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Cassini's Huygens Probe ALSO used RHU's! (35)

 
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08/14/2009 11:06 PM
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Cassini's Huygens Probe ALSO used RHU's! (35)
[link to sci.esa.int]

Thermal Subsystem (THSS)
While the PSE is thermally controlled by the Orbiter, the Probe's THSS must maintain all experiments and subsystem units within their allowed temperature ranges during all mission phases. In space, the THSS partially insulates the Probe from the Orbiter and ensures only small variations in the Probe's internal temperatures, despite the incident solar flux varying from 3800 W m-2 (near Venus) to 17 W m-2 (approaching Titan after 22 days of the coast phase following Orbiter separation).
Probe thermal control is achieved by:
MLI covering all external surfaces, except for the small 'thermal window' (see below) of the Front Shield

35 Radioisotope Heater Units (RHUs) on the Experiment and Top Platforms continuously providing about one Watt each even when the Probe is dormant

a white-painted 0.17 m2 thin aluminium sheet on the Front Shield's forward face acting as a controlled heat leak (about eight Watts during cruise) to reduce the sensitivity of thermal performances to MLI efficiency
The MLI is burned and torn away during entry, leaving temperature control to the AQ60 high-temperature tiles on the Front Shield's front face, and to Prosial on the Front Shield's aft surface and on the Back Cover.
During the descent phase, thermal control is provided by foam insulation and gas-tight seals. Lightweight open-cell Basotect foam covers the internal walls of the DM's shells and Top Platform. This prevents convection cooling by Titan's cold atmosphere (70 K at 45 km altitude) and therefore thermally decouples the units mounted on the Experiment Platform from the cold aluminium shells. Gas-tight seals around all elements protruding through the DM's shell minimise gas influx. In fact, the DM is gas tight except for a single 6 cm2 hole in the Top Platform that equalises pressure during launch and descent to Titan's surface.
UNtypical USer

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08/14/2009 11:12 PM
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Re: Cassini's Huygens Probe ALSO used RHU's! (35)
QUOTE : 35 Radioisotope Heater Units (RHUs) on the Experiment and Top Platforms continuously providing about one Watt each even when the Probe is dormant UNQUOTE


I believe this is not a problem due to the fact that the ambient level of radioactivity out that way is about a thousand times what it is here.

Jupiter is a HOT planet radioactively anyway.
Anonymous Coward
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02/02/2010 01:41 PM
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Re: Cassini's Huygens Probe ALSO used RHU's! (35)
Huygen's Probe landed at -10 south, 190 west on 1/14/05.

A "storm" in the atmosphere the likes never seen before on Titan was imaged starting on 4/14/08 at approx. -10 south, 250 west on 4/14/08.

The storm was fast in motion around the moon, so it's hard to say where it started.

Hypothesis:

35 watts for 3 years and 3 months in permafrost...what does it do? It causes the Huygens craft to slowly sink into the "ground" of Titan, after it turns the immediate area to "swamp". Eventually the craft, which is still putting out 35 watts even though it's buried now, sinks 1000 feet into Titan at which point the pressures start to build up squeezing the RHU's Pu-238 to criticality. Boom...and NASA gets to find out what's deep below the surface of Titan by studying what came up.

[link to sci.esa.int]

[link to www.planetary.org]

[link to www.scientificamerican.com]
Anonymous Coward
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02/02/2010 01:53 PM
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Re: Cassini's Huygens Probe ALSO used RHU's! (35)
bump
Anonymous Coward
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02/02/2010 07:23 PM
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Re: Cassini's Huygens Probe ALSO used RHU's! (35)
Titan's surface is NOT solid, this is true, it's like an Alaska permafrost, so it makes sense that the craft which is/was receiving a constant 35 watts of heat would begin to sink into the ground and keep sinking.
Anonymous Coward
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02/04/2010 12:51 PM
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Re: Cassini's Huygens Probe ALSO used RHU's! (35)
Titan's surface is NOT solid, this is true, it's like an Alaska permafrost, so it makes sense that the craft which is/was receiving a constant 35 watts of heat would begin to sink into the ground and keep sinking.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 788353



If you look at the predicted cross-section of Titan you don't get "solid" ground until 100's of miles when you finally encounter the silicon, so much of Titan is a frozen methane permafrost, and if it was ever "heated up" significantly in some kind of terraforming project, you would create a very weird cycle of melting methane and other elements into vast oceans to make a strange soupy mixture and new ecological process, but you would have very little "ground" to stand on so you'd have to make floating pontoons to have humans down there.
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Re: Cassini's Huygens Probe ALSO used RHU's! (35)
[link to en.wikipedia.org]

H2O also....
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 247684
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02/04/2010 01:02 PM
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Re: Cassini's Huygens Probe ALSO used RHU's! (35)
Huygen's Probe landed at -10 south, 190 west on 1/14/05.

A "storm" in the atmosphere the likes never seen before on Titan was imaged starting on 4/14/08 at approx. -10 south, 250 west on 4/14/08.

The storm was fast in motion around the moon, so it's hard to say where it started.

Hypothesis:

35 watts for 3 years and 3 months in permafrost...what does it do? It causes the Huygens craft to slowly sink into the "ground" of Titan, after it turns the immediate area to "swamp". Eventually the craft, which is still putting out 35 watts even though it's buried now, sinks 1000 feet into Titan at which point the pressures start to build up squeezing the RHU's Pu-238 to criticality. Boom...and NASA gets to find out what's deep below the surface of Titan by studying what came up.

[link to sci.esa.int]

[link to www.planetary.org]

[link to www.scientificamerican.com]
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 247684



I suspect the method of planet-dredging has/is/will continute to be used to find out "what's underneath?"
Risen

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02/04/2010 01:07 PM
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Re: Cassini's Huygens Probe ALSO used RHU's! (35)


Can't help but think of that everytime i hear about the Huygens probe now.
"A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them." -Carl Jung
Anonymous Coward
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02/04/2010 01:20 PM
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Re: Cassini's Huygens Probe ALSO used RHU's! (35)
Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG)

New Plutonium power device they will be using on future missions, also using Pu-238.
Anonymous Coward
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03/25/2010 10:41 AM
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Re: Cassini's Huygens Probe ALSO used RHU's! (35)
bump
Anonymous Coward
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06/16/2010 01:23 PM
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Re: Cassini's Huygens Probe ALSO used RHU's! (35)
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