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Sample records for nuclear rocket propulsion

  1. Nuclear rocket propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clark, J.S.; Miller, T.J.

    1991-01-01

    NASA has initiated planning for a technology development project for nuclear rocket propulsion systems for Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) human and robotic missions to the Moon and to Mars. An Interagency project is underway that includes the Department of Energy National Laboratories for nuclear technology development. This paper summarizes the activities of the project planning team in FY 1990 and FY 1991, discusses the progress to date, and reviews the project plan. Critical technology issues have been identified and include: nuclear fuel temperature, life, and reliability; nuclear system ground test; safety; autonomous system operation and health monitoring; minimum mass and high specific impulse

  2. Tools for advanced simulations to nuclear propulsion systems in rockets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torres Sepulveda, A.; Perez Vara, R.

    2004-01-01

    While chemical propulsion rockets have dominated space exploration, other forms of rocket propulsion based on nuclear power, electrostatic and magnetic drive, and other principles besides chemical reactions, have been considered from the earliest days of the field. The goal of most of these advanced rocket propulsion schemes is improved efficiency through higher exhaust velocities, in order to reduce the amount of fuel the rocket vehicle needs to carry, though generally at the expense of high thrust. Nuclear propulsion seems to be the most promising short term technology to plan realistic interplanetary missions. The development of a nuclear electric propulsion spacecraft shall require the development of models to analyse the mission and to understand the interaction between the related subsystems (nuclear reactor, electrical converter, power management and distribution, and electric propulsion) during the different phases of the mission. This paper explores the modelling of a nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) spacecraft type using EcosimPro simulation software. This software is a multi-disciplinary simulation tool with a powerful object-oriented simulation language and state-of-the-art solvers. EcosimPro is the recommended ESA simulation tool for environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) and has been used successfully within the framework of the European activities of the International Space Station programme. Furthermore, propulsion libraries for chemical and electrical propulsion are currently being developed under ESA contracts to set this tool as standard usage in the propulsion community. At present, there is not any workable NEP spacecraft, but a standardized-modular, multi-purpose interplanetary spacecraft for post-2000 missions, called ISC-2000, has been proposed in reference. The simulation model presented on this paper is based on the preliminary designs for this spacecraft. (Author)

  3. Cycle Trades for Nuclear Thermal Rocket Propulsion Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, C.; Guidos, M.; Greene, W.

    2003-01-01

    Nuclear fission has been used as a reliable source for utility power in the United States for decades. Even in the 1940's, long before the United States had a viable space program, the theoretical benefits of nuclear power as applied to space travel were being explored. These benefits include long-life operation and high performance, particularly in the form of vehicle power density, enabling longer-lasting space missions. The configurations for nuclear rocket systems and chemical rocket systems are similar except that a nuclear rocket utilizes a fission reactor as its heat source. This thermal energy can be utilized directly to heat propellants that are then accelerated through a nozzle to generate thrust or it can be used as part of an electricity generation system. The former approach is Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) and the latter is Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP), which is then used to power thruster technologies such as ion thrusters. This paper will explore a number of indirect-NTP engine cycle configurations using assumed performance constraints and requirements, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each cycle configuration, and present preliminary performance and size results. This paper is intended to lay the groundwork for future efforts in the development of a practical NTP system or a combined NTP/NEP hybrid system.

  4. Nuclear rockets: High-performance propulsion for Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watson, C.W.

    1994-05-01

    A new impetus to manned Mars exploration was introduced by President Bush in his Space Exploration Initiative. This has led, in turn, to a renewed interest in high-thrust nuclear thermal rocket propulsion (NTP). The purpose of this report is to give a brief tutorial introduction to NTP and provide a basic understanding of some of the technical issues in the realization of an operational NTP engine. Fundamental physical principles are outlined from which a variety of qualitative advantages of NTP over chemical propulsion systems derive, and quantitative performance comparisons are presented for illustrative Mars missions. Key technologies are described for a representative solid-core heat-exchanger class of engine, based on the extensive development work in the Rover and NERVA nuclear rocket programs (1955 to 1973). The most driving technology, fuel development, is discussed in some detail for these systems. Essential highlights are presented for the 19 full-scale reactor and engine tests performed in these programs. On the basis of these tests, the practicality of graphite-based nuclear rocket engines was established. Finally, several higher-performance advanced concepts are discussed. These have received considerable attention, but have not, as yet, developed enough credibility to receive large-scale development

  5. SPACE MAINTENANCE OF NUCLEAR ROCKET PROPULSION VEHICLES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marjon, P. L.

    1963-08-15

    Maintenance and repair of spacecraft are discussed from the hardware viewpoint. Interior operations are rather straight forward, but study results show that space suits are not sufficient for exterior repair work. Evaluation of worker requirements leads to a maintenance capsule concept. Capsule application is depicted in contrasting situations: repair of meteoroid damage and nuclear engine replacement. Radiation shielding is also considered. (D.C.W.)

  6. Nuclear thermal rocket propulsion application to Mars missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Emrich, W.J. Jr.; Young, A.C.; Mulqueen, J.A.

    1991-01-01

    Options for vehicle configurations are reviewed in which nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) propulsion is used for a reference mission to Mars. The scenario assumes an opposition-class Mars transfer trajectory, a 435-day mission, and the use of a single nuclear engine with 75,000 lbs of thrust. Engine parameters are examined by calculating mission variables for a range of specific impulses and thrust/weight ratios. The reference mission is found to have optimal values of 925 s for the specific impulse and thrust/weight ratios of 4.0 and 0.06 for the engine and total stage ratios respectively. When the engine thrust/weight ratio is at least 4/1 the most critical engine parameter is engine specific impulse for reducing overall stage weight. In the context of this trans-Mars three-burn maneuver the NTR engine with an expander engine cycle is considered a more effective alternative than chemical/aerobrake and other propulsion options

  7. A review of the Los Alamos effort in the development of nuclear rocket propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Durham, F.P.; Kirk, W.L.; Bohl, R.J.

    1991-01-01

    This paper reviews the achievements of the Los Alamos nuclear rocket propulsion program and describes some specific reactor design and testing problems encountered during the development program along with the progress made in solving these problems. The relevance of these problems to a renewed nuclear thermal rocket development program for the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) is discussed. 11 figs

  8. Rocket propulsion by nuclear microexplosions and the interstellar paradox

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Winterberg, F

    1979-11-01

    Magnetic insulation is discussed with regard to generating ultra-intense ion beams (IIBs) for thermonuclear microexplosion ignition. With energies up to 10 to the 9th Joule reached by IIB pulses or target staging, the ignition of the hydrogen/boron-11 (HB-11) thermonuclear reaction by the addition of DT and fissionable material is considered. In addition, the possibility of HB-11 as a rocket propulsion system utilizing a magnetic mirror whose magnetic field is generated with high field superconductors is discussed in terms of interstellar travel at up to 1/10 the velocity of light. Attention is also given to the possibility of a relatively unique advanced civilization on earth caused by a rare, near-Roche limit capture of the moon and the subsequent tidal effects resulting in a land/water combination favorable for rapid evolution of life forms.

  9. Nuclear rockets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sarram, M.

    1972-01-01

    Nuclear energy has found many applications in space projects. This article deals with these applications. The first application is the use of nuclear energy for the production of electricity in space and the second main application is the use of nuclear energy for propulsion purposes in space flight. The main objective is to develop a 75000 pound thrust flight engine call NERVA by heating liquid hydrogen, in a nuclear reactor, from 420F to 4000 0 F. The paper describes in detail the salient features of the NERVA rocket as well as its comparison with the conventional chemical rockets. It is shown that a nuclear rocket using liquid hydrogen as medium is at least 85% more efficient as compared with the chemical rockets such as those used for the APOLLO moon flight

  10. Nuclear rockets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sarram, M [Teheran Univ. (Iran). Inst. of Nuclear Science and Technology

    1972-02-01

    Nuclear energy has found many applications in space projects. This article deals with these applications. The first application is the use of nuclear energy for the production of electricity in space and the second main application is the use of nuclear energy for propulsion purposes in space flight. The main objective is to develop a 75000 pound thrust flight engine called NERVA by heating liquid hydrogen in a nuclear reactor. The paper describes in detail the salient features of the NERVA rocket as well as its comparison with the conventional chemical rockets. It is shown that a nuclear rocket using liquid hydrogen as medium is at least 85% more efficient as compared with the chemical rockets such as those used for the APOLLO moon flight.

  11. Nuclear Propulsion through Direct Conversion of Fusion Energy: The Fusion Driven Rocket

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slough, John; Pancotti, Anthony; Kirtley, David; Pihl, Christopher; Pfaff, Michael

    2012-01-01

    The future of manned space exploration and development of space depends critically on the creation of a dramatically more proficient propulsion architecture for in-space transportation. A very persuasive reason for investigating the applicability of nuclear power in rockets is the vast energy density gain of nuclear fuel when compared to chemical combustion energy. Current nuclear fusion efforts have focused on the generation of electric grid power and are wholly inappropriate for space transportation as the application of a reactor based fusion-electric system creates a colossal mass and heat rejection problem for space application.

  12. REIMR - A Process for Utilizing Liquid Rocket Propulsion-Oriented 'Lessons Learned' to Mitigate Development Risk in Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 (NTP). This paper will discus 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. The nuclear thermal electric rocket: a proposed innovative propulsion concept for manned interplanetary missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dujarric, C.; Santovincenzo, A.; Summerer, L.

    2013-03-01

    Conventional propulsion technology (chemical and electric) currently limits the possibilities for human space exploration to the neighborhood of the Earth. If farther destinations (such as Mars) are to be reached with humans on board, a more capable interplanetary transfer engine featuring high thrust, high specific impulse is required. The source of energy which could in principle best meet these engine requirements is nuclear thermal. However, the nuclear thermal rocket technology is not yet ready for flight application. The development of new materials which is necessary for the nuclear core will require further testing on ground of full-scale nuclear rocket engines. Such testing is a powerful inhibitor to the nuclear rocket development, as the risks of nuclear contamination of the environment cannot be entirely avoided with current concepts. Alongside already further matured activities in the field of space nuclear power sources for generating on-board power, a low level investigation on nuclear propulsion has been running since long within ESA, and innovative concepts have already been proposed at an IAF conference in 1999 [1, 2]. Following a slow maturation process, a new concept was defined which was submitted to a concurrent design exercise in ESTEC in 2007. Great care was taken in the selection of the design parameters to ensure that this quite innovative concept would in all respects likely be feasible with margins. However, a thorough feasibility demonstration will require a more detailed design including the selection of appropriate materials and the verification that these can withstand the expected mechanical, thermal, and chemical environment. So far, the predefinition work made clear that, based on conservative technology assumptions, a specific impulse of 920 s could be obtained with a thrust of 110 kN. Despite the heavy engine dry mass, a preliminary mission analysis using conservative assumptions showed that the concept was reducing the required

  16. Kinetic---a system code for analyzing nuclear thermal propulsion rocket engine transients

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schmidt, E.; Lazareth, O.; Ludewig, H.

    1993-01-01

    A system code suitable for analyzing Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) rocket engines is described in this paper. The code consists of a point reactor model and nodes to describe the fluid dynamics and heat transfer mechanism. Feedback from the fuel, coolant, moderator and reflector are allowed for, and the control of the reactor is by motion of controls element (drums or rods). The worth of the control element and feedback coefficients are predetermined. Separate models for the turbo-pump assembly (TPA) and nozzle are also included. The model to be described in this paper is specific for the Particle Bed Reactor (PBR). An illustrative problem is solved. This problem consists of a PBR operating in a blowdown mode

  17. Kinetic—a system code for analyzing nuclear thermal propulsion rocket engine transients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Eldon; Lazareth, Otto; Ludewig, Hans

    1993-01-01

    A system code suitable for analyzing Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) rocket engines is described in this paper. The code consists of a point reactor model and nodes to describe the fluid dynamics and heat transfer mechanism. Feedback from the fuel, coolant, moderator and reflector are allowed for, and the control of the reactor is by motion of controls element (drums or rods). The worth of the control element and feedback coefficients are predetermined. Separate models for the turbo-pump assembly (TPA) and nozzle are also included. The model to be described in this paper is specific for the Particle Bed Reactor (PBR). An illustrative problem is solved. This problem consists of a PBR operating in a blowdown mode.

  18. KINETIC: A system code for analyzing Nuclear thermal propulsion rocket engine transients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, E.; Lazareth, O.; Ludewig, H.

    1993-07-01

    A system code suitable for analyzing Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) rocket engines is described in this paper. The code consists of a point reactor model and nodes to describe the fluid dynamics and heat transfer mechanism. Feedback from the fuel coolant, moderator and reflector are allowed for, and the control of the reactor is by motion of control elements (drums or rods). The worth of the control clement and feedback coefficients are predetermined. Separate models for the turbo-pump assembly (TPA) and nozzle are also included. The model to be described in this paper is specific for the Particle Bed Reactor (PBR). An illustrative problem is solved. This problem consists of a PBR operating in a blowdown mode.

  19. Mars mission opportunity and transit time sensitivity for a nuclear thermal rocket propulsion application

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Young, A.C.; Mulqueen, J.A.; Nishimuta, E.L.; Emrich, W.J.

    1993-01-01

    President George Bush's 1989 challenge to America to support the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) of ''Back to the Moon and Human Mission to Mars'' gives the space industry an opportunity to develop effective and efficient space transportation systems. This paper presents stage performance and requirements for a nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) Mars transportation system to support the human Mars mission of the SEI. Two classes of Mars mission profiles are considered in developing the NTR propulsion vehicle performance and requirements. The two Mars mission classes include the opposition class and conjunction class. The opposition class mission is associated with relatively short Mars stay times ranging from 30 to 90 days and total mission duration of 350 to 600 days. The conjunction class mission is associated with much longer Mars stay times ranging from 500 to 600 days and total mission durations of 875 to 1,000 days. Vehicle mass scaling equations are used to determine the NTR stage mass, size, and performance range required for different Mars mission opportunities and for different Mars mission durations. Mission opportunities considered include launch years 2010 to 2018. The 2010 opportunity is the most demanding launch opportunity and the 2018 opportunity is the least demanding opportunity. NTR vehicle mass and size sensitivity to NTR engine thrust level, engine specific impulse, NTR engine thrust-to-weight ratio, and Mars surface payload are presented. NTR propulsion parameter ranges include those associated with NERVA, particle bed reactor (PBR), low-pressure, and ceramic-metal-type engine design

  20. Mars mission opportunity and transit time sensitivity for a nuclear thermal rocket propulsion application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Archie C.; Mulqueen, John A.; Nishimuta, Ena L.; Emrich, William J.

    1993-01-01

    President George Bush's 1989 challenge to America to support the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) of ``Back to the Moon and Human Mission to Mars'' gives the space industry an opportunity to develop effective and efficient space transportation systems. This paper presents stage performance and requirements for a nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) Mars transportation system to support the human Mars mission of the SEI. Two classes of Mars mission profiles are considered in developing the NTR propulsion vehicle performance and requirements. The two Mars mission classes include the opposition class and conjunction class. The opposition class mission is associated with relatively short Mars stay times ranging from 30 to 90 days and total mission duration of 350 to 600 days. The conjunction class mission is associated with much longer Mars stay times ranging from 500 to 600 days and total mission durations of 875 to 1,000 days. Vehicle mass scaling equations are used to determine the NTR stage mass, size, and performance range required for different Mars mission opportunities and for different Mars mission durations. Mission opportunities considered include launch years 2010 to 2018. The 2010 opportunity is the most demanding launch opportunity and the 2018 opportunity is the least demanding opportunity. NTR vehicle mass and size sensitivity to NTR engine thrust level, engine specific impulse, NTR engine thrust-to-weight ratio, and Mars surface payload are presented. NTR propulsion parameter ranges include those associated with NERVA, particle bed reactor (PBR), low-pressure, and ceramic-metal-type engine design.

  1. 'Bimodal' Nuclear Thermal Rocket (BNTR) propulsion for an artificial gravity HOPE mission to Callisto

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borowski, Stanley K.; McGuire, Melissa L.; Mason, Lee M.; Gilland, James H.; Packard, Thomas W.

    2003-01-01

    This paper summarizes the results of a year long, multi-center NASA study which examined the viability of nuclear fission propulsion systems for Human Outer Planet Exploration (HOPE). The HOPE mission assumes a crew of six is sent to Callisto. Jupiter's outermost large moon, to establish a surface base and propellant production facility. The Asgard asteroid formation, a region potentially rich in water-ice, is selected as the landing site. High thrust BNTR propulsion is used to transport the crew from the Earth-Moon L1 staging node to Callisto then back to Earth in less than 5 years. Cargo and LH2 'return' propellant for the piloted Callisto transfer vehicle (PCTV) is pre-deployed at the moon (before the crew's departure) using low thrust, high power, nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) cargo and tanker vehicles powered by hydrogen magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters. The PCTV is powered by three 25 klbf BNTR engines which also produce 50 kWe of power for crew life support and spacecraft operational needs. To counter the debilitating effects of long duration space flight (∼855 days out and ∼836 days back) under '0-gE' conditions, the PCTV generates an artificial gravity environment of '1-gE' via rotation of the vehicle about its center-of-mass at a rate of ∼4 rpm. After ∼123 days at Callisto, the 'refueled' PCTV leaves orbit for the trip home. Direct capsule re-entry of the crew at mission end is assumed. Dynamic Brayton power conversion and high temperature uranium dioxide (UO2) in tungsten metal ''cermet'' fuel is used in both the BNTR and NEP vehicles to maximize hardware commonality. Technology performance levels and vehicle characteristics are presented, and requirements for PCTV reusability are also discussed

  2. Nuclear propulsion systems engineering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Madsen, W.W.; Neuman, J.E.: Van Haaften, D.H.

    1992-01-01

    The Nuclear Energy for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA) program of the 1960's and early 1970's was dramatically successful, with no major failures during the entire testing program. This success was due in large part to the successful development of a systems engineering process. Systems engineering, properly implemented, involves all aspects of the system design and operation, and leads to optimization of theentire system: cost, schedule, performance, safety, reliability, function, requirements, etc. The process must be incorporated from the very first and continued to project completion. This paper will discuss major aspects of the NERVA systems engineering effort, and consider the implications for current nuclear propulsion efforts

  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. Nuclear propulsion tradeoffs for manned Mars missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walton, L.A.; Malloy, J.D.

    1991-01-01

    A conjunction class split/sprint manned Mars exploration mission was studied to evaluate tradeoffs in performance characteristics of nuclear thermal rockets. A Particle Bed Reactor-based nuclear thermal rocket was found to offer a 38% to 52% total mass savings compared with a NERVA-based nuclear thermal rocket for this mission. This advantage is primarily due to the higher thrust-to-weight ratio of the Particle Bed Reactor nuclear rocket. The mission is enabled by nuclear thermal rockets. It cannot be performed practically using chemical propulsion

  5. Rocket propulsion elements - An introduction to the engineering of rockets (6th revised and enlarged edition)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutton, George P.

    The subject of rocket propulsion is treated with emphasis on the basic technology, performance, and design rationale. Attention is given to definitions and fundamentals, nozzle theory and thermodynamic relations, heat transfer, flight performance, chemical rocket propellant performance analysis, and liquid propellant rocket engine fundamentals. The discussion also covers solid propellant rocket fundamentals, hybrid propellant rockets, thrust vector control, selection of rocket propulsion systems, electric propulsion, and rocket testing.

  6. SAFE testing nuclear rockets economically

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howe, Steven D.; Travis, Bryan; Zerkle, David K.

    2003-01-01

    Several studies over the past few decades have recognized the need for advanced propulsion to explore the solar system. As early as the 1960s, Werner Von Braun and others recognized the need for a nuclear rocket for sending humans to Mars. The great distances, the intense radiation levels, and the physiological response to zero-gravity all supported the concept of using a nuclear rocket to decrease mission time. These same needs have been recognized in later studies, especially in the Space Exploration Initiative in 1989. One of the key questions that has arisen in later studies, however, is the ability to test a nuclear rocket engine in the current societal environment. Unlike the Rover/NERVA programs in the 1960s, the rocket exhaust can no longer be vented to the open atmosphere. As a consequence, previous studies have examined the feasibility of building a large-scale version of the Nuclear Furnace Scrubber that was demonstrated in 1971. We have investigated an alternative that would deposit the rocket exhaust along with any entrained fission products directly into the ground. The Subsurface Active Filtering of Exhaust, or SAFE, concept would allow variable sized engines to be tested for long times at a modest expense. A system overview, results of preliminary calculations, and cost estimates of proof of concept demonstrations are presented. The results indicate that a nuclear rocket could be tested at the Nevada Test Site for under $20 M

  7. A Flight Demonstration of Plasma Rocket Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petro, Andrew

    1999-01-01

    The Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory at the Johnson Space Center has been engaged in the development of a magneto-plasma rocket for several years. This type of rocket could be used in the future to propel interplanetary spacecraft. One advantageous feature of this rocket concept is the ability to vary its specific impulse so that it can be operated in a mode which maximizes propellant efficiency or a mode which maximizes thrust. This presentation will describe a proposed flight experiment in which a simple version of the rocket will be tested in space. In addition to the plasma rocket, the flight experiment will also demonstrate the use of a superconducting electromagnet, extensive use of heat pipes, and possibly the transfer of cryogenic propellant in space.

  8. 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.

  9. Nuclear thermal propulsion workshop overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clark, J.S.

    1991-01-01

    NASA is planning an Exploration Technology Program as part of the Space Exploration Initiative to return U.S. astronauts to the moon, conduct intensive robotic exploration of the moon and Mars, and to conduct a piloted mission to Mars by 2019. Nuclear Propulsion is one of the key technology thrust for the human mission to Mars. The workshop addresses NTP (Nuclear Thermal Rocket) technologies with purpose to: assess the state-of-the-art of nuclear propulsion concepts; assess the potential benefits of the concepts for the mission to Mars; identify critical, enabling technologies; lay-out (first order) technology development plans including facility requirements; and estimate the cost of developing these technologies to flight-ready status. The output from the workshop will serve as a data base for nuclear propulsion project planning

  10. Fundamentals of aircraft and rocket propulsion

    CERN Document Server

    El-Sayed, Ahmed F

    2016-01-01

    This book provides a comprehensive basics-to-advanced course in an aero-thermal science vital to the design of engines for either type of craft. The text classifies engines powering aircraft and single/multi-stage rockets, and derives performance parameters for both from basic aerodynamics and thermodynamics laws. Each type of engine is analyzed for optimum performance goals, and mission-appropriate engines selection is explained. Fundamentals of Aircraft and Rocket Propulsion provides information about and analyses of: thermodynamic cycles of shaft engines (piston, turboprop, turboshaft and propfan); jet engines (pulsejet, pulse detonation engine, ramjet, scramjet, turbojet and turbofan); chemical and non-chemical rocket engines; conceptual design of modular rocket engines (combustor, nozzle and turbopumps); and conceptual design of different modules of aero-engines in their design and off-design state. Aimed at graduate and final-year undergraduate students, this textbook provides a thorough grounding in th...

  11. The Chameleon Solid Rocket Propulsion Model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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).

  12. Nuclear propulsion for orbital transfer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beale, G.A.; Lawrence, T.J.

    1989-01-01

    The state of the art in nuclear propulsion for orbital transfer is discussed. Cryogenic propulsion, electric propulsion, solar-thermal propulsion and direct nuclear propulsion are examined in this context. New technologies with exceptional promise are addressed, emphasizing the particle test bed nuclear engine

  13. A Flight Demonstration of Plasma Rocket Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petro, Andrew; Chang-Diaz, Franklin; Schwenterly, WIlliam; Hitt, Michael; Lepore, Joseph

    2000-01-01

    The Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory at the NASA Johnson Space Center has been engaged in the development of a variable specific impulse magnetoplasma rocket (V ASIMR) for several years. This type of rocket could be used in the future to propel interplanetary spacecraft and has the potential to open the entire solar system to human exploration. One feature of this propulsion technology is the ability to vary its specific impulse so that it can be operated in a mode that maximizes propellant efficiency or a mode that maximizes thrust. Variation of specific impulse and thrust enhances the ability to optimize interplanetary trajectories and results in shorter trip times and lower propellant requirements than with a fixed specific impulse. In its ultimate application for interplanetary travel, the VASIMR would be a multi-megawatt device. A much lower power system is being designed for demonstration in the 2004 timeframe. This first space demonstration would employ a lO-kilowatt thruster aboard a solar powered spacecraft in Earth orbit. The 1O-kilowatt V ASIMR demonstration unit would operate for a period of several months with hydrogen or deuterium propellant with a specific impulse of 10,000 seconds.

  14. US Rocket Propulsion Industrial Base Health Metrics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doreswamy, Rajiv

    2013-01-01

    The number of active liquid rocket engine and solid rocket motor development programs has severely declined since the "space race" of the 1950s and 1960s center dot This downward trend has been exacerbated by the retirement of the Space Shuttle, transition from the Constellation Program to the Space launch System (SLS) and similar activity in DoD programs center dot In addition with consolidation in the industry, the rocket propulsion industrial base is under stress. To Improve the "health" of the RPIB, we need to understand - The current condition of the RPIB - How this compares to past history - The trend of RPIB health center dot This drives the need for a concise set of "metrics" - Analogous to the basic data a physician uses to determine the state of health of his patients - Easy to measure and collect - The trend is often more useful than the actual data point - Can be used to focus on problem areas and develop preventative measures The nation's capability to conceive, design, develop, manufacture, test, and support missions using liquid rocket engines and solid rocket motors that are critical to its national security, economic health and growth, and future scientific needs. center dot The RPIB encompasses US government, academic, and commercial (including industry primes and their supplier base) research, development, test, evaluation, and manufacturing capabilities and facilities. center dot The RPIB includes the skilled workforce, related intellectual property, engineering and support services, and supply chain operations and management. This definition touches the five main segments of the U.S. RPIB as categorized by the USG: defense, intelligence community, civil government, academia, and commercial sector. The nation's capability to conceive, design, develop, manufacture, test, and support missions using liquid rocket engines and solid rocket motors that are critical to its national security, economic health and growth, and future scientific needs

  15. 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.

  16. Oxygen Containment System Options for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Testing

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — All nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) ground testing conducted in the 1950s and 1960s during the ROVER/(Nuclear Engine Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA) program...

  17. On use of hybrid rocket propulsion for suborbital vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okninski, Adam

    2018-04-01

    While the majority of operating suborbital rockets use solid rocket propulsion, recent advancements in the field of hybrid rocket motors lead to renewed interest in their use in sounding rockets. This paper presents results of optimisation of sounding rockets using hybrid propulsion. An overview of vehicles under development during the last decade, as well as heritage systems is provided. Different propellant combinations are discussed and their performance assessment is given. While Liquid Oxygen, Nitrous Oxide and Nitric Acid have been widely tested with various solid fuels in flight, Hydrogen Peroxide remains an oxidiser with very limited sounding rocket applications. The benefits of hybrid propulsion for sounding rockets are given. In case of hybrid rocket motors the thrust curve can be optimised for each flight, using a flow regulator, depending on the payload and mission. Results of studies concerning the optimal burn duration and nozzle selection are given. Specific considerations are provided for the Polish ILR-33 "Amber" sounding rocket. Low regression rates, which up to date were viewed as a drawback of hybrid propulsion may be used to the benefit of maximising rocket performance if small solid rocket boosters are used during the initial flight period. While increased interest in hybrid propulsion is present, no up-to-date reference concerning use of hybrid rocket propulsion for sounding rockets is available. The ultimate goal of the paper is to provide insight into the sensitivity of different design parameters on performance of hybrid sounding rockets and delve into the potential and challenges of using hybrid rocket technology for expendable suborbital applications.

  18. Reactors. Nuclear propulsion ships

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fribourg, Ch.

    2001-01-01

    This article has for object the development of nuclear-powered ships and the conception of the nuclear-powered ship. The technology of the naval propulsion P.W.R. type reactor is described in the article B.N.3 141 'Nuclear Boilers ships'. (N.C.)

  19. Robust Exploration and Commercial Missions to the Moon Using Nuclear Thermal Rocket Propulsion and Lunar Liquid Oxygen Derived from FeO-Rich Pyroclasitc Deposits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.; Ryan, Stephen W.; Burke, Laura M.; McCurdy, David R.; Fittje, James E.; Joyner, Claude R.

    2018-01-01

    The nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) has frequently been identified as a key space asset required for the human exploration of Mars. This proven technology can also provide the affordable access through cislunar space necessary for commercial development and sustained human presence on the Moon. It is a demonstrated technology capable of generating both high thrust and high specific impulse (I(sub sp) approx. 900 s) twice that of today's best chemical rockets. Nuclear lunar transfer vehicles-consisting of a propulsion stage using three approx. 16.5-klb(sub f) small nuclear rocket engines (SNREs), an in-line propellant tank, plus the payload-are reusable, enabling a variety of lunar missions. These include cargo delivery and crewed lunar landing missions. Even weeklong ''tourism'' missions carrying passengers into lunar orbit for a day of sightseeing and picture taking are possible. The NTR can play an important role in the next phase of lunar exploration and development by providing a robust in-space lunar transportation system (LTS) that can allow initial outposts to evolve into settlements supported by a variety of commercial activities such as in-situ propellant production used to supply strategically located propellant depots and transportation nodes. The use of lunar liquid oxygen (LLO2) derived from iron oxide (FeO)-rich volcanic glass beads, found in numerous pyroclastic deposits on the Moon, can significantly reduce the launch mass requirements from Earth by enabling reusable, surface-based lunar landing vehicles (LLVs)that use liquid oxygen and hydrogen (LO2/LH2) chemical rocket engines. Afterwards, a LO2/LH2 propellant depot can be established in lunar equatorial orbit to supply the LTS. At this point a modified version of the conventional NTR-called the LO2-augmented NTR, or LANTR-is introduced into the LTS allowing bipropellant operation and leveraging the mission benefits of refueling with lunar-derived propellants for Earth return. The bipropellant LANTR

  20. Prospective application of laser plasma propulsion in rocket technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lu Xin; Zhang Jie; Li Yingjun

    2002-01-01

    Interest in laser plasma propulsion is growing intensively. The interaction of high intensity short laser pulses with materials can produce plasma expansion with a velocity of hundreds of km/s. The specific impulse of ablative laser propulsion can be many tens of times greater than that of chemical rockets. The development and potential application of laser plasma propulsion are discussed

  1. 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

  2. Nuclear merchant ship propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schroeder, E.; Jager, W.; Schafstall, H.G.

    1977-01-01

    The operation of about 300 nuclear naval vessels has proven the feasibility of nuclear ship propulsion. Until now six non military ships have been built or are under construction. In the Soviet Union two nuclear icebreakers are in operation, and a third one is under construction. In the western world three prototype merchant ships have been built. Of these ships only the NS OTTO HAHN is in operation and provides valuable experience for future large scale use of nuclear merchant ship propulsion. In many countries studies and plans are made for future nuclear merchant ships. Types of vessels investigated are large containerships, tankers and specialized ships like icebreakers or ice-breaking ships. The future of nuclear merchant ship propulsion depends on three interrelated items: (1) nuclear ship technology; (2) economy of nuclear ship propulsion; (3) legal questions. Nuclear merchant ship technology is based until now on standard ship technology and light water reactor technology. Except for special questions due to the non-stationary type of the plant entirely new problems do not arise. This has been proven by the recent conceptual licensing procedure for a large nuclear containership in Germany. The economics of nuclear propulsion will be under discussion until they are proven by the operation of privately owned lead ships. Unsolved legal questions e.g. in connection with port entry permissions are at present another problem for nuclear shipping. Efforts are made to solve these questions on an international basis. The future development of nuclear energy electricity production in large land based plants will stimulate the employment of smaller units. Any future development of long distance sea transport will have to take this opportunity of a reliable and economic energy supply into account

  3. Development of nuclear rocket engine technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gunn, S.V.

    1989-01-01

    Research sponsored by the Atomic Energy Commission, the USAF, and NASA (later on) in the area of nuclear rocket propulsion is discussed. It was found that a graphite reactor, loaded with highly concentrated Uranium 235, can be used to heat high pressure liquid hydrogen to temperatures of about 4500 R, and to expand the hydrogen through a high expansion ratio rocket nozzle assembly. The results of 20 reactor tests conducted at the Nevada Test Site between July 1959 and June 1969 are analyzed. On the basis of these results, the feasibility of solid graphite reactor/nuclear rocket engines is revealed. It is maintained that this technology will support future space propulsion requirements, using liquid hydrogen as the propellant, for thrust requirements ranging from 25,000 lbs to 250,000 lbs, with vacuum specific impulses of at least 850 sec and with full engine throttle capability. 12 refs

  4. A new facility for advanced rocket propulsion research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoeckler, Joseph G.; Green, James M.; Raitano, Paul

    1993-06-01

    A new test facility was constructed at the NASA Lewis Research Center Rocket Laboratory for the purpose of conducting rocket propulsion research at up to 8.9 kN (2000 lbf) thrust, using liquid oxygen and gaseous hydrogen propellants. A laser room adjacent to the test cell provides access to the rocket engine for advanced laser diagnostic systems. The size and location of the test cell provide the ability to conduct large amounts of testing in short time periods, with rapid turnover between programs. These capabilities make the new test facility an important asset for basic and applied rocket propulsion research.

  5. 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...

  6. Estimates of the radiation environment for a nuclear rocket engine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Courtney, J.C.; Manohara, H.M.; Williams, M.L.

    1992-01-01

    Ambitious missions in deep space, such as manned expeditions to Mars, require nuclear propulsion if they are to be accomplished in a reasonable length of time. Current technology is adequate to support the use of nuclear fission as a source of energy for propulsion; however, problems associated with neutrons and gammas leaking from the rocket engine must be addressed. Before manned or unmanned space flights are attempted, an extensive ground test program on the rocket engine must be completed. This paper compares estimated radiation levels and nuclear heating rates in and around the rocket engine for both a ground test and space environments

  7. Nuclear propulsion for the space exploration initiative

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stanley, M.L.

    1991-01-01

    President Bush's speech of July 20, 1989, outlining a goal to go back to the moon and then Mars initiated the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). The US Department of Defense (DOD), US Department of Energy (DOE), and NASA have been working together in the planning necessary to initiate a program to develop a nuclear propulsion system. Applications of nuclear technology for in-space transfer of personnel and cargo between Earth orbit and lunar or Martian orbit are being considered as alternatives to chemical propulsion systems. Mission and system concept studies conducted over the past 30 yr have consistently indicated that use of nuclear technology can substantially reduce in-space propellant requirements. A variety of nuclear technology options are currently being studied, including nuclear thermal rockets, nuclear electrical propulsion systems, and hybrid nuclear thermal rockets/nuclear electric propulsion concepts. Concept performance in terms of thrust, weight, power, and efficiency are dependent, and appropriate concept application is mission dependent (i.e., lunar, Mars, cargo, personnel, trajectory, transit time, payload). A comprehensive evaluation of mission application, technology performance capability and maturity, technology development programmatics, and safety characteristics is required to optimize both technology and mission selection to support the Presidential initiative

  8. An Analysis of Rocket Propulsion Testing Costs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez-Pagan, Carmen P.; Rahman, Shamim A.

    2009-01-01

    The primary mission at NASA Stennis Space Center (SSC) is rocket propulsion testing. Such testing is generally performed within two arenas: (1) Production testing for certification and acceptance, and (2) Developmental testing for prototype or experimental purposes. The customer base consists of NASA programs, DOD programs, and commercial programs. Resources in place to perform on-site testing include both civil servants and contractor personnel, hardware and software including data acquisition and control, and 6 test stands with a total of 14 test positions/cells. For several business reasons there is the need to augment understanding of the test costs for all the various types of test campaigns. Historical propulsion test data was evaluated and analyzed in many different ways with the intent to find any correlation or statistics that could help produce more reliable and accurate cost estimates and projections. The analytical efforts included timeline trends, statistical curve fitting, average cost per test, cost per test second, test cost timeline, and test cost envelopes. Further, the analytical effort includes examining the test cost from the perspective of thrust level and test article characteristics. Some of the analytical approaches did not produce evidence strong enough for further analysis. Some other analytical approaches yield promising results and are candidates for further development and focused study. Information was organized for into its elements: a Project Profile, Test Cost Timeline, and Cost Envelope. The Project Profile is a snap shot of the project life cycle on a timeline fashion, which includes various statistical analyses. The Test Cost Timeline shows the cumulative average test cost, for each project, at each month where there was test activity. The Test Cost Envelope shows a range of cost for a given number of test(s). The supporting information upon which this study was performed came from diverse sources and thus it was necessary to

  9. Performance Criteria of Nuclear Space Propulsion Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, L. R.

    Future exploration of the solar system on a major scale will require propulsion systems capable of performance far greater than is achievable with the present generation of rocket engines using chemical propellants. Viable missions going deeper into interstellar space will be even more demanding. Propulsion systems based on nuclear energy sources, fission or (eventually) fusion offer the best prospect for meeting the requirements. The most obvious gain coming from the application of nuclear reactions is the possibility, at least in principle, of obtaining specific impulses a thousandfold greater than can be achieved in chemically energised rockets. However, practical considerations preclude the possibility of exploiting the full potential of nuclear energy sources in any engines conceivable in terms of presently known technology. Achievable propulsive power is a particularly limiting factor, since this determines the acceleration that may be obtained. Conventional chemical rocket engines have specific propulsive powers (power per unit engine mass) in the order of gigawatts per tonne. One cannot envisage the possibility of approaching such a level of performance by orders of magnitude in presently conceivable nuclear propulsive systems. The time taken, under power, to reach a given terminal velocity is proportional to the square of the engine's exhaust velocity and the inverse of its specific power. An assessment of various nuclear propulsion concepts suggests that, even with the most optimistic assumptions, it could take many hundreds of years to attain the velocities necessary to reach the nearest stars. Exploration within a range of the order of a thousand AU, however, would appear to offer viable prospects, even with the low levels of specific power of presently conceivable nuclear engines.

  10. Worldwide Space Launch Vehicles and Their Mainstage Liquid Rocket Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Shamim A.

    2010-01-01

    Space launch vehicle begins with a basic propulsion stage, and serves as a missile or small launch vehicle; many are traceable to the 1945 German A-4. Increasing stage size, and increasingly energetic propulsion allows for heavier payloads and greater. Earth to Orbit lift capability. Liquid rocket propulsion began with use of storable (UDMH/N2O4) and evolved to high performing cryogenics (LOX/RP, and LOX/LH). Growth versions of SLV's rely on strap-on propulsive stages of either solid propellants or liquid propellants.

  11. Nuclear rocket engine reactor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lanin, Anatoly

    2013-07-01

    Covers a new technology of nuclear reactors and the related materials aspects. Integrates physics, materials science and engineering Serves as a basic book for nuclear engineers and nuclear physicists. The development of a nuclear rocket engine reactor (NRER) is presented in this book. The working capacity of an active zone NRER under mechanical and thermal load, intensive neutron fluxes, high energy generation (up to 30 MBT/l) in a working medium (hydrogen) at temperatures up to 3100 K is displayed. Design principles and bearing capacity of reactors area discussed on the basis of simulation experiments and test data of a prototype reactor. Property data of dense constructional, porous thermal insulating and fuel materials like carbide and uranium carbide compounds in the temperatures interval 300 - 3000 K are presented. Technological aspects of strength and thermal strength resistance of materials are considered. The design procedure of possible emergency processes in the NRER is developed and risks for their origination are evaluated. Prospects of the NRER development for pilotless space devices and piloted interplanetary ships are viewed.

  12. Nuclear thermal rockets using indigenous Martian propellants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zubrin, R.M.

    1989-01-01

    This paper considers a novel concept for a Martian descent and ascent vehicle, called NIMF (for nuclear rocket using indigenous Martian fuel), the propulsion for which will be provided by a nuclear thermal reactor which will heat an indigenous Martian propellant gas to form a high-thrust rocket exhaust. The performance of each of the candidate Martian propellants, which include CO2, H2O, CH4, N2, CO, and Ar, is assessed, and the methods of propellant acquisition are examined. Attention is also given to the issues of chemical compatibility between candidate propellants and reactor fuel and cladding materials, and the potential of winged Mars supersonic aircraft driven by this type of engine. It is shown that, by utilizing the nuclear landing craft in combination with a hydrogen-fueled nuclear thermal interplanetary vehicle and a heavy lift booster, it is possible to achieve a manned Mars mission in one launch. 6 refs

  13. Nuclear Rocket Engine Reactor

    CERN Document Server

    Lanin, Anatoly

    2013-01-01

    The development of a nuclear rocket engine reactor (NRER ) is presented in this book. The working capacity of an active zone NRER under mechanical and thermal load, intensive neutron fluxes, high energy generation (up to 30 MBT/l) in a working medium (hydrogen) at temperatures up to 3100 K is displayed. Design principles and bearing capacity of reactors area discussed on the basis of simulation experiments and test data of a prototype reactor. Property data of dense constructional, porous thermal insulating and fuel materials like carbide and uranium carbide compounds in the temperatures interval 300 - 3000 K are presented. Technological aspects of strength and thermal strength resistance of materials are considered. The design procedure of possible emergency processes in the NRER is developed and risks for their origination are evaluated. Prospects of the NRER development for pilotless space devices and piloted interplanetary ships are viewed.

  14. 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.

  15. Laser-fusion rocket for interplanetary propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hyde, R.A.

    1983-01-01

    A rocket powered by fusion microexplosions is well suited for quick interplanetary travel. Fusion pellets are sequentially injected into a magnetic thrust chamber. There, focused energy from a fusion Driver is used to implode and ignite them. Upon exploding, the plasma debris expands into the surrounding magnetic field and is redirected by it, producing thrust. This paper discusses the desired features and operation of the fusion pellet, its Driver, and magnetic thrust chamber. A rocket design is presented which uses slightly tritium-enriched deuterium as the fusion fuel, a high temperature KrF laser as the Driver, and a thrust chamber consisting of a single superconducting current loop protected from the pellet by a radiation shield. This rocket can be operated with a power-to-mass ratio of 110 W gm -1 , which permits missions ranging from occasional 9 day VIP service to Mars, to routine 1 year, 1500 ton, Plutonian cargo runs

  16. Rocket Scientist for a Day: Investigating Alternatives for Chemical Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelin, Marcus; Rahm, Martin; Gabrielsson, Erik; Gumaelius, Lena

    2012-01-01

    This laboratory experiment introduces rocket science from a chemistry perspective. The focus is set on chemical propulsion, including its environmental impact and future development. By combining lecture-based teaching with practical, theoretical, and computational exercises, the students get to evaluate different propellant alternatives. To…

  17. 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.

  18. Reactors for nuclear electric propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. 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.

  20. 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.; hide

    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).

  1. Data Mining for ISHM of Liquid Rocket Propulsion Status Update

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, Ashok; Schwabacher, Mark; Oza, Nijunj; Martin, Rodney; Watson, Richard; Matthews, Bryan

    2006-01-01

    This document consists of presentation slides that review the current status of data mining to support the work with the Integrated Systems Health Management (ISHM) for the systems associated with Liquid Rocket Propulsion. The aim of this project is to have test stand data from Rocketdyne to design algorithms that will aid in the early detection of impending failures during operation. These methods will be extended and improved for future platforms (i.e., CEV/CLV).

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

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) has been identified as a high NASA technology priority area by the National Research Council because nuclear thermal rockets (NTRs)...

  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. Turbopump Design and Analysis Approach for Nuclear Thermal Rockets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Shucheng S.; Veres, Joseph P.; Fittje, James E.

    2006-01-01

    A rocket propulsion system, whether it is a chemical rocket or a nuclear thermal rocket, is fairly complex in detail but rather simple in principle. Among all the interacting parts, three components stand out: they are pumps and turbines (turbopumps), and the thrust chamber. To obtain an understanding of the overall rocket propulsion system characteristics, one starts from analyzing the interactions among these three components. It is therefore of utmost importance to be able to satisfactorily characterize the turbopump, level by level, at all phases of a vehicle design cycle. Here at the NASA Glenn Research Center, as the starting phase of a rocket engine design, specifically a Nuclear Thermal Rocket Engine design, we adopted the approach of using a high level system cycle analysis code (NESS) to obtain an initial analysis of the operational characteristics of a turbopump required in the propulsion system. A set of turbopump design codes (PumpDes and TurbDes) were then executed to obtain sizing and performance parameters of the turbopump that were consistent with the mission requirements. A set of turbopump analyses codes (PUMPA and TURBA) were applied to obtain the full performance map for each of the turbopump components; a two dimensional layout of the turbopump based on these mean line analyses was also generated. Adequacy of the turbopump conceptual design will later be determined by further analyses and evaluation. In this paper, descriptions and discussions of the aforementioned approach are provided and future outlooks are discussed

  5. The behavior of fission products during nuclear rocket reactor tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bokor, P.C.; Kirk, W.L.; Bohl, R.J.

    1991-01-01

    Fission product release from nuclear rocket propulsion reactor fuel is an important consideration for nuclear rocket development and application. Fission product data from the last six reactors of the Rover program are collected in this paper to provide as basis for addressing development and testing issues. Fission product loss from the fuel will depend on fuel composition and reactor design and operating parameters. During ground testing, fission products can be contained downstream of the reactor. The last Rover reactor tested, the Nuclear Furnance, was mated to an effluent clean-up system that was effective in preventing the discharge of fission products into the atmosphere

  6. Propulsion of space ships by nuclear explosion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linhart, J. G.; Kravárik, J.

    2005-01-01

    Recent progress in the research on deuterium-tritium (D-T) inertially confined microexplosions encourages one to reconsider the nuclear propulsion of spaceships based on the concept originally proposed in the Orion project. We discuss first the acceleration of medium-sized spaceships by D-T explosions whose output is in the range of 0.1 10 t of TNT. The launching of such a ship into an Earth orbit or beyond by a large nuclear explosion in an underground cavity is sketched out in the second section of the paper, and finally we consider a hypothetical Mars mission based on these concepts. In the conclusion it is argued that propulsion based on the Orion concept only is not the best method for interplanetary travel owing to the very large number of nuclear explosion required. A combination of a super gun and subsequent rocket propulsion using advanced chemical fuels appears to be the best solution for space flights of the near future.

  7. 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.

  8. A cermet fuel reactor for nuclear thermal propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kruger, G.

    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 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

  9. Nuclear-powered rocket of the future

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yunqiao, B

    1979-06-01

    A possible manned mission to Mars with a crew of 7 in an 80-meter-long nuclear-powered rocket will take 180 days to reach its destination, will spend 10 to 14 days on the surface, and will take 200 days to return. A nuclear-powered engine (using U-235 or U-239) is the most likely means of propulsion. Four designs are described. The superheated exhaust engine will use a reactor to heat liquid hydrogen to over 4000/sup 0/C, after which it will be ejected from the exhaust. A plasma compression engine will use electric current produced by a reactor to heat hydrogen to plasma temperature (70,000/sup 0/C), after which it will be ejected through the exhaust by a magnetic field. In a gaseous-core reactor engine, gaseous fuel will heat liquid hydrogen to over 9,000/sup 0/C and use it as the propellant. The boldest solution is a proposal to use small nuclear explosions as the propulsive force. The first alternative will probably not produce enough thrust, while there will be a difficulty producing sufficient electricity in the second alternative. The other two alternatives seem promising.

  10. Nuclear thermal rockets using indigenous extraterrestrial propellants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zubrin, R.M.

    1990-01-01

    A preliminary examination of a concept for a Mars and outer solar system exploratory vehicle is presented. Propulsion is provided by utilizing a nuclear thermal reactor to heat a propellant volatile indigenous to the destination world to form a high thrust rocket exhaust. Candidate propellants, whose performance, materials compatibility, and ease of acquisition are examined and include carbon dioxide, water, methane, nitrogen, carbon monoxide, and argon. Ballistics and winged supersonic configurations are discussed. It is shown that the use of this method of propulsion potentially offers high payoff to a manned Mars mission. This is accomplished by sharply reducing the initial mission mass required in low earth orbit, and by providing Mars explorers with greatly enhanced mobility in traveling about the planet through the use of a vehicle that can refuel itself each time it lands. Thus, the nuclear landing craft is utilized in combination with a hydrogen-fueled nuclear-thermal interplanetary launch. By utilizing such a system in the outer solar system, a low level aerial reconnaissance of Titan combined with a multiple sample return from nearly every satellite of Saturn can be accomplished in a single launch of a Titan 4 or the Space Transportation System (STS). Similarly a multiple sample return from Callisto, Ganymede, and Europa can also be accomplished in one launch of a Titan 4 or the STS

  11. Tutorial on nuclear thermal propulsion safety for Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.

    1992-01-01

    Safety is the prime design requirement for nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP). It must be built in at the initiation of the design process. An understanding of safety concerns is fundamental to the development of nuclear rockets for manned missions to Mars and many other applications that will be enabled or greatly enhanced by the use of nuclear propulsion. To provide an understanding of the basic issues, a tutorial has been prepared. This tutorial covers a range of topics including safety requirements and approaches to meet these requirements, risk and safety analysis methodology, NERVA reliability and safety approach, and life cycle risk assessments

  12. 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.

  13. Lunar mission design using nuclear thermal rockets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stancati, M.L.; Collins, J.T.; Borowski, S.K.

    1991-01-01

    The NERVA-class Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR), with performance nearly double that of advanced chemical engines, has long been considered an enabling technology for human missions to Mars. NTR engines address the demanding trip time and payload delivery needs of both cargo-only and piloted flights. But NTR can also reduce the Earth launch requirements for manned lunar missions. First use of NTR for the Moon would be less demanding and would provide a test-bed for early operations experience with this powerful technology. Study of application and design options indicates that NTR propulsion can be integrated with the Space Exploration Initiative scenarios to deliver performance gains while managing controlled, long-term disposal of spent reactors to highly stable orbits

  14. Gas core nuclear rocket feasibility project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howe, S.D.; DeVolder, B.; Thode, L.; Zerkle, D.

    1997-09-01

    The next giant leap for mankind will be the human exploration of Mars. Almost certainly within the next thirty years, a human crew will brave the isolation, the radiation, and the lack of gravity to walk on and explore the Red planet. However, because the mission distances and duration will be hundreds of times greater than the lunar missions, a human crew will face much greater obstacles and a higher risk than those experienced during the Apollo program. A single solution to many of these obstacles is to dramatically decrease the mission duration by developing a high performance propulsion system. The gas core nuclear rocket (GCNR) has the potential to be such a system. The gas core concept relies on the use of fluid dynamic forces to create and maintain a vortex. The vortex is composed of a fissile material which will achieve criticality and produce high power levels. By radiatively coupling to the surrounding fluids, extremely high temperatures in the propellant and, thus, high specific impulses can be generated. The ship velocities enabled by such performance may allow a 9 month round trip, manned Mars mission to be considered. Alternatively, one might consider slightly longer missions in ships that are heavily shielded against the intense Galactic Cosmic Ray flux to further reduce the radiation dose to the crew. The current status of the research program at the Los Alamos National Laboratory into the gas core nuclear rocket feasibility will be discussed

  15. Nuclear Thermal Rocket Simulation in NPSS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belair, Michael L.; Sarmiento, Charles J.; Lavelle, Thomas M.

