WorldWideScience

Sample records for ab-ramjet space propulsion

  1. Space Propulsion and Power

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-08

    uniform dense plasmas ? Distribution A: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited Space Propulsion and Power - New Research Areas Non ...interactions of the Matters in Space Propulsion Systems Space Propulsion and Power Portfolio Coupled Materials and Plasma Processes Far From...primary electron  1 • Effective secondary electron emission * accounts for non - Maxwellian effects * > 1 * < 1 ~4 MHz Sheath Beams of SEE

  2. Space Propulsion Technology Program Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escher, William J. D.

    1991-01-01

    The topics presented are covered in viewgraph form. Focused program elements are: (1) transportation systems, which include earth-to-orbit propulsion, commercial vehicle propulsion, auxiliary propulsion, advanced cryogenic engines, cryogenic fluid systems, nuclear thermal propulsion, and nuclear electric propulsion; (2) space platforms, which include spacecraft on-board propulsion, and station keeping propulsion; and (3) technology flight experiments, which include cryogenic orbital N2 experiment (CONE), SEPS flight experiment, and cryogenic orbital H2 experiment (COHE).

  3. Space transportation propulsion USSR launcher technology, 1990

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    Space transportation propulsion U.S.S.R. launcher technology is discussed. The following subject areas are covered: Energia background (launch vehicle summary, Soviet launcher family) and Energia propulsion characteristics (booster propulsion, core propulsion, and growth capability).

  4. Advanced Space Fission Propulsion Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houts, Michael G.; Borowski, Stanley K.

    2010-01-01

    Fission has been considered for in-space propulsion since the 1940s. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) systems underwent extensive development from 1955-1973, completing 20 full power ground tests and achieving specific impulses nearly twice that of the best chemical propulsion systems. Space fission power systems (which may eventually enable Nuclear Electric Propulsion) have been flown in space by both the United States and the Former Soviet Union. Fission is the most developed and understood of the nuclear propulsion options (e.g. fission, fusion, antimatter, etc.), and fission has enjoyed tremendous terrestrial success for nearly 7 decades. Current space nuclear research and technology efforts are focused on devising and developing first generation systems that are safe, reliable and affordable. For propulsion, the focus is on nuclear thermal rockets that build on technologies and systems developed and tested under the Rover/NERVA and related programs from the Apollo era. NTP Affordability is achieved through use of previously developed fuels and materials, modern analytical techniques and test strategies, and development of a small engine for ground and flight technology demonstration. Initial NTP systems will be capable of achieving an Isp of 900 s at a relatively high thrust-to-weight ratio. The development and use of first generation space fission power and propulsion systems will provide new, game changing capabilities for NASA. In addition, development and use of these systems will provide the foundation for developing extremely advanced power and propulsion systems capable of routinely and affordably accessing any point in the solar system. The energy density of fissile fuel (8 x 10(exp 13) Joules/kg) is more than adequate for enabling extensive exploration and utilization of the solar system. For space fission propulsion systems, the key is converting the virtually unlimited energy of fission into thrust at the desired specific impulse and thrust

  5. In-Space Propulsion (346620) Technology Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Technologies include, but are not limited to, electric and advanced chemical propulsion, propellantless propulsion such as aerocapture and solar sails, sample return...

  6. In-space nuclear propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruno, C.; Dujarric, C.

    2013-02-01

    The past and the recent status of nuclear propulsion (NP) for application to space mission is presented. The case for using NP in manned space missions is made based on fundamental physics and on the necessity to ensure safe radiation doses to future astronauts. In fact, the presence of solar and galactic-cosmic radiation poses substantial risks to crews traveling for months in a row to destinations such as asteroids and Mars. Since passive or active shields would be massive to protect against the more energetic part of the radiation energy spectrum, the only alternative is to reduce dose by traveling faster. Hence the importance of propulsion systems with much higher specific impulse than that of current chemical systems, and thus the use of nuclear propulsion. Nuclear-thermal and nuclear-electric propulsions are then discussed in view of their potential application to missions now in the preliminary planning stage by space agencies and industries and being considered by the ISECG international panel. In this context, recent ideas for future use of the ISS that may require NP are also presented.

  7. Overview of DOE space nuclear propulsion programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newhouse, Alan R.

    1993-01-01

    An overview of Department of Energy space nuclear propulsion programs is presented in outline and graphic form. DOE's role in the development and safety assurance of space nuclear propulsion is addressed. Testing issues and facilities are discussed along with development needs and recent research activities.

  8. Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, George C.

    1993-01-01

    Viewgraphs on the space nuclear thermal propulsion (SNTP) program are presented. The objective of the research is to develop advanced nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) technology based on the particle bed reactor concept. A strong philosophical commitment exists in the industry/national laboratory team to emphasize testing in development activities. Nuclear testing currently underway to support development of SNTP technology is addressed.

  9. Roadmap for In-Space Propulsion Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Michael; Johnson, Les; Palaszewski, Bryan; Coote, David; Goebel, Dan; White, Harold

    2012-01-01

    NASA has created a roadmap for the development of advanced in-space propulsion technologies for the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT). This roadmap was drafted by a team of subject matter experts from within the Agency and then independently evaluated, integrated and prioritized by a National Research Council (NRC) panel. The roadmap describes a portfolio of in-space propulsion technologies that could meet future space science and exploration needs, and shows their traceability to potential future missions. Mission applications range from small satellites and robotic deep space exploration to space stations and human missions to Mars. Development of technologies within the area of in-space propulsion will result in technical solutions with improvements in thrust, specific impulse (Isp), power, specific mass (or specific power), volume, system mass, system complexity, operational complexity, commonality with other spacecraft systems, manufacturability, durability, and of course, cost. These types of improvements will yield decreased transit times, increased payload mass, safer spacecraft, and decreased costs. In some instances, development of technologies within this area will result in mission-enabling breakthroughs that will revolutionize space exploration. There is no single propulsion technology that will benefit all missions or mission types. The requirements for in-space propulsion vary widely according to their intended application. This paper provides an updated summary of the In-Space Propulsion Systems technology area roadmap incorporating the recommendations of the NRC.

  10. Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bleeker, Gary A.

    1993-01-01

    An overview of the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion program is presented in graphic form. A program organizational chart is presented that shows the government and industry participants. Enabling technologies and test facilities and approaches are also addressed.

  11. Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Test Facilities Subpanel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, George C.; Warren, John W.; Martinell, John; Clark, John S.; Perkins, David

    1993-04-01

    On 20 Jul. 1989, in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, President George Bush proclaimed his vision for manned space exploration. He stated, 'First for the coming decade, for the 1990's, Space Station Freedom, the next critical step in our space endeavors. And next, for the new century, back to the Moon. Back to the future. And this time, back to stay. And then, a journey into tomorrow, a journey to another planet, a manned mission to Mars.' On 2 Nov. 1989, the President approved a national space policy reaffirming the long range goal of the civil space program: to 'expand human presence and activity beyond Earth orbit into the solar system.' And on 11 May 1990, he specified the goal of landing Astronauts on Mars by 2019, the 50th anniversary of man's first steps on the Moon. To safely and ever permanently venture beyond near Earth environment as charged by the President, mankind must bring to bear extensive new technologies. These include heavy lift launch capability from Earth to low-Earth orbit, automated space rendezvous and docking of large masses, zero gravity countermeasures, and closed loop life support systems. One technology enhancing, and perhaps enabling, the piloted Mars missions is nuclear propulsion, with great benefits over chemical propulsion. Asserting the potential benefits of nuclear propulsion, NASA has sponsored workshops in Nuclear Electric Propulsion and Nuclear Thermal Propulsion and has initiated a tri-agency planning process to ensure that appropriate resources are engaged to meet this exciting technical challenge. At the core of this planning process, NASA, DOE, and DOD established six Nuclear Propulsion Technical Panels in 1991 to provide groundwork for a possible tri-agency Nuclear Propulsion Program and to address the President's vision by advocating an aggressive program in nuclear propulsion. To this end the Nuclear Electric Propulsion Technology Panel has focused it energies; this final report

  12. Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Test Facilities Subpanel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, George C.; Warren, John W.; Martinell, John; Clark, John S.; Perkins, David

    1993-01-01

    On 20 Jul. 1989, in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, President George Bush proclaimed his vision for manned space exploration. He stated, 'First for the coming decade, for the 1990's, Space Station Freedom, the next critical step in our space endeavors. And next, for the new century, back to the Moon. Back to the future. And this time, back to stay. And then, a journey into tomorrow, a journey to another planet, a manned mission to Mars.' On 2 Nov. 1989, the President approved a national space policy reaffirming the long range goal of the civil space program: to 'expand human presence and activity beyond Earth orbit into the solar system.' And on 11 May 1990, he specified the goal of landing Astronauts on Mars by 2019, the 50th anniversary of man's first steps on the Moon. To safely and ever permanently venture beyond near Earth environment as charged by the President, mankind must bring to bear extensive new technologies. These include heavy lift launch capability from Earth to low-Earth orbit, automated space rendezvous and docking of large masses, zero gravity countermeasures, and closed loop life support systems. One technology enhancing, and perhaps enabling, the piloted Mars missions is nuclear propulsion, with great benefits over chemical propulsion. Asserting the potential benefits of nuclear propulsion, NASA has sponsored workshops in Nuclear Electric Propulsion and Nuclear Thermal Propulsion and has initiated a tri-agency planning process to ensure that appropriate resources are engaged to meet this exciting technical challenge. At the core of this planning process, NASA, DOE, and DOD established six Nuclear Propulsion Technical Panels in 1991 to provide groundwork for a possible tri-agency Nuclear Propulsion Program and to address the President's vision by advocating an aggressive program in nuclear propulsion. To this end the Nuclear Electric Propulsion Technology Panel has focused it energies; this final report

  13. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion for Advanced Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houts, M. G.; Borowski, S. K.; George, J. A.; Kim, T.; Emrich, W. J.; Hickman, R. R.; Broadway, J. W.; Gerrish, H. P.; Adams, R. B.

    2012-01-01

    The fundamental capability of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is game changing for space exploration. A first generation Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (NCPS) based on NTP could provide high thrust at a specific impulse above 900 s, roughly double that of state of the art chemical engines. Characteristics of fission and NTP indicate that useful first generation systems will provide a foundation for future systems with extremely high performance. The role of the NCPS in the development of advanced nuclear propulsion systems could be analogous to the role of the DC-3 in the development of advanced aviation. Progress made under the NCPS project could help enable both advanced NTP and advanced Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP).

  14. Green Liquid Monopropellant Thruster for In-space Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Physical Sciences Inc. and AMPAC In-space Propulsion propose to develop a unique chemical propulsion system for the next generation NASA science spacecraft and...

  15. The electric rail gun for space propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bauer, D. P.; Barber, J. P.; Vahlberg, C. J.

    1981-01-01

    An analytic feasibility investigation of an electric propulsion concept for space application is described. In this concept, quasistatic thrust due to inertial reaction to repetitively accelerated pellets by an electric rail gun is used to propel a spacecraft. The study encompasses the major subsystems required in an electric rail gun propulsion system. The mass, performance, and configuration of each subsystem are described. Based on an analytic model of the system mass and performance, the electric rail gun mission performance as a reusable orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) is analyzed and compared to a 30 cm ion thruster system (BIMOD) and a chemical propulsion system (IUS) for payloads with masses of 1150 kg and 2300 kg. For system power levels in the range from 25 kW(e) to 100 kW(e) an electric rail gun OTV is more attractive than a BIMOD system for low Earth orbit to geosynchronous orbit transfer durations in the range from 20 to 120 days.

  16. Nuclear Propulsion for Space Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houts, M. G.; Bechtel, R. D.; Borowski, S. K.; George, J. A.; Kim, T.; Emrich, W. J.; Hickman, R. R.; Broadway, J. W.; Gerrish, H. P.; Adams, R. B.

    2013-01-01

    Basics of Nuclear Systems: Long history of use on Apollo and space science missions. 44 RTGs and hundreds of RHUs launched by U.S. during past 4 decades. Heat produced from natural alpha (a) particle decay of Plutonium (Pu-238). Used for both thermal management and electricity production. Used terrestrially for over 65 years. Fissioning 1 kg of uranium yields as much energy as burning 2,700,000 kg of coal. One US space reactor (SNAP-10A) flown (1965). Former U.S.S.R. flew 33 space reactors. Heat produced from neutron-induced splitting of a nucleus (e.g. U-235). At steady-state, 1 of the 2 to 3 neutrons released in the reaction causes a subsequent fission in a "chain reaction" process. Heat converted to electricity, or used directly to heat a propellant. Fission is highly versatile with many applications.

  17. Conceptual designs for antiproton space propulsion systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cassenti, B.N.

    1989-01-01

    Five conceptual designs for antimatter space propulsion systems were compared in terms of their performance characteristics. The systems examined included solid-core liquid-propellant rockets; magnetically confined gaseous-core rockets using liquid or solid propellants; plasma-core rockets; pion rockets, which are driven directly by the mass annihilation products; and ram-augmented rockets, in which antiproton annihilation is used to heat hydrogen collected in interstellar space. It was found that, in general, as the specific impulse of the propulsion system increases, the thrust decreases. The comparison between designs showed that only fusion rockets have the capability to compete in performance with mass annihilation rockets. For very-high-speed interstellar missions, pion rockets, which can have a specific impulse of 20 million sec (although with a thrust-to-engine mass ratios of only 0.01 G) will offer best performance. 36 refs.

  18. Isomer Energy Source for Space Propulsion Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-03-01

    Nuclear Thermal Rocket PBR Particle-Bed Reactor SNTP Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion TIC Triggered Isomer Core TIHE Triggered Isomer Heat...energy in a nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) configuration. This includes study of the current state of triggered isomer research, an investigation of 4... thermal rocket this means that heat from the reactive core must be prevented from raising the temperature of the propellant prior to its release from

  19. Disruptive Propulsive Technologies for European Space Missions

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    Advanced space technologies have been reviewed and analysed in view of heavy interplanetary missions of interest for Europe and European industry capabilities. Among the missions of interest: o Heavy robotic missions to outer planets, o Asteroid deflection missions, o Interplanetary manned mission (at longer term). These missions involve high speed increments, generally beyond the capability of chemical propulsion (except if gravitational swing-by can be used). For missions bey...

  20. Designing the Space Shuttle Propulsion System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, James; Moore, Dennis; Wood, David; VanHooser, Kathrine; Wlzyn, Ken

    2011-01-01

    The major elements of the Space Shuttle Main Propulsion System include two reusable solid rocket motors integrated into recoverable solid rocket boosters, an expendable external fuel and oxidizer tank, and three reusable Space Shuttle Main Engines. Both the solid rocket motors and space shuttle main engines ignite prior to liftoff, with the solid rocket boosters separating about two minutes into flight. The external tank separates after main engine shutdown and is safely expended in the ocean. The SSME's, integrated into the Space Shuttle Orbiter aft structure, are reused after post landing inspections. Both the solid rocket motors and the space shuttle main engine throttle during early ascent flight to limit aerodynamic loads on the structure. The configuration is called a stage and a half as all the propulsion elements are active during the boost phase, and the SSME's continue operation to achieve orbital velocity approximately eight and a half minutes after liftoff. Design and performance challenges were numerous, beginning with development work in the 1970 s. The solid rocket motors were large, and this technology had never been used for human space flight. The SSME s were both reusable and very high performance staged combustion cycle engines, also unique to the Space Shuttle. The multi body side mount configuration was unique and posed numerous integration and interface challenges across the elements. Operation of the system was complex and time consuming. This paper discusses a number of the system level technical challenges including development and operations.

  1. Interplanetary space transport using inertial fusion propulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Orth, C.D.

    1998-04-20

    In this paper, we indicate how the great advantages that ICF offers for interplanetary propulsion can be accomplished with the VISTA spacecraft concept. The performance of VISTA is expected to surpass that from other realistic technologies for Mars missions if the energy gain achievable for ICF targets is above several hundred. Based on the good performance expected from the U. S. National Ignition Facility (NIF), the requirements for VISTA should be well within the realm of possibility if creative target concepts such as the fast ignitor can be developed. We also indicate that a 6000-ton VISTA can visit any planet in the solar system and return to Earth in about 7 years or less without any significant physiological hazards to astronauts. In concept, VISTA provides such short-duration missions, especially to Mars, that the hazards from cosmic radiation and zero gravity can be reduced to insignificant levels. VISTA therefore represents a significant step forward for space-propulsion concepts.

  2. Space vehicles propulsion; La propulsion des vehicules spatiaux

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cadiou, A. [Centre National d' Etudes Spatiales (CNES), 75 - Paris (France)

    2000-09-01

    Various types of propulsion systems are used depending on the mission characteristics, mono-propellant, bi-propellant and electric. Mono-propellant is mainly used for low Earth orbit applications such as earth observation (SPOT program) or for mini-satellites carrying scientific payloads (PROTEUS platform). Bi-propellant systems which are more efficient are used for geostationary telecommunications satellites (TELECOM2, STENTOR) and can be associated to electrical propulsion for the station keeping of these platforms (STENTOR). The use of electric propulsion allows an important launch mass reduction. The future developments are mainly dedicated to the use of electric propulsion for the orbit raising of telecommunication satellites which leads to the development of thrusters with higher thrust than those existing today, the study of new propellants safer than the existing propellants (hydrazine, mono-methyl-hydrazine,...) and the study of new systems to pressurize the propellants. (authors)

  3. Nuclear Electric Propulsion for Outer Space Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barret, Chris

    2003-01-01

    Today we know of 66 moons in our very own Solar System, and many of these have atmospheres and oceans. In addition, the Hubble (optical) Space Telescope has helped us to discover a total of 100 extra-solar planets, i.e., planets going around other suns, including several solar systems. The Chandra (X-ray) Space Telescope has helped us to discover 33 Black Holes. There are some extremely fascinating things out there in our Universe to explore. In order to travel greater distances into our Universe, and to reach planetary bodies in our Solar System in much less time, new and innovative space propulsion systems must be developed. To this end NASA has created the Prometheus Program. When one considers space missions to the outer edges of our Solar System and far beyond, our Sun cannot be relied on to produce the required spacecraft (s/c) power. Solar energy diminishes as the square of the distance from the Sun. At Mars it is only 43% of that at Earth. At Jupiter, it falls off to only 3.6% of Earth's. By the time we get out to Pluto, solar energy is only .066% what it is on Earth. Therefore, beyond the orbit of Mars, it is not practical to depend on solar power for a s/c. However, the farther out we go the more power we need to heat the s/c and to transmit data back to Earth over the long distances. On Earth, knowledge is power. In the outer Solar System, power is knowledge. It is important that the public be made aware of the tremendous space benefits offered by Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) and the minimal risk it poses to our environment. This paper presents an overview of the reasons for NEP systems, along with their basic components including the reactor, power conversion units (both static and dynamic), electric thrusters, and the launch safety of the NEP system.

  4. Advanced In-Space Propulsion (AISP): Micro Electrospray Propulsion (MEP) Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Propulsion technology is often critical for space missions. High-value missions could be done with very small spacecraft, even CubeSats, but these...

  5. Simplest AB-Thermonuclear Space Propulsion and Electric Generator

    CERN Document Server

    Bolonkin, A

    2007-01-01

    The author applies, develops and researches mini-sized Micro- AB Thermonuclear Reactors for space propulsion and space power systems. These small engines directly convert the high speed charged particles produced in the thermonuclear reactor into vehicle thrust or vehicle electricity with maximum efficiency. The simplest AB-thermonuclear propulsion offered allows spaceships to reach speeds of 20,000 50,000 km/s (1/6 of light speed) for fuel ratio 0.1 and produces a huge amount of useful electric energy. Offered propulsion system permits flight to any planet of our Solar system in short time and to the nearest non-Sun stars by E-being or intellectual robots during a single human life period. Key words: AB-propulsion, thermonuclear propulsion, space propulsion, thermonuclear power system.

  6. Recent Advances in Nuclear Powered Electric Propulsion for Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassady, R. Joseph; Frisbee, Robert H.; Gilland, James H.; Houts, Michael G.; LaPointe, Michael R.; Maresse-Reading, Colleen M.; Oleson, Steven R.; Polk, James E.; Russell, Derrek; Sengupta, Anita

    2007-01-01

    Nuclear and radioisotope powered electric thrusters are being developed as primary in-space propulsion systems for potential future robotic and piloted space missions. Possible applications for high power nuclear electric propulsion include orbit raising and maneuvering of large space platforms, lunar and Mars cargo transport, asteroid rendezvous and sample return, and robotic and piloted planetary missions, while lower power radioisotope electric propulsion could significantly enhance or enable some future robotic deep space science missions. This paper provides an overview of recent U.S. high power electric thruster research programs, describing the operating principles, challenges, and status of each technology. Mission analysis is presented that compares the benefits and performance of each thruster type for high priority NASA missions. The status of space nuclear power systems for high power electric propulsion is presented. The paper concludes with a discussion of power and thruster development strategies for future radioisotope electric propulsion systems,

  7. Status of Propulsion Technology Development Under the NASA In-Space Propulsion Technology Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, David; Kamhawi, Hani; Patterson, Mike; Pencil, Eric; Pinero, Luis; Falck, Robert; Dankanich, John

    2014-01-01

    Since 2001, the In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) program has been developing and delivering in-space propulsion technologies for NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD). These in-space propulsion technologies are applicable, and potentially enabling for future NASA Discovery, New Frontiers, Flagship and sample return missions currently under consideration. The ISPT program is currently developing technology in three areas that include Propulsion System Technologies, Entry Vehicle Technologies, and Systems/Mission Analysis. ISPT's propulsion technologies include: 1) the 0.6-7 kW NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) gridded ion propulsion system; 2) a 0.3-3.9kW Halleffect electric propulsion (HEP) system for low cost and sample return missions; 3) the Xenon Flow Control Module (XFCM); 4) ultra-lightweight propellant tank technologies (ULTT); and 5) propulsion technologies for a Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV). The NEXT Long Duration Test (LDT) recently exceeded 50,000 hours of operation and 900 kg throughput, corresponding to 34.8 MN-s of total impulse delivered. The HEP system is composed of the High Voltage Hall Accelerator (HIVHAC) thruster, a power processing unit (PPU), and the XFCM. NEXT and the HIVHAC are throttle-able electric propulsion systems for planetary science missions. The XFCM and ULTT are two component technologies which being developed with nearer-term flight infusion in mind. Several of the ISPT technologies are related to sample return missions needs: MAV propulsion and electric propulsion. And finally, one focus of the Systems/Mission Analysis area is developing tools that aid the application or operation of these technologies on wide variety of mission concepts. This paper provides a brief overview of the ISPT program, describing the development status and technology infusion readiness.

  8. Nuclear modules for space electric propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Difilippo, F. C.

    1998-01-01

    The analysis of interplanetary cargo and piloted missions requires the calculations of the performances and masses of subsystems to be integrated in a final design. In a preliminary and scoping stage the designer needs to evaluate options in an iterative way by using simulations that run fast on a computer. As a consequence of a collaborative agreement between the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), ORNL has been involved in the development of models and calculational procedures for the analysis (neutronic and thermal hydraulic) of power sources for nuclear electric propulsion. The nuclear modules will be integrated into the whole simulation of the nuclear electric propulsion system. The vehicles use either a Brayton direct-conversion cycle, using the heated helium from a NERVA-type reactor, or a potassium Rankine cycle, with the working fluid heated on the secondary side of a heat exchanger and lithium on the primary side coming from a fast reactor. Given a set of input conditions, the codes calculate composition, dimensions, volumes, and masses of the core, reflector, control system, pressure vessel, neutron and gamma shields, as well as the thermal hydraulic conditions of the coolant, clad and fuel. Input conditions are power, core life, pressure and temperature of the coolant at the inlet of the core, either the temperature of the coolant at the outlet of the core or the coolant mass flow and the fluences and integrated doses at the cargo area. Using state-of-the-art neutron cross sections and transport codes, a database was created for the neutronic performance of both reactor designs. The free parameters of the models are the moderator/fuel mass ratio for the NERVA reactor and the enrichment and the pitch of the lattice for the fast reactor. Reactivity and energy balance equations are simultaneously solved to find the reactor design. Thermalhydraulic conditions are calculated by solving the one

  9. Uranium arc fission reactor for space propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, Yoichi; Maya, Isaac; Vitali, Juan; Appelbaum, Jacob; Schneider, Richard T.

    1991-01-01

    Combining the proven technology of solid core reactors with uranium arc confinement and non-equilibrium ionization by fission fragments can lead to an attractive propulsion system which has a higher specific impulse than a solid core propulsion system and higher thrust than an electric propulsion systems. A preliminary study indicates that a system with 300 MW of fission power can achieve a gas exhaust velocity of 18,000 m/sec and a thrust of 10,000 Newtons utilizing a magnetohydrodynamic generator and accelerator. An experimental program is underway to examine the major mass and energy transfer issues.

  10. Green Liquid Monopropellant Thruster for In-space Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) and Orbitec Inc. propose to develop a unique chemical propulsion system for the next generation NASA science spacecraft and missions...

  11. The Economics of Advanced In-Space Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bangalore, Manju; Dankanich, John

    2016-01-01

    The cost of access to space is the single biggest driver is commercial space sector. NASA continues to invest in both launch technology and in-space propulsion. Low-cost launch systems combined with advanced in-space propulsion offer the greatest potential market capture. Launch market capture is critical to national security and has a significant impact on domestic space sector revenue. NASA typically focuses on pushing the limits on performance. However, the commercial market is driven by maximum net revenue (profits). In order to maximum the infusion of NASA investments, the impact on net revenue must be known. As demonstrated by Boeing's dual launch, the Falcon 9 combined with all Electric Propulsion (EP) can dramatically shift the launch market from foreign to domestic providers.

  12. Nuclear electric ion propulsion for three deep space missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiravalle, Vincent P.

    2008-03-01

    Nuclear electric ion propulsion is considered for three sample deep space missions starting from a 500 km low Earth orbit encompassing the transfer of a 100 MT payload into a 1500 km orbit around Mars, the rendezvous of a 10 MT payload with the Jovian moon Europa and the rendezvous of a similar payload with Saturn's moon Titan. Near term ion engine and space nuclear reactor technology are assumed. It is shown that nuclear electric ion propulsion offers more than twice the payload for the Mars mission relative to the case when a nuclear thermal rocket is used for the trans-Mars injection maneuver at Earth, and about the same payload advantage relative to the case when solar electric propulsion is used for the Mars heliocentric transfer. For missions to the outer planets nuclear electric ion propulsion increases the payload mass fraction by a factor of two or more compared with high thrust systems that utilize gravity assist trajectories.

  13. Twenty-First Century Space Propulsion Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    1990-10-01

    dependence of coherent radiation from crystals", Physical Review Letters 58, 1176-1179 (23 March 1987). 11 Y. Aharonov , F.T. Avignone, III, A. Casher , and...B-i C THE WEBER EFFECT ....................................... C-i D 2020 A.D. TECHNOLOGIES FOR AFAL...most energetic fuel known. The most effective particle of antimatter for propulsion is the antiproton rather than the antielectron. To make a compact

  14. Application of SDI technology in space propulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klein, A.J.

    1992-01-01

    Numerous technologies developed by the DOD within the SDI program are now available for adaptation to the requirements of commercial spacecraft; SDI has accordingly organized the Technology Applications Information System data base, which contains nearly 2000 nonproprietary abstracts on SDI technology. Attention is here given to such illustrative systems as hydrogen arcjets, ammonia arcjets, ion engines, SSTO launch vehicles, gel propellants, lateral thrusters, pulsed electrothermal thrusters, laser-powered rockets, and nuclear propulsion.

  15. Primary electric propulsion for future space missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byers, D. C.; Terdan, F. F.; Myers, I. T.

    1979-01-01

    The paper presents data and a methodology to allow preliminary definition of electric propulsion systems. The elements comprising the thrust system are described parametrically. As an example, thruster performance is presented as a function of specific impulse and propellant type. Two power management and control (PMAC) approaches are considered to illustrate the use of the methodology. Power source characteristics are disregarded in the system description. One PMAC concept assumes a dc power input to the thrust system and all thruster power conditioned in a conventional manner; the other PMAC approach assumes an ac power source.

  16. Progress report on nuclear propulsion for space exploration and science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Gary L.; Miller, Thomas J.

    1993-01-01

    NASA is continuing its work in cooperation with the Department of Energy (DOE) on nuclear propulsion - both nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) and nuclear electric propulsion (NEP). The focus of the NTP studies remains on piloted and cargo missions to Mars (with precursor missions to the moon) although studies are under way to examine the potential uses of NTP for science missions. The focus of the NEP studies has shifted to space science missions with consideration of combining a science mission with an earlier demonstration of NEP using the SP-100 space nuclear reactor power system. Both NTP and NEP efforts are continuing in 1993 to provide a good foundation for science and exploration planners. Both NTP and NEP provide a very important transportation resource and in a number of cases enable missions that could not otherwise be accomplished.

  17. Enhancing space transportation: The NASA program to develop electric propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Gary L.; Watkins, Marcus A.; Byers, David C.; Barnett, John W.

    1990-01-01

    The NASA Office of Aeronautics, Exploration, and Technology (OAET) supports a research and technology (R and T) program in electric propulsion to provide the basis for increased performance and life of electric thruster systems which can have a major impact on space system performance, including orbital transfer, stationkeeping, and planetary exploration. The program is oriented toward providing high-performance options that will be applicable to a broad range of near-term and far-term missions and vehicles. The program, which is being conducted through the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Lewis Research Center (LeRC) includes research on resistojet, arcjets, ion engines, magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters, and electrodeless thrusters. Planning is also under way for nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) as part of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI).

  18. Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) Air Force facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, David F.

    1993-01-01

    The Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) Program is an initiative within the US Air Force to acquire and validate advanced technologies that could be used to sustain superior capabilities in the area or space nuclear propulsion. The SNTP Program has a specific objective of demonstrating the feasibility of the particle bed reactor (PBR) concept. The term PIPET refers to a project within the SNTP Program responsible for the design, development, construction, and operation of a test reactor facility, including all support systems, that is intended to resolve program technology issues and test goals. A nuclear test facility has been designed that meets SNTP Facility requirements. The design approach taken to meet SNTP requirements has resulted in a nuclear test facility that should encompass a wide range of nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) test requirements that may be generated within other programs. The SNTP PIPET project is actively working with DOE and NASA to assess this possibility.

  19. BMDO electric space-propulsion program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caveny, Leonard H.; Curran, Francis M.; Brophy, John R.

    1993-01-01

    Electric propulsion (EP) applications being considered include: orbit insertion, orbit repositioning, station keeping, and elusive maneuvering. Typically, 1 to 5 kW are available for EP. A class of thrusters, the Hall-effect thrusters, is extensively researched, developed and flown by Russia. These thrusters, using xenon propellant, perform reliably, e.g., at 1.35 kW, 600 s specific impulse, 50 percent efficiency and greater than 2000 hr life. This specific impulse and efficiency combination is superior to the present arcjets for several Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO) applications. Three versions of the Hall thrusters are part of the experimental evaluation. Since today's goals are within reach of available thrusters and power sources, emphasis is being placed on such topics as: thruster lifetime, spacecraft interactions, electromagnetic interference, and erosion product deposition. Facilities in U.S. laboratories are being specially configured to achieve these goals.

  20. Nuclear modules for space electric propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Difilippo, F. C.

    1998-01-01

    Analysis of interplanetary cargo and piloted missions requires calculations of the performances and masses of subsystems to be integrated in a final design. In a preliminary and scoping stage the designer needs to evaluate options iteratively by using fast computer simulations. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has been involved in the development of models and calculational procedures for the analysis (neutronic and thermal hydraulic) of power sources for nuclear electric propulsion. The nuclear modules will be integrated into the whole simulation of the nuclear electric propulsion system. The vehicles use either a Brayton direct-conversion cycle, using the heated helium from a NERVA-type reactor, or a potassium Rankine cycle, with the working fluid heated on the secondary side of a heat exchanger and lithium on the primary side coming from a fast reactor. Given a set of input conditions, the codes calculate composition. dimensions, volumes, and masses of the core, reflector, control system, pressure vessel, neutron and gamma shields, as well as the thermal hydraulic conditions of the coolant, clad and fuel. Input conditions are power, core life, pressure and temperature of the coolant at the inlet of the core, either the temperature of the coolant at the outlet of the core or the coolant mass flow and the fluences and integrated doses at the cargo area. Using state-of-the-art neutron cross sections and transport codes, a database was created for the neutronic performance of both reactor designs. The free parameters of the models are the moderator/fuel mass ratio for the NERVA reactor and the enrichment and the pitch of the lattice for the fast reactor. Reactivity and energy balance equations are simultaneously solved to find the reactor design. Thermalhydraulic conditions are calculated by solving the one-dimensional versions of the equations of conservation of mass, energy, and momentum with compressible flow.

  1. Nuclear modules for space electric propulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Difilippo, F.C.

    1998-12-31

    Analysis of interplanetary cargo and piloted missions requires calculations of the performances and masses of subsystems to be integrated in a final design. In a preliminary and scoping stage the designer needs to evaluate options iteratively by using fast computer simulations. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has been involved in the development of models and calculational procedures for the analysis (neutronic and thermal hydraulic) of power sources for nuclear electric propulsion. The nuclear modules will be integrated into the whole simulation of the nuclear electric propulsion system. The vehicles use either a Brayton direct-conversion cycle, using the heated helium from a NERVA-type reactor, or a potassium Rankine cycle, with the working fluid heated on the secondary side of a heat exchanger and lithium on the primary side coming from a fast reactor. Given a set of input conditions, the codes calculate composition. dimensions, volumes, and masses of the core, reflector, control system, pressure vessel, neutron and gamma shields, as well as the thermal hydraulic conditions of the coolant, clad and fuel. Input conditions are power, core life, pressure and temperature of the coolant at the inlet of the core, either the temperature of the coolant at the outlet of the core or the coolant mass flow and the fluences and integrated doses at the cargo area. Using state-of-the-art neutron cross sections and transport codes, a database was created for the neutronic performance of both reactor designs. The free parameters of the models are the moderator/fuel mass ratio for the NERVA reactor and the enrichment and the pitch of the lattice for the fast reactor. Reactivity and energy balance equations are simultaneously solved to find the reactor design. Thermalhydraulic conditions are calculated by solving the one-dimensional versions of the equations of conservation of mass, energy, and momentum with compressible flow. 10 refs., 1 tab.

  2. Democritos: preparing demonstrators for high power nuclear electric space propulsion

    OpenAIRE

    Masson, Frederic; Ruault, Jean-Marc; WORMS, Jean-Claude; Detsis, Emmanouil; Beaurain, André; Lassoudiere, Francois; Gaia, Enrico; Tosi, Maria -Christina; Jansen, Frank; Bauer, Waldemar; Semenkin, Alexander; Tinsley, Tim; Hodgson, Zara

    2015-01-01

    The Democritos project aims at preparing demonstrators for a megawatt class nuclearelectric space propulsion. It is funded by Horizon 2020, the R&T program of the European Community. It is a new European and Russian project, including as partners: Nuclear National Laboratory (U.K.), DLR (Germany), The Keldysh Research Center (Russia), Thales Alenia Space Italia (Italy), Snecma (France), ESF (France) and CNES (France). IEAV (Brazil) will join as an observer. Democritos is the follo...

  3. Reservoir Cathode for Electric Space Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose a reservoir cathode to improve performance in both ion and Hall-effect thrusters. We propose to adapt our existing reservoir cathode technology to this...

  4. Reservoir Cathode for Electric Space Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose a hollow reservoir cathode to improve performance in ion and Hall thrusters. We will adapt our existing reservoir cathode technology to this purpose....

  5. A High-power Electric Propulsion Test Platform in Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petro, Andrew J.; Reed, Brian; Chavers, D. Greg; Sarmiento, Charles; Cenci, Susanna; Lemmons, Neil

    2005-01-01

    This paper will describe the results of the preliminary phase of a NASA design study for a facility to test high-power electric propulsion systems in space. The results of this design study are intended to provide a firm foundation for subsequent detailed design and development activities leading to the deployment of a valuable space facility. The NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate is sponsoring this design project. A team from the NASA Johnson Space Center, Glenn Research Center, the Marshall Space Flight Center and the International Space Station Program Office is conducting the project. The test facility is intended for a broad range of users including government, industry and universities. International participation is encouraged. The objectives for human and robotic exploration of space can be accomplished affordably, safely and effectively with high-power electric propulsion systems. But, as thruster power levels rise to the hundreds of kilowatts and up to megawatts, their testing will pose stringent and expensive demands on existing Earth-based vacuum facilities. These considerations and the human access to near-Earth space provided by the International Space Station (ISS) have led to a renewed interest in space testing. The ISS could provide an excellent platform for a space-based test facility with the continuous vacuum conditions of the natural space environment and no chamber walls to modify the open boundary conditions of the propulsion system exhaust. The test platform could take advantage of the continuous vacuum conditions of the natural space environment. Space testing would provide open boundary conditions without walls, micro-gravity and a realistic thermal environment. Testing on the ISS would allow for direct observation of the test unit, exhaust plume and space-plasma interactions. When necessary, intervention by on-board personnel and post-test inspection would be possible. The ISS can provide electrical power, a location for

  6. The MAUS nuclear space reactor with ion propulsion system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mainardi, Enrico [DINCE - Dipartimento di Ingegneria Nucleare e Conversioni Energetiche, University of Rome ' La Sapienza' , C.so V. Emanuele II, 244, 00186 Rome (Italy)]. E-mail: mainardi@frascati.enea.it

    2006-06-01

    MAUS (Moltiplicatore Avanzato Ultracompatto Spaziale) is a nuclear reactor concept design capable to ensure a reliable, long-lasting, low-mass, compact energy supply needed for advanced, future space missions. The exploration of the solar system and the space beyond requires the development of nuclear energy generators for supplying electricity to space-bases, spacecrafts, probes or satellites, as well as for propelling ships in long space missions. For propulsion, the MAUS nuclear reactor could be used to power electric ion drive engines. An ion engine is able to build up to very high velocities, far greater than chemical propulsion systems, but has high power and long service requirements. The MAUS concept is described, together with the ion propulsion engine and together with the reference thermoionic process used to convert the thermal power into electricity. The design work has been performed at the Nuclear Engineering and Energy Conversion Department of the University of Rome 'La Sapienza' starting from 1992 on an issue submitted by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), in cooperation with the research laboratories of ENEA.

  7. The Maus nuclear space reactor with ion propulsion system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Enrico Mainardi [DINCE - Dipartimento di Ingegneria Nucleare e Conversioni Energetiche, University of Rome ' La Sapienza' , C.so V. EmanueleII, 244, 00186 Roma (Italy)

    2006-07-01

    MAUS (Moltiplicatore Avanzato Ultracompatto Spaziale) is a nuclear reactor concept design capable to ensure a reliable, long lasting, low mass, compact energy supply needed for advanced, future space missions. The exploration of the solar system and the space beyond requires the development of nuclear energy generators for supplying electricity to space-bases, spacecrafts, probes or satellites, as well as for propelling ships in long space missions. For propulsion, the MAUS nuclear reactor could be used to power electric ion drive engines. An ion engine is able to build up to very high velocities, far greater than chemical propulsion systems, but has high power and long service requirements. The MAUS concept is described, together with the ion propulsion engine and together with the reference thermionic process used to convert the thermal power into electricity. The design work has been performed at the Nuclear Engineering and Energy Conversion Department of the University of Rome 'La Sapienza' starting from 1992 on an issue submitted by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), in cooperation with the research laboratories of ENEA. (author)

  8. Space nuclear power, propulsion, and related technologies.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berman, Marshall

    1992-01-01

    Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) is one of the nation's largest research and development (R&D) facilities, with headquarters at Albuquerque, New Mexico; a laboratory at Livermore, California; and a test range near Tonopah, Nevada. Smaller testing facilities are also operated at other locations. Established in 1945, Sandia was operated by the University of California until 1949, when, at the request of President Truman, Sandia Corporation was formed as a subsidiary of Bell Lab's Western Electric Company to operate Sandia as a service to the U.S. Government without profit or fee. Sandia is currently operated for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) by AT&T Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of AT&T. Sandia's responsibility is national security programs in defense and energy with primary emphasis on nuclear weapon research and development (R&D). However, Sandia also supports a wide variety of projects ranging from basic materials research to the design of specialized parachutes. Assets, owned by DOE and valued at more than $1.2 billion, include about 600 major buildings containing about 372,000 square meters (m2) (4 million square feet [ft2]) of floor space, located on land totalling approximately 1460 square kilometers (km2) (562 square miles [mi]). Sandia employs about 8500 people, the majority in Albuquerque, with about 1000 in Livermore. Approximately 60% of Sandia's employees are in technical and scientific positions, and the remainder are in crafts, skilled labor, and administrative positions. As a multiprogram national laboratory, Sandia has much to offer both industrial and government customers in pursuing space nuclear technologies. The purpose of this brochure is to provide the reader with a brief summary of Sandia's technical capabilities, test facilities, and example programs that relate to military and civilian objectives in space. Sandia is interested in forming partnerships with industry and government

  9. Numerical Propulsion System Simulation for Space Transportation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, Karl

    2000-01-01

    Current system simulations are mature, difficult to modify, and poorly documented. Probabilistic life prediction techniques for space applications are in their early application stage. Many parts of the full system, variable fidelity simulation, have been demonstrated individually or technology is available from aeronautical applications. A 20% reduction in time to design with improvements in performance and risk reduction is anticipated. GRC software development will proceed with similar development efforts in aeronautical simulations. Where appropriate, parallel efforts will be encouraged/tracked in high risk areas until success is assured.

  10. Lightweight Radiator for in Space Nuclear Electric Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craven, Paul; Tomboulian, Briana; SanSoucie, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) is a promising option for high-speed in-space travel due to the high energy density of nuclear fission power sources and efficient electric thrusters. Advanced power conversion technologies may require high operating temperatures and would benefit from lightweight radiator materials. Radiator performance dictates power output for nuclear electric propulsion systems. Game-changing propulsion systems are often enabled by novel designs using advanced materials. Pitch-based carbon fiber materials have the potential to offer significant improvements in operating temperature, thermal conductivity, and mass. These properties combine to allow advances in operational efficiency and high temperature feasibility. An effort at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center to show that woven high thermal conductivity carbon fiber mats can be used to replace standard metal and composite radiator fins to dissipate waste heat from NEP systems is ongoing. The goals of this effort are to demonstrate a proof of concept, to show that a significant improvement of specific power (power/mass) can be achieved, and to develop a thermal model with predictive capabilities making use of constrained input parameter space. A description of this effort is presented.

  11. Space nuclear thermal propulsion test facilities accommodation at INEL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Thomas J.; Reed, William C.; Welland, Henry J.

    1993-01-01

    The U.S. Air Force (USAF) has proposed to develop the technology and demonstrate the feasibility of a particle bed reactor (PBR) propulsion system that could be used to power an advanced upper stage rocket engine. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is cooperating with the USAF in that it would host the test facility if the USAF decides to proceed with the technology demonstration. Two DOE locations have been proposed for testing the PBR technology, a new test facility at the Nevada Test Site, or the modification and use of an existing facility at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. The preliminary evaluations performed at the INEL to support the PBR technology testing has been completed. Additional evaluations to scope the required changes or upgrade needed to make the proposed USAF PBR test facility meet the requirements for testing Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) nuclear thermal propulsion engines are underway.

  12. Nuclear electric propulsion for future NASA space science missions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yen, Chen-wan L.

    1993-07-20

    This study has been made to assess the needs, potential benefits and the applicability of early (circa year 2000) Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) technology in conducting NASA science missions. The study goals are: to obtain the performance characteristics of near term NEP technologies; to measure the performance potential of NEP for important OSSA missions; to compare NEP performance with that of conventional chemical propulsion; to identify key NEP system requirements; to clarify and depict the degree of importance NEP might have in advancing NASA space science goals; and to disseminate the results in a format useful to both NEP users and technology developers. This is a mission performance study and precludes investigations of multitudes of new mission operation and systems design issues attendant in a NEP flight.

  13. Coupling gravity, electromagnetism and space-time for space propulsion breakthroughs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millis, Marc G.

    1994-01-01

    spaceflight would be revolutionized if it were possible to propel a spacecraft without rockets using the coupling between gravity, electromagnetism, and space-time (hence called 'space coupling propulsion'). New theories and observations about the properties of space are emerging which offer new approaches to consider this breakthrough possibility. To guide the search, evaluation, and application of these emerging possibilities, a variety of hypothetical space coupling propulsion mechanisms are presented to highlight the issues that would have to be satisfied to enable such breakthroughs. A brief introduction of the emerging opportunities is also presented.

  14. Design Considerations for Space Transfer Vehicles Using Solar Thermal Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emrich, William J.

    1995-01-01

    The economical deployment of satellites to high energy earth orbits is crucial to the ultimate success of this nations commerical space ventures and is highly desirable for deep space planetary missions requiring earth escape trajectories. Upper stage space transfer vehicles needed to accomplish this task should ideally be simple, robust, and highly efficient. In this regard, solar thermal propulsion is particularly well suited to those missions where high thrust is not a requirement. The Marshall Space Flight Center is , therefore, currently engaged in defining a transfer vehicle employing solar thermal propulsion capable of transferring a 1000 lb. payload from low Earth orbit (LEO) to a geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) using a Lockheed launch vehicle (LLV3) with three Castors and a large shroud. The current design uses liquid hydrogen as the propellant and employs two inflatable 16 x 24 feet eliptical off-axis parabolic solar collectors to focus sunlight onto a tungsten/rhenium windowless black body type absorber. The concentration factor on this design is projected to be approximately 1800:1 for the primary collector and 2.42:1 for the secondary collector for an overall concentration factor of nearly 4400:1. The engine, which is about twice as efficient as the best currently available chemical engines, produces two pounds of thrust with a specific impulse (Isp) of 860 sec. Transfer times to GEO are projected to be on the order of one month. The launch and deployed configurations of the solar thermal upper stage (STUS) are depicted.

  15. Nuclear Thermal Rocket - An Established Space Propulsion Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Milton

    2004-02-01

    From the late 1950s to the early 1970s a major program successfully developed the capability to conduct space exploration using the advanced technology of nuclear rocket propulsion. The program had two primary elements: pioneering and advanced technology work-Rover-at Los Alamos National Laboratory and its contractors provided the basic reactor design, fuel materials development, and reactor testing capability; and engine development-NERVA-by the industrial team of Aerojet and Westinghouse building on and extending the Los Alamos efforts to flight system development. This presentation describes the NERVA program, the engine system testing that demonstrated the space-practical operation capabilities of nuclear thermal rockets, and the mission studies that point the way to most effectively use the NTR capabilities. Together, the two programs established a technology base that includes proven NTR capabilities of (1) over twice the specific impulse of chemical propulsion systems, (2) thrust capabilities ranging from 44kN to 1112kN, and (3) practical thrust-to-weight ratios for future NASA space exploration missions, both manned payloads to Mars and unmanned payloads to the outer planets. The overall nuclear rocket program had a unique management structure that integrated the efforts of the two government agencies involved-NASA and the then-existing Atomic Energy Commission. The objective of this paper is to summarize and convey the technical and management lessons learned in this program as the nation considers the design of its future space exploration activities.

  16. Analysis of the Space Propulsion System Problem Using RAVEN

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    diego mandelli; curtis smith; cristian rabiti; andrea alfonsi

    2014-06-01

    This paper presents the solution of the space propulsion problem using a PRA code currently under development at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). RAVEN (Reactor Analysis and Virtual control ENviroment) is a multi-purpose Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) software framework that allows dispatching different functionalities. It is designed to derive and actuate the control logic required to simulate the plant control system and operator actions (guided procedures) and to perform both Monte- Carlo sampling of random distributed events and Event Tree based analysis. In order to facilitate the input/output handling, a Graphical User Interface (GUI) and a post-processing data-mining module are available. RAVEN allows also to interface with several numerical codes such as RELAP5 and RELAP-7 and ad-hoc system simulators. For the space propulsion system problem, an ad-hoc simulator has been developed and written in python language and then interfaced to RAVEN. Such simulator fully models both deterministic (e.g., system dynamics and interactions between system components) and stochastic behaviors (i.e., failures of components/systems such as distribution lines and thrusters). Stochastic analysis is performed using random sampling based methodologies (i.e., Monte-Carlo). Such analysis is accomplished to determine both the reliability of the space propulsion system and to propagate the uncertainties associated to a specific set of parameters. As also indicated in the scope of the benchmark problem, the results generated by the stochastic analysis are used to generate risk-informed insights such as conditions under witch different strategy can be followed.

  17. Probabilistic assessment of space nuclear propulsion system nozzle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shah, Ashwin R.; Ball, Richard D.; Chamis, Christos C.

    1994-01-01

    In assessing the reliability of a space nuclear propulsion system (SNPS) nozzle, uncertainties associated with the following design parameters were considered: geometry, boundary conditions, material behavior, and thermal and pressure loads. A preliminary assessment of the reliability was performed using NESSUS (Numerical Evaluation of Stochastic Structures Under Stress), a finite-element computer code developed at the NASA Lewis Research Center. The sensitivity of the nozzle reliability to the uncertainties in the random variables was quantified. With respect to the effective stress, preliminary results showed that the nozzle spatial geometry uncertainties have the most significant effect at low probabilities whereas the inner wall temperature has the most significant effect at higher probabilities.

  18. Advanced Deuterium Fusion Rocket Propulsion For Manned Deep Space Missions

    CERN Document Server

    Winterberg, Dr Friedwardt

    2009-01-01

    Excluding speculations about future breakthrough discoveries in physics, it is shown that with what is at present known, and also what is technically feasible, manned space flight to the limits of the solar system and beyond deep into the Oort cloud is quite well possible. Using deuterium as the rocket fuel of choice, abundantly available on the comets of the Oort cloud, rockets driven by deuterium fusion, can there be refueled. To obtain a high thrust with a high specific impulse, favors the propulsion by deuterium micro-bombs, and it is shown that the ignition of deuterium micro-bombs is possible by intense GeV proton beams, generated in space by using the entire spacecraft as a magnetically insulated billion volt capacitor. The cost to develop this kind of propulsion system in space would be very high, but it can also be developed on earth by a magnetically insulated Super Marx Generator. Since the ignition of deuterium is theoretically possible with the Super Marx Generator, rather than deuterium-tritium ...

