January 9, 2023
Guide to Lithium Battery Safety for Space Applications Published
Primary and secondary lithium-based cells and batteries have been used in space applications for several decades. It is important to understand that the hazards associated with lithium batteries are catastrophic in nature and an understanding of the safety of these systems is critical especially in unique environments such as that found in space. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) G-136-2022 document contains the details on the chemistries as well as the guidelines related to the safety of lithium-based batteries used in space systems including but not limited to human-rated space vehicles, satellites, launch vehicles, interplanetary probes, rovers and landers.
This document was in development for more than nine years and had significant contributions and reviews by experts in the battery and aerospace field. Dr. Judy Jeevarajan, vice president and executive director of the Electrochemical Safety Research Institute (ESRI), who is the Chair of the G-136 Committee of Standards (CoS) under the AIAA Standards Steering Committee (SSC), guided the committee with her expertise as well as through the various challenges encountered. The guide was published online in November 2022 and can be procured through the AIAA website here.