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Sample records for space fission propulsion

  1. 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

  2. Enabling the Use of Space Fission Propulsion Systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mike Houts; Melissa Van Dyke; Tom Godfroy; James Martin; Kevin Pedersen; Ricky Dickens; Ivana Hrbud; Leo Bitteker; Bruce Patton; Suman Chakrabarti; Joe Bonometti

    2000-01-01

    This paper gives brief descriptions of advantages of fission technology for reaching any point in the solar system and of earlier efforts to develop space fission propulsion systems, and gives a more detailed description of the safe, affordable fission engine (SAFE) concept being pursued at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Marshall Space Flight Center

  3. Phase 1 space fission propulsion system design considerations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2002-01-01

    Fission technology can enable rapid, affordable access to any point in the solar system. If fission propulsion systems are to be developed to their full potential; however, near-term customers must be identified and initial fission systems successfully developed, launched, and operated. Studies conducted in fiscal year 2001 (IISTP, 2001) show that fission electric propulsion (FEP) systems operating at 80 kWe or above could enhance or enable numerous robotic outer solar system missions of interest. At these power levels it is possible to develop safe, affordable systems that meet mission performance requirements. In selecting the system design to pursue, seven evaluation criteria were identified: safety, reliability, testability, specific mass, cost, schedule, and programmatic risk. A top-level comparison of three potential concepts was performed: an SP-100 based pumped liquid lithium system, a direct gas cooled system, and a heatpipe cooled system. For power levels up to at least 500 kWt (enabling electric power levels of 125-175 kWe, given 25-35% power conversion efficiency) the heatpipe system has advantages related to several criteria and is competitive with respect to all. Hardware-based research and development has further increased confidence in the heatpipe approach. Successful development and utilization of a 'Phase 1' fission electric propulsion system will enable advanced Phase 2 and Phase 3 systems capable of providing rapid, affordable access to any point in the solar system

  4. Phase 1 space fission propulsion system testing and development progress

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Dyke, Melissa; Houts, Mike; Godfroy, Tom; Dickens, Ricky; Poston, David; Kapernick, Rick; Reid, Bob; Salvail, Pat; Ring, Peter

    2002-01-01

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

  5. Fission fragment assisted reactor concept for space propulsion: Foil reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wright, S.A.

    1991-01-01

    The concept is to fabricate a reactor using thin films or foils of uranium, uranium oxide and then to coat them on substrates. These coatings would be made so thin as to allow the escaping fission fragments to directly heat a hydrogen propellant. The idea was studied of direct gas heating and direct gas pumping in a nuclear pumped laser program. Fission fragments were used to pump lasers. In this concept two substrates are placed opposite each other. The internal faces are coated with thin foil of uranium oxide. A few of the advantages of this technology are listed. In general, however, it is felt that if one look at all solid core nuclear thermal rockets or nuclear thermal propulsion methods, one is going to find that they all pretty much look the same. It is felt that this reactor has higher potential reliability. It has low structural operating temperatures, very short burn times, with graceful failure modes, and it has reduced potential for energetic accidents. Going to a design like this would take the NTP community part way to some of the very advanced engine designs, such as the gas core reactor, but with reduced risk because of the much lower temperatures

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Space Fission System Test Effectiveness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Houts, Mike; Schmidt, Glen L.; Van Dyke, Melissa; Godfroy, Tom; Martin, James; Bragg-Sitton, Shannon; Dickens, Ricky; Salvail, Pat; Harper, Roger

    2004-01-01

    Space fission technology has the potential to enable rapid access to any point in the solar system. If fission propulsion systems are to be developed to their full potential, however, near-term customers need to be identified and initial fission systems successfully developed, launched, and utilized. One key to successful utilization is to develop reactor designs that are highly testable. Testable reactor designs have a much higher probability of being successfully converted from paper concepts to working space hardware than do designs which are difficult or impossible to realistically test. ''Test Effectiveness'' is one measure of the ability to realistically test a space reactor system. The objective of this paper is to discuss test effectiveness as applied to the design, development, flight qualification, and acceptance testing of space fission systems. The ability to perform highly effective testing would be particularly important to the success of any near-term mission, such as NASA's Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter, the first mission under study within NASA's Project Prometheus, the Nuclear Systems Program

  9. 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.

  10. Interstellar rendezvous missions employing fission propulsion systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lenard, Roger X.; Lipinski, Ronald J.

    2000-01-01

    There has been a conventionally held nostrum that fission system specific power and energy content is insufficient to provide the requisite high accelerations and velocities to enable interstellar rendezvous missions within a reasonable fraction of a human lifetime. As a consequence, all forms of alternative mechanisms that are not yet, and may never be technologically feasible, have been proposed, including laser light sails, fusion and antimatter propulsion systems. In previous efforts, [Lenard and Lipinski, 1999] the authors developed an architecture that employs fission power to propel two different concepts: one, an unmanned probe, the other a crewed vehicle to Alpha Centauri within mission times of 47 to 60 years. The first portion of this paper discusses employing a variant of the ''Forward Resupply Runway'' utilizing fission systems to enable both high accelerations and high final velocities necessary for this type of travel. The authors argue that such an architecture, while expensive, is considerably less expensive and technologically risky than other technologically advanced concepts, and, further, provides the ability to explore near-Earth stellar systems out to distances of 8 light years or so. This enables the ability to establish independent human societies which can later expand the domain of human exploration in roughly eight light-year increments even presuming that no further physics or technology breakthroughs or advances occur. In the second portion of the paper, a technology requirement assessment is performed. The authors argue that reasonable to extensive extensions to known technology could enable this revolutionary capability

  11. Space transportation propulsion USSR launcher technology, 1990

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

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

  12. Fission-Based Electric Propulsion for Interstellar Precursor Missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    HOUTS, MICHAEL G.; LENARD, ROGER X.; LIPINSKI, RONALD J.; PATTON, BRUCE; POSTON, DAVID; WRIGHT, STEVEN A.

    1999-01-01

    This paper reviews the technology options for a fission-based electric propulsion system for interstellar precursor missions. To achieve a total ΔV of more than 100 km/s in less than a decade of thrusting with an electric propulsion system of 10,000s Isp requires a specific mass for the power system of less than 35 kg/kWe. Three possible configurations are described: (1) a UZrH-fueled,NaK-cooled reactor with a steam Rankine conversion system,(2) a UN-fueled gas-cooled reactor with a recuperated Brayton conversion system, and (3) a UN-fueled heat pipe-cooled reactor with a recuperated Brayton conversion system. All three of these systems have the potential to meet the specific mass requirements for interstellar precursor missions in the near term. Advanced versions of a fission-based electric propulsion system might travel as much as several light years in 200 years

  13. In-Space Propulsion (346620) Technology Project

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  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. 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.

  16. Space station propulsion requirements study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkinson, C. L.; Brennan, S. M.

    1985-01-01

    Propulsion system requirements to support Low Earth Orbit (LEO) manned space station development and evolution over a wide range of potential capabilities and for a variety of STS servicing and space station operating strategies are described. The term space station and the overall space station configuration refers, for the purpose of this report, to a group of potential LEO spacecraft that support the overall space station mission. The group consisted of the central space station at 28.5 deg or 90 deg inclinations, unmanned free-flying spacecraft that are both tethered and untethered, a short-range servicing vehicle, and a longer range servicing vehicle capable of GEO payload transfer. The time phasing for preferred propulsion technology approaches is also investigated, as well as the high-leverage, state-of-the-art advancements needed, and the qualitative and quantitative benefits of these advancements on STS/space station operations. The time frame of propulsion technologies applicable to this study is the early 1990's to approximately the year 2000.

  17. Alert-derivative bimodal space power and propulsion systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Houts, M.G.; Ranken, W.A.; Buksa, J.J.

    1994-01-01

    Safe, reliable, low-mass bimodal space power and propulsion systems could have numerous civilian and military applications. This paper discusses potential bimodal systems that could be derived from the ALERT space fission power supply concept. These bimodal concepts have the potential for providing 5 to 10 kW of electrical power and a total impulse of 100 MN-s at an average specific impulse of 770 s. System mass is on the order of 1000 kg

  18. Space storable propulsion components development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagler, R., Jr.

    1982-01-01

    The current development status of components to control the flow of propellants (liquid fluorine and hydrazine) in a demonstration space storable propulsion system is discussed. The criteria which determined the designs for the pressure regulator, explosive-actuated valves, propellant shutoff valve, latching solenoid-actuated valve and propellant filter are presented. The test philosophy that was followed during component development is outlined. The results from compatibility demonstrations for reusable connectors, flange seals, and CRES/Ti-6Al4V transition tubes and the evaluations of processes for welding (hand-held TIG, automated TIG, and EB), cleaning for fluorine service, and decontamination after fluorine exposure are described.

  19. 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.

  20. In-Space Propulsion Technology Program Solar Electric Propulsion Technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dankanich, John W.

    2006-01-01

    NASA's In-space Propulsion (ISP) Technology Project is developing new propulsion technologies that can enable or enhance near and mid-term NASA science missions. The Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) technology area has been investing in NASA s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT), the High Voltage Hall Accelerator (HiVHAC), lightweight reliable feed systems, wear testing, and thruster modeling. These investments are specifically targeted to increase planetary science payload capability, expand the envelope of planetary science destinations, and significantly reduce the travel times, risk, and cost of NASA planetary science missions. Status and expected capabilities of the SEP technologies are reviewed in this presentation. The SEP technology area supports numerous mission studies and architecture analyses to determine which investments will give the greatest benefit to science missions. Both the NEXT and HiVHAC thrusters have modified their nominal throttle tables to better utilize diminished solar array power on outbound missions. A new life extension mechanism has been implemented on HiVHAC to increase the throughput capability on low-power systems to meet the needs of cost-capped missions. Lower complexity, more reliable feed system components common to all electric propulsion (EP) systems are being developed. ISP has also leveraged commercial investments to further validate new ion and hall thruster technologies and to potentially lower EP mission costs.

  1. 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

  2. Electric rail gun application to space propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barber, J.P.

    1979-01-01

    The paper examines the possibility of using the DC electric gun principles as a space vehicle propulsion system, capable of producing intermediate thrust levels. The application of an electromagnetic launch technique, called the DC electric rail gun, to the space propulsion concept of O'Neill, is examined. It is determined that the DC electric rail gun offers very high projectile accelerations and a very significant potential for reducing the size and mass of a reaction motor for space application. A detailed description of rail gun principles is given and some simple expressions for the accelerating force, gun impedance, power supply requirements, and system performance are discussed

  3. Advanced electrostatic ion thruster for space propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masek, T. D.; Macpherson, D.; Gelon, W.; Kami, S.; Poeschel, R. L.; Ward, J. W.

    1978-01-01

    The suitability of the baseline 30 cm thruster for future space missions was examined. Preliminary design concepts for several advanced thrusters were developed to assess the potential practical difficulties of a new design. Useful methodologies were produced for assessing both planetary and earth orbit missions. Payload performance as a function of propulsion system technology level and cost sensitivity to propulsion system technology level are among the topics assessed. A 50 cm diameter thruster designed to operate with a beam voltage of about 2400 V is suggested to satisfy most of the requirements of future space missions.

  4. 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.

  5. Legal and Regulatroy Obstacles to Nuclear Fission Technology in Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Force, Melissa K.

    2013-09-01

    In forecasting the prospective use of small nuclear reactors for spacecraft and space-based power stations, the U.S. Air Force describes space as "the ultimate high ground," providing access to every part of the globe. But is it? A report titled "Energy Horizons: United States Air Force Energy Science &Technology Vision 2011-2026," focuses on core Air Force missions in space energy generation, operations and propulsion and recognizes that investments into small modular nuclear fission reactors can be leveraged for space-based systems. However, the report mentions, as an aside, that "potential catastrophic outcomes" are an element to be weighed and provides no insight into the monumental political and legal will required to overcome the mere stigma of nuclear energy, even when referring only to the most benign nuclear power generation systems - RTGs. On the heels of that report, a joint Department of Energy and NASA team published positive results from the demonstration of a uranium- powered fission reactor. The experiment was perhaps most notable for exemplifying just how effective the powerful anti-nuclear lobby has been in the United States: It was the first such demonstration of its kind in nearly fifty years. Space visionaries must anticipate a difficult war, consisting of multiple battles that must be waged in order to obtain a license to fly any but the feeblest of nuclear power sources in space. This paper aims to guide the reader through the obstacles to be overcome before nuclear fission technology can be put to use in space.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Interplanetary space transport using inertial fusion propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Orth, C.D.

    1998-01-01

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

  9. Gravity-assist engine for space propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergstrom, Arne

    2014-06-01

    As a possible alternative to rockets, the present article describes a new type of engine for space travel, based on the gravity-assist concept for space propulsion. The new engine is to a great extent inspired by the conversion of rotational angular momentum to orbital angular momentum occurring in tidal locking between astronomical bodies. It is also greatly influenced by Minovitch's gravity-assist concept, which has revolutionized modern space technology, and without which the deep-space probes to the outer planets and beyond would not have been possible. Two of the three gravitating bodies in Minovitch's concept are in the gravity-assist engine discussed in this article replaced by an extremely massive ‘springbell' (in principle a spinning dumbbell with a powerful spring) incorporated into the spacecraft itself, and creating a three-body interaction when orbiting around a gravitating body. This makes gravity-assist propulsion possible without having to find suitably aligned astronomical bodies. Detailed numerical simulations are presented, showing how an actual spacecraft can use a ca 10-m diameter springbell engine in order to leave the earth's gravitational field and enter an escape trajectory towards interplanetary destinations.

  10. 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.

  11. In-Space Propulsion Technologies for Robotic Exploration of the Solar System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Les; Meyer, Rae Ann; Frame, Kyle

    2006-01-01

    Supporting NASA's Science Mission Directorate, the In-Space Propulsion Technology Program is developing the next generation of space propulsion technologies for robotic, deep-space exploration. Recent technological advancements and demonstrations of key, high-payoff propulsion technologies have been achieved and will be described. Technologies under development and test include aerocapture, solar electric propulsion, solar sail propulsion, and advanced chemical propulsion.

  12. Colliding beam fusion reactor space propulsion system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wessel, Frank J.; Binderbauer, Michl W.; Rostoker, Norman; Rahman, Hafiz Ur; O'Toole, Joseph

    2000-01-01

    We describe a space propulsion system based on the Colliding Beam Fusion Reactor (CBFR). The CBFR is a high-beta, field-reversed, magnetic configuration with ion energies in the range of hundreds of keV. Repetitively-pulsed ion beams sustain the plasma distribution and provide current drive. The confinement physics is based on the Vlasov-Maxwell equation, including a Fokker Planck collision operator and all sources and sinks for energy and particle flow. The mean azimuthal velocities and temperatures of the fuel ion species are equal and the plasma current is unneutralized by the electrons. The resulting distribution functions are thermal in a moving frame of reference. The ion gyro-orbit radius is comparable to the dimensions of the confinement system, hence classical transport of the particles and energy is expected and the device is scaleable. We have analyzed the design over a range of 10 6 -10 9 Watts of output power (0.15-150 Newtons thrust) with a specific impulse of, I sp ∼10 6 sec. A 50 MW propulsion system might involve the following parameters: 4-meters diameterx10-meters length, magnetic field ∼7 Tesla, ion beam current ∼10 A, and fuels of either D-He 3 ,P-B 11 ,P-Li 6 ,D-Li 6 , etc

  13. Planetary Surface Power and Interstellar Propulsion Using Fission Fragment Magnetic Collimator Reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tsvetkov, Pavel V.; Hart, Ron R.; King, Don B.; Rochau, Gary E.

    2006-01-01

    Fission energy can be used directly if the kinetic energy of fission fragments is converted to electricity and/or thrust before turning into heat. The completed US DOE NERI Direct Energy Conversion (DEC) Power Production project indicates that viable DEC systems are possible. The US DOE NERI DEC Proof of Principle project began in October of 2002 with the goal to demonstrate performance principles of DEC systems. One of the emerging DEC concepts is represented by fission fragment magnetic collimator reactors (FFMCR). Safety, simplicity, and high conversion efficiency are the unique advantages offered by these systems. In the FFMCR, the basic energy source is the kinetic energy of fission fragments. Following escape from thin fuel layers, they are captured on magnetic field lines and are directed out of the core and through magnetic collimators to produce electricity and thrust. The exiting flow of energetic fission fragments has a very high specific impulse that allows efficient planetary surface power and interstellar propulsion without carrying any conventional propellant onboard. The objective of this work was to determine technological feasibility of the concept. This objective was accomplished by producing the FFMCR design and by analysis of its performance characteristics. The paper presents the FFMCR concept, describes its development to a technologically feasible level and discusses obtained results. Performed studies offer efficiencies up to 90% and velocities approaching speed of light as potentially achievable. The unmanned 10-tons probe with 1000 MW FFMCR propulsion unit would attain mission velocity of about 2% of the speed of light. If the unit is designed for 4000 MW, then in 10 years the unmanned 10-tons probe would attain mission velocity of about 10% of the speed of light

  14. Fusion Reactions and Matter-Antimatter Annihilation for Space Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-07-13

    FUSION REACTIONS AND MATTER- ANTIMATTER ANNIHILATION FOR SPACE PROPULSION Claude DEUTSCH LPGP (UMR-CNRS 8578), Bât. 210, UPS, 91405 Orsay...REPORT TYPE N/A 3. DATES COVERED - 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE šFusion Reactions And Matter- Antimatter Annihilation For Space Propulsion 5a...which is possible with successful MCF or ICF. Appropriate vessel designs will be presented for fusion as well as for antimatter propulsion. In

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. In-Space Propulsion (ISP) Solar Sail Propulsion Technology Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Edward E., IV

    2004-01-01

    An overview of the rationale and content for Solar Sail Propulsion (SSP), the on-going project to advance solar technology from technology readiness level 3 to 6 will be provided. A descriptive summary of the major and minor component efforts underway will include identification of the technology providers and a listing of anticipated products Recent important results from major system ground demonstrators will be provided. Finally, a current status of all activities will provided along with the most recent roadmap for the SSP technology development program.

  18. 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.

  19. Operationally efficient propulsion system study (OEPSS) data book. Volume 6; Space Transfer Propulsion Operational Efficiency Study Task of OEPSS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmon, Timothy J.

    1992-01-01

    This document is the final report for the Space Transfer Propulsion Operational Efficiency Study Task of the Operationally Efficient Propulsion System Study (OEPSS) conducted by the Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell International. This Study task studied, evaluated and identified design concepts and technologies which minimized launch and in-space operations and optimized in-space vehicle propulsion system operability.

  20. 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.

  1. Radio Frequency Plasma Applications for Space Propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baity, F.W. Jr.; Barber, G.C.; Carter, M.D.; Chang-Diaz, F.R.; Goulding, R.H.; Ilin, A.V.; Jaeger, E.F.; Sparks, D.O.; Squire, J.P.

    1999-01-01

    Recent developments in solid-state radio frequency (RF) power technologies allow for the practical consideration of RF heated plasmas for space propulsion. These technologies permit the use of any electrical power source, de-couple the power and propellant sources, and allow for the efficient use of both the propellant mass and power. Efficient use of the propellant is obtained by expelling the rocket exhaust at the highest possible velocity, which can be orders of magnitude higher than those achieved in chemical rockets. Handling the hot plasma exhaust requires the use of magnetic nozzles, and the basic physics of ion detachment from the magnetic eld is discussed. The plasma can be generated by RF using helicon waves to heat electrons. Further direct heating of the ions helps to reduce the line radiation losses, and the magnetic geometry is tailored to allow ion cyclotron resonance heating. RF eld and ion trajectory calculations are presented to give a reasonably self-consistent picture of the ion acceleration process

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Use of an ions thruster to dispose of type II long-lived fission products into outer space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takahashi, H.; Yu, A.

    1997-01-01

    To dispose of long-lived fission products (LLFPs) into outer space, an ions thruster can be used instead of a static accelerator. The specifications of the ions thrusters which are presently studies for space propulsion are presented, and their usability discussed. Using of a rocket with an ions thruster for disposing of the LLFPs directly into the sun required a larger amount of energy than does the use of an accelerator

  5. Ionic liquid propellants: future fuels for space propulsion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qinghua; Shreeve, Jean'ne M

    2013-11-11

    Use of green propellants is a trend for future space propulsion. Hypergolic ionic liquid propellants, which are environmentally-benign while exhibiting energetic performances comparable to hydrazine, have shown great potential to meet the requirements of developing nontoxic high-performance propellant formulations for space propulsion applications. This Concept article presents a review of recent advances in the field of ionic liquid propellants. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. A Plasmoid Thruster for Space Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koelfgen, Syri J.; Hawk, Clark W.; Eskridge, Richard; Smith, James W.; Martin, Adam K.

    2003-01-01

    There are a number of possible advantages to using accelerated plasmoids for in-space propulsion. A plasmoid is a compact plasma structure with an integral magnetic field. They have been studied extensively in controlled fusion research and are classified according to the relative strength of the poloidal and toroidal magnetic field (B(sub p), and B(sub t), respectively). An object with B(sub p), / B(sub t) much greater than 1 is classified as a Field Reversed Configuration (FRC); if B(sub p) approximately equal to B(sub t), it is called a Spheromak. The plasmoid thruster operates by producing FRC-like plasmoids and subsequently ejecting them from the device at a high velocity. The plasmoid is formed inside of a single-turn conical theta-pinch coil. As this process is inductive, there are no electrodes. Similar experiments have yielded plasmoid velocities of at least 50 km/s, and calculations indicate that velocities in excess of 100 km/s should be possible. This concept should be capable of producing Isp's in the range of 5,000 - 15,000 s with thrust densities on the order of 10(exp 5) N per square meters. The current experiment is designed to produce jet powers in the range of 5 - 10 kW, although the concept should be scalable to several MW's. The plasmoid mass and velocity will be measured with a variety of diagnostics, including internal and external B-dot probes, flux loops, Langmuir probes, high-speed cameras and a laser interferometer. Also of key importance will be measurements of the efficiency and mass utilization. Simulations of the plasmoid thruster using MOQUI, a time-dependent MHD code, will be carried out concurrently with experimental testing.

  7. 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".

  8. Space Fission Reactor Structural Materials: Choices Past, Present and Future

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Busby, Jeremy T.; Leonard, Keith J.

    2007-01-01

    Nuclear powered spacecraft will enable missions well beyond the capabilities of current chemical, radioisotope thermal generator and solar technologies. The use of fission reactors for space applications has been considered for over 50 years, although, structural material performance has often limited the potential performance of space reactors. Space fission reactors are an extremely harsh environment for structural materials with high temperatures, high neutron fields, potential contact with liquid metals, and the need for up to 15-20 year reliability with no inspection or preventative maintenance. Many different materials have been proposed as structural materials. While all materials meet many of the requirements for space reactor service, none satisfy all of them. However, continued development and testing may resolve these issues and provide qualified materials for space fission reactors.

  9. 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

  10. The Economics of Advanced In-Space Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bangalore, Manju; Dankanich, John

    2016-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Probabilistic structural analysis methods for space transportation propulsion systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamis, C. C.; Moore, N.; Anis, C.; Newell, J.; Nagpal, V.; Singhal, S.

    1991-01-01

    Information on probabilistic structural analysis methods for space propulsion systems is given in viewgraph form. Information is given on deterministic certification methods, probability of failure, component response analysis, stress responses for 2nd stage turbine blades, Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) structural durability, and program plans. .

  14. IEC fusion: The future power and propulsion system for space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hammond, Walter E.; Coventry, Matt; Miley, George H.; Nadler, Jon; Hanson, John; Hrbud, Ivana

    2000-01-01

    Rapid access to any point in the solar system requires advanced propulsion concepts that will provide extremely high specific impulse, low specific power, and a high thrust-to-power ratio. Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) fusion is one of many exciting concepts emerging through propulsion and power research in laboratories across the nation which will determine the future direction of space exploration. This is part of a series of papers that discuss different applications of the Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) fusion concept for both in-space and terrestrial use. IEC will enable tremendous advances in faster travel times within the solar system. The technology is currently under investigation for proof of concept and transitioning into the first prototype units for commercial applications. In addition to use in propulsion for space applications, terrestrial applications include desalinization plants, high energy neutron sources for radioisotope generation, high flux sources for medical applications, proton sources for specialized medical applications, and tritium production

  15. 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.

  16. Space Propulsion via Spherical Torus Fusion Reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2003-01-01

    A conceptual vehicle design enabling fast outer solar system travel was produced predicated on a small aspect ratio spherical torus nuclear fusion reactor. Analysis revealed that the vehicle could deliver a 108 mt crew habitat payload to Saturn rendezvous in 204 days, with an initial mass in low Earth orbit of 1630 mt. Engineering conceptual design, analysis, and assessment were performed on all major systems including nuclear fusion reactor, magnetic nozzle, power conversion, fast wave plasma heating, fuel pellet injector, startup/re-start fission reactor and battery, and other systems. Detailed fusion reactor design included analysis of plasma characteristics, power balance and utilization, first wall, toroidal field coils, heat transfer, and neutron/X-ray radiation

  17. 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

  18. Implementations Strategies for In-Space Macron Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-06

    CHAPTER 3 MACRON ORBITAL ANALYSIS Typically, the impact of a propulsion system’s exhaust plume on the space environment can be hard to...approximately 3.235x105km). These orbits are referred to as lunar sphere of influence (LSOI) orbits and required three-body orbital analysis . Over time, STK...on MMOD Environment ........................................................... 14  III. MACRON ORBITAL ANALYSIS

  19. Multiprobe characterization of plasma flows for space propulsion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Damba, Julius; Argente, P.; Maldonado, P. E.; Cervone, A.; Domenech-Garret, J.L.; Conde, Luis

    2018-01-01

    Plasma engines for space propulsion generate plasma jets (also denominated plasma plumes) having supersonic ion groups with typical speeds in the order of tens of kilometers per second, which lies between electron and ion thermal speeds. Studies of the stationary plasma expansion process using a

  20. Development priorities for in-space propulsion technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

    During the summer of 2010, NASA's Office of Chief Technologist assembled 15 civil service teams to support the creation of a NASA integrated technology roadmap. The Aero-Space Technology Area Roadmap is an integrated set of technology area roadmaps recommending the overall technology investment strategy and prioritization for NASA's technology programs. The integrated set of roadmaps will provide technology paths needed to meet NASA's strategic goals. The roadmaps have been reviewed by senior NASA management and the National Research Council. With the exception of electric propulsion systems used for commercial communications satellite station-keeping and a handful of deep space science missions, almost all of the rocket engines in use today are chemical rockets; that is, they obtain the energy needed to generate thrust by combining reactive chemicals to create a hot gas that is expanded to produce thrust. A significant limitation of chemical propulsion is that it has a relatively low specific impulse. Numerous concepts for advanced propulsion technologies with significantly higher values of specific impulse have been developed over the past 50 years. Advanced in-space propulsion technologies will enable much more effective exploration of our solar system, near and far, and will permit mission designers to plan missions to "fly anytime, anywhere, and complete a host of science objectives at the destinations" with greater reliability and safety. With a wide range of possible missions and candidate propulsion technologies with very diverse characteristics, the question of which technologies are 'best' for future missions is a difficult one. A portfolio of technologies to allow optimum propulsion solutions for a diverse set of missions and destinations are described in the roadmap and herein.

  1. Solar Electric Propulsion Concepts for Human Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer, Carolyn R.; Mcguire, Melissa L.; Oleson, Steven R.; Barrett, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Advances in solar array and electric thruster technologies now offer the promise of new, very capable space transportation systems that will allow us to cost effectively explore the solar system. NASA has developed numerous solar electric propulsion spacecraft concepts with power levels ranging from tens to hundreds of kilowatts for robotic and piloted missions to asteroids and Mars. This paper describes nine electric and hybrid solar electric/chemical propulsion concepts developed over the last 5 years and discusses how they might be used for human exploration of the inner solar system.

  2. Green Liquid Monopropellant Thruster for In-space Propulsion, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  6. Component Data Base for Space Station Resistojet Auxiliary Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bader, Clayton H.

