (14 days) and high eclipse power (tens of kilowatts or greater), such as for lunar surface power, the tankage mass becomes significant, perhaps as much as 5-10 percent of the overall mass. Thermal management, tankage mass optimization, and system mass versus operating pressure are also issues to consider. To use hydrogen and oxygen on the lunar surface or elsewhere on a large scale, safe, practical storage systems must be developed. Fuel cells, both primary and regenerative, have been in existence for years. However, the issues of dead-ended gas flow paths versus through-flow, cryogenic versus pressurized gas storage, thermal management, and reliable long-life operation (i.e., years) under reduced gravity and extreme temperatures all remain to be demonstrated for both planetary and orbital applications. †† Unitized RFCs are a particular packing geometry.

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307 TRANSLATION TO SPACE EXPLORATION SYSTEMS 1000 NiZn NiMH Li ion NiCd Na/S W/kg 100 Fuel Cells lead-acid 10 10 100 1000 Wh/kg FIGURE 10.3 Generalized specific energy versus specific power map for several near-term technologies. SOURCE: Adapted from E.J. Cairns, Battery, Overview, Pp. 117-126 in Encyclopedia of Energy (C.J. Cleveland, ed.), Vol. 1, Elsevier, New York, Copyright 2004, with permission from Elsevier. With few exceptions, NASA spacecraft and planned Figure 10-3 all require electrical energy storage. planetary systems The ISS is currently using nickel metal hydride batteries, but lithium ion batteries with the requisite energy storage density and cycle life are under development. Currently, nickel hydrogen batteries are the workhorse spacecraft energy storage approach but are being supplanted by rapidly evolving lithium ion approaches, which offer sig - nificant (>2 to 5 times) increases in energy density. Li-ion approaches are now baselined for most NASA robotic explorer missions under development in the Science Mission Directorate. If nuclear power is not used, RFCs and/ or thermal energy storage must be developed in order to satisfy mass, power, and energy requirements for lunar and martian bases, especially when ISRU is incorporated into the base. Thermal Management The major design goals for any space thermal management system are high performance, reduced cost, reduced physical size, and high reliability. Earth-based system processes involving phase change and/or multiple phase flow have been shown to have the highest heat transfer coefficients. 19 The benefits of two-phase flows are illustrated in Figure 10.5, in which boiling heat transfer coefficients exceed single phase heat transfer coefficients by multiples in all cases. While the thermal management technology requirements for NASA’s different missions overlap, there are unique challenges posed by each environment. NASA requirements must ensure cooling for spacecraft on inner planet missions (which experience high insolation), on planetary surfaces (where dust from the lunar regolith

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308 RECAPTURING A FUTURE FOR SPACE EXPLORATION 10.4.eps FIGURE 10.4 Unitized regenerative fuel cell system concept. SOURCE: K.A. Burke, Unitized Regenerative Fuel Cell System type is outlined Development, NASA/TM-2003-212739, NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio, 2003; available at http://ntrs.nasa. gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/ 20040027863_2004008361.pdf. or martian soil degrades radiator surfaces), and on cis-lunar space missions. Further, high-power missions will ultimately require two-phase (single-component, vapor/liquid) thermal management technologies yet to be dem - onstrated in microgravity and in lunar and martian partial gravity. Gas and liquid phases in components such as boilers, condensers, and heat pipe radiators behave differently in other than Earth gravity due to the change in body force. An NRC report documented the research needs in two-phase thermal management technologies a decade ago,20 but little has been done to advance the technology readiness level (TRL) of the component technologies. Two-phase flow technologies offer reduced system mass and size because their high heat transfer coefficients FIGURE 10.5 Comparison of heat transfer coefficient provided by different cooling technologies. SOURCE: K. Sienski and C. Culhane, Advanced system packaging for embedded high performance computing, pp. 211-214 in Digest of Papers of the Government Microcircuit Applications Conference, Volume Sienski.eps March 1996. 10.5 21, Orlando, Fla., bitmap - low resolution

