Nuclear Propulsion Current Scenarios

Renewed attention to nuclear propulsion (NP) for interplanetary missions started in the late 1980s, motivated by interest in a manned Mars mission. It was and still is clear to the aerospace research community that NP can provide the only practical and safe propulsion system for a fast, manned Mars mission, e.g. Asker, 1991 . Many brief (and cautious) articles have appeared in support of high-energy, short missions compared to multi-year missions relying on planetary gravitational assists such...

Review Of Our Solar System Distances Speeds And Propulsion Requirements

Distances to places within our Solar System in Chapter 1 (see Figure 7.2) provided a yardstick to measure human ambition. At its speed (about 300,000 km s), light traveling from the Earth to Pluto would reach it (in the average) in 5.45 hours. The highest speed reached by human handicraft is probably the Cassini-Huygens probe while traveling to Saturn in 2004 at about 40 km s, or 7,500 times less than the speed of light. The minimum A V needed to reach destinations in our Solar System are...

B322 The tandem mirror

Tandem Mirror Yin Yang

The idea behind the tandem mirror (TM) is to modify the electrostatic potential shape along B in such a way as to confine both escaping ions and electrons. In the tandem mirror (Figure B.8) two smaller mirror cells are added at each end of the larger central cell where fusion reactions are supposed to take place. The axial profiles of density and temperature in the two end cells are tailored, using external methods such as radiofrequency heating and neutral beam injection, so as to transform...

Pulse detonation engine performance

Analysis of engine flowpath physics, anchored to available experimental and CFD data, has shown this performance gain to be dependent on the propellant combina tion of choice, the chosen feed system, and other design parameters. It is only through detailed component energy balancing, coupled with unsteady detonation analysis and loss modeling that accurate estimates of the PDE PDRE performance may be obtained. Three key parameters that determine performance are, nozzle length compared to the...

Pulse Detonation Engines 4161 What is a pulse detonation engine

A pulse detonation engine (PDE) is a cyclical operation engine analogous to the World War II pulse jets. This engine fires cyclically resulting in an intermittent firing engine. The engine consists of an acoustically tuned pipe fed a detonatable mixture inside that, when ignited, sends the combustion products wave traveling down the pipe ahead of a detonation wave. After the products exit the tube, the tube is effectively scavenged, new fuel is then injected and a new mixture forms, sort of...

The Question Of Isp Thrust And Power For Quasiinterstellar And Stellar Missions

The kind of distances and times just outlined suggest key issues are somewhat similar to those examined in Chapter 7 in other words, Isp (total mass of propellant to carry and accelerate), thrust (and the acceleration needed to reach final destination within reasonable time spans), and the power to sustain thrust. The only difference with the discussion in Chapter 7 is the extreme influence played by these three factors in planning QI and interstellar precursor missions. It is useful at this...

B7 References

Alladio, F., Mancuso, A., Micozzi, P., Pieroni, L., Alessandrini, C., Apruzzese, G., Bettinali, L., Buratti, P., Coletti, A., Costa, P. et al. (2001) Proto-Sphera, ENEA CR Report, Frascati, Italy, July 2001, p. 13. Available at www.fascati.enea.it ProtoSphera Bodin, H.A.B., and Newton, A.A. (1980) Reversed Field Pinch Research'', Nucl. Fusion, Vol. 20, p. 1255 Borowski, S.K. (1995) Comparison of Fusion Antiproton Propulsion Systems for Interplanetary Travel'', in T. Kammash (Ed.), Fusion Energy...

Limits Of Chemical Propulsion And Alternatives

All considerations made in Sections 7.1 and 7.2 should convince that chemical propulsion is inadequate to explore interplanetary space and perform planetary missions within reasonable times and budgets. The main reason is low Isp, at most of order 450 s. The Tsiolkowski equation predicts most of the mass of propellants will be spent accelerating the propellants themselves, and that the payload will be a small fraction of the initial mass, of order 1-3 for AV of order 7-8km s. The Tsiolkowski...

Docking with space facilities and the International Space Station

Examining Figure 5.1, we see a variety of space structures (facilities) that are unique to each facility's function. In time that is probably the norm for space facilities. In reality we are just beginning because there is no existing space infrastructure. At best there are specific mission to specific orbital assets (such as a shuttle mission to Hubble). As published in the aerospace literature, the current European (Columbus Laboratory) and Japanese (Japanese Experimental Module, Kimbo)...

