Wind-Power System for CELSS Antarctic Program

Period of Performance: 01/01/1995 - 12/31/1995


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Northern Power Systems, Inc.
One North Wind Road
Moretown, VT 05660
Principal Investigator


This proposal deals with the development of an advanced life support testbed at the United Stated Antarctic Program's (USAP) Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. This test facility is currently being developed through the CELSS Antarctic Analog Program (CMP). The purpose of the CMP is to provide NASA with an operational facility through which the design of future space systems may evolve. The focus of this proposal is directed specifically towards the development of a regenerative power system capable of supporting the functions of the CAAP testbed. Experience derived from the design of the CMP facility has demonstrated that advanced life support system must be designed to leverage off of available power sources and thus are intimately coupled with power generation facilities and energy reuse techniques. In the Antarctic, just as would be the case in a Martian habitat, the long and costly logistics train imposes a prohibitive burden upon the operation of any recycling technologies. The use of in situ resources to supplement power generation requirements will greatly reduce the operational costs associated with this facility. In this proposal a 100 KW wind turbine will be designed for use at the South Pole. The development program will be focused on the identification and resolution of technical problems, specifically related to the polar environment. NPS will provide performance analysis, detailed engineering and conceptual designs which address the identified polar concerns. The outcome of the three phase SBIR program will be the development of a new line of 100 KW direct drive 208 VAC 3 Phase wind turbines designed specifically for cold region applications. These new turbines will fill a void in the current marketplace, and will make significant reductions in the cost of electrical energy in polar regions. In addition it is expected that this project will demonstrate the applicability of wind power for future NASA sponsored Mars missions