WorldWideScience

Sample records for space propulsion reactors

  1. Colliding beam fusion reactor space propulsion system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  2. Space Propulsion via Spherical Torus Fusion Reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  3. Neutronics Study of the KANUTER Space Propulsion Reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Venneri, Paolo; Nam, Seung Hyun; Kim, Yonghee

    2014-01-01

    The Korea Advanced Nuclear Thermal Engine Rocket (KANUTER) has been developed at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). This space propulsion system is unique in that it implements a HEU fuel with a thermal spectrum system. This allows the system to be designed with a minimal amount of fissile material and an incredibly small and light system. This then allows the implementation of the system in a cluster format which enables redundancy and easy scalability for different mission requirements. This combination of low fissile content, compact size, and thermalized spectrum contribute to an interesting and novel behavior of the reactor system. The two codes were both used for the burn up calculations in order to verify their validity while the static calculations and characterization of the core were done principally with MCNPX. The KANUTER space propulsion reactor is in the process of being characterized and improved. Its basic neutronic characteristics have been studied, and its behavior over time has been identified. It has been shown that this reactor will have difficulty operating as hoped in a bimodal configuration where it is able to provide both propulsion and power throughout mission to Mars. The reason for this has been identified as Xe 135 , and it is believed that a possible solution to this issue does exist, either in the form of an appropriately designed neutron spectrum or the building in of sufficient excess reactivity

  4. Neutronics Study of the KANUTER Space Propulsion Reactor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-05-15

    The Korea Advanced Nuclear Thermal Engine Rocket (KANUTER) has been developed at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). This space propulsion system is unique in that it implements a HEU fuel with a thermal spectrum system. This allows the system to be designed with a minimal amount of fissile material and an incredibly small and light system. This then allows the implementation of the system in a cluster format which enables redundancy and easy scalability for different mission requirements. This combination of low fissile content, compact size, and thermalized spectrum contribute to an interesting and novel behavior of the reactor system. The two codes were both used for the burn up calculations in order to verify their validity while the static calculations and characterization of the core were done principally with MCNPX. The KANUTER space propulsion reactor is in the process of being characterized and improved. Its basic neutronic characteristics have been studied, and its behavior over time has been identified. It has been shown that this reactor will have difficulty operating as hoped in a bimodal configuration where it is able to provide both propulsion and power throughout mission to Mars. The reason for this has been identified as Xe{sup 135}, and it is believed that a possible solution to this issue does exist, either in the form of an appropriately designed neutron spectrum or the building in of sufficient excess reactivity.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wright, S.A.

    1991-01-01

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

  6. Proposal of space reactor for nuclear electric propulsion system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nishiyama, Takaaki; Nagata, Hidetaka; Nakashima, Hideki

    2009-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  8. Advanced Fusion Reactors for Space Propulsion and Power Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chapman, John J.

    2011-06-15

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

  9. Advanced Fusion Reactors for Space Propulsion and Power Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, John J.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chow, S.

    1976-01-01

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

  11. Reactors for nuclear electric propulsion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  12. Reactors for nuclear electric propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-02-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1996-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  16. Ship propulsion reactors technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fribourg, Ch.

    2002-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Samim Anghaie

    2002-01-01

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

  18. Request for Naval Reactors Comment on Proposed PROMETHEUS Space Flight Nuclear Reactor High Tier Reactor Safety Requirements and for Naval Reactors Approval to Transmit These Requirements to Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D. Kokkinos

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this letter is to request Naval Reactors comments on the nuclear reactor high tier requirements for the PROMETHEUS space flight reactor design, pre-launch operations, launch, ascent, operation, and disposal, and to request Naval Reactors approval to transmit these requirements to Jet Propulsion Laboratory to ensure consistency between the reactor safety requirements and the spacecraft safety requirements. The proposed PROMETHEUS nuclear reactor high tier safety requirements are consistent with the long standing safety culture of the Naval Reactors Program and its commitment to protecting the health and safety of the public and the environment. In addition, the philosophy on which these requirements are based is consistent with the Nuclear Safety Policy Working Group recommendations on space nuclear propulsion safety (Reference 1), DOE Nuclear Safety Criteria and Specifications for Space Nuclear Reactors (Reference 2), the Nuclear Space Power Safety and Facility Guidelines Study of the Applied Physics Laboratory

  19. Reactors. Nuclear propulsion ships

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fribourg, Ch.

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1977-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-10-15

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

  6. Comparison of Direct and Indirect Gas Reactor Brayton Systems for Nuclear Electric Space Propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    M Postlehwait; P DiLorenzo; S Belanger; J Ashcroft

    2005-01-01

    Gas reactor systems are being considered as candidates for use in generating power for the Prometheus-1 spacecraft, along with other NASA missions as part of the Prometheus program. Gas reactors offer a benign coolant, which increases core and structural materials options. However, the gas coolant has inferior thermal transport properties, relative to other coolant candidates such as liquid metals. This leads to concerns for providing effective heat transfer and for minimizing pressure drop within the reactor core. In direct gas Brayton systems, i.e. those with one or more Brayton turbines in the reactor cooling loop, the ability to provide effective core cooling and low pressure drop is further constrained by the need for a low pressure, high molecular weight gas, typically a mixture of helium and xenon. Use of separate primary and secondary gas loops, one for the reactor and one or more for the Brayton system(s) separated by heat exchanger(s), allows for independent optimization of the pressure and gas composition of each loop. The reactor loop can use higher pressure pure helium, which provides improved heat transfer and heat transport properties, while the Brayton loop can utilize lower pressure He-Xe. However, this approach requires a separate primary gas circulator and also requires gas to gas heat exchangers. This paper focuses on the trade-offs between the direct gas reactor Brayton system and the indirect gas Brayton system. It discusses heat exchanger arrangement and materials options and projects heat exchanger mass based on heat transfer area and structural design needs. Analysis indicates that these heat exchangers add considerable mass, but result in reactor cooling and system resiliency improvements

  7. Space transportation propulsion USSR launcher technology, 1990

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  9. In-Space Propulsion (346620) Technology Project

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  10. Research Opportunities in Space Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodgers, Stephen L.

    2007-01-01

    Rocket propulsion determines the primary characteristics of any space vehicle; how fast and far it can go, its lifetime, and its capabilities. It is the primary factor in safety and reliability and the biggest cost driver. The extremes of heat and pressure produced by propulsion systems push the limits of materials used for manufacturing. Space travel is very unforgiving with little room for errors, and so many things can go wrong with these very complex systems. So we have to plan for failure and that makes it costly. But what is more exciting than the roar of a rocket blasting into space? By its nature the propulsion world is conservative. The stakes are so high at every launch, in terms of payload value or in human life, that to introduce new components to a working, qualified system is extremely difficult and costly. Every launch counts and no risks are tolerated, which leads to the space world's version of Catch-22:"You can't fly till you flown." The last big 'game changer' in propulsion was the use of liquid hydrogen as a fuel. No new breakthrough, low cost access to space system will be developed without new efficient propulsion systems. Because there is no large commercial market driving investment in propulsion, what propulsion research is done is sponsored by government funding agencies. A further difficulty in propulsion technology development is that there are so few new systems flying. There is little opportunity to evolve propulsion technologies and to update existing systems with results coming out of research as there is in, for example, the auto industry. The biggest hurdle to space exploration is getting off the ground. The launch phase will consume most of the energy required for any foreseeable space exploration mission. The fundamental physical energy requirements of escaping earth's gravity make it difficult. It takes 60,000 kJ to put a kilogram into an escape orbit. The vast majority (-97%) of the energy produced by a launch vehicle is used

  11. Space station propulsion requirements study

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1985-01-01

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

  12. A high temperature reactor for ship propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lobet, P.; Seigel, R.; Thompson, A.C.; Beadnell, R.M.; Beeley, P.A.

    2002-01-01

    The initial thermal hydraulic and physics design of a high temperature gas cooled reactor for ship propulsion is described. The choice of thermodynamic cycle and thermal power is made to suit the marine application. Several configurations of a Helium cooled, Graphite moderated reactor are then analysed using the WIMS and MONK codes from AEA Technology. Two geometries of fuel elements formed using micro spheres in prismatic blocks, and various arrangements of control rods and poison rods are examined. Reactivity calculations through life are made and a pattern of rod insertion to flatten the flux is proposed and analysed. Thermal hydraulic calculations are made to find maximum fuel temperature under high power with optimized flow distribution. Maximum temperature after loss of flow and temperatures in the reactor vessel are also computed. The temperatures are significantly below the known limits for the type of fuel proposed. It is concluded that the reactor can provide the required power and lifetime between refueling within likely space and weight constraints. (author)

  13. A cermet fuel reactor for nuclear thermal propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruger, Gordon

    1991-01-01

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

  14. A cermet fuel reactor for nuclear thermal propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kruger, G.

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anghaie, S.; Chen, G.

    1996-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  17. Space storable propulsion components development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagler, R., Jr.

    1982-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1990-01-01

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

  19. Nuclear propulsion apparatus with alternate reactor segments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Szekely, T.

    1979-01-01

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

  20. Nuclear modules for space electric propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Difilippo, F.C.

    1998-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, David F.

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

  2. Reactor design for nuclear electric propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dankanich, John W.

    2006-01-01

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

  4. The Liquid Annular Reactor System (LARS) propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

    A concept for very high specific impulse (greater than 2000 seconds) direct nuclear propulsion is described. The concept, termed the liquid annular reactor system (LARS), uses liquid nuclear fuel elements to heat hydrogen propellant to very high temperatures (approximately 6000 K). Operating pressure is moderate (approximately 10 atm), with the result that the outlet hydrogen is virtually 100 percent dissociated to monatomic H. The molten fuel is contained in a solid container of its own material, which is rotated to stabilize the liquid layer by centripetal force. LARS reactor designs are described, together with neutronic and thermal-hydraulic analyses. Power levels are on the order of 200 megawatts. Typically, LARS designs use seven rotating fuel elements, are beryllium moderated, and have critical radii of approximately 100 cm (core L/D approximately equal to 1.5)

  5. Electric rail gun application to space propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barber, J.P.

    1979-01-01

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

  6. Space reactors - past, present, and future

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.; Angelo, J.

    1983-01-01

    In the 1990s and beyond, advanced-design nuclear reactors could represent the prime source of both space power and propulsion. Many sophisticated military and civilian space missions of the future will require first kilowatt and then megawatt levels of power. This paper reviews key technology developments that accompanied past US space nuclear power development efforts, describes on-going programs, and then explores reactor technologies that will satisfy megawatt power level needs and beyond

  7. Advanced electrostatic ion thruster for space propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1978-01-01

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

  8. Present status of space nuclear reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. Civilian application of propulsion reactor in Indonesia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Djokolelono, M.; Arbie, B.; Lasman, A.N.

    2000-01-01

    It has been learned that to cope with energy requirement in the remote islands and less developed regions of Indonesia, small or very small nuclear reactors producing electricity and/or process heat could be appropriately applied. The barge mounted propulsion power reactors are the attractive examples so far envisioned, and technology information of which is being exposed to the world these last years. The solutions for least maintenance and no on-site refueling, no radioactive discharge, and no radioactive waste to remain in the user country are among the attractions for further deliberations. It has been understood, however, that there are many uncertainties to overcome, especially for the developing countries to introduce this novel application. International acceptance is the most crucial, availability of first-of-the-kind engineering, prototype or reference plant that would prove licensibility in the vendor's country is the second, and economic competitiveness due to very small size is the third among issues to enlighten. The relevant regulations concerning marine nuclear safety, marine transportation, and proliferation of information, as well as international forums to justify the feasibility of related transfer of technology, are the items that the IAEA could help to provide to smoothen any possible international transaction. Indonesia supports this AGM as one of the appropriate IAEA efforts in this line, and expects from it positive international consensus and possible studies/R and D work that this country could participate in. (author)

  10. Nuclear propulsion for the space exploration initiative

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stanley, M.L.

    1991-01-01

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

  11. Nuclear modules for space electric propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Difilippo, F.C.

    1998-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  13. Performance Criteria of Nuclear Space Propulsion Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, L. R.

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

  14. Prospects for applications of ship-propulsion nuclear reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitenkov, F.M.

    1994-01-01

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

  15. Space nuclear thermal propulsion test facilities accommodation at INEL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  16. Space nuclear thermal propulsion test facilities accommodation at INEL

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overholt, David M.

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overholt, David M.

    1993-06-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Overholt, D.M.

    1993-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Overholt, D.M.

    1993-06-01

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

  1. Interplanetary space transport using inertial fusion propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Orth, C.D.

    1998-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1971-01-01

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

  3. Space Nuclear Reactor Engineering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  4. Gravity-assist engine for space propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergstrom, Arne

    2014-06-01

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

  5. Propulsion of space ships by nuclear explosion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linhart, J. G.; Kravárik, J.

    2005-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  8. Space nuclear reactor safety

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-07-13

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schnitzler, Bruce G.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-03-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Edward E., IV

    2004-01-01

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

  14. Space reactors - past, present, and future

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.; Angelo, J.A.

    1983-01-01

    The successful test flights of the Space Shuttle mark the start of a new era--an era of routine manned access into cislunar space. Human technical development at the start of the next Millenium will be highlighted by the creation of Man's extraterrestrial civilization with off-planet expansion of the human resource base. In the 1990s and beyond, advanced-design nuclear reactors could represent the prime source of both space power and propulsion. Many sophisticated military and civilian space missions of the future will require first kilowatt and then megawatt levels of power. This paper reviews key technology developments that accompanied past US space nuclear power development efforts, describes on-going programs, and then explores reactor technologies that will satisfy megawatt power level needs and beyond

  15. Multimegawatt Space Reactor Safety

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stanley, M.L.

    1989-01-01

    The Multimegawatt (MMW) Space Reactor Project supports the Strategic Defense Initiative Office requirement to provide reliable, safe, cost-effective, electrical power in the MMW range. Specifically, power may be used for neutral particle beams, free electron lasers, electromagnetic launchers, and orbital transfer vehicles. This power plant technology may also apply to the electrical power required for other uses such as deep-space probes and planetary exploration. The Multimegawatt Space Reactor Project, the Thermionic Fuel Element Verification Program, and Centaurus Program all support the Multimegawatt Space Nuclear Power Program and form an important part of the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) space and defense power systems activities. A major objective of the MMW project is the development of a reference flight system design that provides the desired levels of public safety, health protection, and special nuclear material (SNM) protection when used during its designated missions. The safety requirements for the MMW project are a hierarchy of requirements that consist of safety requirements/regulations, a safety policy, general safety criteria, safety technical specifications, safety design specifications, and the system design. This paper describes the strategy and philosophy behind the development of the safety requirements imposed upon the MMW concept developers. The safety organization, safety policy, generic safety issues, general safety criteria, and the safety technical specifications are discussed

  16. Space Transportation Technology Workshop: Propulsion Research and Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation gives an overview of the Space Transportation Technology Workshop topics, including Propulsion Research and Technology (PR&T) project level organization, FY 2001 - 2006 project roadmap, points of contact, foundation technologies, auxiliary propulsion technology, PR&T Low Cost Turbo Rocket, and PR&T advanced reusable technologies RBCC test bed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmon, Timothy J.

    1992-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Shamim A.

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Options for development of space fission propulsion systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  20. Radio Frequency Plasma Applications for Space Propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  1. Nuclear vapor thermal reactor propulsion technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  2. Small propulsion reactor design based on particle bed reactor concept

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1989-01-01

    In this paper Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) designs are discussed which use 233 U and /sup 242m/Am as fissile materials. A constant total power of 100MW is assumed for all reactors in this study. Three broad aspects of these reactors is discussed. First, possible reactor designs are developed, second physics calculations are outlined and discussed and third mass estimates of the various candidates reactors are made. It is concluded that reactors with a specific mass of 1 kg/MW can be envisioned of 233 U is used and approximately a quarter of this value can be achieved if /sup 242m/Am is used. If this power level is increased by increasing the power density lower specific mass values are achievable. The limit will be determined by uncertainties in the thermal-hydraulic analysis. 5 refs., 5 figs., 6 tabs

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2000-07-14

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hill, Thomas Johnathan; Noble, Cheryl Ann; Noble, C.; Martinell, John Stephen; Borowski, S.

    2000-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Qinghua; Shreeve, Jean'ne M

    2013-11-11

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

  8. A Plasmoid Thruster for Space Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  9. Legal Implications of Nuclear Propulsion for Space Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pop, V.

    2002-01-01

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

  10. Enabling the Use of Space Fission Propulsion Systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krotiuk, W.J.

    1990-01-01

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

  14. The Economics of Advanced In-Space Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bangalore, Manju; Dankanich, John

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Application of SDI technology in space propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klein, A.J.

    1992-01-01

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

  16. Probabilistic structural analysis methods for space transportation propulsion systems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  18. Study of space reactors for exploration missions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-07-01

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

  19. Study of space reactors for exploration missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Malloy, J.; Potekhen, D.

    1989-01-01

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

  4. Space nuclear reactor power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1976-01-01

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

  6. Implementations Strategies for In-Space Macron Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-06

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

  7. Multiprobe characterization of plasma flows for space propulsion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  8. Development priorities for in-space propulsion technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  9. SP-100 space reactor power system readiness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Josloff, A.T.; Matteo, D.N.; Bailey, H.S.

    1992-01-01

    This paper discusses the SP-100 Space Reactor Power System which is being developed by GE, under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy, to provide electrical power in the range of 10's to 100's of kW. The system represents an enabling technology for a wide variety of earth orbital and interplanetary science missions, nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) stages, and lunar/Mars surface power for the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). The technology and design is now at a state of readiness to support the definition of early flight demonstration missions. Of particular importance is that SP-100 meets the demanding U.S. safety performance, reliability and life requirements. The system is scalable and flexible and can be configured to provide 10's to 100's of kWe without repeating development work and can meet DoD goals for an early, low-power demonstration flight in the 1996-1997 time frame

  10. Solar Electric Propulsion Concepts for Human Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  12. Alert-derivative bimodal space power and propulsion systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  15. Unique features of space reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.

    1990-01-01

    This paper reports on space reactors that are designed to meet a unique set of requirements; they must be sufficiently compact to be launched in a rocket to their operational location, operate for many years without maintenance and servicing, operate in extreme environments, and reject heat by radiation to space. To meet these restrictions, operating temperatures are much greater than in terrestrial power plants, and the reactors tend to have a fast neutron spectrum. Currently, a new generation of space reactor power plants is being developed. The major effort is in the SP-100 program, where the power plant is being designed for seven years of full power, and no maintenance operation at a reactor outlet operating temperature of 1350 K

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  17. Component Data Base for Space Station Resistojet Auxiliary Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bader, Clayton H.

    1988-01-01

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

  18. SPACE MAINTENANCE OF NUCLEAR ROCKET PROPULSION VEHICLES

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marjon, P. L.

    1963-08-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  1. Lightweight Radiator for in Space Nuclear Electric Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craven, Paul; Tomboulian, Briana; SanSoucie, Michael

    2014-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litchford, Ron J.

    2004-01-01

    Future propulsion and power technologies for deep space missions are profiled in this viewgraph presentation. The presentation includes diagrams illustrating possible future travel times to other planets in the solar system. The propulsion technologies researched at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) include: 1) Chemical Propulsion; 2) Nuclear Propulsion; 3) Electric and Plasma Propulsion; 4) Energetics. The presentation contains additional information about these technologies, as well as space reactors, reactor simulation, and the Propulsion Research Laboratory (PRL) at MSFC.

  4. High density storage of antimatter for space propulsion applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, Gerald A.; Coughlin, Dan P.

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millis, Marc G.

    1994-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borowski, Stanley K.

    1994-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coomes, E.P.; Dagle, J.E.

    1991-01-01

    The advantages of using electric propulsion for propulsion are well-known in the aerospace community. The high specific impulse, lower propellant requirements, and lower system mass make it a very attractive propulsion option for the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI), especially for the transport of cargo. One such propulsion system is the PEGASUS Drive (Coomes et al. 1987). In its original configuration, the PEGASUS Drive consisted of a 10-MWe power source coupled to a 6-MW magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thruster system. The PEGASUS Drive propelled a manned vechicle to Mars and back in 601 days. By removing the crew and their associated support systems from the space craft and by incorporating technology advances in reactor design and heat rejection systems, a second generation PEGASUS Drive can be developed with an alpha less than two. Utilizing this propulsion system, a 400-MT cargo vechicle, assembled and loaded in low Earth orbit (LEO), could deliver 262 MT of supplies and hardware to MARS 282 days after escaping Earth orbit. Upon arrival at Mars the transport vehicle would place its cargo in the desired parking orbit around Mars and then proceed to synchronous orbit above the desired landing sight. Using a laser transmitter, PEGASUS could provide 2-MW on the surface to operate automated systems deployed earlier and then provide surface power to support crew activities after their arrival. The additional supplies and hardware, coupled with the availability of megawatt levels of electric power on the Mars surface, would greatly enhance and even expand the mission options being considered under SEI

  8. Space reactor preliminary mechanical design

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meier, K.L.

    1983-01-01

    An analysis was performed on the SABRE reactor space power system to determine the effect of the number and size of heat pipes on the design parameters of the nuclear subsystem. Small numbers of thin walled heat pipes were found to give a lower subsystem mass, but excessive fuel swelling resulted. The SP-100 preliminary design uses 120 heat pipes because of acceptable fuel swelling and a minimum nuclear subsystem mass of 1875 kg. Salient features of the reactor preliminary design are: individual fuel modules, ZrO 2 block core mounts, bolted collar fuel module restraints, and a BeO central plug

  9. Nuclear reactor refuelable in space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-01-01

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

  11. Efficient solid rocket propulsion for access to space

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-06-01

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

  12. Ultrashort pulse energy distribution for propulsion in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergstue, Grant Jared

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-08-01

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

  14. Space reactors - What is a kilogram

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.; Angelo, J.; Ek, D.; Voss, S.

    1984-01-01

    The use of nuclear electric propulsion can triple the payloads to GEO for a single Shuttle launch. Life orbits of 300 years can be used to allow most of the fission and activation products to decay before a reactor reenters the biosphere. Enough radioactive materials remain with very long lifetimes to make it desirable to design the reactor to disperse upon reentry and little additional risk to the biosphere is introduced by initiating NEP operations from 300 km

  15. Space reactors: What is a kilogram

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.; Angelo, J. Jr.; Ek, D.; Voss, S.