    1988-01-01

    The resistojet was baselined for Space Station auxiliary propulsion because of its operational versatility, efficiency, and durability. This report was conceived as a guide to designers and planners of the Space Station auxiliary propulsion system. It is directed to the low thrust resistojet concept, though it should have application to other station concepts or systems such as the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS), Manufacturing and Technology Laboratory (MTL), and the Waste Fluid Management System (WFMS). The information will likely be quite useful in the same capacity for other non-Space Station systems including satellite, freeflyers, explorers, and maneuvering vehicles. The report is a catalog of the most useful information for the most significant feed system components and is organized for the greatest convenience of the user.

  7. 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.)

  8. NASA's Propulsion Research Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The grand opening of NASA's new, world-class laboratory for research into future space transportation technologies located at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama, took place in July 2004. The state-of-the-art Propulsion Research Laboratory (PRL) serves as a leading national resource for advanced space propulsion research. Its purpose is to conduct research that will lead to the creation and development of innovative propulsion technologies for space exploration. The facility is the epicenter of the effort to move the U.S. space program beyond the confines of conventional chemical propulsion into an era of greatly improved access to space and rapid transit throughout the solar system. The laboratory is designed to accommodate researchers from across the United States, including scientists and engineers from NASA, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, universities, and industry. The facility, with 66,000 square feet of useable laboratory space, features a high degree of experimental capability. Its flexibility allows it to address a broad range of propulsion technologies and concepts, such as plasma, electromagnetic, thermodynamic, and propellant propulsion. An important area of emphasis is the development and utilization of advanced energy sources, including highly energetic chemical reactions, solar energy, and processes based on fission, fusion, and antimatter. The Propulsion Research Laboratory is vital for developing the advanced propulsion technologies needed to open up the space frontier, and sets the stage of research that could revolutionize space transportation for a broad range of applications.

  9. High density storage of antimatter for space propulsion applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, Gerald A.; Coughlin, Dan P.

    2001-01-01

    The specific energy of antimatter is 180 MJ/μg, making it the largest specific energy density material known to humankind. Three challenges remain to be solved for space propulsion applications: first, sufficient amounts must be made to permit missions into deep space; second, efficient methods must be found to turn the antimatter into thrust and Isp; and third, the antimatter must be stored for long periods of time. This paper addresses the third issue. We discuss conventional (electromagnetic) methods of confining antimatter, as well as unconventional concepts, including the use of quantum effects in materials and antimatter chemistry

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millis, Marc G.

    1994-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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).

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Comprehensive report of aeropropulsion, space propulsion, space power, and space science applications of the Lewis Research Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-01-01

    The research activities of the Lewis Research Center for 1988 are summarized. The projects included are within basic and applied technical disciplines essential to aeropropulsion, space propulsion, space power, and space science/applications. These disciplines are materials science and technology, structural mechanics, life prediction, internal computational fluid mechanics, heat transfer, instruments and controls, and space electronics.

  2. 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.

  3. Ultrashort pulse energy distribution for propulsion in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergstue, Grant Jared

    This thesis effort focuses on the development of a novel, space-based ultrashort pulse transmission system for spacecraft. The goals of this research include: (1) ultrashort pulse transmission strategies for maximizing safety and efficiency; (2) optical transmission system requirements; (3) general system requirements including control techniques for stabilization; (4) optical system requirements for achieving effective ablative propulsion at the receiving spacecraft; and (5) ultrashort pulse transmission capabilities required for future missions in space. A key element of the research is the multiplexing device required for aligning the ultrashort pulses from multiple laser sources along a common optical axis for transmission. This strategy enables access to the higher average and peak powers required for useful missions in space.

  4. Hardware based technology assessment in support of near-term space fission missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Houts, Mike; Van Dyke, Melissa; Godfroy, Tom; Martin, James; Bragg-Sitton, Shannon; Dickens, Ricky; Salvail, Pat; Williams, Eric; Harper, Roger; Hrbud, Ivana; Carter, Robert

    2003-01-01

    Fission technology can enable rapid, affordable access to any point in the solar system. If fission propulsion systems are to be developed to their full potential; however, near-term customers must be identified and initial fission systems successfully developed, launched, and utilized. Successful utilization will most likely occur if frequent, significant hardware-based milestones can be achieved throughout the program. Achieving these milestones will depend on the capability to perform highly realistic non-nuclear testing of nuclear systems. This paper discusses ongoing and potential research that could help achieve these milestones

  5. Hardware Based Technology Assessment in Support of Near-Term Space Fission Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houts, Mike; VanDyke, Melissa; Godfroy, Tom; Martin, James; BraggSitton, Shannon; Carter, Robert; Dickens, Ricky; Salvail, Pat; Williams, Eric; Harper, Roger

    2003-01-01

    Fission technology can enable rapid, affordable access to any point in the solar system. If fission propulsion systems are to be developed to their full potential; however, near-term customers must be identified and initial fission systems successfully developed, launched, and utilized. Successful utilization will most likely occur if frequent, significant hardware-based milestones can be achieved throughout the program. Achieving these milestones will depend on the capability to perform highly realistic non-nuclear testing of nuclear systems. This paper discusses ongoing and potential research that could help achieve these milestones.

  6. 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

  7. Tailoring Laser Propulsion for Future Applications in Space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eckel, Hans-Albert; Scharring, Stefan

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Space Weather Concerns for All-Electric Propulsion Satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horne, Richard B.; Pitchford, David

    2015-08-01

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

  9. 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

    A conceptual design is discussed for a fusion rocket propulsion system based on the magnetic dipole configuration. The dipole is found to have features well suited to space applications. Example parameters are presented for a system producing a specific power of 1 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 toward 10 kW/kg are discussed, as in an approach to implementing the concept through proof-testing on the moon. 21 refs., 14 figs., 2 tabs

  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. INSPACE CHEMICAL PROPULSION SYSTEMS AT NASA's MARSHALL SPACE FLIGHT CENTER: HERITAGE AND CAPABILITIES

    Science.gov (United States)

    McRight, P. S.; Sheehy, J. A.; Blevins, J. A.

    2005-01-01

    NASA s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is well known for its contributions to large ascent propulsion systems such as the Saturn V rocket and the Space Shuttle external tank, solid rocket boosters, and main engines. This paper highlights a lesser known but very rich side of MSFC-its heritage in the development of in-space chemical propulsion systems and its current capabilities for spacecraft propulsion system development and chemical propulsion research. The historical narrative describes the flight development activities associated with upper stage main propulsion systems such as the Saturn S-IVB as well as orbital maneuvering and reaction control systems such as the S-IVB auxiliary propulsion system, the Skylab thruster attitude control system, and many more recent activities such as Chandra, the Demonstration of Automated Rendezvous Technology (DART), X-37, the X-38 de-orbit propulsion system, the Interim Control Module, the US Propulsion Module, and multiple technology development activities. This paper also highlights MSFC s advanced chemical propulsion research capabilities, including an overview of the center s Propulsion Systems Department and ongoing activities. The authors highlight near-term and long-term technology challenges to which MSFC research and system development competencies are relevant. This paper concludes by assessing the value of the full range of aforementioned activities, strengths, and capabilities in light of NASA s exploration missions.

  12. A Multi-disciplinary Tool for Space Launch Systems Propulsion Analysis, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  13. Advanced Fusion Reactors for Space Propulsion and Power Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chapman, John J.

    2011-06-15

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

  14. Advanced Fusion Reactors for Space Propulsion and Power Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, John J.

    2011-01-01

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

  15. The NASA In-Space Propulsion Technology Project, Products, and Mission Applicability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, David J.; Pencil, Eric; Liou, Larry; Dankanich, John; Munk, Michelle M.; Kremic, Tibor

    2009-01-01

    The In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) Project, funded by NASA s Science Mission Directorate (SMD), is continuing to invest in propulsion technologies that will enable or enhance NASA robotic science missions. This overview provides development status, near-term mission benefits, applicability, and availability of in-space propulsion technologies in the areas of aerocapture, electric propulsion, advanced chemical thrusters, and systems analysis tools. Aerocapture investments improved: guidance, navigation, and control models of blunt-body rigid aeroshells; atmospheric models for Earth, Titan, Mars, and Venus; and models for aerothermal effects. Investments in electric propulsion technologies focused on completing NASA s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion propulsion system, a 0.6 to 7 kW throttle-able gridded ion system. The project is also concluding its High Voltage Hall Accelerator (HiVHAC) mid-term product specifically designed for a low-cost electric propulsion option. The primary chemical propulsion investment is on the high-temperature Advanced Material Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine providing higher performance for lower cost. The project is also delivering products to assist technology infusion and quantify mission applicability and benefits through mission analysis and tools. In-space propulsion technologies are applicable, and potentially enabling for flagship destinations currently under evaluation, as well as having broad applicability to future Discovery and New Frontiers mission solicitations.

  16. 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.

  17. Deep space propulsion a roadmap to interstellar flight

    CERN Document Server

    Long, K F

    2012-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Green Liquid Monopropellant Thruster for In-space Propulsion, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  20. 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

  1. Technology Area Roadmap for In-Space Propulsion Technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Applying design principles to fusion reactor configurations for propulsion in space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carpenter, S.A.; Deveny, M.E.; Schulze, N.R.

    1993-01-01

    The application of fusion power to space propulsion requires rethinking the engineering-design solution to controlled-fusion energy. Whereas the unit cost of electricity (COE) drives the engineering-design solution for utility-based fusion reactor configurations; initial mass to low earth orbit (IMLEO), specific jet power (kW(thrust)/kg(engine)), and reusability drive the engineering-design solution for successful application of fusion power to space propulsion. Three design principles (DP's) were applied to adapt and optimize three candidate-terrestrial-fusion-reactor configurations for propulsion in space. The three design principles are: provide maximum direct access to space for waste radiation, operate components as passive radiators to minimize cooling-system mass, and optimize the plasma fuel, fuel mix, and temperature for best specific jet power. The three candidate terrestrial fusion reactor configurations are: the thermal barrier tandem mirror (TBTM), field reversed mirror (FRM), and levitated dipole field (LDF). The resulting three candidate space fusion propulsion systems have their IMLEO minimized and their specific jet power and reusability maximized. A preliminary rating of these configurations was performed, and it was concluded that the leading engineering-design solution to space fusion propulsion is a modified TBTM that we call the Mirror Fusion Propulsion System (MFPS)

  3. Status and Mission Applicability of NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, David J.; Munk, Michelle M.; Dankanich, John; Pencil, Eric; Liou, Larry

    2009-01-01

    The In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) project develops propulsion technologies that will enable or enhance NASA robotic science missions. Since 2001, the ISPT project developed and delivered products to assist technology infusion and quantify mission applicability and benefits through mission analysis and tools. These in-space propulsion technologies are applicable, and potentially enabling for flagship destinations currently under evaluation, as well as having broad applicability to future Discovery and New Frontiers mission solicitations. This paper provides status of the technology development, near-term mission benefits, applicability, and availability of in-space propulsion technologies in the areas of advanced chemical thrusters, electric propulsion, aerocapture, and systems analysis tools. The current chemical propulsion investment is on the high-temperature Advanced Material Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine providing higher performance for lower cost. Investments in electric propulsion technologies focused on completing NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion propulsion system, a 0.6-7 kW throttle-able gridded ion system, and the High Voltage Hall Accelerator (HiVHAC) thruster, which is a mid-term product specifically designed for a low-cost electric propulsion option. Aerocapture investments developed a family of thermal protections system materials and structures; guidance, navigation, and control models of blunt-body rigid aeroshells; atmospheric models for Earth, Titan, Mars and Venus; and models for aerothermal effects. In 2009 ISPT started the development of propulsion technologies that would enable future sample return missions. The paper describes the ISPT project's future focus on propulsion for sample return missions. The future technology development areas for ISPT is: Planetary Ascent Vehicles (PAV), with a Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) being the initial development focus; multi-mission technologies for Earth Entry Vehicles (MMEEV) needed

  4. 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.)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noble, R.J.

    1998-08-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Microwave Plasma Propulsion Systems for Defensive Counter-Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-09-01

    microwave/ECR-based propulsion system. No electron cathode or neutralizer is needed. There are no electrodes to erode, sputter or damage. Measurement of...without the need for a cathode neutralizer, a wide range of performance parameters can be achieved by selecting the size and length of the resonance...EC • Earth Coverage Antenna NCA • Narrow coverege Antenna LNA • Low Noise Amplifier Rx • Receive Tx =Transmit IV IV TI.IO CMOI Figure 53

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Benchmark experiments at ASTRA facility on definition of space distribution of 235U fission reaction rate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bobrov, A. A.; Boyarinov, V. F.; Glushkov, A. E.; Glushkov, E. S.; Kompaniets, G. V.; Moroz, N. P.; Nevinitsa, V. A.; Nosov, V. I.; Smirnov, O. N.; Fomichenko, P. A.; Zimin, A. A.

    2012-01-01

    Results of critical experiments performed at five ASTRA facility configurations modeling the high-temperature helium-cooled graphite-moderated reactors are presented. Results of experiments on definition of space distribution of 235 U fission reaction rate performed at four from these five configurations are presented more detail. Analysis of available information showed that all experiments on criticality at these five configurations are acceptable for use them as critical benchmark experiments. All experiments on definition of space distribution of 235 U fission reaction rate are acceptable for use them as physical benchmark experiments. (authors)

  15. Space Station propulsion - Advanced development testing of the water electrolysis concept at MSFC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Lee W.; Bagdigian, Deborah R.

    1989-01-01

    The successful demonstration at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) that the water electrolysis concept is sufficiently mature to warrant adopting it as the baseline propulsion design for Space Station Freedom is described. In particular, the test results demonstrated that oxygen/hydrogen thruster, using gaseous propellants, can deliver more than two million lbf-seconds of total impulse at mixture ratios of 3:1 to 8:1 without significant degradation. The results alao demonstrated succcessful end-to-end operation of an integrated water electrolysis propulsion system.

  16. Selection of combined water electrolysis and resistojet propulsion for Space Station Freedom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, George R.

    1988-01-01

    An analytical rationale is presented for the configuration of the NASA Space Station's two-element propulsion system, and attention is given to the cost benefits accruing to this system over the Space Station's service life. The principal system element uses gaseous oxygen and hydrogen obtained through water electrolysis to furnish attitude control, backup attitude control, and contingency maneuvering. The secondary element uses resistojets to augment Space Station reboost through the acceleration of waste gases in the direction opposite the Station's flight path.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, George J.; Gilland, James H.

    2009-01-01

    The generation of large amplitude electric fields in plasmas by high-power lasers has been studied for several years in the context of high-energy particle acceleration. Fields on the order of GeV/m are generated in the plasma wake of the laser by non-linear ponderomotive forces. The laser fields generate longitudinal and translational electron plasma waves with phase velocities close to the speed of light. These fields and velocities offer the potential to revolutionize spacecraft propulsion, leading to extended deep space robotic probes. Based on these initial calculations, plasma acceleration by means of laser-induced ponderomotive forces appears to offer significant potential for spacecraft propulsion. Relatively high-efficiencies appear possible with proper beam conditioning, resulting in an order of magnitude more thrust than alternative concepts for high I SP (>10 5 s) and elimination of the primary life-limiting erosion phenomena associated with conventional electric propulsion systems. Ponderomotive propulsion readily lends itself to beamed power which might overcome some of the constraints of power-limited propulsion concepts. A preliminary assessment of the impact of these propulsion systems for several promising configurations on mission architectures has been conducted. Emphasizing interstellar and interstellar-precursor applications, performance and technical requirements are identified for a number of missions. The use of in-situ plasma and gas for propellant is evaluated as well.

  18. 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.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  20. 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

  1. Radioisotope electric propulsion of sciencecraft to the outer Solar System and near-interstellar space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noble, R.J.

    1999-01-01

    Radioisotopes have been used successfully for more than 25 years to supply the heat for thermoelectric generators on various deep-space probes. Radioisotope electric propulsion (REP) systems have been proposed as low-thrust ion propulsion units based on radioisotope electric generators and ion thrusters. The perceived liability of radioisotope electric generators for ion propulsion is their high mass. Conventional radioisotope thermoelectric generators have a specific mass of about 200 kg/kW of electric power. Many development efforts have been undertaken with the aim of reducing the specific mass of radioisotope electric systems. Recent performance estimates suggest that specific masses of 50 kg/kW may be achievable with thermophotovoltaic and alkali metal thermal-to-electric conversion generators. Powerplants constructed from these near-term radioisotope electric generators and long-life ion thrusters will likely have specific masses in the range of 100 to 200 kg/kW of thrust power if development continues over the next decade. In earlier studies, it was concluded that flight times within the Solar System are indeed insensitive to reductions in the powerplant specific mass, and that a timely scientific program of robotic planetary rendezvous and near-interstellar space missions is enabled by primary electric propulsion once the powerplant specific mass is in the range of 100 to 200 kg/kW. Flight times can be substantially reduced by using hybrid propulsion schemes that combine chemical propulsion, gravity assist, and electric propulsion. Hybrid schemes are further explored in this article to illustrate how the performance of REP is enhanced for Pluto rendezvous, heliopause orbiter, and gravitational lens missions

  2. Potentials of fissioning plasmas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Karlheinz, Thom.

    1979-01-01

    Successful experiments with the nuclear pumping of lasers have demonstrated that in gaseous medium the kinetic energy of fission fragments can be converted directly into non-equilibrium optical radiation. This confirms the concept that the fissioning medium in a gas-phase nuclear reactor shows an internal structure such as a plasma in nearly thermal equilibrium varying up to a state of extreme-non-equilibrium. The accompanying variations of temperatures, pressure and radiative spectrum suggest wide ranges of applications. For example, in the gas-phase fission reactor concept enriched uranium hexafluoride or an uranium plasma replaces conventional fuel elements and permits operation above the melting point of solid materials. This potential has been motivation for the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to conduct relevant research for high specific impulse propulsion in space. The need to separate the high temperature gaseous fuel from the surfaces of a containing vessel and to protect them against thermal radiation has led to the concept of an externally moderated reactor in which the fissioning gaseous material is suspended by fluid dynamic means and the flow of opaque buffer gas removes the power. The gaseous nuclear fuel can slowly be circulated through the reactor for continuous on-site reprocessing including the annihilation of transuranium actinides at fission when being fed back into the reactor. An equilibrium of the generation and destruction of such actinides at fission when being fed back into the reactor. An equilibrium of the generation and destruction of such actinides can thus be achieved. These characteristics and the unique radiative properties led to the expectation that the gas-phase fission reactor could feature improved safety, safeguarding and economy, in addition to new technologies such as processing, photochemistry and the transmission of power over large distances in space

  3. Propulsion Health Management System Development for Affordable and Reliable Operation of Space Exploration Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melcher, Kevin J.; Maul, William A.; Garg, Sanjay

    2007-01-01

    The constraints of future Exploration Missions will require unique integrated system health management capabilities throughout the mission. An ambitious launch schedule, human-rating requirements, long quiescent periods, limited human access for repair or replacement, and long communication delays, all require an integrated approach to health management that can span distinct, yet interdependent vehicle subsystems, anticipate failure states, provide autonomous remediation and support the Exploration Mission from beginning to end. Propulsion is a critical part of any space exploration mission, and monitoring the health of the propulsion system is an integral part of assuring mission safety and success. Health management is a somewhat ubiquitous technology that encompasses a large spectrum of physical components and logical processes. For this reason, it is essential to develop a systematic plan for propulsion health management system development. This paper provides a high-level perspective of propulsion health management systems, and describes a logical approach for the future planning and early development that are crucial to planned space exploration programs. It also presents an overall approach, or roadmap, for propulsion health management system development and a discussion of the associated roadblocks and challenges.

  4. In-Space Demonstration of High Performance Green Propulsion and its Impact on Small Satellites

    OpenAIRE

    Anflo, Kjell; Crowe, Ben

    2011-01-01

    This paper summarizes the pre-launch activities and the results from the in-space demonstration of a novel propulsion system on the PRISMA main satellite, using a “Green” monopropellant. This propellant is a storable ADN-based monopropellant blend (i.e. LMP-103S). The basic mission for the High Performance Green Propulsion System (HPGP) has been successfully completed and all primary objectives of TRL 7 have been met. The HPGP technology is now flight proven and ready for implementation on fu...

  5. 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)

  6. The USAF Electric Propulsion Program

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Spores, Ronald

    1999-01-01

    ...: Propulsion Directorate and Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). The Propulsion Directorate conducts electric propulsion efforts in basic research, engineering development, and space experiments...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna-Maria Theodora ANDREESCU

    2016-12-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Chang Díaz, Franklin

    2017-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Reservoir Cathode for Electric Space Propulsion, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  13. Joining Silicon Carbide Components for Space Propulsion, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  14. Extremely High Suction Performance Inducers for Space Propulsion, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  15. Extremely High Suction Performance Inducers for Space Propulsion, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  16. Propellant Gelation for Green In-Space Propulsion, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Concerns in recent years about the toxicity and safe handling of the storable class of propellants have led to efforts in greener monopropellants and bi-propellants....

  17. Space Propulsion Hazards Analysis Manual (SPHAM). Volume 2. Appendices

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-10-01

    Vanderwall, E.M. and Schaplowsky, R.F., USAF PROPELLANT HA& nBOOKS , Volume III, Part B, "Nitrogen Trifluoride, Bibliography," p. 4-508, Aerojeft Liquid...not economically desirable to maintain two different avionic configurations in the space-based program. Guidance and navigation information is

  18. Thermal-hydraulics for space power, propulsion, and thermal management system design

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krotiuk, W.J.

    1990-01-01

    The present volume discusses thermal-hydraulic aspects of current space projects, Space Station thermal management systems, the thermal design of the Space Station Free-Flying Platforms, the SP-100 Space Reactor Power System, advanced multi-MW space nuclear power concepts, chemical and electric propulsion systems, and such aspects of the Space Station two-phase thermal management system as its mechanical pumped loop and its capillary pumped loop's supporting technology. Also discussed are the startup thaw concept for the SP-100 Space Reactor Power System, calculational methods and experimental data for microgravity conditions, an isothermal gas-liquid flow at reduced gravity, low-gravity flow boiling, computations of Space Shuttle high pressure cryogenic turbopump ball bearing two-phase coolant flow, and reduced-gravity condensation

  19. Future NASA Power Technologies for Space and Aero Propulsion Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soeder, James F.

    2015-01-01

    To achieve the ambitious goals that NASA has outlined for the next decades considerable development of power technology will be necessary. This presentation outlines the development objectives for both space and aero applications. It further looks at the various power technologies that support these objectives and examines drivers that will be a driving force for future development. Finally, the presentation examines what type of non-traditional learning areas should be emphasized in student curriculum so that the engineering needs of the third decade of the 21st Century are met.

  20. A long term radiological risk model for plutonium-fueled and fission reactor space nuclear system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bartram, B.W.; Dougherty, D.K.

    1987-01-01

    This report describes the optimization of the RISK III mathematical model, which provides risk assessment for the use of a plutonium-fueled, fission reactor in space systems. The report discusses possible scenarios leading to radiation releases on the ground; distinctions are made for an intact reactor and a dispersed reactor. Also included are projected dose equivalents for various accident situations. 54 refs., 31 figs., 11 tabs

  1. Advantages of Fast Ignition Scenarios with Two Hot Spots for Space Propulsion Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shmatov, M. L.

    The use of the fast ignition scenarios with the attempts to create two hot spots in one blob of the compressed thermonuclear fuel or, briefly, scenarios with two hot spots in space propulsion systems is proposed. The model, predicting that for such scenarios the probability pf of failure of ignition of thermonuclear microexplosion can be significantly less than that for the similar scenarios with the attempts to create one hot spot in one blob of the compressed fuel, is presented. For space propulsion systems consuming a relatively large amount of propellant, a decrease in pf due to the choice of the scenario with two hot spots can result in large, for example, two-fold, increase in the payload mass. Other advantages of the scenarios with two hot spots and some problems related to them are considered.

  2. 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

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. IEC Based D-3He Fusion for Space Propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miley, George H.; Burton, R.; Richardson, N.; Shaban, Y.; Momota, Hiromu

    2002-01-01

    A preliminary system design is presented for a high performance 100-MWe manned space vehicle in the 500 metric ton class, based on Inertial Electrostatic Fusion (IEC), allowing trip times to the outer planets of several months. An IEC is chosen because it's simplified structure results in a very high power-to-weight ratio. D- 3 He fuel is used to give 14.7-MeV protons as a primary fusion reaction product. Direct conversion of proton energy to electricity is employed, providing a high efficiency. An IEC reactor with a proton energy gain (power in 14.7-MeV protons/input electric power) of 4 or better is assumed. Extrapolation of present laboratory scale IEC experiments to such conditions is possible theoretically, but faces several open issues that require further study such as stability under high-density conditions. The final thruster is based on an NSTAR-extrapolated krypton ion design with a specific impulse of 16,000 seconds and a total thrust of 1020 N. Round trip thrust time for mission set to Jupiter ΔV of 100 km/s is then ∼950 days. (authors)

  7. Hybrid-Electric Rotorcraft Tool Development, Propulsion System Trade Space Exploration, and Demonstrator Conceptual Design, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Hybrid-electric propulsion is becoming widely accepted as a potential disruptive technology for aircraft that can provide significant reduction in fuel consumption...

  8. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schulze, N.R.; Roth, J.R.

    1990-01-01

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

  10. Survey of Beamed Energy Propulsion Concepts by the MSFC Space Environmental Effects Team

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, P. A.; Nehls, M. K.; Edwards, D. L.; Carruth, M. R., Jr.; Munafo, Paul M. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    This will be a survey paper of work that was performed by the Space Environmental Effects Team at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in the area of laser energy propulsion concepts. Two types of laser energy propulsion techniques were investigated. The first was ablative propulsion, which used a pulsed ruby laser impacting on single layer coatings and films. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the laser power density that produced an optimum coupling coefficient for each type of material tested. A commercial off-the-shelf multi-layer film was also investigated for possible applications in ablative micro-thrusters, and its optimum coupling coefficient was determined. The second type of study measured the purely photonic force provided by a 300W CW YAG laser. In initial studies, the photon force resulting from the momentum of incident photons was measured directly using a vacuum compatible microbalance and these results were compared to theory. Follow-on work used the same CW laser to excite a stable optical cavity for the purpose of amplifying the available force from incident photons.

  11. 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)

  12. 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)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. S. Egorov

    2015-09-01

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

  14. Electric propulsion options for 10 kW class earth space missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, M. J.; Curran, Francis M.

    1989-01-01

    Five and 10 kW ion and arcjet propulsion system options for a near-term space demonstration experiment have been evaluated. Analyses were conducted to determine first-order propulsion system performance and system component mass estimates. Overall mission performance of the electric propulsion systems was quantified in terms of the maximum thrusting time, total impulse, and velocity increment capability available when integrated onto a generic spacecraft under fixed mission model assumptions. Maximum available thrusting times for the ion-propelled spacecraft options, launched on a DELTA II 6920 vehicle, range from approximately 8,600 hours for a 4-engine 10 kW system to more than 29,600 hours for a single-engine 5 kW system. Maximum total impulse values and maximum delta-v's range from 1.2x10(7) to 2.1x10(7) N-s, and 3550 to 6200 m/s, respectively. Maximum available thrusting times for the arcjet propelled spacecraft launched on the DELTA II 6920 vehicle range from approximately 528 hours for the 6-engine 10 kW hydrazine system to 2328 hours for the single-engine 5 kW system. Maximum total impulse values and maximum delta-v's range from 2.2x10(6) to 3.6x10(6) N-s, and approximately 662 to 1072 m/s, respectively.

  15. Electric Propulsion Options for 10 kW Class Earth-Space Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patterson, M. J.; Curran, Francis M.

