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Sample records for plasma propulsion facility

  1. A tandem mirror hybrid plume plasma propulsion facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yang, T. F.; Krueger, W. A.; Peng, S.; Urbahn, J.; Chang-Diaz, F. R.

    1988-01-01

    This paper discusses a novel concept in electrodeless plasma propulsion, in which the materials problems are ameliorated by an electrodeless magnetic confinement scheme borrowed from the tandem mirror approach to controlled thermonuclear fusion. The concept also features a two-stage magnetic nozzle with an annular hypersonic coaxial gas injector near the throat. The nozzle produces hybrid plume by the coaxial injection of hypersonic neutral gas, and the gas layer thus formed protects the material walls from the hot plasma and, through increased collisions, helps detach it from the diverging magnetic field. The tandem mirror plasma propulsion facility is capable of delivering a variable I(sp). The results of numerical simulation of this concept are presented together with those from an experimental tandem-mirror plasma propulsion device.

  2. A tandem mirror hybrid plume plasma propulsion facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chang-Diaz, F. R.; Yang, T. F.; Krueger, W. A.; Peng, S.; Urbahn, J.; Yao, X.; Griffin, D.

    1988-01-01

    A concept in electrodeless plasma propulsion, which is also capable of delivering a variable Isp, is presented. The concept involves a three-stage system of plasma injection, heating, and subsequent ejection through a magnetic nozzle. The nozzle produces the hybrid plume by the coaxial injection of hypersonic neutral gas. The gas layer, thus formed, protects the material walls from the hot plasma and, through increased collisions, helps detach it from the diverging magnetic field. The physics of this concept is evaluated numerically through full spatial and temporal simulations; these explore the operating characteristics of such a device over a wide region of parameter space. An experimental facility to study the plasma dynamics in the hybrid plume was built. The device consists of a tandem mirror operating in an asymmetric mode. A later upgrade of this system will incorporate a cold plasma injector at one end of the machine. Initial experiments involve the full characterization of the operating envelope, as well as extensive measurements of plasma properties at the exhaust. The results of the numerical simulations are described.

  3. Plasmas for space propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahedo, Eduardo

    2011-12-01

    Plasma thrusters are challenging the monopoly of chemical thrusters in space propulsion. The specific energy that can be deposited into a plasma beam is orders of magnitude larger than the specific chemical energy of known fuels. Plasma thrusters constitute a vast family of devices ranging from already commercial thrusters to incipient laboratory prototypes. Figures of merit in plasma propulsion are discussed. Plasma processes and conditions differ widely from one thruster to another, with the pre-eminence of magnetized, weakly collisional plasmas. Energy is imparted to the plasma via either energetic electron injection, biased electrodes or electromagnetic irradiation. Plasma acceleration can be electrothermal, electrostatic or electromagnetic. Plasma-wall interaction affects energy deposition and erosion of thruster elements, and thus is central for thruster efficiency and lifetime. Magnetic confinement and magnetic nozzles are present in several devices. Oscillations and turbulent transport are intrinsic to the performances of some thrusters. Several thrusters are selected in order to discuss these relevant plasma phenomena.

  4. Electromagnetic propulsion test facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gooder, S. T.

    1984-01-01

    A test facility for the exploration of electromagnetic propulsion concept is described. The facility is designed to accommodate electromagnetic rail accelerators of various lengths (1 to 10 meters) and to provide accelerating energies of up to 240 kiloJoules. This accelerating energy is supplied as a current pulse of hundreds of kiloAmps lasting as long as 1 millisecond. The design, installation, and operating characteristics of the pulsed energy system are discussed. The test chamber and its operation at pressures down to 1300 Pascals (10 mm of mercury) are described. Some aspects of safety (interlocking, personnel protection, and operating procedures) are included.