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309 TRANSLATION TO SPACE EXPLORATION SYSTEMS require smaller and therefore lighter hardware than single-phase systems with the same capacity. Two-phase systems are naturally isothermal. Active two-phase flow thermal management technologies operating in reduced-gravity conditions are essential to enable high-power thermal management systems.21 However, such technologies require separation of the two phases of a single component. This need has been described in numerous NRC and NASA reports. 22,23 If missions requiring high power are to be carried out efficiently, this technology must be brought to TRL 8 and demonstrated at a system level; currently the technology is at perhaps TRL 6. Microchannel devices for heat exchange and phase separation are also under investigation. Component- and system-level tradeoffs among channel sizing, interchannel stability, pumping power, and overall system mass are being studied. Gaps in the demonstration of two-phase technology have led NASA to avoid system designs based on mul - tiphase flow. For example, the main cooling loops (ammonia and water) for the ISS are single-phase fluid loops, even though using two-phase flow would have resulted in reduced system mass and power requirements. NASA needs to be able to scale such systems confidently and predict their performance and system reliability by quantify - ing failure. Until these gaps are filled, NASA will not deploy two-phase flow systems, regardless of the cost and/ or mass performance advantages they promise. Hence, more research is needed on two-phase systems subjected to reduced gravity. Thermal Storage Liquid-solid phase-change devices are commonly used in spacecraft thermal control to regulate temperature during peak heat generation periods and/or to stabilize payload component temperatures during Sun eclipse. A variety of waxes and hydrated salts have been employed. Their drawbacks include heat transfer rate limits (unless encapsulated in a high-conductivity porous matrix), relatively low effective heat capacity per unit mass, and freeze/ thaw volume changes. Novel encapsulated thermal energy storage microcapsules mixed in a single-phase fluid have received some development funding from NASA but remain in an early stage of development. The effect of such a “slurry” working fluid is to both increase the heat transfer properties of the pumped liquid and increase its effective specific heat. Thermal energy storage using modified surface material is a promising new thermal tool that can use in situ resources. Energy storage can be provided through the application of thermal energy reservoirs, with the thermal mass being provided by either materials brought from Earth (such as phase-change materials) or processed space resources. For example, lunar regolith can be modified through thermal process methods to yield a material whose thermal diffusivity‡‡ is increased by approximately two orders of magnitude compared with untreated regolith. Thermal energy storage can also be directly integrated with solar concentrators for nighttime power generation. The placement of thermal wadis24 has been proposed as an engineered source of heat (and power) for the protec - tion of rovers and other exploration assets on the lunar surface. Summary of Enabling Science and Technologies for Space Power and Thermal Management Power and thermal management improvements will become increasingly important for future NASA mission needs, especially for missions that include ISRU. Important exploration technologies in space power and thermal management that would benefit from near-term R&D include the following: ‡‡ A high thermal diffusivity is crucial for thermal energy storage because it allows a material’s heat capacity to be utilized. Thermal diffusiv - ity, which describes the rate at which heat flows through a material, is the thermal conductivity of that material divided by its volumetric heat capacity. In SI units, thermal diffusivity is measured in m2/s.

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TABLE 10.4 Continued 344 Research Critical Environmental Crosscutting Recommendation Topic Current Gap Technology Enabling Research Constraints Applications T25 Space Lack of knowledge regarding ISRU capability Research (including remote assay and Partial Surface operations, resource physical and handling planning sampling) to characterize specific resources gravity, habitat construction, extraction, properties of in situ resources available at planned lunar and martian cryogenic propulsion, life processing, surface destinations available for ISRU granular support and planning and extraction materials, utilization extreme temperatures T26 Planetary Lack of understanding how to Teleoperated Research to determine how to best utilize Partial Surface operations surface effectively integrate human and and autonomous human and robotic resources for construction gravity, construction robotic operations construction and other surface operations extreme temperatures T27 Planetary Lack of information regarding Regolith- and Research to describe the physical and Partial Surface operations surface regolith mechanics and dust-tolerant mechanical properties of regolith to facilitate gravity, construction properties systems surface operations, construction, and ISRU extreme temperatures T28 Planetary Habitability requirements Habitability Research to define partial-gravity habitability Partial Surface operations surface for partial-gravity operations requirements requirements for surface operations on the gravity, construction unknown Moon and Mars extreme temperatures