    1989-01-01

    Five and 10 kW ion and arcjet propulsion system options for a near-term space demonstration experiment were evaluated. Analyses were conducted to determine first-order propulsion system performance and system component mass estimates. Overall mission performance of the electric propulsion systems was quantified in terms of the maximum thrusting time, total impulse, and velocity increment capability available when integrated onto a generic spacecraft under fixed mission model assumptions. Maximum available thrusting times for the ion-propelled spacecraft options, launched on a DELTA 2 6920 vehicle, range from approximately 8,600 hours for a 4-engine 10 kW system to more than 29,600 hours for a single-engine 5 kW system. Maximum total impulse values and maximum delta-v's range from 1.2x10 (exp 7) to 2.1x10 (exp 7) N-s, and 3550 to 6200 m/s, respectively. Maximum available thrusting times for the arcjet propelled spacecraft launched on the DELTA 2 6920 vehicle range from approximately 528 hours for the 6-engine 10 kW hydrazine system to 2328 hours for the single-engine 5 kW system. Maximum total impulse values and maximum delta-v's range from 2.2x10 (exp 6) to 3.6x10 (exp 6) N-s, and approximately 662 to 1072 m/s, respectively.

  16. 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.

  17. Technical Bases to Consider for Performance and Demonstration Testing of Space Fission Reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hixson, Laurie L.; Houts, Michael G.; Clement, Steven D.

    2004-01-01

    Performance and demonstration testing are critical to the success of a space fission reactor program. However, the type and extent to which testing of space reactors should be performed has been a point of discussion within the industry for many years. With regard to full power ground nuclear tests, questions such as 'Do the benefits outweigh the risks? Are there equivalent alternatives? Can a test facility be constructed (or modified) in a reasonable amount of time? Will the test article accurately represent the flight system? Are the costs too restrictive?' have been debated for decades. There are obvious benefits of full power ground nuclear testing such as obtaining systems integrated reliability data on a full-scale, complete end-to-end system. But these benefits come at some programmatic risk. In addition, this type of testing does not address safety related issues. This paper will discuss and assess these and other technical considerations essential in deciding which type of performance and demonstration testing to conduct on space fission reactor systems. (authors)

  18. 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

  19. 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)

  20. Direct Energy Conversion for Low Specific Mass In-Space Power and Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, John H.; George, Jeffrey A.; Tarditi, Alfonso G.

    2013-01-01

    "Changing the game" in space exploration involves changing the paradigm for the human exploration of the Solar System, e.g, changing the human exploration of Mars from a three-year epic event to an annual expedition. For the purposes of this assessment an "annual expedition" capability is defined as an in-space power & propulsion system which, with launch mass limits as defined in NASA s Mars Architecture 5.0, enables sending a crew to Mars and returning them after a 30-day surface stay within one year, irrespective of planetary alignment. In this work the authors intend to show that obtaining this capability requires the development of an in-space power & propulsion system with an end-to-end specific mass considerably less than 3 kg/kWe. A first order energy balance analysis reveals that the technologies required to create a system with this specific mass include direct energy conversion and nuclear sources that release energy in the form of charged particle beams. This paper lays out this first order approximation and details these conclusions.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schulze, N.R.; Roth, J.R.

    1991-01-01

    This paper presents a retrospective summary and bibliography of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration research program on fusion energy for space power and propulsion systems conducted at the Lewis Research Center. This effort extended over a 20-yr period ending in 1978, involved several hundred person-years of effort, and included theory, experiment, technology development, and mission analysis. This program was initiated in 1958 and was carried out within the Electromagnetic Propulsion Division. Within this division, mission analysis and basic research on high-temperature plasma physics were carried out in the Advanced Concepts Branch. Three pioneering high-field superconducting magnetic confinement facilities were developed with the support of the Magnetics and Cryophysics Branch. The results of this program serve as a basis for subsequent discussions of the space applications of fusion energy, contribute to the understanding of high-temperature plasmas and how to produce them, and advance the state of the art of superconducting magnet technology used in fusion research

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Laser power beaming: an emerging technology for power transmission and propulsion in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Harold E.

    1997-05-01

    A ground based laser beam transmitted to space can be used as an electric utility for satellites. It can significantly increase the electric power available to operate a satellite or to transport it from low earth orbit (LEO) to mid earth or geosynchronous orbits. The increase in electrical power compared to that obtainable from the sun is as much as 1000% for the same size solar panels. An increase in satellite electric power is needed to meet the increasing demands for power caused by the advent of 'direct to home TV,' for increased telecommunications, or for other demands made by the burgeoning 'space highway.' Monetary savings as compared to putting up multiple satellites in the same 'slot' can be over half a billion dollars. To obtain propulsion, the laser power can be beamed through the atmosphere to an 'orbit transfer vehicle' (OTV) satellite which travels back and forth between LEO and higher earth orbits. The OTV will transport the satellite into orbit as does a rocket but does not require the heavy fuel load needed if rocket propulsion is used. Monetary savings of 300% or more in launch costs are predicted. Key elements in the proposed concept are a 100 to 200 kW free- electron laser operating at 0.84 m in the photographic infrared region of the spectrum and a novel adaptive optic telescope.

  6. Neutral space analysis for a Boolean network model of the fission yeast cell cycle network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gonzalo A Ruz

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Interactions between genes and their products give rise to complex circuits known as gene regulatory networks (GRN that enable cells to process information and respond to external stimuli. Several important processes for life, depend of an accurate and context-specific regulation of gene expression, such as the cell cycle, which can be analyzed through its GRN, where deregulation can lead to cancer in animals or a directed regulation could be applied for biotechnological processes using yeast. An approach to study the robustness of GRN is through the neutral space. In this paper, we explore the neutral space of a Schizosaccharomyces pombe (fission yeast cell cycle network through an evolution strategy to generate a neutral graph, composed of Boolean regulatory networks that share the same state sequences of the fission yeast cell cycle. RESULTS: Through simulations it was found that in the generated neutral graph, the functional networks that are not in the wildtype connected component have in general a Hamming distance more than 3 with the wildtype, and more than 10 between the other disconnected functional networks. Significant differences were found between the functional networks in the connected component of the wildtype network and the rest of the network, not only at a topological level, but also at the state space level, where significant differences in the distribution of the basin of attraction for the G1 fixed point was found for deterministic updating schemes. CONCLUSIONS: In general, functional networks in the wildtype network connected component, can mutate up to no more than 3 times, then they reach a point of no return where the networks leave the connected component of the wildtype. The proposed method to construct a neutral graph is general and can be used to explore the neutral space of other biologically interesting networks, and also formulate new biological hypotheses studying the functional networks in the

  7. 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.

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2013-12-16

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Space Shuttle 750 psi Helium Regulator Application on Mars Science Laboratory Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizukami, Masashi; Yankura, George; Rust, Thomas; Anderson, John R.; Dien, Anthony; Garda, Hoshang; Bezer, Mary Ann; Johnson, David; Arndt, Scott

    2009-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is NASA's next major mission to Mars, to be launched in September 2009. It is a nuclear powered rover designed for a long duration mission, with an extensive suite of science instruments. The descent and landing uses a unique 'skycrane' concept, where a rocket-powered descent stage decelerates the vehicle, hovers over the ground, lowers the rover to the ground on a bridle, then flies a safe distance away for disposal. This descent stage uses a regulated hydrazine propulsion system. Performance requirements for the pressure regulator were very demanding, with a wide range of flow rates and tight regulated pressure band. These indicated that a piloted regulator would be needed, which are notoriously complex, and time available for development was short. Coincidentally, it was found that the helium regulator used in the Space Shuttle Orbiter main propulsion system came very close to meeting MSL requirements. However, the type was out of production, and fabricating new units would incur long lead times and technical risk. Therefore, the Space Shuttle program graciously furnished three units for use by MSL. Minor modifications were made, and the units were carefully tuned to MSL requirements. Some of the personnel involved had built and tested the original shuttle units. Delta qualification for MSL application was successfully conducted on one of the units. A pyrovalve slam start and shock test was conducted. Dynamic performance analyses for the new application were conducted, using sophisticated tools developed for Shuttle. Because the MSL regulator is a refurbished Shuttle flight regulator, it will be the only part of MSL which has physically already been in space.

  12. Method and device for fabricating dispersion fuel comprising fission product collection spaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaber, Eric L; Fielding, Randall S

    2015-05-05

    A method of fabricating a nuclear fuel comprising a fissile material, one or more hollow microballoons, a phenolic resin, and metal matrix. The fissile material, phenolic resin and the one or more hollow microballoons are combined. The combined fissile material, phenolic resin and the hollow microballoons are heated sufficiently to form at least some fissile material carbides creating a nuclear fuel particle. The resulting nuclear fuel particle comprises one or more fission product collection spaces. In a preferred embodiment, the fissile material, phenolic resin and the one or more hollow microballoons are combined by forming the fissile material into microspheres. The fissile material microspheres are then overcoated with the phenolic resin and microballoon. In another preferred embodiment, the fissile material, phenolic resin and the one or more hollow microballoons are combined by overcoating the microballoon with the fissile material, and phenolic resin.

  13. Design of a Mechanical NaK Pump for Fission Space Power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mireles, Omar R.; Bradley, David E.; Godfroy, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Alkali liquid metal cooled fission reactor concepts are under development for spaceflight power requirements. One such concept utilizes a sodium-potassium eutectic (NaK) as the primary loop working fluid, which has specific pumping requirements. Traditionally, electromagnetic linear induction pumps have been used to provide the required flow and pressure head conditions for NaK systems but they can be limited in performance, efficiency, and number of available vendors. The objective of the project was to develop a mechanical NaK centrifugal pump that takes advantages of technology advances not available in previous liquid metal mechanical pump designs. This paper details the design, build, and performance test of a mechanical NaK pump developed at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. The pump was designed to meet reactor cooling requirements using commercially available components modified for high temperature NaK service.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1994-08-01

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

  18. Pulsed fusion space propulsion : Computational Magneto-Hydro Dynamics of a multi-coil parabolic reaction chamber

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Romanelli, G; Mignone, Andrea; Cervone, A.

    2017-01-01

    Pulsed fusion propulsion might finally revolutionise manned space exploration by providing an affordable and relatively fast access to interplanetary destinations. However, such systems are still in an early development phase and one of the key areas requiring further investigations is the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Ternary fission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wagemans, C.

    1991-01-01

    Since its discovery in 1946, light (charged) particle accompanied fission (ternary fission) has been extensively studied, for spontaneous as well as for induced fission reactions. The reason for this interest was twofold: the ternary particles being emitted in space and time close to the scission point were expected to supply information on the scission point configuration and the ternary fission process was an important source of helium, tritium, and hydrogen production in nuclear reactors, for which data were requested by the nuclear industry. Significant experimental progress has been realized with the advent of high-resolution detectors, powerful multiparameter data acquisition systems, and intense neutron and photon beams. As far as theory is concerned, the trajectory calculations (in which scission point parameters are deduced from the experimental observations) have been very much improved. An attempt was made to explain ternary particle emission in terms of a Plateau-Rayleigh hydrodynamical instability of a relatively long cylindrical neck or cylindrical nucleus. New results have also been obtained on the so-called open-quotes trueclose quotes ternary fission (fission in three about-equal fragments). The spontaneous emission of charged particles has also clearly been demonstrated in recent years. This chapter discusses the main characteristics of ternary fission, theoretical models, light particle emission probabilities, the dependence of the emission probabilities on experimental variables, light particle energy distributions, light particle angular distributions, correlations between light particle accompanied fission observables, open-quotes trueclose quotes ternary fission, and spontaneous emission of heavy ions. 143 refs., 18 figs., 8 tabs

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Hung D.; Steele, Gynelle C.

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Effect of spin-polarized D-3He fuel on dense plasma focus for space propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mei-Yu Wang, Choi, Chan K.; Mead, Franklin B.

    1992-01-01

    Spin-polarized D-3He fusion fuel is analyzed to study its effect on the dense plasma focus (DPF) device for space propulsion. The Mather-type plasma focus device is adopted because of the ``axial'' acceleration of the current carrying plasma sheath, like a coaxial plasma gun. The D-3He fuel is chosen based on the neutron-lean fusion reactions with high charged-particle fusion products. Impulsive mode of operation is used with multi-thrusters in order to make higher thrust (F)-to-weight (W) ratio with relatively high value of specific impulse (Isp). Both current (I) scalings with I2 and I8/3 are considered for plasma pinch temperature and capacitor mass. For a 30-day Mars mission, with four thrusters, for example, the typical F/W values ranging from 0.5-0.6 to 0.1-0.2 for I2 and I8/3 scalings, respectively, and the Isp values of above 1600 s are obtained. Parametric studies indicate that the spin-polarized D-3He provides increased values of F/W and Isp over conventional D-3He fuel which was due to the increased fusion power and decreased radiation losses for the spin-polarized case.

  7. 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.)

  8. Integrated propulsion for near-Earth space missions. Volume 1: Executive summary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dailey, C. L.; Meissinger, H. F.; Lovberg, R. H.; Zafran, S.

    1981-01-01

    Tradeoffs between electric propulsion system mass ratio and transfer time from LEO to GEO were conducted parametrically for various thruster efficiency, specific impulse, and other propulsion parameters. A computer model was developed for performing orbit transfer calculations which included the effects of aerodynamic drag, radiation degradation, and occultation. The tradeoff results showed that thruster technology areas for integrated propulsion should be directed towards improving primary thruster efficiency in the range from 1500 to 2500 seconds, and be continued towards reducing specific mass. Comparison of auxiliary propulsion systems showed large total propellant mass savings with integrated electric auxiliary propulsion. Stationkeeping is the most demanding on orbit propulsion requirement. At area densities above 0.5 sq m/kg, East-West stationkeeping requirements from solar pressure exceed North-South stationkeeping requirements from gravitational forces. A solar array pointing strategy was developed to minimize the effects of atmospheric drag at low altitude, enabling electric propulsion to initiate orbit transfer at Shuttle's maximum cargo carrying altitude. Gravity gradient torques are used during ascent to sustain the spacecraft roll motion required for optimum solar array illumination. A near optimum cover glass thickness of 6 mils was established for LEO to GEO transfer.

  9. Submersion criticality safety of tungsten-rhenium urania cermet fuel for space propulsion and power applications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Craft, A.E., E-mail: aaron.craft@inl.gov [Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR), INL, Idaho Falls, ID (United States); O’Brien, R.C., E-mail: Robert.OBrien@inl.gov [Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR), INL, Idaho Falls, ID (United States); Howe, S.D., E-mail: Steven.Howe@inl.gov [Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR), INL, Idaho Falls, ID (United States); King, J.C., E-mail: kingjc@mines.edu [Nuclear Science and Engineering Program, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Department, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401 (United States)

    2014-07-01

    Highlights: • Criticality safety studies consider a generic space nuclear reactor in reentry scenarios. • Describes the submersion criticality behavior for a reactor fueled with a tungsten cermet fuel. • Study considers effects of varying fuel content, geometry, and other conditions. - Abstract: Nuclear thermal rockets are the preferred propulsion technology for a manned mission to Mars, and tungsten–uranium oxide cermet fuels could provide significant performance and cost advantages for nuclear thermal rockets. A nuclear reactor intended for use in space must remain subcritical before and during launch, and must remain subcritical in launch abort scenarios where the reactor falls back to Earth and becomes submerged in terrestrial materials (including seawater, wet sand, or dry sand). Submersion increases reflection of neutrons and also thermalizes the neutron spectrum, which typically increases the reactivity of the core. This effect is typically very significant for compact, fast-spectrum reactors. This paper provides a submersion criticality safety analysis for a representative tungsten/uranium oxide fueled reactor with a range of fuel compositions. Each submersion case considers both the rhenium content in the matrix alloy and the uranium oxide volume fraction in the cermet. The inclusion of rhenium significantly improves the submersion criticality safety of the reactor. While increased uranium oxide content increases the reactivity of the core, it does not significantly affect the submersion behavior of the reactor. There is no significant difference in submersion behavior between reactors with rhenium distributed within the cermet matrix and reactors with a rhenium clad in the coolant channels. The combination of the flooding of the coolant channels in submersion scenarios and the presence of a significant amount of spectral shift absorbers (i.e. high rhenium concentration) further decreases reactivity for short reactor cores compared to longer cores.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1972-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1972-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Samim Anghaie

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Hung D.; Steele, Gynelle C.

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Integrated propulsion for near-Earth space missions. Volume 2: Technical

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dailey, C. L.; Meissinger, H. F.; Lovberg, R. H.; Zafran, S.

    1981-01-01

    The calculation approach is described for parametric analysis of candidate electric propulsion systems employed in LEO to GEO missions. Occultation relations, atmospheric density effects, and natural radiation effects are presented. A solar cell cover glass tradeoff is performed to determine optimum glass thickness. Solar array and spacecraft pointing strategies are described for low altitude flight and for optimum array illumination during ascent. Mass ratio tradeoffs versus transfer time provide direction for thruster technology improvements. Integrated electric propulsion analysis is performed for orbit boosting, inclination change, attitude control, stationkeeping, repositioning, and disposal functions as well as power sharing with payload on orbit. Comparison with chemical auxiliary propulsion is made to quantify the advantages of integrated propulsion in terms of weight savings and concomittant launch cost savings.

  15. 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?

  16. Results of Using the Global Positioning System to Maintain the Time and Frequency Synchronization in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Deep Space Network

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Clements, P. A; Kirk, A; Unglaub, R

    1986-01-01

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Deep Space Network (DSN) consists of three tracking stations located in California, Australia, and Spain, each with two hydrogen maser clocks as the time and frequency standard...

  17. Radioisotope electric propulsion for robotic science missions to near-interstellar space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noble, R.J.

    1994-10-01

    The use of radioisotope electric propulsion for sending small robotic probes on fast science missions several hundred astronomical units (AU) from the Sun is investigated. Such missions would address a large variety of solar, interstellar, galactic and cosmological science themes from unique vantage points at 100 to 600 AU, including parallax distance measurements for the entire Milky Way Galaxy, sampling of the interstellar medium and imaging of cosmological objects at the gravitational lens foci of the Sun (≥ 550 AU). Radioisotope electric propulsion (REP) systems are low-thrust, ion propulsion units based on multi-hundred watt, radioisotope electric generators and ion thrusters. In a previous work, the flight times for rendezvous missions to the outer planets (< 30 AU) using REP were found to be less than fifteen years. However fast prestellar missions to several hundred AU are not possible unless the probe's energy can be substantially increased in the inner Solar System so as to boost the final hyperbolic excess velocity. In this paper an economical hybrid propulsion scheme combining chemical propulsion and gravity assist in the inner Solar System and radioisotope electric propulsion in the outer Solar System is studied which enables fast prestellar missions. Total hyperbolic excess velocities of 15 AU/year and flight times to 550 AU of about 40 years are possible using REP technology that may be available in the next decade

  18. 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

  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. Application of Solar-Electric Propulsion to Robotic and Human Missions in Near-Earth Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodcock, Gordon R.; Dankanich, John

    2011-01-01

    Interest in applications of solar electric propulsion (SEP) is increasing. Application of SEP technology is favored when: (1) the mission is compatible with low-thrust propulsion, (2) the mission needs high total delta V such that chemical propulsion is disadvantaged; and (3) performance enhancement is needed. If all such opportunities for future missions are considered, many uses of SEP are likely. Representative missions are surveyed and several SEP applications selected for analysis, including orbit raising, lunar science, lunar exploration, lunar exploitation, planetary science, and planetary exploration. These missions span SEP power range from 10s of kWe to several MWe. Modes of use and benefits are described, and potential SEP evolution is discussed.

  1. Application of Solar-Electric Propulsion to Robotic Missions in Near-Earth Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodcock, Gordon R.; Dankanich, John

    2007-01-01

    Interest in applications of solar electric propulsion (SEP) is increasing. Application of SEP technology is favored when: (1) the mission is compatible with low-thrust propulsion, (2) the mission needs high total delta V such that chemical propulsion is disadvantaged; and (3) performance enhancement is needed. If all such opportunities for future missions are considered, many uses of SEP are likely. Representative missions are surveyed and several SEP applications selected for analysis, including orbit raising, lunar science and robotic exploration, and planetary science. These missions span SEP power range from 10 kWe to about 100 kWe. A SEP design compatible with small inexpensive launch vehicles, and capable of lunar science missions, is presented. Modes of use and benefits are described, and potential SEP evolution is discussed.

  2. Feasibility study of a small, thorium-based fission power system for space and terrestrial applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Worrall, Michael Jason

    One of the current challenges facing space exploration is the creation of a power source capable of providing useful energy for the entire duration of a mission. Historically, radioisotope batteries have been used to provide load power, but this conventional system may not be capable of sustaining continuous power for longer duration missions. To remedy this, many forays into nuclear powered spacecraft have been investigated, but no robust system for long-term power generation has been found. In this study, a novel spin on the traditional fission power system that represents a potential optimum solution is presented. By utilizing mature High Temperature Gas Reactor (HTGR) technology in conjunction with the capabilities of the thorium fuel cycle, we have created a light-weight, long-term power source capable of a continuous electric power output of up to 70kW for over 15 years. This system relies upon a combination of fissile, highly-enriched uranium dioxide and fertile thorium carbide Tri-Structural Isotropic (TRISO) fuel particles embedded in a hexagonal beryllium oxide matrix. As the primary fissile material is consumed, the fertile material breeds new fissile material leading to more steady fuel loading over the lifetime of the core. Reactor control is achieved through an innovative approach to the conventional boron carbide neutron absorber by utilizing sections of borated aluminum placed in rotating control drums within the reflector. Borated aluminum allows for much smaller boron concentrations, thus eliminating the potential for 10B(n,alpha)6Li heating issues that are common in boron carbide systems. A wide range of other reactivity control systems are also investigated, such as a radially-split rotating reflector. Lastly, an extension of the design to a terrestrial based system is investigated. In this system, uranium enrichment is dropped to 20 percent in order to meet current regulations, a solid uranium-zirconium hydride fissile driver replaces the

  3. Flow Control of Liquid Metal Propellants for In-Space Electric Propulsion Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonds, Kevin W.; Polzin, Kurt A.

    2010-01-01

    Operation of Hall thrusters with bismuth propellant has been shown to be a promising path for development of high-power (140 kW per thruster), high performance (8000s I(sub sp at >70% efficiency) electric propulsion systems.

  4. Specialized data analysis for the Space Shuttle Main Engine and diagnostic evaluation of advanced propulsion system components

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-01-01

    The Marshall Space Flight Center is responsible for the development and management of advanced launch vehicle propulsion systems, including the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME), which is presently operational, and the Space Transportation Main Engine (STME) under development. The SSME's provide high performance within stringent constraints on size, weight, and reliability. Based on operational experience, continuous design improvement is in progress to enhance system durability and reliability. Specialized data analysis and interpretation is required in support of SSME and advanced propulsion system diagnostic evaluations. Comprehensive evaluation of the dynamic measurements obtained from test and flight operations is necessary to provide timely assessment of the vibrational characteristics indicating the operational status of turbomachinery and other critical engine components. Efficient performance of this effort is critical due to the significant impact of dynamic evaluation results on ground test and launch schedules, and requires direct familiarity with SSME and derivative systems, test data acquisition, and diagnostic software. Detailed analysis and evaluation of dynamic measurements obtained during SSME and advanced system ground test and flight operations was performed including analytical/statistical assessment of component dynamic behavior, and the development and implementation of analytical/statistical models to efficiently define nominal component dynamic characteristics, detect anomalous behavior, and assess machinery operational condition. In addition, the SSME and J-2 data will be applied to develop vibroacoustic environments for advanced propulsion system components, as required. This study will provide timely assessment of engine component operational status, identify probable causes of malfunction, and indicate feasible engineering solutions. This contract will be performed through accomplishment of negotiated task orders.

  5. Monofilament Vaporization Propulsion (MVP) System, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Monofilament Vaporization Propulsion (MVP) is a new propulsion technology targeted at secondary payload applications. It does not compromise on performance while...

  6. Large-Scale Testing and High-Fidelity Simulation Capabilities at Sandia National Laboratories to Support Space Power and Propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dobranich, Dean; Blanchat, Thomas K.

    2008-01-01

    Sandia National Laboratories, as a Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Agency, has major responsibility to ensure the safety and security needs of nuclear weapons. As such, with an experienced research staff, Sandia maintains a spectrum of modeling and simulation capabilities integrated with experimental and large-scale test capabilities. This expertise and these capabilities offer considerable resources for addressing issues of interest to the space power and propulsion communities. This paper presents Sandia's capability to perform thermal qualification (analysis, test, modeling and simulation) using a representative weapon system as an example demonstrating the potential to support NASA's Lunar Reactor System

  7. Initial Validation of Robotic Operations for In-Space Assembly of a Large Solar Electric Propulsion Transport Vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komendera, Erik E.; Dorsey, John T.

    2017-01-01

    Developing a capability for the assembly of large space structures has the potential to increase the capabilities and performance of future space missions and spacecraft while reducing their cost. One such application is a megawatt-class solar electric propulsion (SEP) tug, representing a critical transportation ability for the NASA lunar, Mars, and solar system exploration missions. A series of robotic assembly experiments were recently completed at Langley Research Center (LaRC) that demonstrate most of the assembly steps for the SEP tug concept. The assembly experiments used a core set of robotic capabilities: long-reach manipulation and dexterous manipulation. This paper describes cross-cutting capabilities and technologies for in-space assembly (ISA), applies the ISA approach to a SEP tug, describes the design and development of two assembly demonstration concepts, and summarizes results of two sets of assembly experiments that validate the SEP tug assembly steps.

  8. Neutron Diffusion in a Space Lattice of Fissionable and Absorbing Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feynman, R. P.; Welton, T. A.

    1946-08-27

    Methods are developed for estimating the effect on a critical assembly of fabricating it as a lattice rather than in the more simply interpreted homogeneous manner. An idealized case is discussed supposing an infinite medium in which fission, elastic scattering and absorption can occur, neutrons of only one velocity present, and the neutron m.f.p. independent of position and equal to unity with the unit of length used.

  9. Block Ignition Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) with Condensed Matter Cluster Type Targets for p-B11 Powered Space Propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miley, George H.; Hora, H.; Badziak, J.; Wolowski, J.; Sheng Zhengming; Zhang Jie; Osman, F.; Zhang Weiyan; Tuhe Xia

    2009-01-01

    The use of laser-driven Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) for space propulsion has been the subject of several earlier conceptual design studies, (see: Orth, 1998; and other references therein). However, these studies were based on older ICF technology using either 'direct' or 'in-direct x-ray driven' type target irradiation. Important new directions have opened for laser ICF in recent years following the development of 'chirped' lasers capable of ultra short pulses with powers of TW up to few PW which leads to the concept of 'fast ignition (FI)' to achieve higher energy gains from target implosions. In a recent publication the authors showed that use of a modified type of FI, termed 'block ignition' (Miley et al., 2008), could meet many of the requirements anticipated (but not then available) by the designs of the Vehicle for Interplanetary Space Transport Applications (VISTA) ICF fusion propulsion ship (Orth, 2008) for deep space missions. Subsequently the first author devised and presented concepts for imbedding high density condensed matter 'clusters' of deuterium into the target to obtain ultra high local fusion reaction rates (Miley, 2008). Such rates are possible due to the high density of the clusters (over an order of magnitude above cryogenic deuterium). Once compressed by the implosion, the yet higher density gives an ultra high reaction rate over the cluster volume since the fusion rate is proportional to the square of the fuel density. Most recently, a new discovery discussed here indicates that the target matrix could be composed of B 11 with proton clusters imbedded. This then makes p-B 11 fusion practical, assuming all of the physics issues such as stability of the clusters during compression are resolved. Indeed, p-B 11 power is ideal for fusion propulsion since it has a minimum of unwanted side products while giving most of the reaction energy to energetic alpha particles which can be directed into an exhaust (propulsion) nozzle. Power plants

  10. Block Ignition Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) with Condensed Matter Cluster Type Targets for p-B11 Powered Space Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miley, George H.; Hora, H.; Badziak, J.; Wolowski, J.; Sheng, Zheng-Ming; Zhang, Jie; Osman, F.; Zhang, Weiyan; tu He, Xia

    2009-03-01

    The use of laser-driven Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) for space propulsion has been the subject of several earlier conceptual design studies, (see: Orth, 1998; and other references therein). However, these studies were based on older ICF technology using either "direct "or "in-direct x-ray driven" type target irradiation. Important new directions have opened for laser ICF in recent years following the development of "chirped" lasers capable of ultra short pulses with powers of TW up to few PW which leads to the concept of "fast ignition (FI)" to achieve higher energy gains from target implosions. In a recent publication the authors showed that use of a modified type of FI, termed "block ignition" (Miley et al., 2008), could meet many of the requirements anticipated (but not then available) by the designs of the Vehicle for Interplanetary Space Transport Applications (VISTA) ICF fusion propulsion ship (Orth, 2008) for deep space missions. Subsequently the first author devised and presented concepts for imbedding high density condensed matter "clusters" of deuterium into the target to obtain ultra high local fusion reaction rates (Miley, 2008). Such rates are possible due to the high density of the clusters (over an order of magnitude above cryogenic deuterium). Once compressed by the implosion, the yet higher density gives an ultra high reaction rate over the cluster volume since the fusion rate is proportional to the square of the fuel density. Most recently, a new discovery discussed here indicates that the target matrix could be composed of B11 with proton clusters imbedded. This then makes p-B11 fusion practical, assuming all of the physics issues such as stability of the clusters during compression are resolved. Indeed, p-B11 power is ideal for fusion propulsion since it has a minimum of unwanted side products while giving most of the reaction energy to energetic alpha particles which can be directed into an exhaust (propulsion) nozzle. Power plants using p

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  12. Maintenance of time and frequency in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Deep Space Network using the Global Positioning System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clements, P. A.; Borutzki, S. E.; Kirk, A.

