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Venus Interior Probe Using In-situ Power and Propulsion (VIP-INSPR)

Ratnakumar Bugga
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NIAC 2016 Phase I Bugga Venus Interior Probe Using In-situ Power and Propulsion Final Report


Venus Interior Probe
The Venus Interior Probe could lead to new methods of power generation for planetary missions to Venus or for Earth applications.

We envision a novel architecture for Venus Interior Probes based on in-situ resources for power generation (VIP-INSPR).  Proposed Venus probe is based on the generation of hydrogen from electrolysis at high altitudes using solar array, storing it in chemical hydride, utilizing it for altitude control in a balloon system and for power generation in fuel cell at lower altitudes.  It is a challenge to have a durable power source in the low altitude environments, due to low solar intensity and low efficiency of RTG is inefficient.  Primary batteries  survive  only for 1-2 hours.  VIP-INSPR will  refill hydrogen on one end and provide power on the other side continuously, thus enabling sustained exploration of the Venus atmosphere.

2016 Phase I and Phase II Selections