WorldWideScience

Sample records for space nuclear propulsion

  1. Nuclear propulsion for the space exploration initiative

    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

  2. Nuclear Propulsion for Space (Rev.)

    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.

  3. Performance Criteria of Nuclear Space Propulsion Systems

    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.

  4. Propulsion of space ships by nuclear explosion

    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.

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

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

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

    2008-03-15

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

  7. Nuclear modules for space electric propulsion

    Difilippo, F.C.

    1998-01-01

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

  8. Legal Implications of Nuclear Propulsion for Space Objects

    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".

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

    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

  10. Nuclear modules for space electric propulsion

    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

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

    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.

  12. SPACE MAINTENANCE OF NUCLEAR ROCKET PROPULSION VEHICLES

    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.)

  13. Lightweight Radiator for in Space Nuclear Electric Propulsion

    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.

  14. Nuclear space power and propulsion requirements and issues

    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

  15. Space nuclear thermal propulsion test facilities accommodation at INEL

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

    1993-01-01

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

  16. Space nuclear thermal propulsion test facilities accommodation at INEL

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    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

    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

    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

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

    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. Systems integration processes for space nuclear electric propulsion systems

    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

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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

  6. Proposal of space reactor for nuclear electric propulsion system

    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)

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

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    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)

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

    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.

  10. Reactors for nuclear electric propulsion

    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.

  11. Reactors for nuclear electric propulsion

    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

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

    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.

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

    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

  14. Nuclear rocket propulsion

    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

  15. The Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage

    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.

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

    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

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

    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

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

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

    2013-05-15

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

  19. THE FUTURE OF SPACECRAFT NUCLEAR PROPULSION

    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.

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

    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

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

    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)

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

    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)

  3. NASA's Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Project

    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).

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

    Buden, D.; Garrison, P.W.

    1984-01-01

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

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

    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.

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

    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

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

    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)

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

    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

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

    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

  10. Nuclear propulsion for orbital transfer

    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

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

    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

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

    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

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

    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.

  14. Reactors. Nuclear propulsion ships

    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.)

  15. Nuclear thermal propulsion workshop overview

    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

  16. Nuclear merchant ship propulsion

    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

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

    Tapper, M.L.

    1982-01-01

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

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

    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

  19. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Development Risks

    Kim, Tony

    2015-01-01

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

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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

  3. NASA program planning on nuclear electric propulsion

    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

  4. The PEGASUS Drive: A nuclear electric propulsion system for the space exploration initiative

    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

  5. Nuclear propulsion systems engineering

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

    1992-01-01

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

  6. Space transportation propulsion USSR launcher technology, 1990

    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).

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

    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

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

    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. Dormancy effects on the reliability of nuclear thermal propulsion systems for long-term manned space missions

    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

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

    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.

  11. In-Space Propulsion (346620) Technology Project

    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...

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

    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.

  13. Research Opportunities in Space Propulsion

    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

  14. Nuclear-microwave-electric propulsion

    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

  15. NASA's nuclear electric propulsion technology project

    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

  16. Space station propulsion requirements study

    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. Oxygen Containment System Options for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Testing

    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...

  18. Status report on nuclear electric propulsion systems

    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.

  19. 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)

    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

  20. Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage Affordable Development Strategy

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    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

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

    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

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

    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

  4. Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) Program. Sanitized Version

    1991-09-19

    opjiou of the facilitles would t the UM as those produced by proposed operatioas at SMTS. The inchue radiactive and hard wast. The are discusred below...Laboratory (U) NNWSI - Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigation (U) non-TRU - non-Transuranic (U) NPDES - National Polutant Discharge Elimination

  5. Space storable propulsion components development

    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.

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

    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....

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

    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

  8. Mathematical model for the preliminary analysis of dual-mode space nuclear fission solid core power and propulsion systems, NUROC3A. AMS report No. 1239a

    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.

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

    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.

  10. Options for development of space fission propulsion systems

    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

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

    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

  12. Test facilities for evaluating nuclear thermal propulsion systems

    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

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

    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.

  14. NASA's progress in nuclear electric propulsion technology

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

    1993-01-01

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

  15. 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

    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

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

    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...

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

    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)

  18. A cermet fuel reactor for nuclear thermal propulsion

    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.

  19. A cermet fuel reactor for nuclear thermal propulsion

    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

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

    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

  1. Philosophy for nuclear thermal propulsion

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

    1993-01-01

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

  2. 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

    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.

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

    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...

  4. Ultrahigh Specific Impulse Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    Anne Charmeau; Brandon Cunningham; Samim Anghaie

    2009-02-09

    Research on nuclear thermal propulsion systems (NTP) have been in forefront of the space nuclear power and propulsion due to their design simplicity and their promise for providing very high thrust at reasonably high specific impulse. During NERVA-ROVER program in late 1950's till early 1970's, the United States developed and ground tested about 18 NTP systems without ever deploying them into space. The NERVA-ROVER program included development and testing of NTP systems with very high thrust (~250,000 lbf) and relatively high specific impulse (~850 s). High thrust to weight ratio in NTP systems is an indicator of high acceleration that could be achieved with these systems. The specific impulse in the lowest mass propellant, hydrogen, is a function of square root of absolute temperature in the NTP thrust chamber. Therefor optimizing design performance of NTP systems would require achieving the highest possible hydrogen temperature at reasonably high thrust to weight ratio. High hydrogen exit temperature produces high specific impulse that is a diret measure of propellant usage efficiency.

  5. NASA's nuclear thermal propulsion technology project

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

    1992-07-01

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

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

    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.

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

    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

  8. Development costs for a nuclear electric propulsion stage.

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

    1973-01-01

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

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

    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

  10. Electric rail gun application to space propulsion

    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

  11. System model development for nuclear thermal propulsion

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

    1992-01-01

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

  12. Advanced electrostatic ion thruster for space propulsion

    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.

  13. Nuclear electric propulsion mission engineering study. Volume 1: Executive summary

    1973-01-01

    Results of a mission engineering analysis of nuclear-thermionic electric propulsion spacecraft for unmanned interplanetary and geocentric missions are summarized. Critical technologies associated with the development of nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) are assessed. Outer planet and comet rendezvous mission analysis, NEP stage design for geocentric and interplanetary missions, NEP system development cost and unit costs, and technology requirements for NEP stage development are studied. The NEP stage design provides both inherent reliability and high payload mass capability. The NEP stage and payload integration was found to be compatible with the space shuttle.

  14. Engine cycle design considerations for nuclear thermal propulsion systems

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Clark, John S.

    1992-01-01

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

  16. An historical collection of papers on nuclear thermal propulsion

    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.

  17. Nuclear Energy in Space Exploration

    Seaborg, Glenn T.

    1968-01-01

    Nuclear space programs under development by the Atomic Energy Commission are reviewed including the Rover Program, systems for nuclear rocket propulsion and, the SNAP Program, systems for generating electric power in space. The letters S-N-A-P stands for Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power. Some of the projected uses of nuclear systems in space are briefly discussed including lunar orbit, lunar transportation from lunar orbit to lunar surface and base stations; planetary exploration, and longer space missions. The limitations of other sources of energy such as solar, fuel cells, and electric batteries are discussed. The excitement and visionary possibilities of the Age of Space are discussed.

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

    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

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

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

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

    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...

  2. A development approach for nuclear thermal propulsion

    Buden, D.

    1992-01-01

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

  3. Nuclear power in space

    Anghaie, S.

    2007-01-01

    The development of space nuclear power and propulsion in the United States started in 1955 with the initiation of the ROVER project. The first step in the ROVER program was the KIWI project that included the development and testing of 8 non-flyable ultrahigh temperature nuclear test reactors during 1955-1964. The KIWI project was precursor to the PHOEBUS carbon-based fuel reactor project that resulted in ground testing of three high power reactors during 1965-1968 with the last reactor operated at 4,100 MW. During the same time period a parallel program was pursued to develop a nuclear thermal rocket based on cermet fuel technology. The third component of the ROVER program was the Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Applications (NERVA) that was initiated in 1961 with the primary goal of designing the first generation of nuclear rocket engine based on the KIWI project experience. The fourth component of the ROVER program was the Reactor In-Flight Test (RIFT) project that was intended to design, fabricate, and flight test a NERVA powered upper stage engine for the Saturn-class lunch vehicle. During the ROVER program era, the Unites States ventured in a comprehensive space nuclear program that included design and testing of several compact reactors and space suitable power conversion systems, and the development of a few light weight heat rejection systems. Contrary to its sister ROVER program, the space nuclear power program resulted in the first ever deployment and in-space operation of the nuclear powered SNAP-10A in 1965. The USSR space nuclear program started in early 70's and resulted in deployment of two 6 kWe TOPAZ reactors into space and ground testing of the prototype of a relatively small nuclear rocket engine in 1984. The US ambition for the development and deployment of space nuclear powered systems was resurrected in mid 1980's and intermittently continued to date with the initiation of several research programs that included the SP-100, Space Exploration

  4. Vehicle configuration options using nuclear propulsion for Mars missions

    Emrich, William J.

    1993-01-01

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

  5. Vehicle configuration options using nuclear propulsion for Mars missions

    Emrich, W.J. Jr.

    1993-01-01

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

  6. Nuclear thermal propulsion engine cost trade studies

    Paschall, R.K.

    1993-01-01

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

  7. Nuclear propulsion tradeoffs for manned Mars missions

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

    1991-01-01

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

  8. Application of SDI technology in space propulsion

    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

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

    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.)

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

    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

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

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

    1993-01-01

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

  12. Interplanetary space transport using inertial fusion propulsion

    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

  13. Gravity-assist engine for space propulsion

    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.

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

    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

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

    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.

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

    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.

  17. Evolutionary use of nuclear electric propulsion

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

    1990-01-01

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

  18. Cycle Trades for Nuclear Thermal Rocket Propulsion Systems

    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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

  2. Operational experience with propulsion nuclear plants

    Polunichev, V.

    2000-01-01

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

  3. Mars mission performance enhancement with hybrid nuclear propulsion

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

    1992-01-01

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

  4. Transactions of the fifth symposium on space nuclear power systems

    El-Genk, M.S.; Hoover, M.D. (eds.)

    1988-01-01

    This paper contains the presented papers at the fourth symposium on space nuclear power systems. Topics of these paper include: space nuclear missions and applications, reactors and shielding, nuclear electric and nuclear propulsion, high-temperature materials, instrumentation and control, energy conversion and storage, space nuclear fuels, thermal management, nuclear safety, simulation and modeling, and multimegawatt system concepts. (LSP)

  5. Transactions of the fourth symposium on space nuclear power systems

    El-Genk, M.S.; Hoover, M.D. (eds.)

    1987-01-01

    This paper contains the presented papers at the fourth symposium on space nuclear power systems. Topics of these papers include: space nuclear missions and applications, reactors and shielding, nuclear electric and nuclear propulsion, refractory alloys and high-temperature materials, instrumentation and control, energy conversion and storage, space nuclear fuels, thermal management, nuclear safety, simulation and modeling, and multimegawatt system concepts. (LSP)

  6. Neutronics Study of the KANUTER Space Propulsion Reactor

    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

  7. Neutronics Study of the KANUTER Space Propulsion Reactor

    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.

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

    Zakirov, Vadim; Pavshook, Vladimir

    2011-01-01

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

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

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

    2011-05-15

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

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

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

    1993-04-01

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

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

    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. Nuclear thermal propulsion transportation systems for lunar/Mars exploration

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

    1992-09-01

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

  13. Colliding beam fusion reactor space propulsion system

    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

  14. Nuclear propulsion apparatus with alternate reactor segments

    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

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

    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

  16. Nuclear Energy for Space Exploration

    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

  17. Propulsion Systems Panel deliberations

    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.

  18. Space nuclear reactor power plants

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

    1980-01-01

    Requirements for electrical and propulsion power for space are expected to increase dramatically in the 1980s. Nuclear power is probably the only source for some deep space missions and a major competitor for many orbital missions, especially those at geosynchronous orbit. Because of the potential requirements, a technology program on space nuclear power plant components has been initiated by the Department of Energy. The missions that are foreseen, the current power plant concept, the technology program plan, and early key results are described

  19. The nuclear energy use in Space

    Raepsaet, X.

    2002-01-01

    Two ways of the nuclear energy use are possible in spatial applications. The first one is the electric power production to supply satellites, space vehicles or electric propulsion. The second one, less obvious, is the thermal-nuclear propulsion where the nuclear reactor is a thermal exchanger for a gas. These two applications are presented in this paper, with two examples of projects realized in collaboration of the CNES and the CEA: ERATO as an electrical generator and MAPS as the nucleo-thermal propulsion. (A.L.B.)

  20. Reactor design for nuclear electric propulsion

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

    1979-01-01

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

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

    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.