  19. Fresnel Concentrators for Space Solar Power and Solar Thermal Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradford, Rodney; Parks, Robert W.; Craig, Harry B. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Large deployable Fresnel concentrators are applicable to solar thermal propulsion and multiple space solar power generation concepts. These concentrators can be used with thermophotovoltaic, solar thermionic, and solar dynamic conversion systems. Thin polyimide Fresnel lenses and reflectors can provide tailored flux distribution and concentration ratios matched to receiver requirements. Thin, preformed polyimide film structure components assembled into support structures for Fresnel concentrators provide the capability to produce large inflation-deployed concentrator assemblies. The polyimide film is resistant to the space environment and allows large lightweight assemblies to be fabricated that can be compactly stowed for launch. This work addressed design and fabrication of lightweight polyimide film Fresnel concentrators, alternate materials evaluation, and data management functions for space solar power concepts, architectures, and supporting technology development.

  20. Tailoring Laser Propulsion for Future Applications in Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckel, Hans-Albert; Scharring, Stefan

    2010-10-01

    Pulsed laser propulsion may turn out as a low cost alternative for the transportation of small payloads in future. In recent years DLR investigated this technology with the goal of cheaply launching small satellites into low earth orbit (LEO) with payload masses on the order of 5 to 10 kg. Since the required high power pulsed laser sources are yet not at the horizon, DLR focused on new applications based on available laser technology. Space-borne, i.e. in weightlessness, there exist a wide range of missions requiring small thrusters that can be propelled by laser power. This covers space logistic and sample return missions as well as position keeping and attitude control of satellites. First, a report on the proof of concept of a remote controlled laser rocket with a thrust vector steering device integrated in a parabolic nozzle will be given. Second, the road from the previous ground-based flight experiments in earth's gravity using a 100-J class laser to flight experiments with a parabolic thruster in an artificial 2D-zero gravity on an air cushion table employing a 1-J class laser and, with even less energy, new investigations in the field of laser micro propulsion will be reviewed.

  1. Unibody Composite Pressurized Structure (UCPS) for In-Space Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Microcosm, in conjunction with the Scoprius Space Launch Company (SSLC), will develop a Unibody Composite Pressurized Structure (UCPS) for in-space propulsion that...

  2. Space Weather Concerns for All-Electric Propulsion Satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horne, Richard B.; Pitchford, David

    2015-08-01

    The introduction of all-electric propulsion satellites is a game changer in the quest for low-cost access to space. It also raises new questions for satellite manufacturers, operators, and the insurance industry regarding the general risks and specifically the threat of adverse space weather. The issues surrounding this new concept were discussed by research scientists and up to 30 representatives from the space industry at a special meeting at the European Space Weather Week held in November 2014. Here we report on the discussions at that meeting. We show that for a satellite undergoing electric orbit raising for 200 days the radiation dose due to electrons is equivalent to approximately 6.7 year operation at geostationary orbit or approximately half the typical design life. We also show that electrons can be injected into the slot region (8000 km) where they pose a risk of satellite internal charging. The results highlight the importance of additional radiation protection. We also discuss the benefits, the operational considerations, the other risks from the Van Allen radiation belts, the new business opportunities for space insurance, and the need for space situation awareness in medium Earth orbit where electric orbit raising takes place.

  3. Overview of materials technologies for space nuclear power and propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zinkle, S. J.; Ott, L. J.; Ingersoll, D. T.; Ellis, R. J.; Grossbeck, M. L.

    2002-01-01

    A wide range of different space nuclear systems are currently being evaluated as part of the DOE Special Purpose Fission Technology program. The near-term subset of systems scheduled to be evaluated range from 50 kWe gas-, pumped liquid metal-, or liquid metal heat pipe-cooled reactors for space propulsion to 3 kWe heat pipe or pumped liquid metal systems for Mars surface power applications. The current status of the materials technologies required for the successful development of near-term space nuclear power and propulsion systems is reviewed. Materials examined in this overview include fuels (UN, UO2, UZrH), cladding and structural materials (stainless steel, superalloys, refractory alloys), neutron reflector materials (Be, BeO), and neutron shield materials (B4C,LiH). The materials technologies issues are considerably less demanding for the 3 kWe reactor systems due to lower operating temperatures, lower fuel burnup, and lower radiation damage levels. A few reactor subcomponents in the 3 kWe reactors under evaluation are being used near or above their engineering limits, which may adversely affect the 5 to 10 year lifetime design goal. It appears that most of these issues for the 3 kWe reactor systems can be accommodated by incorporating a few engineering design changes. Design limits (temperature, burnup, stress, radiation levels) for the various materials proposed for space nuclear reactors will be summarized. For example, the temperature and stress limits for Type 316 stainless steel in the 3 kWe Na-cooled heat pipe reactor (Stirling engine) concept will be controlled by thermal creep and CO2 corrosion considerations rather than radiation damage issues. Conversely, the lower operating temperature limit for the LiH shield material will likely be defined by ionizing radiation damage (radiolysis)-induced swelling, even for the relatively low radiation doses associated with the 3 kWe reactor. .

  4. Radioisotope Electric Propulsion for Deep Space Sample Return

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Noble, Robert J.; /SLAC

    2009-07-14

    The need to answer basic questions regarding the origin of the Solar System will motivate robotic sample return missions to destinations like Pluto, its satellite Charon, and objects in the Kuiper belt. To keep the mission duration short enough to be of interest, sample return from objects farther out in the Solar System requires increasingly higher return velocities. A sample return mission involves several complicated steps to reach an object and obtain a sample, but only the interplanetary return phase of the mission is addressed in this paper. Radioisotope electric propulsion is explored in this parametric study as a means to propel small, dedicated return vehicles for transferring kilogram-size samples from deep space to Earth. Return times for both Earth orbital rendezvous and faster, direct atmospheric re-entry trajectories are calculated for objects as far away as 100 AU. Chemical retro-rocket braking at Earth is compared to radioisotope electric propulsion but the limited deceleration capability of chemical rockets forces the return trajectories to be much slower.

  5. Oxygen-hydrogen thrusters for Space Station auxiliary propulsion systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berkman, D. K.

    1984-01-01

    The feasibility and technology requirements of a low-thrust, high-performance, long-life, gaseous oxygen (GO2)/gaseous hydrogen (GH2) thruster were examined. Candidate engine concepts for auxiliary propulsion systems for space station applications were identified. The low-thrust engine (5 to 100 lb sub f) requires significant departure from current applications of oxygen/hydrogen propulsion technology. Selection of the thrust chamber material and cooling method needed or long life poses a major challenge. The use of a chamber material requiring a minimum amount of cooling or the incorporation of regenerative cooling were the only choices available with the potential of achieving very high performance. The design selection for the injector/igniter, the design and fabrication of a regeneratively cooled copper chamber, and the design of a high-temperature rhenium chamber were documented and the performance and heat transfer results obtained from the test program conducted at JPL using the above engine components presented. Approximately 115 engine firings were conducted in the JPL vacuum test facility, using 100:1 expansion ratio nozzles. Engine mixture ratio and fuel-film cooling percentages were parametrically investigated for each test configuration.

  6. Low Cost Propulsion Technology at the Marshall Space Flight Center: Fastrac Engine and the Propulsion Test Article

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Mark F.; Ise, Michael R.

    1998-01-01

    The need for low cost access to space has initiated the development of low cost liquid rocket engine and propulsion system hardware at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). The engine, the 60,000 lbf, RP-1 and LOX Fastrac Engine has been designed as a robust, low cost liquid rocket engine with applications for X-34 as well as future low cost booster systems. The engine is a turbopump fed, gas generator cycle, rocket motor with an ablative nozzle. The Propulsion Test Article (PTA) is a test bed for low cost propulsion system hardware including a composite RP-1 tank, flight feedlines and pressurization system, stacked in a booster configuration. A general description of the PTA and the Fastrac engine is given, with emphasis on the technical specification of the hardware including flow rates, pressures and other operating conditions. The process which has been used for the design and integration of this hardware is described.

  7. Black Holes, Worm Holes, and Future Space Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barret, Chris

    2000-01-01

    NASA has begun examining the technologies needed for an Interstellar Mission. In 1998, a NASA Interstellar Mission Workshop was held at the California Institute of Technology to examine the technologies required. Since then, a spectrum of research efforts to support such a mission has been underway, including many advanced and futuristic space propulsion concepts which are being explored. The study of black holes and wormholes may provide some of the breakthrough physics needed to travel to the stars. The first black hole, CYGXI, was discovered in 1972 in the constellation Cygnus X-1. In 1993, a black hole was found in the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. In 1994, the black hole GRO J1655-40 was discovered by the NASA Marshall Space Flight center using the Gamma Ray Observatory. Today, we believe we have found evidence to support the existence of 19 black holes, but our universe may contain several thousands. This paper discusses the dead star states - - both stable and unstable, white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, quasars, the basic features and types of black holes: nonspinning, nonspinning with charge, spinning, and Hawking's mini black holes. The search for black holes, gravitational waves, and Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) are reviewed. Finally, concepts of black hole powered space vehicles and wormhole concepts for rapid interstellar travel are discussed in relation to the NASA Interstellar Mission.

  8. Black Holes, Worm Holes, and Future Space Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barret, Chris

    2000-01-01

    NASA has begun examining the technologies needed for an Interstellar Mission. In 1998, a NASA Interstellar Mission Workshop was held at the California Institute of Technology to examine the technologies required. Since then, a spectrum of research efforts to support such a mission has been underway, including many advanced and futuristic space propulsion concepts which are being explored. The study of black holes and wormholes may provide some of the breakthrough physics needed to travel to the stars. The first black hole, CYGXI, was discovered in 1972 in the constellation Cygnus X-1. In 1993, a black hole was found in the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. In 1994, the black hole GRO J1655-40 was discovered by the NASA Marshall Space Flight center using the Gamma Ray Observatory. Today, we believe we have found evidence to support the existence of 19 black holes, but our universe may contain several thousands. This paper discusses the dead star states - - both stable and unstable, white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, quasars, the basic features and types of black holes: nonspinning, nonspinning with charge, spinning, and Hawking's mini black holes. The search for black holes, gravitational waves, and Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) are reviewed. Finally, concepts of black hole powered space vehicles and wormhole concepts for rapid interstellar travel are discussed in relation to the NASA Interstellar Mission.

  9. A Multi-disciplinary Tool for Space Launch Systems Propulsion Analysis Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — An accurate predictive capability of coupled fluid-structure interaction in propulsion system is crucial in the development of NASA's new Space Launch System (SLS)....

  10. Advanced Fusion Reactors for Space Propulsion and Power Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, John J.

    2011-01-01

    In recent years the methodology proposed for conversion of light elements into energy via fusion has made steady progress. Scientific studies and engineering efforts in advanced fusion systems designs have introduced some new concepts with unique aspects including consideration of Aneutronic fuels. The plant parameters for harnessing aneutronic fusion appear more exigent than those required for the conventional fusion fuel cycle. However aneutronic fusion propulsion plants for Space deployment will ultimately offer the possibility of enhanced performance from nuclear gain as compared to existing ionic engines as well as providing a clean solution to Planetary Protection considerations and requirements. Proton triggered 11Boron fuel (p- 11B) will produce abundant ion kinetic energy for In-Space vectored thrust. Thus energetic alpha particles "exhaust" momentum can be used directly to produce high ISP thrust and also offer possibility of power conversion into electricity. p- 11B is an advanced fusion plant fuel with well understood reaction kinematics but will require some new conceptual thinking as to the most effective implementation.

  11. Low Cost Propulsion Technology Testing at the Stennis Space Center: Propulsion Test Article and the Horizontal Test Facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Mark F.; King, Richard F.; Chenevert, Donald J.

    1998-01-01

    The need for low cost access to space has initiated the development of low cost liquid rocket engine and propulsion system hardware at the Marshall Space Flight Center. This hardware will be tested at the Stennis Space Center's B-2 test stand. This stand has been reactivated for the testing of the Marshall designed Fastrac engine and the Propulsion Test Article. The RP-1 and LOX engine is a turbopump fed gas generator rocket with an ablative nozzle which has a thrust of 60,000 lbf. The Propulsion Test Article (PTA) is a test bed for low cost propulsion system hardware including a composite RP-I tank, flight feedlines and pressurization system, stacked in a booster configuration. The PTA is located near the center line of the B-2 test stand, firing vertically into the water cooled flame deflector. A new second position on the B-2 test stand has been designed and built for the horizontal testing of the Fastrac engine in direct support of the X-34 launch vehicle. The design and integration of these test facilities as well as the coordination which was required between the two Centers is described and lessons learned are provided. The construction of the horizontal test position is discussed in detail. The activation of these facilities is examined and the major test milestones are described.

  12. Deep space propulsion a roadmap to interstellar flight

    CERN Document Server

    Long, K F

    2012-01-01

    As humans take their first tentative steps off our home planet, and debate the costs/benefits of sending people back to the Moon and perhaps on to Mars, we must also start to make plans for the day when we will venture forth as pioneers farther out into the Solar System and beyond - perhaps far, far beyond - to explore and settle new worlds around other stars. It is vital that we develop the deep space propulsion technologies that will take us there, first to explore with robotic probes, then to follow ourselves. This is necessary so that if anything catastrophic happened to Earth, our species would survive. And the possibilities for catastrophe are great. An impacting asteroid ended the reign of the dinosaurs, and today we have many other threats such as global war, climate change, pollution, resource limitations and overpopulation. In this book, Kelvin F. Long takes us on all the possible journeys - the mission targets, the technologies we might use to power such journeys, and what scientific knowledge we a...

  13. Electric propulsion and its applications to space missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finke, R. C.

    1981-01-01

    Consideration is given the NASA, Air Force and European electric propulsion programs, the characteristics of primary electric propulsion systems, nuclear electric orbit transfer vehicles, and such topics in the fundamental processes of electrostatic thrusters as sputtering in mercury ion thrusters, the screen hole plasma sheath of an ion accelerator system, and the modelling of ion beam neutralization and nitrogen chemisorption. Also considered are electrostatic thruster components and systems, electromagnetic thrusters such as MPD and RIT systems, electric rail guns and mass drivers, power sources which include solar and nuclear alternatives, power conversion systems and their cooling apparatus, and the environmental interactions between spacecraft and their electric propulsion systems.

  14. Technology Area Roadmap for In-Space Propulsion Technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Les; Meyer, Michael; Palaszewski, Bryan; Coote, David; Goebel, Dan; White, Harold

    2012-01-01

    The exponential increase of launch system size.and cost.with delta-V makes missions that require large total impulse cost prohibitive. Led by NASA fs Marshall Space Flight Center, a team from government, industry, and academia has developed a flight demonstration mission concept of an integrated electrodynamic (ED) tethered satellite system called PROPEL: \\Propulsion using Electrodynamics.. The PROPEL Mission is focused on demonstrating a versatile configuration of an ED tether to overcome the limitations of the rocket equation, enable new classes of missions currently unaffordable or infeasible, and significantly advance the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) to an operational level. We are also focused on establishing a far deeper understanding of critical processes and technologies to be able to scale and improve tether systems in the future. Here, we provide an overview of the proposed PROPEL mission. One of the critical processes for efficient ED tether operation is the ability to inject current to and collect current from the ionosphere. Because the PROPEL mission is planned to have both boost and deboost capability using a single tether, the tether current must be capable of flowing in both directions and at levels well over 1 A. Given the greater mobility of electrons over that of ions, this generally requires that both ends of the ED tether system can both collect and emit electrons. For example, hollow cathode plasma contactors (HCPCs) generally are viewed as state-of-the-art and high TRL devices; however, for ED tether applications important questions remain of how efficiently they can operate as both electron collectors and emitters. Other technologies will be highlighted that are being investigated as possible alternatives to the HCPC such as Solex that generates a plasma cloud from a solid material (Teflon) and electron emission (only) technologies such as cold-cathode electron field emission or photo-electron beam generation (PEBG) techniques

  15. Space exploration initiative candidate nuclear propulsion test facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baldwin, Darrell; Clark, John S.

    1993-01-01

    One-page descriptions for approximately 200 existing government, university, and industry facilities which may be available in the future to support SEI nuclear propulsion technology development and test program requirements are provided. To facilitate use of the information, the candidate facilities are listed both by location (Index L) and by Facility Type (Index FT). The included one-page descriptions provide a brief narrative description of facility capability, suggest potential uses for each facility, and designate a point of contact for additional information that may be needed in the future. The Nuclear Propulsion Office at NASA Lewis presently plans to maintain, expand, and update this information periodically for use by NASA, DOE, and DOD personnel involved in planning various phases of the SEI Nuclear Propulsion Project.

  16. An evaluation of oxygen-hydrogen propulsion systems for the Space Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klemetson, R. W.; Garrison, P. W.; Hannum, N. P.

    1985-01-01

    Conceptual designs for O2/H2 chemical and resistojet propulsion systems for the space station was developed and evaluated. The evolution of propulsion requirements was considered as the space station configuration and its utilization as a space transportation node change over the first decade of operation. The characteristics of candidate O2/H2 auxiliary propulsion systems are determined, and opportunities for integration with the OTV tank farm and the space station life support, power and thermal control subsystems are investigated. OTV tank farm boiloff can provide a major portion of the growth station impulse requirements and CO2 from the life support system can be a significant propellant resource, provided it is not denied by closure of that subsystem. Waste heat from the thermal control system is sufficient for many propellant conditioning requirements. It is concluded that the optimum level of subsystem integration must be based on higher level space station studies.

  17. An evaluation of oxygen/hydrogen propulsion systems for the Space Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klemetson, R. W.; Garrison, P. W.; Hannum, N. P.

    1985-01-01

    Conceptual designs for O2/H2 chemical and resistojet propulsion systems for the Space Station was developed and evaluated. The evolution of propulsion requirements was considered as the Space Station configuration and its utilization as a space transportation node change over the first decade of operation. The characteristics of candidate O2/H2 auxiliary propulsion systems are determined, and opportunities for integration with the OTV tank farm and the Space Station life support, power and thermal control subsystems are investigated. OTV tank farm boiloff can provide a major portion of the growth station impulse requirements and CO2 from the life support system can be a significant propellant resource, provided it is not denied by closure of that subsystem. Waste heat from the thermal control system is sufficient for many propellant conditioning requirements. It is concluded that the optimum level of subsystem integration must be based on higher level Space Station studies.

  18. Radioisotope electric propulsion of sciencecraft to the outer solar system and near-interstellar space

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Noble, R.J.

    1998-08-01

    Recent results are presented in the study of radioisotope electric propulsion as a near-term technology for sending small robotic sciencecraft to the outer Solar System and near-interstellar space. Radioisotope electric propulsion (REP) systems are low-thrust, ion propulsion units based on radioisotope electric generators and ion thrusters. Powerplant specific masses are expected to be in the range of 100 to 200 kg/kW of thrust power. Planetary rendezvous missions to Pluto, fast missions to the heliopause (100 AU) with the capability to decelerate an orbiter for an extended science program and prestellar missions to the first gravitational lens focus of the Sun (550 AU) are investigated.

  19. An examination of emerging in-space propulsion concepts for one-year crewed mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelaccio, Dennis G.; Rauwolf, Gerald A.; Maggio, Gaspare; Patel, Saroj; Sorensen, Kirk

    2002-01-01

    A study was completed that provides a meaningful, even-handed, comparison assessment of promising candidate, in-space, exploration propulsion concepts to support emerging ``near-term'' crewed Mars mission applications. In particular, the study examined the mission performance feasibility and risk of a number of near-, mid-, and far-term in-space propulsion concepts to support crewed Mars missions starting in 2018 that can have the crewed portion of the mission performed in one year or less. This study used exploration propulsion system team technology specialist advocates to identify seven meaningful, representative mission architecture scenarios to ``best'' demonstrate the capability of such in-space propulsion technology options to support the near-term crewed Mars mission requirement. Additionally, a common set of top-level mission/system requirements was established for the study, which was incorporated in the assessment of all the mission options considered. Mission performance for abundant chemical (Ab-Chem), bimodal nuclear thermal rocket (BNTR), high power nuclear electric propulsion (HP-NEP), momentum tether/chemical, solar electric propulsion (SEP), solar electric propulsion/chemical (SEP-Chem) and Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) based missions were estimated for this quick trip, 2018 crewed Mars flight opportunity. Each of these mission options are characterized in terms of their overall mission performance capability, crewed mission duration, Initial Mass to Low Earth Orbit (IMLEO), which including dry and propellant weight required, overall mission time, number of flight elements (propulsion units/tank sets), and number of Earth-to-Orbit (ETO) vehicle launches. Potential top-level development, implementation, and operational issues/risks for each mission scenario considered are also identified. .

  20. Marshall Space Flight Center Propulsion Systems Department (PSD) KM Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caraccioli, Paul; Varnadoe, Tom; McCarter, Mike

    2006-01-01

    NASA Marshall Space Flight Center s Propulsion Systems Department (PSD) is four months into a fifteen month Knowledge Management (KM) initiative to support enhanced engineering decision making and analyses, faster resolution of anomalies (near-term) and effective, efficient knowledge infused engineering processes, reduced knowledge attrition, and reduced anomaly occurrences (long-term). The near-term objective of this initiative is developing a KM Pilot project, within the context of a 3-5 year KM strategy, to introduce and evaluate the use of KM within PSD. An internal NASA/MSFC PSD KM team was established early in project formulation to maintain a practitioner, user-centric focus throughout the conceptual development, planning and deployment of KM technologies and capabilities with in the PSD. The PSD internal team is supported by the University of Alabama's Aging Infrastructure Systems Center Of Excellence (AISCE), Intergraph Corporation, and The Knowledge Institute. The principle product of the initial four month effort has been strategic planning of PSD KM implementation by first determining the "as is" state of KM capabilities and developing, planning and documenting the roadmap to achieve the desired "to be" state. Activities undertaken to support the planning phase have included data gathering; cultural surveys, group work-sessions, interviews, documentation review, and independent research. Assessments and analyses have been performed including industry benchmarking, related local and Agency initiatives, specific tools and techniques used and strategies for leveraging existing resources, people and technology to achieve common KM goals. Key findings captured in the PSD KM Strategic Plan include the system vision, purpose, stakeholders, prioritized strategic objectives mapped to the top ten practitioner needs and analysis of current resource usage. Opportunities identified from research, analyses, cultural/KM surveys and practitioner interviews include

  1. In-Space Propulsion Technology Products Ready for Infusion on NASA's Future Science Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, David J.; Pencil, Eric; Peterson, Todd; Dankanich, John; Munk, Michele M.

    2012-01-01

    Since 2001, the In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) program has been developing and delivering in-space propulsion technologies that will enable or enhance NASA robotic science missions. These in-space propulsion technologies are applicable, and potentially enabling, for future NASA flagship and sample return missions currently being considered. They have a broad applicability to future competed mission solicitations. The high-temperature Advanced Material Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine, providing higher performance for lower cost, was completed in 2009. Two other ISPT technologies are nearing completion of their technology development phase: 1) NASA s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion propulsion system, a 0.6-7 kW throttle-able gridded ion system; and 2) Aerocapture technology development with investments in a family of thermal protection system (TPS) materials and structures; guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) models of blunt-body rigid aeroshells; aerothermal effect models; and atmospheric models for Earth, Titan, Mars and Venus. This paper provides status of the technology development, applicability, and availability of in-space propulsion technologies that have recently completed their technology development and will be ready for infusion into NASA s Discovery, New Frontiers, SMD Flagship, or technology demonstration missions.

  2. In-Space Propulsion Technology Products for NASA's Future Science and Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, David J.; Pencil, Eric; Peterson, Todd; Dankanich, John; Munk, Michelle M.

    2011-01-01

    Since 2001, the In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) project has been developing and delivering in-space propulsion technologies that will enable or enhance NASA robotic science missions. These in-space propulsion technologies are applicable, and potentially enabling, for future NASA flagship and sample return missions currently being considered, as well as having broad applicability to future competed mission solicitations. The high-temperature Advanced Material Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine providing higher performance for lower cost was completed in 2009. Two other ISPT technologies are nearing completion of their technology development phase: 1) NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion propulsion system, a 0.6-7 kW throttle-able gridded ion system; and 2) Aerocapture technology development with investments in a family of thermal protection system (TPS) materials and structures; guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) models of blunt-body rigid aeroshells; aerothermal effect models: and atmospheric models for Earth, Titan, Mars and Venus. This paper provides status of the technology development, applicability, and availability of in-space propulsion technologies that have recently completed their technology development and will be ready for infusion into NASA s Discovery, New Frontiers, Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Flagship, and Exploration technology demonstration missions

  3. Advanced Space Transportation Concepts and Propulsion Technologies for a New Delivery Paradigm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, John W.; McCleskey, Carey M.; Rhodes, Russel E.; Lepsch, Roger A.; Henderson, Edward M.; Joyner, Claude R., III; Levack, Daniel J. H.

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes Advanced Space Transportation Concepts and Propulsion Technologies for a New Delivery Paradigm. It builds on the work of the previous paper "Approach to an Affordable and Productive Space Transportation System". The scope includes both flight and ground system elements, and focuses on their compatibility and capability to achieve a technical solution that is operationally productive and also affordable. A clear and revolutionary approach, including advanced propulsion systems (advanced LOX rich booster engine concept having independent LOX and fuel cooling systems, thrust augmentation with LOX rich boost and fuel rich operation at altitude), improved vehicle concepts (autogeneous pressurization, turbo alternator for electric power during ascent, hot gases to purge system and keep moisture out), and ground delivery systems, was examined. Previous papers by the authors and other members of the Space Propulsion Synergy Team (SPST) focused on space flight system engineering methods, along with operationally efficient propulsion system concepts and technologies. This paper continues the previous work by exploring the propulsion technology aspects in more depth and how they may enable the vehicle designs from the previous paper. Subsequent papers will explore the vehicle design, the ground support system, and the operations aspects of the new delivery paradigm in greater detail.

  4. NASA safety program activities in support of the Space Exploration Initiatives Nuclear Propulsion program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawyer, J. C., Jr.

    1993-01-01

    The activities of the joint NASA/DOE/DOD Nuclear Propulsion Program Technical Panels have been used as the basis for the current development of safety policies and requirements for the Space Exploration Initiatives (SEI) Nuclear Propulsion Technology development program. The Safety Division of the NASA Office of Safety and Mission Quality has initiated efforts to develop policies for the safe use of nuclear propulsion in space through involvement in the joint agency Nuclear Safety Policy Working Group (NSPWG), encouraged expansion of the initial policy development into proposed programmatic requirements, and suggested further expansion into the overall risk assessment and risk management process for the NASA Exploration Program. Similar efforts are underway within the Department of Energy to ensure the safe development and testing of nuclear propulsion systems on Earth. This paper describes the NASA safety policy related to requirements for the design of systems that may operate where Earth re-entry is a possibility. The expected plan of action is to support and oversee activities related to the technology development of nuclear propulsion in space, and support the overall safety and risk management program being developed for the NASA Exploration Program.

  5. Propulsion Utilizing Laser-Driven Ponderomotive Fields for Deep-Space Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, George J.; Gilland, James H.

    2009-03-01

    The generation of large amplitude electric fields in plasmas by high-power lasers has been studied for several years in the context of high-energy particle acceleration. Fields on the order of GeV/m are generated in the plasma wake of the laser by non-linear ponderomotive forces. The laser fields generate longitudinal and translational electron plasma waves with phase velocities close to the speed of light. These fields and velocities offer the potential to revolutionize spacecraft propulsion, leading to extended deep space robotic probes. Based on these initial calculations, plasma acceleration by means of laser-induced ponderomotive forces appears to offer significant potential for spacecraft propulsion. Relatively high-efficiencies appear possible with proper beam conditioning, resulting in an order of magnitude more thrust than alternative concepts for high ISP (>105 s) and elimination of the primary life-limiting erosion phenomena associated with conventional electric propulsion systems. Ponderomotive propulsion readily lends itself to beamed power which might overcome some of the constraints of power-limited propulsion concepts. A preliminary assessment of the impact of these propulsion systems for several promising configurations on mission architectures has been conducted. Emphasizing interstellar and interstellar-precursor applications, performance and technical requirements are identified for a number of missions. The use of in-situ plasma and gas for propellant is evaluated as well.

  6. Nuclear power sources in outer space. [spacecraft propulsion legal aspects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hosenball, S. N.

    1978-01-01

    Legal problems associated with nuclear power sources in space are discussed with particular reference to the Cosmos 954 incident. Deliberations of the Legal and Scientific and Technical Subcommittees on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space on this subject are discussed.

  7. Space Shuttle Main Propulsion System Anomaly Detection: A Case Study

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The space shuttle main engine (SSME) is part of the Main Propnlsion System (MPS) which is an extremely complex system containing several sub-systems and components,...

  8. Application of Recommended Design Practices for Conceptual Nuclear Fusion Space Propulsion Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Craig H.

    2004-01-01

    An AIAA Special Project Report was recently produced by AIAA's Nuclear and Future Flight Propulsion Technical Committee and is currently in peer review. The Report provides recommended design practices for conceptual engineering studies of nuclear fusion space propulsion systems. Discussion and recommendations are made on key topics including design reference missions, degree of technological extrapolation and concomitant risk, thoroughness in calculating mass properties (nominal mass properties, weight-growth contingency and propellant margins, and specific impulse), and thoroughness in calculating power generation and usage (power-flow, power contingencies, specific power). The report represents a general consensus of the nuclear fusion space propulsion system conceptual design community and proposes 15 recommendations. This paper expands on the Report by providing specific examples illustrating how to apply each of the recommendations.

  9. Oxygen/hydrogen Space Station propulsion system concept definition for IOC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoji, J. M.; Meisl, C. J.; Glass, J. F.; Tu, W.-H.; Ebert, S. J.; Evans, S. A.; Jones, L. W.; Campbell, H.

    1986-01-01

    The potential for the reduction in propulsion system life cycle costs through the use of on-board water electrolysis to generate oxygen and hydrogen propellants, as well as the potential advantages of improved system safety and contamination impact, led to a study to evaluate candidate oxygen-/hydrogen-based propulsion systems. In this study a representative set of propulsion system requirements were compiled and candidate oxygen/hydrogen-based propulsion systems synthesized. These candidate concepts were screened and a systems evaluation was performed on the remaining eight candidate concepts. Detailed system schematics were prepared. Operational design conditions were determined and system weight, volume, energy requirements, and costs were calculated. Evaluation results indicated that the oxygen/hydrogen propulsion systems can provide simple, low cost, and viable systems for the IOC Space Station. Based on these data, a relative concept evaluation was conducted using as selection criteria reliability, safety, cost, technical risk, contamination, operational utility, growth potential, and integration potential. Top ranked candidate systems were recommended to NASA/MSFC for consideration for the IOC Space Station.

  10. Efficient space propulsion and power using a high-temperature, gaseous radiation receiver

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattick, A. T.; Mcfall, K. A.

    1990-01-01

    A two-dimensional analysis is carried out for a flowing gas radiation heater, a device whereby focused solar radiation is deposited volumetrically in a gas to produce high temperatures for space power or propulsion. The paper includes radiative losses to the walls of the absorption chamber, and demonstrates that if wall reflectivity exceeds 75 percent, gas temperatures above 3000 K are possible.

  11. Advanced Space Robotics and Solar Electric Propulsion: Enabling Technologies for Future Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, M.; Tadros, A.

    2017-02-01

    Obtaining answers to questions posed by planetary scientists over the next several decades will require the ability to travel further while exploring and gathering data in more remote locations of our solar system. Timely investments need to be made in developing and demonstrating solar electric propulsion and advanced space robotics technologies.

  12. Light weight space power reactors for nuclear electric propulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ludewig, H.; Mughabghab, S.; Lazareth, O.; Perkins, K.; Schmidt, E.; Powell, J.R.

    1991-01-01

    A Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) unit capable of propelling a manned vehicle to MARS will be required to have a value of {alpha} (kg/kWe) which is less than five. In order to meet this goal the reactor mass, and thus its contribution to the value of {alpha} will have to be minimized. In this paper a candidate for such a reactor is described. It consists of a gas cooled Particle Bed Reactor (PBR), with specially chosen materials which allow it to operate at an exit temperature of approximately 2000 K. One of the unique features of a PBR is the direct cooling of particulate fuel by the working fluid. This feature allows for high power densities, highest possible gas exit temperatures, for a given fuel temperature and because of the thin particle bed a low pressure drop. The PBR's described in this paper will have a ceramic moderator (Be{sub 2}C), ZrC coated fuel particles and a carbon/carbon hot frit. All the reactors will be designed with sufficient fissile loading to operate at full power for seven years. The burn up possible with particulate fuel is approximately 30%--50%. These rector designs achieve a value of {alpha} less than unity in the power range of interest (5 MWe). 5 refs., 3 figs.

  13. Publications of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, January through December 1974. [deep space network, Apollo project, information theory, and space exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    1975-01-01

    Formalized technical reporting is described and indexed, which resulted from scientific and engineering work performed, or managed, by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The five classes of publications included are technical reports, technical memorandums, articles from the bimonthly Deep Space Network Progress Report, special publications, and articles published in the open literature. The publications are indexed by author, subject, and publication type and number.

  14. The outlook for application of powerful nuclear thermionic reactor - powered space electric jet propulsion engines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Semyonov, Y.P.; Bakanov, Y.A.; Synyavsky, V.V.; Yuditsky, V.D. [Rocket-Space Corp. `Energia`, Moscow (Russian Federation)

    1997-12-31

    This paper summarizes main study results for application of powerful space electric jet propulsion unit (EJPUs) which is powered by Nuclear Thermionic Power Unit (NTPU). They are combined in Nuclear Power/Propulsion Unit (NPPU) which serves as means of spacecraft equipment power supply and spacecraft movement. Problems the paper deals with are the following: information satellites delivery and their on-orbit power supply during 10-15 years, removal of especially hazardous nuclear wastes, mining of asteroid resources and others. Evaluations on power/time/mass relationship for this type of mission are given. EJPU parameters are compatible with Russian existent or being under development launch vehicle. (author)

  15. The impact of integrated water management on the Space Station propulsion system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, George R.

    1987-01-01

    The water usage of elements in the Space Station integrated water system (IWS) is discussed, and the parameters affecting the overall water balance and the water-electrolysis propulsion-system requirements are considered. With nominal IWS operating characteristics, extra logistic water resupply (LWR) is found to be unnecessary in the satisfaction of the nominal propulsion requirements. With the consideration of all possible operating characteristics, LWR will not be required in 65.5 percent of the cases, and for 17.9 percent of the cases LWR can be eliminated by controlling the stay time of theShuttle Orbiter orbiter.

  16. Space vehicle design and operation for efficient use of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stancati, Mike L.; Hodge, John R.; Borowski, Stanley K.

    1993-01-01

    Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is a high-leverage, and possibly enabling, propulsion choice for sending humans to Mars. Important performance gains are expected for NTP Mars transfer vehicle over their counterparts, the conventional chemical systems. These gains come in spite of vehicle unique requirements for NTP engine development and operations: expected higher development costs, prelaunch and in-space handing safeguards, extra propellant for reactor cool-down after engine burns, and safe, managed disposal of spent NTP engines. Prior studies have also shown that these NTP engines and stages, sized for Mars missions, could increase delivered payloads for some piloted lunar mission as well.

  17. RS-34 Phoenix In-Space Propulsion System Applied to Active Debris Removal Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esther, Elizabeth A.; Burnside, Christopher G.

    2014-01-01

    In-space propulsion is a high percentage of the cost when considering Active Debris Removal mission. For this reason it is desired to research if existing designs with slight modification would meet mission requirements to aid in reducing cost of the overall mission. Such a system capable of rendezvous, close proximity operations, and de-orbit of Envisat class resident space objects has been identified in the existing RS-34 Phoenix. RS-34 propulsion system is a remaining asset from the de-commissioned United States Air Force Peacekeeper program; specifically the pressure-fed storable bi-propellant Stage IV Post Boost Propulsion System. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) gained experience with the RS-34 propulsion system on the successful Ares I-X flight test program flown in the Ares I-X Roll control system (RoCS). The heritage hardware proved extremely robust and reliable and sparked interest for further utilization on other potential in-space applications. Subsequently, MSFC has obtained permission from the USAF to obtain all the remaining RS-34 stages for re-use opportunities. The MSFC Advanced Concepts Office (ACO) was commissioned to lead a study for evaluation of the Rocketdyne produced RS-34 propulsion system as it applies to an active debris removal design reference mission for resident space object targets including Envisat. Originally designed, the RS-34 Phoenix provided in-space six-degrees-of freedom operational maneuvering to deploy payloads at multiple orbital locations. The RS-34 Concept Study lead by sought to further understand application for a similar orbital debris design reference mission to provide propulsive capability for rendezvous, close proximity operations to support the capture phase of the mission, and deorbit of single or multiple large class resident space objects. Multiple configurations varying the degree of modification were identified to trade for dry mass optimization and

  18. Concept Study of Radio Frequency (RF Plasma Thruster for Space Propulsion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna-Maria Theodora ANDREESCU

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Electric thrusters are capable of accelerating ions to speeds that are impossible to reach using chemical reaction. Recent advances in plasma-based concepts have led to the identification of electromagnetic (RF generation and acceleration systems as able to provide not only continuous thrust, but also highly controllable and wide-range exhaust velocities. For Future Space Propulsion there is a pressing need for low pressure, high mass flow rate and controlled ion energies. This paper explores the potential of using RF heated plasmas for space propulsion in order to mitigate the electric propulsion problems caused by erosion and gain flexibility in plasma manipulation. The main key components of RF thruster architecture are: a feeding system able to provide the required neutral gas flow, plasma source chamber, antenna/electrodes wrapped around the discharge tube and optimized electromagnetic field coils for plasma confinement. A preliminary analysis of system performance (thrust, specific impulse, efficiency is performed along with future plans of Space Propulsion based on this new concept of plasma mechanism.

  19. Advanced In-Space Propulsion (AISP): Iodine Hall Thruster Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Iodine propellant offers many enabling capabilities for both SmallSat application and for high power system level implementation.  Some of the highest risk...

  20. Extremely High Suction Performance Inducers for Space Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The proposed innovation provides a way to design low flow coefficient inducers that have higher cavitation breakdown margin, larger blade angles, thicker more...

  1. Extremely High Suction Performance Inducers for Space Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Advanced pump inducer design technology that uses high inlet diffusion blades, operates at a very low flow coefficient, and employs a cavitation control and...

  2. Improved Rhenium Thrust Chambers for In-Space Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Radiation-cooled, bipropellant thrust chambers are being considered for the ascent/descent engines and reaction control systems (RCS) for future NASA missions such...

  3. Joining Silicon Carbide Components for Space Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This SBIR Phase I program will identify the joining materials and demonstrate the processes that are suited for construction of advanced ceramic matrix composite...

  4. Advanced Space Propulsion Based on Vacuum (Spacetime Metric) Engineering

    CERN Document Server

    Puthoff, Harold E

    2012-01-01

    A theme that has come to the fore in advanced planning for long-range space exploration is the concept that empty space itself (the quantum vacuum, or spacetime metric) might be engineered so as to provide energy/thrust for future space vehicles. Although far-reaching, such a proposal is solidly grounded in modern physical theory, and therefore the possibility that matter/vacuum interactions might be engineered for space-flight applications is not a priori ruled out. As examples, the current development of theoretical physics addresses such topics as warp drives, traversable wormholes and time machines that provide for such vacuum engineering possibilities. We provide here from a broad perspective the physics and correlates/consequences of the engineering of the spacetime metric.

  5. Advanced Space Propulsion Based on Vacuum (Spacetime Metirc) Engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puthoff, H.

    A theme that has come to the fore in advanced planning for long-range space exploration is the concept that empty space itself (the quantum vacuum, or spacetime metric) might be engineered so as to provide energy/thrust for future space vehicles. Although far-reaching, such a proposal is solidly grounded in modern physical theory, and therefore the possibility that matter/ vacuum interactions might be engineered for space-flight applications is not a priori ruled out [1]. As examples, the current development of theoretical physics addresses such topics as warp drives, traversable wormholes and time machines that provide for such vacuum engineering possibilities [2-6]. We provide here from a broad perspective the physics and correlates/ consequences of the engineering of the spacetime metric.

  6. Improved Rhenium Thrust Chambers for In-Space Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Radiation-cooled, bipropellant thrust chambers are being considered for the ascent/descent engines and reaction control systems for NASA missions such as Mars Sample...

  7. To Mars and beyond, fast! how plasma propulsion will revolutionize space exploration

    CERN Document Server

    Chang Díaz, Franklin

    2017-01-01

    As advanced space propulsion moves slowly from science fiction to achievable reality, the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket, or VASIMR, is a leading contender for making 'Mars in a month' a possibility. Developed by Ad Astra Rockets, which was founded by astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz and backed by NASA, its first commercial tests are imminent. VASIMR heats plasma to extreme temperatures using radio waves. Strong magnetic fields then funnel this plasma out the back of the engine, creating thrust. The continuous propulsion may place long, fast interplanetary journeys within reach in the near future. While scientists dream of the possibilities of using fusion or well-controlled matter-antimatter interactions to propel spacecraft fast and far, that goal is still some way over the horizon. VASIMR provides a more attainable propulsion technology that is based on the matter-antimatter concept. The book describes a landmark technology grounded in plasma physics and offering a practical technological solu...

  8. An interagency space nuclear propulsion safety policy for SEI - Issues and discussion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, A. C.; Sawyer, J. C., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    An interagency Nuclear Safety Policy Working Group (NSPWG) was chartered to recommend nuclear safety policy, requirements, and guidelines for the Space Exploration Initiative nuclear propulsion program to facilitate the implementation of mission planning and conceptual design studies. The NSPWG developed a top level policy to provide the guiding principles for the development and implementation of the nuclear propulsion safety program and the development of Safety Functional Requirements. In addition, the NSPWG reviewed safety issues for nuclear propulsion and recommended top level safety requirements and guidelines to address these issues. Safety topics include reactor start-up, inadvertent criticality, radiological release and exposure, disposal, entry, safeguards, risk/reliability, operational safety, ground testing, and other considerations. In this paper the emphasis is placed on the safety policy and the issues and considerations that are addressed by the NSPWG recommendations.

  9. Nuclear safety policy working group recommendations on nuclear propulsion safety for the space exploration initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Albert C.; Lee, James H.; Mcculloch, William H.; Sawyer, J. Charles, Jr.; Bari, Robert A.; Cullingford, Hatice S.; Hardy, Alva C.; Niederauer, George F.; Remp, Kerry; Rice, John W.

    1993-01-01

    An interagency Nuclear Safety Working Group (NSPWG) was chartered to recommend nuclear safety policy, requirements, and guidelines for the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) nuclear propulsion program. These recommendations, which are contained in this report, should facilitate the implementation of mission planning and conceptual design studies. The NSPWG has recommended a top-level policy to provide the guiding principles for the development and implementation of the SEI nuclear propulsion safety program. In addition, the NSPWG has reviewed safety issues for nuclear propulsion and recommended top-level safety requirements and guidelines to address these issues. These recommendations should be useful for the development of the program's top-level requirements for safety functions (referred to as Safety Functional Requirements). The safety requirements and guidelines address the following topics: reactor start-up, inadvertent criticality, radiological release and exposure, disposal, entry, safeguards, risk/reliability, operational safety, ground testing, and other considerations.

  10. Solar Thermal Propulsion Improvements at Marshall Space Flight Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerrish, Harold P.

    2003-01-01

    Solar Thermal Propulsion (STP) is a concept which operates by transferring solar energy to a propellant, which thermally expands through a nozzle. The specific impulse performance is about twice that of chemical combustions engines, since there is no need for an oxidizer. In orbit, an inflatable concentrator mirror captures sunlight and focuses it inside an engine absorber cavity/heat exchanger, which then heats the propellant. The primary application of STP is with upperstages taking payloads from low earth orbit to geosynchronous earth orbit or earth escape velocities. STP engines are made of high temperature materials since heat exchanger operation requires temperatures greater than 2500K. Refractory metals such as tungsten and rhenium have been examined. The materials must also be compatible with hot hydrogen propellant. MSFC has three different engine designs, made of different refractory metal materials ready to test. Future engines will be made of high temperature carbide materials, which can withstand temperatures greater than 3000K, hot hydrogen, and provide higher performance. A specific impulse greater than 1000 seconds greatly reduces the amount of required propellant. A special 1 OkW solar ground test facility was made at MSFC to test various STP engine designs. The heliostat mirror, with dual-axis gear drive, tracks and reflects sunlight to the 18 ft. diameter concentrator mirror. The concentrator then focuses sunlight through a vacuum chamber window to a small focal point inside the STP engine. The facility closely simulates how the STP engine would function in orbit. The flux intensity at the focal point is equivalent to the intensity at a distance of 7 solar radii from the sun.

  11. An integral solar power and propulsion system concept for commercial space applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Choong, P.T.S. [California International Power Associates, Los Altos Hills, CA (United States)

    1995-12-31

    An integral space power concept deriving both the electrical and propulsion power from a common high-temperature heat source module offers superior performance capabilities over conventional chemical upper-stage propulsion with separate solar photovoltaic power systems. This hybrid system concept is based on a high efficiency solar concentrator-heated propulsion and a high temperature thermionic technology derived from the proven Solar Energy Thermionics (SET) or the advanced Hydrogen Thermo-ElectroChemical Conversion (HYTEC) for electrical power generation. The thermal hydrogen propulsion technology is derived from the NERVA rocket program. The integral system is capable of long-life power operation at an efficiency of at least twice the conventional photovoltaic approach. Because of anticipated high conversion efficiency of the HYTEC, the electrical power output can be increased several folds using the similarly sized solar concentrator. The propulsion module is capable of high specific impulse during the orbital transfer thrusting. The same module is also usable for long-term orbit management applications. The resulting savings in propellant and power generator equipment enable the use of new generation of low-cost launchers for many commercial satellite applications.

  12. Two generic concepts for space propulsion based on thermal nuclear fusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrielli, R. A.; Petkow, D.; Herdrich, G.; Laufer, R.; Röser, H.-P.

    2014-08-01

    In the present work, two different concepts for fusion based space propulsion are compared. While the first concept is based solely on propulsion by hypothetic ejection of fusion products and hence may be called ash drive, the second one uses an additional coolant for thrust enhancement. Since this coolant was initially assumed to be gaseous and since it is doing most of the propulsion work, the name of “working gas drive” has been proposed. Propulsive characteristics for both types are evaluated for four fusion reactant couples (D-T; D-3He; 3He-3He; 11B-p). In working gas drives, only hydrogen is considered as coolant due to its exceptionally good caloric and propulsive properties. The results of comparative studies show that while ash drives excel working gas drives in terms of specific impulse the latter yield considerably more thrust than ash drives. Another major drawback of the ash drives is relatively small thrust efficiencies. The plasma power has to be disposed of nearly entirely as waste heat leading to prohibitive radiator masses.

  13. Advanced space propulsion study - antiproton and beamed-power propulsion. Final report, 1 May 1986-30 June 1987

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Forward, R.L.

    1987-10-01

    The contract objective was to monitor the research at the forefront of physics and engineering to discover new spacecraft-propulsion concepts. The major topics covered were antiproton-annihilation propulsion, laser thermal propulsion, laser-pushed lightsails, tether transportation systems, solar sails, and metallic hydrogen. Five papers were prepared and are included as appendices. They covered 1) pellet, microwave, and laser-beamed power systems for interstellar transport; 2) a design for a near-relativistic laser-pushed lightsail using near-term laser technology; 3) a survey of laser thermal propulsion, tether transportation systems, antiproton annihilation propulsion, exotic applications of solar sails, and laser-pushed interstellar lightsails; 4) the status of antiproton annihilation propulsion as of 1986, and 5) the prospects for obtaining antimatter ions heavier than antiprotons. Two additional appendices contain the first seven issues of the Mirror Matter Newsletter concerning the science and technology of antimatter, and an annotated bibliography of antiproton science and technology.

  14. Implementations Strategies for In-Space Macron Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-06

    ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES) 8. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION REPORT NUMBER Air Force Research Laboratory (AFMC) AFRL/RZSA 10 E. Saturn Blvd...MLP system, it will become a self-governing space object subjected to the full extent of the laws of astrodynamics (i.e. space environment motion...8217Color’,’green’); text (miss_dis_x_min(1,1),miss_dis_z_min(1,1),miss_dis_z_min(1,2),’ \\leftarrow Min’,’HorizontalAlignment’,’left’) grid on axis

  15. Finite-thrust optimization of interplanetary transfers of space vehicle with bimodal nuclear thermal propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kharytonov, Oleksii M.; Kiforenko, Boris M.

    2011-08-01

    The nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) propulsion is one of the leading promising technologies for primary space propulsion for manned exploration of the solar system due to its high specific impulse capability and sufficiently high thrust-to-weight ratio. Another benefit of NTR is its possible bimodal design, when nuclear reactor is used for generation of a jet thrust in a high-thrust mode and (with an appropriate power conversion system) as a source of electric power to supply the payload and the electric engines in a low-thrust mode. The model of the NTR thrust control was developed considering high-thrust NTR as a propulsion system of limited power and exhaust velocity. For the proposed model the control of the thrust value is accomplished by the regulation of reactor thermal power and propellant mass flow rate. The problem of joint optimization of the combination of high- and low-thrust arcs and the parameters of bimodal NTR (BNTR) propulsion system is considered for the interplanetary transfers. The interplanetary trajectory of the space vehicle is formed by the high-thrust NTR burns, which define planet-centric maneuvers and by the low-thrust heliocentric arcs where the nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) is used. The high-thrust arcs are analyzed using finite-thrust approach. The motion of the corresponding dynamical system is realized in three phase spaces concerning the departure planet-centric maneuver by means of high-thrust NTR propulsion, the low-thrust NEP heliocentric maneuver and the approach high-thrust NTR planet-centric maneuver. The phase coordinates are related at the time instants of the change of the phase spaces due to the relations between the space vehicle masses. The optimal control analysis is performed using Pontryagin's maximum principle. The numerical results are analyzed for Earth-Mars "sprint" transfer. The optimal values of the parameters that define the masses of NTR and NEP subsystems have been evaluated. It is shown that the low

  16. Space Shuttle propulsion performance reconstruction from flight data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Robert M.