    2013-01-01

    Four nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) models have been created in the Numerical Propulsion System Simulation (NPSS) framework. The models are divided into two categories. One set is based upon the ZrC-graphite composite fuel element and tie tube-style reactor developed during the Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA) project in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The other reactor set is based upon a W-UO2 ceramic-metallic (CERMET) fuel element. Within each category, a small and a large thrust engine are modeled. The small engine models utilize RL-10 turbomachinery performance maps and have a thrust of approximately 33.4 kN (7,500 lbf ). The large engine models utilize scaled RL-60 turbomachinery performance maps and have a thrust of approximately 111.2 kN (25,000 lbf ). Power deposition profiles for each reactor were obtained from a detailed Monte Carlo N-Particle (MCNP5) model of the reactor cores. Performance factors such as thermodynamic state points, thrust, specific impulse, reactor power level, and maximum fuel temperature are analyzed for each engine design.

  16. Thirteenth Workshop for Computational Fluid Dynamic Applications in Rocket Propulsion and Launch Vehicle Technology. Volume 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, R. W. (Compiler)

    1996-01-01

    The purpose of the workshop was to discuss experimental and computational fluid dynamic activities in rocket propulsion and launch vehicles. The workshop was an open meeting for government, industry, and academia. A broad number of topics were discussed including computational fluid dynamic methodology, liquid and solid rocket propulsion, turbomachinery, combustion, heat transfer, and grid generation.

  17. Unique nuclear thermal rocket engine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Culver, D.W.; Rochow, R.

    1993-06-01

    In January, 1992, a new, advanced nuclear thermal rocket engine (NTRE) concept intended for manned missions to the moon and to Mars was introduced (Culver, 1992). This NTRE promises to be both shorter and lighter in weight than conventionally designed engines, because its forward flowing reactor is located within an expansion-deflection rocket nozzle. The concept has matured during the year, and this paper discusses a nearer term version that resolves four open issues identified in the initial concept: (1) the reactor design and cooling scheme simplification while retaining a high pressure power balance option; (2) elimination need for a new, uncooled nozzle throat material suitable for long life application; (3) a practical provision for reactor power control; and (4) use of near-term, long-life turbopumps

  18. Network Flow Simulation of Fluid Transients in Rocket Propulsion Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bandyopadhyay, Alak; Hamill, Brian; Ramachandran, Narayanan; Majumdar, Alok

    2011-01-01

    Fluid transients, also known as water hammer, can have a significant impact on the design and operation of both spacecraft and launch vehicle propulsion systems. These transients often occur at system activation and shutdown. The pressure rise due to sudden opening and closing of valves of propulsion feed lines can cause serious damage during activation and shutdown of propulsion systems. During activation (valve opening) and shutdown (valve closing), pressure surges must be predicted accurately to ensure structural integrity of the propulsion system fluid network. In the current work, a network flow simulation software (Generalized Fluid System Simulation Program) based on Finite Volume Method has been used to predict the pressure surges in the feed line due to both valve closing and valve opening using two separate geometrical configurations. The valve opening pressure surge results are compared with experimental data available in the literature and the numerical results compared very well within reasonable accuracy (< 5%) for a wide range of inlet-to-initial pressure ratios. A Fast Fourier Transform is preformed on the pressure oscillations to predict the various modal frequencies of the pressure wave. The shutdown problem, i.e. valve closing problem, the simulation results are compared with the results of Method of Characteristics. Most rocket engines experience a longitudinal acceleration, known as "pogo" during the later stage of engine burn. In the shutdown example problem, an accumulator has been used in the feed system to demonstrate the "pogo" mitigation effects in the feed system of propellant. The simulation results using GFSSP compared very well with the results of Method of Characteristics.

  19. Nuclear propulsion: to go to the moon in 24 hours

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Freeman, M.

    1999-01-01

    Nuclear propulsion is a necessary step to give to man the opportunity of developing activities in space. This technique enables rockets to go farther, more quickly and to transport more load than the classical chemical propulsion. Space travel requires huge quantities of energy. An equivalent quantity of energy can be extracted from 13 tons of liquid hydrogen-oxygen, from 20 g of uranium (fission), from 0.5 g of deuterium (fusion) and from 0.02 g of anti-hydrogen-hydrogen (annihilation). The concept of nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) is based on an embarked nuclear reactor whose purpose is to heat hydrogen to 3000 K temperature. The thrust can be increased by injecting liquid oxygen in the nozzle to react with supersonic hydrogen. (A.C.)

  20. NERVA-Derived Concept for a Bimodal Nuclear Thermal Rocket

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fusselman, Steven P.; Frye, Patrick E.; Gunn, Stanley V.; Morrison, Calvin Q.; Borowski, Stanley K.

    2005-01-01

    The Nuclear Thermal Rocket is an enabling technology for human exploration missions. The 'bimodal' NTR (BNTR) provides a novel approach to meeting both propulsion and power requirements of future manned and robotic missions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate tie-tube cooling configurations, NTR performance, Brayton cycle performance, and LOX-Augmented NTR (LANTR) feasibility to arrive at a point of departure BNTR configuration for subsequent system definition

  1. Efficient solid rocket propulsion for access to space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maggi, Filippo; Bandera, Alessio; Galfetti, Luciano; De Luca, Luigi T.; Jackson, Thomas L.

    2010-06-01

    Space launch activity is expected to grow in the next few years in order to follow the current trend of space exploitation for business purpose. Granting high specific thrust and volumetric specific impulse, and counting on decades of intense development, solid rocket propulsion is a good candidate for commercial access to space, even with common propellant formulations. Yet, some drawbacks such as low theoretical specific impulse, losses as well as safety issues, suggest more efficient propulsion systems, digging into the enhancement of consolidated techniques. Focusing the attention on delivered specific impulse, a consistent fraction of losses can be ascribed to the multiphase medium inside the nozzle which, in turn, is related to agglomeration; a reduction of agglomerate size is likely. The present paper proposes a model based on heterogeneity characterization capable of describing the agglomeration trend for a standard aluminized solid propellant formulation. Material microstructure is characterized through the use of two statistical descriptors (pair correlation function and near-contact particles) looking at the mean metal pocket size inside the bulk. Given the real formulation and density of a propellant, a packing code generates the material representative which is then statistically analyzed. Agglomerate predictions are successfully contrasted to experimental data at 5 bar for four different formulations.

  2. Nuclear Thermal Rocket Element Environmental Simulator (NTREES) Upgrade Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emrich, William J. Jr.; Moran, Robert P.; Pearson, J. Boise

    2012-01-01

    To support the on-going nuclear thermal propulsion effort, a state-of-the-art non nuclear experimental test setup has been constructed to evaluate the performance characteristics of candidate fuel element materials and geometries in representative environments. The facility to perform this testing is referred to as the Nuclear Thermal Rocket Element Environment Simulator (NTREES). This device can simulate the environmental conditions (minus the radiation) to which nuclear rocket fuel components will be subjected during reactor operation. Test articles mounted in the simulator are inductively heated in such a manner so as to accurately reproduce the temperatures and heat fluxes which would normally occur as a result of nuclear fission and would be exposed to flowing hydrogen. Initial testing of a somewhat prototypical fuel element has been successfully performed in NTREES and the facility has now been shutdown to allow for an extensive reconfiguration of the facility which will result in a significant upgrade in its capabilities

  3. The Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Program: Propulsion for the twenty first century

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bleeker, G.; Moody, J.; Kesaree, M.

    1993-01-01

    As mission requirements approach the limits of the chemical propulsion systems, new engines must be investigated that can meet the advanced mission requirements of higher payload fractions, higher velocities, and consequently higher specific Impulses (Isp). The propulsion system that can meet these high demands is a nuclear thermal rocket engine. This engine generates the thrust by expanding/existing the hydrogen, heated from the energy derived from the fission process in a reactor, through a nozzle. The Department of Defense (DoD), however, initiated a new nuclear rocket development program in 1987 for ballistic missile defense application. The Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) Program that seeks to improve on the technology of ROVER/NERVA grew out of this beginning and has been managed by the Air Force, with the involvement of DoE and NASA. The goal of the SNTP Program is to develop an engine to meet potential Air Force requirements for upper stage engine, bimodal propulsion/power applications, and orbital transfer vehicles, as well as the NASA requirements for possible missions to the Moon and Mars. During the entire life of the program, the DoD has considered safety to be of paramount importance, and is following all national environmental policies

  4. Thirteenth Workshop for Computational Fluid Dynamic Applications in Rocket Propulsion and Launch Vehicle Technology. Volume 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, R. W. (Compiler)

    1996-01-01

    This conference publication includes various abstracts and presentations given at the 13th Workshop for Computational Fluid Dynamic Applications in Rocket Propulsion and Launch Vehicle Technology held at the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center April 25-27 1995. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss experimental and computational fluid dynamic activities in rocket propulsion and launch vehicles. The workshop was an open meeting for government, industry, and academia. A broad number of topics were discussed including computational fluid dynamic methodology, liquid and solid rocket propulsion, turbomachinery, combustion, heat transfer, and grid generation.

  5. Vehicle configuration options using nuclear propulsion for Mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emrich, William J.

    1993-01-01

    The solid core nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) provides an attractive means of providing the propulsive force needed to accomplish a wide array of space missions. With its factor of two or more advantage in Isp over chemical engines, nuclear propulsion provides the opportunity to accomplish space missions which are impractical by other means. This paper focuses on the use of a nuclear thermal rocket to accomplish a variety of space missions with emphasis on the manned Mars mission. The particle bed reactor (PBR) type nuclear engine was chosen as the baseline engine used to conduct the present study because of its perceived versatility over other nuclear propulsion systems in conducting a wide variety of tasks. This study baselines a particle bed reactor engine with an engine thrust-to-weight ratio (~11.5) and a specific impulse of ~950 s. It is shown that a PBR engine of this type will offer distinct advantages over the larger and heavier NERVA type nuclear engines.

  6. Vehicle configuration options using nuclear propulsion for Mars missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Emrich, W.J. Jr.

    1993-01-01

    The solid core nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) provides an attractive means of providing the propulsive force needed to accomplish a wide array of space missions. With its factor of two or more advantage in Isp over chemical engines, nuclear propulsion provides the opportunity to accomplish space missions which are impractical by other means. This paper focuses on the use of a nuclear thermal rocket to accomplish a variety of space missions with emphasis on the manned Mars mission. The particle bed reactor (PBR) type nuclear engine was chosen as the baseline engine used to conduct the present study because of its perceived versatility over other nuclear propulsion systems in conducting a wide variety of tasks. This study baselines a particle bed reactor engine with an engine thrust-to-weight ratio (∼11.5) and a specific impulse of ∼950 s. It is shown that a PBR engine of this type will offer distinct advantages over the larger and heavier NERVA type nuclear engines

  7. Nuclear thermal propulsion engine based on particle bed reactor using light water steam as a propellant

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, James R.; Ludewig, Hans; Maise, George

    1993-01-01

    In this paper the possibility of configuring a water cooled Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) rocket, based on a Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) is investigated. This rocket will be used to operate on water obtained from near earth objects. The conclusions reached in this paper indicate that it is possible to configure a PBR based NTP rocket to operate on water and meet the mission requirements envisioned for it. No insurmountable technology issues have been identified.

  8. Nuclear thermal propulsion engine based on particle bed reactor using light water steam as a propellant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Powell, J.R.; Ludewig, H.; Maise, G.

    1993-01-01

    In this paper the possibility of configuring a water cooled Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) rocket, based on a Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) is investigated. This rocket will be used to operate on water obtained from near earth objects. The conclusions reached in this paper indicate that it is possible to configure a PBR based NTP rocket to operate on water and meet the mission requirements envisioned for it. No insurmountable technology issues have been identified

  9. Preliminary Design Optimization For A Supersonic Turbine For Rocket Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papila, Nilay; Shyy, Wei; Griffin, Lisa; Huber, Frank; Tran, Ken; McConnaughey, Helen (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    In this study, we present a method for optimizing, at the preliminary design level, a supersonic turbine for rocket propulsion system application. Single-, two- and three-stage turbines are considered with the number of design variables increasing from 6 to 11 then to 15, in accordance with the number of stages. Due to its global nature and flexibility in handling different types of information, the response surface methodology (RSM) is applied in the present study. A major goal of the present Optimization effort is to balance the desire of maximizing aerodynamic performance and minimizing weight. To ascertain required predictive capability of the RSM, a two-level domain refinement approach has been adopted. The accuracy of the predicted optimal design points based on this strategy is shown to he satisfactory. Our investigation indicates that the efficiency rises quickly from single stage to 2 stages but that the increase is much less pronounced with 3 stages. A 1-stage turbine performs poorly under the engine balance boundary condition. A portion of fluid kinetic energy is lost at the turbine discharge of the 1-stage design due to high stage pressure ratio and high-energy content, mostly hydrogen, of the working fluid. Regarding the optimization technique, issues related to the design of experiments (DOE) has also been investigated. It is demonstrated that the criteria for selecting the data base exhibit significant impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of the construction of the response surface.

  10. Nuclear thermal rocket workshop reference system Rover/NERVA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borowski, S.K.

    1991-01-01

    The Rover/NERVA engine system is to be used as a reference, against which each of the other concepts presented in the workshop will be compared. The following topics are reviewed: the operational characteristics of the nuclear thermal rocket (NTR); the accomplishments of the Rover/NERVA programs; and performance characteristics of the NERVA-type systems for both Mars and lunar mission applications. Also, the issues of ground testing, NTR safety, NASA's nuclear propulsion project plans, and NTR development cost estimates are briefly discussed

  11. National Institute for Rocket Propulsion Systems 2012 Annual Report: A Year of Progress and Challenge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, L. Dale; Doreswamy, Rajiv; Fry, Emma Kiele

    2013-01-01

    The National Institute for Rocket Propulsion Systems (NIRPS) maintains and advances U.S. leadership in all aspects of rocket propulsion for defense, civil, and commercial uses. The Institute's creation is in response to widely acknowledged concerns about the U.S. rocket propulsion base dating back more than a decade. U.S. leadership in rocket and missile propulsion is threatened by long-term industry downsizing, a shortage of new solid and liquid propulsion programs, limited ability to attract and retain fresh talent, and discretionary federal budget pressures. Numerous trade and independent studies cite erosion of this capability as a threat to national security and the U.S. economy resulting in a loss of global competitiveness for the U.S. propulsion industry. This report covers the period between May 2011 and December 2012, which includes the creation and transition to operations of NIRPS. All subsequent reports will be annual. The year 2012 has been an eventful one for NIRPS. In its first full year, the new team overcame many obstacles and explored opportunities to ensure the institute has a firm foundation for the future. NIRPS is now an active organization making contributions to the development, sustainment, and strategy of the rocket propulsion industry in the United States. This report describes the actions taken by the NIRPS team to determine the strategy, organizational structure, and goals of the Institute. It also highlights key accomplishments, collaborations with other organizations, and the strategic framework for the Institute.

  12. CFD Analysis of Square Flow Channel in Thermal Engine Rocket Adventurer for Space Nuclear Application

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nam, S. H.; Suh, K. Y.; Kang, S. G.

    2008-01-01

    Solar system exploration relying on chemical rockets suffers from long trip time and high cost. In this regard nuclear propulsion is an attractive option for space exploration. The performance of Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) is more than twice that of the best chemical rocket. Resorting to the pure hydrogen (H 2 ) propellant the NTRs can possibly achieve as high as 1,000 s of specific impulse (I sp ) representing the ratio of the thrust over the fuel consumption rate, as compared to only 425 s of H 2 /O 2 rockets. If we reflect on the mission to Mars, NTRs would reduce the round trip time to less than 300 days, instead of over 600 days with chemical rockets. This work presents CFD analysis of one Fuel Element (FE) of Thermal Engine Rocket Adventurer (TERA). In particular, one Square Flow Channel (SFC) is analyzed in Square Lattice Honeycomb (SLHC) fuel to examine the effects of mass flow rate on rocket performance

  13. Spark Ignition of Combustible Vapor in a Plastic Bottle as a Demonstration of Rocket Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattox, J. R.

    2017-01-01

    I report an innovation that provides a compelling demonstration of rocket propulsion, appropriate for students of physics and other physical sciences. An electrical spark is initiated from a distance to cause the deflagration of a combustible vapor mixed with air in a lightweight plastic bottle that is consequently propelled as a rocket by the…

  14. On the use of a pulsed nuclear thermal rocket for interplanetary travel

    OpenAIRE

    Arias Montenegro, Francisco Javier

    2016-01-01

    The object of this work is a first assessment of the use of a pulsed nuclear thermal rocket for thrust and specific impulse (Isp) augmentation with particular reference to interplanetary travel. The basis of the novel space propulsion idea is the possibility of working in a bimodal fashion where the classical stationary nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) could be switch on or switch off as a pulsed reactor as desired by the mission planners. It was found that the key factor for Isp augmentation ...

  15. Review of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Ground Test Options

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coote, David J.; Power, Kevin P.; Gerrish, Harold P.; Doughty, Glen

    2015-01-01

    High efficiency rocket propulsion systems are essential for humanity to venture beyond the moon. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is a promising alternative to conventional chemical rockets with relatively high thrust and twice the efficiency of highest performing chemical propellant engines. NTP utilizes the coolant of a nuclear reactor to produce propulsive thrust. An NTP engine produces thrust by flowing hydrogen through a nuclear reactor to cool the reactor, heating the hydrogen and expelling it through a rocket nozzle. The hot gaseous hydrogen is nominally expected to be free of radioactive byproducts from the nuclear reactor; however, it has the potential to be contaminated due to off-nominal engine reactor performance. NTP ground testing is more difficult than chemical engine testing since current environmental regulations do not allow/permit open air testing of NTP as was done in the 1960's and 1970's for the Rover/NERVA program. A new and innovative approach to rocket engine ground test is required to mitigate the unique health and safety risks associated with the potential entrainment of radioactive waste from the NTP engine reactor core into the engine exhaust. Several studies have been conducted since the ROVER/NERVA program in the 1970's investigating NTP engine ground test options to understand the technical feasibility, identify technical challenges and associated risks and provide rough order of magnitude cost estimates for facility development and test operations. The options can be divided into two distinct schemes; (1) real-time filtering of the engine exhaust and its release to the environment or (2) capture and storage of engine exhaust for subsequent processing.

  16. Rocket science

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Upson Sandra

    2011-01-01

    Expanding across the Solar System will require more than a simple blast off, a range of promising new propulsion technologies are being investigated by ex- NASA shuttle astronaut Chang Diaz. He is developing an alternative to chemical rockets, called VASIMR -Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasm Rocket. In 2012 Ad Astra plans to test a prototype, using solar power rather than nuclear, on the International Space Station. Development of this rocket for human space travel is discussed. The nuclear reactor's heat would be converted into electricity in an electric rocket such as VASIMR, and at the peak of nuclear rocket research thrust levels of almost one million newtons were reached.

  17. Nuclear thermal rocket nozzle testing and evaluation program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Davidian, K.O.; Kacynski, K.J.

    1993-01-01

    Performance characteristics of the Nuclear Thermal Rocket can be enhanced through the use of unconventional nozzles as part of the propulsion system. In this report, the Nuclear Thermal Rocket nozzle testing and evaluation program being conducted at the NASA Lewis Research Center is outlined and the advantages of a plug nozzle are described. A facility description, experimental designs and schematics are given. Results of pretest performance analyses show that high nozzle performance can be attained despite substantial nozzle length reduction through the use of plug nozzles as compared to a convergent-divergent nozzle. Pretest measurement uncertainty analyses indicate that specific impulse values are expected to be within plus or minus 1.17%

  18. Philosophy for nuclear thermal propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.; Madsen, W.; Redd, L.

    1993-01-01

    The philosophy used for development of nuclear thermal propulsion will determine the cost, schedule and risk associated with the activities. As important is the impression of the decision makers. If the development cost is higher than the product value, it is doubtful that funding will ever be available. On the other hand, if the development supports the economic welfare of the country with a high rate of return, the probability of funding greatly increases. The philosophy is divided into: realism, design, operations and qualification. ''Realism'' addresses such items as political acceptability, potential customers, robustness-flexibility, public acceptance, decisions as needed, concurrent engineering, and the possible role of the CIS. ''Design'' addresses ''minimum requirement,'' built in safety and reliability redundancy, emphasize on eliminating risk at lowest levels, and the possible inclusion of electric generation. ''Operations'' addresses sately, environment, operations, design margins and degradation modes. ''Qualification'' addresses testing needs and test facilities

  19. NASA program planning on nuclear electric propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bennett, G.L.; Miller, T.J.

    1992-03-01

    As part of the focused technology planning for future NASA space science and exploration missions, NASA has initiated a focused technology program to develop the technologies for nuclear electric propulsion and nuclear thermal propulsion. Beginning in 1990, NASA began a series of interagency planning workshops and meetings to identify key technologies and program priorities for nuclear propulsion. The high-priority, near-term technologies that must be developed to make NEP operational for space exploration include scaling thrusters to higher power, developing high-temperature power processing units, and developing high power, low-mass, long-lived nuclear reactors. 28 refs

  20. Engineering thermal engine rocket adventurer for space nuclear application

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nam, Seung H.; Suh, Kune Y.; Kang, Seong G.

    2008-01-01

    The conceptual design for the first-of-a-kind engineering of Thermal Engine Rocket Adventure (TERA) is described. TERA comprising the Battery Omnibus Reactor Integral System (BORIS) as the heat resource and the Space Propulsion Reactor Integral System (SPRIS) as the propulsion system, is one of the advanced Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) engine utilizing hydrogen (H 2 ) propellant being developed at present time. BORIS in this application is an open cycle high temperature gas cooled reactor that has eighteen fuel elements for propulsion and one fuel element for electricity generation and propellant pumping. Each fuel element for propulsion has its own small nozzle. The nineteen fuel elements are arranged into hexagonal prism shape in the core and surrounded by outer Be reflector. The TERA maximum power is 1,000 MW th , specific impulse 1,000 s, thrust 250,000 N, and the total mass is 550 kg including the reactor, turbo pump and auxiliaries. Each fuel element comprises the fuel assembly, moderators, pressure tube and small nozzle. The TERA fuel assembly is fabricated of 93% enriched 1.5 mm (U, Zr, Nb)C wafers in 25.3% voided Square Lattice Honeycomb (SLHC). The H 2 propellant passes through these flow channels. This study is concerned with thermohydrodynamic analysis of the fuel element for propulsion with hypothetical axial power distribution because nuclear analysis of TERA has not been performed yet. As a result, when the power distribution of INSPI's M-SLHC is applied to the fuel assembly, the local heat concentration of fuel is more serious and the pressure of the initial inlet H 2 is higher than those of constant average power distribution applied. This means the fuel assembly geometry of 1.5 mm fuel wafers and 25.3% voided SLHC needs to be changed in order to reduce thermal and mechanical shocks. (author)

  1. Impact of rocket propulsion technology on the radiation risk in missions to Mars

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Durante, M. [GSI Helmholtzzentrum fur Schwerionenforschung, Biophysics Department, Darmstadt (Germany); Technical University of Darmstadt, Department of Condensed Matter Physics, Darmstadt (Germany); Bruno, C. [Dipartimento di Meccanica e Aeronautica, Universita -La Sapienza-, Roma (Italy)

    2010-10-15

    Exposure to cosmic radiation is today acknowledged as a major obstacle to human missions to Mars. In fact, in addition to the poor knowledge on the late effects of heavy ions in the cosmic rays, simple countermeasures are apparently not available. Shielding is indeed very problematic in space, because of mass problems and the high-energy of the cosmic rays, and radio-protective drugs or dietary supplements are not effective. However, the simplest countermeasure for reducing radiation risk is to shorten the duration time, particularly the transit time to Mars, where the dose rate is higher than on the planet surface. Here we show that using nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) rockets, the transit time could be substantially reduced to a point where radiation risk could be considered acceptable even with the current uncertainty on late effects. (authors)

  2. Major accomplishments of America's nuclear rocket program (ROVER)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Finseth, J.L.

    1991-01-01

    The United States embarked on a program to develop nuclear rocket engines in 1955. This program was known as project Rover. Initially nuclear rockets were considered as a potential backup for intercontinental ballistic missile propulsion but later proposed applications included both a lunar second stage as well as use in manned-Mars flights. Under the Rover program, 19 different reactors were built and tested during the period of 1959-1969. Additionally, several cold flow (non-fuelled) reactors were tested as well as a nuclear fuels test cell. The Rover program was terminated in 1973, due to budget constraints and an evolving political climate. The Rover program would have led to the development of a flight engine had the program continued through a logical continuation. The Rover program was responsible for a number of technological achievements. The successful operation of nuclear rocket engines on a system level represents the pinnacle of accomplishment. This paper will discuss the engine test program as well as several subsystems

  3. Nuclear propulsion: to go to the moon in 24 hours; Propulsion nucleaire: aller sur la lune en 24 heures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Freeman, M

    1999-10-01

    Nuclear propulsion is a necessary step to give to man the opportunity of developing activities in space. This technique enables rockets to go farther, more quickly and to transport more load than the classical chemical propulsion. Space travel requires huge quantities of energy. An equivalent quantity of energy can be extracted from 13 tons of liquid hydrogen-oxygen, from 20 g of uranium (fission), from 0.5 g of deuterium (fusion) and from 0.02 g of anti-hydrogen-hydrogen (annihilation). The concept of nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) is based on an embarked nuclear reactor whose purpose is to heat hydrogen to 3000 K temperature. The thrust can be increased by injecting liquid oxygen in the nozzle to react with supersonic hydrogen. (A.C.)

  4. High-temperature turbopump assembly for space nuclear thermal propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overholt, David M.

    1993-01-01

    The development of a practical, high-performance nuclear rocket by the U.S. Air Force Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program places high priority on maximizing specific impulse (ISP) and thrust-to-weight ratio. The operating parameters arising from these goals drive the propellant-pump design. The liquid hydrogen propellant is pressurized and pumped to the reactor inlet by the turbopump assembly (TPA). Rocket propulsion is effected by rapid heating of the propellant from 100 K to thousands of degrees in the particle-bed reactor (PBR). The exhausted propellant is then expanded through a high-temperature nozzle. One approach to achieve high performance is to use an uncooled carbon-carbon nozzle and duct turbine inlet. The high-temperature capability is obtained by using carbon-carbon throughout the TPA hot section. Carbon-carbon components in development include structural parts, turbine nozzles/stators, and turbine rotors. The technology spinoff is applicable to conventional liquid propulsion engines plus a wide variety of other turbomachinery applications.

  5. Carbon-carbon turbopump concept for Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overholt, David M.

    1993-06-01

    The U.S. Air Force Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program is placing high priority on maximizing specific impulse (ISP) and thrust-to-weight ratio in the development of a practical high-performance nuclear rocket. The turbopump design is driven by these goals. The liquid hydrogen propellant is pressurized and pumped to the reactor inlet by the turbopump assembly (TPA). Rocket propulsion is from rapid heating of the propellant from 180 R to thousands of degrees in the particle bed reactor (PBR). The exhausted propellant is then expanded through a high-temperature nozzle. A high-performance approach is to use an uncooled carbon-carbon nozzle and duct turbine inlet. Carbon-carbon components are used throughout the TPA hot section to obtain the high-temperature capability. Several carbon-carbon components are in development including structural parts, turbine nozzles/stators, and turbine rotors. The technology spinoff is applicable to conventional liquid propulsion engines and many other turbomachinery applications.

  6. High-temperature turbopump assembly for space nuclear thermal propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Overholt, D.M.

    1993-01-01

    The development of a practical, high-performance nuclear rocket by the U.S. Air Force Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program places high priority on maximizing specific impulse (ISP) and thrust-to-weight ratio. The operating parameters arising from these goals drive the propellant-pump design. The liquid hydrogen propellant is pressurized and pumped to the reactor inlet by the turbopump assembly (TPA). Rocket propulsion is effected by rapid heating of the propellant from 100 K to thousands of degrees in the particle-bed reactor (PBR). The exhausted propellant is then expanded through a high-temperature nozzle. One approach to achieve high performance is to use an uncooled carbon-carbon nozzle and duct turbine inlet. The high-temperature capability is obtained by using carbon-carbon throughout the TPA hot section. Carbon-carbon components in development include structural parts, turbine nozzles/stators, and turbine rotors. The technology spinoff is applicable to conventional liquid propulsion engines plus a wide variety of other turbomachinery applications

  7. Carbon-carbon turbopump concept for Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Overholt, D.M.

    1993-06-01

    The U.S. Air Force Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program is placing high priority on maximizing specific impulse (ISP) and thrust-to-weight ratio in the development of a practical high-performance nuclear rocket. The turbopump design is driven by these goals. The liquid hydrogen propellant is pressurized and pumped to the reactor inlet by the turbopump assembly (TPA). Rocket propulsion is from rapid heating of the propellant from 180 R to thousands of degrees in the particle bed reactor (PBR). The exhausted propellant is then expanded through a high-temperature nozzle. A high-performance approach is to use an uncooled carbon-carbon nozzle and duct turbine inlet. Carbon-carbon components are used throughout the TPA hot section to obtain the high-temperature capability. Several carbon-carbon components are in development including structural parts, turbine nozzles/stators, and turbine rotors. The technology spinoff is applicable to conventional liquid propulsion engines and many other turbomachinery applications. 3 refs

  8. Nuclear-microwave-electric propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nordley, G.D.; Brown, W.C.

    1986-01-01

    Electric propulsion can move more mass through space than chemical propulsion by virtue of the higher exhaust velocities achieved by electric propulsion devices. This performance is achieved at the expense of very heavy power sources or very long trip times, which in turn create technical and economic penalties of varying severity. These penalties include: higher operations costs, delayed availability of the payload, and increased exposure to Van Allen Belt radiation. It is proposed to reduce these penalties by physically separating the power source from the propulsion and use microwave energy beaming technology, recently explored and partially developed/tested for Solar Power Satellite concept studies, as an extension cord. This paper summarizes the state of the art of the technology needed for space based beam microwave power cost/performance trades involved with the use beamed microwave/electric propulsion for some typical orbit transfer missions and offers some suggestions for additional work

  9. Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) Development Risk Communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Tony

    2014-01-01

    There are clear advantages of development of a Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) for a crewed mission to Mars. NTR for in-space propulsion enables more ambitious space missions by providing high thrust at high specific impulse (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. 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. Communication of nuclear safety will be critical to the success of the development of the NTR. Why is there a fear of nuclear? A bomb that can level a city is a scary weapon. The first and only times the Nuclear Bomb was used in a war was on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War 2. The "Little Boy" atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and the "Fat Man" on Nagasaki 3 days later on August 9th. Within the first 4 months of bombings, 90- 166 thousand people died in Hiroshima and 60-80 thousand died in Nagasaki. It is important to note for comparison that over 500 thousand people died and 5 million made homeless due to strategic bombing (approximately 150 thousand tons) of Japanese cities and war assets with conventional non-nuclear weapons between 1942- 1945. A major bombing campaign of "firebombing" of Tokyo called "Operation Meetinghouse" on March 9 and 10 consisting of 334 B-29's dropped approximately1,700 tons of bombs around 16 square mile area and over 100 thousand people have been estimated to have died. The declaration of death is very

  10. A Review of Propulsion Industrial Base Studies and an Introduction to the National Institute of Rocket Propulsion Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doreswamy, Rajiv; Fry, Emma K.

    2012-01-01

    Over the past decade there have been over 40 studies that have examined the state of the industrial base and infrastructure that supports propulsion systems development in the United States. This paper offers a comprehensive, systematic review of these studies and develops conclusions and recommendations in the areas of budget, policy, sustainment, infrastructure, workforce retention and development and mission/vision and policy. The National Institute for Rocket Propulsion System (NIRPS) is a coordinated, national organization that is responding to the key issues highlighted in these studies. The paper outlines the case for NIRPS and the specific actions that the Institute is taking to address these issues.

  11. Bibliography of Books and Published Reports on Gas Turbines, Jet Propulsion, and Rocket Power Plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    1951-06-01

    Ink , New York, 1945. W. Ley, Rockets. Viking Press. New York. 1945. LI. S. Zim, Rockets and jets. Harcourt Brace, New York, 1945. Jet propulsion...Hausenblas, Design nomograms for turbine stages. Motortechnische Zeit. 11, 96 (Aug. 1950). S. L. Koutz et al., Effect of beat and power extraction on...Edelman, The pulsating engine-its evolution and future prospects. SAE Quart. Trans. 1, 204 (1947). R. McLarren, Project Squid probes pulsejet. Aviation

  12. Preliminary design study for a carbide LEU-nuclear thermal rocket

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Venneri, P.F.; Kim, Y.

    2014-01-01

    Nuclear space propulsion is a requirement for the successful exploration of the solar system. It offers the possibility of having both a high specific impulse and a relatively high thrust, allowing rapid transit times with a minimum usage of fuel. This paper proposes a nuclear thermal rocket design based on heritage NERVA rockets that makes use of Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) fuel. The Carbide LEU Nuclear Thermal Rocket (C-LEU-NTR) is designed to fulfill the rocket requirements as set forth in the NASA 2009 Mars Mission Design Reference Architecture 5.0, that is provide 25,000 lbf of thrust, operate at full power condition for at least two hours, and have a specific impulse close to 900 s. The neutronics analysis was done using MCNP5 with the ENDF/B-VII.1 neutron library. The thermal hydraulic calculations and size optimization were completed with a finite difference code being developed at the Center for Space Nuclear Research. (authors)

  13. Nuclear thermal propulsion transportation systems for lunar/Mars exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clark, J.S.; Borowski, S.K.; Mcilwain, M.C.; Pellaccio, D.G.

    1992-09-01

    Nuclear thermal propulsion technology development is underway at NASA and DoE for Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) missions to Mars, with initial near-earth flights to validate flight readiness. Several reactor concepts are being considered for these missions, and important selection criteria will be evaluated before final selection of a system. These criteria include: safety and reliability, technical risk, cost, and performance, in that order. Of the concepts evaluated to date, the Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Applications (NERVA) derivative (NDR) is the only concept that has demonstrated full power, life, and performance in actual reactor tests. Other concepts will require significant design work and must demonstrate proof-of-concept. Technical risk, and hence, development cost should therefore be lowest for the concept, and the NDR concept is currently being considered for the initial SEI missions. As lighter weight, higher performance systems are developed and validated, including appropriate safety and astronaut-rating requirements, they will be considered to support future SEI application. A space transportation system using a modular nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) system for lunar and Mars missions is expected to result in significant life cycle cost savings. Finally, several key issues remain for NTR's, including public acceptance and operational issues. Nonetheless, NTR's are believed to be the next generation of space propulsion systems - the key to space exploration

  14. Nuclear electric propulsion: An integral part of NASA's nuclear propulsion project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stone, J.R.

    1992-01-01

    NASA has initiated a technology program to establish the readiness of nuclear propulsion technology for the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). This program was initiated with a very modest effort identified with nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP); however, nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) is also an integral part of this program and builds upon NASA's Base Research and Technology Program in power and electric propulsion as well as the SP-100 space nuclear power program. Although the Synthesis Group On America's SEI has identified NEP only as an option for cargo missions, recent studies conducted by NASA-Lewis show that NEP offers the potential for early manned Mars missions as well. Lower power NEP is also of current interest for outer planetary robotic missions. Current plans are reviewed for the overall nuclear propulsion project, with emphasis on NEP and those elements of NTP program which have synergism with NEP

  15. Space nuclear thermal propulsion test facilities accommodation at INEL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hill, T.J.; Reed, W.C.; Welland, H.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

  16. 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.

  17. The comparative analysis of the forecasts of development of rocket propulsion in past and now

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nedaivoda, A.; Prisniakov, V.

    2001-03-01

    Consideration is being given to use the known long and short forecasts of development of rocket engines in past - at the beginning of development of a missile engineering (K. Tsiolkovsky etc. pioneers of rocket propulsion); on the eve of launching of the artificial satellite of Earth (A. Blagonravov); after manned flight of Yu. Gagarin (V. Gluchko); after manned flight on Moon (" The Forecasts on 2001 " on materials of readings R. Goddard in USA); in middle of 70-s' years (D. Sevruk, V. Prisniakov) and at the end of 20 centure. Last years under the initiative R. Beichel and M. Pouliquen IAA. Advanced Propulsion Working Group carries out large researches on definition of the tendencies of development of rocket propulsion for the next forty years, the outcomes which one will be used in the report. The comparison of development of rocket propulsion expected to the end of 20 century and real-life is given. The report analyses the errors of the forecasts of the past - the absence reliable prognostic procedure; the euphoria of the maiden successes of conquest of space; dominance of military and political- propaganda motives of implementation of the space programs before economical; to keep developments secret; competition of two super-powers USSR and USA etc.

  18. How Does Rocket Propulsion Work? The most common answer to ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    internal combustion engines. The fuel or propellant is stored in the fuel tank. Here we will consider liquid hydrogen as the fuel. For the combustion to take place in outer space or in the absence of atmospheric oxygen the rocket carries along an oxidizer; here we will consider liquid oxygen as the oxidizer. The oxidizer or in.

  19. A Programmatic and Engineering Approach to the Development of a Nuclear Thermal Rocket for Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bordelon, Wayne J., Jr.; Ballard, Rick O.; Gerrish, Harold P., Jr.

    2006-01-01

    With the announcement of the Vision for Space Exploration on January 14, 2004, there has been a renewed interest in nuclear thermal propulsion. Nuclear thermal propulsion is a leading candidate for in-space propulsion for human Mars missions; however, the cost to develop a nuclear thermal rocket engine system is uncertain. Key to determining the engine development cost will be the engine requirements, the technology used in the development and the development approach. The engine requirements and technology selection have not been defined and are awaiting definition of the Mars architecture and vehicle definitions. The paper discusses an engine development approach in light of top-level strategic questions and considerations for nuclear thermal propulsion and provides a suggested approach based on work conducted at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center to support planning and requirements for the Prometheus Power and Propulsion Office. This work is intended to help support the development of a comprehensive strategy for nuclear thermal propulsion, to help reduce the uncertainty in the development cost estimate, and to help assess the potential value of and need for nuclear thermal propulsion for a human Mars mission.

  20. NASA's nuclear electric propulsion technology project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stone, J.R.; Sovey, J.S.

    1992-07-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has initiated a program to establish the readiness of nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) technology for relatively near-term applications to outer planet robotic science missions with potential future evolution to system for piloted Mars vehicles. This program was initiated in 1991 with a very modest effort identified with nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP); however, NEP is also an integral part of this program and builds upon NASA's Base Research and Technology Program in power and electric propulsion as well as the SP-100 space nuclear power program. The NEP Program will establish the feasibility and practicality of electric propulsion for robotic and piloted solar system exploration. The performance objectives are high specific impulse (200 greater than I(sub sp) greater than 10000 s), high efficiency (over 0.50), and low specific mass. The planning for this program was initially focussed on piloted Mars missions, but has since been redirected to first focus on 100-kW class systems for relatively near-term robotic missions, with possible future evolution to megawatt-and multi-megawatt-class systems applicable to cargo vehicles supporting human missions as well as to the piloted vehicles. This paper reviews current plans and recent progress for the overall nuclear electric propulsion project and closely related activities. 33 refs

  1. Nuclear Thermal Rocket Element Environmental Simulator (NTREES)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Emrich, William J. Jr.

    2008-01-01

    To support a potential future development of a nuclear thermal rocket engine, a state-of-the-art non nuclear experimental test setup has been constructed to evaluate the performance characteristics of candidate fuel element materials and geometries in representative environments. The test device simulates the environmental conditions (minus the radiation) to which nuclear rocket fuel components could be subjected during reactor operation. Test articles mounted in the simulator are inductively heated in such a manner as to accurately reproduce the temperatures and heat fluxes normally expected to occur as a result of nuclear fission while at the same time being exposed to flowing hydrogen. This project is referred to as the Nuclear Thermal Rocket Element Environment Simulator or NTREES. The NTREES device is located at the Marshall Space flight Center in a laboratory which has been modified to accommodate the high powers required to heat the test articles to the required temperatures and to handle the gaseous hydrogen flow required for the tests. Other modifications to the laboratory include the installation of a nitrogen gas supply system and a cooling water supply system. During the design and construction of the facility, every effort was made to comply with all pertinent regulations to provide assurance that the facility could be operated in a safe and efficient manner. The NTREES system can currently supply up to 50 kW of inductive heating to the fuel test articles, although the facility has been sized to eventually allow test article heating levels of up to several megawatts

  2. A development approach for nuclear thermal propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.

    1992-01-01

    The cost and time to develop nuclear thermal propulsion systems are very approach dependent. The objectives addressed are the development of an ''acceptable'' nuclear thermal propulsion system that can be used as part of the transportation system for people to explore Mars and the enhancement performance of other missions, within highly constrained budgets and schedules. To accomplish this, it was necessary to identify the cost drivers considering mission parameters, safety of the crew, mission success, facility availability and time and cost to construct new facilities, qualification criteria, status of technologies, management structure, and use of such system engineering techniques as concurrent engineering

  3. Nuclear thermal propulsion engine cost trade studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paschall, R.K.

    1993-01-01

    The NASA transportation strategy for the Mars Exploration architecture includes the use of nuclear thermal propulsion as the primary propulsion system for Mars transits. It is anticipated that the outgrowth of the NERVA/ROVER programs will be a nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) system capable of providing the propulsion for missions to Mars. The specific impulse (Isp) for such a system is expected to be in the 870 s range. Trade studies were conducted to investigate whether or not it may be cost effective to invest in a higher performance (Isp>870 s) engine for nuclear thermal propulsion for missions to Mars. The basic cost trades revolved around the amount of mass that must be transported to low-earth orbit prior to each Mars flight and the cost to launch that mass. The mass required depended on the assumptions made for Mars missions scenarios including piloted/cargo flights, number of Mars missions, and transit time to Mars. Cost parameters included launch cost, program schedule for development and operations, and net discount rate. The results were very dependent on the assumptions that were made. Under some assumptions, higher performance engines showed cost savings in the billions of dollars; under other assumptions, the additional cost to develop higher performance engines was not justified

  4. Current and Future Critical Issues in Rocket Propulsion Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navaz, Homayun K.; Dix, Jeff C.

    1998-01-01

    The objective of this research was to tackle several problems that are currently of great importance to NASA. In a liquid rocket engine several complex processes take place that are not thoroughly understood. Droplet evaporation, turbulence, finite rate chemistry, instability, and injection/atomization phenomena are some of the critical issues being encountered in a liquid rocket engine environment. Pulse Detonation Engines (PDE) performance, combustion chamber instability analysis, 60K motor flowfield pattern from hydrocarbon fuel combustion, and 3D flowfield analysis for the Combined Cycle engine were of special interest to NASA. During the summer of 1997, we made an attempt to generate computational results for all of the above problems and shed some light on understanding some of the complex physical phenomena. For this purpose, the Liquid Thrust Chamber Performance (LTCP) code, mainly designed for liquid rocket engine applications, was utilized. The following test cases were considered: (1) Characterization of a detonation wave in a Pulse Detonation Tube; (2) 60K Motor wall temperature studies; (3) Propagation of a pressure pulse in a combustion chamber (under single and two-phase flow conditions); (4) Transonic region flowfield analysis affected by viscous effects; (5) Exploring the viscous differences between a smooth and a corrugated wall; and (6) 3D thrust chamber flowfield analysis of the Combined Cycle engine. It was shown that the LTCP-2D and LTCP-3D codes are capable of solving complex and stiff conservation equations for gaseous and droplet phases in a very robust and efficient manner. These codes can be run on a workstation and personal computers (PC's).

  5. The Role of CFD Simulation in Rocket Propulsion Support Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Jeff

    2011-01-01

    Outline of the presentation: CFD at NASA/MSFC (1) Flight Projects are the Customer -- No Science Experiments (2) Customer Support (3) Guiding Philosophy and Resource Allocation (4) Where is CFD at NASA/MSFC? Examples of the expanding Role of CFD at NASA/MSFC (1) Liquid Rocket Engine Applications : Evolution from Symmetric and Steady to 3D Unsteady (2)Launch Pad Debris Transport-> Launch Pad Induced Environments (a) STS and Launch Pad Geometry-steady (b) Moving Body Shuttle Launch Simulations (c) IOP and Acoustics Simulations (3)General Purpose CFD Applications (4) Turbomachinery Applications

  6. GROUND TRANSPORTATION OF NUCLEAR PROPULSION STAGES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marjon, P. L.

    1963-08-15

    The results of studies on transportation problems associated with the development and testing of nuclear rocket powered space vehicles at the static test size are presented. Factors involved in selecting a transport mode are discussed. Radiation shutdown considerations and a conceptual transporter capable of handling test articles of foreseeable size are examined. (D.C.W.)

  7. Computer Program for Analysis, Design and Optimization of Propulsion, Dynamics, and Kinematics of Multistage Rockets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lali, Mehdi

    2009-03-01

    A comprehensive computer program is designed in MATLAB to analyze, design and optimize the propulsion, dynamics, thermodynamics, and kinematics of any serial multi-staging rocket for a set of given data. The program is quite user-friendly. It comprises two main sections: "analysis and design" and "optimization." Each section has a GUI (Graphical User Interface) in which the rocket's data are entered by the user and by which the program is run. The first section analyzes the performance of the rocket that is previously devised by the user. Numerous plots and subplots are provided to display the performance of the rocket. The second section of the program finds the "optimum trajectory" via billions of iterations and computations which are done through sophisticated algorithms using numerical methods and incremental integrations. Innovative techniques are applied to calculate the optimal parameters for the engine and designing the "optimal pitch program." This computer program is stand-alone in such a way that it calculates almost every design parameter in regards to rocket propulsion and dynamics. It is meant to be used for actual launch operations as well as educational and research purposes.

  8. Comparison of the Effects of using Tygon Tubing in Rocket Propulsion Ground Test Pressure Transducer Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farr, Rebecca A.; Wiley, John T.; Vitarius, Patrick

    2005-01-01

    This paper documents acoustics environments data collected during liquid oxygen- ethanol hot-fire rocket testing at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in November- December 2003. The test program was conducted during development testing of the RS-88 development engine thrust chamber assembly in support of the Orbital Space Plane Crew Escape System Propulsion Program Pad Abort Demonstrator. In addition to induced environments analysis support, coincident data collected using other sensors and methods has allowed benchmarking of specific acoustics test measurement methodologies during propulsion tests. Qualitative effects on data characteristics caused by using tygon sense lines of various lengths in pressure transducer measurements is discussed here.

  9. Reducing the risk to Mars: The gas core nuclear rocket

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howe, S.D.; DeVolder, B.; Thode, L.; Zerkle, D.

    1998-01-01

    The next giant leap for mankind will be the human exploration of Mars. Almost certainly within the next thirty years, a human crew will brave the isolation, the radiation, and the lack of gravity to walk on and explore the Red planet. However, because the mission distances and duration will be hundreds of times greater than the lunar missions, a human crew will face much greater obstacles and a higher risk than those experienced during the Apollo program. A single solution to many of these obstacles is to dramatically decrease the mission duration by developing a high performance propulsion system. The gas-core nuclear rocket (GCNR) has the potential to be such a system. The authors have completed a comparative study of the potential impact that a GCNR could have on a manned Mars mission. The total IMLEO, transit times, and accumulated radiation dose to the crew will be compared with the NASA Design Reference Missions

  10. An Affordable Autonomous Hydrogen Flame Detection System for Rocket Propulsion, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA has long used liquid hydrogen as a fuel and plans to continue using it in association with their advanced nuclear thermal propulsion technology. Hydrogen fire...

  11. Investigation into Hybrid Rockets and Other Cost-Effective Propulsion System Options for Small Satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    1996-05-01

    8-7 COMPLETE TEXT OF THESIS ROCKET PROPULSION FUNDEMENTALS EXPERIMENTAL DATA (MICROSOFT EXCEL FILES) 4 ANALYSIS WORKSHEETS (MATHSOFT MATHCAD FILES...up and running. At ~413,000, this represents a very small investment considering it encompasses the entire program. Similar programs run at... investment would be -needed along with over two man-years of effort. However, this is for the first flight article. Subsequent flight articles of identical

  12. 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.

  13. To MARS and Beyond with Nuclear Power - Design Concept of Korea Advanced Nuclear Thermal Engine Rocket

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nam, Seung Hyun; Chang, Soon Heung

    2013-01-01

    The President Park of ROK has also expressed support for space program promotion, praising the success of NARO as evidence of a positive outlook. These events hint a strong signal that ROK's space program will be accelerated by the national eager desire. In this national eager desire for space program, the policymakers and the aerospace engineers need to pay attention to the advanced nuclear technology of ROK that is set to a major world nuclear energy country, even exporting the technology. The space nuclear application is a very much attractive option because its energy density is the most enormous among available energy sources in space. This paper presents the design concept of Korea Advanced Nuclear Thermal Engine Rocket (KANuTER) that is one of the advanced nuclear thermal rocket engine developing in Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) for space application. Solar system exploration relying on CRs suffers from long trip time and high cost. In this regard, nuclear propulsion is a very attractive option for that because of higher performance and already demonstrated technology. Although ROK was a late entrant into elite global space club, its prospect as a space racer is very bright because of the national eager desire and its advanced technology. Especially it is greatly meaningful that ROK has potential capability to launch its nuclear technology into space as a global nuclear energy leader and a soaring space adventurer. In this regard, KANuTER will be a kind of bridgehead for Korean space nuclear application

  14. To MARS and Beyond with Nuclear Power - Design Concept of Korea Advanced Nuclear Thermal Engine Rocket

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nam, Seung Hyun; Chang, Soon Heung [Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2013-05-15

    The President Park of ROK has also expressed support for space program promotion, praising the success of NARO as evidence of a positive outlook. These events hint a strong signal that ROK's space program will be accelerated by the national eager desire. In this national eager desire for space program, the policymakers and the aerospace engineers need to pay attention to the advanced nuclear technology of ROK that is set to a major world nuclear energy country, even exporting the technology. The space nuclear application is a very much attractive option because its energy density is the most enormous among available energy sources in space. This paper presents the design concept of Korea Advanced Nuclear Thermal Engine Rocket (KANuTER) that is one of the advanced nuclear thermal rocket engine developing in Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) for space application. Solar system exploration relying on CRs suffers from long trip time and high cost. In this regard, nuclear propulsion is a very attractive option for that because of higher performance and already demonstrated technology. Although ROK was a late entrant into elite global space club, its prospect as a space racer is very bright because of the national eager desire and its advanced technology. Especially it is greatly meaningful that ROK has potential capability to launch its nuclear technology into space as a global nuclear energy leader and a soaring space adventurer. In this regard, KANuTER will be a kind of bridgehead for Korean space nuclear application.

