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Title: Autonomous Control Capabilities for Space Reactor Power Systems

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Project Prometheus, the Nuclear Systems Program, is investigating a possible Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) mission, which would conduct in-depth studies of three of the moons of Jupiter by using a space reactor power system (SRPS) to provide energy for propulsion and spacecraft power for more than a decade. Terrestrial nuclear power plants rely upon varying degrees of direct human control and interaction for operations and maintenance over a forty to sixty year lifetime. In contrast, an SRPS is intended to provide continuous, remote, unattended operation for up to fifteen years with no maintenance. Uncertainties, rare events, degradation, and communications delays with Earth are challenges that SRPS control must accommodate. Autonomous control is needed to address these challenges and optimize the reactor control design. In this paper, we describe an autonomous control concept for generic SRPS designs. The formulation of an autonomous control concept, which includes identification of high-level functional requirements and generation of a research and development plan for enabling technologies, is among the technical activities that are being conducted under the U.S. Department of Energy's Space Reactor Technology Program in support of the NASA's Project Prometheus. The findings from this programmore » are intended to contribute to the successful realization of the JIMO mission.« less
Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Laboratory. P.O. Box 2008, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6010 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20632871
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AIP Conference Proceedings; Journal Volume: 699; Journal Issue: 1; Conference: STAIF 2004: 21. symposium on space nuclear power and propulsion: Human space exploration, space colonization, new frontiers and future concepts, Albuquerque, NM (United States), 8-11 Feb 2004; Other Information: DOI: 10.1063/1.1649625; (c) 2004 American Institute of Physics; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 22 GENERAL STUDIES OF NUCLEAR REACTORS; CONTROL; CONTROL SYSTEMS; DATA TRANSMISSION; DESIGN; FISSION; LIFETIME; MAINTENANCE; NASA; NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS; OPTIMIZATION; POWER SYSTEMS; REACTOR INSTRUMENTATION; REACTOR OPERATION; REACTOR TECHNOLOGY; SPACE POWER REACTORS; SPACE VEHICLES NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems