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The article is pretty clear on why NH will never overtake the Voyagers, but will NH escape the star system or will it end up orbiting the Sun? If an answer is known, I think it should be added to the article. 22.214.171.124 (talk) 02:03, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Is there any reference regarding the sentence «The RTG will provide about 250 W, 30 V DC at launch, and is predicted to drop approximately 5% every 4 years, decaying to 200 W by the encounter with the Plutonian system in 2015.»?
If the rate of output drop is correct, it appears to me the power in the middle of 2015 will be much higher than the 200W written here:
I found a reference for the specs of the RTG over here . On page 4 the authors state that New Horizons needs 237W at launch and 191W at Pluto flyby (minimum). On the bottom of page 3 the authors state that a typical RTG should provide at least 285W at the beginning of mission. On page 6 the authors state that the New Horizons RTG uses plutonium-238, which has a half-life of 87.7 years. In the next scentence they state that the drop in thermal power is only 0.8% per year which corresponds to what I get when I punch my calculation (p = 100 - (100 * (0.5^((1/87.7)*t))) for t = 1 >>> p = 0.787247) in WolframAlpha. That considered the table by Luca Mauri should look like below, considering that the drop in electrical power is the same as the drop in thermal power.
As for the voltage, on page 6 the authors mention a test voltage of 30V. I assume this also goes for the New Horizons probe, so that would be correct. The rest of the power section does not seem to contradict the paper.
However, this paper (page 41) states a different start power, roughly 245 W and power levels at Pluto (195 ~ 200W), which is not consistent with the power drop 0.8% per year.