    1984-01-01

    The use of nuclear electric propulsion can triple payloads to GEO for a single Shuttle launch. Life orbits of 300 years can be used to allow most of the fission and activation products to decay before a reactor reenters the biosphere. Enough radioactive materials remain with very long lifetimes to make it desirable to design the reactor to disperse upon reentry and little additional risk to the biosphere is introduced by initiating NEP operations from 300 km

  16. Civil ships propulsion reactor plants development and operation experience, and prospects for their improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vasyukov, V.I.; Kiryushin, A.I.; Panov, Yu.K.; Polunichev, V.I.

    2000-01-01

    Russia is alone country in the World possessing nuclear-powered icebreaker fleet. Phases of creation in Russia of several propulsion nuclear reactor plant generations are considered. By present 8 nuclear ice-breakers and a nuclear-powered cargo ship (lighter carrier) have been constructed, for which three of propulsion NSSS generations were developed. Their brief description, main performance indicators and results of operation since 1959 are given. It is shown that gradual evolution of NSSS design features has ensured creation of reliable, safe and environmentally friendly propulsion reactor plants. Issues of the propulsion NSSS life extension and improvement for new generation of nuclear ice-breakers, cargo ships, floating heat and power plants, sea water desalination and power generating complexes are considered with account for the gained operating experience. Activities on creation of new generation nuclear-powered ships and floating NPPs are considered as prospective sphere of Russia's collaboration with other countries of the World community. (author)

  17. Nuclear space power and propulsion requirements and issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swerdling, M.; Isenberg, L.

    1995-01-01

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

  18. Tailoring Laser Propulsion for Future Applications in Space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eckel, Hans-Albert; Scharring, Stefan

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Space Weather Concerns for All-Electric Propulsion Satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horne, Richard B.; Pitchford, David

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. Space propulsion by fusion in a magnetic dipole

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teller, E.; Glass, A.J.; Fowler, T.K.; Hasegawa, A.; Santarius, J.F.

    1991-01-01

    The unique advantages of fusion rocket propulsion systems for distant missions are explored using the magnetic dipole configurations as an example. The dipole is found to have features well suited to space applications. Parameters are presented for a system producing a specific power of kW/kg, capable of interplanetary flights to Mars in 90 days and to Jupiter in a year, and of extra-solar-system flights to 1000 astronomical units (the Tau mission) in 20 years. This is about 10 times better specific power performance than nuclear electric fission systems. Possibilities to further increase the specific power toward 10 kW/kg are discussed, as is an approach to implementing the concept through proof-testing on the moon. 20 refs., 14 figs., 2 tabs

  2. Space propulsion by fusion in a magnetic dipole

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teller, E.; Glass, A.J.; Fowler, T.K.; Hasegawa, A.; Santarius, J.F.

    1991-01-01

    A conceptual design is discussed for a fusion rocket propulsion system based on the magnetic dipole configuration. The dipole is found to have features well suited to space applications. Example parameters are presented for a system producing a specific power of 1 kW/kg, capable of interplanetary flights to Mars in 90 days and to Jupiter in a year, and of extra-solar-system flights to 1000 astronomical units (the Tau mission) in 20 years. This is about 10 times better specific power toward 10 kW/kg are discussed, as in an approach to implementing the concept through proof-testing on the moon. 21 refs., 14 figs., 2 tabs

  3. Systems integration processes for space nuclear electric propulsion systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frischauf, Norbert; Hamilton, Booz Allen

    2004-01-01

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

  5. Space-time reactor kinetics for heterogeneous reactor structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raisic, N [Boris Kidric Institute of nuclear sciences Vinca, Belgrade (Yugoslavia)

    1969-11-15

    An attempt is made to formulate time dependent diffusion equation based on Feinberg-Galanin theory in the from analogue to the classical reactor kinetic equation. Parameters of these equations could be calculated using the existing codes for static reactor calculation based on the heterogeneous reactor theory. The obtained kinetic equation could be analogues in form to the nodal kinetic equation. Space-time distribution of neutron flux in the reactor can be obtained by solving these equations using standard methods.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  8. Thermo-hydraulic characteristics of ship propulsion reactor in the conditions of ship motions and safety assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kobayashi, Michiyuki; Aya, Izuo; Inasaka, Fujio; Murata, Hiroyuki; Odano, Naoteru; Shiozaki, Koki

    1998-01-01

    A research project from 1995-1999 had a plan to make experimental studies on (1) safety of nuclear ship loaded with an integral ship propulsion reactor (2) effects of pulsating flow on the thermo-hydraulic characteristics of ship propulsion reactor and (3) thermo-hydraulic behaviors of the reactor container at the time of accident in a passively safe ship propulsion reactor. Development of a data base for ship propulsion reactor was attempted using previous experimental data on the thermo-hydraulic characteristics of the reactor in the institute in addition to the present results aiming to make general analytical evaluation for the safety of the engineering-simulation system for nuclear ship. A general data base was obtained by integrating the data list and the analytical program for static characteristics. A test equipment which allows to visualize the pulsating flow was produced and visualization experiments have started. (M.N.)

  9. Small space reactor power systems for unmanned solar system exploration missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bloomfield, H.S.

    1987-12-01

    A preliminary feasibility study of the application of small nuclear reactor space power systems to the Mariner Mark II Cassini spacecraft/mission was conducted. The purpose of the study was to identify and assess the technology and performance issues associated with the reactor power system/spacecraft/mission integration. The Cassini mission was selected because study of the Saturn system was identified as a high priority outer planet exploration objective. Reactor power systems applied to this mission were evaluated for two different uses. First, a very small 1 kWe reactor power system was used as an RTG replacement for the nominal spacecraft mission science payload power requirements while still retaining the spacecraft's usual bipropellant chemical propulsion system. The second use of reactor power involved the additional replacement of the chemical propulsion system with a small reactor power system and an electric propulsion system. The study also provides an examination of potential applications for the additional power available for scientific data collection. The reactor power system characteristics utilized in the study were based on a parametric mass model that was developed specifically for these low power applications. The model was generated following a neutronic safety and operational feasibility assessment of six small reactor concepts solicited from U.S. industry. This assessment provided the validation of reactor safety for all mission phases and generatad the reactor mass and dimensional data needed for the system mass model

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  11. Space reactor fuels performance and development issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wewerka, E.M.

    1984-01-01

    Three compact reactor concepts are now under consideration by the US Space Nuclear Power Program (the SP-100 Program) as candidates for the first 100-kWe-class space reactor. Each of these reactor designs puts unique constraints and requirements on the fuels system, and raises issues of fuel systems feasibility and performance. This paper presents a brief overview of the fuel requirements for the proposed space reactor designs, a delineation of the technical feasibility issues that each raises, and a description of the fuel systems development and testing program that has been established to address key technical issues

  12. Deep space propulsion a roadmap to interstellar flight

    CERN Document Server

    Long, K F

    2012-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1971-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Thermal-hydraulic transient characteristics of ship-propulsion reactor investigated through safety analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fujiki, Kazuo; Asaka, Hideaki; Ishida, Toshihisa

    1986-01-01

    Thermal-hydraulic behaviors in the reactor of Nuclear Ship ''Mutsu'' were investigated through safety evaluation of operational transients by using RETRAN and COBRA-IV codes. The results were compared to the transient behaviors of typical commercial PWR and the characteristics of transient thermal-hydraulic behaviors in ship-loaded reactor were figured out. ''Mutsu'' reactor has larger thermal margin than commercial PWR because it is designed to be used as ship-propulsion power source in the load-following operation mode. This margin makes transient behavior in general milder than in commercial PWR but high opening pressure set point of main-steam safety valves leads poor heat-sink condition after reactor trip. The effects of other small-sized components are also investigated. The findings in the paper will be helpful in the design of future advanced reactor for nuclear ship. (author)

  18. 12th Symposium on Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion. Conference on Alternative Power from Space (APFS),Conference on Accelerator-Driven Transmutation Technologies and Applications (A-DTTA)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohamed, S.E.

    1995-01-01

    These proceedings represent papers presented at the 12th symposium on Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The symposium theme was ''commercialization and technology transfer''. The topics discussed include: wireless power transmission, solar power from space next generation spacecraft, space power electronics and power management, flight testing of components, manufacturing and processing of materials, nuclear propulsion, reactors and shielding and many others of interest to the scientific community representing industry, government and academic institutions. There were 163 papers presented at the conference and 60 have been abstracted for the Energy Science and Technology database

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  1. Space reactors, a prospective for the future

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wahlquist, E.; Voss, S.S.

    1989-01-01

    The power requirements for future space missions are increasing and alternate power systems will be required to meet these needs. Therefore, in the early 1980's a tri-agency space reactor program, the SP-100, was initiated that is capable of meeting the higher power requirements. To understand the current space reactor program, it is important to review it in the context of past space nuclear programs - including radioisotopes, nuclear rockets and reactors. Initial effort on these programs began in the mid-1950's. Radioisotope generators have been flown on a variety of missions and are continuing to be used. The space reactor and nuclear rocket programs were technically successful but were both terminated in 1973. The current SP-100 program builds on those earlier programs

  2. Technology Area Roadmap for In-Space Propulsion Technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dobranich, Dean; Blanchat, Thomas K.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  9. Autonomous Control Capabilities for Space Reactor Power Systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wood, Richard T.; Neal, John S.; Brittain, C. Ray; Mullens, James A.

    2004-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Project Prometheus, the Nuclear Systems Program, is investigating a possible Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) mission, which would conduct in-depth studies of three of the moons of Jupiter by using a space reactor power system (SRPS) to provide energy for propulsion and spacecraft power for more than a decade. Terrestrial nuclear power plants rely upon varying degrees of direct human control and interaction for operations and maintenance over a forty to sixty year lifetime. In contrast, an SRPS is intended to provide continuous, remote, unattended operation for up to fifteen years with no maintenance. Uncertainties, rare events, degradation, and communications delays with Earth are challenges that SRPS control must accommodate. Autonomous control is needed to address these challenges and optimize the reactor control design. In this paper, we describe an autonomous control concept for generic SRPS designs. The formulation of an autonomous control concept, which includes identification of high-level functional requirements and generation of a research and development plan for enabling technologies, is among the technical activities that are being conducted under the U.S. Department of Energy's Space Reactor Technology Program in support of the NASA's Project Prometheus. The findings from this program are intended to contribute to the successful realization of the JIMO mission

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Czysz, Paul A. [St. Louis Univ., MO (United States). Oliver L. Parks Endowed Chair in Aerospace Engineering; Bruno, Claudio [Univ. degli Studi di Roma (Italy). Dipt. di Meccanica e Aeronautica

    2009-07-01

    In this second edition of Future Spacecraft Propulsion Systems, the authors demonstrate the need to break free from the old established concepts of expendable rockets, using chemical propulsion, and to develop new breeds of launch vehicle capable of both launching payloads into orbit at a dramatically reduced cost and for sustained operations in low-Earth orbit. The next steps to establishing a permanent 'presence' in the Solar System beyond Earth are the commercialisation of sustained operations on the Moon and the development of advanced nuclear or high-energy space propulsion systems for Solar System exploration out to the boundary of interstellar space. In the future, high-energy particle research facilities may one day yield a very high-energy propulsion system that will take us to the nearby stars, or even beyond. Space is not quiet: it is a continuous series of nuclear explosions that provide the material for new star systems to form and provide the challenge to explore. This book provides an assessment of the industrial capability required to construct and operate the necessary spacecraft. Time and distance communication and control limitations impose robotic constraints. Space environments restrict human sustained presence and put high demands on electronic, control and materials systems. This comprehensive and authoritative book puts spacecraft propulsion systems in perspective, from earth orbit launchers to astronomical/space exploration vehicles. It includes new material on fusion propulsion, new figures and updates and expands the information given in the first edition. (orig.)

  11. Advanced propulsion engine assessment based on a cermet reactor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsley, Randy C.

    1993-01-01

    A preferred Pratt & Whitney conceptual Nuclear Thermal Rocket Engine (NTRE) has been designed based on the fundamental NASA priorities of safety, reliability, cost, and performance. The basic philosophy underlying the design of the XNR2000 is the utilization of the most reliable form of ultrahigh temperature nuclear fuel and development of a core configuration which is optimized for uniform power distribution, operational flexibility, power maneuverability, weight, and robustness. The P&W NTRE system employs a fast spectrum, cermet fueled reactor configured in an expander cycle to ensure maximum operational safety. The cermet fuel form provides retention of fuel and fission products as well as high strength. A high level of confidence is provided by benchmark analysis and independent evaluations.

  12. Thermionic reactors for space nuclear power

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noble, R.J.

    1998-08-01

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

  15. Temperature and Doppler coefficients of various space nuclear reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mughabghab, S.F.; Ludewig, H. Schmidt, E.

    1993-01-01

    Temperature and Doppler feedback effects for a Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) designed to operate as a propulsion reactor are investigated. Several moderator types and compositions fuel enrichments and reactor sizes are considered in this study. From this study it could be concluded that a PBR can be configured which has a negative prompt feedback, zero coolant worth, and a small positive to zero moderator worth. This reactor would put the lowest demands on the control system

  16. Temperature and Doppler Coefficients of Various Space Nuclear Reactors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mughabghab, Said F.; Ludewig, Hans; Schmidt, Eldon

    1994-07-01

    Temperature and Doppler feedback effects for a Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) designed to operate as a propulsion reactor are investigated. Several moderator types and compositions fuel enrichments and reactor sizes are considered in this study. From this study it could be concluded that a PBR can be configured which has a negative prompt feedback, zero coolant worth, and a small positive to zero moderator worth. This reactor would put the lowest demands on the control system.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Jeffrey A.

    1991-01-01

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

  19. New generation of reactors for space power

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boudreau, J.E.; Buden, D.

    1982-01-01

    Space nuclear reactor power is expected to enable many new space missions that will require several times to several orders of magnitude anything flown in space to date. Power in the 100-kW range may be required in high earth orbit spacecraft and planetary exploration. The technology for this power system range is under development for the Department of Energy with the Los Alamos National Laboratory responsible for the critical components in the nuclear subsystem. The baseline design for this particular nuclear sybsystem technology is described in this paper; additionally, reactor technology is reviewed from previous space power programs, a preliminary assessment is made of technology candidates covering an extended power spectrum, and the status is given of other reactor technologies

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    James Werner

    2014-07-01

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

  1. Microwave Plasma Propulsion Systems for Defensive Counter-Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-09-01

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

  2. Phase 1 space fission propulsion system design considerations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  3. Enabling autonomous control for space reactor power systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wood, R. T.

    2006-01-01

    The application of nuclear reactors for space power and/or propulsion presents some unique challenges regarding the operations and control of the power system. Terrestrial nuclear reactors employ varying degrees of human control and decision-making for operations and benefit from periodic human interaction for maintenance. In contrast, the control system of a space reactor power system (SRPS) employed for deep space missions must be able to accommodate unattended operations due to communications delays and periods of planetary occlusion while adapting to evolving or degraded conditions with no opportunity for repair or refurbishment. Thus, a SRPS control system must provide for operational autonomy. Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has conducted an investigation of the state of the technology for autonomous control to determine the experience base in the nuclear power application domain, both for space and terrestrial use. It was found that control systems with varying levels of autonomy have been employed in robotic, transportation, spacecraft, and manufacturing applications. However, autonomous control has not been implemented for an operating terrestrial nuclear power plant nor has there been any experience beyond automating simple control loops for space reactors. Current automated control technologies for nuclear power plants are reasonably mature, and basic control for a SRPS is clearly feasible under optimum circumstances. However, autonomous control is primarily intended to account for the non optimum circumstances when degradation, failure, and other off-normal events challenge the performance of the reactor and near-term human intervention is not possible. Thus, the development and demonstration of autonomous control capabilities for the specific domain of space nuclear power operations is needed. This paper will discuss the findings of the ORNL study and provide a description of the concept of autonomy, its key characteristics, and a prospective

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Lee W.; Bagdigian, Deborah R.

    1989-01-01

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

  8. Thermo-hydraulic characteristics of ship propulsion reactor in the conditions of ship motions and safety assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kobayashi, Michiyuki; Murata, Hiroyuki; Sawada, Kenichi; Inasaka, Fujio; Aya, Izuo; Shiozaki, Koki

    1999-01-01

    By inputting the experimental data, information and others on thermo-hydraulic characteristics of integrated ship propulsion reactor accumulated hitherto by the Ship Research Institute and some recent cooperation results into the nuclear ship engineering simulation system, it was conducted not only to contribute an improvement study on next ship reactor by executing general analysis and evaluation on motion characteristics under ship body motion conditions, safety at accidents, and others of the integrated ship reactor but also to investigate and prepare some measures to apply fundamental experiment results based on obtained here information to safety countermeasure of the nuclear ships. In 1997 fiscal year, on safety of the integrated ship propulsion reactor loading nuclear ship, by adding experimental data on unstable flow analysis and information on all around of the analysis to general data base fundamental program, development to intellectual data base program was intended; on effect of pulsation flow on thermo-hydraulic characteristics of ship propulsion reactor; after pulsation flow visualization experiment, experimental equipment was reconstructed into heat transfer type to conduct numerical analysis of pulsation flow by confirming validity of numerical analysis code under comparison with the visualization experiment results; and on thermo-hydraulic behavior in storage container at accident of active safety type ship propulsion reactor; a flashing vibration test using new apparatus finished on its higher pressurization at last fiscal year to examine effects of each parameter such as radius and length of exhausting nozzle and pool water temperature. (G.K.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, George R.

    1988-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-06-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, George J.; Gilland, James H.

    2009-01-01

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

  12. Nuclear reactors for space electric power

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.

    1978-06-01

    The Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory is studying reactor power plants for space applications in the late 1980s and 1990s. The study is concentrating on high-temperature, compact, fast reactors that can be coupled with various radiation shielding systems and thermoelectric, dynamic, or thermionic electric power conversion systems, depending on the mission. Lifetimes of 7 to 10 yr at full power, at converter operating temperatures of 1275 to 1675 0 K, are being studied. The systems are being designed such that no single-failure modes exist that will cause a complete loss of power. In fact, to meet the long lifetimes, highly redundant design features are being emphasized. Questions have been raised about safety since the COSMOS 954 incident. ''Fail-safe'' means to prevent exposure of the population to radioactive material, meeting the environmental guidelines established by the U.S. Government have been and continue to be a necessary requirement for any space reactor program. The major safety feature to prevent prelaunch and launch radioactive material hazards is not operating the reactor before achieving the prescribed orbit. Design features in the reactor ensure that accidental criticality cannot occur. High orbits (above 400 to 500 nautical miles) have sufficient lifetimes to allow radioactive elements to decay to safe levels. The major proposed applications for satellites with reactors in Earth orbit are in geosynchronous orbit (19,400 nautical miles). In missions at geosynchronous orbit, where orbital lifetimes are practically indefinite, the safety considerations are negligible. Orbits below 400 to 500 nautical miles are the ones where a safety issue is involved in case of satellite malfunction. The potential missions, the question of why reactors are being considered as a prime power candidate, reactor features, and safety considerations will be discussed

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Craig H.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  15. Autonomous Control of Space Reactor Systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Belle R. Upadhyaya; K. Zhao; S.R.P. Perillo; Xiaojia Xu; M.G. Na

    2007-01-01

    Autonomous and semi-autonomous control is a key element of space reactor design in order to meet the mission requirements of safety, reliability, survivability, and life expectancy. Interrestrial nuclear power plants, human operators are available to perform intelligent control functions that are necessary for both normal and abnormal operational conditions

  16. Autonomous Control of Space Reactor Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Belle R. Upadhyaya; K. Zhao; S.R.P. Perillo; Xiaojia Xu; M.G. Na

    2007-11-30

    Autonomous and semi-autonomous control is a key element of space reactor design in order to meet the mission requirements of safety, reliability, survivability, and life expectancy. Interrestrial nuclear power plants, human operators are avilable to perform intelligent control functions that are necessary for both normal and abnormal operational conditions.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noble, R.J.

    1999-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-05-15

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Anflo, Kjell; Crowe, Ben

    2011-01-01

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

  2. The USAF Electric Propulsion Program

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Spores, Ronald

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna-Maria Theodora ANDREESCU

    2016-12-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Chang Díaz, Franklin

    2017-01-01

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

  5. Reservoir Cathode for Electric Space Propulsion, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1976-06-30

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

  11. Power conditioning for space nuclear reactor systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Contribution to the use of a solid moderator gas reactor, for naval propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pheline, J.; Gautier, A.

    1960-01-01

    In this contribution, the authors discuss works performed in France for the development of nuclear propulsion in merchant ships, notably for an oil tanker of 50.000 tons with 17 knot speed, i.e. a 20.000 Hp engine with an energy produced by a 60 MW gas reactor with a solid moderator and comprising 400 channels loaded with uranium oxide enriched ay 2.8 per cent and sheathed with a refractory alloy. The authors discuss the possible materials for the moderator, the heat transfer medium, the sheath, the fuel and the structures, and report technological studies (mechanical tests, irradiation tests) performed to investigate material properties and their behaviour in operation conditions. They report tests performed to investigate core structure characteristics with respect to neutrons. They finally briefly present a prototype

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-10-01

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

  14. Research on Liquid Management Technology in Water Tank and Reactor for Propulsion System with Hydrogen Production System Utilizing Aluminum and Water Reaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imai, Ryoji; Imamura, Takuya; Sugioka, Masatoshi; Higashino, Kazuyuki

    2017-12-01

    High pressure hydrogen produced by aluminum and water reaction is considered to be applied to space propulsion system. Water tank and hydrogen production reactor in this propulsion system require gas and liquid separation function under microgravity condition. We consider to install vane type liquid acquisition device (LAD) utilizing surface tension in the water tank, and install gas-liquid separation mechanism by centrifugal force which swirling flow creates in the hydrogen reactor. In water tank, hydrophilic coating was covered on both tank wall and vane surface to improve wettability. Function of LAD in water tank and gas-liquid separation in reaction vessel were evaluated by short duration microgravity experiments using drop tower facility. In the water tank, it was confirmed that liquid was driven and acquired on the outlet due to capillary force created by vanes. In addition of this, it was found that gas-liquid separation worked well by swirling flow in hydrogen production reactor. However, collection of hydrogen gas bubble was sometimes suppressed by aluminum alloy particles, which is open problem to be solved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soeder, James F.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shmatov, M. L.

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

  17. The unique safety challenges of space reactor systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lanes, S.J.; Marshall, A.C.

    1991-01-01

    Compact reactor systems can provide high levels of power for extended periods in space environments. Their relatively low mass and their ability to operate independently of their proximity to the sun make reactor power systems high desirable for many civilian and military space missions. The US Department of Energy is developing reactor system technologies to provide electrical power for space applications. In addition, reactors are now being considered to provide thermal power to a hydrogen propellant for nuclear thermal rocketry. Space reactor safety issues differ from commercial reactor issues, in some areas, because of very different operating requirements and environments. Accidents similar to those postulated for commercial reactors must be considered for space reactors during their operational phase. Safety strategies will need to be established that account for the consequences of the loss of essential power

  18. Space reactor safety, 1985--1995 lessons learned

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marshall, A.C.

