Surface Power

NASA needs power systems which can survive the lunar night and enable exploration. The over-arching goal of the surface power focus group is to provide specific recommendations to NASA for rapidly achieving appropriate-scale power-related technologies needed to enable sustained presence and exploration. Succinctly, to enable the right power in the right place at the right time.

APL Staff

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Wes Fuhrman


Jodi Berdis

Samantha Andrade

James Mastandrea



The Surface Power focus area will develop technologies to supply continuous power throughout day and night for lunar surface missions. This requires the development of technologies like power generation, such as fission surface power, adaptable lunar lander solar array systems, Chemical Heat Integrated Power Source (CHIPS), and Regenerative Fuel Cell (RFC) energy. The group will conduct a phased, system level assessment of power architecture for lunar surface missions. Additional topics for consideration include surface-to-surface power beaming, advanced rover energy storage technology, radioisotope power systems, and power distribution architectures. To work towards this, we will first focus on connecting power experts to their potential user base, framed by the economic and institutional drivers that set the scale of power demand. This will enable us to identify near-term needs for immediate prioritization and long-term goals that impact early architectural decisions.

Recent Accomplishments

  • Held an extended telecon to hear from the Vertical Solar Array Technology (VSAT) winners and identify next steps in lunar solar array technology.
  • Held a Power Beaming Workshop to discuss how the wireless transfer of power on the Moon could be a viable option in regions without direct sunlight and/or for mobile equipment such as rovers.
  • Conducted a Power User Survey to capture the power needs of lunar technologies in development by members of the LSIC community. We are close to releasing the findings and recommendations in the form of a report.

Current Efforts

  • Modularity & Standards of lunar technology, for power systems as well as the more broad LSIC community
  • LSIC Power Roadmap, in the context of technology gaps as defined by NASA
    Subgroup topics identified to work towards STMD priority areas of focus

Surface Power meetings occur on the fourth Thursday of the month at 11:00 AM ET. For meeting information and agendas, please use the LSIC Wiki on Confluence and/or sign-up for the "Surface Power" Listserv.

Surface Power subgroups and their leads are currently under discussion, we'll have more information and content here around the turn of the new year.
August 2022 Telecon Presentation Recording
May 2022 Telecon Presentation Recording
March 2022 Telecon Presentation Recording
February 2022 Telecon Presentation Recording
September 2021 Telecon Presentation Recording
August 2021 Telecon Presentation Recording
June 2021 Telecon Presentation Recording
April 2021 Telecon Presentation Recording
March 2021 Telecon Presentation Recording
February 2021 Telecon Presentation
November 2020 Telecon Presentation Recording
September 2020 Telecon Notes Presentation Recording
July 2020 Telecon Notes Presentation Recording
Kickoff Telecon Notes Recording

The kickoff telecon for the Surface Power Focus Group was held on Thursday, June 25.

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