  15. Combining MHD Airbreathing and Fusion Rocket Propulsion for Earth-to-Orbit Flight

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Froning, H. D. Jr; Yang, Yang; Momota, H.; Burton, E.; Miley, G. H.; Luo, Nie

    2005-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that Single-State-to-Orbit (SSTO) vehicle propellant can be reduced by Magnets-Hydro-Dynamic (MHD) processes that minimize airbreathing propulsion losses and propellant consumption during atmospheric flight. Similarly additional reduction in SSTO propellant is enabled by Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) fusion, whose more energetic reactions reduce rocket propellant needs. MHD airbreathing propulsion during an SSTO vehicle's initial atmospheric flight phase and IEC fusion propulsion during its final exo-atmospheric flight phase is therefore being explored. Accomplished work is not yet sufficient for claiming such a vehicle's feasibility. But takeoff and propellant mass for an MHD airbreathing and IEC fusion vehicle could be as much as 25 and 40 percent less than one with ordinary airbreathing and IEC fusion; and as much as 50 and 70 percent less than SSTO takeoff and propellant mass with MHD airbreathing and chemical rocket propulsion. Thus this unusual combined cycle engine shows great promise for performance gains beyond contemporary combined-cycle airbreathing engines

  16. Liquid Rocket Propulsion for Atmospheric Flight in the Proposed ARES Mars Scout Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhl, Christopher A.; Wright, Henry S.; Hunter, Craig A.; Guernsey, Carl S.; Colozza, Anthony J.

    2004-01-01

    Flying above the Mars Southern Highlands, an airplane will traverse over the terrain of Mars while conducting unique science measurements of the atmosphere, surface, and interior. This paper describes an overview of the ARES (Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Survey) mission with an emphasis on airplane propulsion needs. The process for selecting a propulsion system for the ARES airplane is also included. Details of the propulsion system, including system schematics, hardware and performance are provided. The airplane has a 6.25 m wingspan with a total mass of 149 kg and is propelled by a bi-propellant liquid rocket system capable of carrying roughly 48 kg of MMH/MON3 propellant.

  17. An historical perspective of the NERVA nuclear rocket engine technology program. Final Report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robbins, W.H.; Finger, H.B.

    1991-07-01

    Nuclear rocket research and development was initiated in the United States in 1955 and is still being pursued to a limited extent. The major technology emphasis occurred in the decade of the 1960s and was primarily associated with the Rover/NERVA Program where the technology for a nuclear rocket engine system for space application was developed and demonstrated. The NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) technology developed twenty years ago provides a comprehensive and viable propulsion technology base that can be applied and will prove to be valuable for application to the NASA Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). This paper, which is historical in scope, provides an overview of the conduct of the NERVA Engine Program, its organization and management, development philosophy, the engine configuration, and significant accomplishments

  18. Evolutionary use of nuclear electric propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hack, K.J.; George, J.A.; Riehl, J.P.; Gilland, J.H.

    1990-01-01

    Evolving new propulsion technologies through a rational and conscious effort to minimize development costs and program risks while maximizing the performance benefits is intuitively practical. A phased approach to the evolution of nuclear electric propulsion from use on planetary probes, to lunar cargo vehicles, and finally to manned Mars missions with a concomitant growth in technology is considered. Technology levels and system component makeup are discussed for nuclear power systems and both ion and magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters. Mission scenarios are described, which include analysis of a probe to Pluto, a lunar cargo mission, Martian split, all-up, and quick-trip mission options. Evolutionary progression of the use of NEP in such missions is discussed. 26 refs

  19. Nuclear thermal rocket engine operation and control

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gunn, S.V.; Savoie, M.T.; Hundal, R.

    1993-06-01

    The operation of a typical Rover/Nerva-derived nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) engine is characterized and the control requirements of the NTR are defined. A rationale for the selection of a candidate diverse redundant NTR engine control system is presented and the projected component operating requirements are related to the state of the art of candidate components and subsystems. The projected operational capabilities of the candidate system are delineated for the startup, full-thrust, shutdown, and decay heat removal phases of the engine operation. 9 refs

  20. Nuclear propulsion control and health monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, P. B.; Edwards, R. M.

    1993-11-01

    An integrated control and health monitoring architecture is being developed for the Pratt & Whitney XNR2000 nuclear rocket. Current work includes further development of the dynamic simulation modeling and the identification and configuration of low level controllers to give desirable performance for the various operating modes and faulted conditions. Artificial intelligence and knowledge processing technologies need to be investigated and applied in the development of an intelligent supervisory controller module for this control architecture.

  1. Assessment of the advantages and feasibility of a nuclear rocket

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howe, S.D.

    1985-01-01

    The feasibility of rebuilding and testing a nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) for the Mars mission has been investigated. Calculations indicate that an NTR would substantially reduce the earth-orbit assembled mass compared to LOX/LH 2 systems. The mass savings were 36% and 65% for the cases of total aerobraking and of total propulsive braking respectively. Consequently, the cost savings for a single mission of using an NTR, if aerobraking is feasible, are probably insufficient to warrant the NTR development. If multiple missions are planned or if propulsive braking is desired at Mars and/or at Earth, then the savings of about $7B will easily pay for the NTR development. Estimates of the cost of rebuilding a NTR were based on the previous NERVA program's budget plus additional costs to develop a flight ready engine. The total cost to build the engine would be between $4 to 5B. The concept of developing a full-power test stand at Johnston Atoll in the Pacific appears very feasible. The added expense of building facilities on the island should be less than $1.4B

  2. CFD Analysis of Square Flow Channel in Thermal Engine Rocket Adventurer for Space Nuclear Application

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nam, S. H.; Suh, K. Y. [Seoul National University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Kang, S. G. [PHILOSOPHIA, Inc., Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2008-10-15

    Solar system exploration relying on chemical rockets suffers from long trip time and high cost. In this regard nuclear propulsion is an attractive option for space exploration. The performance of Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) is more than twice that of the best chemical rocket. Resorting to the pure hydrogen (H{sub 2}) propellant the NTRs can possibly achieve as high as 1,000 s of specific impulse (I{sub sp}) representing the ratio of the thrust over the fuel consumption rate, as compared to only 425 s of H{sub 2}/O{sub 2} rockets. If we reflect on the mission to Mars, NTRs would reduce the round trip time to less than 300 days, instead of over 600 days with chemical rockets. This work presents CFD analysis of one Fuel Element (FE) of Thermal Engine Rocket Adventurer (TERA). In particular, one Square Flow Channel (SFC) is analyzed in Square Lattice Honeycomb (SLHC) fuel to examine the effects of mass flow rate on rocket performance.

  3. Operational experience with propulsion nuclear plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Polunichev, V.

    2000-01-01

    Russia possesses a powerful icebreaker transport fleet which offers a solution for important socio-economic tasks of the country's northern regions by maintaining a year-round navigation along the Arctic Sea route. The total operating record of the propulsion nuclear reactors till now exceeds 150 reactor-years, their main equipment items operating life amounted to 120,000 h. Progressive design-constructional solutions being perfected continuously during 40 years of nuclear-powered ships creation in Russia and well proven technology of all components used in the marine nuclear reactors give grounds to recommend marine Nuclear Steam Supply Systems (NSSSs) of KLT-40 type as energy sources for heat and power cogeneration plants and sea water desalination complexes, particularly as floating installations. Co-generation stations are considered for deployment in the extreme north of Russia. Nuclear floating desalination complexes can be used for drinkable water production in coastal regions of Northern Africa, the Near East, India etc. (author)

  4. Status report on nuclear electric propulsion systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stearns, J. W.

    1975-01-01

    Progress in nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) systems for a multipayload multimission vehicle needed in both deep-space missions and a variety of geocentric missions is reviewed. The space system power level is a function of the initial launch vehicle mass, but developments in out-of-core nuclear thermionic direct conversion have broadened design options. Cost, design, and performance parameters are compared for reusable chemical space tugs and NEP reusable space tugs. Improvements in heat pipes, ion engines, and magnetoplasmadynamic arc jet thrust subsystems are discussed.

  5. Bimodal Nuclear Thermal Rocket Analysis Developments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belair, Michael; Lavelle, Thomas; Saimento, Charles; Juhasz, Albert; Stewart, Mark

    2014-01-01

    Nuclear thermal propulsion has long been considered an enabling technology for human missions to Mars and beyond. One concept of operations for these missions utilizes the nuclear reactor to generate electrical power during coast phases, known as bimodal operation. This presentation focuses on the systems modeling and analysis efforts for a NERVA derived concept. The NERVA bimodal operation derives the thermal energy from the core tie tube elements. Recent analysis has shown potential temperature distributions in the tie tube elements that may limit the thermodynamic efficiency of the closed Brayton cycle used to generate electricity with the current design. The results of this analysis are discussed as well as the potential implications to a bimodal NERVA type reactor.

  6. NASA's progress in nuclear electric propulsion technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stone, J.R.; Doherty, M.P.; Peecook, K.M.

    1993-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has established a requirement for Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) technology for robotic planetary science mission applications with potential future evolution to systems for piloted Mars vehicles. To advance the readiness of NEP for these challenging missions, a near-term flight demonstration on a meaningful robotic science mission is very desirable. The requirements for both near-term and outer planet science missions are briefly reviewed, and the near-term baseline system established under a recent study jointly conducted by the Lewis Research Center (LeRC) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is described. Technology issues are identified where work is needed to establish the technology for the baseline system, and technology opportunities which could provide improvement beyond baseline capabilities are discussed. Finally, the plan to develop this promising technology is presented and discussed. 19 refs

  7. Nuclear propulsion apparatus with alternate reactor segments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szekely, T.

    1979-01-01

    Nuclear propulsion apparatus comprising: (a) means for compressing incoming air; (b) nuclear fission reactor means for heating said air; (c) means for expanding a portion of the heated air to drive said compressing means; (d) said nuclear fission reactor means being divided into a plurality of radially extending segments; (e) means for directing a portion of the compressed air for heating through alternate segments of said reactor means and another portion of the compressed air for heating through the remaining segments of said reactor means; and (f) means for further expanding the heated air from said drive means and the remaining heated air from said reactor means through nozzle means to effect reactive thrust on said apparatus. 12 claims

  8. Particle bed reactor nuclear rocket concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ludewig, H.

    1991-01-01

    The particle bed reactor nuclear rocket concept consists of fuel particles (in this case (U,Zr)C with an outer coat of zirconium carbide). These particles are packed in an annular bed surrounded by two frits (porous tubes) forming a fuel element; the outer one being a cold frit, the inner one being a hot frit. The fuel element are cooled by hydrogen passing in through the moderator. These elements are assembled in a reactor assembly in a hexagonal pattern. The reactor can be either reflected or not, depending on the design, and either 19 or 37 elements, are used. Propellant enters in the top, passes through the moderator fuel element and out through the nozzle. Beryllium used for the moderator in this particular design to withstand the high radiation exposure implied by the long run times

  9. Nuclear vapor thermal reactor propulsion technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maya, I.; Diaz, N.J.; Dugan, E.T.; Watanabe, Y.; McClanahan, J.A.; Wen-Hsiung Tu; Carman, R.L.

    1993-01-01

    The conceptual design of a nuclear rocket based on the vapor core reactor is presented. The Nuclear Vapor Thermal Rocket (NVTR) offers the potential for a specific impulse of 1000 to 1200 s at thrust-to-weight ratios of 1 to 2. The design is based on NERVA geometry and systems with the solid fuel replaced by uranium tetrafluoride (UF 4 ) vapor. The closed-loop core does not rely on hydrodynamic confinement of the fuel. The hydrogen propellant is separated from the UF 4 fuel gas by graphite structure. The hydrogen is maintained at high pressure (∼100 atm), and exits the core at 3,100 K to 3,500 K. Zirconium carbide and hafnium carbide coatings are used to protect the hot graphite from the hydrogen. The core is surrounded by beryllium oxide reflector. The nuclear reactor core has been integrated into a 75 klb engine design using an expander cycle and dual turbopumps. The NVTR offers the potential for an incremental technology development pathway to high performance gas core reactors. Since the fuel is readily available, it also offers advantages in the initial cost of development, as it will not require major expenditures for fuel development

  10. Small Reactor Designs Suitable for Direct Nuclear Thermal Propulsion: Interim Report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schnitzler, Bruce G.

    2012-01-01

    Advancement of U.S. scientific, security, and economic interests requires high performance propulsion systems to support missions beyond low Earth orbit. A robust space exploration program will include robotic outer planet and crewed missions to a variety of destinations including the moon, near Earth objects, and eventually Mars. Past studies, in particular those in support of both the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) and the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI), have shown nuclear thermal propulsion systems provide superior performance for high mass high propulsive delta-V missions. In NASA's recent Mars Design Reference Architecture (DRA) 5.0 study, nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) was again selected over chemical propulsion as the preferred in-space transportation system option for the human exploration of Mars because of its high thrust and high specific impulse (∼900 s) capability, increased tolerance to payload mass growth and architecture changes, and lower total initial mass in low Earth orbit. The recently announced national space policy2 supports the development and use of space nuclear power systems where such systems safely enable or significantly enhance space exploration or operational capabilities. An extensive nuclear thermal rocket technology development effort was conducted under the Rover/NERVA, GE-710 and ANL nuclear rocket programs (1955-1973). Both graphite and refractory metal alloy fuel types were pursued. The primary and significantly larger Rover/NERVA program focused on graphite type fuels. Research, development, and testing of high temperature graphite fuels was conducted. Reactors and engines employing these fuels were designed, built, and ground tested. The GE-710 and ANL programs focused on an alternative ceramic-metallic 'cermet' fuel type consisting of UO2 (or UN) fuel embedded in a refractory metal matrix such as tungsten. The General Electric program examined closed loop concepts for space or terrestrial applications as well as

  11. 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.

  12. Reactor design for nuclear electric propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koenig, D.R.; Ranken, W.A.

    1979-01-01

    Conceptual design studies of a nuclear power plant for electric propulsion of spacecrafts have been on going for several years. An attractive concept which has evolved from these studies and which has been described in previous publications, is a heat-pipe cooled, fast spectrum nuclear reactor that provides 3 MW of thermal energy to out-of-core thermionic converters. The primary motivation for using heat pipes is to provide redundancy in the core cooling system that is not available in gas or liquid-metal cooled reactors. Detailed investigation of the consequences of heat pipe failures has resulted in modifications to the basic reactor design and has led to consideration of an entirely different core design. The new design features an integral laminated core configuration consisting of alternating layers of UO 2 and molybdenum sheets that span the entire diameter of the core. Design characteristics are presented and compared for the two reactors

  13. A unique nuclear thermal rocket engine using a particle bed reactor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culver, Donald W.; Dahl, Wayne B.; McIlwain, Melvin C.

    1992-01-01

    Aerojet Propulsion Division (APD) studied 75-klb thrust Nuclear Thermal Rocket Engines (NTRE) with particle bed reactors (PBR) for application to NASA's manned Mars mission and prepared a conceptual design description of a unique engine that best satisfied mission-defined propulsion requirements and customer criteria. This paper describes the selection of a sprint-type Mars transfer mission and its impact on propulsion system design and operation. It shows how our NTRE concept was developed from this information. The resulting, unusual engine design is short, lightweight, and capable of high specific impulse operation, all factors that decrease Earth to orbit launch costs. Many unusual features of the NTRE are discussed, including nozzle area ratio variation and nozzle closure for closed loop after cooling. Mission performance calculations reveal that other well known engine options do not support this mission.

  14. Propulsion/ASME Rocket-Based Combined Cycle Activities in the Advanced Space Transportation Program Office

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hueter, Uwe; Turner, James

    1998-01-01

    NASA's Office Of Aeronautics and Space Transportation Technology (OASTT) has establish three major coals. "The Three Pillars for Success". 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 Advanced Reusable Technologies (ART) Project, part of ASTP, focuses on the reusable technologies beyond those being pursued by X-33. The main activity over the past two and a half years has been on advancing the rocket-based combined cycle (RBCC) technologies. In June of last year, activities for reusable launch vehicle (RLV) airframe and propulsion technologies were initiated. These activities focus primarily on those technologies that support the year 2000 decision to determine the path this country will take for Space Shuttle and RLV. In February of this year, additional technology efforts in the reusable technologies were awarded. The RBCC effort that was completed early this year was the initial step leading to flight demonstrations of the technology for space launch vehicle propulsion. Aerojet, Boeing-Rocketdyne and Pratt & Whitney were selected for a two-year period to design, build and ground test their RBCC engine concepts. In addition, ASTROX, Pennsylvania State University (PSU) and University of Alabama in Huntsville also conducted supporting activities. The activity included ground testing of components (e.g., injectors, thrusters, ejectors and inlets) and integrated flowpaths. An area that has caused a large amount of difficulty in the testing efforts is the means of initiating the rocket combustion process. All three of the prime contractors above were using silane (SiH4) for ignition of the thrusters. This follows from the successful use of silane in the NASP program for scramjet ignition. However, difficulties were immediately encountered when silane (an 80/20 mixture of hydrogen/silane) was used for rocket

  15. Nuclear propulsion in high yield vessels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vergara Aimone, Julio

    2000-01-01

    Current developments in advanced ship design brings high-speed maritime transportation closer to reality, aiming to create new markets and to recover a fraction of the high value goods now shipped only by air. High-speed transport is growing at a rate of 15% per year, higher than air transport and at a fraction of air tariffs. Although such growth rate is restricted to passengers and automobiles, there is a potential for high-speed cargo in some routes. A recent proposal is Fast Ship, a 260 m long, 40 m wide concept designed to cruise from Philadelphia to Cherbourg in less that 4 days, for a door-to-door timely cargo delivery of 7 days, thanks to an advanced hull design, and a high power propulsion plant to compensate for weather-related delays. However, almost 40% of the total operation cost would be fuel. This appears to be a natural application for nuclear power, in a similar way to the golden age of this technology. A nuclear Fast Ship would save almost 5000 tons of a fuel per trip, and about half of such spare might be available for additional cargo. Furthermore, operation costs would be smaller and very stable to resource price fluctuation, plus a few other advantages. For other ocean markets, such as the Asia-America route, nuclear power would become a much better choice. This paper discusses the reactor type and layout suitable for such application. The ship designer is aware of the current proposal, although the power pack is not readily available today and its political aspects have not been dealt with. The economy of our nation relies on exports and almost 90% of such flow goes by sea. It is also possible that in the future, Mercosur might have a dependency on such high-speed transport mode and propulsion system (au)

  16. Nuclear modules for space electric propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. 10 refs., 1 tab

  17. Nuclear Thermal Rocket Element Environmental Simulator (NTREES) Phase II Upgrade Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emrich, William J.; Moran, Robert P.; Pearson, J. Bose

    2013-01-01

    To support the on-going nuclear thermal propulsion effort, a state-of-the-art non nuclear experimental test setup has been constructed to evaluate the performance characteristics of candidate fuel element materials and geometries in representative environments. The facility to perform this testing is referred to as the Nuclear Thermal Rocket Element Environment Simulator (NTREES). This device can simulate the environmental conditions (minus the radiation) to which nuclear rocket fuel components will be subjected during reactor operation. Test articles mounted in the simulator are inductively heated in such a manner so as to accurately reproduce the temperatures and heat fluxes which would normally occur as a result of nuclear fission and would be exposed to flowing hydrogen. Initial testing of a somewhat prototypical fuel element has been successfully performed in NTREES and the facility has now been shutdown to allow for an extensive reconfiguration of the facility which will result in a significant upgrade in its capabilities. Keywords: Nuclear Thermal Propulsion, Simulator

  18. A novel nuclear-powered propulsion system for ship

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Tao; Han Weishi

    2003-01-01

    A novel nuclear-powered propulsion system for ship is presented in this paper. In this system, a minitype liquid sodium-cooled reactor is used as power; alkali-metal thermal-to-electric conversion (AMTEC) cells are utilized to transform the heat energy to electric energy and superconducting magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) work as propulsion. This nuclear-powered propulsion system has great advantages in low noise, high speed, long survivability and simple manipulation. It has great significance for the development of propulsion system. (author)

  19. Turbopump options for nuclear thermal rockets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bissell, W.R.; Gunn, S.V.

    1992-07-01

    Several turbopump options for delivering liquid nitrogen to nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) engines were evaluated and compared. Axial and centrifugal flow pumps were optimized, with and without boost pumps, utilizing current design criteria within the latest turbopump technology limits. Two possible NTR design points were used, a modest pump pressure rise of 1,743 psia and a relatively higher pump pressure rise of 4,480 psia. Both engines utilized the expander cycle to maximize engine performance for the long duration mission. Pump suction performance was evaluated. Turbopumps with conventional cavitating inducers were compared with zero NPSH (saturated liquid in the tanks) pumps over a range of tank saturation pressures, with and without boost pumps. Results indicate that zero NSPH pumps at high tank vapor pressures, 60 psia, are very similar to those with the finite NPSHs. At low vapor pressures efficiencies fall and turbine pressure ratios increase leading to decreased engine chamber pressures and or increased pump pressure discharges and attendant high-pressure component weights. It may be concluded that zero tank NSPH capabilities can be obtained with little penalty to the engine systems but boost pumps are needed if tank vapor pressure drops below 30 psia. Axial pumps have slight advantages in weight and chamber pressure capability while centrifugal pumps have a greater operating range. 10 refs

  20. NASA's nuclear thermal propulsion technology project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peecook, K.M.; Stone, J.R.

    1992-07-01

    The nonnuclear subsystem technologies required for incorporating nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) into space-exploration missions are discussed. Of particular interest to planned missions are such technologies as materials, instrumentation and controls, turbomachinery, CFD modeling, nozzle extension designs and models, and analyses of exhaust plumes. NASA studies are described and/or proposed for refractory metals and alloys, robotic NTP controls, and turbopump materials candidates. Alternative nozzle concepts such as aerospikes and truncated plugs are proposed, and numerical simulations are set forth for studying heavy molecules and the backstreaming of highly reactive free-radical hydrogen in the exhaust plume. The critical technologies described in the paper are central to the development of NTP, and NTP has the potential to facilitate a range of space exploration activities. 3 refs

  1. System model development for nuclear thermal propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walton, J.T.; Perkins, K.R.; Buksa, J.J.; Worley, B.A.; Dobranich, D.

    1992-01-01

    A critical enabling technology in the evolutionary development of nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) is the ability to predict the system performance under a variety of operating conditions. Since October 1991, US (DOE), (DOD) and NASA have initiated critical technology development efforts for NTP systems to be used on Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) missions to the Moon and Mars. This paper presents the strategy and progress of an interagency NASA/DOE/DOD team for NTP system modeling. It is the intent of the interagency team to develop several levels of computer programs to simulate various NTP systems. An interagency team was formed for this task to use the best capabilities available and to assure appropriate peer review. The vision and strategy of the interagency team for developing NTP system models will be discussed in this paper. A review of the progress on the Level 1 interagency model is also presented

  2. Optimization of extended propulsion time nuclear-electric propulsion trajectories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauer, C. G., Jr.

    1981-01-01

    This paper presents the methodology used in optimizing extended propulsion time NEP missions considering realistic thruster lifetime constraints. These missions consist of a powered spiral escape from a 700-km circular orbit at the earth, followed by a powered heliocentric transfer with an optimized coast phase, and terminating in a spiral capture phase at the target planet. This analysis is most applicable to those missions with very high energy requirements such as outer planet orbiter missions or sample return missions where the total propulsion time could greatly exceed the expected lifetime of an individual thruster. This methodology has been applied to the investigation of NEP missions to the outer planets where examples are presented of both constrained and optimized trajectories.

  3. Adaptive Time Stepping for Transient Network Flow Simulation in Rocket Propulsion Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majumdar, Alok K.; Ravindran, S. S.

    2017-01-01

    Fluid and thermal transients found in rocket propulsion systems such as propellant feedline system is a complex process involving fast phases followed by slow phases. Therefore their time accurate computation requires use of short time step initially followed by the use of much larger time step. Yet there are instances that involve fast-slow-fast phases. In this paper, we present a feedback control based adaptive time stepping algorithm, and discuss its use in network flow simulation of fluid and thermal transients. The time step is automatically controlled during the simulation by monitoring changes in certain key variables and by feedback. In order to demonstrate the viability of time adaptivity for engineering problems, we applied it to simulate water hammer and cryogenic chill down in pipelines. Our comparison and validation demonstrate the accuracy and efficiency of this adaptive strategy.

  4. Legal Implications of Nuclear Propulsion for Space Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pop, V.

    2002-01-01

    This paper is intended to examine nuclear propulsion concepts such as "Project Orion", "Project Daedalus", NERVA, VASIMIR, from the legal point of view. The UN Principles Relevant to the Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer Space apply to nuclear power sources in outer space devoted to the generation of electric power on board space objects for non-propulsive purposes, and do not regulate the use of nuclear energy as a means of propulsion. However, nuclear propulsion by means of detonating atomic bombs (ORION) is, in principle, banned under the 1963 Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space, and Under Water. The legality of use of nuclear propulsion will be analysed from different approaches - historical (i.e. the lawfulness of these projects at the time of their proposal, at the present time, and in the future - in the light of the mutability and evolution of international law), spatial (i.e. the legal regime governing peaceful nuclear explosions in different spatial zones - Earth atmosphere, Earth orbit, Solar System, and interstellar space), and technical (i.e, the legal regime applicable to different nuclear propulsion techniques, and to the various negative effects - e.g. damage to other space systems as an effect of the electromagnetic pulse, etc). The paper will analyse the positive law, and will also come with suggestions "de lege ferenda".

  5. Recent advances in nuclear powered electric propulsion for space exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

    2008-01-01

    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 US 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

  6. Recent advances in nuclear powered electric propulsion for space exploration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cassady, R. Joseph [Aerojet Corp., Redmond, CA (United States); Frisbee, Robert H. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (United States); Gilland, James H. [Ohio Aerospace Institute, Cleveland, OH (United States); Houts, Michael G. [NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL 35812 (United States); LaPointe, Michael R. [NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL 35812 (United States)], E-mail: michael.r.lapointe@nasa.gov; Maresse-Reading, Colleen M. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (United States); Oleson, Steven R. [NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH (United States); Polk, James E. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (United States); Russell, Derrek [Northrop Grumman Space Technology, Redondo Beach, CA (United States); Sengupta, Anita [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (United States)

    2008-03-15

    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 US 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. Nuclear modules for space electric propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  8. Fuel efficient hydrodynamic containment for gas core fission reactor rocket propulsion. Final report, September 30, 1992--May 31, 1995

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sforza, P.M.; Cresci, R.J.

    1997-01-01

    Gas core reactors can form the basis for advanced nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) systems capable of providing specific impulse levels of more than 2,000 sec., but containment of the hot uranium plasma is a major problem. The initial phase of an experimental study of hydrodynamic confinement of the fuel cloud in a gas core fission reactor by means of an innovative application of a base injection stabilized recirculation bubble is presented. The development of the experimental facility, a simulated thrust chamber approximately 0.4 m in diameter and 1 m long, is described. The flow rate of propellant simulant (air) can be varied up to about 2 kg/sec and that of fuel simulant (air, air-sulfur hexafluoride) up to about 0.2 kg/sec. This scale leads to chamber Reynolds numbers on the same order of magnitude as those anticipated in a full-scale nuclear rocket engine. The experimental program introduced here is focused on determining the size, geometry, and stability of the recirculation region as a function of the bleed ratio, i.e. the ratio of the injected mass flux to the free stream mass flux. A concurrent CFD study is being carried out to aid in demonstrating that the proposed technique is practical

  9. Test facilities for evaluating nuclear thermal propulsion systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beck, D.F.; Allen, G.C.; Shipers, L.R.; Dobranich, D.; Ottinger, C.A.; Harmon, C.D.; Fan, W.C.; Todosow, M.

    1992-01-01

    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

  10. Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Test Facilities Subpanel. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allen, G.C.; Warren, J.W.; Martinell, J.; Clark, J.S.; Perkins, D.

    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

  11. Particle bed reactor propulsion vehicle performance and characteristics as an orbital transfer rocket

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horn, F.L.; Powell, J.R.; Lazareth, O.W.

    1986-01-01

    The particle bed reactor designed for 100 to 300 MW power output using hydrogen as a coolant is capable of specific impulses up to 1000 seconds as a nuclear rocket. A single space shuttle compatible vehicle can perform extensive missions from LEO to 3 times GEO and return with multi-ton payloads. The use of hydrogen to directly cool particulate reactor fuel results in a compact, lightweight rocket vehicle, whose duration of usefulness is dependent only upon hydrogen resupply availability. The LEO to GEO mission had a payload capability of 15.4 metric tons with 3.4 meters of shuttle bay. To increase the volume limitation of the shuttle bay, the use of ammonia in the initial boost phase from LEO is used to give greater payload volume with a small decrease in payload mass, 8.7 meters and 12.7 m-tons. 5 refs., 15 figs

  12. An Overview of Facilities and Capabilities to Support the Development of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    James Werner; Sam Bhattacharyya; Mike Houts

    2011-02-01

    Abstract. The future of American space exploration depends on the ability to rapidly and economically access locations of interest throughout the solar system. There is a large body of work (both in the US and the Former Soviet Union) that show that Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is the most technically mature, advanced propulsion system that can enable this rapid and economical access by its ability to provide a step increase above what is a feasible using a traditional chemical rocket system. For an NTP system to be deployed, the earlier measurements and recent predictions of the performance of the fuel and the reactor system need to be confirmed experimentally prior to launch. Major fuel and reactor system issues to be addressed include fuel performance at temperature, hydrogen compatibility, fission product retention, and restart capability. The prime issue to be addressed for reactor system performance testing involves finding an affordable and environmentally acceptable method to test a range of engine sizes using a combination of nuclear and non-nuclear test facilities. This paper provides an assessment of some of the capabilities and facilities that are available or will be needed to develop and test the nuclear fuel, and reactor components. It will also address briefly options to take advantage of the greatly improvement in computation/simulation and materials processing capabilities that would contribute to making the development of an NTP system more affordable. Keywords: Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP), Fuel fabrication, nuclear testing, test facilities.

  13. Superconducting Electric Boost Pump for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion, Phase I

    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....

  14. 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.

  15. Project Icarus: Nuclear Fusion Propulsion Concept Comparison

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanic, M.

    Project Icarus will use nuclear fusion as the primary propulsion, since achieving breakeven is imminent within the next decade. Therefore, fusion technology provides confidence in further development and fairly high technological maturity by the time the Icarus mission would be plausible. Currently there are numerous (over 2 dozen) different fusion approaches that are simultaneously being developed around the World and it is difficult to predict which of the concepts is going to be the most successful one. This study tried to estimate current technological maturity and possible technological extrapolation of fusion approaches for which appropriate data could be found. Figures of merit that were assessed include: current technological state, mass and volume estimates, possible gain values, main advantages and disadvantages of the concept and an attempt to extrapolate current technological state for the next decade or two. Analysis suggests that Magnetic Confinement Fusion (MCF) concepts are not likely to deliver sufficient performance due to size, mass, gain and large technological barriers of the concept. However, ICF and PJMIF did show potential for delivering necessary performance, assuming appropriate techno- logical advances. This paper is a submission of the Project Icarus Study Group.

  16. Advanced Filter Technology For Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillon, Erick

    2015-01-01

    The Scrubber System focuses on using HEPA filters and carbon filtration to purify the exhaust of a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion engine of its aerosols and radioactive particles; however, new technology may lend itself to alternate filtration options, which may lead to reduction in cost while at the same time have the same filtering, if not greater, filtering capabilities, as its predecessors. Extensive research on various types of filtration methods was conducted with only four showing real promise: ionization, cyclonic separation, classic filtration, and host molecules. With the four methods defined, more research was needed to find the devices suitable for each method. Each filtration option was matched with a device: cyclonic separators for the method of the same name, electrostatic separators for ionization, HEGA filters, and carcerands for the host molecule method. Through many hours of research, the best alternative for aerosol filtration was determined to be the electrostatic precipitator because of its high durability against flow rate and its ability to cleanse up to 99.99% of contaminants as small as 0.001 micron. Carcerands, which are the only alternative to filtering radioactive particles, were found to be non-existent commercially because of their status as a "work in progress" at research institutions. Nevertheless, the conclusions after the research were that HEPA filters is recommended as the best option for filtering aerosols and carbon filtration is best for filtering radioactive particles.

  17. Atmospheric effects of chemical rocket propulsion - Report of an AIAA Workshop, Sacramento, CA, June 28, 29, 1991

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1991-01-01

    A careful evaluation of relevant studies conducted in the U.S., Europe, and the Soviet Union has established that the effects of chemical rocket propulsion on stratospheric ozone depletion, acid rain, toxicity, air quality, and global warming were negligibly small by comparison with other anthropogenic effects on the atmosphere. It is nevertheless acknowledged that environmental concern should remain on a level of importance comparable to rocket cost, performance, and reliability criteria, and that efforts should be made to reduce environmental effects. The International Astronautical Federation has been identified as the appropriate organization for regulatory efforts

  18. Design, qualification and operation of nuclear rockets for safe Mars missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.; Madsen, W.W.; Olson, T.S.; Redd, L.R.

    1993-01-01

    Nuclear thermal propulsion modules planned for use on crew missions to Mars improve mission reliability and overall safety of the mission. This, as well as all other systems, are greatly enhanced if the system specifications take into account safety from design initiation, and operational considerations are well thought through and applied. For instance, the use of multiple engines in the propulsion module can lead to very high system safety and reliability. Operational safety enhancements may include: the use of multiple perigee burns, thus allowing time to ensure that all systems are functioning properly prior to departure from Earth orbit; the ability to perform all other parts of the mission in a degraded mode with little or no degradation of the mission; and the safe disposal of the nuclear propulsion module in a heliocentric orbit out of the ecliptic plane. The standards used to qualify nuclear rockets are one of the main cost drivers of the program. Concepts and systems that minimize cost and risk will rely on use of the element and component levels to demonstrate technology readiness and validation. Subsystem or systems testing then is only needed for verification of performance. Also, these will be the safest concepts because they will be more thoroughly understood and the safety margins will be well established and confirmed by tests

  19. Development and analysis of startup strategies for particle bed nuclear rocket engine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, David E.

    1993-06-01

    The particle bed reactor (PBR) nuclear thermal propulsion rocket engine concept is the focus of the Air Force's Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion program. While much progress has been made in developing the concept, several technical issues remain. Perhaps foremost among these concerns is the issue of flow stability through the porous, heated bed of fuel particles. There are two complementary technical issues associated with this concern: the identification of the flow stability boundary and the design of the engine controller to maintain stable operation. This thesis examines a portion of the latter issue which has yet to be addressed in detail. Specifically, it develops and analyzes general engine system startup strategies which maintain stable flow through the PBR fuel elements while reaching the design conditions as quickly as possible. The PBR engine studies are conducted using a computer model of a representative particle bed reactor and engine system. The computer program utilized is an augmented version of SAFSIM, an existing nuclear thermal propulsion modeling code; the augmentation, dubbed SAFSIM+, was developed by the author and provides a more complete engine system modeling tool.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, David F.

    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.

  1. Grooved Fuel Rings for Nuclear Thermal Rocket Engines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emrich, William

    2009-01-01

    An alternative design concept for nuclear thermal rocket engines for interplanetary spacecraft calls for the use of grooved-ring fuel elements. Beyond spacecraft rocket engines, this concept also has potential for the design of terrestrial and spacecraft nuclear electric-power plants. The grooved ring fuel design attempts to retain the best features of the particle bed fuel element while eliminating most of its design deficiencies. In the grooved ring design, the hydrogen propellant enters the fuel element in a manner similar to that of the Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) fuel element.

  2. Design and analysis of a single stage to orbit nuclear thermal rocket reactor engine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Labib, Satira; King, Jeffrey

    2015-01-01

    Graphical abstract: - Highlights: • Three NTR reactors are optimized for the single stage launch of 1–15 MT payloads. • The proposed rocket engines have specific impulses in excess of 700 s. • Reactivity and submersion criticality requirements are satisfied for each reactor. - Abstract: Recent advances in the development of high power density fuel materials have renewed interest in nuclear thermal rockets (NTRs) as a viable propulsion technology for future space exploration. This paper describes the design of three NTR reactor engines designed for the single stage to orbit launch of payloads from 1 to 15 metric tons. Thermal hydraulic and rocket engine analyses indicate that the proposed rocket engines are able to reach specific impulses in excess of 800 s. Neutronics analyses performed using MCNP5 demonstrate that the hot excess reactivity, shutdown margin, and submersion criticality requirements are satisfied for each NTR reactor. The reactors each consist of a 40 cm diameter core packed with hexagonal tungsten cermet fuel elements. The core is surrounded by radial and axial beryllium reflectors and eight boron carbide control drums. The 40 cm long reactor meets the submersion criticality requirements (a shutdown margin of at least $1 subcritical in all submersion scenarios) with no further modifications. The 80 and 120 cm long reactors include small amounts of gadolinium nitride as a spectral shift absorber to keep them subcritical upon submersion in seawater or wet sand following a launch abort

  3. Design and analysis of a single stage to orbit nuclear thermal rocket reactor engine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Labib, Satira, E-mail: Satira.Labib@duke-energy.com; King, Jeffrey, E-mail: kingjc@mines.edu

    2015-06-15

    Graphical abstract: - Highlights: • Three NTR reactors are optimized for the single stage launch of 1–15 MT payloads. • The proposed rocket engines have specific impulses in excess of 700 s. • Reactivity and submersion criticality requirements are satisfied for each reactor. - Abstract: Recent advances in the development of high power density fuel materials have renewed interest in nuclear thermal rockets (NTRs) as a viable propulsion technology for future space exploration. This paper describes the design of three NTR reactor engines designed for the single stage to orbit launch of payloads from 1 to 15 metric tons. Thermal hydraulic and rocket engine analyses indicate that the proposed rocket engines are able to reach specific impulses in excess of 800 s. Neutronics analyses performed using MCNP5 demonstrate that the hot excess reactivity, shutdown margin, and submersion criticality requirements are satisfied for each NTR reactor. The reactors each consist of a 40 cm diameter core packed with hexagonal tungsten cermet fuel elements. The core is surrounded by radial and axial beryllium reflectors and eight boron carbide control drums. The 40 cm long reactor meets the submersion criticality requirements (a shutdown margin of at least $1 subcritical in all submersion scenarios) with no further modifications. The 80 and 120 cm long reactors include small amounts of gadolinium nitride as a spectral shift absorber to keep them subcritical upon submersion in seawater or wet sand following a launch abort.

  4. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) applications in rocket propulsion analysis and design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcconnaughey, P. K.; Garcia, R.; Griffin, L. W.; Ruf, J. H.

    1993-01-01

    Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has been used in recent applications to affect subcomponent designs in liquid propulsion rocket engines. This paper elucidates three such applications for turbine stage, pump stage, and combustor chamber geometries. Details of these applications include the development of a high turning airfoil for a gas generator (GG) powered, liquid oxygen (LOX) turbopump, single-stage turbine using CFD as an integral part of the design process. CFD application to pump stage design has emphasized analysis of inducers, impellers, and diffuser/volute sections. Improvements in pump stage impeller discharge flow uniformity have been seen through CFD optimization on coarse grid models. In the area of combustor design, recent CFD analysis of a film cooled ablating combustion chamber has been used to quantify the interaction between film cooling rate, chamber wall contraction angle, and geometry and their effects of these quantities on local wall temperature. The results are currently guiding combustion chamber design and coolant flow rate for an upcoming subcomponent test. Critical aspects of successful integration of CFD into the design cycle includes a close-coupling of CFD and design organizations, quick turnaround of parametric analyses once a baseline CFD benchmark has been established, and the use of CFD methodology and approaches that address pertinent design issues. In this latter area, some problem details can be simplified while retaining key physical aspects to maintain analytical integrity.

  5. Common Data Acquisition Systems (DAS) Software Development for Rocket Propulsion Test (RPT) Test Facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hebert, Phillip W., Sr.; Davis, Dawn M.; Turowski, Mark P.; Holladay, Wendy T.; Hughes, Mark S.

    2012-01-01

    The advent of the commercial space launch industry and NASA's more recent resumption of operation of Stennis Space Center's large test facilities after thirty years of contractor control resulted in a need for a non-proprietary data acquisition systems (DAS) software to support government and commercial testing. The software is designed for modularity and adaptability to minimize the software development effort for current and future data systems. An additional benefit of the software's architecture is its ability to easily migrate to other testing facilities thus providing future commonality across Stennis. Adapting the software to other Rocket Propulsion Test (RPT) Centers such as MSFC, White Sands, and Plumbrook Station would provide additional commonality and help reduce testing costs for NASA. Ultimately, the software provides the government with unlimited rights and guarantees privacy of data to commercial entities. The project engaged all RPT Centers and NASA's Independent Verification & Validation facility to enhance product quality. The design consists of a translation layer which provides the transparency of the software application layers to underlying hardware regardless of test facility location and a flexible and easily accessible database. This presentation addresses system technical design, issues encountered, and the status of Stennis development and deployment.

  6. U.S./CIS eye joint nuclear rocket venture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, John S.; Mcilwain, Melvin C.; Smetanikov, Vladimir; D'Yakov, Evgenij K.; Pavshuk, Vladimir A.

    1993-01-01

    An account is given of the significance for U.S. spacecraft development of a nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) reactor concept that has been developed in the (formerly Soviet) Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The CIS NTR reactor employs a hydrogen-cooled zirconium hydride moderator and ternary carbide fuels; the comparatively cool operating temperatures associated with this design promise overall robustness.

  7. Concept Design and Risk Assessment of Nuclear Propulsion Ship

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gil, Youngmi; Yoo, Seongjin; Kim, Yeontae; Oh, June; Byun, Yoonchul; Woo, Ilguk; Kim, Jiho; Choi, Suhn

    2014-01-01

    The nuclear propulsion ships (hereinafter referred to as 'nuclear ships') have been considered as an eco-friendly ship. There have historically been warship and submarine with the source of nuclear power. The use of nuclear ships has been recently extending to the icebreaker, the deep-water exploration ship, and the floating nuclear power plant. Prior to developing the new ship, we evaluated the economics of various types of ships and concluded that the container ship could be appropriate for the nuclear propulsion. In order to verify its safety, we performed the ship calculation based on the optimal arrangement of the nuclear reactor. Finally, we verified its safety by the HAZID. In the former research, we confirmed the applicability of the nuclear propulsion system for the large container ship. In this study, we verified the safety of the nuclear ships according to the HAZID analysis. We expect that this research will lead to safe design of the nuclear ships

  8. Concept Design and Risk Assessment of Nuclear Propulsion Ship

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gil, Youngmi; Yoo, Seongjin; Kim, Yeontae; Oh, June; Byun, Yoonchul; Woo, Ilguk [Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. Ltd., Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Jiho; Choi, Suhn [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-05-15

    The nuclear propulsion ships (hereinafter referred to as 'nuclear ships') have been considered as an eco-friendly ship. There have historically been warship and submarine with the source of nuclear power. The use of nuclear ships has been recently extending to the icebreaker, the deep-water exploration ship, and the floating nuclear power plant. Prior to developing the new ship, we evaluated the economics of various types of ships and concluded that the container ship could be appropriate for the nuclear propulsion. In order to verify its safety, we performed the ship calculation based on the optimal arrangement of the nuclear reactor. Finally, we verified its safety by the HAZID. In the former research, we confirmed the applicability of the nuclear propulsion system for the large container ship. In this study, we verified the safety of the nuclear ships according to the HAZID analysis. We expect that this research will lead to safe design of the nuclear ships.

  9. RECENT ACTIVITIES AT THE CENTER FOR SPACE NUCLEAR RESEARCH FOR DEVELOPING NUCLEAR THERMAL ROCKETS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Brien, Robert C.

    2001-01-01

    Nuclear power has been considered for space applications since the 1960s. Between 1955 and 1972 the US built and tested over twenty nuclear reactors/ rocket-engines in the Rover/NERVA programs. However, changes in environmental laws may make the redevelopment of the nuclear rocket more difficult. Recent advances in fuel fabrication and testing options indicate that a nuclear rocket with a fuel form significantly different from NERVA may be needed to ensure public support. The Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR) is pursuing development of tungsten based fuels for use in a NTR, for a surface power reactor, and to encapsulate radioisotope power sources. The CSNR Summer Fellows program has investigated the feasibility of several missions enabled by the NTR. The potential mission benefits of a nuclear rocket, historical achievements of the previous programs, and recent investigations into alternatives in design and materials for future systems will be discussed.

  10. Combining chemical and electric-nuclear propulsion for high speed flight

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murthy, S.N.B.; Froning, H.D.

    1991-01-01

    In the development of propulsion for the high speed (greater than Mach 8) regime of a SSTO vehicle, an alternative to a combination of scramjets and conventional chemical rockets is a nuclear system such as the dense plasma fusion engine operated with aneutronic fuels. Several variants are then possible in the manner of energizing the working fluid. An attempt has been made to compare the effectiveness of nuclear and scramjet engines with respect to weights and utilization of energy availability. It is shown that nuclear engines can be as effective as the optimized combustion engines, and will yield a considerable reduction in GTOW in earth-based missions, and have a special use in other planetary atmospheres in which combustion may be difficult but collection and processing of working fluid is feasible. 9 refs

  11. NASA Data Acquisition System Software Development for Rocket Propulsion Test Facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbert, Phillip W., Sr.; Elliot, Alex C.; Graves, Andrew R.

    2015-01-01

    Current NASA propulsion test facilities include Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, Plum Brook Station in Ohio, and White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico. Within and across these centers, a diverse set of data acquisition systems exist with different hardware and software platforms. The NASA Data Acquisition System (NDAS) is a software suite designed to operate and control many critical aspects of rocket engine testing. The software suite combines real-time data visualization, data recording to a variety formats, short-term and long-term acquisition system calibration capabilities, test stand configuration control, and a variety of data post-processing capabilities. Additionally, data stream conversion functions exist to translate test facility data streams to and from downstream systems, including engine customer systems. The primary design goals for NDAS are flexibility, extensibility, and modularity. Providing a common user interface for a variety of hardware platforms helps drive consistency and error reduction during testing. In addition, with an understanding that test facilities have different requirements and setups, the software is designed to be modular. One engine program may require real-time displays and data recording; others may require more complex data stream conversion, measurement filtering, or test stand configuration management. The NDAS suite allows test facilities to choose which components to use based on their specific needs. The NDAS code is primarily written in LabVIEW, a graphical, data-flow driven language. Although LabVIEW is a general-purpose programming language; large-scale software development in the language is relatively rare compared to more commonly used languages. The NDAS software suite also makes extensive use of a new, advanced development framework called the Actor Framework. The Actor Framework provides a level of code reuse and extensibility that has previously been difficult

  12. Handling effluent from nuclear thermal propulsion system ground tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shipers, L.R.; Allen, G.C.

    1992-01-01

    A variety of approaches for handling effluent from nuclear thermal propulsion system ground tests in an environmentally acceptable manner are discussed. The functional requirements of effluent treatment are defined and concept options are presented within the framework of these requirements. System concepts differ primarily in the choice of fission-product retention and waste handling concepts. The concept options considered range from closed cycle (venting the exhaust to a closed volume or recirculating the hydrogen in a closed loop) to open cycle (real time processing and venting of the effluent). This paper reviews the different methods to handle effluent from nuclear thermal propulsion system ground tests

  13. Effluent treatment options for nuclear thermal propulsion system ground tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shipers, L.R.; Brockmann, J.E.

    1992-01-01

    A variety of approaches for handling effluent from nuclear thermal propulsion system ground tests in an environmentally acceptable manner are discussed. The functional requirements of effluent treatment are defined and concept options are presented within the framework of these requirements. System concepts differ primarily in the choice of fission-product retention and waste handling concepts. The concept options considered range from closed cycle (venting the exhaust to a closed volume or recirculating the hydrogen in a closed loop) to open cycle (real time processing and venting of the effluent). This paper reviews the strengths and weaknesses of different methods to handle effluent from nuclear thermal propulsion system ground tests

  14. Development costs for a nuclear electric propulsion stage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mondt, J. F.; Prickett, W. Z.

    1973-01-01

    Development costs are presented for an unmanned nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) stage based upon a liquid metal cooled, in-core thermionic reactor. A total of 120 kWe are delivered to the thrust subsystem which employs mercury ion engines for electric propulsion. This study represents the most recent cost evaluation of the development of a reactor power system for a wide range of nuclear space power applications. These include geocentric, and outer planet and other deep space missions. The development program is described for the total NEP stage, based upon specific development programs for key NEP stage components and subsystems.

  15. 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.

  16. Engine cycle design considerations for nuclear thermal propulsion systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pelaccio, D.G.; Scheil, C.M.; Collins, J.T.

    1993-01-01

    A top-level study was performed which addresses nuclear thermal propulsion system engine cycle options and their applicability to support future Space Exploration Initiative manned lunar and Mars missions. Technical and development issues associated with expander, gas generator, and bleed cycle near-term, solid core nuclear thermal propulsion engines are identified and examined. In addition to performance and weight the influence of the engine cycle type on key design selection parameters such as design complexity, reliability, development time, and cost are discussed. Representative engine designs are presented and compared. Their applicability and performance impact on typical near-term lunar and Mars missions are shown

  17. Nuclear merchant ship propulsion. The present status in the UK

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kinsey, R.P.

    1976-01-01

    The latest report of the Nuclear Ship Stearing Group which deals with three important aspects; economic assessments, international safety and operating procedures for nuclear ships, and the industrial capability of the UK shipbuilding and nuclear industries, is discussed. The integral design concept for a pressurised water reactor for use as a marine reactor is considered. The operational safety aspects of such reactors and of the attendant refuelling facilities are discussed. U.K. capability in the whole nuclear merchant ship propulsion project is considered; reference being made to the design and construction of small PWR reactors, the development, design and supply of the nuclear propulsion unit, financial aspects, and the requirement for cooperation between industrial interests and governmental research units. (U.K.)

