SORPTION RESERVOIRS FOR THERMIONIC CONVERTERS

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 10304
Amount: $536,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1990
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
780 Eden Rd, Lancaster, PA, 17601
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 John H Rosenfeld
 (717) 569-6551
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
THERMIONIC ENERGY CONVERTERS, AS THEY NOW EXIST, ARE THREE-TEMPERATURE DEVICES: INPUT (EMITTER), OUTPUT (COLLECTOR) AND CESIUM RESERVOIR. THE RESERVOIR REQUIRES PRECISE CONTROL AT A TEMPERATURE ON THE ORDER OF 600K. A SEPARATE RESERVOIR IS REQUIRED FOR EACH CONVERTER OR THERMIONIC FUEL ELEMENT. THE COMPLEXITY ARISING FROM THE RESERVOIR CONTROL PROBLEM IS SUFFICIENT TO DISQUALIFY THERMIONIC SYSTEMS IN SOME INSTANCES. IN THIS PROGRAM, AN INTERNAL SELF-CONTROLLING CESIUM RESERVOIR IS BEING DEVELOPED, MAKING THE THERMIONIC CONVERTER A TRUE TWO-TEMPERATURE DEVICE. PREVIOUS WORK HAS IDENTIFIED AT LEAST TWO TYPES OF RESERVOIRS USING SORPTION PRINCIPLES. EACH HAS LIFE LIMITING FAILURE MECHANISMS. THIS TECHNICAL APPROACH IS EXPECTED TO ELIMINATE THESE FAILURE MECHANISMS, YIELDING A RELIABLE, LONG-LIVED CONVERTER. WHEN SUCCESSFUL,THE USE OF THERMIONIC CONVERSION WOULD BE GREATLY SIMPLIFIED. THIS SIMPLIFICATION IS EXPECTED TO MAKE THERMIONIC CONVERSION PRACTICAL FOR USE IN SPACE POWER PLANTS AND POTENTIALLY FOR LUNAR AND PLANETARY BASES.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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