Quote from: Star One on 08/14/2012 04:33 PMNew article confirming that the rover is to be nuclear powered.http://www.china.org.cn/china/2012-08/13/content_26214399.htmSorry to be getting in on this way late, but that reference says,QuoteUsing plutonium-238, the battery will be able to power the 100-kilogram vehicle for more than 30 years, said Ouyang Ziyuan, chief scientist of China's lunar exploration program.Pu-238? AFAIK, brewing Pu-238 is not a trivial matter. Do we have any other information about China's production of it?
New article confirming that the rover is to be nuclear powered.http://www.china.org.cn/china/2012-08/13/content_26214399.htm
Using plutonium-238, the battery will be able to power the 100-kilogram vehicle for more than 30 years, said Ouyang Ziyuan, chief scientist of China's lunar exploration program.
China has about 1.8 +/-0.5 tons of Plutonium atm, they could probably miss 3kg for the prestige value of this moon rover.http://belfercenter.hks.harvard.edu/files/INMM-PU2.pdf
Decay of Pu239 seems not to be the limiting factor of this lunar vehicle, its radioactive half life is about 24 years in comparison to Pu238/about 88 years.
the rover of Changīe 3 would operate about 2.5 earth years on the lunar surface
IIRC the lander is RTG-powered. the rover is solar-powered and well isolated to survive the lunar night. I don't expect it to last more than a few months
The latest model of CE-3 on display right now at the 2012 Zhuhai Airshow..... (with a CE-1 model as bonus
One spacecraft shown is the Chang'e 3 lander apparently shining a light on the surface. What appears to be a lamp is also visible on the model (above and to the right of the thruster quad). Do you know what the prupose of this is? Night operations? Imaging of possible frost build up on the surface? I would not have though Sinus Iridium was far enough north for that.
http://www.china.org.cn/china/2012-08/13/content_26214399.htmChina's moon rover to use domestic nuclear batteryAugust 13, 2012 <snip>[The rover] will be powered by the sun during daytime and by nuclear power during the night...The battery will be the only source of energy during [the lunar night] and will prevent the equipment from freezing. <snip>
It might not be an optical-wavelength emitter; it might be part of a near-UV or near-IR-wavelength system for some other experiment on board.
Pu-238? AFAIK, brewing Pu-238 is not a trivial matter. Do we have any other information about China's production of it?