The Technology of Discovery: Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators and Thermoelectric Technologies for Space Exploration (Jpl Space Science and Technology) (Hardcover)
The Technology of Discovery
Incisive discussions of a critical mission-enabling technology for deep space missions
In The Technology of Discovery: Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators and Thermoelectric Technologies for Space Exploration, distinguished JPL engineer and manager David Woerner delivers an insightful discussion of how radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) are used in the exploration of space. It also explores their history, function, their market potential, and the governmental forces that drive their production and design. Finally, it presents key technologies incorporated in RTGs and their potential for future missions and design innovation.
The author provides a clear and understandable treatment of the subject, ranging from straightforward overviews of the technology to complex discussions of the field of thermoelectrics. Included is also background on NASA's decision to resurrect the GPHS-RTG and discussion of the future of commercialization of nuclear space missions. Readers will also find:
- A thorough introduction to RTGs, as well as their invention, history, and evolution
- Comprehensive explorations of the contributions made by RTGs to US space exploration
- Practical discussions of the evolution, selection, and production of RPS fuels
- In-depth examinations of technologies and generators currently in development, including skutterudite thermoelectrics for an enhanced MMRTG
Perfect for space explorers, aerospace engineers, managers, and scientists, The Technology of Discovery will also earn a place in the libraries of NASA archivists and other historians.
About the Author
David Friedrich Woerner is the Systems Formulation manager for NASA's Radioisotope Power Systems Program (RPSP) where he oversees several RPS developments. Before joining the RPSP, he oversaw the MMRTG's development and integration for the Mars Science Laboratory Project, and he was the MMRTG and Launch Services office manager for the MSL Project that successfully landed the MMRTG-powered Curiosity rover on Mars on August 6, 2012. He has won numerous NASA awards including earning NASA's Exceptional Service and Exceptional Achievement Medals.