  2. Space nuclear power systems, Part 2

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

    1992-01-01

    This volume, number two of three, contains the reviewed and edited papers were being presented at the Ninth Symposium in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 12--16 January 1992. The objective of the symposium, and hence these volumes, is to summarize the state of knowledge in the area of space nuclear power and propulsion and to provide a forum at which the most recent findings and important new developments can be presented and discussed. Topics included is this volume are: reactor and power systems control; thermionic energy conversion; space missions and power needs; key issues in nuclear and propulsion; nuclear thermal propulsion; manufacturing and processing; thermal management; space nuclear safety; and nuclear testing and production facilities

  3. Nuclear propulsion in high yield vessels

    Vergara Aimone, Julio

    2000-01-01

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

  4. Future spacecraft propulsion systems. Enabling technologies for space exploration. 2. ed.

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

    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.)

  6. A novel nuclear-powered propulsion system for ship

    Liu Tao; Han Weishi

    2003-01-01

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

  7. Space Transportation Technology Workshop: Propulsion Research and Technology

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

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

    1992-01-01

    An Interagency Nuclear Safety Policy Working Group (NSPWG) was chartered to recommend nuclear safety policy, requirements, and guidelines for the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) nuclear propulsion program to facilitate the implementation of mission planning and conceptual design studies. The NSPWG developed a top- level policy to provide the guiding principles for the development and implementation of the nuclear propulsion safety program and the development of Safety Functional Requirements. In addition the NSPWG reviewed safety issues for nuclear propulsion and recommended top-level safety requirements and guidelines to address these issues. Safety requirements were developed for reactor start-up, inadvertent criticality, radiological release and exposure, disposal, entry, and safeguards. Guidelines were recommended for risk/reliability, operational safety, flight trajectory and mission abort, space debris and meteoroids, and ground test safety. In this paper the specific requirements and guidelines will be discussed

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

    Sauer, C. G., Jr.

    1981-01-01

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

  12. Radio Frequency Plasma Applications for Space Propulsion

    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

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

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

    1991-01-01

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

  14. Nuclear propulsion: the way to mars is open

    Jamet, Ph.

    2005-01-01

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

  15. Nuclear rockets: High-performance propulsion for Mars

    Watson, C.W.

    1994-05-01

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

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

    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.

  17. A Plasmoid Thruster for Space Propulsion

    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.

  18. Space propulsion by fusion in a magnetic dipole

    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

  19. GROUND TRANSPORTATION OF NUCLEAR PROPULSION STAGES

    Marjon, P. L.

    1963-08-15

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

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Recent space nuclear power systems

    Takizuka, Takakazu; Yasuda, Hideshi; Hishida, Makoto

    1991-01-01

    For the advance of mankind into the space, the power sources of large output are indispensable, and it has been considered that atomic energy is promising as compared with solar energy and others. Accordingly in USA and USSR, the development of the nuclear power generation systems for space use has been carried out since considerable years ago. In this report, the general features of space nuclear reactors are shown, and by taking the system for the SP-100 project being carried out in USA as the example, the contents of the recent design regarding the safety as an important factor are discussed. Moreover, as the examples of utilizing space nuclear reactors, the concepts of the power source for the base on the moon, the sources of propulsive power for the rockets used for Mars exploration and others, the remote power transmission system by laser in the space and so on are explained. In September, 1988, the launching of a space shuttle of USA was resumed, and the Jupiter explorer 'Galileo' and the space telescope 'Hubble' were successfully launched. The space station 'Mir' of USSR has been used since February, 1986. The history of the development of the nuclear power generation systems for space use is described. (K.I.)

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

    Schnitzler, Bruce G.

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Enabling the Use of Space Fission Propulsion Systems

    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

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

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

    1993-01-01

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

  5. Project Icarus: Nuclear Fusion Propulsion Concept Comparison

    Stanic, M.

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

  6. Advanced Filter Technology For Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    Castillon, Erick

    2015-01-01

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

  7. The Economics of Advanced In-Space Propulsion

    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.

  8. Probabilistic structural analysis methods for space transportation propulsion systems

    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. .

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

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Ballard, Richard O.

    2006-01-01

    This paper is a summary overview of a study conducted at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA-MSFC) during the initial phases of the Space Launch Initiative (SLI) program to evaluate a large number of technical problems associated with the design, development, test, evaluation and operation of several major liquid propellant rocket engine systems (i.e., SSME, Fastrac, J-2, F-1). One of the primary results of this study was the identification of the 'Fundamental Root Causes' that enabled the technical problems to manifest, and practices that can be implemented to prevent them from recurring in future propulsion system development efforts, such as that which is currently envisioned in the field of nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP). This paper will discus the Fundamental Root Causes, cite some examples of how the technical problems arose from them, and provide a discussion of how they can be mitigated or avoided in the development of an NTP system

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

    Ballard, RIchard O.

    2006-01-01

    This paper is a summary overview of a study conducted at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA MSFC) during the initial phases of the Space Launch Initiative (SLI) program to evaluate a large number of technical problems associated with the design, development, test, evaluation and operation of several major liquid propellant rocket engine systems (i.e., SSME, Fastrac, J-2, F-1). One of the primary results of this study was the identification of the Fundamental Root Causes that enabled the technical problems to manifest, and practices that can be implemented to prevent them from recurring in future propulsion system development efforts, such as that which is currently envisioned in the field of nuclear thermal propulsion (NTF). This paper will discuss the Fundamental Root Causes, cite some examples of how the technical problems arose from them, and provide a discussion of how they can be mitigated or avoided in the development of an NTP system

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

    Ryan, Stephen W.; Borowski, Stanley K.

    2014-01-01

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

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

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

    2006-01-01

    More than 60 years after the later Nobel laureate Hannes Alfven had published a letter stating that oscillating magnetic fields can accelerate ionised matter via magneto-hydrodynamic interactions in a wave like fashion, the technical implementation of Alfven waves for propulsive purposes has been proposed, patented and examined for the first time by a group of inventors. The name of the concept, utilising Alfven waves to accelerate ionised matter for propulsive purposes, is MOA - Magnetic field Oscillating Amplified thruster. Alfven waves are generated by making use of two coils, one being permanently powered and serving also as magnetic nozzle, the other one being switched on and off in a cyclic way, deforming the field lines of the overall system. It is this deformation that generates Alfven waves, which are in the next step used to transport and compress the propulsive medium, in theory leading to a propulsion system with a much higher performance than any other electric propulsion system. Based on computer simulations, which were conducted to get a first estimate on the performance of the system, MOA is a highly flexible propulsion system, whose performance parameters might easily be adapted, by changing the mass flow and/or the power level. As such the system is capable to deliver a maximum specific impulse of 13116 s (12.87 mN) at a power level of 11.16 kW, using Xe as propellant, but can also be attuned to provide a thrust of 236.5 mN (2411 s) at 6.15 kW of power. While space propulsion is expected to be the prime application for MOA and is supported by numerous applications such as Solar and/or Nuclear Electric Propulsion or even as an 'afterburner system' for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion, other terrestrial applications can be thought of as well, making the system highly suited for a common space-terrestrial application research and utilisation strategy. (authors)

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

    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

  16. Advanced Fusion Reactors for Space Propulsion and Power Systems

    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.

  17. Advanced Fusion Reactors for Space Propulsion and Power Systems

    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.

  18. Tutorial on nuclear thermal propulsion safety for Mars

    Buden, D.

    1992-01-01

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

  19. Concept Design and Risk Assessment of Nuclear Propulsion Ship

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Concept Design and Risk Assessment of Nuclear Propulsion Ship

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

    2014-05-15

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

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

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Implementations Strategies for In-Space Macron Propulsion

    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

  3. Multiprobe characterization of plasma flows for space propulsion

    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

  4. Development priorities for in-space propulsion technologies

    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.

  5. Handling effluent from nuclear thermal propulsion system ground tests

    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

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

    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

  7. Solar Electric Propulsion Concepts for Human Space Exploration

    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.

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

    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...

  9. Alert-derivative bimodal space power and propulsion systems

    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

  10. Nuclear power in space

    Aftergood, S.; Hafemeister, D.W.; Prilutsky, O.F.; Rodionov, S.N.; Primack, J.R.

    1991-01-01

    Nuclear reactors have provided energy for satellites-with nearly disastrous results. Now the US government is proposing to build nuclear-powered boosters to launch Star Wars defenses. These authors represent scientific groups that are opposed to the use of nuclear power in near space. The authors feel that the best course for space-borne reactors is to ban them from Earth orbit and use them in deep space

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

    Kinsey, R.P.

    1976-01-01

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

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

    Picard, Michel; Tertrais, Bruno

    2006-01-01

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

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

    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

  14. Missions and planning for nuclear space power

    Buden, D.

    1979-01-01

    Requirements for electrical and propulsion power for space are expected to increase dramatically in the 1980s. Nuclear power is probably the only source for some deep space missions and a major competitor for many orbital missions, especially those at geosynchronous orbit. Because of the potential requirements, a technology program on reactor components has been initiated by the Department of Energy. The missions that are foreseen, the current reactor concept, and the technology program plan are described

  15. Component Data Base for Space Station Resistojet Auxiliary Propulsion

    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.

  16. Space Propulsion via Spherical Torus Fusion Reactor

    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. Thermionic reactor power conditioner design for nuclear electric propulsion.

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

    1971-01-01

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

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

    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.

  19. Scoping calculations of power sources for nuclear electric propulsion

    Difilippo, F.C.

    1994-05-01

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

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

    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

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

    Emrich, William J.

    1995-01-01

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

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

    Malloy, J.; Potekhen, D.

    1989-01-01

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

  3. High density storage of antimatter for space propulsion applications

    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

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

    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.

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

    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.

  6. Nuclear-electric power in space

    Truscello, V.C.; Davis, H.S.

    1984-01-01

    Because direct-broadcast satellites, air-traffic-control radar satellites, industrial processing on subsequent versions of the space station, and long range excursions to other planets using nuclear-electric propulsion systems, all space missions for which current power-supply systems are not sufficient. NASA and the DOE therefore have formed a joint program to develop the technology required for nuclear-reactor space power plants. After investigating potential space missions in the given range, the project will develop the technology to build such systems. High temperatures pose problems, ''hot shoes'' and ''cold shoes'', a Stirling engine dynamic system, and critical heat-transfer problems are all discussed. The nuclear reactor system for space as now envisioned is schematicized

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

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

    1994-03-01

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

  8. Present status of space nuclear reactor

    Kaneko, Yoshihiko

    1996-01-01

    USA and former USSR led space development, and had the experience of launching nuclear reactor satellites. In USA, the research and development of space nuclear reactor were advanced mainly by NASA, and in 1965, the nuclear reactor for power source ''SNAP-10A'' was launched and put on the orbit around the earth. Thereafter, the reactor was started up, and the verifying test at 500 We was successfully carried out. Also for developing the reactor for thermal propulsion, NERVA/ROVER project was done till 1973, and the technological basis was established. The space Exploration Initiative for sending mankind to other solar system planets than the earth is the essential point of the future projects. In former USSR, the ground experiment of the reactor for 800 We power source ''Romashka'', the development of the reactor for 10 kWe power source ''Topaz-1 and 2'', the flight of the artificial satellites, Cosmos 954 and Cosmos 1900, on which nuclear reactors were mounted, and the operation of 33 ocean-monitoring satellites ''RORSAT'' using small fast reactors were carried out. The mission of space development and the nuclear reactors as power source, the engineering of space nuclear reactors, the present status and the trend of space nuclear reactor development, and the investigation by the UN working group on the safety problem of space nuclear reactors are described. (K.I.)

  9. Robotic planetary mission benefits from nuclear electric propulsion

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

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

    2003-01-01

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

  11. Prospects for applications of ship-propulsion nuclear reactors

    Mitenkov, F.M.

    1994-01-01

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

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

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    Mondt, J.F.

    1981-01-01

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

  14. Nuclear propulsion control and health monitoring

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

    1993-11-01

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

  15. Nuclear vapor thermal reactor propulsion technology

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

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

    1991-01-01

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

  18. Affordable Development and Qualification Strategy for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    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.

  20. Efficient solid rocket propulsion for access to space

    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.

  1. Ultrashort pulse energy distribution for propulsion in space

    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.

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

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    None, None

    2015-03-01

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

  4. Nuclear Bi-Brayton system for aircraft propulsion

    Pierce, B.L.

    1979-01-01

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

  5. Feasibility study of a contained pulsed nuclear propulsion engine

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

    1994-01-01

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

  6. Tailoring Laser Propulsion for Future Applications in Space

    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.

  7. Review of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Ground Test Options

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Space Weather Concerns for All-Electric Propulsion Satellites

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

    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

  10. Nuclear Power in Space.

    Department of Energy, Washington, DC. Nuclear Energy Office.

    Research has shown that nuclear radioisotope power generators can supply compact, reliable, and efficient sources of energy for a broad range of space missions. These missions range from televising views of planetary surfaces to communicating scientific data to Earth. This publication presents many applications of the advancing technology and…

  11. Space Nuclear Reactor Engineering

    Poston, David Irvin [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2017-03-06

    We needed to find a space reactor concept that could be attractive to NASA for flight and proven with a rapid turnaround, low-cost nuclear test. Heat-pipe-cooled reactors coupled to Stirling engines long identified as the easiest path to near-term, low-cost concept.

