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The design of a nuclear power supply with a 50 year life expectancy: the JPL Voyager's SiGe MHW RTG

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3 Author(s)
F. de Winter ; Atlas Corp., Santa Cruz, CA, USA ; G. Stapfer ; E. Medina

Between 25 and 30 years ago, the IECEC Proceedings carried a series of papers by the present authors and other members of a JPL team on the problems and the desirable design features associated with the MHW RTGs to be used to power JPL's Voyager I and II spacecraft. The Voyager I and II spacecraft successfully completed their original 12 year missions 10 years ago and are at distances of over 55 AU and 70 AU from the sun. The power systems worked almost precisely as predicted. The Voyager spacecraft seem to have several decades of life left to make measurements outside the solar system. This paper gives a technical overview of the design process and problems

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IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine  (Volume:15 ,  Issue: 4 )