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Lunar and Planetary Surface Power Management and Distribution

Description:

Scope Title:

Radiation-Tolerant, High-Voltage Converters for Lunar and Mars Missions

Scope Description:

NASA seeks technologies that will enable high-voltage power transmission on the lunar surface. While advancements in high-voltage, wide-bandgap devices have made great progress in terrestrial uses, we are finding that these new devices are particularly vulnerable to high-energy single-event upsets that are prevalent outside the Earth's protective Van Allen belts. As such, we seek development of high-voltage converters that are composed of proven, radiation-tolerant components. Converters of interest are bidirectional isolated 100-Vdc to 1,000-Vdc converters and bidirectional 100-Vdc to 3,000-Vdc converters in the 1- to 10-kW power range. Other important characteristics are wide temperature (-150 ºC to 150 ºC) operation, high power density (>2 kW/kg), and high efficiency (>96%).

Expected TRL or TRL Range at completion of the Project: 3 to 5

Primary Technology Taxonomy:

  • Level 1 03 Aerospace Power and Energy Storage
  • Level 2 03.3 Power Management and Distribution

Desired Deliverables of Phase I and Phase II:

  • Research
  • Analysis
  • Prototype
  • Hardware

Desired Deliverables Description:

Typically, deliverables under Phase I proposals are geared toward a technology concept with associated analysis and design. A final report of the high-fidelity design and analysis is a minimum requirement for Phase I, but selected component development and test results are preferred. Deliverables for Phase II should include hardware prototypes that prove performance and feasibility of the design for potential infusion into NASA technology testbeds and commercial landers.

State of the Art and Critical Gaps:

While high-power terrestrial distribution systems exist, there is no equivalent to a lunar or planetary base. Unique challenges must be overcome in order to enable a realistic power architecture for these future applications, especially when dealing with the environmental extremes that will be encountered. Operability in environments subject to temperature swings will be a critical requirement for any technology developed, from power converters to cabling or power-beaming concepts. In addition, proposals will have to consider lunar regolith and Mars dust storms. To enable a new Mars transportation capability for human exploration, new technology development must be started soon to address the unique needs of a mixed alternating current/direct current (AC/DC) space-rated power system to prove feasibility and provide realistic performance metrics for detailed vehicle design concepts and mission trade studies. 

Relevance / Science Traceability:

This subtopic would directly address a remaining technology gap in the lunar and Mars surface mission concepts and Mars human transportation needs. There are potential infusion opportunities with SMD, Commercial Lander Payload Services (CLPS), Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate (ESDMD), Space Operations Mission Directorate (SOMD), and Flexible Lunar Architecture for Exploration (FLARE). 

References:

Scope Title:

Low-Mass, Highly Conductive Power Transmission Cables for Lunar and Mars Missions

Scope Description:

  • Low-mass, highly conductive wires and terminations that provide reliable small gauges for long-distance power transmission in the 1- to 10-kW range, low-mass insulation materials with increased dielectric breakdown strength and void reductions with 1,000- to 3,000-V or greater ratings, and low-loss/low-mass shielding.
  • Electrical connectors that can survive the harsh lunar environments, such as extreme temperatures ranges (-150 ºC to 150 ºC); can be exposed to the lunar dust; and can be connected by either robots or astronauts (while wearing protective gloves). Primary power transmission lines can carry up to 50 kW of power at either (a) 1,000 Vdc or (b) 3.0 kVAC 3-phase (line to line) with a frequency of 1,000 Hz. 

Expected TRL or TRL Range at completion of the Project: 3 to 5

Primary Technology Taxonomy:

  • Level 1 03 Aerospace Power and Energy Storage
  • Level 2 03.3 Power Management and Distribution

Desired Deliverables of Phase I and Phase II:

  • Hardware
  • Prototype
  • Analysis
  • Research

Desired Deliverables Description:

Typically, deliverables under Phase I proposals are geared toward a technology concept with associated analysis and design. A final report of the high-fidelity design and analysis is a minimum requirement for Phase I, but selected component development and test results are preferred. Deliverables for Phase II should include hardware prototypes that prove performance and feasibility of the design for potential infusion into NASA technology testbeds and commercial landers.

State of the Art and Critical Gaps:

While high-power terrestrial distribution systems exist, there is no equivalent to a lunar or planetary base. Unique challenges must be overcome in order to enable a realistic power architecture for these future applications, especially when dealing with the environmental extremes that will be encountered. Operability in environments subject to temperature swings will be a critical requirement for any technology developed, from power converters to cabling or power-beaming concepts. In addition, proposals will have to consider lunar regolith and Mars dust storms. To enable a new Mars transportation capability for human exploration, new technology development must be started soon to address the unique needs of a mixed alternating current/direct current (AC/DC) space-rated power system to prove feasibility and provide realistic performance metrics for detailed vehicle design concepts and mission trade studies. 

Relevance / Science Traceability:

This subtopic would directly address a remaining technology gap in the lunar and Mars surface mission concepts and Mars human transportation needs. There are potential infusion opportunities with SMD, Commercial Lander Payload Services (CLPS), Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate (ESDMD), Space Operations Mission Directorate (SOMD), and Flexible Lunar Architecture for Exploration (FLARE). In addition, technologies developed could benefit other NASA missions, including Gateway. The power levels may be different, but the technology concepts could be similar, especially when dealing with temperature extremes.

References:

Scope Title:

Innovative Ways to Transmit Power Over Long Distances for Lunar and Mars Missions

Scope Description:

  • Power-beaming concepts to enable highly efficient flexible/mobile power transfer in the range of 100 to 1,000 W, including the fusion of power/communication/navigation.
  • Wireless power transfer in a lunar environment in the range of 100 to 1,000 W.

Expected TRL or TRL Range at completion of the Project: 3 to 5

Primary Technology Taxonomy:

  • Level 1 03 Aerospace Power and Energy Storage
  • Level 2 03.3 Power Management and Distribution

Desired Deliverables of Phase I and Phase II:

  • Research
  • Analysis
  • Prototype
  • Hardware

Desired Deliverables Description:

Typically, deliverables under Phase I proposals are geared toward a technology concept with associated analysis and design. A final report usually suffices in summarizing the work, but a prototype is preferred. Phase II hardware prototypes will have opportunities for infusion into NASA technology testbeds and commercial landers.

State of the Art and Critical Gaps:

While high-power terrestrial distribution systems exist, there is no equivalent to a lunar or planetary base. Unique challenges must be overcome in order to enable a realistic power architecture for these future applications, especially when dealing with the environmental extremes that will be encountered. Operability in environments subject to temperature swings will be a critical requirement for any technology developed, from power converters to cabling or power-beaming concepts. In addition, proposals will have to consider lunar regolith and Mars dust storms. To enable a new Mars transportation capability for human exploration, new technology development must be started soon to address the unique needs of a mixed alternating current/direct current (AC/DC) space-rated power system to prove feasibility and provide realistic performance metrics for detailed vehicle design concepts and mission trade studies. 

Relevance / Science Traceability:

This subtopic would directly address a remaining technology gap in the lunar and Mars surface mission concepts and Mars human transportation needs. There are potential infusion opportunities with SMD (Science Mission Directorate), Commercial Lander Payload Services (CLPS), Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate (ESDMD), Space Operations Mission Directorate (SOMD), and Flexible Lunar Architecture for Exploration (FLARE). In addition, technologies developed could benefit other NASA missions, including Gateway. The power levels may be different, but the technology concepts could be similar, especially when dealing with temperature extremes.

References:

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