  12. Smart built-in test for nuclear thermal propulsion

    Lombrozo, P.C.

    1992-03-01

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

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

    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

  14. Space propulsion by fusion in a magnetic dipole

    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

  15. Nuclear thermal rocket propulsion application to Mars missions

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

    1991-01-01

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

  16. Shield design development of nuclear propulsion merchant ship

    Tanaka, Yoshihisa

    1975-01-01

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

  17. Nuclear space power safety and facility guidelines study

    Mehlman, W.F.

    1995-01-01

    This report addresses safety guidelines for space nuclear reactor power missions and was prepared by The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) under a Department of Energy grant, DE-FG01-94NE32180 dated 27 September 1994. This grant was based on a proposal submitted by the JHU/APL in response to an open-quotes Invitation for Proposals Designed to Support Federal Agencies and Commercial Interests in Meeting Special Power and Propulsion Needs for Future Space Missionsclose quotes. The United States has not launched a nuclear reactor since SNAP 10A in April 1965 although many Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) have been launched. An RTG powered system is planned for launch as part of the Cassini mission to Saturn in 1997. Recently the Ballistic Missile Defense Office (BMDO) sponsored the Nuclear Electric Propulsion Space Test Program (NEPSTP) which was to demonstrate and evaluate the Russian-built TOPAZ II nuclear reactor as a power source in space. As of late 1993 the flight portion of this program was canceled but work to investigate the attributes of the reactor were continued but at a reduced level. While the future of space nuclear power systems is uncertain there are potential space missions which would require space nuclear power systems. The differences between space nuclear power systems and RTG devices are sufficient that safety and facility requirements warrant a review in the context of the unique features of a space nuclear reactor power system

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

    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.

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

    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)....

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

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    Hickman, Robert; Broadway, Jeramie; Mireles, Omar

    2012-01-01

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

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NONE

    2013-12-15

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

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

    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.

  5. Opening up the future in space with nuclear power

    Buden, D.; Angelo, J. Jr.

    1985-01-01

    Man's extraterrestrial development is dependent on abundant power. For example, space-based manufacturing facilities are projected to have a power demand of 300 kWe by the end of this Century, and several megawatts in the early part of next millennium. The development of the lunar resource base will result in power needs ranging from an initial 100 kW(e) to many megawatts. Human visits to Mars could be achieved using a multimegawatt nuclear electric propulsion system or high thrust nuclear rockets. Detailed exploration of the solar system will also be greatly enhanced by the availability of large nuclear electric propulsion systems. All of these activities will require substantial increases in space power - hundreds of kilowatts to many megawatts. The challenge is clear: how to effectively use nuclear energy to support humanity's expansion into space

  6. Nuclear waste disposal in space

    Burns, R. E.; Causey, W. E.; Galloway, W. E.; Nelson, R. W.

    1978-01-01

    Work on nuclear waste disposal in space conducted by the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and contractors are reported. From the aggregate studies, it is concluded that space disposal of nuclear waste is technically feasible.

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

    Scott, John H.

    2014-01-01

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

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

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

    1994-07-01

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

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

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

    1993-12-01

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

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

    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.

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

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

    1971-01-01

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

  12. Nuclear electric propulsion operational reliability and crew safety study

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

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

    1995-01-01

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

  15. Future NASA mission applications of space nuclear power

    Bennett, G.L.; Mankins, J.; McConnell, D.G.; Reck, G.M.

    1990-01-01

    Recent studies sponsored by NASA show a continuing need for space nuclear power. A recently completed study considered missions such as a Jovian grand tour, a Uranus or Neptune orbiter and probe, and a Pluto flyby that can only be done with nuclear power. There are studies for missions beyond the outer boundaries of the solar system at distances of 100 to 1000 astronomical units. The NASA 90-day study on the space exploration initiative identified a need for nuclear reactors to power lunar surface bases and radioisotope power sources for use in lunar or Martian rovers, as well as considering options for advanced, nuclear propulsion systems for human missions to Mars

  16. Nuclear space power systems for orbit raising and maneuvering

    Buden, D.; Sullivan, J.A.

    1984-01-01

    Reference is made to recent studies which have shown that direct thrust nuclear rockets for routine orbit raising and near-earth space tug missions are probably not cost-effective. The need for additional trade-off studies and comparisons of direct-thrust nuclear systems with chemical systems to clarify the role of nuclear rockets in missions requiring rapid orbit maneuvering is stressed. Attention is confined here to nuclear electric propulsion considerations. Low-mass nuclear power plants are constructed to optimize nuclear electric propulsion systems. Electric power levels from 100 kilowatts to as much as several megawatts are desirable. The goals for the power plant specific mass are 20-30 kg/kW at the lower powers to 2-4 kg/kW at the higher powers

  17. Deep space propulsion a roadmap to interstellar flight

    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. Heat resistant materials and their feasibility issues for a space nuclear transportation system

    Olsen, C.S.

    1991-01-01

    A number of nuclear propulsion concepts based on solid-core nuclear propulsion are being evaluated for a nuclear propulsion transportation system to support the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) involving the reestablishment of a manned lunar base and the subsequent exploration of Mars. These systems will require high-temperature materials to meet the operating conditions with appropriate reliability and safety built into these systems through the selection and testing of appropriate materials. The application of materials for nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) and nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) systems and the feasibility issues identified for their use will be discussed. Some mechanical property measurements have been obtained, and compatibility tests were conducted to help identify feasibility issues. 3 refs., 1 fig., 4 tabs

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

    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. Impact loading of a space nuclear powerplant

    Evgeny I. Kraus

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Preferred formulation of the problem in two space dimensions are described for solving the three fundamental equations of mechanics (conservation of mass, conservation of momentum, and conservation of energy. Models of the behavior of materials provide the closure to the three fundamentals equations for applications to problems in compressible fluid flow and solid mechanics. Models of fracture and damage are described. A caloric model of the equation of state is proposed to describe thermodynamic properties of solid materials with the phase transitions. Two-dimensional problems of a high-velocity impact of a space nuclear propulsion system reactor are solved. High-velocity impact problems of destruction of reactor are solved for the two cases: 1 at its crash landing on the Earth surface (the impact velocity being up to 400 m/s; 2 at its impact (with velocity up to 16 km/s with the space debris fragments.

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

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

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

    1993-01-01

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

  3. NUCLEAR THERMIONIC SPACE POWER SYSTEMS

    Howard, R. C.; Rasor, N. S.

    1963-03-15

    The various concepts for utilizing thermionic conversion in space reactor power plants are described and evaluated. The problems (and progress toward their solution) of the in-core concept, particularly, are considered. Progress in thermionic conversion technology is then reviewed from both the hardware and research points of view. Anticipated progress in thermionic conversion and the possible consequences for the performance of electrical propulsion systems are summarized. 46 references. (D.C.W.)

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

    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...

  5. Propulsion and Power Technologies for the NASA Exploration Vision: A Research Perspective

    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.

  6. Technology Area Roadmap for In-Space Propulsion Technologies

    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

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

    Venetoklis, Peter S.

    1995-01-01

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

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

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    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)

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

    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

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

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

    2008-01-01

    More than 60 years after the late Nobel laureate Hannes Alfven had published a letter stating that oscillating magnetic fields can accelerate ionised matter via magneto-hydrodynamic interactions in a wave like fashion, the technical implementation of Alfven waves for propulsive purposes has been proposed, patented and examined for the first time by a group of inventors. The name of the concept, utilising Alfven waves to accelerate ionised matter for propulsive purposes, is MOA -Magnetic field Oscillating Amplified thruster. Alfven waves are generated by making use of two coils, one being permanently powered and serving also as magnetic nozzle, the other one being switched on and off in a cyclic way, deforming the field lines of the overall system. It is this deformation that generates Alfven waves, which are in the next step used to transport and compress the propulsive medium, in theory leading to a propulsion system with a much higher performance than any other electric propulsion system. Based on computer simulations, which were conducted to get a first estimate on the performance of the system, MOA is a highly flexible propulsion system, whose performance parameters might easily be adapted, by changing the mass flow and/or the power level. As such the system is capable to deliver a maximum specific impulse of 13116 s (12.87 mN) at a power level of 11.16 kW, using Xe as propellant, but can also be attuned to provide a thrust of 236.5 mN (2411 s) at 6.15 kW of power. While space propulsion is expected to be the prime application for MOA and is supported by numerous applications such as Solar and/or Nuclear Electric Propulsion or even as an 'afterburner system' for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion, other terrestrial applications can be thought of as well, making the system highly suited for a common space-terrestrial application research and utilization strategy. This paper presents the recent developments of the MOA Thruster R and D activities at QASAR, the company in

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

    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

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

    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

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

    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

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

    Hickman, Robert; Panda, Binayak; Shah, Sandeep

    2005-01-01

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

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

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    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.

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

    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?

  19. Nuclear reactor power as applied to a space-based radar mission

    Jaffe, L.; Beatty, R.; Bhandari, P.; Chow, E.; Deininger, W.; Ewell, R.; Fujita, T.; Grossman, M.; Bloomfield, H.; Heller, J.

    1988-01-01

    A space-based radar mission and spacecraft are examined to determine system requirements for a 300 kWe space nuclear reactor power system. The spacecraft configuration and its orbit, launch vehicle, and propulsion are described. Mission profiles are addressed, and storage in assembly orbit is considered. Dynamics and attitude control and the problems of nuclear and thermal radiation are examined.

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

    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

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

    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

  2. Evaluating Russian space nuclear reactor technology for United States applications

    Polansky, G.F.; Schmidt, G.L.; Voss, S.S.; Reynolds, E.L.

    1994-01-01

    Space nuclear power and nuclear electric propulsion are considered important technologies for planetary exploration, as well as selected earth orbit applications. The Nuclear Electric Propulsion Space Test Program (NEPSTP) was intended to provide an early flight demonstration of these technologies at relatively low cost through extensive use of existing Russian technology. The key element of Russian technology employed in the program was the Topaz II reactor. Refocusing of the activities of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO), combined with budgetary pressures, forced the cancellation of the NEPSTP at the end of the 1993 fiscal year. The NEPSTP was faced with many unique flight qualification issues. In general, the launch of a spacecraft employing a nuclear reactor power system complicates many spacecraft qualification activities. However, the NEPSTP activities were further complicated because the reactor power system was a Russian design. Therefore, this program considered not only the unique flight qualification issues associated with space nuclear power, but also with differences between Russian and United States flight qualification procedures. This paper presents an overview of the NEPSTP. The program goals, the proposed mission, the spacecraft, and the Topaz II space nuclear power system are described. The subject of flight qualification is examined and the inherent difficulties of qualifying a space reactor are described. The differences between United States and Russian flight qualification procedures are explored. A plan is then described that was developed to determine an appropriate flight qualification program for the Topaz II reactor to support a possible NEPSTP launch

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

    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

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

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

    1993-01-01

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

  7. Microwave Plasma Propulsion Systems for Defensive Counter-Space

    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. Phase 1 space fission propulsion system design considerations

    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

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

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Verdeau, J.J.; Baujat, J.

    1978-01-01

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

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

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    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

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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

    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

    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. Fuel Effective Photonic Propulsion

    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.

  19. Space nuclear reactor safety

    Damon, D.; Temme, M.; Brown, N.

    1990-01-01

    Definition of safety requirements and design features of the SP-100 space reactor power system has been guided by a mission risk analysis. The analysis quantifies risk from accidental radiological consequences for a reference mission. Results show that the radiological risk from a space reactor can be made very low. The total mission risk from radiological consequences for a shuttle-launched, earth orbit SP-100 mission is estimated to be 0.05 Person-REM (expected values) based on a 1 mREM/yr de Minimus dose. Results are given for each mission phase. The safety benefits of specific design features are evaluated through risk sensitivity analyses

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

    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,...

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

    Guimaraes, Leonam dos Santos

    2005-01-01

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

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    King, Donald B.; Marshall, Albert C.

    1997-01-01

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

  4. An evaluation of some special techniques for nuclear waste disposal in space

    Mackay, J. S.

    1973-01-01

    A preliminary examination is reported of several special ways for space disposal of nuclear waste material which utilize the radioactive heat in the waste to assist in the propulsion for deep space trajectories. These include use of the wastes in a thermoelectric generator (RTG) which operates an electric propulsion device and a radioisotope - thermal thruster which uses hydrogen or ammonia as the propellant. These propulsive devices are compared to the space tug and the space tug/solar electric propulsion combination for disposal of waste on a solar system escape trajectory. Such comparisons indicate that the waste-RTG approach has considerable potential provided the combined specific mass of the waste container - RTG system does not exceed approximately 150 kg/kw sub e. Several exploratory numerical calculations have been made for high earth orbit and Earth escape destinations.

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

    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

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

    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.

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

    Sultan, R.

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Science opportunities through nuclear power in space

    Harris, H.M.

