The Technology of Discovery: Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators and Thermoelectric Technologies for Space Exploration (Jpl Space Science and Technology) (Hardcover)
Incisive discussions of a critical mission-enabling technology for deep space missions
In The Technology of Discovery: Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators and Thermoelectric Technologies for Space Exploration, distinguished JPL engineer and manager David Woerner delivers an insightful discussion of how radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) are used in the exploration of space. It also explores their history, function, their market potential, and the governmental forces that drive their production and design. Finally, it presents key technologies incorporated in RTGs and their potential for future missions and design innovation.
The author provides a clear and understandable treatment of the subject, ranging from straightforward overviews of the technology to complex discussions of the field of thermoelectrics. Included is also background on NASA's decision to resurrect the GPHS-RTG and discussion of the future of commercialization of nuclear space missions. Readers will also find:
- A thorough introduction to RTGs, as well as their invention, history, and evolution
- Comprehensive explorations of the contributions made by RTGs to US space exploration
- Practical discussions of the evolution, selection, and production of RPS fuels
- In-depth examinations of technologies and generators currently in development, including skutterudite thermoelectrics for an enhanced MMRTG
Perfect for space explorers, aerospace engineers, managers, and scientists, The Technology of Discovery will also earn a place in the libraries of NASA archivists and other historians.