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Space power alternatives for laser radar sensor system

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1 Author(s)
Boretz, J.F. ; TRW Space & Technol. Group, Redondo Beach, CA, USA

Seven candidate power systems for the sensor of a space-based laser radar system are identified, and their performance and operating characteristics are briefly described. The systems are the NiCd battery, NiH/sub 2/ battery, NaS battery, LiSO/sub 2/-Cl/sub 2/ battery, LiAl-FeS/sub 2/ battery, H/sub 2//O/sub 2/ fuel cell, and an inertial flywheel generator. The systems encompass a current or projected specific energy range of from 15.0 to 100 Wh/lb. To arrive at a meaningful basis for comparison and to aid in system selection, a figure-of-merit (FOM) was established. Because the FOM is somewhat qualitative in content, scoring weighting factors were utilized to further quantify the results. The NiH/sub 2/ battery and the NaS battery received the highest FOM rankings. Following next in order were the H/sub 2//O/sub 2/ fuel cell and the inertial flywheel generator. The NiCd and lithium thermal batteries received the lowest ratings. These results are of a preliminary nature. Extension of these analyses to include reliability and cost factors is recommended.<>

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 3 )