B27 Specific power a summary

It is convenient at this point to summarize the key results of the analysis presented under the assumptions made.

— If system mass is dominated by the radiator, the specific power a does not depend on the fusion power per unit volume and, using a conservative 5 kW radiated per kilogram of radiator mass, a can vary between 1 kW/kg, in the case of pure fusion-electric propulsion, to 10kW/kg if the fuel kinetics permits conversion of 50% of fusion power to thrust power.

— If reactor mass dominates, specific power increases linearly with fusion power density. Fusion power density in excess of 1 MW/m3 is needed. This figure is compatible with advanced fuels such as D-3He only if values of ß above 10% can be achieved.

— Fusion power density cannot exceed the value given in Equation (B.27) (which assumes 1 year of full-power operation) due to the constraint on neutron wall load.

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