China's Space Program Thread II


HereToSeePics

Junior Member
Staff member
Moderator - World Affairs
Registered Member
I wonder if you could build a stirling engine utilizing the temp different between the side of spaceship facing the sun and the side in the shadows.

Yes you can, but the reason why stirling engines are not used in space is because space assets(satelites mainly) are typically designed to operate for years(if not decades) without service/maintenance. It would be very difficult to do that with moving parts in a stirling engine/generator setup - lubrication, bearings, piston seals, friction surfaces, etc, all extra points of failure.
 

by78

Lieutenant General
Two nice images of the Chinese space station.

EDIT: Does anyone find the second image odd? Is it real or a CG image? I can't decide. Apologies if it's a CG.

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taxiya

Brigadier
Registered Member
An experimental free-piston Stirling thermoelectric conversion device is currently installed onboard the Chinese space station. The device converts heat from radioactive isotopes into electricity, and it's more efficient, more compact, and more powerful than traditional radioisotope thermoelectric generators. The device will be used to verify the reliability of this technology in the space environment. Experimental data obtained will be used to further refine the technology, which is expected to power China's future deep space exploration efforts.

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This the first of its kind in real space environment.
 

taxiya

Brigadier
Registered Member
Two nice images of the Chinese space station.

EDIT: Does anyone find the second image odd? Is it real or a CG image? I can't decide. Apologies if it's a CG.

52519273569_6383dc2df9_k.jpg
What is odd? Do you mean the apparent compression artifact of the sky? That is normal for the dark part of very high dynamic range scene. Also usually an overall dark scene would demonstrate more compression artifact than an overall bright scene. You can see that in TV screens if you pay attention.
 

by78

Lieutenant General
What is odd? Do you mean the apparent compression artifact of the sky? That is normal for the dark part of very high dynamic range scene. Also usually an overall dark scene would demonstrate more compression artifact than an overall bright scene. You can see that in TV screens if you pay attention.

Two things were throwing me off: 1) some of the inordinately sharp outlines of the station's solar panels, and 2) the backside of the Shenzhou solar panels looking lit up despite facing away from the sun. The former could well be due to compression artifacts, while the latter may simply be the case of Shenzhou's solar panels catching light reflected off the white surface of the two experimental modules.

Also, where was the camera located? It appears it was positioned far clear of the station. Tianhe's manipulator arm is too short/positioned too far away to have held a camera from that perspective, and I don't believe any Taikonaut on a spacewalk had gotten so far from the station. Is the image from a camera mounted a small satellite released from the station? I must be missing something obvious.
 
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taxiya

Brigadier
Registered Member
Two things were throwing me off: 1) some of the inordinately sharp outlines of the station's solar panels, and 2) the backside of the Shenzhou solar panels looking lit up despite facing away from the sun. The former could well be due to compression artifacts, while the latter may simply be the case of Shenzhou's solar panels catching light reflected off the white surface of the two experimental modules.
I thought the same. On top of that the shadow sides of all solar panels are lighten up by reflections from the cloud and atmosphere.

Also, where was the camera located? It appears it was positioned far clear of the station. Tianhe's manipulator arm is too short/positioned too far away to have held a camera from that perspective, and I don't believe any Taikonaut on a spacewalk had gotten so far from the station. Is the image from a camera mounted a small satellite released from the station? I must be missing something obvious.
We are looking from above and behind Tianzhou 5. It must be taken by the camera of a cubic sat by Macau University of Science and Technology. The sat was a secondary payload of Tianzhou 5 launch. I guess it is tethered or rigidly attached to Tianzhou 5, released (but still attached) by spring.

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Jianguo

Junior Member
Registered Member
An experimental free-piston Stirling thermoelectric conversion device is currently installed onboard the Chinese space station. The device converts heat from radioactive isotopes into electricity, and it's more efficient, more compact, and more powerful than traditional radioisotope thermoelectric generators. The device will be used to verify the reliability of this technology in the space environment. Experimental data obtained will be used to further refine the technology, which is expected to power China's future deep space exploration efforts.

52518732065_8b359d7b66_o.jpg
China's planned IHP interstellar probes will be using nuclear batteries and IHP-3 is supposedly going to be using some sort of miniature nuclear reactor. Typical RPG nuclear batteries generate upwards of a few hundred watts at most. I'm very curious about the power output considering the probe distances involved. Are there any specs on this power module?
 

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