    1989-01-01

    The aplication of extended Kalman filtering to estimating Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) performance, specific impulse, from flight data in a post-flight processing computer program. The flight data used includes inertial platform acceleration, SRB head pressure, and ground based radar tracking data. The key feature in this application is the model used for the SRBs, which represents a reference quasi-static internal ballistics model normalized to the propellant burn depth. Dynamic states of mass overboard and propellant burn depth are included in the filter model to account for real-time deviations from the reference model used. Aerodynamic, plume, wind and main engine uncertainties are included.

  17. Products from NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Program Applicable to Low-Cost Planetary Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, David J.; Pencil, Eric; Vento, Daniel; Peterson, Todd; Dankanich, John; Hahne, David; Munk, Michelle M.

    2011-01-01

    Since September 2001 NASA s In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) program has been developing technologies for lowering the cost of planetary science missions. Recently completed is the high-temperature Advanced Material Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine providing higher performance for lower cost. Two other cost saving technologies nearing completion are the NEXT ion thruster and the Aerocapture technology project. Also under development are several technologies for low cost sample return missions. These include a low cost Hall effect thruster (HIVHAC) which will be completed in 2011, light weight propellant tanks, and a Multi-Mission Earth Entry Vehicle (MMEEV). This paper will discuss the status of the technology development, the cost savings or performance benefits, and applicability of these in-space propulsion technologies to NASA s future Discovery, and New Frontiers missions, as well as their relevance for sample return missions.

  18. Current Development of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion technologies at the Center for Space Nuclear Research

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robert C. O' Brien; Steven K. Cook; Nathan D. Jerred; Steven D. Howe; Ronald Samborsky; Daniel Brasuell

    2012-09-01

    Nuclear power and propulsion has been considered for space applications since the 1950s. Between 1955 and 1972 the US built and tested over twenty nuclear reactors / rocket engines in the Rover/NERVA programs1. The Aerojet Corporation was the prime contractor for the NERVA program. Modern changes in environmental laws present challenges for the redevelopment of the nuclear rocket. Recent advances in fuel fabrication and testing options indicate that a nuclear rocket with a fuel composition that is significantly different from those of the NERVA project can be engineered; this may be needed to ensure public support and compliance with safety requirements. The Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR) is pursuing a number of technologies, modeling and testing processes to further the development of safe, practical and affordable nuclear thermal propulsion systems.

  19. Products from NASA's in-space propulsion technology program applicable to low-cost planetary missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, David J.; Pencil, Eric; Vento, Daniel; Peterson, Todd; Dankanich, John; Hahne, David; Munk, Michelle M.

    2014-01-01

    Since September 2001, NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) program has been developing technologies for lowering the cost of planetary science missions. Recently completed is the high-temperature Advanced Material Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine providing higher performance for lower cost. Two other cost saving technologies nearing completion are the NEXT ion thruster and the Aerocapture technology project. Under development are several technologies for low-cost sample return missions. These include a low-cost Hall-effect thruster (HIVHAC) which will be completed in 2011, light-weight propellant tanks, and a Multi-Mission Earth Entry Vehicle (MMEEV). This paper will discuss the status of the technology development, the cost savings or performance benefits, and applicability of these in-space propulsion technologies to NASA's future Discovery, and New Frontiers missions, as well as their relevance for sample return missions.

  20. Fundamental Study of Interactions Between High-Density Pulsed Plasmas and Materials for Space Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-01

    interactions studies (plasma too cold and too “dirty.”) We have built and tested a new, gas -fed, non- ablative, rep-rated capillary plasma source for our...those encountered in space propulsion devices including Pulsed Plasma Thrusters (PPT), Magneto-Plasma Dynamic (MPD) thrusters and capillary plasma...based thrusters . The ongoing research work brings together a team of researchers from the University of Texas at Austin (UT) and the University of

  1. A Closed Brayton Power Conversion Unit Concept for Nuclear Electric Propulsion for Deep Space Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyner, Claude Russell; Fowler, Bruce; Matthews, John

    2003-01-01

    In space, whether in a stable satellite orbit around a planetary body or traveling as a deep space exploration craft, power is just as important as the propulsion. The need for power is especially important for in-space vehicles that use Electric Propulsion. Using nuclear power with electric propulsion has the potential to provide increased payload fractions and reduced mission times to the outer planets. One of the critical engineering and design aspects of nuclear electric propulsion at required mission optimized power levels is the mechanism that is used to convert the thermal energy of the reactor to electrical power. The use of closed Brayton cycles has been studied over the past 30 or years and shown to be the optimum approach for power requirements that range from ten to hundreds of kilowatts of power. It also has been found to be scalable to higher power levels. The Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) engine power conversion unit (PCU) is the most flexible for a wide range of power conversion needs and uses state-of-the-art, demonstrated engineering approaches. It also is in use with many commercial power plants today. The long life requirements and need for uninterrupted operation for nuclear electric propulsion demands high reliability from a CBC engine. A CBC engine design for use with a Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) system has been defined based on Pratt & Whitney's data from designing long-life turbo-machines such as the Space Shuttle turbopumps and military gas turbines and the use of proven integrated control/health management systems (EHMS). An integrated CBC and EHMS design that is focused on using low-risk and proven technologies will over come many of the life-related design issues. This paper will discuss the use of a CBC engine as the power conversion unit coupled to a gas-cooled nuclear reactor and the design trends relative to its use for powering electric thrusters in the 25 kWe to 100kWe power level.

  2. Phase 1 Space Fission Propulsion System Testing and Development Progress

    Science.gov (United States)

    VanDyke, Melissa; Houts, Mike; Godfroy, Tom; Dickens, Ricky; Poston, David; Kapernick, Rick; Reid, Bob; Salvail, Pat; Ring, Peter; Schafer, Charles (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Successful development of space fission systems requires an extensive program of affordable and realistic testing. In addition to tests related to design/development of the fission system, realistic testing of the actual flight unit must also be performed. If the system is designed to operate within established radiation damage and fuel burn up limits while simultaneously being designed to allow close simulation of heat from fission using resistance heaters, high confidence in fission system performance and lifetime can be attained through a series of non-nuclear tests. The Safe Affordable Fission Engine (SAFE) test series, whose ultimate goal is the demonstration of a 300 kW flight configuration system, has demonstrated that realistic testing can be performed using non-nuclear methods. This test series, carried out in collaboration with other NASA centers, other government agencies, industry, and universities, successfully completed a testing program with a 30 kWt core, Stirling engine, and ion engine configuration. Additionally, a 100 kWt core is in fabrication and appropriate test facilities are being reconfigured. This paper describes the current SAFE non-nuclear tests, which includes test article descriptions, test results and conclusions, and future test plans.

  3. Gas Foil Bearings for Space Propulsion Nuclear Electric Power Generation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Samuel A.; DellaCorte, Christopher

    2006-01-01

    The choice of power conversion technology is critical in directing the design of a space vehicle for the future NASA mission to Mars. One candidate design consists of a foil bearing supported turbo alternator driven by a helium-xenon gas mixture heated by a nuclear reactor. The system is a closed-loop, meaning there is a constant volume of process fluid that is sealed from the environment. Therefore, foil bearings are proposed due to their ability to use the process gas as a lubricant. As such, the rotor dynamics of a foil bearing supported rotor is an important factor in the eventual design. The current work describes a rotor dynamic analysis to assess the viability of such a system. A brief technology background, assumptions, analyses, and conclusions are discussed in this report. The results indicate that a foil bearing supported turbo alternator is possible, although more work will be needed to gain knowledge about foil bearing behavior in helium-xenon gas.

  4. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) Development Activities at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center - 2006 Accomplishments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballard, Richard O.

    2007-01-01

    In 2005-06, the Prometheus program funded a number of tasks at the NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to support development of a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) system for future manned exploration missions. These tasks include the following: 1. NTP Design Develop Test & Evaluate (DDT&E) Planning 2. NTP Mission & Systems Analysis / Stage Concepts & Engine Requirements 3. NTP Engine System Trade Space Analysis and Studies 4. NTP Engine Ground Test Facility Assessment 5. Non-Nuclear Environmental Simulator (NTREES) 6. Non-Nuclear Materials Fabrication & Evaluation 7. Multi-Physics TCA Modeling. This presentation is a overview of these tasks and their accomplishments

  5. Physics and potentials of fissioning plasmas for space power and propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thom, K.; Schwenk, F. C.; Schneider, R. T.

    1976-01-01

    Fissioning uranium plasmas are the nuclear fuel in conceptual high-temperature gaseous-core reactors for advanced rocket propulsion in space. A gaseous-core nuclear rocket would be a thermal reactor in which an enriched uranium plasma at about 10,000 K is confined in a reflector-moderator cavity where it is nuclear critical and transfers its fission power to a confining propellant flow for the production of thrust at a specific impulse up to 5000 sec. With a thrust-to-engine weight ratio approaching unity, the gaseous-core nuclear rocket could provide for propulsion capabilities needed for manned missions to the nearby planets and for economical cislunar ferry services. Fueled with enriched uranium hexafluoride and operated at temperatures lower than needed for propulsion, the gaseous-core reactor scheme also offers significant benefits in applications for space and terrestrial power. They include high-efficiency power generation at low specific mass, the burnup of certain fission products and actinides, the breeding of U-233 from thorium with short doubling times, and improved convenience of fuel handling and processing in the gaseous phase.

  6. The NASA-Lewis program on fusion energy for space power and propulsion, 1958-1978

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze, Norman R.; Roth, J. Reece

    1990-01-01

    An historical synopsis is provided of the NASA-Lewis research program on fusion energy for space power and propulsion systems. It was initiated to explore the potential applications of fusion energy to space power and propulsion systems. Some fusion related accomplishments and program areas covered include: basic research on the Electric Field Bumpy Torus (EFBT) magnetoelectric fusion containment concept, including identification of its radial transport mechanism and confinement time scaling; operation of the Pilot Rig mirror machine, the first superconducting magnet facility to be used in plasma physics or fusion research; operation of the Superconducting Bumpy Torus magnet facility, first used to generate a toroidal magnetic field; steady state production of neutrons from DD reactions; studies of the direct conversion of plasma enthalpy to thrust by a direct fusion rocket via propellant addition and magnetic nozzles; power and propulsion system studies, including D(3)He power balance, neutron shielding, and refrigeration requirements; and development of large volume, high field superconducting and cryogenic magnet technology.

  7. Design and testing of the U.S. Space Station Freedom primary propulsion system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morano, Joseph S.; Delventhal, Rex A.; Chilcot, Kimberly J.

    1992-07-01

    The primary propulsion system (PPS) for the Space Station Freedom is discussed in terms of salient design characteristics and key testing procedures. The rocket engine modules contain reboost and attitude control thrusters, and their designs are illustrated showing the mounting structures, thruster solenoid valves, and thrust chambers. The propellant tank assembly for storing gaseous N pressurant and hydrazine propellant is described as are the system avionics, thruster solenoid valves, and latching isolation valves. PPS testing conducted on the development systems includes the use of a propulsion-module development unit, a development test article, and system qualification testing. Specific test articles include functional heaters, mass/thermal simulated components, flight-quality structures, and software control operations.

  8. REFINED MODEL OF THE OPTICAL SYSTEM FOR SPACE MINI-VEHICLES WITH LASER PROPULSION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. S. Egorov

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Simulation results for on-board optical system of a space mini-vehicle with laser propulsion are presented. This system gives the possibility for receiving theremote laser radiation power independently of a system telescope mutual orientation to the vehicle orbiting direction. The on-board optical system is designed with the use of such optical elements as optical hinges and turrets. The system incorporates the optical switch that is a special optical system adapting optically both receiving telescope and laser propulsion engines. Modeling and numerical simulation of the system have been performed with the use of ZEMAX software (Radiant Ltd. The object matter of calculations lied in size definition of system optical elements, requirements to accuracy of their manufacturing and reciprocal adjusting to achieve an efficient radiation energy delivery to laser propulsion engine. Calculations have been performed with account to the limitations on the mini-vehicle mass, its overall dimensions, and radiation threshold density of the optical elements utilized. The requirements to the laser beam quality at the entrance aperture of laser propulsion engine have been considered too. State-of-the-art optical technologies make it possible to manufacture space reflectors made of CO-115M glassceramics with weight-reducing coefficient of 0.72 and the radiation threshold of 5 J/cm2 for the radiation with a 1.064 microns wavelength at 10-20 ns pulse duration. The optimal diameter of a receiving telescope primary mirror has been 0.5 m when a coordinated transmitting telescope diameter is equal to 1 m. This provides the reception of at least 84% of laser energy. The main losses of radiation energy are caused by improper installation of receiving telescope mirrors and by in-process errors arising at manufacturing the telescope mirrors with a parabolic surface. It is shown that requirements to the in-process admissible errors for the on-board optical system elements

  9. The Rationale/Benefits of Nuclear Thermal Rocket Propulsion for NASA's Lunar Space Transportation System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.

    1994-01-01

    The solid core nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) represents the next major evolutionary step in propulsion technology. With its attractive operating characteristics, which include high specific impulse (approximately 850-1000 s) and engine thrust-to-weight (approximately 4-20), the NTR can form the basis for an efficient lunar space transportation system (LTS) capable of supporting both piloted and cargo missions. Studies conducted at the NASA Lewis Research Center indicate that an NTR-based LTS could transport a fully-fueled, cargo-laden, lunar excursion vehicle to the Moon, and return it to low Earth orbit (LEO) after mission completion, for less initial mass in LEO than an aerobraked chemical system of the type studied by NASA during its '90-Day Study.' The all-propulsive NTR-powered LTS would also be 'fully reusable' and would have a 'return payload' mass fraction of approximately 23 percent--twice that of the 'partially reusable' aerobraked chemical system. Two NTR technology options are examined--one derived from the graphite-moderated reactor concept developed by NASA and the AEC under the Rover/NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) programs, and a second concept, the Particle Bed Reactor (PBR). The paper also summarizes NASA's lunar outpost scenario, compares relative performance provided by different LTS concepts, and discusses important operational issues (e.g., reusability, engine 'end-of life' disposal, etc.) associated with using this important propulsion technology.

  10. The rationale/benefits of nuclear thermal rocket propulsion for NASA's lunar space transportation system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.

    1994-09-01

    The solid core nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) represents the next major evolutionary step in propulsion technology. With its attractive operating characteristics, which include high specific impulse (approximately 850-1000 s) and engine thrust-to-weight (approximately 4-20), the NTR can form the basis for an efficient lunar space transportation system (LTS) capable of supporting both piloted and cargo missions. Studies conducted at the NASA Lewis Research Center indicate that an NTR-based LTS could transport a fully-fueled, cargo-laden, lunar excursion vehicle to the Moon, and return it to low Earth orbit (LEO) after mission completion, for less initial mass in LEO than an aerobraked chemical system of the type studied by NASA during its '90-Day Study.' The all-propulsive NTR-powered LTS would also be 'fully reusable' and would have a 'return payload' mass fraction of approximately 23 percent--twice that of the 'partially reusable' aerobraked chemical system. Two NTR technology options are examined--one derived from the graphite-moderated reactor concept developed by NASA and the AEC under the Rover/NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) programs, and a second concept, the Particle Bed Reactor (PBR). The paper also summarizes NASA's lunar outpost scenario, compares relative performance provided by different LTS concepts, and discusses important operational issues (e.g., reusability, engine 'end-of life' disposal, etc.) associated with using this important propulsion technology.

  11. Skin deposition of nickel, cobalt, and chromium in production of gas turbines and space propulsion components.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Julander, Anneli; Skare, Lizbet; Mulder, Marie; Grandér, Margaretha; Vahter, Marie; Lidén, Carola

    2010-04-01

    Skin exposure to nickel, cobalt, and chromium may cause sensitization and allergic contact dermatitis and it is known that many alloys and platings may release significant amounts of the metals upon contact with skin. Occupational exposure to these sensitizing metals has been studied in different settings with regards to airborne dust and different biological end points, but little is known about deposition on skin from airborne dust and direct contact with materials containing the metals. In this study, skin deposition was studied in 24 workers in an industry for development and manufacturing of gas turbines and space propulsion components. The workers were employed in three departments, representing different exposure scenarios: tools sharpening of hard metal items, production of space propulsion structures, and thermal application of different metal-containing powders. A novel acid wipe sampling technique was used to sample metals from specific skin surfaces on the hands and the forehead of the workers. Total amounts of nickel, cobalt, and chromium were measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The result showed that nickel, cobalt, and chromium could be detected on all skin surfaces sampled. The highest level of nickel was 15 microg cm(-2) h(-1), the highest for cobalt was 4.5 microg cm(-2) h(-1), and for chromium 0.6 microg cm(-2) h(-1). The three departments had different exposures regarding the metals. The highest levels of nickel on the skin of the workers were found in the thermal applications department, cobalt in the tools sharpening department, and chromium in the space propulsion components department. In conclusion, the workers' exposure to the metals was more likely to come from direct skin contact with items, rather than from airborne dust, based on the fact that the levels of metals were much higher on the fingers than on the back side of the hands and the forehead. The skin exposure levels of nickel and cobalt detected are judged

  12. Unified study of plasma-surface interactions for space power and propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turchi, P. J.; Davis, J. F., III; Norwood, J., Jr.; Boyer, C. N.

    1985-02-01

    The efficiency and lifetime of high specific power/high specific impulse space power and propulsion devices often depend on particle and energy transport at electrodes and insulators in low temperature plasma flows. Actual measurements of particle and field distributions near solid surfaces in controlled plasma flows were studied and used to develop models for particle and energy transport. A unique advantage in such model development is the ability to vary flow conditions, surface orientation, and material properties and to compare data within a unified experimental framework, thereby allowing complicated interactions to be delineated.

  13. Ubiquitous condition monitoring - Key to networked-subsystem space propulsion systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escher, William J. D.; Herr, Paul N.; Stephenson, Frank W.

    1990-01-01

    Various highlights of NASA's recently held space transportation propulsion and avionics symposia and the participation in this symposia by industry, the university community, and government organizations are discussed. The potential contributions of the integrated control and health monitoring (ICHM) field are considered. The goals of advanced ICHM technologies are reliability, operability, performance, and affordability. It is proposed that conventional liquid rocket engine configurations, characterized as noninteracting, stand-alone, compactly packaged and usually gimballed sets of hardware, can profit through embracing advanced ICHM capabilities.

  14. Selected Lessons Learned in Space Shuttle Orbiter Propulsion and Power Subsystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez, Francisco J.; Martinez, Hugo; Ryan, Abigail; Westover, Shayne; Davies, Frank

    2011-01-01

    Over its 30 years of space flight history, plus the nearly 10 years of design, development test and evaluation, the Space Shuttle Orbiter is full of lessons learned in all of its numerous and complex subsystems. In the current paper, only selected lessons learned in the areas of the Orbiter propulsion and power subsystems will be described. The particular Orbiter subsystems include: Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), Hydraulics and Water Spray Boiler (WSB), Mechanical Flight Controls, Main Propulsion System (MPS), Fuel Cells and Power Reactant and Storage Devices (PRSD), Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS), Reaction Control System (RCS), Electrical Power Distribution (EPDC), electrical wiring and pyrotechnics. Given the complexity and extensive history of each of these subsystems, and the limited scope of this paper, it is impossible to include most of the lessons learned; instead the attempt will be to present a selected few or key lessons, in the judgment of the authors. Each subsystem is presented separate, beginning with an overview of the hardware and their function, a short description of a few historical problems and their lessons, followed by a more comprehensive table listing of the major subsystem problems and lessons. These tables serve as a quick reference for lessons learned in each subsystem. In addition, this paper will establish common lessons across subsystems as well as concentrate on those lessons which are deemed to have the highest applicability to future space flight programs.

  15. Effluent Containment System for space thermal nuclear propulsion ground test facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-08-01

    This report presents the research and development study work performed for the Space Reactor Power System Division of the U.S. Department of Energy on an innovative effluent containment system (ECS) that would be used during ground testing of a space nuclear thermal rocket engine. A significant portion of the ground test facilities for a space nuclear thermal propulsion engine are the effluent treatment and containment systems. The proposed ECS configuration developed recycles all engine coolant media and does not impact the environment by venting radioactive material. All coolant media, hydrogen and water, are collected, treated for removal of radioactive particulates, and recycled for use in subsequent tests until the end of the facility life. Radioactive materials removed by the treatment systems are recovered, stored for decay of short-lived isotopes, or packaged for disposal as waste. At the end of the useful life, the facility will be decontaminated and dismantled for disposal.

  16. Lightweight Damage Tolerant Radiators for In-Space Nuclear Electric Power and Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craven, Paul; SanSoucie, Michael P.; Tomboulian, Briana; Rogers, Jan; Hyers, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) is a promising option for high-speed in-space travel due to the high energy density of nuclear power sources and efficient electric thrusters. Advanced power conversion technologies for converting thermal energy from the reactor to electrical energy at high operating temperatures would benefit from lightweight, high temperature radiator materials. Radiator performance dictates power output for nuclear electric propulsion systems. Pitch-based carbon fiber materials have the potential to offer significant improvements in operating temperature and mass. An effort at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center to show that woven high thermal conductivity carbon fiber mats can be used to replace standard metal and composite radiator fins to dissipate waste heat from NEP systems is ongoing. The goals of this effort are to demonstrate a proof of concept, to show that a significant improvement of specific power (power/mass) can be achieved, and to develop a thermal model with predictive capabilities. A description of this effort is presented.

  17. Condition monitoring requirements for the development of a space nuclear propulsion module

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Robert C.

    1993-01-01

    To facilitate the development of a space nuclear propulsion module for manned flights to Mars, requirements must be established early in the technology cycle. The long lead times for the acquisition of the engine system and nuclear test facilities demands that the engine system, size, performance, safety goals and condition monitoring philosophy be defined at the earliest possible time. These systems are highly complex and require a large multi-disciplinary systems engineering team to develop and track the requirements and to ensure that the as-built system reflects the intent of the mission. An effective methodology has been devised coupled with sophisticated computer tools to effectivly develop and interpret the functional requirements. These requirements can then be decomposed down to the specification level for implementation. This paper discusses the application of the methodology and the analyses to develop condition monitoring requirements under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lewis Research Center (LeRC) Nuclear Propulsion Office (NPO).

  18. MOA2—an R&D paradigm buster enabling space propulsion by commercial applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frischauf, Norbert; Hettmer, Manfred; Koudelka, Otto; Löb, Horst

    2012-04-01

    More than 60 years after the late Nobel laureate Hannes Alfvén had published a letter stating that oscillating magnetic fields can accelerate ionised matter via magneto-hydrodynamic interactions in a wave like fashion, the technical implementation of Alfvén waves for propulsive purposes has been proposed, patented and examined for the first time by a group of inventors. Consequently improved since then, the name of the latest concept, relying on magneto-acoustic waves to accelerate electric conductive matter, is MOA2—Magnetic field Oscillating Amplified Accelerator. Based on computer simulations, which were undertaken to get a first estimate on the performance of the system, MOA2 is a corrosion free and highly flexible propulsion system, whose performance parameters might easily be adapted in operation, by changing the mass flow and/or the power level. As such the system is capable of delivering a maximum specific impulse of 13116 s (12.87 mN) at a power level of 11.16 kW, using Xe as propellant, but can also be attuned to provide a thrust of 236.5 mN (2411 s) at 6.15 kW of power. First tests—that are further described in this paper—have been conducted successfully with a 400 W prototype system at an ambient pressure of 0.20 Pa, delivered 9.24 mN of thrust at 1472 s ISP, thereby underlining the feasibility of the concept. Based on these results, space propulsion is expected to be a prime application for MOA2—a claim that is supported by numerous applications such as Solar and/or Nuclear Electric Propulsion or even as an 'afterburner system' for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion. However, MOA2 has so far seen most of its R&D impetus from terrestrial applications, like coating, semiconductor implantation and manufacturing as well as steel cutting. Based on this observation, MOA2 resembles an R&D paradigm buster, as it is the first space propulsion system, whose R&D is driven primarily by its terrestrial applications. Different terrestrial applications exist, but

  19. Direction for the Future - Successive Acceleration of Positive and Negative Ions Applied to Space Propulsion

    CERN Document Server

    Aanesland, A.; Popelier, L.; Chabert, P.

    2013-12-16

    Electrical space thrusters show important advantages for applications in outer space compared to chemical thrusters, as they allow a longer mission lifetime with lower weight and propellant consumption. Mature technologies on the market today accelerate positive ions to generate thrust. The ion beam is neutralized by electrons downstream, and this need for an additional neutralization system has some drawbacks related to stability, lifetime and total weight and power consumption. Many new concepts, to get rid of the neutralizer, have been proposed, and the PEGASES ion-ion thruster is one of them. This new thruster concept aims at accelerating both positive and negative ions to generate thrust, such that additional neutralization is redundant. This chapter gives an overview of the concept of electric propulsion and the state of the development of this new ion-ion thruster.

  20. Comments on dual-mode nuclear space power and propulsion system concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Layton, J. Preston; Grey, Jerry

    1991-01-01

    Some form of Dual-Mode Nuclear Space Power & Propulsion System (D-MNSP&PS) will be essential to spacefaring throughout teh solar system and that such systems must evolve as mankind moves into outer space. The initial D-MNPSP&PS Reference System should be based on (1) present (1990), and (2) advanced (1995) technology for use on comparable mission in the 2000 and 2005 time period respectively. D-MNSP&PS can be broken down into a number of subsystems: Nuclear subsystems including the energy source and controls for the release of thermal power at elevated temperatures; power conversion subsystems; waste heat rejection subsystems; and control and safety subsystems. These systems are briefly detailed.

  1. Lessons Learned from the Design, Certification, and Operation of the Space Shuttle Integrated Main Propulsion System (IMPS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Hugo E.; Albright, John D.; D'Amico, Stephen J.; Brewer, John M.; Melcher, John C., IV

    2011-01-01

    The Space Shuttle Integrated Main Propulsion System (IMPS) consists of the External Tank (ET), Orbiter Main Propulsion System (MPS), and Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs). The IMPS is tasked with the storage, conditioning, distribution, and combustion of cryogenic liquid hydrogen (LH2) and liquid oxygen (LO2) propellants to provide first and second stage thrust for achieving orbital velocity. The design, certification, and operation of the associated IMPS hardware have produced many lessons learned over the course of the Space Shuttle Program (SSP). A subset of these items will be discussed in this paper for consideration when designing, building, and operating future spacecraft propulsion systems. This paper will focus on lessons learned related to Orbiter MPS and is the first of a planned series to address the subject matter.

  2. Space Molten Salt Reactor Concept for Nuclear Electric Propulsion and Surface Power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eades, M.; Flanders, J.; McMurray, N.; Denning, R.; Sun, X.; Windl, W.; Blue, T.

    Students at The Ohio State University working under the NASA Steckler Grant sought to investigate how molten salt reactors with fissile material dissolved in a liquid fuel medium can be applied to space applications. Molten salt reactors of this kind, built for non-space applications, have demonstrated high power densities, high temperature operation without pressurization, high fuel burn up and other characteristics that are ideal for space fission systems. However, little research has been published on the application of molten salt reactor technology to space fission systems. This paper presents a conceptual design of the Space Molten Salt Reactor (SMSR), which utilizes molten salt reactor technology for Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) and surface power at the 100 kWe to 15 MWe level. Central to the SMSR design is a liquid mixture of LiF, BeF2 and highly enriched U235F4 that acts as both fuel and core coolant. In brief, some of the positive characteristics of the SMSR are compact size, simplified core design, high fuel burn up percentages, proliferation resistant features, passive safety mechanisms, a considerable body of previous research, and the possibility for flexible mission architecture.

  3. Description of the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) cryogenic and hot-hydrogen test facility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thompson, D.A.; Riffle, G.K.; Merdich, J.A. (Allied-Signal Aerospace Company, Garrett Fluid Systems Division, 1300 W. Warner Rd. P.O. Box 22200, Tempe, Arizona 85282 (United States))

    1993-01-15

    Cryogenic and high-temperature and high-pressure hydrogen test capabilities are required for component development and qualification for the U.S. Air Force Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program. To effectively support the non-nuclear test needs of the SNTP program, as well as other specialized programs that utilize hydrogen as a working fluid, Allied-Signal Aerospace Company, Garrett Fluid Systems Division (GFSD) is currently developing a hydrogen test facility at our remote San Tan test site. The facility is specifically designed to support turbopump, propellant management valves, instrumentation and general materials evaluation testing with hydrogen at pressures and temperatures representative of actual SNTP engine operating conditions. This paper presents a general description of the SNTP hot-hydrogen test facility including test capabilities, technical approach, and technical status.

  4. Description of the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) cryogenic and hot-hydrogen test facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, David A.; Riffle, George K.; Merdich, Jeff A.

    1993-01-01

    Cryogenic and high-temperature and high-pressure hydrogen test capabilities are required for component development and qualification for the U.S. Air Force Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program. To effectively support the non-nuclear test needs of the SNTP program, as well as other specialized programs that utilize hydrogen as a working fluid, Allied-Signal Aerospace Company, Garrett Fluid Systems Division (GFSD) is currently developing a hydrogen test facility at our remote San Tan test site. The facility is specifically designed to support turbopump, propellant management valves, instrumentation and general materials evaluation testing with hydrogen at pressures and temperatures representative of actual SNTP engine operating conditions. This paper presents a general description of the SNTP hot-hydrogen test facility including test capabilities, technical approach, and technical status.

  5. A computational magnetohydrodynamic model of a gasdynamic fusion space propulsion system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohlandt, Chad J. R.

    This work advances the gasdynamic mirror (GDM) fusion space propulsion system concept by testing the potential of an advanced aneutronic fusion fuel combination of proton-11boron and evaluating GDMs operating at less than breakeven being driven with nuclear electric reactors. Finding neither option to be a panacea, the author moves forward in developing an ideal 3-D magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) computational model for simulating concept GDMs. The challenges identified and remediated include Alfven wave-speeds a few percent the speed of light with characteristic lengths on the order of a centimeter, the extreme aspect ratio of GDM systems, massive background magnetic fields, and traveling waves along the length of the GDM. Due to the remaining physical challenges of modeling the GDM system, including a slow systemic relaxation time and localized radiation losses, the computational requirements of the full 3-D MHD model remains too computationally demanding, which suggests a future approach involving a hybrid of 1-D and 3-D models.

  6. A revolutionary lunar space transportation system architecture using extraterrestrial LOX-augmented NTR propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.; Corban, Robert R.; Culver, Donald W.; Bulman, Melvin J.; McIlwain, Mel C.

    1994-08-01

    The concept of a liquid oxygen (LOX)-augmented nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) engine is introduced, and its potential for revolutionizing lunar space transportation system (LTS) performance using extraterrestrial 'lunar-derived' liquid oxygen (LUNOX) is outlined. The LOX-augmented NTR (LANTR) represents the marriage of conventional liquid hydrogen (LH2)-cooled NTR and airbreathing engine technologies. The large divergent section of the NTR nozzle functions as an 'afterburner' into which oxygen is injected and supersonically combusted with nuclear preheated hydrogen emerging from the NTR's choked sonic throat: 'scramjet propulsion in reverse.' By varying the oxygen-to-fuel mixture ratio (MR), the LANTR concept can provide variable thrust and specific impulse (Isp) capability with a LH2-cooled NTR operating at relatively constant power output. For example, at a MR = 3, the thrust per engine can be increased by a factor of 2.75 while the Isp decreases by only 30 percent. With this thrust augmentation option, smaller, 'easier to develop' NTR's become more acceptable from a mission performance standpoint (e.g., earth escape gravity losses are reduced and perigee propulsion requirements are eliminated). Hydrogen mass and volume is also reduced resulting in smaller space vehicles. An evolutionary NTR-based lunar architecture requiring only Shuttle C and/or 'in-line' shuttle-derived launch vehicles (SDV's) would operate initially in an 'expandable mode' with NTR lunar transfer vehicles (LTV's) delivering 80 percent more payload on piloted missions than their LOX/LH2 chemical propulsion counterparts. With the establishment of LUNOX production facilities on the lunar surface and 'fuel/oxidizer' depot in low lunar orbit (LLO), monopropellant NTR's would be outfitted with an oxygen propellant module, feed system, and afterburner nozzle for 'bipropellant' operation. The LANTR cislunar LTV now transitions to a reusable mode with smaller vehicle and payload doubling benefits on

  7. On-Orbit Propulsion and Methods of Momentum Management for the International Space Station

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Samuel P.; Spencer, Victor; Metrocavage, Kevin; Swanson, Robert A.; Krajchovich, Mark; Beisner, Matthew; Kamath, Ulhas P.

    2010-01-01

    Since the first documented design of a space station in 1929, it has been a dream of many to sustain a permanent presence in space. Russia and the US spent several decades competing for a sustained human presence in low Earth orbit. In the 1980 s, Russia and the US began to openly collaborate to achieve this goal. This collaboration lead to the current design of the ISS. Continuous improvement of procedures for controlling the ISS have lead to more efficient propellant management over the years. Improved efficiency combined with the steady use of cargo vehicles has kept ISS propellant levels well above their defined thresholds in all categories. The continuing evolution of propellant and momentum management operational strategies demonstrates the capability and flexibility of the ISS propulsion system. The hard work and cooperation of the international partners and the evolving operational strategies have made the ISS safe and successful. The ISS s proven success is the foundation for the future of international cooperation for sustaining life in space.

  8. In-Space Propulsion, Logistics Reduction, and Evaluation of Steam Reformer Kinetics: Problems and Prospects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaworske, D. A.; Palaszewski, B. A.; Kulis, M. J.; Gokoglu, S. A.

    2015-01-01

    Human space missions generate waste materials. A 70-kg crewmember creates a waste stream of 1 kg per day, and a four-person crew on a deep space habitat for a 400+ day mission would create over 1600 kg of waste. Converted into methane, the carbon could be used as a fuel for propulsion or power. The NASA Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Logistics Reduction and Repurposing (LRR) project is investing in space resource utilization with an emphasis on repurposing logistics materials for useful purposes and has selected steam reforming among many different competitive processes as the preferred method for repurposing organic waste into methane. Already demonstrated at the relevant processing rate of 5.4 kg of waste per day, high temperature oxygenated steam consumes waste and produces carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen which can then be converted into methane catalytically. However, the steam reforming process has not been studied in microgravity. Data are critically needed to understand the mechanisms that allow use of steam reforming in a reduced gravity environment. This paper reviews the relevant literature, identifies gravity-dependent mechanisms within the steam gasification process, and describes an innovative experiment to acquire the crucial kinetic information in a small-scale reactor specifically designed to operate within the requirements of a reduced gravity aircraft flight. The experiment will determine if the steam reformer process is mass-transport limited, and if so, what level of forced convection will be needed to obtain performance comparable to that in 1-g.

  9. Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion: Materials Challenges for the 21st Century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houts, Mike

    2008-01-01

    The current focus of NASA s space fission effort is Fission Surface Power (FSP). FSP systems could be used to provide power anytime, anywhere on the surface of the Moon or Mars. FSP systems could be used at locations away from the lunar poles or in permanently shaded regions, with no performance penalty. A potential reference 40 kWe option has been devised that is cost-competitive with alternatives while providing more power for less mass. The potential reference system is readily extensible for use on Mars. At Mars the system could be capable of operating through global dust storms and providing year-round power at any Martian latitude. To ensure affordability, the potential near-term, 40 kWe reference concept is designed to use only well established materials and fuels. However, if various materials challenges could be overcome, extremely high performance fission systems could be devised. These include high power, low mass fission surface power systems; in-space systems with high specific power; and high performance nuclear thermal propulsion systems. This tutorial will provide a brief overview of space fission systems and will focus on materials challenges that, if overcome, could help enable advanced exploration and utilization of the solar system.

  10. Study on the Feasibility of Direct Fusion Energy Conversion for Deep-Space Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarditi, Alfonso G.; Miley, George H.; Scott, John H.

    2012-10-01

    A significant change in the current space mission capabilities can be achieved with a highly efficient integration of a fusion energy source with an advanced space propulsion thruster, both with low specific mass. With aneutronic nuclear fusion as the high-density primary energy source, this study considers first electric energy extraction from the fusion reaction products via direct energy conversion to recirculate power as required for the operation of the fusion core. Then the beam of remaining reaction products is conditioned to achieve the optimal thrust and specific impulse for the mission. The research is specifically focused on two key issues: (i) Efficiency improvement of a Traveling Wave Direct Energy Converter (TWDEC, [1]) by achieving a higher ion beam density and optimization of the electrode coupling and of the neutralizing electron flow. (ii) A fast-particle kinetic energy-to-thrust conversion process based on collective interaction between ion bunches well separated in space [2]. Computer simulation results and a design for a basic physics experiment currently under development are reported. [4pt] [1] H. Momota et al., Fus. Tech., 35, 60(1999)[0pt] [2] A. G. Tarditi et al. Proc. NETS 2012 Conf., Woodlands, TX (2012)

  11. MIC-Large Scale Magnetically Inflated Cable Structures for Space Power, Propulsion, Communications and Observational Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, James; Maise, George; Rather, John

    2010-01-01

    A new approach for the erection of rigid large scale structures in space-MIC (Magnetically Inflated Cable)-is described. MIC structures are launched as a compact payload of superconducting cables and attached tethers. After reaching orbit, the superconducting cables are energized with electrical current. The magnet force interactions between the cables cause them to expand outwards into the final large structure. Various structural shapes and applications are described. The MIC structure can be a simple flat disc with a superconducting outer ring that supports a tether network holding a solar cell array, or it can form a curved mirror surface that concentrates light and focuses it on a smaller region-for example, a high flux solar array that generates electric power, a high temperature receiver that heats H2 propellant for high Isp propulsion, and a giant primary reflector for a telescope for astronomy and Earth surveillance. Linear dipole and quadrupole MIC structures are also possible. The linear quadrupole structure can be used for magnetic shielding against cosmic radiation for astronauts, for example. MIC could use lightweight YBCO superconducting HTS (High Temperature Superconductor) cables, that can operate with liquid N2 coolant at engineering current densities of ~105 amp/cm2. A 1 kilometer length of MIC cable would weigh only 3 metric tons, including superconductor, thermal insulations, coolant circuits, and refrigerator, and fit within a 3 cubic meter compact package for launch. Four potential MIC applications are described: Solar-thermal propulsion using H2 propellant, space based solar power generation for beaming power to Earth, a large space telescope, and solar electric generation for a manned lunar base. The first 3 applications use large MIC solar concentrating mirrors, while the 4th application uses a surface based array of solar cells on a magnetically levitated MIC structure to follow the sun. MIC space based mirrors can be very large and light

  12. Review of NASA In-Space Propulsion Technology Program Inflatable Decelerator Investments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, E. H.; Mnk, M. M.; James, B. F.; Moon, S. A.

    2005-01-01

    The NASA In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) Program is managed by the NASA Headquarters Science Mission Directorate and is implemented by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The ISPT objective is to fund development of promising in-space propulsion technologies that can decrease flight times, decrease cost, or increase delivered payload mass for future science missions. Before ISPT will invest in a technology, the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the concept must be estimated to be at TRL 3. A TRL 3 signifies that the technical community agrees that the feasibility of the concept has been proven through experiment or analysis. One of the highest priority technology investments for ISPT is Aerocapture. The aerocapture maneuver uses a planetary atmosphere to reduce or alter the speed of a vehicle allowing for quick, propellantless (or using very little propellant) orbit capture. The atmosphere is used as a brake, transferring the energy associated with the vehicle's high speed into thermal energy. The ISPT Aerocapture Technology Area (ATA) is currently investing in the development of advanced lightweight ablative thermal protection systems, high temperature composite structures, and heat-flux sensors for rigid aeroshells. The heritage of rigid aeroshells extends back to the Apollo era and this technology will most likely be used by the first generation aerocapture vehicle. As a second generation aerocapture technology, ISPT is investing in three inflatable aerodynamic decelerator concepts for planetary aerocapture. They are: trailing ballute (balloon-parachute), attached afterbody ballute, and an inflatable aeroshell. ISPT also leverages the NASA Small Business Innovative Research Program for additional inflatable decelerator technology development. In mid-2004 ISPT requested an independent review of the three inflatable decelerator technologies funded directly by ISPT to validate the TRL and to identify technology maturation concerns. An

  13. Advanced Earth-to-orbit propulsion technology program overview: Impact of civil space technology initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, Frank W., Jr.

    1988-01-01

    The NASA Earth-to-Orbit (ETO) Propulsion Technology Program is dedicated to advancing rocket engine technologies for the development of fully reusable engine systems that will enable space transportation systems to achieve low cost, routine access to space. The program addresses technology advancements in the areas of engine life extension/prediction, performance enhancements, reduced ground operations costs, and in-flight fault tolerant engine operations. The primary objective is to acquire increased knowledge and understanding of rocket engine chemical and physical processes in order to evolve more realistic analytical simulations of engine internal environments, to derive more accurate predictions of steady and unsteady loads, and using improved structural analyses, to more accurately predict component life and performance, and finally to identify and verify more durable advanced design concepts. In addition, efforts were focused on engine diagnostic needs and advances that would allow integrated health monitoring systems to be developed for enhanced maintainability, automated servicing, inspection, and checkout, and ultimately, in-flight fault tolerant engine operations.

  14. Chemistry and propulsion; Chimie et propulsions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Potier, P. [Maison de la Chimie, 75 - Paris (France); Davenas, A. [societe Nationale des Poudres et des Explosifs - SNPE (France); Berman, M. [Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Arlington, VA (United States)] [and others

    2002-07-01

    During the colloquium on chemistry and propulsion, held in march 2002, ten papers have been presented. The proceedings are brought in this document: ramjet, scram-jet and Pulse Detonation Engine; researches and applications on energetic materials and propulsion; advances in poly-nitrogen chemistry; evolution of space propulsion; environmental and technological stakes of aeronautic propulsion; ramjet engines and pulse detonation engines, automobiles thermal engines for 2015, high temperature fuel cells for the propulsion domain, the hydrogen and the fuel cells in the future transports. (A.L.B.)

  15. The Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Program Results of the Environmental Impact Analysis Process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmon, Charles D.; Kristensen, David H.; McCulloch, William H.

    1994-07-01

    The Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) Program initiated an environmental impact analysis process (EIAP) in March of 1992 to support design and construction of a nuclear thermal rocket engine ground testing facility. The `` Notice of Intent'' appeared in the Federal Register on March 12, 1992 and Scoping Meetings occurred during April 1992. The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was publicly available on August 21, 1993 and public hearings were conducted during September 1992. Comments were resolved and the Final EIS `` Notice of Availability'' appeared in the Federal Register on May 14, 1993. Although program termination negated the need for a Record of Decision, completion of this EIAP demonstrates that the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) provides an adequate framework for involving the general public in all governmental decisions irrespective of either the technical complexities or the potential for nonacceptance. This paper discusses the SNTP EIAP and the associated analyses which indicated that ground testing of nuclear rocket engine concepts could be accomplished without significantly affecting the surrounding environment.

  16. An Overview of SBIR Phase 2 In-Space Propulsion and Cryogenic Fluids Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Hung D.; Steele, Gynelle C.

    2015-01-01

    Technological innovation is the overall focus of NASA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The program invests in the development of innovative concepts and technologies to help NASA's mission directorates address critical research and development needs for agency projects. This report highlights innovative SBIR Phase II projects from 2007-2012 specifically addressing Areas in In-Space Propulsion and Cryogenic Fluids Management which is one of six core competencies at NASA Glenn Research Center. There are nineteen technologies featured with emphasis on a wide spectrum of applications such as high-performance Hall thruster support system, thruster discharge power converter, high-performance combustion chamber, ion thruster design tool, green liquid monopropellant thruster, and much more. Each article in this booklet describes an innovation, technical objective, and highlights NASA commercial and industrial applications. This report serves as an opportunity for NASA personnel including engineers, researchers, and program managers to learn of NASA SBIR's capabilities that might be crosscutting into this technology area. As the result, it would cause collaborations and partnerships between the small companies and NASA Programs and Projects resulting in benefit to both SBIR companies and NASA.

  17. Description of the cryogenic and hot-hydrogen test facility being developed for the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, D. A.; Riffle, G. K.; Merdich, Jeff A.

    1993-06-01

    The cryogenic and hot-hydrogen test facility being developed for the USAF Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program is described along with the test capabilities, technical approach, and technical status. Particular attention is given to the hydrogen test facility control and data acquisition and the hot hydrogen gas generator (HHGG). The hydrogen test facility will be be ready for operation in conjunction with cryogenic test capability by late 1994.

  18. Space shuttle auxiliary propulsion system design study. Phase C report: Oxygen-hydrogen RCS/OMS integration study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruns, A. E.; Regnier, W. W.

    1972-01-01

    A comparison of the concepts of auxiliary propulsion systems proposed for the space shuttle vehicle is discussed. An evaluation of the potential of integration between the reaction control system and the orbit maneuvering system was conducted. Numerous methods of implementing the various levels of integration were evaluated. Preferred methods were selected and design points were developed for two fully integrated systems, one partially integrated system, and one separate system.

  19. Space shuttle auxiliary propulsion system design study. Phase C and E report: Storable propellants, RCS/OMS/APU integration study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anglim, D. D.; Bruns, A. E.; Perryman, D. C.; Wieland, D. L.

    1972-01-01

    Auxiliary propulsion concepts for application to the space shuttle are compared. Both monopropellant and bipropellant earth storable reaction control systems were evaluated. The fundamental concepts evaluated were: (1) monopropellant and bipropellant systems installed integrally within the vehicle, (2) fuel systems installed modularly in nose and wing tip pods, and (3) fuel systems installed modularly in nose and fuselage pods. Numerous design variations within these three concepts were evaluated. The system design analysis and methods for implementing each of the concepts are reported.

  20. Development of Liquid-Vapor Core Reactors with MHD Generator for Space Power and Propulsion Applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Samim Anghaie

    2002-08-13

    core. Still there are problems of containment since many of the proposed vessel materials such as W or Mo have high neutron cross sections making the design of a critical system difficult. There is also the possibility for a GCR to remain in a subcritical state, and by the use of a shockwave mechanism, increase the pressure and temperature inside the core to achieve criticality. This type of GCR is referred to as a shockwave-driven pulsed gas core reactor. These two basic designs were evaluated as advance concepts for space power and propulsion.

  1. International Space Exploration Coordination Group Assessment of Technology Gaps for LOx/Methane Propulsion Systems for the Global Exploration Roadmap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurlbert, Eric A.; Whitley, Ryan; Klem, Mark D.; Johnson, Wesley; Alexander, Leslie; D'Aversa, Emanuela; Ruault, Jean-Marc; Manfletti, Chiara; Caruana, Jean-Noel; Ueno, Hiroshi; hide

    2016-01-01

    As part of the Global Exploration Roadmap (GER), the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) formed two technology gap assessment teams to evaluate topic discipline areas that had not been worked at an international level to date. The participating agencies were ASI, CNES, DLR, ESA, JAXA, and NASA. Accordingly, the ISECG Technology Working Group (TWG) recommended two discipline areas based on Critical Technology Needs reflected within the GER Technology Development Map (GTDM): Dust Mitigation and LOX/Methane Propulsion. LOx/Methane propulsion systems are enabling for future human missions Mars by significantly reducing the landed mass of the Mars ascent stage through the use of in-situ propellant production, for improving common fluids for life support, power and propulion thus allowing for diverse redundancy, for eliminating the corrosive and toxic propellants thereby improving surface operations and resusabilty, and for inceasing the performance of propulsion systems. The goals and objectives of the international team are to determine the gaps in technology that must be closed for LOx/Methane to be used in human exploration missions in cis-lunar, lunar, and Mars mission applications. An emphasis is placed on near term lunar lander applications with extensibility to Mars. Each agency provided a status of the substantial amount of Lox/Methane propulsion system development to date and their inputs on the gaps in the technology that are remaining. The gaps, which are now opportunities for collaboration, are then discussed.

  2. An Overview of In-Space Propulsion and Cryogenics Fluids Management Efforts for 2014 SBIR Phases I and II

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Hung D.; Steele, Gynelle C.

    2016-01-01

    NASA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program focuses on technological innovation by investing in the development of innovative concepts and technologies to help NASA's mission directorates address critical research and development needs for Agency programs. This report highlights 11 of the innovative SBIR 2014 Phase I and II projects from 2010 to 2012 that focus on one of NASA Glenn Research Center's six core competencies-In-Space Propulsion and Cryogenic Fluids Management. The technologies cover a wide spectrum of applications such as divergent field annular ion engines, miniature nontoxic nitrous oxide-propane propulsion, noncatalytic ignition systems for high-performance advanced monopropellant thrusters, nontoxic storable liquid propulsion, and superconducting electric boost pumps for nuclear thermal propulsion. Each article describes an innovation and technical objective and highlights NASA commercial and industrial applications. This report provides an opportunity for NASA engineers, researchers, and program managers to learn how NASA SBIR technologies could help their programs and projects, and lead to collaborations and partnerships between the small SBIR companies and NASA that would benefit both.

  3. Hypothetical Dark Matter/axion Rockets:. Dark Matter in Terms of Space Physics Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckwith, A.

    2010-12-01

    Current proposed photon rocket designs include the Nuclear Photonic Rocket and the Antimatter Photonic Rocket (proposed by Eugen Sanger in the 1950s, as reported by Ref. 1). This paper examines the feasibility of improving the thrust of photon-driven ramjet propulsion by using DM rocket propulsion. The open question is: would a heavy WIMP, if converted to photons, upgrade the power (thrust) of a photon rocket drive, to make interstellar travel a feasible proposition?

  4. Recent Advances in Hydrogen Peroxide Propulsion Test Capability at NASA's Stennis Space Center E-Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacks, Thomas E.; Beisler, Michele

    2003-01-01

    In recent years, the rocket propulsion test capability at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center's (SSC) E-Complex has been enhanced to include facilitization for hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) based ground testing. In particular, the E-3 test stand has conducted numerous test projects that have been reported in the open literature. These include combustion devices as simple as small-scale catalyst beds, and larger devices such as ablative thrust chambers and a flight-type engine (AR2-3). Consequently, the NASA SSC test engineering and operations knowledge base and infrastructure have grown considerably in order to conduct safe H2O2 test operations with a variety of test articles at the component and engine level. Currently, the E-Complex has a test requirement for a hydrogen peroxide based stage test. This new development, with its unique set of requirements, has motivated the facilitization for hydrogen peroxide propellant use at the E-2 Cell 2 test position in addition to E-3. Since the E-2 Cell 2 test position was not originally designed as a hydrogen peroxide test stand, a facility modernization-improvement project was planned and implemented in FY 2002-03 to enable this vertical engine test stand to accomodate H2O2. This paper discusses the ongoing enhancement of E-Complex ground test capability, specifically at the E-3 stand (Cell 1 and Cell 2) and E-2 Cell 2 stand, that enable current and future customers considerable test flexibility and operability in conducting their peroxide based rocket R&D efforts.