    1995-01-01

    With the downsizing or outright elimination of nuclear power capability in space in progress, it is important to understand what this means to science in therms of capability cost. This paper is a survey of the scientific possibilities inherent in the potential availability of between 15 to 30 kW through electrical nuclear power in space. The approach taken has been to interview scientists involved in space-research, especially those whose results are dependent or proportional to power availability and to survey previous work in high-power spacecraft and space-based science instruments. In addition high level studies were done to gather metrics about what kind and quantity of science could be achieved throughout the entire solar system assuming the availability in the power amounts quoted above. It is concluded that: (1) Sustained high power using a 10--30 kW reactor would allow the capture of an unprecedented amount of data on planetary objects through the entire solar system. (2) High power science means high qualtiy data through higher resolution of radars, optics and the sensitivity of many types of instruments. (3) In general, high power in the range of 10--30 kW provides for an order-of-magnitude increase of resolution of synthetic aperture radars over other planetary radars. (4) High power makes possible the use of particle accelerators to probe the atomic structure of planetary surface, particularly in the dim, outer regions of the solar system. (5) High power means active cooling is possible for devices that must operate at low temperature under adverse conditions. (6) High power with electric propulsion provides the mission flexibility to vary observational viewpoints and select targets of opportunity. copyright 1995 American Institute of Physics

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

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    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...

  11. The USAF Electric Propulsion Program

    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...

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

    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.

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

    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...

  14. Reservoir Cathode for Electric Space Propulsion, Phase II

    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....

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

    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...

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

    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...

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

    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...

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

    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....

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

    Samim Anghaie

    2002-01-01

    Any reactor that utilizes fuel consisting of a fissile material in a gaseous state may be referred to as a gaseous core reactor (GCR). Studies on GCRs have primarily been limited to the conceptual phase, mostly due to budget cuts and program cancellations in the early 1970's. A few scientific experiments have been conducted on candidate concepts, primarily of static pressure fissile gas filling a cylindrical or spherical cavity surrounded by a moderating shell, such as beryllium, heavy water, or graphite. The main interest in this area of nuclear power generation is for space applications. The interest in space applications has developed due to the promise of significant enhancement in fuel utilization, safety, plant efficiency, special high-performance features, load-following capabilities, power conversion optimization, and other key aspects of nuclear power generation. The design of a successful GCR adapted for use in space is complicated. The fissile material studied in the pa st has been in a fluorine compound, either a tetrafluoride or a hexafluoride. Both of these molecules have an impact on the structural material used in the making of a GCR. Uranium hexafluoride as a fuel allows for a lower operating temperature, but at temperatures greater than 900K becomes essentially impossible to contain. This difficulty with the use of UF6 has caused engineers and scientists to use uranium tetrafluoride, which is a more stable molecule but has the disadvantage of requiring significantly higher operating temperatures. Gas core reactors have traditionally been studied in a steady state configuration. In this manner a fissile gas and working fluid are introduced into the core, called a cavity, that is surrounded by a reflector constructed of materials such as Be or BeO. These reactors have often been described as cavity reactors because the density of the fissile gas is low and criticality is achieved only by means of the reflector to reduce neutron leakage from the core

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

    Halimi, B.; Suh, K. Y.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NA, NA [ORNL

    1957-03-12

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

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

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

    2013-05-15

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

  3. The nuclear energy use in Space; Utilisation de l'energie nucleaire dans l'espace

    Raepsaet, X. [CEA Saclay, 91 - Gif sur Yvette (France). Dept. de Mecanique et de Technologie; Pempie, P. [Centre National d' Etudes Spatiales (CNES), 91 - Evry (France)

    2002-07-01

    Two ways of the nuclear energy use are possible in spatial applications. The first one is the electric power production to supply satellites, space vehicles or electric propulsion. The second one, less obvious, is the thermal-nuclear propulsion where the nuclear reactor is a thermal exchanger for a gas. These two applications are presented in this paper, with two examples of projects realized in collaboration of the CNES and the CEA: ERATO as an electrical generator and MAPS as the nucleo-thermal propulsion. (A.L.B.)

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

    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

  5. Space shuttle main propulsion pressurization system probabilistic risk assessment

    Plastiras, J.K.

    1989-01-01

    This paper reports that, in post-Challenger discussions with Congressional Committees and the National Research Council Risk Management Oversight Panel, criticism was levied against NASA because of the inability to prioritize the 1300+ single point failures. In the absence of a ranking it was difficult to determine where special effort was needed in failure evaluation, in design improvement, in management review of problems, and in flight readiness reviews. The belief was that the management system was overwhelmed by the quantity of critical hardware items that were on the Critical Items List (CIL) and that insufficient attention was paid to the items that required it. Congressional staff members from Congressman Markey's committee who have oversight responsibilities in the nuclear industry, and specifically over the nuclear power supplies for NASA's Galileo and Ulysses missions, felt very strongly that the addition of Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) to the existing Failure Mode Effects Analysis/Hazard Analysis (FMEA/HA) methods was exceedingly important. Specifically, the Markey committee recognized that the inductive, qualitative component-oriented FMEA could be supplemented by the deductive, quantitative systems-oriented PRA. Furthermore, they felt that the PRA approach had matured to the extent that it could be used to assess risk, even with limited shuttle-specific failure data. NASA responded with arguments that the FMEA/HA had illuminated all significant failure modes satisfactorily and that no failure rate data base was available to support the PRA approach

  6. Space nuclear tug mission applications

    Hodge, J.R.; Rauen, L.A.

    1996-01-01

    An initial assessment indicates that the NEBA-1 and NEBA-3 bimodal reactor designs can be integrated into a reusable tug which is capable of supporting many missions including GSO delivery, GSO retrieval, lunar trajectory deliveries, interplanetary deliveries, and a variety of satellite servicing. The tug close-quote s nuclear thermal propulsion provides timely transport and payload delivery, with GSO deliveries on the order of 3 endash 7 days. In general, the tug may provide a number of potential benefits to users. The tug may, for example, extend the life of an existing on-orbit spacecraft, boost spacecraft which were not delivered to their operational orbit, offer increased payload capability, or possibly allow payloads to launch on smaller less expensive launch vehicles. Reusing the tug for 5 or 10 missions requires total reactor burn times of 50 and 100 hours, respectively. Shielding, boom structure, and radiator requirements were identified as key factors in the configuration layout. Economic feasibility is still under evaluation, but preliminary estimates indicate that average flight costs may range from $32 M to $34 M for a 10-mission vehicle and from $39 M to $42 M for a 5-mission vehicle. copyright 1996 American Institute of Physics

  7. Nuclear Electric Propulsion mission engineering study covering the period April 1971 to January 1973. Volume I. Executive summary. Final report

    1973-03-01

    The results of a mission engineering analysis of nuclear-thermionic electric propulsion spacecraft for unmanned interplanetary and geocentric missions are presented. Critical technologies assessed are associated with the development of Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP), and the impact of its availability on future space programs. Specific areas of investigation include outer planet and comet rendezvous mission analysis, NEP Stage design for geocentric and interplanetary missions, NEP system development cost and unit costs, and technology requirements for NEP Stage development. A multimission NEP Stage can be developed to perform both multiple geocentric and interplanetary missions. Development program costs for a 1983 launch would be of the order of $275 M, including hardware and reactor development, flight system hardware, and mission support. Recurring unit costs for flight NEP systems would be of the order of $25 M for a 120 kWe NEP Stage. Identified pacing NEP technology requirements are the development of 20,000 full power hour ion thrusters and thermionic reactor, and the development of related power conditioning. The resulting NEP Stage design provides both inherent reliability and high payload mass capability. High payload mass capability can be translated into both low payload cost and high payload reliability. NEP Stage and payload integration is compatible with the Space Shuttle

  8. Nuclear Electric Propulsion mission engineering study covering the period April 1971 to January 1973. Volume II. Final report

    1973-03-01

    The results of a mission engineering analysis of nuclear-thermionic electric propulsion spacecraft for unmanned interplanetary and geocentric missions are summarized. Critical technologies assessed are associated with the development of Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP), and the impact of its availability on future space programs. Specific areas of investigation include outer planet and comet rendezvous mission analysis, NEP Stage design for geocentric and interplanetary missions NEP system development cost and unit costs, and technology requirements for NEP Stage development. A multi-mission NEP Stage can be developed to perform both multiple geocentric and interplanetary missions. Development program costs for a 1983 launch would be of the order of $275 M, including hardware and reactor development, flight system hardware, and mission support. Recurring unit costs for flight NEP systems would be of the order of $25 M for a 120kWe NEP Stage. Identified pacing NEP technology requirements are the development of 20,000 full power hour ion thrusters and thermionic reactor, and the development of related power conditioning. The resulting NEP Stage design provides both inherent reliability and high payload mass capability. High payload mass capability can be translated into both low payload cost and high payload reliability. NEP Stage and payload integration is compatible with the Space Shuttle

  9. Engineering thermal engine rocket adventurer for space nuclear application

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

    2008-01-01

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

  10. Rocket propulsion by nuclear microexplosions and the interstellar paradox

    Winterberg, F

    1979-11-01

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

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

    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.

  12. Lightweight, High-Temperature Radiator for Space Propulsion

    Hyers, R. W.; Tomboulian, B. N.; Crave, Paul D.; Rogers, J. R.

    2012-01-01

    For high-power nuclear-electric spacecraft, the radiator can account for 40% or more of the power system mass and a large fraction of the total vehicle mass. Improvements in the heat rejection per unit mass rely on lower-density and higher-thermal conductivity materials. Current radiators achieve near-ideal surface radiation through high-emissivity coatings, so improvements in heat rejection per unit area can be accomplished only by raising the temperature at which heat is rejected. We have been investigating materials that have the potential to deliver significant reductions in mass density and significant improvements in thermal conductivity, while expanding the feasible range of temperature for heat rejection up to 1000 K and higher. The presentation will discuss the experimental results and models of the heat transfer in matrix-free carbon fiber fins. Thermal testing of other carbon-based fin materials including carbon nanotube cloth and a carbon nanotube composite will also be presented.

  13. Naval nuclear propulsion and the international nonproliferation regime

    Guimaraes, Leonam dos Santos

    2005-01-01

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

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

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    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.

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

    Gerrish, Harold P., Jr.

    2014-01-01

    (approximately 1 GW) with a maximum burn time of 1 hour. The concept utilized lessons learned from NF-1. The strategy breaks down the exhaust into parallel paths to allow flexibility with engine size and mass flow of exhaust. Similar to NF-1, the exhaust is slowed down, cooled, filtered of particulates, filtered of noble gases, and then the clean hydrogen is flared to open air. Another concept proposed by Steve Howe (currently Director of the Center for Space Nuclear Research) to simplify the NTP exhaust filtering is to run the hydrogen exhaust into boreholes underground to filter the exhaust. The two borehole site locations proposed are at the NTS and at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). At NTS, the boreholes are 8' diameter and 1200' deep. The permeability of hydrogen through the soil and its buoyancy will allow it to rise up through the soil and allow the filtering of noble gases and radioactive particulates. The exhaust needs to be cooled to 600C before entering the borehole to avoid soil glazing. Preliminary analysis shows a small buildup of back pressure with time which depends on permeability. Noble gases entering the borehole walls deep can take a long time before reaching the surface. Other factors affecting permeability include borehole pressure, water saturation, and turbulence. Also, a possible need to pump out contaminated water collected at the bottom of the borehole. At INL, the borehole concept is slightly different. The underground borehole has openings to the soil at special depths which have impermeable interbeds above the water table and below the surface to allow the exhaust to travel horizontal between the impermeable layers. Preliminary results indicate better permeability than at NTS. The last option is total containment of the exhaust during the test run. The concept involves slowing down the flow to subsonic in a water cooled diffuser. The hydrogen is burned off in an oxygen rich afterburner with the only products being steam, oxygen, and some noble

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

    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)

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

    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...

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

    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.

  20. Advanced Fuel Forms for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Applications

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — In NASA's 2014 Strategic Plan, Objective 1 specified the necessity to "expand human presence into the solar system and to the surface of mars to advance exploration,...

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

    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

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

    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.

  3. Nuclear dynamics in phase space

    Di Toro, M.

    1984-07-01

    We present a unified semiclassical picture of nuclear dynamics, from collective states to heavy ion physics, based on a study of the time evolution of the Wigner distribution function. We discuss in particular the mean field dynamics, in this ''quantal'' phase space, which is ruled by the nuclear Vlasov equation. Simple approximate solutions are worked out for rotational and vibrational collective motions. Giant resonances are shown to be quite well described as scaling modes, which are equivalent to a lowest multipole (up to 1sub(max)=2) distortions of the momentum distribution. Applications are shown to heavy ion physics to study giant resonances on high spin states and dynamical collective effects in subthreshold π-production. Several possible extensions and in particular the inclusion of two-body collision terms are finally discussed

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

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    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

  7. Nuclear Waste Disposal in Space: BEP's Best Hope?

    Coopersmith, Jonathan

    2006-01-01

    The best technology is worthless if it cannot find a market Beam energy propulsion (BEP) is a very promising technology, but faces major competition from less capable but fully developed conventional rockets. Rockets can easily handle projected markets for payloads into space. Without a new, huge demand for launch capability, BEP is unlikely to gain the resources it needs for development and application. Launching tens of thousands of tons of nuclear waste into space for safe and permanent disposal will provide that necessary demand while solving a major problem on earth. Several options exist to dispose of nuclear waste, including solar orbit, lunar orbit, soft lunar landing, launching outside the solar system, and launching into the sun

  8. The future of nuclear propulsion in merchant ships

    Young, R.T.