  5. Megawatt Electromagnetic Plasma Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gilland, James; Lapointe, Michael; Mikellides, Pavlos

    2003-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center program in megawatt level electric propulsion is centered on electromagnetic acceleration of quasi-neutral plasmas. Specific concepts currently being examined are the Magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thruster and the Pulsed Inductive Thruster (PIT). In the case of the MPD thruster, a multifaceted approach of experiments, computational modeling, and systems-level models of self field MPD thrusters is underway. The MPD thruster experimental research consists of a 1-10 MWe, 2 ms pulse-forming-network, a vacuum chamber with two 32 diffusion pumps, and voltage, current, mass flow rate, and thrust stand diagnostics. Current focus is on obtaining repeatable thrust measurements of a Princeton Benchmark type self field thruster operating at 0.5-1 gls of argon. Operation with hydrogen is the ultimate goal to realize the increased efficiency anticipated using the lighter gas. Computational modeling is done using the MACH2 MHD code, which can include real gas effects for propellants of interest to MPD operation. The MACH2 code has been benchmarked against other MPD thruster data, and has been used to create a point design for a 3000 second specific impulse (Isp) MPD thruster. This design is awaiting testing in the experimental facility. For the PIT, a computational investigation using MACH2 has been initiated, with experiments awaiting further funding. Although the calculated results have been found to be sensitive to the initial ionization assumptions, recent results have agreed well with experimental data. Finally, a systems level self-field MPD thruster model has been developed that allows for a mission planner or system designer to input Isp and power level into the model equations and obtain values for efficiency, mass flow rate, and input current and voltage. This model emphasizes algebraic simplicity to allow its incorporation into larger trajectory or system optimization codes. The systems level approach will be extended to the pulsed inductive

  6. Solar Thermal Propulsion Test Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Researchers at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) have designed, fabricated and tested the first solar thermal engine, a non-chemical rocket engine that produces lower thrust but has better thrust efficiency than a chemical combustion engine. MSFC turned to solar thermal propulsion in the early 1990s due to its simplicity, safety, low cost, and commonality with other propulsion systems. Solar thermal propulsion works by acquiring and redirecting solar energy to heat a propellant. This photograph, taken at MSFC's Solar Thermal Propulsion Test Facility, shows a concentrator mirror, a combination of 144 mirrors forming this 18-ft diameter concentrator, and a vacuum chamber that houses the focal point. The 20- by 24-ft heliostat mirror (not shown in this photograph) has a dual-axis control that keeps a reflection of the sunlight on the 18-foot diameter concentrator mirror, which then focuses the sunlight to a 4-in focal point inside the vacuum chamber. The focal point has 10 kilowatts of intense solar power. As part of MSFC's Space Transportation Directorate, the Propulsion Research Center serves as a national resource for research of advanced, revolutionary propulsion technologies. The mission is to move the Nation's capabilities beyond the confines of conventional chemical propulsion into an era of aircraft-like access to Earth-orbit, rapid travel throughout the solar system, and exploration of interstellar space.

  7. Solar Thermal Propulsion Test Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Researchers at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) have designed, fabricated, and tested the first solar thermal engine, a non-chemical rocket engine that produces lower thrust but has better thrust efficiency than a chemical combustion engine. MSFC turned to solar thermal propulsion in the early 1990s due to its simplicity, safety, low cost, and commonality with other propulsion systems. Solar thermal propulsion works by acquiring and redirecting solar energy to heat a propellant. This photograph shows a fully assembled solar thermal engine placed inside the vacuum chamber at the test facility prior to testing. The 20- by 24-ft heliostat mirror (not shown in this photograph) has a dual-axis control that keeps a reflection of the sunlight on the 18-ft diameter concentrator mirror, which then focuses the sunlight to a 4-in focal point inside the vacuum chamber. The focal point has 10 kilowatts of intense solar power. As part of MSFC's Space Transportation Directorate, the Propulsion Research Center serves as a national resource for research of advanced, revolutionary propulsion technologies. The mission is to move theNation's capabilities beyond the confines of conventional chemical propulsion into an era of aircraft-like access to Earth orbit, rapid travel throughout the solar system, and exploration of interstellar space.

  8. Theory for Plasma Rocket Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grabbe, Crockett

    2009-11-01

    Electrical propulsion of rockets is developing potentially into the use of 3 different thrusters for future long-distance space missions that primarily involve plasma dynamics. These are the Magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) Thruster, the Plasma Induction Thruster (PID), and the VASIMIR Thruster. The history of the development of electrical propulsion into these prospects and the current research of particularly the VASIMIR Thruster are reviewed. Theoretical questions that need to be addressed in that development are explored.

