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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Satellites Power Source (RTGs)

RTGs (Radioisotope thermoelectric generator) :
1.it is based on Nuclear reactor.
2.238PuO2 pellet is used in RTGs

They are used in artificial satellites.RTGs are usually the most desirable power source for robotic or unmaintained situations needing a few hundred watts or less of power for durations too long for fuel cells, batteries, or generators to provide economically, and in places where solar cells are not viable

Radioactive decay of the fuel produces heat which flows through the thermocouples to the heat sink, generating electricity in the process.

A thermocouple is a thermoelectric device that converts thermal energy directly into electrical energy using the Seebeck effect. It is made of two kinds of metal (or semiconductors) that can both conduct electricity. They are connected to each other in a closed loop. If the two junctions are at different temperatures, an electric current will flow in the loop. 

RTGs used in:

2.New Horizons
6.Voyager 1
7.Voyager 2
9.Pioneer 10 
10.Pioneer 11 
11.Viking 1
12.Viking 2 
13.Apollo 12–17 ALSEP