    1995-01-01

    Space reactor safety activities and decisions have evolved over the last decade. Important safety decisions have been made in the SP-100, Space Exploration Initiative, NEPSTP, SNTP, and Bimodal Space Reactor programs. In addition, international guidance on space reactor safety has been instituted. Space reactor safety decisions and practices have developed in the areas of inadvertent criticality, reentry, radiological release, orbital operation, programmatic, and policy. In general, the lessons learned point out the importance of carefully reviewing previous safety practices for appropriateness to space nuclear programs in general and to the specific mission under consideration

  19. Space reactor safety, 1985--1995 lessons learned

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marshall, A.C.

    1995-12-31

    Space reactor safety activities and decisions have evolved over the last decade. Important safety decisions have been made in the SP-100, Space Exploration Initiative, NEPSTP, SNTP, and Bimodal Space Reactor programs. In addition, international guidance on space reactor safety has been instituted. Space reactor safety decisions and practices have developed in the areas of inadvertent criticality, reentry, radiological release, orbital operation, programmatic, and policy. In general, the lessons learned point out the importance of carefully reviewing previous safety practices for appropriateness to space nuclear programs in general and to the specific mission under consideration.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  2. Mechanical characterization of superalloys for space reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duchesne, J.

    1989-01-01

    The aim of this work is the selection of structural materials that can be used in the temperature range 600-900 0 C for a gas cooled space reactor producing electricity. Superalloys fit best the temperature range required. Five nickel base alloys are chosen for their good mechanical behaviour: HAYNES 230, HASTELLOY S, HASTELLOY X, HASTELLOY XR and PYRAD 38D. Metallography, tensile and hardness tests are realized. Sample contraction is evidenced for some creep tests, under low stress: 20MPa at 800 0 C, on HAYNES 230 and HASTELLOY X, probably related to the structural evolution of these materials corresponding to a decrease of the crystal parameter [fr

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  5. Problems of space-time behaviour of nuclear reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Obradovic, D.

    1966-01-01

    This paper covers a review of literature and mathematical methods applied for space-time behaviour of nuclear reactors. The review of literature is limited to unresolved problems and trends of actual research in the field of reactor physics [sr

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballard, Richard O.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  10. The role of nuclear reactors in space exploration and development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipinski, R.J.

    2000-07-01

    The United States has launched more than 20 radioisotopic thermoelectric generators (RTGs) into space over the past 30 yr but has launched only one nuclear reactor, and that was in 1965. Russia has launched more than 30 reactors. The RTGs use the heat of alpha decay of {sup 238}Pu for power and typically generate <1 kW of electricity. Apollo, Pioneer, Voyager, Viking, Galileo, Ulysses, and Cassini all used RTGs. Space reactors use the fission energy of {sup 235}U; typical designs are for 100 to 1000 kW of electricity. The only US space reactor launch (SNAP-10A) was a demonstration mission. One reason for the lack of space reactor use by the United States was the lack of space missions that required high power. But, another was the assumed negative publicity that would accompany a reactor launch. The net result is that all space reactor programs after 1970 were terminated before an operating space reactor could be developed, and they are now many years from recovering the ability to build them. Two major near-term needs for space reactors are the human exploration of Mars and advanced missions to and beyond the orbit of Jupiter. To help obtain public acceptance of space reactors, one must correct some of the misconceptions concerning space reactors and convey the following facts to the public and to decision makers: Space reactors are 1000 times smaller in power and size than a commercial power reactor. A space reactor at launch is only as radioactive as a pile of dirt 60 m (200 ft) across. A space reactor contains no plutonium at launch. It does not become significantly radioactive until it is turned on, and it will be engineered so that no launch accident can turn it on, even if that means fueling it after launch. The reactor will not be turned on until it is in a high stable orbit or even on an earth-escape trajectory for some missions. The benefits of space reactors are that they give humanity a stairway to the planets and perhaps the stars. They open a new

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grey, J.; Chow, S.

    1976-06-30

    The three-volume report describes a dual-mode nuclear space power and propulsion system concept that employs an advanced solid-core nuclear fission reactor coupled via heat pipes to one of several electric power conversion systems. Such a concept could be particularly useful for missions which require both relatively high acceleration (e.g., for planetocentric maneuvers) and high performance at low acceleration (e.g., on heliocentric trajectories or for trajectory shaping). The first volume develops the mathematical model of the system.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. S. Egorov

    2015-09-01

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

  15. Fuel Design for Particle-Bed Reactors for Thermal Propulsion Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husser, Dewayne L.; Evans, Robert S.; Jensen, Russell R.; Kerr, John M.

    1994-07-01

    The design of particle bed reactor (PBR) fuels is an iterative process involving close coordination of design and manufacturing operations. The process starts with the generation of an initial particle design, based on a knowledge of the system requirements and interfaces (such as, fissile loading requirements, coolant type, exit gas temperatures, operation time, number of cycles, contacting materials, etc.). The designer must consider materials property data, heat-transfer and thermal-hydraulic characteristics of the particle and particle bed, and available (or anticipated) manufacturing technology. The design process also uses parametric studies to identify the influences of composition, size, and coating thickness on fuel performance. This resulting design is then used to provide a target manufacturing specification against which initial manufacturing development can be assessed and which provides the framework for manufacturing and testing derived feedback that can be incorporated into the subsequent particle design modifications. In this paper, an example of this design process for a hypothetical particle using a (U,Zr)C kernel and a NbC outer coating designed for a thermal propulsion application is given.

  16. The role of nuclear reactors in space exploration and development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lipinski, R.J.

    2000-01-01

    The United States has launched more than 20 radioisotopic thermoelectric generators (RTGs) into space over the past 30 yr but has launched only one nuclear reactor, and that was in 1965. Russia has launched more than 30 reactors. The RTGs use the heat of alpha decay of 238 Pu for power and typically generate 235 U; typical designs are for 100 to 1000 kW of electricity. The only US space reactor launch (SNAP-10A) was a demonstration mission. One reason for the lack of space reactor use by the United States was the lack of space missions that required high power. But, another was the assumed negative publicity that would accompany a reactor launch. The net result is that all space reactor programs after 1970 were terminated before an operating space reactor could be developed, and they are now many years from recovering the ability to build them. Two major near-term needs for space reactors are the human exploration of Mars and advanced missions to and beyond the orbit of Jupiter. To help obtain public acceptance of space reactors, one must correct some of the misconceptions concerning space reactors and convey the following facts to the public and to decision makers: Space reactors are 1000 times smaller in power and size than a commercial power reactor. A space reactor at launch is only as radioactive as a pile of dirt 60 m (200 ft) across. A space reactor contains no plutonium at launch. It does not become significantly radioactive until it is turned on, and it will be engineered so that no launch accident can turn it on, even if that means fueling it after launch. The reactor will not be turned on until it is in a high stable orbit or even on an earth-escape trajectory for some missions. The benefits of space reactors are that they give humanity a stairway to the planets and perhaps the stars. They open a new frontier for their children and their grandchildren. They pave the way for all life on earth to move out into the solar system. At one time, humans built

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1989-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  20. Neutronics characteristics of space power reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Little, W.; Barner, J.

    1986-01-01

    The objective of the paper is to describe the neutronic characteristics of a range of possible space reactor designs, and indicate the relative advantages and disadvantages of the various designs. Fuel designs to be considered are cermets (i.e., ceramic particles embedded in a metal matrix) consisting of UO 2 or Nn ceramic particles in matrices of Nb, Mo, Ta, or W. These cermet fuels are compared to a UN pin-type design. UN was selected for the reference fuel material since it has a somewhat higher density than UO 2 (i.e., 14.32 versus 10.96 gm/cc), which allows a lower minimum critical mass for both ceramic and cermet designs

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hueter, Uwe; Turner, James

    1998-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  4. Nuclear safety as applied to space power reactor systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cummings, G.E.

    1987-01-01

    Current space nuclear power reactor safety issues are discussed with respect to the unique characteristics of these reactors. An approach to achieving adequate safety and a perception of safety is outlined. This approach calls for a carefully conceived safety program which makes uses of lessons learned from previous terrestrial power reactor development programs. This approach includes use of risk analyses, passive safety design features, and analyses/experiments to understand and control off-design conditions. The point is made that some recent accidents concerning terrestrial power reactors do not imply that space power reactors cannot be operated safety

  5. Thermophotovoltaic Energy Conversion in Space Nuclear Reactor Power Systems

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  8. NASA program planning on nuclear electric propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1992-03-01

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

  9. Propulsion Systems Panel deliberations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  10. ZrH reactor lattice spacing (heat transfer considerations)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Felten, L.D.

    1970-01-01

    Temperature calculations for a 295 element ZrH reactor at fuel element spacings from 0.010'' to 0.065'' showed a very small dependence of reactor temperature on element spacing. It was found that one variation in coolant channel area (2 zones) was sufficient to satisfactorily shape the radial flow profile for the core. (U.S.)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Busby, Jeremy T.; Leonard, Keith J.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Harold E.

    1997-05-01

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

  13. Trade study for kWe class space reactors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bost, Donald S.

    Recent interest by NASA and other government agencies in space reactor power systems with power levels in the 1 to 100 kWe range has prompted a review of earlier space reactor programs, as well as the ongoing SP-100 program, to identify a system that will best fulfill their needs. The candidate reactor types that were reviewed are listed. They are categorized according to the method of heat removal. The five types are: conduction cooled, heat pipe cooled, liquid metal cooled, in-core thermionic and gas cooled. The UZrH moderated reactor coupled with an organic Rankine cycle power conversion system provides an attractive system for multikilowatt, long lived missions. The reactor requires a minimum development because a similar reactor has already flown and the ORC is being developed for use in the Dynamic Isotope Power System (DIPS) and on the Space Station.

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

    CERN Document Server

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

    2013-12-16

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  17. Mechanical characterization of superalloys for space reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duchesne, J.

    1989-01-01

    The purpose of this work is the choice of materials usable between 600 and 900 0 C for nuclear space reactor structures. The main criterion of selection for these materials is their good creep behaviour. Consequently, macroscopic theories of creep and several extrapolation methods were described. Superalloys seem the best materials for the studied range of temperatures. Five of them, base nickel, ones unusual in nuclear industry were selected for their good mechanical properties. Three of them are industrial alloys: the first, HAYNES 230 is a recent one, HASTELLOY S and X are more standard materials. The last two, HASTELLOY XR and PYRAD 38 D are issued from special fabrications. Creep tests metallographic investigations, hardness and tensile tests were performed. A contraction of samples was observed during some creep tests under a low stress, 20MPa at 800 0 C, for HAYNES 230 and HASTELLOY X. This could be due to a structural evolution of these materials connected to a decrease of the cristalline parameter. In addition, correlations were observed between certain characteristics determined from slow tensile tests and short duration creep tests. These correlations present a large interest because, at the present time, creep tests cannot be executed on irradiated materials in our laboratories. Consequently creep behaviour of irradiated materials seem may be deduced. Further studies are needed to explain and confirm the behaviour of the most interesting materials under low stresses: HAYNES 230 and HASTELLOY XR to anticipate their behaviour in working conditions [fr

  18. Assessment of nuclear reactor concepts for low power space applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Andrew C.; Gedeon, Stephen R.; Morey, Dennis C.

    1988-01-01

    The results of a preliminary small reactor concepts feasibility and safety evaluation designed to provide a first order validation of the nuclear feasibility and safety of six small reactor concepts are given. These small reactor concepts have potential space applications for missions in the 1 to 20 kWe power output range. It was concluded that low power concepts are available from the U.S. nuclear industry that have the potential for meeting both the operational and launch safety space mission requirements. However, each design has its uncertainties, and further work is required. The reactor concepts must be mated to a power conversion technology that can offer safe and reliable operation.

  19. Some thoughts on the commercial use of reactors in space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.; Lee, J.

    1986-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to illuminate the major regulatory issues associated with commercialization of space nuclear power. Currently, space reactors are government-owned and approved through the Interagency Nuclear Safety Review Panel (INSRP) and the President while commercial reactors are licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The commercial use of reactors in space will open a new regime of regulation; that is public intervenors could enter the space licensing process for the first time. The major issue is responsibility for licensing and operations, but related considerations involve controlling special nuclear materials from aborted launches or abandoned platforms, determining final shutdown and disposal tactics, and solving new design issues such as the need for longer life of space reactor power plants

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Soviet space nuclear reactor incidents - Perception versus reality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Gary L.

    1992-01-01

    Since the Soviet Union reportedly began flying nuclear power sources in 1965 it has had four publicly known accidents involving space reactors, two publicly known accidents involving radioisotope power sources and one close call with a space reactor (Cosmos 1900). The reactor accidents, particularly Cosmos 954 and Cosmos 1402, indicated that the Soviets had adopted burnup as their reentry philosophy which is consistent with the U.S. philosophy from the 1960s and 1970s. While quantitative risk analyses have shown that the Soviet accidents have not posed a serious risk to the world's population, concerns still remain about Soviet space nuclear safety practices.

  2. Gaseous-fuel nuclear reactor research for multimegawatt power in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thom, K.; Schneider, R. T.; Helmick, H. H.

    1977-01-01

    In the gaseous-fuel reactor concept, the fissile material is contained in a moderator-reflector cavity and exists in the form of a flowing gas or plasma separated from the cavity walls by means of fluid mechanical forces. Temperatures in excess of structural limitations are possible for low-specific-mass power and high-specific-impulse propulsion in space. Experiments have been conducted with a canister filled with enriched UF6 inserted into a beryllium-reflected cavity. A theoretically predicted critical mass of 6 kg was measured. The UF6 was also circulated through this cavity, demonstrating stable reactor operation with the fuel in motion. Because the flowing gaseous fuel can be continuously processed, the radioactive waste in this type of reactor can be kept small. Another potential of fissioning gases is the possibility of converting the kinetic energy of fission fragments directly into coherent electromagnetic radiation, the nuclear pumping of lasers. Numerous nuclear laser experiments indicate the possibility of transmitting power in space directly from fission energy. The estimated specific mass of a multimegawatt gaseous-fuel reactor power system is from 1 to 5 kg/kW while the companion laser-power receiver station would be much lower in specific mass.

  3. Thermofluid-neutronic stability of the rotating, fluidized bed, space-power reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, C.C.; Jones, O.C.; Becker, M.

    1993-01-01

    A rotating fluidized bed nuclear reactor has the potential of being a vary attractive option for ultra-high power space systems, especially for propulsion. Research has already examined fuel bed expansion due to variations in state variables, propellant flow rate, and rotational speed, and has also considered problems related to thermal stress. This paper describes the results of a coupled thermofluid-neutronic analysis where perturbations in fuel bed height caused by maneuvering changes in operating conditions alter power levels due to varying absorption of neutrons which would otherwise leak from the system, mainly through the nozzle. This first analysis was not a detailed stability analysis. Rather, it utilized simplified neutronic methods, and was intended to provide an order-of-magnitude assessment of the stability of the reactor with the intention to determine whether or not stability might be a 'concept killer'. Stability was compared with a fixed-fuel-bed reactor of identical geometry for three different cases comprising a set of small, medium and large sizes/powers from 250 MW to 5 GW. It was found that power fluctuations in the fluidized bed reactor were larger by 100 db or more than expected in a packed bed reactor of the same geometry, but never resulted in power excursions. Margins to unit gain in some cases, however, were sufficiently small that the approximations in this quasi-2-dimensional model may not be sufficiently accurate to preclude significant excursions. (orig.)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1994-08-01

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

  6. Heat pipe nuclear reactor for space power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koening, D. R.

    1976-01-01

    A heat-pipe-cooled nuclear reactor has been designed to provide 3.2 MWth to an out-of-core thermionic conversion system. The reactor is a fast reactor designed to operate at a nominal heat-pipe temperature of 1675 K. Each reactor fuel element consists of a hexagonal molybdenum block which is bonded along its axis to one end of a molybdenum/lithium-vapor heat pipe. The block is perforated with an array of longitudinal holes which are loaded with UO2 pellets. The heat pipe transfers heat directly to a string of six thermionic converters which are bonded along the other end of the heat pipe. An assembly of 90 such fuel elements forms a hexagonal core. The core is surrounded by a thermal radiation shield, a thin thermal neutron absorber, and a BeO reflector containing boron-loaded control drums.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  8. FBR and RBR particle bed space reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Powell, J.R.; Botts, T.E.

    1983-01-01

    Compact, high-performance nuclear reactor designs based on High-Temperature Gas Reactors (HTGRs) particulate fuel are investigated. The large surface area available with the small-diameter (approx. 500 microns) particulate fuel allows very high power densities (MW's/liter), small temperature differences between fuel and coolant (approx. 10 0 K), high coolant-outlet temperatures (1500 to 3000 0 K, depending on design), and fast reactor startup (approx. 2 to 3 seconds). Two reactor concepts are developed - the Fixed Bed Reactor (FBR), where the fuel particles are packed into a thin annular bed between two porous cylindrical drums, and the Rotating Bed Reactor (RBR), where the fuel particles are held inside a cold rotating (typically approx. 500 rpm) porous cylindrical drum. The FBR can operate steady-state in the closed-cycle He-cooled mode or in the open-cycle H 2 -cooled mode. The RBR will operate only in the open-cycle H 2 -cooled mode

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. SP-100 Program: space reactor system and subsystem investigations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harty, R.B.

    1983-01-01

    For a space reactor power system, a comprehensive safety program will be required to assure that no undue risk is present. This report summarizes the nuclear safety review/approval process that will be required for a space reactor system. The documentation requirements are presented along with a summary of the required contents of key documents. Finally, the aerospace safety program conducted for the SNAP-10A reactor system is summarized. The results of this program are presented to show the type of program that can be expected and to provide information that could be usable in future programs

  13. Heat transfer capability analysis of heat pipe for space reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Huaqi; Jiang Xinbiao; Chen Lixin; Yang Ning; Hu Pan; Ma Tengyue; Zhang Liang

    2015-01-01

    To insure the safety of space reactor power system with no single point failures, the reactor heat pipes must work below its heat transfer limits, thus when some pipes fail, the reactor could still be adequately cooled by neighbor heat pipes. Methods to analyze the reactor heat pipe's heat transfer limits were presented, and that for the prevailing capillary limit analysis was improved. The calculation was made on the lithium heat pipe in core of heat pipes segmented thermoelectric module converter (HP-STMC) space reactor power system (SRPS), potassium heat pipe as radiator of HP-STMC SRPS, and sodium heat pipe in core of scalable AMTEC integrated reactor space power system (SAIRS). It is shown that the prevailing capillary limits of the reactor lithium heat pipe and sodium heat pipe is 25.21 kW and 14.69 kW, providing a design margin >19.4% and >23.6%, respectively. The sonic limit of the reactor radiator potassium heat pipe is 7.88 kW, providing a design margin >43.2%. As the result of calculation, it is concluded that the main heat transfer limit of HP-STMC SRPS lithium heat pipe and SARIS sodium heat pipe is prevailing capillary limit, but the sonic limit for HP-STMC SRPS radiator potassium heat pipe. (authors)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-09-01

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

  15. State space modeling of reactor core in a pressurized water reactor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ashaari, A.; Ahmad, T.; M, Wan Munirah W. [Department of Mathematical Science, Faculty of Science, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Johor (Malaysia); Shamsuddin, Mustaffa [Institute of Ibnu Sina, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Skudai, Johor (Malaysia); Abdullah, M. Adib [Swinburne University of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Science, Jalan Simpang Tiga, 93350 Kuching, Sarawak (Malaysia)

    2014-07-10

    The power control system of a nuclear reactor is the key system that ensures a safe operation for a nuclear power plant. However, a mathematical model of a nuclear power plant is in the form of nonlinear process and time dependent that give very hard to be described. One of the important components of a Pressurized Water Reactor is the Reactor core. The aim of this study is to analyze the performance of power produced from a reactor core using temperature of the moderator as an input. Mathematical representation of the state space model of the reactor core control system is presented and analyzed in this paper. The data and parameters are taken from a real time VVER-type Pressurized Water Reactor and will be verified using Matlab and Simulink. Based on the simulation conducted, the results show that the temperature of the moderator plays an important role in determining the power of reactor core.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tapper, M.L.

    1982-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  18. Gas-cooled reactor for space power systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walter, C.E.; Pearson, J.S.

    1987-05-01

    Reactor characteristics based on extensive development work on the 500-MWt reactor for the Pluto nuclear ramjet are described for space power systems useful in the range of 2 to 20 MWe for operating times of 1 y. The modest pressure drop through the prismatic ceramic core is supported at the outlet end by a ceramic dome which also serves as a neutron reflector. Three core materials are considered which are useful at temperatures up to about 2000 K. Most of the calculations are based on a beryllium oxide with uranium dioxide core. Reactor control is accomplished by use of a burnable poison, a variable-leakage reflector, and internal control rods. Reactivity swings of 20% are obtained with a dozen internal boron-10 rods for the size cores studied. Criticality calculations were performed using the ALICE Monte Carlo code. The inherent high-temperature capability of the reactor design removes the reactor as a limiting condition on system performance. The low fuel inventories required, particularly for beryllium oxide reactors, make space power systems based on gas-cooled near-thermal reactors a lesser safeguard risk than those based on fast reactors

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  20. Primary loop simulation of the SP-100 space nuclear reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borges, Eduardo M.; Braz Filho, Francisco A.; Guimaraes, Lamartine N.F.

    2011-01-01

    Between 1983 and 1992 the SP-100 space nuclear reactor development project for electric power generation in a range of 100 to 1000 kWh was conducted in the USA. Several configurations were studied to satisfy different mission objectives and power systems. In this reactor the heat is generated in a compact core and refrigerated by liquid lithium, the primary loops flow are controlled by thermoelectric electromagnetic pumps (EMTE), and thermoelectric converters produce direct current energy. To define the system operation point for an operating nominal power, it is necessary the simulation of the thermal-hydraulic components of the space nuclear reactor. In this paper the BEMTE-3 computer code is used to EMTE pump design performance evaluation to a thermalhydraulic primary loop configuration, and comparison of the system operation points of SP-100 reactor to two thermal powers, with satisfactory results. (author)

  1. Shielding considerations for advanced space nuclear reactor systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1982-01-01

    To meet the anticipated future space power needs, the Los Alamos National Laboratory is developing components for a compact, 100 kW/sub e/-class heat pipe nuclear reactor. The reactor uses uranium dioxide (UO 2 ) as its fuel, and is designed to operate around 1500 k. Heat pipes are used to remove thermal energy from the core without the use of pumps or compressors. The reactor heat pipes transfer mal energy to thermoelectric conversion elements that are advanced versions of the converters used on the enormously successful Voyager missions to the outer planets. Advanced versions of this heat pipe reactor could also be used to provide megawatt-level power plants. The paper reviews the status of this advanced heat pipe reactor and explores the radiation environments and shielding requirements for representative manned and unmanned applications

  2. Status report on nuclear reactors for space electric power

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.

