PDA

View Full Version : Intersteller probe re-activation?



ChrisRT
2007-Oct-12, 03:10 AM
I believe I have the general Idea of how the power systems on-board out Voyager and Pioneer class space probes work. I do wonder that if say in 250k years long after the power cells have decayed and the solar cells are too far from a star to gather energy the probe if shut off (probably in the next decade in the Voyager case). Surely the transmitters aren't powerful enough to transmit too much further then their current position but say that in the future either probes pass in relative close distance to a star would they re-activate?
Since they would have turned off just a few years from now their CPUs-memory-circuitry wouldn't be taxed because no power would be run through.

danscope
2007-Oct-12, 05:42 AM
Once the battery or other applied voltage to the motherboard fails , and the onboard battery fails, there is no system to reboot . This is why you have a 10 year lithium battery on your motherboard. Your computer becomes obsolete before your battery expires.....these days.
I suspect that you won't here anything from tht deep in space and that far out.
But....hey....look at what it did after all with what it had!!!! :)
That team deserves credit and then some.
Best regards, Dan

ChrisRT
2007-Oct-12, 07:52 AM
True my BIOS setting may be reset if I remove the battery or it fails but there is still a memory chip with those settings and then some saved on it. The battery only keeps my prefer settings.

They have solar cells on them as well as their plutonium (or whatever they use) cells, don't they? Will those solar cells not work under influence of an alien star?

Thanks!

Laguna
2007-Oct-12, 08:50 AM
They would, given the case they are still in one piece, but there is no build in trigger signal to boot up the system as soon as it would get energy again.
By the way, your battery does not only keep your preferences but also what type of HD you have. Without that battery your BIOS would not know ho to address the HD correctly.

joema
2007-Oct-12, 10:53 AM
.Voyager and Pioneer class space probes...I do wonder that if say in 250k years long after the power cells have decayed and the solar cells are too far from a star to gather energy...say that in the future either probes pass in relative close distance to a star would they re-activate?...
Neither Voyager 1/2 nor Pioneer 10/11 have solar cells. Their power comes exclusively from RTGs (Radioisotope Thermal Generators): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioisotope_thermoelectric_generator

In the far future if Voyager or Pioneer passed close to a star, it would make no difference in their electrical power status. Whether the CPU could restart after that time if re-supplied with power is a moot point, since there would be no new power from solar radiation, as there are no solar cells.

Laguna
2007-Oct-12, 01:12 PM
Good point...

JustAFriend
2007-Oct-12, 02:04 PM
And after 250,000 years of exposure to space and radiation, it's doubtful that the guts of the probes would be anything but useless hunks of silicon....

John Mendenhall
2007-Oct-12, 05:03 PM
I don't think the Voyagers can do it, but as an idea to think about for the next interstellar probe, it's interesting.

Vacuum tube technology might survive, for a solar turn-on module. If the CPU were encased in lead, maybe it could make it. Then, of course, there has to be some sort of outrageous transmitter to get the info back to Earth.

Aside: curious, I can't think of a good way to say 'solar panel' when the radiation is from another star. 'Extra-solar panel' sounds like a judging group on a quiz show.

antoniseb
2007-Oct-12, 05:11 PM
I can't think of a good way to say 'solar panel' when the radiation is from another star. 'Extra-solar panel' sounds like a judging group on a quiz show.
Photo-Voltaic (or PV) array.

Nowhere Man
2007-Oct-12, 06:41 PM
They have solar cells on them as well as their plutonium (or whatever they use) cells, don't they? Will those solar cells not work under influence of an alien star?
None of the deep planetary probes (Pioneer 10 & 11, Voyager 1 & 2, Galileo, Cassini, New Horizons, etc.) have (or had) solar cells. Why? Their operational areas were too far from the sun for solar cells to be worth the expense and extra mass.

Light is light. Photovoltaic cells will work under under the light of pretty much any visible star. Some work better under UV, and so forth; it all depends on the chemistry.

Fred

publiusr
2007-Oct-19, 07:58 PM
Could a GRB 'recharge" an RTG if enough radiation hit it?

Kaptain K
2007-Oct-20, 03:04 AM
No.

publiusr
2007-Dec-14, 09:24 PM
I was thinking up close.