The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Lockheed Martin (LM), Stirling Technology Company (STC), and NASA John H. Glenn Research Center (GRC) are currently developing a high-efficiency Stirling convertor for use in a Stirling Radioisotope Generator (SRG). NASA and DOE have identified the SRG for potential use as an advanced power system for future NASA Space Science missions, providing spacecraft onboard electric power for deep space missions and power for unmanned Mars rovers. Low-level, baseshake sine vibration tests were conducted on the Stirling Technology Demonstration Convertor (TDC), at NASA GRC's Structural Dynamics Laboratory, in February 2001, as part of the development of this Stirling technology. The purpose of these tests was to provide a better understanding of the TDC's internal dynamic response to external vibratory base excitations. The knowledge obtained can therein be used to help explain the success that the TDC enjoyed in its previous random vibration qualification tests (December 1999). This explanation focuses on the TDC s internal dynamic characteristics in the 50 to 250 Hz frequency range, which corresponds to the maximum input levels of its qualification random vibration test specification. The internal dynamic structural characteristics of the TDC have now been measured in two separate tests under different motoring and dynamic loading conditions: (1) with the convertor being electrically motored, under a vibratory base-shake excitation load, and (2) with the convertor turned off, and its alternator internals undergoing dynamic excitation via hammer impact loading. This paper addresses the test setup, procedure and results of the base-shake vibration testing conducted on the motored TDC, and will compare these results with those results obtained from the dynamic impact tests (May 2001) on the nonmotored TDC.
Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
AIAA Paper 2003-6096
First International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference; 17-21 Aug. 2003; Portsmouth, VA; United States