The NASA Glenn Research Center has been conducting in-house testing in support of NASA's Lithium-Ion Cell Verification Test Program, which is evaluating the performance of lithium-ion cells and batteries for NASA mission operations. The test program is supported by NASA's Office of Aerospace Technology under the NASA Aerospace Flight Battery Systems Program, which serves to bridge the gap between the development of technology advances and the realization of these advances into mission applications. During fiscal year 2003, much of the in-house testing effort focused on the evaluation of a flight battery originally intended for use on the Mars Surveyor Program 2001 Lander. Results of this testing will be compared with the results for similar batteries being tested at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Naval Research Laboratory. Ultimately, this work will be used to validate lithium-ion battery technology for future space missions. The Mars Surveyor Program 2001 Lander battery was characterized at several different voltages and temperatures before life-cycle testing was begun. During characterization, the battery displayed excellent capacity and efficiency characteristics across a range of temperatures and charge/discharge conditions. Currently, the battery is undergoing lifecycle testing at 0 C and 40-percent depth of discharge under low-Earth-orbit (LEO) conditions.
Spacecraft Propulsion and Power
Research and Technology 2003; NASA/TM-2004-212729