    1977-01-01

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

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

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

    2015-07-01

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

  11. Progress in space nuclear reactor power systems technology development - The SP-100 program

    Davis, H. S.

    1984-01-01

    Activities related to the development of high-temperature compact nuclear reactors for space applications had reached a comparatively high level in the U.S. during the mid-1950s and 1960s, although only one U.S. nuclear reactor-powered spacecraft was actually launched. After 1973, very little effort was devoted to space nuclear reactor and propulsion systems. In February 1983, significant activities toward the development of the technology for space nuclear reactor power systems were resumed with the SP-100 Program. Specific SP-100 Program objectives are partly related to the determination of the potential performance limits for space nuclear power systems in 100-kWe and 1- to 100-MW electrical classes. Attention is given to potential missions and applications, regimes of possible space power applicability, safety considerations, conceptual system designs, the establishment of technical feasibility, nuclear technology, materials technology, and prospects for the future.

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

    Baujat, Jacques.

    1974-01-01

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

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

    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.

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

    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.

  15. Nuclear energy in the space: panorama 1985

    Corcuera, R.P.

    1985-01-01

    A panoramic view of different areas where nuclear energy can be applied in space is given. These are: radioisotope thermoelectric generators, nuclear reactors for space stations, space crafts and air crafts. The principal difficulties are pointed out and the safety aspect is emphasized. (author)

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

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

    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

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

    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

  19. Overview of space nuclear technologies and the American Nuclear Society

    Singleterry, R.C. Jr.

    2000-01-01

    The American Nuclear Society (ANS) has seen an aspect of the universe where nuclear technology is the best energy source available for power, transportation, etc. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been exploiting this aspect of the universe by sending machines and humans into it and exploring, colonizing, industrializing, developing, inhabiting, etc. Space is the final frontier, and nuclear technology is the best suited for today's or the next century's space exploration and development. Many aspects of nuclear technology and its uses in space will be needed. ANS encompasses these and many more aspects of nuclear technology, and all have some role to play in the exploration and development of space. It should be ANS's intent to be an advisory body to NASA on the nuclear aspects of space exploration

  20. Space nuclear power and man's extraterrestrial civilization

    Angelo, J.J.; Buden, D.

    1983-01-01

    This paper examines leading space nuclear power technology candidates. Particular emphasis is given the heat-pipe reactor technology currently under development at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. This program is aimed at developing a 10-100 kWe, 7-year lifetime space nuclear power plant. As the demand for space-based power reaches megawatt levels, other nuclear reactor designs including: solid core, fluidized bed, and gaseous core, are considered

  1. Nuclear reactor refuelable in space

    El-Genk, M.S.; Buden, D.; Mims, J.E.

    1992-01-01

    This patent describes a gas cooled nuclear reactor suitable for use in space. It comprises a lightweight structure comprising a plurality of at least three sections, each sector comprising a container for a reactor core separate and distinct from the reactor cores of the other sectors, each sector being capable of operating on its own and in cooperation with one or more of the other sectors and each sector having a common juncture with every other structure; and means associated with each sector independently introducing gas coolant into and extracting coolant from each sector to cool the core therein, wherein in event of failure of the cooling system of a core in a sector, one or more of the other sectors comprise means for conducting heat away from the failed sector core and means for convecting the heat away, and wherein operation of the one or more other sectors is maintained

  2. A philosophy for space nuclear systems safety

    Marshall, A.C.

    1992-01-01

    The unique requirements and contraints of space nuclear systems require careful consideration in the development of a safety policy. The Nuclear Safety Policy Working Group (NSPWG) for the Space Exploration Initiative has proposed a hierarchical approach with safety policy at the top of the hierarchy. This policy allows safety requirements to be tailored to specific applications while still providing reassurance to regulators and the general public that the necessary measures have been taken to assure safe application of space nuclear systems. The safety policy used by the NSPWG is recommended for all space nuclear programs and missions

  3. Radionuclide inventories for short run-time space nuclear reactor systems

    Coats, R.L.

    1993-01-01

    Space Nuclear Reactor Systems, especially those used for propulsion, often have expected operation run times much shorter than those for land-based nuclear power plants. This produces substantially different radionuclide inventories to be considered in the safety analyses of space nuclear systems. This presentation describes an analysis utilizing ORIGEN2 and DKPOWER to provide comparisons among representative land-based and space systems. These comparisons enable early, conceptual considerations of safety issues and features in the preliminary design phases of operational systems, test facilities, and operations by identifying differences between the requirements for space systems and the established practice for land-based power systems. Early indications are that separation distance is much more effective as a safety measure for space nuclear systems than for power reactors because greater decay of the radionuclide activity occurs during the time to transport the inventory a given distance. In addition, the inventories of long-lived actinides are very low for space reactor systems

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

    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.

  5. Coordinating Space Nuclear Research Advancement and Education

    Bess, John D.; Webb, Jonathon A.; Gross, Brian J.; Craft, Aaron E.

    2009-01-01

    The advancement of space exploration using nuclear science and technology has been a goal sought by many individuals over the years. The quest to enable space nuclear applications has experienced many challenges such as funding restrictions; lack of political, corporate, or public support; and limitations in educational opportunities. The Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR) was established at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) with the mission to address the numerous challenges and opportunities relevant to the promotion of space nuclear research and education.1 The CSNR is operated by the Universities Space Research Association and its activities are overseen by a Science Council comprised of various representatives from academic and professional entities with space nuclear experience. Program participants in the CSNR include academic researchers and students, government representatives, and representatives from industrial and corporate entities. Space nuclear educational opportunities have traditionally been limited to various sponsored research projects through government agencies or industrial partners, and dedicated research centers. Centralized research opportunities are vital to the growth and development of space nuclear advancement. Coordinated and focused research plays a key role in developing the future leaders in the space nuclear field. The CSNR strives to synchronize research efforts and provide means to train and educate students with skills to help them excel as leaders.

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

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

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

    Edwards, J.

    1976-01-01

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

  10. Non-nuclear power sources for deep space

    Kennel, E.B.; Tang, C.; Santarius, J.F.

    1998-07-01

    Electric propulsion and non-nuclear power can be used in tandem as a replacement for the current chemical booster and radioisotope thermoelectric generators now in use for deep space applications (i.e., to the asteroid belt and beyond). In current generation systems, electric propulsion is usually considered to be impractical because of the lack of high power for deep space, and non-nuclear power is thought to be impractical partly due to its high mass. However, when taken in combination, a solar powered electric upper stage can provide ample power and propulsion capability for use in deep space. Radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) systems have generally been selected for missions only when other systems are absolutely unavailable. The disadvantages of radioisotopes include the need for nuclear safety as another dimension of concern in payload integration; the lack of assured availability of plutonium in the post-cold-war world; the enormous cost of plutonium-238; and the system complexity introduced by the need to continuously cool the system during the pre-launch phase. A conservative estimate for the total power for the solar array at beginning of life (BOL) may be in the range of 25 kW in order to provide 500 W continuous power at Jupiter. The availability of {approximately} 25 kW(e) in earth orbit raises the interesting possibility of coupling electric propulsion units to this free electric power. If electric propulsion is used to raise the probe from low-earth-orbit to an earth-escape trajectory, the system could actually save on low-earth orbit mass. Electric propulsion could be used by itself in a spiral trajectory orbit raising maneuver to earth escape velocity, or it could be used in conjunction with a chemical upper stage (either solid rocket or liquid), which would boost the payload to an elliptical orbit. The concept is to begin the Earth-Jupiter trip with a swing-by near the Sun close to the orbit of Venus and perhaps even closer if thermal

  11. Nuclear Space Power Systems Materials Requirements

    Buckman, R.W. Jr.

    2004-01-01

    High specific energy is required for space nuclear power systems. This generally means high operating temperatures and the only alloy class of materials available for construction of such systems are the refractory metals niobium, tantalum, molybdenum and tungsten. The refractory metals in the past have been the construction materials selected for nuclear space power systems. The objective of this paper will be to review the past history and requirements for space nuclear power systems from the early 1960's through the SP-100 program. Also presented will be the past and present status of refractory metal alloy technology and what will be needed to support the next advanced nuclear space power system. The next generation of advanced nuclear space power systems can benefit from the review of this past experience. Because of a decline in the refractory metal industry in the United States, ready availability of specific refractory metal alloys is limited

  12. Neutronics and Thermal Hydraulics Analysis of a Conceptual Ultra-High Temperature MHD Cermet Fuel Core for Nuclear Electric Propulsion

    Jian Song

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Nuclear electric propulsion (NEP offers unique advantages for the interplanetary exploration. The extremely high conversion efficiency of magnetohydrodynamics (MHD conversion nuclear reactor makes it a highly potential space power source in the future, especially for NEP systems. Research on ultra-high temperature reactor suitable for MHD power conversion is performed in this paper. Cermet is chosen as the reactor fuel after a detailed comparison with the (U,ZrC graphite-based fuel and mixed carbide fuel. A reactor design is carried out as well as the analysis of the reactor physics and thermal-hydraulics. The specific design involves fuel element, reactor core, and radiation shield. Two coolant channel configurations of fuel elements are considered and both of them can meet the demands. The 91 channel configuration is chosen due to its greater heat transfer performance. Besides, preliminary calculation of nuclear criticality safety during launch crash accident is also presented. The calculation results show that the current design can meet the safety requirements well.

  13. Space Nuclear Facility test capability at the Baikal-1 and IGR sites Semipalatinsk-21, Kazakhstan

    Hill, T. J.; Stanley, M. L.; Martinell, J. S.

    1993-01-01

    The International Space Technology Assessment Program was established 1/19/92 to take advantage of the availability of Russian space technology and hardware. DOE had two delegations visit CIS and assess its space nuclear power and propulsion technologies. The visit coincided with the Conference on Nuclear Power Engineering in Space Nuclear Rocket Engines at Semipalatinsk-21 (Kurchatov, Kazakhstan) on Sept. 22-25, 1992. Reactor facilities assessed in Semipalatinski-21 included the IVG-1 reactor (a nuclear furnace, which has been modified and now called IVG-1M), the RA reactor, and the Impulse Graphite Reactor (IGR), the CIS version of TREAT. Although the reactor facilities are being maintained satisfactorily, the support infrastructure appears to be degrading. The group assessment is based on two half-day tours of the Baikals-1 test facility and a brief (2 hr) tour of IGR; because of limited time and the large size of the tour group, it was impossible to obtain answers to all prepared questions. Potential benefit is that CIS fuels and facilities may permit USA to conduct a lower priced space nuclear propulsion program while achieving higher performance capability faster, and immediate access to test facilities that cannot be available in this country for 5 years. Information needs to be obtained about available data acquisition capability, accuracy, frequency response, and number of channels. Potential areas of interest with broad application in the U.S. nuclear industry are listed.

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

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

    1993-06-01

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

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

    Vishal Patel

    2015-02-01

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

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

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

    1957-03-12

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

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

    Venetoklis, Peter S.

    1995-01-01

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

  18. Nuclear data needs for the space exploration initiative

    Howe, S.D.; Auchampaugh, G.

    1991-01-01

    On July 20, 1989, the President of the United States announced a new direction for the US Space Program. The new Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) is intended to emplace a permanent base on the Lunar surface and a manned outpost on the Mars surface by 2019. In order to achieve this ambitious challenge, new, innovative and robust technologies will have to be developed to support crew operations. Nuclear power and propulsion have been recognized as technologies that are at least mission enhancing and, in some scenarios, mission enabling. Because of the extreme operating conditions present in a nuclear rocket core, accurate modeling of the rocket will require cross section data sets which do not currently exist. In order to successfully achieve the goals of the SEI, major obstacles inherent in long duration space travel will have to be overcome. One of these obstacles is the radiation environment to which the astronauts will be exposed. In general, an unshielded crew will be exposed to roughly one REM per week in free space. For missions to Mars, the total dose could exceed more than one-half the total allowed lifetime level. Shielding of the crew may be possible, but accurate assessments of shield composition and thickness are critical if shield masses are to be kept at acceptable levels. In addition, the entire ship design may be altered by the differential neutron production by heavy ions (Galactic Cosmic Rays) incident on ship structures. The components of the radiation environment, current modeling capability and envisioned experiments will be discussed

  19. System survivability in nuclear and space environments

    Rudie, N.J.

    1987-01-01

    Space systems must operate in the hostile natural environment of space. In the event of a war, these systems may also be exposed to the radiation environments created by the explosions of nuclear warheads. The effects of these environments on a space system and hardening techniques are discussed in the paper

  20. An overview of the NASA Advanced Propulsion Concepts program

    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

  1. Space nuclear power: a strategy for tomorrow

    Buden, D.; Angelo, J. Jr.