  5. Expanding Hydrogen Peroxide Propulsion Test Capability at NASA's Stennis Space Center E-Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacks, Thomas E.; Beisler, Michele

    2003-01-01

    In recent years, the rocket propulsion test capability at NASA s John C. Stennis Space Center's (SSC) E-Complex has been enhanced to include facilitization for hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) based ground testing. In particular, the E-3 test stand has conducted numerous test projects that have been reported in the open literature. These include combustion devices as simple at small-scale catalyst beds, and larger devices such as ablative thrust chambers and a flight-type engine (AR2-3). Consequently, the NASA SSC test engineering and operations knowledge base and infrastructure have grown considerably in order to conduct safe H2O2 test operations with a variety of test articles at the component and engine level. Currently, the E-Complex has a test requirement for a hydrogen peroxide based stage test. This new development, with its unique set of requirements, has motivated the facilitization for hydrogen peroxide propellant use at the E-2 Cell 2 test position in addition to E-3. Since the E-2 Cell 2 test position was not originally designed as a hydrogen peroxide test stand, a facility modernization- improvement project was planned and implemented in FY 2002-03 to enable this vertical engine test stand to accommodate H2O2. This paper discusses the ongoing enhancement of E-Complex ground test capability, specifically at the E-3 stand (Cell 1 and Cell 2) and E-2 Cell 2 stand, that enable current and future customers considerable test flexibility and operability in conducting their peroxide based rocket R&D efforts.

  6. Nuclear safety considerations in the conceptual design of a fast reactor for space electric power and propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsieh, T.-M.; Koenig, D. R.

    1977-01-01

    Some nuclear safety aspects of a 3.2 mWt heat pipe cooled fast reactor with out-of-core thermionic converters are discussed. Safety related characteristics of the design including a thin layer of B4C surrounding the core, the use of heat pipes and BeO reflector assembly, the elimination of fuel element bowing, etc., are highlighted. Potential supercriticality hazards and countermeasures are considered. Impacts of some safety guidelines of space transportation system are also briefly discussed, since the currently developing space shuttle would be used as the primary launch vehicle for the nuclear electric propulsion spacecraft.

  7. Alkali Metal Rankine Cycle Boiler Technology Challenges and Some Potential Solutions for Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stone, James R.

    1994-01-01

    Alkali metal boilers are of interest for application to future space Rankine cycle power conversion systems. Significant progress on such boilers was accomplished in the 1960's and early 1970's, but development was not continued to operational systems since NASA's plans for future space missions were drastically curtailed in the early 1970's. In particular, piloted Mars missions were indefinitely deferred. With the announcement of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) in July 1989 by President Bush, interest was rekindled in challenging space missions and, consequently in space nuclear power and propulsion. Nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) and nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) were proposed for interplanetary space vehicles, particularly for Mars missions. The potassium Rankine power conversion cycle became of interest to provide electric power for NEP vehicles and for 'dual-mode' NTP vehicles, where the same reactor could be used directly for propulsion and (with an additional coolant loop) for power. Although the boiler is not a major contributor to system mass, it is of critical importance because of its interaction with the rest of the power conversion system; it can cause problems for other components such as excess liquid droplets entering the turbine, thereby reducing its life, or more critically, it can drive instabilities-some severe enough to cause system failure. Funding for the SEI and its associated technology program from 1990 to 1993 was not sufficient to support significant new work on Rankine cycle boilers for space applications. In Fiscal Year 1994, funding for these challenging missions and technologies has again been curtailed, and planning for the future is very uncertain. The purpose of this paper is to review the technologies developed in the 1960's and 1970's in the light of the recent SEI applications. In this way, future Rankine cycle boiler programs may be conducted most efficiently. This report is aimed at evaluating alkali metal boiler

  8. Summary and recommendations on nuclear electric propulsion technology for the space exploration initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty, Michael P.; Holcomb, Robert S.

    1993-01-01

    A project in Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) technology is being established to develop the NEP technologies needed for advanced propulsion systems. A paced approach has been suggested which calls for progressive development of NEP component and subsystem level technologies. This approach will lead to major facility testing to achieve TRL-5 for megawatt NEP for SEI mission applications. This approach is designed to validate NEP power and propulsion technologies from kilowatt class to megawatt class ratings. Such a paced approach would have the benefit of achieving the development, testing, and flight of NEP systems in an evolutionary manner. This approach may also have the additional benefit of synergistic application with SEI extraterrestrial surface nuclear power applications.

  9. Space Exploration Initiative Fuels, Materials and Related Nuclear Propulsion Technologies Panel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharyya, S. K.; Olsen, C.; Cooper, R.; Matthews, R. B.; Walter, C.; Titran, R. J.

    1993-01-01

    This report was prepared by members of the Fuels, Materials and Related Technologies Panel, with assistance from a number of industry observers as well as laboratory colleagues of the panel members. It represents a consensus view of the panel members. This report was not subjected to a thorough review by DOE, NASA or DoD, and the opinions expressed should not be construed to represent the official position of these organizations, individually or jointly. Topics addressed include: requirement for fuels and materials development for nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) and nuclear electric propulsion (NEP); overview of proposed concepts; fuels technology development plan; materials technology development plan; other reactor technology development; and fuels and materials requirements for advanced propulsion concepts.

  10. Rocket propulsion elements

    CERN Document Server

    Sutton, George P

    2011-01-01

    The definitive text on rocket propulsion-now revised to reflect advancements in the field For sixty years, Sutton's Rocket Propulsion Elements has been regarded as the single most authoritative sourcebook on rocket propulsion technology. As with the previous edition, coauthored with Oscar Biblarz, the Eighth Edition of Rocket Propulsion Elements offers a thorough introduction to basic principles of rocket propulsion for guided missiles, space flight, or satellite flight. It describes the physical mechanisms and designs for various types of rockets' and provides an unders

  11. Particulate Titanium Matrix Composites Tested--Show Promise for Space Propulsion Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerch, Bradley A.; Ellis, J. Rodney; Arnold. Steven M.

    2004-01-01

    Uniformly distributed particle-strengthened titanium matrix composites (TMCs) can be manufactured at lower cost than many types of continuous-fiber composites. The innovative manufacturing technology combines cold and hot isostatic pressing procedures to produce near-final-shape components. Material stiffness is increased up to 26-percent greater than that of components made with conventional titanium materials at no significant increase in the weight. The improved mechanical performance and low-cost manufacturing capability motivated an independent review to assess the improved properties of ceramic titanium carbide (TiC) particulate-reinforced titanium at elevated temperature. Researchers at the NASA Glenn Research Center creatively designed and executed deformation and durability tests to reveal operating regimes where these materials could lower the cost and weight of space propulsion systems. The program compares the elevated-temperature performance of titanium alloy Ti-6Al-4V matrix material to an alloy containing 10 wt% of TiC particles. Initial experiments showed that at these relatively low particle concentrations the material stiffness of the TMC was improved 20 percent over that of the plain Ti-6Al-4V alloy when tested at 427 C. The proportional limit and ultimate strength of the composite in tension are 21- and 14-percent greater than those of the plain alloy. Compression tests showed that the proportional limit is about 30 percent greater for TMC than for the plain alloy. The enhanced deformation resistance of the TMC was also evident in a series of tensile and compressive stress relaxation tests that were made. Specimens were subjected to tensile or compressive strain amplitudes of 0.75 percent for 24 hr followed by a return to zero strain imposed for 24 hr. The stress relaxation data were normalized with respect to the maximum stress for each case and plotted as a function of time in the following graph. Tensile stresses relaxed 19 percent for the

  12. Use of advanced particle methods in modeling space propulsion and its supersonic expansions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borner, Arnaud

    This research discusses the use of advanced kinetic particle methods such as Molecular Dynamics (MD) and direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) to model space propulsion systems such as electrospray thrusters and their supersonic expansions. MD simulations are performed to model an electrospray thruster for the ionic liquid (IL) EMIM--BF4 using coarse-grained (CG) potentials. The model is initially featuring a constant electric field applied in the longitudinal direction. Two coarse-grained potentials are compared, and the effective-force CG (EFCG) potential is found to predict the formation of the Taylor cone, the cone-jet, and other extrusion modes for similar electric fields and mass flow rates observed in experiments of a IL fed capillary-tip-extractor system better than the simple CG potential. Later, one-dimensional and fully transient three-dimensional electric fields, the latter solving Poisson's equation to take into account the electric field due to space charge at each timestep, are computed by coupling the MD model to a Poisson solver. It is found that the inhomogeneous electric field as well as that of the IL space-charge improve agreement between modeling and experiment. The boundary conditions (BCs) are found to have a substantial impact on the potential and electric field, and the tip BC is introduced and compared to the two previous BCs, named plate and needle, showing good improvement by reducing unrealistically high radial electric fields generated in the vicinity of the capillary tip. The influence of the different boundary condition models on charged species currents as a function of the mass flow rate is studied, and it is found that a constant electric field model gives similar agreement to the more rigorous and computationally expensive tip boundary condition at lower flow rates. However, at higher mass flow rates the MD simulations with the constant electric field produces extruded particles with higher Coulomb energy per ion, consistent with

  13. Improvements on cool gas generators and their application in space propulsion systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sanders, H.M.; Schuurbiers, C.A.H.; Vandeberg, R.J.

    2014-01-01

    Cool Gas Generators are an innovative means to store gas which can be used in propulsion and pressurization systems but also for inflatable structures and terrestrial applications. In Cool Gas Generators, the gas is stored chemically, without pressure or leakage and with a long life time without mai

  14. Evaluation of High-Performance Space Nuclear Electric Generators for Electric Propulsion Application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodcock, Gordon; Kross, Dennis A. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Electric propulsion applications are enhanced by high power-to-mass ratios for their electric power sources. At multi-megawatt levels, we can expect thrust production systems to be less than 5 kg/kWe. Application of nuclear electric propulsion to human Mars missions becomes an attractive alternative to nuclear thermal propulsion if the propulsion system is less than about 10 kg/kWe. Recent references have projected megawatt-plus nuclear electric sources at specific mass values from less than 1 kg/kWe to about 5 kg/kWe. Various assumptions are made regarding power generation cycle (turbogenerator; MHD (magnetohydrodynamics)) and reactor heat source design. The present paper compares heat source and power generation options on the basis of a parametric model that emphasizes heat transfer design and realizable hardware concept. Pressure drop (important!) is included in the power cycle analysis, and MHD and turbogenerator cycles are compared. Results indicate that power source specific mass less than 5 kg/kWe is attainable, even if peak temperatures achievable are limited to 1500 K. Projections of specific mass less than 1 kg/kWe are unrealistic, even at the highest peak temperatures considered.

  15. OAST Space Theme Workshop. Volume 3: Working Group Summary. 5: Propulsion (P-1). A. Summary Statement. B. Technology Needs (Form 1). C. Priority Assessments (Form 2)

    Science.gov (United States)

    1976-01-01

    All themes require some form of advanced propulsion capabilities to achieve their stated objectives. Requirements cover a broad spectrum ranging from a new generation of heavy lift launch vehicles to low thrust, long lift system for on-orbit operations. The commonality extant between propulsive technologies was established and group technologies were grouped into vehicle classes by functional capability. The five classes of launch vehicles identified by the space transportation theme were augmented with a sixth class, encompassing planetary and on-orbit operations. Propulsion technologies in each class were then ranked, and assigned priority numbers. Prioritized technologies were matched to theme requirements.

  16. Dual-fuel propulsion - Why it works, possible engines, and results of vehicle studies. [on earth-to-orbit Space Shuttle flights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, J. A.; Wilhite, A. W.

    1979-01-01

    The reasons why dual-fuel propulsion works are discussed. Various engine options are discussed, and vehicle mass and cost results are presented for earth-to-orbit vehicles. The results indicate that dual-fuel propulsion is attractive, particularly with the dual-expander engine. A unique orbit-transfer vehicle is described which uses dual-fuel propulsion. One Space Shuttle flight and one flight of a heavy-lift Shuttle derivative are used for each orbit-transfer vehicle flight, and the payload capability is quite attractive.

  17. NASA's CSTI Earth-to-Orbit Propulsion Program - On-target technology transfer to advanced space flight programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escher, William J. D.; Herr, Paul N.; Stephenson, Frank W., Jr.

    1990-01-01

    NASA's Civil Space Technology Initiative encompasses among its major elements the Earth-to-Orbit Propulsion Program (ETOPP) for future launch vehicles, which is budgeted to the extent of $20-30 million/year for the development of essential technologies. ETOPP technologies include, in addition to advanced materials and processes and design/analysis computational tools, the advanced systems-synthesis technologies required for definition of highly reliable LH2 and hydrocarbon fueled rocket engines to be operated at significantly reduced levels of risk and cost relative to the SSME. Attention is given to the technology-transfer services of ETOPP.

  18. In-Space Propulsion Engine Architecture Based on Sublimation of Planetary Resources: From Exploration Robots to NED Mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibille, Laurent; Mantovani, James; Dominquez, Jesus

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this NIAC study is to identify those volatile and mineral resources that are available on asteroids, comets, moons and planets in the solar system, and investigate methods to transform these resources into forms of power that will expand the capabilities of future robotic and human exploration missions to explore planetary bodies beyond the Moon and will mitigate hazards from NEOs. The sources of power used for deep space probe missions are usually derived from either solar panels for electrical energy, radioisotope thermal generators for thermal energy, or fuel cells and chemical reactions for chemical energy and propulsion.

  19. Comparison of Space Propulsion Methods for a Manned Mission to Mars

    CERN Document Server

    Guerra, A G C; Gil, P J S

    2015-01-01

    We undertake a comparison of the latest developments in propulsion technologies, for a manned mission to Mars. The main objective is to assess the possibility of reducing travel time keeping the mass at departure within bounds. For the sake of comparison we used representative systems of different state of the art or proposed technologies, from the chemical engine to the "Pure Electro-Magnetic Thrust" (PEMT) concept, using a nuclear engine proposed by Rubbia. A mission architecture is suggested, based on existing mission proposals to Mars, to estimate the mass budget that influences the performance of the propulsion system. The trajectory of the spacecraft is determined by a numerical integration of the equations of motion and a partial optimization procedure, for the interplanetary phase with continuous thrust, and by conics and instant manoeuvres in the regions of influence of the departure and arrival planets. Pareto curves of the duration of the mission and time of flight versus mass of mission are drawn....

  20. The Direction of Fluid Dynamics for Liquid Propulsion at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffin, Lisa W.

    2012-01-01

    The Fluid Dynamics Branch's (ER42) at MSFC mission is to support NASA and other customers with discipline expertise to enable successful accomplishment of program/project goals. The branch is responsible for all aspects of the discipline of fluid dynamics, analysis and testing, applied to propulsion or propulsion-induced loads and environments, which includes the propellant delivery system, combustion devices, coupled systems, and launch and separation events. ER42 supports projects from design through development, and into anomaly and failure investigations. ER42 is committed to continually improving the state-of-its-practice to provide accurate, effective, and timely fluid dynamics assessments and in extending the state-of-the-art of the discipline.

  1. High Power Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) for Cargo and Propellant Transfer Missions in Cislunar Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falck, Robert D.; Borowski, Stanley K.

    2003-01-01

    The performance of Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) in transporting cargo and propellant from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to the first Earth-Moon Lagrange point (EML1) is examined. The baseline NEP vehicle utilizes a fission reactor system with Brayton power conversion for electric power generation to power multiple liquid hydrogen magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters. Vehicle characteristics and performance levels are based on technology availability in a fifteen to twenty year timeframe. Results of numerical trajectory analyses are also provided.

  2. Marshall Space Flight Center Propulsion Systems Department (PSD) Knowledge Management (KM) Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caraccioli, Paul; Varnedoe, Tom; Smith, Randy; McCarter, Mike; Wilson, Barry; Porter, Richard

    2006-01-01

    NASA Marshall Space Flight Center's Propulsion Systems Department (PSD) is four months into a fifteen month Knowledge Management (KM) initiative to support enhanced engineering decision making and analyses, faster resolution of anomalies (near-term) and effective, efficient knowledge infused engineering processes, reduced knowledge attrition, and reduced anomaly occurrences (long-term). The near-term objective of this initiative is developing a KM Pilot project, within the context of a 3-5 year KM strategy, to introduce and evaluate the use of KM within PSD. An internal NASA/MSFC PSD KM team was established early in project formulation to maintain a practitioner, user-centric focus throughout the conceptual development, planning and deployment of KM technologies and capabilities within the PSD. The PSD internal team is supported by the University of Alabama's Aging Infrastructure Systems Center of Excellence (AISCE), lntergraph Corporation, and The Knowledge Institute. The principle product of the initial four month effort has been strategic planning of PSD KNI implementation by first determining the "as is" state of KM capabilities and developing, planning and documenting the roadmap to achieve the desired "to be" state. Activities undertaken to suppoth e planning phase have included data gathering; cultural surveys, group work-sessions, interviews, documentation review, and independent research. Assessments and analyses have beon pedormed including industry benchmarking, related local and Agency initiatives, specific tools and techniques used and strategies for leveraging existing resources, people and technology to achieve common KM goals. Key findings captured in the PSD KM Strategic Plan include the system vision, purpose, stakeholders, prioritized strategic objectives mapped to the top ten practitioner needs and analysis of current resource usage. Opportunities identified from research, analyses, cultural1KM surveys and practitioner interviews include

  3. Space tug point design study. Volume 3: Design definition. Part 1: Propulsion and mechanical, avionics, thermal control and electrical power subsystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    1973-01-01

    A study was conducted to determine the configuration and performance of a space tug. Details of the space tug systems are presented to include: (1) propulsion systems, (2) avionics, (3) thermal control, and (4) electric power subsystems. The data generated include engineering drawings, schematics, subsystem operation, and component description. Various options investigated and the rational for the point design selection are analyzed.

  4. Marshall Space Flight Center and the Reactor-in-Flight Stage: A Look Back at Using Nuclear Propulsion to Power Space Vehicles in the 1960's

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Mike

    2003-01-01

    This paper examines the Marshall Space Flight Center s role in the Reactor-In-Flight (RIlT) project that NASA was involved with in the early 1960 s. The paper outlines the project s relation to the joint NASA-Atomic Energy Commission nuclear initiative known as Project Rover. It describes the justification for the RIFT project, its scope, and the difficulties that were encountered during the project. It also provides as assessment of NASA s overall capabilities related to nuclear propulsion in the early 1960 s.

  5. Slosh wave excitation due to cryogenic liquid reorientation in space-based propulsion system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hung, R. J.; Shyu, K. L.; Lee, C. C.

    1991-01-01

    The objective of the cryogenic fluid management of the spacecraft propulsion system is to develop the technology necessary for acquistion or positioning of liquid and vapor within a tank in reduced gravity to enable liquid outflow or vapor venting. In this study slosh wave excitation induced by the resettling flow field activated by 1.0 Hz medium frequency impulsive reverse gravity acceleration during the course of liquid fluid reorientation with the initiation of geyser for liquid filled levels of 30, 50, and 80 percent have been studied. Characteristics of slosh waves with various frequencies excited are discussed.

  6. Propulsion Laboratory

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Propulsion Lab simulates field test conditions in a controlled environment, using standardized or customized test procedures. The Propulsion Lab's 11 cells can...

  7. Environmental statement for National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Office of Space Science, launch vehicle and propulsion programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    1972-01-01

    NASA OSS Launch Vehicle and Propulsion Programs are responsible for the launch of approximately 20 automated science and applications spacecraft per year. These launches are for NASA programs and those of other U. S. government agencies, private organizations, such as the Comsat Corporation, foreign countries, and international organizations. Launches occur from Cape Kennedy, Florida; Vandenberg Air Force Base, California; Wallops Island, Virginia; and the San Marco Platform in the Indian Ocean off Kenya. Spacecraft launched by this program contribute in a variety of ways to the control of and betterment of the environment. Environmental effects caused by the launch vehicles are limited in extent, duration, and intensity and are considered insignificant.

  8. Application and development trends of electric propulsion in deep-space primary propulsion%电推进在深空探测主推进中的应用及发展趋势

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杭观荣; 康小录

    2012-01-01

    随着太阳能电池阵列电功率的不断增长,高比冲电推进在深空探测主推进任务中的应用成为现实,且有明显增加趋势。在我国实施两次月球探测任务之后,深空探测将成为我国航天领域的重要组成部分。从20世纪90年代末开始,美国、日本和欧洲相继发射了四个由电推进执行主推进的深空探测器-深空一号探测器、隼鸟号小行星探测器、智慧一号月球探测器和黎明号小行星探测器,极大地提升了深空进入能力,且获得了很多科学数据。本文分析深空探测主推进对电推进的需求,对电推进在深空探测主推进任务中的应用现状进行综述,分析关键技术和发展趋势,为我国深空探测推进技术发展提供参考。%With the continuing increment of solar array power, high specific impulse electric propulsion for deep-space primary propulsion was realized, and the application has been increased evidently. After two lunar explorations, the deep-space exploration will be an important part of Chinese space activities. Since the late 1990s, USA, Japan and Europe have launched four deep-space probes propelled by electric propulsion: Deep-space 1 Probe, HAYABUSA Asteroid Probe, SMART-1 Lunar Probe and DAWN Asteroid Probe. These activities significantly improved deep-space access capabilities, and a lot of scientific data were acquired. The requirements, application status, key technologies and development trends of the electric propulsion for deep-space exploration are analyzed for providing a reference for the development of Chinese deep-space propulsion technology.

  9. Monitoring space shuttle air quality using the Jet Propulsion Laboratory electronic nose

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Margaret Amy; Zhou, Hanying; Buehler, Martin G.; Manatt, Kenneth S.; Mowrey, Victoria S.; Jackson, Shannon P.; Kisor, Adam K.; Shevade, Abhijit V.; Homer, Margie L.

    2004-01-01

    A miniature electronic nose (ENose) has been designed and built at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA, and was designed to detect, identify, and quantify ten common contaminants and relative humidity changes. The sensing array includes 32 sensing films made from polymer carbon-black composites. Event identification and quantification were done using the Levenberg-Marquart nonlinear least squares method. After successful ground training, this ENose was used in a demonstration experiment aboard STS-95 (October-November, 1998), in which the ENose was operated continuously for six days and recorded the sensors' response to the air in the mid-deck. Air samples were collected daily and analyzed independently after the flight. Changes in shuttle-cabin humidity were detected and quantified by the JPL ENose; neither the ENose nor the air samples detected any of the contaminants on the target list. The device is microgravity insensitive.

  10. Laser ablation in a running hall effect thruster for space propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balika, L.; Focsa, C.; Gurlui, S.; Pellerin, S.; Pellerin, N.; Pagnon, D.; Dudeck, M.

    2013-07-01

    Hall Effect Thrusters (HETs) are promising electric propulsion devices for the station-keeping of geostationary satellites (more than 120 in orbit to date). Moreover, they can offer a cost-effective solution for interplanetary journey, as proved by the recent ESA SMART-1 mission to the Moon. The main limiting factor of the HETs lifetime is the erosion of the annular channel ceramics walls. In order to provide a better understanding of the energy deposition on the insulated walls, a laser irradiation study has been carried out on a PPS100-ML thruster during its run in the PIVOINE-2G ground test facility (CNRS Orléans, France). Two distinct approaches have been followed: continuous wave fiber laser irradiation (generation of thermal defects) and nanosecond pulsed laser ablation (generation of topological defects). The irradiated zones have been monitored in situ by IR thermography and optical emission spectroscopy and further investigated ex situ by scanning electron microscopy and profilometry.

  11. A critical assembly designed to measure neutronic benchmarks in support of the space nuclear thermal propulsion program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parma, Edward J.; Ball, Russell M.; Hoovler, Gary S.; Selcow, Elizabeth C.; Cerbone, Ralph J.

    1993-01-01

    A reactor designed to perform criticality experiments in support of the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion program is currently in operation at the Sandia National Laboratories' reactor facility. The reactor is a small, water-moderated system that uses highly enriched uranium particle fuel in a 19-element configuration. Its purpose is to obtain neutronic measurements under a variety of experimental conditions that are subsequently used to benchmark rector-design computer codes. Brookhaven National Laboratory, Babcock & Wilcox, and Sandia National Laboratories participated in determining the reactor's performance requirements, design, follow-on experimentation, and in obtaining the licensing approvals. Brookhaven National Laboratory is primarily responsible for the analytical support, Babcock & Wilcox the hardware design, and Sandia National Laboratories the operational safety. All of the team members participate in determining the experimentation requirements, performance, and data reduction. Initial criticality was achieved in October 1989. An overall description of the reactor is presented along with key design features and safety-related aspects.

  12. Space Shuttle Propulsion Systems Plume Modeling and Simulation for the Lift-Off Computational Fluid Dynamics Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strutzenberg, L. L.; Dougherty, N. S.; Liever, P. A.; West, J. S.; Smith, S. D.

    2007-01-01

    This paper details advances being made in the development of Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes numerical simulation tools, models, and methods for the integrated Space Shuttle Vehicle at launch. The conceptual model and modeling approach described includes the development of multiple computational models to appropriately analyze the potential debris transport for critical debris sources at Lift-Off. The conceptual model described herein involves the integration of propulsion analysis for the nozzle/plume flow with the overall 3D vehicle flowfield at Lift-Off. Debris Transport Analyses are being performed using the Shuttle Lift-Off models to assess the risk to the vehicle from Lift-Off debris and appropriately prioritized mitigation of potential debris sources to continue to reduce vehicle risk. These integrated simulations are being used to evaluate plume-induced debris environments where the multi-plume interactions with the launch facility can potentially accelerate debris particles toward the vehicle.

  13. Niobium-Based Intermetallics for Affordable In-Space Propulsion Applications Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This SBIR Phase I effort proposes an innovative class of refractory metal intermetallic composites as alternatives to high temperature metallic materials presently...

  14. Advanced Unsteady Turbulent Combustion Simulation Capability for Space Propulsion Systems Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The innovation proposed here is a high performance, high fidelity simulation capability to enable accurate, fast and robust simulation of unsteady turbulent,...

  15. Processing of solid solution, mixed uranium/refractory metal carbides for advanced space nuclear power and propulsion systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knight, Travis Warren

    Nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) and space nuclear power are two enabling technologies for the manned exploration of space and the development of research outposts in space and on other planets such as Mars. Advanced carbide nuclear fuels have been proposed for application in space nuclear power and propulsion systems. This study examined the processing technologies and optimal parameters necessary to fabricate samples of single phase, solid solution, mixed uranium/refractory metal carbides. In particular, the pseudo-ternary carbide, UC-ZrC-NbC, system was examined with uranium metal mole fractions of 5% and 10% and corresponding uranium densities of 0.8 to 1.8 gU/cc. Efforts were directed to those methods that could produce simple geometry fuel elements or wafers such as those used to fabricate a Square Lattice Honeycomb (SLHC) fuel element and reactor core. Methods of cold uniaxial pressing, sintering by induction heating, and hot pressing by self-resistance heating were investigated. Solid solution, high density (low porosity) samples greater than 95% TD were processed by cold pressing at 150 MPa and sintering above 2600 K for times longer than 90 min. Some impurity oxide phases were noted in some samples attributed to residual gases in the furnace during processing. Also, some samples noted secondary phases of carbon and UC2 due to some hyperstoichiometric powder mixtures having carbon-to-metal ratios greater than one. In all, 33 mixed carbide samples were processed and analyzed with half bearing uranium as ternary carbides of UC-ZrC-NbC. Scanning electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, and density measurements were used to characterize samples. Samples were processed from powders of the refractory mono-carbides and UC/UC 2 or from powders of uranium hydride (UH3), graphite, and refractory metal carbides to produce hypostoichiometric mixed carbides. Samples processed from the constituent carbide powders and sintered at temperatures above the melting point of UC

  16. Development of a Robust Tri-Carbide Fueled Reactor for Multimegawatt Space Power and Propulsion Applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Samim Anghaie; Travis W. Knight; Johann Plancher; Reza Gouw

    2004-08-11

    An innovative reactor core design based on advanced, mixed carbide fuels was analyzed for nuclear space power applications. Solid solution, mixed carbide fuels such as (U,Zr,Nb)c and (U,Zr, Ta)C offer great promise as an advanced high temperature fuel for space power reactors.

  17. Nuclear Pulse Propulsion

    OpenAIRE

    Atanas, Dilov; Hasan, Osman; Nickolai, Larsen; Tom, Edwards

    2015-01-01

    This project aims to provide the reader with a comprehensive insight into the potential of nuclear fuels to accelerate spacecraft propulsion, shorten journey times and broaden our exploration of space. The current methods of space propulsion offer little in the way of efficiency in terms of cost, time and henceforth investment and research. The dwindling resources of the planet plus the exponential rise of overpopulation will ultimately push us towards exploration of worlds further afield ...

  18. Reactors for nuclear electric propulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buden, D.; Angelo, J.A. Jr.

    1981-01-01

    Propulsion is the key to space exploitation and power is the key to propulsion. This paper examines the role of nuclear fission reactors as the primary power source for high specific impulse electric propulsion systems for space missions of the 1980s and 1990s. Particular mission applications include transfer to and a reusable orbital transfer vehicle from low-Earth orbit to geosynchronous orbit, outer planet exploration and reconnaissance missions, and as a versatile space tug supporting lunar resource development. Nuclear electric propulsion is examined as an indispensable component in space activities of the next two decades.

  19. REUSABLE PROPULSION ARCHITECTURE FOR SUSTAINABLE LOW-COST ACCESS TO SPACE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonometti, J. A.; Dankanich, J. W.; Frame, K. L.

    2005-01-01

    The primary obstacle to any space-based mission is, and has always been, the cost of access to space. Even with impressive efforts toward reusability, no system has come close to lowering the cost a significant amount. It is postulated here, that architectural innovation is necessary to make reusability feasible, not incremental subsystem changes. This paper shows two architectural approaches of reusability that merit further study investments. Both #inherently# have performance increases and cost advantages to make affordable access to space a near term reality. A rocket launched from a subsonic aircraft (specifically the Crossbow methodology) and a momentum exchange tether, reboosted by electrodynamics, offer possibilities of substantial reductions in the total transportation architecture mass - making access-to-space cost-effective. They also offer intangible benefits that reduce risk or offer large growth potential. The cost analysis indicates that approximately a 50% savings is obtained using today#s aerospace materials and practices.

  20. Advanced Simulation Framework for Design and Analysis of Space Propulsion Systems Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The innovation proposed here is a computational framework for high performance, high fidelity computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to enable accurate, fast and robust...

  1. High Temperature Resistant Zirconia Coating for In-space Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — To enhance NASA systems, Spire proposes a novel technique for growing a graded nanocrystalline ZrON/ZrO2 protective coating with superior heat tolerance on relevant...

  2. Advanced In-Space Propulsion (AISP): High Temperature Boost Power Processing Unit (PPU) Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The task is to investigate the technology path to develop a 10kW modular Silicon Carbide (SiC) based power processing unit (PPU). The PPU utilizes the high...

  3. Advanced Simulation Framework for Design and Analysis of Space Propulsion Systems Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The innovation proposed here is a high-performance, high-fidelity framework in the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code called Loci-STREAM to enable accurate,...

  4. Efficient Parallel Solver for Unsteady Flow Physics in Complex Space Propulsion Geometries Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The innovation proposed here is a framework for the incorporation of high performance, high fidelity computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques to enable accurate...

  5. Solar Electric Propulsion CubeSat Bus for Deep Space Missions Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — As electronics continue to shrink in size, the capabilities of CubeSats continues to expand. CubeSats can now perform a wide range of sensing and telecommunications...

  6. With and Without Post-Burning Solar Thermal Rocket Engines: Three New Chances for Space Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz Haro, Mercedes; Navarro Vásquez, Ricardo M.

    2002-01-01

    This report studies and compares Solar Thermal Rocket Engines (STRE) with and without post-burning. In a STRE hydrogen is expelled at very high speeds after been heated up to 3000 K thanks to the concentrator-receiver system. In Solar Rocket Engines with Post-Burning (STREPB), this hydrogen is burnt inside a especial combustion chamber where the oxygen is introduced. In this paper the addition of another fuel, LiH, will be also studied. The simple STRE gives higher values for specific impulse than the other two cases. While these values for this configuration go to more than 1000 s, the STREPB reaches around 650 s for hydrogen temperatures of 1500 K. The solution using H2-LiH- O2 gives around 520 s at only 800 K. The consecution of a high temperature is linked to an increase of concentrator's accuracy and mass. For the expedient value of oxidizer-to-fuel ratio the difference of more than 500 K is enough to enable a reduction higher than 50% of the concentrator's area and mass. The calculations for obtained thrust can be approach by means of several thermodynamic equations. It will be less for the STRE, so the use of Post-Burning will be better for missions requiring higher thrust. These figures locate STRE and STREPB between Liquid Rocket Engines' high thrust, which reduce trip time, and the Ion Accelerating Rockets' high specific impulse, which increase the admitted payload's mass. This paper will also compare this kind of propulsion with existing ones by means of Tsiolkovsky equation, V = I spLn M 0 / M p to estimate its possibilities for different manoeuvres as orbit transfers and interplanetary missions.

  7. High Temperature Nanocomposites For Nuclear Thermal Propulsion and In-Space Fabrication by Hyperbaric Pressure Laser Chemical Vapor Deposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maxwell, J. L.; Webb, N. D.; Espinoza, M.; Cook, S.; Houts, M.; Kim, T.

    Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is an indispensable technology for the manned exploration of the solar system. By using Hyperbaric Pressure Laser Chemical Vapor Deposition (HP-LCVD), the authors propose to design and build a promising next-generation fuel element composed of uranium carbide UC embedded in a latticed matrix of highly refractory Ta4HfC5 for an NTP rocket capable of sustaining temperatures up to 4000 K, enabling an Isp of up to 1250 s. Furthermore, HP-LCVD technology can also be harnessed to enable 3D rapid prototyping of a variety of materials including metals, ceramics and composites, opening up the possibility of in-space fabrication of components, replacement parts, difficult-to-launch solar sails and panels and a variety of other space structures. Additionally, rapid prototyping with HP-LCVD makes a feasible "live off the land" strategy of interplanetary and interstellar exploration ­ the precursors commonly used in the technology are found, often in abundance, on other solar system bodies either as readily harvestable gas (e.g. methane) or as a raw material that could be converted into a suitable precursor (e.g. iron oxide into ferrocene on Mars).

  8. A subscale facility for liquid rocket propulsion diagnostics at Stennis Space Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raines, N. G.; Bircher, F. E.; Chenevert, D. J.

    1991-01-01

    The Diagnostics Testbed Facility (DTF) at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center in Mississippi was designed to provide a testbed for the development of rocket engine exhaust plume diagnostics instrumentation. A 1200-lb thrust liquid oxygen/gaseous hydrogen thruster is used as the plume source for experimentation and instrument development. Theoretical comparative studies have been performed with aerothermodynamic codes to ensure that the DTF thruster (DTFT) has been optimized to produce a plume with pressure and temperature conditions as much like the plume of the Space Shuttle Main Engine as possible. Operation of the DTFT is controlled by an icon-driven software program using a series of soft switches. Data acquisition is performed using the same software program. A number of plume diagnostics experiments have utilized the unique capabilities of the DTF.

  9. Realizing "2001: A Space Odyssey": Piloted Spherical Torus Nuclear Fusion Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Craig H.; Dudzinski, Leonard A.; Borowski, Stanley K.; Juhasz, Albert J.

    2005-01-01

    A conceptual vehicle design enabling fast, piloted outer solar system travel was created predicated on a small aspect ratio spherical torus nuclear fusion reactor. The initial requirements were satisfied by the vehicle concept, which could deliver a 172 mt crew payload from Earth to Jupiter rendezvous in 118 days, with an initial mass in low Earth orbit of 1,690 mt. Engineering conceptual design, analysis, and assessment was performed on all major systems including artificial gravity payload, central truss, nuclear fusion reactor, power conversion, magnetic nozzle, fast wave plasma heating, tankage, fuel pellet injector, startup/re-start fission reactor and battery bank, refrigeration, reaction control, communications, mission design, and space operations. Detailed fusion reactor design included analysis of plasma characteristics, power balance/utilization, first wall, toroidal field coils, heat transfer, and neutron/x-ray radiation. Technical comparisons are made between the vehicle concept and the interplanetary spacecraft depicted in the motion picture 2001: A Space Odyssey.

  10. Results from a Pre-Ionization Study of a 30 kW RMF-FRC Experiment for Space Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Carrie; Uchizono, Nolan; Holmes, Michael

    2016-10-01

    Field-Reversed-Configuration (FRC) plasma thrusters are an attractive concept for in-space propulsion. These thrusters operate in a quasi-steady manner by expelling successive bursts of FRC plasmoids on the order of the neutral-gas refill rate. Pre-ionization (PI) of the seed gas is a challenge for these repetitive systems as the starting mix is a combination of the hot remnants from the recently-departed FRC and the cold refill gas. Pre-ionization of this mixture is critical to the RMF current drive and energy coupling of the system and therefore must be optimized to maximize performance. An empirical PI study was conducted on a 30-kW RMF-FRC benchtop experiment to examine how coil geometry and initial plasma distribution affects the plasmoid formation and acceleration processes. Three different inductively-coupled PI coil geometries were investigated. Their effectiveness was monitored by recording the downstream plasma velocity distribution, density, and energy coupling to the RMF antennas. The initial seed plasma created by these sources was also mapped in limited regions to compare the starting conditions for the FRC plasmoid in each case.

  11. Comparison of super-high-energy-propulsion-systems based on metallic hydrogen propellant for ES to LEO space transportation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thierschmann, M.

    1990-01-01

    The application is studied of metallic H2 as a rocket propellant, which contains a specific energy of about 52 kcal/g in theory yielding a maximum specific impulse of 1700 s. With the convincing advantage of having a density 14 times that of conventional liquid H2/liquid O2 propellants, metallic H2 could satisfy the demands of advanced launch vehicle propulsion for the next millennium. Provided that there is an atomic metallic state of H2, and that this state is metastable at ambient pressure, which still is not proven, the results are given of the study of some important areas, which concern the production of metallic H2, the combustion, chamber cooling, and storage. The results show that the use of metallic H2 as rocket propellant could lead to revolutionary changes in space vehicle philosophy toward small size, small weight, and high performance single stage to orbit systems. The use of high metallic H2 mass fractions results in a dramatic reduction of required propellant volume, while gas temperatures in the combustion chamber exceed 5000 K. Furthermore, it follows, that H2 (liquid or slush) is the most favorable candidate as working fluid. Jet generated noise due to high exhaust velocities could be a problem.

  12. Radioisotope fueled pulsed power generation system for propulsion and electrical power for deep space missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, Troy

    Space exploration missions to the moon, Mars, and other celestial bodies have allowed for great scientific leaps to enhance our knowledge of the universe; yet the astronomical cost of these missions limits their utility to only a few select agencies. Reducing the cost of exploratory space travel will give rise to a new era of exploration, where private investors, universities, and world governments can send satellites to far off planets and gather important data. By using radioisotope power sources and thermal storage devices, a duty cycle can be introduced to extract large amounts of energy in short amounts of time, allowing for efficient space travel. The same device can also provide electrical power for subsystems such as communications, drills, lasers, or other components that can provide valuable scientific information. This project examines the use of multiple radioisotope sources combined with a thermal capacitor using Phase Change Materials (PCMs) which can collect energy over a period of time. The result of this design culminates in a variety of possible spacecraft with their own varying costs, transit times, and objectives. Among the most promising are missions to Mars which cost less than 17M, missions that can provide power to satellite constellations for decades, or missions that can deliver large, Opportunity-sized (185kg) payloads to mars for less than 53M. All made available to a much wider range of customer with commercially available satellite launches from earth. The true cost of such progress though lies in the sometimes substantial increase in transit times for these missions.

  13. Laser propulsion: a review

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Michaelis, MM

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Ablation (HPLA) conferences, numbered I to VI, held in New Mexico, where laser propulsion is but one topic, under the auspices of the Society for Photographic Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). There is also a specialist conference on beamed energy... route to space. 1. Myrabo L.N. (1987). Air-breathing laser propulsion for trans-atmospheric vehicles. In Proc. SDIO Workshop on Laser Propulsion, Los Alamos, New Mexico, ed. J.T. Kare, pp. 173–208. Los Alamos. 2. Phipps C.R., Luke J.R., McDuff G...

  14. REUSABLE PROPULSION ARCHITECTURE FOR SUSTAINABLE LOW-COST ACCESS TO SPACE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonometti, Joseph; Frame, Kyle L.; Dankanich, John W.

    2005-01-01

    Two transportation architecture changes are presented at either end of a conventional two-stage rocket flight: 1) Air launch using a large, conventional, pod hauler design (i.e., Crossbow)ans 2) Momentum exchange tether (i.e., an in-space asset like MXER). Air launch has ana analytically justified cost reduction of approx. 10%, but its intangible benefits suggest real-world operations cost reductions much higher: 1) Inherent launch safety; 2) Mission Risk Reduction; 3) Favorable payload/rocket limitations; and 4) Leveraging the aircraft for other uses (military transport, commercial cargo, public outreach activities, etc.)

  15. The Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Stage (NTPS): A Key Space Asset for Human Exploration and Commercial Missions to the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.; McCurdy, David R.; Burke, Laura M.

    2014-01-01

    The nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) has frequently been discussed as a key space asset that can bridge the gap between a sustained human presence on the Moon and the eventual human exploration of Mars. Recently, a human mission to a near Earth asteroid (NEA) has also been included as a "deep space precursor" to an orbital mission of Mars before a landing is attempted. In his "post-Apollo" Integrated Space Program Plan (1970 to 1990), Wernher von Braun, proposed a reusable Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Stage (NTPS) to deliver cargo and crew to the Moon to establish a lunar base initially before sending human missions to Mars. The NTR was selected because it was a proven technology capable of generating both high thrust and high specific impulse (Isp approx. 900 s)-twice that of today's best chemical rockets. During the Rover and NERVA programs, 20 rocket reactors were designed, built and successfully ground tested. These tests demonstrated the (1) thrust levels; (2) high fuel temperatures; (3) sustained operation; (4) accumulated lifetime; and (5) restart capability needed for an affordable in-space transportation system. In NASA's Mars Design Reference Architecture (DRA) 5.0 study, the "Copernicus" crewed NTR Mars transfer vehicle used three 25 klbf "Pewee" engines-the smallest and highest performing engine tested in the Rover program. Smaller lunar transfer vehicles-consisting of a NTPS with three approx. 16.7 klbf "SNRE-class" engines, an in-line propellant tank, plus the payload-can be delivered to LEO using a 70 t to LEO upgraded SLS, and can support reusable cargo delivery and crewed lunar landing missions. The NTPS can play an important role in returning humans to the Moon to stay by providing an affordable in-space transportation system that can allow initial lunar outposts to evolve into settlements capable of supporting commercial activities. Over the next decade collaborative efforts between NASA and private industry could open up new exploration and commercial

  16. Investigation of a catalytic gas generator for the Space Shuttle APU. [hydrazine Auxiliary Propulsion Unit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emmons, D. L.; Huxtable, D. D.; Blevins, D. R.

    1974-01-01

    An investigation was conducted to establish the capability of a monopropellant hydrazine catalytic gas generator to meet the requirements specified for the Space Shuttle APU. Detailed analytical and experimental studies were conducted on potential problem areas including long-term nitriding effects on materials, design variables affecting catalyst life, vehicle vibration effects, and catalyst oxidation/contamination. A full-scale gas generator, designed to operate at a chamber pressure of 750 psia and a flow rate of 0.36 lbm/sec, was fabricated and subjected to three separate life test series. The objective of the first test series was to demonstrate the capability of the gas generator to successfully complete 20 simulated Space Shuttle missions in steady-state operation. The gas generator was then refurbished and subjected to a second series of tests to demonstrate the pulse-mode capability of the gas generator during 20 simulated missions. The third series of tests was conducted with a refurbished reactor to further demonstrate pulse-mode capability with a modified catalyst bed.

  17. Preliminary Thermohydraulic Analysis of a New Moderated Reactor Utilizing an LEU-Fuel for Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nam, Seung Hyun; Choi, Jae Young; Venneria, Paolo F.; Jeong, Yong Hoon; Chang, Soon Heung [KAIST, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-10-15

    The Korea Advanced NUclear Thermal Engine Rocket utilizing an LEU fuel (KANUTER-LEU) is a non-proliferative and comparably efficient NTR engine with relatively low thrust levels of 40 - 50 kN for in-space transportation. The small modular engine can expand mission versatility, when flexibly used in a clustered engine arrangement, so that it can perform various scale missions from low-thrust robotic science missions to high-thrust manned missions. In addition, the clustered engine system can enhance engine redundancy and ensuing crew safety as well as the thrust. The propulsion system is an energy conversion system to transform the thermal energy of the reactor into the kinetic energy of the propellant to produce the powers for thrust, propellant feeding and electricity. It is mainly made up of a propellant Feeding System (PFS) comprising a Turbo-Pump Assembly (TPA), a Regenerative Nozzle Assembly (RNA), etc. For this core design study, an expander cycle is assumed to be the propulsion system. The EGS converts the thermal energy of the EHTGR in the idle operation (only 350 kW{sub th} power) to electric power during the electric power mode. This paper presents a preliminary thermohydraulic design analysis to explore the design space for the new reactor and to estimate the referential engine performance. The new non-proliferative NTR engine concept, KANUTER-LEU, is under designing to surmount the nuclear proliferation obstacles on allR and Dactivities and eventual commercialization for future generations. To efficiently implement a heavy LEU fuel for the NTR engine, its reactor design innovatively possesses the key characteristics of the high U density fuel with high heating and H{sub 2} corrosion resistances, the thermal neutron spectrum core and also minimizing non-fission neutron loss, and the compact reactor design with protectively cooling capability. To investigate feasible design space for the moderated EHTGR-LEU and resultant engine performance, the

  18. NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millis, Marc G.

    1998-01-01

    In 1996, NASA established the Breakthrough Propulsion Physics program to seek the ultimate breakthroughs in space transportation: propulsion that requires no propellant mass, propulsion that attains the maximum transit speeds physically possible, and breakthrough methods of energy production to power such devices. Topics of interest include experiments and theories regarding the coupling of gravity and electromagnetism, vacuum fluctuation energy, warp drives and worm-holes, and superluminal quantum effects. Because these propulsion goals are presumably far from fruition, a special emphasis is to identify affordable, near-term, and credible research that could make measurable progress toward these propulsion goals. The methods of the program and the results of the 1997 workshop are presented. This Breakthrough Propulsion Physics program, managed by Lewis Research Center, is one part of a comprehensive, long range Advanced Space Transportation Plan managed by Marshall Space Flight Center.

  19. A spherical torus nuclear fusion reactor space propulsion vehicle concept for fast interplanetary travel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Craig H.; Borowski, Stanley K.; Dudzinski, Leonard A.; Juhasz, Albert J.

    1999-01-01

    A conceptual vehicle design enabling fast outer solar system travel was produced predicated on a small aspect ratio spherical torus nuclear fusion reactor. Initial requirements were for a human mission to Saturn with a>5% payload mass fraction and a one way trip time of less than one year. Analysis revealed that the vehicle could deliver a 108 mt crew habitat payload to Saturn rendezvous in 235 days, with an initial mass in low Earth orbit of 2,941 mt. Engineering conceptual design, analysis, and assessment was performed on all major systems including payload, central truss, nuclear reactor (including diverter and fuel injector), power conversion (including turbine, compressor, alternator, radiator, recuperator, and conditioning), magnetic nozzle, neutral beam injector, tankage, start/re-start reactor and battery, refrigeration, communications, reaction control, and in-space operations. Detailed assessment was done on reactor operations, including plasma characteristics, power balance, and component design.

  20. A Spherical Torus Nuclear Fusion Reactor Space Propulsion Vehicle Concept for Fast Interplanetary Travel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Craig H.; Borowski, Stanley K.; Dudzinski, Leonard A.; Juhasz, Albert J.

    1998-01-01

    A conceptual vehicle design enabling fast outer solar system travel was produced predicated on a small aspect ratio spherical torus nuclear fusion reactor. Initial requirements were for a human mission to Saturn with a greater than 5% payload mass fraction and a one way trip time of less than one year. Analysis revealed that the vehicle could deliver a 108 mt crew habitat payload to Saturn rendezvous in 235 days, with an initial mass in low Earth orbit of 2,941 mt. Engineering conceptual design, analysis, and assessment was performed on all ma or systems including payload, central truss, nuclear reactor (including divertor and fuel injector), power conversion (including turbine, compressor, alternator, radiator, recuperator, and conditioning), magnetic nozzle, neutral beam injector, tankage, start/re-start reactor and battery, refrigeration, communications, reaction control, and in-space operations. Detailed assessment was done on reactor operations, including plasma characteristics, power balance, power utilization, and component design.

  1. Analysis on requirement and development of space propulsion technology%空间推进技术需求与发展分析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    韩泉东; 洪鑫; 周海清

    2012-01-01

    在分析国内外空间推进技术(内容涵盖了星、船、弹、箭、器等领域)现状的基础上,梳理了空间推进技术的发展趋势和对我国的启示。在对未来任务和技术需求分析的基础上,对空间推进技术的发展趋势进行了预测,对存在的差距进行了分析,提出了发展思路和重点发展方向建议。%Based on the analysis of the current situation of space propulsion technology in the world,the development trend of space propulsion technology is summarized and the enlightenment for the technology development in China is shown.According to the spacecraft development requirements in China in the future,the development trend of space propulsion technology is predicted and the technology gap between homeland and overseas are analyzed.Some development ideas and suggestions,to which the first priority should be given,are proposed.