    1978-01-01

    The Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory is studying reactor power plants for space applications in the late 1980s and 1990s. The study is concentrating on high-temperature, compact, fast reactors that can be coupled with various radiation shielding systems and thermoelectric, dynamic, or thermionic electric power conversion systems, depending on the mission. Increased questions have been raised about safety since the COSMOS 954 incident. High orbits (above 400 to 500 nautical miles) have sufficient lifetimes to allow radioactive elements to decay to safe levels. The major proposed applications for satellites with reactors in Earth orbit are in geosynchronous orbit (19,400 nautical miles). In missions at geosynchronous orbit where orbital lifetimes are practically indefinite, the safety considerations are negligible. The potential missions, why reactors are being considered as a prime power candidate, reactor features, and safety considerations are discussed

  3. Reentry safety for the Topaz II Space Reactor: Issues and analyses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Connell, L.W.; Trost, L.C.

    1994-03-01

    This report documents the reentry safety analyses conducted for the TOPAZ II Nuclear Electric Propulsion Space Test Program (NEPSTP). Scoping calculations were performed on the reentry aerothermal breakup and ground footprint of reactor core debris. The calculations were used to assess the risks associated with radiologically cold reentry accidents and to determine if constraints should be placed on the core configuration for such accidents. Three risk factors were considered: inadvertent criticality upon reentry impact, atmospheric dispersal of U-235 fuel, and the Special Nuclear Material Safeguards risks. Results indicate that the risks associated with cold reentry are very low regardless of the core configuration. Core configuration constraints were therefore not established for radiologically cold reentry accidents

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Hung D.; Steele, Gynelle C.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  6. White Paper – Use of LEU for a Space Reactor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-08-11

    Historically space reactors flown or designed for the U.S. and Russia used Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) for fuel. HEU almost always produces a small and lighter reactor. Since mass increases launch costs or decreases science payloads, HEU was the natural choice. However in today’s environment, the proliferation of HEU has become a major concern for the U.S. government and hence a policy issue. In addition, launch costs are being reduced as the space community moves toward commercial launch vehicles. HEU also carries a heavy security cost to process, test, transport and launch. Together these issues have called for a re-investigation into space reactors the use Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) fuel.

  7. Chemistry and propulsion; Chimie et propulsions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2002-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  9. Some scoping experiments for a space reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alexander, C.A.; Ogden, J.S.

    1983-01-01

    Some scoping experiments were performed to evaluate fuel performance in a lithium heat pipe reactor operating at a nominal 1500K heat pipe temperature. Fuel-coolant and fuel-coolant-clad relationships showed that once a failed heat pipe occurs temperatures can rise high enough so that large concentrations of uranium can be transported by the vapor phase. Upon condensation this uranium would be capable of penetrating heat pipes adjacent to the failed pipe. The potential for propagation of failure exists with UO 2 and a lithium heat pipe. Changing the composition of the metal of the heat pipe would have only a second order effect on the kinetics of the failure mechanism. Uranium carbide and nitride were considered as potential fuels which are nonreactive in a lithium environment. At high temperatures the nitride would be favored because of its better compatibility with potential cladding materials. Compositions of UN with small additions of YN appear to offer very attractive properties for a compact high temperature high power density reactor

  10. Approach to developing reliable space reactor power systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mondt, J.F.; Shinbrot, C.H.

    1991-01-01

    The Space Reactor Power System Project is in the engineering development phase of a three-phase program. During Phase II, the Engineering Development Phase, the SP-100 Project has defined and is pursuing a new approach to developing reliable power systems. The approach to developing such a system during the early technology phase is described in this paper along with some preliminary examples to help explain the approach. Developing reliable components to meet space reactor power system requirements is based on a top down systems approach which includes a point design based on a detailed technical specification of a 100 kW power system

  11. Corrigendum to small power and heat generation systems on the basis of propulsion and innovative reactor technologies (IAEA-TECDOC-1172)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2000-09-01

    Full text: - Footnote 1 on page 4 should read: '' 1 The results of the feasibility studies were presented by BARC at the meeting, but no paper was provided for publication in these proceedings.'' - On page 5, footnote 2 should be added to the following paragraph: ''CEA and TECHNICATOM (France) have about 200 reactor-years of experience from propulsion and small experimental reactors. Special design features for a future small reactor are formulated as follows 2 :'' ('' 2 At the meeting, these features were presented by CEA, Cadarache, but no paper was provided for publication in these proceedings.'')

  12. Corrigendum to small power and heat generation systems on the basis of propulsion and innovative reactor technologies (IAEA-TECDOC-1172)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2000-09-01

    Full text: - Footnote 1 on page 4 should read: ''{sup 1}The results of the feasibility studies were presented by BARC at the meeting, but no paper was provided for publication in these proceedings.'' - On page 5, footnote 2 should be added to the following paragraph: ''CEA and TECHNICATOM (France) have about 200 reactor-years of experience from propulsion and small experimental reactors. Special design features for a future small reactor are formulated as follows{sup 2}:'' (''{sup 2} At the meeting, these features were presented by CEA, Cadarache, but no paper was provided for publication in these proceedings.'')

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1972-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1972-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Hung D.; Steele, Gynelle C.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1981-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beckwith, A.

    2010-12-01

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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Noble, R.J.

    1994-10-01

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

  1. Pellet bed reactor for multi-modal space power

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.; Williams, K.; Mast, P.; Mims, J.

    1987-01-01

    A review of forthcoming space power needs for both civil and military missions indicates that power requirements will be in the tens of megawatts. The electrical power requirements are envisioned to be twofold: long-duration lower power levels will be needed for station keeping, communications, and/or surveillance; short-duration higher power levels will be required for pulsed power devices. These power characteristics led to the proposal of a multi-modal space power reactor using a pellet bed design. Characteristics desired for such a multimegawatt reactor power source are standby, alert, and pulsed power modes; high-thermal output heat source (approximately 1000 MWt peak power); long lifetime station keeping power (10 to 30 years); high temperature output (1500 K to 1800 K); rapid-burst power transition; high reliability (above 95 percent); and stringent safety standards compliance. The proposed pellet bed reactor is designed to satisfy these characteristics

  2. Safety program considerations for space nuclear reactor systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cropp, L.O.

    1984-08-01

    This report discusses the necessity for in-depth safety program planning for space nuclear reactor systems. The objectives of the safety program and a proposed task structure is presented for meeting those objectives. A proposed working relationship between the design and independent safety groups is suggested. Examples of safety-related design philosophies are given

  3. Submersion-Subcritical Safe Space (S4) reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    King, Jeffrey C.; El-Genk, Mohamed S.

    2006-01-01

    The Submersion-Subcritical Safe Space (S 4 ) reactor, developed for future space power applications and avoidance of single point failures, is presented. The S 4 reactor has a Mo-14% Re solid core, loaded with uranium nitride fuel, cooled by He-30% Xe and sized to provide 550 kWth for 7 years of equivalent full power operation. The beryllium oxide reflector of the S 4 reactor is designed to completely disassemble upon impact on water or soil. The potential of using Spectral Shift Absorber (SSA) materials in different forms to ensure that the reactor remains subcritical in the worst-case submersion accident is investigated. Nine potential SSAs are considered in terms of their effect on the thickness of the radial reflector and on the combined mass of the reactor and the radiation shadow shield. The SSA materials are incorporated as a thin (0.1 mm) coating on the outside surface of the reactor core and as core additions in three possible forms: 2.0 mm diameter pins in the interstices of the core block, 0.25 mm thick sleeves around the fuel stacks and/or additions to the uranium nitride fuel. Results show that with a boron carbide coating and 0.25 mm iridium sleeves around the fuel stacks the S 4 reactor has a reflector outer diameter of 43.5 cm with a combined reactor and shadow shield mass of 935.1 kg. The S 4 reactor with 12.5 at.% gadolinium-155 added to the fuel, 2.0 mm diameter gadolinium-155 sesquioxide interstitial pins, and a 0.1 mm thick gadolinium-155 sesquioxide coating has a slightly smaller reflector outer diameter of 43.0 cm, resulting in a smaller total reactor and shield mass of 901.7 kg. With 8.0 at.% europium-151 added to the fuel, along with europium-151 sesquioxide for the pins and coating, the reflector's outer diameter and the total reactor and shield mass are further reduced to 41.5 cm and 869.2 kg, respectively

  4. Development costs for a nuclear electric propulsion stage.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1973-01-01

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

  5. Space and Terrestrial Power System Integration Optimization Code BRMAPS for Gas Turbine Space Power Plants With Nuclear Reactor Heat Sources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Juhasz, Albert J.

    2007-01-01

    In view of the difficult times the US and global economies are experiencing today, funds for the development of advanced fission reactors nuclear power systems for space propulsion and planetary surface applications are currently not available. However, according to the Energy Policy Act of 2005 the U.S. needs to invest in developing fission reactor technology for ground based terrestrial power plants. Such plants would make a significant contribution toward drastic reduction of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions and associated global warming. To accomplish this goal the Next Generation Nuclear Plant Project (NGNP) has been established by DOE under the Generation IV Nuclear Systems Initiative. Idaho National Laboratory (INL) was designated as the lead in the development of VHTR (Very High Temperature Reactor) and HTGR (High Temperature Gas Reactor) technology to be integrated with MMW (multi-megawatt) helium gas turbine driven electric power AC generators. However, the advantages of transmitting power in high voltage DC form over large distances are also explored in the seminar lecture series. As an attractive alternate heat source the Liquid Fluoride Reactor (LFR), pioneered at ORNL (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) in the mid 1960's, would offer much higher energy yields than current nuclear plants by using an inherently safe energy conversion scheme based on the Thorium --> U233 fuel cycle and a fission process with a negative temperature coefficient of reactivity. The power plants are to be sized to meet electric power demand during peak periods and also for providing thermal energy for hydrogen (H2) production during "off peak" periods. This approach will both supply electric power by using environmentally clean nuclear heat which does not generate green house gases, and also provide a clean fuel H2 for the future, when, due to increased global demand and the decline in discovering new deposits, our supply of liquid fossil fuels will have been used up. This is

  6. Small power and heat generation systems on the basis of propulsion and innovative reactor technologies. Proceedings of an advisory group meeting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2000-09-01

    In the future for developing regions and remote areas one or two power reactors in the 50 MWe to 100 MWe range could be appropriately applied for electricity and heat generation. Introducing and managing such a small program with conventional reactor systems would require a mature supporting technological infrastructure and many skilled highly-trained staff at the site, which might be a problem in some countries. An increased number of small conventional reactors would increase the burden and expenditure for assuring security and non-proliferation. To this end, the time has come to develop an innovative small reactor concept which meets the following requirements: reliable, safe operation with a minimum maintenance and supporting infrastructure, economic competitiveness with alternative energy sources available to the candidate sites, and significant improvements in proliferation resistance relative to existing reactor systems. Successful resolution of such a problem requires a comprehensive system approach that considers all aspects of manufacturing, transportation, operation and ultimate disposal. Some elements of this approach have been used previously in the development of propulsion nuclear power systems, with consideration given to many diverse requirements such as highly autonomous operation for a long period of time, no planned maintenance, no on-site refueling and ultimate disposition. It is with this focus that the IAEA convened the Advisory Group on Propulsion Reactor technologies for Civilian Applications

  7. Small power and heat generation systems on the basis of propulsion and innovative reactor technologies. Proceedings of an advisory group meeting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2000-09-01

    In the future for developing regions and remote areas one or two power reactors in the 50 MWe to 100 MWe range could be appropriately applied for electricity and heat generation. Introducing and managing such a small program with conventional reactor systems would require a mature supporting technological infrastructure and many skilled highly-trained staff at the site, which might be a problem in some countries. An increased number of small conventional reactors would increase the burden and expenditure for assuring security and non-proliferation. To this end, the time has come to develop an innovative small reactor concept which meets the following requirements: reliable, safe operation with a minimum maintenance and supporting infrastructure, economic competitiveness with alternative energy sources available to the candidate sites, and significant improvements in proliferation resistance relative to existing reactor systems. Successful resolution of such a problem requires a comprehensive system approach that considers all aspects of manufacturing, transportation, operation and ultimate disposal. Some elements of this approach have been used previously in the development of propulsion nuclear power systems, with consideration given to many diverse requirements such as highly autonomous operation for a long period of time, no planned maintenance, no on-site refueling and ultimate disposition. It is with this focus that the IAEA convened the Advisory Group on Propulsion Reactor technologies for Civilian Applications.

  8. Nuclear reactor descriptions for space power systems analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mccauley, E. W.; Brown, N. J.

    1972-01-01

    For the small, high performance reactors required for space electric applications, adequate neutronic analysis is of crucial importance, but in terms of computational time consumed, nuclear calculations probably yield the least amount of detail for mission analysis study. It has been found possible, after generation of only a few designs of a reactor family in elaborate thermomechanical and nuclear detail to use simple curve fitting techniques to assure desired neutronic performance while still performing the thermomechanical analysis in explicit detail. The resulting speed-up in computation time permits a broad detailed examination of constraints by the mission analyst.

  9. Space dependence of reactivity parameters on reactor dynamic perturbation measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maletti, R.; Ziegenbein, D.

    1985-01-01

    Practical application of reactor-dynamic perturbation measurements for on-power determination of differential reactivity weight of control rods and power coefficients of reactivity has shown a significant dependence of parameters on the position of outcore detectors. The space dependence of neutron flux signal in the core of a VVER-440-type reactor was measured by means of 60 self-powered neutron detectors. The greatest neutron flux alterations are located close to moved control rods and in height of the perturbation position. By means of computations, detector positions can be found in the core in which the one-point model is almost valid. (author)

  10. Space-reactor electric systems: subsystem technology assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, R.V.; Bost, D.; Determan, W.R.

    1983-01-01

    This report documents the subsystem technology assessment. For the purpose of this report, five subsystems were defined for a space reactor electric system, and the report is organized around these subsystems: reactor; shielding; primary heat transport; power conversion and processing; and heat rejection. The purpose of the assessment was to determine the current technology status and the technology potentials for different types of the five subsystems. The cost and schedule needed to develop these potentials were estimated, and sets of development-compatible subsystems were identified

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodcock, Gordon R.; Dankanich, John

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodcock, Gordon R.; Dankanich, John

    2007-01-01

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

  13. Superconducting magnets for model ship propulsion and for material tests of a nuclear fusion reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horiuchi, T.; Matsumoto, K.; Monju, Y.; Tatara, I.; Hamada, M.

    1982-01-01

    Nuclear fusion reactors, magnetically levitated trains, and MHD generators, etc., all need a very high magnetic field; which in order to be attained a means the application of superconductors is inevitable. This paper describes the development of ''CRYOZITT'', a superconductor featuring high current density and high mechanical strength. CRYOZITT has already been used in the manufacture of two race-track shaped superconducting magnets, and delivered to highly satisfied customers. (author)

  14. Cermet-fueled reactors for multimegawatt space power applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cowan, C.L.; Armijo, J.S.; Kruger, G.B.; Palmer, R.S.; Van Hoomisson, J.E.

    1988-01-01

    The cermet-fueled reactor has evolved as a potential power source for a broad range of multimegawatt space applications. In particular, the fast spectrum reactor concept can be used to deliver 10s of megawatts of electric power for continuous, long term, unattended operation, and 100s of megawatts of electric power for times exceeding several hundred seconds. The system can also be utilized with either a gas coolant in a Brayton power conversion cycle, or a liquid metal coolant in a Rankine power conversion cycle. Extensive testing of the cermet fuel element has demonstrated that the fuel is capable of operating at very high temperatures under repeated thermal cycling conditions, including transient conditions which approach the multimegawatt burst power requirements. The cermet fuel test performance is reviewed and an advanced cermet-fueled multimegawatt nuclear reactor is described in this paper

  15. Nuclear reactor power for a space-based radar. SP-100 project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloomfield, Harvey; Heller, Jack; Jaffe, Leonard; Beatty, Richard; Bhandari, Pradeep; Chow, Edwin; Deininger, William; Ewell, Richard; Fujita, Toshio; Grossman, Merlin

    1986-01-01

    A space-based radar mission and spacecraft, using a 300 kWe nuclear reactor power system, has been examined, with emphasis on aspects affecting the power system. The radar antenna is a horizontal planar array, 32 X 64 m. The orbit is at 61 deg, 1088 km. The mass of the antenna with support structure is 42,000 kg; of the nuclear reactor power system, 8,300 kg; of the whole spacecraft about 51,000 kg, necessitating multiple launches and orbital assembly. The assembly orbit is at 57 deg, 400 km, high enough to provide the orbital lifetime needed for orbital assembly. The selected scenario uses six Shuttle launches to bring the spacecraft and a Centaur G upper-stage vehicle to assembly orbit. After assembly, the Centaur places the spacecraft in operational orbit, where it is deployed on radio command, the power system started, and the spacecraft becomes operational. Electric propulsion is an alternative and allows deployment in assembly orbit, but introduces a question of nuclear safety.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonds, Kevin W.; Polzin, Kurt A.

    2010-01-01

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

  17. NASA's Propulsion Research Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

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

  18. Space reactor electric systems: system integration studies, Phase 1 report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, R.V.; Bost, D.; Determan, W.R.; Harty, R.B.; Katz, B.; Keshishian, V.; Lillie, A.F.; Thomson, W.B.

    1983-01-01

    This report presents the results of preliminary space reactor electric system integration studies performed by Rockwell International's Energy Systems Group (ESG). The preliminary studies investigated a broad range of reactor electric system concepts for powers of 25 and 100 KWe. The purpose of the studies was to provide timely system information of suitable accuracy to support ongoing mission planning activities. The preliminary system studies were performed by assembling the five different subsystems that are used in a system: the reactor, the shielding, the primary heat transport, the power conversion-processing, and the heat rejection subsystems. The subsystem data in this report were largely based on Rockwell's recently prepared Subsystem Technology Assessment Report. Nine generic types of reactor subsystems were used in these system studies. Several levels of technology were used for each type of reactor subsystem. Seven generic types of power conversion-processing subsystems were used, and several levels of technology were again used for each type. In addition, various types and levels of technology were used for the shielding, primary heat transport, and heat rejection subsystems. A total of 60 systems were studied

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  1. Definition of an arcjet propulsion sub-system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Price, T.W.

    1989-01-01

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

  2. Systems aspects of a space nuclear reactor power system

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1988-01-01

    Various system aspects of a 300-kW nuclear reactor power system for spacecraft have been investigated. Special attention is given to the cases of a reusable OTV and a space-based radar. It is demonstrated that the stowed length of the power system is important to mission design, and that orbital storage for months to years may be needed for missions involving orbital assembly.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komendera, Erik E.; Dorsey, John T.

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Mission operations for unmanned nuclear electric propulsion outer planet exploration with a thermionic reactor spacecraft.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spera, R. J.; Prickett, W. Z.; Garate, J. A.; Firth, W. L.

    1971-01-01

    Mission operations are presented for comet rendezvous and outer planet exploration NEP spacecraft employing in-core thermionic reactors for electric power generation. The selected reference missions are the Comet Halley rendezvous and a Jupiter orbiter at 5.9 planet radii, the orbit of the moon Io. The characteristics of the baseline multi-mission NEP spacecraft are presented and its performance in other outer planet missions, such as Saturn and Uranus orbiters and a Neptune flyby, are discussed. Candidate mission operations are defined from spacecraft assembly to mission completion. Pre-launch operations are identified. Shuttle launch and subsequent injection to earth escape by the Centaur D-1T are discussed, as well as power plant startup and the heliocentric mission phases. The sequence and type of operations are basically identical for all missions investigated.

  5. Performance analysis of Brayton cycle system for space power reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Zhi; Yang Xiaoyong; Zhao Gang; Wang Jie; Zhang Zuoyi

    2017-01-01

    The closed Brayton cycle system now is the potential choice as the power conversion system for High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactors because of its high energy conversion efficiency and compact configuration. The helium is the best working fluid for the system for its chemical stability and small neutron absorption cross section. However, the Helium has small mole mass and big specific volume, which would lead to larger pipes and heat exchanger. What's more, the big compressor enthalpy rise of helium would also lead to an unacceptably large number of compressor's stage. For space use, it's more important to satisfy the limit of the system's volume and mass, instead of the requirement of the system's thermal capacity. So Noble-Gas binary mixture of helium and xenon is presented as the working fluid for space Brayton cycle. This paper makes a mathematical model for space Brayton cycle system by Fortran language, then analyzes the binary mixture of helium and xenon's properties and effects on power conversion units of the space power reactor, which would be helpful to understand and design the space power reactor. The results show that xenon would lead to a worse system's thermodynamic property, the cycle's efficiency and specific power decrease as xenon's mole fraction increasing. On the other hand, proper amount of xenon would decrease the enthalpy changes in turbomachines, which would be good for turbomachines' design. Another optimization method – the specific power optimization is also proposed to make a comparison. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-03-01

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

  8. System modeling and reactor design studies of the Advanced Thermionic Initiative space nuclear reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, H.H.; Abdul-Hamid, S.; Klein, A.C.

    1996-01-01

    In-core thermionic space reactor design concepts that operate at a nominal power output range of 20 to 50 kW(electric) are described. Details of the neutronic, thermionic, thermal hydraulics, and shielding performance are presented. Because of the strong absorption of thermal neutrons by natural tungsten and the large amount of natural tungsten within the reactor core, two designs are considered. An overall system design code has been developed at Oregon State University to model advanced in-core thermionic energy conversion-based nuclear reactor systems for space applications. The results show that the driverless single-cell Advanced Thermionic Initiative (ATI) configuration, which does not have driver fuel rods, proved to be more efficient than the driven core, which has driver rods. The results also show that the inclusion of the true axial and radial power distribution decrease the overall conversion efficiency. The flattening of the radial power distribution by three different methods would lead to a higher efficiency. The results show that only one TFE works at the optimum emitter temperature; all other TFEs are off the optimum performance and result in a 40% decrease of the efficiency of the overall system. The true axial profile is significantly different as there is a considerable amount of neutron leakage out of the top and bottom of the reactor. The analysis reveals that the axial power profile actually has a chopped cosine shape. For this axial profile, the reactor core overall efficiency for the driverless ATI reactor version is found to be 5.84% with a total electrical power of 21.92 kW(electric). By considering the true axial power profile instead of the uniform power profile, each TFE loses ∼80 W(electric)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  10. State-space representation of the reactor dynamics equations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bernard, J.A.

