Goodnight, Thomas W, McNelis, Mark E, and Hughes, William O
International Congress on Sound and Vibration; 4-7 Jul. 2000; Garmisch-Partenkirchen; Germany
Spacecraft Propulsion and Power
The NASA John H. Glenn Research Center and the U.S. Department of Energy are currently developing a Stirling convertor for use as an advanced spacecraft power system for future NASA deep-space missions. As part of this development, a Stirling Technology Demonstrator Convertor (TDC) was recently tested to verify its survivability and capability of withstanding its expected launch random vibration environment. The TDC was fully operational (producing power) during the random vibration testing. The output power of the convertor was measured during the testing, and these results are discussed in this paper. Numerous accelerometers and force gauges were also present which provided information on the dynamic characteristics of the TDC and an indication of any possible damage due to vibration. These measurements will also be discussed in this paper. The vibration testing of the Stirling TDC was extremely successful. The TDC survived all its vibration testing with no structural damage or functional performance degradation. As a result of this testing, the Stirling convertor's capability to withstand vibration has been demonstrated, enabling its usage in future spacecraft power systems.