Space Power Systems covers systems based on the three primary sources of energy of practical value, namely, solar, nuclear, and chemical sources. This book is organized into four parts encompassing 32 chapters that also explore the requirements for space power.
Part A presents the general aspects of solar cell power systems based on the work performed for US space vehicles that are to be placed in orbit. This part specifically considers a graph showing the variation of characteristic parameters of the solar cell battery storage system as a function of flight altitude. Considerable chapters in this part are devoted to the solar cell power plant for the space vehicles ADVENT, RANGER, TIROS, and TRANSIT. The remaining chapters provide a detailed analysis of the physics and engineering of solar panel and solar mirror design. Part B contains a series of papers involving the various aspects of the Atomic Energy Commission SNAP (Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power) program. Many details are presented for the 3 kw, liquid metal, turbo-machinery SNAP II power systems covering subjects from the basic concept through vehicle integration and safety aspects. Significant chapters in this part discuss the compact and apparently highly reliable radioisotope thermoelectric generator. Part C highlights the methods of storing and expelling high energy cryogenic fuels, which can provide from two to five times more energy per unit weight than the silver-zinc primary battery. Part D provides an interesting and useful estimation of the many requirements that are likely to become firm for space vehicles.
Space vehicle engineers, designers, and researchers will find this book invaluable.