  18. Nuclear propulsion: an indispensable know-how to national sovereignty

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Picard, Michel; Tertrais, Bruno

    2006-01-01

    This report proposes a detailed presentation of the role nuclear-powered submarines in the French defence strategy, policy and security, and also a focus on the role of nuclear propulsion in these respects. The first part presents an overview of the role of submarines in the French strategy. It addresses the choice and interest of a deterrence policy for France, describes the role of submarines in this deterrence, and the role of SSNs in the French defence and security policy (support to deterrence, other strategic functions, protection). In the second part, the authors highlight the crucial role of nuclear propulsion by proposing an overview of a century of submarine evolution, by outlining their stealth and detection in above water and underwater warfare, by presenting SSBNs, by giving an overview of the different capacities of modern SSNs (weapons, above water warfare, under water warfare, ground strike capacities, special operations). It finally proposes an assessment of submarine operations. The last part addresses perspectives of evolution of operational requirements within the framework of the French strategy, its consequences on submarine acquisition programmes (for France and for the USA), its consequences in terms of numbers of SSNs and SSBNs, and its consequences in terms necessity of an industrial background. It also addresses European perspectives in terms of design, construction and abilities in the field of nuclear propulsion, and briefly other applications in marine nuclear propulsion. Issues of export and proliferation are also briefly addressed. Appendices propose presentations of the existing fleet of SSNs and SSBNs in the world

  19. Ground Testing a Nuclear Thermal Rocket: Design of a sub-scale demonstration experiment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    David Bedsun; Debra Lee; Margaret Townsend; Clay A. Cooper; Jennifer Chapman; Ronald Samborsky; Mel Bulman; Daniel Brasuell; Stanley K. Borowski

    2012-07-01

    In 2008, the NASA Mars Architecture Team found that the Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) was the preferred propulsion system out of all the combinations of chemical propulsion, solar electric, nuclear electric, aerobrake, and NTR studied. Recently, the National Research Council committee reviewing the NASA Technology Roadmaps recommended the NTR as one of the top 16 technologies that should be pursued by NASA. One of the main issues with developing a NTR for future missions is the ability to economically test the full system on the ground. In the late 1990s, the Sub-surface Active Filtering of Exhaust (SAFE) concept was first proposed by Howe as a method to test NTRs at full power and full duration. The concept relied on firing the NTR into one of the test holes at the Nevada Test Site which had been constructed to test nuclear weapons. In 2011, the cost of testing a NTR and the cost of performing a proof of concept experiment were evaluated.

  20. PEGASUS: a multi-megawatt nuclear electric propulsion system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coomes, E.P.; Cuta, J.M.; Webb, B.J.; King, D.Q.

    1985-06-01

    With the Space Transportation System (STS), the advent of space station Columbus and the development of expertise at working in space that this will entail, the gateway is open to the final frontier. The exploration of this frontier is possible with state-of-the-art hydrogen/oxygen propulsion but would be greatly enhanced by the higher specific impulse of electric propulsion. This paper presents a concept that uses a multi-megawatt nuclear power plant to drive an electric propulsion system. The concept has been named PEGASUS, PowEr GenerAting System for Use in Space, and is intended as a ''work horse'' for general space transportation needs, both long- and short-haul missions. The recent efforts of the SP-100 program indicate that a power system capable of producing upwards of 1 megawatt of electric power should be available in the next decade. Additionally, efforts in other areas indicate that a power system with a constant power capability an order of magnitude greater could be available near the turn of the century. With the advances expected in megawatt-class space power systems, the high specific impulse propulsion systems must be reconsidered as potential propulsion systems. The power system is capable of meeting both the propulsion system and spacecraft power requirements

  1. Modeling Transients and Designing a Passive Safety System for a Nuclear Thermal Rocket Using Relap5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khatry, Jivan

    Long-term high payload missions necessitate the need for nuclear space propulsion. Several nuclear reactor types were investigated by the Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA) program of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Study of planned/unplanned transients on nuclear thermal rockets is important due to the need for long-term missions. A NERVA design known as the Pewee I was selected for this purpose. The following transients were run: (i) modeling of corrosion-induced blockages on the peripheral fuel element coolant channels and their impact on radiation heat transfer in the core, and (ii) modeling of loss-of-flow-accidents (LOFAs) and their impact on radiation heat transfer in the core. For part (i), the radiation heat transfer rate of blocked channels increases while their neighbors' decreases. For part (ii), the core radiation heat transfer rate increases while the flow rate through the rocket system is decreased. However, the radiation heat transfer decreased while there was a complete LOFA. In this situation, the peripheral fuel element coolant channels handle the majority of the radiation heat transfer. Recognizing the LOFA as the most severe design basis accident, a passive safety system was designed in order to respond to such a transient. This design utilizes the already existing tie rod tubes and connects them to a radiator in a closed loop. Hence, this is basically a secondary loop. The size of the core is unchanged. During normal steady-state operation, this secondary loop keeps the moderator cool. Results show that the safety system is able to remove the decay heat and prevent the fuel elements from melting, in response to a LOFA and subsequent SCRAM.

  2. Thermohydraulic Design Analysis Modeling for Korea Advanced NUclear Thermal Engine Rocket for Space Application

    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)

    2015-05-15

    NTR engines have continued as a main stream based on the mature technology. The typical core design of the NERVA derived engines uses hexagonal shaped fuel elements with circular cooling channels and structural tie-tube elements for supporting the fuel elements, housing moderator and regeneratively cooling the moderator. The state-of-the-art NTR designs mostly use a fast or epithermal neutron spectrum core utilizing a HEU fuel to make a high power reactor with small and simple core geometry. Nuclear propulsion is the most promising and viable option to achieve challenging deep space missions. Particularly, the attractions of a NTR include excellent thrust and propellant efficiency, bimodal capability, proven technology, and safe and reliable performance. The KANUTER-HEU and -LEU are the innovative and futuristic NTR engines to reduce the reactor size and to implement a LEU fuel in the reactor by using thermal neutron spectrum. The KANUTERs have some features in the reactor design such as the integrated fuel element and the regeneratively cooling channels to increase room for moderator and heat transfer in the core, and ensuing rocket performance. To study feasible design points in terms of thermo-hydraulics and to estimate rocket performance of the KANUTERs, the NSES is under development. The model of the NSES currently focuses on thermo-hydraulic analysis of the peculiar and complex EHTGR design during the propulsion mode in steady-state. The results indicate comparable performance for future applications, even though it uses the heavier LEU fuel. In future, the NSES will be modified to obtain temperature distribution of the entire reactor components and then more extensive design analysis of neutronics, thermohydraulics and their coupling will be conducted to validate design feasibility and to optimize the reactor design enhancing the rocket performance.

  3. Affordable Development and Qualification Strategy for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerrish, Harold P., Jr.; Doughty, Glen E.; Bhattacharyya, Samit K.

    2013-01-01

    Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is a concept which uses a nuclear reactor to heat a propellant to high temperatures without combustion and can achieve significantly greater specific impulse than chemical engines. NTP has been considered many times for human and cargo missions beyond low earth orbit. A lot of development and technical maturation of NTP components took place during the Rover/NERVA program of the 60's and early 70's. Other NTP programs and studies followed attempting to further mature the NTP concept and identify a champion customer willing to devote the funds and support the development schedule to a demonstration mission. Budgetary constraints require the use of an affordable development and qualification strategy that takes into account all the previous work performed on NTP to construct an existing database, and include lessons learned and past guidelines followed. Current guidelines and standards NASA uses for human rating chemical rocket engines is referenced. The long lead items for NTP development involve the fuel elements of the reactor and ground testing the engine system, subsystem, and components. Other considerations which greatly impact the development plans includes the National Space Policy, National Environmental Policy Act, Presidential Directive/National Security Council Memorandum #25 (Scientific or Technological Experiments with Possible Large-Scale Adverse Environmental Effects and Launch of Nuclear Systems into Space), and Safeguards and Security. Ground testing will utilize non-nuclear test capabilities to help down select components and subsystems before testing in a nuclear environment to save time and cost. Existing test facilities with minor modifications will be considered to the maximum extent practical. New facilities will be designed to meet minimum requirements. Engine and test facility requirements are based on the driving mission requirements with added factors of safety for better assurance and reliability

  4. Thermionic reactor power conditioner design for nuclear electric propulsion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobsen, A. S.; Tasca, D. M.

    1971-01-01

    Consideration of the effects of various thermionic reactor parameters and requirements upon spacecraft power conditioning design. A basic spacecraft is defined using nuclear electric propulsion, requiring approximately 120 kWe. The interrelationships of reactor operating characteristics and power conditioning requirements are discussed and evaluated, and the effects on power conditioner design and performance are presented.

  5. Low Pressure Nuclear Thermal Rocket (LPNTR) concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramsthaler, J.H.

    1991-01-01

    A background and a description of the low pressure nuclear thermal system are presented. Performance, mission analysis, development, critical issues, and some conclusions are discussed. The following subject areas are covered: LPNTR's inherent advantages in critical NTR requirement; reactor trade studies; reference LPNTR; internal configuration and flow of preliminary LPNTR; particle bed fuel assembly; preliminary LPNTR neutronic study results; multiple LPNTR engine concept; tank and engine configuration for mission analysis; LPNTR reliability potential; LPNTR development program; and LPNTR program costs

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1992-01-01

    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. 2 refs

  7. A framework for the intelligent control of nuclear rockets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parlos, A.G.; Metzger, J.D.

    1993-01-01

    An intelligent control system architecture is proposed for nuclear rockets, and its various components are briefly described. The objective of the intelligent controller is the satisfaction of performance, robustness, fault-tolerance and reliability design specifications. The proposed hierarchical architecture consists of three levels: hardware, signal processing, and knowledge processing. The functionality of the intelligent controller is implemented utilizing advanced information processing technologies such as artificial neutral networks and fuzzy expert systems. The feasibility of a number of the controller architecture components have been independently validated using computer simulations. Preliminary results are presented demonstrating some of the signal processing capabilities of the intelligent nuclear rocket controller. Further work, currently in progress, is attempting to implement a number of the knowledge processing capabilities of the controller and their interface with the lower levels of the proposed architecture

  8. Innovative concept for an ultra-small nuclear thermal rocket utilizing a new moderated reactor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seung Hyun Nam

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Although the harsh space environment imposes many severe challenges to space pioneers, space exploration is a realistic and profitable goal for long-term humanity survival. One of the viable and promising options to overcome the harsh environment of space is nuclear propulsion. Particularly, the Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR is a leading candidate for near-term human missions to Mars and beyond due to its relatively high thrust and efficiency. Traditional NTR designs use typically high power reactors with fast or epithermal neutron spectrums to simplify core design and to maximize thrust. In parallel there are a series of new NTR designs with lower thrust and higher efficiency, designed to enhance mission versatility and safety through the use of redundant engines (when used in a clustered engine arrangement for future commercialization. This paper proposes a new NTR design of the second design philosophy, Korea Advanced NUclear Thermal Engine Rocket (KANUTER, for future space applications. The KANUTER consists of an Extremely High Temperature Gas cooled Reactor (EHTGR utilizing hydrogen propellant, a propulsion system, and an optional electricity generation system to provide propulsion as well as electricity generation. The innovatively small engine has the characteristics of high efficiency, being compact and lightweight, and bimodal capability. The notable characteristics result from the moderated EHTGR design, uniquely utilizing the integrated fuel element with an ultra heat-resistant carbide fuel, an efficient metal hydride moderator, protectively cooling channels and an individual pressure tube in an all-in-one package. The EHTGR can be bimodally operated in a propulsion mode of 100 MWth and an electricity generation mode of 100 kWth, equipped with a dynamic energy conversion system. To investigate the design features of the new reactor and to estimate referential engine performance, a preliminary design study in terms of neutronics and

  9. Innovative concept for an ultra-small nuclear thermal rocket utilizing a new moderated reactor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nam, Seung Hyun; Venneri, Paolo; Kim, Yong Hee; Lee, Jeong Ik; Chang, Soon Heung; Jeong, Yong Hoon [Dept. of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2015-10-15

    Although the harsh space environment imposes many severe challenges to space pioneers, space exploration is a realistic and profitable goal for long-term humanity survival. One of the viable and promising options to overcome the harsh environment of space is nuclear propulsion. Particularly, the Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) is a leading candidate for near-term human missions to Mars and beyond due to its relatively high thrust and efficiency. Traditional NTR designs use typically high power reactors with fast or epithermal neutron spectrums to simplify core design and to maximize thrust. In parallel there are a series of new NTR designs with lower thrust and higher efficiency, designed to enhance mission versatility and safety through the use of redundant engines (when used in a clustered engine arrangement) for future commercialization. This paper proposes a new NTR design of the second design philosophy, Korea Advanced NUclear Thermal Engine Rocket (KANUTER), for future space applications. The KANUTER consists of an Extremely High Temperature Gas cooled Reactor (EHTGR) utilizing hydrogen propellant, a propulsion system, and an optional electricity generation system to provide propulsion as well as electricity generation. The innovatively small engine has the characteristics of high efficiency, being compact and lightweight, and bimodal capability. The notable characteristics result from the moderated EHTGR design, uniquely utilizing the integrated fuel element with an ultra heat-resistant carbide fuel, an efficient metal hydride moderator, protectively cooling channels and an individual pressure tube in an all-in-one package. The EHTGR can be bimodally operated in a propulsion mode of 100 MW{sub th} and an electricity generation mode of 100 kW{sub th}, equipped with a dynamic energy conversion system. To investigate the design features of the new reactor and to estimate referential engine performance, a preliminary design study in terms of neutronics and

  10. Innovative concept for an ultra-small nuclear thermal rocket utilizing a new moderated reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nam, Seung Hyun; Venneri, Paolo; Kim, Yong Hee; Lee, Jeong Ik; Chang, Soon Heung; Jeong, Yong Hoon

    2015-01-01

    Although the harsh space environment imposes many severe challenges to space pioneers, space exploration is a realistic and profitable goal for long-term humanity survival. One of the viable and promising options to overcome the harsh environment of space is nuclear propulsion. Particularly, the Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) is a leading candidate for near-term human missions to Mars and beyond due to its relatively high thrust and efficiency. Traditional NTR designs use typically high power reactors with fast or epithermal neutron spectrums to simplify core design and to maximize thrust. In parallel there are a series of new NTR designs with lower thrust and higher efficiency, designed to enhance mission versatility and safety through the use of redundant engines (when used in a clustered engine arrangement) for future commercialization. This paper proposes a new NTR design of the second design philosophy, Korea Advanced NUclear Thermal Engine Rocket (KANUTER), for future space applications. The KANUTER consists of an Extremely High Temperature Gas cooled Reactor (EHTGR) utilizing hydrogen propellant, a propulsion system, and an optional electricity generation system to provide propulsion as well as electricity generation. The innovatively small engine has the characteristics of high efficiency, being compact and lightweight, and bimodal capability. The notable characteristics result from the moderated EHTGR design, uniquely utilizing the integrated fuel element with an ultra heat-resistant carbide fuel, an efficient metal hydride moderator, protectively cooling channels and an individual pressure tube in an all-in-one package. The EHTGR can be bimodally operated in a propulsion mode of 100 MW th and an electricity generation mode of 100 kW th , equipped with a dynamic energy conversion system. To investigate the design features of the new reactor and to estimate referential engine performance, a preliminary design study in terms of neutronics and thermohydraulics

  11. Thermohydraulic modeling of nuclear thermal rockets: The KLAXON code

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hall, M.L.; Rider, W.J.; Cappiello, M.W.

    1992-01-01

    The hydrogen flow from the storage tanks, through the reactor core, and out the nozzle of a Nuclear Thermal Rocket is an integral design consideration. To provide an analysis and design tool for this phenomenon, the KLAXON code is being developed. A shock-capturing numerical methodology is used to model the gas flow (the Harten, Lax, and van Leer method, as implemented by Einfeldt). Preliminary results of modeling the flow through the reactor core and nozzle are given in this paper

  12. Scoping calculations of power sources for nuclear electric propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Difilippo, F.C.

    1994-05-01

    This technical memorandum describes models and calculational procedures to fully characterize the nuclear island of power sources for nuclear electric propulsion. Two computer codes were written: one for the gas-cooled NERVA derivative reactor and the other for liquid metal-cooled fuel pin reactors. These codes are going to be interfaced by NASA with the balance of plant in order to making scoping calculations for mission analysis

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 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

  14. Innovative nuclear thermal rocket concept utilizing LEU fuel for space application

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nam, Seung Hyun; Venneri, Paolo; Choi, Jae Young; Jeong, Yong Hoon; Chang, Soon Heung

    2015-01-01

    Space is one of the best places for humanity to turn to keep learning and exploiting. A Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) is a viable and more efficient option for human space exploration than the existing Chemical Rockets (CRs) which are highly inefficient for long-term manned missions such as to Mars and its satellites. NERVA derived NTR engines have been studied for the human missions as a mainstream in the United States of America (USA). Actually, the NERVA technology has already been developed and successfully tested since 1950s. The state-of-the-art technology is based on a Hydrogen gas (H_2) cooled high temperature reactor with solid core utilizing High-Enriched Uranium (HEU) fuel to reduce heavy metal mass and to use fast or epithermal neutron spectrums enabling simple core designs. However, even though the NTR designs utilizing HEU is the best option in terms of rocket performance, they inevitably provoke nuclear proliferation obstacles on all Research and Development (R and D) activities by civilians and non-nuclear weapon states, and its eventual commercialization. To surmount the security issue to use HEU fuel for a NTR, a concept of the innovative NTR engine, Korea Advanced NUclear Thermal Engine Rocket utilizing Low-Enriched Uranium fuel (KANUTER-LEU) is presented in this paper. The design goal of KANUTER-LEU is to make use of a LEU fuel for its compact reactor, but does not sacrifice the rocket performance relative to the traditional NTRs utilizing HEU. KANUTER-LEU mainly consists of a fission reactor utilizing H_2 propellant, a propulsion system and an optional Electricity Generation System as a bimodal engine. To implement LEU fuel for the reactor, the innovative engine adopts W-UO_2 CERMET fuel to drastically increase uranium density and thermal neutron spectrum to improve neutron economy in the core. The moderator and structural material selections also consider neutronic and thermo-physical characteristics to reduce non-fission neutron loss and

  15. A Crewed Mission to Apophis Using a Hybrid Bimodal Nuclear Thermal Electric Propulsion (BNTEP) System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mccurdy, David R.; Borowski, Stanley K.; Burke, Laura M.; Packard, Thomas W.

    2014-01-01

    A BNTEP system is a dual propellant, hybrid propulsion concept that utilizes Bimodal Nuclear Thermal Rocket (BNTR) propulsion during high thrust operations, providing 10's of kilo-Newtons of thrust per engine at a high specific impulse (Isp) of 900 s, and an Electric Propulsion (EP) system during low thrust operations at even higher Isp of around 3000 s. Electrical power for the EP system is provided by the BNTR engines in combination with a Brayton Power Conversion (BPC) closed loop system, which can provide electrical power on the order of 100's of kWe. High thrust BNTR operation uses liquid hydrogen (LH2) as reactor coolant propellant expelled out a nozzle, while low thrust EP uses high pressure xenon expelled by an electric grid. By utilizing an optimized combination of low and high thrust propulsion, significant mass savings over a conventional NTR vehicle can be realized. Low thrust mission events, such as midcourse corrections (MCC), tank settling burns, some reaction control system (RCS) burns, and even a small portion at the end of the departure burn can be performed with EP. Crewed and robotic deep space missions to a near Earth asteroid (NEA) are best suited for this hybrid propulsion approach. For these mission scenarios, the Earth return V is typically small enough that EP alone is sufficient. A crewed mission to the NEA Apophis in the year 2028 with an expendable BNTEP transfer vehicle is presented. Assembly operations, launch element masses, and other key characteristics of the vehicle are described. A comparison with a conventional NTR vehicle performing the same mission is also provided. Finally, reusability of the BNTEP transfer vehicle is explored.

  16. Assessment of Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Facility and Capability Needs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    James Werner

    2014-07-01

    The development of a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) system rests heavily upon being able to fabricate and demonstrate the performance of a high temperature nuclear fuel as well as demonstrating an integrated system prior to launch. A number of studies have been performed in the past which identified the facilities needed and the capabilities available to meet the needs and requirements identified at that time. Since that time, many facilities and capabilities within the Department of Energy have been removed or decommissioned. This paper provides a brief overview of the anticipated facility needs and identifies some promising concepts to be considered which could support the development of a nuclear thermal propulsion system. Detailed trade studies will need to be performed to support the decision making process.

  17. Design considerations for Mars transfer vehicles using nuclear thermal propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emrich, William J.

    1995-01-01

    The design of a Mars Transfer Vehicle (MTV) utilizing nuclear propulsion will require that careful consideration be given to the nuclear radiation environment in which it will operate. The extremely high neutron and gamma fluxes characteristic of nuclear thermal propulsion systems will cause significant heating of the fluid systems in close proximity to the reactor, especially in the lower propellant tanks. Crew radiation doses are also a concern particularly late in a mission when there is less shielding from the propellant tanks. In this study, various vehicle configuration and shielding strategies were examined and the resulting time dependent radiation fields evaluated. A common cluster of three particle bed reactor (PBR) engines were used in all configurations examined. In general, it appears that long, relatively narrow vehicles perform the best from a radiation standpoint, however, good shield optimization will be critical in maintaining a low radiation environment while minimizing the shield weight penalty.

  18. A computational model for thermal fluid design analysis of nuclear thermal rockets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Given, J.A.; Anghaie, S.

    1997-01-01

    A computational model for simulation and design analysis of nuclear thermal propulsion systems has been developed. The model simulates a full-topping expander cycle engine system and the thermofluid dynamics of the core coolant flow, accounting for the real gas properties of the hydrogen propellant/coolant throughout the system. Core thermofluid studies reveal that near-wall heat transfer models currently available may not be applicable to conditions encountered within some nuclear rocket cores. Additionally, the possibility of a core thermal fluid instability at low mass fluxes and the effects of the core power distribution are investigated. Results indicate that for tubular core coolant channels, thermal fluid instability is not an issue within the possible range of operating conditions in these systems. Findings also show the advantages of having a nonflat centrally peaking axial core power profile from a fluid dynamic standpoint. The effects of rocket operating conditions on system performance are also investigated. Results show that high temperature and low pressure operation is limited by core structural considerations, while low temperature and high pressure operation is limited by system performance constraints. The utility of these programs for finding these operational limits, optimum operating conditions, and thermal fluid effects is demonstrated

  19. Propulsion and launching analysis of variable-mass rockets by analytical methods

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.D. Ganji

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available In this study, applications of some analytical methods on nonlinear equation of the launching of a rocket with variable mass are investigated. Differential transformation method (DTM, homotopy perturbation method (HPM and least square method (LSM were applied and their results are compared with numerical solution. An excellent agreement with analytical methods and numerical ones is observed in the results and this reveals that analytical methods are effective and convenient. Also a parametric study is performed here which includes the effect of exhaust velocity (Ce, burn rate (BR of fuel and diameter of cylindrical rocket (d on the motion of a sample rocket, and contours for showing the sensitivity of these parameters are plotted. The main results indicate that the rocket velocity and altitude are increased with increasing the Ce and BR and decreased with increasing the rocket diameter and drag coefficient.

  20. Nuclear Thermal Rocket/Vehicle Design Options for Future NASA Missions to the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.; Corban, Robert R.; Mcguire, Melissa L.; Beke, Erik G.

    1995-01-01

    The nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) provides a unique propulsion capability to planners/designers of future human exploration missions to the Moon and Mars. In addition to its high specific impulse (approximately 850-1000 s) and engine thrust-to-weight ratio (approximately 3-10), the NTR can also be configured as a 'dual mode' system capable of generating electrical power for spacecraft environmental systems, communications, and enhanced stage operations (e.g., refrigeration for long-term liquid hydrogen storage). At present the Nuclear Propulsion Office (NPO) is examining a variety of mission applications for the NTR ranging from an expendable, single-burn, trans-lunar injection (TLI) stage for NASA's First Lunar Outpost (FLO) mission to all propulsive, multiburn, NTR-powered spacecraft supporting a 'split cargo-piloted sprint' Mars mission architecture. Each application results in a particular set of requirements in areas such as the number of engines and their respective thrust levels, restart capability, fuel operating temperature and lifetime, cryofluid storage, and stage size. Two solid core NTR concepts are examined -- one based on NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) derivative reactor (NDR) technology, and a second concept which utilizes a ternary carbide 'twisted ribbon' fuel form developed by the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The NDR and CIS concepts have an established technology database involving significant nuclear testing at or near representative operating conditions. Integrated systems and mission studies indicate that clusters of two to four 15 to 25 klbf NDR or CIS engines are sufficient for most of the lunar and Mars mission scenarios currently under consideration. This paper provides descriptions and performance characteristics for the NDR and CIS concepts, summarizes NASA's First Lunar Outpost and Mars mission scenarios, and describes characteristics for representative cargo and piloted vehicles compatible with a

  1. History of the Development of NERVA Nuclear Rocket Engine Technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    David L., Black

    2000-01-01

    During the 17 yr between 1955 and 1972, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), the U.S. Air Force (USAF), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) collaborated on an effort to develop a nuclear rocket engine. Based on studies conducted in 1946, the concept selected was a fully enriched uranium-filled, graphite-moderated, beryllium-reflected reactor, cooled by a monopropellant, hydrogen. The program, known as Rover, was centered at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL), funded jointly by the AEC and the USAF, with the intent of designing a rocket engine for long-range ballistic missiles. Other nuclear rocket concepts were studied during these years, such as cermet and gas cores, but are not reviewed herein. Even thought the program went through the termination phase in a very short time, the technology may still be fully recoverable/retrievable to the state of its prior technological readiness in a reasonably short time. Documents; drawings; and technical, purchasing, manufacturing, and materials specifications were all stored for ease of retrieval. If the U.S. space program were to discover a need/mission for this engine, its 1972 'pencils down' status could be updated for the technology developments of the past 28 yr for flight demonstration in 8 or fewer years. Depending on today's performance requirements, temperatures and pressures could be increased and weight decreased considerably

  2. Mars mission performance enhancement with hybrid nuclear propulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dagle, J. E. [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States); Noffsinger, K. E. [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States); Segna, D. R. [USDOE Richland Operations Office, WA (United States)

    1992-01-01

    Nuclear electric propulsion (NEP), compared with chemical and nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP), can effectively deliver the same mass to Mars using much less propellant, consequently requiring less mass delivered to Earth orbit. The lower thrust of NEP requires a spiral trajectory near planetary bodies, which significantly increases the travel time. Although the total travel time is long, the portion of the flight time spent during interplanetary transfer is shorter, because the vehicle is thrusting for much longer periods of time. This has led to the supposition that NEP, although very attractive for cargo missions, is not suitable for piloted missions to Mars. However, with the application of a hybrid application of a hybrid approach to propulsion, the benefits of NEP can be utilized while drastically reducing the overall travel time required. Development of a dual-mode system, which utilizes high-thrust NTP to propel the spacecraft from the planetary gravitational influence and low-thrust NEP to accelerate in interplanetary space, eliminates the spiral trajectory and results in a much faster transit time than could be obtained by either NEP or NTP alone. This results in a mission profile with a lower initial mass in low Earth orbit. In addition, the propulsion system would have the capability to provide electrical power for mission applications.

  3. Propulsion requirements for reusable single-stage-to-orbit rocket vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanley, Douglas O.; Engelund, Walter C.; Lepsch, Roger

    1994-05-01

    The conceptual design of a single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) vehicle using a wide variety of evolutionary technologies has recently been completed as a part of NASA's Advanced Manned Launch System (AMLS) study. The employment of new propulsion system technologies is critical to the design of a reasonably sized, operationally efficient SSTO vehicle. This paper presents the propulsion system requirements identified for this near-term AMLS SSTO vehicle. Sensitivities of the vehicle to changes in specific impulse and sea-level thrust-to-weight ratio are examined. The results of a variety of vehicle/propulsion system trades performed on the near-term AMLS SSTO vehicle are also presented.

  4. Robotic planetary mission benefits from nuclear electric propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kelley, J.H.; Yen, C.L.

    1992-01-01

    Several interesting planetary missions are either enabled or significantly enhanced by nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) in the 50 to 100 kW power range. These missions include a Pluto Orbiter/Probe with an 11-year flight time and several years of operational life in orbit versus a ballistic very fast (13 km/s) flyby which would take longer to get to Pluto and would have a very short time to observe the planet. (A ballistic orbiter would take about 40 years to get to Pluto.) Other missions include a Neptune Orbiter/Probe, a Jupiter Grand Tour orbiting each of the major moons in order, a Uranus Orbiter/Probe, a Multiple Mainbelt Asteroid Rendezvous orbiting six selected asteroids, and a Comet Nucleus Sample Return. This paper discusses potential missions and compares the nuclear electric propulsion option to the conventional ballistic approach on a parametric basis

  5. Experimental evaluation of hybrid propulsion rocket engine operating with paraffin fuel grain and gaseous oxygen

    OpenAIRE

    Genivaldo Pimenta dos Santos

    2014-01-01

    In the last decade the hybrid propulsion has been considering as a viable alternative of chemical energy conversion stored in propellants into kinetic energy. This energy is applied in propulsive systems of manned platforms, maneuvering procedures and even in the repositioning process of micro satellites. It presents attractive features and good balance between performance and environmental impact. Paraffin based grains are the hybrid solid fuels appointed as polymeric fuel substitute. The li...

  6. Concept for a shuttle-tended reusable interplanetary transport vehicle using nuclear electric propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakagawa, R. Y.; Elliot, J. C.; Spilker, T. R.; Grayson, C. M.

    2003-01-01

    NASA has placed new emphasis on the development of advanced propulsion technologies including Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP). This technology would provide multiple benefits including high delta-V capability and high power for long duration spacecraft operations.

  7. Hydrogen Wave Heater for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Component Testing, Phase I

    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...

  8. Prospects for applications of ship-propulsion nuclear reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitenkov, F.M.

    1994-01-01

    The use of ship-propulsion nuclear power reactors in remote areas of Russia is examined. Two ship reactors were analyzed: the KLT-40, a 170 MW-thermal reactor; and the KN-3, a 300 MW-thermal reactor. The applications considered were electricity generation, desalination, and drinking water production. Analyses showed that the applications are technically justified and could be economically advantageous. 5 refs., 9 figs., 1 tab

  9. Reactor physics in support of the naval nuclear propulsion programme

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lisley, P.G.; Beeley, P.A.

    1994-01-01

    Reactor physics is a core component of all courses but in particular two postgraduate courses taught at the department in support of the naval nuclear propulsion programme. All of the courses include the following elements: lectures and problem solving exercises, laboratory work, experiments on the Jason zero power Argonaut reactor, demonstration of PWR behavior on a digital computer simulator and project work. This paper will highlight the emphasis on reactor physics in all elements of the education and training programme. (authors). 9 refs

  10. Multimission nuclear electric propulsion system for outer planet exploration missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mondt, J.F.

    1981-01-01

    A 100-kW reactor power system with a specific mass of 15 to 30 kg/kW/sub e/ and an electric thrust system with a specific mass of 5 to 10 kg/kW/sub e/ can be combined into a nuclear electric propulsion system. The system can be used for outer planet missions as well as earth orbital transfer vehicle missions. 5 refs

  11. Feasibility of Low Enriched Uranium Fuel for Space Nuclear Propulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Venneri, Paolo; Kim, Yonghee [Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2013-05-15

    The purpose of this initial study is to create a baseline with which to perform further analysis and to build a solid understanding of the neutronic characteristics of a solid core for the nuclear thermal rocket. Once consistency with work done at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is established, this paper will provide a study of other fuel types, such as low and medium-enriched uranium fuels. This paper will examine how the implementation of each fuel type affects the multiplication factor of the reactor, and will then explore different possibilities for alterations needed to accommodate their successful usage. The reactor core analysis was done using the MCNP5 code. While this study has not shown that the SNRE can be easily retrofitted for low-enriched U fuel, it has made a detailed study of the SNRE, and identified the difficulties of the implementation of low-enriched fuels in small nuclear rockets. These difficulties are the need for additional moderation and fuel mass in order to achieve a critical mass. Neither of these is insurmountable. Future work includes finding the best method by which to increase the internal moderation of the reactor balanced with appropriate sizing to prevent neutron leakage. Both of these are currently being studied. This paper will present a study of the Small Nuclear Rocket Engine (SNRE) and the feasibility of using low enriched Uranium (LEU) instead of the traditional high enriched Uranium (HEU) fuels.

  12. 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.

  13. Conceptual Engine System Design for NERVA derived 66.7KN and 111.2KN Thrust Nuclear Thermal Rockets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fittje, James E.; Buehrle, Robert J.

    2006-01-01

    The Nuclear Thermal Rocket concept is being evaluated as an advanced propulsion concept for missions to the moon and Mars. A tremendous effort was undertaken during the 1960's and 1970's to develop and test NERVA derived Nuclear Thermal Rockets in the 111.2 KN to 1112 KN pound thrust class. NASA GRC is leveraging this past NTR investment in their vehicle concepts and mission analysis studies, and has been evaluating NERVA derived engines in the 66.7 KN to the 111.2 KN thrust range. The liquid hydrogen propellant feed system, including the turbopumps, is an essential component of the overall operation of this system. The NASA GRC team is evaluating numerous propellant feed system designs with both single and twin turbopumps. The Nuclear Engine System Simulation code is being exercised to analyze thermodynamic cycle points for these selected concepts. This paper will present propellant feed system concepts and the corresponding thermodynamic cycle points for 66.7 KN and 111.2 KN thrust NTR engine systems. A pump out condition for a twin turbopump concept will also be evaluated, and the NESS code will be assessed against the Small Nuclear Rocket Engine preliminary thermodynamic data

  14. Review of fuel element development for nuclear rocket engines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Taub, J.M.

    1975-06-01

    The Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL) entered the nuclear propulsion field in 1955 and began work on all aspects of a nuclear propulsion program involving uranium-loaded graphite fuels, hydrogen propellant, and a target exhaust temperature of approximately 2500 0 C. A very extensive uranium-loaded graphite fuel element technology evolved from the program. Selection and composition of raw materials for the extrusion mix had to be coupled with heat treatment studies to give optimum element properties. The highly enriched uranium in the element was incorporated as UO 2 , pyrocarbon-coated UC 2 , or solid solution UC . ZrC particles. An extensive development program resulted in successful NbC or ZrC coatings on elements to withstand hydrogen corrosion at elevated temperatures. Hot gas, thermal shock, thermal stress, and NDT evaluation procedures were developed to monitor progress in preparation of elements with optimum properties. Final evaluation was made in reactor tests at NRDS. Aerojet-General, Westinghouse Astronuclear Laboratory, and the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant of Union Carbide Nuclear Company entered the program in the early 1960's, and their activities paralleled those of LASL in fuel element development. (U.S.)

  15. Preliminary Thermo-hydraulic Core Design Analysis of Korea Advanced Nuclear Thermal Engine Rocket for Space Application

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nam, Seung Hyun; Lee, Jeong Ik; Chang, Soon Heung [Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-05-15

    Nclear rockets improve the propellant efficiency more than twice compared to CRs and thus significantly reduce the propellant requirement. The superior efficiency of nuclear rockets is due to the combination of the huge energy density and a single low molecular weight propellant utilization. Nuclear Thermal Rockets (NTRs) are particularly suitable for manned missions to Mars because it satisfies a relatively high thrust as well as a high propellant efficiency. NTRs use thermal energy released from a nuclear fission reactor to heat a single low molecular weight propellant, i. e., Hydrogen (H{sub 2}) and then exhausted the extremely heated propellant through a thermodynamic nozzle to produce thrust. A propellant efficiency parameter of rocket engines is specific impulse (I{sub sp}) which represents the ratio of the thrust over the rate of propellant consumption. The difference of I{sub sp} makes over three times propellant savings of NTRs for a manned Mars mission compared to CRs. NTRs can also be configured to operate bimodally by converting the surplus nuclear energy to auxiliary electric power required for the operation of a spacecraft. Moreover, the concept and technology of NTRs are very simple, already proven, and safe. Thus, NTRs can be applied to various space missions such as solar system exploration, International Space Station (ISS) transport support, Near Earth Objects (NEOs) interception, etc. Nuclear propulsion is the most promising and viable option to achieve challenging deep space missions. Particularly, the attractions of a NTR include excellent thrust and propellant efficiency, bimodal capability, proven technology, and safe and reliable performance. The ROK has also begun the research for space nuclear systems as a volunteer of the international space race and a major world nuclear energy country. KANUTER is one of the advanced NTR engines currently under development at KAIST. This bimodal engine is operated in two modes of propulsion with 100 MW

  16. Review of coaxial flow gas core nuclear rocket fluid mechanics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weinstein, H.

    1976-01-01

    In a prematurely aborted attempt to demonstrate the feasibility of using a gas core nuclear reactor as a rocket engine, NASA initiated a number of studies on the relevant fluid mechanics problems. These studies were carried out at NASA laboratories, universities and industrial research laboratories. Because of the relatively sudden termination of most of this work, a unified overview was never presented which demonstrated the accomplishments of the program and pointed out the areas where additional work was required for a full understanding of the cavity flow. This review attempts to fulfill a part of this need in two important areas

  17. Assessment of the advantages and feasibility of a nuclear rocket for a manned Mars mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howe, S.D.

    1986-01-01

    The feasibility of rebuilding and testing a nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) for the Mars mission was investigted. Calculations indicate that an NTR would substantially reduce the Earth-orbit assemble mass compared to LOX/LH 2 systems. The mass savings were 36 and 65% for the cases of total aerobraking and of total propulsive braking respectively. Consequently, the cost savings for a single mission of using an NTR, if aerobraking is feasible, are probably insufficient to warrant the NTR development. If multiple missions are planned or if propulsive braking is desired at Mars and/or at Earth, then the savings of about $7 billion will easily pay for the NTR. Estimates of the cost of rebuilding a NTR were based on the previous NERVA program's budget plus additional costs to develop a flight ready engine. The total cost to build the engine would be between $4 to 5 billion. The concept of developing a full-power test stand at Johnston Atoll in the Pacific appears very feasible. The added expense of building facilities on the island should be less than $1.4 billion

  18. Nuclear electric propulsion for planetary science missions: NASA technology program planning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doherty, M.P.

    1993-05-01

    This paper presents the status of technology program planning to develop those Nuclear Electric Propulsion technologies needed to meet the advanced propulsion system requirements for planetary science missions in the next century. The technology program planning is based upon technologies with significant development heritage: ion electric propulsion and the SP-100 space nuclear power technologies. Detailed plans are presented for the required ion electric propulsion technology development and demonstration. Closer coordination between space nuclear power and space electric propulsion technology programs is a necessity as technology plans are being further refined in light of NEP concept definition and possible early NEP flight activities

  19. The United States Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program - Over 151 Million Miles Safely Steamed on Nuclear Power

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None, None

    2015-03-01

    NNSA’s third mission pillar is supporting the U.S. Navy’s ability to protect and defend American interests across the globe. The Naval Reactors Program remains at the forefront of technological developments in naval nuclear propulsion and ensures a commanding edge in warfighting capabilities by advancing new technologies and improvements in naval reactor performance and reliability. In 2015, the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program pioneered advances in nuclear reactor and warship design – such as increasing reactor lifetimes, improving submarine operational effectiveness, and reducing propulsion plant crewing. The Naval Reactors Program continued its record of operational excellence by providing the technical expertise required to resolve emergent issues in the Nation’s nuclear-powered fleet, enabling the Fleet to safely steam more than two million miles. Naval Reactors safely maintains, operates, and oversees the reactors on the Navy’s 82 nuclear-powered warships, constituting more than 45 percent of the Navy’s major combatants.

  20. 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.

  1. Low Cost Nuclear Thermal Rocket Cermet Fuel Element Environment Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradley, David E.; Mireles, Omar R.; Hickman, Robert R.

    2011-01-01

    Deep space missions with large payloads require high specific impulse (Isp) and relatively high thrust in order to achieve mission goals in reasonable time frames. Conventional, storable propellants produce average Isp. Nuclear thermal rockets (NTR) capable of high Isp thrust have been proposed. NTR employs heat produced by fission reaction to heat and therefore accelerate hydrogen which is then forced through a rocket nozzle providing thrust. Fuel element temperatures are very high (up to 3000K) and hydrogen is highly reactive with most materials at high temperatures. Data covering the effects of high temperature hydrogen exposure on fuel elements is limited. The primary concern is the mechanical failure of fuel elements which employ high-melting-point metals, ceramics or a combination (cermet) as a structural matrix into which the nuclear fuel is distributed. It is not necessary to include fissile material in test samples intended to explore high temperature hydrogen exposure of the structural support matrices. A small-scale test bed designed to heat fuel element samples via non-contact RF heating and expose samples to hydrogen is being developed to assist in optimal material and manufacturing process selection without employing fissile material. This paper details the test bed design and results of testing conducted to date.

  2. The issue of ensuring the safe explosion of the spent orbital stages of a launch vehicle with propulsion rocket engine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Trushlyakov Valeriy I.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available A method for increasing the safe explosion of the spent orbital stages of a space launch vehicle (SLV with a propulsion rocket engine (PRE based on the gasification of unusable residues propellant and venting fuel tanks. For gasification and ventilation the hot gases used produced by combustion of the specially selected gas generating composition (GGC with a set of physical and chemical properties. Excluding the freezing of the drainage system on reset gasified products (residues propellant+pressurization gas+hot gases in the near-Earth space is achieved by selecting the physical-chemical characteristics of the GGC. Proposed steps to ensure rotation of gasified products due to dumping through the drainage system to ensure the most favorable conditions for propellant gasification residues. For example, a tank with liquid oxygen stays with the orbital spent second stage of the SLV “Zenit”, which shows the effectiveness of the proposed method.

  3. Nuclear Bi-Brayton system for aircraft propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pierce, B.L.

    1979-01-01

    Recent studies have shown the desirability of new system concept for nuclear aircraft propulsion utilizing the Bi-Brayton system concept, permits coupling of a gas cooled reactor to the power transmission and conversion system in a manner such as to fulfill the safety criteria while eliminating the need for a high temperature intermediate heat exchanger or shaft penetrations of the containment vessel. This system has been shown to minimize the component development required and to allow reduction in total propulsion system weight. This paper presents a description of the system concept and the results of the definition and evaluation studies to date. Parametric and reference system definition studies have been performed. The closed-cycle Bi-Brayton system and component configurations and weight estimates have been derived. Parametric evaluation and cycle variation studies have been performed and interpreted. 7 refs

  4. Nuclear space power and propulsion requirements and issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swerdling, M.; Isenberg, L.

    1995-01-01

    The use of nuclear power in space is going through a low point. The kinds of missions that would use nuclear power are expensive and there are few new expensive missions. Both NASA and DoD are in a mode of cheaper, faster, better, which means using what is available as much as possible and only incorporating new technology to reduce mission cost. NASA is performing Mission to Planet Earth and detailed exploration missions of Mars. These NASA missions can be done with solar-battery power subsystems and there is no need for nuclear power. The NASA mission to Pluto does require nuclear radioisotope power. Ways to reduce the power subsystem cost and the power level are being investigated. NASA is studying ways to explore beyond Mars with solar-battery power because of the cost and uncertainty in the availability and launchability of nuclear space power systems. The DoD missions are all in earth orbit and can be done with solar-battery systems. The major DoD requirement at present is to reduce costs of all their space missions. One way to do this is to develop highly efficient upper stage boosters that can be integrated with lower cost Earth to low orbit stages and still place their payloads in to higher orbits. One attractive upper stage is a nuclear bimodal (propulsion and power) engine to accomplished lower booster cost to place space assets in GEO. However this is not being pursued because of DOE's new policy not to fund nuclear space power research and development as well as the difficulty in obtaining launch approval for nuclear propulsion and power systems

  5. Feasibility study of a contained pulsed nuclear propulsion engine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parlos, A.G.; Metzger, J.D.

    1994-01-01

    The result of a feasibility analysis of a contained pulsed nuclear propulsion (CPNP) engine concept utilizing the enormously dense energy generated by small nuclear detonations is presented in this article. This concept was initially proposed and studied in the 1950s and 1960s under the program name HELIOS. The current feasibility of the concept is based upon materials technology that has advanced to a state that allows the design of pressure vessels required to contain the blast associated with small nuclear detonations. The impulsive nature of the energy source provides the means for circumventing the materials thermal barriers that are inherent in steady-state nuclear propulsion concepts. The rapid energy transfer to the propellant results in high thrust levels for times less than 1 s following the detonation. The preliminary feasibility analysis using off-the-shelf materials technology appears to indicate that the CPNP concept can have thrust-to-weight ratios on the order of 1 or greater. Though the specific impulse is not a good indicator for impulsive engines, an operating-cycle averaged specific impulse of approximately 1000 or greater seconds was calculated. 16 refs

  6. Feasibility of the recent Russian nuclear electric propulsion concept: 2010

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zakirov, Vadim; Pavshook, Vladimir

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → The paper focuses on feasibility of the Russian nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) concept. → The Russian NEP concept is based on the past experience and is, therefore, technically feasible. → The big concern is that the program will be cancelled due to non-technical issues. - Abstract: The paper introduces recent Russian nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) concept for space exploration. The concept advantages are listed along with future missions. The current development status for the two main enabling technologies is presented and the feasibility analysis of the up-to-date experience is performed. The main features of NEP concept are discussed. Revision of these features and available technologies demonstrates that the NEP concept is a logical continuation of the previous efforts by the former Soviet Union. Because no breakthrough technologies are needed for NEP development while the existing technologies only need to be adapted to the megawatt (MW) class NEP the development is considered technically feasible, low risk program likely to succeed unless cancelled by the listed non-technical reasons. Successful NEP space vehicle development is going to bring practical space exploration of solar system to the new level as well as require supplementary payload program, supporting monitoring and communication radar networks. Nuclear safety during future NEP missions can be ensured by adherence to the United Nations guidelines in the same way it was done during the Soviet Topaz Nuclear Power System (NPS) missions.

  7. Feasibility of the recent Russian nuclear electric propulsion concept: 2010

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zakirov, Vadim, E-mail: v.zakirov@mail.tsinghua.edu.c [Room 3121, Yifu Building, School of Aerospace, Tsinghua University, Haidian District, Beijing 100084 (China); Pavshook, Vladimir, E-mail: vap_ki@mail.r [Russian Research Center ' Kurchatov Institute' , Kurchatov Sq. 1, Moscow 123182 (Russian Federation)

    2011-05-15

    Highlights: The paper focuses on feasibility of the Russian nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) concept. The Russian NEP concept is based on the past experience and is, therefore, technically feasible. The big concern is that the program will be cancelled due to non-technical issues. - Abstract: The paper introduces recent Russian nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) concept for space exploration. The concept advantages are listed along with future missions. The current development status for the two main enabling technologies is presented and the feasibility analysis of the up-to-date experience is performed. The main features of NEP concept are discussed. Revision of these features and available technologies demonstrates that the NEP concept is a logical continuation of the previous efforts by the former Soviet Union. Because no breakthrough technologies are needed for NEP development while the existing technologies only need to be adapted to the megawatt (MW) class NEP the development is considered technically feasible, low risk program likely to succeed unless cancelled by the listed non-technical reasons. Successful NEP space vehicle development is going to bring practical space exploration of solar system to the new level as well as require supplementary payload program, supporting monitoring and communication radar networks. Nuclear safety during future NEP missions can be ensured by adherence to the United Nations guidelines in the same way it was done during the Soviet Topaz Nuclear Power System (NPS) missions.

  8. 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.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Key steps to ensure identification of relevant effluent treatment technologies for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) testing include the following. 1. Review of...

  10. Systems integration processes for space nuclear electric propulsion systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Olsen, C.S.; Rice, J.W.; Stanley, M.L.

    1991-01-01

    The various components and subsystems that comprise a nuclear electric propulsion system should be developed and integrated so that each functions ideally and so that each is properly integrated with the other components and subsystems in the optimum way. This paper discusses how processes similar to those used in the development and intergration of the subsystems that comprise the Multimegawatt Space Nuclear Power System concepts can be and are being efficiently and effectively utilized for these purposes. The processes discussed include the development of functional and operational requirements at the system and subsystem level; the assessment of individual nuclear power supply and thruster concepts and their associated technologies; the conduct of systems integration efforts including the evaluation of the mission benefits for each system; the identification and resolution of concepts development, technology development, and systems integration feasibility issues; subsystem, system, and technology development and integration; and ground and flight subsystem and integrated system testing

  11. Nuclear electric propulsion for planetary science missions: NASA technology program planning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doherty, M.P.

    1993-01-01

    This paper presents the status of technology program planning to achieve readiness of Nuclear Electric Propulsion technologies needed to meet the advanced propulsion system requirements for planetary science missions in the next century. The technology program planning is based upon technologies of significant maturity: ion electric propulsion and the SP-100 space nulcear power technologies. Detailed plans are presented herein for the required ion electric propulsion technology development and demonstration. Closer coordination between space nuclear power and space electric propulsion technology programs is a necessity as technology plans are being further refined in light of NEP concept definition and possible early NEP flight activities

  12. Propulsion and launching analysis of variable-mass rockets by analytical methods

    OpenAIRE

    D.D. Ganji; M. Gorji; M. Hatami; A. Hasanpour; N. Khademzadeh

    2013-01-01

    In this study, applications of some analytical methods on nonlinear equation of the launching of a rocket with variable mass are investigated. Differential transformation method (DTM), homotopy perturbation method (HPM) and least square method (LSM) were applied and their results are compared with numerical solution. An excellent agreement with analytical methods and numerical ones is observed in the results and this reveals that analytical methods are effective and convenient. Also a paramet...

  13. Nuclear propulsion: the way to mars is open

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jamet, Ph.

    2005-01-01

    A manned mission to mars will require the use of nuclear propulsion because of the efficiency of this technique in terms of high values for the momentum/weight ratio and the thrust. A period of 10 years will be necessary to develop nuclear-thermal or nuclear-electric propulsion systems able to bring a 5 member crew on mars. The go and return trip has to be optimized in terms of energy consumption: it may last 250 days and a time period of about 500 days, spent on mars, may be necessary before undertaking the return trip. The long stay on mars implies the existence of important structure so that life may be possible for the astronauts. The weight of equipment needed to be carried is assessed to reach 20 or 30 tonnes. Different scenarios have been considered by the Nasa in order to reduce the constraints on the launching: launching from either a lunar station or a space station has been proposed. (A.C.)

