radioisotope thermoelectric generator


Also found in: Acronyms, Wikipedia.

radioisotope thermoelectric generator

(ther-moh-i-lek -trik) (RTG) See thermoelectric generator.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006

radioisotope thermoelectric generator

[¦rād·ē·ō′ī·sə‚tōp ¦thər·mō·i′lek·trik ′jen·ə‚rād·ər]
(nucleonics)
A device for converting nuclear energy to electrical energy in which the heat produced by radioactivity of a radioisotope is used to produce a voltage in a thermocouple circuit; chief use has been in space vehicles and in instruments left on the lunar surface. Abbreviated RTG.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Last year mission planners were concerned about a lack of plutonium fuel for the craft's radioisotope thermoelectric generators because of a work shutdown at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Included in NASA plans are the nuclear rocket to Mars; a new generation of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) for interplanetary missions; nuclear-powered robotic Mars rovers to be launched in 2003 and 2009; and the nuclear powered mission called Pluto-Kuiper Belt scheduled for January, 2006.
Radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) translate that heat to electricity.
The current generation of radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG) uses a radiatively coupled unicouple configuration.
and NASA call "radioisotope thermoelectric generators," which supply on-board electric power, and, in Project Galileo, less than a pound will also be distributed to 130 "radioisotope heater units" to keep instrumentation warm.
NASA has been using the radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) for the past five decades.
There would also be the requirement of a reliable, steady supply of energy, so the use of radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) would be preferred.
The radioisotope thermoelectric generators powering the shuttles convert the heat from radioactive decay of the plutonium-238 core of the spacecraft into electricity.
They've been able to travel so far because they each have three radioisotope thermoelectric generators on board.