  9. Test facilities for high power electric propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sovey, James S.; Vetrone, Robert H.; Grisnik, Stanley P.; Myers, Roger M.; Parkes, James E.

    1991-01-01

    Electric propulsion has applications for orbit raising, maneuvering of large space systems, and interplanetary missions. These missions involve propulsion power levels from tenths to tens of megawatts, depending upon the application. General facility requirements for testing high power electric propulsion at the component and thrust systems level are defined. The characteristics and pumping capabilities of many large vacuum chambers in the United States are reviewed and compared with the requirements for high power electric propulsion testing.

  10. A fusion based plasma propulsion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    George, J. A.; Anderson, B.; Bryant, D.; Creese, C.; Djordjevic, V.; Peddicord, K. L.

    1987-01-01

    The Fusion Plasma Propulsion System scoping study was performed to investigate the possibilities of a fusion powered plasma propulsion system for space applications. Specifically, it was to be compared against existing electric propulsion concepts for a manned Mars mission. Design parameters consist of 1000 N thrust for 500 days, and the minimum mass possible. This investigation is briefly presented and conclusions drawn.

  11. Plasma propulsion for space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fruchtman, Amnon

    2000-04-01

    The various mechanisms for plasma acceleration employed in electric propulsion of space vehicles will be described. Special attention will be given to the Hall thruster. Electric propulsion utilizes electric and magnetic fields to accelerate a propellant to a much higher velocity than chemical propulsion does, and, as a result, the required propellant mass is reduced. Because of limitations on electric power density, electric thrusters will be low thrust engines compared with chemical rockets. The large jet velocity and small thrust of electric thrusters make them most suitable for space applications such as station keeping of GEO communication satellites, low orbit drag compensation, orbit raising and interplanetary missions. The acceleration in the thruster is either thermal, electrostatic or electromagnetic. The arcjet is an electrothermal device in which the propellant is heated by an electric arc and accelerated while passing through a supersonic nozzle to a relatively low velocity. In the Pulsed Plasma Thruster a solid propellant is accelerated by a magnetic field pressure in a way that is similar in principle to pulsed acceleration of plasmas in other, very different devices, such as the railgun or the plasma opening switch. Magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters also employ magnetic field pressure for the acceleration but with a reasonable efficiency at high power only. In an ion thruster ions are extracted from a plasma through a double grid structure. Ion thrusters provide a high jet velocity but the thrust density is low due to space-charge limitations. The Hall thruster, which in recent years has enjoyed impressive progress, employs a quasi-neutral plasma, and therefore is not subject to a space-charge limit on the current. An applied radial magnetic field impedes the mobility of the electrons so that the applied potential drops across a large region inside the plasma. Methods for separately controlling the profiles of the electric and the magnetic fields will

  12. High Energy Plasma Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, S. T.

    2000-01-01

    In order to meet NASA's challenge on advanced concept activity in the propulsion area, we initiated a new program entitled "High Energy Plasma Space Propulsion Studies" within the current cooperative agreement in 1998. The goals of this work are to gain further understanding of the engine of the AIMStar spacecraft, a concept which was developed at Penn State University, and to develop a prototype concept for the engine. The AIMStar engine concept was developed at Penn State University several years ago as a hybrid between antimatter and fusion technologies. Because of limited amounts of antimatter available, and concurrently the demonstrated ability for antiprotons to efficiently ignite nuclear fusion reactions, it was felt that this was a very good match. Investigations have been made concerning the performance of the reaction trap. This is a small Penning-like electromagnetic trap, which is used to simultaneously confine antiprotons and fusion fuels. Small DHe3 or DT droplets, containing a few percent molar of a fissile material, are injected into the trap, filled with antiprotons. We have found that it is important to separate the antiprotons into two adjacent wells, to inject he droplet between them and to simultaneously bring the antiprotons to the center of the trap, surrounding the droplet. Our previous concept had the droplet falling onto one cloud of antiprotons. This proved to be inefficient, as the droplet tended to evaporate away from the cloud as it interacted on its surface.