  14. Smart built-in test for nuclear thermal propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lombrozo, P.C.

    1992-03-01

    Smart built-in test (BIT) technologies are envisioned for nuclear thermal propulsion spacecraft components which undergo constant irradiation and are therefore unsafe for manual testing. Smart BIT systems of automated/remote type allow component and system tests to be conducted; failure detections are directly followed by reconfiguration of the components affected. The 'smartness' of the BIT system in question involves the reduction of sensor counts via the use of multifunction sensors, the use of components as integral sensors, and the use of system design techniques which allow the verification of system function beyond component connectivity

  15. Gas core nuclear thermal rocket engine research and development in the former USSR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koehlinger, M.W.; Bennett, R.G.; Motloch, C.G.; Gurfink, M.M.

    1992-09-01

    Beginning in 1957 and continuing into the mid 1970s, the USSR conducted an extensive investigation into the use of both solid and gas core nuclear thermal rocket engines for space missions. During this time the scientific and engineering. problems associated with the development of a solid core engine were resolved. At the same time research was undertaken on a gas core engine, and some of the basic engineering problems associated with the concept were investigated. At the conclusion of the program, the basic principles of the solid core concept were established. However, a prototype solid core engine was not built because no established mission required such an engine. For the gas core concept, some of the basic physical processes involved were studied both theoretically and experimentally. However, no simple method of conducting proof-of-principle tests in a neutron flux was devised. This report focuses primarily on the development of the. gas core concept in the former USSR. A variety of gas core engine system parameters and designs are presented, along with a summary discussion of the basic physical principles and limitations involved in their design. The parallel development of the solid core concept is briefly described to provide an overall perspective of the magnitude of the nuclear thermal propulsion program and a technical comparison with the gas core concept

  16. Conventional and Bimodal Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) Artificial Gravity Mars Transfer Vehicle Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.; McCurdy, David R.; Packard, Thomas W.

    2016-01-01

    A variety of countermeasures have been developed to address the debilitating physiological effects of zero-gravity (0-g) experienced by cosmonauts and astronauts during their approximately 0.5 to 1.2 year long stays in low Earth orbit (LEO). Longer interplanetary flights, combined with possible prolonged stays in Mars orbit, could subject crewmembers to up to approximately 2.5 years of weightlessness. In view of known and recently diagnosed problems associated with 0-g, an artificial gravity (AG) spacecraft offers many advantages and may indeed be an enabling technology for human flights to Mars. A number of important human factors must be taken into account in selecting the rotation radius, rotation rate, and orientation of the habitation module or modules. These factors include the gravity gradient effect, radial and tangential Coriolis forces, along with cross-coupled acceleration effects. Artificial gravity Mars transfer vehicle (MTV) concepts are presented that utilize both conventional NTR, as well as, enhanced bimodal nuclear thermal rocket (BNTR) propulsion. The NTR is a proven technology that generates high thrust and has a specific impulse (Isp) capability of approximately 900 s-twice that of today's best chemical rockets. The AG/MTV concepts using conventional Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) carry twin cylindrical International Space Station (ISS)- type habitation modules with their long axes oriented either perpendicular or parallel to the longitudinal spin axis of the MTV and utilize photovoltaic arrays (PVAs) for spacecraft power. The twin habitat modules are connected to a central operations hub located at the front of the MTV via two pressurized tunnels that provide the rotation radius for the habitat modules. For the BNTR AG/MTV option, each engine has its own closed secondary helium(He)-xenon (Xe) gas loop and Brayton Rotating Unit (BRU) that can generate 10s of kilowatts (kWe) of spacecraft electrical power during the mission coast phase

  17. A feasibility study for a contained pulsed nuclear propulsion concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parlos, A.G.; Metzger, J.D.

    1993-01-01

    A preliminary analysis of a pulsed propulsion concept is performed utilizing the enormously dense energy generated by small nuclear detonations. The concept feasibility is based on the premise that current materials technology has undergone significant breakthroughs, allowing design of pressure vessels capable of containing the blast associated with such detonations. Furthermore, the rapid energy transfer to the propellant, allows generation of high thrust levels for up to 10 ms following the detonation. Preliminary reevaluation of the concept using off-the-shelf materials technology appears to indicate that the contained pulsed nuclear propulsion concept has no major flaws, and it can provide thrust levels resulting in average thrust-to-weight ratios on the order of 2--2.5 over an engine operating cycle. Furthermore, even though the specific impulse is not a good performance indicator for impulsive engines, operating-cycle-averaged specific impulse of approximately 1800 s has been calculated. The engine mass associated with this performance is on the order of 50 Mg. The concept appears attractive for a number of missions planned for the Space Exploration Initiative, however, there are still a number of issues that must be addressed

  18. Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-09-01

    A program has been proposed to develop the technology and demonstrate the feasibility of a high-temperature particle bed reactor (PBR) propulsion system to be used to power an advanced second stage nuclear rocket engine. The purpose of this Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) is to assess the potential environmental impacts of component development and testing, construction of ground test facilities, and ground testing. Major issues and goals of the program include the achievement and control of predicted nuclear power levels; the development of materials that can withstand the extremely high operating temperatures and hydrogen flow environments; and the reliable control of cryogenic hydrogen and hot gaseous hydrogen propellant. The testing process is designed to minimize radiation exposure to the environment. Environmental impact and mitigation planning are included for the following areas of concern: (1) Population and economy; (2) Land use and infrastructure; (3) Noise; (4) Cultural resources; (5) Safety (non-nuclear); (6) Waste; (7) Topography; (8) Geology; (9) Seismic activity; (10) Water resources; (11) Meteorology/Air quality; (12) Biological resources; (13) Radiological normal operations; (14) Radiological accidents; (15) Soils; and (16) Wildlife habitats.

  19. Thermal radiation in gas core nuclear reactors for space propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Slutz, S.A.; Gauntt, R.O.; Harms, G.A.; Latham, T.; Roman, W.; Rodgers, R.J.

    1994-01-01

    A diffusive model of the radial transport of thermal radiation out of a cylindrical core of fissioning plasma is presented. The diffusion approximation is appropriate because the opacity of uranium is very high at the temperatures of interest (greater than 3000 K). We make one additional simplification of assuming constant opacity throughout the fuel. This allows the complete set of solutions to be expressed as a single function. This function is approximated analytically to facilitate parametric studies of the performance of a test module of the nuclear light bulb gas-core nuclear-rocket-engine concept, in the Annular Core Research Reactor at Sandia National Laboratories. Our findings indicate that radiation temperatures in range of 4000-6000 K are attainable, which is sufficient to test the high specific impulse potential (approximately 2000 s) of this concept. 15 refs

  20. Shield design development of nuclear propulsion merchant ship

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tanaka, Yoshihisa

    1975-01-01

    Shielding design both in Japan and abroad for nuclear propulsion merchant ships is explained, with emphasis on the various technological problems having occurred in the shield design for one-body type and separate type LWRs as conceptual design. The following matters are described: the peculiarities of the design as compared with the case of land-based nuclear reactors, problems in the design standards of shielding, the present status and development of the design methods, and the instances of the design; thereby, the trends of shielding design are disclosed. The following matters are pointed out: Importance of the optimum design, of shielding, significance of radiation streaming through large voids, activation of the secondary water in built-in type steam generators, and the need of the guides for shield design. (Mori, K.)

  1. Study and Design of a Compact Fuel Carrying (Holding) System of a Nuclear-Thermal Propulsion Device

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sultan, R.

    2012-01-01

    Humankind is exploratory by nature and stepping on Mars and beyond is the next frontier of space explorations. In order to achieve these ambitions, novel techniques for propulsion are needed because existing chemical rockets fail to fulfill such missions. Many efforts are underway to find the best alternative. All these efforts justify that nuclear thermal propulsion (NTR) is an ideal option for acquiring this goal. To study the feasibility and develop a conceptual model for indigenous development of this technology has been the objectives of this work. In this work, detailed study pertaining to nuclear thermal propulsion has been done by considering hardware issues, operational aspects and safety issues. Proposed long stay manned Mars mission by NASA has been considered for design specification than a simplified NTR is designed to find various essential parameters like vehicle differential velocity, mass flow rates and exhaust propellant velocity. Next, temperature contours for its geometry (with simplified assumptions) involving reactor core and converging-diverging nozzle is modeled and analyzed using Gambit 2.0 and Fluent 6.1. Then some detail is provided for its future proposed development phases as planned by NASA. Analysis from our design show feasibility of the proposed development of NTR, however, further research on material technology is needed to withhold such high temperatures around 2500 degree C. It is also recommended that neutronic design for mission specific systems may be performed. (author)

  2. Economic Experience in Creation and Operation of Commercial Propulsion Nuclear Plants. Annex VII

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2013-12-15

    This annex considers the reduction of capital costs in commercial nuclear power by employing commercial scale production and common technologies of equipment design and fabrication, based on the vast production and operation experience of Russian Federation nuclear propulsion plants. The performed consideration proves the expediency of adopting the most effective engineering solutions and approaches used for production of propulsion nuclear plants in the production of commercial nuclear power plants.

  3. Initial Operation of the Nuclear Thermal Rocket Element Environmental Simulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emrich, William J., Jr.; Pearson, J. Boise; Schoenfeld, Michael P.

    2015-01-01

    The Nuclear Thermal Rocket Element Environmental Simulator (NTREES) facility is designed to perform realistic non-nuclear testing of nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) fuel elements and fuel materials. Although the NTREES facility cannot mimic the neutron and gamma environment of an operating NTR, it can simulate the thermal hydraulic environment within an NTR fuel element to provide critical information on material performance and compatibility. The NTREES facility has recently been upgraded such that the power capabilities of the facility have been increased significantly. At its present 1.2 MW power level, more prototypical fuel element temperatures nay now be reached. The new 1.2 MW induction heater consists of three physical units consisting of a transformer, rectifier, and inverter. This multiunit arrangement facilitated increasing the flexibility of the induction heater by more easily allowing variable frequency operation. Frequency ranges between 20 and 60 kHz can accommodated in the new induction heater allowing more representative power distributions to be generated within the test elements. The water cooling system was also upgraded to so as to be capable of removing 100% of the heat generated during testing In this new higher power configuration, NTREES will be capable of testing fuel elements and fuel materials at near-prototypic power densities. As checkout testing progressed and as higher power levels were achieved, several design deficiencies were discovered and fixed. Most of these design deficiencies were related to stray RF energy causing various components to encounter unexpected heating. Copper shielding around these components largely eliminated these problems. Other problems encountered involved unexpected movement in the coil due to electromagnetic forces and electrical arcing between the coil and a dummy test article. The coil movement and arcing which were encountered during the checkout testing effectively destroyed the induction coil in use at

  4. Nuclear thermal propulsion technology: Results of an interagency panel in FY 1991

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clark, J.S.; Mcdaniel, P.; Howe, S.; Helms, I.; Stanley, M.

    1993-04-01

    NASA LeRC was selected to lead nuclear propulsion technology development for NASA. Also participating in the project are NASA MSFC and JPL. The U.S. Department of Energy will develop nuclear technology and will conduct nuclear component, subsystem, and system testing at appropriate DOE test facilities. NASA program management is the responsibility of NASA/RP. The project includes both nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) and nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) technology development. This report summarizes the efforts of an interagency panel that evaluated NTP technology in 1991. Other panels were also at work in 1991 on other aspects of nuclear propulsion, and the six panels worked closely together. The charters for the other panels and some of their results are also discussed. Important collaborative efforts with other panels are highlighted. The interagency (NASA/DOE/DOD) NTP Technology Panel worked in 1991 to evaluate nuclear thermal propulsion concepts on a consistent basis. Additionally, the panel worked to continue technology development project planning for a joint project in nuclear propulsion for the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). Five meetings of the panel were held in 1991 to continue the planning for technology development of nuclear thermal propulsion systems. The state-of-the-art of the NTP technologies was reviewed in some detail. The major technologies identified were as follows: fuels, coatings, and other reactor technologies; materials; instrumentation, controls, health monitoring and management, and associated technologies; nozzles; and feed system technology, including turbopump assemblies

  5. Common Data Acquisition Systems (DAS) Software Development for Rocket Propulsion Test (RPT) Test Facilities - A General Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hebert, Phillip W., Sr.; Hughes, Mark S.; Davis, Dawn M.; Turowski, Mark P.; Holladay, Wendy T.; Marshall, PeggL.; Duncan, Michael E.; Morris, Jon A.; Franzl, Richard W.

    2012-01-01

    The advent of the commercial space launch industry and NASA's more recent resumption of operation of Stennis Space Center's large test facilities after thirty years of contractor control resulted in a need for a non-proprietary data acquisition system (DAS) software to support government and commercial testing. The software is designed for modularity and adaptability to minimize the software development effort for current and future data systems. An additional benefit of the software's architecture is its ability to easily migrate to other testing facilities thus providing future commonality across Stennis. Adapting the software to other Rocket Propulsion Test (RPT) Centers such as MSFC, White Sands, and Plumbrook Station would provide additional commonality and help reduce testing costs for NASA. Ultimately, the software provides the government with unlimited rights and guarantees privacy of data to commercial entities. The project engaged all RPT Centers and NASA's Independent Verification & Validation facility to enhance product quality. The design consists of a translation layer which provides the transparency of the software application layers to underlying hardware regardless of test facility location and a flexible and easily accessible database. This presentation addresses system technical design, issues encountered, and the status of Stennis' development and deployment.

  6. Applications of nuclear reactor power systems to electric propulsion missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaupp, R. W.; Sawyer, C. D.

    1971-01-01

    The performance of nuclear electric propulsion systems (NEP) has been evaluated for a wide variety of missions in an attempt to establish the commonality of NEP system requirements. Emphasis was given to those requirements and system characteristics that serve as guidelines for current technology development programs. Various interactions and tradeoffs between NEP system and mission parameters are described. The results show that the most significant factors in selecting NEP system size are launch mode (direct or spiral escape) and, to a weaker extent, launch vehicle capability. Other factors such as mission, payload, and thrust time constraints, have little influence, thus allowing one NEP system to be used for many missions. The results indicated that a 100 kWe NEP would be suitable for most direct escape missions and a 250 kWe NEP system would be suitable for more demanding missions that use the spiral escape mode.

  7. Nuclear electric propulsion operational reliability and crew safety study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karns, J.J.; Fragola, J.R.; Kahan, L.; Pelaccio, D.

    1993-01-01

    The central purpose of this analysis is to assess the ''achievability'' of a nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) system in a given mission. ''Achievability'' is a concept introduced to indicate the extent to which a system that meets or achieves its design goals might be implemented using the existing technology base. In the context of this analysis, the objective is to assess the achievability of an NEP system for a manned Mars mission as it pertains to operational reliability and crew safety goals. By varying design parameters, then examining the resulting system achievability, the design and mission risk drivers can be identified. Additionally, conceptual changes in design approach or mission strategy which are likely to improve overall achievability of the NEP system can be examined

  8. An IKBS approach to surveillance for naval nuclear submarine propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cadas, C.N.; Bowskill, J.; Mayfield, T.; Clarke, J.C.

    1993-01-01

    This paper describes work being carried out to develop an IKBS for use in surveillance of naval nuclear submarine propulsion plant. In recent years, modern process plants have increased automation and installed surveillance equipment while reducing the level of manpower operating and monitoring the plant. As a result, some of the local watchkeeping tasks have been transferred to control room operators, and the data reduction and warning filtering expertise inherent in local plant operators has been lost, while an additional workload has been placed upon operators. The surveillance systems installed to date have therefore been less usable than anticipated. The solution being achieved for submarine power plant is to introduce IKBS into surveillance to replace lost expertise, i.e. to return to a situation in which operators receive small amounts of high quality information rather than large amounts of low quality information

  9. Nuclear Electric Propulsion Application: RASC Mission Robotic Exploration of Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuire, Melissa L.; Borowski, Stanley K.; Packard, Thomas W.

    2004-01-01

    The following paper documents the mission and systems analysis portion of a study in which Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) is used as the in-space transportation system to send a series of robotic rovers and atmospheric science airplanes to Venus in the 2020 to 2030 timeframe. As part of the NASA RASC (Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts) program, this mission analysis is meant to identify future technologies and their application to far reaching NASA missions. The NEP systems and mission analysis is based largely on current technology state of the art assumptions. This study looks specifically at the performance of the NEP transfer stage when sending a series of different payload package point design options to Venus orbit.

  10. An IKBS approach to surveillance for naval nuclear submarine propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cadas, C.N.; Bowskill, J.; Mayfield, T.; Clarke, J.C.

    1995-01-01

    This Paper describes work being carried out to develop an intelligent knowledge-based system (IKBS) for use in the surveillance of naval nuclear submarine propulsion plant. In recent years, modern process plants have increased automation and installed surveillance equipment while reducing the level of manpower operating and monitoring the plant. As a result, some of the local watchkeeping tasks have been transferred to control room operators, and the data reduction and warning filtering expertise inherent in local plant operators has been lost, while an additional workload has been placed upon operators. The surveillance systems installed to date have therefore been less usable than anticipated. The solution being achieved for submarine power plant is to introduce IKBS into surveillance to replace lost expertise and return to a situation in which operators receive small amounts of high quality information rather than large amounts of low quality information. (author)

  11. IMPULSE---an advanced, high performance nuclear thermal propulsion system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petrosky, L.J.; Disney, R.K.; Mangus, J.D.; Gunn, S.A.; Zweig, H.R.

    1993-01-01

    IMPULSE is an advanced nuclear propulsion engine for future space missions based on a novel conical fuel. Fuel assemblies are formed by stacking a series of truncated (U, Zr)C cones with non-fueled lips. Hydrogen flows radially inward between the cones to a central plenum connected to a high performance bell nozzle. The reference IMPULSE engine rated at 75,000 lb thrust and 1800 MWt weighs 1360 kg and is 3.65 meters in height and 81 cm in diameter. Specific impulse is estimated to be 1000 for a 15 minute life at full power. If longer life times are required, the operating temperature can be reduced with a concomitant decrease in specific impulse. Advantages of this concept include: well defined coolant paths without outlet flow restrictions; redundant orificing; very low thermal gradients and hence, thermal stresses, across the fuel elements; and reduced thermal stresses because of the truncated conical shape of the fuel elements

  12. Integrated System Modeling for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Stephen W.; Borowski, Stanley K.

    2014-01-01

    Nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) has long been identified as a key enabling technology for space exploration beyond LEO. From Wernher Von Braun's early concepts for crewed missions to the Moon and Mars to the current Mars Design Reference Architecture (DRA) 5.0 and recent lunar and asteroid mission studies, the high thrust and specific impulse of NTP opens up possibilities such as reusability that are just not feasible with competing approaches. Although NTP technology was proven in the Rover / NERVA projects in the early days of the space program, an integrated spacecraft using NTP has never been developed. Such a spacecraft presents a challenging multidisciplinary systems integration problem. The disciplines that must come together include not only nuclear propulsion and power, but also thermal management, power, structures, orbital dynamics, etc. Some of this integration logic was incorporated into a vehicle sizing code developed at NASA's Glenn Research Center (GRC) in the early 1990s called MOMMA, and later into an Excel-based tool called SIZER. Recently, a team at GRC has developed an open source framework for solving Multidisciplinary Design, Analysis and Optimization (MDAO) problems called OpenMDAO. A modeling approach is presented that builds on previous work in NTP vehicle sizing and mission analysis by making use of the OpenMDAO framework to enable modular and reconfigurable representations of various NTP vehicle configurations and mission scenarios. This approach is currently applied to vehicle sizing, but is extensible to optimization of vehicle and mission designs. The key features of the code will be discussed and examples of NTP transfer vehicles and candidate missions will be presented.

  13. Nuclear thermal rocket plume interactions with spacecraft. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mauk, B.H.; Gatsonis, N.A.; Buzby, J.; Yin, X.

    1997-01-01

    This is the first study that has treated the Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) effluent problem in its entirety, beginning with the reactor core, through the nozzle flow, to the plume backflow. The summary of major accomplishments is given below: (1) Determined the NTR effluents that include neutral, ionized and radioactive species, under typical NTR chamber conditions. Applied an NTR chamber chemistry model that includes conditions and used nozzle geometries and chamber conditions typical of NTR configurations. (2) Performed NTR nozzle flow simulations using a Navier-Stokes solver. We assumed frozen chemistry at the chamber conditions and used nozzle geometries and chamber conditions typical of NTR configurations. (3) Performed plume simulations using a Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) code with chemistry. In order to account for radioactive trace species that may be important for contamination purposes we developed a multi-weighted DSMC methodology. The domain in our simulations included large regions downstream and upstream of the exit. Inputs were taken from the Navier-Stokes solutions

  14. A One-year, Short-Stay Crewed Mars Mission Using Bimodal Nuclear Thermal Electric Propulsion (BNTEP) - A Preliminary Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, Laura A.; Borowski, Stanley K.; McCurdy, David R.; Packard, Thomas W.

    2013-01-01

    A crewed mission to Mars poses a signi cant challenge in dealing with the physiolog- ical issues that arise with the crew being exposed to a near zero-gravity environment as well as signi cant solar and galactic radiation for such a long duration. While long sur- face stay missions exceeding 500 days are the ultimate goal for human Mars exploration, short round trip, short surface stay missions could be an important intermediate step that would allow NASA to demonstrate technology as well as study the physiological e ects on the crew. However, for a 1-year round trip mission, the outbound and inbound hy- perbolic velocity at Earth and Mars can be very large resulting in a signi cant propellant requirement for a high thrust system like Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP). Similarly, a low thrust Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) system requires high electrical power lev- els (10 megawatts electric (MWe) or more), plus advanced power conversion technology to achieve the lower speci c mass values needed for such a mission. A Bimodal Nuclear Thermal Electric Propulsion (BNTEP) system is examined here that uses three high thrust Bimodal Nuclear Thermal Rocket (BNTR) engines allowing short departure and capture maneuvers. The engines also generate electrical power that drives a low thrust Electric Propulsion (EP) system used for ecient interplanetary transit. This combined system can help reduce the total launch mass, system and operational requirements that would otherwise be required for equivalent NEP or Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) mission. The BNTEP system is a hybrid propulsion concept where the BNTR reactors operate in two separate modes. During high-thrust mode operation, each BNTR provides 10's of kilo- Newtons of thrust at reasonably high speci c impulse (Isp) of 900 seconds for impulsive trans-planetary injection and orbital insertion maneuvers. When in power generation / EP mode, the BNTR reactors are coupled to a Brayton power conversion system allowing each

  15. MITEE: A Compact Ultralight Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Engine for Planetary Science Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, J.; Maise, G.; Paniagua, J.

    2001-01-01

    A new approach for a near-term compact, ultralight nuclear thermal propulsion engine, termed MITEE (Miniature Reactor Engine) is described. MITEE enables a wide range of new and unique planetary science missions that are not possible with chemical rockets. With U-235 nuclear fuel and hydrogen propellant the baseline MITEE engine achieves a specific impulse of approximately 1000 seconds, a thrust of 28,000 newtons, and a total mass of only 140 kilograms, including reactor, controls, and turbo-pump. Using higher performance nuclear fuels like U-233, engine mass can be reduced to as little as 80 kg. Using MITEE, V additions of 20 km/s for missions to outer planets are possible compared to only 10 km/s for H2/O2 engines. The much greater V with MITEE enables much faster trips to the outer planets, e.g., two years to Jupiter, three years to Saturn, and five years to Pluto, without needing multiple planetary gravity assists. Moreover, MITEE can utilize in-situ resources to further extend mission V. One example of a very attractive, unique mission enabled by MITEE is the exploration of a possible subsurface ocean on Europa and the return of samples to Earth. Using MITEE, a spacecraft would land on Europa after a two-year trip from Earth orbit and deploy a small nuclear heated probe that would melt down through its ice sheet. The probe would then convert to a submersible and travel through the ocean collecting samples. After a few months, the probe would melt its way back up to the MITEE lander, which would have replenished its hydrogen propellant by melting and electrolyzing Europa surface ice. The spacecraft would then return to Earth. Total mission time is only five years, starting from departure from Earth orbit. Other unique missions include Neptune and Pluto orbiter, and even a Pluto sample return. MITEE uses the cermet Tungsten-UO2 fuel developed in the 1960's for the 710 reactor program. The W-UO2 fuel has demonstrated capability to operate in 3000 K hydrogen for

  16. Nuclear Thermal Rocket Element Environmental Simulator (NTREES) Upgrade Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emrich, William J., Jr.

    2014-01-01

    Over the past year the Nuclear Thermal Rocket Element Environmental Simulator (NTREES) has been undergoing a significant upgrade beyond its initial configuration. The NTREES facility is designed to perform realistic non-nuclear testing of nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) fuel elements and fuel materials. Although the NTREES facility cannot mimic the neutron and gamma environment of an operating NTR, it can simulate the thermal hydraulic environment within an NTR fuel element to provide critical information on material performance and compatibility. The first phase of the upgrade activities which was completed in 2012 in part consisted of an extensive modification to the hydrogen system to permit computer controlled operations outside the building through the use of pneumatically operated variable position valves. This setup also allows the hydrogen flow rate to be increased to over 200 g/sec and reduced the operation complexity of the system. The second stage of modifications to NTREES which has just been completed expands the capabilities of the facility significantly. In particular, the previous 50 kW induction power supply has been replaced with a 1.2 MW unit which should allow more prototypical fuel element temperatures to be reached. The water cooling system was also upgraded to so as to be capable of removing 100% of the heat generated during. This new setup required that the NTREES vessel be raised onto a platform along with most of its associated gas and vent lines. In this arrangement, the induction heater and water systems are now located underneath the platform. In this new configuration, the 1.2 MW NTREES induction heater will be capable of testing fuel elements and fuel materials in flowing hydrogen at pressures up to 1000 psi at temperatures up to and beyond 3000 K and at near-prototypic reactor channel power densities. NTREES is also capable of testing potential fuel elements with a variety of propellants, including hydrogen with additives to inhibit

  17. Summary of particle bed reactor designs for the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, J. R.; Ludewig, H.; Todosow, M.

    1993-09-01

    A summary report of the Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) designs considered for the space nuclear thermal propulsion program has been prepared. The first chapters outline the methods of analysis, and their validation. Monte Carlo methods are used for the physics analysis, several new algorithms are used for the fluid dynamics heat transfer and engine system analysis, and commercially available codes are used for the stress analysis. A critical experiment, prototypic of the PBR was used for the physics validation, and blowdown experiments using fuel beds of prototypic dimensions were used to validate the power extraction capabilities from particle beds. In all four different PBR rocket reactor designs were studied to varying degrees of detail. They varied in power from 400 MW to 2000 MW. These designs were all characterized by a negative prompt coefficient, due to Doppler feedback, and the feedback due to moderator heat up varied from slightly negative to slightly positive. In all practical cases, the coolant worth was positive, although core configurations with negative coolant worth could be designed. In all practical cases the thrust/weight ratio was greater than 20.

  18. Fabrication and Testing of Nuclear-Thermal Propulsion Ground Test Hardware, Phase I

    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...

  19. Hydrogen Wave Heater for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Component Testing, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA has identified Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) as an approach that can provide the fastest trip times to Mars and as the preferred concept for human space...

  20. Improved CVD Coatings for Carbide Based Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Fuel Elements, Phase I

    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...

  1. Proceedings of the Tenth Symposium on Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Genk, M.S.; Hoover, M.D.

    1993-01-01

    This symposium included topics on space nuclear power. Various aspectsof design of propulsion and power systems were presented. From theProceedings, two hundred and twelve papers were abstracted for the database

  2. Extreme Temperature Radiation Tolerant Instrumentation for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Engines, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The objective of this proposal is to develop and commercialize a high reliability, high temperature smart neutron flux sensor for NASA Nuclear Thermal Propulsion...

  3. Fabrication of High Temperature Cermet Materials for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hickman, Robert; Panda, Binayak; Shah, Sandeep

    2005-01-01

    Processing techniques are being developed to fabricate refractory metal and ceramic cermet materials for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP). Significant advances have been made in the area of high-temperature cermet fuel processing since RoverNERVA. Cermet materials offer several advantages such as retention of fission products and fuels, thermal shock resistance, hydrogen compatibility, high conductivity, and high strength. Recent NASA h d e d research has demonstrated the net shape fabrication of W-Re-HfC and other refractory metal and ceramic components that are similar to UN/W-Re cermet fuels. This effort is focused on basic research and characterization to identify the most promising compositions and processing techniques. A particular emphasis is being placed on low cost processes to fabricate near net shape parts of practical size. Several processing methods including Vacuum Plasma Spray (VPS) and conventional PM processes are being evaluated to fabricate material property samples and components. Surrogate W-Re/ZrN cermet fuel materials are being used to develop processing techniques for both coated and uncoated ceramic particles. After process optimization, depleted uranium-based cermets will be fabricated and tested to evaluate mechanical, thermal, and hot H2 erosion properties. This paper provides details on the current results of the project.

  4. Space nuclear power system and the design of the nuclear electric propulsion OTV

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.; Garrison, P.W.

    1984-01-01

    Payload increases of three to five times that of the Shuttle/Centaur can be achieved using nuclear electric propulsion. Various nuclear power plant options being pursued by the SP-100 Program are described. These concepts can grow from 100 kW/sub e/ to 1MW/sub e/ output. Spacecraft design aspects are addressed, including thermal interactions, plume interactions, and radiation fluences. A baseline configuration is described accounting for these issues. Safety aspects of starting the OTV transfer from an altitude of 300 km indicate no significant additional risk to the biosphere

  5. Innovative nuclear thermal propulsion technology evaluation: Results of the NASA/DOE Task Team study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Howe, S.; Borowski, S.; Helms, I.; Diaz, N.; Anghaie, S.; Latham, T.

    1991-01-01

    In response to findings from two NASA/DOE nuclear propulsion workshops held in the summer of 1990, six task teams were formed to continue evaluation of various nuclear propulsion concepts. The Task Team on Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) created the Innovative Concepts Subpanel to evaluate thermal propulsion concepts which did not utilize solid fuel. The Subpanel endeavored to evaluate each of the concepts on a ''level technological playing field,'' and to identify critical technologies, issues, and early proof-of-concept experiments. The concepts included the liquid core fission, the gas core fission, the fission foil reactors, explosively driven systems, fusion, and antimatter. The results of the studies by the panel will be provided. 13 refs., 6 figs., 2 tabs

  6. NSPWG-recommended safety requirements and guidelines for SEI nuclear propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marshall, A.C.; Lee, J.H.; McCulloch, W.H.; Sawyer, J.C. Jr.; Bari, R.A.; Brown, N.W.; Cullingford, H.S.; Hardy, A.C.; Remp, K.; Sholtis, J.A.

    1992-01-01

    An Interagency Nuclear Safety Policy Working Group (NSPWG) was chartered to recommend nuclear safety policy, requirements, and guidelines for the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) 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 requirements were developed for reactor start-up, inadvertent criticality, radiological release and exposure, disposal, entry, and safeguards. Guidelines were recommended for risk/reliability, operational safety, flight trajectory and mission abort, space debris and meteoroids, and ground test safety. In this paper the specific requirements and guidelines will be discussed

  7. 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.

  8. The Nuclear Department, Royal Naval School of Marine Engineering - Provision of nuclear education and training to the naval nuclear propulsion programme and beyond

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trethewey, K.R.; Beeley, P.A.; Lockwood, R.S.; Harrop, I.

    2004-01-01

    The Nuclear Department at HMS SULTAN provides education, training and research support to the Royal Navy Nuclear Propulsion Programme, as well as a growing number of civilian programmes within the wider British nuclear industry. As an aspiring centre of excellence in nuclear engineering, the Department will play an important role as a repository of nuclear knowledge for the foreseeable future. (author)

  9. Introduction to the 'CAS' nuclear propulsion plant for ships: specific safety options

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Verdeau, J.J.; Baujat, J.

    1978-01-01

    After a brief review of the development of nuclear propulsion in FRANCE (Land Based Prototype PAT 1964 - Navy nuclear ships - Advanced Nuclear Boiler Prototype CAP 1975 and now the CAS nuclear plant), the specific safety options of CAS are presented: cold, compartmented fuel (plates); reduced flow during LOCA; permanent cooling of fuel during LOCA; pressurized, entirely passive containment; no control rod ejection and possibility of temporary storage of spent fuel on board [fr

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Semyonov, Y.P.; Bakanov, Y.A.; Synyavsky, V.V.; Yuditsky, V.D.

    1997-01-01

    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)

  11. Radiological effluents released from nuclear rocket and ramjet engine tests at the Nevada Test Site 1959 through 1969: Fact Book

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Friesen, H.N.

    1995-06-01

    Nuclear rocket and ramjet engine tests were conducted on the Nevada Test Site (NTS) in Area 25 and Area 26, about 80 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada, from July 1959 through September 1969. This document presents a brief history of the nuclear rocket engine tests, information on the off-site radiological monitoring, and descriptions of the tests.

  12. Nuclear propulsion - A vital technology for the exploration of Mars and the planets beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.

    1989-01-01

    The physics and technology issues and performance potential of various direct thrust fission and fusion propulsion concepts are examined. Next to chemical propulsion the solid core fission thermal rocket (SCR) is the only other concept to be experimentally tested at the power (approx 1.5 to 5.0 GW) and thrust levels (approx 0.33 to 1.11 MN) required for manned Mars missions. With a specific impulse of approx 850 s, the SCR can perform various near-earth, cislunar and interplanetary missions with lower mass and cost requirements than its chemical counterpart. The gas core fission thermal rocket, with a specific power and impulse of approx 50 kW/kg and 5000 s offers the potential for quick courier trips to Mars (of about 80 days) or longer duration exploration cargo missions (lasting about 280 days) with starting masses of about 1000 m tons. Convenient transportation to the outer Solar System will require the development of magnetic and inertial fusion rockets (IFRs). Possessing specific powers and impulses of approx 100 kW/kg and 200-300 kilosecs, IFRs will usher in the era of the true Solar System class spaceship. Even Pluto will be accessible with roundtrip times of less than 2 years and starting masses of about 1500 m tons.

  13. Nuclear propulsion: A vital technology for the exploration of Mars and the planets beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.

    1988-01-01

    The physics and technology issues and performance potential of various direct thrust fission and fusion propulsion concepts are examined. Next to chemical propulsion the solid core fission thermal rocket (SCR) is the olny other concept to be experimentally tested at the power (approx 1.5 to 5.0 GW) and thrust levels (approx 0.33 to 1.11 MN) required for manned Mars missions. With a specific impulse of approx 850 s, the SCR can perform various near-Earth, cislunar and interplanetary missions with lower mass and cost requirements than its chemical counterpart. The gas core fission thermal rocket, with a specific power and impulse of approx 50 kW/kg and 5000 s offers the potential for quick courier trips to Mars (of about 80 days) or longer duration exploration cargo missions (lasting about 280 days) with starting masses of about 1000 m tons. Convenient transportation to the outer Solar System will require the development of magnetic and inertial fusion rockets (IFRs). Possessing specific powers and impulses of approx 100 kW/kg and 200-300 kilosecs, IFRs will usher in the era of the true Solar System class speceship. Even Pluto will be accessible with roundtrip times of less than 2 years and starting masses of about 1500 m tons.

  14. Hypothetical Dark Matter/Axion rockets: What can be said about Dark Matter in terms of space physics propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beckwith, Andrew

    2009-01-01

    This paper discusses dark matter (DM) particle candidates from non-supersymmetry (SUSY) processes and explores how a DM candidate particle in the 100-400 GeV range could be created. Thrust from DM particles is also proposed for Photon rocket and Axion rockets. It would use a magnetic field to convert DM particles to near photonlike particles in a chamber to create thrust from the discharge of the near-photon-like particles. The presence of DM particles would suggest that thrust from the emerging near-photon-like particle would be greater than with conventional photon rockets. This amplifies and improves on an 'axion rocket ramjet' for interstellar travel. It is assumed that the same methodology used in an axion ramjet could be used with DM, with perhaps greater thrust/power conversion efficiencies.

  15. CSP-based chemical kinetics mechanisms simplification strategy for non-premixed combustion: An application to hybrid rocket propulsion

    KAUST Repository

    Ciottoli, Pietro P.; Malpica Galassi, Riccardo; Lapenna, Pasquale E.; Leccese, G.; Bianchi, D.; Nasuti, F.; Creta, F.; Valorani, M.

    2017-01-01

    A set of simplified chemical kinetics mechanisms for hybrid rocket applications using gaseous oxygen (GOX) and hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) is proposed. The starting point is a 561-species, 2538-reactions, detailed chemical kinetics

  16. MOA: Magnetic Field Oscillating Amplified Thruster and its Application for Nuclear Electric and Thermal Propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frischauf, Norbert; Hettmer, Manfred; Grassauer, Andreas; Bartusch, Tobias; Koudelka, Otto

    2006-01-01

    More than 60 years after the later Nobel laureate Hannes Alfven 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 Alfven waves for propulsive purposes has been proposed, patented and examined for the first time by a group of inventors. The name of the concept, utilising Alfven waves to accelerate ionised matter for propulsive purposes, is MOA - Magnetic field Oscillating Amplified thruster. Alfven waves are generated by making use of two coils, one being permanently powered and serving also as magnetic nozzle, the other one being switched on and off in a cyclic way, deforming the field lines of the overall system. It is this deformation that generates Alfven waves, which are in the next step used to transport and compress the propulsive medium, in theory leading to a propulsion system with a much higher performance than any other electric propulsion system. Based on computer simulations, which were conducted to get a first estimate on the performance of the system, MOA is a highly flexible propulsion system, whose performance parameters might easily be adapted, by changing the mass flow and/or the power level. As such the system is capable to deliver 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. While space propulsion is expected to be the prime application for MOA and is supported by numerous applications such as Solar and/or Nuclear Electric Propulsion or even as an 'afterburner system' for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion, other terrestrial applications can be thought of as well, making the system highly suited for a common space-terrestrial application research and utilisation strategy. (authors)

  17. How to build an antimatter rocket for interstellar missions - systems level considerations in designing advanced propulsion technology vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frisbee, Robert H.

    2003-01-01

    This paper discusses the general mission requirements and system technologies that would be required to implement an antimatter propulsion system where a magnetic nozzle is used to direct charged particles to produce thrust.

  18. A comparison of propulsion systems for potential space mission applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harvego, E.A.; Sulmeisters, T.K.

    1987-01-01

    A derivative of the NERVA nuclear rocket engine was compared with a chemical propulsion system and a nuclear electric propulsion system to assess the relative capabilities of the different propulsion system options for three potential space missions. The missions considered were (1) orbital transfer from low earth orbit (LEO) to geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO), (2) LEO to a lunar base, and (3) LEO to Mars. The results of this comparison indicate that the direct-thrust NERVA-derivative nuclear rocket engine has the best performance characteristics for the missions considered. The combined high thrust and high specific impulse achievable with a direct-thrust nuclear stage permits short operating times (transfer times) comparable to chemical propulsion systems, but with considerably less required propellant. While nuclear-electric propulsion systems are more fuel efficient than either direct-nuclear or chemical propulsion, they are not stand-alone systems, since their relatively low thrust levels require the use of high-thrust ferry or lander stages in high gravity applications such as surface-to-orbit propulsion. The extremely long transfer times and inefficient trajectories associated with electric propulsion systems were also found to be a significant drawback

  19. Yes--This is Rocket Science: MMCs for Liquid Rocket Engines

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Shelley, J

    2001-01-01

    The Air Force's Integrated High-Payoff Rocket Propulsion Technologies (IHPRPT) Program has established aggressive goals for both improved performance and reduced cost of rocket engines and components...

  20. 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.

  1. Optimization of the availability and safety relationship: case study of naval nuclear propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guimaraes, Leonam dos Santos

    2005-01-01

    The relationship between energy generation availability and the safety of the nuclear installation which produces this energy assumes a very special characteristic when we are dealing with naval propulsion plants. This relationship has no parallel with commercial nuclear power plants. A ship at sea is in safety only if she could dispose quickly of the energy produced by your nuclear propulsion plant. If the nuclear steam production is not assured, specially due to safety reasons, the ship maneuverability, and so its own safety it is seriously affected. We could then perceive that safety of the nuclear installation is depends on safety of the ship, which depends by its side on the availability of nuclear power. This paper intends to present briefly the main aspects of this relation. (author)

  2. RSMASS-D nuclear thermal propulsion and bimodal system mass models

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Donald B.; Marshall, Albert C.

    1997-01-01

    Two relatively simple models have been developed to estimate reactor, radiation shield, and balance of system masses for a particle bed reactor (PBR) nuclear thermal propulsion concept and a cermet-core power and propulsion (bimodal) concept. The approach was based on the methodology developed for the RSMASS-D models. The RSMASS-D approach for the reactor and shield sub-systems uses a combination of simple equations derived from reactor physics and other fundamental considerations along with tabulations of data from more detailed neutron and gamma transport theory computations. Relatively simple models are used to estimate the masses of other subsystem components of the nuclear propulsion and bimodal systems. Other subsystem components include instrumentation and control (I&C), boom, safety systems, radiator, thermoelectrics, heat pipes, and nozzle. The user of these models can vary basic design parameters within an allowed range to achieve a parameter choice which yields a minimum mass for the operational conditions of interest. Estimated system masses are presented for a range of reactor power levels for propulsion for the PBR propulsion concept and for both electrical power and propulsion for the cermet-core bimodal concept. The estimated reactor system masses agree with mass predictions from detailed calculations with xx percent for both models.

  3. Calculated concentrations of any radionuclide deposited on the ground by release from underground nuclear detonations, tests of nuclear rockets, and tests of nuclear ramjet engines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hicks, H.G.

    1981-11-01

    This report presents calculated gamma radiation exposure rates and ground deposition of related radionuclides resulting from three types of event that deposited detectable radioactivity outside the Nevada Test Site complex, namely, underground nuclear detonations, tests of nuclear rocket engines and tests of nuclear ramjet engines

  4. The MOA thruster. A high performance plasma accelerator for nuclear power and propulsion applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frischauf, Norbert; Hettmer, Manfred; Grassauer, Andreas; Bartusch, Tobias; Koudelka, Otto

    2009-01-01

    More than 60 years after the late Nobel laureate Hannes Alfven 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 Alfven waves for propulsive purposes has been proposed, patented and examined for the first time by a group of inventors. The name of the concept, utilising Alfven waves to accelerate ionised matter for propulsive purposes, is MOA - Magnetic field Oscillating Amplified thruster. Alfven waves are generated by making use of two coils, one being permanently powered and serving also as magnetic nozzle, the other one being switched on and off in a cyclic way, deforming the field lines of the overall system. It is this deformation that generates Alfven waves, which are in the next step used to transport and compress the propulsive medium, in theory leading to a propulsion system with a much higher performance than any other electric propulsion system. While space propulsion is expected to be the prime application for MOA and is supported by numerous applications such as Solar and/or Nuclear Electric Propulsion or even as an 'afterburner system' for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion, other, terrestrial applications, like coating, semiconductor implantation and manufacturing as well as steel cutting can be thought of as well, making the system highly suited for a common space-terrestrial application research and utilisation strategy. This paper presents the recent developments of the MOA Thruster R and D activities at QASAR, the company in Vienna, Austria, which has been set up to further develop and test the Alfven wave technology and its applications. (author)

  5. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion: Past, Present, and a Look Ahead

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.

    2014-01-01

    NTR: High thrust high specific impulse (2 x LOXLH2 chemical) engine uses high power density fission reactor with enriched uranium fuel as thermal power source. Reactor heat is removed using H2 propellant which is then exhausted to produce thrust. Conventional chemical engine LH2 tanks, turbo pumps, regenerative nozzles and radiation-cooled shirt extensions used -- NTR is next evolutionary step in high performance liquid rocket engines.

  6. Current Ground Test Options for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerrish, Harold P., Jr.

    2014-01-01

    About 20 different NTP engines/ reactors were tested from 1959 to 1972 as part of the Rover and Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA) program. Most were tested in open air at test cell A or test cell C, at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). Even after serious engine breakdowns of the reactor (e.g., Phoebus 1A), the test cells were cleaned up for other engine tests. The engine test stand (ETS) was made for high altitude (approximately 1 psia) testing of an NTP engine with a flight configuration, but still had the exhaust released to open air. The Rover/NERVA program became aware of new environmental regulations which would prohibit the release of any significant quantity of radioactive particulates and noble gases into the open air. The nuclear furnace (NF-1) was the last reactor tested before the program was cancelled in 1973, but successfully demonstrated a scrubber concept on how to filter the NTP exhaust. The NF-1 was demonstrated in the summer of 1972. The NF-1 used a 44MW reactor and operated each run for approximately 90 minutes. The system cooled the hot hydrogen exhaust from the engine with a water spray before entering a particle filter. The exhaust then passed through a series of heat exchangers and water separators to help remove water from the exhaust and further reduce the exhaust temperatures. The exhaust was next prepared for the charcoal trap by passing through a dryer and effluent cooler to bring exhaust temperatures close to liquid nitrogen. At those low temperatures, most of the noble gases (e.g., Xe and Kr made from fission products) get captured in the charcoal trap. The filtered hydrogen is finally passed through a flare stack and released to the air. The concept was overall successful but did show a La plating on some surfaces and had multiple recommendations for improvement. The most recent detailed study on the NTP scrubber concept was performed by the ARES Corporation in 2006. The concept is based on a 50,000 lbf thrust engine

  7. Nuclear Thermal Rocket Design Using LEU Tungsten Fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Venneri, Paolo; Kim, Yonghee; Husemeyer, Peter and others

    2013-01-01

    This would then open the possibility for the commercial development and implementation of an NTR. The result was a design for a 114.66 kN thrust rocket engine, with an optimized specific impulse of 801 second, and a thrust-to-weight ratio 5.08. The development and analysis of the reactor was done using an integrated neutronics and thermal hydraulics code that combines MCNP5 using ENDF-B/VI cross sections with a purpose-built thermal hydraulics code. A proof of concept has been proposed for W LEU-NTR design. The current design is built upon traditional NTR design work and implements many of the proven design characteristics and materials from previous designs. Despite the current reactor design being preliminary, it already shows promise in being able to have similar, if not better performance characteristics than current and previous NTR designs. Future work will involve the flattening of radial power profile, optimization of the axial power profile, researching methods to address the full water immersion accident scenario, and further studies regarding the breeding potential in the reactor

  8. Nuclear Thermal Rocket Design Using LEU Tungsten Fuel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Venneri, Paolo; Kim, Yonghee; Husemeyer, Peter and others

    2013-10-15

    This would then open the possibility for the commercial development and implementation of an NTR. The result was a design for a 114.66 kN thrust rocket engine, with an optimized specific impulse of 801 second, and a thrust-to-weight ratio 5.08. The development and analysis of the reactor was done using an integrated neutronics and thermal hydraulics code that combines MCNP5 using ENDF-B/VI cross sections with a purpose-built thermal hydraulics code. A proof of concept has been proposed for W LEU-NTR design. The current design is built upon traditional NTR design work and implements many of the proven design characteristics and materials from previous designs. Despite the current reactor design being preliminary, it already shows promise in being able to have similar, if not better performance characteristics than current and previous NTR designs. Future work will involve the flattening of radial power profile, optimization of the axial power profile, researching methods to address the full water immersion accident scenario, and further studies regarding the breeding potential in the reactor.

  9. Another Look at Rocket Thrust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hester, Brooke; Burris, Jennifer

    2012-01-01

    Rocket propulsion is often introduced as an example of Newton's third law. The rocket exerts a force on the exhaust gas being ejected; the gas exerts an equal and opposite force--the thrust--on the rocket. Equivalently, in the absence of a net external force, the total momentum of the system, rocket plus ejected gas, remains constant. The law of…

  10. Direct Energy Conversion for Nuclear Propulsion at Low Specific Mass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, John H.

    2014-01-01

    The project will continue the FY13 JSC IR&D (October-2012 to September-2013) effort in Travelling Wave Direct Energy Conversion (TWDEC) in order to demonstrate its potential as the core of a high potential, game-changing, in-space propulsion technology. The TWDEC concept converts particle beam energy into radio frequency (RF) alternating current electrical power, such as can be used to heat the propellant in a plasma thruster. In a more advanced concept (explored in the Phase 1 NIAC project), the TWDEC could also be utilized to condition the particle beam such that it may transfer directed kinetic energy to a target propellant plasma for the purpose of increasing thrust and optimizing the specific impulse. The overall scope of the FY13 first-year effort was to build on both the 2012 Phase 1 NIAC research and the analysis and test results produced by Japanese researchers over the past twenty years to assess the potential for spacecraft propulsion applications. The primary objective of the FY13 effort was to create particle-in-cell computer simulations of a TWDEC. Other objectives included construction of a breadboard TWDEC test article, preliminary test calibration of the simulations, and construction of first order power system models to feed into mission architecture analyses with COPERNICUS tools. Due to funding cuts resulting from the FY13 sequestration, only the computer simulations and assembly of the breadboard test article were completed. The simulations, however, are of unprecedented flexibility and precision and were presented at the 2013 AIAA Joint Propulsion Conference. Also, the assembled test article will provide an ion current density two orders of magnitude above that available in previous Japanese experiments, thus enabling the first direct measurements of power generation from a TWDEC for FY14. The proposed FY14 effort will use the test article for experimental validation of the computer simulations and thus complete to a greater fidelity the

  11. Conceptual Design of Electrical Propulsion System for Nuclear Operated Vessel Adventurer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Halimi, B.; Suh, K. Y.

    2009-01-01

    A design concept of the electric propulsion system for the Nuclear Operated Vessel Adventure (NOVA) is presented. NOVA employs Battery Omnibus Reactor Integral System (BORIS), a liquid metal cooled small fast integral reactor, and Modular Optimized Brayton Integral System (MOBIS), a supercritical CO 2 (SCO 2 ) Brayton cycle as power converter to Naval Application Vessel Integral System (NAVIS)

  12. Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Project Quarterly Progress Report for Period Ending December 31, 1956

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NA, NA [ORNL

    1957-03-12

    This quarterly progress report of the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Project at ORNL records the technical progress of research on circulating-fuel reactors and other ANP research at the Laboratory. The report is divided into five major parts: 1) Aircraft Reactor Engineering, 2) Chemistry, and 3) Metallurgy, 4) Heat Transfer and Physical Properties, Radiation Damage, and Fuel Recovery and Reprocessing, and 5) Reactor Shielding.

  13. Feasibility Study on Nuclear Propulsion Ship according to Economic Evaluation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gil, Youngmi; Yoo, Seongjin; Oh, June; Byun, Yoonchul; Woo, Ilguk [Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co., Ltd, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Jiho; Choi, Suhn [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2013-05-15

    The use of nuclear ships has been extending to the icebreaker, the deep-water exploration ship, and the floating nuclear power plant. Prior to developing the new ship, the relevant regulations need to be considered. In this study, we reviewed the nuclear ship-related regulations. In addition, economic value is one of the most important factors which should be considered in the pre-design phase. To evaluate the economics of the nuclear ship, we calculated Capital Expenditure (abbreviated as CAPEX) and Operation Expenditure (abbreviated as OPEX) for various types of ships. We reviewed the nuclear ship-related regulations and evaluated the economics of the nuclear ship compared to the diesel ship. The calculation result shows that economic feasibility of the nuclear ship depends on the oil price as well as the cost of the nuclear reactor.

