Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Indirect Energy Conversion Isotope (IDEC) Design Structure and Power Management

Report No. ARL-TR-7158
Authors: Johnny Russo, Dr Marc S Litz, and Dr Dimos Katsis
Date/Pages: December 2014; 30 pages
Abstract: Long-lived power sources are of great interest to the US Army for use in unattended sensors and communication nodes operating in remote locations. A tritium (3H)-based isotope source, 3H-encapsulated in zinc selenide (ZnS) phosphor, has been designed using indirect power conversion (nuclear ? radioluminescence ? photovoltaic [PV] effect). 3H is an abundant, low-energy, beta-emitting isotope. The expected electrical power generated from this power source is 100 μWe, fabricated from commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) materials. The power source is designed to be durable using function graded/layered materials (FGM) packaging for device survivability and leakage prevention. The power sources are designed into 20Ci cassettes consisting of 4 sandwiches (PV-3H-PV). The entire battery's dimensions and footprint are similar to a BA5590 US Army battery. The packets and components of the battery have self-locating features, which, in turn, make the battery easier to assembly. The internal assembly and structure replicate a typical lithium battery design. The overall design, material selection, and components of the battery offering long-lived power attributes are described. This capability is expected to benefit the Army's low-power sensor requirements.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: December 1, 2014