  13. Solar Thermal Propulsion Test Facility at MSFC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    This photograph shows an overall view of the Solar Thermal Propulsion Test Facility at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). The 20-by 24-ft heliostat mirror, shown at the left, has dual-axis control that keeps a reflection of the sunlight on an 18-ft diameter concentrator mirror (right). The concentrator mirror then focuses the sunlight to a 4-in focal point inside the vacuum chamber, shown at the front of concentrator mirror. Researchers at MSFC have designed, fabricated, and tested the first solar thermal engine, a non-chemical rocket engine that produces lower thrust but has better thrust efficiency than chemical a combustion engine. MSFC turned to solar thermal propulsion in the early 1990s due to its simplicity, safety, low cost, and commonality with other propulsion systems. Solar thermal propulsion works by acquiring and redirecting solar energy to heat a propell nt. As part of MSFC's Space Transportation Directorate, the Propulsion Research Center serves as a national resource for research of advanced, revolutionary propulsion technologies. The mission is to move the Nation's capabilities beyond the confines of conventional chemical propulsion into an era of aircraft-like access to Earth-orbit, rapid travel throughout the solar system, and exploration of interstellar space.

  14. Recent Advances in Plasma Propulsion for Spacecraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choueiri, E. Y.

    1998-11-01

    Three decades of research on plasma propulsion for spacecraft have led to a level of maturity that has recently ushered in the era of application. Over the past few years, due to their ability to insure great mass savings over chemical propulsion, plasma propulsion devices (thrusters) have been used (or selected for use) on spacecraft for missions ranging from stationkeeping, drag compensation, attitude control and pointing, orbit raising and repositioning, to primary propulsion for interplanetary missions. Plasma thrusters have also been used as plasma sources in space for active space physics experiments and in the laboratory as plasma sources for reentry simulation, plasma processing and plasma injection in fusion devices. We will review research in the field, focusing on the plasma physics problems related to three classes of plasma thrusters: the Hall thruster (HT), the pulsed plasma thruster (PPT) and the magnetoplasmadynamic thruster (MPDT). The basic plasma acceleration and power loss mechanisms in each of these devices will be described along with the major plasma physics problems that control the thrust efficiency, stability and lifetime of these devices. We will review the recent advances and remaining questions relevant to the following important problems: macro and micro instabilities and turbulence, anomalous transport, ionization physics, plume divergence (HT and MPDT), current sheet dynamics and permeability (PPT).

  15. TOPICAL REVIEW: Plasmas for spacecraft propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charles, C.

    2009-08-01

    This review presents the basics of plasma discharges applied to electric spacecraft propulsion. It briefly reports on the mature and flown technologies of gridded ion thrusters and Hall thrusters before exploring the recent yet immature technology of plasma thrusters based on expansion from low pressure high density inductively coupled and wave-excited plasma sources, e.g. the radiofrequency helicon source. Prototype development of plasma engines for future space travel is discussed using the example of the helicon double layer thruster. A summary of highlights in electric propulsion based space missions gives some insight into the challenges of future high power missions in more remote regions of space.

  16. Nuclear electric propulsion development and qualification facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dutt, D. S.; Thomassen, K.; Sovey, J.; Fontana, Mario

    1991-01-01

    This paper summarizes the findings of a Tri-Agency panel consisting of members from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) that were charged with reviewing the status and availability of facilities to test components and subsystems for megawatt-class nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) systems. The facilities required to support development of NEP are available in NASA centers, DOE laboratories, and industry. However, several key facilities require significant and near-term modification in order to perform the testing required to meet a 2014 launch date. For the higher powered Mars cargo and piloted missions, the priority established for facility preparation is: (1) a thruster developmental testing facility, (2) a thruster lifetime testing facility, (3) a dynamic energy conversion development and demonstration facility, and (4) an advanced reactor testing facility (if required to demonstrate an advanced multiwatt power system). Facilities to support development of the power conditioning and heat rejection subsystems are available in industry, federal laboratories, and universities. In addition to the development facilities, a new preflight qualifications and acceptance testing facility will be required to support the deployment of NEP systems for precursor, cargo, or piloted Mars missions. Because the deployment strategy for NEP involves early demonstration missions, the demonstration of the SP-100 power system is needed by the early 2000's.

