Powering Space Travel
September 30, 5pm
Shad Davis is a mechanical engineer in the Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) Department at the Idaho National Laboratory. His primary responsibility is overseeing the operations for handling, transportation and testing configuration of radioisotope power systems within the Space and Security Power Systems Facility.
Shad recently returned from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, where he led INL’s power source integration efforts for the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission. Prior to joining the RPS Department, Shad was a mechanical maintenance engineer for INL’s Naval Reactors Facility, and a mechanical engineer and supervisor at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Idaho State University (2002).
INL works with other national labs and industry to enable deep-space, scientific exploration, including this summer’s launch of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover. Shad will explain what a radioisotope thermoelectric generator is, INL’s role with the RPS program and NASA missions at the launch site, and what the future holds for RTGs and INL’s space power systems program.
Idaho National Laboratory is one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s 17 national laboratories. With roughly 5,000 scientists, engineers and support staff, the lab also stands as one of Idaho’s largest employers. At INL’s three primary facility areas – the Advanced Test Reactor Complex, Materials and Fuels Complex, and Research and Education Campus – researchers perform work in support of DOE’s mission to “discover the solutions to power and secure America’s future.” INL is the nation’s center for nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.