  2. Distributed Propulsion Vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyun Dae

    2010-01-01

    Since the introduction of large jet-powered transport aircraft, the majority of these vehicles have been designed by placing thrust-generating engines either under the wings or on the fuselage to minimize aerodynamic interactions on the vehicle operation. However, advances in computational and experimental tools along with new technologies in materials, structures, and aircraft controls, etc. are enabling a high degree of integration of the airframe and propulsion system in aircraft design. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been investigating a number of revolutionary distributed propulsion vehicle concepts to increase aircraft performance. The concept of distributed propulsion is to fully integrate a propulsion system within an airframe such that the aircraft takes full synergistic benefits of coupling of airframe aerodynamics and the propulsion thrust stream by distributing thrust using many propulsors on the airframe. Some of the concepts are based on the use of distributed jet flaps, distributed small multiple engines, gas-driven multi-fans, mechanically driven multifans, cross-flow fans, and electric fans driven by turboelectric generators. This paper describes some early concepts of the distributed propulsion vehicles and the current turboelectric distributed propulsion (TeDP) vehicle concepts being studied under the NASA s Subsonic Fixed Wing (SFW) Project to drastically reduce aircraft-related fuel burn, emissions, and noise by the year 2030 to 2035.

  3. Fuel Effective Photonic Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajalakshmi, N.; Srivarshini, S.

    2017-09-01

    With the entry of miniaturization in electronics and ultra-small light-weight materials, energy efficient propulsion techniques for space travel can soon be possible. We need to go for such high speeds so that the generation’s time long interstellar missions can be done in incredibly short time. Also renewable energy like sunlight, nuclear energy can be used for propulsion instead of fuel. These propulsion techniques are being worked on currently. The recently proposed photon propulsion concepts are reviewed, that utilize momentum of photons generated by sunlight or onboard photon generators, such as blackbody radiation or lasers, powered by nuclear or solar power. With the understanding of nuclear photonic propulsion, in this paper, a rough estimate of nuclear fuel required to achieve the escape velocity of Earth is done. An overview of the IKAROS space mission for interplanetary travel by JAXA, that was successful in demonstrating that photonic propulsion works and also generated additional solar power on board, is provided; which can be used as a case study. An extension of this idea for interstellar travel, termed as ‘Star Shot’, aims to send a nanocraft to an exoplanet in the nearest star system, which could be potentially habitable. A brief overview of the idea is presented.

  4. Space transfer concepts and analysis for exploration missions. Implementation plan and element description document (draft final). Volume 4: Solar electric propulsion vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-03-01

    This document presents the solar electric propulsion (SEP) concept design developed as part of the Space Transfer Concepts and Analysis for Exploration Missions (STCAEM) study. The evolution of the SEP concept is described along with the requirements, guidelines and assumptions for the design. Operating modes and options are defined and a systems description of the vehicle is presented. Artificial gravity configuration options and space and ground support systems are discussed. Finally, an implementation plan is presented which addresses technology needs, schedules, facilities, and costs.

  5. THE FUTURE OF SPACECRAFT NUCLEAR PROPULSION

    OpenAIRE

    Jansen, Frank

    2014-01-01

    This paper summarizes the advantages of space nuclear power and propulsion systems. It describes the actual status of international power level dependent spacecraft nuclear propulsion missions, especially the high power EU-Russian MEGAHIT study including the Russian Megawatt-Class Nuclear Power Propulsion System, the NASA GRC project and the low and medium power EU DiPoP study. Space nuclear propulsion based mission scenarios of these studies are sketched as well.

  6. The Future of Spacecraft Nuclear Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, F.

    2014-06-01

    This paper summarizes the advantages of space nuclear power and propulsion systems. It describes the actual status of international power level dependent spacecraft nuclear propulsion missions, especially the high power EU-Russian MEGAHIT study including the Russian Megawatt-Class Nuclear Power Propulsion System, the NASA GRC project and the low and medium power EU DiPoP study. Space nuclear propulsion based mission scenarios of these studies are sketched as well.

  7. Space Propulsion and Power

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-08

    Luginsland ( RSE ) •Novel Energetic Materials Multi-agency Coordination Committee: Petris/DTRA, Doherty/DHS, Anthenien/ARO, Bedford/ONR, Spowart...Luginsland ( RSE ) supercapacitor electric thrusters Satellite contamination /charging 4 DISTRIBUTION A: Approved for public release; distribution is...Far From Equilibrium with Sayir, Harrison (RSA), and Luginsland ( RSE ) •Novel Energetic Materials Multi-agency Coordination Committee: Petris/DTRA

  8. Propulsion for CubeSats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemmer, Kristina

    2017-05-01

    At present, very few CubeSats have flown in space featuring propulsion systems. Of those that have, the literature is scattered, published in a variety of formats (conference proceedings, contractor websites, technical notes, and journal articles), and often not available for public release. This paper seeks to collect the relevant publically releasable information in one location. To date, only two missions have featured propulsion systems as part of the technology demonstration. The IMPACT mission from the Aerospace Corporation launched several electrospray thrusters from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and BricSAT-P from the United States Naval Academy had four micro-Cathode Arc Thrusters from George Washington University. Other than these two missions, propulsion on CubeSats has been used only for attitude control and reaction wheel desaturation via cold gas propulsion systems. As the desired capability of CubeSats increases, and more complex missions are planned, propulsion is required to accomplish the science and engineering objectives. This survey includes propulsion systems that have been designed specifically for the CubeSat platform and systems that fit within CubeSat constraints but were developed for other platforms. Throughout the survey, discussion of flight heritage and results of the mission are included where publicly released information and data have been made available. Major categories of propulsion systems that are in this survey are solar sails, cold gas propulsion, electric propulsion, and chemical propulsion systems. Only systems that have been tested in a laboratory or with some flight history are included.

  9. The Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houts, Michael G.; Kim, Tony; Emrich, William J.; Hickman, Robert R.; Broadway, Jeramie W.; Gerrish, Harold P.; Doughty, Glen; Belvin, Anthony; Borowski, Stanley K.; Scott, John

    2014-01-01

    The fundamental capability of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is game changing for space exploration. A first generation Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (NCPS) based on NTP could provide high thrust at a specific impulse above 900 s, roughly double that of state of the art chemical engines. Characteristics of fission and NTP indicate that useful first generation systems will provide a foundation for future systems with extremely high performance. The role of the NCPS in the development of advanced nuclear propulsion systems could be analogous to the role of the DC-3 in the development of advanced aviation. Progress made under the NCPS project could help enable both advanced NTP and advanced Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP). Nuclear propulsion can be affordable and viable compared to other propulsion systems and must overcome a biased public fear due to hyper-environmentalism and a false perception of radiation and explosion risk.

  10. The Use of Nuclear Propulsion, Power and 'In-Situ' Resources for Routine Lunar Space Transportation and Commercial Base Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.

    2003-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation illustrates possible future strategies for solar system exploration supported by Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) Propulsion. Topics addressed in the presentation include: lunar mining, Liquid Oxygen (LOX) augmented NTR (LANTR), 'Shuttle-Derived' Heavy Lift Vehicle (SDHLV) options for future human Lunar missions, and lunar-produced oxygen (LUNOX).

  11. CASC Consolidates Its Liquid Propulsion Sector

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

    @@ To consolidate its liquid rocket engine development ability, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) integrated several of its subsidiaries, Beijing Aerospace Propulsion Institute, Beijing Institute of Aerospace Testing Technology, and Shanghai Institute of Space Propulsion (SISP) into the Academy of Aerospace Liquid Propulsion Technology (AALPT). The establishment of the new AALPT was announced on July 22 in Beijing.

  12. Propulsion IVHM Technology Experiment Overview

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA researchers recently demonstrated successful real-time fault detection and isolation of a virtual reusable launch vehicle main propulsion system. Using a...

  13. Superconducting Aero Propulsion Motor Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Superconducting electric propulsion systems will yield improvements in total ownership costs due to the simplicity of electric drive when compared with gas turbine...

  14. 深空探测磁动力技术研究进展%Research Progress on Magnetic Propulsion in Deep Space Exploration

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    王伟; 马彦涵; 周易倩; 方宝东

    2015-01-01

    Deep space exploration plays a significant role in answering some basic scientific questions puzzled human like universe origin and life evolution.However,many key technologies without un-mastered including advanced propulsion technology limit future exploration activities.In this paper,a new magnetic propulsion method without propellant consumption applying to the deep space exploration is described.It creates the thrust by the interaction between the plasma fluid of solar wind and the magnetic field created by the spacecraft itself with carrying a loop of superconducting cable electrifying. Firstly, the domestic and foreign development present situation of magnetic propulsion are summarized. Secondly, the basic principles of magnetic propulsion are explained.Finally,the technology characteristics and potential applications in deep space exploration are analyzed.%开展深空探测对人类研究宇宙起源与发展、生命存在与进化等重大科学问题具有重要的意义。深空探测有很多关键技术有待突破,先进推进技术是其中最为重要的一个。而可用于深空探测的无需携带推进剂的磁动力推进技术,是利用太阳系和宇宙中广泛存在的等离子体流,使探测器所携带的低密度超导材料制作的线圈通电,在探测器周围形成一个磁场区域,通过该磁场与太阳风等离子流相互作用产生推动力的一种先进技术。文章介绍了磁动力技术的国内外发展现状、磁帆与等离子体流增强型磁帆的基本原理、技术特点以及在未来深空探测中的潜在应用,为我国未来深空探测任务的工程实施提供一种新的方法。

  15. Electrolysis Propulsion for Spacecraft Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    deGroot, Wim A.; Arrington, Lynn A.; McElroy, James F.; Mitlitsky, Fred; Weisberg, Andrew H.; Carter, Preston H., II; Myers, Blake; Reed, Brian D.

    1997-01-01

    Electrolysis propulsion has been recognized over the last several decades as a viable option to meet many satellite and spacecraft propulsion requirements. This technology, however, was never used for in-space missions. In the same time frame, water based fuel cells have flown in a number of missions. These systems have many components similar to electrolysis propulsion systems. Recent advances in component technology include: lightweight tankage, water vapor feed electrolysis, fuel cell technology, and thrust chamber materials for propulsion. Taken together, these developments make propulsion and/or power using electrolysis/fuel cell technology very attractive as separate or integrated systems. A water electrolysis propulsion testbed was constructed and tested in a joint NASA/Hamilton Standard/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories program to demonstrate these technology developments for propulsion. The results from these testbed experiments using a I-N thruster are presented. A concept to integrate a propulsion system and a fuel cell system into a unitized spacecraft propulsion and power system is outlined.

  16. Propulsion Design with Freeform Fabrication Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Propulsion Design with Freeform Fabrication (PDFF) will develop and implement a novel design methodology that leverages the rapidly evolving Solid Freeform...

  17. Electric Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baggett, R.

    2004-11-01

    Next Generation Electric Propulsion (NGEP) technology development tasks are working towards advancing solar-powered electric propulsion systems and components to levels ready for transition to flight systems. Current tasks within NGEP include NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT), Carbon Based Ion Optics (CBIO), NSTAR Extended Life Test (ELT) and low-power Hall Effect thrusters. The growing number of solar electric propulsion options provides reduced cost and flexibility to capture a wide range of Solar System exploration missions. Benefits of electric propulsion systems over state-of-the-art chemical systems include increased launch windows, which reduce mission risk; increased deliverable payload mass for more science; and a reduction in launch vehicle size-- all of which increase the opportunities for New Frontiers and Discovery class missions. The Dawn Discovery mission makes use of electric propulsion for sequential rendezvous with two large asteroids (Vesta then Ceres), something not possible using chemical propulsion. NEXT components and thruster system under development have NSTAR heritage with significant increases in maximum power and Isp along with deep throttling capability to accommodate changes in input power over the mission trajectory. NEXT will produce engineering model system components that will be validated (through qualification-level and integrated system testing) and ready for transition to flight system development. NEXT offers Discovery, New Frontiers, Mars Exploration and outer-planet missions a larger deliverable payload mass and a smaller launch vehicle size. CBIO addresses the need to further extend ion thruster lifetime by using low erosion carbon-based materials. Testing of 30-cm Carbon-Carbon and Pyrolytic graphite grids using a lab model NSTAR thruster are complete. In addition, JPL completed a 1000 hr. life test on 30-cm Carbon-Carbon grids. The NSTAR ELT was a life time qualification test started in 1999 with a goal of 88 kg

  18. OMV--Propulsion Module Changeout

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-01-01

    In this 1986 artist's concept, the Orbital Maneuvering Vehicle (OMV), undergoes changeout of the Propulsion Module outside the Space Shuttle Cargo Bay. As envisioned by Marshall Space Flight Center plarners, the OMV would be a remotely-controlled free-flying space tug which would place, rendezvous, dock, and retrieve orbital payloads.

  19. High Energy, Low Temperature Gelled Bi-Propellant Formulation for Long-Duration In-Space Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The use of gelled propellants for deep space planetary missions may enable adoption of high performance (Isp-vac>360 sec) propellant combinations that do not...

  20. In-Space Propulsion Engine Architecture based on Sublimation of Planetary Resources: From Exploration Robots to NEO Mitigation Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The sources of power used for deep space probe missions are usually derived from either solar panels for electrical energy, radioisotope thermal generators for...

  1. NASA's Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houts, Michael G.; Mitchell, Doyce P.; Kim, Tony; Emrich, William J.; Hickman, Robert R.; Gerrish, Harold P.; Doughty, Glen; Belvin, Anthony; Clement, Steven; Borowski, Stanley K.; Scott, John; Power, Kevin P.

    2015-01-01

    The fundamental capability of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is game changing for space exploration. A first generation NTP system could provide high thrust at a specific impulse above 900 s, roughly double that of state of the art chemical engines. Characteristics of fission and NTP indicate that useful first generation systems will provide a foundation for future systems with extremely high performance. The role of a first generation NTP in the development of advanced nuclear propulsion systems could be analogous to the role of the DC- 3 in the development of advanced aviation. Progress made under the NTP project could also help enable high performance fission power systems and Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP).

  2. Deuterium-tritium pulse propulsion with hydrogen as propellant and the entire space-craft as a gigavolt capacitor for ignition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winterberg, F.

    2013-08-01

    A deuterium-tritium (DT) nuclear pulse propulsion concept for fast interplanetary transport is proposed utilizing almost all the energy for thrust and without the need for a large radiator: By letting the thermonuclear micro-explosion take place in the center of a liquid hydrogen sphere with the radius of the sphere large enough to slow down and absorb the neutrons of the DT fusion reaction, heating the hydrogen to a fully ionized plasma at a temperature of ∼105 K. By using the entire spacecraft as a magnetically insulated gigavolt capacitor, igniting the DT micro-explosion with an intense GeV ion beam discharging the gigavolt capacitor, possible if the space craft has the topology of a torus.

  3. Solar Thermal Propulsion Test Facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    Researchers at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) have designed, fabricated, and tested the first solar thermal engine, a non-chemical rocket engine that produces lower thrust but has better thrust efficiency than a chemical combustion engine. MSFC turned to solar thermal propulsion in the early 1990s due to its simplicity, safety, low cost, and commonality with other propulsion systems. Solar thermal propulsion works by acquiring and redirecting solar energy to heat a propellant. This photograph shows a fully assembled solar thermal engine placed inside the vacuum chamber at the test facility prior to testing. The 20- by 24-ft heliostat mirror (not shown in this photograph) has a dual-axis control that keeps a reflection of the sunlight on the 18-ft diameter concentrator mirror, which then focuses the sunlight to a 4-in focal point inside the vacuum chamber. The focal point has 10 kilowatts of intense solar power. As part of MSFC's Space Transportation Directorate, the Propulsion Research Center serves as a national resource for research of advanced, revolutionary propulsion technologies. The mission is to move theNation's capabilities beyond the confines of conventional chemical propulsion into an era of aircraft-like access to Earth orbit, rapid travel throughout the solar system, and exploration of interstellar space.

  4. Nanostructured Tungsten Rhenium Components for Propulsion Systems Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Revolutionizing the space propulsion industry through innovative, relatively low-cost, manufacturing techniques is extremely needed. Specifically, advancements are...

  5. Main Propulsion Test Article (MPTA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snoddy, Cynthia

    2010-01-01

    Scope: The Main Propulsion Test Article integrated the main propulsion subsystem with the clustered Space Shuttle Main Engines, the External Tank and associated GSE. The test program consisted of cryogenic tanking tests and short- and long duration static firings including gimbaling and throttling. The test program was conducted on the S1-C test stand (Position B-2) at the National Space Technology Laboratories (NSTL)/Stennis Space Center. 3 tanking tests and 20 hot fire tests conducted between December 21 1 1977 and December 17, 1980 Configuration: The main propulsion test article consisted of the three space shuttle main engines, flightweight external tank, flightweight aft fuselage, interface section and a boilerplate mid/fwd fuselage truss structure.

  6. Propulsion materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wall, Edward J. [U.S. Dept. of Energy, Washington, D.C. (United States); Sullivan, Rogelio A. [U.S. Dept. of Energy, Washington, D.C. (United States); Gibbs, Jerry L. [U.S. Dept. of Energy, Washington, D.C. (United States)

    2008-01-01

    The Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Vehicle Technologies (OVT) is pleased to introduce the FY 2007 Annual Progress Report for the Propulsion Materials Research and Development Program. Together with DOE national laboratories and in partnership with private industry and universities across the United States, the program continues to engage in research and development (R&D) that provides enabling materials technology for fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly commercial and passenger vehicles.

  7. Characterization of solar cells for space applications. Volume 11: Electrical characteristics of 2 ohm-cm, 228 micron wraparound solar cells as a function of intensity, temperature, and irradiation. [for solar electric propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anspaugh, B. E.; Beckert, D. M.; Downing, R. G.; Weiss, R. S.

    1980-01-01

    Parametric characterization data on Spectrolab 2 by 4 cm, 2 ohm/cm, 228 micron thick wraparound cell, a candidate for the Solar Electric Propulsion Mission, are presented. These data consist of the electrical characteristics of the solar cell under a wide range of temperature and illumination intensity combinations of the type encountered in space applications.

  8. Computer code and users' guide for the preliminary analysis of dual-mode space nuclear fission solid core power and propulsion systems, NUROC3A. AMS report No. 1239b

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nichols, R.A.; Smith, W.W.

    1976-06-30

    The three-volume report describes a dual-mode nuclear space power and propulsion system concept that employs an advanced solid-core nuclear fission reactor coupled via heat pipes to one of several electric power conversion systems. The second volume describes the computer code and users' guide for the preliminary analysis of the system.

  9. Reservoir Scandate Cathode for Electric Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to combine two revolutionary cathode technologies into a single device for use in electric space propulsion. This will overcome problems that both...

  10. Electric Propulsion Test & Evaluation Methodologies for Plasma in the Environments of Space and Testing (EP TEMPEST) (Briefing Charts)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-04-01

    transitioned to FalconSat-6, NASA, industry, and academia • Correlated thruster plasma oscillations with transient ion flux impacting chamber...Research PAYOFF - Pervasive Space Capability for Increased Payload Transition Improved T&E Methods Cannot fully replicate space environment in ground

  11. Hydrogen Wave Heater for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Component Testing Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA has identified Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) as a propulsion concept which could provide the fastest trip times to Mars and as the preferred concept for...

  12. Miniature Nontoxic Nitrous Oxide-Propane (MINNOP) Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ORBITEC proposes to develop the Miniature Nontoxic Nitrous Oxide-Propane (MINNOP) propulsion system, a small bipropellant propulsion system which we offer as an...

  13. LISA propulsion module separation study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Merkowitz, S M [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Ahmad, A [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Hyde, T T [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Sweetser, T [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Ziemer, J [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91109 (United States); Conkey, S [Swales Aerospace, 5050 Powder Mill Road, Beltsville, MD 20705 (United States); III, W Kelly [Swales Aerospace, 5050 Powder Mill Road, Beltsville, MD 20705 (United States); Shirgur, B [Swales Aerospace, 5050 Powder Mill Road, Beltsville, MD 20705 (United States)

    2005-05-21

    The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission is a space-borne gravitational wave detector consisting of three sciencecraft in heliocentric orbit. Each sciencecraft is delivered to its operational orbit by a propulsion module. Because of the strict thermal and mass balancing requirements of LISA, the baseline mission concept requires that the propulsion module separate from the sciencecraft after delivery. The only propulsion system currently included in the sciencecraft design are micronewton level thrusters, such as field emission electric propulsion (FEEP) or colloid thrusters, that are used to balance the 30-40 {mu}N of solar radiation pressure and provide the drag-free and attitude control of the sciencecraft. Due to these thrusters' limited authority, the separation of the propulsion module from the sciencecraft must be well controlled to not induce a large tip-off rotation of the sciencecraft. We present here the results of a study of the propulsion module separation system requirements that are necessary to safely deliver the three LISA sciencecraft to their final operational orbits.

  14. High Energy, Low Temperature Gelled Bi-Propellant Formulation for Long-Duration In-Space Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Development of a candidate bi-propellant system consisting of a gelled hydrocarbon fuel coupled with a highly energetic gelled oxidizer suitable for outer planetary...

  15. Hybrid propulsion technology program

    Science.gov (United States)

    1990-01-01

    Technology was identified which will enable application of hybrid propulsion to manned and unmanned space launch vehicles. Two design concepts are proposed. The first is a hybrid propulsion system using the classical method of regression (classical hybrid) resulting from the flow of oxidizer across a fuel grain surface. The second system uses a self-sustaining gas generator (gas generator hybrid) to produce a fuel rich exhaust that was mixed with oxidizer in a separate combustor. Both systems offer cost and reliability improvement over the existing solid rocket booster and proposed liquid boosters. The designs were evaluated using life cycle cost and reliability. The program consisted of: (1) identification and evaluation of candidate oxidizers and fuels; (2) preliminary evaluation of booster design concepts; (3) preparation of a detailed point design including life cycle costs and reliability analyses; (4) identification of those hybrid specific technologies needing improvement; and (5) preperation of a technology acquisition plan and large scale demonstration plan.

  16. Electric vehicle propulsion alternatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Secunde, R. R.; Schuh, R. M.; Beach, R. F.

    1983-01-01

    Propulsion technology development for electric vehicles is summarized. Analytical studies, technology evaluation, and the development of technology for motors, controllers, transmissions, and complete propulsion systems are included.

  17. Nuclear Propulsion through Direct Conversion of Fusion Energy Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The future of manned space exploration and development of space depends critically on the creation of a vastly more efficient propulsion architecture for in-space...

  18. International Space Exploration Coordination Group Assessment of Technology Gaps for LOx/Methane Propulsion Systems for the Global Exploration Roadmap

    OpenAIRE

    Hurlbert, Eric A.; Manfletti, Chiara; Sippel, Martin

    2016-01-01

    As part of the Global Exploration Roadmap (GER), the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) formed two technology gap assessment teams to evaluate topic discipline areas that had not been worked at an international level to date. The participating agencies were ASI, CNES, DLR, ESA, JAXA, and NASA. Accordingly, the ISECG Technology Working Group (TWG) recommended two discipline areas based on Critical Technology Needs reflected within the GER Technology Development Map (GTD...

  19. Probabilistic Structural Analysis Methods for select space propulsion system components (PSAM). Volume 3: Literature surveys and technical reports

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

    The technical effort and computer code developed during the first year are summarized. Several formulations for Probabilistic Finite Element Analysis (PFEA) are described with emphasis on the selected formulation. The strategies being implemented in the first-version computer code to perform linear, elastic PFEA is described. The results of a series of select Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) component surveys are presented. These results identify the critical components and provide the information necessary for probabilistic structural analysis.

  20. Electric propulsion, circa 2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, W. R.; Finke, R. C.

    1980-01-01

    This paper discusses the future of electric propulsion, circa 2000. Starting with the first generation Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) technology as the first step toward the next century's advanced propulsion systems, the current status and future trends of other systems such as the magnetoplasmadynamic accelerator, the mass driver, the laser propulsion system, and the rail gun are described.

  1. Antiproton Annihilation Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-09-01

    propulsion system, a nuclear thermal hydrogen propulsion system, and an antiproton annihilation propulsion system. Since hauling chemical fuel into low...greater. Section 8.4 and Appendix B contain a comparative cost study of a storable chemical fuel propulsion system, a liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen

  2. High Power Helicon Plasma Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The proposed work seeks to develop and optimize an electrode-less plasma propulsion system that is based on a high power helicon (HPH) that is being developed...

  3. Authentication for Propulsion Test Streaming Video Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — An application was developed that could enforce two-factor authentication for NASA access to the Propulsion Test Streaming Video System.  To gain access to the...

  4. High Power Helicon Plasma Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A new thruster has been conceived and tested that is based on a high power helicon (HPH) plasma wave. In this new method of propulsion, an antenna generates and...

  5. A Computational Fluid Dynamic and Heat Transfer Model for Gaseous Core and Gas Cooled Space Power and Propulsion Reactors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anghaie, S.; Chen, G.

    1996-01-01

    A computational model based on the axisymmetric, thin-layer Navier-Stokes equations is developed to predict the convective, radiation and conductive heat transfer in high temperature space nuclear reactors. An implicit-explicit, finite volume, MacCormack method in conjunction with the Gauss-Seidel line iteration procedure is utilized to solve the thermal and fluid governing equations. Simulation of coolant and propellant flows in these reactors involves the subsonic and supersonic flows of hydrogen, helium and uranium tetrafluoride under variable boundary conditions. An enthalpy-rebalancing scheme is developed and implemented to enhance and accelerate the rate of convergence when a wall heat flux boundary condition is used. The model also incorporated the Baldwin and Lomax two-layer algebraic turbulence scheme for the calculation of the turbulent kinetic energy and eddy diffusivity of energy. The Rosseland diffusion approximation is used to simulate the radiative energy transfer in the optically thick environment of gas core reactors. The computational model is benchmarked with experimental data on flow separation angle and drag force acting on a suspended sphere in a cylindrical tube. The heat transfer is validated by comparing the computed results with the standard heat transfer correlations predictions. The model is used to simulate flow and heat transfer under a variety of design conditions. The effect of internal heat generation on the heat transfer in the gas core reactors is examined for a variety of power densities, 100 W/cc, 500 W/cc and 1000 W/cc. The maximum temperature, corresponding with the heat generation rates, are 2150 K, 2750 K and 3550 K, respectively. This analysis shows that the maximum temperature is strongly dependent on the value of heat generation rate. It also indicates that a heat generation rate higher than 1000 W/cc is necessary to maintain the gas temperature at about 3500 K, which is typical design temperature required to achieve high

  6. Miniaturized Low-Power Piezo Microvalve for NanoSat and CubeSat Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — In space propulsion applications, an increasingly unmet need is compact, low-power, precision flow regulating valves. Propulsion for increasingly small spacecraft is...

  7. Plasmonic Force Propulsion Revolutionizes Nano/PicoSatellite Capability Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The full potential of small spacecraft remains untapped because they lack maneuverability. Plasmonic force propulsion provides attitude control capability for small...

  8. Algorithms for computing efficient, electric-propulsion, spiralling trajectories Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Develop techniques for rapidly designing many-revolution, electric-propulsion, spiralling trajectories, including the effects of shadowing, gravity harmonics, and...

  9. Various challenging aspects of hybrid propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlandi, O.; Theil, D.; Saramago, J.; Amand, P. G.; Dauch, F.; Gautier, P.

    2011-10-01

    The hybrid technology appears as an innovative, high performance, and promising propulsion technique in a number of space missions. By combining functions and advantages taken from both solid and liquid propulsion, this technology is expected to provide mainly high performance with throttleability and stop-restart capabilities. The safety conditions of engine operation and design reliability almost similar to solid propulsion increase the interest to this technology. However, the standard fuels (mainly based on a carbon polymer) exhibit low regression rates that require complex grain shapes and low loading ratio. Thanks to a dedicated study supported by the European Space Agency (ESA), SNPE in collaboration with Avio and University of Naples (DIAS department) performed an exhaustive state-of-the-art and a market survey of accomplishments in hybrid propulsion. Based on the resulting tradeoff study on potential future launchers and spacecraft applications, the most promising applications are selected to conduct preliminary designs. These applications can also be seen as the vector of hybrid propulsion development. This study concentrates on hybrid propulsion systems with advanced hybrid fuels for Lander platform and Upper Stage. High throttleability and high propulsive performance associated with stop and restart capability are needed to meet mission requirements for Lander and Upper Stage, respectively. Preliminary design shows the advantages provided by hybrid propulsion: a significant payload mass increase for the upper stage case and a soft landing for the Lander case.

  10. Solar Thermal Propulsion Test Facility at MSFC

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    This photograph shows an overall view of the Solar Thermal Propulsion Test Facility at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). The 20-by 24-ft heliostat mirror, shown at the left, has dual-axis control that keeps a reflection of the sunlight on an 18-ft diameter concentrator mirror (right). The concentrator mirror then focuses the sunlight to a 4-in focal point inside the vacuum chamber, shown at the front of concentrator mirror. Researchers at MSFC have designed, fabricated, and tested the first solar thermal engine, a non-chemical rocket engine that produces lower thrust but has better thrust efficiency than chemical a combustion engine. MSFC turned to solar thermal propulsion in the early 1990s due to its simplicity, safety, low cost, and commonality with other propulsion systems. Solar thermal propulsion works by acquiring and redirecting solar energy to heat a propell nt. As part of MSFC's Space Transportation Directorate, the Propulsion Research Center serves as a national resource for research of advanced, revolutionary propulsion technologies. The mission is to move the Nation's capabilities beyond the confines of conventional chemical propulsion into an era of aircraft-like access to Earth-orbit, rapid travel throughout the solar system, and exploration of interstellar space.

  11. Nuclear Propulsion for Space (Rev.)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Corliss, William R; Schwenk, Francis C

    1971-01-01

    The operation of nuclear rockets and a description of the development of nuclear rockets in the U.S. is given. Early developments and Project Rover, Project Pluto, and the NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) Program are detailed. The Nuclear Rocket Development Station facilities in Nevada are described. The possibilities and advantages of using nuclear rockets for missions beginning from an earth orbit and moving outward toward higher earth orbits, the moon, and the planets are discussed.

  12. Overview on hybrid propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calabro, M.

    2011-10-01

    Aside of research works, this historical survey shows propulsion units used by students for small satellites and for gas generation, or those for the Space Ship One, even if LOx/HTPB was studied and tested in large motors for its potential very low cost; however, this combination highlights a series of technical problems without any performance advantage over the existing LOx/Kerosene family and never been operational for ETO applications. The particularity of hybrid propulsion is to use the state-of-the-art of both liquids and solids; the only show stopper is the propellant itself. The past work focused on LOx/HTPB (selected for its low cost) appears to be a dead-end (combustion problems and global low performances resulting from a high level of residuals). The solution that appears through the past experience is the addition of hydrides to a binder (HTPB or other) or to a binder and a homogeneous fuel or a mixture of both, with or without others additives; within these solutions some will not present any manufacturing problem and some may have a low cost. Nevertheless, the studies of the following phases have to demonstrate the compatibility of the potential regression rate range with a high-performance global design of a hybrid Motor and the manufacturing at a reasonable cost of a hydride giving a high level of performances.

  13. Additively Manufactured Propulsion System

    OpenAIRE

    Dushku, Matthew; Mueller, Paul

    2012-01-01

    New high-performance, carbon-fiber reinforced polymer material allows additive manufacturing to produce pressure vessels capable of high pressures (thousands of pounds per square inch). This advancement in turn allows integral hybrid propulsion which is revolutionary for both CubeSats and additively-manufactured spacecraft. Hybrid propulsion offers simplicity as compared to bipropellant liquid propulsion, significantly better safety compared to solid or monopropellant hydrazine propulsion, an...

  14. Mars Rocket Propulsion System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zubrin, Robert; Harber, Dan; Nabors, Sammy

    2008-01-01

    A report discusses the methane and carbon monoxide/LOX (McLOx) rocket for ascent from Mars as well as other critical space propulsion tasks. The system offers a specific impulse over 370 s roughly 50 s higher than existing space-storable bio-propellants. Current Mars in-situ propellant production (ISPP) technologies produce impure methane and carbon monoxide in various combinations. While separation and purification of methane fuel is possible, it adds complexity to the propellant production process and discards an otherwise useful fuel product. The McLOx makes such complex and wasteful processes unnecessary by burning the methane/CO mixtures produced by the Mars ISPP systems without the need for further refinement. Despite the decrease in rocket-specific impulse caused by the CO admixture, the improvement offered by concomitant increased propellant density can provide a net improvement in stage performance. One advantage is the increase of the total amount of propellant produced, but with a decrease in mass and complexity of the required ISPP plant. Methane/CO fuel mixtures also may be produced by reprocessing the organic wastes of a Moon base or a space station, making McLOx engines key for a human Lunar initiative or the International Space Station (ISS) program. Because McLOx propellant components store at a common temperature, very lightweight and compact common bulkhead tanks can be employed, improving overall stage performance further.

  15. Solar Thermal Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerrish, Harold P., Jr.

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents viewgraphs on Solar Thermal Propulsion (STP). Some of the topics include: 1) Ways to use Solar Energy for Propulsion; 2) Solar (fusion) Energy; 3) Operation in Orbit; 4) Propulsion Concepts; 5) Critical Equations; 6) Power Efficiency; 7) Major STP Projects; 8) Types of STP Engines; 9) Solar Thermal Propulsion Direct Gain Assembly; 10) Specific Impulse; 11) Thrust; 12) Temperature Distribution; 13) Pressure Loss; 14) Transient Startup; 15) Axial Heat Input; 16) Direct Gain Engine Design; 17) Direct Gain Engine Fabrication; 18) Solar Thermal Propulsion Direct Gain Components; 19) Solar Thermal Test Facility; and 20) Checkout Results.

  16. Magnetohydrodynamic Augmented Propulsion Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litchford, Ron J.; Cole, John; Lineberry, John; Chapman, Jim; Schmidt, Harold; Cook, Stephen (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    A fundamental obstacle to routine space access is the specific energy limitations associated with chemical fuels. In the case of vertical take-off, the high thrust needed for vertical liftoff and acceleration to orbit translates into power levels in the 10 GW range. Furthermore, useful payload mass fractions are possible only if the exhaust particle energy (i.e., exhaust velocity) is much greater than that available with traditional chemical propulsion. The electronic binding energy released by the best chemical reactions (e.g., LOX/LH2 for example, is less than 2 eV per product molecule (approx. 1.8 eV per H2O molecule), which translates into particle velocities less than 5 km/s. Useful payload fractions, however, will require exhaust velocities exceeding 15 km/s (i.e., particle energies greater than 20 eV). As an added challenge, the envisioned hypothetical RLV (reusable launch vehicle) should accomplish these amazing performance feats while providing relatively low acceleration levels to orbit (2-3g maximum). From such fundamental considerations, it is painfully obvious that planned and current RLV solutions based on chemical fuels alone represent only a temporary solution and can only result in minor gains, at best. What is truly needed is a revolutionary approach that will dramatically reduce the amount of fuel and size of the launch vehicle. This implies the need for new compact high-power energy sources as well as advanced accelerator technologies for increasing engine exhaust velocity. Electromagnetic acceleration techniques are of immense interest since they can be used to circumvent the thermal limits associated with conventional propulsion systems. This paper describes the Magnetohydrodynamic Augmented Propulsion Experiment (MAPX) being undertaken at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). In this experiment, a 1-MW arc heater is being used as a feeder for a 1-MW magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) accelerator. The purpose of the experiment is to demonstrate

  17. MEGAHIT Roadmap: Applications for Nuclear Electric Propulsion

    OpenAIRE

    Jansen, Frank; Semenkin, Alexander; Bauer, Waldemar; WORMS, Jean-Claude; Detsis, Emmanouil; CLIQUET-MORENO, Elisa; Masson, Frederic; Ruault, Jean-Marc; Gaia, Enrico; Cristina, T.M.; Tinsley, Tim; Hodgson, Zara

    2014-01-01

    The paper introduces the three EC funded nuclear electric propulsion funded projects DiPoP, MEGAHIT and DEMOCRITOS. It describes in detail the European-Russian MEGAHIT project - the study outputs, the proposal for a key technology plan, a plan for a political and public supportable reference space mission. Moreover the content of the MEGAHIT global roadmap for international realization of the INPPS (International Nuclear Power and Propulsion System) is sketched.

  18. Impeller for Water Jet Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    Marshall Space Flight Center engineers helped North American Marine Jet (NAMJ), Inc. improve the proposed design of a new impeller for jet propulsion system. With a three-dimensional computer model of the new marine jet engine blades, engineers were able to quickly create a solid ploycarbonate model of it. The rapid prototyping allowed the company to avoid many time-consuming and costly steps in creating the impeller.

  19. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Development Risks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Tony

    2015-01-01

    There are clear advantages of development of a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) for a crewed mission to Mars. NTP for in-space propulsion enables more ambitious space missions by providing high thrust at high specific impulse ((is) approximately 900 sec) that is 2 times the best theoretical performance possible for chemical rockets. Missions can be optimized for maximum payload capability to take more payload with reduced total mass to orbit; saving cost on reduction of the number of launch vehicles needed. Or missions can be optimized to minimize trip time significantly to reduce the deep space radiation exposure to the crew. NTR propulsion technology is a game changer for space exploration to Mars and beyond. However, 'NUCLEAR' is a word that is feared and vilified by some groups and the hostility towards development of any nuclear systems can meet great opposition by the public as well as from national leaders and people in authority. The public often associates the 'nuclear' word with weapons of mass destruction. The development NTP is at risk due to unwarranted public fears and clear honest communication of nuclear safety will be critical to the success of the development of the NTP technology. Reducing cost to NTP development is critical to its acceptance and funding. In the past, highly inflated cost estimates of a full-scale development nuclear engine due to Category I nuclear security requirements and costly regulatory requirements have put the NTP technology as a low priority. Innovative approaches utilizing low enriched uranium (LEU). Even though NTP can be a small source of radiation to the crew, NTP can facilitate significant reduction of crew exposure to solar and cosmic radiation by reducing trip times by 3-4 months. Current Human Mars Mission (HMM) trajectories with conventional propulsion systems and fuel-efficient transfer orbits exceed astronaut radiation exposure limits. Utilizing extra propellant from one additional SLS launch and available

  20. Pure Nuclear Fusion Bomb Propulsion

    OpenAIRE

    Winterberg, F.

    2008-01-01

    Recent progress towards the non-fission ignition of thermonuclear micro-explosions raises the prospect for a revival of the nuclear bomb propulsion idea, both for the fast transport of large payloads within the solar system and the launch into earth orbit without the release of fission products into the atmosphere. To reach this goal three areas of research are of importance: 1)Compact thermonuclear ignition drivers. 2)Fast ignition and deuterium burn. 3)Space-craft architecture involving mag...

  1. The Study about Application of Transportation System of the Superconductive Electromagnetism Propulsion in the Harbor

    OpenAIRE

    涌井, 和也; 荻原, 宏康

    1999-01-01

    Electromagnetic propulsion is promising technique for a linear motor car, a ship and a space ship, in future. W. A Rice developed an electromagnetic pump for the liquid metal transfer. There are two electromagnetic propulsions : a superconductive electricity propulsion and a superconductive electromagnetic propulsion. A superconductive electricity propulsion ship uses a screw driven by a superconducting motor. This technique has merits of excellent navigation-ability, and the free degree of t...

  2. In-situ EBCs for High Performance Composite Propulsion Components Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Silicon Carbide based ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) offer the potential to fundamentally change the design and manufacture of aeronautical and space propulsion...

  3. Accelerated Testing of High Temperature Permanent Magnets for Spacecraft Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — High temperature permanent magnet materials play an important role in NASA's space missions in electric propulsion, energy generation and storage and other...

  4. Scandate Cathode for High Power Long Life Electric Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Scandate cathodes are proposed as a way to boost performance and life for electric space propulsion systems. This company has recently demonstrated breakthrough...

  5. 100-lbf Non-Toxic Storable Liquid Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA's Road Maps for both Launch and In Space Propulsion call for the development of non-toxic, monopropellant reaction control systems to replace current...

  6. Solar-Powered Electric Propulsion Systems: Engineering and Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stearns, J. W.; Kerrisk, D. J.

    1966-01-01

    Lightweight, multikilowatt solar power arrays in conjunction with electric propulsion offer potential improvements to space exploration, extending the usefulness of existing launch vehicles to higher-energy missions. Characteristics of solar-powered electric propulsion missions are outlined, and preliminary performance estimates are shown. Spacecraft system engineering is discussed with respect to parametric trade-offs in power and propulsion system design. Relationships between mission performance and propulsion system performance are illustrated. The present state of the art of electric propulsion systems is reviewed and related to the mission requirements identified earlier. The propulsion system design and test requirements for a mission spacecraft are identified and discussed. Although only ion engine systems are currently available, certain plasma propulsion systems offer some advantages in over-all system design. These are identified, and goals are set for plasma-thrustor systems to make them competitive with ion-engine systems for mission applications.

  7. NASA Propulsion Investments for Exploration and Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Bryan K.; Free, James M.; Klem, Mark D.; Priskos, Alex S.; Kynard, Michael H.

    2008-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) invests in chemical and electric propulsion systems to achieve future mission objectives for both human exploration and robotic science. Propulsion system requirements for human missions are derived from the exploration architecture being implemented in the Constellation Program. The Constellation Program first develops a system consisting of the Ares I launch vehicle and Orion spacecraft to access the Space Station, then builds on this initial system with the heavy-lift Ares V launch vehicle, Earth departure stage, and lunar module to enable missions to the lunar surface. A variety of chemical engines for all mission phases including primary propulsion, reaction control, abort, lunar ascent, and lunar descent are under development or are in early risk reduction to meet the specific requirements of the Ares I and V launch vehicles, Orion crew and service modules, and Altair lunar module. Exploration propulsion systems draw from Apollo, space shuttle, and commercial heritage and are applied across the Constellation architecture vehicles. Selection of these launch systems and engines is driven by numerous factors including development cost, existing infrastructure, operations cost, and reliability. Incorporation of green systems for sustained operations and extensibility into future systems is an additional consideration for system design. Science missions will directly benefit from the development of Constellation launch systems, and are making advancements in electric and chemical propulsion systems for challenging deep space, rendezvous, and sample return missions. Both Hall effect and ion electric propulsion systems are in development or qualification to address the range of NASA s Heliophysics, Planetary Science, and Astrophysics mission requirements. These address the spectrum of potential requirements from cost-capped missions to enabling challenging high delta-v, long-life missions. Additionally, a high

  8. Space polypropulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellett, B. J.; Griffin, D. K.; Bingham, R.; Campbell, R. N.; Forbes, A.; Michaelis, M. M.

    2008-05-01

    Hybrid space propulsion has been a feature of most space missions. Only the very early rocket propulsion experiments like the V2, employed a single form of propulsion. By the late fifties multi-staging was routine and the Space Shuttle employs three different kinds of fuel and rocket engines. During the development of chemical rockets, other forms of propulsion were being slowly tested, both theoretically and, relatively slowly, in practice. Rail and gas guns, ion engines, "slingshot" gravity assist, nuclear and solar power, tethers, solar sails have all seen some real applications. Yet the earliest type of non-chemical space propulsion to be thought of has never been attempted in space: laser and photon propulsion. The ideas of Eugen Saenger, Georgii Marx, Arthur Kantrowitz, Leik Myrabo, Claude Phipps and Robert Forward remain Earth-bound. In this paper we summarize the various forms of nonchemical propulsion and their results. We point out that missions beyond Saturn would benefit from a change of attitude to laser-propulsion as well as consideration of hybrid "polypropulsion" - which is to say using all the rocket "tools" available rather than possibly not the most appropriate. We conclude with three practical examples, two for the next decades and one for the next century; disposal of nuclear waste in space; a grand tour of the Jovian and Saturnian moons - with Huygens or Lunoxod type, landers; and eventually mankind's greatest space dream: robotic exploration of neighbouring planetary systems.

  9. Long Life 600W Hall Thruster System for Radioisotope Electric Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Radioisotope Electric Propulsion (REP) offers the prospect for a variety of new science missions by enabling use of Hall Effect propulsion in the outer solar system,...

  10. Highly Capable Micropump-fed Propulsion System for Proximity Operations, Landing and Ascent Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Flight Works is proposing to expand its work in micro-gear-pumps for propulsion applications in order to provide a highly capable propulsion and attitude control...

  11. Wheelchairs propulsion analysis: review

    OpenAIRE

    Sagawa Júnior,Yoshimasa; Haupenthal,Alessandro; Borges Junior,Noé Gomes; Santos,Daniela Pacheco dos; Watelain, Eric

    2012-01-01

    OBJECTIVES: To analyze aspects related with wheelchair propulsion. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In order to delineate this review the search for information was carried out within electronics databases, using the following descriptors: "wheelchair propulsion", "wheelchair biomechanics" e "wheelchair users". Full papers published in English and French were included in the study. RESULTS: The wheelchair propulsion is a complex movement that requires the execution of repeated bi manual forces applicat...

  12. Gasdynamic Mirror (GDM) Fusion Propulsion Engine Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    The Gasdynamic Mirror, or GDM, is an example of a magnetic mirror-based fusion propulsion system. Its design is primarily consisting of a long slender solenoid surrounding a vacuum chamber that contains plasma. The bulk of the fusion plasma is confined by magnetic field generated by a series of toroidal-shaped magnets in the center section of the device. the purpose of the GDM Fusion Propulsion Experiment is to confirm the feasibility of the concept and to demonstrate many of the operational characteristics of a full-size plasma can be confined within the desired physical configuration and still reman stable. This image shows an engineer from Propulsion Research Technologies Division at Marshall Space Flight Center inspecting solenoid magnets-A, an integrate part of the Gasdynamic Mirror Fusion Propulsion Engine Experiment.

  13. Review of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabrielli, Roland Antonius; Herdrich, Georg

    2015-11-01

    This article offers a summary of past efforts in the development of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion systems for space transportation. First, the generic principle of thermal propulsion is outlined: a propellant is directly heated by a power source prior to being expanded which creates a thrusting force on the rocket. This enables deriving a motivation for the use of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) relying on nuclear power sources. Then, a summary of major families of NTP systems is established on the basis of a literature survey. These families are distinguished by the nature of their power source, the most important being systems with radioisotope, fission, and fusion cores. Concepts proposing to harness the annihilation of matter and anti-matter are only touched briefly due to their limited maturity. For each family, an overview of physical fundamentals, technical concepts, and - if available - tested engines' propulsion parameters is given.

  14. Space Shuttle Program (SSP) Orbiter Main Propulsion System (MPS) Gaseous Hydrogen (GH2) Flow Control Valve (FCV) Poppet Eddy Current (EC) Inspection Probability of Detection (POD) Study. Volume 2; Appendices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piascik, Robert S.; Prosser, William H.

    2011-01-01

    The Director of the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC), requested an independent assessment of the anomalous gaseous hydrogen (GH2) flow incident on the Space Shuttle Program (SSP) Orbiter Vehicle (OV)-105 during the Space Transportation System (STS)-126 mission. The main propulsion system (MPS) engine #2 GH2 flow control valve (FCV) LV-57 transition from low towards high flow position without being commanded. Post-flight examination revealed that the FCV LV-57 poppet had experienced a fatigue failure that liberated a section of the poppet flange. The NESC assessment provided a peer review of the computational fluid dynamics (CFD), stress analysis, and impact testing. A probability of detection (POD) study was requested by the SSP Orbiter Project for the eddy current (EC) nondestructive evaluation (NDE) techniques that were developed to inspect the flight FCV poppets. This report contains the Appendices to the main report.

  15. Space Shuttle Program (SSP) Orbiter Main Propulsion System (MPS) Gaseous Hydrogen (GH2) Flow Control Valve (FCV) Poppet Eddy Current (EC) Inspection Probability of Detection (POD) Study. Volume 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piascik, Robert S.; Prosser, William H.

    2011-01-01

    The Director of the NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC), requested an independent assessment of the anomalous gaseous hydrogen (GH2) flow incident on the Space Shuttle Program (SSP) Orbiter Vehicle (OV)-105 during the Space Transportation System (STS)-126 mission. The main propulsion system (MPS) engine #2 GH2 flow control valve (FCV) LV-57 transition from low towards high flow position without being commanded. Post-flight examination revealed that the FCV LV-57 poppet had experienced a fatigue failure that liberated a section of the poppet flange. The NESC assessment provided a peer review of the computational fluid dynamics (CFD), stress analysis, and impact testing. A probability of detection (POD) study was requested by the SSP Orbiter Project for the eddy current (EC) nondestructive evaluation (NDE) techniques that were developed to inspect the flight FCV poppets. This report contains the findings and recommendations from the NESC assessment.

  16. Laser Ablation Propulsion A Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irfan, Sayed A.; Ugalatad, Akshata C.

    Laser Ablation Propulsion (LAP) will serve as an alternative propulsion system for development of microthrusters. The principle of LAP is that when a laser (pulsed or continuous wave) with sufficient energy (more than the vaporization threshold energy of material) is incident on material, ablation or vaporization takes place which leads to the generation of plasma. The generated plasma has the property to move away from the material hence pressure is generated which leads to the generation of thrust. Nowadays nano satellites are very common in different space and defence applications. It is important to build micro thruster which are useful for orienting and re-positioning small aircraft (like nano satellites) above the atmosphere. modelling of LAP using MATLAB and Mathematica. Schematic is made for the suitable optical configuration of LAP. Practical experiments with shadowgraphy and self emission techniques and the results obtained are analysed taking poly (vinyl-chloride) (PVC) as propellant to study the

  17. The Ion Propulsion System for the Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Demonstration Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herman, Daniel A.; Santiago, Walter; Kamhawi, Hani; Polk, James E.; Snyder, John Steven; Hofer, Richard R.; Parker, J. Morgan

    2015-01-01

    The Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission is a candidate Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Demonstration Mission whose main objectives are to develop and demonstrate a high-power solar electric propulsion capability for the Agency and return an asteroidal mass for rendezvous and characterization in a companion human-crewed mission. The ion propulsion system must be capable of operating over an 8-year time period and processing up to 10,000 kg of xenon propellant. This high-power solar electric propulsion capability, or an extensible derivative of it, has been identified as a critical part of an affordable, beyond-low-Earth-orbit, manned-exploration architecture. Under the NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate the critical electric propulsion and solar array technologies are being developed. The ion propulsion system being co-developed by the NASA Glenn Research Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for the Asteroid Redirect Vehicle is based on the NASA-developed 12.5 kW Hall Effect Rocket with Magnetic Shielding (HERMeS0 thruster and power processing technologies. This paper presents the conceptual design for the ion propulsion system, the status of the NASA in-house thruster and power processing activity, and an update on flight hardware.