    1995-01-01

    This paper describes a novel formulation of the reactor space-independent kinetics equations. The intent is to present these equations in a form that is both compatible with modern control theory and mathematically rigorous. It is desired to write the kinetics equations in the standard state variable representation, x = Ax, where x is the state vector and A is the system matrix and, at the same time, avoid mathematical compromises such as the linearization of an equation about a particular operating point. The advantage to this proposed formulation is that it may allow the lateral transfer of existing control concepts, some that have been developed for other fields, to the operation of nuclear reactors. For example, sliding mode control has been developed to allow robots to function in a robust manner in the presence of changes in the system model. This is necessary because a robot is expected to be capable of picking up an object of unknown mass and moving that object along a specified trajectory. The variability of the object's mass introduces an uncertainty into the system model that is used to deduce the appropriate control action. Thus, the robot controller must be made robust against such variations. Sliding mode control is one means of accomplishing this. A reactor controller might benefit from the same concept if its objective were to cause the reactor power to move along a demanded trajectory despite the presence of some uncertainty in the net amount of reactivity that is present

  11. Cermet-fueled reactors for advanced space applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cowan, C.L.; Palmer, R.S.; Taylor, I.N.; Vaidyanathan, S.; Bhattacharyya, S.K.; Barner, J.O.

    1987-12-01

    Cermet-fueled nuclear reactors are attractive candidates for high-performance advanced space power systems. The cermet consists of a hexagonal matrix of a refractory metal and a ceramic fuel, with multiple tubular flow channels. The high performance characteristics of the fuel matrix come from its high strength at elevated temperatures and its high thermal conductivity. The cermet fuel concept evolved in the 1960s with the objective of developing a reactor design that could be used for a wide range of mobile power generating sytems, including both Brayton and Rankine power conversion cycles. High temperature thermal cycling tests for the cermet fuel were carried out by General Electric as part of the 710 Project (General Electric 1966), and by Argonne National Laboratory in the Direct Nuclear Rocket Program (1965). Development programs for cermet fuel are currently under way at Argonne National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest Laboratory. The high temperature qualification tests from the 1960s have provided a base for the incorporation of cermet fuel in advanced space applications. The status of the cermet fuel development activities and descriptions of the key features of the cermet-fueled reactor design are summarized in this paper

  12. Reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ikeda, Masaomi; Kashimura, Kazuo; Inoue, Kazuyuki; Nishioka, Kazuya.

    1979-01-01

    Purpose: To facilitate the construction of a reactor containment building, whereby the inspections of the outer wall of a reactor container after the completion of the construction of the reactor building can be easily carried out. Constitution: In a reactor accommodated in a container encircled by a building wall, a space is provided between the container and the building wall encircling the container, and a metal wall is provided in the space so that it is fitted in the building wall in an attachable or detatchable manner. (Aizawa, K.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1984-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shooman, M.L.; Sforza, P.M.

    1993-01-01

    This paper explores the effects of dormancy on the reliability of a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) system for long-term manned space missions, such as Mars exploration. Dormancy refers to the portion of space systems operation where the power and stress levels are significantly reduced from nominal values and the authors have identified dormancy as a significant effect. Three approaches are used to evaluate the relative importance of failure rates during dormant operation: use of failure rate models involving dormancy, power cycling and fully energized operation; study of data bases which include both dormant and energized failure rates; predictions based on an Arrhenius rate process formulation. The results of these approaches suggest that for a long term manned mission the dormancy, cycle, and energized failure rates will all be important. Reliability in the energized state normally receives utmost attention and care during design, however, unless equal attention is directed to dormancy, the mission reliability may be severely compromised

  15. Centralized versus distributed propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, J. P.

    1982-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.; Garrison, P.W.

    1984-01-01

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

  17. Nuclear safety as applied to space power reactor systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cummings, G.E.

    1987-01-01

    To develop a strategy for incorporating and demonstrating safety, it is necessary to enumerate the unique aspects of space power reactor systems from a safety standpoint. These features must be differentiated from terrestrial nuclear power plants so that our experience can be applied properly. Some ideas can then be developed on how safe designs can be achieved so that they are safe and perceived to be safe by the public. These ideas include operating only after achieving a stable orbit, developing an inherently safe design, ''designing'' in safety from the start and managing the system development (design) so that it is perceived safe. These and other ideas are explored further in this paper

  18. Recommendations for space reactor R ampersand D tasks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wiley, R.L.; Marshall, A.C.

    1995-01-01

    A rationale was developed to determine which technologies a space nuclear reactor technology based program pursue based on the fact that budgets would be limited. A preliminary evaluation was conducted to identify key technical issues and to recommend a prioritized set of candidate research projects that could be undertaken as part of the Defense Nuclear Agency (DNA) program in the near term. The recommendations made have not been adopted formally by the DNA's Topaz International Program process. (TIP), but serve as inputs to the program plannin process

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  20. Space reactors. Progress report, October 1981-March 1982

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ranken, W.A.

    1983-01-01

    Progress in design studies and technology for the SP-100 Project - successor to the Space Power Advanced Reactor (SPAR) Project - is reported for the period October 1, 1981 to March 31, 1982. The basis for selecting a high-temperature, UO 2 -fueled, heat-pipe-cooled reactor with a thermoelectric conversion system as the 100-kW/sub e/ reference design has been reviewed. Although no change has been made in the general concept, design studies have been done to investigate various reactor/conversion system coupling methods and core design modifications. Thermal and mechanical finite element modeling and three-dimensional Monte Carlo analysis of a core with individual finned fuel elements are reported. Studies of unrestrained fuel irradiation data are discussed that are relevant both to the core modeling work and to the design and fabrication of the first in-pile irradiation test, which is also reported. Work on lithium-filled core heat pipe development is described, including the attainment of 15.6 kW/sub t/ operation at 1525 K for a 2-m-long heat pipe with a 15.7-mm outside diameter. The successful operation of a 5.5-m-long, lightweight potassium/titanium heat pipe at 760 K is described, and test results of a thermoelectric module with GaP-modified SiGe thermoelectric elements are presented

  1. Space nuclear reactor shields for manned and unmanned applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McKissock, B.I.; Bloomfield, H.S.

    1990-01-01

    Missions which use nuclear reactor power systems require radiation shielding of payload and/or crew areas to predetermined dose rates. Since shielding can become a significant fraction of the total mass of the system, it is of interest to show the effect of various parameters on shield thickness and mass for manned and unmanned applications. Algorithms were developed to give the thicknesses needed if reactor thermal power, separation distances and dose rates are given as input. The thickness algorithms were combined with models for four different shield geometries to allow tradeoff studies of shield volume and mass for a variety of manned and unmanned missions. The shield design tradeoffs presented in this study include the effects of: higher allowable dose rates; radiation hardened electronics; shorter crew exposure times; shield geometry; distance of the payload and/or crew from the reactor; and changes in the size of the shielded area. Specific NASA missions that were considered in this study include unmanned outer planetary exploration, manned advanced/evolutionary space station and advanced manned lunar base. (author)

  2. Space nuclear reactor shields for manned and unmanned applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mckissock, B.I.; Bloomfield, H.S.

    1989-01-01

    Missions which use nuclear reactor power systems require radiation shielding of payload and/or crew areas to predetermined dose rates. Since shielding can become a significant fraction of the total mass of the system, it is of interest to show the effect of various parameters on shield thickness and mass for manned and unmanned applications. Algorithms were developed to give the thicknesses needed if reactor thermal power, separation distances, and dose rates are given as input. The thickness algorithms were combined with models for four different shield geometries to allow tradeoff studies of shield volume and mass for a variety of manned and unmanned missions. Shield design tradeoffs presented in this study include the effects of: higher allowable dose rates; radiation hardened electronics; shorter crew exposure times; shield geometry; distance of the payload and/or crew from the reactor; and changes in the size of the shielded area. Specific NASA missions that were considered in this study include unmanned outer planetary exploration, manned advanced/evolutionary space station, and advanced manned lunar base

  3. Propulsion Laboratory

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  4. Summary of space nuclear reactor power systems, 1983--1992

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buden, D.

    1993-08-11

    This report summarizes major developments in the last ten years which have greatly expanded the space nuclear reactor power systems technology base. In the SP-100 program, after a competition between liquid-metal, gas-cooled, thermionic, and heat pipe reactors integrated with various combinations of thermoelectric thermionic, Brayton, Rankine, and Stirling energy conversion systems, three concepts:were selected for further evaluation. In 1985, the high-temperature (1,350 K), lithium-cooled reactor with thermoelectric conversion was selected for full scale development. Since then, significant progress has been achieved including the demonstration of a 7-y-life uranium nitride fuel pin. Progress on the lithium-cooled reactor with thermoelectrics has progressed from a concept, through a generic flight system design, to the design, development, and testing of specific components. Meanwhile, the USSR in 1987--88 orbited a new generation of nuclear power systems beyond the, thermoelectric plants on the RORSAT satellites. The US has continued to advance its own thermionic fuel element development, concentrating on a multicell fuel element configuration. Experimental work has demonstrated a single cell operating time of about 1 1/2-y. Technology advances have also been made in the Stirling engine; an advanced engine that operates at 1,050 K is ready for testing. Additional concepts have been studied and experiments have been performed on a variety of systems to meet changing needs; such as powers of tens-to-hundreds of megawatts and highly survivable systems of tens-of-kilowatts power.

  5. Summary of space nuclear reactor power systems, 1983--1992

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.

    1993-01-01

    This report summarizes major developments in the last ten years which have greatly expanded the space nuclear reactor power systems technology base. In the SP-100 program, after a competition between liquid-metal, gas-cooled, thermionic, and heat pipe reactors integrated with various combinations of thermoelectric thermionic, Brayton, Rankine, and Stirling energy conversion systems, three concepts:were selected for further evaluation. In 1985, the high-temperature (1,350 K), lithium-cooled reactor with thermoelectric conversion was selected for full scale development. Since then, significant progress has been achieved including the demonstration of a 7-y-life uranium nitride fuel pin. Progress on the lithium-cooled reactor with thermoelectrics has progressed from a concept, through a generic flight system design, to the design, development, and testing of specific components. Meanwhile, the USSR in 1987--88 orbited a new generation of nuclear power systems beyond the, thermoelectric plants on the RORSAT satellites. The US has continued to advance its own thermionic fuel element development, concentrating on a multicell fuel element configuration. Experimental work has demonstrated a single cell operating time of about 1 1/2-y. Technology advances have also been made in the Stirling engine; an advanced engine that operates at 1,050 K is ready for testing. Additional concepts have been studied and experiments have been performed on a variety of systems to meet changing needs; such as powers of tens-to-hundreds of megawatts and highly survivable systems of tens-of-kilowatts power

  6. Spacing grid intended for nuclear reactor fuel assemblies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patterson, J.F.; Flora, B.S.

    1977-01-01

    This invention concerns a new improved type of spacing grid that can be used in nuclear reactor fuel assemblies. Under the invention a spacing grid is provided, preferably of the bimetallic type. This grid includes a set of flexible inconel strips positioned by structural 'zircalloy' fittings, having relatively low neutron absorption characteristics in comparison with systems where the flexible strips are welded in position, or where the spring forms an integral part of the structure. The openings for the fuel elements which are defined by the structural fittings intercrossing are fitted internally with bosses which work in conjunction with a spring directed downwards as from the flexible strip so as to position the individual fuel rods in their respective openings inside the grid structure. These flexible strips are arranged in rows extending in directions which depend on the particular design of the fuel asembly and which contain flexible components so distributed that the loads of the individual springs tend to equalize each other mutually. The reaction load exerting itself on the supporting structure is reduced to the minimum, and this results in a lesser distortion in the reactor and an equalisation of the spring loads [fr

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ion MALAEL

    2018-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, T. J.

    1974-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brink, Jeffrey S.

    2005-01-01

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

  12. Contribution to the use of a solid moderator gas reactor, for naval propulsion; Contribution a l'etude d'un reacteur a gaz, a moderateur solide, pour propulsion navale

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pheline, J.; Gautier, A.

    1960-01-04

    In this contribution, the authors discuss works performed in France for the development of nuclear propulsion in merchant ships, notably for an oil tanker of 50.000 tons with 17 knot speed, i.e. a 20.000 Hp engine with an energy produced by a 60 MW gas reactor with a solid moderator and comprising 400 channels loaded with uranium oxide enriched ay 2.8 per cent and sheathed with a refractory alloy. The authors discuss the possible materials for the moderator, the heat transfer medium, the sheath, the fuel and the structures, and report technological studies (mechanical tests, irradiation tests) performed to investigate material properties and their behaviour in operation conditions. They report tests performed to investigate core structure characteristics with respect to neutrons. They finally briefly present a prototype.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torres Sepulveda, A.; Perez Vara, R.

    2004-01-01

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

  14. Brayton rotating units for space reactor power systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gallo, Bruno M.; El-Genk, Mohamed S. [Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies and Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Dept., The Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131 (United States)

    2009-09-15

    Designs and analyses models of centrifugal-flow compressor and radial-inflow turbine of 40.8kW{sub e} Brayton Rotating Units (BRUs) are developed for 15 and 40 g/mole He-Xe working fluids. Also presented are the performance results of a space power system with segmented, gas cooled fission reactor heat source and three Closed Brayton Cycle loops, each with a separate BRU. The calculated performance parameters of the BRUs and the reactor power system are for shaft rotational speed of 30-55 krpm, reactor thermal power of 120-471kW{sub th}, and turbine inlet temperature of 900-1149 K. With 40 g/mole He-Xe, a power system peak thermal efficiency of 26% is achieved at rotation speed of 45 krpm, compressor and turbine inlet temperatures of 400 and 1149 K and 0.93 MPa at exit of the compressor. The corresponding system electric power is 122.4kW{sub e}, working fluid flow rate is 1.85 kg/s and the pressure ratio and polytropic efficiency are 1.5% and 86.3% for the compressor and 1.42% and 94.1% for the turbine. For the same nominal electrical power of 122.4kW{sub e}, decreasing the molecular weight of the working fluid (15 g/mole) decreases its flow rate to 1.03 kg/s and increases the system pressure to 1.2 MPa. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arun, C P

    2004-11-01

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

  16. Preliminary closed Brayton cycle study for a space reactor application

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guimaraes, Lamartine Nogueira Frutuoso; Carvalho, Ricardo Pinto de; Camillo, Giannino Ponchio

    2007-01-01

    The Nuclear Energy Division (ENU) of the Institute for Advanced Studies (IEAv) has started a preliminary design study for a Closed Brayton Cycle Loop (CBCL) aimed at a space reactor application. The main objectives of the study are to establish a starting concept for the CBCL components specifications, and to develop a demonstrative simulator of CBCL in nominal operation conditions. The ENU/IEAv preliminary design study is developing the CBCL around the NOELLE 60290 turbo machine. The actual nuclear reactor study is being conducted independently. Because of that, a conventional heat source is being used for the CBCL, in this preliminary design phase. This paper describes the steady state simulator of the CBCL operating with NOELLE 60290 turbo machine. In principle, several gases are being considered as working fluid, as for instance: air, helium, nitrogen, CO2 and gas mixtures such as helium and xenon. At this moment the simulator is running with Helium as the working fluid. Simplified models of heat and mass transfer are being developed to simulate thermal components. Future efforts will focus on keeping track of the modifications being implemented at the NOELLE 60290 turbo machine in order to build the CBCL. (author)

  17. Preliminary closed Brayton cycle study for a space reactor application

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guimaraes, Lamartine Nogueira Frutuoso; Carvalho, Ricardo Pinto de [Institute for Advanced Studies, Sao Jose dos Campos, SP (Brazil)]. E-mail: guimarae@ieav.cta.br; Camillo, Giannino Ponchio [Instituto Tecnologico de Aeronautica (ITA), Sao Jose dos Campos, SP (Brazil)]. E-mail: gianninocamillo@gmail.com

    2007-07-01

    The Nuclear Energy Division (ENU) of the Institute for Advanced Studies (IEAv) has started a preliminary design study for a Closed Brayton Cycle Loop (CBCL) aimed at a space reactor application. The main objectives of the study are to establish a starting concept for the CBCL components specifications, and to develop a demonstrative simulator of CBCL in nominal operation conditions. The ENU/IEAv preliminary design study is developing the CBCL around the NOELLE 60290 turbo machine. The actual nuclear reactor study is being conducted independently. Because of that, a conventional heat source is being used for the CBCL, in this preliminary design phase. This paper describes the steady state simulator of the CBCL operating with NOELLE 60290 turbo machine. In principle, several gases are being considered as working fluid, as for instance: air, helium, nitrogen, CO2 and gas mixtures such as helium and xenon. At this moment the simulator is running with Helium as the working fluid. Simplified models of heat and mass transfer are being developed to simulate thermal components. Future efforts will focus on keeping track of the modifications being implemented at the NOELLE 60290 turbo machine in order to build the CBCL. (author)

  18. Systems aspects of a space nuclear reactor power system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaffe, L.; Fujita, T.; Beatty, R.

    1988-01-01

    Selected systems aspects of a 300 kW nuclear reactor power system for spacecraft have been studied. The approach included examination of two candidate missions and their associated spacecraft, and a number of special topics dealing with the power system design and operation. The missions considered were a reusable orbital transfer vehicle and a space-based radar. The special topics included: Power system configuration and scaling, launch vehicle integration, operating altitude, orbital storage, start-up, thawing, control, load following, procedures in case of malfunction, restart, thermal and nuclear radiation to other portions of the spacecraft, thermal stresses between subsystems, boom and cable designs, vibration modes, attitude control, reliability, and survivability. Among the findings are that the stowed length of the power system is important to mission design and that orbital storage for months to years may be needed for missions involving orbital assembly

  19. Space nuclear reactor system diagnosis: Knowledge-based approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ting, Y.T.D.

    1990-01-01

    SP-100 space nuclear reactor system development is a joint effort by the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The system is designed to operate in isolation for many years, and is possibly subject to little or no remote maintenance. This dissertation proposes a knowledge based diagnostic system which, in principle, can diagnose the faults which can either cause reactor shutdown or lead to another serious problem. This framework in general can be applied to the fully specified system if detailed design information becomes available. The set of faults considered herein is identified based on heuristic knowledge about the system operation. The suitable approach to diagnostic problem solving is proposed after investigating the most prevalent methodologies in Artificial Intelligence as well as the causal analysis of the system. Deep causal knowledge modeling based on digraph, fault-tree or logic flowgraph methodology would present a need for some knowledge representation to handle the time dependent system behavior. A proposed qualitative temporal knowledge modeling methodology, using rules with specified time delay among the process variables, has been proposed and is used to develop the diagnostic sufficient rule set. The rule set has been modified by using a time zone approach to have a robust system design. The sufficient rule set is transformed to a sufficient and necessary one by searching the whole knowledge base. Qualitative data analysis is proposed in analyzing the measured data if in a real time situation. An expert system shell - Intelligence Compiler is used to develop the prototype system. Frames are used for the process variables. Forward chaining rules are used in monitoring and backward chaining rules are used in diagnosis

  20. SAFSIM: A computer program for engineering simulations of space reactor system performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dobranich, D.

    1992-01-01

    SAFSIM (System Analysis Flow SIMulator) is a FORTRAN computer program that provides engineering simulations of user-specified flow networks at the system level. It includes fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and reactor dynamics capabilities. SAFSIM provides sufficient versatility to allow the simulation of almost any flow system, from a backyard sprinkler system to a clustered nuclear reactor propulsion system. In addition to versatility, speed and robustness are primary goals of SAFSIM. The current capabilities of SAFSIM are summarized, and some illustrative example results are presented

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  5. Technology Development Program for an Advanced Potassium Rankine Power Conversion System Compatible with Several Space Reactor Designs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoder, G.L.

    2005-10-03

    This report documents the work performed during the first phase of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Research Announcement (NRA) Technology Development Program for an Advanced Potassium Rankine Power Conversion System Compatible with Several Space Reactor Designs. The document includes an optimization of both 100-kW{sub e} and 250-kW{sub e} (at the propulsion unit) Rankine cycle power conversion systems. In order to perform the mass optimization of these systems, several parametric evaluations of different design options were investigated. These options included feed and reheat, vapor superheat levels entering the turbine, three different material types, and multiple heat rejection system designs. The overall masses of these Nb-1%Zr systems are approximately 3100 kg and 6300 kg for the 100- kW{sub e} and 250-kW{sub e} systems, respectively, each with two totally redundant power conversion units, including the mass of the single reactor and shield. Initial conceptual designs for each of the components were developed in order to estimate component masses. In addition, an overall system concept was presented that was designed to fit within the launch envelope of a heavy lift vehicle. A technology development plan is presented in the report that describes the major efforts that are required to reach a technology readiness level of 6. A 10-year development plan was proposed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Gary O.

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Laser Propulsion - Quo Vadis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bohn, Willy L.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  11. A design study of reactor core optimization for direct nuclear heat-to-electricity conversion in a space power reactor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoshikawa, Hidekazu; Takahashi, Makoto; Shimoda, Hiroshi; Takeoka, Satoshi [Kyoto Univ. (Japan); Nakagawa, Masayuki; Kugo, Teruhiko

    1998-01-01

    To propose a new design concept of a nuclear reactor used in the space, research has been conducted on the conceptual design of a new nuclear reactor on the basis of the following three main concepts: (1) Thermionic generation by thermionic fuel elements (TFE), (2) reactivity control by rotary reflector, and (3) reactor cooling by liquid metal. The outcomes of the research are: (1) A calculation algorithm was derived for obtaining convergent conditions by repeating nuclear characteristic calculation and thermal flow characteristic calculation for the space nuclear reactor. (2) Use of this algorithm and the parametric study established that a space nuclear reactor using 97% enriched uranium nitride as the fuel and lithium as the coolant and having a core with a radius of about 25 cm, a height of about 50 cm and a generation efficiency of about 7% can probably be operated continuously for at least more than ten years at 100 kW only by reactivity control by rotary reflector. (3) A new CAD/CAE system was developed to assist design work to optimize the core characteristics of the space nuclear reactor comprehensively. It is composed of the integrated design support system VINDS using virtual reality and the distributed system WINDS to collaboratively support design work using Internet. (N.H.)

  12. Ground test facility for nuclear testing of space reactor subsystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quapp, W.J.; Watts, K.D.