Considerations About Ntr Propulsion

At this stage NTR propulsion appears viable for certain fast, possibly manned, interplanetary missions also, for some fast robotic missions in the outer Earth neighborhood (e.g., for asteroid defence). NTR is being also investigated as a replacement of commercial space launchers, although its is doubtful that it could be accepted under existing regulations (and fears) concerning the use of nuclear energy in space. Similar considerations hold for its application to OTVs (space tugs). Of interest...

Mpd Thrusters

High-power MHD thrusters are less developed than ion engines, and to a large extent are still laboratory items. Exploiting the Lorentz force, MHD acceleration occurs when a flow of charges, e.g., electrons and ions, in all respects equivalent to a current, J, moves in a magnetic field B. The Lorentz force is F J x B it accelerates charged species moving in the magnetic field B and according to Newton's Third Principle, creates thrust. The state of a gas containing charged species, that is, an...

A421 Radiationinduced cancer

There is substantive evidence that almost all cancers originate from a single cell. However, single changes in the cell genetic code are usually insufficient to initiate a cancer. Several cell mutations (two to seven) are required in the carcinogenesis process from pre-neoplasia to cancer. Radiation may act at several stages of the process, but it seems to have a major role in the initial conversion of the cell to a pre-neoplastic state. A pre-neoplastic cell is immersed in an environment of...

Emerging Propulsion System Concepts In Development

This section will discuss two propulsion systems that operate in a manner different from conventional airbreathing chemical combustion systems. The first originated in the former Soviet Union, probably in the 1970s, as a total energy concept that coupled aerodynamic forces with electromagnetic forces and required a local plasma flow to exist for the system to work. The Russian name for the system is Ayaks, or Ajax, and is described as a magneto-hydro-dynamic (MHD) energy bypass system. If the...

Figures

1 (Introduction) Andromeda 2 (Introduction) MIRLIN (Mid-Infrared Large Well Imager) image of the black hole at the center of the Milky 3 (Introduction) Habitable zones of life and Earth-like solar systems 7 4 (Introduction) Two scramjet-powered space launchers for approximately Mach 12 airbreather 1.1 Spectrum of launchers spacecraft from 1956 to 1981 1.2 Diameter of the Sun compared with the Moon's orbital diameter 19 1.3 Sun to near-galactic space in three 1.4 Notional round trip to space...

Operational Concepts Anticipated For Future Missions

For current concepts of expendable systems the configuration choice of cylinders is practical. At best the solid boosters for the United States Space Shuttle are recovered from a low Mach number separation close to the Florida shore. However, for reusable vehicles and long-life, sustained-use vehicles the requirements for glide range become important enough to shape and even determine the configuration of the launcher and launcher components. As discussed in Chapter 2, the first example is that...

Vasimr Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasmadynamic Rocket

VASIMR is a high power, electrothermal plasma rocket concept currently under development at its NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston by a team headed by astronaut Dr Franklin Chang Diaz Musser and Alpert, 2000 Chang Diaz, 2000 . VASIMR technology borrows heavily from US fusion R& D, and especially from the vast experience in plasma heating by radio-frequency electromagnetic waves, or RF heating for short. A recent survey of the status of VASIMR can be found in Negrotti, 2008 . Although...

Major Sequence Of Propulsion Cycles

There are a significant number of propulsion system options that have been studied and reported. In this chapter 14 different classes of propulsion systems are discussed that are suitable for either hypersonic flight or space launchers. The authors have focused on those that are applicable to SSTO transatmospheric vehicles and hypersonic cruise vehicles. If the rocket ascent to orbit is deleted from the analysis then a SSTO that uses airbreathing propulsion to Mach 10 is essentially the first...

A7 Bibliography

Augelli, M., Bignami, G., Bruno, C., Calligarich, E., De Maria, G., Mulas, M., Musso, C., Pellizzoni, A., Piperno, W., Piva, R., et al. (1999) ''Report of the Working Group on a Preliminary Assessment of a New Fission Fragments Heated Propulsion Concept and its Applicability to Manned Missions to the Planet Mars (Project 242)'', ASI Internal Report, Roma, 15 March 1999. Chen, W.L., et al. (2004) ''Is Chronic Radiation an Effective Prophylaxis against Cancer '', Journal of American Physicians...