  14. Direct Estimation of Power Distribution in Reactors for Nuclear Thermal Space Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldemir, Tunc; Miller, Don W.; Burghelea, Andrei

    2004-02-01

    A recently proposed constant temperature power sensor (CTPS) has the capability to directly measure the local power deposition rate in nuclear reactor cores proposed for space thermal propulsion. Such a capability reduces the uncertainties in the estimated power peaking factors and hence increases the reliability of the nuclear engine. The CTPS operation is sensitive to the changes in the local thermal conditions. A procedure is described for the automatic on-line calibration of the sensor through estimation of changes in thermal .conditions.

  15. Nuclear electric propulsion: A better, safer, cheaper transportation system for human exploration of Mars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clark, J.S.; George, J.A.; Gefert, L.P.; Doherty, M.P.; Sefcik, R.J.

    1994-03-01

    NASA has completed a preliminary mission and systems study of nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) systems for 'split-sprint' human exploration and related robotic cargo missions to Mars. This paper describes the study, the mission architecture selected, the NEP system and technology development needs, proposed development schedules, and estimated development costs. Since current administration policy makers have delayed funding for key technology development activities that could make Mars exploration missions a reality in the near future, NASA will have time to evaluate various alternate mission options, and it appears prudent to ensure that Mars mission plans focus on astronaut and mission safety, while reducing costs to acceptable levels. The split-sprint nuclear electric propulsion system offers trip times comparable to nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) systems, while providing mission abort opportunities that are not possible with 'reference' mission architectures. Thus, NEP systems offer short transit times for the astronauts, reducing the exposure of the crew to intergalactic cosmic radiation. The high specific impulse of the NEP system, which leads to very low propellant requirements, results in significantly lower 'initial mass in low earth orbit' (IMLEO). Launch vehicle packaging studies show that the NEP system can be launched, assembled, and deployed, with about one less 240-metric-ton heavy lift launch vehicle (HLLV) per mission opportunity - a very Technology development cost of the nuclear reactor for an NEP system would be shared with the proposed nuclear surface power systems, since nuclear systems will be required to provide substantial electrical power on the surface of Mars. The NEP development project plan proposed includes evolutionary technology development for nuclear electric propulsion systems that expands upon SP-100 (Space Power - 100 kw(e)) technology that has been developed for lunar and Mars surface nuclear power

  16. 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.

  17. Nuclear Rocket Test Facility Decommissioning Including Controlled Explosive Demolition of a Neutron-Activated Shield Wall

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Michael Kruzic

    2007-01-01

    Located in Area 25 of the Nevada Test Site, the Test Cell A Facility was used in the 1960s for the testing of nuclear rocket engines, as part of the Nuclear Rocket Development Program. The facility was decontaminated and decommissioned (D and D) in 2005 using the Streamlined Approach For Environmental Restoration (SAFER) process, under the Federal Facilities Agreement and Consent Order (FFACO). Utilities and process piping were verified void of contents, hazardous materials were removed, concrete with removable contamination decontaminated, large sections mechanically demolished, and the remaining five-foot, five-inch thick radiologically-activated reinforced concrete shield wall demolished using open-air controlled explosive demolition (CED). CED of the shield wall was closely monitored and resulted in no radiological exposure or atmospheric release

  18. Bibliography of Books and Published Reports on Gas Turbines, Jet Propulsion, and Rocket Power Plants, January 1950 through December 1953

    Science.gov (United States)

    1953-12-01

    75. Aeronautics In 1950. Engineer 191,67 and 100. Critical review of gas turbine progress in 1950. Engineer 191, 50. Gas turbines in 1950. Engineer 191...1952) ; Trans. ASME 75,121. A critical review of gas turbine progress, 1952. Engineer 195, 124. Aeronautics in 1952. Engineer 195, 24, 55 and 91...Physical fundamentals of jet propulsion. Forsch. Gebiete Ingenieurw. B19, Forschungaheft 437, p 5. 0. Santangelo, Metodo di calcolo delle

  19. CSP-based chemical kinetics mechanisms simplification strategy for non-premixed combustion: An application to hybrid rocket propulsion

    KAUST Repository

    Ciottoli, Pietro P.

    2017-08-14

    A set of simplified chemical kinetics mechanisms for hybrid rocket applications using gaseous oxygen (GOX) and hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) is proposed. The starting point is a 561-species, 2538-reactions, detailed chemical kinetics mechanism for hydrocarbon combustion. This mechanism is used for predictions of the oxidation of butadiene, the primary HTPB pyrolysis product. A Computational Singular Perturbation (CSP) based simplification strategy for non-premixed combustion is proposed. The simplification algorithm is fed with the steady-solutions of classical flamelet equations, these being representative of the non-premixed nature of the combustion processes characterizing a hybrid rocket combustion chamber. The adopted flamelet steady-state solutions are obtained employing pure butadiene and gaseous oxygen as fuel and oxidizer boundary conditions, respectively, for a range of imposed values of strain rate and background pressure. Three simplified chemical mechanisms, each comprising less than 20 species, are obtained for three different pressure values, 3, 17, and 36 bar, selected in accordance with an experimental test campaign of lab-scale hybrid rocket static firings. Finally, a comprehensive strategy is shown to provide simplified mechanisms capable of reproducing the main flame features in the whole pressure range considered.

  20. Nuclear thermal rocket clustering: 1, A summary of previous work and relevant issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buksa, J.J.; Houts, M.G.

    1991-01-01

    A general review of the technical merits of nuclear thermal rocket clustering is presented. A summary of previous analyses performed during the Rover program is presented and used to assess clustering in the context of projected Space Exploration Initiative missions. A number of technical issues are discussed including cluster reliability, engine-out operation, neutronic coupling, shutdown core power generation, shutdown reactivity requirements, reactor kinetics, and radiation shielding. 7 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs

  1. Center for Advanced Space Propulsion Second Annual Technical Symposium Proceedings

    Science.gov (United States)

    1990-01-01

    The proceedings for the Center for Advanced Space Propulsion Second Annual Technical Symposium are divided as follows: Chemical Propulsion, CFD; Space Propulsion; Electric Propulsion; Artificial Intelligence; Low-G Fluid Management; and Rocket Engine Materials.

  2. 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

  3. Propulsion Systems Panel deliberations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianca, Carmelo J.; Miner, Robert; Johnston, Lawrence M.; Bruce, R.; Dennies, Daniel P.; Dickenson, W.; Dreshfield, Robert; Karakulko, Walt; Mcgaw, Mike; Munafo, Paul M.

    1993-01-01

    The Propulsion Systems Panel was established because of the specialized nature of many of the materials and structures technology issues related to propulsion systems. This panel was co-chaired by Carmelo Bianca, MSFC, and Bob Miner, LeRC. Because of the diverse range of missions anticipated for the Space Transportation program, three distinct propulsion system types were identified in the workshop planning process: liquid propulsion systems, solid propulsion systems and nuclear electric/nuclear thermal propulsion systems.

  4. Naval nuclear propulsion and the international nonproliferation regime

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guimaraes, Leonam dos Santos

    2005-01-01

    Nuclear powered attack submarine (SSN) acquisition by Non-Proliferation Treaty No- Nuclear Weapon State (NPT-NNWS) Navies does not imply nuclear weapon proliferation risks higher than those related to stationary research and power reactors. It must then be recognized that stringent restraints on supplies and political pressures on governments, both exercised very effectively by No-Proliferation Treaty - Nuclear Weapon State (NPT-NWS) against NPT-NNWS indigenous development of SSN and associated fuel cycle facilities, are fundamentally based on geopolitical and military strategic objectives. This practice is far from being related exclusively to the NPT spirit: in fact, it is a matter of freedom at seas and not of nuclear proliferation. (author)

  5. Affordable Development and Demonstration of a Small Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) Engine and Stage: How Small Is Big Enough?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.; Sefcik, Robert J.; Fittje, James E.; McCurdy, David R.; Qualls, Arthur L.; Schnitzler, Bruce G.; Werner, James E.; Weitzberg, Abraham; Joyner, Claude R.

    2016-01-01

    The Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) derives its energy from fission of uranium-235 atoms contained within fuel elements that comprise the engine's reactor core. It generates high thrust and has a specific impulse potential of approximately 900 specific impulse - a 100 percent increase over today's best chemical rockets. The Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) project, funded by NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) program, includes five key task activities: (1) Recapture, demonstration, and validation of heritage graphite composite (GC) fuel (selected as the Lead Fuel option); (2) Engine Conceptual Design; (3) Operating Requirements Definition; (4) Identification of Affordable Options for Ground Testing; and (5) Formulation of an Affordable Development Strategy. During fiscal year (FY) 2014, a preliminary Design Development Test and Evaluation (DDT&E) plan and schedule for NTP development was outlined by the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC), Department of Energy (DOE) and industry that involved significant system-level demonstration projects that included Ground Technology Demonstration (GTD) tests at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS), followed by a Flight Technology Demonstration (FTD) mission. To reduce cost for the GTD tests and FTD mission, small NTR engines, in either the 7.5 or 16.5 kilopound-force thrust class, were considered. Both engine options used GC fuel and a common fuel element (FE) design. The small approximately 7.5 kilopound-force criticality-limited engine produces approximately157 thermal megawatts and its core is configured with parallel rows of hexagonal-shaped FEs and tie tubes (TTs) with a FE to TT ratio of approximately 1:1. The larger approximately 16.5 kilopound-force Small Nuclear Rocket Engine (SNRE), developed by Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) at the end of the Rover program, produces approximately 367 thermal megawatts and has a FE to TT ratio of approximately 2:1. Although both engines use a common 35-inch (approximately

  6. The nuclear option

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herken, G.

    1992-01-01

    A development history and current status evaluation are presented for nuclear-thermal rocket propulsion systems applicable to interplanetary flight. While the most advanced current chemical rocket engines, such as the SSMEs of the Space Shuttle, produce specific impulses of the order of 450 secs, a nuclear-thermal rocket engine tested at Los Alamos in 1969 generated 845 secs; such specific impulse improvements could represent weeks or months of interplanetary travel time. Attention is given to the achievements of the historical Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application, Helios, and Orion design programs, as well as to the current Vehicle for Interplanetary Space Transportation Applications, which is fusion-based

  7. Design and development of the MITEE-B bi-modal nuclear propulsion engine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paniagua, John C.; Powell, James R.; Maise, George

    2003-01-01

    Previous studies of compact, ultra-lightweight high performance nuclear thermal propulsion engines have concentrated on systems that only deliver high thrust. However, many potential missions also require substantial amounts of electric power. Studies of a new, very compact and lightweight bi-modal nuclear engine that provides both high propulsive thrust and high electric power for planetary science missions are described. The design is a modification of the MITEE nuclear thermal engine concept that provided only high propulsive thrust. In the new design, MITEE-B, separate closed cooling circuits are incorporated into the reactor, which transfers useful amounts of thermal energy to a small power conversion system that generates continuous electric power over the full life of the mission, even when the engine is not delivering propulsive thrust. Two versions of the MITEE-B design are described and analyzed. Version 1 generates 1 kW(e) of continuous power for control of the spacecraft, sensors, data transmission, etc. This power level eliminates the need for RTG's on missions to the outer planets, and allowing considerably greater operational capability for the spacecraft. This, plus its high thrust and high specific impulse propulsive capabilities, makes MITEE-B very attractive for such missions. In Version 2, of MITEE-B, a total of 20 kW(e) is generated, enabling the use of electric propulsion. The combination of high open cycle propulsion thrust (20,000 Newtons) with a specific impulse of ∼1000 seconds for short impulse burns, and long term (months to years), electric propulsion greatly increases MITEE's ΔV capability. Version 2 of MITEE-B also enables the production and replenishment of H2 propellant using in-situ resources, such as electrolysis of water from the ice sheet on Europa and other Jovian moons. This capability would greatly increase the ΔV available for certain planetary science missions. The modifications to the MITEE multiple pressure tube

  8. Liquid rocket propulsion dynamic flow modeling using the ROCETS engineering modules in the EASY5x environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Follett, Randolph F.; Taylor, Robert P.; Nunez, Stephen C.

    1993-01-01

    A report on the progress of porting the ROCETS (ROCket Engine Transient Simulator) into the EASY5x simulation environment is presented. Brief descriptions of each of the software systems, information regarding the actual port process, and examples comparing the results of the two systems are given. It is shown that EASY5x is a suitable environment for utilization of the ROCETS engineering modules, and that, for the example systems shown, EASY5x actually seems to give more accurate solutions than the straight ROCETS code.

  9. AFOSR/AFRPL Rocket Propulsion Research Meeting Held at Lancaster, California on 12-15 March 1984. Abstracts and Agenda

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-02-01

    convert directly into gamma rays upon annihilation as do antielectrons ( positrons .) As is shown in Figure 1, when an antiproton (P-) annihilates with...ATMOSPHERE. Leik Myrabo, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 1030 41 ANlIIPROTON ANNIHILATION PROPULSION. Robert L Forward, Foward Unlimited, Oxnard...1) + HF -. BOF + HBO 2/1/3H 3B306 Q B. IGNITION WITH COATINGS Ti(s) + 0 - TiO2 (S) + Q Zr(s) + 02 - ZrO2 (s) + Q LiF(1) + B203(1) - LiBO 2 (1) + BOF

  10. Proposal of space reactor for nuclear electric propulsion system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nishiyama, Takaaki; Nagata, Hidetaka; Nakashima, Hideki

    2009-01-01

    A nuclear reactor installed in spacecrafts is considered here. The nuclear reactor could stably provide an enough amount of electric power in deep space missions. Most of the nuclear reactors that have been developed up to now in the United States and the former Soviet Union have used uranium with 90% enrichment of 235 U as a fuel. On the other hand, in Japan, because the uranium that can be used is enriched to below 20%, the miniaturization of the reactor core is difficult. A Light-water nuclear reactor is an exception that could make the reactor core small. Then, the reactor core composition and characteristic are evaluated for the cases with the enrichment of the uranium fuel as 20%. We take up here Graphite reactor, Light-water reactor, and Sodium-cooled one. (author)

  11. 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

  12. Steady-state thermal-hydraulic analysis of the pellet-bed reactor for nuclear thermal propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Genk, M.S.; Morley, N.J.; Yang, J.Y.

    1992-01-01

    The pellet-bed reactor (PBR) for nuclear thermal propulsion is a hydrogen-cooled, BeO-reflected, fast reactor, consisting of an annular core region filled with randomly packed, spherical fuel pellets. The fuel pellets in the PBR are self-supported, eliminating the need for internal core structure, which simplifies the core design and reduces the size and mass of the reactor. Each spherical fuel pellet is composed of hundreds of fuel microspheres embedded in a zirconium carbide (ZrC) matrix. Each fuel microsphere is composed of a UC-NbC fuel kernel surrounded by two consecutive layers of the NbC and ZrC. Gaseous hydrogen serves both as core coolant and as the propellant for the PBR rocket engine. The cold hydrogen flows axially down the inlet channel situated between the core and the external BeO reflector and radially through the orifices in the cold frit, the core, and the orifices in the hot frit. Finally, the hot hydrogen flows axially out the central channel and exits through converging-diverging nozzle. A thermal-hydraulic analysis of the PBR core was performed with an emphasis on optimizing the size and axial distribution of the orifices in the hot and cold frits to ensure that hot spots would not develop in the core during full-power operation. Also investigated was the validity of the assumptions of neglecting the axial conduction and axial cross flow in the core

  13. ELM - A SIMPLE TOOL FOR THERMAL-HYDRAULIC ANALYSIS OF SOLID-CORE NUCLEAR ROCKET FUEL ELEMENTS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walton, J. T.

    1994-01-01

    ELM is a simple computational tool for modeling the steady-state thermal-hydraulics of propellant flow through fuel element coolant channels in nuclear thermal rockets. Written for the nuclear propulsion project of the Space Exploration Initiative, ELM evaluates the various heat transfer coefficient and friction factor correlations available for turbulent pipe flow with heat addition. In the past, these correlations were found in different reactor analysis codes, but now comparisons are possible within one program. The logic of ELM is based on the one-dimensional conservation of energy in combination with Newton's Law of Cooling to determine the bulk flow temperature and the wall temperature across a control volume. Since the control volume is an incremental length of tube, the corresponding pressure drop is determined by application of the Law of Conservation of Momentum. The size, speed, and accuracy of ELM make it a simple tool for use in fuel element parametric studies. ELM is a machine independent program written in FORTRAN 77. It has been successfully compiled on an IBM PC compatible running MS-DOS using Lahey FORTRAN 77, a DEC VAX series computer running VMS, and a Sun4 series computer running SunOS UNIX. ELM requires 565K of RAM under SunOS 4.1, 360K of RAM under VMS 5.4, and 406K of RAM under MS-DOS. Because this program is machine independent, no executable is provided on the distribution media. The standard distribution medium for ELM is one 5.25 inch 360K MS-DOS format diskette. ELM was developed in 1991. DEC, VAX, and VMS are trademarks of Digital Equipment Corporation. Sun4 and SunOS are trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. IBM PC is a registered trademark of International Business Machines. MS-DOS is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.

  14. A closed Brayton power conversion unit concept for nuclear electric propulsion for deep space missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Joyner, Claude Russell II; 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 and 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

  15. The future of nuclear propulsion in merchant ships

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Young, R.T.

    1977-01-01

    Attention is paid to a number of issues which must be resolved before any firm commitment to build a commercial nuclear powered ship will be made. Basically, these can be grouped into three major problem areas: first, economic; second, indemnification and liability; and third, port entry and international clearance. It is concluded that there is reason for guarded optimism, as concerted efforts to solve the important issues are now underway. Some examples are briefly discussed

  16. Reactivity variation's analysis in nuclear propulsion considering the operational real conditions requirements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pires, Leonardo Paredes; Santos, Rubens Souza dos; Lapa, Marcelo Franklin

    2015-01-01

    The work presented in this paper highlights the need for the study to determine the reactivity variation ramps needed and possible to meet the real operational conditions required by a nuclear submarine in this several operating phases. In accordance with the operational needs and necessary maneuvers in certain tactical situations, large power variations in the propulsion are demanded. As these sudden and severe changes in propulsion come from the thermal power of nuclear origin, the operation of the nuclear island has to know what kind of answers and criticality variations are necessary to meet each demand speed required. It should be noted that these criticality inserts are conditioned, not only by the propulsion needs, but fundamentally by the imperative need to ensure the core integrity and the chain reaction sustainability considering the phenomenons and complex effects, nonlinear and retro-fed involved. It has to be determined what is the past and required time for each criticality insertion is perceived as motor power. Considering the highlighted aspects, this article concludes and indicates to its end, the need to establish a base operating transitional agenda, according to the naval combat doctrine, to be tested and analyzed under the aspects and peculiarities of kinetic reactors, with the purpose of being generated the appropriate criticality curves for each real need and their respective times of anticipated action. (author)

  17. Reactivity variation's analysis in nuclear propulsion considering the operational real conditions requirements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pires, Leonardo Paredes; Santos, Rubens Souza dos; Lapa, Marcelo Franklin, E-mail: leonardo_paredes@icloud.com, E-mail: lapa@ien.gov.br, E-mail: rsantos@ien.gov.br [Instituto de Engenharia Nuclear (IEN/CNEN-RJ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2015-07-01

    The work presented in this paper highlights the need for the study to determine the reactivity variation ramps needed and possible to meet the real operational conditions required by a nuclear submarine in this several operating phases. In accordance with the operational needs and necessary maneuvers in certain tactical situations, large power variations in the propulsion are demanded. As these sudden and severe changes in propulsion come from the thermal power of nuclear origin, the operation of the nuclear island has to know what kind of answers and criticality variations are necessary to meet each demand speed required. It should be noted that these criticality inserts are conditioned, not only by the propulsion needs, but fundamentally by the imperative need to ensure the core integrity and the chain reaction sustainability considering the phenomenons and complex effects, nonlinear and retro-fed involved. It has to be determined what is the past and required time for each criticality insertion is perceived as motor power. Considering the highlighted aspects, this article concludes and indicates to its end, the need to establish a base operating transitional agenda, according to the naval combat doctrine, to be tested and analyzed under the aspects and peculiarities of kinetic reactors, with the purpose of being generated the appropriate criticality curves for each real need and their respective times of anticipated action. (author)

  18. Study of a Tricarbide Grooved Ring Fuel Element for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Brian; Emrich, Bill; Tucker, Dennis; Barnes, Marvin; Donders, Nicolas; Benensky, Kelsa

    2018-01-01

    Deep space exploration, especially that of Mars, is on the horizon as the next big challenge for space exploration. Nuclear propulsion, through which high thrust and efficiency can be achieved, is a promising option for decreasing the cost and logistics of such a mission. Work on nuclear thermal engines goes back to the days of the NERVA program. Currently, nuclear thermal propulsion is under development again in various forms to provide a superior propulsion system for deep space exploration. The authors have been working to develop a concept nuclear thermal engine that uses a grooved ring fuel element as an alternative to the traditional hexagonal rod design. The authors are also studying the use of carbide fuels. The concept was developed in order to increase surface area and heat transfer to the propellant. The use of carbides would also raise the operating temperature of the reactor. It is hoped that this could lead to a higher thrust to weight nuclear thermal engine. This paper describes the modeling of neutronics, heat transfer, and fluid dynamics of this alternative nuclear fuel element geometry. Fabrication experiments of grooved rings from carbide refractory metals are also presented along with material characterization and interactions with a hot hydrogen environment. Results of experiments and associated analysis are discussed. The authors demonstrated success in reaching desired densities with some success in material distribution and reaching a solid solution. Future work is needed to improve distribution of material, minimize oxidation during the milling process, and define a fabrication process that will serve for constructing grooved ring fuel rods for large system tests.

  19. An integrated pusher-guide-boat for ship nuclear propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baujat, Jacques.

    1974-01-01

    The pusher guide-boat is characterized in that it comprises a streamlined enclosure with a front surface and an upper surface, containing a nuclear-power generating plant and means for converting the thus-generated power into mechanical energy used for actuating the pusher-boat propelling parts situated rearwardly, and in that the streamlined enclosure comprises, on its front surface and on at least a portion of its upper surface, areas for the contact thereof with respective portions of the vessel driven by said pusher-boat and means for fastening the latter to the vessel, said pusher-boat being also provided with water-ballasts [fr

  20. Nuclear Rocket Facility Decommissioning Project: Controlled Explosive Demolition of Neutron-Activated Shield Wall

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Michael R. Kruzic

    2007-01-01

    Located in Area 25 of the Nevada Test Site (NTS), the Test Cell A (TCA) Facility was used in the early to mid-1960s for the testing of nuclear rocket engines, as part of the Nuclear Rocket Development Program, to further space travel. Nuclear rocket testing resulted in the activation of materials around the reactors and the release of fission products and fuel particles in the immediate area. Identified as Corrective Action Unit 115, the TCA facility was decontaminated and decommissioned (D and D) from December 2004 to July 2005 using the Streamlined Approach for Environmental Restoration (SAFER) process, under the ''Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order''. The SAFER process allows environmental remediation and facility closure activities (i.e., decommissioning) to occur simultaneously provided technical decisions are made by an experienced decision maker within the site conceptual site model, identified in the Data Quality Objective process. Facility closure involved a seven-step decommissioning strategy. Key lessons learned from the project included: (1) Targeted preliminary investigation activities provided a more solid technical approach, reduced surprises and scope creep, and made the working environment safer for the D and D worker. (2) Early identification of risks and uncertainties provided opportunities for risk management and mitigation planning to address challenges and unanticipated conditions. (3) Team reviews provided an excellent mechanism to consider all aspects of the task, integrated safety into activity performance, increase team unity and ''buy-in'' and promoted innovative and time saving ideas. (4) Development of CED protocols ensured safety and control. (5) The same proven D and D strategy is now being employed on the larger ''sister'' facility, Test Cell C

  1. Advanced Chemical Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, S. Don

    2000-01-01

    Design, propellant selection, and launch assistance for advanced chemical propulsion system is discussed. Topics discussed include: rocket design, advance fuel and high energy density materials, launch assist, and criteria for fuel selection.

  2. A conceptual study of the use of a particle bed reactor nuclear propulsion module for the orbital maneuvering vehicle

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Malloy, J.; Potekhen, D.

    1989-01-01

    This paper examines the use of a particle bed reactor nuclear engine for direct thrust in a spacecraft based on the NASA/TRW orbital maneuvering vehicle (OMV). It presents the conceptual design of a 500 lb thrust engine that matches critical design features of the existing OMV bi-propellant propulsion system. This application contrasts with the usual tendency to consider a nuclear heat source either for high thrust direct propulsion or as a power source for electric propulsion. A nuclear propulsion module adapted to the OMV could potentially accomplish several Department of Defense missions, such as multiple round trips from a space-based support platform at 280 NM to service a constellation of satellites orbiting at 1800 NM

  3. Baking Soda and Vinegar Rockets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claycomb, James R.; Zachary, Christopher; Tran, Quoc

    2009-01-01

    Rocket experiments demonstrating conservation of momentum will never fail to generate enthusiasm in undergraduate physics laboratories. In this paper, we describe tests on rockets from two vendors that combine baking soda and vinegar for propulsion. The experiment compared two analytical approximations for the maximum rocket height to the…

  4. Options for development of space fission propulsion systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Houts, Mike; Van Dyke, Melissa; Godfroy, Tom; Pedersen, Kevin; Martin, James; Dickens, Ricky; Salvail, Pat; Hrbud, Ivana

    2001-01-01

    Fission technology can enable rapid, affordable access to any point in the solar system. Potential fission-based transportation options include high specific power continuous impulse propulsion systems and bimodal nuclear thermal rockets. Despite their tremendous potential for enhancing or enabling deep space and planetary missions, to date space fission systems have only been used in Earth orbit. The first step towards utilizing advanced fission propulsion systems is development of a safe, near-term, affordable fission system that can enhance or enable near-term missions of interest. An evolutionary approach for developing space fission propulsion systems is proposed

  5. Lightweight Damage Tolerant, High-Temperature Radiators for Nuclear Power and Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craven, Paul D.; SanSoucie, Michael P.

    2015-01-01

    NASA is increasingly emphasizing exploration to bodies beyond near-Earth orbit. New propulsion systems and new spacecraft are being built for these missions. As the target bodies get further out from Earth, high energy density systems, e.g., nuclear fusion, for propulsion and power will be advantageous. The mass and size of these systems, including supporting systems such as the heat exchange system, including thermal radiators, will need to be as small as possible. Conventional heat exchange systems are a significant portion of the total thermal management mass and size. 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. Heat from the reactor is converted to power for use in propulsion or for system power. The heat not used in the power conversion is then radiated to space as shown in figure 1. Advanced power conversion technologies will require high operating temperatures and would benefit from lightweight 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, thermal conductivity, and mass. These properties combine to allow significant decreases in the total mass of the radiators and significant increases in the operating temperature of the fins. A Center-funded project at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center has shown that high thermal conductivity, woven carbon fiber fins with no matrix material, can be used to dissipate waste heat from NEP systems and because of high specific power (kW/kg), will require less mass and possibly less total area than standard metal and composite radiator fins for radiating the same amount of heat. This project uses an innovative approach to reduce the mass and size required for the thermal radiators to the point that in-space NEP and power

  6. Application of SDI technology in space propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  7. Heat exchanger optimization of a closed Brayton cycle for nuclear space propulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ribeiro, Guilherme B.; Guimaraes, Lamartine N.F.; Braz Filho, Francisco A., E-mail: gbribeiro@ieav.cta.br, E-mail: guimarae@ieav.cta.br, E-mail: braz@ieav.cta.br [Instituto de Estudos Avancados (IEAV), Sao Jose dos Campos, SP (Brazil). Divisao de Energia Nuclear

    2015-07-01

    Nuclear power systems turned to space electric propulsion differs strongly from usual ground-based power systems regarding the importance of overall size and weight. For propulsion power systems, weight and efficiency are essential drivers that should be managed during conception phase. Considering that, this paper aims the development of a thermal model of a closed Brayton cycle that applies the thermal conductance of heat exchangers in order to predict the energy conversion performance. The centrifugal-flow turbine and compressor characterization were achieved using algebraic equations from literature data. The binary mixture of He-Xe with molecular weight of 40 g/mole is applied and the impact of heat exchanger optimization in thermodynamic irreversibilities is evaluated in this paper. (author)

  8. Heat exchanger optimization of a closed Brayton cycle for nuclear space propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ribeiro, Guilherme B.; Guimaraes, Lamartine N.F.; Braz Filho, Francisco A.

    2015-01-01

    Nuclear power systems turned to space electric propulsion differs strongly from usual ground-based power systems regarding the importance of overall size and weight. For propulsion power systems, weight and efficiency are essential drivers that should be managed during conception phase. Considering that, this paper aims the development of a thermal model of a closed Brayton cycle that applies the thermal conductance of heat exchangers in order to predict the energy conversion performance. The centrifugal-flow turbine and compressor characterization were achieved using algebraic equations from literature data. The binary mixture of He-Xe with molecular weight of 40 g/mole is applied and the impact of heat exchanger optimization in thermodynamic irreversibilities is evaluated in this paper. (author)

  9. An improved heat transfer configuration for a solid-core nuclear thermal rocket engine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clark, J.S.; Walton, J.T.; Mcguire, M.L.

    1992-07-01

    Interrupted flow, impingement cooling, and axial power distribution are employed to enhance the heat-transfer configuration of a solid-core nuclear thermal rocket engine. Impingement cooling is introduced to increase the local heat-transfer coefficients between the reactor material and the coolants. Increased fuel loading is used at the inlet end of the reactor to enhance heat-transfer capability where the temperature differences are the greatest. A thermal-hydraulics computer program for an unfueled NERVA reactor core is employed to analyze the proposed configuration with attention given to uniform fuel loading, number of channels through the impingement wafers, fuel-element length, mass-flow rate, and wafer gap. The impingement wafer concept (IWC) is shown to have heat-transfer characteristics that are better than those of the NERVA-derived reactor at 2500 K. The IWC concept is argued to be an effective heat-transfer configuration for solid-core nuclear thermal rocket engines. 11 refs

  10. Analysis of plume backflow around a nozzle lip in a nuclear rocket

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chung, C.H.; Kim, S.C.; Stubbs, R.M.; De Witt, K.J.

    1993-06-01

    The structure of the flow around a nuclear thermal rocket nozzle lip has been investigated using the direct simulation Monte Carlo method. Special attention has been paid to the behavior of a small amount of harmful particles that may be present in the rocket exhaust gas. The harmful fission product particles are modeled by four inert gases whose molecular weights are in a range of 4 131. Atomic hydrogen, which exists in the flow due to the extremely high nuclear fuel temperature in the reactor, is also included. It is shown that the plume backflow is primarily determined by the thin subsonic fluid layer adjacent to the surface of the nozzle lip, and that the inflow boundary in the plume region has negligible effect on the backflow. It is also shown that a relatively large amount of the lighter species is scattered into the backflow region while the amount of the heavier species becomes negligible in this region due to extreme separation between the species. Results indicate that the backscattered molecules are very energetic and are fast-moving along the surface in the backflow region near the nozzle lip. 22 refs

  11. Initial risk assessment for a single stage to orbit nuclear thermal rocket

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Labib, Satira, E-mail: Satira.Labib@duke-energy.com; King, Jeffrey, E-mail: kingjc@mines.edu

    2015-06-15

    Highlights: • The risks posed by the surface launch of a nuclear thermal rocket are considered. • Radiation exposure at the public viewing distance is insignificant. • Production of fission products and actinides during launch is limited. • The production of activated argon around the rocket may be a significant concern. - Abstract: In order to consider the possibility of a nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) ground launch, it is necessary to evaluate the risks from such a launch. This includes analysis of the radiation dose rate around the rocket, determining the rate of activation of the materials near the launch, and considering the radionuclides present in the core after the launch. This paper evaluates the potential risk of the NTR ground launch for a range of payloads from 1 to 15 metric tons (MT) using three NTR reactor cores (40, 80, and 120 cm in length) designed in a previous study, based on data produced by MCNP5 and MCNPX models. At the same power level, the 40 cm core length reactor results in the lowest radiation dose rate of the three reactors. Radiation dose rates decrease to background levels 3.5 km from the launch site. After a 1-year decay time, all of the activated materials produced by an NTR launch would be classified as Class A low-level waste. The activation of air produces significant amounts of argon-41 and nitrogen-16 within 100 m of the launch. The derived air concentration (DAC) ratio of the activation products decays to less than unity within 2 days, with only argon-41 remaining. After 10 min of full power operation, the 120 cm core for a 15 MT payload contains 2.5 × 10{sup 13}, 1.4 × 10{sup 12} and 1.5 × 10{sup 12} Bq of {sup 131}I, {sup 137}Cs, and {sup 90}Sr, respectively. The decay heat after shutdown increases with increasing reactor power with a maximum decay heat of 108 kW immediately after shutdown for the 15 MT payload.

  12. A numerical simulation package for analysis of neutronics and thermal fluids of space nuclear power and propulsion systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anghaie, S.; Feller, G.J.; Peery, S.D.; Parsley, R.C.

    1993-01-01

    A system of computer codes for engineering simulation and in-depth analysis of nuclear and thermal fluid design of nuclear thermal rockets is developed. The computational system includes a neutronic solver package, a thermal fluid solver package and a propellant and materials property package. The Rocket Engine Transient Simulation (ROCETS) system code is incorporated with computational modules specific to nuclear powered engines. ROCETS features a component based performance architecture that interfaces component modules into the user designed configuration, interprets user commands, creates an executable FORTRAN computer program, and executes the program to provide output to the user. Basic design features of the Pratt ampersand Whitney XNR2000 nuclear rocket concept and its operational performance are analyzed and simulated

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nam, Seung Hyun; Choi, Jae Young; Venneria, Paolo F.; Jeong, Yong Hoon; Chang, Soon Heung

    2015-01-01

    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 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 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 preliminary design

  14. 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

  15. Alternate Propellant Thermal Rocket, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Alternate Propellant Thermal Rocket (APTR) is a novel concept for propulsion of space exploration or orbit transfer vehicles. APTR propulsion is provided by...

  16. The use of engineering features and schematic solutions of propulsion nuclear steam supply systems for floating nuclear power plant design

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Achkasov, A.N.; Grechko, G.I.; Pepa, V.N.; Shishkin, V.A.

    2000-01-01

    In recent years many countries and the international community represented by the IAEA have shown a notable interest in designing small and medium size nuclear power plants intended for electricity and heat generation for remote areas. These power plants can be also used for desalination purposes. As these nuclear plants are planned for use in areas without a well-developed power grid, the design shall account for their transportation to the site in complete preparedness for operation. Since the late 80s, the Research and Development Institute of Power Engineering (RDIPE) has carried out active efforts in designing reactor facilities for floating nuclear power plants. This work relies on the long-term experience of RDIPE engineers in designing the propulsion NSSS. Advantages can be gained from the specific engineering solutions that are already applied in the design of propulsion Nuclear Steam Supply System (NSSS) or from development of new designs based on the proven technologies. Successful implementation of the experience has been made easier owing to rather similar design requirements prescribed to ship-mounted NSSS and floating NPP. The common design targets are, in particular, minimization of mass and dimensions, resistance to such external impacts as rolling, heel and trim, operability in case of running aground or collision with other ships, etc. (author)

  17. A Review of Carbide Fuel Corrosion for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelaccio, Dennis G.; El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Butt, Darryl P.

    1994-07-01

    At the operation conditions of interest in nuclear thermal propulsion reactors, carbide materials have been known to exhibit a number of life limiting phenomena. These include the formation of liquid, loss by vaporization, creep and corresponding gas flow restrictions, and local corrosion and fuel structure degradation due to excessive mechanical and/or thermal loading. In addition, the radiation environment in the reactor core can produce a substantial change in its local physical properties, which can produce high thermal stresses and corresponding stress fractures (cracking). Time-temperature history and cyclic operation of the nuclear reactor can also accelerate some of these processes. The University of New Mexico's Institute for Space Nuclear Power Studies, under NASA sponsorship has recently initiated a study to model the complicated hydrogen corrosion process. In support of this effort, an extensive review of the open literature was performed, and a technical expert workshop was conducted. This paper summarizes the results of this review.

  18. A review of carbide fuel corrosion for nuclear thermal propulsion applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pelaccio, D.G.; El-Genk, M.S. [Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States). Inst. for Space Nuclear Power Studies; Butt, D.P. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)

    1993-12-01

    At the operation conditions of interest in nuclear thermal propulsion reactors, carbide materials have been known to exhibit a number of life limiting phenomena. These include the formation of liquid, loss by vaporization, creep and corresponding gas flow restrictions, and local corrosion and fuel structure degradation due to excessive mechanical and/or thermal loading. In addition, the radiation environment in the reactor core can produce a substantial change in its local physical properties, which can produce high thermal stresses and corresponding stress fractures (cracking). Time-temperature history and cyclic operation of the nuclear reactor can also accelerate some of these processes. The University of New Mexico`s Institute for Space Nuclear Power Studies, under NASA sponsorship has recently initiated a study to model the complicated hydrogen corrosion process. In support of this effort, an extensive review of the open literature was performed, and a technical expert workshop was conducted. This paper summarizes the results of this review.

  19. Fabrication and Testing of CERMET Fuel Materials for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hickman, Robert; Broadway, Jeramie; Mireles, Omar

    2012-01-01

    A first generation Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (NCPS) based on Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is currently being developed for Advanced Space Exploration Systems. The overall goal of the project is to address critical NTP technology challenges and programmatic issues to establish confidence in the affordability and viability of NTP systems. The current technology roadmap for NTP identifies the development of a robust fuel form as a critical near term need. The lack of a qualified nuclear fuel is a significant technical risk that will require a considerable fraction of program resources to mitigate. Due to these risks and the cost for qualification, the development and selection of a primary fuel must begin prior to Authority to Proceed (ATP) for a specific mission. The fuel development is a progressive approach to incrementally reduce risk, converge the fuel materials, and mature the design and fabrication process of the fuel element. A key objective of the current project is to advance the maturity of CERMET fuels. The work includes fuel processing development and characterization, fuel specimen hot hydrogen screening, and prototypic fuel element testing. Early fuel materials development is critical to help validate requirements and fuel performance. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview and status of the work at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).

  20. MCNP benchmark analyses of critical experiments for space nuclear thermal propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Selcow, E.C.; Cerbone, R.J.; Ludewig, H.

    1993-01-01

    The particle-bed reactor (PBR) system is being developed for use in the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) Program. This reactor system is characterized by a highly heterogeneous, compact configuration with many streaming pathways. The neutronics analyses performed for this system must be able to accurately predict reactor criticality, kinetics parameters, material worths at various temperatures, feedback coefficients, and detailed fission power and heating distributions. The latter includes coupled axial, radial, and azimuthal profiles. These responses constitute critical inputs and interfaces with the thermal-hydraulics design and safety analyses of the system

  1. Design of particle bed reactors for the space nuclear thermal propulsion program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ludewig, H.; Powell, J.R.; Todosow, M.; Maise, G.; Barletta, R.; Schweitzer, D.G.

    1996-01-01

    This paper describes the design for the Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) that was considered for the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) Program. The methods of analysis and their validation are outlined first. Monte Carlo methods were used for the physics analysis, several new algorithms were developed for the fluid dynamics, heat transfer and transient analysis; and commercial codes were used for the stress analysis. We carried out a critical experiment, prototypic of the PBR to validate the reactor physics; blowdown experiments with beds of prototypic dimensions were undertaken to validate the power-extraction capabilities from particle beds. In addition, materials and mechanical design concepts for the fuel elements were experimentally validated. (author)

  2. Nuclear propulsion systems for orbit transfer based on the particle bed reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Powell, J.R.; Ludewig, H.; Horn, F.L.

    1987-01-01

    The technology of nuclear direct propulsion orbit transfer systems based on the Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) is described. A 200 megawatt illustrative design is presented for LEO to GEO and other high ΔV missions. The PBR-NOTV can be used in a one-way mode with the shuttle or an expendable launch vehicle, e.g., the Titan 34D7, or as a two-way reusable space tug. In the one-way mode, payload capacity is almost three times greater than that of chemical OTV's. PBR technology status is described and development needs outlined

  3. A review of the status of, and prospects for, nuclear marine propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edwards, J.

    1976-01-01

    It is stated that the matter of nuclear marine propulsion has been under consideration in the UK since 1957, at which time the Royal Navy commenced studies into the possibility of a nuclear powered 65,000 ton fleet support tanker. Nuclear warship studies started earlier in the USA, where studies were started in 1946 on the application of nuclear power to submarines and surface warships. The present position is that five nuclear merchant ships have been built, whereas 290 nuclear warships are either operational or building. Reference is made to a lecture given by the author in February 1974, in which the position at that time was reviewed, the present lecture up-dating that lecture with regard to subsequent events and their effects on the present prospects for nuclear merchant ships. Headings include the following: situation in early 1974; present situation; economic analyses; the energy situation; problems and prospects (economic assessments, inflation effects, safety requirements, construction time, refuelling requirements, ship residual value and decommissioning costs, training costs, insurance and indemnity, essential documentation, safety acceptance and port entry, licensing and legislative problems, accidents and their consequences); developments in marine reactor designs; and conclusions. The discussions are reproduced in full. (U.K.)

  4. Nuclear Rocket Facility Decommissioning Project: Controlled Explosive Demolition of Neutron-Activated Shield Wall

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Michael R, Kruzic

    2008-01-01

    Located in Area 25 of the Nevada Test Site (NTS), the Test Cell A (TCA) Facility (Figure 1) was used in the early to mid-1960s for testing of nuclear rocket engines, as part of the Nuclear Rocket Development Program, to further space travel. Nuclear rocket testing resulted in the activation of materials around the reactors and the release of fission products and fuel particles. The TCA facility, known as Corrective Action Unit 115, was decontaminated and decommissioned (D and D) from December 2004 to July 2005 using the Streamlined Approach for Environmental Restoration (SAFER) process, under the Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order. The SAFER process allows environmental remediation and facility closure activities (i.e., decommissioning) to occur simultaneously, provided technical decisions are made by an experienced decision maker within the site conceptual site model. Facility closure involved a seven-step decommissioning strategy. First, preliminary investigation activities were performed, including review of process knowledge documentation, targeted facility radiological and hazardous material surveys, concrete core drilling and analysis, shield wall radiological characterization, and discrete sampling, which proved to be very useful and cost-effective in subsequent decommissioning planning and execution and worker safety. Second, site setup and mobilization of equipment and personnel were completed. Third, early removal of hazardous materials, including asbestos, lead, cadmium, and oil, was performed ensuring worker safety during more invasive demolition activities. Process piping was to be verified void of contents. Electrical systems were de-energized and other systems were rendered free of residual energy. Fourth, areas of high radiological contamination were decontaminated using multiple methods. Contamination levels varied across the facility. Fixed beta/gamma contamination levels ranged up to 2 million disintegrations per minute (dpm)/100

  5. Nuclear Rocket Facility Decommissioning Project: Controlled Explosive Demolition of Neutron-Activated Shield Wall

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Michael R. Kruzic

    2008-06-01

    Located in Area 25 of the Nevada Test Site (NTS), the Test Cell A (TCA) Facility (Figure 1) was used in the early to mid-1960s for testing of nuclear rocket engines, as part of the Nuclear Rocket Development Program, to further space travel. Nuclear rocket testing resulted in the activation of materials around the reactors and the release of fission products and fuel particles. The TCA facility, known as Corrective Action Unit 115, was decontaminated and decommissioned (D&D) from December 2004 to July 2005 using the Streamlined Approach for Environmental Restoration (SAFER) process, under the Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order. The SAFER process allows environmental remediation and facility closure activities (i.e., decommissioning) to occur simultaneously, provided technical decisions are made by an experienced decision maker within the site conceptual site model. Facility closure involved a seven-step decommissioning strategy. First, preliminary investigation activities were performed, including review of process knowledge documentation, targeted facility radiological and hazardous material surveys, concrete core drilling and analysis, shield wall radiological characterization, and discrete sampling, which proved to be very useful and cost-effective in subsequent decommissioning planning and execution and worker safety. Second, site setup and mobilization of equipment and personnel were completed. Third, early removal of hazardous materials, including asbestos, lead, cadmium, and oil, was performed ensuring worker safety during more invasive demolition activities. Process piping was to be verified void of contents. Electrical systems were de-energized and other systems were rendered free of residual energy. Fourth, areas of high radiological contamination were decontaminated using multiple methods. Contamination levels varied across the facility. Fixed beta/gamma contamination levels ranged up to 2 million disintegrations per minute (dpm)/100

  6. Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion - a basic Tool for the manned Exploration of the Solar System

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frischauf, Norbert; Hamilton, Booz Allen

    2004-01-01

    Humanity has started to explore space more than 40 years ago. Numerous spacecraft have left the Earth in this endeavour, but while unmanned spacecraft were already sent out on missions, where they would eventually reach the outer limits of the Solar System, manned exploration has always been confined to the tiny bubble of the Earth's gravitational well, stretching out at maximum to our closest celestial companion - the Moon - during the era of the Apollo programme in the late 60's and early 70's. When mankind made its giant leap, the exploration of our cosmic neighbour was seen as the initial step for the manned exploration of the whole Solar System. Consequently ambitious research and development programmes were undertaken at that time to enable what seemed to be the next logical steps: the establishment of a permanent settled base on the Moon and the first manned mission to Mars in the 80's. Nuclear space power and propulsion played an important role in these entire future scenarios, hence ambitious development programmes were undertaken to make these technologies available. Unfortunately the 70's-paradigm shift in space policies did not only bring an end to the Apollo programme, but it also brought a complete halt to all of these technology programmes and confined the human presence in space to a tiny bubble including nothing more than the Earth's sphere and a mere shell of a few hundred kilometres of altitude, too small to even include the Moon. Today, after more than three decades, manned exploration of the Solar System has become an issue again and so are missions to Moon and Mars. However, studies and analyses show that all of these future plans are hampered by today's available propulsion systems and by the problematic of solar power generation at distances at and beyond of Mars, a problem, however, that can readily be solved by the utilisation of space nuclear reactors and propulsion systems. This paper intends to provide an overview on the various fission

  7. Fuel/propellant mixing in an open-cycle gas core nuclear rocket engine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guo, X.; Wehrmeyer, J.A.

    1997-01-01

    A numerical investigation of the mixing of gaseous uranium and hydrogen inside an open-cycle gas core nuclear rocket engine (spherical geometry) is presented. The gaseous uranium fuel is injected near the centerline of the spherical engine cavity at a constant mass flow rate, and the hydrogen propellant is injected around the periphery of the engine at a five degree angle to the wall, at a constant mass flow rate. The main objective is to seek ways to minimize the mixing of uranium and hydrogen by choosing a suitable injector geometry for the mixing of light and heavy gas streams. Three different uranium inlet areas are presented, and also three different turbulent models (k-var-epsilon model, RNG k-var-epsilon model, and RSM model) are investigated. The commercial CFD code, FLUENT, is used to model the flow field. Uranium mole fraction, axial mass flux, and radial mass flux contours are obtained. copyright 1997 American Institute of Physics

  8. Analysis of startup strategies for a particle bed reactor nuclear rocket engine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, D. E.

    1993-06-01

    This paper develops and analyzes engine system startup strategies for a particle bed reactor (PBR) nuclear rocket engine. The strategies are designed to maintain stable flow through the PBR fuel element while reaching the design conditions as quickly as possible. The analyses are conducted using a computer model of a representative particle bed reactor and engine system. Elements of the startup strategy considered include: the coordinated control of reactor power and coolant flow; turbine inlet temperature and flow control; and use of an external starter system. The simulation results indicate that the use of an external starter system enables the engine to reach design conditions very quickly while maintaining the flow well away from the unstable regime. If a bootstrap start is used instead, the transient does not progress as fast and approaches closer to the unstable flow regime, but allows for greater engine reusability. These results can provide important information for engine designers and mission planners.

  9. The promise and challenges of cermet fueled nuclear thermal propulsion reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brengle, R.G.; Harty, R.B.; Bhattacharyya, S.K.

    1993-06-01

    The use of cermet fuels in nuclear thermal propulsion systems was examined and the characteristics of systems using these fuel forms is discussed in terms of current mission and safety requirements. For use at high temperatures cermet fueled reactors utilize ceramic fuels with refractory metals as the matrix material. Cermet fueled reactors tend to be heavy when compared to concepts that utilize graphite as the fuel matrix because of the high density of the refractory metal matrix which makes up 20-40 percent of the total volume. On the positive side the metal matrix is strong and more resistant to loads from either the launch or flow induced vibration. The compatibility of the tungsten cermet with hydrogen is excellent and lifetimes of several hours is certainly achievable. Probably the biggest drawback to cermet nuclear thermal propulsion concepts is that the amount of actual data to support the theoretical conclusions is small. In fact there is no data under representative conditions of temperature, propellant and flux for the required fuel burnup. Although cermet systems appear to be attractive, the lack of fuel data at representative conditions does not allow reliable comparisons of cermet systems to systems where fuel data is available. 10 refs

  10. Temperature Profile in Fuel and Tie-Tubes for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vishal Patel

    2015-02-01

    A finite element method to calculate temperature profiles in heterogeneous geometries of tie-tube moderated LEU nuclear thermal propulsion systems and HEU designs with tie-tubes is developed and implemented in MATLAB. This new method is compared to previous methods to demonstrate shortcomings in those methods. Typical methods to analyze peak fuel centerline temperature in hexagonal geometries rely on spatial homogenization to derive an analytical expression. These methods are not applicable to cores with tie-tube elements because conduction to tie-tubes cannot be accurately modeled with the homogenized models. The fuel centerline temperature directly impacts safety and performance so it must be predicted carefully. The temperature profile in tie-tubes is also important when high temperatures are expected in the fuel because conduction to the tie-tubes may cause melting in tie-tubes, which may set maximum allowable performance. Estimations of maximum tie-tube temperature can be found from equivalent tube methods, however this method tends to be approximate and overly conservative. A finite element model of heat conduction on a unit cell can model spatial dependence and non-linear conductivity for fuel and tie-tube systems allowing for higher design fidelity of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion.