  17. Nuclear electric propulsion development and qualification facilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dutt, D. S.; Thomassen, K.; Sovey, J.; Fontana, Mario

    1991-11-01

    This paper summarizes the findings of a Tri-Agency panel consisting of members from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) that were charged with reviewing the status and availability of facilities to test components and subsystems for megawatt-class nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) systems. The facilities required to support development of NEP are available in NASA centers, DOE laboratories, and industry. However, several key facilities require significant and near-term modification in order to perform the testing required to meet a 2014 launch date. For the higher powered Mars cargo and piloted missions, the priority established for facility preparation is: (1) a thruster developmental testing facility, (2) a thruster lifetime testing facility, (3) a dynamic energy conversion development and demonstration facility, and (4) an advanced reactor testing facility (if required to demonstrate an advanced multiwatt power system). Facilities to support development of the power conditioning and heat rejection subsystems are available in industry, federal laboratories, and universities. In addition to the development facilities, a new preflight qualifications and acceptance testing facility will be required to support the deployment of NEP systems for precursor, cargo, or piloted Mars missions. Because the deployment strategy for NEP involves early demonstration missions, the demonstration of the SP-100 power system is needed by the early 2000's.

  18. Nuclear electric propulsion development and qualification facilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dutt, Dale; Thomassen, Keith; Sovey, Jim; Fontana, Mario

    1992-01-01

    This paper summarizes the findings of a Tri-Agency panel; consisting of members from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and U.S. Department of Defense (DOD); charged with reviewing the status and availability of facilities to test components and subsystems for megawatt-class nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) systems. The facilities required to support development of NEP are available in NASA centers, DOE laboratories, and industry. However, several key facilities require significant and near-term modification in order to perform the testing required to meet a 2014 launch date. For the higher powered Mars cargo and piloted missions, the priority established for facility preparation is: (1 thruster developmental testing facility, (2 thruster lifetime testing facility, (3 dynamic energy conversion development and demonstration facility, and (4 advanced reactor testing facility (if required to demonstrate an advanced multiwatt power system). Facilities to support development of the power conditioning and heat rejection subsystems are available in industry, federal laboratories, and universities. In addition to the development facilities, a new preflight qualification and acceptance testing facility will be required to support the deployment of NEP systems for precursor, cargo, or piloted Mars missions. Because the deployment strategy for NEP involves early demonstration missions, the demonstration of the SP-100 power system is needed by the early 2000s.

  19. Nuclear Powered Laser Driven Plasma Propulsion System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kammash, T.

    A relativistic plasma thruster that could open up the solar system to near-term human exploration is presented. It is based on recent experimental and theoretical research, which show that ultrafast (very short pulse length) lasers can accelerate charged particles to relativistic speeds. In table top-type experiments charge-neutral proton beams containing more than 1014 particles with mean energies of tens of MeV's have been produced when high intensity lasers with femtosecond (10-15 s) pulse lengths are made to strike thin solid targets. When viewed from a propulsion standpoint such systems can produce specific impulses of several million seconds albeit at modest thrusts and require nuclear power systems to drive them. Several schemes are proposed to enhance the thrust and make these systems suitable for manned interplanetary missions. In this paper we set forth the physics principles that make relativistic plasma driven by ultrafast lasers particularly attractive for propulsion applications. We introduce the “Laser Accelerated Plasma Propulsion System” LAPPS, and demonstrate its potential propulsive capability by addressing an interstellar mission to the Oort Cloud, and a planetary mission to Mars. We show that the first can be carried out in a human's lifetime and the second in a matter of months. In both instances we identify the major technological problems that must be addressed if this system is to evolve into a leading contender among the advance propulsion concepts currently under consideration.

  20. The Potential for Ambient Plasma Wave Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gilland, James H.; Williams, George J.