Nuclear Propulsion A Historical Perspective

Mtr Fuel Plates Shielding

A by-product of the need for carrying the heavy atomic and thermonuclear bombs of the 1940s, nuclear propulsion was explored in great depth in the US and Soviet Union from the late 1940s throughout the 1950s and until the early 1990s. In the US the rationale for starting its development (by the Atomic Energy Commission, AEC, in 1953, through the program ROVER) was the perceived need for a 75,000 lbf thrust nuclear thermal rocket to power the third stage of US intercontinental ballistic missiles...

Onorbit operations in nearEarth orbit a necessary second step

Transatmospheric Vehicle Design

The concept of the train yard as a center of operations for switching, long-haul train assembly, transfer of goods, refueling and repair is applicable to a space marshaling facility. The remoteness of space parallels the remote bases on the Earth's surface where the environment forces significant logistics operations to include propellant, cargo, repair parts, pilot accommodation, structures and support items. The late Frederick (Bud) Redding formed a company, In-Space Operations Corporation...

The Challenge Of Flying To Space

A predisposition to use rockets derived from military ballistic missiles, forced by the military competition between the United States and the former USSR, curtailed efforts to develop alternatives to chemical rockets together with practical commercial developments. With the orbiting of Sputnik, the aircraft path to space, represented in the US by the series of X planes Miller, 2001 and with the X-15 Jenkins and Landis, 2003 came to an end. With the X-15 demise, all efforts to fly to space...

Rubbias Engine

Vasimr Spreed Full System Diagram Photos

This concept has been proposed by the 1984 Nobel prizewinner C. Rubbia, in 1998 during a CERN lecture. The very first suggestion of using fission fragments to directly heat rocket propellant was made in 1948 Shepherd and Cleaver, 1948 . Quite independently, the same idea was also investigated in Israel by Professor Y. Ronen at Ben-Gurion University Ronen, 2000 . In Italy this concept has been developed since 1998 by an ad hoc research team led by C. Rubbia and funded by the Italian Space...

Changes In Orbital Inclination

Orbital plane change is a challenging propulsion space maneuver. It requires a large expenditure of energy to achieve a small change in the orbital plane. A propulsive plane change is an impulse turn, and is executed with the thrust line perpendicular to the orbital path and in the direction of the plane change. The equation for the incremental velocity for an impulse turn is given in equation (5.11) for a non-rotating Earth. R0 3442. 5 nautical miles h orbital altitude from surface As...

Conclusions With Respect To Continuous Cycles

Carl Builder was one of The Marquardt Company team that developed the Air Force Scramjet Program. Builder, Charles Lindley Lindley, 1963 and John Ahern were responsible for developing the thermodynamic analysis for the scramjet. The standard approach for the ramjet and its extension to scramjets was based on an isentropic stagnation conditions analysis where First Law inefficiencies were evaluated in terms of stagnation pressure losses and an aerodynamic analysis of the engine flow path based...

Thermally Integrated Combined Cycle Propulsion

As the Mach number increases, the kinetic energy of the air increases by the square of the speed. As we saw in Figure 4.3, the kinetic energy of the air rapidly exceeds the thermal energy available to be transferred to the engine working fluid, air. The fraction of the combustion energy rejected as unavailable for conversion to useful work is also significant. In a modern turbojet engine only about 23 of the fuel combustion energy is actually converted to thrust, and 44 is discarded out of the...

Bibliography

Ahem, J.E. (1983) Briefing for Robert Williams on Second Law Thermodynamics, DARPA Copper Canyon manager, Washington, DC. Ahern, J.E. (1992) ''Thermal Management of Air-Breathing Propulsion Systems'', AIAA 920514, 30th Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Reno, Nevada, January 1992. Anfimov, N.A. (1997) ''In Searching for an Optimal Concept of Future Russian Reusable Space Transportation System'', Proceedings of the International Workshop on Spaceplane RLV Technology Demonstrators, March 1997, Tokyo...

Airbreathing Rocket Propulsion

Airbreathing rocket-derived propulsion systems are generally operated up to Mach 6 or less because of pressure and temperature limits of the air induction system Miki et al., 1993 . At Mach 6 inlet diffuser static pressures can typically equal 20 atmospheres and 3,000 R (1,666 K). Airbreathing rocket propulsion concepts employ a method to reduce the temperature of air entering the inlet system so it can be compressed to rocket chamber operating pressures with reduced power requirements. There...