    1984-01-01

    The Deep Space Network (DSN), managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA, must maintain time and frequency within specified limits in order to accurately track the spacecraft engaged in deep space exploration. Various methods are used to coordinate the clocks among the three tracking complexes. These methods include Loran-C, TV Line 10, Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), and the Global Positioning System (GPS). Calculations are made to obtain frequency offsets and Allan variances. These data are analyzed and used to monitor the performance of the hydrogen masers that provide the reference frequencies for the DSN Frequency and Timing System (DFT). Areas of discussion are: (1) a brief history of the GPS timing receivers in the DSN, (2) a description of the data and information flow, (3) data on the performance of the DSN master clocks and GPS measurement system, and (4) a description of hydrogen maser frequency steering using these data.

  13. 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

  14. Design of a Mechanical NaK Pump for Fission Space Power Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mireles, Omar R.; Bradley, David; Godfroy, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    Alkali liquid metal cooled fission reactor concepts are under development for mid-range spaceflight power requirements. One such concept utilizes a sodium-potassium eutectic (NaK) as the primary loop working fluid. Traditionally, linear induction pumps have been used to provide the required flow and head conditions for liquid metal systems but can be limited in performance. This paper details the design, build, and check-out test of a mechanical NaK pump. The pump was designed to meet reactor cooling requirements using commercially available components modified for high temperature NaK service.

  15. Fission Surface Power Technology Development Update

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palac, Donald T.; Mason, Lee S.; Houts, Michael G.; Harlow, Scott

    2011-01-01

    conversion unit with electrical controls, and a heat rejection system with a multi-panel radiator assembly. Testing is planned at the Glenn Research Center Vacuum Facility 6 starting in 2012, with vacuum and liquid-nitrogen cold walls to provide simulation of operationally relevant environments. A nominal two-year test campaign is planned including a Phase 1 reactor simulator and power conversion test followed by a Phase 2 integrated system test with radiator panel heat rejection. The testing is expected to demonstrate the readiness and availability of fission surface power as a viable power system option for NASA's exploration needs. In addition to surface power, technology development work within this project is also directly applicable to in-space fission power and propulsion systems.

  16. Centralized versus distributed propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, J. P.

    1982-01-01

    The functions and requirements of auxiliary propulsion systems are reviewed. None of the three major tasks (attitude control, stationkeeping, and shape control) can be performed by a collection of thrusters at a single central location. If a centralized system is defined as a collection of separated clusters, made up of the minimum number of propulsion units, then such a system can provide attitude control and stationkeeping for most vehicles. A distributed propulsion system is characterized by more numerous propulsion units in a regularly distributed arrangement. Various proposed large space systems are reviewed and it is concluded that centralized auxiliary propulsion is best suited to vehicles with a relatively rigid core. These vehicles may carry a number of flexible or movable appendages. A second group, consisting of one or more large flexible flat plates, may need distributed propulsion for shape control. There is a third group, consisting of vehicles built up from multiple shuttle launches, which may be forced into a distributed system because of the need to add additional propulsion units as the vehicles grow. The effects of distributed propulsion on a beam-like structure were examined. The deflection of the structure under both translational and rotational thrusts is shown as a function of the number of equally spaced thrusters. When two thrusters only are used it is shown that location is an important parameter. The possibility of using distributed propulsion to achieve minimum overall system weight is also examined. Finally, an examination of the active damping by distributed propulsion is described.

  17. 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

  18. Delayed fission

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hatsukawa, Yuichi [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Tokai, Ibaraki (Japan). Tokai Research Establishment

    1997-07-01

    Delayed fission is a nuclear decay process that couples {beta} decay and fission. In the delayed fission process, a parent nucleus undergoes {beta} decay and thereby populates excited states in the daughter. If these states are of energies comparable to or greater than the fission barrier of the daughter, then fission may compete with other decay modes of the excited states in the daughter. In this paper, mechanism and some experiments of the delayed fission will be discussed. (author)

  19. Neutrons in a highly diffusive medium a new propulsion tool for deep space exploration?

    CERN Document Server

    Rubbia, Carlo

    1998-01-01

    The recently completed TARC Experiment at the CERN-PS has shown how it is possible to confine neutrons by diffusion in a limited volume of a highly transparent medium for very long times (tens of milliseconds), with correspondingly very long diffusive paths (> 60 m neutron path ÒwoundÓ within a ~ 60 cm effective radius). Assume an empty cavity is introduced inside the previous volume of diffusing medium. The inner walls of the cavity are covered with a thin layer of highly fissionable material, which acts as a neutron multiplying source. This configuration, called Òn-HohlraumÓ, is reminiscent of a classic black-body radiator, with the exception that now neutrons rather than photons are propagated. The flux can be sufficiently enhanced as to permit to reach criticality with a ~ 1 mm thick Americium deposit, corresponding to a mere 1100 atomic layers. Such a layer is so thin that the Fission Fragments (FF) exit freely into the cavity. The energy carried by FF can be recovered directly, thus making use of th...

  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. Numerical investigation of a new LH2 centrifugal pump concept used in space propulsion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ion MALAEL

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available The present study deals with efficiency increase of a centrifugal pump for liquid rocket propulsion by using an innovative concept. With this new pump design the axial length will be reduced by 60% and 20% mass weight towards a classic two stage centrifugal pump. To estimate the performances, the CFD methods were used. The CFD analysis will be performed on 3D domains with the CFD commercial code ANSYS CFX. The numerical solvers used are pressure based with the SIMPLE method for RANS. The domain discretization was done by using dedicated grid generators like TurboGrid and ICEM CFD. The results were compared with a classic configuration with two stages in series. Centrifugal pump characteristics, such as pressure inlet-outlet variation, velocity and streamline patterns are presented in the paper.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  3. Movement and Maneuver in Deep Space: A Framework to Leverage Advanced Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-04-01

    Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) .................................................... 20 Directed Energy-Driven Technology...power in space commensurate with the ambitions of private industry and peer competitors. In the commercial space industry, capital and capability are...opportunistic policies, intent, and actions of space-faring peer competitors such as China, Russia, and India, along with civil and commercial

  4. Operations analysis (study 2.1). Program SEPSIM (solar electric propulsion stage simulation). [in FORTRAN: space tug

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, T. J.

    1974-01-01

    Program SEPSIM is a FORTRAN program which performs deployment, servicing, and retrieval missions to synchronous equatorial orbit using a space tug with a continuous low thrust upper stage known as a solar electric propulsion stage (SEPS). The SEPS ferries payloads back and forth between an intermediate orbit and synchronous orbit, and performs the necessary servicing maneuvers in synchronous orbit. The tug carries payloads between the orbiter and the intermediate orbit, deploys fully fueled SEPS vehicles, and retrieves exhausted SEPS vehicles when, and if, required. The program is presently contained in subroutine form in the Logistical On-orbit VEhicle Servicing (LOVES) Program, but can also be run independently with the addition of a simple driver program.

  5. Reverse Kinematic Analysis and Uncertainty Analysis of the Space Shuttle AFT Propulsion System (APS) POD Lifting Fixture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brink, Jeffrey S.

    2005-01-01

    The space shuttle Aft Propulsion System (APS) pod requires precision alignment to be installed onto the orbiter deck. The Ground Support Equipment (GSE) used to perform this task cannot be manipulated along a single Cartesian axis without causing motion along the other Cartesian axes. As a result, manipulations required to achieve a desired motion are not intuitive. My study calculated the joint angles required to align the APS pod, using reverse kinematic analysis techniques. Knowledge of these joint angles will allow the ground support team to align the APS pod more safely and efficiently. An uncertainty analysis was also performed to estimate the accuracy associated with this approach and to determine whether any inexpensive modifications can be made to further improve accuracy.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. The importance of being asymmetric: the physiology of digesta propulsion on Earth and in space.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arun, C P

    2004-11-01

    In the embryo, the mammalian gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is a midline structure, but later becomes strikingly asymmetric. Such asymmetry is in contrast to other organ systems that are essentially bilaterally symmetric. Making a departure from the traditional straight tube model of the bowel, we offer a more realistic model-a kinked collapsible conduit disposed as a constrained kinematic chain. We examine evidence for the importance of its asymmetry to the unidirectional flow of digesta. A number of factors cooperate to ensure a unidirectional flow. The anatomical factors must include (1) the shape of the abdomen, the inverted truncated cone allowing several degrees of freedom of movement of the bowel allowing folds and twists; (2) the location of the liver and the stomach under the diaphragm, providing for efficient force transmission from the diaphragm (especially in the distended state in the case of the stomach); (3) cranio-caudal gradients in length of the small bowel mesentery and diameter of the bowel lumen. The physiological factors include (1) a deliberate conversion of ingested food into a non-Newtonian fluid with increasing viscosity, (2) nonlinearity of the tube law, (3) respiratory excursions of the diaphragm, and (4) a "Law of the Intestine". In microgravity, the bowel can be expected to float and exhibit loss of polarity of propulsion of digesta, but this can be compensated for by exercise (indirectly by increasing diaphragmatic movement). The asymmetry of the GIT is an ingenious device to ensure a unidirectional movement of digesta.

  10. Advanced Simulation Framework for Design and Analysis of Space Propulsion Systems, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  11. Advanced Simulation Framework for Design and Analysis of Space Propulsion Systems, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  12. Cathode for Electric Space Propulsion Utilizing Iodine as Propellant, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose a hollow reservoir cathode suitable for use in ion or Hall thrusters which utilizes iodine as a propellant. Reservoir cathodes have several unique...

  13. Improved Rhenium Thrust Chambers for In-Space Propulsion, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  14. Low-cost space fission power systems utilizing US and former Soviet Union experience and technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wetch, J.R.; Britt, E.J.; Koester, J.K.; Gunther, N.; Ponomarev-Stepnoi, N.N.; Nikolaev, Y.V.; Nikitin, V.

    1997-01-01

    This report summarizes the author close-quote s approach to space power total economics. In the past 40 years of U.S. government sponsored space nuclear power developments, total economics has received only token consideration. In the real world, nuclear power has had limited acceptance where it provided the enabling capability i.e. isotopes for low power, long life, deep space missions, or reactor power for underwater nuclear submarines. It was also accepted where it was perceived to be more economic. Examples are nuclear reactor powered aircraft carriers, escort vessels and central station power stations. In any case, real and perceived public and environmental safety must always be included into the economic equation. copyright 1997 American Institute of Physics

  15. Lessons Learned (3 Years of H2O2 Propulsion System Testing Efforts at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Gary O.

    2001-01-01

    John C. Stennis Space Center continues to support the Propulsion community in an effort to validate High-Test Peroxide as an alternative to existing/future oxidizers. This continued volume of peroxide test/handling activity at Stennis Space Center (SSC) provides numerous opportunities for the SSC team to build upon previously documented 'lessons learned'. SSC shall continue to strive to document their experience and findings as H2O2 issues surface. This paper is intended to capture all significant peroxide issues that we have learned over the last three years. This data (lessons learned) has been formulated from practical handling, usage, storage, operations, and initial development/design of our systems/facility viewpoint. The paper is intended to be an information type tool and limited in technical rational; therefore, presenting the peroxide community with some issues to think about as the continued interest in peroxide evolves and more facilities/hardware are built. These lessons learned are intended to assist industry in mitigating problems and identifying potential pitfalls when dealing with the requirements for handling high-test peroxide.

  16. Research in Support of the Use of Rankine Cycle Energy Conversion Systems for Space Power and Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lahey, Richard T., Jr.; Dhir, Vijay

    2004-01-01

    This is the report of a Scientific Working Group (SWG) formed by NASA to determine the feasibility of using a liquid metal cooled nuclear reactor and Rankine energy conversion cycle for dual purpose power and propulsion in space. This is a high level technical report which is intended for use by NASA management in program planning. The SWG was composed of a team of specialists in nuclear energy and multiphase flow and heat transfer technology from academia, national laboratories, NASA and industry. The SWG has identified the key technology issues that need to be addressed and have recommended an integrated short term (approx. 2 years) and a long term (approx. 10 year) research and development (R&D) program to qualify a Rankine cycle power plant for use in space. This research is ultimately intended to give NASA and its contractors the ability to reliably predict both steady and transient multiphase flow and heat transfer phenomena at reduced gravity, so they can analyze and optimize designs and scale-up experimental data on Rankine cycle components and systems. In addition, some of these results should also be useful for the analysis and design of various multiphase life support and thermal management systems being considered by NASA.

  17. Characterization of Pump-Induced Acoustics in Space Launch System Main Propulsion System Liquid Hydrogen Feedline Using Airflow Test Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eberhart, C. J.; Snellgrove, L. M.; Zoladz, T. F.

    2015-01-01

    High intensity acoustic edgetones located upstream of the RS-25 Low Pressure Fuel Turbo Pump (LPFTP) were previously observed during Space Launch System (STS) airflow testing of a model Main Propulsion System (MPS) liquid hydrogen (LH2) feedline mated to a modified LPFTP. MPS hardware has been adapted to mitigate the problematic edgetones as part of the Space Launch System (SLS) program. A follow-on airflow test campaign has subjected the adapted hardware to tests mimicking STS-era airflow conditions, and this manuscript describes acoustic environment identification and characterization born from the latest test results. Fluid dynamics responsible for driving discrete excitations were well reproduced using legacy hardware. The modified design was found insensitive to high intensity edgetone-like discretes over the bandwidth of interest to SLS MPS unsteady environments. Rather, the natural acoustics of the test article were observed to respond in a narrowband-random/mixed discrete manner to broadband noise thought generated by the flow field. The intensity of these responses were several orders of magnitude reduced from those driven by edgetones.

  18. 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.)

  19. 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.

  20. 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.)

  1. Nuclear fission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kodama, T.

    1981-01-01

    The nuclear fission process is pedagogically reviewed from a macroscopic-microscopic point of view. The Droplet model is considered. The fission dynamics is discussed utilizing path integrals and semiclassical methods. (L.C.) [pt

  2. Laser Propulsion - Quo Vadis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bohn, Willy L.

    2008-01-01

    First, an introductory overview of the different types of laser propulsion techniques will be given and illustrated by some historical examples. Second, laser devices available for basic experiments will be reviewed ranging from low power lasers sources to inertial confinement laser facilities. Subsequently, a status of work will show the impasse in which the laser propulsion community is currently engaged. Revisiting the basic relations leads to new avenues in ablative and direct laser propulsion for ground based and space based applications. Hereby, special attention will be devoted to the impact of emerging ultra-short pulse lasers on the coupling coefficient and specific impulse. In particular, laser sources and laser propulsion techniques will be tested in microgravity environment. A novel approach to debris removal will be discussed with respect to the Satellite Laser Ranging (SRL) facilities. Finally, some non technical issues will be raised aimed at the future prospects of laser propulsion in the international community

  3. HPS: A space fission power system suitable for near-term, low-cost lunar and planetary bases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Houts, M.G.; Poston, D.I.; Ranken, W.A.

    1996-01-01

    Near-term, low-cost space fission power systems can enhance the feasibility and utility of lunar and planetary bases. One such system, the Heatpipe Power System (HPS), is described in this paper. The HPS draws on 40 yr of United States and international experience to enable a system that can be developed in <5 yr at a cost of <$100M. Total HPS mass is <600 kg at 5 kWe and <2000 kg at 50 kWe, assuming that thermoelectric power conversion is used. More advanced power conversion systems could reduce system mass significantly. System mass for planetary surface systems also may be reduced (1) if indigenous material is used for radiation shielding and (2) because of the positive effect of the gravitational field on heatpipe operation. The HPS is virtually non-radioactive at launch and is passively subcritical during all credible launch accidents. Full-system electrically heated testing is possible, and a ground nuclear power test is not needed for flight qualification. Fuel burnup limits are not reached for several decades, thus giving the system long-life potential

  4. Antiproton Powered Gas Core Fission Rocket

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kammash, Terry

    2005-01-01

    Extensive research in recent years has demonstrated that 'at rest' annihilation of antiprotons in the uranium isotope U238 leads to fission at nearly 100% efficiency. The resulting highly-ionizing, energetic fission fragments can heat a suitable medium to very high temperatures, making such a process particularly suitable for space propulsion applications. Such an ionized medium, which would serve as a propellant, can be confined by a magnetic field during the heating process, and subsequently ejected through a magnetic nozzle to generate thrust. The gasdynamic mirror (GDM) magnetic configuration is especially suited for this application since the underlying confinement principle is that the plasma be of such density and temperature as to make the ion-ion collision mean free path shorter than the plasma length. Under these conditions the plasma behaves like a fluid, and its escape from the system is analogous to the flow of a gas into vacuum from a vessel with a hole. For the system we propose we envisage radially injecting atomic or U238 plasma beam at a pre-determined position and axially pulsing an antiproton beam which upon interaction with the uranium target gives rise to near isotropic ejection of fission fragments with a total mass of 212 amu and total energy of about 160 MeV. These particles, along with the annihilation products (i.e. pions and muons) will heat the background U238 gas - inserted into the chamber just prior to the release of the antiproton - to one keV temperature. Preliminary analysis reveals that such a propulsion system can produce a specific impulse of about 3000 seconds at a thrust of about 50 kN. When applied to a round trip Mars mission, we find that such a journey can be accomplished in about 142 days with 2 days of thrusting and requiring only one gram of antiprotons to achieve it

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, Troy

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

  6. MOVEMENT AND MANEUVER IN DEEP SPACE: A Framework to Leverage Advanced Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-04-01

    the Casimir force—which is analogous to a pressure imbalance created by a reduction in air density ( think Bernoulli’s principle).53 Because the...many bets ” scenario. If the bets are well vetted, like the BPP model, then even a null or sub-optimal result is a valuable 37 pay-off in terms of...we must think of deep space exploration as imperative–too important to be relegated to simple political interest. 115 “Worldometers” on Worldometers

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Acoustic Modeling and Analysis for the Space Shuttle Main Propulsion System Liner Crack Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casiano, Matthew J.; Zoladz, Tom F.

    2004-01-01

    Cracks were found on bellows flow liners in the liquid hydrogen feedlines of several space shuttle orbiters in 2002. An effort to characterize the fluid environment upstream of the space shuttle main engine low-pressure fuel pump was undertaken to help identify the cause of the cracks and also provide quantitative environments and loads of the region. Part of this effort was to determine the duct acoustics several inches upstream of the low-pressure fuel pump in the region of a bellows joint. A finite element model of the complicated geometry was made using three-dimensional fluid elements. The model was used to describe acoustics in the complex geometry and played an important role in the investigation. Acoustic mode shapes and natural frequencies of the liquid hydrogen in the duct and in the cavity behind the flow liner were determined. Forced response results were generated also by applying an edgetone-like forcing to the liner slots. Studies were conducted for state conditions and also conditions assuming two-phase entrapment in the backing cavity. Highly instrumented single-engine hot fire data confirms the presence of some of the predicted acoustic modes.

  10. Rarefied gas electro jet (RGEJ) micro-thruster for space propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Ariel; Roy, Subrata

    2017-11-01

    This article numerically investigates a micro-thruster for small satellites which utilizes plasma actuators to heat and accelerate the flow in a micro-channel with rarefied gas in the slip flow regime. The inlet plenum condition is considered at 1 Torr with flow discharging to near vacuum conditions (consumption and the thrust effectiveness of the thruster are predicted based on these results. The ionized gas is modelled using local mean energy approximation. An electrically induced body force and a thermal heating source are calculated based on the space separated charge distribution and the ion Joule heating, respectively. The rarefied gas flow with these electric force and heating source is modelled using density-based compressible flow equations with slip flow boundary conditions. The results show that a significant improvement of specific impulse can be achieved over highly optimized cold gas thrusters using the same propellant.

  11. 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.

  12. Rarefied gas electro jet (RGEJ) micro-thruster for space propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blanco, Ariel; Roy, Subrata

    2017-01-01

    This article numerically investigates a micro-thruster for small satellites which utilizes plasma actuators to heat and accelerate the flow in a micro-channel with rarefied gas in the slip flow regime. The inlet plenum condition is considered at 1 Torr with flow discharging to near vacuum conditions (<0.05 Torr). The Knudsen numbers at the inlet and exit planes are ∼0.01 and ∼0.1, respectively. Although several studies have been performed in micro-hallow cathode discharges at constant pressure, to our knowledge, an integrated study of the glow discharge physics and resulting fluid flow of a plasma thruster under these low pressure and low Knudsen number conditions is yet to be reported. Numerical simulations of the charge distribution due to gas ionization processes and the resulting rarefied gas flow are performed using an in-house code. The mass flow rate, thrust, specific impulse, power consumption and the thrust effectiveness of the thruster are predicted based on these results. The ionized gas is modelled using local mean energy approximation. An electrically induced body force and a thermal heating source are calculated based on the space separated charge distribution and the ion Joule heating, respectively. The rarefied gas flow with these electric force and heating source is modelled using density-based compressible flow equations with slip flow boundary conditions. The results show that a significant improvement of specific impulse can be achieved over highly optimized cold gas thrusters using the same propellant. (paper)

  13. Ion Beam Propulsion Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    The Ion Beam Propulsion Study was a joint high-level study between the Applied Physics Laboratory operated by NASA and ASRC Aerospace at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and Berkeley Scientific, Berkeley, California. The results were promising and suggested that work should continue if future funding becomes available. The application of ion thrusters for spacecraft propulsion is limited to quite modest ion sources with similarly modest ion beam parameters because of the mass penalty associated with the ion source and its power supply system. Also, the ion source technology has not been able to provide very high-power ion beams. Small ion beam propulsion systems were used with considerable success. Ion propulsion systems brought into practice use an onboard ion source to form an energetic ion beam, typically Xe+ ions, as the propellant. Such systems were used for steering and correction of telecommunication satellites and as the main thruster for the Deep Space 1 demonstration mission. In recent years, "giant" ion sources were developed for the controlled-fusion research effort worldwide, with beam parameters many orders of magnitude greater than the tiny ones of conventional space thruster application. The advent of such huge ion beam sources and the need for advanced propulsion systems for exploration of the solar system suggest a fresh look at ion beam propulsion, now with the giant fusion sources in mind.

  14. 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.

  15. Pulsed fusion space propulsion: Computational Magneto-Hydro Dynamics of a multi-coil parabolic reaction chamber

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanelli, Gherardo; Mignone, Andrea; Cervone, Angelo

    2017-10-01

    Pulsed fusion propulsion might finally revolutionise manned space exploration by providing an affordable and relatively fast access to interplanetary destinations. However, such systems are still in an early development phase and one of the key areas requiring further investigations is the operation of the magnetic nozzle, the device meant to exploit the fusion energy and generate thrust. One of the last pulsed fusion magnetic nozzle design is the so called multi-coil parabolic reaction chamber: the reaction is thereby ignited at the focus of an open parabolic chamber, enclosed by a series of coaxial superconducting coils that apply a magnetic field. The field, beside confining the reaction and preventing any contact between hot fusion plasma and chamber structure, is also meant to reflect the explosion and push plasma out of the rocket. Reflection is attained thanks to electric currents induced in conductive skin layers that cover each of the coils, the change of plasma axial momentum generates thrust in reaction. This working principle has yet to be extensively verified and computational Magneto-Hydro Dynamics (MHD) is a viable option to achieve that. This work is one of the first detailed ideal-MHD analysis of a multi-coil parabolic reaction chamber of this kind and has been completed employing PLUTO, a freely distributed computational code developed at the Physics Department of the University of Turin. The results are thus a preliminary verification of the chamber's performance. Nonetheless, plasma leakage through the chamber structure has been highlighted. Therefore, further investigations are required to validate the chamber design. Implementing a more accurate physical model (e.g. Hall-MHD or relativistic-MHD) is thus mandatory, and PLUTO shows the capabilities to achieve that.

  16. Distributed Propulsion Vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyun Dae

    2010-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Space Propulsion and Power

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-08

    N is imaginary- Gyrotropic material (with imposed magnetic fields), leading to Faraday rotation and Optical Kerr effect , one- way waveguides...are performed to investigate particle designs. Aluminum Core MP Aluminum Shell MP Ni shell exerts cage -like effect and raises MP of core...Princeton) Wall Architectures Have Significant Effects on Secondary Electron Emission (SEE) and Discharge Behavior Plasma flow To avoid field

  20. Propulsion for CubeSats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemmer, Kristina

    2017-05-01

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

  1. Advanced Chemical Propulsion Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodcock, Gordon; Byers, Dave; Alexander, Leslie A.; Krebsbach, Al

    2004-01-01

    A study was performed of advanced chemical propulsion technology application to space science (Code S) missions. The purpose was to begin the process of selecting chemical propulsion technology advancement activities that would provide greatest benefits to Code S missions. Several missions were selected from Code S planning data, and a range of advanced chemical propulsion options was analyzed to assess capabilities and benefits re these missions. Selected beneficial applications were found for higher-performing bipropellants, gelled propellants, and cryogenic propellants. Technology advancement recommendations included cryocoolers and small turbopump engines for cryogenic propellants; space storable propellants such as LOX-hydrazine; and advanced monopropellants. It was noted that fluorine-bearing oxidizers offer performance gains over more benign oxidizers. Potential benefits were observed for gelled propellants that could be allowed to freeze, then thawed for use.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Development of Cubesat Propulsion Systems

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The overall objective of this IRAD will be to develop a propulsion system that can be cheaply and reliably used for NASA GSFC cubesat missions. Reliability will be...

  5. Electrospray Propulsion Engineering Toolkit (ESPET), Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — To accelerate the development of scaled-up Electrospray Propulsion emitter array systems with practical thrust levels, Spectral Sciences, Inc. (SSI), in...

