Although in development since the 1960s, NASA has recently completed two years of cycling in low earth orbit to prove the sodium sulfur cell's viability for future space missions.
It uses sodium and sulfur as the electrodes, and a solid beta alumina ceramic as the electrolyte. The end result is a battery that produces 150 W-hr/kg on the cell level, and weighs half as much as nickel-hydrogen technology.
Chuck Donet, Air Force Research Laboratory, Space Vehicles Directorate, 3550 Aberdeen Ave. S.E., Kirtland AFB, NM 87117-5776; (505) 846-4899.
At the Design News webinar on June 27, learn all about aluminum extrusion: designing the right shape so it costs the least, is simplest to manufacture, and best fits the application's structural requirements.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.