Superluminal Speed Is It Required

At subluminal speed we have shown that round-trip conventional (i.e., exploiting Newton's Third Principle) spacecraft journeys to distant galactic destinations cannot be accomplished within the lifespan of the Earth-bound project team. But what if the spacecraft can exceed the speed of light Some investigators have been so bold to postulate the possible existence of faster-than-light entities Tanka, 1960 Bilaniuk, 1962 . There is a mathematical approach to the Lorentz transformations that...

Cryogenic hybrid rocket engine technology

This technology originated in both Europe, at the Aerospace Institute in Berlin (see Lo et al., 2005 ), and in the US. ORBITEC has developed technology in the US, performing extensive work in cryogenic hybrid rocket engines. This patented family of engines uses a cryogenic solid as the fuel (or oxidizer) grain. The cryogenic hybrid offers the safety and relative simplicity of hybrid engines coupled with the performance of cryogenic bipropellant engines. The latest addition to this family, the...

Hyfac M12

Ejector ram-scramjet powered HTOL SSTO with a gross weight of 300 tons, a weight ratio of 4.3 and an oxidizer fuel ratio of 2.2. Figure 4.36. Ejector ram-scramjet powered HTOL SSTO with a gross weight of 300 tons, a weight ratio of 4.3 and an oxidizer fuel ratio of 2.2. erates through the transonic flight regime. It is depicted climbing from an air launch from a C5A, but it could just as easily have separated from an An225. If this were a TSTO vehicle, a smaller version of the...

Particle Bed Reactor

Following the end of the NERVA work, USAF took over research in nuclear propulsion Lawrence, 2008 , one of its priorities being a nuclear-powered reusable space tug more formally, the Orbital Transfer Vehicle OTV . With all the safety caveats, a space tug is a striking alternative to orbit raising chemical stages for commercial satellites. USAF started in the mid-1970s by modifying the NERVA I reactor, recognizing it rightly as the critical element of the entire propulsion system. The NERVA...

Takeoff And Landing Mode

The switchblade wing version of the FDL-7C that is, the FDL-7MC was the preferred version for the 1964 studies. A switchblade wing version of the McDonnell Douglas Model 176 configuration, without a windshield, is presented in Figure 3.22. This was part of the McDonnell Douglas TAV Trans-Atmospheric Vehicle effort that vehicle was powered by either an Aerojet, Sacramento, Air Turboramjet or an airbreathing rocket propulsion system. The inward-turning, variable capture area inlet DuPont, 1999...

Solid Core Propulation System

A primer on this subject is Bussard and DeLauer, 1958 some design practice and details may be found in Turner, 2005 . A conventional solid-core NTR of the NERVA type consists of a compact nuclear reactor in which a certain number of heat exchanger channels heats flowing hydrogen propellant to the maximum temperature allowable by materials, of order 2,000 to in the future 3,000 K NASA, 1990 . Hydrogen works both as propellant and as reactor coolant below 2,500 K, at which dissociation into H...

Daiber Solar System Power

AIAA 2004 Special Project Report - Recommended Design Practices for Conceptual Nuclear Fusion Space Propulsion Systems, AIAA SP-108-2004, Reston, VA. Anile, A., and Choquet-Bruhat, Y. eds 1987 Relativistic Fluid Dynamics, Springer-Verlag, Berlin. Auweter-Kurtz, M., and Kurtz, H. 2008 High Power and High Thrust Density Electric Propulsion for In-Space Transportation'', in Nuclear Space Power and Propulsion Systems, edited by C. Bruno, AIAA Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics, Vol. 225,...

Hybridcombined Ntrner Engines

In this class of proposed concepts the purpose is to integrate nuclear reactor, electric propulsion and superconductivity technologies in a single engine. Except solid-core NTR, all nuclear engines must necessarily reject a large fraction of the heat generated in Rubbia's engine this is almost 50 in other NEP concepts this fraction is even higher . NTR reject most of the heat to the propellant, so a radiator is not needed at all. In all other nuclear engines it looks convenient to recycle waste...

Thermally Integrated Enriched Air Combined Cycle Propulsion

These cycles are thermally integrated combined cycle propulsion analogous to the LACE rocket-ram-scramjet and the deeply cooled rocket-ram-scramjet except the thermally processed air is separated into nearly pure liquefied oxygen Liquid Enriched Air, LEA LACE stands for Liquid Air Cycle Engine and ACES for Air Collection Enrichment System and gaseous nitrogen Oxygen-Poor Air, OPA . This is possible because the boiling point of liquid oxygen is 90.03 K and the boiling point for liquid nitrogen...