    1985-01-01

    Two major reactor facilities at the INEL have been identified as easily adaptable for supporting the nuclear testing of the SP-100 reactor subsystem. They are the Engineering Test Reactor (ETR) and the Loss of Fluid Test Reactor (LOFT). In addition, there are machine shops, analytical laboratories, hot cells, and the supporting services (fire protection, safety, security, medical, waste management, etc.) necessary to conducting a nuclear test program. This paper presents the conceptual approach for modifying these reactor facilities for the ground engineering test facility for the SP-100 nuclear subsystem. 4 figs

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, Troy

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  16. R-102, 1 Group Space-Independent Inverse Reactor Kinetics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaganove, J.J.

    1966-01-01

    1 - Description of problem or function: Given the space-independent, one energy group reactor kinetics equations and the initial conditions, this program determines the time variation of reactivity required to produce the given input of flux-time data. 2 - Method of solution: Time derivatives of neutron density are obtained by application of (a) five-point quartic, (b) three-point parabolic, (c) five-point least-mean-square cubic, (d) five-point least-mean-square parabolic, or (e) five-point least-mean-square linear formulae to the neutron density or to the natural logarithm of the neutron density. Between each data point the neutron density is assumed to be (a) exponential*(third-order polynomial), (b) exponential, or (c) linear. Changes in reactivity between data points are obtained algebraically from the kinetics equations, neutron density derivatives, and the algebraic representation of neutron density. First and second time derivatives of the reactivity are obtained by use of any of the formulae applicable to the neutron density. 3 - Restrictions on the complexity of the problem: Maxima of - 50 delay groups; 1000 data points; 99 data blocks (A data block is a sequence of input points characterized by a fixed time-interval between points, a smoothing option, and a number of repetitions of the smoothing option)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casiano, Matthew J.; Zoladz, Tom F.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco, Ariel; Roy, Subrata

    2017-11-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blanco, Ariel; Roy, Subrata

    2017-01-01

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

  20. A fast spectrum dual path flow cermet reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

    A cermet fueled, dual path fast reactor for space nuclear propulsion applications is conceptually designed. The reactor utilizes an outer annulus core and an inner cylindrical core with radial and axial reflector. The dual path flow minimizes the impact of power peaking near the radial reflector. Basic neutronics and core design aspects of the reactor are discussed. The dual path reactor is integrated into a 25000 lbf thrust nuclear rocket

  1. Ion Beam Propulsion Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Space reactor fuel element testing in upgraded TREAT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Todosow, M.; Bezler, P.; Ludewig, H.; Kato, W.Y.

    1993-01-01

    The testing of candidate fuel elements at prototypic operating conditions with respect to temperature, power density, hydrogen coolant flow rate, etc., is a crucial component in the development and qualification of nuclear rocket engines based on the Particle Bed Reactor (PBR), NERVA-derivative, and other concepts. Such testing may be performed at existing reactors, or at new facilities. A scoping study has been performed to assess the feasibility of testing PBR based fuel elements at the TREAT reactor. Initial results suggests that full-scale PBR elements could be tested at an average energy deposition of ∼60--80 MW-s/L in the current TREAT reactor. If the TREAT reactor was upgraded to include fuel elements with a higher temperture limit, average energy deposition of ∼100 MW/L may be achievable

  3. Space reactor fuel element testing in upgraded TREAT

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todosow, Michael; Bezler, Paul; Ludewig, Hans; Kato, Walter Y.

    1993-01-01

    The testing of candidate fuel elements at prototypic operating conditions with respect to temperature, power density, hydrogen coolant flow rate, etc., is a crucial component in the development and qualification of nuclear rocket engines based on the Particle Bed Reactor (PBR), NERVA-derivative, and other concepts. Such testing may be performed at existing reactors, or at new facilities. A scoping study has been performed to assess the feasibility of testing PBR based fuel elements at the TREAT reactor. Initial results suggests that full-scale PBR elements could be tested at an average energy deposition of ˜60-80 MW-s/L in the current TREAT reactor. If the TREAT reactor was upgraded to include fuel elements with a higher temperture limit, average energy deposition of ˜100 MW/L may be achievable.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

  5. A Sensitivity Study on the Radiation Shield of KSPR Space Reactor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cerba, S.; Lee, Hyun Chul; Lim, Hong Sik; Noh, Jae Man [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daejeon (Korea, Republic of)

    2014-05-15

    The idea of a space reactor was realised some decades ago and since that time several research activities have been performed into this field. The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been developing a small fast reactor called as fission power system (FPS) for deep space mission, where highly enriched uranium (HEU) is used as fuel. On the other hand, other researchers have also surveyed a thermal reactor concept with low enriched uranium (LEU) for space applications. One of the main concerns in terms of a space reactor is the total size and the mass of the system including the reactor itself as well as the radiation shield. Since the reactor core is a source of neutrons and gamma photons of various energies, which may cause severe damage on the electronics of the space stations, the questions related to the development of a radiation shield should be address appropriately. The proposal of a radiation shield for a small space reactor is discussed in this paper. The requirements for the radiation shield have been addressed in terms of maximal absorbed doses and neutron flounces during 10 years of operation. In this study a radiation shield design for a small space reactor was investigated. All the presented calculations were performed using the multi-purpose stochastic MCNP code with temperature dependent continuous energy ENDF/B VII.0 neutron and photon cross section libraries. The aim of this study was to design a neutron and gamma shield that can meet the requirements of 250 Gy absorbed during 10 years of reactor operation. The comparison with a fast reactor design showed that high content of {sup 238}U strongly influences the shielding mass. This phenomenon is due to the higher photon production in case of the KSPR design and therefore the use of high {sup 235}U enrichments and the operation in fast neutron spectrum may be more desirable. In case if the KSPR space reactor the best shielding performance was achieved while utilizing a multi

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanelli, Gherardo; Mignone, Andrea; Cervone, Angelo

    2017-10-01

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

  7. Moderator configuration options for a low-enriched uranium fueled Kilowatt-class Space Nuclear Reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    King, Jeffrey C.; Mencarini, Leonardo de Holanda; Guimaraes, Lamartine N. F.

    2015-01-01

    The Brazilian Air Force, through its Institute for Advanced Studies (Instituto de Estudos Avancados, IEAv/DCTA), and the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) are studying the feasibility of a space nuclear reactor with a power of 1-5 kW e and fueled with Low-Enriched Uranium (LEU). This type of nuclear reactor would be attractive to signatory countries of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or commercial interests. A LEU-fueled space reactor would avoid the security concerns inherent with Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) fuel. As an initial step, the HEU-fueled Kilowatt Reactor Using Stirling Technology (KRUSTY) designed by the Los Alamos National Laboratory serves as a basis for a similar reactor fueled with LEU fuel. Using the computational code MCNP6 to predict the reactor neutronics performance, the size of the resulting reactor fueled with 19.75 wt% enriched uranium-10 wt% molybdenum alloy fuel is adjusted to match the excess reactivity of KRUSTY. Then, zirconium hydride moderator is added to the core to reduce the size of the reactor. This work presents the preliminary results of the computational modeling, with special emphasis on the comparison between homogeneous and heterogeneous moderator systems, in terms of the core diameter required to meet a specific multiplication factor (k eff = 1.035). This comparison illustrates the impact of moderator configuration on the size and performance of a LEU-fueled kilowatt-class space nuclear reactor. (author)

  8. Moderator configuration options for a low-enriched uranium fueled Kilowatt-class Space Nuclear Reactor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    King, Jeffrey C., E-mail: kingjc@mines.edu [Nuclear Science and Engineering Program, Colorado School of Mines (CSM), Golden, CO (United States); Mencarini, Leonardo de Holanda; Guimaraes, Lamartine N. F., E-mail: guimaraes@ieav.cta.br, E-mail: mencarini@ieav.cta.br [Instituto de Estudos Avancados (IEAV), Sao Jose dos Campos, SP (Brazil). Divisao de Energia Nuclear

    2015-07-01

    The Brazilian Air Force, through its Institute for Advanced Studies (Instituto de Estudos Avancados, IEAv/DCTA), and the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) are studying the feasibility of a space nuclear reactor with a power of 1-5 kW{sub e} and fueled with Low-Enriched Uranium (LEU). This type of nuclear reactor would be attractive to signatory countries of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or commercial interests. A LEU-fueled space reactor would avoid the security concerns inherent with Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) fuel. As an initial step, the HEU-fueled Kilowatt Reactor Using Stirling Technology (KRUSTY) designed by the Los Alamos National Laboratory serves as a basis for a similar reactor fueled with LEU fuel. Using the computational code MCNP6 to predict the reactor neutronics performance, the size of the resulting reactor fueled with 19.75 wt% enriched uranium-10 wt% molybdenum alloy fuel is adjusted to match the excess reactivity of KRUSTY. Then, zirconium hydride moderator is added to the core to reduce the size of the reactor. This work presents the preliminary results of the computational modeling, with special emphasis on the comparison between homogeneous and heterogeneous moderator systems, in terms of the core diameter required to meet a specific multiplication factor (k{sub eff} = 1.035). This comparison illustrates the impact of moderator configuration on the size and performance of a LEU-fueled kilowatt-class space nuclear reactor. (author)

  9. Distributed Propulsion Vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hyun Dae

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Effects of space-dependent cross sections on core physics parameters for compact fast spectrum space power reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lell, R.M.; Hanan, N.A.

    1987-01-01

    Effects of multigroup neutron cross section generation procedures on core physics parameters for compact fast spectrum reactors have been examined. Homogeneous and space-dependent multigroup cross section sets were generated in 11 and 27 groups for a representative fast reactor core. These cross sections were used to compute various reactor physics parameters for the reference core. Coarse group structure and neglect of space-dependence in the generation procedure resulted in inaccurate computations of reactor flux and power distributions and in significant errors regarding estimates of core reactivity and control system worth. Delayed neutron fraction was insensitive to cross section treatment, and computed reactivity coefficients were only slightly sensitive. However, neutron lifetime was found to be very sensitive to cross section treatment. Deficiencies in multigroup cross sections are reflected in core nuclear design and, consequently, in system mechanical design

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2002-07-01

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

  13. Fuel Effective Photonic Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajalakshmi, N.; Srivarshini, S.

    2017-09-01

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

  14. THE FUTURE OF SPACECRAFT NUCLEAR PROPULSION

    OpenAIRE

    Jansen, Frank

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Measuring neutron flux density in near-vessel space of a commercial WWER-1000 reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borodkin, G.I.; Eremin, A.N.; Lomakin, S.S.; Morozov, A.G.

    1987-01-01

    Distribution of neutron flux density in two experimental channels on the reactor vessel external surface and in ionization chamber channel of a commercial WWER-1000 reactor, is measured by the activation detector technique. Azimuthal distributions of fast and thermal neutron fluxes and height distributions of fast neutron flux density within energy range >1.2 and 2.3 MeV are obtained. Conclusion is made, that reactor core state and its structural peculiarities in the measurement range essentially affect space and energy distribution of neutron field near the vessel. It should be taken into account when determining permissible neutron fluence for the reactor vessel

  16. System modeling for the advanced thermionic initiative single cell thermionic space nuclear reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, H.H.; Lewis, B.R.; Klein, A.C.; Pawlowski, R.A.

    1993-01-01

    Incore thermionic space reactor design concepts which operate in a nominal power output range of 20 to 40 kWe are described. Details of the neutronics, thermionic, shielding, and heat rejection performance are presented. Two different designs, ATI-Driven and ATI-Driverless, are considered. Comparison of the core overall performance of these two configurations are described. The comparison of these two cores includes the overall conversion efficiency, reactor mass, shield mass, and heat rejection mass. An overall system design has been developed to model the advanced incore thermionic energy conversion based nuclear reactor systems for space applications in this power range

  17. Effects of irradiation on properties of refractory alloys with emphasis on space power reactor applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wiffen, F.W.

    1984-01-01

    The probable effects of irradiation on niobium and tungsten alloys in use as components of thermionic convertors in a space reactor were reviewed by the author in 1971. While considerably more data on refractory metals have been generated since that time, the data have not been reviewed with respect to space reactor applications. This paper attempts such a review. The approach used is to work from the most recently available review of irradiation effects for each alloy system (where such a review is available) and to discuss that review and more recent data judged to be the most useful in establishing likely behavior in high-temperature reactor service. 28 figures, 6 tables

  18. Accident analysis of heat pipe cooled and AMTEC conversion space reactor system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yuan, Yuan; Shan, Jianqiang; Zhang, Bin; Gou, Junli; Bo, Zhang; Lu, Tianyu; Ge, Li; Yang, Zijiang

    2016-01-01

    Highlights: • A transient analysis code TAPIRS for HPS has been developed. • Three typical accidents are analyzed using TAPIRS. • The reactor system has the self-stabilization ability under accident conditions. - Abstract: A space power with high power density, light weight, low cost and high reliability is of crucial importance to future exploration of deep space. Space reactor is an excellent candidate because of its unique characteristics of high specific power, low cost, strong environment adaptability and so on. Among all types of space reactors, heat pipe cooled space reactor, which adopts the passive heat pipe (HP) as core cooling component, is considered as one of the most promising choices and is widely studied all over the world. This paper develops a transient analysis code (TAPIRS) for heat pipe cooled space reactor power system (HPS) based on point reactor kinetics model, lumped parameter core heat transfer model, combined HP model (self-diffusion model, flat-front startup model and network model), energy conversion model of Alkali Metal Thermal-to-Electric Conversion units (AMTEC), and HP radiator model. Three typical accidents, i.e., control drum failure, AMTEC failure and partial loss of the heat transfer area of radiator are then analyzed using TAPIRS. By comparing the simulation results of the models and steady state with those in the references, the rationality of the models and the solution method is validated. The results show the following. (1) After the failure of one set of control drums, the reactor power finally reaches a stable value after two local peaks under the temperature feedback. The fuel temperature rises rapidly, however it is still under safe limit. (2) The fuel temperature is below a safe limit under the AMTEC failure and partial loss of the heat transfer area of radiator. This demonstrates the rationality of the system design and the potential applicability of the TAPIRS code for the future engineering application of

  19. Space Propulsion and Power

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-08

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

  20. Power monitoring in space nuclear reactors using silicon carbide radiation detectors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruddy, Frank H.; Patel, Jagdish U.; Williams, John G.

    2005-01-01

    Space reactor power monitors based on silicon carbide (SiC) semiconductor neutron detectors are proposed. Detection of fast leakage neutrons using SiC detectors in ex-core locations could be used to determine reactor power: Neutron fluxes, gamma-ray dose rates and ambient temperatures have been calculated as a function of distance from the reactor core, and the feasibility of power monitoring with SiC detectors has been evaluated at several ex-core locations. Arrays of SiC diodes can be configured to provide the required count rates to monitor reactor power from startup to full power Due to their resistance to temperature and the effects of neutron and gamma-ray exposure, SiC detectors can be expected to provide power monitoring information for the fill mission of a space reactor.

  1. Determination of noise sources and space-dependent reactor transfer functions from measured output signals only

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoogenboom, J.E.; van Dam, H.; Kleiss, E.B.J.; van Uitert, G.C.; Veldhuis, D.

    1982-01-01

    The measured cross power spectral densities of the signals from three neutron detectors and the displacement of the control rod of the 2 MW research reactor HOR at Delft have been used to determine the space-dependent reactor transfer function, the transfer function of the automatic reactor control system and the noise sources influencing the measured signals. From a block diagram of the reactor with control system and noise sources expressions were derived for the measured cross power spectral densities, which were adjusted to satisfy the requirements following from the adopted model. Then for each frequency point the required transfer functions and noise sources could be derived. The results are in agreement with those of autoregressive modelling of the reactor control feed-back loop. A method has been developed to determine the non-linear characteristics of the automatic reactor control system by analysing the non-gaussian probability density function of the power fluctuations.

  2. Determination of noise sources and space-dependent reactor transfer functions from measured output signals only

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoogenboom, J.E.

    1982-01-01

    The measured cross power spectral densities of the signals from three neutron detectors and the displacement of the control rod of the 2 MW research reactor HOR at Delft have been used to determine the space-dependent reactor transfer function, the transfer function of the automatic reactor control system and the noise sources influencing the measured signals. From a block diagram of the reactor with control system and noise sources expressions were derived for the measured cross power spectral densities, which were adjusted to satisfy the requirements following from the adopted model. Then for each frequency point the required transfer functions and noise sources could be derived. The results are in agreement with those of autoregressive modelling of the reactor control feed-back loop. A method has been developed to determine the non-linear characteristics of the automatic reactor control system by analysing the non-gaussian probability density function of the power fluctuations. (author)

  3. Concepts for space nuclear multi-mode reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Myrabo, L.; Botts, T.E.; Powell, J.R.

    1983-01-01

    A number of nuclear multi-mode reactor power plants are conceptualized for use with solid core, fixed particle bed and rotating particle bed reactors. Multi-mode systems generate high peak electrical power in the open cycle mode, with MHD generator or turbogenerator converters and cryogenically stored coolants. Low level stationkeeping power and auxiliary reactor cooling (i.e., for the removal of reactor afterheat) are provided in a closed cycle mode. Depending on reactor design, heat transfer to the low power converters can be accomplished by heat pipes, liquid metal coolants or high pressure gas coolants. Candidate low power conversion cycles include Brayton turbogenerator, Rankine turbogenerator, thermoelectric and thermionic approaches. A methodology is suggested for estimating the system mass of multi-mode nuclear power plants as a function of peak electric power level and required mission run time. The masses of closed cycle nuclear and open cycle chemical power systems are briefly examined to identify the regime of superiority for nuclear multi-mode systems. Key research and technology issues for such power plants are also identified

  4. Analytic solutions of the multigroup space-time reactor kinetics equations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, C.E.; Rottler, S.

    1986-01-01

    The development of analytical and numerical solutions to the reactor kinetics equations is reviewed. Analytic solutions of the multigroup space-time reactor kinetics equations are developed for bare and reflected slabs and spherical reactors for zero flux, zero current and extrapolated endpoint boundary conditions. The material properties of the reactors are assumed constant in space and time, but spatially-dependent source terms and initial conditions are investigated. The system of partial differential equations is reduced to a set of linear ordinary differential equations by the Laplace transform method. These equations are solved by matrix Green's functions yielding a general matrix solution for the neutron flux and precursor concentration in the Laplace transform space. The detailed pole structure of the Laplace transform matrix solutions is investigated. The temporally- and spatially-dependent solutions are determined from the inverse Laplace transform using the Cauchy residue theorem, the theorem of Frobenius, a knowledge of the detailed pole structure and matrix operators. (author)

  5. Gas-cooled reactor power systems for space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walter, C.E.

    1987-01-01

    Efficiency and mass characteristics for four gas-cooled reactor power system configurations in the 2- to 20-MWe power range are modeled. The configurations use direct and indirect Brayton cycles with and without regeneration in the power conversion loop. The prismatic ceramic core of the reactor consists of several thousand pencil-shaped tubes made from a homogeneous mixture of moderator and fuel. The heat rejection system is found to be the major contributor to system mass, particularly at high power levels. A direct, regenerated Brayton cycle with helium working fluid permits high efficiency and low specific mass for a 10-MWe system

  6. Particle Bed Reactor engine technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandler, S.; Feddersen, R.

    1992-03-01

    This paper discusses the Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) based propulsion system being developed under the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program. A PBR engine is a light weight, compact propulsion system which offers significant improvement over current technology systems. Current performance goals are a system thrust of 75,000 pounds at an Isp of 1000 sec. A target thrust to weight ratio (T/W) of 30 has been established for an unshielded engine. The functionality of the PBR, its pertinent technology issues and the systems required to make up a propulsion system are described herein. Accomplishments to date which include hardware development and tests for the PBR engine are also discussed. This paper is intended to provide information on and describe the current state-of-the-art of PBR technology.

  7. Particle Bed Reactor engine technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sandler, S.; Feddersen, R.

    1992-01-01

    This paper discusses the Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) based propulsion system being developed under the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program. A PBR engine is a light weight, compact propulsion system which offers significant improvement over current technology systems. Current performance goals are a system thrust of 75,000 pounds at an Isp of 1000 sec. A target thrust to weight ratio (T/W) of 30 has been established for an unshielded engine. The functionality of the PBR, its pertinent technology issues and the systems required to make up a propulsion system are described herein. Accomplishments to date which include hardware development and tests for the PBR engine are also discussed. This paper is intended to provide information on and describe the current state-of-the-art of PBR technology. 4 refs

  8. Propulsion for CubeSats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemmer, Kristina

    2017-05-01

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

  9. Advanced Chemical Propulsion Study

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  10. The Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Design and evaluation of materials for space reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tavassoli, A.A.; Vrillon, B.; Robert, G.

    1990-01-01

    The French programme envisages a 20 kWe reactor, project ERATO, with three technological options. The first option is a sodium cooled reactor, derived from the fast breeder reactor technology, (upper core outlet temperature of 700 0 C). The second option is based on the High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor technology (outlet temperature range 700 0 C-900 0 C). The third option is the reference solution, lithium cooled and UN fuelled fast spectrum reactor, (outlet temperature as high as 1200 0 C). The choice is essentially dominated by material considerations, and more specifically by the problems related to the compatibility with the cooling medium and to the high temperature creep resistance. For the first system limited work will be needed as the technology used is well experimented and there is a wealth of information on the austenitic stainless steel Type 316L-SPH. For the second system, most of the work has been concentrated on characterization of existing commercial alloys. This has included the preselection and the testing of a number of superalloys irradiated or not. The results obtained from high temperature tensile and creep tests have allowed selection of Haynes 230 as the primary candidate material and have also permitted calculation of allowable design stresses for this alloy. For the very high temperature system the French R and D programme has focused on Mo-Re alloys. The results obtained to this date from microstructural examinations and mechanical tests performed on different alloy compositions have allowed selection of Mo-25%Re for future optimization work. They have also shown the need for evaluation of creep properties at low stresses where microstructural instabilities are likely to occur as a result of long exposure to high temperature

  12. Advanced Space Nuclear Reactors from Fiction to Reality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popa-Simil, L.

    The advanced nuclear power sources are used in a large variety of science fiction movies and novels, but their practical development is, still, in its early conceptual stages, some of the ideas being confirmed by collateral experiments. The novel reactor concept uses the direct conversion of nuclear energy into electricity, has electronic control of reactivity, being surrounded by a transmutation blanket and very thin shielding being small and light that at its very limit may be suitable to power an autonomously flying car. It also provides an improved fuel cycle producing minimal negative impact to environment. The key elements started to lose the fiction attributes, becoming viable actual concepts and goals for the developments to come, and on the possibility to achieve these objectives started to become more real because the theory shows that using the novel nano-technologies this novel reactor might be achievable in less than a century.