    1981-01-01

    Energy: reliable, portable, abundant and low cost will be a most critical factor, perhaps the sine qua non, for the unfolding of man's permanent presence in space. Space-based nuclear power, in turn, is a key technology for developing such space platforms and the transportation systems necessary to service them. A strategy for meeting space power requirements is the development of a 100-kW(e) nuclear reactor system for high earth orbit missions, transportation from Shuttle orbits to geosynchronous orbit, and for outer planet exploration. The component technology for this nuclear power plant is now underway at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. As permanent settlements are established on the Moon and in space, multimegawatt power plants will be needed. This would involve different technology similar to terrestrial nuclear power plants

  2. Effluent Scrubbing of Engine Exhaust of a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Engine

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Institute for Clean Energy Technology (ICET) at MSU already supports long-standing high-efficiency nuclear particulate air (HEPA) filtration research as well as...

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

    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

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

    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.

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

    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.

  6. A Preliminary Model for Spacecraft Propulsion Performance Analysis Based on Nuclear Gain and Subsystem Mass-Power Balances

    Chakrabarti, Suman; Schmidt, George R.; Thio, Y. C.; Hurst, Chantelle M.

    1999-01-01

    A preliminary model for spacecraft propulsion performance analysis based on nuclear gain and subsystem mass-power balances are presented in viewgraph form. For very fast missions with straight-line trajectories, it has been shown that mission trip time is proportional to the cube root of alpha. Analysis of spacecraft power systems via a power balance and examination of gain vs. mass-power ratio has shown: 1) A minimum gain is needed to have enough power for thruster and driver operation; and 2) Increases in gain result in decreases in overall mass-power ratio, which in turn leads to greater achievable accelerations. However, subsystem mass-power ratios and efficiencies are crucial: less efficient values for these can partially offset the effect of nuclear gain. Therefore, it is of interest to monitor the progress of gain-limited subsystem technologies and it is also possible that power-limited systems with sufficiently low alpha may be competitive for such ambitious missions. Topics include Space flight requirements; Spacecraft energy gain; Control theory for performance; Mission assumptions; Round trips: Time and distance; Trip times; Vehicle acceleration; and Minimizing trip times.

  7. Environmental Impact Statement. Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Program. Particle Bed reactor Propulsion Technology Development and Validation

    1993-05-01

    EcoripoS 20 Reported byt Neretd St. ThOnsac. CSS No. ISO 25 Ftetd Offiace to Lao Vegas. solvels. hoe. ThO Department of ACCAE PCTMC SAA- S/S-?SASSOCIATED...PropulblonProgram LO =01 a a ulib bso "M "Om IS so ffm 0" Idamman wown Swom 0"u "ommi a Say OM "Wame OW Minh itWahm I am a thlvtr- yaw residet ot atd Sawa. I...bW %"-~A, ...Wm pý%JWWd..akopik ~ l~ha.18.711 alae. mn~e OW ~ ffm fM V mW Oft ~ WA&I Alls ..I IMd fW q 1.d 4J 1.20 .dinrapinh- *t.- Php* PW I el.JI*ý

  8. An Advanced Light Weight Recuperator for Space Power Systems, Phase I

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

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

    Edwards, J.

    1976-01-01

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

  10. Space polypropulsion

    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.

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

    George, Jeffrey A.

    1991-01-01

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

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

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Schmidt, Eldon; Lazareth, Otto; Ludewig, Hans

    1993-01-01

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

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

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

    1993-07-01

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

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

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

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

    2017-09-01

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

  17. Safety Framework for Nuclear Power Source Applications in Outer Space

    2009-01-01

    Nuclear power sources (NPS) for use in outer space have been developed and used in space applications where unique mission requirements and constraints on electrical power and thermal management precluded the use of non-nuclear power sources. Such missions have included interplanetary missions to the outer limits of the Solar System, for which solar panels were not suitable as a source of electrical power because of the long duration of these missions at great distances from the Sun. According to current knowledge and capabilities, space NPS are the only viable energy option to power some space missions and significantly enhance others. Several ongoing and foreseeable missions would not be possible without the use of space NPS. Past, present and foreseeable space NPS applications include radioisotope power systems (for example, radioisotope thermoelectric generators and radioisotope heater units) and nuclear reactor systems for power and propulsion. The presence of radioactive materials or nuclear fuels in space NPS and their consequent potential for harm to people and the environment in Earth's biosphere due to an accident require that safety should always be an inherent part of the design and application of space NPS. NPS applications in outer space have unique safety considerations compared with terrestrial applications. Unlike many terrestrial nuclear applications, space applications tend to be used infrequently and their requirements can vary significantly depending upon the specific mission. Mission launch and outer space operational requirements impose size, mass and other space environment limitations not present for many terrestrial nuclear facilities. For some applications, space NPS must operate autonomously at great distances from Earth in harsh environments. Potential accident conditions resulting from launch failures and inadvertent re-entry could expose NPS to extreme physical conditions. These and other unique safety considerations for the use of

  18. Power conversion for a microreactor: a nuclear space application

    Guimaraes, Lamartine N.F.; Camillo, Giannino P.; Nascimento, Jamil A.; Borges, Eduardo M.; Placco, Guilherme M.

    2009-01-01

    Generating nuclear power in space is of fundamental importance if it is desired to realize some aggressive type of exploration. Basically, at Earth orbit (either LEO or GEO) most applications tend to use solar panels, which are just fine, in spite of problems such as vibration, non optimal light incidence angle and non electricity generation due to Earth's shadow. For deep space exploration the nuclear power is been considered as a strong candidate and maybe the only one. The Institute for Advanced Studies is conducting the TERRA project that tracks the developments in the area and, also, intends to develop the key technologies that will allow such a machine to be build with indigenous technology. TERRA stands for TEcnologia de Reatores Rapidos Avancados. This project, at its first stage aims at the specification of the microreactor fuel element with its possible geometrical arrangements. Also for this stage a gas Brayton closed cycle is being considered as a heat conversion to electricity and/or propulsion effect. The basic idea is to adapt an open loop aeronautic gas turbine to operate as a closed loop gas Turbine. This arrangement will use heat pipes as a cold source, or a heat rejection passive system. Up to this point a lot has been done in terms of numerical and graphical development. It is expected that some built up will be happening during this year. An account of this work will be presented at the conference. (author)

  19. Converting the ISS to an Earth-Moon Transport System Using Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    Paniagua, John; Maise, George; Powell, James

    2008-01-01

    Using Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP), the International Space Station (ISS) can be placed into a cyclic orbit between the Earth and the Moon for 2-way transport of personnel and supplies to a permanent Moon Base. The ISS cycler orbit apogees 470,000 km from Earth, with a period of 13.66 days. Once a month, the ISS would pass close to the Moon, enabling 2-way transport between it and the surface using a lunar shuttle craft. The lunar shuttle craft would land at a desired location on the surface during a flyby and return to the ISS during a later flyby. At Earth perigee 7 days later at 500 km altitude, there would be 2-way transport between it and Earth's surface using an Earth shuttle craft. The docking Earth shuttle would remain attached to the ISS as it traveled towards the Moon, while personnel and supplies transferred to a lunar shuttle spacecraft that would detach and land at the lunar base when the ISS swung around the Moon. The reverse process would be carried out to return personnel and materials from the Moon to the Earth. The orbital mechanics for the ISS cycle are described in detail. Based on the full-up mass of 400 metric tons for the ISS, an ISP of 900 seconds, and a delta V burn of 3.3 km/sec to establish the orbit, 200 metric tons of liquid H-2 propellant would be required. The 200 metric tons could be stored in 3 tanks, each 8 meters in diameter and 20 meters in length. An assembly of 3 MITEE NTP engines would be used, providing redundancy if an engine were to fail. Two different MITEE design options are described. Option 1 is an 18,000 Newton, 100 MW engine with a thrust to weight ratio of 6.6/1; Option 2 is a 180,000 Newton, 1000 MW engine with a thrust to weight ratio of 23/1. Burn times to establish the orbit are ∼1 hour for the large 3 engine assembly, and 10 hours for the small 3 engine assembly. Both engines would use W-UO2 cermet fuel at ∼2750 K which has demonstrated the capability to operate for at least 50 hours in 2750 K hydrogen

  20. Overview of nuclear waste disposal in space

    Rice, E.E.; Priest, C.C.

    1981-01-01

    One option receiving consideration by the Department of Energy (DOE) is the space disposal of certain high-level nuclear wastes. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is assessing the space disposal option in support of DOE studies on alternatives for nuclear waste management. The space disposal option is viewed as a complement, since total disposal of fuel rods from commercial power plants is not considered to be economically practical with Space Shuttle technology. The space disposal of certain high-level wastes may, however, provide reduced calculated and perceived risks. The space disposal option in conjunction with terrestrial disposal may offer a more flexible and lower risk overall waste management system. For the space disposal option to be viable, it must be demonstrated that the overall long-term risks associated with this activity, as a complement to the mined geologic repository, would be significantly less than the long-term risk associated with disposing of all the high-level waste. The long-term risk benefit must be achieved within an acceptable short-term and overall program cost. This paper briefly describes space disposal alternatives, the space disposal destination, possible waste mixes and forms, systems and typical operations, and the energy and cost analysis

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

    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.

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

    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.

  3. Improved Nuclear Reactor and Shield Mass Model for Space Applications

    Robb, Kevin

    2004-01-01

    New technologies are being developed to explore the distant reaches of the solar system. Beyond Mars, solar energy is inadequate to power advanced scientific instruments. One technology that can meet the energy requirements is the space nuclear reactor. The nuclear reactor is used as a heat source for which a heat-to-electricity conversion system is needed. Examples of such conversion systems are the Brayton, Rankine, and Stirling cycles. Since launch cost is proportional to the amount of mass to lift, mass is always a concern in designing spacecraft. Estimations of system masses are an important part in determining the feasibility of a design. I worked under Michael Barrett in the Thermal Energy Conversion Branch of the Power & Electric Propulsion Division. An in-house Closed Cycle Engine Program (CCEP) is used for the design and performance analysis of closed-Brayton-cycle energy conversion systems for space applications. This program also calculates the system mass including the heat source. CCEP uses the subroutine RSMASS, which has been updated to RSMASS-D, to estimate the mass of the reactor. RSMASS was developed in 1986 at Sandia National Laboratories to quickly estimate the mass of multi-megawatt nuclear reactors for space applications. In response to an emphasis for lower power reactors, RSMASS-D was developed in 1997 and is based off of the SP-100 liquid metal cooled reactor. The subroutine calculates the mass of reactor components such as the safety systems, instrumentation and control, radiation shield, structure, reflector, and core. The major improvements in RSMASS-D are that it uses higher fidelity calculations, is easier to use, and automatically optimizes the systems mass. RSMASS-D is accurate within 15% of actual data while RSMASS is only accurate within 50%. My goal this summer was to learn FORTRAN 77 programming language and update the CCEP program with the RSMASS-D model.

  4. Chemistry and propulsion; Chimie et propulsions

    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.)

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

  8. Space nuclear-power reactor design based on combined neutronic and thermal-fluid analyses

    Koenig, D.R.; Gido, R.G.; Brandon, D.I.

    1985-01-01

    The design and performance analysis of a space nuclear-power system requires sophisticated analytical capabilities such as those developed during the nuclear rocket propulsion (Rover) program. In particular, optimizing the size of a space nuclear reactor for a given power level requires satisfying the conflicting requirements of nuclear criticality and heat removal. The optimization involves the determination of the coolant void (volume) fraction for which the reactor diameter is a minimum and temperature and structural limits are satisfied. A minimum exists because the critical diameter increases with increasing void fraction, whereas the reactor diameter needed to remove a specified power decreases with void fraction. The purpose of this presentation is to describe and demonstrate our analytical capability for the determination of minimum reactor size. The analysis is based on combining neutronic criticality calculations with OPTION-code thermal-fluid calculations

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

    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.

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

    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...

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

    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

  12. Telerobotic technology for nuclear and space applications

    Herndon, J.N.; Hamel, W.R.

    1987-03-01

    Telerobotic development efforts at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are extensive and relatively diverse. Current efforts include development of a prototype space telerobot system for the NASA Langley Research Center and development and large-scale demonstration of nuclear fuel cycle teleoperators in the Consolidated Fuel Reprocessing Program. This paper presents an overview of the efforts in these major programs. 10 refs., 8 figs

  13. Multimegawatt space nuclear power open-cycle MHD-facility

    Pavshuk, V.A.; Panchenko, V.P.

    2008-01-01

    Paper presents the results of the efforts to calculate the characteristics, the layout and the engineering design of the open cycle space power propulsion on the basis of the high-temperature nuclear reactor for a nuclear rocket engine and the Faraday 20 MW capacity MHD-generator. The IVG-1 heterogeneous channel-vessel reactor ensuring in the course of the experiments hydrogen heating up to 3100 K, up to 5 MPa pressure at the reactor core outlet, up to 5 kg/s flowsheet, up to 220 MW thermal power served as a reactor is considered. One determined the MHD-generator basic parameters, namely: the portion of Cs dope was equal to 20%, the outlet stagnation pressure - 2 MPa, the electric conductivity - ≅30 S/m, the Mach number - ≅0.7, the magnetic field induction - 6 T, the capacity - 20 MW, the specific power removal - ∼4 MJ/kg. Paper describes the design of the MHD-facility with the working fluid momentless discharge and its basic characteristics [ru

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

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

    1982-01-01

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

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    Thornton, G.; Rothstein, A.J.

