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plexiglass fabrication

The DOE portion of the effort is directed primarily toward terrestrial applications of thermionic energy converters suitable for use with fossil fueled heat sources in power plants.^The NASA program is directed at establishing the technical feasibility of an advanced, light-weight, long-life thermionic conversion system compatible with a remote nuclear or solar heat source.^The principal application foreseen at this time is in nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) missions in the mid-1990`s.^Significant accomplishments for the DOE program include: (1) successfully operating a thermionic converter using a cold insulator seal (Plexiglass and Viton); (2) completed fabrication and testing of SPC-9, a reference planar converter with smooth molybdenum electrodes; (3) created a shooting type analytical ignited mode converter computer model; (4) projected the operating conditions needed to achieve advanced converter performance with a thick cesium oxide collector; and (5) invented a cellular ceramic heat exchanger for obtaining high radiant heat flux from a hot gas.^Accomplishments for the NASA program include: (1) achieved over 3100 hours of operation with the cylindrical converter JPL-5 (STR/STR); (2) provided guidelines for definition of optimum lead characteristics in the JPL NEP computer program; and (3) performed a preliminary NEP optimization study which suggests a 400 kWe system with a specific mass of 26 kg/kWe is possible with present converter performance (V/sub B/ = 2.0).^Details are presented.

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plexiglass fabrication

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