  13. DESIGN SAFETY PROBLEMS OF NUCLEAR REACTORS IN SPACE FOR ELECTRICAL POWER

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pickler, D A

    1963-06-15

    A general treatment is presented of some of the problems in the design safety of reactors which are to be operated in space. The basic requirements of these reachigh temperatures. The usual concept of a space reactor is described briefly, and the hazards of an assumed unmanned vehicle with an enriched-U-fueled reactor are examined during its launching, orbit, and reentry. Graphs are given for the dose vs distance downwind for an excursion of 100 Mw-sec, for the activity vs time after shutdown of a reactor which has been operated for 5 yr at 100 kw(t), and for the altitude vs orbital lifetime. Apparent conflicts between the basic requirements are discussed. (D.L.C.)

  14. Space reactor/organic Rankine conversion - A near-term state-of-the-art solution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niggemann, R. E.; Lacey, D.

    The use of demonstrated reactor technology with organic Rankine cycle (ORC) power conversion can provide a low cost, minimal risk approach to reactor-powered electrical generation systems in the near term. Several reactor technologies, including zirconium hydride, EBR-II and LMFBR, have demonstrated long life and suitability for space application at the operating temperature required by an efficient ORC engine. While this approach would not replace the high temperature space reactor systems presently under development, it could be available in a nearer time frame at a low and predictable cost, allowing some missions requiring high power levels to be flown prior to the availability of advanced systems with lower specific mass. Although this system has relatively high efficiency, the heat rejection temperature is low, requiring a large radiator on the order of 3.4 sq m/kWe. Therefore, a deployable heat pipe radiator configuration will be required.

  15. Space nuclear reactor concepts for avoidance of a single point failure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Genk, M. S.

    2007-01-01

    This paper presents three space nuclear reactor concepts for future exploration missions requiring electrical power of 10's to 100's kW, for 7-10 years. These concepts avoid a single point failure in reactor cooling; and they could be used with a host of energy conversion technologies. The first is lithium or sodium heat pipes cooled reactor. The heat pipes operate at a fraction of their prevailing capillary or sonic limit. Thus, when a number of heat pipes fail, those in the adjacent modules remove their heat load, maintaining reactor core adequately cooled. The second is a reactor with a circulating liquid metal coolant. The reactor core is divided into six identical sectors, each with a separate energy conversion loop. The sectors in the reactor core are neurotically coupled, but hydraulically decoupled. Thus, when a sector experiences a loss of coolant, the fission power generated in it will be removed by the circulating coolant in the adjacent sectors. In this case, however, the reactor fission power would have to decrease to avoid exceeding the design temperature limits in the sector with a failed loop. These two reactor concepts are used with energy conversion technologies, such as advanced Thermoelectric (TE), Free Piston Stirling Engines (FPSE), and Alkali Metal Thermal-to- Electric Conversion (AMTEC). Gas cooled reactors are a better choice to use with Closed Brayton Cycle engines, such as the third reactor concept to be presented in the paper. It has a sectored core that is cooled with a binary mixture of He-Xe (40 gm/mole). Each of the three sectors in the reactor has its own CBC and neutronically, but not hydraulically, coupled to the other sectors

  16. COSTANZA, 1-D 2 Group Space-Dependent Reactor Dynamics of Spatial Reactor with 1 Group Delayed Neutrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agazzi, A.; Gavazzi, C.; Vincenti, E.; Monterosso, R.

    1964-01-01

    1 - Nature of physical problem solved: The programme studies the spatial dynamics of reactor TESI, in the two group and one space dimension approximation. Only one group of delayed neutrons is considered. The programme simulates the vertical movement of the control rods according to any given movement law. The programme calculates the evolution of the fluxes and temperature and precursor concentration in space and time during the power excursion. 2 - Restrictions on the complexity of the problem: The maximum number of lattice points is 100

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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…

  18. Nuclear-microwave-electric propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  19. Ultrahigh temperature vapor core reactor-MHD system for space nuclear electric power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maya, Isaac; Anghaie, Samim; Diaz, Nils J.; Dugan, Edward T.

    1991-01-01

    The conceptual design of a nuclear space power system based on the ultrahigh temperature vapor core reactor with MHD energy conversion is presented. This UF4 fueled gas core cavity reactor operates at 4000 K maximum core temperature and 40 atm. Materials experiments, conducted with UF4 up to 2200 K, demonstrate acceptable compatibility with tungsten-molybdenum-, and carbon-based materials. The supporting nuclear, heat transfer, fluid flow and MHD analysis, and fissioning plasma physics experiments are also discussed.

  20. Problems of space-time behaviour of nuclear reactors; Problemi prostorno-vremenskog ponasanja nuklearnih reaktora

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Obradovic, D [Institut za nuklearne nauke ' Boris Kidric' , Vinca, Belgrade (Yugoslavia)

    1966-07-01

    This paper covers a review of literature and mathematical methods applied for space-time behaviour of nuclear reactors. The review of literature is limited to unresolved problems and trends of actual research in the field of reactor physics. Dat je pregled literature i matematickih metoda koje se koriste prilikom tretiranja prostorno-vremenskog ponasanja nuklearnih reaktora. Pregled literature ogranicen je na jos neresene probleme i pravce u kojima su danas usmerena istrazivanja u ovoj oblasti fizike nuklearnih reaktora (author)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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)

  3. Research on Monte Carlo improved quasi-static method for reactor space-time dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu Qi; Wang Kan; Li Shirui; Yu Ganglin

    2013-01-01

    With large time steps, improved quasi-static (IQS) method can improve the calculation speed for reactor dynamic simulations. The Monte Carlo IQS method was proposed in this paper, combining the advantages of both the IQS method and MC method. Thus, the Monte Carlo IQS method is beneficial for solving space-time dynamics problems of new concept reactors. Based on the theory of IQS, Monte Carlo algorithms for calculating adjoint neutron flux, reactor kinetic parameters and shape function were designed and realized. A simple Monte Carlo IQS code and a corresponding diffusion IQS code were developed, which were used for verification of the Monte Carlo IQS method. (authors)

  4. Engineering and Fabrication Considerations for Cost-Effective Space Reactor Shield Development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berg, Thomas A.; Disney, Richard K.

    2004-01-01

    Investment in developing nuclear power for space missions cannot be made on the basis of a single mission. Current efforts in the design and fabrication of the reactor module, including the reactor shield, must be cost-effective and take into account scalability and fabricability for planned and future missions. Engineering considerations for the shield need to accommodate passive thermal management, varying radiation levels and effects, and structural/mechanical issues. Considering these challenges, design principles and cost drivers specific to the engineering and fabrication of the reactor shield are presented that contribute to lower recurring mission costs

  5. Development of Cubesat Propulsion Systems

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  6. Space-time neutronic analysis of postulated LOCA's in CANDU reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luxat, J.C.; Frescura, G.M.

    1978-01-01

    Space-time neutronic behaviour of CANDU reactors is of importance in the analysis and design of reactor safety systems. A methodology has been developed for simulating CANDU space-time neutronics with application to the analysis of postulated LOCA'S. The approach involves the efficient use of a set of computer codes which provide a capability to perform simulations ranging from detailed, accurate 3-dimensional space-time to low-cost survey calculations using point kinetics with some ''effective'' spatial content. A new, space-time kinetics code based upon a modal expansion approach is described. This code provides an inexpensive and relatively accurate scoping tool for detailed 3-dimensional space-time simulations. (author)

  7. Shield materials recommended for space power nuclear reactors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaszubinski, L. J.

    1973-01-01

    Lithium hydride is recommended for neutron attenuation and depleted uranium is recommended for gamma ray attenuation. For minimum shield weights these materials must be arranged in alternate layers to attenuate the secondary gamma rays efficiently. In the regions of the shield near the reactor, where excessive fissioning occurs in the uranium, a tungsten alloy is used instead. Alloys of uranium such as either the U-0.5Ti or U-8Mo are available to accommodate structural requirements. The zone-cooled casting process is recommended for lithium hydride fabrication. Internal honeycomb reinforcement to control cracks in the lithium hydride is recommended.

  8. Plasma engineering analyses of tokamak reactor operating space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Houlberg, W.; Attenberger, S.E.

    1981-01-01

    A comprehensive method is presented for analyzing the potential physics operating regime of fusion reactor plasmas with detailed transport codes. Application is made to the tokamak Fusion Engineering Device (FED). The relationships between driven and ignited operation and supplementary heating requirements are examined. The reference physics models give a finite range of density and temperature over which physics objectives can be reached. Uncertainties in the confinement scaling and differences in supplementary heating methods can expand or contract this operating regime even to the point of allowing ignition with the more optimistic models

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  10. Core reactivity estimation in space reactors using recurrent dynamic networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parlos, Alexander G.; Tsai, Wei K.

    1991-01-01

    A recurrent multilayer perceptron network topology is used in the identification of nonlinear dynamic systems from only the input/output measurements. The identification is performed in the discrete time domain, with the learning algorithm being a modified form of the back propagation (BP) rule. The recurrent dynamic network (RDN) developed is applied for the total core reactivity prediction of a spacecraft reactor from only neutronic power level measurements. Results indicate that the RDN can reproduce the nonlinear response of the reactor while keeping the number of nodes roughly equal to the relative order of the system. As accuracy requirements are increased, the number of required nodes also increases, however, the order of the RDN necessary to obtain such results is still in the same order of magnitude as the order of the mathematical model of the system. It is believed that use of the recurrent MLP structure with a variety of different learning algorithms may prove useful in utilizing artificial neural networks for recognition, classification, and prediction of dynamic systems.

  11. Vehicle configuration options using nuclear propulsion for Mars missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emrich, William J.

    1993-01-01

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

  12. Vehicle configuration options using nuclear propulsion for Mars missions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Emrich, W.J. Jr.

    1993-01-01

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

  13. Fusion propulsion systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  14. Thermoelectric converter for SP-100 space reactor power system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrill, W. R.; Haley, V. F.

    1986-01-01

    Conductively coupling the thermoelectric converter to the heat source and the radiator maximizes the utilization of the reactor and radiator temperatures and thereby minimizes the power system weight. This paper presents the design for the converter and the individual thermoelectric cells that are the building block modules for the converter. It also summarizes progress on the fabrication of initial cells and the results obtained from the preparation of a manufacturing plan. The design developed for the SP-100 system utilizes thermally conductive compliant pads that can absorb the displacement and distortion caused by the combinations of temperatures and thermal expansion coefficients. The converter and cell designs provided a 100 kWe system which met the system requirements. Initial cells were fabricated and tested.

  15. Thermoelectric converter for SP-100 space reactor power system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Terrill, W.R.; Haley, V.F.

    1986-01-01

    Conductively coupling the thermoelectric converter to the heat source and the radiator maximizes the utilization of the reactor and radiator temperatures and thereby minimizes the power system weight. This paper presents the design for the converter and the individual thermoelectric cells that are the building block modules for the converter. It also summarizes progress on the fabrication of initial cells and the results obtained from the preparation of a manufacturing plan. The design developed for the SP-100 system utilizes thermally conductive compliant pads that can absorb the displacement and distortion caused by the combinations of temperatures and thermal expansion coefficients. The converter and cell designs provided a 100 kWe system which met the system requirements. Initial cells were fabricated and tested. The manufacturing plan showed that the chosen materials and processes are compatible with today's production techniques, that the production volume can readily be achieved and that the costs are reasonable

  16. Missions and planning for nuclear space power

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Freeman, M.

    1999-01-01

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

  18. An historical collection of papers on nuclear thermal propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    The present volume of historical papers on nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) encompasses NTP technology development regarding solid-core NTP technology, advanced concepts from the early years of NTP research, and recent activities in the field. Specific issues addressed include NERVA rocket-engine technology, the development of nuclear rocket propulsion at Los Alamos, fuel-element development, reactor testing for the Rover program, and an overview of NTP concepts and research emphasizing two decades of NASA research. Also addressed are the development of the 'nuclear light bulb' closed-cycle gas core and a demonstration of a fissioning UF6 gas in an argon vortex. The recent developments reviewed include the application of NTP to NASA's Lunar Space Transportation System, the use of NTP for the Space Exploration Initiative, and the development of nuclear rocket engines in the former Soviet Union.

  19. Performance testing of refractory alloy-clad fuel elements for space reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dutt, D.S.; Cox, C.M.; Karnesky, R.A.; Millhollen, M.K.

    1985-01-01

    Two fast reactor irradiation tests, SP-1 and SP-2, provide a unique and self-consistent data set with which to evaluate the technical feasibility of potential fuel systems for the SP-100 space reactor. Fuel pins fabricated with leading cladding candidates (Nb-1Zr, PWC-11, and Mo-13Re) and fuel forms (UN and UO 2 ) are operated at temperatures typical of those expected in the SP-100 design. The first US fast reactor irradiated, refractory alloy clad fuel pins, from the SP-1 test, reached 1 at. % burnup in EBR-II in March 1985. At that time selected pins were discharged for interim examination. These examinations confirmed the excellent performance of the Nb-1Zr clad uranium oxide and uranium nitride fuel elements, which are the baseline fuel systems for two SP-100 reactor concepts

  20. Selection of power plant elements for future reactor space electric power systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.; Bennett, G.A.; Copper, K.

    1979-09-01

    Various types of reactor designs, electric power conversion equipment, and reject-heat systems to be used in nuclear reactor power plants for future space missions were studied. The designs included gas-cooled, liquid-cooled, and heat-pipe reactors. For the power converters, passive types such as thermoelectric and thermionic converters and dynamic types such as Brayton, potassium Rankine, and Stirling cycles were considered. For the radiators, heat pipes for transfer and radiating surface, pumped fluid for heat transfer with fins as the radiating surface, and pumped fluid for heat transfer with heat pipes as the radiating surface were considered. After careful consideration of weights, sizes, reliabilities, safety, and development cost and time, a heat-pipe reactor design, thermoelectric converters, and a heat-pipe radiator for an experimental program were selected

  1. Simulation of the preliminary General Electric SP-100 space reactor concept using the ATHENA computer code

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fletcher, C.D.

    1986-01-01

    The capability to perform thermal-hydraulic analyses of a space reactor using the ATHENA computer code is demonstrated. The fast reactor, liquid-lithium coolant loops, and lithium-filled heat pipes of the preliminary General electric SP-100 design were modeled with ATHENA. Two demonstration transient calculations were performed simulating accident conditions. Calculated results are available for display using the Nuclear Plant Analyzer color graphics analysis tool in addition to traditional plots. ATHENA-calculated results appear reasonable, both for steady state full power conditions, and for the two transients. This analysis represents the first known transient thermal-hydraulic simulation using an integral space reactor system model incorporating heat pipes. 6 refs., 17 figs., 1 tab

  2. Solid-Core, Gas-Cooled Reactor for Space and Surface Power

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    King, Jeffrey C.; El-Genk, Mohamed S.

    2006-01-01

    The solid-core, gas-cooled, Submersion-Subcritical Safe Space (S and 4) reactor is developed for future space power applications and avoidance of single point failures. The Mo-14%Re reactor core is loaded with uranium nitride fuel in enclosed cavities, cooled by He-30%Xe, and sized to provide 550 kWth for seven years of equivalent full power operation. The beryllium oxide reflector disassembles upon impact on water or soil. In addition to decreasing the reactor and shadow shield mass, Spectral Shift Absorber (SSA) materials added to the reactor core ensure that it remains subcritical in the worst-case submersion accident. With a 0.1 mm thick boron carbide coating on the outside surface of the core block and 0.25 mm thick iridium sleeves around the fuel stacks, the reflector outer diameter is 43.5 cm and the combined reactor and shadow shield mass is 935.1 kg. With 12.5 atom% gadolinium-155 added to the fuel, 2.0 mm diameter gadolinium-155 sesquioxide intersititial pins, and a 0.1 mm thick gadolinium-155 sesquioxide coating, the S and 4 reactor has a slightly smaller reflector outer diameter of 43.0 cm, and a total reactor and shield mass of 901.7 kg. With 8.0 atom% europium-151 added to the fuel, 2.0 mm diameter europium-151 sesquioxide interstitial pins, and a 0.1 mm thick europium-151 sesquioxide coating, the reflector's outer diameter and the total reactor and shield mass are further reduced to 41.5 cm and 869.2 kg, respectively

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-04-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Freeman, M

    1999-10-01

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

  5. An assessment of space reactor technology needs and recommendations for development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marshall, A.C.; Wiley, R.L.

    1996-01-01

    In order to provide a strategy for space reactor technology development, the Defense Nuclear Agency (DNA) has authorized a brief review of potential national needs that may be addressed by space reactor systems. A systematic approach was used to explore needs at several levels that are increasingly specific. sm-bullet Level 0 emdash General Trends and Issues sm-bullet Level 1 emdash Generic Space Capabilities to Address Trends sm-bullet Level 2 emdash Requirements to Support Capabilities sm-bullet Level 3 emdash System Types Capable of Meeting Requirements sm-bullet Level 4 emdash Generic Reactor System Types sm-bullet Level 5 emdash Specific Baseline Systems Using these findings, a strategy was developed to support important space reactor technologies within a limited budget. A preliminary evaluation identified key technical issues and provide a prioritized set of candidate research projects. The evaluation of issues and the recommended research projects are presented in a companion paper. copyright 1996 American Institute of Physics

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Lightweight power bus for a baseload nuclear reactor in space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oberly, C.E.; Massie, L.D.; Hoffman, D.J.

    1989-01-01

    Space environmental interactions with the power distribution/power processing subsystem can become a serious problem for power systems rated at 10's to 100's of kilowatts. Utilization of ceramic superconductors at 1000 A/cm/sup 2/, which has already been demonstrated at 77 K in a conductor configuration may eliminate both bus mass and distribution voltage problems in a high power satellite. The analytical results presented here demonstrate that a superconducting coaxial power transmission bus offers significant benefits in reduced distribution voltage and mass

  8. Nuclear merchant ship propulsion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1977-01-01

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

  9. The nuclear energy use in Space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.)

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1989-01-01

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

  12. Reflected kinetics model for nuclear space reactor kinetics and control scoping calculations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Washington, K.E.

    1986-05-01

    The objective of this research is to develop a model that offers an alternative to the point kinetics (PK) modelling approach in the analysis of space reactor kinetics and control studies. Modelling effort will focus on the explicit treatment of control drums as reactivity input devices so that the transition to automatic control can be smoothly done. The proposed model is developed for the specific integration of automatic control and the solution of the servo mechanism problem. The integration of the kinetics model with an automatic controller will provide a useful tool for performing space reactor scoping studies for different designs and configurations. Such a tool should prove to be invaluable in the design phase of a space nuclear system from the point of view of kinetics and control limitations.

  13. Multidimensional space-time kinetics of a heavy water moderated nuclear reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winn, W.G.; Baumann, N.P.; Jewell, C.E.

    1980-01-01

    Diffusion theory analysis of a series of multidimensional space-time experiments is appraised in terms of the final experiment of the series. In particular, TRIMHX diffusion calculations were examined for an experiment involving free-fall insertion of a 235 U-bearing rod into a heavy water moderated reactor with a large reflector. The experimental transient flux-tilts were accurately reproduced after cross section adjustments forced agreement between static diffusion calculations and static reactor measurements. The time-dependent features were particularly well modeled, and the bulk of the small discrepancies in space-dependent features should be removable by more refined cross-section adjustments. This experiment concludes a series of space-time experiments that span a wide range of delayed neutron holdback effects. TRIMHX calculations of these experiments demonstrate the accuracy of the modeling employed in the code

  14. Reflected kinetics model for nuclear space reactor kinetics and control scoping calculations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Washington, K.E.

    1986-05-01

    The objective of this research is to develop a model that offers an alternative to the point kinetics (PK) modelling approach in the analysis of space reactor kinetics and control studies. Modelling effort will focus on the explicit treatment of control drums as reactivity input devices so that the transition to automatic control can be smoothly done. The proposed model is developed for the specific integration of automatic control and the solution of the servo mechanism problem. The integration of the kinetics model with an automatic controller will provide a useful tool for performing space reactor scoping studies for different designs and configurations. Such a tool should prove to be invaluable in the design phase of a space nuclear system from the point of view of kinetics and control limitations

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  16. DynMo: Dynamic Simulation Model for Space Reactor Power Systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-Genk, Mohamed; Tournier, Jean-Michel

    2005-01-01

    A Dynamic simulation Model (DynMo) for space reactor power systems is developed using the SIMULINK registered platform. DynMo is modular and could be applied to power systems with different types of reactors, energy conversion, and heat pipe radiators. This paper presents a general description of DynMo-TE for a space power system powered by a Sectored Compact Reactor (SCoRe) and that employs off-the-shelf SiGe thermoelectric converters. SCoRe is liquid metal cooled and designed for avoidance of a single point failure. The reactor core is divided into six equal sectors that are neutronically, but not thermal-hydraulically, coupled. To avoid a single point failure in the power system, each reactor sector has its own primary and secondary loops, and each loop is equipped with an electromagnetic (EM) pump. A Power Conversion assembly (PCA) and a Thermoelectric Conversion Assembly (TCA) of the primary and secondary EM pumps thermally couple each pair of a primary and a secondary loop. The secondary loop transports the heat rejected by the PCA and the pumps TCA to a rubidium heat pipes radiator panel. The primary loops transport the thermal power from the reactor sector to the PCAs for supplying a total of 145-152 kWe to the load at 441-452 VDC, depending on the selections of the primary and secondary liquid metal coolants. The primary and secondary coolant combinations investigated are lithium (Li)/Li, Li/sodium (Na), Na-Na, Li/NaK-78 and Na/NaK-78, for which the reactor exit temperature is kept below 1250 K. The results of a startup transient of the system from an initial temperature of 500 K are compared and discussed

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cook, Joung R.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1989-01-01

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

  19. NASA's Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Project

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Spacing grids for a fuel pencil bundle in a nuclear reactor assembly

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feutrel, Claude.

    1977-01-01

    This invention relates to the lattices forming the spacing of a bundle of clad fuel pencils in a nuclear reactor assembly, particularly in a water cooled or fast reactor, the purpose of such lattices being to maintain these pencils parallel with respect to each other and according to a given lattice arrangement, whilst also providing these pencils with a flexible support according to different successive areas apportioned with their length in order to present them from vibrating under the effect of the circulation of a liquid coolant environment flowing in contact with these pencils [fr

  1. Visions of the Future: Hybrid Electric Aircraft Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowman, Cheryl L.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1980-01-01

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

  3. A preliminary feasibility study of passive in-core thermionic reactors for highly compact space nuclear power systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parlos, A.G.; Khan, E.U.; Frymire, R.; Negron, S.; Thomas, J.K.; Peddicord, K.L.