  18. MW-Class Electric Propulsion System Designs

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaPointe, Michael R.; Oleson, Steven; Pencil, Eric; Mercer, Carolyn; Distefano, Salvador

    2011-01-01

    Electric propulsion systems are well developed and have been in commercial use for several years. Ion and Hall thrusters have propelled robotic spacecraft to encounters with asteroids, the Moon, and minor planetary bodies within the solar system, while higher power systems are being considered to support even more demanding future space science and exploration missions. Such missions may include orbit raising and station-keeping for large platforms, robotic and human missions to near earth asteroids, cargo transport for sustained lunar or Mars exploration, and at very high-power, fast piloted missions to Mars and the outer planets. The Advanced In-Space Propulsion Project, High Efficiency Space Power Systems Project, and High Power Electric Propulsion Demonstration Project were established within the NASA Exploration Technology Development and Demonstration Program to develop and advance the fundamental technologies required for these long-range, future exploration missions. Under the auspices of the High Efficiency Space Power Systems Project, and supported by the Advanced In-Space Propulsion and High Power Electric Propulsion Projects, the COMPASS design team at the NASA Glenn Research Center performed multiple parametric design analyses to determine solar and nuclear electric power technology requirements for representative 300-kW class and pulsed and steady-state MW-class electric propulsion systems. This paper describes the results of the MW-class electric power and propulsion design analysis. Starting with the representative MW-class vehicle configurations, and using design reference missions bounded by launch dates, several power system technology improvements were introduced into the parametric COMPASS simulations to determine the potential system level benefits such technologies might provide. Those technologies providing quantitative system level benefits were then assessed for technical feasibility, cost, and time to develop. Key assumptions and primary

  19. Cold Gas Micro Propulsion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Louwerse, M.C.

    2009-01-01

    This thesis describes the development of a micro propulsion system. The trend of miniaturization of satellites requires small sized propulsion systems. For particular missions it is important to maintain an accurate distance between multiple satellites. Satellites drift apart due to differences in

  20. Chemical rocket propulsion a comprehensive survey of energetic materials

    CERN Document Server

    Shimada, Toru; Sinditskii, Valery; Calabro, Max

    2017-01-01

    Developed and expanded from the work presented at the New Energetic Materials and Propulsion Techniques for Space Exploration workshop in June 2014, this book contains new scientific results, up-to-date reviews, and inspiring perspectives in a number of areas related to the energetic aspects of chemical rocket propulsion. This collection covers the entire life of energetic materials from their conceptual formulation to practical manufacturing; it includes coverage of theoretical and experimental ballistics, performance properties, as well as laboratory-scale and full system-scale, handling, hazards, environment, ageing, and disposal. Chemical Rocket Propulsion is a unique work, where a selection of accomplished experts from the pioneering era of space propulsion and current technologists from the most advanced international laboratories discuss the future of chemical rocket propulsion for access to, and exploration of, space. It will be of interest to both postgraduate and final-year undergraduate students in...

  1. NSTAR Ion Propulsion System Power Electronics

    Science.gov (United States)

    1996-01-01

    The NASA Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Application Readiness (NSTAR) program, managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), is currently developing a high performance, simplified ion propulsion system. This propulsion system, which is throttleable from 0.5- to 2.3-kW output power to the thruster, targets primary propulsion applications for planetary and Earth-space missions and has been baselined as the primary propulsion system for the first New Millennium spacecraft. The NASA Lewis Research Center is responsible for the design and delivery of a breadboard power processing unit (PPU) and an engineering model thruster (EMT) for this system and will manage the contract for the delivery of the flight hardware to JPL. The PPU requirements, which dictate a mass of less than 12 kg with an efficiency of 0.9 or greater at a 2.3-kW output, forced a departure from the state-of-the-art ion thruster PPU design. Several innovations--including dual-use topologies, simplified thruster control, and the use of ferrite magnetic materials--were necessary to meet these requirements.

  2. Green Mono Propulsion Activities at MSFC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Joel W.

    2014-01-01

    In 2012, the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) began the process of building an integrated technology roadmap, including both technology pull and technology push strategies. Technology Area 1 (TA-01) for Launch Propulsion Systems and TA-02 In-Space Propulsion are two of the fourteen TA's that provide recommendations for the overall technology investment strategy and prioritization of NASA's space technology activities. Identified within these documents are future needs of green propellant use. Green ionic liquid monopropellants and propulsion systems are beginning to be demonstrated in space flight environments. Starting in 2010 with the flight of PRISMA, a one Newton thruster system began on-orbit demonstrations operating on ammonium dinitramide based propellant. The NASA Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) plans to demonstrate both 1 N, and 22 N hydroxyl ammonium nitrate based thrusters in a 2015 flight demonstration. In addition, engineers at MSFC have been evaluating green propellant alternatives for both thrusters and auxiliary power units. This paper summarizes the status of these development/demonstration activities and investigates the potential for evolution of green propellants from small spacecraft and satellites to larger spacecraft systems, human exploration, and launch system auxiliary propulsion applications.

  3. A Microwave Thruster for Spacecraft Propulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chiravalle, Vincent P [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2012-07-23

    This presentation describes how a microwave thruster can be used for spacecraft propulsion. A microwave thruster is part of a larger class of electric propulsion devices that have higher specific impulse and lower thrust than conventional chemical rocket engines. Examples of electric propulsion devices are given in this presentation and it is shown how these devices have been used to accomplish two recent space missions. The microwave thruster is then described and it is explained how the thrust and specific impulse of the thruster can be measured. Calculations of the gas temperature and plasma properties in the microwave thruster are discussed. In addition a potential mission for the microwave thruster involving the orbit raising of a space station is explored.

  4. Pure Nuclear Fusion Bomb Propulsion

    CERN Document Server

    Winterberg, F

    2008-01-01

    Recent progress towards the non-fission ignition of thermonuclear micro-explosions raises the prospect for a revival of the nuclear bomb propulsion idea, both for the fast transport of large payloads within the solar system and the launch into earth orbit without the release of fission products into the atmosphere. To reach this goal three areas of research are of importance: 1)Compact thermonuclear ignition drivers. 2)Fast ignition and deuterium burn. 3)Space-craft architecture involving magnetic insulation and GeV electrostatic potentials

  5. Ground test facilities for evaluating nuclear thermal propulsion engines and fuel elements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, G. C.; Beck, D. F.; Harmon, C. D.; Shipers, L. R.

    Interagency panels evaluating nuclear thermal propulsion development options have consistently recognized the need for constructing a major new ground test facility to support fuel element and engine testing. This paper summarizes the requirements, configuration, and design issues of a proposed ground test complex for evaluating nuclear thermal propulsion engines and fuel elements being developed for the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program.

  6. MSFC Propulsion Systems Department Knowledge Management Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caraccioli, Paul A.

    2007-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the Knowledge Management (KM) project of the Propulsion Systems Department at Marshall Space Flight Center. KM is needed to support knowledge capture, preservation and to support an information sharing culture. The presentation includes the strategic plan for the KM initiative, the system requirements, the technology description, the User Interface and custom features, and a search demonstration.

  7. On-Orbit Propulsion OMS/RCS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurlbert, Eric A.

    2001-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the Space Shuttle's On-Orbit Propulsion systems: the Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) and the Reaction Control System (RCS). The functions of each of the systems is described, and the diagrams of the systems are presented. The OMS/RCS thruster is detailed and a trade study comparison of non-toxic propellants is presented.

  8. Mirror fusion propulsion system: A performance comparison with alternate propulsion systems for the manned Mars Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulze, Norman R.; Carpenter, Scott A.; Deveny, Marc E.; Oconnell, T.

    1993-06-01

    The performance characteristics of several propulsion technologies applied to piloted Mars missions are compared. The characteristics that are compared are Initial Mass in Low Earth Orbit (IMLEO), mission flexibility, and flight times. The propulsion systems being compared are both demonstrated and envisioned: Chemical (or Cryogenic), Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) solid core, NTR gas core, Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP), and a mirror fusion space propulsion system. The proposed magnetic mirror fusion reactor, known as the Mirror Fusion Propulsion System (MFPS), is described. The description is an overview of a design study that was conducted to convert a mirror reactor experiment at Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) into a viable space propulsion system. Design principles geared towards minimizing mass and maximizing power available for thrust are identified and applied to the LLNL reactor design, resulting in the MFPS. The MFPS' design evolution, reactor and fuel choices, and system configuration are described. Results of the performance comparison shows that the MFPS minimizes flight time to 60 to 90 days for flights to Mars while allowing continuous return-home capability while at Mars. Total MFPS IMLEO including propellant and payloads is kept to about 1,000 metric tons.

  9. Mirror fusion propulsion system - A performance comparison with alternate propulsion systems for the manned Mars mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deveny, M.; Carpenter, S.; O'Connell, T.; Schulze, N.

    1993-06-01

    The performance characteristics of several propulsion technologies applied to piloted Mars missions are compared. The characteristics that are compared are Initial Mass in Low Earth Orbit (IMLEO), mission flexibility, and flight times. The propulsion systems being compared are both demonstrated and envisioned: Chemical (or Cryogenic), Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) solid core, NTR gas core, Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP), and a mirror fusion space propulsion system. The proposed magnetic mirror fusion reactor, known as the Mirror Fusion Propulsion System (MFPS), is described. The description is an overview of a design study that was conducted to convert a mirror reactor experiment at Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) into a viable space propulsion system. Design principles geared towards minimizing mass and maximizing power available for thrust are identified and applied to the LLNL reactor design, resulting in the MFPS. The MFPS' design evolution, reactor and fuel choices, and system configuration are described. Results of the performance comparison shows that the MFPS minimizes flight time to 60 to 90 days for flights to Mars while allowing continuous return-home capability while at Mars. Total MFPS IMLEO including propellant and payloads is kept to about 1,000 metric tons.

  10. Alternative propulsion for automobiles

    CERN Document Server

    Stan, Cornel

    2017-01-01

    The book presents – based on the most recent research and development results worldwide - the perspectives of new propulsion concepts such as electric cars with batteries and fuel cells, and furthermore plug in hybrids with conventional and alternative fuels. The propulsion concepts are evaluated based on specific power, torque characteristic, acceleration behaviour, specific fuel consumption and pollutant emissions. The alternative fuels are discussed in terms of availability, production, technical complexity of the storage on board, costs, safety and infrastructure. The book presents summarized data about vehicles with electric and hybrid propulsion. The propulsion of future cars will be marked by diversity – from compact electric city cars and range extender vehicles for suburban and rural areas up to hybrid or plug in SUV´s, Pick up´s and luxury class automobiles.

  11. Solar Thermal Rocket Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sercel, J. C.

    1986-01-01

    Paper analyzes potential of solar thermal rockets as means of propulsion for planetary spacecraft. Solar thermal rocket uses concentrated Sunlight to heat working fluid expelled through nozzle to produce thrust.

  12. High Power Electric Propulsion for Outer Planet Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donahue, Benjamin B.

    2003-01-01

    Focused technology trade studies for Nuclear Electric Propulsion vehicle concepts for outer planet missions are presented; representative mission, vehicle and technology characterizations illustrate samples of work done under the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center-Boeing-SAIC In-Space Technology Assessment (ISTA) contract. An objective of ISTA is to identify and present sound technical and programtic options for the formulation and implementation of advanced electric and chemical propulsion solar system exploration missions. Investigations to date include a variety of outer planet destinations, trip times, science payload allotments, orbital capture techniques, all conducted to illustrate how advanced technology would maximize mission benefits. Architecture wide optimizations that facilitate good propulsion technology investments for advanced electric and chemical propulsion systems were conducted, including those relevant to the nuclear system initiative. Representative analyses of vehicles utilizing fission reactors with advanced power generation, Conversion, processing and electric propulsion systems, which would enable scientifically rich robotic exploration missions, are presented.

  13. Electric Vehicle Propulsion System

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    Electric vehicles are being considered as one of the pillar of eco-friendly solutions to overcome the problem of global pollution and radiations due to greenhouse gases. Present thesis work reports the improvement in overall performance of the propulsion system of an electric vehicle by improving autonomy and torque-speed characteristic. Electric vehicle propulsion system consists of supply and traction system, and are coordinated by the monitoring & control system. Case of light electric veh...

  14. Robust Propulsion Control for Improved Aircraft Safety Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Scientific Monitoring, Inc. proposes to develop a robust propulsion control approach to facilitate control law design and simulation-based validation. The proposed...

  15. High Temperature Radiators for Electric Propulsion Systems Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The VASIMR propulsion system uses a high temperature Loop Heat Pipe (LHP) radiator to reject heat from the helicon section. The current baseline radiator uses...

  16. Mobile Platform Development for SSC Propulsion Test Operations Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A review of mobile applications (apps) and portable electronic tools/mobile platforms (that could be used by propulsion testing field users at SSC) was conducted....

  17. Magnesium Diboride Superconducting Stator Coils for Electric Propulsion Systems Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Many are pursuing the development of electric propulsion systems for large aircraft due to the potential of being cleaner, quieter, lighter, and more versatile than...

  18. Superconducting Electric Boost Pump for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A submersible, superconducting electric boost pump sized to meet the needs of future Nuclear Thermal Propulsion systems in the 25,000 lbf thrust range is proposed....

  19. Damage Adaptation Using Integrated Structural, Propulsion, and Aerodynamic Control Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The proposed SBIR Phase I plan of research seeks to develop and demonstrate an integrated architecture designed to compensate for combined propulsion, airframe,...

  20. Wide Output Range Power Processing Unit for Electric Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Hall thrusters can be operated over a wide range of specific impulse while maintaining high efficiency. However S/C power system constraints on electric propulsion...

  1. Novel Low Cost Booster Propulsion Development and Demonstration Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The proposed contract effort is for the design, development and proof-of-concept demontration testing of a low cost, pressure-fed liquid rocket booster propulsion...

  2. Hybrid Propulsion for Upper-Stage Boosters Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The objective of the proposed research and development effort is to demonstrate the feasibility of an innovative approach to high-performance hybrid propulsion for...

  3. Sputter-Resistant Materials for Electric Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This SBIR Phase 2 project shall develop sputter-resistant materials for use in electric propulsion test facilities and for plume shields on spacecraft using electric...

  4. Transient Region Coverage in the Propulsion IVHM Technology Experiment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Over the last several years researchers at NASA Glenn and Ames Research Centers have developed a real-time fault detection and isolation system for propulsion...

  5. CubeSat High Impulse Propulsion System (CHIPS) Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — CU Aerospace proposes to perform design, fabrication, and ground test validation of a nanosat primary propulsion subsystem using non-toxic R134a propellant. Our...

  6. Four Thruster Microfluidic Electrospray Propulsion (MEP) Cubesat Board Demonstration Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Cubesat Microfluidic Electrospray Propulsion (MEP) system module prototype will be designed, built and tested to demonstrate that a four MEP thruster system can...

  7. CubeSat High Impulse Propulsion System (CHIPS) Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — CU Aerospace proposes the ground test validation of a nanosat primary propulsion subsystem using non-toxic propellant with 3-axis ACS for orbit change and/or...

  8. Advanced Propulsion Physics Lab: Eagleworks Investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scogin, Tyler

    2014-01-01

    Eagleworks Laboratory is an advanced propulsions physics laboratory with two primary investigations currently underway. The first is a Quantum Vacuum Plasma Thruster (QVPT or Q-thrusters), an advanced electric propulsion technology in the development and demonstration phase. The second investigation is in Warp Field Interferometry (WFI). This is an investigation of Dr. Harold "Sonny" White's theoretical physics models for warp field equations using optical experiments in the Electro Optical laboratory (EOL) at Johnson Space Center. These investigations are pursuing technology necessary to enable human exploration of the solar system and beyond.

  9. Lightweight High Temperature Non-Eroding Throat Materials for Propulsion Systems Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Radiation or passively cooled thrust chambers are used for a variety of chemical propulsion functions including apogee insertion, reaction control for launch...

  10. A Modular Electric Propulsion System with On-Demand Power Scaling Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Electromagnetic Plasmoid Thruster (EMPT) program demonstrated a next generation propulsion system based on the purely electromagnetic generation and Lorentz...

  11. Lightweight, Efficient Power Converters for Advanced Turboelectric Aircraft Propulsion Systems Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA is investigating advanced turboelectric aircraft propulsion systems that utilize superconducting motors to drive a number of distributed turbofans. In an...

  12. Hybrid Electric Propulsion System for a 4 Passenger VTOL Aircraft Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The advancement of hybrid-electric propulsion systems for rotorcraft enables vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) vehicles to take advantage of aerodynamic...

  13. Testing for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Systems: Identification of Technologies for Effluent Treatment in Test Facilities Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Develop a comprehensive understanding of requirements for a facility that could safely conduct effluent treatment for a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) rocket...

  14. Carbon Nanotube Based Electric Propulsion Thruster with Low Power Consumption Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This SBIR project is to develop field emission electric propulsion (FEEP) thruster using carbon nanotubes (CNT) integrated anode. FEEP thrusters have gained...

  15. Carbon Nanotube Based Electric Propulsion Thruster with Low Power Consumption Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Field emission electric propulsion (FEEP) thrusters have gained considerable attention for spacecrafts disturbance compensation because of excellent characteristics....

  16. Lightweight, Efficient Power Converters for Advanced Turboelectric Aircraft Propulsion Systems Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA is investigating advanced turboelectric aircraft propulsion systems that utilize superconducting motors to drive a number of distributed turbofans. Conventional...

  17. Beamed-Energy Propulsion (BEP) Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Patrick; Beach, Raymond

    2012-01-01

    The scope of this study was to (1) review and analyze the state-of-art in beamed-energy propulsion (BEP) by identifying potential game-changing applications, (2) formulate a roadmap of technology development, and (3) identify key near-term technology demonstrations to rapidly advance elements of BEP technology to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6. The two major areas of interest were launching payloads and space propulsion. More generally, the study was requested and structured to address basic mission feasibility. The attraction of beamed-energy propulsion (BEP) is the potential for high specific impulse while removing the power-generation mass. The rapid advancements in high-energy beamed-power systems and optics over the past 20 years warranted a fresh look at the technology. For launching payloads, the study concluded that using BEP to propel vehicles into space is technically feasible if a commitment to develop new technologies and large investments can be made over long periods of time. From a commercial competitive standpoint, if an advantage of beamed energy for Earth-to-orbit (ETO) is to be found, it will rest with smaller, frequently launched payloads. For space propulsion, the study concluded that using beamed energy to propel vehicles from low Earth orbit to geosynchronous Earth orbit (LEO-GEO) and into deep space is definitely feasible and showed distinct advantages and greater potential over current propulsion technologies. However, this conclusion also assumes that upfront infrastructure investments and commitments to critical technologies will be made over long periods of time. The chief issue, similar to that for payloads, is high infrastructure costs.

  18. Advanced Space Propulsion Study - Antiproton and Beamed Power Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-10-01

    Optical & Data W. Stwalley, "Large Hlydrogen Systems Grouu, Hughes Aircraft Cluster Tons". Company, P.O. Box 902, El Segundo , J. Weiner, "Formation of...Torelli, INFN, Sezione di Pisa, Via Livornese, E82/a, 56010 S. Piero a Grado , Pisa, Italy.) [Ed: Seems to be a summary review of previous papers.] N...34 preprint (1986). [Ed: Copies obtainable from C. Torelli, INFN, Sezione di Pisa, Via Livornese, 582/a, 56010 S. Piero a Grado , Pisa, Italy.] (It is

  19. Assessing Hypothetical Gravity Control Propulsion

    CERN Document Server

    Millis, M G

    2006-01-01

    Gauging the benefits of hypothetical gravity control propulsion is difficult, but addressable. The major challenge is that such breakthroughs are still only notional concepts rather than being specific methods from which performance can be rigorously quantified. A recent assessment by Tajmar and Bertolami used the rocket equation to correct naive misconceptions, but a more fundamental analysis requires the use of energy as the basis for comparison. The energy of a rocket is compared to an idealized space drive for the following cases: Earth-to-orbit, interstellar transit, and levitation. The space drive uses 3.6 times less energy for Earth to orbit. For deep space travel, space drive energy scales as the square of delta-v, while rocket energy scales exponentially. This has the effect of rendering a space drive 150-orders-of-magnitude better than a 17,000-sec Specific Impulse rocket for sending a modest 5000 kg probe to traverse 5 light-years in 50 years. Indefinite levitation, which is impossible for a rocket...

  20. Evolution of MPCV Service Module Propulsion and GNC Interface Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hickman, Heather K.; Dickens, Kevin W.; Madsen, Jennifer M.; Gutkowski, Jeffrey P.; Ierardo, Nicola; Jaeger, Markus; Lux, Johannes; Freundenberger, John L.; Paisley, Jonathan

    2014-01-01

    The Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle Service Module Propulsion Subsystem provides propulsion for the integrated Crew and Service Module. Updates in the exploration architecture between Constellation and MPCV as well as NASA's partnership with the European Space Agency have resulted in design changes to the SM Propulsion Subsystem and updates to the Propulsion interface requirements with Guidance Navigation and Control. This paper focuses on the Propulsion and GNC interface requirement updates between the Constellation Service Module and the European Service Module and how the requirement updates were driven or supported by architecture updates and the desired use of hardware with heritage to United States and European spacecraft for the Exploration Missions, EM-1 and EM-2.

  1. A cermet fuel reactor for nuclear thermal propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruger, Gordon

    1991-01-01

    Work on the cermet fuel reactor done in the 1960's by General Electric (GE) and the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) that had as its goal the development of systems that could be used for nuclear rocket propulsion as well as closed cycle propulsion system designs for ship propulsion, space nuclear propulsion, and other propulsion systems is reviewed. It is concluded that the work done in the 1960's has demonstrated that we can have excellent thermal and mechanical performance with cermet fuel. Thousands of hours of testing were performed on the cermet fuel at both GE and AGL, including very rapid transients and some radiation performance history. We conclude that there are no feasibility issues with cermet fuel. What is needed is reactivation of existing technology and qualification testing of a specific fuel form. We believe this can be done with a minimum development risk.

  2. Propulsion controlled aircraft computer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cogan, Bruce R. (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    A low-cost, easily retrofit Propulsion Controlled Aircraft (PCA) system for use on a wide range of commercial and military aircraft consists of an propulsion controlled aircraft computer that reads in aircraft data including aircraft state, pilot commands and other related data, calculates aircraft throttle position for a given maneuver commanded by the pilot, and then displays both current and calculated throttle position on a cockpit display to show the pilot where to move throttles to achieve the commanded maneuver, or is automatically sent digitally to command the engines directly.

  3. Focused technology: Nuclear propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Thomas J.

    1991-01-01

    The topics presented are covered in viewgraph form and include: nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP), which challenges (1) high temperature fuel and materials, (2) hot hydrogen environment, (3) test facilities, (4) safety, (5) environmental impact compliance, and (6) concept development, and nuclear electric propulsion (NEP), which challenges (1) long operational lifetime, (2) high temperature reactors, turbines, and radiators, (3) high fuel burn-up reactor fuels, and designs, (4) efficient, high temperature power conditioning, (5) high efficiency, and long life thrusters, (6) safety, (7) environmental impact compliance, and (8) concept development.

  4. Airbreathing Propulsion An Introduction

    CERN Document Server

    Bose, Tarit

    2012-01-01

    Airbreathing Propulsion covers the physics of combustion, fluid and thermo-dynamics, and structural mechanics of airbreathing engines, including piston, turboprop, turbojet, turbofan, and ramjet engines. End-of-chapter exercises allow the reader to practice the fundamental concepts behind airbreathing propulsion, and the included PAGIC computer code will help the reader to examine the relationships between the performance parameters of different engines. Large amounts of data on many different piston, turbojet, and turboprop engines have been compiled for this book and are included as an appendix. This textbook is ideal for senior undergraduate and graduate students studying aeronautical engineering, aerospace engineering, and mechanical engineering.

  5. Prospective of Photon Propulsion for Interstellar Flight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bae, Young K.

    Mastering photon propulsion is proposed to be the key to overcoming the limit of the current propulsion technology based on conventional rocketry and potentially opening a new space era. A perspective on photon propulsion is presented here to elucidate that interstellar manned roundtrip flight could be achievable in a century within a frame of exiting scientific principles, once the required existing technologies are further developed. It is shown that the developmental pathway towards the interstellar flight demands not only technological breakthroughs, but consistent long-term world-scale economic interest and investment. Such interest and investment will result from positive financial returns from routine interstellar commutes that can transport highly valuable commodities in a profitable manner. The Photonic Railway, a permanent energy-efficient transportation structure based on the Beamed-Laser Propulsion (BLP) by Forward and the Photonic Laser Thruster (PLT) by the author, is proposed to enable such routine interstellar commutes via Spacetrains. A four-phased evolutionary developmental pathway towards the Interstellar Photonic Railway is proposed. Each phase poses evolutionary, yet daunting, technological and financial challenges that need to be overcome within each time frame of 20 _ 30 years, and is projected to generate multitudes of applications that would lead to sustainable reinvestment into its development. If successfully developed, the Photonic Railway would bring about a quantum leap in the human economic and social interests in space from explorations to terraforming, mining, colonization, and permanent habitation in exoplanets.

  6. Eagleworks Laboratories: Advanced Propulsion Physics Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Harold; March, Paul; Williams, Nehemiah; ONeill, William

    2011-01-01

    NASA/JSC is implementing an advanced propulsion physics laboratory, informally known as "Eagleworks", to pursue propulsion technologies necessary to enable human exploration of the solar system over the next 50 years, and enabling interstellar spaceflight by the end of the century. This work directly supports the "Breakthrough Propulsion" objectives detailed in the NASA OCT TA02 In-space Propulsion Roadmap, and aligns with the #10 Top Technical Challenge identified in the report. Since the work being pursued by this laboratory is applied scientific research in the areas of the quantum vacuum, gravitation, nature of space-time, and other fundamental physical phenomenon, high fidelity testing facilities are needed. The lab will first implement a low-thrust torsion pendulum (physics and engineering models can be explored and understood in the lab to allow scaling to power levels pertinent for human spaceflight, 400kW SEP human missions to Mars may become a possibility, and at power levels of 2MW, 1-year transit to Neptune may also be possible. Additionally, the lab is implementing a warp field interferometer that will be able to measure spacetime disturbances down to 150nm. Recent work published by White [1] [2] [3] suggests that it may be possible to engineer spacetime creating conditions similar to what drives the expansion of the cosmos. Although the expected magnitude of the effect would be tiny, it may be a "Chicago pile" moment for this area of physics.

  7. Advanced nuclear thermal propulsion concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, Steven D.

    1993-11-01

    In 1989, a Presidential directive created the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) which had a goal of placing mankind on Mars in the early 21st century. The SEI was effectively terminated in 1992 with the election of a new administration. Although the initiative did not exist long enough to allow substantial technology development, it did provide a venue, for the first time in 20 years, to comprehensively evaluate advanced propulsion concepts which could enable fast, manned transits to Mars. As part of the SEI based investigations, scientists from NASA, DoE National Laboratories, universities, and industry met regularly and proceeded to examine a variety of innovative ideas. Most of the effort was directed toward developing a solid-core, nuclear thermal rocket and examining a high-power nuclear electric propulsion system. In addition, however, an Innovative Concepts committee was formed and charged with evaluating concepts that offered a much higher performance but were less technologically mature. The committee considered several concepts and eventually recommended that further work be performed in the areas of gas core fission rockets, inertial confinement fusion systems, antimatter based rockets, and gas core fission electric systems. Following the committee's recommendations, some computational modeling work has been performed at Los Alamos in certain of these areas and critical issues have been identified.

  8. Advanced nuclear thermal propulsion concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, Steven D.

    1993-01-01

    In 1989, a Presidential directive created the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) which had a goal of placing mankind on Mars in the early 21st century. The SEI was effectively terminated in 1992 with the election of a new administration. Although the initiative did not exist long enough to allow substantial technology development, it did provide a venue, for the first time in 20 years, to comprehensively evaluate advanced propulsion concepts which could enable fast, manned transits to Mars. As part of the SEI based investigations, scientists from NASA, DoE National Laboratories, universities, and industry met regularly and proceeded to examine a variety of innovative ideas. Most of the effort was directed toward developing a solid-core, nuclear thermal rocket and examining a high-power nuclear electric propulsion system. In addition, however, an Innovative Concepts committee was formed and charged with evaluating concepts that offered a much higher performance but were less technologically mature. The committee considered several concepts and eventually recommended that further work be performed in the areas of gas core fission rockets, inertial confinement fusion systems, antimatter based rockets, and gas core fission electric systems. Following the committee's recommendations, some computational modeling work has been performed at Los Alamos in certain of these areas and critical issues have been identified.

  9. NASA's Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houts, Michael; Mitchell, Sonny; Kim, Tony; Borowski, Stanley; Power, Kevin; Scott, John; Belvin, Anthony; Clement, Steven

    2015-01-01

    Space fission power systems can provide a power rich environment anywhere in the solar system, independent of available sunlight. Space fission propulsion offers the potential for enabling rapid, affordable access to any point in the solar system. One type of space fission propulsion is Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP). NTP systems operate by using a fission reactor to heat hydrogen to very high temperature (>2500 K) and expanding the hot hydrogen through a supersonic nozzle. First generation NTP systems are designed to have an Isp of approximately 900 s. The high Isp of NTP enables rapid crew transfer to destinations such as Mars, and can also help reduce mission cost, improve logistics (fewer launches), and provide other benefits. However, for NTP systems to be utilized they must be affordable and viable to develop. NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) NTP project is a technology development project that will help assess the affordability and viability of NTP. Early work has included fabrication of representative graphite composite fuel element segments, coating of representative graphite composite fuel element segments, fabrication of representative cermet fuel element segments, and testing of fuel element segments in the Compact Fuel Element Environmental Tester (CFEET). Near-term activities will include testing approximately 16" fuel element segments in the Nuclear Thermal Rocket Element Environmental Simulator (NTREES), and ongoing research into improving fuel microstructure and coatings. In addition to recapturing fuels technology, affordable development, qualification, and utilization strategies must be devised. Options such as using low-enriched uranium (LEU) instead of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) are being assessed, although that option requires development of a key technology before it can be applied to NTP in the thrust range of interest. Ground test facilities will be required, especially if NTP is to be used in conjunction with high value or

  10. NASA Electric Propulsion System Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felder, James L.

    2015-01-01

    An overview of NASA efforts in the area of hybrid electric and turboelectric propulsion in large transport. This overview includes a list of reasons why we are looking at transmitting some or all of the propulsive power for the aircraft electrically, a list of the different types of hybrid-turbo electric propulsion systems, and the results of 4 aircraft studies that examined different types of hybrid-turbo electric propulsion systems.

  11. Modeling of Ship Propulsion Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Benjamin Pjedsted; Larsen, Jan

    2009-01-01

    Full scale measurements of the propulsion power, ship speed, wind speed and direction, sea and air temperature, from four different loading conditions has been used to train a neural network for prediction of propulsion power. The network was able to predict the propulsion power with accuracy bet...

  12. Propulsion System Choices and Their Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joyner, Claude R., II; Levack, Daniel J. H.; Rhodes, Russell, E.; Robinson, John W.

    2010-01-01

    In defining a space vehicle architecture, the propulsion system and related subsystem choices will have a major influence on achieving the goals and objectives desired. There are many alternatives and the choices made must produce a system that meets the performance requirements, but at the same time also provide the greatest opportunity of reaching all of the required objectives. Recognizing the above, the SPST Functional Requirements subteam has drawn on the knowledge, expertise, and experience of its members, to develop insight that wiIJ effectively aid the architectural concept developer in making the appropriate choices consistent with the architecture goals. This data not only identifies many selected choices, but also, more importantly, presents the collective assessment of this subteam on the "pros" and the "cons" of these choices. The propulsion system choices with their pros and cons are presented in five major groups. A. System Integration Approach. Focused on the requirement for safety, reliability, dependability, maintainability, and low cost. B. Non-Chemical Propulsion. Focused on choice of propulsion type. C. Chemical Propulsion. Focused on propellant choice implications. D. Functional Integration. Focused on the degree of integration of the many propulsive and closely associated functions, and on the choice of the engine combustion power cycle. E. Thermal Management. Focused on propellant tank insulation and integration. Each of these groups is further broken down into subgroups, and at that level the consensus pros and cons are presented. The intended use of this paper is to provide a resource of focused material for architectural concept developers to use in designing new advanced systems including college design classes. It is also a possible source of input material for developing a model for designing and analyzing advanced concepts to help identify focused technology needs and their priorities.

  13. Novel Ship Propulsion System

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JI Yulong; SUN Yuqing; ZHANG Hongpeng; ZHANG Yindong; CHEN Haiquan

    2009-01-01

    As the development tends towards high-speed, large-scale and high-power, power of the ship main engine becomes larger and larger. This make the engine design and cabin arrangement become more and more difficult. Ship maneuverability becomes bad. A new ship propulsion system, integrated hydraulic propulsion (IHP), is put forward to meet the development of modem ship. Principle of IHP system is discussed. Working condition matching characteristic of IHP ship is studied based on its matching characteristic charts. According to their propulsion principle, dynamic mathematic models of IHP ship and direct propulsion (DP) ship are developed. These two models are verified by test sailing and test stand data. Based on the software Matlab/Simulink, comparison research between IHP ship and DP ship is conducted. The results show that cabin arrangement of IHP ship is very flexible, working condition matching characteristic of IHP ship is good, the ratio of power to weight of IHP ship is larger than DP ship, and maneuverability is excellent. IHP system is suitable for engineering ship, superpower ship and warship, etc.

  14. End-to-End Information System design at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. [data transmission between user and space-based sensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hooke, A. J.

    1978-01-01

    In recognition of a pressing need of the 1980s to optimize the two-way flow of information between a ground-based user and a remote-space-based sensor, an end-to-end approach to the design of information systems has been adopted at the JPL. This paper reviews End-to-End Information System (EEIS) activity at the JPL, with attention given to the scope of the EEIS transfer function, and functional and physical elements of the EEIS. The relationship between the EEIS and the NASA End-to-End Data System program is discussed.

  15. Test facilities for evaluating nuclear thermal propulsion systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, David F.; Allen, George C.; Shipers, Larry R.; Dobranich, Dean; Ottinger, Cathy A.; Harmon, Charles D.; Fan, Wesley C.; Todosow, Michael

    1993-01-01

    Interagency panels evaluating nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) development options have consistently recognized the need for constructing a major new ground test facility to support fuel element and engine testing. This paper summarizes the requirements, configuration, and baseline performance of some of the major subsystems designed to support a proposed ground test complex for evaluating nuclear thermal propulsion fuel elements and engines being developed for the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program. Some preliminary results of evaluating this facility for use in testing other NTP concepts are also summarized.

  16. Improved Propulsion Modeling for Low-Thrust Trajectory Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knittel, Jeremy M.; Englander, Jacob A.; Ozimek, Martin T.; Atchison, Justin A.; Gould, Julian J.

    2017-01-01

    Low-thrust trajectory design is tightly coupled with spacecraft systems design. In particular, the propulsion and power characteristics of a low-thrust spacecraft are major drivers in the design of the optimal trajectory. Accurate modeling of the power and propulsion behavior is essential for meaningful low-thrust trajectory optimization. In this work, we discuss new techniques to improve the accuracy of propulsion modeling in low-thrust trajectory optimization while maintaining the smooth derivatives that are necessary for a gradient-based optimizer. The resulting model is significantly more realistic than the industry standard and performs well inside an optimizer. A variety of deep-space trajectory examples are presented.

  17. Analysis of System Margins on Missions Utilizing Solar Electric Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oh, David Y.; Landau, Damon; Randolph, Thomas; Timmerman, Paul; Chase, James; Sims, Jon; Kowalkowski, Theresa

    2008-01-01

    NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has conducted a study focused on the analysis of appropriate margins for deep space missions using solar electric propulsion (SEP). The purpose of this study is to understand the links between disparate system margins (power, mass, thermal, etc.) and their impact on overall mission performance and robustness. It is determined that the various sources of uncertainty and risk associated with electric propulsion mission design can be summarized into three relatively independent parameters 1) EP Power Margin, 2) Propellant Margin and 3) Duty Cycle Margin. The overall relationship between these parameters and other major sources of uncertainty is presented. A detailed trajectory analysis is conducted to examine the impact that various assumptions related to power, duty cycle, destination, and thruster performance including missed thrust periods have on overall performance. Recommendations are presented for system margins for deep space missions utilizing solar electric propulsion.

  18. 2001 Numerical Propulsion System Simulation Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lytle, John; Follen, Gregory; Naiman, Cynthia; Veres, Joseph; Owen, Karl; Lopez, Isaac

    2002-01-01

    The technologies necessary to enable detailed numerical simulations of complete propulsion systems are being developed at the NASA Glenn Research Center in cooperation with industry, academia and other government agencies. Large scale, detailed simulations will be of great value to the nation because they eliminate some of the costly testing required to develop and certify advanced propulsion systems. In addition, time and cost savings will be achieved by enabling design details to be evaluated early in the development process before a commitment is made to a specific design. This concept is called the Numerical Propulsion System Simulation (NPSS). NPSS consists of three main elements: (1) engineering models that enable multidisciplinary analysis of large subsystems and systems at various levels of detail, (2) a simulation environment that maximizes designer productivity, and (3) a cost-effective, high-performance computing platform. A fundamental requirement of the concept is that the simulations must be capable of overnight execution on easily accessible computing platforms. This will greatly facilitate the use of large-scale simulations in a design environment. This paper describes the current status of the NPSS with specific emphasis on the progress made over the past year on air breathing propulsion applications. Major accomplishments include the first formal release of the NPSS object-oriented architecture (NPSS Version 1) and the demonstration of a one order of magnitude reduction in computing cost-to-performance ratio using a cluster of personal computers. The paper also describes the future NPSS milestones, which include the simulation of space transportation propulsion systems in response to increased emphasis on safe, low cost access to space within NASA's Aerospace Technology Enterprise. In addition, the paper contains a summary of the feedback received from industry partners on the fiscal year 2000 effort and the actions taken over the past year to

  19. 2000 Numerical Propulsion System Simulation Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lytle, John; Follen, Greg; Naiman, Cynthia; Veres, Joseph; Owen, Karl; Lopez, Isaac

    2001-01-01

    The technologies necessary to enable detailed numerical simulations of complete propulsion systems are being developed at the NASA Glenn Research Center in cooperation with industry, academia, and other government agencies. Large scale, detailed simulations will be of great value to the nation because they eliminate some of the costly testing required to develop and certify advanced propulsion systems. In addition, time and cost savings will be achieved by enabling design details to be evaluated early in the development process before a commitment is made to a specific design. This concept is called the Numerical Propulsion System Simulation (NPSS). NPSS consists of three main elements: (1) engineering models that enable multidisciplinary analysis of large subsystems and systems at various levels of detail, (2) a simulation environment that maximizes designer productivity, and (3) a cost-effective. high-performance computing platform. A fundamental requirement of the concept is that the simulations must be capable of overnight execution on easily accessible computing platforms. This will greatly facilitate the use of large-scale simulations in a design environment. This paper describes the current status of the NPSS with specific emphasis on the progress made over the past year on air breathing propulsion applications. Major accomplishments include the first formal release of the NPSS object-oriented architecture (NPSS Version 1) and the demonstration of a one order of magnitude reduction in computing cost-to-performance ratio using a cluster of personal computers. The paper also describes the future NPSS milestones, which include the simulation of space transportation propulsion systems in response to increased emphasis on safe, low cost access to space within NASA'S Aerospace Technology Enterprise. In addition, the paper contains a summary of the feedback received from industry partners on the fiscal year 1999 effort and the actions taken over the past year to

  20. Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage Affordable Development Strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doughty, Glen E.; Gerrish, H. P.; Kenny, R. J.

    2014-01-01

    The development of nuclear power for space use in nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) systems will involve significant expenditures of funds and require major technology development efforts. The development effort must be economically viable yet sufficient to validate the systems designed. Efforts are underway within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage Project (NCPS) to study what a viable program would entail. The study will produce an integrated schedule, cost estimate and technology development plan. This will include the evaluation of various options for test facilities, types of testing and use of the engine, components, and technology developed. A "Human Rating" approach will also be developed and factored into the schedule, budget and technology development approach.

  1. Next-Generation Ion Thruster Design Tool to Support Future Space Missions Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Computational tools that accurately predict the performance of electric propulsion devices are highly desirable by NASA and the broader electric propulsion...

  2. DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES FOR POWER AND PROPULSION (DIPOP) FISSION NUCLEAR OPTIONS

    OpenAIRE

    2013-01-01

    The Disruptive Technologies for Power and Propulsion (DiPoP) Study reviewed advanced space technologies for large interplanetary missions of interest to Europe taking account of European industry capabilities. These included surface power generation, high power instruments, large robotic missions to outer planets, asteroid de ection missions and longer term interplanetary manned missions. The propulsion applications involve high speed increments, generally beyond the capability...

  3. Nuclear electric propulsion mission engineering study. Volume 2: Final report

    Science.gov (United States)

    1973-01-01

    Results of a mission engineering analysis of nuclear-thermionic electric propulsion spacecraft for unmanned interplanetary and geocentric missions are summarized. Critical technologies associated with the development of nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) are assessed, along with the impact of its availability on future space programs. Outer planet and comet rendezvous mission analysis, NEP stage design for geocentric and interplanetary missions, NEP system development cost and unit costs, and technology requirements for NEP stage development are studied.

  4. The Potential for Ambient Plasma Wave Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilland, James H.; Williams, George J.

    2016-01-01

    A truly robust space exploration program will need to make use of in-situ resources as much as possible to make the endeavor affordable. Most space propulsion concepts are saddled with one fundamental burden; the propellant needed to produce momentum. The most advanced propulsion systems currently in use utilize electric and/or magnetic fields to accelerate ionized propellant. However, significant planetary exploration missions in the coming decades, such as the now canceled Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter, are restricted by propellant mass and propulsion system lifetimes, using even the most optimistic projections of performance. These electric propulsion vehicles are inherently limited in flexibility at their final destination, due to propulsion system wear, propellant requirements, and the relatively low acceleration of the vehicle. A few concepts are able to utilize the environment around them to produce thrust: Solar or magnetic sails and, with certain restrictions, electrodynamic tethers. These concepts focus primarily on using the solar wind or ambient magnetic fields to generate thrust. Technically immature, quasi-propellantless alternatives lack either the sensitivity or the power to provide significant maneuvering. An additional resource to be considered is the ambient plasma and magnetic fields in solar and planetary magnetospheres. These environments, such as those around the Sun or Jupiter, have been shown to host a variety of plasma waves. Plasma wave propulsion takes advantage of an observed astrophysical and terrestrial phenomenon: Alfven waves. These are waves that propagate in the plasma and magnetic fields around and between planets and stars. The generation of Alfven waves in ambient magnetic and plasma fields to generate thrust is proposed as a truly propellantless propulsion system which may enable an entirely new matrix of exploration missions. Alfven waves are well known, transverse electromagnetic waves that propagate in magnetized plasmas at

  5. An Analysis of Rocket Propulsion Testing Costs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez, Carmen; Rahman, Shamim

    2010-01-01

    The primary mission at NASA Stennis Space Center (SSC) is rocket propulsion testing. Such testing is commonly characterized as one of two types: production testing for certification and acceptance of engine hardware, and developmental testing for prototype evaluation or research and development (R&D) purposes. For programmatic reasons there is a continuing need to assess and evaluate the test costs for the various types of test campaigns that involve liquid rocket propellant test articles. Presently, in fact, there is a critical need to provide guidance on what represents a best value for testing and provide some key economic insights for decision-makers within NASA and the test customers outside the Agency. Hence, selected rocket propulsion test databases and references have been evaluated and analyzed with the intent to discover correlations of technical information and test costs that could help produce more reliable and accurate cost projections in the future. The process of searching, collecting, and validating propulsion test cost information presented some unique obstacles which then led to a set of recommendations for improvement in order to facilitate future cost information gathering and analysis. In summary, this historical account and evaluation of rocket propulsion test cost information will enhance understanding of the various kinds of project cost information; identify certain trends of interest to the aerospace testing community.

  6. Overview 1993: Chemical propulsion at CSTAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knuth, William H.

    1993-01-01

    Chemical Propulsion at CSTAR continues to expand its activities and areas of interest. Several new initiatives are being developed which are extensions of, or replacements for, earlier projects. One current focus is on reassessing promising engine cycles and the enabling technologies for implementing them. These engine cycles which include advanced hybrids, and staged combustion cycles have the use of oxygen as a working fluid and coolant in common. Oxygen is used as a turbine drive gas, tank pressurant and as a cooling medium for combustion devices. CSTAR has interest in the propellant feed systems for advanced rocket engines, including propellant conditioning and tank pressurization, gas generators, and turbomachinery. CSTAR's interests also include propellant injection into the main chamber. These aspects of rocket propulsion embody a diverse range of technical disciplines and technologies, critical to the pursuit of low cost space access. The chemical propulsion program at CSTAR includes active projects investigating hybrid rocket engine oxygen feed systems, hybrid rocket injectors, gas fed hybrid rocket combustion, elements of main injectors for staged combustion devices. CSTAR is actively seeking industrial partners interested in joint participation in one or more phases of the analyses, design, development and application of propulsion technologies and related technical disciplines.

  7. Materials Requirements for Advanced Propulsion Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitaker, Ann F.; Cook, Mary Beth; Clinton, R. G., Jr.

    2005-01-01

    NASA's mission to "reach the Moon and Mars" will be obtained only if research begins now to develop materials with expanded capabilities to reduce mass, cost and risk to the program. Current materials cannot function satisfactorily in the deep space environments and do not meet the requirements of long term space propulsion concepts for manned missions. Directed research is needed to better understand materials behavior for optimizing their processing. This research, generating a deeper understanding of material behavior, can lead to enhanced implementation of materials for future exploration vehicles. materials providing new approaches for manufacture and new options for In response to this need for more robust materials, NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) has established a strategic research initiative dedicated to materials development supporting NASA's space propulsion needs. The Advanced Materials for Exploration (AME) element directs basic and applied research to understand material behavior and develop improved materials allowing propulsion systems to operate beyond their current limitations. This paper will discuss the approach used to direct the path of strategic research for advanced materials to ensure that the research is indeed supportive of NASA's future missions to the moon, Mars, and beyond.

  8. Solar Sail Propulsion Technology at NASA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Charles Les

    2007-01-01

    NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Program developed the first generation of solar sail propulsion systems sufficient to accomplish inner solar system science and exploration missions. These first generation solar sails, when operational, will range in size from 40 meters to well over 100 meters in diameter and have an area density of less than 13 grams per square meter. A rigorous, multi-year technology development effort culminated in 2005 with the testing of two different 20-m solar sail systems under thermal vacuum conditions. This effort provided a number of significant insights into the optimal design and expected performance of solar sails as well as an understanding of the methods and costs of building and using them. In addition, solar sail orbital analysis tools for mission design were developed and tested. Laboratory simulations of the effects of long-term space radiation exposure were also conducted on two candidate solar sail materials. Detailed radiation and charging environments were defined for mission trajectories outside the protection of the earth's magnetosphere, in the solar wind environment. These were used in other analytical tools to prove the adequacy of sail design features for accommodating the harsh space environment. The presentation will describe the status of solar sail propulsion within NASA, near-term solar sail mission applications, and near-term plans for further development.

  9. Materials Requirements for Advanced Propulsion Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitaker, Ann F.; Cook, Mary Beth; Clinton, R. G., Jr.

    2005-01-01

    NASA's mission to "reach the Moon and Mars" will be obtained only if research begins now to develop materials with expanded capabilities to reduce mass, cost and risk to the program. Current materials cannot function satisfactorily in the deep space environments and do not meet the requirements of long term space propulsion concepts for manned missions. Directed research is needed to better understand materials behavior for optimizing their processing. This research, generating a deeper understanding of material behavior, can lead to enhanced implementation of materials for future exploration vehicles. materials providing new approaches for manufacture and new options for In response to this need for more robust materials, NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) has established a strategic research initiative dedicated to materials development supporting NASA's space propulsion needs. The Advanced Materials for Exploration (AME) element directs basic and applied research to understand material behavior and develop improved materials allowing propulsion systems to operate beyond their current limitations. This paper will discuss the approach used to direct the path of strategic research for advanced materials to ensure that the research is indeed supportive of NASA's future missions to the moon, Mars, and beyond.

  10. NASA Solar Sail Propulsion Technology Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Les; Montgomery, Edward E.; Young, Roy; Adams, Charles

    2007-01-01

    NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Program has developed the first generation of solar sail propulsion systems sufficient to accomplish inner solar system science and exploration missions. These first generation solar sails, when operational, will range in size from 40 meters to well over 100 meters in diameter and have an areal density of less than 13 grams per square meter. A rigorous, multi-year technology development effort culminated in 2005 with the testing of two different 20-m solar sail systems under thermal vacuum conditions. The first system, developed by ATK Space Systems of Goleta, California, uses rigid booms to deploy and stabilize the sail. In the second approach, L'Garde, Inc. of Tustin, California uses inflatable booms that rigidize in the coldness of space to accomplish sail deployment. This effort provided a number of significant insights into the optimal design and expected performance of solar sails as well as an understanding of the methods and costs of building and using them. In a separate effort, solar sail orbital analysis tools for mission design were developed and tested. Laboratory simulations of the effects of long-term space radiation exposure were also conducted on two candidate solar sail materials. Detailed radiation and charging environments were defined for mission trajectories outside the protection of the earth's magnetosphere, in the solar wind environment. These were used in other analytical tools to prove the adequacy of sail design features for accommodating the harsh space environment. Preceding and in conjunction with these technology efforts, NASA sponsored several mission application studies for solar sails. Potential missions include those that would be flown in the near term to study the sun and be used in space weather prediction to one that would use an evolved sail capability to support humanity's first mission into nearby interstellar space. This paper will describe the status of solar sail propulsion within

  11. Jet propulsion without inertia

    CERN Document Server

    Spagnolie, Saverio E

    2010-01-01

    A body immersed in a highly viscous fluid can locomote by drawing in and expelling fluid through pores at its surface. We consider this mechanism of jet propulsion without inertia in the case of spheroidal bodies, and derive both the swimming velocity and the hydrodynamic efficiency. Elementary examples are presented, and exact axisymmetric solutions for spherical, prolate spheroidal, and oblate spheroidal body shapes are provided. In each case, entirely and partially porous (i.e. jetting) surfaces are considered, and the optimal jetting flow profiles at the surface for maximizing the hydrodynamic efficiency are determined computationally. The maximal efficiency which may be achieved by a sphere using such jet propulsion is 12.5%, a significant improvement upon traditional flagella-based means of locomotion at zero Reynolds number. Unlike other swimming mechanisms which rely on the presentation of a small cross section in the direction of motion, the efficiency of a jetting body at low Reynolds number increas...