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345 TRANSLATION TO SPACE EXPLORATION SYSTEMS abrasion on components and materials, suit docking/undocking systems, and dust-resistant seals. Improved mod - eling and simulation techniques for lunar thermal environments and dust characterization need to be developed. Rovers: Windows. Large, lightweight windows with correct optical properties and protection from radiation/ultra - violet, micrometeoroid/orbital debris, blast effects, and scratching would enhance rover capabilities. Research is needed in new materials development, as well as in design. Terrestrial Analogs. Several terrestrial analogs to space surface systems already exist and more are planned. These very useful facilities should be actively and systematically employed to assess designs, materials, and operation related to habitat design and construction. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS The utility of a coherent plan that is appropriately resourced and consistently applied to enable exploration cannot be overemphasized. This is especially noteworthy in light of the frequent and large postponements and redirections that NASA’s exploration-related goals have experienced over the past several decades. NASA’s existing ETDP goals seem well aligned with the panel’s recommendations, with augmentation as specified in this chapter. Transition of technology on schedule and within budget to meet mission needs is an intellectual challenge worthy of the attention of our nation’s best technologists. Usually it not treated as a job category. Rather, transi - tion involves an ad hoc interplay among engineers transitioning the research findings, scientists continuing to advance the associated technology, and program managers assessing the risk, schedules, and budget. Seldom is the technological handoff a simple process. For example, advances in scientific understanding may be good enough to enable design and fabrication of a prototype of a new or improved major subsystem; nonetheless, research may continue on facets of the technology discovered during the prototyping. More attention should be given to understanding how to accomplish transition of technology within the NASA system. The goal is to reduce the uncertainty of the process for mission managers, thereby reducing unwarranted risk aversion and giving NASA the confidence to use tomorrow’s technology sooner. Transitioning technology on schedule and within budget is integral to mission management. Attention should be given to improving NASA’s confidence in predicting the transition of science to mission application, thereby improving projections of new systems to which NASA can aspire. When establishing major missions, NASA should ensure that program managers, engineers, and scientists will be true partners in transitioning the essential new technology. To improve the process, the specifics leading to successful transitions should be analyzed after the mission. In Chapter 12, the section “Linking Science to Mission Capabilities Through Multidisciplinary Translational Programs” describes more thoroughly the means to transition technology successfully within NASA. The body of this chapter contains many recommendations. Tables 10.3 and 10.4 above summarize the research areas previously identified by the panel as required for prudent execution of the exploration program. Table 10.3 lists those topics for which information is required for activities that the exploration plan indicates will occur prior to 2020, and Table 10.4 lists research for the activities that are scheduled to occur in 2020 and beyond. Due to the uncertainty surrounding the funding that will be allocated to these various research topics, the panel did not factor in the lead time that would be needed for these research activities to provide answers to the questions they address. For example, planetary surface construction appears in the “2020 and Beyond” table, but it is essential that these activities be undertaken well in advance of 2020 to lead to operational systems and implementation in the 2020 time period. NASA can determine when to initiate a particular research project, based on the level of support and the state of knowledge that exists at the time the decision is made to pursue a future activity so that it will be ready at the appropriate time indicated in the tables. This approach implies that even topic areas listed in Table 10.4, “2020 and Beyond,” might require initiation of the enabling research well before 2020. Finally, in order for the efforts recommended here to yield the greatest benefit, NASA needs to ensure that explicit and robust organizational mechanisms and structures are in place that promote interdisciplinary collabora - tion and sharing of knowledge so that successful research is efficiently translated into applications.

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