    2016-01-01

    A truly robust space exploration program will need to make use of in-situ resources as much as possible to make the endeavor affordable. Most space propulsion concepts are saddled with one fundamental burden; the propellant needed to produce momentum. The most advanced propulsion systems currently in use utilize electric and/or magnetic fields to accelerate ionized propellant. However, significant planetary exploration missions in the coming decades, such as the now canceled Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter, are restricted by propellant mass and propulsion system lifetimes, using even the most optimistic projections of performance. These electric propulsion vehicles are inherently limited in flexibility at their final destination, due to propulsion system wear, propellant requirements, and the relatively low acceleration of the vehicle. A few concepts are able to utilize the environment around them to produce thrust: Solar or magnetic sails and, with certain restrictions, electrodynamic tethers. These concepts focus primarily on using the solar wind or ambient magnetic fields to generate thrust. Technically immature, quasi-propellantless alternatives lack either the sensitivity or the power to provide significant maneuvering. An additional resource to be considered is the ambient plasma and magnetic fields in solar and planetary magnetospheres. These environments, such as those around the Sun or Jupiter, have been shown to host a variety of plasma waves. Plasma wave propulsion takes advantage of an observed astrophysical and terrestrial phenomenon: Alfven waves. These are waves that propagate in the plasma and magnetic fields around and between planets and stars. The generation of Alfven waves in ambient magnetic and plasma fields to generate thrust is proposed as a truly propellantless propulsion system which may enable an entirely new matrix of exploration missions. Alfven waves are well known, transverse electromagnetic waves that propagate in magnetized plasmas at

  1. Plasma ignition for laser propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Askew, R. F.

    1982-01-01

    For a specific optical system a pulsed carbon dioxide laser having an energy output of up to 15 joules was used to initiate a plasma in air at one atmosphere pressure. The spatial and temporal development of the plasma were measured using a multiframe image converter camera. In addition the time dependent velocity of the laser supported plasma front which moves opposite to the direction of the laser pulse was measured in order to characterize the type of wavefront developed. Reliable and reproducible spark initiation was achieved. The lifetime of the highly dense plasma at the initial focal spot was determined to be less than 100 nanoseconds. The plasma front propagates toward the laser at a variable speed ranging from zero to 1.6 x 1,000,000 m/sec. The plasma front propagates for a total distance of approximately five centimeters for the energy and laser pulse shape employed.

  2. An electric propulsion long term test facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trump, G.; James, E.; Vetrone, R.; Bechtel, R.

    1979-01-01

    An existing test facility was modified to provide for extended testing of multiple electric propulsion thruster subsystems. A program to document thruster subsystem characteristics as a function of time is currently in progress. The facility is capable of simultaneously operating three 2.7-kW, 30-cm mercury ion thrusters and their power processing units. Each thruster is installed via a separate air lock so that it can be extended into the 7m x 10m main chamber without violating vacuum integrity. The thrusters exhaust into a 3m x 5m frozen mercury target. An array of cryopanels collect sputtered target material. Power processor units are tested in an adjacent 1.5m x 2m vacuum chamber or accompanying forced convection enclosure. The thruster subsystems and the test facility are designed for automatic unattended operation with thruster operation computer controlled. Test data are recorded by a central data collection system scanning 200 channels of data a second every two minutes. Results of the Systems Demonstration Test, a short shakedown test of 500 hours, and facility performance during the first year of testing are presented.

  3. The Challenges of High-Power Plasma Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang-Diaz, Franklin

    2004-11-01

    Our future space explorers face many challenges but three loom high above the rest: physiological debilitation, radiation and psychological stress. Counter-measures are presently being considered to ameliorate these difficulties; however, two new developments are required: abundant space power and advanced propulsion. Also, electric propulsion, long relegated to low-power thrusters, has been reinvigorated by interest in multi-megawatt plasma propulsion. One rapidly evolving concept, the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR,) borrows heavily from magnetic fusion research, particularly on RF plasma generation and heating in mirror-like geometries. Axial momentum is obtained by expansion of the plasma in a magnetic nozzle. The configuration could enable thrust and specific impulse variation, at constant power, allowing in-flight mission performance optimization. VASIMR technology, and similar others, could be validated, in the near term, on the International Space Station, where they can benefit from a container-less environment and virtually infinite vacuum. The experiments could also help re-boost the orbital facility. This paper describes the advantages and operational motivation for high-power plasma rockets, illustrated through the VASIMR research effort.

  4. Electric propulsion using ion-ion plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aanesland, A.; Meige, A.; Chabert, P.