    1991-01-01

    Results of a preliminary feasibility study on a new concept for a highly compact space reactor power systems are presented. Notwithstanding the preliminary nature of the present study, the results which include a new space reactor configuration and its associated technologies indicate promising avenues for the devleopment of highly compact space reactors. The calculations reported in this study include a neutronic design trade-off study using a two-dimensioinal neutron transport model, as well as a simplified one-dimensional thermal analysis of the reactor core. In arriving at the most desirable configuration, various options have been considered and analyzed, and their advantages/disadvantages have been compared. However, because of space limitation, only the most favorable reactor configuration is presented in this summary

  4. Reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fujibayashi, Toru.

    1976-01-01

    Object: To provide a boiling water reactor which can enhance a quake resisting strength and flatten power distribution. Structure: At least more than four fuel bundles, in which a plurality of fuel rods are arranged in lattice fashion which upper and lower portions are supported by tie-plates, are bundled and then covered by a square channel box. The control rod is movably arranged within a space formed by adjoining channel boxes. A spacer of trapezoidal section is disposed in the central portion on the side of the channel box over substantially full length in height direction, and a neutron instrumented tube is disposed in the central portion inside the channel box. Thus, where a horizontal load is exerted due to earthquake or the like, the spacers come into contact with each other to support the channel box and prevent it from abnormal vibrations. (Furukawa, Y.)

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  6. Main Propulsion Test Article (MPTA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snoddy, Cynthia

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Distributed propulsion.

    OpenAIRE

    Lindström, Robin; Rosvall, Tobias

    2013-01-01

    En prestandaanalys utfördes på en SAAB 2000 som referensobjekt. Olika metoder för att driva flygplan på ett miljövänligare sätt utvärderades tillsammans med distributed propulsion. Efter undersökningar valdes elmotorer tillsammans med Zink-luft batterier för att driva SAAB 2000 med distributed propulsion. En prestandaanalys utfördes på detta plan på samma sätt som för den ursprungliga SAAB 2000. Resultaten jämfördes och slutsatsen blev att räckvidden var för kort för att konfigurationen skull...

  8. Propulsion materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  9. Broad-Application Test Reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Motloch, C.G.

    1992-05-01

    This report is about a new, safe, and operationally efficient DOE reactor of nuclear research and testing proposed for the early to mid- 21st Century. Dubbed the Broad-Application Test Reactor (BATR), the proposed facility incorporates a multiple-application, multiple-mission design to support DOE programs such as naval reactors and space power and propulsion, as well as research in medical, science, isotope, and electronics arenas. DOE research reactors are aging, and implementing major replacement projects requires long lead times. Primary design drivers include safety, low risk, minimum operation cost, mission flexibility, waste minimization, and long life. Scientists and engineers at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory are evaluating possible fuel forms, structural materials, reactor geometries, coolants, and moderators

  10. Adaptability of Brayton cycle conversion systems to fast, epithermal and thermal spectrum space nuclear reactors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tilliette, Z.P.

    1988-01-01

    The two French Government Agencies C.N.E.S. (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales) and C.E.A. (Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique) are carrying out joint preliminary studies on space nuclear power systems for future ARIANE 5 launch vehicle applications. The Brayton cycle is the reference conversion system, whether the heat source is a liquid metal-cooled (NaK, Na or Li) reactor or a gas-cooled direct cycle concept. The search for an adequate utilization of this energy conversion means has prompted additional evaluations featuring the definition of satisfactory cycle conditions for these various kinds of reactor concepts. In addition to firstly studied fast and epithermal spectrum ones, thermal spectrum reactors can offer an opportunity of bringing out some distinctive features of the Brayton cycle, in particular for the temperature conditioning of the efficient metal hydrides (ZrH, Li/sub 7/H) moderators. One of the purposes of the paper is to confirm the potential of long lifetime ZrH moderated reactors associated with a gas cycle and to assess the thermodynamical consequences for both Nak(Na)-cooled or gas-cooled nuclear heat sources. This investigation is complemented by the definition of appropriate reactor arrangements which could be presented on a further occasion

  11. Thermo-mechanical behaviour of FBTR reactor vessel due to natural convection in cover gas space

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Srinivasan, G.; Varadarajan, S.; Kapoor, R.P.

    1988-01-01

    Fast Breeder Test Reactor is a 40 MW(t), loop type sodium cooled reactor, similar in design to Rapsodie. The Reactor Assembly, which is the heart of FBTR, comprises the Reactor Vessel (RV) housed in a safety vessel within a concrete cell (A1 Cell). The RV which supports the core is shielded at the top by two rotatable plugs which are stacked with layers of borated graphite and steel. The smaller plug (SRP), is mounted excentric to the larger one (LRP). A nominal annular gap of 16 mm is provided between RV and LRP and between LRP and SRP to enable free rotation of the plugs. Stainless Steel insulation is fixed inside the steel vessel, to avoid overheating of the A1 Cell concrete. The core is supported by the Grid Plate (GP), bolted to the RV. During preheating, sodium charging and isothermal runs upto 350 0 C, temperature asymmetries were noticed in the reactor vessel wall in the cover gas space. This was attributable to convection currents in the annulus between RV and LRP. The asymmetries also resulted in a lateral shift of the grid plate. This paper discusses our experience in suppressing these convection currents, and minimising the grid plate shift

  12. Critical evaluation of molybdenum and its alloys for use in space reactor core heat pipes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lundberg, L.B.

    1981-01-01

    The choice of pure molybdenum as the prime candidate material for space reactor core heat pipes is examined, and the advantages and disadvantages of this material are brought into focus. Even though pure molybdenum heat pipes have been built and tested, this metal's high ductile-brittle transition temperature and modest creep strength place significant design restrictions on a core heat pipe made from it. Molybdenum alloys are examined with regard to their promise as potential replacements for pure molybdenum. The properties of TZM and molybdenum-rhenium alloys are examined, and it appears that Mo-Re alloys with 10 to 15 wt % rhenium offer the most advantage as an alternative to pure molybdenum in space reactor core heat pipes

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1992-09-01

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

  14. Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power DOE Operations Annual Site Environmental Report 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tuttle, R. J. [The Boeing Company, Canoga Park, CA (United States)

    1997-11-10

    This annual report discusses environmental monitoring at two manufacturing and test operations sites operated in the Los Angeles area by Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power of Boeing North American. Inc. (formerly Rockwell International Corporation). These are identified as the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL and the De Soto site. The sites have been used for manufacturing; R&D, engineering, and testing in a broad range of technical fields, primarily rocket engine propulsion and nuclear reactor technology. The De Soto site essentially comprises office space and light industry with no remaining radiological operations, and has little potential impact on the environment. The SSFL site, because of its large size (2.668 acres), warrants comprehensive monitoring to ensure protection of the environment.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaffe, L.; Fujita, T.; Beatty, R.; Bhandari, P.; Chow, E.; Deininger, W.; Ewell, R.; Grossman, M.; Kia, T.; Nesmith, B.

    1988-01-01

    The SP-100 Project was established to develop and demonstrate feasibility of a space reactor power system (SRPS) at power levels of 10's of kilowatts to a megawatt. To help determine systems requirements for the SRPS, a mission and spacecraft were examined which utilize this power system for a space-based radar to observe moving objects. Aspects of the mission and spacecraft bearing on the power system were the primary objectives of this study; performance of the radar itself was not within the scope. The study was carried out by the Systems Design Audit Team of the SP-100 Project.

  18. Heat-electricity convertion systems for a Brazilian space micro nuclear reactor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guimaraes, Lamartine N.F.; Marcelino, Natalia B.; Placco, Guilherme M.; Nascimento, Jamil A.; Borges, Eduardo M., E-mail: guimarae@ieav.cta.br, E-mail: lamartine.guimaraes@pq.cnpq.br, E-mail: jamil@ieav.cta.br, E-mail: jalnsgf@outlook.com, E-mail: borges.em@hotmail.com, E-mail: ecorborges@hotmail.com, E-mail: ivayolini@gmail.com, E-mail: guilherme_placco@ig.com.br [Instituto de Estudos Avancados (IEAv/DCTA), Sao Jose dos Campos, SP (Brazil); Barrios Junior, Ary Garcia, E-mail: arygarcia89@yahoo.com [Faculdade de Tecnologia Sao Francisco (FATESF), Jacarei, SP (Brazil)

    2013-07-01

    This contribution will discuss the evolution work in the development of thermal cycles to allow the development of heat-electricity conversion for the Brazilian space micro nuclear Reactor. Namely, innovative core and nuclear fuel elements, Brayton cycle, Stirling engine, heat pipes, passive multi-fluid turbine, among others. This work is basically to set up the experimental labs that will allow the specification and design of the space equipment. Also, some discussion of the cost so far, and possible other applications will be presented. (author)

  19. Simplified methodology for control cell constant calculations of the reactor cores for the space kinetics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santos, Rubens Souza dos; Martinez, Aquilino Senra; Alvim, Antonio Carlos Marques

    2002-01-01

    In this work is presented a methodology which focuses the distribution of neutron absorber rods in nuclear reactor power plants, for utilizing in space kinetic calculations, principally in the cluster ejection transients of control rods. A numerical model for macroscopic constant calculations based on the knowledge of the neutron flux without the control rods is proposed, as alternative to the analytical models, based on the hypothesis of the null current on the cell super boundaries. The proposed model in this work has itself showed adequate to deal with problems with strong space dependence, once that the model showed consistence in the global average built in the analytical model. (author)

  20. Heat-electricity convertion systems for a Brazilian space micro nuclear reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guimaraes, Lamartine N.F.; Marcelino, Natalia B.; Placco, Guilherme M.; Nascimento, Jamil A.; Borges, Eduardo M.; Barrios Junior, Ary Garcia

    2013-01-01

    This contribution will discuss the evolution work in the development of thermal cycles to allow the development of heat-electricity conversion for the Brazilian space micro nuclear Reactor. Namely, innovative core and nuclear fuel elements, Brayton cycle, Stirling engine, heat pipes, passive multi-fluid turbine, among others. This work is basically to set up the experimental labs that will allow the specification and design of the space equipment. Also, some discussion of the cost so far, and possible other applications will be presented. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  2. Overview and future prospects of laser plasma propulsion technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zheng Zhiyuan; Lu Xin; Zhang Jie

    2003-01-01

    Due to its high cost, low efficiency, complex operation and unsatisfactory recycling, traditional rocket propulsion by chemical fuels has hindered the exploration of outer space to further limits. With the rapid development of laser and space technology, the new technology of laser propulsion exhibits unique advantages and prospects. The mechanism and current development of laser plasma propulsion are reviewed, with mention of the technical problems and focus issues of laser plasma in micro-flight propulsion

  3. Flow of ideal fluid through a central region of a nuclear reactor wire-spaced fuel subassembly

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schmid, J.

    1991-04-01

    The results are given of calculations of the flow of an ideal fluid through the central region of a nuclear reactor wire-spaced fuel subassembly. The computer code used is briefly described. (author). 10 figs., 4 refs

  4. Verification of codes used for the nuclear safety assessment of the small space heterogeneous reactors with zirconium hydride moderator

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glushkov, E.S.; Gomin, E.A.; Kompaniets, G.V.

    1994-01-01

    Computer codes used for assessment of nuclear safety for space NPP are compared taking as an example small-sized heterogeneous reactor with zirconium hydride moderator of the Topaz-2 facility. The code verifications are made for five different variants

  5. Preliminary neutronic design of spock reactor: A nuclear system for space power generation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burgio, N.; Santagata, A.; Cumo, M.; Fasano, A.; Frullini, M.

    2007-01-01

    Aim of this paper is to preliminary investigates the neutronic features of an upgrade of the MAUS [1] nuclear reactor whose core will be able to supply a thermoelectric converter in order to generate 30 kW of electricity for space applications. The neutronic layout of SPOCK (Space Power Core Ka) is a compact, MOX fuelled, liquid metal cooled and totally reflected fast reactor with a control system based on neutron absorption. Spock, that during the heart and launch operation must be maintained in sub-critical state, has to start up in the outer space at 40 K temperatures with the coolant in a solid state and it will reach the operating steady condition at the maximum temperature of 1300 K with the coolant in the liquid state. The main design goal is to maintains, in the operating conditions of a typical space mission, the control of the appropriate criticality margin versus temperature and coolant physical state. For this purpose, a neutronic/thermal-hydraulic calculation chain able to assists the entire design process must be set up. As preliminary recognition, MCNPX 2.5.0 and FLUENT calculations were carried out. The emerging key features of SPOCK are: an equilateral triangular mesh of 91 cylindrical UO 2 fuel rods with a Molybdenum clad ensured by two grids of the same material, cooled by liquid Sodium and contained in an AISI 316 L vessel. The core is totally wrapped by a Beryllium reflector that hosts six absorber (B 4 C) rotating control rods. The reactor shape is cylindrical (radius = 30 cm and height = 60 cm) with a total mass of 275 kg. The excess reactivity was of 5000 PCM at 1300 K. A preliminary evaluation of the control rods worth and a power spatial distribution were also discussed. Through the definition of an ideal reference K e ff value at 300 K for the actual SPOCK configuration, a sensitivity analysis on various cross sections data and material physical properties was performed for the given mission temperature range, allowing consideration on

  6. Gaseous fuel reactors for power systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Helmick, H.H.; Schwenk, F.C.

    1978-01-01

    The Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory is participating in a NASA-sponsored program to demonstrate the feasibility of a gaseous uranium fueled reactor. The work is aimed at acquiring experimental and theoretical information for the design of a prototype plasma core reactor which will test heat removal by optical radiation. The basic goal of this work is for space applications, however, other NASA-sponsored work suggests several attractive applications to help meet earth-bound energy needs. Such potential benefits are small critical mass, on-site fuel processing, high fuel burnup, low fission fragment inventory in reactor core, high temperature for process heat, optical radiation for photochemistry and space power transmission, and high temperature for advanced propulsion systems. Low power reactor experiments using uranium hexafluoride gas as fuel demonstrated performance in accordance with reactor physics predictions. The final phase of experimental activity now in progress is the fabrication and testing of a buffer gas vortex confinement system

  7. Advanced micro-reactor for space and deep sea exploration: a scientific Brazilian vision

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nascimento, Jamil A. do; Guimaraes, Lamartine N.F.; Ono, Shizuca; Lobo, Paulo D.C.

    2011-01-01

    Humankind is at the point to initiate a new adventure in its evolutionary journey, the colonization of other planets of our solar system and space travels. Also, there is still another frontier where the human presence is scarce, the oceans and the Earth seabed. To have success in the exploration of these new frontiers a fundamental requirement must be satisfied: secure availability of energy for life support and others processes. This work deals with the establishment of a basis for a Brazilian nuclear research and development (R and D) program to develop micro-reactor (MR) technologies that may be used in the seabed, the space or another hostile environment on Earth. The work presents a set of basic requirements that is used to define the best reactor type to be used in these environments. Also, the limits and dimensions that define the class of micro-reactors are discussed. The fast neutron spectrum was chosen as the best for the MR and the limits for the active core volume and thermal power are 30 liters and 5 MW. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

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

  9. Electric vehicle propulsion alternatives

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1983-01-01

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

  10. Analysis and evaluation of ZPPR critical experiments for a 100 kilowatt-electric space reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McFarlane, H.F.; Collins, P.J.; Carpenter, S.G.; Olsen, D.N.; Smith, D.M.; Schaefer, R.W.; Doncals, R.A.; Andre, S.V.; Porter, C.A.; Cowan, C.L.; Stewart, S.L.; Protsik, R.

    1990-01-01

    ZPPR critical experiments were used for physics testing the reactor design of the SP-100, a 100-kW thermoelectric LMR that is being developed to provide electrical power for space applications. These tests validated all key physics characteristics of the design, including the ultimate safety in the event of a launch or re-entry accident. Both the experiments and the analysis required the use of techniques not previously needed for fast reactor designs. A few significant discrepancies between the experimental and calculated results leave opportunities for further reductions in the mass of the SP-100. An initial investigation has been made into application of the ZPPR-20 results, along with those of other relevant integral data, to the SP-100 design

  11. Analysis of space-time core dynamics on reactor accident at Chernobyl

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takano, Makoto; Shindo, Ryuichi; Yamashita, Kiyonobu; Sawa, Kazuhiro

    1987-05-01

    Regarding reactor accident at Chernobyl in USSR, core dynamics has been analyzed by COMIC code which solves space-time dependent diffusion equation in three-dimension taking spatial thermohydraulic effect into account. The code was originally developed for high temperature gas-cooled reactors (HTGR), however, has been modified to include light water as coolant, instead of helium, for analysis of the accident. In the analysis, emphasis is placed on spatial effects on core dynamics. The analyses are performed for the cases of modeling the core fully and partially where 6 fuel channels surround one control rod channel. The result shows that the speed of applying void reactivity averaged over the core depends on the power and coolant flow distributions. Therefore, these distributions have potential to influence on the value and the time of peak power estimated by calculation. (author)

  12. Fabrication and testing of uranium nitride fuel for space power reactors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, R. B.; Chidester, K. M.; Hoth, C. W.; Mason, R. E.; Petty, R. L.

    1988-02-01

    Uranium nitride fuel was selected for previous space power reactors because of its attractive thermal and physical properties; however, all UN fabrication and testing activities were terminated over ten years ago. An accelerated irradiation test, SP-1, was designed to demonstrate the irradiation performance of Nb-1 Zr clad UN fuel pins for the SP-100 program. A carbothermic-reduction/nitriding process was developed to synthesize UN powders. These powders were fabricated into fuel pellets by conventional cold-pressing and sintering. The pellets were loaded into Nb-1 Zr cladding tubes, irradiated in a fast-test reactor, and destructively examined after 0.8 at% burnup. Preliminary postirradiation examination (PIE) results show that the fuel pins behaved as designed. Fuel swelling, fission-gas release, and microstructural data are presented, and suggestions to enhance the reliability of UN fuel pins are discussed.

  13. Aeroelastic Wing Shaping Using Distributed Propulsion

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Reactor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Toyama, Masahiro; Kasai, Shigeo.

    1978-01-01

    Purpose: To provide a lmfbr type reactor wherein effusion of coolants through a loop contact portion is reduced even when fuel assemblies float up, and misloading of reactor core constituting elements is prevented thereby improving the reactor safety. Constitution: The reactor core constituents are secured in the reactor by utilizing the differential pressure between the high-pressure cooling chamber and low-pressure cooling chamber. A resistance port is formed at the upper part of a connecting pipe, and which is connect the low-pressure cooling chamber and the lower surface of the reactor core constituent. This resistance part is formed such that the internal sectional area of the connecting pipe is made larger stepwise toward the upper part, and the cylinder is formed larger so that it profiles the inner surface of the connecting pipe. (Aizawa, K.)

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  16. Application of data mining in three-dimensional space time reactor model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jiang Botao; Zhao Fuyu

    2011-01-01

    A high-fidelity three-dimensional space time nodal method has been developed to simulate the dynamics of the reactor core for real time simulation. This three-dimensional reactor core mathematical model can be composed of six sub-models, neutron kinetics model, cay heat model, fuel conduction model, thermal hydraulics model, lower plenum model, and core flow distribution model. During simulation of each sub-model some operation data will be produced and lots of valuable, important information reflecting the reactor core operation status could be hidden in, so how to discovery these information becomes the primary mission people concern. Under this background, data mining (DM) is just created and developed to solve this problem, no matter what engineering aspects or business fields. Generally speaking, data mining is a process of finding some useful and interested information from huge data pool. Support Vector Machine (SVM) is a new technique of data mining appeared in recent years, and SVR is a transformed method of SVM which is applied in regression cases. This paper presents only two significant sub-models of three-dimensional reactor core mathematical model, the nodal space time neutron kinetics model and the thermal hydraulics model, based on which the neutron flux and enthalpy distributions of the core are obtained by solving the three-dimensional nodal space time kinetics equations and energy equations for both single and two-phase flows respectively. Moreover, it describes that the three-dimensional reactor core model can also be used to calculate and determine the reactivity effects of the moderator temperature, boron concentration, fuel temperature, coolant void, xenon worth, samarium worth, control element positions (CEAs) and core burnup status. Besides these, the main mathematic theory of SVR is introduced briefly next, on the basis of which SVR is applied to dealing with the data generated by two sample calculation, rod ejection transient and axial

  17. Nuclear power in space. Use of reactors and radioactive substances as power sources in satellites and space probes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoestbaeck, Lars

    2008-11-01

    Today solar panels are the most common technique to supply power to satellites. Solar panels will work as long as the power demand of the satellite is limited and the satellite can be equipped with enough panels, and kept in an orbit that allows enough sunlight to hit the panels. There are various types of space missions that do not fulfil these criteria. With nuclear power these types of missions can be powered regardless of the sunlight and as early as 1961 the first satellite with a nuclear power source was placed in orbit. Out of seventy known space missions that has made use of nuclear power, ten have had some kind of failure. In no case has the failure been associated with the nuclear technology used. This report discusses to what degree satellites with nuclear power are a source for potential radioactive contamination of Swedish territory. It is not a discussion for or against nuclear power in space. Neither is it an assessment of consequences if radioactive material from a satellite would reach the earth's surface. Historically two different kinds of Nuclear Power Sources (NPS) have been used to generate electric power in space. The first is the reactor where the energy is derived from nuclear fission of 235 U and the second is the Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) where electricity is generated from the heat of naturally decaying radionuclides. NPS has historically only been used in space by United States and the Soviet Union (and in one failing operation Russia). Nuclear Power Sources have been used in three types of space objects: satellites, space probes and moon/Mars vehicles. USA has launched one experimental reactor into orbit, all other use of NPS by the USA has been RTG:s. The Soviet Union, in contrast, only launched a few RTG:s but nearly forty reactors. The Soviet use of NPS is less transparent than the use in USA and some data published on Soviet systems are more or less well substantiated assessments. It is likely that also future

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Shock and vibration tests of uranium mononitride fuel pellets for a space power nuclear reactor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, D. W.

    1972-01-01

    Shock and vibration tests were conducted on cylindrically shaped, depleted, uranium mononitride (UN) fuel pellets. The structural capabilities of the pellets were determined under exposure to shock and vibration loading which a nuclear reactor may encounter during launching into space. Various combinations of diametral and axial clearances between the pellets and their enclosing structures were tested. The results of these tests indicate that for present fabrication of UN pellets, a diametral clearance of 0.254 millimeter and an axial clearance of 0.025 millimeter are tolerable when subjected to launch-induced loads.