  11. Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program: Quarterly Progress Report for Period Ending December 31, 1956, Part 1 - 5

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jordan, W. H. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Cramer, S. J. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Miller, A. J. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    1957-03-12

    This quarterly progress report of the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Project at ORNL records the technical progress of the research on circulating-fuel reactors and other ANP research at the Laboratory under its Contract W-7405-eng-26. The report is divided into five major parts: 1. Aircraft Reactor Engineering, 2. Chemistry, 3. Metallurgy, 4. Heat Transfer and Physical Properties, Radiation Damage, and Fuel Recovery and Reprocessing, and 5. Reactor Shielding. The ANP Project is comprised of about 550 technical and scientific personnel engaged in many phases of research directed toward the achievement of nuclear propulsion of aircraft. A considerable portion of this research is performed in support of the work of other organizations participating in the national ANP effort. However, the bulk of the ANP research at ORNL is directed toward the development of a circulating-fuel type of reactor. The design, construction, and operation of the Aircraft Reactor Test (ART), with the cooperation of the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Division, are the current objectives of the project. The ART is to be a power plant system that will include a 60-Mw circulating fuel reflector-moderator reactor and adequate means for heat disposal. Operation of the system will be for the purpose of determining feasibility and for studying the problems associated with the design, construction, and operation of a high-power circulating-fuel refIector-moderated aircraft reactor system.

  12. Pluto/Charon exploration utilizing a bi-modal PBR nuclear propulsion/power system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venetoklis, Peter S.

    1995-01-01

    The paper describes a Pluto/Charon orbiter utilizing a bi-modal nuclear propulsion and power system based on the Particle Bed Reactor. The orbiter is sized for launch to Nuclear-Safe orbit atop a Titan IV or equivalent launch veicle. The bi-modal system provides thermal propulsion for Earth orbital departure and Pluto orbital capture, and 10 kWe of electric power for payload functions and for in-system maneuvering with ion thrusters. Ion thrusters are used to perform inclination changes about Pluto, a transfer from low Pluto orbit to low Charon orbit, and inclination changes about charon. A nominal payload can be deliverd in as little as 15 years, 1000 kg in 17 years, and close to 2000 kg in 20 years. Scientific return is enormously aided by the availability of up to 10 kWe, due to greater data transfer rates and more/better instruments. The bi-modal system can provide power at Pluto/Charon for 10 or more years, enabling an extremely robust, scientifically rewarding, and cost-effective exploration mission.

  13. Mission needs and system commonality for space nuclear power and propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.; Zuppero, A.; Redd, L.

    1993-01-01

    Nuclear power enables or significantly enhances a variety of space missions whether near-Earth, or for solar system exploration, lunar-Mars exploration and recovery of near-Earth resources. Performance optimizations for individual missions leads to a large number of power and propulsion systems to be developed. However, the realities of the budget and schedules indicates that the number of nuclear systems that will be developed are limited. One needs to seek the ''minimum requirements'' to do a job rather than the last ounce of performance, and areas of commonality. To develop a minimum number of systems to meet the overall DoD, NASA, and commercial needs, the broad spectrum of requirements has been examined along with cost drivers

  14. Reusable Orbit Transfer Vehicle Propulsion Technology Considerations

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Perkins, Dave

    1998-01-01

    .... ROTV propulsion technologies to consider chemical rockets have limited mission capture, solar thermal rockets capture most missions but LH2 issues, and electric has highest PL without volume constraint...

  15. Historical perspectives - The role of the NASA Lewis Research Center in the national space nuclear power programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloomfield, H. S.; Sovie, R. J.

    1991-01-01

    The history of the NASA Lewis Research Center's role in space nuclear power programs is reviewed. Lewis has provided leadership in research, development, and the advancement of space power and propulsion systems. Lewis' pioneering efforts in nuclear reactor technology, shielding, high temperature materials, fluid dynamics, heat transfer, mechanical and direct energy conversion, high-energy propellants, electric propulsion and high performance rocket fuels and nozzles have led to significant technical and management roles in many natural space nuclear power and propulsion programs.

  16. Historical perspectives: The role of the NASA Lewis Research Center in the national space nuclear power programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloomfield, H. S.; Sovie, R. J.

    1991-01-01

    The history of the NASA Lewis Research Center's role in space nuclear power programs is reviewed. Lewis has provided leadership in research, development, and the advancement of space power and propulsion systems. Lewis' pioneering efforts in nuclear reactor technology, shielding, high temperature materials, fluid dynamics, heat transfer, mechanical and direct energy conversion, high-energy propellants, electric propulsion and high performance rocket fuels and nozzles have led to significant technical and management roles in many national space nuclear power and propulsion programs.

  17. A nuclear powered pulsed inductive plasma accelerator as a viable propulsion concept for advanced OTV space applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tapper, M.L.

    1982-01-01

    An electric propulsion concept suitable for delivering heavy payloads from low earth orbit (LEO) to high energy earth orbit is proposed. The system consists of a number of pulsed inductive plasma thrusters powered by a 100 kWe space nuclear power system. The pulsed plasma thruster is a relatively simple electrodeless device. It also exhibits adequate conversion to thrust power in the desired I sub sp regime of 1500 to 3000 seconds for optimal payload transfer from low earth to high earth orbit. Because of these features and the fact that the nuclear power unit will be capable of delivering sustained high power levels throughout the duration of any given mission, the system presented appears to be a very promising propulsion candidate for advanced orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) applications. An OTV, which makes use of this propulsion system and which has been designed to lift a 9000-lb payload into geosynchronous earth orbit, (GEO) is also examined

  18. A review of the status of and prospects for nuclear marine propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edwards, J.

    1976-01-01

    The review relates particularly to commercial nuclear merchant ships. The effects of the oil price escalation on world trade recession and price inflation are shown in relation to the rapid decrease in demand for new shipping and inflation in costs of any new construction. Economic analyses which began to be accepted as in favour of nuclear ships of relatively high power and high load factor have become somewhat less favourable, particularly from the point of view of higher investment costs and the presumed reluctance of shipowners to risk having these ships idle. On the other hand it is pointed out that the overall energy crisis remains and it is considered prudent to identify and seek solutions to those problems in nuclear ship propulsion which either still leave important uncertainties or which are likely to inhibit its use on a wide commercial scale. These are discussed under the following headings: economic assessments; safety acceptance and port entry; licensing and legislative problems; accidents and their consequences; decommissioning a nuclear ship; developments in the marine reactor designs. (U.K.)

  19. Multi-reactor power system configurations for multimegawatt nuclear electric propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Jeffrey A.

    1991-01-01

    A modular, multi-reactor power system and vehicle configuration for piloted nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) missions to Mars is presented. Such a design could provide enhanced system and mission reliability, allowing a comfortable safety margin for early manned flights, and would allow a range of piloted and cargo missions to be performed with a single power system design. Early use of common power modules for cargo missions would also provide progressive flight experience and validation of standardized systems for use in later piloted applications. System and mission analysis are presented to compare single and multi-reactor configurations for piloted Mars missions. A conceptual design for the Hydra modular multi-reactor NEP vehicle is presented.

  20. MCNP benchmark analyses of critical experiments for the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Selcow, E.C.; Cerbone, R.J.; Ludewig, H.; Mughabghab, S.F.; Schmidt, E.; Todosow, M.; Parma, E.J.; Ball, R.M.; Hoovler, G.S.

    1993-01-01

    Benchmark analyses have been performed of Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) critical experiments (CX) using the MCNP radiation transport code. The experiments have been conducted at the Sandia National Laboratory reactor facility in support of the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program. The test reactor is a nineteen element water moderated and reflected thermal system. A series of integral experiments have been carried out to test the capabilities of the radiation transport codes to predict the performance of PBR systems. MCNP was selected as the preferred radiation analysis tool for the benchmark experiments. Comparison between experimental and calculational results indicate close agreement. This paper describes the analyses of benchmark experiments designed to quantify the accuracy of the MCNP radiation transport code for predicting the performance characteristics of PBR reactors

  1. Application of a bi-modal PBR nuclear propulsion and power system to military missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venetoklis, Peter S.

    1995-01-01

    The rapid proliferation of arms technology and space access combined with current economic realities in the United States are creating ever greater demands for more capable space-based military assets. The paper illustrates that bi-modal nuclear propulsion and power based on the Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) is a high-leverage tehcnology that can maximize utility while minimizing cost. Mission benefits offered by the bi-modal PBR, including enhanced maneuverability, lifetime, survivability, payload power, and operational flexibility, are discussed. The ability to deliver desired payloads on smaller boosters is also illustrated. System descriptions and parameters for 10 kWe and 100 kWe power output levels are summarized. It is demonstrated via design exercise that bi-modal PBR dramtically enhances performance of a military satellite in geosynchronous orbit, increasing payload mass, payload power, and maneuverability.

  2. MCNP benchmark analyses of critical experiments for the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selcow, Elizabeth C.; Cerbone, Ralph J.; Ludewig, Hans; Mughabghab, Said F.; Schmidt, Eldon; Todosow, Michael; Parma, Edward J.; Ball, Russell M.; Hoovler, Gary S.

    1993-01-01

    Benchmark analyses have been performed of Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) critical experiments (CX) using the MCNP radiation transport code. The experiments have been conducted at the Sandia National Laboratory reactor facility in support of the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program. The test reactor is a nineteen element water moderated and reflected thermal system. A series of integral experiments have been carried out to test the capabilities of the radiation transport codes to predict the performance of PBR systems. MCNP was selected as the preferred radiation analysis tool for the benchmark experiments. Comparison between experimental and calculational results indicate close agreement. This paper describes the analyses of benchmark experiments designed to quantify the accuracy of the MCNP radiation transport code for predicting the performance characteristics of PBR reactors.

  3. An assessment of testing requirement impacts on nuclear thermal propulsion ground test facility design

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shipers, L.R.; Ottinger, C.A.; Sanchez, L.C.

    1993-01-01

    Programs to develop solid core nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) systems have been under way at the Department of Defense (DoD), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Department of Energy (DOE). These programs have recognized the need for a new ground test facility to support development of NTP systems. However, the different military and civilian applications have led to different ground test facility requirements. The Department of Energy (DOE) in its role as landlord and operator of the proposed research reactor test facilities has initiated an effort to explore opportunities for a common ground test facility to meet both DoD and NASA needs. The baseline design and operating limits of the proposed DoD NTP ground test facility are described. The NASA ground test facility requirements are reviewed and their potential impact on the DoD facility baseline is discussed

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. 50 refs

  5. Revolutionize Propulsion Test Facility High-Speed Video Imaging with Disruptive Computational Photography Enabling Technology

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Advanced rocket propulsion testing requires high-speed video recording that can capture essential information for NASA during rocket engine flight certification...

  6. Technology Implementation Plan: Irradiation Testing and Qualification for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Fuel

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harrison, Thomas J. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Howard, Richard H. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Rader, Jordan D. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2017-09-01

    This document is a notional technology implementation plan (TIP) for the development, testing, and qualification of a prototypic fuel element to support design and construction of a nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) engine, specifically its pre-flight ground test. This TIP outlines a generic methodology for the progression from non-nuclear out-of-pile (OOP) testing through nuclear in-pile (IP) testing, at operational temperatures, flows, and specific powers, of an NTP fuel element in an existing test reactor. Subsequent post-irradiation examination (PIE) will occur in existing radiological facilities. Further, the methodology is intended to be nonspecific with respect to fuel types and irradiation or examination facilities. The goals of OOP and IP testing are to provide confidence in the operational performance of fuel system concepts and provide data to program leadership for system optimization and fuel down-selection. The test methodology, parameters, collected data, and analytical results from OOP, IP, and PIE will be documented for reference by the NTP operator and the appropriate regulatory and oversight authorities. Final full-scale integrated testing would be performed separately by the reactor operator as part of the preflight ground test.

  7. Program ELM: A tool for rapid thermal-hydraulic analysis of solid-core nuclear rocket fuel elements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walton, J.T.

    1992-11-01

    This report reviews the state of the art of thermal-hydraulic analysis codes and presents a new code, Program ELM, for analysis of fuel elements. ELM is a concise computational tool for modeling the steady-state thermal-hydraulics of propellant flow through fuel element coolant channels in a nuclear thermal rocket reactor with axial coolant passages. The program was developed as a tool to swiftly evaluate various heat transfer coefficient and friction factor correlations generated for turbulent pipe flow with heat addition which have been used in previous programs. Thus, a consistent comparison of these correlations was performed, as well as a comparison with data from the NRX reactor experiments from the Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Applications (NERVA) project. This report describes the ELM Program algorithm, input/output, and validation efforts and provides a listing of the code

  8. Liquid Rocket Engine Testing Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Shamim

    2005-01-01

    Contents include the following: Objectives and motivation for testing. Technology, Research and Development Test and Evaluation (RDT&E), evolutionary. Representative Liquid Rocket Engine (LRE) test compaigns. Apollo, shuttle, Expandable Launch Vehicles (ELV) propulsion. Overview of test facilities for liquid rocket engines. Boost, upper stage (sea-level and altitude). Statistics (historical) of Liquid Rocket Engine Testing. LOX/LH, LOX/RP, other development. Test project enablers: engineering tools, operations, processes, infrastructure.

  9. Recent developments of the MOA thruster, a high performance plasma accelerator for nuclear power and propulsion applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frischauf, N.; Hettmer, M.; Grassauer, A.; Bartusch, T.; Koudelka, O.

    2008-01-01

    More than 60 years after the late Nobel laureate Hannes Alfven 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 Alfven waves for propulsive purposes has been proposed, patented and examined for the first time by a group of inventors. The name of the concept, utilising Alfven waves to accelerate ionised matter for propulsive purposes, is MOA -Magnetic field Oscillating Amplified thruster. Alfven waves are generated by making use of two coils, one being permanently powered and serving also as magnetic nozzle, the other one being switched on and off in a cyclic way, deforming the field lines of the overall system. It is this deformation that generates Alfven waves, which are in the next step used to transport and compress the propulsive medium, in theory leading to a propulsion system with a much higher performance than any other electric propulsion system. Based on computer simulations, which were conducted to get a first estimate on the performance of the system, MOA is a highly flexible propulsion system, whose performance parameters might easily be adapted, by changing the mass flow and/or the power level. As such the system is capable to deliver 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. While space propulsion is expected to be the prime application for MOA and is supported by numerous applications such as Solar and/or Nuclear Electric Propulsion or even as an 'afterburner system' for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion, other terrestrial applications can be thought of as well, making the system highly suited for a common space-terrestrial application research and utilization strategy. This paper presents the recent developments of the MOA Thruster R and D activities at QASAR, the company in

  10. The role of nuclear power and nuclear propulsion in the peaceful exploration of space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-09-01

    This publication has been produced within the framework of the IAEA's innovative reactor and fuel cycle technology development activities. It elucidates the role that peaceful space related nuclear power research and development could play in terrestrial innovative reactor and fuel cycle technology development initiatives. This review is a contribution to the Inter-Agency Meeting on Outer Space Activities, and reflects the stepped up efforts of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to further strengthen cooperation between international organizations in space related activities. Apart from fostering information exchange within the United Nations organizations, this publication aims at finding new potential fields for innovative reactor and fuel cycle technology development. In assessing the status and reviewing the role of nuclear power in the peaceful exploration of space, it also aims to initiate a discussion on the potential benefits of space related nuclear power technology research and development to the development of innovative terrestrial nuclear systems

  11. Nuclear design analysis of square-lattice honeycomb space nuclear rocket engine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Widargo, Reza; Anghaie, Samim

    1999-01-01

    The square-lattice honeycomb reactor is designed based on a cylindrical core that is determined to have critical diameter and length of 0.50 m and 0.50 c, respectively. A 0.10-cm thick radial graphite reflector, in addition to a 0.20-m thick axial graphite reflector are used to reduce neutron leakage from the reactor. The core is fueled with solid solution of 93% enriched (U, Zr, Nb)C, which is one of several ternary uranium carbides that are considered for this concept. The fuel is to be fabricated as 2 mm grooved (U, Zr, Nb)C wafers. The fuel wafers are used to form square-lattice honeycomb fuel assemblies, 0.10 m in length with 30% cross-sectional flow area. Five fuel assemblies are stacked up axially to form the reactor core. Based on the 30% void fraction, the width of the square flow channel is about 1.3 mm. The hydrogen propellant is passed through these flow channels and removes the heat from the reactor core. To perform nuclear design analysis, a series of neutron transport and diffusion codes are used. The preliminary results are obtained using a simple four-group cross-section model. To optimize the nuclear design, the fuel densities are varied for each assembly. Tantalum, hafnium and tungsten are considered and used as a replacement for niobium in fuel material to provide water submersion sub-criticality for the reactor. Axial and radial neutron flux and power density distributions are calculated for the core. Results of the neutronic analysis indicate that the core has a relatively fast spectrum. From the results of the thermal hydraulic analyses, eight axial temperature zones are chosen for the calculation of group average cross-sections. An iterative process is conducted to couple the neutronic calculations with the thermal hydraulics calculations. Results of the nuclear design analysis indicate that a compact core can be designed based on ternary uranium carbide square-lattice honeycomb fuel. This design provides a relatively high thrust to weight

  12. The NASA program on nuclear electric propulsion: Preparing for the future

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bennett, G.L.; Doherty, M.P.; Miller, T.J.

    1993-01-01

    In 1990 NASA reestablished its nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) program with the overall objective of developing the technology to support piloted missions to Mars, cargo missions to Mars and the Moon, and robotic science missions. With changing mission requirements and fiscal constraints the NEP program is now focused on studies of robotic science missions which are enabled or enhanced by NEP. These studies are closely coupled with the ongoing work on the SP-100 space nuclear reactor power system and, as such, include consideration of an early, low-power flight to demonstrate the technology and to perform a science missions. These studies have identified some possible mission candidates such as missions to Mars (including a study of Phobos and Deimos), missions to near-Earth asteroids, and missions to the Jovian Trojan asteroids. In addition, work proceeded on high-temperature components for power processing units and on high-power magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters. The paper will summarize the work and indicate future directions being considered for the program

  13. MITEE-B: A compact ultra lightweight bi-modal nuclear propulsion engine for robotic planetary science missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Powell, James; Maise, George; Paniagua, John; Borowski, Stanley

    2003-01-01

    Nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) enables unique new robotic planetary science missions that are impossible with chemical or nuclear electric propulsion systems. A compact and ultra lightweight bi-modal nuclear engine, termed MITEE-B (MInature ReacTor EnginE - Bi-Modal) can deliver 1000's of kilograms of propulsive thrust when it operates in the NTP mode, and many kilowatts of continuous electric power when it operates in the electric generation mode. The high propulsive thrust NTP mode enables spacecraft to land and takeoff from the surface of a planet or moon, to hop to multiple widely separated sites on the surface, and virtually unlimited flight in planetary atmospheres. The continuous electric generation mode enables a spacecraft to replenish its propellant by processing in-situ resources, provide power for controls, instruments, and communications while in space and on the surface, and operate electric propulsion units. Six examples of unique and important missions enabled by the MITEE-B engine are described, including: (1) Pluto lander and sample return; (2) Europa lander and ocean explorer; (3) Mars Hopper; (4) Jupiter atmospheric flyer; (5) SunBurn hypervelocity spacecraft; and (6) He3 mining from Uranus. Many additional important missions are enabled by MITEE-B. A strong technology base for MITEE-B already exists. With a vigorous development program, it could be ready for initial robotic science and exploration missions by 2010 AD. Potential mission benefits include much shorter in-space times, reduced IMLEO requirements, and replenishment of supplies from in-situ resources

  14. An overview of the Nuclear Electric Propulsion Space Test Program (NEPSTP) satellite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Voss, S.S.; Reynolds, E.L.

    1994-01-01

    Early in 1992 the idea of purchasing a Russian designed and fabricated space reactor power system and integrating it with a US designed satellite went from fiction to reality with the purchase of the first two Topaz II reactors by the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (now the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO)). The New Mexico Alliance was formed to establish a ground test facility in which to perform nonnuclear systems testing of the Topaz II, and to evaluate the Topaz II system for flight testing with respect to safety, performance, and operability. In conjunction, SDIO requested that the Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, MD propose a mission and design a satellite in which the Topaz II could be used as the power source. The outcome of these two activities was the design of the Nuclear Electric Propulsion Space Test Program (NEPSTP) satellite which combines a modified Russian Topaz II power system with a US designed satellite to achieve a specified mission. Due to funding reduction within the SDIO, the Topaz II flight program was postponed indefinitely at the end of Fiscal year 1993. The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the NEPSTP mission and the satellite design at the time the flight program ended

  15. Nuclear electric propulsion /NEP/ spacecraft for the outer planet orbiter mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garrison, P.W.; Nock, K.T.

    1982-01-01

    The design, operating features, and a possible Neptune orbit for the spacecraft powered by the SP-100 nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) system under study by NASA and the DOE are described. The system features a reactor and a payload situated on opposite ends of a 0.5 m diam, 11 m long astromast. Mercury-ion thrusters are located beneath the reactor for side thrusting, and no contamination of the payload or obstruction of the viewing angles for scientific objectives occurs with the system, which would not degrade in performance even under high insolation during near-sun maneuvers. Results of a theoretical study of earth escapes are presented to show that an NEP powered spiral trajectory out of a 700 km Shuttle orbit and using a Triton gravity assist would be superior to departing from a 300 km orbit with a Centaur boost. The mission profile includes a 1249 kg Galileo payload. The SP-100 has a 1.4 MWth reactor with UO2 fuel tiles and weighs 19,904 kg

  16. Design study of laser fusion rocket

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nakashima, Hideki; Shoyama, Hidetoshi; Kanda, Yukinori

    1991-01-01

    A design study was made on a rocket powered by laser fusion. Dependence of its flight performance on target gain, driver repetition rate and fuel composition was analyzed to obtain optimal design parameters of the laser fusion rocket. The results indicate that the laser fusion rocket fueled with DT or D 3 He has the potential advantages over other propulsion systems such as fission rocket for interplanetary travel. (author)

  17. Impact and mitigation of stratospheric ozone depletion by chemical rockets

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mcdonald, A.J.

    1992-03-01

    The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) conducted a workshop in conjunction with the 1991 AIAA Joint Propulsion Conference in Sacramento, California, to assess the impact of chemical rocket propulsion on the environment. The workshop included recognized experts from the fields of atmospheric physics and chemistry, solid rocket propulsion, liquid rocket propulsion, government, and environmental agencies, and representatives from several responsible environmental organizations. The conclusion from this workshop relative to stratospheric ozone depletion was that neither solid nor liquid rocket launchers have a significant impact on stratospheric ozone depletion, and that there is no real significant difference between the two

  18. Unsupervised Anomaly Detection for Liquid-Fueled Rocket Prop...

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Title: Unsupervised Anomaly Detection for Liquid-Fueled Rocket Propulsion Health Monitoring. Abstract: This article describes the results of applying four...

  19. 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.

  20. Comprehensive Technical Report, General Electric Direct-Air-Cycle Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program, Program Summary and References

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thornton, G.; Rothstein, A.J.

    1962-06-28

    This is one of twenty-one volumes sumarizing the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Program of the General Electric Company. This volume discusses the background to the General Electric program, and summarizes the various direct-air-cycle nuclear test assemblies and power plants that were developed. Because of the requirements of high performance, low weight, and small size, vast improvements in existing technology were required to meet the flight objectives. The technological progress achieved during the program is also summarized. The last appendix contains a compilation of the abstracts, tables of contents, and reference lists of the other twenty volumes.

  1. Model of a Nuclear Security Naval Agency for radiation control of the Industrial Complex of of Submarine Construction and Maintenance Ship with Nuclear Propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lins Junior, Amilton de Sousa

    2017-01-01

    Due to the construction, by Brazilian Navy, of a Submarine Construction and Maintenance Ship with Nuclear Propulsion, where, among other activities, the commissioning and exchange of the fuel elements of the reactor in the future Nuclear Submarine, and of a Naval Base where the Nuclear Submarine and the Conventional Submarines, it is necessary the establishment of a Nuclear Security Naval Agency to monitor activities involving ionizing radiation sources and nuclear materials aimed at the radiological protection of exposed occupationally individuals (IOE), the general public and the environment. It should be noted that nuclear and radioactive material will be present only in a part of the yard called Radiological Complex. Therefore, the development of a structure for the control of the Radiological Complex is fundamental, considering that the future licensing process will be unprecedented in Brazil and will face several difficulties. This work presents a model of a structure for the radiological control of the industrial complex for the construction and maintenance of the submarine with nuclear propulsion, as well as the fundamental concepts of the activities, such as inspection, regulations and authorizations, to be carried out by the various component sectors of the Nuclear Security Naval Agency. (author)

  2. Assessment of the facilities on Jackass Flats and other Nevada Test Site facilities for the new nuclear rocket program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chandler, G.; Collins, D.; Dye, K.; Eberhart, C.; Hynes, M.; Kovach, R.; Ortiz, R.; Perea, J.; Sherman, D.

    1992-01-01

    Recent NASA/DOE studies for the Space Exploration Initiative have demonstrated a critical need for the ground-based testing of nuclear rocket engines. Experience in the ROVER/NERVA Program, experience in the Nuclear Weapons Testing Program, and involvement in the new nuclear rocket program has motivated our detailed assessment of the facilities used for the ROVER/NERVA Program and other facilities located at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The ROVER/NERVA facilities are located in the Nevada Research L, Development Area (NRDA) on Jackass Flats at NTS, approximately 85 miles northwest of Las Vegas. To guide our assessment of facilities for an engine testing program we have defined a program goal, scope, and process. To execute this program scope and process will require ten facilities. We considered the use of all relevant facilities at NTS including existing and new tunnels as well as the facilities at NRDA. Aside from the facilities located at remote sites and the inter-site transportation system, all of the required facilities are available at NRDA. In particular we have studied the refurbishment of E-MAD, ETS-1, R-MAD, and the interconnecting railroad. The total cost for such a refurbishment we estimate to be about $253M which includes additional contractor fees related to indirect, construction management, profit, contingency, and management reserves. This figure also includes the cost of the required NEPA, safety, and security documentation

  3. Liquid Oxygen Rotating Friction Ignition Testing of Aluminum and Titanium with Monel and Inconel for Rocket Engine Propulsion System Contamination Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peralta, S.; Rosales, Keisa R.; Stoltzfus, Joel M.

    2009-01-01

    Metallic contaminant was found in the liquid oxygen (LOX) pre-valve screen of the shuttle main engine propulsion system on two orbiter vehicles. To investigate the potential for an ignition, NASA Johnson Space Center White Sands Test Facility performed (modified) rotating friction ignition testing in LOX. This testing simulated a contaminant particle in the low-pressure oxygen turbo pump (LPOTP) and the high-pressure oxygen turbo pump (HPOTP) of the shuttle main propulsion system. Monel(R) K-500 and Inconel(R) 718 samples represented the LPOTP and HPOTP materials. Aluminum foil tape and titanium foil represented the contaminant particles. In both the Monel(R) and Inconel(R) material configurations, the aluminum foil tape samples did not ignite after 30 s of rubbing. In contrast, all of the titanium foil samples ignited regardless of the rubbing duration or material configuration. However, the titanium foil ignitions did not propagate to the Monel and Inconel materials.

  4. Effect of buoyancy on fuel containment in an open-cycle gas-core nuclear rocket engine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Putre, H. A.

    1971-01-01

    Analysis aimed at determining the scaling laws for the buoyancy effect on fuel containment in an open-cycle gas-core nuclear rocket engine, so conducted that experimental conditions can be related to engine conditions. The fuel volume fraction in a short coaxial flow cavity is calculated with a programmed numerical solution of the steady Navier-Stokes equations for isothermal, variable density fluid mixing. A dimensionless parameter B, called the Buoyancy number, was found to correlate the fuel volume fraction for large accelerations and various density ratios. This parameter has the value B = 0 for zero acceleration, and B = 350 for typical engine conditions.

  5. Ultra-high temperature direct propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Araj, K.J.; Slovik, G.; Powell, J.R.; Ludewig, H.

    1987-01-01

    Potential advantages of ultra-high exhaust temperature (3000 K - 4000 K) direct propulsion nuclear rockets are explored. Modifications to the Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) to achieve these temperatures are described. Benefits of ultra-high temperature propulsion are discussed for two missions - orbit transfer (ΔV = 5546 m/s) and interplanetary exploration (ΔV = 20000 m/s). For such missions ultra-high temperatures appear to be worth the additional complexity. Thrust levels are reduced substantially for a given power level, due to the higher enthalpy caused by partial disassociation of the hydrogen propellant. Though technically challenging, it appears potentially feasible to achieve such ultra high temperatures using the PBR

  6. 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...

  7. Mini-cavity plasma core reactors for dual-mode space nuclear power/propulsion systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chow, S.

    1976-01-01

    A mini-cavity plasma core reactor is investigated for potential use in a dual-mode space power and propulsion system. In the propulsive mode, hydrogen propellant is injected radially inward through the reactor solid regions and into the cavity. The propellant is heated by both solid driver fuel elements surrounding the cavity and uranium plasma before it is exhausted out the nozzle. The propellant only removes a fraction of the driver power, the remainder is transferred by a coolant fluid to a power conversion system, which incorporates a radiator for heat rejection. In the power generation mode, the plasma and propellant flows are shut off, and the driver elements supply thermal power to the power conversion system, which generates electricity for primary electric propulsion purposes

  8. Large Liquid Rocket Testing: Strategies and Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Shamim A.; Hebert, Bartt J.

    2005-01-01

    Rocket propulsion development is enabled by rigorous ground testing in order to mitigate the propulsion systems risks that are inherent in space flight. This is true for virtually all propulsive devices of a space vehicle including liquid and solid rocket propulsion, chemical and non-chemical propulsion, boost stage and in-space propulsion and so forth. In particular, large liquid rocket propulsion development and testing over the past five decades of human and robotic space flight has involved a combination of component-level testing and engine-level testing to first demonstrate that the propulsion devices were designed to meet the specified requirements for the Earth to Orbit launchers that they powered. This was followed by a vigorous test campaign to demonstrate the designed propulsion articles over the required operational envelope, and over robust margins, such that a sufficiently reliable propulsion system is delivered prior to first flight. It is possible that hundreds of tests, and on the order of a hundred thousand test seconds, are needed to achieve a high-reliability, flight-ready, liquid rocket engine system. This paper overviews aspects of earlier and recent experience of liquid rocket propulsion testing at NASA Stennis Space Center, where full scale flight engines and flight stages, as well as a significant amount of development testing has taken place in the past decade. The liquid rocket testing experience discussed includes testing of engine components (gas generators, preburners, thrust chambers, pumps, powerheads), as well as engine systems and complete stages. The number of tests, accumulated test seconds, and years of test stand occupancy needed to meet varying test objectives, will be selectively discussed and compared for the wide variety of ground test work that has been conducted at Stennis for subscale and full scale liquid rocket devices. Since rocket propulsion is a crucial long-lead element of any space system acquisition or

  9. Innovative Approaches to Development and Ground Testing of Advanced Bimodal Space Power and Propulsion Systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hill, T.; Noble, C.; Martinell, J.; Borowski, S.

    2000-01-01

    The last major development effort for nuclear power and propulsion systems ended in 1993. Currently, there is not an initiative at either the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) or the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that requires the development of new nuclear power and propulsion systems. Studies continue to show nuclear technology as a strong technical candidate to lead the way toward human exploration of adjacent planets or provide power for deep space missions, particularly a 15,000 lbf bimodal nuclear system with 115 kW power capability. The development of nuclear technology for space applications would require technology development in some areas and a major flight qualification program. The last major ground test facility considered for nuclear propulsion qualification was the U.S. Air Force/DOE Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Project. Seven years have passed since that effort, and the questions remain the same, how to qualify nuclear power and propulsion systems for future space flight. It can be reasonably assumed that much of the nuclear testing required to qualify a nuclear system for space application will be performed at DOE facilities as demonstrated by the Nuclear Rocket Engine Reactor Experiment (NERVA) and Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) programs. The nuclear infrastructure to support testing in this country is aging and getting smaller, though facilities still exist to support many of the technology development needs. By renewing efforts, an innovative approach to qualifying these systems through the use of existing facilities either in the U.S. (DOE's Advance Test Reactor, High Flux Irradiation Facility and the Contained Test Facility) or overseas should be possible

  10. Innovation Approaches to Development and Ground Testing of Advanced Bimodal Space Power and Propulsion Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hill, T.; Noble, C.; Martinell, J. (INEEL); Borowski, S. (NASA Glenn Research Center)

    2000-07-14

    The last major development effort for nuclear power and propulsion systems ended in 1993. Currently, there is not an initiative at either the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) or the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that requires the development of new nuclear power and propulsion systems. Studies continue to show nuclear technology as a strong technical candidate to lead the way toward human exploration of adjacent planets or provide power for deep space missions, particularly a 15,000 lbf bimodal nuclear system with 115 kW power capability. The development of nuclear technology for space applications would require technology development in some areas and a major flight qualification program. The last major ground test facility considered for nuclear propulsion qualification was the U.S. Air Force/DOE Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Project. Seven years have passed since that effort, and the questions remain the same, how to qualify nuclear power and propulsion systems for future space flight. It can be reasonably assumed that much of the nuclear testing required to qualify a nuclear system for space application will be performed at DOE facilities as demonstrated by the Nuclear Rocket Engine Reactor Experiment (NERVA) and Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) programs. The nuclear infrastructure to support testing in this country is aging and getting smaller, though facilities still exist to support many of the technology development needs. By renewing efforts, an innovative approach to qualifying these systems through the use of existing facilities either in the U.S. (DOE's Advance Test Reactor, High Flux Irradiation Facility and the Contained Test Facility) or overseas should be possible.

  11. Innovative Approaches to Development and Ground Testing of Advanced Bimodal Space Power and Propulsion Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hill, Thomas Johnathan; Noble, Cheryl Ann; Noble, C.; Martinell, John Stephen; Borowski, S.

    2000-07-01

    The last major development effort for nuclear power and propulsion systems ended in 1993. Currently, there is not an initiative at either the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) or the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that requires the development of new nuclear power and propulsion systems. Studies continue to show nuclear technology as a strong technical candidate to lead the way toward human exploration of adjacent planets or provide power for deep space missions, particularly a 15,000 lbf bimodal nuclear system with 115 kW power capability. The development of nuclear technology for space applications would require technology development in some areas and a major flight qualification program. The last major ground test facility considered for nuclear propulsion qualification was the U.S. Air Force/DOE Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Project. Seven years have passed since that effort, and the questions remain the same, how to qualify nuclear power and propulsion systems for future space flight. It can be reasonable assumed that much of the nuclear testing required to qualify a nuclear system for space application will be performed at DOE facilities as demonstrated by the Nuclear Rocket Engine Reactor Experiment (NERVA) and Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) programs. The nuclear infrastructure to support testing in this country is aging and getting smaller, though facilities still exist to support many of the technology development needs. By renewing efforts, an innovative approach to qualifying these systems through the use of existing facilities either in the U.S. (DOE's Advance Test Reactor, High Flux Irradiation Facility and the Contained Test Facility) or overseas should be possible.

  12. Ionic propulsion; Propulsion ionica

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Velarde, G

    1972-07-01

    The inner parameters (electrons and ions velocity, current, thrust, power; specific impulse) and the outer parameters (velocity and operating time) of an ion propellant rocket are studied. The components (chamber dimensions, weights, propellants,) are also described. (Author) 5 refs.

  13. The PEGASUS Drive: A nuclear electric propulsion system for the space exploration initiative

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coomes, E.P.; Dagle, J.E.

    1991-01-01

    The advantages of using electric propulsion for propulsion are well-known in the aerospace community. The high specific impulse, lower propellant requirements, and lower system mass make it a very attractive propulsion option for the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI), especially for the transport of cargo. One such propulsion system is the PEGASUS Drive (Coomes et al. 1987). In its original configuration, the PEGASUS Drive consisted of a 10-MWe power source coupled to a 6-MW magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thruster system. The PEGASUS Drive propelled a manned vechicle to Mars and back in 601 days. By removing the crew and their associated support systems from the space craft and by incorporating technology advances in reactor design and heat rejection systems, a second generation PEGASUS Drive can be developed with an alpha less than two. Utilizing this propulsion system, a 400-MT cargo vechicle, assembled and loaded in low Earth orbit (LEO), could deliver 262 MT of supplies and hardware to MARS 282 days after escaping Earth orbit. Upon arrival at Mars the transport vehicle would place its cargo in the desired parking orbit around Mars and then proceed to synchronous orbit above the desired landing sight. Using a laser transmitter, PEGASUS could provide 2-MW on the surface to operate automated systems deployed earlier and then provide surface power to support crew activities after their arrival. The additional supplies and hardware, coupled with the availability of megawatt levels of electric power on the Mars surface, would greatly enhance and even expand the mission options being considered under SEI

  14. Recent developments of the MOA thruster concerning its application for nuclear electric and thermal propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frischauf, N.; Hettmer, M.; Grassauer, A.; Bartusch, T.; Koudelka, O.

    2007-01-01

    The name of the concept, utilising Alfven waves to accelerate ionised matter for propulsive purposes, is MOA for Magnetic field Oscillating Amplified thruster. Alfven waves are generated by making use of 2 coils, one being permanently powered and serving also as magnetic nozzle, the other one being switched on and off in a cyclic way, deforming the field lines of the overall system. It is this deformation that generates Alfven waves, which are in the next step used to transport and compress the propulsive medium, in theory leading to a propulsion system with a much higher performance than any other electric propulsion system. Based on computer simulations, which were conducted to get a first estimate on the performance of the system, MOA is a highly flexible propulsion system, whose performance parameters might easily be adapted, by changing the mass flow and/or the power level. As such the system is capable to deliver 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. Several prototypes have been built and tested, the results that were obtained are promising: with an overall power consumption of 400 W, 6 to 11 mN of thrust could be obtained, leading on the average to a specific power of about 50 W/mN. Better results are expected for optimised prototypes in terms of power consumption

  15. 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.

  16. Nuclear Electric Propulsion mission engineering study covering the period April 1971 to January 1973. Volume I. Executive summary. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1973-03-01

    The results of a mission engineering analysis of nuclear-thermionic electric propulsion spacecraft for unmanned interplanetary and geocentric missions are presented. Critical technologies assessed are associated with the development of Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP), and the impact of its availability on future space programs. Specific areas of investigation include 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. A multimission NEP Stage can be developed to perform both multiple geocentric and interplanetary missions. Development program costs for a 1983 launch would be of the order of $275 M, including hardware and reactor development, flight system hardware, and mission support. Recurring unit costs for flight NEP systems would be of the order of $25 M for a 120 kWe NEP Stage. Identified pacing NEP technology requirements are the development of 20,000 full power hour ion thrusters and thermionic reactor, and the development of related power conditioning. The resulting NEP Stage design provides both inherent reliability and high payload mass capability. High payload mass capability can be translated into both low payload cost and high payload reliability. NEP Stage and payload integration is compatible with the Space Shuttle

  17. Nuclear Electric Propulsion mission engineering study covering the period April 1971 to January 1973. Volume II. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1973-03-01

    The results of a mission engineering analysis of nuclear-thermionic electric propulsion spacecraft for unmanned interplanetary and geocentric missions are summarized. Critical technologies assessed are associated with the development of Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP), and the impact of its availability on future space programs. Specific areas of investigation include 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. A multi-mission NEP Stage can be developed to perform both multiple geocentric and interplanetary missions. Development program costs for a 1983 launch would be of the order of $275 M, including hardware and reactor development, flight system hardware, and mission support. Recurring unit costs for flight NEP systems would be of the order of $25 M for a 120kWe NEP Stage. Identified pacing NEP technology requirements are the development of 20,000 full power hour ion thrusters and thermionic reactor, and the development of related power conditioning. The resulting NEP Stage design provides both inherent reliability and high payload mass capability. High payload mass capability can be translated into both low payload cost and high payload reliability. NEP Stage and payload integration is compatible with the Space Shuttle

  18. Rocket Based Combined Cycle (RBCC) engine inlet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    Pictured is a component of the Rocket Based Combined Cycle (RBCC) engine. This engine was designed to ultimately serve as the near term basis for Two Stage to Orbit (TSTO) air breathing propulsion systems and ultimately a Single Stage to Orbit (SSTO) air breathing propulsion system.

  19. Authentication for Propulsion Test Streaming Video

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A streaming video system was developed and implemented at SSC to support various propulsion projects at SSC. These projects included J-2X and AJ-26 rocket engine...

  20. 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...

  1. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP): A Proven, Growth Technology for Fast Transit Human Missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.; McCurdy, David R.; Packard, Thomas W.

    2014-01-01

    The "fast conjunction" long surface stay mission option was selected for NASA's recent Mars Design Reference Architecture (DRA) 5.0 study because it provided adequate time at Mars (approx. 540 days) for the crew to explore the planet's geological diversity while also reducing the "1-way" transit times to and from Mars to approx. 6 months. Short transit times are desirable in order to reduce the debilitating physiological effects on the human body that can result from prolonged exposure to the zero-gravity (0-gE) and radiation environments of space. Recent measurements from the RAD detector attached to the Curiosity rover indicate that astronauts would receive a radiation dose of approx. 0.66 Sv (approx. 66 rem)-the limiting value established by NASA-during their 1-year journey in deep space. Proven nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) technology, with its high thrust and high specific impulse (Isp approx. 900 s), can cut 1-way transit times by as much as 50 percent by increasing the propellant capacity of the Mars transfer vehicle (MTV). No large technology scale-ups in engine size are required for these short transit missions either since the smallest engine tested during the Rover program-the 25 klbf "Pewee" engine is sufficient when used in a clustered arrangement of three to four engines. The "Copernicus" crewed MTV developed for DRA 5.0 is a 0-gE design consisting of three basic components: (1) the NTP stage (NTPS); (2) the crewed payload element; and (3) an integrated "saddle truss" and LH2 propellant drop tank assembly that connects the two elements. With a propellant capacity of approx. 190 t, Copernicus can support 1-way transit times ranging from approx. 150 to 220 days over the 15-year synodic cycle. The paper examines the impact on vehicle design of decreasing transit times for the 2033 mission opportunity. With a fourth "upgraded" SLS/HLV launch, an "in-line" LH2 tank element can be added to Copernicus allowing 1-way transit times of 130 days. To achieve 100

  2. Rocket Flight.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Evera, Bill; Sterling, Donna R.

    2002-01-01

    Describes an activity for designing, building, and launching rockets that provides students with an intrinsically motivating and real-life application of what could have been classroom-only concepts. Includes rocket design guidelines and a sample grading rubric. (KHR)

  3. Study of Liquid Breakup Process in Solid Rocket Motor Nozzle

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-02-16

    Laboratory, Edwards, CA Abstract In a solid rocket motor (SRM), when the aluminum based propellant combusts, the fuel is oxidized into alumina (Al2O3...34Chemical Erosion of Refractory-Metal Nozzle Inserts in Solid - Propellant Rocket Motors," J. Propulsion and Power, Vol. 25, no.1,, 2009. [4] E. Y. Wong...34 Solid Rocket Nozzle Design Summary," in 4th AIAA Propulsion Joint Specialist Conference, Cleveland, OH, 1968. [5] Nayfeh, A. H.; Saric, W. S

  4. Converting the ISS to an Earth-Moon Transport System Using Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Paniagua, John; Maise, George; Powell, James

    2008-01-01

    Using Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP), the International Space Station (ISS) can be placed into a cyclic orbit between the Earth and the Moon for 2-way transport of personnel and supplies to a permanent Moon Base. The ISS cycler orbit apogees 470,000 km from Earth, with a period of 13.66 days. Once a month, the ISS would pass close to the Moon, enabling 2-way transport between it and the surface using a lunar shuttle craft. The lunar shuttle craft would land at a desired location on the surface during a flyby and return to the ISS during a later flyby. At Earth perigee 7 days later at 500 km altitude, there would be 2-way transport between it and Earth's surface using an Earth shuttle craft. The docking Earth shuttle would remain attached to the ISS as it traveled towards the Moon, while personnel and supplies transferred to a lunar shuttle spacecraft that would detach and land at the lunar base when the ISS swung around the Moon. The reverse process would be carried out to return personnel and materials from the Moon to the Earth. The orbital mechanics for the ISS cycle are described in detail. Based on the full-up mass of 400 metric tons for the ISS, an ISP of 900 seconds, and a delta V burn of 3.3 km/sec to establish the orbit, 200 metric tons of liquid H-2 propellant would be required. The 200 metric tons could be stored in 3 tanks, each 8 meters in diameter and 20 meters in length. An assembly of 3 MITEE NTP engines would be used, providing redundancy if an engine were to fail. Two different MITEE design options are described. Option 1 is an 18,000 Newton, 100 MW engine with a thrust to weight ratio of 6.6/1; Option 2 is a 180,000 Newton, 1000 MW engine with a thrust to weight ratio of 23/1. Burn times to establish the orbit are ∼1 hour for the large 3 engine assembly, and 10 hours for the small 3 engine assembly. Both engines would use W-UO2 cermet fuel at ∼2750 K which has demonstrated the capability to operate for at least 50 hours in 2750 K hydrogen

  5. Assessing Hypothetical Gravity Control Propulsion

    OpenAIRE

    Millis, Marc 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 ide...

  6. Rocket Science at the Nanoscale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jinxing; Rozen, Isaac; Wang, Joseph

    2016-06-28

    Autonomous propulsion at the nanoscale represents one of the most challenging and demanding goals in nanotechnology. Over the past decade, numerous important advances in nanotechnology and material science have contributed to the creation of powerful self-propelled micro/nanomotors. In particular, micro- and nanoscale rockets (MNRs) offer impressive capabilities, including remarkable speeds, large cargo-towing forces, precise motion controls, and dynamic self-assembly, which have paved the way for designing multifunctional and intelligent nanoscale machines. These multipurpose nanoscale shuttles can propel and function in complex real-life media, actively transporting and releasing therapeutic payloads and remediation agents for diverse biomedical and environmental applications. This review discusses the challenges of designing efficient MNRs and presents an overview of their propulsion behavior, fabrication methods, potential rocket fuels, navigation strategies, practical applications, and the future prospects of rocket science and technology at the nanoscale.

  7. Dormancy effects on the reliability of nuclear thermal propulsion systems for long-term manned space missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shooman, M.L.; Sforza, P.M.

    1993-01-01

    This paper explores the effects of dormancy on the reliability of a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) system for long-term manned space missions, such as Mars exploration. Dormancy refers to the portion of space systems operation where the power and stress levels are significantly reduced from nominal values and the authors have identified dormancy as a significant effect. Three approaches are used to evaluate the relative importance of failure rates during dormant operation: use of failure rate models involving dormancy, power cycling and fully energized operation; study of data bases which include both dormant and energized failure rates; predictions based on an Arrhenius rate process formulation. The results of these approaches suggest that for a long term manned mission the dormancy, cycle, and energized failure rates will all be important. Reliability in the energized state normally receives utmost attention and care during design, however, unless equal attention is directed to dormancy, the mission reliability may be severely compromised

  8. Correlation of rocket propulsion fuel properties with chemical composition using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography with time-of-flight mass spectrometry followed by partial least squares regression analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kehimkar, Benjamin; Hoggard, Jamin C; Marney, Luke C; Billingsley, Matthew C; Fraga, Carlos G; Bruno, Thomas J; Synovec, Robert E

    2014-01-31

    There is an increased need to more fully assess and control the composition of kerosene-based rocket propulsion fuels such as RP-1. In particular, it is critical to make better quantitative connections among the following three attributes: fuel performance (thermal stability, sooting propensity, engine specific impulse, etc.), fuel properties (such as flash point, density, kinematic viscosity, net heat of combustion, and hydrogen content), and the chemical composition of a given fuel, i.e., amounts of specific chemical compounds and compound classes present in a fuel as a result of feedstock blending and/or processing. Recent efforts in predicting fuel chemical and physical behavior through modeling put greater emphasis on attaining detailed and accurate fuel properties and fuel composition information. Often, one-dimensional gas chromatography (GC) combined with mass spectrometry (MS) is employed to provide chemical composition information. Building on approaches that used GC-MS, but to glean substantially more chemical information from these complex fuels, we recently studied the use of comprehensive two dimensional (2D) gas chromatography combined with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC×GC-TOFMS) using a "reversed column" format: RTX-wax column for the first dimension, and a RTX-1 column for the second dimension. In this report, by applying chemometric data analysis, specifically partial least-squares (PLS) regression analysis, we are able to readily model (and correlate) the chemical compositional information provided by use of GC×GC-TOFMS to RP-1 fuel property information such as density, kinematic viscosity, net heat of combustion, and so on. Furthermore, we readily identified compounds that contribute significantly to measured differences in fuel properties based on results from the PLS models. We anticipate this new chemical analysis strategy will have broad implications for the development of high fidelity composition-property models, leading to an

  9. Neutronics and Thermal Hydraulics Analysis of a Conceptual Ultra-High Temperature MHD Cermet Fuel Core for Nuclear Electric Propulsion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jian Song

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Nuclear electric propulsion (NEP offers unique advantages for the interplanetary exploration. The extremely high conversion efficiency of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD conversion nuclear reactor makes it a highly potential space power source in the future, especially for NEP systems. Research on ultra-high temperature reactor suitable for MHD power conversion is performed in this paper. Cermet is chosen as the reactor fuel after a detailed comparison with the (U,ZrC graphite-based fuel and mixed carbide fuel. A reactor design is carried out as well as the analysis of the reactor physics and thermal-hydraulics. The specific design involves fuel element, reactor core, and radiation shield. Two coolant channel configurations of fuel elements are considered and both of them can meet the demands. The 91 channel configuration is chosen due to its greater heat transfer performance. Besides, preliminary calculation of nuclear criticality safety during launch crash accident is also presented. The calculation results show that the current design can meet the safety requirements well.

  10. Additive Manufacturing a Liquid Hydrogen Rocket Engine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Carl P.; Robertson, Elizabeth H.; Koelbl, Mary Beth; Singer, Chris

    2016-01-01

    Space Propulsion is a 5 day event being held from 2nd May to the 6th May 2016 at the Rome Marriott Park Hotel in Rome, Italy. This event showcases products like Propulsion sub-systems and components, Production and manufacturing issues, Liquid, Solid, Hybrid and Air-breathing Propulsion Systems for Launcher and Upper Stages, Overview of current programmes, AIV issues and tools, Flight testing and experience, Technology building blocks for Future Space Transportation Propulsion Systems : Launchers, Exploration platforms & Space Tourism, Green Propulsion for Space Transportation, New propellants, Rocket propulsion & global environment, Cost related aspects of Space Transportation propulsion, Modelling, Pressure-Thrust oscillations issues, Impact of new requirements and regulations on design etc. in the Automotive, Manufacturing, Fabrication, Repair & Maintenance industries.

