Energy Storage Devices in Space Craft - Radioisotope Thermo-Electric Generator
A radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG, RITEG) is an electrical generator that uses an array of thermo
couples to convert the heat released by the decay of a suitable radioactive material intoelectricity bythe Seebeck effect.
RTGs have been used as a power sources in satellites and space probes. RTGs are usually the most desirable power source
for unmaintained situations that need 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 practical. Safe use of RTGs have no moving
parts and are very simple: fundamentally, they consist of a fuel cell, thermocouples and shielding. These compact, reliable
systems provide basic mission fuel and keep critical spacecraft components warm enough to function in the cold, dark
reaches of deep space.ISRO is about to use Nuclear Technology/Radioisotope thermoelectric generators(RTGs) to power
Chandrayaan-2. The mission was planned to fly on a geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle MK-II (GSLV) with an
approximate lift-off massof 2650kg from SatishDhawan center on Sriharikota Island. India might have been the first country
to reach moon but our tricolor was the 4th national flag to be planted on the moon’s surface.Radio isotope power systems are
a nuclear powered system to generate electric power to feed communication and scientific systems on a space craft. The first
RTG system developed for space situation was the system for Nuclear Auxiliary power (SNAP)
Keywords - Radioisotope thermo-electric generator (RTGs), fuel cells, thermocouples, satellites.