Encyclopedia of Applied Electrochemistry

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerhard Kreysa, Ken-ichiro Ota, Robert F. Savinell

Aerospace Applications for Primary Batteries

  • Ratnakumar V. Bugga
  • Marshall C. Smart
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-6996-5_488


Primary batteries are electrochemical devices that convert chemical energy into electrical energy and, unlike rechargeable batteries, are intended for single-use or “one shot” applications. They have a “niche” role in aerospace missions, especially where recharging is either not feasible or operationally difficult and/or where high specific energy density is desired. Planetary exploration missions are broadly categorized as orbiters, landers/rovers, probes, penetrators, and sample return capsules. While rechargeable batteries are exclusively the option for orbiters and small rovers; Probes, penetrators and sample return capsules are typically powered by primary batteries [1]. They are also used in launch vehicles to power pyro devices and on-board electronics guidance and control systems and in several miscellaneous applications, such as launch abort batteries and astronauts’ electronic devices, gadgets, and tools.

Primary batteries used in early spacecraft were largely of...
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Jet Propulsion LaboratoryPasdenaUSA