  11. Origin of how steam rockets can reduce space transport cost by orders of magnitude

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zuppero, A.; Larson, T.K.; Schnitzler, B.G.; Rice, J.W.; Hill, T.J.; Richins, W.D.; Parlier, L.; Werner, J.E.

    1999-01-01

    A brief sketch shows the origin of why and how thermal rocket propulsion has the unique potential to dramatically reduce the cost of space transportation for most inner solar system missions of interest. Orders of magnitude reduction in cost are apparently possible when compared to all processes requiring electrolysis for the production of rocket fuels or propellants and to all electric propulsion systems. An order of magnitude advantage can be attributed to rocket propellant tank factors associated with storing water propellant, compared to cryogenic liquids. An order of magnitude can also be attributed to the simplicity of the extraction and processing of ice on the lunar surface, into an easily stored, non-cryogenic rocket propellant (water). A nuclear heated thermal rocket can deliver thousands of times its mass to Low Earth Orbit from the Lunar surface, providing the equivalent to orders of magnitude drop in launch cost for mass in Earth orbit. Mass includes water ice. These cost reductions depend (exponentially) on the mission delta-v requirements being less than about 6 km/s, or about 3 times the specific velocity of steam rockets (2 km/s, from Isp 200 sec). Such missions include: from the lunar surface to Low Lunar Orbit, (LLO), from LLO to lunar escape, from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO), from LEO to Earth Escape, from LEO to Mars Transfer Orbit, from LLO to GEO, missions returning payloads from about 10% of the periodic comets using propulsive capture to orbits around Earth itself, and fast, 100 day missions from Lunar Escape to Mars. All the assertions depend entirely and completely on the existence of abundant, nearly pure ice at the permanently dark North and South Poles of the Moon. copyright 1999 American Institute of Physics

  12. Exotic power and propulsion concepts

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Forward, R.L.

    1990-01-01

    The status of some exotic physical phenomena and unconventional spacecraft concepts that might produce breakthroughs in power and propulsion in the 21st Century are reviewed. The subjects covered include: electric, nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, antimatter, high energy density materials, metallic hydrogen, laser thermal, solar thermal, solar sail, magnetic sail, and tether propulsion

  13. 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.

  14. Study of solid rocket motor for space shuttle booster, volume 2, book 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    1972-01-01

    The technical requirements for the solid propellant rocket engine to be used with the space shuttle orbiter are presented. The subjects discussed are: (1) propulsion system definition, (2) solid rocket engine stage design, (3) solid rocket engine stage recovery, (4) environmental effects, (5) manrating of the solid rocket engine stage, (6) system safety analysis, and (7) ground support equipment.

  15. The Benefits of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) in an Evolvable Mars Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.; Mccurdy, David R.

    2014-01-01

    NTR: High thrust high specific impulse (2 x LOXLH2chemical) engine uses high power density fission reactor with enriched uranium fuel as thermal power source. Reactor heat is removed using H2propellant which is then exhausted to produce thrust. Conventional chemical engine LH2tanks, turbopumps, regenerative nozzles and radiation-cooled shirt extensions used --NTR is next evolutionary step in high performance liquid rocket engines During the Rover program, a common fuel element tie tube design was developed and used in the design of the 50 klbf Kiwi-B4E (1964), 75 klbf Phoebus-1B (1967), 250 klbf Phoebus-2A (June 1968), then back down to the 25 klbf Pewee engine (Nov-Dec 1968) NASA and DOE are using this same approach: design, build, ground then flight test a small engine using a common fuel element that is scalable to a larger 25 klbf thrust engine needed for human missions

  16. This Is Rocket Science!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keith, Wayne; Martin, Cynthia; Veltkamp, Pamela

    2013-09-01

    Using model rockets to teach physics can be an effective way to engage students in learning. In this paper, we present a curriculum developed in response to an expressed need for helping high school students review physics equations in preparation for a state-mandated exam. This required a mode of teaching that was more advanced and analytical than that offered by Estes Industries, but more basic than the analysis of Nelson et al. In particular, drag is neglected until the very end of the exercise, which allows the concept of conservation of energy to be shown when predicting the rocket's flight. Also, the variable mass of the rocket motor is assumed to decrease linearly during the flight (while the propulsion charge and recovery delay charge are burning) and handled simplistically by using an average mass value. These changes greatly simplify the equations needed to predict the times and heights at various stages of flight, making it more useful as a review of basic physics. Details about model rocket motors, range safety, and other supplemental information may be found online at Apogee Components4 and the National Association of Rocketry.5

  17. The SMPR for the naval propulsion; Les RPMP pour la propulsion navale

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gauducheau, B. [Technicatome, Centre d' Etudes Nucleaires de Saclay, 91 - Gif sur Yvette (France)

    2002-07-01

    The first controlled application of the fissile energy was the american nuclear reactor for the ship propulsion. Since the sixties, the France begun researches to secure the independence of its nuclear propulsion program. The historical aspects, the french program management and the perspectives of the ship nuclear propulsion, are discussed in this paper. (A.L.B.)

  18. Future spacecraft propulsion systems. Enabling technologies for space exploration. 2. ed.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Czysz, Paul A. [St. Louis Univ., MO (United States). Oliver L. Parks Endowed Chair in Aerospace Engineering; Bruno, Claudio [Univ. degli Studi di Roma (Italy). Dipt. di Meccanica e Aeronautica

    2009-07-01

    In this second edition of Future Spacecraft Propulsion Systems, the authors demonstrate the need to break free from the old established concepts of expendable rockets, using chemical propulsion, and to develop new breeds of launch vehicle capable of both launching payloads into orbit at a dramatically reduced cost and for sustained operations in low-Earth orbit. The next steps to establishing a permanent 'presence' in the Solar System beyond Earth are the commercialisation of sustained operations on the Moon and the development of advanced nuclear or high-energy space propulsion systems for Solar System exploration out to the boundary of interstellar space. In the future, high-energy particle research facilities may one day yield a very high-energy propulsion system that will take us to the nearby stars, or even beyond. Space is not quiet: it is a continuous series of nuclear explosions that provide the material for new star systems to form and provide the challenge to explore. This book provides an assessment of the industrial capability required to construct and operate the necessary spacecraft. Time and distance communication and control limitations impose robotic constraints. Space environments restrict human sustained presence and put high demands on electronic, control and materials systems. This comprehensive and authoritative book puts spacecraft propulsion systems in perspective, from earth orbit launchers to astronomical/space exploration vehicles. It includes new material on fusion propulsion, new figures and updates and expands the information given in the first edition. (orig.)

  19. A Preliminary Model for Spacecraft Propulsion Performance Analysis Based on Nuclear Gain and Subsystem Mass-Power Balances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chakrabarti, Suman; Schmidt, George R.; Thio, Y. C.; Hurst, Chantelle M.

    1999-01-01

    A preliminary model for spacecraft propulsion performance analysis based on nuclear gain and subsystem mass-power balances are presented in viewgraph form. For very fast missions with straight-line trajectories, it has been shown that mission trip time is proportional to the cube root of alpha. Analysis of spacecraft power systems via a power balance and examination of gain vs. mass-power ratio has shown: 1) A minimum gain is needed to have enough power for thruster and driver operation; and 2) Increases in gain result in decreases in overall mass-power ratio, which in turn leads to greater achievable accelerations. However, subsystem mass-power ratios and efficiencies are crucial: less efficient values for these can partially offset the effect of nuclear gain. Therefore, it is of interest to monitor the progress of gain-limited subsystem technologies and it is also possible that power-limited systems with sufficiently low alpha may be competitive for such ambitious missions. Topics include Space flight requirements; Spacecraft energy gain; Control theory for performance; Mission assumptions; Round trips: Time and distance; Trip times; Vehicle acceleration; and Minimizing trip times.

  20. Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power DOE Operations Annual Site Environmental Report 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tuttle, R. J. [The Boeing Company, Canoga Park, CA (United States)

    1997-11-10

    This annual report discusses environmental monitoring at two manufacturing and test operations sites operated in the Los Angeles area by Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power of Boeing North American. Inc. (formerly Rockwell International Corporation). These are identified as the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL and the De Soto site. The sites have been used for manufacturing; R&D, engineering, and testing in a broad range of technical fields, primarily rocket engine propulsion and nuclear reactor technology. The De Soto site essentially comprises office space and light industry with no remaining radiological operations, and has little potential impact on the environment. The SSFL site, because of its large size (2.668 acres), warrants comprehensive monitoring to ensure protection of the environment.

  1. Effluent Scrubbing of Engine Exhaust of a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Engine

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Institute for Clean Energy Technology (ICET) at MSU already supports long-standing high-efficiency nuclear particulate air (HEPA) filtration research as well as...

  2. Nuclear space power systems for orbit raising and maneuvering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.; Sullivan, J.A.

    1984-01-01

    Reference is made to recent studies which have shown that direct thrust nuclear rockets for routine orbit raising and near-earth space tug missions are probably not cost-effective. The need for additional trade-off studies and comparisons of direct-thrust nuclear systems with chemical systems to clarify the role of nuclear rockets in missions requiring rapid orbit maneuvering is stressed. Attention is confined here to nuclear electric propulsion considerations. Low-mass nuclear power plants are constructed to optimize nuclear electric propulsion systems. Electric power levels from 100 kilowatts to as much as several megawatts are desirable. The goals for the power plant specific mass are 20-30 kg/kW at the lower powers to 2-4 kg/kW at the higher powers

  3. Overview and future prospects of laser plasma propulsion technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zheng Zhiyuan; Lu Xin; Zhang Jie

    2003-01-01

    Due to its high cost, low efficiency, complex operation and unsatisfactory recycling, traditional rocket propulsion by chemical fuels has hindered the exploration of outer space to further limits. With the rapid development of laser and space technology, the new technology of laser propulsion exhibits unique advantages and prospects. The mechanism and current development of laser plasma propulsion are reviewed, with mention of the technical problems and focus issues of laser plasma in micro-flight propulsion

  4. Rhenium Rocket Manufacturing Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    The NASA Lewis Research Center's On-Board Propulsion Branch has a research and technology program to develop high-temperature (2200 C), iridium-coated rhenium rocket chamber materials for radiation-cooled rockets in satellite propulsion systems. Although successful material demonstrations have gained much industry interest, acceptance of the technology has been hindered by a lack of demonstrated joining technologies and a sparse materials property data base. To alleviate these concerns, we fabricated rhenium to C-103 alloy joints by three methods: explosive bonding, diffusion bonding, and brazing. The joints were tested by simulating their incorporation into a structure by welding and by simulating high-temperature operation. Test results show that the shear strength of the joints degrades with welding and elevated temperature operation but that it is adequate for the application. Rhenium is known to form brittle intermetallics with a number of elements, and this phenomena is suspected to cause the strength degradation. Further bonding tests with a tantalum diffusion barrier between the rhenium and C-103 is planned to prevent the formation of brittle intermetallics.

  5. Remembering the Giants: Apollo Rocket Propulsion Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fisher, Steven C. (Editor); Rahman, Shamim A. (Editor)

    2009-01-01

    Topics discussed include: Rocketdyne - F-1 Saturn V First Stage Engine; Rocketdyne - J-2 Saturn V 2nd & 3rd Stage Engine; Rocketdyne - SE-7 & SE-8 Engines; Aerojet - AJ10-137 Apollo Service Module Engine; Aerojet - Attitude Control Engines; TRW - Lunar Descent Engine; and Rocketdyne - Lunar Ascent Engine.

  6. Atmospheric Effects of Chemical Rocket Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-10-01

    Tsyklon Baikonur 14.0 Cosmos Baikonur 10.0 Proton Baikonur 11 .0 Molniya Baikonur 9.0 50 Zenit Baikonur 2.0 * 0 4Vostok Baikonur 1.0 Energia 1 0 * 4...Total) 45,515 H2 (Total) 23,376 H20 (Tota. 202,854 N2 (Total) 112,740 HCI (Total) 119.984 OH (Total) 286 H (Total) 286 A12 03 286,100 Energia CO 1,242,940...Earth’s surface, through roughness and solar heating, and (2) the large-scale structure of the troposphere; e.g., inversions. Typically the boundary

  7. Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) Program. Sanitized Version

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-09-19

    opjiou of the facilitles would t the UM as those produced by proposed operatioas at SMTS. The inchue radiactive and hard wast. The are discusred below...Laboratory (U) NNWSI - Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigation (U) non-TRU - non-Transuranic (U) NPDES - National Polutant Discharge Elimination

  8. Physics of antimatter-matter reactions for interstellar propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morgan, D.L. Jr.

    1986-01-01

    At the stage of the antiproton-nucleon annihilation chain of events relevant to propulsion the annihilation produces energetic charged pions and gamma rays. If annihilation occurs in a complex nucleus, protons, neutrons, and other nuclear fragments are also produced. The charge, number, and energy of the annihilation products are such that annihilation rocket engine concepts involving relatively low specific impulse (I/sub sp/ ≅ 1000 to 2000 s) and very high I/sub sp/ (3 x 10 7 s) appear feasible and have efficiencies on the order of 50% for annihilation energy to propulsion energy conversion. At I/sub sp/'s of around 15,000 s, however, it may be that only the kinetic energy of the charged nuclear fragments can be utilized for propulsion in engines of ordinary size. An estimate of this kinetic energy was made from known pieces of experimental and theoretical information. Its value is about 10% of the annihilation energy. Control over the mean penetration depth of protons into matter prior to annihilation is necessary so that annihilation occurs in the proper region within the engine. Control is possible by varying the antiproton kinetic energy to obtain a suitable annihilation cross section. The annihilation cross section at low energies is on the order of or larger than atomic areas due to a rearrangement reaction, but it is very low at high energy where its value is closer to nuclear areas

  9. Advanced Vortex Hybrid Rocket Engine (AVHRE), Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ORBITEC proposes to develop a unique Advanced Vortex Hybrid Rocket Engine (AVHRE) to achieve a safe, highly-reliable, low-cost and uniquely versatile propulsion...

  10. A Multi-Dimensional Heat Transfer Model of a Tie-Tube and Hexagonal Fuel Element for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez, C. F.; Mireles, O. R.; Stewart, E.

    2016-01-01

    The Space Capable Cryogenic Thermal Engine (SCCTE) effort considers a nuclear thermal rocket design based around a Low-Enriched Uranium (LEU) design fission reactor. The reactor core is comprised of bundled hexagonal fuel elements that directly heat hydrogen for expansion in a thrust chamber and hexagonal tie-tubes that house zirconium hydride moderator mass for the purpose of thermalizing fast neutrons resulting from fission events. Created 3D steady state Hex fuel rod model with 1D flow channels. Hand Calculation were used to set up initial conditions for fluid flow. The Hex Fuel rod uses 1D flow paths to model the channels using empirical correlations for heat transfer in a pipe. Created a 2-D axisymmetric transient to steady state model using the CFD turbulent flow and Heat Transfer module in COMSOL. This model was developed to find and understand the hydrogen flow that might effect the thermal gradients axially and at the end of the tie tube where the flow turns and enters an annulus. The Hex fuel rod and Tie tube models were made based on requirements given to us by CSNR and the SCCTE team. The models helped simplify and understand the physics and assumptions. Using pipe correlations reduced the complexity of the 3-D fuel rod model and is numerically more stable and computationally more time-efficient compared to the CFD approach. The 2-D axisymmetric tie tube model can be used as a reference "Virtual test model" for comparing and improving 3-D Models.

  11. Aerodynamics and flow characterisation of multistage rockets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srinivas, G.; Prakash, M. V. S.

    2017-05-01

    The main objective of this paper is to conduct a systematic flow analysis on single, double and multistage rockets using ANSYS software. Today non-air breathing propulsion is increasing dramatically for the enhancement of space exploration. The rocket propulsion is playing vital role in carrying the payload to the destination. Day to day rocket aerodynamic performance and flow characterization analysis has becoming challenging task to the researchers. Taking this task as motivation a systematic literature is conducted to achieve better aerodynamic and flow characterization on various rocket models. The analyses on rocket models are very little especially in numerical side and experimental area. Each rocket stage analysis conducted for different Mach numbers and having different flow varying angle of attacks for finding the critical efficiency performance parameters like pressure, density and velocity. After successful completion of the analysis the research reveals that flow around the rocket body for Mach number 4 and 5 best suitable for designed payload. Another major objective of this paper is to bring best aerodynamics flow characterizations in both aero and mechanical features. This paper also brings feature prospectus of rocket stage technology in the field of aerodynamic design.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Superconducting magnets for model ship propulsion and for material tests of a nuclear fusion reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horiuchi, T.; Matsumoto, K.; Monju, Y.; Tatara, I.; Hamada, M.

    1982-01-01

    Nuclear fusion reactors, magnetically levitated trains, and MHD generators, etc., all need a very high magnetic field; which in order to be attained a means the application of superconductors is inevitable. This paper describes the development of ''CRYOZITT'', a superconductor featuring high current density and high mechanical strength. CRYOZITT has already been used in the manufacture of two race-track shaped superconducting magnets, and delivered to highly satisfied customers. (author)

  15. Rocket Based Combined Cycle (RBCC) Engine

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    Pictured is an artist's concept of the Rocket Based Combined Cycle (RBCC) launch. The RBCC's overall objective is to provide a technology test bed to investigate critical technologies associated with opperational usage of these engines. The program will focus on near term technologies that can be leveraged to ultimately serve as the near term basis for Two Stage to Orbit (TSTO) air breathing propulsions systems and ultimately a Single Stage To Orbit (SSTO) air breathing propulsion system.

  16. Nuclear Energy in Space Exploration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seaborg, Glenn T.

    1968-01-01

    Nuclear space programs under development by the Atomic Energy Commission are reviewed including the Rover Program, systems for nuclear rocket propulsion and, the SNAP Program, systems for generating electric power in space. The letters S-N-A-P stands for Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power. Some of the projected uses of nuclear systems in space are briefly discussed including lunar orbit, lunar transportation from lunar orbit to lunar surface and base stations; planetary exploration, and longer space missions. The limitations of other sources of energy such as solar, fuel cells, and electric batteries are discussed. The excitement and visionary possibilities of the Age of Space are discussed.

  17. Mathematical model for the preliminary analysis of dual-mode space nuclear fission solid core power and propulsion systems, NUROC3A. AMS report No. 1239a

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grey, J.; Chow, S.

    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. Such a concept could be particularly useful for missions which require both relatively high acceleration (e.g., for planetocentric maneuvers) and high performance at low acceleration (e.g., on heliocentric trajectories or for trajectory shaping). The first volume develops the mathematical model of the system.

  18. Antimatter Propulsion Developed by NASA

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    This Quick Time movie shows possible forms of an antimatter propulsion system being developed by NASA. Antimatter annihilation offers the highest possible physical energy density of any known reaction substance. It is about 10 billion times more powerful than that of chemical energy such as hydrogen and oxygen combustion. Antimatter would be the perfect rocket fuel, but the problem is that the basic component of antimatter, antiprotons, doesn't exist in nature and has to manufactured. The process of antimatter development is ongoing and making some strides, but production of this as a propulsion system is far into the future.

  19. Powered Flight The Engineering of Aerospace Propulsion

    CERN Document Server

    Greatrix, David R

    2012-01-01

    Whilst most contemporary books in the aerospace propulsion field are dedicated primarily to gas turbine engines, there is often little or no coverage of other propulsion systems and devices such as propeller and helicopter rotors or detailed attention to rocket engines. By taking a wider viewpoint, Powered Flight - The Engineering of Aerospace Propulsion aims to provide a broader context, allowing observations and comparisons to be made across systems that are overlooked by focusing on a single aspect alone. The physics and history of aerospace propulsion are built on step-by-step, coupled with the development of an appreciation for the mathematics involved in the science and engineering of propulsion. Combining the author’s experience as a researcher, an industry professional and a lecturer in graduate and undergraduate aerospace engineering, Powered Flight - The Engineering of Aerospace Propulsion covers its subject matter both theoretically and with an awareness of the practicalities of the industry. To ...

  20. Vehicle with inclinable caterpillar propulsion units

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clar, G.

    1991-01-01

    This vehicle usable in hostile environment such nuclear industry has four propulsion units with a caterpillar track and two integrated motors: one for advancing the caterpillar track and the other for inclining the propulsion unit when overcoming obstacles. Each propulsion unit is easily replaceable because there are no mechanical parts in the body of the vehicle [fr

  1. Rocket observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-05-01

    The Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) sounding rocket experiments were carried out during the periods of August to September, 1982, January to February and August to September, 1983 and January to February, 1984 with sounding rockets. Among 9 rockets, 3 were K-9M, 1 was S-210, 3 were S-310 and 2 were S-520. Two scientific satellites were launched on February 20, 1983 for solar physics and on February 14, 1984 for X-ray astronomy. These satellites were named as TENMA and OHZORA and designated as 1983-011A and 1984-015A, respectively. Their initial orbital elements are also described. A payload recovery was successfully carried out by S-520-6 rocket as a part of MINIX (Microwave Ionosphere Non-linear Interaction Experiment) which is a scientific study of nonlinear plasma phenomena in conjunction with the environmental assessment study for the future SPS project. Near IR observation of the background sky shows a more intense flux than expected possibly coming from some extragalactic origin and this may be related to the evolution of the universe. US-Japan cooperative program of Tether Experiment was done on board US rocket.

  2. What can nuclear energy do for society.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rom, F. E.

    1972-01-01

    It is pointed out that the earth's crust holds 30,000 times as much energy in the form of fissionable atoms as fossil fuel. Moreover, nuclear fuel costs less per unit of energy than fossil fuel. Capital equipment used to release nuclear energy, on the other hand, is expensive. For commercial electric-power production and marine propulsion, advantages of nuclear power have outweighed disadvantages. As to nuclear submarines, applications other than military may prove feasible. The industry has proposed cargo submarines to haul oil from the Alaskan North Slope beneath the Arctic ice. Other possible applications for nuclear power are in air-cushion-vehicles, aircraft, and rockets.-

  3. Ablative Material Testing at Lewis Rocket Lab

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-01-01

    The increasing demand for a low-cost, reliable way to launch commercial payloads to low- Earth orbit has led to the need for inexpensive, expendable propulsion systems for new launch vehicles. This, in turn, has renewed interest in less complex, uncooled rocket engines that have combustion chambers and exhaust nozzles fabricated from ablative materials. A number of aerospace propulsion system manufacturers have utilized NASA Lewis Research Center's test facilities with a high degree of success to evaluate candidate materials for application to new propulsion devices.

  4. Use of High-Power Brayton Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) for a 2033 Mars Round-Trip Mission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McGuire, Melissa L.; Martini, Michael C.; Packard, Thomas W.; Weglian, John E.; Gilland, James H.

    2006-01-01

    The Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts (RASC) team, led by the NASA Langley Research Center, is tasked with exploring revolutionary new approaches to enabling NASA to achieve its strategic goals and objectives in future missions. This paper provides the details from the 2004-2005 RASC study of a point-design that uses a high-power nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) based space transportation architecture to support a manned mission to Mars. The study assumes a high-temperature liquid-metal cooled fission reactor with a Brayton power conversion system to generate the electrical power required by magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters. The architecture includes a cargo vehicle with an NEP system providing 5 MW of electrical power and a crewed vehicle with an NEP system with two reactors providing a combined total of 10 MW of electrical power. Both vehicles use a low-thrust, high-efficiency (5000 sec specific impulse) MPD system to conduct a spiral-out of the Earth gravity well, a low-thrust heliocentric trajectory, and a spiral-in at Mars with arrival late in 2033. The cargo vehicle carries two moon landers to Mars and arrives shortly before the crewed vehicle. The crewed vehicle and cargo vehicle rendezvous in Mars orbit and, over the course of the 60-day stay, the crew conducts nine-day excursions to Phobos and Deimos with the landers. The crewed vehicle then spirals out of Martian orbit and returns via a low-thrust trajectory to conduct an Earth flyby. The crew separates from the vehicle prior to Earth flyby and aerobrakes for a direct-entry landing

  5. Nuclear Energy for Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houts, Michael G.

    2010-01-01

    Nuclear power and propulsion systems can enable exciting space exploration missions. These include bases on the moon and Mars; and the exploration, development, and utilization of the solar system. In the near-term, fission surface power systems could provide abundant, constant, cost-effective power anywhere on the surface of the Moon or Mars, independent of available sunlight. Affordable access to Mars, the asteroid belt, or other destinations could be provided by nuclear thermal rockets. In the further term, high performance fission power supplies could enable both extremely high power levels on planetary surfaces and fission electric propulsion vehicles for rapid, efficient cargo and crew transfer. Advanced fission propulsion systems could eventually allow routine access to the entire solar system. Fission systems could also enable the utilization of resources within the solar system. Fusion and antimatter systems may also be viable in the future

  6. Air-Powered Rockets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Charley; Raynovic, Jim

    This document describes methods for designing and building two types of rockets--rockets from paper and rockets from bottles. Devices used for measuring the heights that the rockets obtain are also discussed. (KHR)

  7. JPRS Report, Nuclear Developments

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    1991-01-01

    Partial Contents: Medium Range Missiles, Rocket Engine, Nuclear Submarine, Nuclear Reactor, Nuclear Inspection, Nuclear Weapons, Transfer Technology, Scud, Safety, Nuclear Power, Chernobyl Trial, ,CHemical Weapons...

  8. Ionic propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Velarde, G.

    1972-01-01

    The inner parameters (electrons and ions velocity, current, thrust, power; specific impulse) and the outer parameters (velocity and operating time] of an ion propellant rocket are studied. The components (chamber dimensions, weights, propellants,) are also described. (Author) 5 refs

  9. Space Transportation Technology Workshop: Propulsion Research and Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation gives an overview of the Space Transportation Technology Workshop topics, including Propulsion Research and Technology (PR&T) project level organization, FY 2001 - 2006 project roadmap, points of contact, foundation technologies, auxiliary propulsion technology, PR&T Low Cost Turbo Rocket, and PR&T advanced reusable technologies RBCC test bed.

  10. 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.

  11. Request for Naval Reactors Comment on Proposed PROMETHEUS Space Flight Nuclear Reactor High Tier Reactor Safety Requirements and for Naval Reactors Approval to Transmit These Requirements to Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D. Kokkinos

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this letter is to request Naval Reactors comments on the nuclear reactor high tier requirements for the PROMETHEUS space flight reactor design, pre-launch operations, launch, ascent, operation, and disposal, and to request Naval Reactors approval to transmit these requirements to Jet Propulsion Laboratory to ensure consistency between the reactor safety requirements and the spacecraft safety requirements. The proposed PROMETHEUS nuclear reactor high tier safety requirements are consistent with the long standing safety culture of the Naval Reactors Program and its commitment to protecting the health and safety of the public and the environment. In addition, the philosophy on which these requirements are based is consistent with the Nuclear Safety Policy Working Group recommendations on space nuclear propulsion safety (Reference 1), DOE Nuclear Safety Criteria and Specifications for Space Nuclear Reactors (Reference 2), the Nuclear Space Power Safety and Facility Guidelines Study of the Applied Physics Laboratory

  12. Microwave Thermal Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parkin, Kevin L. G.; Lambot, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    We have conducted research in microwave thermal propulsion as part of the space exploration access technologies (SEAT) research program, a cooperative agreement (NNX09AF52A) between NASA and Carnegie Mellon University. The SEAT program commenced on the 19th of February 2009 and concluded on the 30th of September 2015. The DARPA/NASA Millimeter-wave Thermal Launch System (MTLS) project subsumed the SEAT program from May 2012 to March 2014 and one of us (Parkin) served as its principal investigator and chief engineer. The MTLS project had no final report of its own, so we have included the MTLS work in this report and incorporate its conclusions here. In the six years from 2009 until 2015 there has been significant progress in millimeter-wave thermal rocketry (a subset of microwave thermal rocketry), most of which has been made under the auspices of the SEAT and MTLS programs. This final report is intended for multiple audiences. For researchers, we present techniques that we have developed to simplify and quantify the performance of thermal rockets and their constituent technologies. For program managers, we detail the facilities that we have built and the outcomes of experiments that were conducted using them. We also include incomplete and unfruitful lines of research. For decision-makers, we introduce the millimeter-wave thermal rocket in historical context. Considering the economic significance of space launch, we present a brief but significant cost-benefit analysis, for the first time showing that there is a compelling economic case for replacing conventional rockets with millimeter-wave thermal rockets.

  13. The project of the submarine of nuclear propulsion under the optics of its protagonists: an historical analysis from Geisel to Lula 1974 - 2009

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Correa, Fernanda das Gracas

    2009-01-01

    This work is a historical analysis of the project of construction of the submarine of nuclear propulsion under the optics of the people who direct or had indirectly become involved themselves with it. Geisel undertook a more autonomous type of politics. The Europe started to be the strategical region for the acquisition of nuclear technology. The only favorable country transfer nuclear technology to Brazil was the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). The idea to construct a nuclear submarine is product of the negotiations between authorities of Brazilian politics and political, diplomatical, scientific and business authorities of the FRG. In 1978, the engineer Othon Luiz Pinheiro da Silva came back to Brazil after completing his doctorate in nuclear technology in the MIT. Commander Othon developed the idea to construct a nuclear submarine in the Brazilian Navy. Due to the events in the national and in the international scenario, Geisel decided to construct the nuclear submarine, but he opted to allow the Brazilian Navy to lead this construction. Although Geisel sketched a project of naval nuclear propulsion, it was the project elaborated by commander Othon which became the nuclear project of the Brazilian Navy. In order to prevent international attention toward this work, Geisel guided it for the subversion. This way, the idea to construct a nuclear submarine ceases to belong to the Brazilian nuclear program to become parallel nuclear program. When Figueiredo became president he kept the diversification politics of partnerships, kept the nuclear Agreement Brazil-FRG in 1975 and kept the project of construction of a nuclear reactor. Figueiredo, after observing the performance of the English nuclear submarines in the south Atlantic and to perceive the real intentions of U.S.A. towards Brazil, Figueiredo decided to support politically and financially and the project of construction of the nuclear submarine. Despite all aversion that Figueiredo had in relation to

  14. Research Opportunities in Space Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodgers, Stephen L.

    2007-01-01

    Rocket propulsion determines the primary characteristics of any space vehicle; how fast and far it can go, its lifetime, and its capabilities. It is the primary factor in safety and reliability and the biggest cost driver. The extremes of heat and pressure produced by propulsion systems push the limits of materials used for manufacturing. Space travel is very unforgiving with little room for errors, and so many things can go wrong with these very complex systems. So we have to plan for failure and that makes it costly. But what is more exciting than the roar of a rocket blasting into space? By its nature the propulsion world is conservative. The stakes are so high at every launch, in terms of payload value or in human life, that to introduce new components to a working, qualified system is extremely difficult and costly. Every launch counts and no risks are tolerated, which leads to the space world's version of Catch-22:"You can't fly till you flown." The last big 'game changer' in propulsion was the use of liquid hydrogen as a fuel. No new breakthrough, low cost access to space system will be developed without new efficient propulsion systems. Because there is no large commercial market driving investment in propulsion, what propulsion research is done is sponsored by government funding agencies. A further difficulty in propulsion technology development is that there are so few new systems flying. There is little opportunity to evolve propulsion technologies and to update existing systems with results coming out of research as there is in, for example, the auto industry. The biggest hurdle to space exploration is getting off the ground. The launch phase will consume most of the energy required for any foreseeable space exploration mission. The fundamental physical energy requirements of escaping earth's gravity make it difficult. It takes 60,000 kJ to put a kilogram into an escape orbit. The vast majority (-97%) of the energy produced by a launch vehicle is used

  15. Ionospheric shock waves triggered by rockets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. H. Lin

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a two-dimensional structure of the shock wave signatures in ionospheric electron density resulting from a rocket transit using the rate of change of the total electron content (TEC derived from ground-based GPS receivers around Japan and Taiwan for the first time. From the TEC maps constructed for the 2009 North Korea (NK Taepodong-2 and 2013 South Korea (SK Korea Space Launch Vehicle-II (KSLV-II rocket launches, features of the V-shaped shock wave fronts in TEC perturbations are prominently seen. These fronts, with periods of 100–600 s, produced by the propulsive blasts of the rockets appear immediately and then propagate perpendicularly outward from the rocket trajectory with supersonic velocities between 800–1200 m s−1 for both events. Additionally, clear rocket exhaust depletions of TECs are seen along the trajectory and are deflected by the background thermospheric neutral wind. Twenty minutes after the rocket transits, delayed electron density perturbation waves propagating along the bow wave direction appear with phase velocities of 800–1200 m s−1. According to their propagation character, these delayed waves may be generated by rocket exhaust plumes at earlier rocket locations at lower altitudes.

  16. SEI nuclear technology findings by the Stafford Synthesis Group

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.

    1991-01-01

    Nuclear propulsion is key to reducing travel time to Mars, greatly reducing the mass in low Earth orbit, and enhancing schedule flexibility by increasing the Earth orbit departure launch window. Nuclear thermal rockets have twice to three times the performance of the best chemical rockets. This directly translates into reduced trip times and lower mass in low Earth orbit. Trip times of < 400 days in space are possible, a limitation if restricted to chemical propulsion. Psychological, physiological and radiological problems are significant issues for long mission times. The psychology of being cooped up so long in a minimum-sized capsule is cause for concern - much longer than considered healthy for nuclear submarine crews. The effects of long-term weightlessness are being debated. Short trip times eliminate the need for artificial gravity. The largest uncertainty is the effect of galactic radiation that will expose the crew to high levels of radiation for as much as 60 rem/yr

  17. Neutronics Study of the KANUTER Space Propulsion Reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Venneri, Paolo; Nam, Seung Hyun; Kim, Yonghee

    2014-01-01

    The Korea Advanced Nuclear Thermal Engine Rocket (KANUTER) has been developed at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). This space propulsion system is unique in that it implements a HEU fuel with a thermal spectrum system. This allows the system to be designed with a minimal amount of fissile material and an incredibly small and light system. This then allows the implementation of the system in a cluster format which enables redundancy and easy scalability for different mission requirements. This combination of low fissile content, compact size, and thermalized spectrum contribute to an interesting and novel behavior of the reactor system. The two codes were both used for the burn up calculations in order to verify their validity while the static calculations and characterization of the core were done principally with MCNPX. The KANUTER space propulsion reactor is in the process of being characterized and improved. Its basic neutronic characteristics have been studied, and its behavior over time has been identified. It has been shown that this reactor will have difficulty operating as hoped in a bimodal configuration where it is able to provide both propulsion and power throughout mission to Mars. The reason for this has been identified as Xe 135 , and it is believed that a possible solution to this issue does exist, either in the form of an appropriately designed neutron spectrum or the building in of sufficient excess reactivity

  18. Energetic Combustion Devices for Aerospace Propulsion and Power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litchford, Ron J.

    2000-01-01

    Chemical reactions have long been the mainstay thermal energy source for aerospace propulsion and power. Although it is widely recognized that the intrinsic energy density limitations of chemical bonds place severe constraints on maximum realizable performance, it will likely be several years before systems based on high energy density nuclear fuels can be placed into routine service. In the mean time, efforts to develop high energy density chemicals and advanced combustion devices which can utilize such energetic fuels may yield worthwhile returns in overall system performance and cost. Current efforts in this vein are being carried out at NASA MSFC under the direction of the author in the areas of pulse detonation engine technology development and light metals combustion devices. Pulse detonation engines are touted as a low cost alternative to gas turbine engines and to conventional rocket engines, but actual performance and cost benefits have yet to be convincingly demonstrated. Light metal fueled engines also offer potential benefits in certain niche applications such as aluminum/CO2 fueled engines for endo-atmospheric Martian propulsion. Light metal fueled MHD generators also present promising opportunities with respect to electric power generation for electromagnetic launch assist. This presentation will discuss the applications potential of these concepts with respect to aero ace propulsion and power and will review the current status of the development efforts.

  19. Neutronics Study of the KANUTER Space Propulsion Reactor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Venneri, Paolo; Nam, Seung Hyun; Kim, Yonghee [Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-05-15

    The Korea Advanced Nuclear Thermal Engine Rocket (KANUTER) has been developed at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). This space propulsion system is unique in that it implements a HEU fuel with a thermal spectrum system. This allows the system to be designed with a minimal amount of fissile material and an incredibly small and light system. This then allows the implementation of the system in a cluster format which enables redundancy and easy scalability for different mission requirements. This combination of low fissile content, compact size, and thermalized spectrum contribute to an interesting and novel behavior of the reactor system. The two codes were both used for the burn up calculations in order to verify their validity while the static calculations and characterization of the core were done principally with MCNPX. The KANUTER space propulsion reactor is in the process of being characterized and improved. Its basic neutronic characteristics have been studied, and its behavior over time has been identified. It has been shown that this reactor will have difficulty operating as hoped in a bimodal configuration where it is able to provide both propulsion and power throughout mission to Mars. The reason for this has been identified as Xe{sup 135}, and it is believed that a possible solution to this issue does exist, either in the form of an appropriately designed neutron spectrum or the building in of sufficient excess reactivity.

  20. Focused RBCC Experiments: Two-Rocket Configuration Experiments and Hydrocarbon/Oxygen Rocket Ejector Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santoro, Robert J.; Pal, Sibtosh

    2003-01-01

    This addendum report documents the results of two additional efforts for the Rocket Based Combined Cycle (RBCC) rocket-ejector mode research work carried out at the Penn State Propulsion Engineering Research Center in support of NASA s technology development efforts for enabling 3 d generation Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLV). The tasks reported here build on an earlier NASA MSFC funded research program on rocket ejector investigations. The first task investigated the improvements of a gaseous hydrogen/oxygen twin thruster RBCC rocket ejector system over a single rocket system. The second task investigated the performance of a hydrocarbon (liquid JP-7)/gaseous oxygen single thruster rocket-ejector system. To gain a systematic understanding of the rocket-ejector s internal fluid mechanic/combustion phenomena, experiments were conducted with both direct-connect and sea-level static diffusion and afterburning (DAB) configurations for a range of rocket operating conditions. For all experimental conditions, overall system performance was obtained through global measurements of wall static pressure profiles, heat flux profiles and engine thrust. Detailed mixing and combustion information was obtained through Raman spectroscopy measurements of major species (gaseous oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen and water vapor) for the gaseous hydrogen/oxygen rocket ejector experiments.

  1. 12th Symposium on Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion. Conference on Alternative Power from Space (APFS),Conference on Accelerator-Driven Transmutation Technologies and Applications (A-DTTA)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohamed, S.E.

    1995-01-01

    These proceedings represent papers presented at the 12th symposium on Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The symposium theme was ''commercialization and technology transfer''. The topics discussed include: wireless power transmission, solar power from space next generation spacecraft, space power electronics and power management, flight testing of components, manufacturing and processing of materials, nuclear propulsion, reactors and shielding and many others of interest to the scientific community representing industry, government and academic institutions. There were 163 papers presented at the conference and 60 have been abstracted for the Energy Science and Technology database

  2. The Advanced Solid Rocket Motor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitchell, Royce E.

    1992-01-01

    The Advanced Solid Rocket Motor will utilize improved design features and automated manufacturing methods to produce an inherently safer propulsive system for the Space Shuttle and future launch systems. This second-generation motor will also provide an additional 12,000 pounds of payload to orbit, enhancing the utility and efficiency of the Shuttle system. The new plant will feature strip-wound, asbestos-free insulation; propellant continuous mixing and casting; and extensive robotic systems. Following a series of static tests at the Stennis Space Center, MS flights are targeted to begin in early 1997.

  3. Rocket Tablet,

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-09-12

    not accustomed to Chinese food, he ran off directly to the home of the Mayor of Beijing and requested two Western cuisine cooks from a hotel. At the...played out by our Chinese sons and daughters of ancient times. The famous Han dynasty general Li Guang was quickly cured of disease and led an army...Union) of China. This place was about to become the birthplace of the Chinese people’s first rocket baby. Section One In this eternal wasteland called

  4. Space propulsion by fusion in a magnetic dipole

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teller, E.; Glass, A.J.; Fowler, T.K.; Hasegawa, A.; Santarius, J.F.

    1991-01-01

    The unique advantages of fusion rocket propulsion systems for distant missions are explored using the magnetic dipole configurations as an example. The dipole is found to have features well suited to space applications. Parameters are presented for a system producing a specific power of kW/kg, capable of interplanetary flights to Mars in 90 days and to Jupiter in a year, and of extra-solar-system flights to 1000 astronomical units (the Tau mission) in 20 years. This is about 10 times better specific power performance than nuclear electric fission systems. Possibilities to further increase the specific power toward 10 kW/kg are discussed, as is an approach to implementing the concept through proof-testing on the moon. 20 refs., 14 figs., 2 tabs

  5. Nuclear power in space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anghaie, S.

    2007-01-01

    The development of space nuclear power and propulsion in the United States started in 1955 with the initiation of the ROVER project. The first step in the ROVER program was the KIWI project that included the development and testing of 8 non-flyable ultrahigh temperature nuclear test reactors during 1955-1964. The KIWI project was precursor to the PHOEBUS carbon-based fuel reactor project that resulted in ground testing of three high power reactors during 1965-1968 with the last reactor operated at 4,100 MW. During the same time period a parallel program was pursued to develop a nuclear thermal rocket based on cermet fuel technology. The third component of the ROVER program was the Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Applications (NERVA) that was initiated in 1961 with the primary goal of designing the first generation of nuclear rocket engine based on the KIWI project experience. The fourth component of the ROVER program was the Reactor In-Flight Test (RIFT) project that was intended to design, fabricate, and flight test a NERVA powered upper stage engine for the Saturn-class lunch vehicle. During the ROVER program era, the Unites States ventured in a comprehensive space nuclear program that included design and testing of several compact reactors and space suitable power conversion systems, and the development of a few light weight heat rejection systems. Contrary to its sister ROVER program, the space nuclear power program resulted in the first ever deployment and in-space operation of the nuclear powered SNAP-10A in 1965. The USSR space nuclear program started in early 70's and resulted in deployment of two 6 kWe TOPAZ reactors into space and ground testing of the prototype of a relatively small nuclear rocket engine in 1984. The US ambition for the development and deployment of space nuclear powered systems was resurrected in mid 1980's and intermittently continued to date with the initiation of several research programs that included the SP-100, Space Exploration

  6. The broad view of nuclear technology for aerospace

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

    Nuclear technologies can directly support advanced space initiatives. For near-Earth missions, nuclear technology can be used to power air traffic control, communications and manufacturing platforms, provide emergency power for manned platforms, provide power for maneuvering units, move asteroids for mining, measure the natural radiation environment, provide radiation protection instruments, and design radiation hardened robotic systems. For the Lunar and Mars surfaces, nuclear technology can be used for base stationary, mobile, and emergency power, energy storage, process heat, nuclear thermal and electric rocket propulsion, excavation and underground engineering, water and sewage treatment and sterilization, food processing and preservation, mineral exploration, self-luminous systems, radiation protection instrumentation, radiation environmental warning systems, and habitat shielding design. Outer planet missions can make use of nuclear technology for power and propulsion. Programs need to be initiated to ensure the full beneficial use of nuclear technologies in advanced space missions

  7. Distributed propulsion.

    OpenAIRE

    Lindström, Robin; Rosvall, Tobias

    2013-01-01

    En prestandaanalys utfördes på en SAAB 2000 som referensobjekt. Olika metoder för att driva flygplan på ett miljövänligare sätt utvärderades tillsammans med distributed propulsion. Efter undersökningar valdes elmotorer tillsammans med Zink-luft batterier för att driva SAAB 2000 med distributed propulsion. En prestandaanalys utfördes på detta plan på samma sätt som för den ursprungliga SAAB 2000. Resultaten jämfördes och slutsatsen blev att räckvidden var för kort för att konfigurationen skull...

  8. Advanced Chemical Propulsion for Science Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liou, Larry

    2008-01-01

    The advanced chemical propulsion technology area of NASA's In-Space Technology Project is investing in systems and components for increased performance and reduced cost of chemical propulsion technologies applicable to near-term science missions. Presently the primary investment in the advanced chemical propulsion technology area is in the AMBR high temperature storable bipropellant rocket engine. Scheduled to be available for flight development starting in year 2008, AMBR engine shows a 60 kg payload gain in an analysis for the Titan-Enceladus orbiter mission and a 33 percent manufacturing cost reduction over its baseline, state-of-the-art counterpart. Other technologies invested include the reliable lightweight tanks for propellant and the precision propellant management and mixture ratio control. Both technologies show significant mission benefit, can be applied to any liquid propulsion system, and upon completion of the efforts described in this paper, are at least in parts ready for flight infusion. Details of the technologies are discussed.

  9. 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.

  10. Materials Advance Chemical Propulsion Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    In the future, the Planetary Science Division of NASA's Science Mission Directorate hopes to use better-performing and lower-cost propulsion systems to send rovers, probes, and observers to places like Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. For such purposes, a new propulsion technology called the Advanced Materials Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) was developed under NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) project, located at Glenn Research Center. As an advanced chemical propulsion system, AMBR uses nitrogen tetroxide oxidizer and hydrazine fuel to propel a spacecraft. Based on current research and development efforts, the technology shows great promise for increasing engine operation and engine lifespan, as well as lowering manufacturing costs. In developing AMBR, ISPT has several goals: to decrease the time it takes for a spacecraft to travel to its destination, reduce the cost of making the propulsion system, and lessen the weight of the propulsion system. If goals like these are met, it could result in greater capabilities for in-space science investigations. For example, if the amount (and weight) of propellant required on a spacecraft is reduced, more scientific instruments (and weight) could be added to the spacecraft. To achieve AMBR s maximum potential performance, the engine needed to be capable of operating at extremely high temperatures and pressure. To this end, ISPT required engine chambers made of iridium-coated rhenium (strong, high-temperature metallic elements) that allowed operation at temperatures close to 4,000 F. In addition, ISPT needed an advanced manufacturing technique for better coating methods to increase the strength of the engine chamber without increasing the costs of fabricating the chamber.

  11. Human Exploration Mission Capabilities to the Moon, Mars, and Near Earth Asteroids Using ''Bimodal'' NTR Propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stanley K. Borowski; Leonard A. Dudzinski; Melissa L. McGuire

    2000-01-01

    The nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) is one of the leading propulsion options for future human exploration missions because of its high specific impulse (Isp ∼ 850 to 1000 s) and attractive engine thrust-to-weight ratio (∼ 3 to 10). Because only a minuscule amount of enriched 235 U fuel is consumed in an NRT during the primary propulsion maneuvers of a typical Mars mission, engines configured both for propulsive thrust and modest power generation (referred to as 'bimodal' operation) provide the basis for a robust, power-rich stage with efficient propulsive capture capability at the moon and near-earth asteroids (NEAs), where aerobraking cannot be utilized. A family of modular bimodal NTR (BNTR) space transfer vehicles utilize a common core stage powered by three ∼15-klb f engines that produce 50 kW(electric) of total electrical power for crew life support, high data rate communications with Earth, and an active refrigeration system for long-term, zero-boiloff liquid hydrogen (LH 2 ) storage. This paper describes details of BNTR engines and designs of vehicles using them for various missions

  12. Research Technology (ASTP) Rocket Based Combined Cycle (RBCC) Engine

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    Pictured is an artist's concept of the Rocket Based Combined Cycle (RBCC) launch. The RBCC's overall objective is to provide a technology test bed to investigate critical technologies associated with opperational usage of these engines. The program will focus on near term technologies that can be leveraged to ultimately serve as the near term basis for Two Stage to Orbit (TSTO) air breathing propulsions systems and ultimately a Single Stage To Orbit (SSTO) air breathing propulsion system.

  13. Artist's concept of Antimatter propulsion system

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    This is an artist's rendition of an antimatter propulsion system. Matter - antimatter arnihilation offers the highest possible physical energy density of any known reaction substance. It is about 10 billion times more powerful than that of chemical engergy such as hydrogen and oxygen combustion. Antimatter would be the perfect rocket fuel, but the problem is that the basic component of antimatter, antiprotons, doesn't exist in nature and has to manufactured. The process of antimatter development is on-going and making some strides, but production of this as a propulsion system is far into the future.

  14. Propulsion and Power Technologies for the NASA Exploration Vision: A Research Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litchford, Ron J.

    2004-01-01

    Future propulsion and power technologies for deep space missions are profiled in this viewgraph presentation. The presentation includes diagrams illustrating possible future travel times to other planets in the solar system. The propulsion technologies researched at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) include: 1) Chemical Propulsion; 2) Nuclear Propulsion; 3) Electric and Plasma Propulsion; 4) Energetics. The presentation contains additional information about these technologies, as well as space reactors, reactor simulation, and the Propulsion Research Laboratory (PRL) at MSFC.

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  18. Controllable Solid Propulsion Combustion and Acoustic Knowledge Base Improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCauley, Rachel; Fischbach, Sean; Fredrick, Robert

    2012-01-01

    Controllable solid propulsion systems have distinctive combustion and acoustic environments that require enhanced testing and analysis techniques to progress this new technology from development to production. In a hot gas valve actuating system, the movement of the pintle through the hot gas exhibits complex acoustic disturbances and flow characteristics that can amplify induced pressure loads that can damage or detonate the rocket motor. The geometry of a controllable solid propulsion gas chamber can set up unique unsteady flow which can feed acoustic oscillations patterns that require characterization. Research in this area aids in the understanding of how best to design, test, and analyze future controllable solid rocket motors using the lessons learned from past government programs as well as university research and testing. This survey paper will give the reader a better understanding of the potentially amplifying affects propagated by a controllable solid rocket motor system and the knowledge of the tools current available to address these acoustic disturbances in a preliminary design. Finally the paper will supply lessons learned from past experiences which will allow the reader to come away with understanding of what steps need to be taken when developing a controllable solid rocket propulsion system. The focus of this survey will be on testing and analysis work published by solid rocket programs and from combustion and acoustic books, conference papers, journal articles, and additionally from subject matter experts dealing currently with controllable solid rocket acoustic analysis.

  19. 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.)

  20. Opening up the future in space with nuclear power

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.; Angelo, J. Jr.

    1985-01-01

    Man's extraterrestrial development is dependent on abundant power. For example, space-based manufacturing facilities are projected to have a power demand of 300 kWe by the end of this Century, and several megawatts in the early part of next millennium. The development of the lunar resource base will result in power needs ranging from an initial 100 kW(e) to many megawatts. Human visits to Mars could be achieved using a multimegawatt nuclear electric propulsion system or high thrust nuclear rockets. Detailed exploration of the solar system will also be greatly enhanced by the availability of large nuclear electric propulsion systems. All of these activities will require substantial increases in space power - hundreds of kilowatts to many megawatts. The challenge is clear: how to effectively use nuclear energy to support humanity's expansion into space