  6. Fusion propulsion systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haloulakos, V.E.; Bourque, R.F.

    1989-01-01

    The continuing and expanding national efforts in both the military and commercial sectors for exploration and utilization of space will require launch, assembly in space, and orbital transfer of large payloads. The currently available delivery systems, utilizing various forms of chemical propulsion, do not have the payload capacity to fulfill the planned missions. National planning documents such as Air Force Project Forecast II and the National Commission on Space Report to the President contain numerous missions and payload delivery schedules that are beyond the present capabilities of the available systems, such as the Space Shuttle and the Expendable Launch Vehicles (ELVs). The need, therefore, is very pressing to design, develop, and deploy propulsion systems that offer a quantum level increase in delivered performance. One such potential system is fusion propulsion. This paper summarizes the result of an Air Force Astronautics Laboratory (AFAL) sponsored study of fusion propulsion conducted by the McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company (MDAC), and its subcontractor General Atomics This study explored the potential of fusion propulsion for Air Force missions. Fusion fuels and existing confinement concepts were evaluated according to elaborate criteria. Two fuels, deuterium-tritium and deuterium-helium 3 (D- 3 He) were considered worthy of further consideration. D- 3 He was selected as the most attractive for this Air Force study. The colliding translating compact torus confinement concept was evaluated in depth and found to possibly possess the low mass and compactness required. Another possible concept is inertial confinement with the propellant surrounding the target. 5 refs., 5 figs., 8 tabs

  7. Tip model of cold fission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goennenwein, F.; Boersig, B.

    1991-01-01

    Cold fission is defined to be the limiting case of nuclear fission where virtually all of the available energy is converted into the total kinetic energy of the fragments. The fragments have, therefore, to be born in or at least close to their respective ground states. Starting from the viewpoint that cold fission corresponds to most compact scission configurations, energy constraints have been exploited to calculate minimum tip distances between the two nascent fragments in binary fission. Crucial input parameters to this tip model of cold fission are the ground-state deformations of fragment nuclei. It is shown that the minimum tip distances being compatible with energy conservation vary strongly with both the mass and charge fragmentation of the fission prone nucleus. The tip distances refer to nuclei with equivalent sharp surfaces. In keeping with the size of the surface width of leptodermous nuclei, only configurations where the tip distances are smaller than a few fm may be considered as valid scission configurations. From a comparison with experimental data on cold fission this critical tip distance appears to be 3.0 fm for the model parameters chosen. Whenever the model calculation yields tip distances being smaller than the critical value, a necessary condition for attaining cold fission is considered to be fulfilled. It is shown that this criterion allows to understand in fair agreement with experiment which mass fragmentations are susceptible to lead to cold fission and which fragment-charge divisions are the most favored in each isobaric mass chain. Being based merely on energy arguments, the model cannot aim at predicting fragment yields in cold fission. However, the tip model proposed appears well suited to delineate the phase space where cold fission phenomena may come into sight. (orig.)

  8. Ternary fission

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    the energy minimization of all possible ternary breakups of a heavy radioactive nucleus. Further, within the TCM we have analysed the competition between different geometries as well as different positioning of the fragments. Also, an attempt was made to calculate the mass distribution of ternary fission process within the ...

  9. 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.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  11. Futurepath: The Story of Research and Technology at NASA Lewis Research Center. Structures for Flight Propulsion, ARC Sprayed Monotape, National Aero-Space Plane

    Science.gov (United States)

    1989-01-01

    The story of research and technology at NASA Lewis Research Center's Structures Division is presented. The job and designs of the Structures Division needed for flight propulsion is described including structural mechanics, structural dynamics, fatigue, and fracture. The video briefly explains why properties of metals used in structural mechanics need to be tested. Examples of tests and simulations used in structural dynamics (bodies in motion) are briefly described. Destructive and non-destructive fatigue/fracture analysis is also described. The arc sprayed monotape (a composite material) is explained, as are the programs in which monotape plays a roll. Finally, the National Aero-Space Plane (NASP or x-30) is introduced, including the material development and metal matrix as well as how NASP will reduce costs for NASA.

  12. Laser Propulsion - Is it another myth or a real potential?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cook, Joung R.

    2008-01-01

    This paper discusses different principles of inducing propulsive power using lasers and examines the performance limits along with pros and cons with respect to different space propulsion applications: satellite launching, orbital transfer, space debris clearing, satellite propulsion, and space travels. It concludes that a use of electrical propulsion, in conjunction with laser power beaming, is the most feasible application with technological and economic advantages for commercial use within the next decades

  13. Project ARGO: The design and analysis of an all-propulsive and an aeroassisted version of a manned space transportation vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, H.; Seifert, D.; Waidelich, J.; Mileski, M.; Herr, D.; Wilks, M.; Law, G.; Folz, A.

    1989-01-01

    The Senior Aerospace System Design class at the University of Michigan undertook the design of a manned space transportation vehicle (STV) that would transport payloads between low earth orbit (LEO) and geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO). Designated ARGO after the ship of the Greek adventurer Jason, two different versions of an STV that would be based, refueled, and serviced at the Space Station Freedom were designed and analyzed by the class. With the same 2-man/7-day nominal mission of transporting a 10,000-kg payload up to GEO and bringing a 5000-kg payload back to LEO, the two versions of ARGO differ in the manner in which the delta V is applied to insert the vehicle into LEO upon return from GEO. The all-propulsive ARGO (or CSTV for chemical STV) uses thrust from its LH2/LOX rocket engines to produce the delta V during all phases of its mission. While the aeroassisted ARGO (or ASTV for aeroassisted STV) also uses the same engines for the majority of the mission, the final delta V used to insert the ASTV into LEO is produced by skimming the Earth's atmosphere and using the drag on the vehicle to apply the required delta V. This procedure allows for large propellant, and thus cost, savings, but creates many design problems such as the high heating rates and decelerations experienced by a vehicle moving through the atmosphere at hypersonic velocities. The design class, consisting of 43 senior aerospace engineering students, was divided into one managerial and eight technical groups. The technical groups consisted of spacecraft configuration and integration, mission analysis, atmospheric flight, propulsion, power and communications, life support and human factors, logistics and support, and systems analysis. Two committees were set up with members from each group to create the scale models of the STV's and to produce the final report.

  14. Fifty years with nuclear fission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Behrens, J.W.; Carlson, A.D.

    1989-01-01

    The news of the discovery of nuclear fission, by Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann in Germany, was brought to the United States by Niels Bohr in January 1939. Since its discovery, the United States, and the world for that matter, has never been the same. It therefore seemed appropriate to acknowledge the fifieth anniversary of its discovery by holding a topical meeting entitled, ''Fifty Years with Nuclear Fission,'' in the United States during the year 1989. The objective of the meeting was to bring together pioneers of the nuclear industry and other scientists and engineers to report on reminiscences of the past and on the more recent development in fission science and technology. The conference highlighted the early pioneers of the nuclear industry by dedicated a full day (April 26), consisting of two plenary sessions, at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Washington, DC. More recent developments in fission science and technology in addition to historical reflections were topics for two fully days of sessions (April 27 and 28) at the main site of the NIST in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The wide range of topics covered in this Volume 1 by this topical meeting included plenary invited, and contributed sessions entitled: Preclude to the First Chain Reaction -- 1932 to 1942; Early Fission Research -- Nuclear Structure and Spontaneous Fission; 50 Years of Fission, Science, and Technology; Nuclear Reactors, Secure Energy for the Future; Reactors 1; Fission Science 1; Safeguards and Space Applications; Fission Data; Nuclear Fission -- Its Various Aspects; Theory and Experiments in Support of Theory; Reactors and Safeguards; and General Research, Instrumentation, and By-Product. The individual papers have been cataloged separately

  15. Visions of the Future: Hybrid Electric Aircraft Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowman, Cheryl L.

    2016-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is investing continually in improving civil aviation. Hybridization of aircraft propulsion is one aspect of a technology suite which will transform future aircraft. In this context, hybrid propulsion is considered a combination of traditional gas turbine propulsion and electric drive enabled propulsion. This technology suite includes elements of propulsion and airframe integration, parallel hybrid shaft power, turbo-electric generation, electric drive systems, component development, materials development and system integration at multiple levels.

  16. Fission meter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowland, Mark S [Alamo, CA; Snyderman, Neal J [Berkeley, CA

    2012-04-10

    A neutron detector system for discriminating fissile material from non-fissile material wherein a digital data acquisition unit collects data at high rate, and in real-time processes large volumes of data directly into information that a first responder can use to discriminate materials. The system comprises counting neutrons from the unknown source and detecting excess grouped neutrons to identify fission in the unknown source.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1980-01-01

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

  18. Nanostructured Tungsten Rhenium Components for Propulsion Systems, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  19. Feasibility of Traveling Wave Direct Energy Conversion of Fission Reaction Fragments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarditi, A. G.; George, J. A.; Miley, G. H.; Scott, J. H.

    2013-01-01

    Fission fragment direct energy conversion has been considered in the past for the purpose of increasing nuclear power plant efficiency and for advanced space propulsion. Since the fragments carry electric charge (typically in the order of 20 e) and have 100 MeV-range kinetic energy, techniques utilizing very high-voltage DC electrodes have been considered. This study is focused on a different approach: the kinetic energy of the charged fission fragments is converted into alternating current by means of a traveling wave coupling scheme (Traveling Wave Direct Energy Converter, TWDEC), thereby not requiring the utilization of high voltage technology. A preliminary feasibility analysis of the concept is introduced based on a conceptual level study and on a particle simulation model of the beam dynamics.

  20. Main Propulsion Test Article (MPTA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snoddy, Cynthia

    2010-01-01

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

  1. Fifty years with nuclear fission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Behrens, J.W.; Carlson, A.D.

    1989-01-01

    The news of the discovery of nucler fission, by Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann in Germany, was brought to the United States by Niels Bohr in January 1939. Since its discovery, the United States, and the world for that matter, has never been the same. It therefore seemed appropriate to acknowledge the fiftieth anniversary of its discovery by holding a topical meeting entitled, ''Fifty years with nuclear fission,'' in the United States during the year 1989. The objective of the meeting was to bring together pioneers of the nuclear industry and other scientists and engineers to report on reminiscences of the past and on the more recent developments in fission science and technology. The conference highlighted the early pioneers of the nuclear industry by dedicating a full day (April 26), consisting of two plenary sessions, at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in Washington, DC. More recent developments in fission science and technology in addition to historical reflections were topics for two full days of sessions (April 27 and 28) at the main sites of the NIST in Gaithersburg, Maryland. The wide range of topics covered by Volume 2 of this topical meeting included plenary invited, and contributed sessions entitled, Nuclear fission -- a prospective; reactors II; fission science II; medical and industrial applications by by-products; reactors and safeguards; general research, instrumentation, and by-products; and fission data, astrophysics, and space applications. The individual papers have been cataloged separately

  2. Development of a Robust Tri-Carbide Fueled Reactor for Multi-Megawatt Space Power and Propulsion Applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Hybrid Propulsion Technology for Robotic Science Missions, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — C3 Propulsion's Hybrid Propulsion Technology will be applied to a NASA selected Sample Return Mission. Phase I will demonstrate Proof-of-Principle and Phase II will...

  7. High Energy, Low Temperature Gelled Bi-Propellant Formulation for Long-Duration In-Space Propulsion, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  8. Ideological Fission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christiansen, Steen Ledet

    ; it is a materialisation of an ideological fission which attempts to excise certain ideological constructions, yet paradoxically casting them in a form that is recognizable and familiar. The monstrous metonomy which is used shows us glimpses of a horrid being, intended to vilify the attack on New York City. However......, it is a being which is reminiscent of earlier monsters - from Godzilla to The Blob. It is evident that the Cloverfield monster is a paradoxical construction which attempts to articulate fear and loathing about terrorism, but ends up trapped in an ideological dead-end maze, unable to do anything other than...

  9. 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

  10. Mica fission detectors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wong, C.; Anderson, J.D.; Hansen, L.; Lehn, A.V.; Williamson, M.A.

    1977-01-01

    The present development status of the mica fission detectors is summarized. It is concluded that the techniques have been refined and developed to a state such that the mica fission counters are a reliable and reproducible detector for fission events

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Concept Assessment of a Fission Fragment Rocket Engine (FFRE) Propelled Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werka, Robert; Clark, Rod; Sheldon, Rob; Percy, Tom

    2012-01-01

    The March, 2012 issue of Aerospace America stated that ?the near-to-medium prospects for applying advanced propulsion to create a new era of space exploration are not very good. In the current world, we operate to the Moon by climbing aboard a Carnival Cruise Lines vessel (Saturn 5), sail from the harbor (liftoff) shedding whole decks of the ship (staging) along the way and, having reached the return leg of the journey, sink the ship (burnout) and return home in a lifeboat (Apollo capsule). Clearly this is an illogical way to travel, but forced on Explorers by today's propulsion technology. However, the article neglected to consider the one propulsion technology, using today's physical principles that offer continuous, substantial thrust at a theoretical specific impulse of 1,000,000 sec. This engine unequivocally can create a new era of space exploration that changes the way spacecraft operate. Today's space Explorers could travel in Cruise Liner fashion using the technology not considered by Aerospace America, the novel Dusty Plasma Fission Fragment Rocket Engine (FFRE). This NIAC study addresses the FFRE as well as its impact on Exploration Spacecraft design and operation. It uses common physics of the relativistic speed of fission fragments to produce thrust. It radiatively cools the fissioning dusty core and magnetically controls the fragments direction to practically implement previously patented, but unworkable designs. The spacecraft hosting this engine is no more complex nor more massive than the International Space Station (ISS) and would employ the successful ISS technology for assembly and check-out. The elements can be lifted in "chunks" by a Heavy Lift Launcher. This Exploration Spacecraft would require the resupply of small amounts of nuclear fuel for each journey and would be an in-space asset for decades just as any Cruise Liner on Earth. This study has synthesized versions of the FFRE, integrated one concept onto a host spacecraft designed for

  14. Aeroelastic Wing Shaping Using Distributed Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Nhan T. (Inventor); Reynolds, Kevin Wayne (Inventor); Ting, Eric B. (Inventor)

    2017-01-01

    An aircraft has wings configured to twist during flight. Inboard and outboard propulsion devices, such as turbofans or other propulsors, are connected to each wing, and are spaced along the wing span. A flight controller independently controls thrust of the inboard and outboard propulsion devices to significantly change flight dynamics, including changing thrust of outboard propulsion devices to twist the wing, and to differentially apply thrust on each wing to change yaw and other aspects of the aircraft during various stages of a flight mission. One or more generators can be positioned upon the wing to provide power for propulsion devices on the same wing, and on an opposite wing.

  15. Fission theory and actinide fission data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Michaudon, A.

    1975-06-01

    The understanding of the fission process has made great progress recently, as a result of the calculation of fission barriers, using the Strutinsky prescription. Double-humped shapes were obtained for nuclei in the actinide region. Such shapes could explain, in a coherent manner, many different phenomena: fission isomers, structure in near-threshold fission cross sections, intermediate structure in subthreshold fission cross sections and anisotropy in the emission of the fission fragments. A brief review of fission barrier calculations and relevant experimental data is presented. Calculations of fission cross sections, using double-humped barrier shapes and fission channel properties, as obtained from the data discussed previously, are given for some U and Pu isotopes. The fission channel theory of A. Bohr has greatly influenced the study of low-energy fission. However, recent investigation of the yields of prompt neutrons and γ rays emitted in the resonances of {sup 235}U and {sup 239}Pu, together with the spin determination for many resonances of these two nuclei cannot be explained purely in terms of the Bohr theory. Variation in the prompt neutron and γ-ray yields from resonance to resonance does not seem to be due to such fission channels, as was thought previously, but to the effect of the (n,γf) reaction. The number of prompt fission neutrons and the kinetic energy of the fission fragments are affected by the energy balance and damping or viscosity effects in the last stage of the fission process, from saddle point to scission. These effects are discussed for some nuclei, especially for {sup 240}Pu.

  16. Assessment of the impact of neutronic/thermal-hydraulic coupling on the design and performance of nuclear reactors for space propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aithal, S.M.; Aldemir, T.; Vafai, K.

    1994-01-01

    A series of studies has been performed to investigate the potential impact of the coupling between neutronics and thermal hydraulics on the design and performance assessment of solid core reactors for nuclear thermal space propulsion, using the particle bed reactor (PBR) concept as an example system. For a given temperature distribution in the reactor, the k eff and steady-state core power distribution are obtained from three-dimensional, continuous energy Monte Carlo simulations using the MCNP code. For a given core power distribution, determination of the temperature distribution in the core and hydrogen-filled annulus between the reflector and pressure vessel is based on a nonthermal equilibrium analysis. The results show that a realistic estimation of fuel, core size, and control requirements for PBRs using hydrogenous moderators, as well as optimization of the overall engine design, may require coupled neutronic/thermal-hydraulic studies. However, it may be possible to estimate the thermal safety margins and propellant exit temperatures based on power distributions obtained from neutronic calculations at room temperature. The results also show that, while variation of the hydrogen flow rate in the annulus has been proposed as a partial control mechanism for PBRs, such control mechanism may not be feasible for PBRs with high moderator-to-fuel ratios and hence soft core neutron spectra

  17. RF emission-based health monitoring for hybrid and/or all electric aircraft distributed propulsion systems, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Future aircraft propulsion is destined to be electric. All electric aircraft propulsion systems promise significant improvements in energy efficiency,...

  18. Optimal temperature of operation of the cold side of a closed Brayton Cycle for space nuclear propulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Romano, Luís F.R.; Ribeiro, Guilherme B., E-mail: luisromano_91@hotmail.com, E-mail: gbribeiro@ieav.cta.br [Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA), São José dos Campos, SP (Brazil). Pós-Graduação Ciências e Tecnologias Espaciais

    2017-07-01

    Generating energy in space is a tough challenge, especially because it has to be used efficiently. The optimization of the system operation has to be though up since the design phase and all the minutiae between conception, production and operation should be carefully evaluated in order to deliver a functioning device that will meet all the mission's goals. This work seeks on further describing the operation of a Closed Brayton Cycle coupled toa nuclear microreactor used to generate energy to power spacecraft's systems, focusing specially on the cold side to evaluate the temperature of operation of the cold heat pipes in order to aid the selection of proper models to numerically describe the heat pipes and radiator s thermal operation. The cycle is designed to operate with a noble gas mixture of Helium-Xenon with a molecular weight of 40g/mole, selected for its transport properties and low turbomachinery charge and it is to exchange hear directly with the cold heat pipe' evaporator through convection at the cold heat exchanger. Properties such as size and mass are relevant to be analyzed due space applications requiring a careful development of the equipment in order to fit inside the launcher as well as lowering launch costs. Merit figures comparing both second law energetic efficiency and net energy availability with the device's radiator size are used in order to represent an energetic production density for the apparatus, which is ought to be launched from earth's surface. (author)

  19. Optimal temperature of operation of the cold side of a closed Brayton Cycle for space nuclear propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Romano, Luís F.R.; Ribeiro, Guilherme B.

    2017-01-01

    Generating energy in space is a tough challenge, especially because it has to be used efficiently. The optimization of the system operation has to be though up since the design phase and all the minutiae between conception, production and operation should be carefully evaluated in order to deliver a functioning device that will meet all the mission's goals. This work seeks on further describing the operation of a Closed Brayton Cycle coupled toa nuclear microreactor used to generate energy to power spacecraft's systems, focusing specially on the cold side to evaluate the temperature of operation of the cold heat pipes in order to aid the selection of proper models to numerically describe the heat pipes and radiator s thermal operation. The cycle is designed to operate with a noble gas mixture of Helium-Xenon with a molecular weight of 40g/mole, selected for its transport properties and low turbomachinery charge and it is to exchange hear directly with the cold heat pipe' evaporator through convection at the cold heat exchanger. Properties such as size and mass are relevant to be analyzed due space applications requiring a careful development of the equipment in order to fit inside the launcher as well as lowering launch costs. Merit figures comparing both second law energetic efficiency and net energy availability with the device's radiator size are used in order to represent an energetic production density for the apparatus, which is ought to be launched from earth's surface. (author)

  20. Nuclear fission and reactions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1975-01-01

    The nuclear fission research programs are designed to elucidate basic features of the fission process. Specifically, (1) factors determining how nucleons of a fissioning nucleus are distributed between two fission fragments, (2) factors determining kinetic energy and excitation energies of fragments, and (3) factors controlling fission lifetimes. To these ends, fission studies are reported for several heavy elements and include investigations of spontaneous and neutron-induced fission, heavy ion reactions, and high energy proton reactions. The status of theoretical research is also discussed. (U.S.)

  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. Powersail High Power Propulsion System Design Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulczinski, Frank S., III

    2000-11-01

    A desire by the United States Air Force to exploit the space environment has led to a need for increased on-orbit electrical power availability. To enable this, the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate (AFRL/ VS) is developing Powersail: a two-phased program to demonstrate high power (100 kW to 1 MW) capability in space using a deployable, flexible solar array connected to the host spacecraft using a slack umbilical. The first phase will be a proof-of-concept demonstration at 50 kW, followed by the second phase, an operational system at full power. In support of this program, the AFRL propulsion Directorate's Spacecraft Propulsion Branch (AFRL/PRS ) at Edwards AFB has commissioned a design study of the Powersail High Power Propulsion System. The purpose of this study, the results of which are summarized in this paper, is to perform mission and design trades to identify potential full-power applications (both near-Earth and interplanetary) and the corresponding propulsion system requirements and design. The design study shall farther identify a suitable low power demonstration flight that maximizes risk reduction for the fully operational system. This propulsion system is expected to be threefold: (1) primary propulsion for moving the entire vehicle, (2) a propulsion unit that maintains the solar array position relative to the host spacecraft, and (3) control propulsion for maintaining proper orientation for the flexible solar array.

  3. Measurements of fission yields

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Denschlag, H.O.

    2000-01-01

    After some historical introductory remarks on the discovery of nuclear fission and early fission yield determinations, the present status of knowledge on fission yields is briefly reviewed. Practical and fundamental reasons motivating the pursuit of fission yield measurements in the coming century are pointed out. Recent results and novel techniques are described that promise to provide new interesting insights into the fission process during the next century. (author)

  4. Radiochemical studies on fission

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1973-07-01

    Research progress is reported on nuclear chemistry; topics considered include: recoil range and kinetic energy distribution in the thermal neutron ftssion of /sup 245/Cm; mass distribution and recoil range measurements in the reactor neutron-induced fission of /sup 232/U; fission yields in the thermal neutron fission of /sup 241/PU highly asymmetric binary fission of uranium induced by reactor neutrons; and nuclear charge distribution in low energy fission. ( DHM)

  5. Supersonic plasma beams with controlled speed generated by the alternative low power hybrid ion engine (ALPHIE) for space propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conde, L.; Domenech-Garret, J. L.; Donoso, J. M.; Damba, J.; Tierno, S. P.; Alamillo-Gamboa, E.; Castillo, M. A.

    2017-12-01

    The characteristics of supersonic ion beams from the alternative low power hybrid ion engine (ALPHIE) are discussed. This simple concept of a DC powered plasma accelerator that only needs one electron source for both neutral gas ionization and ion beam neutralization is also examined. The plasma production and space charge neutralization processes are thus coupled in this plasma thruster that has a total DC power consumption of below 450 W, and uses xenon or argon gas as a propellant. The operation parameters of the plasma engine are studied in the laboratory in connection with the ion energy distribution function obtained with a retarding-field energy analyzer. The ALPHIE plasma beam expansion produces a mesothermal plasma flow with two-peaked ion energy distribution functions composed of low and high speed ion groups. The characteristic drift velocities of the fast ion groups, in the range 36.6-43.5 Km/s, are controlled by the acceleration voltage. These supersonic speeds are higher than the typical ion sound velocities of the low energy ion group produced by the expansion of the plasma jet. The temperatures of the slow ion population lead to ion Debye lengths longer than the electron Debye lengths. Furthermore, the electron impact ionization can coexist with collisional ionization by fast ions downstream the grids. Finally, the performance characteristics and comparisons with other plasma accelerator schemes are also discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anghaie, S.; Chen, G.

    1996-01-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. Probabilistic Structural Analysis Methods for select space propulsion system components (PSAM). Volume 2: Literature surveys of critical Space Shuttle main engine components

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajagopal, K. R.

    1992-01-01

    The technical effort and computer code development is summarized. Several formulations for Probabilistic Finite Element Analysis (PFEA) are described with emphasis on the selected formulation. The strategies being implemented in the first-version computer code to perform linear, elastic PFEA is described. The results of a series of select Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) component surveys are presented. These results identify the critical components and provide the information necessary for probabilistic structural analysis. Volume 2 is a summary of critical SSME components.

  9. Fission products collecting devices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsumoto, Hiroshi

    1979-01-01

    Purpose: To enable fission products trap with no contamination to coolants and cover gas by the provision of a fission products trap above the upper part of a nuclear power plant. Constitution: Upon fuel failures in a reactor core, nuclear fission products leak into coolants and move along the flow of the coolants to the coolants above the reactor core. The fission products are collected in a trap container and guided along a pipeline into fission products detector. The fission products detector monitors the concentration of the fission products and opens the downstream valve of the detector when a predetermined concentration of the fission products is detected to introduce the fission products into a waste gas processing device and release them through the exhaust pipe. (Seki, T.)

  10. Energy released in fission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    James, M.F.

    1969-05-01

    The effective energy released in and following the fission of U-235, Pu-239 and Pu-241 by thermal neutrons, and of U-238 by fission spectrum neutrons, is discussed. The recommended values are: U-235 ... 192.9 ± 0.5 MeV/fission; U-238 ... 193.9 ± 0.8 MeV/fission; Pu-239 ... 198.5 ± 0.8 MeV/fission; Pu-241 ... 200.3 ± 0.8 MeV/fission. These values include all contributions except from antineutrinos and very long-lived fission products. The detailed contributions are discussed, and inconsistencies in the experimental data are pointed out. In Appendix A, the contribution to the total useful energy release in a reactor from reactions other than fission are discussed briefly, and in Appendix B there is a discussion of the variations in effective energy from fission with incident neutron energy. (author)

  11. 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

  12. Algorithms for computing efficient, electric-propulsion, spiralling trajectories

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  13. 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

  14. HAC and fission reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fujiwara, I.; Moriyama, H.; Tachikawa, E.

    1984-01-01

    In the fission process, newly formed fission products undergo hot atom reactions due to their energetic recoil and abnormal positive charge. The hot atom reactions of the fission products are usually accompanied by secondary effects such as radiation damage, especially in condensed phase. For reactor safety it is valuable to know the chemical behaviour and the release behaviour of these radioactive fission products. Here, the authors study the chemical behaviour and the release behaviour of the fission products from the viewpoint of hot atom chemistry (HAC). They analyze the experimental results concerning fission product behaviour with the help of the theories in HAC and other neighboring fields such as radiation chemistry. (Auth.)

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Ultrasonic Stir Welding Development for Ground-Based and In Situ Fabrication and Repair for In-Space Propulsion Systems/Commercial Space Sector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Jeff

    2015-01-01

    The completed Center Innovation Fund (CIF) project used the upgraded Ultrasonic Stir Weld (USW) Prototype System (built in 2013/2014) to begin characterizing the weld process using 2219 aluminum (fig. 1). This work is being done in Bldg. 4755 at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). The capabilities of the USW system provides the means to precisely control and document individual welding parameters. The current upgraded system has the following capabilities: (1) Ability to 'pulse' ultrasonic (US) energy on and off and adjust parameters real-time (travel speed, spindle rpm, US amplitude, X and Z axis positions, and plunge and pin axis force; (2) Means to measure draw force; (3) Ability to record US power versus time; (4) Increasing stiffness of Z axis drive and reduce head deflection using laser technology; (5) Adding linear encoder to better control tool penetration setting; (6) Ultrasonic energy integrated into stir rod and containment plate; (7) Maximum 600 rpm; (8) Maximum Z force 15,000 lb; (9) Real-time data acquisition and logging capabilities at a minimum frequency of 10 Hz; and (10) Two separate transducer power supplies operating at 4.5 kW power.

  18. Fission Research at IRMM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Al-Adili A.

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Fission Research at JRC-IRMM has a longstanding tradition. The present paper is discussing recent investigations of fission fragment properties of 238 U(n,f, 234 U(n,f, prompt neutron emission in fission of 252 Cf(SF as well as the prompt fission neutron spectrum of 235 U(n,f and is presenting the most important results.

  19. 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

  20. Equilibrium fission model calculations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beckerman, M.; Blann, M.

    1976-01-01

    In order to aid in understanding the systematics of heavy ion fission and fission-like reactions in terms of the target-projectile system, bombarding energy and angular momentum, fission widths are calculated using an angular momentum dependent extension of the Bohr-Wheeler theory and particle emission widths using angular momentum coupling

  1. Energy dependence of the asymmetry-violated space parity of fragment emission from the 239PU fission by slow polarized neutrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Val'skij, G.V.; Zvezdkina, T.K.; Nikolaev, D.V.; Petrova, V.I.; Petrov, G.A.; Petukhov, A.K.; Pleva, Yu.S.; Tyukavin, V.A.

