Study on the Thermal Design of Nuclear Battery for Lunar Mission

한국형 달 탐사용 원자력전지의 열제어 구조 연구

Hong, Jintae;Son, Kwang-Jae;Kim, Jong-Bum;Park, Jong-Han;Ahn, Dong-Gyu;Yang, Dong-Yol

  • Received : 2016.02.25
  • Accepted : 2016.03.17
  • Published : 2016.04.01


For a stable electric power supply in the space, nuclear batteries have been used as the main power source in a spacecraft owing to their long lifetime and high reliability. In accordance with the plan for lunar mission in Korea, nuclear batteries will supply electricity to the rover that needs to be developed. According to the information about the estimated payload, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute started with the conceptual design based on the previous studies in USA and Russia. Because a nuclear battery converts the decay heat of the radioisotope into electricity, thermal design, radiation shield, and shock protection need to be considered. In this study, two types of nuclear batteries, radial type and axial type, were designed according to the alignment of the thermoelectric module. Heat transfer analyses were performed to compare their thermoelectric efficiency, and test mockups were fabricated to evaluate their performances.


Nuclear battery;Lunar mission;Thermo-Electric module;Radioisotope thermoelectric generator


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Supported by : 한국연구재단