Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator
A Radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) is a type of atomic battery which generates electricity from heat generated by the decay of radioactive material. Thermocouples are generally used for the energy conversion, though heat engines could convert the heat directly into mechanical energy to be used as-is or converted into electricity.
Benefit to Martian Settlement
RTGs are a low maintenance power source, as evidenced by their use in space probes and unmanned locations on Earth.
Hazard to Life
The radiation emitted by the RTG pose a hazard to life. Shielding and an isolated location should be sufficient to protect settlements.
- Are there significant quantities of radioactive material available on Mars?