B23 Design of a generic fusion propulsion system

After having summarized the condition for achieving fusion gain, we now want to discuss the tradeoff between the positive and negative aspects of the various fusion systems in determining the optimal value of specific power A.

Following the discussion made in [Santarius and Logan, 1998], it is useful to determine the requirements for a generic fusion propulsion system based on magnetic confinement without making reference to any specific magnetic confinement concept. In the following the system will be assumed equivalent to a cylindrical solenoid of radius rm and volume V generating a magnetic field B (see Figure B.4). The plasma is assumed to have a radius rp; a scrape-off layer of width much lower than rp separates the plasma from the first wall (radius rw « rp); and the magnet is shielded by a blanket of radius rs « rm.

The assumed (idealized) power flow is shown in Figure B.5. The power that flows outside the reaction chamber is the sum of the fusion power plus the auxiliary power. A fraction fT is used directly for thrust (the case of direct propulsion or fusion-electric propulsion can be modeled by a coefficient fT = 1 or fT = 0, respectively). The remaining fraction is converted either by direct conversion (for a fraction fD with

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