    1982-01-01

    Asymmetry violating parity in the fragment emission from fission of 239 Pu induced by polarized neutrons at six energy points in the interval 0.01 <= E <0.3 eV was measured. The results providing with an evidence in favour of the hypothesis that the asymmetry is independent on energy are discussed in view of the existing theoretical picture

  2. Advanced Propulsion Study

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Davis, Eric

    2004-01-01

    ... that show promise of leading to a major advance in Earth-to-orbit (ETO) propulsion. The study also reviewed and evaluated a select number of credible far-term breakthrough propulsion physics concepts pertaining...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. An overview of the NASA Advanced Propulsion Concepts program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Curran, F.M.; Bennett, G.L.; Frisbee, R.H.; Sercel, J.C.; Lapointe, M.R.

    1992-07-01

    NASA Advanced Propulsion Concepts (APC) program for the development of long-term space propulsion system schemes is managed by both NASA-Lewis and the JPL and is tasked with the identification and conceptual development of high-risk/high-payoff configurations. Both theoretical and experimental investigations have been undertaken in technology areas deemed essential to the implementation of candidate concepts. These APC candidates encompass very high energy density chemical propulsion systems, advanced electric propulsion systems, and an antiproton-catalyzed nuclear propulsion concept. A development status evaluation is presented for these systems. 45 refs

  6. Study of extraterrestrial disposal of radioactive wastes. Part 3: Preliminary feasibility screening study of space disposal of the actinide radioactive wastes with 1 percent and 0.1 percent fission product contamination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyland, R. E.; Wohl, M. L.; Finnegan, P. M.

    1973-01-01

    A preliminary study was conducted of the feasibility of space disposal of the actinide class of radioactive waste material. This waste was assumed to contain 1 and 0.1 percent residual fission products, since it may not be feasible to completely separate the actinides. The actinides are a small fraction of the total waste but they remain radioactive much longer than the other wastes and must be isolated from human encounter for tens of thousands of years. Results indicate that space disposal is promising but more study is required, particularly in the area of safety. The minimum cost of space transportation would increase the consumer electric utility bill by the order of 1 percent for earth escape and 3 percent for solar escape. The waste package in this phase of the study was designed for normal operating conditions only; the design of next phase of the study will include provisions for accident safety. The number of shuttle launches per year required to dispose of all U.S. generated actinide waste with 0.1 percent residual fission products varies between 3 and 15 in 1985 and between 25 and 110 by 2000. The lower values assume earth escape (solar orbit) and the higher values are for escape from the solar system.

  7. Plasma propulsion for geostationary satellites for telecommunication and interplanetary missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dudeck, M; Doveil, F; Arcis, N; Zurbach, S

    2012-01-01

    The advantages of electric propulsion for the orbit maintenance of geostationary satellites for telecommunications are described. Different types of plasma sources for space propulsion are presented. Due to its large performances, one of them, named Hall effect thruster is described in detail and two recent missions in space (Stentor and Smart1) using French Hall thrusters are briefly presented.

  8. Theoretical Description of the Fission Process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nazarewicz, Witold

    2009-01-01

    Advanced theoretical methods and high-performance computers may finally unlock the secrets of nuclear fission, a fundamental nuclear decay that is of great relevance to society. In this work, we studied the phenomenon of spontaneous fission using the symmetry-unrestricted nuclear density functional theory (DFT). Our results show that many observed properties of fissioning nuclei can be explained in terms of pathways in multidimensional collective space corresponding to different geometries of fission products. From the calculated collective potential and collective mass, we estimated spontaneous fission half-lives, and good agreement with experimental data was found. We also predicted a new phenomenon of trimodal spontaneous fission for some transfermium isotopes. Our calculations demonstrate that fission barriers of excited superheavy nuclei vary rapidly with particle number, pointing to the importance of shell effects even at large excitation energies. The results are consistent with recent experiments where superheavy elements were created by bombarding an actinide target with 48-calcium; yet even at high excitation energies, sizable fission barriers remained. Not only does this reveal clues about the conditions for creating new elements, it also provides a wider context for understanding other types of fission. Understanding of the fission process is crucial for many areas of science and technology. Fission governs existence of many transuranium elements, including the predicted long-lived superheavy species. In nuclear astrophysics, fission influences the formation of heavy elements on the final stages of the r-process in a very high neutron density environment. Fission applications are numerous. Improved understanding of the fission process will enable scientists to enhance the safety and reliability of the nation's nuclear stockpile and nuclear reactors. The deployment of a fleet of safe and efficient advanced reactors, which will also minimize radiotoxic

  9. Magnetohydrodynamic Augmented Propulsion Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    涌井, 和也; 荻原, 宏康

    1999-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Space polypropulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-05-01

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

  13. Low Cost Radiator for Fission Power Thermal Control, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) is developing fission power system technology for future space transportation and surface power applications. The early systems are...

  14. Low Cost Radiator for Fission Power Thermal Control, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA GRC is developing fission power system technology for future space transportation and surface power applications. The early systems are envisioned in the 10 to...

  15. In-Situ EBCs for High Performance Composite Propulsion Components, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  16. In-situ EBCs for High Performance Composite Propulsion Components, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  17. Fission level densities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maslov, V.M.

    1998-01-01

    Fission level densities (or fissioning nucleus level densities at fission saddle deformations) are required for statistical model calculations of actinide fission cross sections. Back-shifted Fermi-Gas Model, Constant Temperature Model and Generalized Superfluid Model (GSM) are widely used for the description of level densities at stable deformations. These models provide approximately identical level density description at excitations close to the neutron binding energy. It is at low excitation energies that they are discrepant, while this energy region is crucial for fission cross section calculations. A drawback of back-shifted Fermi gas model and traditional constant temperature model approaches is that it is difficult to include in a consistent way pair correlations, collective effects and shell effects. Pair, shell and collective properties of nucleus do not reduce just to the renormalization of level density parameter a, but influence the energy dependence of level densities. These effects turn out to be important because they seem to depend upon deformation of either equilibrium or saddle-point. These effects are easily introduced within GSM approach. Fission barriers are another key ingredients involved in the fission cross section calculations. Fission level density and barrier parameters are strongly interdependent. This is the reason for including fission barrier parameters along with the fission level densities in the Starter File. The recommended file is maslov.dat - fission barrier parameters. Recent version of actinide fission barrier data obtained in Obninsk (obninsk.dat) should only be considered as a guide for selection of initial parameters. These data are included in the Starter File, together with the fission barrier parameters recommended by CNDC (beijing.dat), for completeness. (author)

  18. Advanced Electric Propulsion NextSTEP BAA Activity

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The goal of the AES Advanced Electric Propulsion Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) activity is to...

  19. 100-lbf Non-Toxic Storable Liquid Propulsion, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  20. 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

  1. Studies of Fission Fragment Rocket Engine Propelled Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werka, Robert O.; Clark, Rodney; Sheldon, Rob; Percy, Thomas K.

    2014-01-01

    The NASA Office of Chief Technologist has funded from FY11 through FY14 successive studies of the physics, design, and spacecraft integration of a Fission Fragment Rocket Engine (FFRE) that directly converts the momentum of fission fragments continuously into spacecraft momentum at a theoretical specific impulse above one million seconds. While others have promised future propulsion advances if only you have the patience, the FFRE requires no waiting, no advances in physics and no advances in manufacturing processes. Such an engine unequivocally can create a new era of space exploration that can change spacecraft operation. The NIAC (NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts) Program Phase 1 study of FY11 first investigated how the revolutionary FFRE technology could be integrated into an advanced spacecraft. The FFRE combines existent technologies of low density fissioning dust trapped electrostatically and high field strength superconducting magnets for beam management. By organizing the nuclear core material to permit sufficient mean free path for escape of the fission fragments and by collimating the beam, this study showed the FFRE could convert nuclear power to thrust directly and efficiently at a delivered specific impulse of 527,000 seconds. The FY13 study showed that, without increasing the reactor power, adding a neutral gas to the fission fragment beam significantly increased the FFRE thrust through in a manner analogous to a jet engine afterburner. This frictional interaction of gas and beam resulted in an engine that continuously produced 1000 pound force of thrust at a delivered impulse of 32,000 seconds, thereby reducing the currently studied DRM 5 round trip mission to Mars from 3 years to 260 days. By decreasing the gas addition, this same engine can be tailored for much lower thrust at much higher impulse to match missions to more distant destinations. These studies created host spacecraft concepts configured for manned round trip journeys. While the

  2. Fast fission phenomena

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gregoire, Christian.

    1982-03-01

    Experimental studies of fast fission phenomena are presented. The paper is divided into three parts. In the first part, problems associated with fast fission processes are examined in terms of interaction potentials and a dynamic model is presented in which highly elastic collisions, the formation of compound nuclei and fast fission appear naturally. In the second part, a description is given of the experimental methods employed, the observations made and the preliminary interpretation of measurements suggesting the occurence of fast fission processes. In the third part, our dynamic model is incorporated in a general theory of the dissipative processes studied. This theory enables fluctuations associated with collective variables to be calculated. It is applied to highly inelastic collisions, to fast fission and to the fission dynamics of compound nuclei (for which a schematic representation is given). It is with these calculations that the main results of the second part can be interpreted [fr

  3. 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

  4. Miniaturized Low-Power Piezo Microvalve for NanoSat and CubeSat Propulsion, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  5. Highly Capable Micropump-fed Propulsion System for Proximity Operations, Landing and Ascent, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  6. 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...

  7. Low Cost, Pump-fed, Non-Catalytic Thruster for Secondary Payload Green Propulsion, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Flight Works is proposing to expand its technology in micropump-fed propulsion, including 1U CubeSat green propulsion, to the development and demonstration of a low...

  8. Fission product yields

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Valenta, V.; Hep, J.

    1978-01-01

    Data are summed up necessary for determining the yields of individual fission products from different fissionable nuclides. Fractional independent yields, cumulative and isobaric yields are presented here for the thermal fission of 235 U, 239 Pu, 241 Pu and for fast fission (approximately 1 MeV) of 235 U, 238 U, 239 Pu, 241 Pu; these values are included into the 5th version of the YIELDS library, supplementing the BIBFP library. A comparison is made of experimental data and possible improvements of calculational methods are suggested. (author)

  9. Fission neutron multiplicity calculations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maerten, H.; Ruben, A.; Seeliger, D.

    1991-01-01

    A model for calculating neutron multiplicities in nuclear fission is presented. It is based on the solution of the energy partition problem as function of mass asymmetry within a phenomenological approach including temperature-dependent microscopic energies. Nuclear structure effects on fragment de-excitation, which influence neutron multiplicities, are discussed. Temperature effects on microscopic energy play an important role in induced fission reactions. Calculated results are presented for various fission reactions induced by neutrons. Data cover the incident energy range 0-20 MeV, i.e. multiple chance fission is considered. (author). 28 refs, 13 figs

  10. Intermediate energy nuclear fission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hylten, G.

    1982-01-01

    Nuclear fission has been investigated with the double-kinetic-energy method using silicon surface barrier detectors. Fragment energy correlation measurements have been made for U, Th and Bi with bremsstrahlung of 600 MeV maximum energy. Distributions of kinetic energy as a function of fragment mass are presented. The results are compared with earlier photofission data and in the case of bismuth, with calculations based on the liquid drop model. The binary fission process in U, Yb, Tb, Ce, La, Sb, Ag and Y induced by 600 MeV protons has been investigated yielding fission cross sections, fragment kinetic energies, angular correlations and mass distributions. Fission-spallation competition calculations are used to deduce values of macroscopic fission barrier heights and nuclear level density parameter values at deformations corresponding to the saddle point shapes. We find macroscopic fission barriers lower than those predicted by macroscopic theories. No indication is found of the Businaro Gallone limit expected to occur somewhere in the mass range A = 100 to A = 140. For Ce and La asymmetric mass distributions similar to those in the actinide region are found. A method is described for the analysis of angular correlations between complementary fission products. The description is mainly concerned with fission induced by medium-energy protons but is applicable also to other projectiles and energies. It is shown that the momentum and excitation energy distributions of cascade residuals leading to fission can be extracted. (Author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piascik, Robert S.; Prosser, William H.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piascik, Robert S.; Prosser, William H.

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Jet Propulsion Laboratory/NASA Lewis Research Center space qualified hybrid high temperature superconducting/semiconducting 7.4 GHz low-noise downconverter for NRL HTSSE-II program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Javadi, H.H.S.; Bowen, J.G.; Rascoe, D.L.; Chorey, C.M.

    1996-01-01

    A deep space satellite downconverter receiver was proposed by Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and NASA Lewis Research Center (LeRC) for the Naval Research Laboratory's (NRL) high temperature superconductivity space experiment, phase-II (HTSSE-II) program. Space qualified low-noise cryogenic downconverter receivers utilizing thin-film high temperature superconducting (HTS) passive circuitry and semiconductor active devices were developed and delivered to NRL. The downconverter consists of an HTS preselect filter, a cryogenic low-noise amplifier, a cryogenic mixer, and a cryogenic oscillator with an HTS resonator. HTS components were inserted as the front-end filter and the local oscillator resonator for their superior 77 K performance over the conventional components. The semiconducting low noise amplifier also benefited from cooling to 77 K. The mixer was designed specifically for cryogenic applications and provided low conversion loss and low power consumption. In addition to an engineering model, two space qualified units (qualification, flight) were built and delivered to NRL. Manufacturing, integration and test of the space qualified downconverters adhered to the requirements of JPL class-D space instruments and partially to MIL-STD-883D specifications. The qualification unit has ∼50 K system noise temperature which is a factor of three better than a conventional downconverter at room temperature

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. A Review of Laser Ablation Propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Phipps, Claude; Bohn, Willy; Lippert, Thomas; Sasoh, Akihiro; Schall, Wolfgang; Sinko, John

    2010-01-01

    Laser Ablation Propulsion is a broad field with a wide range of applications. We review the 30-year history of laser ablation propulsion from the transition from earlier pure photon propulsion concepts of Oberth and Saenger through Kantrowitz's original laser ablation propulsion idea to the development of air-breathing 'Lightcraft' and advanced spacecraft propulsion engines. The polymers POM and GAP have played an important role in experiments and liquid ablation fuels show great promise. Some applications use a laser system which is distant from the propelled object, for example, on another spacecraft, the Earth or a planet. Others use a laser that is part of the spacecraft propulsion system on the spacecraft. Propulsion is produced when an intense laser beam strikes a condensed matter surface and produces a vapor or plasma jet. The advantages of this idea are that exhaust velocity of the propulsion engine covers a broader range than is available from chemistry, that it can be varied to meet the instantaneous demands of the particular mission, and that practical realizations give lower mass and greater simplicity for a payload delivery system. We review the underlying theory, buttressed by extensive experimental data. The primary problem in laser space propulsion theory has been the absence of a way to predict thrust and specific impulse over the transition from the vapor to the plasma regimes. We briefly discuss a method for combining two new vapor regime treatments with plasma regime theory, giving a smooth transition from one regime to the other. We conclude with a section on future directions.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. MW-Class Electric Propulsion System Designs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  1. The nuclear fission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fiorentino, J.

    1983-01-01

    The nuclear fission process considering initially the formation of compound nucleus and finishing with radioactive decay of fission products is studied. The process is divided in three parts which consist of the events associated to the nucleus of intermediate transitional state, the scission configuration, and the phenomenum of post scission. (M.C.K.) [pt

  2. Fission gas detection system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Colburn, R.P.

    1984-01-01

    A device for collecting fission gas released by failed fuel rods which device uses a filter adapted to pass coolant but to block passage of fission gas bubbles due to the surface tension of the bubbles. The coolant may be liquid metal. (author)

  3. Muon-induced fission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Polikanov, S.

    1980-01-01

    A review of recent experimental results on negative-muon-induced fission, both of 238 U and 232 Th, is given. Some conclusions drawn by the author are concerned with muonic atoms of fission fragments and muonic atoms of the shape isomer of 238 U. (author)

  4. Relativistic Coulomb Fission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norbury, John W.

    1992-01-01

    Nuclear fission reactions induced by the electromagnetic field of relativistic nuclei are studied for energies relevant to present and future relativistic heavy ion accelerators. Cross sections are calculated for U-238 and Pu-239 fission induced by C-12, Si-28, Au-197, and U-238 projectiles. It is found that some of the cross sections can exceed 10 b.

  5. Study of hypernuclei fission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Malek, F.

    1990-01-01

    This work is about PS177 experience made on LEAR machine at CERN in 1988. The annihilation reaction of anti protons on a target of Bismuth or Uranium is studied. Lambda particles are produced by this reaction, in the nucleus in 2% of cases 7.1 10 -3 hypernuclei by stopped antiproton in the target are produced. The prompt hypernucleus fission probability of uranium is 75% and that of Bismuth 10%. The mass distribution of fission fragments is symmetrical ((≡ the excitation energy of the nucleus is very high). If the nucleus hasn't fissioned, the non-mesonic lambda decay, gives it an energy of 100 MeV, what allows to fission later. This fission is delayed because the hypernucleus lifetime is 1.3 +0.25 -0.21 10 -10 sec for Bismuth [fr

  6. The nuclear fission process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wagemans, C.

    1991-01-01

    Fifty years after its discovery, the nuclear fission phenomenon is of recurring interest. When its fundamental physics aspects are considered, fission is viewed in a very positive way, which is reflected in the great interest generated by the meetings and large conferences organized for the 50th anniversary of its discovery. From a purely scientific and practical point of view, a new book devoted to the (low energy) nuclear fission phenomenon was highly desirable considering the tremendous amount of new results obtained since the publication of the book Nuclear Fission by Vandenbosch and Huizenga in 1973 (Academic Press). These new results could be obtained thanks to the growth of technology, which enabled the construction of powerful new neutron sources, particle and heavy ion accelerators, and very performant data-acquisition and computer systems. The re-invention of the ionization chamber, the development of large fission fragment spectrometers and sophisticated multiparameter devices, and the production of exotic isotopes also contributed significantly to an improved understanding of nuclear fission. This book is written at a level to introduce graduate students to the exciting subject of nuclear fission. The very complete list of references following each chapter also makes the book very useful for scientists, especially nuclear physicists. The book has 12 chapters covering the fission barrier and the various processes leading to fission as well as the characteristics of the various fission reaction products. In order to guarantee adequate treatment of the very specialized research fields covered, several distinguished scientists actively involved in some of these fields were invited to contribute their expertise as authors or co-authors of the different chapters

  7. Fission 2009 4. International Workshop on Nuclear Fission and Fission Product Spectroscopy - Compilation of slides

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2009-01-01

    This conference is dedicated to the last achievements in experimental and theoretical aspects of the nuclear fission process. The topics include: mass, charge and energy distribution, dynamical aspect of the fission process, nuclear data evaluation, quasi-fission and fission lifetime in super heavy elements, fission fragment spectroscopy, cross-section and fission barrier, and neutron and gamma emission. This document gathers the program of the conference and the slides of the presentations

  8. Cold Gas Micro Propulsion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Louwerse, M.C.

    2009-01-01

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

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Lunar surface fission power supplies: Radiation issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Houts, M.G.; Lee, S.K.

    1994-01-01

    A lunar space fission power supply shield that uses a combination of lunar regolith and materials brought from earth may be optimal for early lunar outposts and bases. This type of shield can be designed such that the fission power supply does not have to be moved from its landing configuration, minimizing handling and required equipment on the lunar surface. Mechanisms for removing heat from the lunar regolith are built into the shield, and can be tested on earth. Regolith activation is greatly reduced compared with a shield that uses only regolith, and it is possible to keep the thermal conditions of the fission power supply close to these seen in free space. For a well designed shield, the additional mass required to be brought fro earth should be less than 1000 kg. Detailed radiation transport calculations confirm the feasibility of such a shield

  13. Lunar surface fission power supplies: Radiation issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Houts, M.G.; Lee, S.K.

    1994-01-01

    A lunar space fission power supply shield that uses a combination of lunar regolith and materials brought from earth may be optimal for early lunar outposts and bases. This type of shield can be designed such that the fission power supply does not have to be moved from its landing configuration, minimizing handling and required equipment on the lunar surface. Mechanisms for removing heat from the lunar regolith are built into the shield, and can be tested on earth. Regolith activation is greatly reduced compared with a shield that uses only regolith, and it is possible to keep the thermal conditions of the fission power supply close to those seen in free space. For a well designed shield, the additional mass required to be brought from earth should be less than 1,000 kg. Detailed radiation transport calculations confirm the feasibility of such a shield

  14. The Place of Solar Thermal Rockets in Space

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Selph, C

    1981-01-01

    The harnessing of sunlight for propulsive energy is a recurring theme in space propulsion, particularly for applications requiring large velocity increments, such as planetary exploration or comet rendezvous...

  15. Fission gas in thoria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kuganathan, Navaratnarajah, E-mail: n.kuganathan@imperial.ac.uk [Department of Materials, Faculty of Engineering, Imperial College, London, SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Ghosh, Partha S. [Material Science Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400 085 (India); Galvin, Conor O.T. [Department of Materials, Faculty of Engineering, Imperial College, London, SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom); Arya, Ashok K. [Material Science Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400 085 (India); Dutta, Bijon K. [Homi Bhabha National Institute, Trombay, Mumbai 400 094 (India); Dey, Gautam K. [Material Science Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Trombay, Mumbai 400 085 (India); Grimes, Robin W. [Department of Materials, Faculty of Engineering, Imperial College, London, SW7 2AZ (United Kingdom)

    2017-03-15

    The fission gases Xe and Kr, formed during normal reactor operation, are known to degrade fuel performance, particularly at high burn-up. Using first-principles density functional theory together with a dispersion correction (DFT + D), in ThO{sub 2} we calculate the energetics of neutral and charged point defects, the di-vacancy (DV), different neutral tri-vacancies (NTV), the charged tetravacancy (CTV) defect cluster geometries and their interaction with Xe and Kr. The most favourable incorporation point defect site for Xe or Kr in defective ThO{sub 2} is the fully charged thorium vacancy. The lowest energy NTV in larger supercells of ThO{sub 2} is NTV3, however, a single Xe atom is most stable when accommodated within a NTV1. The di-vacancy (DV) is a significantly less favoured incorporation site than the NTV1 but the CTV offers about the same incorporation energy. Incorporation of a second gas atom in a NTV is a high energy process and more unfavourable than accommodation within an existing Th vacancy. The bi-NTV (BNTV) cluster geometry studied will accommodate one or two gas atoms with low incorporation energies but the addition of a third gas atom incurs a high energy penalty. The tri-NTV cluster (TNTV) forms a larger space which accommodates three gas atoms but again there is a penalty to accommodate a fourth gas atom. By considering the energy to form the defect sites, solution energies were generated showing that in ThO{sub 2−x} the most favourable solution equilibrium site is the NTV1 while in ThO{sub 2} it is the DV. - Highlights: • We have considered Xe and Kr in point defects and defect clusters (neutral and charged) using Density Functional Theory (DFT) with a dispersion correction. • The most favourable charge state for a point defect (vacancy or interstitial) is that with full ionic charge and we have found that in all cases gas atoms occupy the fully charged vacancy sites. • The number of fission gas atoms accommodated in ThO{sub 2} is

  16. Hybrid Propulsion Demonstration Program 250K Hybrid Motor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Story, George; Zoladz, Tom; Arves, Joe; Kearney, Darren; Abel, Terry; Park, O.

    2003-01-01

    The Hybrid Propulsion Demonstration Program (HPDP) program was formed to mature hybrid propulsion technology to a readiness level sufficient to enable commercialization for various space launch applications. The goal of the HPDP was to develop and test a 250,000 pound vacuum thrust hybrid booster in order to demonstrate hybrid propulsion technology and enable manufacturing of large hybrid boosters for current and future space launch vehicles. The HPDP has successfully conducted four tests of the 250,000 pound thrust hybrid rocket motor at NASA's Stennis Space Center. This paper documents the test series.

  17. NASA's Launch Propulsion Systems Technology Roadmap

    Science.gov (United States)

    McConnaughey, Paul K.; Femminineo, Mark G.; Koelfgen, Syri J.; Lepsch, Roger A; Ryan, Richard M.; Taylor, Steven A.

    2012-01-01

    Safe, reliable, and affordable access to low-Earth (LEO) orbit is necessary for all of the United States (US) space endeavors. In 2010, NASA s Office of the Chief Technologist commissioned 14 teams to develop technology roadmaps that could be used to guide the Agency s and US technology investment decisions for the next few decades. The Launch Propulsion Systems Technology Area (LPSTA) team was tasked to address the propulsion technology challenges for access to LEO. The developed LPSTA roadmap addresses technologies that enhance existing solid or liquid propulsion technologies and their related ancillary systems or significantly advance the technology readiness level (TRL) of less mature systems like airbreathing, unconventional, and other launch technologies. In developing this roadmap, the LPSTA team consulted previous NASA, military, and industry studies as well as subject matter experts to develop their assessment of this field, which has fundamental technological and strategic impacts for US space capabilities.

  18. An Overview of Cube-Satellite Propulsion Technologies and Trends

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akshay Reddy Tummala

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available CubeSats provide a cost effective means to perform scientific and technological studies in space. Due to their affordability, CubeSat technologies have been diversely studied and developed by educational institutions, companies and space organizations all over the world. The CubeSat technology that is surveyed in this paper is the propulsion system. A propulsion system is the primary mobility device of a spacecraft and helps with orbit modifications and attitude control. This paper provides an overview of micro-propulsion technologies that have been developed or are currently being developed for CubeSats. Some of the micro-propulsion technologies listed have also flown as secondary propulsion systems on larger spacecraft. Operating principles and key design considerations for each class of propulsion system are outlined. Finally, the performance factors of micro-propulsion systems have been summarized in terms of: first, a comparison of thrust and specific impulse for all propulsion systems; second, a comparison of power and specific impulse, as also thrust-to-power ratio and specific impulse for electric propulsion systems.

  19. 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.

  20. 28th Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit

    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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Fission in a Plasma

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Younes, W. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2016-10-26

    A three-year theory project was undertaken to study the fission process in extreme astrophysical environments, such as the crust of neutron stars. In the first part of the project, the effect of electron screening on the fission process was explored using a microscopic approach. For the first time, these calculations were carried out to the breaking point of the nucleus. In the second part of the project, the population of the fissioning nucleus was calculated within the same microscopic framework. These types of calculations are extremely computer-intensive and have seldom been applied to heavy deformed nuclei, such as fissioning actinides. The results, tools and methodologies produced in this work will be of interest to both the basic-science and nuclear-data communities.

  4. Microscopic Theory of Fission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Younes, W; Gogny, D

    2008-01-01

    In recent years, the microscopic method has been applied to the notoriously difficult problem of nuclear fission with unprecedented success. In this paper, we discuss some of the achievements and promise of the microscopic method, as embodied in the Hartree-Fock method using the Gogny finite-range effective interaction, and beyond-mean-field extensions to the theory. The nascent program to describe induced fission observables using this approach at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is presented

  5. Fusion-fission dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blocki, J.; Planeta, R.; Brzychczyk, J.; Grotowski, K.

    1992-01-01

    Classical dynamical calculations of the heavy ion induced fission processes have been performed for the reactions 40 Ar+ 141 Pr, 20 Ne+ 165 Ho and 12 C+ 175 Lu leading to the iridium like nucleus. As a result prescission lifetimes were obtained and compared with the experimental values. The comparison between the calculated and experimental lifetimes indicates that the one-body dissipation picture is much more relevant in describing the fusion-fission dynamics than the two-body one. (orig.)

  6. MSFC Propulsion Systems Department Knowledge Management Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caraccioli, Paul A.

    2007-01-01

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

  7. On-Orbit Propulsion OMS/RCS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurlbert, Eric A.

    2001-01-01

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

  8. A concept of ferroelectric microparticle propulsion thruster

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yarmolich, D.; Vekselman, V.; Krasik, Ya. E.