    1962-06-28

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

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

    Lins Junior, Amilton de Sousa

    2017-01-01

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

  19. Wavelet analysis of the nuclear phase space

    Jouault, B.; Sebille, F.; Mota, V. de la

    1997-12-31

    The description of transport phenomena in nuclear matter is addressed in a new approach based on the mathematical theory of wavelets and the projection methods of statistical physics. The advantage of this framework is to offer the opportunity to use information concepts common to both the formulation of physical properties and the mathematical description. This paper focuses on two features, the extraction of relevant informations using the geometrical properties of the underlying phase space and the optimization of the theoretical and numerical treatments based on convenient choices of the representation spaces. (author). 34 refs.

  20. Wavelet analysis of the nuclear phase space

    Jouault, B.; Sebille, F.; Mota, V. de la.

    1997-01-01

    The description of transport phenomena in nuclear matter is addressed in a new approach based on the mathematical theory of wavelets and the projection methods of statistical physics. The advantage of this framework is to offer the opportunity to use information concepts common to both the formulation of physical properties and the mathematical description. This paper focuses on two features, the extraction of relevant informations using the geometrical properties of the underlying phase space and the optimization of the theoretical and numerical treatments based on convenient choices of the representation spaces. (author)

  1. 28th Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit

    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

  2. Use of High-Power Brayton Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) for a 2033 Mars Round-Trip Mission

    McGuire, Melissa L.; Martini, Michael C.; Packard, Thomas W.; Weglian, John E.; Gilland, James H.

    2006-01-01

    The Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts (RASC) team, led by the NASA Langley Research Center, is tasked with exploring revolutionary new approaches to enabling NASA to achieve its strategic goals and objectives in future missions. This paper provides the details from the 2004-2005 RASC study of a point-design that uses a high-power nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) based space transportation architecture to support a manned mission to Mars. The study assumes a high-temperature liquid-metal cooled fission reactor with a Brayton power conversion system to generate the electrical power required by magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters. The architecture includes a cargo vehicle with an NEP system providing 5 MW of electrical power and a crewed vehicle with an NEP system with two reactors providing a combined total of 10 MW of electrical power. Both vehicles use a low-thrust, high-efficiency (5000 sec specific impulse) MPD system to conduct a spiral-out of the Earth gravity well, a low-thrust heliocentric trajectory, and a spiral-in at Mars with arrival late in 2033. The cargo vehicle carries two moon landers to Mars and arrives shortly before the crewed vehicle. The crewed vehicle and cargo vehicle rendezvous in Mars orbit and, over the course of the 60-day stay, the crew conducts nine-day excursions to Phobos and Deimos with the landers. The crewed vehicle then spirals out of Martian orbit and returns via a low-thrust trajectory to conduct an Earth flyby. The crew separates from the vehicle prior to Earth flyby and aerobrakes for a direct-entry landing

  3. Power conditioning for space nuclear reactor systems

    Berman, Baruch

    1987-01-01

    This paper addresses the power conditioning subsystem for both Stirling and Brayton conversion of space nuclear reactor systems. Included are the requirements summary, trade results related to subsystem implementation, subsystem description, voltage level versus weight, efficiency and operational integrity, components selection, and shielding considerations. The discussion is supported by pertinent circuit and block diagrams. Summary conclusions and recommendations derived from the above studies are included.

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

    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.

  5. Radiation risk from the nuclear power installation of space vehicle in case of reentry to the atmosphere

    Mikheenko, S.G.

    1994-01-01

    Main directions of space using of nuclear power are considered. Nuclear energy has found many applications in space projects. The first application is the use of nuclear energy for the production of electricity in space and the second main application is the use of nuclear power for propulsion purposes in space flight. History of usage nuclear power systems in space technic is shown. Today there are 54 satellites with NPS in space near the Earth. The main principle of radical solution of the problem of radiation safety is based on the accommodation of space objects with nuclear units in orbits, such that the ballistic lifetime is greater than the time necessary for complete decay of the accumulated radioactivity. Radiation safety on various stages of space nuclear systems exploitation is discussed. If Main System Ensuring Radiation Safety is failed, it must operates Reserved System Ensuring Radiation Safety. Concrete development of a booster system for nuclear unit and a system for the reactor destruction in order to ensure aerodynamic destruction of fuel has been realized in satellite of 'Cosmos' series. The investigations on reserved system ensuring radiation safety in Moscow Physical - Engineering Institute are discussed. The results show that we can in principle ensure the radiation safety in accordance to ICRP recommendations. (author)

  6. 10 KWe dual-mode space nuclear power system for military and scientific applications

    Malloy, J.; Westerman, K.; Rochow, R.; Scoles, S.

    1992-01-01

    This paper discusses a 10 KWe dual-mode space power system concept which has been identified and is based on INEL's Small Externally-fueled Heat Pipe Thermionic Reactor (SEHPTR) concept. This power system will enhance user capabilities by providing reliable electric power and by providing two propulsion systems; electric power for an arc-jet electric propulsion system and direct thrust by heating hydrogen propellant inside the reactor. The low thrust electric thrusters allow efficient station keeping and long-term maneuvering. This paper will focus on the nuclear power system design, including: the reactor with its UO 2 fuel in tungsten clad, 36 thermionic heat pipe modules (THPMs) which produce electricity within the reactor and remove waste heat, radiation shielding, waste heat radiators, and reactivity control systems. The use of non-vented fuel elements for short lifetime missions (under five years) will be described

  7. NASA's Propulsion Research Laboratory

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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...

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

    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.

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

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

  12. Time-space structure of nuclear safety

    Miya, Kenzo

    2003-01-01

    New idea to analyze the structure of nuclear safety and to investigate functioning property of hierarchical principle is applied to nuclear safety in this paper. The nuclear safety is expressed by three principles such as 1) the action and subject are partitioned and classified by time and space, 2) introduction of hierarchy with three strata to the closed object and hierarchy with many strata to the open object and 3) application of 'element, relation and abstraction' to the engineering system as a framework of intellectual activity. For example, prevention of core melt is the closed object and it is obtained by acting hierarchies with three strata (operation stop, cooling and closing radiation) as the safety functions. Prevention of increase of accident is open object, so that, space hierarchy with many strata of prevention is used for the safety security of reactor. The safety security method of reactor consists of three processes, that is 1) the basic process to make clear the continuous operating time on the basis of regular inspection, 2) the action process of operating ECCS to prevent core damage accident, when a large leakage happens and 3) many strata prevention process of stopping a leak in the environment. (S.Y.)

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

    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

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

    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

  15. Space nuclear power systems for extraterrestrial basing

    Lance, J.R.; Chi, J.W.H.

    1989-01-01

    Previous studies of nuclear and non-nuclear power systems for lunar bases are compared with recent studies by others. Power levels from tens of kW e for early base operation up to 2000 kW e for a self-sustaining base with a Closed Environment Life Support System (CELSS) are considered. Permanent lunar or Martian bases will require the use of multiple nuclear units connected to loads with a power transmission and distribution system analogous to earth-based electric utility systems. A methodology used for such systems is applied to the lunar base system to examine the effects of adding 100 kW e SP-100 class and/or larger nuclear units when a reliability criterion is imposed. The results show that resource and logistic burdens can be reduced by using 1000 kW e units early in the base growth scenario without compromising system reliability. Therefore, both technologies being developed in two current programs (SP-100 and NERVA Derivative Reactor (NDR) technology for space power) can be used effectively for extraterrestrial base power systems. Recent developments in NDR design that result in major reductions in reactor mass are also described. (author)

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

    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

  17. SP-100 space nuclear power system

    Given, R.W.; Morgan, R.E.; Chi, J.W.H.; Westinghouse Electric Corp., Madison, PA)

    1984-01-01

    A baseline design concept for a 100 kWe nuclear reactor space power system is described. The concept was developed under contract from JPL as part of a joint program of the DOE, DOD, and NASA. The major technical and safety constraints influencing the selection of reactor operating parameters are discussed. A lithium-cooled compact fast reactor was selected as the best candidate system. The material selected for the thermoelectric conversion system was silicon germanium (SiGe) with gallium phosphide doping. Attention is given to the improved safety of the seven in-core control rod configuration

  18. Space Nuclear Power Public and Stakeholder Risk Communication

    Dawson, Sandra M.; Sklar, Maria

    2005-01-01

    The 1986 Challenger accident coupled with the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident increased public concern about the safety of spacecraft using nuclear technology. While three nuclear powered spacecraft had been launched before 1986 with little public interest, future nuclear powered missions would see significantly more public concern and require NASA to increase its efforts to communicate mission risks to the public. In 1987 a separate risk communication area within the Launch Approval Planning Group of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory was created to address public concern about the health, environmental, and safety risks of NASA missions. The lessons learned from the risk communication strategies developed for the nuclear powered Galileo, Ulysses, and Cassini missions are reviewed in this paper and recommendations are given as to how these lessons can be applied to future NASA missions that may use nuclear power systems and other potentially controversial NASA missions.

  19. Nuclear Cross Sections for Space Radiation Applications

    Werneth, C. M.; Maung, K. M.; Ford, W. P.; Norbury, J. W.; Vera, M. D.

    2015-01-01

    The eikonal, partial wave (PW) Lippmann-Schwinger, and three-dimensional Lippmann-Schwinger (LS3D) methods are compared for nuclear reactions that are relevant for space radiation applications. Numerical convergence of the eikonal method is readily achieved when exact formulas of the optical potential are used for light nuclei (A = 16) and the momentum-space optical potential is used for heavier nuclei. The PW solution method is known to be numerically unstable for systems that require a large number of partial waves, and, as a result, the LS3D method is employed. The effect of relativistic kinematics is studied with the PW and LS3D methods and is compared to eikonal results. It is recommended that the LS3D method be used for high energy nucleon-nucleus reactions and nucleus-nucleus reactions at all energies because of its rapid numerical convergence and stability for both non-relativistic and relativistic kinematics.

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

    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.

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

    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

  2. Centralized versus distributed propulsion

    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.

  3. Prospects for the use of thermionic nuclear power plants for interorbital transfers of space vehicles in near space

    Andreev, P.V.; Zhabotinskii, E.E.; Nikonov, A.M.

    1993-01-01

    In a previous study the authors considered the use of thermionic nuclear power plants with a thermal reactor for interorbital transfers of space vehicles by electrojet propulsion systems (EJPSs), opening up broad prospects for putting payloads into a high orbit with relatively inexpensive means for a launch into a reference orbit, e.g., the Proton launch vehicle. This is of major importance for the commercial use of space technology, in particular, for erecting technological platforms for the production of various materials. In the work reported here the authors continue the study of interorbital transfers and explore the potentialities of thermionic NPPs with a thermal reactor and with a fast reactor. In boosted operation the electrical power of the latter may reach several hundred kilowatts. What type of NPP is desirable for testing an electrojet propulsion system in interorbital transfers from a reference orbit to a high orbit, providing that the time is limited, depends on the class of the launch vehicle characterized by the mass M o that the vehicle can carry into the reference orbit, where radiation safety conditions allow the NPP to be started up. Results of studies are presented that give an idea of the rational choice of type of thermionic NPP for the organization in interorbital transfers

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

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

    1993-06-01

    The performance characteristics of several propulsion technologies applied to piloted Mars missions are compared. The characteristics that are compared are Initial Mass in Low Earth Orbit (IMLEO), mission flexibility, and flight times. The propulsion systems being compared are both demonstrated and envisioned: Chemical (or Cryogenic), Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) solid core, NTR gas core, Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP), and a mirror fusion space propulsion system. The proposed magnetic mirror fusion reactor, known as the Mirror Fusion Propulsion System (MFPS), is described. The description is an overview of a design study that was conducted to convert a mirror reactor experiment at Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) into a viable space propulsion system. Design principles geared towards minimizing mass and maximizing power available for thrust are identified and applied to the LLNL reactor design, resulting in the MFPS. The MFPS' design evolution, reactor and fuel choices, and system configuration are described. Results of the performance comparison shows that the MFPS minimizes flight time to 60 to 90 days for flights to Mars while allowing continuous return-home capability while at Mars. Total MFPS IMLEO including propellant and payloads is kept to about 1,000 metric tons. 50 refs

  5. SP-100 multimegawatt scaleup to meet electric propulsion mission requirements

    Newkirk, D.W.; Salamah, S.A.; Stewart, S.L.; Pluta, P.R.