  12. Alternate Propulsion Energy Sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-12-01

    certainly worth further intensive study as a high risk/high payoff concept. 2. Solar Heated Plasmas - An approach to a solar thermal rocket that can obtain...metal and hydrogen gas. This is a near-term advanced propulsion concept suitable for the follow-on phase of the existing AFRPL solar thermal rocket program...will discuss various versions of the solar thermal rocket , where sunlight is collected and used to directly heat a working fluid. This solar heated

  13. Numerical Propulsion System Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naiman, Cynthia

    2006-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center, in partnership with the aerospace industry, other government agencies, and academia, is leading the effort to develop an advanced multidisciplinary analysis environment for aerospace propulsion systems called the Numerical Propulsion System Simulation (NPSS). NPSS is a framework for performing analysis of complex systems. The initial development of NPSS focused on the analysis and design of airbreathing aircraft engines, but the resulting NPSS framework may be applied to any system, for example: aerospace, rockets, hypersonics, power and propulsion, fuel cells, ground based power, and even human system modeling. NPSS provides increased flexibility for the user, which reduces the total development time and cost. It is currently being extended to support the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate Fundamental Aeronautics Program and the Advanced Virtual Engine Test Cell (AVETeC). NPSS focuses on the integration of multiple disciplines such as aerodynamics, structure, and heat transfer with numerical zooming on component codes. Zooming is the coupling of analyses at various levels of detail. NPSS development includes capabilities to facilitate collaborative engineering. The NPSS will provide improved tools to develop custom components and to use capability for zooming to higher fidelity codes, coupling to multidiscipline codes, transmitting secure data, and distributing simulations across different platforms. These powerful capabilities extend NPSS from a zero-dimensional simulation tool to a multi-fidelity, multidiscipline system-level simulation tool for the full development life cycle.

  14. Innovative Applications of DoD Propulsion Technology for Low-Cost Satellite Missions Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We are proposing to leverage the Missile Defense Agency investments in high-performance propulsion systems for low-cost space missions with large Dv requirements,...

  15. ADAPTIVE FAULT DETECTION ON LIQUID PROPULSION SYSTEMS WITH VIRTUAL SENSORS: ALGORITHMS AND ARCHITECTURES

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Prior to the launch of STS-119 NASA had completed a study of an issue in the flow control valve (FCV) in the Main Propulsion System of the Space Shuttle using an...

  16. Innovative Applications of DOD Propulsion Technology for Low-Cost Satellite Missions Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We are proposing to leverage the Missile Defense Agency investments in high-performance propulsion systems for low-cost space missions with large Dv requirements,...

  17. Direct Energy Conversion for Nuclear Propulsion at Low Specific Mass Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Low specific mass (< 3  kg/kW) in-space electric power and propulsion can drastically alter the paradigm for exploration of the Solar System, changing human...

  18. Propulsion engineering study for small-scale Mars missions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whitehead, J.

    1995-09-12

    Rocket propulsion options for small-scale Mars missions are presented and compared, particularly for the terminal landing maneuver and for sample return. Mars landing has a low propulsive {Delta}v requirement on a {approximately}1-minute time scale, but at a high acceleration. High thrust/weight liquid rocket technologies, or advanced pulse-capable solids, developed during the past decade for missile defense, are therefore more appropriate for small Mars landers than are conventional space propulsion technologies. The advanced liquid systems are characterize by compact lightweight thrusters having high chamber pressures and short lifetimes. Blowdown or regulated pressure-fed operation can satisfy the Mars landing requirement, but hardware mass can be reduced by using pumps. Aggressive terminal landing propulsion designs can enable post-landing hop maneuvers for some surface mobility. The Mars sample return mission requires a small high performance launcher having either solid motors or miniature pump-fed engines. Terminal propulsion for 100 kg Mars landers is within the realm of flight-proven thruster designs, but custom tankage is desirable. Landers on a 10 kg scale also are feasible, using technology that has been demonstrated but not previously flown in space. The number of sources and the selection of components are extremely limited on this smallest scale, so some customized hardware is required. A key characteristic of kilogram-scale propulsion is that gas jets are much lighter than liquid thrusters for reaction control. The mass and volume of tanks for inert gas can be eliminated by systems which generate gas as needed from a liquid or a solid, but these have virtually no space flight history. Mars return propulsion is a major engineering challenge; earth launch is the only previously-solved propulsion problem requiring similar or greater performance.

  19. Shuttle Propulsion Overview - The Design Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, James W.

    2011-01-01

    The major elements of the Space Shuttle Main Propulsion System include two reusable solid rocket motors integrated into recoverable solid rocket boosters, an expendable external fuel and oxidizer tank, and three reusable Space Shuttle Main Engines. Both the solid rocket motors and space shuttle main engines ignite prior to liftoff, with the solid rocket boosters separating about two minutes into flight. The external tank separates, about eight and a half minutes into the flight, after main engine shutdown and is safely expended in the ocean. The SSME's, integrated into the Space Shuttle Orbiter aft structure, are reused after post landing inspections. The configuration is called a stage and a half as all the propulsion elements are active during the boost phase, with only the SSME s continuing operation to achieve orbital velocity. Design and performance challenges were numerous, beginning with development work in the 1970's. The solid rocket motors were large, and this technology had never been used for human space flight. The SSME s were both reusable and very high performance staged combustion cycle engines, also unique to the Space Shuttle. The multi body side mount configuration was unique and posed numerous integration and interface challenges across the elements. Operation of the system was complex and time consuming. This paper describes the design challenges and key areas where the design evolved during the program.

  20. Solar Electric Propulsion Module Concept for the BIFROST Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohrschneider, R. R.; Olds, J. R.; Sakai, T.; Steffes, S.; Grillmayer, G.

    2002-01-01

    Humanity has dreamed of expanding their realm to include space, and other planetary bodies and to use space to improve our own planet. Space solar power is one methods of improving our own planet through the use of space. However, before this becomes practical the cost of access to space must be reduced drastically. Bifrost is one of many concepts designed to reduce the cost of access to space, and hence enable projects such as space solar power. The overall architecture consists of a magnetic-levitation launch track with one end elevated to approximately 20 kilometers. Logistics modules with attached propulsion modules and aerodynamic fairings are accelerated down the track at speeds varying according to the desired orbit. The propulsion module attached to each logistics module must then provide the velocity to achieve the desired final orbit. Bifrost is set up to launch a common hybrid logistics module size with a number of different propulsion modules suited for different in space applications. This paper concentrates on the low thrust propulsion module. After release from the magnetic-levitation track the propulsion module must be capable of circularizing the hybrid logistics module in geosynchronous orbit from geostationary transfer orbit.The initial transfer orbit would cause the spacecraft to re-enter on a subsequent periapsis pass if no velocity addition was provided by the propulsion module. This places a minimum thrust, and reliability constraint on the propulsion module. Volume constraints are imposed by the launch tube diameter and aerodynamic fairings on the vehicle. A solar electric propulsion system was chosen to provide thrust since the time of flight was not constrained, and the high specific impulse would allow a large payload to reach geosynchronous orbit. Several concepts exist for solar electric propulsion systems including the traditional rigid solar wings, thin film solar arrays, solar concentrators using lenses, and solar concentrators using

  1. The ubiquitous solar electric propulsion stage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, R. E.; Dod, R. E.; Terwilliger, C. H.

    1976-01-01

    Mission analyses indicate there are several near-term interplanetary missions that cannot be performed with any degree of sophistication without electric propulsion. Cost and performance benefits are suggested when this same technology is included in the Shuttle-based earth-orbital transportation system. Specific earth-orbital payload programs gain from increased weight allowances, decreased costs through simplification, and reduced numbers of spacecraft due to on-orbit servicing. More ambitious mission planners looking toward space industrialization will find uses ranging from GSO debris clearance to a versatile support element for a multipurpose manned space station.

  2. Nuclear Propulsion and Power Non-Nuclear Test Facility (NP2NTF): Preliminary Analysis and Feasibility Assessment Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Nuclear reactors, which power nuclear propulsion and power systems, and the nuclear radiation and residual radioactivity associated with these systems, impose...

  3. Future of Magnetohydrodynamic Ship Propulsion,

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-08-16

    83 FOREIGN TECHNOLOGY DIVISION FUTURE OF MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMIC SHIP PROPULSION by A.P. Baranov DTIQ ~E tJ Approved for public release; 0.. distribution...MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMIC SHIP PROPULSION By: A.P. Baranov -,English pages: 10 Source: Sudostroyeniye, Nr. 12, December 1966, pp. 3-6 . Country of origin: USSR X...equations, etc. merged into this translation were extracted from the best quality copy available. FUTURE OF MAGNETOHYDRODYNAMIC SHIP PROPULSION A. P

  4. The Chameleon Solid Rocket Propulsion Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Glen A.

    2010-01-01

    The Khoury and Weltman (2004a and 2004b) Chameleon Model presents an addition to the gravitation force and was shown by the author (Robertson, 2009a and 2009b) to present a new means by which one can view other forces in the Universe. The Chameleon Model is basically a density-dependent model and while the idea is not new, this model is novel in that densities in the Universe to include the vacuum of space are viewed as scalar fields. Such an analogy gives the Chameleon scalar field, dark energy/dark matter like characteristics; fitting well within cosmological expansion theories. In respect to this forum, in this paper, it is shown how the Chameleon Model can be used to derive the thrust of a solid rocket motor. This presents a first step toward the development of new propulsion models using density variations verse mass ejection as the mechanism for thrust. Further, through the Chameleon Model connection, these new propulsion models can be tied to dark energy/dark matter toward new space propulsion systems utilizing the vacuum scalar field in a way understandable by engineers, the key toward the development of such systems. This paper provides corrections to the Chameleon rocket model in Robertson (2009b).

  5. An Advanced Light Weight Recuperator for Space Power Systems Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) technology holds great promise for power and propulsion demands of NASA current and future deep space explorations. Closed Brayton...

  6. Electric Propulsion Research Building (EPRB)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Electric Propulsion Research Building (EPRB) capability centers on its suite of vacuum chambers, which are configured to meet the unique requirements related to...

  7. A new marine propulsion system

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HAN Wei-shi; LIU Tao

    2003-01-01

    A new marine propulsion system is proposed . A small liquid sodium cooled reactor acts as prime mover; alkali-metal thermal-to-electric conversion (AMTEC) cells are employed to convert the heat energy to electricity; superconducting magneto-hydrodynamic thruster combined with spray-water thruster works as propulsion. The configuration and characteristics of this system are described. Such a nuclear-powered propulsion system is not only free of noise, but also has high reliability and efficiency. It would be a preferable propulsion system for ships in the future.

  8. Resource Prospector Propulsion System Cold Flow Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Hunter; Holt, Kim; Addona, Brad; Trinh, Huu

    2015-01-01

    Resource Prospector (RP) is a NASA mission being led by NASA Ames Research Center with current plans to deliver a scientific payload package aboard a rover to the lunar surface. As part of an early risk reduction activity, Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and Johnson Space Flight Center (JSC) have jointly developed a government-version concept of a lunar lander for the mission. The spacecraft consists of two parts, the lander and the rover which carries the scientific instruments. The lander holds the rover during launch, cruise, and landing on the surface. Following terminal descent and landing the lander portion of the spacecraft become dormant after the rover embarks on the science mission. The lander will be equipped with a propulsion system for lunar descent and landing, as well as trajectory correction and attitude control maneuvers during transit to the moon. Hypergolic propellants monomethyl hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide will be used to fuel sixteen 70-lbf descent thrusters and twelve 5-lbf attitude control thrusters. A total of four metal-diaphragm tanks, two per propellant, will be used along with a high-pressure composite-overwrapped pressure vessel for the helium pressurant gas. Many of the major propulsion system components are heritage missile hardware obtained by NASA from the Air Force. In parallel with the flight system design activities, a simulated propulsion system based on flight drawings was built for conducting a series of water flow tests to characterize the transient fluid flow of the propulsion system feed lines and to verify the critical operation modes such as system priming, waterhammer, and crucial mission duty cycles. The primary objective of the cold flow testing was to simulate the RP propulsion system fluid flow operation through water flow testing and to obtain data for anchoring analytical models. The models will be used to predict the transient and steady state flow behaviors in the actual flight operations. All design and

  9. Nuclear power propulsion system for spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koroteev, A. S.; Oshev, Yu. A.; Popov, S. A.; Karevsky, A. V.; Solodukhin, A. Ye.; Zakharenkov, L. E.; Semenkin, A. V.

    2015-12-01

    The proposed designs of high-power space tugs that utilize solar or nuclear energy to power an electric jet engine are reviewed. The conceptual design of a nuclear power propulsion system (NPPS) is described; its structural diagram, gas circuit, and electric diagram are discussed. The NPPS incorporates a nuclear reactor, a thermal-to-electric energy conversion system, a system for the conversion and distribution of electric energy, and an electric propulsion system. Two criterion parameters were chosen in the considered NPPS design: the temperature of gaseous working medium at the nuclear reactor outlet and the rotor speed of turboalternators. The maintenance of these parameters at a given level guarantees that the needed electric voltage is generated and allows for power mode control. The processes of startup/shutdown and increasing/reducing the power, the principles of distribution of electric energy over loads, and the probable emergencies for the proposed NPPS design are discussed.

  10. Nuclear propulsion technology development - A joint NASA/Department of Energy project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, John S.

    1992-01-01

    NASA-Lewis has undertaken the conceptual development of spacecraft nuclear propulsion systems with DOE support, in order to establish the bases for Space Exploration Initiative lunar and Mars missions. This conceptual evolution project encompasses nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) and nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) systems. A technology base exists for NTP in the NERVA program files; more fundamental development efforts are entailed in the case of NEP, but this option is noted to offer greater advantages in the long term.

  11. Nuclear propulsion technology development - A joint NASA/Department of Energy project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, John S.

    1992-01-01

    NASA-Lewis has undertaken the conceptual development of spacecraft nuclear propulsion systems with DOE support, in order to establish the bases for Space Exploration Initiative lunar and Mars missions. This conceptual evolution project encompasses nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) and nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) systems. A technology base exists for NTP in the NERVA program files; more fundamental development efforts are entailed in the case of NEP, but this option is noted to offer greater advantages in the long term.

  12. Additive Manufacturing of Aerospace Propulsion Components

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misra, Ajay K.; Grady, Joseph E.; Carter, Robert

    2015-01-01

    The presentation will provide an overview of ongoing activities on additive manufacturing of aerospace propulsion components, which included rocket propulsion and gas turbine engines. Future opportunities on additive manufacturing of hybrid electric propulsion components will be discussed.

  13. Propulsion in the Chameleon Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Glen A.

    2008-01-01

    The Chameleon model-thin-shell mechanism-proposed by Khoury and Weltman presents a likeness to a stationary warp bubble about masses of significant size and interest to space propulsion. A difference being that the thin-shell mechanism masks the mass of an object from an external Chameleon field comparable to the gravitational field in warp-drive theory. However, the thin-shell mechanism couples to the gravitational field by causing small perturbations limited to an object's effective range, which in essence could act like a warp-bubble under some ``yet to be defined'' conditions where the coupling is made stronger. In this paper, the thin-shell mechanism is discussed and shown to be the underlying physics behind rocket propulsion through the concept of localized oscillating dark matter comprising an increase in the thin-shell localized to a region on one side of an object. This is accomplished by drawing a connection between the localized oscillation of dark matter in this thin-shell region and the rocket equations. As such, it appears that a new physics effect is applied to normal matter; indicating that the results should have been observed decades ago. We argue that the Chameleon Model's thin-shell mechanism is a dark matter/energy field, which has always been in all momentum systems at or above the atomic scale where the mass has some physical significance in respect to the Chameleon model. Therefore, its physical (momentum) effects have already been observed. Further, since the analysis indicates that any motion of an object implies a change to the distribution of dark matter about an object, one can speculate that ``inertia is the change in the dark energy distribution about a mass.'' This being the case, the Chameleon dark matter/energy field about a mass has effects in many aspects of physics, but the laws have not (yet) been formulated to take advantage of the vacuum field aspects, which may provide the connection needed to extend modern rocketry to

  14. Fifth International Symposium on Liquid Space Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia, R. (Compiler)

    2005-01-01

    Contents include the fiollowing: Theme: Life-life Combustion Devices Technology. Technical Sessions: International Perspectives. System Level Effects. Component Level Processes. Material Considerations. Design Environments -- Predictions. Injector Design Technology. Design Environments -- Measurements. Panel Discussion: Views on future research and development needs and Symposium observations. Aquarium Welcome and Southern Belle Riverboat Recognition Banquet evening events.

  15. Reciprocating Pump Systems for Space Propulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whitehead, J C

    2004-06-10

    Small propellant pumps can reduce rocket hardware mass, while increasing chamber pressure to improve specific impulse. The maneuvering requirements for planetary ascent require an emphasis on mass, while those of orbiting spacecraft indicate that I{sub SP} should be prioritized during pump system development. Experimental efforts include initial testing with prototype lightweight components while raising pump efficiency to improve system I{sub SP}.

  16. Novel Energetic Materials for Space Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-30

    scales  (compared  to  pure  quantum  mechanics  (QM)  calculations),  molecular  dynamics  (MD)  simulations  were  undertaken  with  a  reactive...T.,  Krier,  H.,  Glumac,  N.,  Shankar   N.,  Wang  X.,  Jackson,  T.L.,  “Decomposition  of  Aluminum Hydride Under Solid Rocket Motor Conditions,” J...110 81. Bazyn, T., Eyer, R., Krier, H., Glumac, N.,  Shankar , N., Wang, X., Jackson, T. L., “Decomposition of  Aluminum Hydride under Solid Rocket

  17. Gaseous plume flows in space propulsion

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wang Limei; Cai Chunpei

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents a gaskinetic study on high-speed,highly rarefied jets expanding into a vacuum from a cluster of planar or annular exits.Based on the corresponding exact expressions for a planar or annular jet,it is convenient to derive the combined multiple jet flowfield solutions of density and velocity components.For the combined temperature and pressure solutions,extra attention is needed.Several direct simulation Monte Carlo simulation results are provided to validate these analytical solutions.The analytical and numerical solutions are essentially identical for these high Knudsen number jet flows.

  18. Space Nuclear Propulsion Systems and Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwenk, F. C.

    1972-01-01

    The basic principles of the operation of a nuclear rocket engine are reviewed along with a summary of the early history. In addition, the technology status in the nuclear rocket program for development of the flight-rated NERVA engine is described, and applications for this 75,000-pound thrust engine and the results of nuclear stage studies are presented. Advanced research and supporting technology activities in the nuclear rocket program are also summarized.

  19. Review Of Laser Lightcraft Propulsion System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Eric W.; Mead, Franklin B.

    2008-04-01

    Laser-powered "Lightcraft" systems that deliver nano-satellites to LEO have been studied for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The study was built on the extensive Lightcraft laser propulsion technology already developed by theoretical and experimental work by the AFRL's Propulsion Directorate at Edwards AFB, CA. Here we review the history and engineering-physics of the laser Lightcraft system and its propulsive performance. We will also review the effectiveness and cost of a Lightcraft vehicle powered by a high-energy laser beam. One result of this study is the significant influence of laser wavelength on the power lost during laser beam propagation through Earth's atmosphere and in space. It was discovered that energy and power losses in the laser beam are extremely sensitive to wavelength for Earth-To-Orbit missions, and this significantly affects the amount of mass that can be placed into orbit for a given maximum amount of radiated power from a ground-based laser.

  20. Magnetic Nozzle Simulation Studies for Electric Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarditi, Alfonso

    2010-11-01

    Electric Propulsion has recently re-gained interest as one of the key technologies to enable NASA's long-range space missions. Options are being considered also in the field of aneutronic fusion propulsion for high-power electric thrusters. To support these goals the study of the exhaust jet in a plasma thruster acquires a critical importance because the need of high-efficiency generation of thrust. A model of the plasma exhaust has been developed with the 3D magneto-fluid NIMROD code [1] to study the physics of the plasma detachment in correlation with experimentally relevant configurations. The simulations show the role of the plasma diamagnetism and of the magnetic reconnection process in the formation of a detached plasma. Furthermore, in direct fusion-propulsion concepts high-energy (MeV range) fusion products have to be efficiently converted into a slower and denser plasma jet (with specific impulse down to few 1000's seconds, for realistic missions in the Solar System). For this purpose, a two-stage conversion process is being modeled where high-energy ions are non-adiabatically injected and confined into a magnetic duct leading to the magnetic nozzle, transferring most of their energy into their gyro-motion and drifting at slower speed along with the plasma propellant. The propellant acquires then thermal energy that gets converted into the direction of thrust by the magnetic nozzle. [1] C. R. Sovinec et al., J. Comput. Phys. 195, 355 (2004).

  1. The future of cryogenic propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palerm, S.; Bonhomme, C.; Guelou, Y.; Chopinet, J. N.; Danous, P.

    2015-07-01

    As the French Space Agency, CNES is funding an ambitious program to identify, develop and evaluate the technologies and skills that will enable to design cost efficient future launchers. This program deals together with, researches for mastering complex physical phenomena, set ups of robust and efficient numerical tools for design and justification, and identification of innovative manufacturing processes and hardware. It starts from low Technical Readiness Level (TRL 2) up to a maturation of TRL 6 with the use of demonstrators, level that allows to be ready for a development. This paper focuses on cryogenic propulsion activities conducted with SNECMA and French laboratories to prepare next generation engines. The physics in that type of hardware addresses a large range of highly complex phenomena, among them subcritical and supercritical combustion and possible associated High Frequency oscillations in combustion devices, tribology in bearings and seals, cavitation and rotordynamics in turbopump. The research activities conducted to master those physical phenomena are presented. Moreover, the operating conditions of these engines are very challenging, both thermally and mechanically. The innovative manufacturing processes and designs developed to cope with these conditions while filling cost reduction requirements are described. Finally, the associated demonstrators put in place to prepare the implementation of these new technologies on future engines are presented.

  2. Hybrid rocket propulsion systems for outer planet exploration missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jens, Elizabeth T.; Cantwell, Brian J.; Hubbard, G. Scott

    2016-11-01

    Outer planet exploration missions require significant propulsive capability, particularly to achieve orbit insertion. Missions to explore the moons of outer planets place even more demanding requirements on propulsion systems, since they involve multiple large ΔV maneuvers. Hybrid rockets present a favorable alternative to conventional propulsion systems for many of these missions. They typically enjoy higher specific impulse than solids, can be throttled, stopped/restarted, and have more flexibility in their packaging configuration. Hybrids are more compact and easier to throttle than liquids and have similar performance levels. In order to investigate the suitability of these propulsion systems for exploration missions, this paper presents novel hybrid motor designs for two interplanetary missions. Hybrid propulsion systems for missions to Europa and Uranus are presented and compared to conventional in-space propulsion systems. The hybrid motor design for each of these missions is optimized across a range of parameters, including propellant selection, O/F ratio, nozzle area ratio, and chamber pressure. Details of the design process are described in order to provide guidance for researchers wishing to evaluate hybrid rocket motor designs for other missions and applications.

  3. The effects of chemical propulsion on the environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, R. R.; Hinshaw, J. C.; Barnes, M. W.

    This paper seeks to quantify the effects of chemical propulsion exhaust on both the local launch site and the global environments. Four major areas of concern are discussed: the stratospheric ozone, acid rain, toxicity, and the greenhouse effect. The environmental impacts of both solid and liquid rocket propulsion systems are evaluated. The exhaust species and launch profile of the Space Shuttle, which injects the greatest mass of exhaust products into the atmosphere of any current system, are discussed in some detail. Model calculations predict a global stratospheric ozone reduction of about 0.01% due to chemical propulsion. Acid rain due to the HCl in solid rocket exhaust has a small measurable impact on the local environment, with the mortalities of some plants and small fish very near (<2500 ft) the launch site having been documented. Based on history, the handling of potentially toxic species from the use of chemical propulsion systems is manageable. The relative contribution of chemical propulsion to the global CO 2 burden, the increase of which may lead to global warming, is insignificant. It appears that the perturbation to the natural environment caused by chemical propulsion exhaust is very small and manageable, even for the most optimistic projections of future launch rates.

  4. Pulsed plasmoid electric propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourque, Robert F.; Parks, Paul B.; Tamano, Teruo

    1990-01-01

    A method of electric propulsion is explored where plasmoids such as spheromaks and field reversed configurations (FRC) are formed and then allowed to expand down a diverging conducting shell. The plasmoids contain a toroidal electric current that provides both heating and a confining magnetic field. They are free to translate because there are no externally supplied magnetic fields that would restrict motion. Image currents in the diverging conducting shell keep the plasmoids from contacting the wall. Because these currents translate relative to the wall, losses due to magnetic flux diffusion into the wall are minimized. During the expansion of the plasma in the diverging cone, both the inductive and thermal plasma energy are converted to directed kinetic energy producing thrust. Specific impulses can be in the 4000 to 20000 sec range with thrusts from 0.1 to 1000 Newtons, depending on available power.

  5. Propulsion controlled aircraft research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fullerton, C. Gordon

    1993-01-01

    The NASA Dryden Flight Research Facility has been conducting flight, ground simulator, and analytical studies to investigate the use of thrust modulation on multi-engine aircraft for emergency flight control. Two general methods of engine only control have been studied; manual manipulation of the throttles by the pilot, and augmented control where a computer commands thrust levels in response to pilot attitude inputs and aircraft motion feedbacks. This latter method is referred to as the Propulsion Controlled Aircraft (PCA) System. A wide variety of aircraft have been investigated. Simulation studies have included the B720, F-15, B727, B747 and MD-11. A look at manual control has been done in actual flight on the F15, T-38, B747, Lear 25, T-39, MD-11 and PA-30 Aircraft. The only inflight trial of the augmented (PCA) concept has been on an F15, the results of which will be presented below.

  6. Magnetohydrodynamic Augmented Propulsion Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litchford, Ron J.

    2008-01-01

    Over the past several years, efforts have been under way to design and develop an operationally flexible research facility for investigating the use of cross-field MHD accelerators as a potential thrust augmentation device for thermal propulsion systems. The baseline configuration for this high-power experimental facility utilizes a 1.5-MWe multi-gas arc-heater as a thermal driver for a 2-MWe MHD accelerator, which resides in a large-bore 2-tesla electromagnet. A preliminary design study using NaK seeded nitrogen as the working fluid led to an externally diagonalized segmented MHD channel configuration based on an expendable heat-sink design concept. The current status report includes a review of engineering/design work and performance optimization analyses and summarizes component hardware fabrication and development efforts, preliminary testing results, and recent progress toward full-up assembly and testing

  7. Anatomy of Nanoscale Propulsion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yadav, Vinita; Duan, Wentao; Butler, Peter J; Sen, Ayusman

    2015-01-01

    Nature supports multifaceted forms of life. Despite the variety and complexity of these forms, motility remains the epicenter of life. The applicable laws of physics change upon going from macroscales to microscales and nanoscales, which are characterized by low Reynolds number (Re). We discuss motion at low Re in natural and synthetic systems, along with various propulsion mechanisms, including electrophoresis, electrolyte diffusiophoresis, and nonelectrolyte diffusiophoresis. We also describe the newly uncovered phenomena of motility in non-ATP-driven self-powered enzymes and the directional movement of these enzymes in response to substrate gradients. These enzymes can also be immobilized to function as fluid pumps in response to the presence of their substrates. Finally, we review emergent collective behavior arising from interacting motile species, and we discuss the possible biomedical applications of the synthetic nanobots and microbots.

  8. Integrated Main Propulsion System Performance Reconstruction Process/Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopez, Eduardo; Elliott, Katie; Snell, Steven; Evans, Michael

    2013-01-01

    The Integrated Main Propulsion System (MPS) Performance Reconstruction process provides the MPS post-flight data files needed for postflight reporting to the project integration management and key customers to verify flight performance. This process/model was used as the baseline for the currently ongoing Space Launch System (SLS) work. The process utilizes several methodologies, including multiple software programs, to model integrated propulsion system performance through space shuttle ascent. It is used to evaluate integrated propulsion systems, including propellant tanks, feed systems, rocket engine, and pressurization systems performance throughout ascent based on flight pressure and temperature data. The latest revision incorporates new methods based on main engine power balance model updates to model higher mixture ratio operation at lower engine power levels.

  9. SERAPHIM: A propulsion technology for fast trains

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kelly, B.; Turman, B.; Marder, B.; Rohwein, G.; Aeschliman, D.; Cowan, B.

    1995-06-01

    The Segmented Rail Phased Induction Motor (SERAPHIM) is a compact, pulsed linear induction motor (LIM) offering a unique capability for very high speed train propulsion. It uses technology developed for the Sandia coilgun, an electromagnetic launcher designed to accelerate projectiles to several kilometers per second. Both aluminum cylinders and plates were accelerated to a kilometer per second (Mach 3) by passing through a sequence of coils which were energized at the appropriate time. Although this technology was developed for ultra-high velocity, it can be readily adapted to train propulsion for which, at sea level, the power required to overcome air resistance limits the operational speed to a more modest 300 mph. Here, the geometry is reversed. The coils are on the vehicle and the ``projectiles`` are fixed along the roadbed. SERAPHIM operates not by embedding flux in a conductor, but by excluding it. In this propulsion scheme, pairs of closely spaced coils on the vehicle straddle a segmented aluminum reaction rail. A high frequency current is switched on as a coil pair crosses an edge and remains off as they overtake the next segment. This induces surface currents which repel the coil. In essence, the pulsed coils push off segment edges because at the high frequency of operation, the flux has insufficient time to penetrate. In contrast to conventional LIMs, the performance actually improves with velocity, even for a minimal motor consisting of a single coil pair reacting with a single plate. This paper will present results of proof-of-principle tests, electromagnetic computer simulations, and systems analysis. It is concluded that this new linear induction motor can be implemented using existing technology and is a promising alternative propulsion method for very high speed rail transportation.

  10. Propulsion Physics Using the Chameleon Density Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Glen A.

    2011-01-01

    To grow as a space faring race, future spaceflight systems will require a new theory of propulsion. Specifically one that does not require mass ejection without limiting the high thrust necessary to accelerate within or beyond our solar system and return within a normal work period or lifetime. The Chameleon Density Model (CDM) is one such model that could provide new paths in propulsion toward this end. The CDM is based on Chameleon Cosmology a dark matter theory; introduced by Khrouy and Weltman in 2004. Chameleon as it is hidden within known physics, where the Chameleon field represents a scalar field within and about an object; even in the vacuum. The CDM relates to density changes in the Chameleon field, where the density changes are related to matter accelerations within and about an object. These density changes in turn change how an object couples to its environment. Whereby, thrust is achieved by causing a differential in the environmental coupling about an object. As a demonstration to show that the CDM fits within known propulsion physics, this paper uses the model to estimate the thrust from a solid rocket motor. Under the CDM, a solid rocket constitutes a two body system, i.e., the changing density of the rocket and the changing density in the nozzle arising from the accelerated mass. Whereby, the interactions between these systems cause a differential coupling to the local gravity environment of the earth. It is shown that the resulting differential in coupling produces a calculated value for the thrust near equivalent to the conventional thrust model used in Sutton and Ross, Rocket Propulsion Elements. Even though imbedded in the equations are the Universe energy scale factor, the reduced Planck mass and the Planck length, which relates the large Universe scale to the subatomic scale.

  11. Polymer Matrix Composites for Propulsion Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nettles, Alan T.

    2003-01-01

    The Access-to-Space study identified the requirement for lightweight structures to achieve orbit with a single-stage vehicle. Thus a task was undertaken to examine the use of polymer matrix composites for propulsion components. It was determined that the effort of this task would be to extend previous efforts with polymer matrix composite feedlines and demonstrate the feasibility of manufacturing large diameter feedlines with a complex shape and integral flanges, (i.e. all one piece with a 90 deg bend), and assess their performance under a cryogenic atmosphere.

  12. MSFC Nuclear Propulsion Materials Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, J. R.; Cook, B.

    2004-01-01

    Nuclear propulsion systems for spacecraft applications present numerous technical challenges for propulsion systems. They have been the focus of a recent NRA. Challenges inclue: a nuclear reactor subsystem to produce thermal energy; a power conversion subsystem to convert the thermal energy into electrical energy; a propulsion subsystem that utilizes Hall effect thrusters; thruster technologies and high temperature materials to support subsystems. The MSFC Electrostatic Levitation (ESL) Facility provides an ideal platform for the study of high temperature and reactive materials. An overview of the facility and its capabilities will be presented.

  13. The Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houts, Michael G.; Kim, Tony; Emrich, William J.; Hickman, Robert R.; Broadway, Jeramie W.; Gerrish, Harold P.; Belvin, Anthony D.; Borowski, Stanley K.; Scott, John H.

    2014-01-01

    Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) development efforts in the United States have demonstrated the technical viability and performance potential of NTP systems. For example, Project Rover (1955 - 1973) completed 22 high power rocket reactor tests. Peak performances included operating at an average hydrogen exhaust temperature of 2550 K and a peak fuel power density of 5200 MW/m3 (Pewee test), operating at a thrust of 930 kN (Phoebus-2A test), and operating for 62.7 minutes in a single burn (NRX-A6 test). Results from Project Rover indicated that an NTP system with a high thrust-to-weight ratio and a specific impulse greater than 900 s would be feasible. Excellent results were also obtained by the former Soviet Union. Although historical programs had promising results, many factors would affect the development of a 21st century nuclear thermal rocket (NTR). Test facilities built in the US during Project Rover no longer exist. However, advances in analytical techniques, the ability to utilize or adapt existing facilities and infrastructure, and the ability to develop a limited number of new test facilities may enable affordable development, qualification, and utilization of a Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (NCPS). Bead-loaded graphite fuel was utilized throughout the Rover/NERVA program, and coated graphite composite fuel (tested in the Nuclear Furnace) and cermet fuel both show potential for even higher performance than that demonstrated in the Rover/NERVA engine tests.. NASA's NCPS project was initiated in October, 2011, with the goal of assessing the affordability and viability of an NCPS. FY 2014 activities are focused on fabrication and test (non-nuclear) of both coated graphite composite fuel elements and cermet fuel elements. Additional activities include developing a pre-conceptual design of the NCPS stage and evaluating affordable strategies for NCPS development, qualification, and utilization. NCPS stage designs are focused on supporting human Mars

  14. Micro-propulsion and micro-combustion; Micropropulsion microcombustion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ribaud, Y.; Dessornes, O.

    2002-10-01

    The AAAF (french space and aeronautic association) organized at Paris a presentation on the micro-propulsion. The first part was devoted to the thermal micro-machines for micro drones, the second part to the micro-combustion applied to micro-turbines. (A.L.B.)

  15. Propulsion Systems Laboratory, Bldg. 125

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Propulsion Systems Laboratory (PSL) is NASAs only ground test facility capable of providing true altitude and flight speed simulation for testing full scale gas...

  16. Nuclear Thermal Rocket Propulsion Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-02

    NUCLEAR THERMAL ROCKET PROPULSION SYSTEMS, IAA WHITE PAPER PARIS, FRANCE, MARCH 2005 Lt Col Timothy J. Lawrence U.S. Air Force Academy...YYYY) 18-03-2005 2. REPORT TYPE White Paper 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 18 Mar 2005 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE NUCLEAR THERMAL ROCKET PROPULSION...reduce radiation exposure, is to have a high energy system like a nuclear thermal rocket that can get the payload to the destination in the fastest

  17. Laser Diagnostics for Spacecraft Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-10-13

    AFTC/PA Clearance No. XXXX 8 Ion Engines & Hall Thrusters Operation Ion engines and Hall thrusters are electrostatic propulsion devices • Ion Engines... Hall thrusters are gridless electrostatic thrusters – Propellant ionized by electrons trapped in magnetic field – Ions accelerated by an electric field...Briefing Charts 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 21 September 2015 – 13 October 2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Laser Diagnostics for Spacecraft Propulsion 5a

  18. Ares I First Stage Propulsion System Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Priskos, Alex S.

    2010-01-01

    With the retirement of the Space Shuttle inevitable, the US is faced with the need to loft a reliable cost-effective, technologically viable solution to bring the nation s fleet of spacecraft back up to industry standard. It must not only support the International Space Station (ISS), it must also be capable of supporting human exploration beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). NASA created the Constellation Program to develop a new fleet including the launch vehicles, the spacecraft, and the mission architecture to meet those objectives. The Ares First Stage Team is tasked with developing a propulsion system capable of safely, dependably and repeatedly lofting that new fleet. To minimize technical risks and development costs, the Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs) of Shuttle were used as a starting point in the design and production of a new first stage element. While the first stage will provide the foundation, the structural backbone, power, and control for launch, the new propulsive element will also provide a greater total impulse to loft a safer, more powerful, fleet of space flight vehicles. Substantial design and system upgrades were required to meet the mass and trajectory requisites of the new fleet. Noteworthy innovations and design features include new forward structures, new propellant grain geometry, a new internal insulation system, and a state-of-the art avionics system. Additional advances were in materials and composite structures development, case bond liners, and thermal protection systems. Significant progress has been made in the design, development and testing of the propulsion and avionics systems for the new first stage element. Challenges, such as those anticipated with thrust oscillation, have been better characterized, and are being effectively mitigated. The test firing of the first development motor (DM-1) was a success that validated much of the engineering development to date. Substantive data has been collected and analyzed, allowing the Ares

  19. Comprehensive Technical Report, General Electric Direct-Air-Cycle Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program; Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Application Studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Comassar, S.

    1962-04-30

    This volume is one of twenty-one summarizing the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program of the General Electric Company. This portion describes the studies of advanced applications of nuclear reactors that were performed, including various types of aircraft, missiles, space vehicles, ships, and portable power plants.

  20. Comprehensive Technical Report, General Electric Direct-Air-Cycle Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program; Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Application Studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Comassar, S.

    1962-04-30

    This volume is one of twenty-one summarizing the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program of the General Electric Company. This portion describes the studies of advanced applications of nuclear reactors that were performed, including various types of aircraft, missiles, space vehicles, ships, and portable power plants.

  1. General Purpose Data-Driven System Monitoring for Space Operations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Modern space propulsion and exploration system designs are becoming increasingly sophisticated and complex. Determining the health state of these systems using...

  2. The Effects of Radiation and Thermal Stability of Sm-Co High Temperature Magnets For High Power Ion Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Since high temperature Sm-Co based magnets were developed, a number of new applications have been introduced. NASA?s Xe+ ion propulsion engine used in Deep Space I...

  3. The Design and Integration of a Distributed Fan Propulsion System within a Split-Wing Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A baseline propulsion system has been designed as a starting point in a previous SBIR effort for this project which consists of two turboshaft engines, a generator...

  4. Magnesium Diboride Superconducting Coils for Electric Propulsion Systems for Large Aircraft Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — For electric propulsion systems for large aircraft it is desirable to have very light weight electric motors. Cryogenic motors offer much lighter weight than...

  5. Fabrication and Testing of Nuclear-Thermal Propulsion Ground Test Hardware Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Efficient nuclear-thermal propulsion requires heating a low molecular weight gas, typically hydrogen, to high temperature and expelling it through a nozzle. The...

  6. Low-Cost and High-Performance Propulsion for Small Satellite Applications Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — While small satellites continue to show immense promise for high-capability and low-cost missions, they remain limited by post-deployment propulsion for a variety of...

  7. An Integrated Heavy Fuel Piston Engine Ducted Fan Propulsion Unit for Personal Air Vehicles Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The proposed PAVE propulsion system technology demonstration combines an innovative high-speed aero-diesel engine with a novel ducted fan assembly resulting in a low...

  8. Improved CVD Coatings for Carbide Based Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Fuel Elements Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — One of the great hurdles to further development and evaluation of nuclear thermal propulsion systems is the issue surrounding the release of radioactive material...

  9. An Integrated Heavy Fuel Piston Engine Ducted Fan Propulsion Unit for Personal Air Vehicles Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The proposed PAVE propulsion system technology demonstration combines an innovative high-speed aero-diesel engine with a novel ducted fan assembly resulting in a...

  10. Lightweight High Temperature Non-Eroding Throat Materials for Propulsion Systems Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The innovation in this proposed effort is the development of lightweight, non-eroding nozzle materials for use in propulsion systems. Lightweight structures are...

  11. Addressing the Real-World Challenges in the Development of Propulsion IVHM Technology Experiment (PITEX)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Propulsion IVHM Technology Experiment (PITEX) has been an on-going research effort conducted over several years. PITEX has developed and applied a model-based...

  12. PowerCube: Integrated Power, Propulsion, and Pointing for CubeSats Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Tethers Unlimited, Inc. proposes to develop the PowerCube, an integrated power, propulsion, and pointing solution for CubeSats. The PowerCube combines three...

  13. Effect of Ambipolar Potential on the Propulsive Performance of the GDM Plasma Thruster Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Gasdynamic Mirror (GDM) thruster is an electric propulsion device, without electrodes, that will magnetically confine a plasma with such density and temperature...

  14. Turbulent Scalar Transport Model Validation for High Speed Propulsive Flows Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This effort entails the validation of a RANS turbulent scalar transport model (SFM) for high speed propulsive flows, using new experimental data sets and...

  15. Self-Healing Field-Emission Neutralizers for Electric Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Electric propulsion (EP) thrusters have the potential to enhance or enable Discovery-class missions. However, a significant challenge in scaling micro (< 100 W)...

  16. Investigative Research, FMECA and PHM Modeling of Hybrid-Electric Distributed Propulsion System Architectures Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Hybrid-Electric distributed propulsion (HEDP) is becoming widely accepted and new tools will be required for future development with validation and demonstrations...

  17. Integrated Reconfigurable Aero and Propulsion Control for Improved Flight Safety of Commercial Aircraft Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The main objective of this project is to develop and test a novel innovative Integrated Reconfigurable Aero & Propulsion Control (IRAP) system that achieves...

  18. A Smoothed Eclipse Model for Solar Electric Propulsion Trajectory Optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aziz, Jonathan; Scheeres, Daniel; Parker, Jeffrey; Englander, Jacob

    2017-01-01

    Solar electric propulsion (SEP) is the dominant design option for employing low-thrust propulsion on a space mission. Spacecraft solar arrays power the SEP system but are subject to blackout periods during solar eclipse conditions. Discontinuity in power available to the spacecraft must be accounted for in trajectory optimization, but gradient-based methods require a differentiable power model. This work presents a power model that smooths the eclipse transition from total eclipse to total sunlight with a logistic function. Example trajectories are computed with differential dynamic programming, a second-order gradient-based method.

  19. Nuclear electric propulsion mission engineering study. Volume 1: Executive summary

    Science.gov (United States)

    1973-01-01

    Results of a mission engineering analysis of nuclear-thermionic electric propulsion spacecraft for unmanned interplanetary and geocentric missions are summarized. Critical technologies associated with the development of nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) are assessed. Outer planet and comet rendezvous mission analysis, NEP stage design for geocentric and interplanetary missions, NEP system development cost and unit costs, and technology requirements for NEP stage development are studied. The NEP stage design provides both inherent reliability and high payload mass capability. The NEP stage and payload integration was found to be compatible with the space shuttle.

  20. Deployable Propulsion, Power and Communications Systems for Solar System Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, L.; Carr, J.; Boyd, D.

    2017-01-01

    NASA is developing thin-film based, deployable propulsion, power, and communication systems for small spacecraft that could provide a revolutionary new capability allowing small spacecraft exploration of the solar system. By leveraging recent advancements in thin films, photovoltaics, and miniaturized electronics, new mission-level capabilities will be enabled aboard lower-cost small spacecraft instead of their more expensive, traditional counterparts, enabling a new generation of frequent, inexpensive deep space missions. Specifically, thin-film technologies are allowing the development and use of solar sails for propulsion, small, lightweight photovoltaics for power, and omnidirectional antennas for communication.

  1. Electric Propulsion Induced Secondary Mass Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amini, Rashied; Landis, Geoffrey

    2012-01-01

    A document highlights a means to complement remote spectroscopy while also providing in situ surface samples without a landed system. Historically, most compositional analysis of small body surfaces has been done remotely by analyzing reflection or nuclear spectra. However, neither provides direct measurement that can unambiguously constrain the global surface composition and most importantly, the nature of trace composition and second-phase impurities. Recently, missions such as Deep Space 1 and Dawn have utilized electric propulsion (EP) accelerated, high-energy collimated beam of Xe+ ions to propel deep space missions to their target bodies. The energies of the Xe+ are sufficient to cause sputtering interactions, which eject material from the top microns of a targeted surface. Using a mass spectrometer, the sputtered material can be determined. The sputtering properties of EP exhaust can be used to determine detailed surface composition of atmosphereless bodies by electric propulsion induced secondary mass spectroscopy (EPI-SMS). EPI-SMS operation has three high-level requirements: EP system, mass spectrometer, and altitude of about 10 km. Approximately 1 keV Xe+ has been studied and proven to generate high sputtering yields in metallic substrates. Using these yields, first-order calculations predict that EPI-SMS will yield high signal-to-noise at altitudes greater than 10 km with both electrostatic and Hall thrusters.

  2. High Temperature Materials for Chemical Propulsion Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elam, Sandra; Hickman, Robert; O'Dell, Scott

    2007-01-01

    Radiation or passively cooled thrust chambers are used for a variety of chemical propulsion functions including apogee insertion, reaction control for launch vehicles, and primary propulsion for planetary spacecraft. The performance of these thrust chambers is limited by the operating temperature of available materials. Improved oxidation resistance and increased operating temperatures can be achieved with the use of thermal barrier coatings such as zirconium oxide (ZrO2) and hafnium oxide (HfO2). However, previous attempts to include these materials showed cracking and spalling of the oxide layer due to poor bonding. Current research at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) has generated unique, high temperature material options for in-space thruster designs that are capable of up to 2500 C operating temperatures. The research is focused on fabrication technologies to form low cost Iridium,qF_.henium (Ir/Re) components with a ceramic hot wall created as an integral, functionally graded material (FGM). The goal of this effort is to further de?celop proven technologies for embedding a protective ceramic coating within the Ir/Re liner to form a robust functional gradient material. Current work includes the fabrication and testing of subscale samples to evaluate tensile, creep, thermal cyclic/oxidation, and thermophysical material properties. Larger test articles have also being fabricated and hot-fire tested to demonstrate the materials in prototype thrusters at 1O0 lbf thrust levels.

  3. Ultrahigh Specific Impulse Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Anne Charmeau; Brandon Cunningham; Samim Anghaie

    2009-02-09

    Research on nuclear thermal propulsion systems (NTP) have been in forefront of the space nuclear power and propulsion due to their design simplicity and their promise for providing very high thrust at reasonably high specific impulse. During NERVA-ROVER program in late 1950's till early 1970's, the United States developed and ground tested about 18 NTP systems without ever deploying them into space. The NERVA-ROVER program included development and testing of NTP systems with very high thrust (~250,000 lbf) and relatively high specific impulse (~850 s). High thrust to weight ratio in NTP systems is an indicator of high acceleration that could be achieved with these systems. The specific impulse in the lowest mass propellant, hydrogen, is a function of square root of absolute temperature in the NTP thrust chamber. Therefor optimizing design performance of NTP systems would require achieving the highest possible hydrogen temperature at reasonably high thrust to weight ratio. High hydrogen exit temperature produces high specific impulse that is a diret measure of propellant usage efficiency.

  4. Relativistic propulsion using directed energy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bible, Johanna; Johansson, Isabella; Hughes, Gary B.; Lubin, Philip M.

    2013-09-01

    We propose a directed energy orbital planetary defense system capable of heating the surface of potentially hazardous objects to the evaporation point as a futuristic but feasible approach to impact risk mitigation. The system is based on recent advances in high efficiency photonic systems. The system could also be used for propulsion of kinetic or nuclear tipped asteroid interceptors or other interplanetary spacecraft. A photon drive is possible using direct photon pressure on a spacecraft similar to a solar sail. Given a laser power of 70GW, a 100 kg craft can be propelled to 1AU in approximately 3 days achieving a speed of 0.4% the speed of light, and a 10,000 kg craft in approximately 30 days. We call the system DE-STAR for Directed Energy System for Targeting of Asteroids and exploRation. DE-STAR is a modular phased array of solid-state lasers, powered by photovoltaic conversion of sunlight. The system is scalable and completely modular so that sub elements can be built and tested as the technology matures. The sub elements can be immediately utilized for testing as well as other applications including space debris mitigation. The ultimate objective of DE-STAR would be to begin direct asteroid vaporization and orbital modification starting at distances beyond 1 AU. Using phased array technology to focus the beam, the surface spot temperature on the asteroid can be raised to more than 3000K, allowing evaporation of all known substances. Additional scientific uses of DE-STAR are also possible.

  5. Propulsion options for very low Earth orbit microsatellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leomanni, Mirko; Garulli, Andrea; Giannitrapani, Antonio; Scortecci, Fabrizio

    2017-04-01

    The growing competitiveness in the commercial space market has raised the interest in operating small spacecraft at very low altitudes. To make this feasible, the space industry has started developing propulsion options tailored specifically to these platforms. This paper presents a review of emerging micropropulsion technologies and evaluates their applicability to microsatellite missions in the altitude range 250-500 km. The results of the proposed analysis are demonstrated on two different remote sensing applications.

  6. Cryogenic Propulsion Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The storage of cryogenic propellants is challenging because heat leaks into the cryogenic storage tanks no matter how good the insulation, resulting in a necessity...

  7. Magnetohydrodynamic sea water propulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Petrick, M.; Thomas, A.; Genens, L.; Libera, J.; Nietert, R.; Bouillard, J.; Pierson, E.; Hill, D.; Picologlou, B.; Ohlsson, O.; Kasprzyk, T.; Berry, G.

