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Performance characteristics of lithium-ion cells for NASA's Mars 2001 Lander application

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6 Author(s)
Smart, M.C. ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA ; Ratnakumar, B.V. ; Whitcanacka, L. ; Surampudia, S.
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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 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 on the surface of Mars, the battery must be capable of operation (both charge and discharge) at temperatures as low as -20°C. To assess the viability of lithium-ion cells for these applications, a number of performance characterization tests have been performed, including: assessing the room temperature cycle life, low temperature cycle life (-20°C), rate capability as a function of temperature, pulse capability, self-discharge and storage characteristics, as well as mission profile capability. This paper describes the Mars 2001 Lander mission battery requirements and contains results of the cell testing conducted to-date in support of the mission,

Published in:

Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 11 )

Date of Publication:

Nov 1999

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