    2008-01-01

    A space propulsion concept using charged ferroelectric microparticles as a propellant is suggested. The measured ferroelectric plasma source thrust, produced mainly by microparticles emission, reaches ∼9x10 -4 N. The obtained trajectories of microparticles demonstrate that the majority of the microparticles are positively charged, which permits further improvement of the thruster

  9. Onshore and offshore apatite fission-track dating from the southern Gulf of California: Insights into the time-space evolution of the rifting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balestrieri, Maria Laura; Ferrari, Luca; Bonini, Marco; Duque-Trujillo, Jose; Cerca, Mariano; Moratti, Giovanna; Corti, Giacomo

    2017-11-01

    We present the results of a apatite fission-track (AFT) study on intrusive rocks in the southern Gulf of California, sampled along the eastern margin of Baja California Sur (western rift margin), as well as from islands and submerged rifted blocks within the Gulf of California, and from the conjugate Mexican margin (Nayarit state). For most of the samples U-Pb zircon and 40Ar-39Ar mineral ages were already available (Duque-Trujillo et al., 2015). Coupled with the new AFT data these ages provide a more complete information on cooling after emplacement. Our samples span a wide range of ages between 5.5 ± 1.1 and 73.7 ± 5.8 Ma, and show a general spatial distribution, with late Miocene AFT ages (about 6 Ma) aligned roughly NW-SE along a narrow offshore belt, parallel to Baja California Peninsula, separating older ages on both sides. This pattern suggests that in Late Miocene, deformation due to plate transtension focused at the eastern rheological boundary of the Baja California block. Some Early Miocene AFT ages onshore Baja California could be related to plutons emplaced at shallow depths and thermal resetting associated with the onset of volcanism at 19 Ma in this part of the Peninsula. On the other hand, an early extensional event similar to that documented in the eastern Gulf cannot be ruled out in the westernmost Baja California.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Alternative propulsion for automobiles

    CERN Document Server

    Stan, Cornel

    2017-01-01

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

  13. Ship propulsion reactors technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fribourg, Ch.

    2002-01-01

    This paper takes the state of the art on ship propulsion reactors technology. The french research programs with the corresponding technological stakes, the reactors specifications and advantages are detailed. (A.L.B.)

  14. Advanced Chemical Propulsion System Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portz, Ron; Alexander, Leslie; Chapman, Jack; England, Chris; Henderson, Scott; Krismer, David; Lu, Frank; Wilson, Kim; Miller, Scott

    2007-01-01

    A detailed; mission-level systems study has been performed to show the benefit resulting from engine performance gains that will result from NASA's In-Space Propulsion ROSS Cycle 3A NRA, Advanced Chemical Technology sub-topic. The technology development roadmap to accomplish the NRA goals are also detailed in this paper. NASA-Marshall and NASA-JPL have conducted mission-level studies to define engine requirements, operating conditions, and interfaces. Five reference missions have been chosen for this analysis based on scientific interest, current launch vehicle capability and trends in space craft size: a) GTO to GEO, 4800 kg, delta-V for GEO insertion only approx.1830 m/s; b) Titan Orbiter with aerocapture, 6620 kg, total delta V approx.210 m/s, mostly for periapsis raise after aerocapture; c) Enceladus Orbiter (Titan aerocapture) 6620 kg, delta V approx.2400 m/s; d) Europa Orbiter, 2170 kg, total delta V approx.2600 m/s; and e) Mars Orbiter, 2250 kg, total delta V approx.1860 m/s. The figures of merit used to define the benefit of increased propulsion efficiency at the spacecraft level include propulsion subsystem wet mass, volume and overall cost. The objective of the NRA is to increase the specific impulse of pressure-fed earth storable bipropellant rocket engines to greater than 330 seconds with nitrogen tetroxide and monomothylhydrazine propellants and greater than 335 , seconds with nitrogen tetroxide and hydrazine. Achievement of the NRA goals will significantly benefit NASA interplanetary missions and other government and commercial opportunities by enabling reduced launch weight and/or increased payload. The study also constitutes a crucial stepping stone to future development, such as pump-fed storable engines.

  15. Distributed propulsion for ships

    OpenAIRE

    Nylund, Vilde

    2017-01-01

    It is anticipated that using distributed electric propulsion (DEP) on conventional ships will increase the total propulsive efficiency. This is mainly due to two reasons; firstly, because the total propeller disk area can be increased. Secondly, because each propeller can be optimised for the local wake where it is operating. In this work, the benefits of using DEP has been investigated for a 14 000 TEU container ship. Based on a literary study of the present state of propeller modelling ...

  16. Sputter-Resistant Materials for Electric Propulsion, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  17. Transient Region Coverage in the Propulsion IVHM Technology Experiment

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  18. A Breakthrough Propulsion Architecture for Interstellar Precursor Missions

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose a new power/propulsion architecture to enable missions such as a 12-yr flight time to 500 AU—the distance at which solar gravity lensing can be used to...

  19. High Temperature Radiators for Electric Propulsion Systems, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  20. 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...

  1. 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....

  2. CubeSat High Impulse Propulsion System (CHIPS), Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  3. CubeSat High Impulse Propulsion System (CHIPS), Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  4. Low-Cost, Scalable, Hybrid Launch Propulsion Technology, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI), in collaboration Purdue University, proposes to develop a novel launch propulsion technology for rapid insertion of nano/micro...

  5. Plasmonic Force Propulsion Revolutionizes Nano/PicoSatellite Capability

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to assess the ability of plasmonic force propulsion to advance the state-of-the-art. We propose to numerically simulate plasmonic force fields with...

  6. Wheelchairs propulsion analysis: review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshimasa Sagawa Júnior

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: To analyze aspects related with wheelchair propulsion. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In order to delineate this review the search for information was carried out within electronics databases, using the following descriptors: "wheelchair propulsion", "wheelchair biomechanics" e "wheelchair users". Full papers published in English and French were included in the study. RESULTS: The wheelchair propulsion is a complex movement that requires the execution of repeated bi manual forces applications during a short time period. In this movement high levels of force must be produced due to the bad mechanical performance of the wheelchair. Could be characterized that wheelchair users are not satisfied with their wheelchair, the places are not adapted to their presence and lack of specific criteria for the adjustment of this equipment. The main points to look at are the seat height in relation to elbow flexion (100-120 degrees with his hand in the propulsion rim and tire pressure. The semicircular mode of technique propulsion seems to be more appropriate; in this pattern the wheelchair user returns his hand under the rim after propulsion. Efforts in wheelchairs are high and the incidence of injuries in wheelchair users is high. CONCLUSION: One can conclude that in spite of researchers’ efforts there are still many divergences between topics and methods of evaluation, what makes difficult to apply the experimental results to the wheelchairs users’ daily life.

  7. Cryogenic propulsion for lunar and Mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redd, Larry

    1988-01-01

    Future missions to the moon and Mars have been investigated with regard to propulsion system selection. The results of this analysis show that near state-of-the-art LO2/LH2 propulsion technology provides a feasible means of performing lunar missions and trans-Mars injections. In other words, existing cryogenic space engines with certain modifications and product improvements would be suitable for these missions. In addition, present day cryogenic system tankage and structural weights appear to scale reasonably when sizing for large payload and high energy missions such as sending men to Mars.

  8. Laser propulsion activity in South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Michaelis, MM

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available hemisphere are becoming excited at the prospect of a considerable reduction in the cost of launch to low Earth orbit (LEO) by means of laser propulsion (LP) (see ref. 1). We argue here that developing nations also should assess the potential of a cheaper... of the grandiose scheme of ‘Space Port Kilimanjaro’ (Fig. 5), envis- aged by various authors becoming a reality, South African scien- tists, engineers and financiers would benefit. Kilimanjaro is regarded by some13 as the prime location for laser propulsion...

  9. Advanced Propulsion Physics Lab: Eagleworks Investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scogin, Tyler

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Investigation of applications for high-power, self-critical fissioning uranium plasma reactors. Final technical report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rodgers, R.J.; Latham, T.S.; Krascella, N.L.

    1976-09-01

    Analytical studies were conducted to investigate potentially attractive applications for gaseous nuclear cavity reactors fueled by uranium hexafluoride and its decomposition products at temperatures of 2000 to 6000 K and total pressures of a few hundred atmospheres. Approximate operating conditions and performance levels for a class of nuclear reactors in which fission energy removal is accomplished principally by radiant heat transfer from the high temperature gaseous nuclear fuel to surrounding absorbing media were determined. The results show the radiant energy deposited in the absorbing media may be efficiently utilized in energy conversion system applications which include (1) a primary energy source for high thrust, high specific impulse space propulsion, (2) an energy source for highly efficient generation of electricity, and (3) a source of high intensity photon flux for heating working fluid gases for hydrogen production or MHD power extraction. (Author)

  11. Gasdynamic Mirror Fusion Propulsion Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emrich, Bill; Rodgers, Stephen L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    A gasdynamic mirror (GDM) fusion propulsion experiment is currently being constructed at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to test the feasibility of this particular type of fusion device. Because of the open magnetic field line configuration of mirror fusion devices, they are particularly well suited for propulsion system applications since they allow for the easy ejection of thrust producing plasma. Currently, the MSFC GDM is constructed in three segments. The vacuum chamber mirror segment, the plasma injector mirror segment, and the main plasma chamber segment. Enough magnets are currently available to construct up to three main plasma chamber segments. The mirror segments are also segmented such that they can be expanded to accommodate new end plugging strategies with out requiring the disassembly of the entire mirror segment. The plasma for the experiment is generated in a microwave cavity located between the main magnets and the mirror magnets. Ion heating is accomplished through ambipolar diffusion. The objective of the experiment is to investigate the stability characteristics of the gasdynamic mirror and to map a region of parameter space within which the plasma can be confined in a stable steady state configuration. The mirror ratio, plasma density, and plasma "b" will be varied over a range of values and measurements subsequently taken to determine the degree of plasma stability.

  12. 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...

  13. Carbon Nanotube Based Electric Propulsion Thruster with Low Power Consumption, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  14. Carbon Nanotube Based Electric Propulsion Thruster with Low Power Consumption, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  15. Distributed Electric Propulsion Aircraft Comprehensive Analysis and Design Tool, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The solicitation seeks innovative approaches in designing and analyzing Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP) aircraft to support ARMD's Strategic Thrust #3...

  16. 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...

  17. A Software Toolkit to Accelerate Emission Predictions for Turboelectric/Hybrid Electric Aircraft Propulsion, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Electric propulsion represents an attractive path for reducing overall emissions. For larger commercial aircrafts operating in the mega-watt range, power...

  18. Lightweight, Efficient Power Converters for Advanced Turboelectric Aircraft Propulsion Systems, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  19. Hybrid Electric Propulsion System for a 4 Passenger VTOL Aircraft, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  20. '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

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-10-01

    H. Koch, A. Kreissl, H. Poth, U. Raich, D. Rohmann, C. Backenstoss, Ch. Findeisen , J. Repond, L. Tauscher, A. Nilsson, S. Carius, M. Suffert, S...Backenstcss, I. Bergstr8m, S. Carius, S. Chj&rLlambous, M.D. Cooper, Ch. Findeisen , D. Hatsifotiadou, M. Hugi, A. Kerek, H.O. Meyer, P. Pavlopoulos, J. Repond...Chjaralambous, M.D. Cooper, Ch. Findeisen . D. Hatzifotiadou, M. Hugi, A. Kerek, H.O. Meyer, P. Pavlopoulos, J. Repond, L. T&uscher, D. Tr8ster, M.C.S

  3. Nuclear fission and neutron-induced fission cross-sections

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    James, G.D.; Lynn, J.E.; Michaudon, A.; Rowlands, J.; de Saussure, G.

    1981-01-01

    A general presentation of current knowledge of the fission process is given with emphasis on the low energy fission of actinide nuclei and neutron induced fission. The need for and the required accuracy of fission cross section data in nuclear energy programs are discussed. A summary is given of the steps involved in fission cross section measurement and the range of available techniques. Methods of fission detection are described with emphasis on energy dependent changed and detector efficiency. Examples of cross section measurements are given and data reduction is discussed. The calculation of fission cross sections is discussed and relevant nuclear theory including the formation and decay of compound nuclei and energy level density is introduced. A description of a practical computation of fission cross sections is given.

  4. An analysis of the additional fission product release phenomena

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takeda, Tsuneo; Nagai, Hitoshi

    1978-09-01

    The additional fission product release behavior through a defect hole on the cladding of fuel rods has been studied qualitatively with a computer program CODAC-ARFP. The additional fission product release phenomena are described as qualitative evaluation. The additional fission product release behavior in coolant temperature and pressure fluctuations and in reactor start-up and shut-down depends on coolant water flow behavior into and from the free space of fuel rods through a defect hole. Based on the results of evaluations, the experimental results with an inpile water loop OWL-1 are described in detail. The estimation methods of fission product quantity in the free space and fission product release ratio (quantity released into the coolant/quantity in the free space before beginning of release) are necessary for analysis of the fission product release behavior; the estimation method of water flow through a defect hole is also necessary. In development of the above estimation methods, outpile and capsule experiments supporting the additional fission product release experiments are required. (author)

  5. Beamed-Energy Propulsion (BEP) Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Patrick; Beach, Raymond

    2012-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Fission and r-process nucleosynthesis in neutron star mergers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Giuliani, Samuel Andrea

    2018-01-01

    Fission plays a crucial role for the r-process nucleosynthesis in neutron star mergers. Due to the high neutron densities achieved in this astrophysical scenario the sequence of neutron captures and beta decays that constitutes the r process produces superheavy neutron rich nuclei that become unstable against fission. Fission determines thus the heaviest nuclei that can be produced by the r process and the fission yields shape the abundances of lighter nuclei. But despite the key role of fission the sensitivity of the r-process nucleosynthesis to uncertainties in fission predictions has not been explored. Nowadays there are only few set of fission rates suited for r-process calculations and most of them rely on a simplified treatment of the fission process. In this thesis we go beyond these approximations and compute the fission properties of r-process nuclei using the energy density functional approach. Fission is described as a tunneling process where the nucleus ''moves'' in a collective space characterized by coordinates describing the nuclear shape. Thus fission depends on the evolution of the energy with the deformation but also on the inertia due to the motion in the collective space. This is analogous to the quantum mechanical tunneling of a particle inside a potential well. In our study the relevant quantities for the description of the fission process are consistently computed for 3642 nuclei following the Hartree-Fock-Bogolyubov theory with constraining operators. We perform an extensive benchmark against the available experimental data and explore the variations of the fission properties along the superheavy landscape. We find that while collective inertias have a strong impact in the fission probabilities of light nuclei their role becomes less relevant in r -process nuclei. Within the statistical model we compute the neutron induced stellar reaction rates relevant for the r-process nucleosynthesis. These sets of stellar reaction

  8. The evaluation for reference fission yield of 238U fission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liang Qichang; Liu Tingjin

    1998-01-01

    In the fission yield data evaluation and measurement, the reference yield is very important, good or poor recommended or measurement values depend upon the reference data to a great extent. According to the CRP's requirement, the evaluation of reference fission yields have been and will be carried out in CNDC, as a part of the whole work (contract No.9504/R 0 /Regular Budget Fund), the evaluation for 29 reference fission yields of 15 product nuclides from 238 U fission have been completed

  9. Fission fragment angular momentum

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frenne, D. De

    1991-01-01

    Most of the energy released in fission is converted into translational kinetic energy of the fragments. The remaining excitation energy will be distributed among neutrons and gammas. An important parameter characterizing the scission configuration is the primary angular momentum of the nascent fragments. Neutron emission is not expected to decrease the spin of the fragments by more than one unit of angular momentum and is as such of less importance in the determination of the initial fragment spins. Gamma emission is a suitable tool in studying initial fragment spins because the emission time, number, energy, and multipolarity of the gammas strongly depend on the value of the primary angular momentum. The main conclusions of experiments on gamma emission were that the initial angular momentum of the fragments is large compared to the ground state spin and oriented perpendicular to the fission axis. Most of the recent information concerning initial fragment spin distributions comes from the measurement of isomeric ratios for isomeric pairs produced in fission. Although in nearly every mass chain isomers are known, only a small number are suitable for initial fission fragment spin studies. Yield and half-life considerations strongly limit the number of candidates. This has the advantage that the behavior of a specific isomeric pair can be investigated for a number of fissioning systems at different excitation energies of the fragments and fissioning nuclei. Because most of the recent information on primary angular momenta comes from measurements of isomeric ratios, the global deexcitation process of the fragments and the calculation of the initial fragment spin distribution from measured isomeric ratios are discussed here. The most important results on primary angular momentum determinations are reviewed and some theoretical approaches are given. 45 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs

  10. Fission product detection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liatard, E.; Akrouf, S.; Bruandet, J.F

    1987-01-01

    The response of photovoltaic cells to heavy ions and fission products have been tested on beam. Their main advantages are their extremely low price, their low sensitivity to energetic light ions with respect to fission products, and the possibility to cut and fit them together to any shape without dead zone. The time output signals of a charge sensitive preamplifier connected to these cells allows fast coincidences. A resolution of 12ns (F.W.H.M.) have been measured between two cells [fr

  11. Low energy nuclear fission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nifenecker, H.

    1982-02-01

    In these lectures we present the liquid drop model of fission and compare some of its prediction with experiment. The liquid drop analogy allows to define in a rather simple and intuitive way a number of useful concepts and possible observables. We then discuss, using the example of the oscillator model, the generality of shell effects. We show how a synthesis of the liquid drop model and of the shell model can be made using the Strutinsky shell averaging procedure. Some experimental data related to the existence of shape isomers are presented and discussed. We conclude by discussing some aspects, both experimental and theoretical, of fission dynamics

  12. Fission of heavy hypernuclei

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nifenecker, H.

    1993-01-01

    The results on delayed and prompt fission of heavy hypernuclei obtained by the LEAR PS177 collaboration are recalled and discussed. It is shown that the hypernuclei life-times can be explained in term of a weak strangeness violating lambda-nucleon interaction with a cross section close to 6.0 10 -15 barns. The lambda attachment function is shown to be sensitive to the scission configuration, just before fission, and to the neck dynamics. This function provides a new way to study the nuclear scission process. (author)

  13. Fission gas measuring technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Hyung Kwon; Kim, Eun Ka; Hwang, Yong Hwa; Lee, Eun Pyo; Chun, Yong Bum; Seo, Ki Seog; Park, Dea Gyu; Chu, Yong Sun; Ahn, Sang Bok.

    1998-02-01

    Safety and economy of nuclear plant are greatly affected by the integrity of nuclear fuels during irradiation reactor core. A series of post-irradiation examination (PIE) including non-destructive and destructive test is to be conducted to evaluate and characterize the nuclear performance. In this report, a principle of the examination equipment to measure and analyse fission gases existing nuclear fuels were described and features of the component and device consisting the fission gas measuring equipment are investigated. (author). 4 refs., 2 tabs., 6 figs

  14. Fission gas measuring technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Hyung Kwon; Kim, Eun Ka; Hwang, Yong Hwa; Lee, Eun Pyo; Chun, Yong Bum; Seo, Ki Seog; Park, Dea Gyu; Chu, Yong Sun; Ahn, Sang Bok

    1998-02-01

    Safety and economy of nuclear plant are greatly affected by the integrity of nuclear fuels during irradiation reactor core. A series of post-irradiation examination (PIE) including non-destructive and destructive test is to be conducted to evaluate and characterize the nuclear performance. In this report, a principle of the examination equipment to measure and analyse fission gases existing nuclear fuels were described and features of the component and device consisting the fission gas measuring equipment are investigated. (author). 4 refs., 2 tabs., 6 figs.

  15. Fission modelling with FIFRELIN

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Litaize, Olivier; Serot, Olivier; Berge, Leonie

    2015-01-01

    The nuclear fission process gives rise to the formation of fission fragments and emission of particles (n,γ, e - ). The particle emission from fragments can be prompt and delayed. We present here the methods used in the FIFRELIN code, which simulates the prompt component of the de-excitation process. The methods are based on phenomenological models associated with macroscopic and/or microscopic ingredients. Input data can be provided by experiment as well as by theory. The fission fragment de-excitation can be performed within Weisskopf (uncoupled neutron and gamma emission) or a Hauser-Feshbach (coupled neutron/gamma emission) statistical theory. We usually consider five free parameters that cannot be provided by theory or experiments in order to describe the initial distributions required by the code. In a first step this set of parameters is chosen to reproduce a very limited set of target observables. In a second step we can increase the statistics to predict all other fission observables such as prompt neutron, gamma and conversion electron spectra but also their distributions as a function of any kind of parameters such as, for instance, the neutron, gamma and electron number distributions, the average prompt neutron multiplicity as a function of fission fragment mass, charge or kinetic energy, and so on. Several results related to different fissioning systems are presented in this work. The goal in the next decade will be i) to replace some macroscopic ingredients or phenomenological models by microscopic calculations when available and reliable, ii) to be a support for experimentalists in the design of detection systems or in the prediction of necessary beam time or count rates with associated statistics when measuring fragments and emitted particle in coincidence iii) extend the model to be able to run a calculation when no experimental input data are available, iv) account for multiple chance fission and gamma emission before fission, v) account for the

  16. Low energy nuclear fission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nifenecker, H.

    1980-08-01

    In these lectures the liquid drop model of fission is presented and some of its predictions compared with experiment. The liquid drop analogy allows to define in a rather simple and intuitive way a number of useful concepts and possible observables. It is shown how a synthesis of the liquid drop model and of the shell model can be made using the Strutinsky shell averaging procedure. Some experimental data related to the existence of shape isomers are presented and discussed. We conclude by discussing some aspects, both experimental and theoretical, of fission dynamics

  17. Acquisition/expulsion system for earth orbital propulsion system study. Volume 1: Summary report. [cryogenic storage and fuel flow regulation system for space shuttle orbiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    1973-01-01

    Design, construction, and quality control tests on a dual screen liner device for the space shuttle orbiter cryogenic fuel tank and feedliner system are summarized. The dual stainless steel mesh of the device encloses eight liquid fuel channels and provides the liquid/vapor interface stability required for low gravity orbits.

  18. Fission Product Library and Resource

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burke, J. T. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Padgett, S. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2016-09-29

    Fission product yields can be extracted from an irradiated sample by performing gamma ray spectroscopy on the whole sample post irradiation. There are several pitfalls to avoid when trying to determine a specific isotope's fission product yield.

  19. Spontaneous fission of superheavy nuclei

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The fission-like configurations are used for the total deformation energy calculations. A ... oscillator potential for the two fission fragment regions reads as ... Beyond this limit, the contribution of more remote levels is negligible. Once the density ...

  20. Mirror fusion--fission hybrids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, J.D.

    1978-01-01

    The fusion-fission concept and the mirror fusion-fission hybrid program are outlined. Magnetic mirror fusion drivers and blankets for hybrid reactors are discussed. Results of system analyses are presented and a reference design is described

  1. A cermet fuel reactor for nuclear thermal propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruger, Gordon

    1991-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Process for treating fission waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rohrmann, C.A.; Wick, O.J.

    1983-01-01

    A method is described for the treatment of fission waste. A glass forming agent, a metal oxide, and a reducing agent are mixed with the fission waste and the mixture is heated. After melting, the mixture separates into a glass phase and a metal phase. The glass phase may be used to safely store the fission waste, while the metal phase contains noble metals recovered from the fission waste

  4. Propulsion controlled aircraft computer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cogan, Bruce R. (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Airbreathing Propulsion An Introduction

    CERN Document Server

    Bose, Tarit

    2012-01-01

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

  6. 50 years of nuclear fission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hilscher, D.

    1989-01-01

    The article tells the story of the discovery of nuclear fission in Berlin 50 years ago by Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann in cooperation with Lise Meitner. 50 years later nuclear fission is still a subject of research. Some question remain unanswered. Selected new research results are used to discuss the dynamics of the collective movement of the elementary nuclear fission process. (orig.) [de

  7. Fission dynamics of hot nuclei

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2014-04-05

    Apr 5, 2014 ... across the fission barrier is very small or in other words, the fission barrier is much ... of this shape evolution, the gross features of the fissioning nucleus can be described ..... [7] Y Abe, C Gregoire and H Delagrange, J. Phys.

  8. Status of fission yield measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maeck, W.J.

    1979-01-01

    Fission yield measurement and yield compilation activities in the major laboratories of the world are reviewed. In addition to a general review of the effort of each laboratory, a brief summary of yield measurement activities by fissioning nuclide is presented. A new fast reactor fission yield measurement program being conducted in the US is described

  9. Scaling of the Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) for near-term thrusters and future fusion propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miley, G.; Bromley, B.; Jurczyk, B.; Stubbers, R.; DeMora, J.; Chacon, L.; Gu, Y.

    1998-01-01

    Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) is a unique approach to fusion and plasma energy systems that was conceptualized in the 1960s (Hirsch 1967) and has been the focus of recent development in the 1990s (Miley et al. 1995a). In the interests of space power and propulsion systems, conceptual rocket design studies (Bussard and Jameson 1994, Miley et al. 1995b) using the IEC have predicted excellent performance for a variety of space missions, since the power unit avoids the use of magnets and heavy drives resulting in a very high, specific impulse compared to other fusion systems. In their recent survey of prior conceptual design studies of fusion rockets, Williams and Borowski (1997) found that the Bussard IEC conceptual study (the open-quotes QEDclose quotes engine) offered a thrust-to-weight ratio of 10 milli-g close-quote s, a factor of five higher than conventional magnetic confinement concepts and even slightly above anti-proton micro fission/fusion designs. Thus there is considerable motivation to study IEC concepts for eventual space applications. However, the physics feasibility of the IEC still requires experimental demonstration, and an expanded data base is needed to insure that a power unit can in fact be built. copyright 1998 American Institute of Physics

  10. Scaling of the Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) for near-term thrusters and future fusion propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miley, G.; Bromley, B.; Jurczyk, B.; Stubbers, R.; DeMora, J.; Chacon, L.; Gu, Y.

    1998-01-01

    Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) is a unique approach to fusion and plasma energy systems that was conceptualized in the 1960s (Hirsch 1967) and has been the focus of recent development in the 1990s (Miley et al. 1995a). In the interests of space power and propulsion systems, conceptual rocket design studies (Bussard and Jameson 1994, Miley et al. 1995b) using the IEC have predicted excellent performance for a variety of space missions, since the power unit avoids the use of magnets and heavy drives resulting in a very high, specific impulse compared to other fusion systems. In their recent survey of prior conceptual design studies of fusion rockets, Williams and Borowski (1997) found that the Bussard IEC conceptual study (the ''QED'' engine) offered a thrust-to-weight ratio of 10 milli-g's, a factor of five higher than conventional magnetic confinement concepts and even slightly above anti-proton micro fission/fusion designs. Thus there is considerable motivation to study IEC concepts for eventual space applications. However, the physics feasibility of the IEC still requires experimental demonstration, and an expanded data base is needed to insure that a power unit can in fact be built

  11. 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)

  12. The discovery of fission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McKay, H.A.C.

    1978-01-01

    In this article by the retired head of the Separation Processes Group of the Chemistry Division, Atomic Energy Research Establishment, Harwell, U.K., the author recalls what he terms 'an exciting drama, the unravelling of the nature of the atomic nucleus' in the years before the Second World War, including the discovery of fission. 12 references. (author)

  13. NASA Electric Propulsion System Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felder, James L.

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Singlet fission in pentacene dimers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zirzlmeier, Johannes; Lehnherr, Dan; Coto, Pedro B.; Chernick, Erin T.; Casillas, Rubén; Basel, Bettina S.; Thoss, Michael; Tykwinski, Rik R.; Guldi, Dirk M.