    2009-04-01

    Recently, we have proposed to use both positive and negative ions for thrust in an electromagnetic space propulsion system. This concept is called PEGASES for Plasma Propulsion with Electronegative GASES and has been patented by the Ecole Polytechnique in France in 2007. The basic idea is to create a stratified plasma with an electron free (ion-ion plasma) region at the periphery of a highly ionized plasma core such that both positive and negative ions can be extracted and accelerated to provide thrust. As the extracted beam is globally neutral there is no need for a downstream neutralizer. The recombination of positive and negative ions is very efficient and will result in a fast recombination downstream of the thruster and hence there is no creation of a plasma plume downstream. The first PEGASES prototype, designed in 2007, has recently been installed in a small vacuum chamber for preliminary tests in our laboratory and the first results have been presented in several conferences. This paper reviews important work that has been used in the process of designing the first PEGASES prototype.

  5. PEGASES - plasma propulsion with electronegative gases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aanesland, Ane; Chabert, Pascal; Leray, Gary; Meige, Albert; Raimbault, Jean-Luc

    2008-10-01

    A new concept of plasma propulsion is proposed, where the thrust is provided by both positive and negative ions resulting in a globally neutral beam downstream (in space). The basic idea is to create an ion-ion plasma (electron free region) at the periphery of a highly ionised plasma core such that positive and negative ions can be extracted either simultaneously or alternately by dc biased extractor grids. As the extracted beam is globally neutral there is no need for a neutralizer downstream. The recombination of positive and negative ions is very efficient compared to ion electron recombination. Hence, a fast recombination downstream of the thruster is expected, suppressing the common problems of a downstream plasma behind the thrusters. The ion-ion plasma region is formed in the periphery of a moderately magnetized plasma where the electrons are confined along the magnetic field lines while the ions are not: The applied magnetic field therefore acts as an electron filterer resulting in a stratified plasma with an electro-positive core (electrons and ions) and an ion-ion plasma (electron free) at the periphery. The propellant has to be a strongly electronegative gas in order to effectively create negative ions. The best candidate seems to be iodine, I2, which has a high electron affinity, has a low ionisation threshold, is inexpensive, and does not require heavy and large gas tanks since it is in solid state with a high vapour pressure at room temperature.

  6. Nuclear thermal propulsion test facility requirements and development strategy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, George C.; Warren, John; Clark, J. S.

    1991-01-01

    The Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) subpanel of the Space Nuclear Propulsion Test Facilities Panel evaluated facility requirements and strategies for nuclear thermal propulsion systems development. High pressure, solid core concepts were considered as the baseline for the evaluation, with low pressure concepts an alternative. The work of the NTP subpanel revealed that a wealth of facilities already exists to support NTP development, and that only a few new facilities must be constructed. Some modifications to existing facilities will be required. Present funding emphasis should be on long-lead-time items for the major new ground test facility complex and on facilities supporting nuclear fuel development, hot hydrogen flow test facilities, and low power critical facilities.

  7. Plasma Propulsion Testing Capabilities at Arnold Engineering Development Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Polzin, Kurt A.; Dawbarn, Albert; Moeller, Trevor

    2007-01-01

    This paper describes the results of a series of experiments aimed at quantifying the plasma propulsion testing capabilities of a 12-ft diameter vacuum facility (12V) at USAF-Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC). Vacuum is maintained in the 12V facility by cryogenic panels lining the interior of the chamber. The pumping capability of these panels was shown to be great enough to support plasma thrusters operating at input electrical power >20 kW. In addition, a series of plasma diagnostics inside the chamber allowed for measurement of plasma parameters at different spatial locations, providing information regarding the chamber's effect on the global plasma thruster flowfield. The plasma source used in this experiment was Hall thruster manufactured by Busek Co. The thruster was operated at up to 20 kW steady-state power in both a lower current and higher current mode. The vacuum level in the chamber never rose above 9 x 10(exp -6) torr during the course of testing. Langmuir probes, ion flux probes, and Faraday cups were used to quantify the plasma parameters in the chamber. We present the results of these measurements and estimates of pumping speed based on the background pressure level and thruster propellant mass flow rate.