    1991-01-01

    The SP-100 space power nuclear reactor nuclear heat source technology, utilizing uranium nitride fuel clad in PWC-11 in a fast reactor with lithium coolant circulated by an electromagnetic pump, is shown in this paper to be directly extrapolatable to thermal power levels that meet NASA nuclear electric propulsion requirements using different power conversion techniques. The SP-100 nuclear technology can be applied for missions with NEP requirements as low as 10's of kWe to 10's of MWe

  6. Recent developments of the MOA thruster concerning its application for nuclear electric and thermal propulsion

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

    2007-01-01

    The name of the concept, utilising Alfven waves to accelerate ionised matter for propulsive purposes, is MOA for Magnetic field Oscillating Amplified thruster. Alfven waves are generated by making use of 2 coils, one being permanently powered and serving also as magnetic nozzle, the other one being switched on and off in a cyclic way, deforming the field lines of the overall system. It is this deformation that generates Alfven waves, which are in the next step used to transport and compress the propulsive medium, in theory leading to a propulsion system with a much higher performance than any other electric propulsion system. Based on computer simulations, which were conducted to get a first estimate on the performance of the system, MOA is a highly flexible propulsion system, whose performance parameters might easily be adapted, by changing the mass flow and/or the power level. As such the system is capable to deliver a maximum specific impulse of 13116 s (12.87 mN) at a power level of 11.16 kW, using Xe as propellant, but can also be attuned to provide a thrust of 236.5 mN (2411 s) at 6.15 kW of power. Several prototypes have been built and tested, the results that were obtained are promising: with an overall power consumption of 400 W, 6 to 11 mN of thrust could be obtained, leading on the average to a specific power of about 50 W/mN. Better results are expected for optimised prototypes in terms of power consumption

  7. Solar System Exploration Augmented by In-Situ Resource Utilization: Mercury and Saturn Propulsion Investigations

    Palaszewski, Bryan

    2016-01-01

    Human and robotic missions to Mercury and Saturn are presented and analyzed with a range of propulsion options. Historical studies of space exploration, in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), and industrialization all point to the vastness of natural resources in the solar system. Advanced propulsion benefitted from these resources in many ways. While advanced propulsion systems were proposed in these historical studies, further investigation of nuclear options using high power nuclear thermal and nuclear pulse propulsion as well as advanced chemical propulsion can significantly enhance these scenarios. Updated analyses based on these historical visions will be presented. Nuclear thermal propulsion and ISRU enhanced chemical propulsion landers are assessed for Mercury missions. At Saturn, nuclear pulse propulsion with alternate propellant feed systems and Titan exploration with chemical propulsion options are discussed. In-situ resource utilization was found to be critical in making Mercury missions more amenable for human visits. At Saturn, refueling using local atmospheric mining was found to be difficult to impractical, while refueling the Saturn missions from Uranus was more practical and less complex.

  8. Damage-Tolerant, Lightweight, High-Temperature Radiator for Nuclear Powered Spacecraft

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Game-changing propulsion systems are often enabled by novel designs using advanced materials. Radiator performance dictates power output for nuclear electric...

  9. Thermodynamic analysis and optimization of a Closed Regenerative Brayton Cycle for nuclear space power systems

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

    2015-01-01

    Nuclear power systems turned to space electric propulsion differ strongly from usual ground-based power systems regarding the importance of overall size and mass. For propulsion power systems, size and mass are essential drivers that should be minimized during conception processes. Considering this aspect, this paper aims the development of a design-based model of a Closed Regenerative Brayton Cycle that applies the thermal conductance of the main components in order to predict the energy conversion performance, allowing its use as a preliminary tool for heat exchanger and radiator panel sizing. The centrifugal-flow turbine and compressor characterizations were achieved using algebraic equations from literature data. A binary mixture of Helium–Xenon with molecular weight of 40 g/mole is applied and the impact of the components sizing in the energy efficiency is evaluated in this paper, including the radiator panel area. Moreover, an optimization analysis based on the final mass of heat the exchangers is performed. - Highlights: • A design-based model of a Closed Brayton Cycle is proposed for nuclear space needs. • Turbomachinery efficiency presented a strong influence on the system efficiency. • Radiator area presented the highest potential to increase the system efficiency. • There is maximum system efficiency for each total mass of heat exchangers. • Size or efficiency optimization was performed by changing heat exchanger proportion.

  10. Propulsion Laboratory

    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...

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

    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.

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

    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.

  13. Thermionic reactors for space nuclear power

    Homeyer, W. G.; Merrill, M. H.; Holland, J. W.; Fisher, C. R.; Allen, D. T.

    1985-01-01

    Thermionic reactor designs for a variety of space power applications spanning the range from 5 kWe to 3 MWe are described. In all of these reactors, nuclear heat is converted directly to electrical energy in thermionic fuel elements (TFEs). A circulating reactor coolant carries heat from the core of TFEs directly to a heat rejection radiator system. The recent design of a thermionic reactor to meet the SP-100 requirements is emphasized. Design studies of reactors at other power levels show that the same TFE can be used over a broad range in power, and that design modifications can extend the range to many megawatts. The design of the SP-100 TFE is similar to that of TFEs operated successfully in test reactors, but with design improvements to extend the operating lifetime to seven years.

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

    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

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

    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.

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

    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.

  17. Titanium Loop Heat Pipes for Space Nuclear Radiators, Phase I

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will develop titanium Loop Heat Pipes (LHPs) that can be used in low-mass space nuclear radiators, such as...

  18. Thermophotovoltaic Energy Conversion in Space Nuclear Reactor Power Systems

    Presby, Andrew L

    2004-01-01

    .... This has potential benefits for space nuclear reactor power systems currently in development. The primary obstacle to space operation of thermophotovoltaic devices appears to be the low heat rejection temperatures which necessitate large radiator areas...

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

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    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.

  1. MW-Class Electric Propulsion System Designs

    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

  2. Dossier space travel. Nuclear fuel shuttle; Dossier ruimtevaart. Splijtstofshuttle

    Klomp, H.

    2011-03-11

    The space shuttle will be making its last flight this year, but a successor has not yet been arranged. All alternatives that were reviewed by the American government in the last decades have in common that they use chemical combustion as means of propulsion. A serious next step in human spaceflight requires a more sturdy propulsion system: atomic explosions. [Dutch] De spaceshuttle maakt dit jaar zijn laatste vlucht, maar een opvolger is er nog niet. Alle alternatieven die de Amerikaanse overheid de afgelopen decennia de revue heeft laten passeren, hebben gemeen dat ze als stuwmiddel gebruikmaken van chemische verbranding. Voor een serieuze stap voorwaarts in de bemande ruimtevaart is een steviger voortstuwingssysteem nodig: atoomexplosies.

  3. Nuclear Reactors for Space Power, Understanding the Atom Series.

    Corliss, William R.

    The historical development of rocketry and nuclear technology includes a specific description of Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power (SNAP) programs. Solar cells and fuel cells are considered as alternative power supplies for space use. Construction and operation of space power plants must include considerations of the transfer of heat energy to…

  4. Potential refractory alloy requirements for space nuclear power applications

    Cooper, R.H. Jr.

    1984-01-01

    In reviewing design requirements for refractory alloys for space nuclear applications, several key points are identified. First, the successful utilization of refractory alloys is considered an enabling requirement for the successful deployment of high efficiency, lightweight, and small space nuclear systems. Second, the recapture of refractory alloy nuclear technology developed in the 1960s and early 1970s appears to be a pacing activity in the successful utilization of refractory alloys. Third, the successful application of refractory alloys for space nuclear applications will present a significant challenge to both the materials and the systems design communities

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

    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...

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

    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,...

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

    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...

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

    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...

  9. Application of nuclear photon engines for deep-space exploration

    Gulevich, Andrey V.; Ivanov, Eugeny A.; Kukharchuk, Oleg F.; Poupko, Victor Ya.; Zrodnikov, Anatoly V.

    2001-01-01

    Conception of using the nuclear photon rocket engines for deep space exploration is proposed. Some analytical estimations have been made to illustrate the possibility to travel to 100-10000 AU using a small thrust photon engine. Concepts of high temperature nuclear reactors for the nuclear photon engines are also discussed

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

    Borowski, Stanley K.

    1989-01-01

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

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

    Borowski, Stanley K.

    1988-01-01

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

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

    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.

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

    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.

  14. Exotic power and propulsion concepts

    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

  15. Nuclear energy waste: space transportation and removal

    Burns, R.E.

    1975-12-01

    A method for utilizing the decay heat of actinide wastes to power an electric thrust vehicle is proposed. The vehicle, launched by shuttle to earth orbit and to earth escape by a tug, obtains electrical power from the actinide waste heat by thermionic converters. The heavy gamma ray and neutron shielding which is necessary as a safety feature is removed in orbit and returned to earth for reuse. The problems associated with safety are dealt with in depth. A method for eliminating fission wastes via chemical propulsion is briefly discussed

  16. A feasibility assessment of nuclear reactor power system concepts for the NASA Growth Space Station

    Bloomfield, H. S.; Heller, J. A.

    1986-01-01

    A preliminary feasibility assessment of the integration of reactor power system concepts with a projected growth Space Station architecture was conducted to address a variety of installation, operational, disposition and safety issues. A previous NASA sponsored study, which showed the advantages of Space Station - attached concepts, served as the basis for this study. A study methodology was defined and implemented to assess compatible combinations of reactor power installation concepts, disposal destinations, and propulsion methods. Three installation concepts that met a set of integration criteria were characterized from a configuration and operational viewpoint, with end-of-life disposal mass identified. Disposal destinations that met current aerospace nuclear safety criteria were identified and characterized from an operational and energy requirements viewpoint, with delta-V energy requirement as a key parameter. Chemical propulsion methods that met current and near-term application criteria were identified and payload mass and delta-V capabilities were characterized. These capabilities were matched against concept disposal mass and destination delta-V requirements to provide a feasibility of each combination.

  17. A feasibility assessment of nuclear reactor power system concepts for the NASA growth Space Station

    Bloomfield, H.S.; Heller, J.A.

    1986-01-01

    A preliminary feasibility assessment of the integration of reactor power system concepts with a projected growth space station architecture was conducted to address a variety of installation, operational, disposition and safety issues. A previous NASA sponsored study, which showed the advantages of space station related concepts, served as the basis for this study. A study methodology was defined and implemented to assess compatible combinations of reactor power installation concepts, disposal destinations, and propulsion methods. Three installation concepts that met a set of integration criteria were characterized from a configuration and operational viewpoint, with end-of-life disposal mass identified. Disposal destinations that met current aerospace nuclear safety criteria were identified and characterized from an operational and energy requirements viewpoint, with delta-V energy requirement as a key parameter. Chemical propulsion methods that met current and near-term application criteria were identified and payload mass and delta-V capabilities were characterized. These capabilities were matched against concept disposal mass and destination delta-V requirements to provide a feasibility of each combination

  18. Planning for a space infrastructure for disposal of nuclear space power systems

    Angelo, J. Jr.; Albert, T.E.; Lee, J.

    1989-01-01

    The development of safe, reliable, and compact power systems is vital to humanity's exploration, development, and, ultimately, civilization of space. Nuclear power systems appear to present to offer the only practical option of compact high-power systems. From the very beginning of US space nuclear power activities, safety has been a paramount requirement. Assurance of nuclear safety has included prelaunch ground handling operations, launch, and space operations of nuclear power sources, and more recently serious attention has been given to postoperational disposal of spent or errant nuclear reactor systems. The purpose of this paper is to describe the progress of a project to utilize the capabilities of an evolving space infrastructure for planning for disposal of space nuclear systems. Project SIREN (Search, Intercept, Retrieve, Expulsion - Nuclear) is a project that has been initiated to consider post-operational disposal options for nuclear space power systems. The key finding of Project SIREN was that although no system currently exists to affect the disposal of a nuclear space power system, the requisite technologies for such a system either exist or are planned for part of the evolving space infrastructure

  19. Space nuclear reactors: energy gateway into the next millennium

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

    1981-01-01

    Power - reliable, abundant and economic - is the key to man's conquest of the Solar System. Space activities of the next few decades will be highlighted by the creation of the extraterrestrial phase of human civilization. Nuclear power is needed both to propel massive quantities of materials through cislunar and eventually translunar space, and to power the sophisticated satellites, space platforms, and space stations of tomorrow. To meet these anticipated future space power needs, the Los Alamos National Laboratory is developing components for a compact, 100-kW(e) heat pipe nuclear reactor. The objectives of this program are to develop components for a space nuclear power plant capable of unattended operation for 7 to 10 years; having a reliability of greater than 0.95; and weighing less than 1910 kg. In addition, this heat pipe reactor is also compatible for launch by the US Space Transportation System

  20. The SMPR for the naval propulsion; Les RPMP pour la propulsion navale

    Gauducheau, B. [Technicatome, Centre d' Etudes Nucleaires de Saclay, 91 - Gif sur Yvette (France)

    2002-07-01

    The first controlled application of the fissile energy was the american nuclear reactor for the ship propulsion. Since the sixties, the France begun researches to secure the independence of its nuclear propulsion program. The historical aspects, the french program management and the perspectives of the ship nuclear propulsion, are discussed in this paper. (A.L.B.)