    2015-01-01

    Singlet fission (SF) has the potential to supersede the traditional solar energy conversion scheme by means of boosting the photon-to-current conversion efficiencies beyond the 30% Shockley–Queisser limit. Here, we show unambiguous and compelling evidence for unprecedented intramolecular SF within regioisomeric pentacene dimers in room-temperature solutions, with observed triplet quantum yields reaching as high as 156 ± 5%. Whereas previous studies have shown that the collision of a photoexcited chromophore with a ground-state chromophore can give rise to SF, here we demonstrate that the proximity and sufficient coupling through bond or space in pentacene dimers is enough to induce intramolecular SF where two triplets are generated on one molecule. PMID:25858954

  15. Mars Sample Return Using Solar Sail Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Les; Macdonald, Malcolm; Mcinnes, Colin; Percy, Tom

    2012-01-01

    Many Mars Sample Return (MSR) architecture studies have been conducted over the years. A key element of them is the Earth Return Stage (ERS) whose objective is to obtain the sample from the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) and return it safely to the surface of the Earth. ERS designs predominantly use chemical propulsion [1], incurring a significant launch mass penalty due to the low specific impulse of such systems coupled with the launch mass sensitivity to returned mass. It is proposed to use solar sail propulsion for the ERS, providing a high (effective) specific impulse propulsion system in the final stage of the multi-stage system. By doing so to the launch mass of the orbiter mission can be significantly reduced and hence potentially decreasing mission cost. Further, solar sailing offers a unique set of non-Keplerian low thrust trajectories that may enable modifications to the current approach to designing the Earth Entry Vehicle by potentially reducing the Earth arrival velocity. This modification will further decrease the mass of the orbiter system. Solar sail propulsion uses sunlight to propel vehicles through space by reflecting solar photons from a large, mirror-like surface made of a lightweight, reflective material. The continuous photonic pressure provides propellantless thrust to conduct orbital maneuvering and plane changes more efficiently than conventional chemical propulsion. Because the Sun supplies the necessary propulsive energy, solar sails require no onboard propellant, thus reducing system mass. This technology is currently at TRL 7/8 as demonstrated by the 2010 flight of the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA, IKAROS mission. [2

  16. Modeling of Ship Propulsion Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Benjamin Pjedsted; Larsen, Jan

    2009-01-01

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

  17. Elastocapillary Instability in Mitochondrial Fission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez-Rodriguez, David; Sart, Sébastien; Babataheri, Avin; Tareste, David; Barakat, Abdul I.; Clanet, Christophe; Husson, Julien

    2015-08-01

    Mitochondria are dynamic cell organelles that constantly undergo fission and fusion events. These dynamical processes, which tightly regulate mitochondrial morphology, are essential for cell physiology. Here we propose an elastocapillary mechanical instability as a mechanism for mitochondrial fission. We experimentally induce mitochondrial fission by rupturing the cell's plasma membrane. We present a stability analysis that successfully explains the observed fission wavelength and the role of mitochondrial morphology in the occurrence of fission events. Our results show that the laws of fluid mechanics can describe mitochondrial morphology and dynamics.

  18. A threshold for dissipative fission

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thoennessen, M.; Bertsch, G.F.

    1993-01-01

    The empirical domain of validity of statistical theory is examined as applied to fission data on pre-fission data on pre-fission neutron, charged particle, and γ-ray multiplicities. Systematics are found of the threshold excitation energy for the appearance of nonstatistical fission. From the data on systems with not too high fissility, the relevant phenomenological parameter is the ratio of the threshold temperature T thresh to the (temperature-dependent) fission barrier height E Bar (T). The statistical model reproduces the data for T thresh /E Bar (T) thresh /E Bar (T) independent of mass and fissility of the systems

  19. Turboprop Propulsion Mechanic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chanute AFB Technical Training Center, IL.

    This instructional package consists of a plan of instruction, glossary, and student handouts and exercises for use in training Air Force personnel to become turboprop propulsion mechanics. Addressed in the individual lessons of the course are the following: common hand tools, hardware, measuring devices, and safety wiring; aircraft and engine…

  20. 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.)

  1. Barium 139 as Fission Indicator

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Broda, E.

    1943-07-01

    This report is based on a measurement performed at the Cavendish Laboratory (Cambridge) by E. Broda in December 1943 where a technique has been worked out for measuring the fission density in a uranium containing medium in relative units by determining the amount of a suitable fission product formed. Generally a given fission product will be formed in natural uranium by slow neutron fission of U235 or by fast neutron fission of either U235 or U238. It is intended to translate the relative units into absolute units by comparison of the Ba yield with the indication of UF6 fission chamber in the same medium. This has to be done separately for fast and slow neutron fission as the yields may be different. Another application of the technique developed is the measurement of thermal neutron density in an uraniferous medium without using a detector subject to variations of sensitivity according to the properties of the medium. (nowak)

  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. 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

  4. State-of-the-Art for Small Satellite Propulsion Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Khary I.

    2016-01-01

    SmallSats are a low cost access to space with an increasing need for propulsion systems. NASA, and other organizations, will be using SmallSats that require propulsion systems to: a) Conduct high quality near and far reaching on-orbit research and b) Perform technology demonstrations. Increasing call for high reliability and high performing for SmallSat components. Many SmallSat propulsion technologies are currently under development: a) Systems at various levels of maturity and b) Wide variety of systems for many mission applications.

  5. Definition of an arcjet propulsion sub-system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Price, T.W.

    1989-01-01

    An engineering flight demonstration of a 100 kW3 Space Reactor Power System is planned for the mid to late 1990s. An arcjet based propulsion subsystem will be included on the flight demonstraction as a secondary experiment. Two studies, sponsored by the Kay Technologies Directorate of the SDI Organization and managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are currently under way to define that propulsion subsystem. The principal tasks of those contracts and the plans for two later phases, an experimental verification of the concept and a flight qualification/delivery of a flight unit, are described. 9 refs

  6. 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.

  7. Coincident ion acceleration and electron extraction for space propulsion using the self-bias formed on a set of RF biased grids bounding a plasma source

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rafalskyi, D; Aanesland, A

    2014-01-01

    We propose an alternative method to accelerate ions in classical gridded ion thrusters and ion sources such that co-extracted electrons from the source may provide beam space charge neutralization. In this way there is no need for an additional electron neutralizer. The method consists of applying RF voltage to a two-grid acceleration system via a blocking capacitor. Due to the unequal effective area of the two grids in contact with the plasma, a dc self-bias is formed, rectifying the applied RF voltage. As a result, ions are continuously accelerated within the grid system while electrons are emitted in brief instants within the RF period when the RF space charge sheath collapses. This paper presents the first experimental results and a proof-of-principle. Experiments are carried out using the Neptune thruster prototype which is a gridded Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) source operated at 4 MHz, attached to a larger beam propagation chamber. The RF power supply is used both for the ICP discharge (plasma generation) and powering the acceleration grids via a capacitor for ion acceleration and electron extraction without any dc power supplies. The ion and electron energies, particle flux and densities are measured using retarding field energy analyzers (RFEA), Langmuir probes and a large beam target. The system operates in Argon and N 2 . The dc self-bias is found to be generated within the gridded extraction system in all the range of operating conditions. Broad quasi-neutral ion-electron beams are measured in the downstream chamber with energies up to 400 eV. The beams from the RF acceleration method are compared with classical dc acceleration with an additional external electron neutralizer. It is found that the two acceleration techniques provide similar performance, but the ion energy distribution function from RF acceleration is broader, while the floating potential of the beam is lower than for the dc accelerated beam. (paper)

  8. 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.

  9. Fusion-fission dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blocki, J.; Planeta, R.; Brzychczyk, J.; Grotowski, K.

    1991-04-01

    Classical dynamical calculations of the heavy ion induced fission process for the reactions 40 Ar+ 141 Pr, 20 Ne+ 165 Ho and 12 C+ 175 Lu leading to the iridium like nucleus have been performed. As a result prescission lifetimes were obtained and compared with the experimental values. The agreement between the calculated and experimental lifetimes indicates that the one-body dissipation picture is much more relevant in describing the fusion-fission dynamics than the two-body one. Somewhat bigger calculated times than the experimental ones in case of the C+Lu reaction at 16 MeV/nucleon may be a signal on the energy range applicability of the one-body dissipation model. (author)

  10. The Potential for Ambient Plasma Wave Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilland, James H.; Williams, George J.

    2016-01-01

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

  11. The fission track method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hansen, K.

    1990-01-01

    During the last decade fission track (FT) analysis has evolved as an important tool in exploration for hydrocarbon resources. Most important is this method's ability to yield information about temperatures at different times (history), and thus relate oil generation and time independently of other maturity parameters. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the basics of the method and give an example from the author's studies. (AB) (14 refs.)

  12. 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.

  13. Innovative High Temperature Heat Pipes for Spacecraft Nuclear Fission Systems, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA Glenn is examining small fission reactors for future space transportation and surface power applications. The reactors would have an 8 to 15 year design life...

  14. Solar Sail Propulsion Technology at NASA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Charles Les

    2007-01-01

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

  15. Robust singlet fission in pentacene thin films with tuned charge transfer interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broch, K; Dieterle, J; Branchi, F; Hestand, N J; Olivier, Y; Tamura, H; Cruz, C; Nichols, V M; Hinderhofer, A; Beljonne, D; Spano, F C; Cerullo, G; Bardeen, C J; Schreiber, F

    2018-03-05

    Singlet fission, the spin-allowed photophysical process converting an excited singlet state into two triplet states, has attracted significant attention for device applications. Research so far has focused mainly on the understanding of singlet fission in pure materials, yet blends offer the promise of a controlled tuning of intermolecular interactions, impacting singlet fission efficiencies. Here we report a study of singlet fission in mixtures of pentacene with weakly interacting spacer molecules. Comparison of experimentally determined stationary optical properties and theoretical calculations indicates a reduction of charge-transfer interactions between pentacene molecules with increasing spacer molecule fraction. Theory predicts that the reduced interactions slow down singlet fission in these blends, but surprisingly we find that singlet fission occurs on a timescale comparable to that in pure crystalline pentacene. We explain the observed robustness of singlet fission in such mixed films by a mechanism of exciton diffusion to hot spots with closer intermolecular spacings.

  16. [Fission product yields of 60 fissioning reactions]. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rider, B.F.

    1995-01-01

    In keeping with the statement of work, I have examined the fission product yields of 60 fissioning reactions. In co-authorship with the UTR (University Technical Representative) Talmadge R. England ''Evaluation and Compilation of Fission Product Yields 1993,'' LA-UR-94-3106(ENDF-349) October, (1994) was published. This is an evaluated set of fission product Yields for use in calculation of decay heat curves with improved accuracy has been prepared. These evaluated yields are based on all known experimental data through 1992. Unmeasured fission product yields are calculated from charge distribution, pairing effects, and isomeric state models developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The current evaluation has been distributed as the ENDF/B-VI fission product yield data set

  17. NASA Solar Sail Propulsion Technology Development

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  18. Innovative Applications of DoD Propulsion Technology for Low-Cost Satellite Missions, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. CFD for hypersonic propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Povinelli, Louis A.

    1991-01-01

    An overview is given of research activity on the application of computational fluid dynamics (CDF) for hypersonic propulsion systems. After the initial consideration of the highly integrated nature of air-breathing hypersonic engines and airframe, attention is directed toward computations carried out for the components of the engine. A generic inlet configuration is considered in order to demonstrate the highly three dimensional viscous flow behavior occurring within rectangular inlets. Reacting flow computations for simple jet injection as well as for more complex combustion chambers are then discussed in order to show the capability of viscous finite rate chemical reaction computer simulations. Finally, the nozzle flow fields are demonstrated, showing the existence of complex shear layers and shock structure in the exhaust plume. The general issues associated with code validation as well as the specific issue associated with the use of CFD for design are discussed. A prognosis for the success of CFD in the design of future propulsion systems is offered.

  2. Hydrodynamics of Peristaltic Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athanassiadis, Athanasios; Hart, Douglas

    2014-11-01

    A curious class of animals called salps live in marine environments and self-propel by ejecting vortex rings much like jellyfish and squid. However, unlike other jetting creatures that siphon and eject water from one side of their body, salps produce vortex rings by pumping water through siphons on opposite ends of their hollow cylindrical bodies. In the simplest cases, it seems like some species of salp can successfully move by contracting just two siphons connected by an elastic body. When thought of as a chain of timed contractions, salp propulsion is reminiscent of peristaltic pumping applied to marine locomotion. Inspired by salps, we investigate the hydrodynamics of peristaltic propulsion, focusing on the scaling relationships that determine flow rate, thrust production, and energy usage in a model system. We discuss possible actuation methods for a model peristaltic vehicle, considering both the material and geometrical requirements for such a system.

  3. Reactor Start-up and Control Methodologies: Consideration of the Space Radiation Environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bragg-Sitton, Shannon M.; Holloway, James Paul

    2004-01-01

    The use of fission energy in space power and propulsion systems offers considerable advantages over chemical propulsion. Fission provides over six orders of magnitude higher energy density, which translates to higher vehicle specific impulse and lower specific mass. These characteristics enable the accomplishment of ambitious space exploration missions. The natural radiation environment in space provides an external source of protons and high energy, high Z particles that can result in the production of secondary neutrons through interactions in reactor structures. Initial investigation using MCNPX 2.5.b for proton transport through the SAFE-400 reactor indicates a secondary neutron net current of 1.4x107 n/s at the core-reflector interface, with an incoming current of 3.4x106 n/s due to neutrons produced in the Be reflector alone. This neutron population could provide a reliable startup source for a space reactor. Additionally, this source must be considered in developing a reliable control strategy during reactor startup, steady-state operation, and power transients. An autonomous control system is developed and analyzed for application during reactor startup, accounting for fluctuations in the radiation environment that result from changes in vehicle location (altitude, latitude, position in solar system) or due to temporal variations in the radiation field, as may occur in the case of solar flares. One proposed application of a nuclear electric propulsion vehicle is in a tour of the Jovian system, where the time required for communication to Earth is significant. Hence, it is important that a reactor control system be designed with feedback mechanisms to automatically adjust to changes in reactor temperatures, power levels, etc., maintaining nominal operation without user intervention. This paper will evaluate the potential use of secondary neutrons produced by proton interactions in the reactor vessel as a startup source for a space reactor and will present a

  4. Coulomb fission and transfer fission at heavy ion collisions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Himmele, G.

    1981-01-01

    In the present thesis the first direct evidence of nuclear fission after inelastic scattering of heavy ions (sup(183,184)W, 152 Sm → 238 U; 184 W → 232 Th; 184 W, 232 Th → 248 Cm) is reported. Experiments which were performed at the UNILAC of the Gesellschaft fuer Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt show the observed heavy ion induced fission possesses significant properties of the Coulomb fission. The observed dependence of the fission probability for inelastic scattering on the projectile charge proves that the nuclear fission is mediated by the electromagnetic interaction between heavy ions. This result suggests moreover a multiple Coulomb-excitation preceding the fission. Model calculations give a first indication, that the Coulomb fission proceeds mainly from the higher β phonons. In the irradiation with 184 W the fission probability of 232 Th is for all incident energies about 40% smaller that at 238 U. The target dependence of the Coulomb fission however doesn't allow, to give quantitative statements about the position and B(E2)-values of higher lying β phonons. (orig./HSI) [de

  5. Why Density Dependent Propulsion?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Glen A.

    2011-01-01

    In 2004 Khoury and Weltman produced a density dependent cosmology theory they call the Chameleon, as at its nature, it is hidden within known physics. The Chameleon theory has implications to dark matter/energy with universe acceleration properties, which implies a new force mechanism with ties to the far and local density environment. In this paper, the Chameleon Density Model is discussed in terms of propulsion toward new propellant-less engineering methods.

  6. Green Applications for Space Power

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Spacecraft propulsion and power for many decades has relied on Hydrazine monopropellant technology for auxiliary power units (APU), orbital circularization, orbit...

  7. Inertial frames and breakthrough propulsion physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millis, Marc G.

    2017-09-01

    The term ;Breakthrough Propulsion Physics; comes from the NASA project by that name which examined non-rocket space drives, gravity control, and faster-than-light travel. The focus here is on space drives and the related unsolved physics of inertial frames. A ;space drive; is a generic term encompassing any concept for using as-yet undiscovered physics to move a spacecraft instead of existing rockets, sails, or tethers. The collective state of the art spans mostly steps 1-3 of the scientific method: defining the problem, collecting data, and forming hypotheses. The key issues include (1) conservation of momentum, (2) absence of obvious reaction mass, and (3) the net-external thrusting requirement. Relevant open problems in physics include: (1) the sources and mechanisms of inertial frames, (2) coupling of gravitation to the other fundamental forces, and (3) the nature of the quantum vacuum. Rather than following the assumption that inertial frames are an immutable, intrinsic property of space, this paper revisits Mach's Principle, where it is posited that inertia is relative to the distant surrounding matter. This perspective allows conjectures that a space drive could impart reaction forces to that matter, via some as-yet undiscovered interaction with the inertial frame properties of space. Thought experiments are offered to begin a process to derive new hypotheses. It is unknown if this line of inquiry will be fruitful, but it is hoped that, by revisiting unsolved physics from a propulsion point of view, new insights will be gained.

  8. Recent Advances in Airframe-Propulsion Concepts with Distributed Propulsion

    OpenAIRE

    Isikveren , A.T.; Seitz , A.; Bijewitz , J.; Hornung , M.; Mirzoyan , A.; Isyanov , A.; Godard , J.L.; Stückl , S.; Van Toor , J.

    2014-01-01

    International audience; This paper discusses design and integration associated with distributed propulsion as a means of providing motive power for future aircraft concepts. The technical work reflects activities performed within a European Commission funded Framework 7 project entitled Distributed Propulsion and Ultra-high By-Pass Rotor Study at Aircraft Level, or, DisPURSAL. In this instance, the approach of distributed propulsion includes one unique solution that integrates the fuselage wi...

  9. Evaluation of advanced propulsion options for the next manned transportation system: Propulsion evolution study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spears, L. T.; Kramer, R. D.

    1990-01-01

    The objectives were to examine launch vehicle applications and propulsion requirements for potential future manned space transportation systems and to support planning toward the evolution of Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) and Space Transportation Main Engine (STME) engines beyond their current or initial launch vehicle applications. As a basis for examinations of potential future manned launch vehicle applications, we used three classes of manned space transportation concepts currently under study: Space Transportation System Evolution, Personal Launch System (PLS), and Advanced Manned Launch System (AMLS). Tasks included studies of launch vehicle applications and requirements for hydrogen-oxygen rocket engines; the development of suggestions for STME engine evolution beyond the mid-1990's; the development of suggestions for STME evolution beyond the Advanced Launch System (ALS) application; the study of booster propulsion options, including LOX-Hydrocarbon options; the analysis of the prospects and requirements for utilization of a single engine configuration over the full range of vehicle applications, including manned vehicles plus ALS and Shuttle C; and a brief review of on-going and planned LOX-Hydrogen propulsion technology activities.

  10. A small flat fission chamber

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Yijun; Wang Dalun; Chen Suhe

    1999-01-01

    With fission materials of depleted uranium, natural uranium, enriched uranium, 239 Pu, and 237 Np, the authors have designed and made a series of small flat fission chamber. The authors narrated the construction of the fission chamber and its technological process of manufacture, and furthermore, the authors have measured and discussed the follow correct factor, self-absorption, boundary effect, threshold loss factor, bottom scatter and or so

  11. Fission barriers of light nuclei

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grotowski, K.; Planeta, R.; Blann, M.; Komoto, T.

    1989-01-01

    Experimental fission excitation functions for compound nuclei /sup 52/Fe, /sup 49/Cr, /sup 46/V, and /sup 44/Ti formed in heavy-ion reactions are analyzed in the Hauser-Feshbach/Bohr-Wheeler formalism using fission barriers based on the rotating liquid drop model of Cohen et al. and on the rotating finite range model of Sierk. We conclude that the rotating finite range approach gives better reproduction of experimental fission yields, consistent with results found for heavier systems

  12. Nuclear Forensics and Radiochemistry: Fission

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rundberg, Robert S. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2017-11-07

    Radiochemistry has been used to study fission since it’ discovery. Radiochemical methods are used to determine cumulative mass yields. These measurements have led to the two-mode fission hypothesis to model the neutron energy dependence of fission product yields. Fission product yields can be used for the nuclear forensics of nuclear explosions. The mass yield curve depends on both the fuel and the neutron spectrum of a device. Recent studies have shown that the nuclear structure of the compound nucleus can affect the mass yield distribution.

  13. Micro plate fission chamber development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Mei; Wen Zhongwei; Lin Jufang; Jiang Li; Liu Rong; Wang Dalun

    2014-01-01

    To conduct the measurement of neutron flux and the fission rate distribution at several position in assemblies, the micro plate fission chamber was designed and fabricated. Since the requirement of smaller volume and less structure material was taken into consideration, it is convinient, commercial and practical to use fission chamber to measure neutron flux in specific condition. In this paper, the structure of fission chamber and process of fabrication were introduced and performance test result was presented. The detection efficiency is 91.7%. (authors)

  14. Fission yield measurements at IGISOL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lantz, M.; Al-Adili, A.; Gorelov, D.; Jokinen, A.; Kolhinen, V. S.; Mattera, A.; Moore, I.; Penttilä, H.; Pomp, S.; Prokofiev, A. V.; Rakopoulos, V.; Rinta-Antila, S.; Simutkin, V.; Solders, A.

    2016-06-01

    The fission product yields are an important characteristic of the fission process. In fundamental physics, knowledge of the yield distributions is needed to better understand the fission process. For nuclear energy applications good knowledge of neutroninduced fission-product yields is important for the safe and efficient operation of nuclear power plants. With the Ion Guide Isotope Separator On-Line (IGISOL) technique, products of nuclear reactions are stopped in a buffer gas and then extracted and separated by mass. Thanks to the high resolving power of the JYFLTRAP Penning trap, at University of Jyväskylä, fission products can be isobarically separated, making it possible to measure relative independent fission yields. In some cases it is even possible to resolve isomeric states from the ground state, permitting measurements of isomeric yield ratios. So far the reactions U(p,f) and Th(p,f) have been studied using the IGISOL-JYFLTRAP facility. Recently, a neutron converter target has been developed utilizing the Be(p,xn) reaction. We here present the IGISOL-technique for fission yield measurements and some of the results from the measurements on proton induced fission. We also present the development of the neutron converter target, the characterization of the neutron field and the first tests with neutron-induced fission.

  15. Fission yield measurements at IGISOL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lantz M.

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The fission product yields are an important characteristic of the fission process. In fundamental physics, knowledge of the yield distributions is needed to better understand the fission process. For nuclear energy applications good knowledge of neutroninduced fission-product yields is important for the safe and efficient operation of nuclear power plants. With the Ion Guide Isotope Separator On-Line (IGISOL technique, products of nuclear reactions are stopped in a buffer gas and then extracted and separated by mass. Thanks to the high resolving power of the JYFLTRAP Penning trap, at University of Jyväskylä, fission products can be isobarically separated, making it possible to measure relative independent fission yields. In some cases it is even possible to resolve isomeric states from the ground state, permitting measurements of isomeric yield ratios. So far the reactions U(p,f and Th(p,f have been studied using the IGISOL-JYFLTRAP facility. Recently, a neutron converter target has been developed utilizing the Be(p,xn reaction. We here present the IGISOL-technique for fission yield measurements and some of the results from the measurements on proton induced fission. We also present the development of the neutron converter target, the characterization of the neutron field and the first tests with neutron-induced fission.

  16. Fusion-fission type collisions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oeschler, H.

    1980-01-01

    Three examples of fusion-fission type collisions on medium-mass nuclei are investigated whether the fragment properties are consistent with fission from equilibrated compound nuclei. Only in a very narrow band of angular momenta the data fulfill the necessary criteria for this process. Continuous evolutions of this mechnism into fusion fission and into a deep-inelastic process and particle emission prior to fusion have been observed. Based on the widths of the fragment-mass distributions of a great variety of data, a further criterion for the compound-nucleus-fission process is tentatively proposed. (orig.)

  17. Study of space reactors for exploration missions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cliquet, Elisa; Ruault, Jean-Marc; Masson, Frederic, E-mail: elisa.cliquet@cnes.fr, E-mail: frederic.masson@cnes.fr [Centre National d' Etudes Spatiales (CNES), Paris (France); Roux, Jean-Pierre; Paris, Nicolas; Cazale, Brice; Manifacier, Laurent, E-mail: jean-pierre.roux@areva.com [AREVA TA, Aix en Provence, (France); Poinot-Salanon, Christine, E-mail: christine.poinot@cea.fr [Comissariado a l' Energie Atomique et Aux Energies alternatives (CEA), Paris (France)

    2013-07-01

    Nuclear propulsion has been studied for many decades. The power density of nuclear fission is much higher than chemical process, and for missions to outer solar system requiring several hundred of kilowatts, or for flexible manned missions to Mars requiring several megawatts, nuclear electric propulsion might be the only option offering a reasonable mass in low earth orbit. Despite the existence of low power experiences - SNAP10 in the 60's or Buk/Topaz in the 60-80's - no high power reactor has been developed: investment cost, long term time frame, high technological challenges and radioactive hazards are the main challenges we must overtake. However, it seems reasonable to look at the technical challenges that have to be overcome for a next generation of nuclear electric systems for space exploration. This paper will present some recent studies going on in France, on space reactors for exploration. Three classes of power have been considered: 10kWe, 100kWe, and several megawatts. Available data from previous studies and developments performed in Russia, USA], and Europe, have been collected and gave us a large overview of potential technical solutions. This was the starting point of a trade-off analysis aiming at the selection of the best options, with regards to the technological readiness level in France and Europe. The resulting preliminary designs will be presented and critical technologies needing maturation activities will be highlighted. (author)

  18. Study of space reactors for exploration missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cliquet, Elisa; Ruault, Jean-Marc; Masson, Frederic; Roux, Jean-Pierre; Paris, Nicolas; Cazale, Brice; Manifacier, Laurent; Poinot-Salanon, Christine

    2013-01-01

    Nuclear propulsion has been studied for many decades. The power density of nuclear fission is much higher than chemical process, and for missions to outer solar system requiring several hundred of kilowatts, or for flexible manned missions to Mars requiring several megawatts, nuclear electric propulsion might be the only option offering a reasonable mass in low earth orbit. Despite the existence of low power experiences - SNAP10 in the 60's or Buk/Topaz in the 60-80's - no high power reactor has been developed: investment cost, long term time frame, high technological challenges and radioactive hazards are the main challenges we must overtake. However, it seems reasonable to look at the technical challenges that have to be overcome for a next generation of nuclear electric systems for space exploration. This paper will present some recent studies going on in France, on space reactors for exploration. Three classes of power have been considered: 10kWe, 100kWe, and several megawatts. Available data from previous studies and developments performed in Russia, USA], and Europe, have been collected and gave us a large overview of potential technical solutions. This was the starting point of a trade-off analysis aiming at the selection of the best options, with regards to the technological readiness level in France and Europe. The resulting preliminary designs will be presented and critical technologies needing maturation activities will be highlighted. (author)

  19. Study on the effect factor of the absolute fission rates measured by depleted uranium fission chamber

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jiang Li; Liu Rong; Wang Dalun; Wang Mei; Lin Jufang; Wen Zhongwei

    2003-01-01

    The absolute fission rates was measured by the depleted uranium fission chamber. The efficiency of the fission fragments recorded in the fission chamber was analyzed. The factor influencing absolute fission rates was studied in the experiment, including the disturbing effect between detectors and the effect of the structural of the fission chamber, etc

  20. Microscopic theory of nuclear fission: a review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schunck, N.; Robledo, L. M.

    2016-11-01

    This article reviews how nuclear fission is described within nuclear density functional theory. A distinction should be made between spontaneous fission, where half-lives are the main observables and quantum tunnelling the essential concept, and induced fission, where the focus is on fragment properties and explicitly time-dependent approaches are often invoked. Overall, the cornerstone of the density functional theory approach to fission is the energy density functional formalism. The basic tenets of this method, including some well-known tools such as the Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov (HFB) theory, effective two-body nuclear potentials such as the Skyrme and Gogny force, finite-temperature extensions and beyond mean-field corrections, are presented succinctly. The energy density functional approach is often combined with the hypothesis that the time-scale of the large amplitude collective motion driving the system to fission is slow compared to typical time-scales of nucleons inside the nucleus. In practice, this hypothesis of adiabaticity is implemented by introducing (a few) collective variables and mapping out the many-body Schrödinger equation into a collective Schrödinger-like equation for the nuclear wave-packet. The region of the collective space where the system transitions from one nucleus to two (or more) fragments defines what are called the scission configurations. The inertia tensor that enters the kinetic energy term of the collective Schrödinger-like equation is one of the most essential ingredients of the theory, since it includes the response of the system to small changes in the collective variables. For this reason, the two main approximations used to compute this inertia tensor, the adiabatic time-dependent HFB and the generator coordinate method, are presented in detail, both in their general formulation and in their most common approximations. The collective inertia tensor enters also the Wentzel-Kramers-Brillouin (WKB) formula used to extract