    1991-01-01

    An experimental and theoretical investigation of a large scale MHD propulsor has been undertaken whose objectives are to (1) investigate the transient and steady state performance of the thruster over operating parameter ranges that are compatible with achievement of high efficiency, (2) to quantify the principal loss mechanisms within the thruster and (3) to obtain preliminary hydroacoustic data. The performance of the thruster was first investigated theoretically with a 3-D code to quantify the loss mechanisms and identify experimental parameter ranges of interest. The loss mechanisms of interest are ohmic losses within the channel and those resulting from electrical currents at the entrance and exit of the thruster, and enhanced frictional losses. The analysis indicated that the relative importance of the loss mechanisms was a function of the thruster design and operating parameters. The experimental investigation of the large scale propulsor is being conducted on a sea water test facility that was designed to match the capabilities of a large 6-T superconducting magnet. The facility design was such that {approximately}90{degrees} of all losses occurred within the propulsion test train (inlet nozzle, propulsor and diffuser) thus facilitating isolation of the loss mechanisms. The test thruster itself is heavily instrumented to provide local measurements of velocity, pressure, and electric fields. The predicted overall thruster performance and value of the loss mechanisms will be compared with measured values. Comparisons will also be presented of the voltage gradients between electrodes, overall thruster efficiency, axial pressure gradients across the propulsor, change in velocity profiles, axial and vertical current distributions and exit distribution of the electrolytic gases.

  8. Magnetohydrodynamic sea water propulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Petrick, M.; Thomas, A.; Genens, L.; Libera, J.; Nietert, R.; Bouillard, J.; Pierson, E.; Hill, D.; Picologlou, B.; Ohlsson, O.; Kasprzyk, T.; Berry, G.

    1991-12-31

    An experimental and theoretical investigation of a large scale MHD propulsor has been undertaken whose objectives are to (1) investigate the transient and steady state performance of the thruster over operating parameter ranges that are compatible with achievement of high efficiency, (2) to quantify the principal loss mechanisms within the thruster and (3) to obtain preliminary hydroacoustic data. The performance of the thruster was first investigated theoretically with a 3-D code to quantify the loss mechanisms and identify experimental parameter ranges of interest. The loss mechanisms of interest are ohmic losses within the channel and those resulting from electrical currents at the entrance and exit of the thruster, and enhanced frictional losses. The analysis indicated that the relative importance of the loss mechanisms was a function of the thruster design and operating parameters. The experimental investigation of the large scale propulsor is being conducted on a sea water test facility that was designed to match the capabilities of a large 6-T superconducting magnet. The facility design was such that {approximately}90{degrees} of all losses occurred within the propulsion test train (inlet nozzle, propulsor and diffuser) thus facilitating isolation of the loss mechanisms. The test thruster itself is heavily instrumented to provide local measurements of velocity, pressure, and electric fields. The predicted overall thruster performance and value of the loss mechanisms will be compared with measured values. Comparisons will also be presented of the voltage gradients between electrodes, overall thruster efficiency, axial pressure gradients across the propulsor, change in velocity profiles, axial and vertical current distributions and exit distribution of the electrolytic gases.

  9. Nuclear thermal propulsion test facility requirements and development strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, George C.; Warren, John; Clark, J. S.

    1991-01-01

    The Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) subpanel of the Space Nuclear Propulsion Test Facilities Panel evaluated facility requirements and strategies for nuclear thermal propulsion systems development. High pressure, solid core concepts were considered as the baseline for the evaluation, with low pressure concepts an alternative. The work of the NTP subpanel revealed that a wealth of facilities already exists to support NTP development, and that only a few new facilities must be constructed. Some modifications to existing facilities will be required. Present funding emphasis should be on long-lead-time items for the major new ground test facility complex and on facilities supporting nuclear fuel development, hot hydrogen flow test facilities, and low power critical facilities.

  10. Influence of Power System Technology on Electric Propulsion Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oleson, Steven R.

    1995-01-01

    Electric propulsion (EP) thruster technology, with efficient lightweight power systems can provide substantial reductions in propulsion system wet mass due to the high specific impulse (Isp) of the thrusters. Historically, the space power systems are too massive for many potential orbital missions. The objective of this paper is to show the impact of current power system technology on EP mission performance and determine what technology advancements are needed to make EP beneficial for earth orbital applications. The approach of the paper is to model the electric propulsion system and orbital mission using a partial parametric method. Various missions are analyzed from orbit maintenance to orbit transfer. Results portray the relationship between mission performance and power technology level. Conclusions show which mission applications currently have acceptable power technology, and which mission applications require power technology improvements.

  11. Experimental investigation of a unique airbreathing pulsed laser propulsion concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myrabo, L. N.; Nagamatsu, H. T.; Manka, C.; Lyons, P. W.; Jones, R. A.

    1991-01-01

    Investigations were conducted into unique methods of converting pulsed laser energy into propulsive thrust across a flat impulse surface under atmospheric conditions. The propulsion experiments were performed with a 1-micron neodymium-glass laser at the Space Plasma Branch of the Naval Research Laboratory. Laser-induced impulse was measured dynamically by ballistic pendulums and statically using piezoelectric pressure transducers on a stationary impulse surface. The principal goal was to explore methods for increasing the impulse coupling performance of airbreathing laser-propulsion engines. A magnetohydrodynamic thrust augmentation effect was discovered when a tesla-level magnetic field was applied perpendicular to the impulse surface. The impulse coupling coefficient performance doubled and continued to improve with increasing laser-pulse energies. The resultant performance of 180 to 200 N-s/MJ was found to be comparable to that of the earliest afterburning turbojets.

  12. Overview of NASA Iodine Hall Thruster Propulsion System Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Timothy D.; Kamhawi, Hani; Hickman, Tyler; Haag, Thomas; Dankanich, John; Polzin, Kurt; Byrne, Lawrence; Szabo, James

    2016-01-01

    NASA is continuing to invest in advancing Hall thruster technologies for implementation in commercial and government missions. The most recent focus has been on increasing the power level for large-scale exploration applications. However, there has also been a similar push to examine applications of electric propulsion for small spacecraft in the range of 300 kg or less. There have been several recent iodine Hall propulsion system development activities performed by the team of the NASA Glenn Research Center, the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, and Busek Co. Inc. In particular, the work focused on qualification of the Busek 200-W BHT-200-I and development of the 600-W BHT-600-I systems. This paper discusses the current status of iodine Hall propulsion system developments along with supporting technology development efforts.

  13. Solar Thermal Propulsion Optical Figure Measuring and Rocket Engine Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonometti, Joseph

    1997-01-01

    Solar thermal propulsion has been an important area of study for four years at the Propulsion Research Center. Significant resources have been devoted to the development of the UAH Solar Thermal Laboratory that provides unique, high temperature, test capabilities. The facility is fully operational and has successfully conducted a series of solar thruster shell experiments. Although presently dedicated to solar thermal propulsion, the facility has application to a variety of material processing, power generation, environmental clean-up, and other fundamental research studies. Additionally, the UAH Physics Department has joined the Center in support of an in-depth experimental investigation on Solar Thermal Upper Stage (STUS) concentrators. Laboratory space has been dedicated to the concentrator evaluation in the UAH Optics Building which includes a vertical light tunnel. Two, on-going, research efforts are being sponsored through NASA MSFC (Shooting Star Flight Experiment) and the McDonnell Douglas Corporation (Solar Thermal Upper Stage Technology Ground Demonstrator).

  14. Nuclear thermal propulsion test facility requirements and development strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, George C.; Clark, John S.; Warren, John; Perkins, David R.; Martinell, John

    1992-01-01

    The Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) subpanel of the Space Nuclear Propulsion Test Facilities Panel evaluated facility requirements and strategies for nuclear thermal propulsion systems development. High pressure, solid core concepts were considered as the baseline for the evaluation, with low pressure concepts an alternative. The work of the NTP subpanel revealed that a wealth of facilities already exists to support NTP development, and that only a few new facilities must be constructed. Some modifications to existing facilities will be required. Present funding emphasis should be on long-lead-time items for the major new ground test facility complex and on facilities supporting nuclear fuel development, hot hydrogen flow test facilities, and low power critical facilities.

  15. Sensitivity Analysis of Hybrid Propulsion Transportation System for Human Mars Expeditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chai, Patrick R.; Joyce, Ryan T.; Kessler, Paul D.; Merrill, Raymond G.; Qu, Min

    2017-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration continues to develop and refine various transportation options to successfully field a human Mars campaign. One of these transportation options is the Hybrid Transportation System which utilizes both solar electric propulsion and chemical propulsion. The Hybrid propulsion system utilizes chemical propulsion to perform high thrust maneuvers, where the delta-V is most optimal when ap- plied to save time and to leverage the Oberth effect. It then utilizes solar electric propulsion to augment the chemical burns throughout the interplanetary trajectory. This eliminates the need for the development of two separate vehicles for crew and cargo missions. Previous studies considered single point designs of the architecture, with fixed payload mass and propulsion system performance parameters. As the architecture matures, it is inevitable that the payload mass and the performance of the propulsion system will change. It is desirable to understand how these changes will impact the in-space transportation system's mass and power requirements. This study presents an in-depth sensitivity analysis of the Hybrid crew transportation system to payload mass growth and solar electric propulsion performance. This analysis is used to identify the breakpoints of the current architecture and to inform future architecture and campaign design decisions.

  16. Water rocket - Electrolysis propulsion and fuel cell power

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carter, P H; Dittman, M D; Kare, J T; Militsky, F; Myers, B; Weisberg, A H

    1999-07-24

    Water Rocket is the collective name for an integrated set of technologies that offer new options for spacecraft propulsion, power, energy storage, and structure. Low pressure water stored on the spacecraft is electrolyzed to generate, separate, and pressurize gaseous hydrogen and oxygen. These gases, stored in lightweight pressure tanks, can be burned to generate thrust or recombined to produce electric power. As a rocket propulsion system, Water Rocket provides the highest feasible chemical specific impulse (-400 seconds). Even higher specific impulse propulsion can be achieved by combining Water Rocket with other advanced propulsion technologies, such as arcjet or electric thrusters. With innovative pressure tank technology, Water Rocket's specific energy [Wh/kg] can exceed that of the best foreseeable batteries by an order of magnitude, and the tanks can often serve as vehicle structural elements. For pulsed power applications, Water Rocket propellants can be used to drive very high power density generators, such as MHD devices or detonation-driven pulse generators. A space vehicle using Water Rocket propulsion can be totally inert and non-hazardous during assembly and launch. These features are particularly important for the timely development and flight qualification of new classes of spacecraft, such as microsats, nanosats, and refuelable spacecraft.

  17. Propulsion Physics Under the Changing Density Field Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Glen A.

    2011-01-01

    To grow as a space faring race, future spaceflight systems will requires new propulsion physics. Specifically a propulsion physics model that does not require mass ejection without limiting the high thrust necessary to accelerate within or beyond our solar system and return within a normal work period or lifetime. In 2004 Khoury and Weltman produced a density dependent cosmology theory they called Chameleon Cosmology, as at its nature, it is hidden within known physics. This theory represents a scalar field within and about an object, even in the vacuum. Whereby, these scalar fields can be viewed as vacuum energy fields with definable densities that permeate all matter; having implications to dark matter/energy with universe acceleration properties; implying a new force mechanism for propulsion physics. Using Chameleon Cosmology, the author has developed a new propulsion physics model, called the Changing Density Field (CDF) Model. This model relates to density changes in these density fields, where the density field density changes are related to the acceleration of matter within an object. These density changes in turn change how an object couples to the surrounding density fields. Whereby, thrust is achieved by causing a differential in the coupling to these density fields about an object. Since the model indicates that the density of the density field in an object can be changed by internal mass acceleration, even without exhausting mass, the CDF model implies a new propellant-less propulsion physics model

  18. Z-Pinch fusion-based nuclear propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miernik, J.; Statham, G.; Fabisinski, L.; Maples, C. D.; Adams, R.; Polsgrove, T.; Fincher, S.; Cassibry, J.; Cortez, R.; Turner, M.; Percy, T.

    2013-02-01

    Fusion-based nuclear propulsion has the potential to enable fast interplanetary transportation. Due to the great distances between the planets of our solar system and the harmful radiation environment of interplanetary space, high specific impulse (Isp) propulsion in vehicles with high payload mass fractions must be developed to provide practical and safe vehicles for human space flight missions. The Z-Pinch dense plasma focus method is a Magneto-Inertial Fusion (MIF) approach that may potentially lead to a small, low cost fusion reactor/engine assembly [1]. Recent advancements in experimental and theoretical understanding of this concept suggest favorable scaling of fusion power output yield [2]. The magnetic field resulting from the large current compresses the plasma to fusion conditions, and this process can be pulsed over short timescales (10-6 s). This type of plasma formation is widely used in the field of Nuclear Weapons Effects testing in the defense industry, as well as in fusion energy research. A Z-Pinch propulsion concept was designed for a vehicle based on a previous fusion vehicle study called "Human Outer Planet Exploration" (HOPE), which used Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) [3] propulsion. The reference mission is the transport of crew and cargo to Mars and back, with a reusable vehicle. The analysis of the Z-Pinch MIF propulsion system concludes that a 40-fold increase of Isp over chemical propulsion is predicted. An Isp of 19,436 s and thrust of 3812 N s/pulse, along with nearly doubling the predicted payload mass fraction, warrants further development of enabling technologies.

  19. NASA's Advanced Propulsion Technology Activities for Third Generation Fully Reusable Launch Vehicle Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hueter, Uwe

    2000-01-01

    NASA's Office of Aeronautics and Space Transportation Technology (OASTT) established the following three major goals, referred to as "The Three Pillars for Success": Global Civil Aviation, Revolutionary Technology Leaps, and Access to Space. The Advanced Space Transportation Program Office (ASTP) at the NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. focuses on future space transportation technologies under the "Access to Space" pillar. The Propulsion Projects within ASTP under the investment area of Spaceliner100, focus on the earth-to-orbit (ETO) third generation reusable launch vehicle technologies. The goals of Spaceliner 100 is to reduce cost by a factor of 100 and improve safety by a factor of 10,000 over current conditions. The ETO Propulsion Projects in ASTP, are actively developing combination/combined-cycle propulsion technologies that utilized airbreathing propulsion during a major portion of the trajectory. System integration, components, materials and advanced rocket technologies are also being pursued. Over the last several years, one of the main thrusts has been to develop rocket-based combined cycle (RBCC) technologies. The focus has been on conducting ground tests of several engine designs to establish the RBCC flowpaths performance. Flowpath testing of three different RBCC engine designs is progressing. Additionally, vehicle system studies are being conducted to assess potential operational space access vehicles utilizing combined-cycle propulsion systems. The design, manufacturing, and ground testing of a scale flight-type engine are planned. The first flight demonstration of an airbreathing combined cycle propulsion system is envisioned around 2005. The paper will describe the advanced propulsion technologies that are being being developed under the ETO activities in the ASTP program. Progress, findings, and future activities for the propulsion technologies will be discussed.

  20. Liquid Oxygen/Liquid Methane Integrated Power and Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banker, Brian; Ryan, Abigail

    2016-01-01

    The proposed paper will cover ongoing work at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC) on integrated power and propulsion for advanced human exploration. Specifically, it will present findings of the integrated design, testing, and operational challenges of a liquid oxygen / liquid methane (LOx/LCH4) propulsion brassboard and Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) system. Human-Mars architectures point to an oxygen-methane economy utilizing common commodities, scavenged from the planetary atmosphere and soil via In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), and common commodities across sub-systems. Due to the enormous mass gear-ratio required for human exploration beyond low-earth orbit, (for every 1 kg of payload landed on Mars, 226 kg will be required on Earth) increasing commonality between spacecraft subsystems such as power and propulsion can result in tremendous launch mass and volume savings. Historically, propulsion and fuel cell power subsystems have had little interaction outside of the generation (fuel cell) and consumption (propulsion) of electrical power. This was largely due to a mismatch in preferred commodities (hypergolics for propulsion; oxygen & hydrogen for fuel cells). Although this stove-piped approach benefits from simplicity in the design process, it means each subsystem has its own tanks, pressurization system, fluid feed system, etc. increasing overall spacecraft mass and volume. A liquid oxygen / liquid methane commodities architecture across propulsion and power subsystems would enable the use of common tankage and associated pressurization and commodity delivery hardware for both. Furthermore, a spacecraft utilizing integrated power and propulsion could use propellant residuals - propellant which could not be expelled from the tank near depletion due to hydrodynamic considerations caused by large flow demands of a rocket engine - to generate power after all propulsive maneuvers are complete thus utilizing

  1. Hypersonic propulsion - Breaking the thermal barrier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weidner, J. P.

    1993-01-01

    The challenges of hypersonic propulsion impose unique features on the hypersonic vehicle - from large volume requirements to contain cryogenic fuel to airframe-integrated propulsion required to process sufficient quantities of air. Additional challenges exist in the design of the propulsion module that must be capable of efficiently processing air at very high enthalpies, adding and mixing fuel at supersonic speeds and expanding the exhaust products to generate thrust greater than drag. The paper explores the unique challenges of the integrated hypersonic propulsion system, addresses propulsion cycle selection to cope with the severe thermal environment and reviews the direction of propulsion research at hypervelocity speeds.

  2. Propulsion Challenges for Small Spacecraft: 2005

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Vadim Zakirov; LI Luming

    2006-01-01

    Small (<100 kg) spacecrafts are being developed in many countries but their propulsion systems still have many challenges. Although there is demand for small spacecraft propulsion, the number of missions at present is small due to several commercial and technical reasons. Poor performance of existing small spacecraft propulsion systems is one of the main reasons for the small number of missions. Several reasons are given for the poor performance of existing small spacecraft propulsion. Suggested improvements focus on small spacecraft and propulsion hardware mass optimization rather than on specific impulse enhancement. Propellantless propulsion systems are also recommended for small spacecraft interplanetary missions.

  3. Nuclear Propulsion Project Workshop summary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Thomas J.; Clark, John S.; Barnett, John W.

    1991-01-01

    NASA-Lewis has undertaken the planning and coordination of a joint NASA/DOE/DOD Nuclear Propulsion Project which will investigate both nuclear electric and nuclear thermal concepts. The three-agency team has been tasked with the development of an Interagency Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding, as well as the drafting of a statement as to astronaut crew guidelines and values, the assessment of human-rating requirements, the development of an interagency safety and environmental assessment plan, and the development of test facility requirements. Attention is to be given to the role of SP-100 for nuclear-electric propulsion applications.

  4. LASL nuclear rocket propulsion program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schreiber, R.E.

    1956-04-01

    The immediate objective of the LASL nuclear propulsion (Rover) program is the development of a heat exchanger reactor system utilizing uranium-graphite fuel elements and ammonia propellant. This program is regarded as the first step in the development of nuclear propulsion systems for missiles. The major tasks of the program include the investigation of materials at high temperatures, development of fuel elements, investigation of basic reactor characteristics, investigation of engine control problems, detailed engine design and ground testing. The organization and scheduling of the initial development program have been worked out in some detail. Only rather general ideas exist concerning the projection of this work beyond 1958.

  5. Power Processing for a Conceptual Project Prometheus Electric Propulsion System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scina, Joseph E., Jr.; Aulisio, Michael; Gerber, Scott S.; Hewitt, Frank; Miller, Leonard; Elbuluk, Malik; Pinero, Luis R. (Technical Monitor)

    2005-01-01

    NASA has proposed a bold mission to orbit and explore the moons of Jupiter. This mission, known as the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO), would significantly increase NASA s capability to explore deep space by making use of high power electric propulsion. One electric propulsion option under study for JIMO is an ion propulsion system. An early version of an ion propulsion system was successfully used on NASA's Deep Space 1 mission. One concept for an ion thruster system capable of meeting the current JIMO mission requirement would have individual thrusters that are 16 to 25 kW each and require voltages as high as 8.0 kV. The purpose of this work is to develop power processing schemes for delivering the high voltage power to the spacecraft ion thrusters based upon a three-phase AC distribution system. In addition, a proposed DC-DC converter topology is presented for an ion thruster ancillary supply based upon a DC distribution system. All specifications discussed in this paper are for design convenience and are speculative in nature.

  6. Electrolysis Propulsion Provides High-Performance, Inexpensive, Clean Spacecraft Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    deGroot, Wim A.

    1999-01-01

    An electrolysis propulsion system consumes electrical energy to decompose water into hydrogen and oxygen. These gases are stored in separate tanks and used when needed in gaseous bipropellant thrusters for spacecraft propulsion. The propellant and combustion products are clean and nontoxic. As a result, costs associated with testing, handling, and launching can be an order of magnitude lower than for conventional propulsion systems, making electrolysis a cost-effective alternative to state-of-the-art systems. The electrical conversion efficiency is high (>85 percent), and maximum thrust-to-power ratios of 0.2 newtons per kilowatt (N/kW), a 370-sec specific impulse, can be obtained. A further advantage of the water rocket is its dual-mode potential. For relatively high thrust applications, the system can be used as a bipropellant engine. For low thrust levels and/or small impulse bit requirements, cold gas oxygen can be used alone. An added innovation is that the same hardware, with modest modifications, can be converted into an energy-storage and power-generation fuel cell, reducing the spacecraft power and propulsion system weight by an order of magnitude.

  7. Medusa: Nuclear explosive propulsion for interplanetary travel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solem, Johndale C.

    1993-01-01

    Because of the deleterious effects of galactic cosmic radiation, solar flares, zero gravity and psychological stress, there is strong motivation to develop high-specific-impulse and high-thrust spacecraft for rapid transport of astronauts between planets. A novel spacecraft design is presented using a large lightweight sail (spinnaker) driven by pressure pulses from a series of nuclear explosions. The spacecraft appears to be a singularly competent and economical vehicle for high-speed interplanetary travel. The mass of the spinnaker is theoretically independent of the size of its canopy or the length of its tethers. Consequently, the canopy can be made very large to minimize radiation damage from the nuclear explosions and the tethers can be made very long to mitigate radiation hazard to the crew. The pressure from the nuclear explosion imparts a large impulsive acceleration to the lightweight spinnaker, which must be translated to a small smooth acceleration of the space capsule either by using the elasticity of the tethers or a servo winch in the space capsule, or a combination of the two. If elasticity alone is used, the maximum acceleration suffered by the space capsule is inversely propotional to the tether length. The use of very long tethers allows the spacecraft to achieve high velocities without using an exceedingly large number of bombs, a feature unavailable to previous forms of nuclear-explosive propulsion. Should the political questions connected with an unconventional use of nuclear explosives be favorably resolved, the proposal will be a good candidate for propulsion in the Mars mission.

  8. Electric propulsion - A high energy capability for solar system exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkins, K. L.

    1976-01-01

    The principles of spacecraft electric (ion thruster) propulsion are briefly reviewed. Attention is given to the inner and outer planet applications of electric (and solar electric) propulsion. Electric propulsion is considered as a stepping stone to nuclear electric propulsion.

  9. Aircraft propulsion systems technology and design

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Oates, Gordon C

    1989-01-01

    ... propulsion technology planned by Gordon C. Gates. Other titles: Aerothermodynamics of gas turbine and rocket propulsion (c!988); Aerothermodynamics of aircraft engine com.ponents (c!985). Includes b...

  10. Advanced Propulsion Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-02-01

    2.4.6 MagLev Train or MagLifter.............................................................................................. 21 2.4.7 Coilgun...Ring An orbital ring is comprised of two or more space elevators connected together in orbit by an orbital MagLev train system (Birch, 1982...1983a, b; Brakke, 1982). The MagLev trains ride on a massive segmented metal cable that orbits the Earth. Payloads are transported up to orbit from

  11. A New Propulsion System for Ships.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980-01-31

    complex relationships involving ship propulsion , ship control and a host of independent problems related to hydrodynamics, structural mechanics, efficiency...namely ship configuration and ship con- trol in addition to ship propulsion . The transmission pump can 1be used for boundary layer control on the...possibly overcome the limitation and performance shortcomings of existing ship propulsion systems. Light weight propulsion systems for naval ship

  12. Propulsion IVHM Extreme Environment Instrumentation Power IVHM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakrajsek, June

    2000-01-01

    This paper presents propulsion and instrumentation power for integrated vehicle health management technologies. The topics include: 1) Propulsion IVHM Capabilities Research; 2) Projects: X-33 Post-Test Diagnostic System; 3) X-34 NITEX; 4) Advanced Health Monitoring Systems; 5) Active Vibration Monitoring System; 6) Smart Self Healing Propulsion Systems; 7) Extreme Environment Sensors; and 8) Systems Engineering and Integration.

  13. Magnetohydrodynamic Propulsion for the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Font, Gabriel I.; Dudley, Scott C.

    2004-10-01

    The cinema industry can sometimes prove to be an ally when searching for material with which to motivate students to learn physics. Consider, for example, the electromagnetic force on a current in the presence of a magnetic field. This phenomenon is at the heart of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) propulsion systems. A submarine employing this type of propulsion was immortalized in the movie Hunt for Red October. While mentioning this to students certainly gets their attention, it often elicits comments that it is only fiction and not physically possible. Imagine their surprise when a working system is demonstrated! It is neither difficult nor expensive to construct a working system that can be demonstrated in the front of a classroom.2 In addition, all aspects of the engineering hurdles that must be surmounted and myths concerning this "silent propulsion" system are borne out in a simple apparatus. This paper details how to construct an inexpensive MHD propulsion boat that can be demonstrated for students in the classroom.

  14. Numerical Propulsion System Simulation (NPSS): An Award Winning Propulsion System Simulation Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stauber, Laurel J.; Naiman, Cynthia G.

    2002-01-01

    The Numerical Propulsion System Simulation (NPSS) is a full propulsion system simulation tool used by aerospace engineers to predict and analyze the aerothermodynamic behavior of commercial jet aircraft, military applications, and space transportation. The NPSS framework was developed to support aerospace, but other applications are already leveraging the initial capabilities, such as aviation safety, ground-based power, and alternative energy conversion devices such as fuel cells. By using the framework and developing the necessary components, future applications that NPSS could support include nuclear power, water treatment, biomedicine, chemical processing, and marine propulsion. NPSS will dramatically reduce the time, effort, and expense necessary to design and test jet engines. It accomplishes that by generating sophisticated computer simulations of an aerospace object or system, thus enabling engineers to "test" various design options without having to conduct costly, time-consuming real-life tests. The ultimate goal of NPSS is to create a numerical "test cell" that enables engineers to create complete engine simulations overnight on cost-effective computing platforms. Using NPSS, engine designers will be able to analyze different parts of the engine simultaneously, perform different types of analysis simultaneously (e.g., aerodynamic and structural), and perform analysis in a more efficient and less costly manner. NPSS will cut the development time of a new engine in half, from 10 years to 5 years. And NPSS will have a similar effect on the cost of development: new jet engines will cost about a billion dollars to develop rather than two billion. NPSS is also being applied to the development of space transportation technologies, and it is expected that similar efficiencies and cost savings will result. Advancements of NPSS in fiscal year 2001 included enhancing the NPSS Developer's Kit to easily integrate external components of varying fidelities, providing

  15. Radiation Shielding for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caffrey, Jarvis A.

    2016-01-01

    Design and analysis of radiation shielding for nuclear thermal propulsion has continued at Marshall Space Flight Center. A set of optimization tools are in development, and strategies for shielding optimization will be discussed. Considerations for the concurrent design of internal and external shielding are likely required for a mass optimal shield design. The task of reducing radiation dose to crew from a nuclear engine is considered to be less challenging than the task of thermal mitigation for cryogenic propellant, especially considering the likely implementation of additional crew shielding for protection from solar particles and cosmic rays. Further consideration is thus made for the thermal effects of radiation absorption in cryogenic propellant. Materials challenges and possible methods of manufacturing are also discussed.

  16. Innovative Metallized Formulations for Solid Rocket Propulsion

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Luigi T DeLUCA; Luciano GALFETTI; Filippo MAGGI; Giovanni COLOMBO; Alice REINA; Stefano DOSSI; Daniele CONSONNI; Melissa BRAMBILLA

    2012-01-01

    Several metallized solid rocket propellants,AP/Metal/HTPB in the ratio 68/18/1 4,were experimentally analyzed at the Space Propulsion Laboratory of Politecnico di Milano.Effects of the metals (micrometric and nanometric Al,B,Mg,and a variety of dual metals) on the performance of the propellant were studied and contrasted to a conventional micrometric aluminum (30 μm average grain size) taken as reference.It is shown that the propellant microstructure plays a fundamental role in controlling the critical aggregation/agglomeration phenomena occurring below and near the burning surface.Two specific effects of microstructure in terms of steady burning rate and average agglomerate size are illustrated.

  17. Unified Propulsion System to Explore Near-Earth Asteroids by a 50 kg Spacecraft

    OpenAIRE

    Koizumi, Hiroyuki; Inagaki, Tadashi; Kasagi, Yusuke; Naoi, Taro; Hayashi, Tomoyuki; Funase, Ryu; Komurasaki, Kimiya

    2014-01-01

    In this study, the micropropulsion system I-COUPS (Ion Thruster and COld-gas Thruster Unified Propulsion System) is proposed for 50-kg-class spacecraft to explore the deep space. The I-COUPS is a unified propulsion system of ion thrusters and cold-gas thrusters by sharing the same xenon gas system. It provides the spacecraft with high ΔV maneuver, high thrust, short time maneuver, and reaction control by eight thrusters. The total wet mass of the propulsion system is expected to 9.5 kg with 2...

  18. 150 kW Class Solar Electric Propulsion Spacecraft Power Architecture Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Csank, Jeffrey T.; Aulisio, Michael V.; Loop, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Demonstration Mission in conjunction with PC Krause and Associates has created a Simulink-based power architecture model for a 50 kilo-Watt (kW) solar electric propulsion system. NASA has extended this model to investigate 150 kW solar electric propulsion systems. Increasing the power system capability from 50 kW to 150 kW better aligns with the anticipated power requirements for Mars and other deep space explorations. The high-power solar electric propulsion capability has been identified as a critical part of NASAs future beyond-low-Earth-orbit for human-crewed exploration missions. This paper presents multiple 150 kW architectures, simulation results, and a discussion of their merits.

  19. Modeling of plasma in a hybrid electric propulsion for small satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jugroot, Manish; Christou, Alex

    2016-09-01

    As space flight becomes more available and reliable, space-based technology is allowing for smaller and more cost-effective satellites to be produced. Working in large swarms, many small satellites can provide additional capabilities while reducing risk. These satellites require efficient, long term propulsion for manoeuvres, orbit maintenance and de-orbiting. The high exhaust velocity and propellant efficiency of electric propulsion makes it ideally suited for low thrust missions. The two dominant types of electric propulsion, namely ion thrusters and Hall thrusters, excel in different mission types. In this work, a novel electric hybrid propulsion design is modelled to enhance understanding of key phenomena and evaluate performance. Specifically, the modelled hybrid thruster seeks to overcome issues with existing Ion and Hall thruster designs. Scaling issues and optimization of the design will be discussed and will investigate a conceptual design of a hybrid spacecraft plasma engine.

  20. Software To Secure Distributed Propulsion Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaser, Tammy M.

    2003-01-01

    Distributed-object computing systems are presented with many security threats, including network eavesdropping, message tampering, and communications middleware masquerading. NASA Glenn Research Center, and its industry partners, has taken an active role in mitigating the security threats associated with developing and operating their proprietary aerospace propulsion simulations. In particular, they are developing a collaborative Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) Security (CORBASec) test bed to secure their distributed aerospace propulsion simulations. Glenn has been working with its aerospace propulsion industry partners to deploy the Numerical Propulsion System Simulation (NPSS) object-based technology. NPSS is a program focused on reducing the cost and time in developing aerospace propulsion engines

  1. Integrated Cryogenic Propulsion Test Article Thermal Vacuum Hotfire Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morehead, Robert L.; Melcher, J. C.; Atwell, Matthew J.; Hurlbert, Eric A.

    2017-01-01

    In support of a facility characterization test, the Integrated Cryogenic Propulsion Test Article (ICPTA) was hotfire tested at a variety of simulated altitude and thermal conditions in the NASA Glenn Research Center Plum Brook Station In-Space Propulsion Thermal Vacuum Chamber (formerly B2). The ICPTA utilizes liquid oxygen and liquid methane propellants for its main engine and four reaction control engines, and uses a cold helium system for tank pressurization. The hotfire test series included high altitude, high vacuum, ambient temperature, and deep cryogenic environments, and several hundred sensors on the vehicle collected a range of system level data useful to characterize the operation of an integrated LOX/Methane spacecraft in the space environment - a unique data set for this propellant combination.

  2. Brief review on plasma propulsion with neutralizer-free systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafalskyi, D.; Aanesland, A.

    2016-06-01

    Electric space propulsion is an intensively developing field addressing new demands and challenges for long-term spacecraft operation. Many novel plasma propulsion concepts aim to find new acceleration principles, use alternative propellants, upscale or downscale thrusters for large thrust or for very small spacecrafts etc. In this work we review the neutralizer-free concepts, where both positive and negative particles are extracted and accelerated from plasmas. We can divide these concepts into three main categories, defined by their acceleration principle: (i) neutral beam generation, (ii) plasma acceleration/expansion and (iii) bipolar beam acceleration. We describe the basic physical principles and evaluate the main advantages and drawbacks in view of general space applications. We also present here further detail on a recent concept where RF voltages are used to accelerate quasi-simultaneously positive ions and electrons from the same source.

  3. An historical collection of papers on nuclear thermal propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    The present volume of historical papers on nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) encompasses NTP technology development regarding solid-core NTP technology, advanced concepts from the early years of NTP research, and recent activities in the field. Specific issues addressed include NERVA rocket-engine technology, the development of nuclear rocket propulsion at Los Alamos, fuel-element development, reactor testing for the Rover program, and an overview of NTP concepts and research emphasizing two decades of NASA research. Also addressed are the development of the 'nuclear light bulb' closed-cycle gas core and a demonstration of a fissioning UF6 gas in an argon vortex. The recent developments reviewed include the application of NTP to NASA's Lunar Space Transportation System, the use of NTP for the Space Exploration Initiative, and the development of nuclear rocket engines in the former Soviet Union.

  4. Pioneers of laser propulsion: Saenger, Marx, Moeckel, and Kantrowitz

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michaelis, Max M.; Hey, John D.

    2002-09-01

    The strength of empires and civilizations has often depended on novel forms of transportation: the Viking long boat, the Roman road, Iberian galleons, French and British steam ships, Indian trains, the car of the early twentieth century, the plane of the middle and the rocket of late. But Space has now come up against a barrier: the enormous and barely affordable expense of putting things into orbit and the unaffordable energy required to travel to the stars. The recent advent of very energetic lasers may reduce the cost. The pioneering ideas of the mid sixties appear less fanciful. Laser space propulsion is about to become such an important topic that its scientific origin and engineering roots need to be investigated. This is by no means an exhaustive survey. We review here the laser propulsion work of four eminent experts: Eugen Saenger, George Marx, Wolfgang Moeckel and Arthur Kantrowitz.

  5. A pilot level decision analysis of thermionic reactor development strategy for nuclear electric propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menke, M. M.; Judd, B. R.

    1973-01-01

    The development policy for thermionic reactors to provide electric propulsion and power for space exploration was analyzed to develop a logical procedure for selecting development alternatives that reflect the technical feasibility, JPL/NASA project objectives, and the economic environment of the project. The partial evolution of a decision model from the underlying philosophy of decision analysis to a deterministic pilot phase is presented, and the general manner in which this decision model can be employed to examine propulsion development alternatives is illustrated.

  6. Magnetic levitation and MHD propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tixador, P.

    1994-04-01

    Magnetic levitation and MHD propulsion are now attracting attention in several countries. Different superconducting MagLev and MHD systems will be described concentrating on, above all, the electromagnetic aspect. Some programmes occurring throughout the world will be described. Magnetic levitated trains could be the new high speed transportation system for the 21st century. Intensive studies involving MagLev trains using superconductivity have been carried out in Japan since 1970. The construction of a 43 km long track is to be the next step. In 1991 a six year programme was launched in the United States to evaluate the performances of MagLev systems for transportation. The MHD (MagnetoHydroDynamic) offers some interesting advantages (efficiency, stealth characteristics, ...) for naval propulsion and increasing attention is being paid towards it nowadays. Japan is also up at the top with the tests of Yamato I, a 260 ton MHD propulsed ship. Depuis quelques années nous assistons à un redémarrage de programmes concernant la lévitation et la propulsion supraconductrices. Différents systèmes supraconducteurs de lévitation et de propulsion seront décrits en examinant plus particulièrement l'aspect électromagnétique. Quelques programmes à travers le monde seront abordés. Les trains à sustentation magnétique pourraient constituer un nouveau mode de transport terrestre à vitesse élevée (500 km/h) pour le 21^e siècle. Les japonais n'ont cessé de s'intéresser à ce système avec bobine supraconductrice. Ils envisagent un stade préindustriel avec la construction d'une ligne de 43 km. En 1991 un programme américain pour une durée de six ans a été lancé pour évaluer les performances des systèmes à lévitation pour le transport aux Etats Unis. La MHD (Magnéto- Hydro-Dynamique) présente des avantages intéressants pour la propulsion navale et un regain d'intérêt apparaît à l'heure actuelle. Le japon se situe là encore à la pointe des d

  7. Spaces

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maziar Nekovee

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Cognitive radio is being intensively researched as the enabling technology for license-exempt access to the so-called TV White Spaces (TVWS, large portions of spectrum in the UHF/VHF bands which become available on a geographical basis after digital switchover. Both in the US, and more recently, in the UK the regulators have given conditional endorsement to this new mode of access. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art in technology, regulation, and standardisation of cognitive access to TVWS. It examines the spectrum opportunity and commercial use cases associated with this form of secondary access.

  8. REIMR - A Process for Utilizing Liquid Rocket Propulsion-Oriented 'Lessons Learned' to Mitigate Development Risk in Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballard, RIchard O.

    2006-01-01

    This paper is a summary overview of a study conducted at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA MSFC) during the initial phases of the Space Launch Initiative (SLI) program to evaluate a large number of technical problems associated with the design, development, test, evaluation and operation of several major liquid propellant rocket engine systems (i.e., SSME, Fastrac, J-2, F-1). One of the primary results of this study was the identification of the Fundamental Root Causes that enabled the technical problems to manifest, and practices that can be implemented to prevent them from recurring in future propulsion system development efforts, such as that which is currently envisioned in the field of nuclear thermal propulsion (NTF). This paper will discuss the Fundamental Root Causes, cite some examples of how the technical problems arose from them, and provide a discussion of how they can be mitigated or avoided in the development of an NTP system

  9. Nonproliferation Challenges in Space Defense Technology - PANEL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houts, Michael G.

    2016-01-01

    The use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) almost always "helps" space fission systems. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) and high power fission electric systems appear able to use Proliferation Objectives While Simultaneously Helping Enable the Development and Utilization of Modern Space Fission Power and Propulsion Systems?

  10. Peroxide Propulsion at the Turn of the Century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, William E.; Butler, Kathy; Crocket, Dave; Lewis, Tim; McNeal, Curtis

    2000-01-01

    A resurgence of interest in peroxide propulsion has occurred in the last years of the 21st Century. This interest is driven by the need for lower cost propulsion systems and the need for storable reusable propulsion systems to meet future space transportation system architectures. NASA and the Air Force are jointly developing two propulsion systems for flight demonstration early in the 21st Century. One system will be a development of Boeing's AR2-3 engine, which was successfully fielded in the 1960s. The other is a new pressure-fed design by Orbital Sciences Corporation for expendable mission requirements. Concurrently NASA and industry are pursuing the key peroxide technologies needed to design, fabricate, and test advanced peroxide engines to meet the mission needs beyond 2005. This paper will present a description of the AR2-3, report the status of its current test program, and describe its intended flight demonstration. This paper will then describe the Orbital 10K engine, the status of its test program, and describe its planned flight demonstration. Finally the paper will present a plan, or technology roadmap, for the development of an advanced peroxide engine for the 21st Century.

  11. Liquid Oxygen/Liquid Methane Integrated Propulsion System Test Bed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flynn, Howard; Lusby, Brian; Villemarette, Mark

    2011-01-01

    In support of NASA?s Propulsion and Cryogenic Advanced Development (PCAD) project, a liquid oxygen (LO2)/liquid methane (LCH4) Integrated Propulsion System Test Bed (IPSTB) was designed and advanced to the Critical Design Review (CDR) stage at the Johnson Space Center. The IPSTB?s primary objectives are to study LO2/LCH4 propulsion system steady state and transient performance, operational characteristics and to validate fluid and thermal models of a LO2/LCH4 propulsion system for use in future flight design work. Two phase thermal and dynamic fluid flow models of the IPSTB were built to predict the system performance characteristics under a variety of operating modes and to aid in the overall system design work. While at ambient temperature and simulated altitude conditions at the White Sands Test Facility, the IPSTB and its approximately 600 channels of system instrumentation would be operated to perform a variety of integrated main engine and reaction control engine hot fire tests. The pressure, temperature, and flow rate data collected during this testing would then be used to validate the analytical models of the IPSTB?s thermal and dynamic fluid flow performance. An overview of the IPSTB design and analytical model development will be presented.

  12. 3D Modelling of a Vectored Water Jet-Based Multi-Propeller Propulsion System for a Spherical Underwater Robot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xichuan Lin

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents an improved modelling method for a water jet-based multi-propeller propulsion system. In our previous work, the modelling experiments were only carried out in 2D planes, whose experimental results had poor agreement when we wanted to control the propulsive forces in 3D space directly. This research extends the 2D modelling described in the authors' previous work into 3D space. By doing this, the model could include 3D space information, which is more useful than that of 2D space. The effective propulsive forces and moments in 3D space can be obtained directly by synthesizing the propulsive vectors of propellers. For this purpose, a novel experimental mechanism was developed to achieve the proposed 3D modelling. This mechanism was designed with the mass distribution centred for the robot. By installing a six-axis load-cell sensor at the equivalent mass centre, we obtained the direct propulsive effect of the system for the robot. Also, in this paper, the orientation surface and propulsive surfaces are developed to provide the 3D information of the propulsive system. Experiments for each propeller were first carried out to establish the models. Then, further experiments were carried out with all of the propellers working together to validate the models. Finally, we compared the various experimental results with the simulation data. The utility of this modelling method is discussed at length.

  13. 3D Modelling of a Vectored Water Jet-Based Multi-Propeller Propulsion System for a Spherical Underwater Robot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xichuan Lin

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents an improved modelling method for a water jet‐based multi‐propeller propulsion system. In our previous work, the modelling experiments were only carried out in 2D planes, whose experimental results had poor agreement when we wanted to control the propulsive forces in 3D space directly. This research extends the 2D modelling described in the authors’ previous work into 3D space. By doing this, the model could include 3D space information, which is more useful than that of 2D space. The effective propulsive forces and moments in 3D space can be obtained directly by synthesizing the propulsive vectors of propellers. For this purpose, a novel experimental mechanism was developed to achieve the proposed 3D modelling. This mechanism was designed with the mass distribution centred for the robot. By installing a six‐axis load‐cell sensor at the equivalent mass centre, we obtained the direct propulsive effect of the system for the robot. Also, in this paper, the orientation surface and propulsive surfaces are developed to provide the 3D information of the propulsive system. Experiments for each propeller were first carried out to establish the models. Then, further experiments were carried out with all of the propellers working together to validate the models. Finally, we compared the various experimental results with the simulation data. The utility of this modelling method is discussed at length.

  14. Highlights of NASA's Special ETO Program Planning Workshop on rocket-based combined-cycle propulsion system technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escher, W. J. D.

    1992-01-01

    A NASA workshop on rocket-based combined-cycle propulsion technologies is described emphasizing the development of a starting point for earth-to-orbit (ETO) rocket technologies. The tutorial is designed with attention given to the combined development of aeronautical airbreathing propulsion and space rocket propulsion. The format, agenda, and group deliberations for the tutorial are described, and group deliberations include: (1) mission and space transportation infrastructure; (2) vehicle-integrated propulsion systems; (3) development operations, facilities, and human resource needs; and (4) spaceflight fleet applications and operations. Although incomplete the workshop elevates the subject of combined-cycle hypersonic propulsion and develops a common set of priniciples regarding the development of these technologies.

  15. Propulsive performance of unsteady tandem hydrofoils in an in-line configuration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boschitsch, Birgitt M.; Dewey, Peter A.; Smits, Alexander J.

    2014-05-01

    Experiments are reported on the behavior of two hydrofoils arranged in an in-line configuration as they undergo prescribed pitching motions over a wide range of phase lags and spacings between the foils. It is found that the thrust production and propulsive efficiency of the upstream foil differed from that of an isolated one only for relatively closely spaced foils, and the effects attenuated rapidly with increasing spacing. In contrast, the performance of the downstream foil depends strongly on the streamwise spacing and phase differential between the foils for all cases considered, and the thrust and propulsive efficiency could be as high as 1.5 times or as low as 0.5 times those of an isolated foil. Particle image velocimetry reveals how the wake interactions lead to these variations in propulsive performance, where a coherent mode corresponds to enhanced performance, and a branched mode corresponds to diminished performance.

  16. Propulsion Systems in Water Tunnel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nobuyuki Fujisawa

    1995-01-01

    agreement with the field experiment with prototype craft. Measurements are also made for the losses in the intake and the nozzle. The optimization study of the water jet systems is conducted by simulating the change of the nozzle outlet diameter with the variable nozzle arrangement. It is suggested that the nozzle outlet diameter should be decreased as the craft velocity increases to obtain an optimum propulsive efficiency in a wide range of craft velocity.

  17. Development of Waterjet Propulsion Unit

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-03-01

    Figure I shows the configuration of the proposed propulsion system in the aft end of an LVTP-7A1. A 20-inch diameter impeller is to be housed in a...16A the straamlne0 1 ig. 30Reato between vltys coff "scienw C+ andrust r atio o nd no l ocit in 09- 046 Anlyi to 12e e1Pople 16 is 20 s 24 262n3 Fig

  18. Development and Qualification of ATV Propulsion Assemblies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riehle, M.; Jost, R.

    2002-01-01

    In the frame of the development and operation of the International Space Station ISS, the European Space Agency ESA is not only contributing experiments and a laboratory module but also logistics capacity. This purpose of supplying the ISS shall be covered by an unmanned, Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) that will be launched for the first time in 2004 by Ariane 5. The development of the ATV is in close conjunction to the future Ariane 5 launch capacity of about 20 tons injected into low earth orbit. Thus this unmanned transporter will be a quite large space craft that is subjected to fulfil several mission objectives apart of only delivering cargo such as multiple automatic docking/de-docking, re-boost services and re-fuelling. For those reasons and due to its dimensions the propulsion sub-system is one of the most sophisticated in the field of space propulsion. Even safety issues of manned space flight have to be applied since the pressurised cargo section is part of the ISS when docked to the manned modules. This leads to by far the largest but also the most sophisticated propulsion system ever built in Europe. Astrium as one of the major partners of this european project is responsible for this major system that will be described in the paper. Focusing on the major core assemblies such as multi thruster platforms, pressure control system incl. safety and redundancy mechanisms as well as tanks and other components that completes a propulsion system. System Design and Qualification Starting from the basic criteria the paper will present the major performance requirements such as pressures, thrust levels and other parameters that led to the selection of major components of the system such as thrusters, valves, tanks, etc. Some of the component could be selected from off the shelve, whereas other core components such as the 200N Attitude Control and Braking Thrusters or Propellant Tanks had to be newly developed. The stepwise approach of development and careful

  19. Vehicle-Level Oxygen/Methane Propulsion System Hotfire Testing at Thermal Vacuum Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morehead, Robert L.; Melcher, J. C.; Atwell, Matthew J.; Hurlbert, Eric A.; Desai, Pooja; Werlink, Rudy

    2017-01-01

    A prototype integrated liquid oxygen/liquid methane propulsion system was hot-fire tested at a variety of simulated altitude and thermal conditions in the NASA Glenn Research Center Plum Brook Station In-Space Propulsion Thermal Vacuum Chamber (formerly B2). This test campaign served two purposes: 1) Characterize the performance of the Plum Brook facility in vacuum accumulator mode and 2) Collect the unique data set of an integrated LOX/Methane propulsion system operating in high altitude and thermal vacuum environments (a first). Data from this propulsion system prototype could inform the design of future spacecraft in-space propulsion systems, including landers. The test vehicle for this campaign was the Integrated Cryogenic Propulsion Test Article (ICPTA), which was constructed for this project using assets from the former Morpheus Project rebuilt and outfitted with additional new hardware. The ICPTA utilizes one 2,800 lbf main engine, two 28 lbf and two 7 lbf reaction control engines mounted in two pods, four 48-inch propellant tanks (two each for liquid oxygen and liquid methane), and a cold helium system for propellant tank pressurization. Several hundred sensors on the ICPTA and many more in the test cell collected data to characterize the operation of the vehicle and facility. Multiple notable experiments were performed during this test campaign, many for the first time, including pressure-fed cryogenic reaction control system characterization over a wide range of conditions, coil-on-plug ignition system demonstration at the vehicle level, integrated main engine/RCS operation, and a non-intrusive propellant mass gauging system. The test data includes water-hammer and thermal heat leak data critical to validating models for use in future vehicle design activities. This successful test campaign demonstrated the performance of the updated Plum Brook In-Space Propulsion thermal vacuum chamber and incrementally advanced the state of LOX/Methane propulsion

  20. Mars Mission Concepts: SAR and Solar Electric Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsperman, M.; Klaus, K.; Smith, D. B.; Clifford, S. M.; Lawrence, S. J.

    2012-12-01

    Introduction: The time has come to leverage technology advances (including advances in autonomous operation and propulsion technology) to reduce the cost and increase the flight rate of planetary missions, while actively developing a scientific and engineering workforce to achieve national space objectives. Mission Science at Mars: A SAR imaging radar offers an ability to conduct high resolution investigations of the shallow (craft for multiple missions reduces costs. Solar electric propulsion (SEP) provides the flexibility required for multiple mission objectives. SEP provides the greatest payload advantage albeit at the sacrifice of mission time. Our concept involves using a SEP enabled space craft (Boeing 702SP) with a highly capable SAR imager that also conducts autonomous rendezvous and docking experiments accomplished from Mars orbit. Our concept of operations is to launch on May 5, 2018 using a launch vehicle with 2000kg launch capacity with a C3 of 7.4. After reaching Mars it takes 145 days to spiral down to a 250 km orbit above the surface of Mars when Mars SAR operations begin. Summary/Conclusions: A robust and compelling Mars mission can be designed to meet the 2018 Mars launch window opportunity. Using advanced in-space power and propulsion technologies like High Power Solar Electric Propulsion provides enormous mission flexibility to execute the baseline science mission and conduct necessary Mars Sample Return Technology Demonstrations in Mars orbit on the same mission. An observation spacecraft platform like the high power (~5Kw) 702SP at Mars also enables the use of a SAR instrument to reveal new insights and understanding of the Mars regolith for both science and future manned exploration and utilization.