  8. External Pulsed Plasma Propulsion (EPPP) Analysis Maturation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bonometti, Joesph A.; Morton, P. Jeff; Schmidt, George R. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    External Pulsed Plasma Propulsion (EPPP) systems are at the stage of engineering infancy with evolving paradigms for application. performance and general characteristics. Recent efforts have focused on an approach that employs existing technologies with near term EPPP development for usage in interplanetary exploration and asteroid/comet deflection. if mandated. The inherent advantages of EPPP are discussed and its application to a variety of propulsion concepts is explored. These include, but are not limited to, utilizing energy sources such as fission. fusion and antimatter, as well as, improved chemical explosives. A mars mission scenario is presented as a demonstration of its capability using existing technologies. A suggested alternate means to improve EPPP efficiencies could also lead to a heavy lift (non-nuclear) launch vehicle capability. Conceivably, true low-cost, access to space is possible using advanced explosive propellants and/or coupling the EPPP vehicle to a "beam propellant" concept. EPPP systems appear to offer an approach that can potentially cover ETO through interstellar transportation capability. A technology roadmap is presented that shows mutual benefits pertaining to a substantial number of existing space propulsion and research areas.

  9. A Flight Demonstration of Plasma Rocket Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petro, Andrew

    1999-01-01

    The Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory at the Johnson Space Center has been engaged in the development of a magneto-plasma rocket for several years. This type of rocket could be used in the future to propel interplanetary spacecraft. One advantageous feature of this rocket concept is the ability to vary its specific impulse so that it can be operated in a mode which maximizes propellant efficiency or a mode which maximizes thrust. This presentation will describe a proposed flight experiment in which a simple version of the rocket will be tested in space. In addition to the plasma rocket, the flight experiment will also demonstrate the use of a superconducting electromagnet, extensive use of heat pipes, and possibly the transfer of cryogenic propellant in space.

  10. NASA Glenn Propulsion Systems Lab (PSL) Icing Facility Update

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griffin, Thomas A.

    2014-01-01

    This oral presentation is an update to the Propulsion Systems Lab (PSL) engine ice testing. It provides a summary of the modifications done to the facility and recently completed calibrations and test program.

  11. Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Test Facilities Subpanel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, George C.; Warren, John W.; Martinell, John; Clark, John S.; Perkins, David

    1993-01-01

    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; this final report

  12. Test facilities for evaluating nuclear thermal propulsion systems

    SciTech Connect

    Beck, D.F.; Allen, G.C.; Shipers, L.R.; Dobranich, D.; Ottinger, C.A.; Harmon, C.D.; Fan, W.C. ); Todosow, M. )

    1992-09-22

    Interagency panels evaluating nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) development options have consistently recognized the need for constructing a major new ground test facility to support fuel element and engine testing. This paper summarizes the requirements, configuration, and baseline performance of some of the major subsystems designed to support a proposed ground test complex for evaluating nuclear thermal propulsion fuel elements and engines being developed for the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program. Some preliminary results of evaluating this facility for use in testing other NTP concepts are also summarized.

  13. Aeronautical facilities catalogue. Volume 2: Airbreathing propulsion and flight simulators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Penaranda, F. E.; Freda, M. S.

    1985-01-01

    Volume two of the facilities catalogue deals with Airbreathing Propulsion and Flight Simulation Facilities. Data pertinent to managers and engineers are presented. Each facility is described on a data sheet that shows the facility's technical parameters on a chart and more detailed information in narratives. Facilities judged comparable in testing capability are noted and grouped together. Several comprehensive cross-indexes and charts are included.

  14. Space exploration initiative candidate nuclear propulsion test facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baldwin, Darrell; Clark, John S.

    1993-01-01

    One-page descriptions for approximately 200 existing government, university, and industry facilities which may be available in the future to support SEI nuclear propulsion technology development and test program requirements are provided. To facilitate use of the information, the candidate facilities are listed both by location (Index L) and by Facility Type (Index FT). The included one-page descriptions provide a brief narrative description of facility capability, suggest potential uses for each facility, and designate a point of contact for additional information that may be needed in the future. The Nuclear Propulsion Office at NASA Lewis presently plans to maintain, expand, and update this information periodically for use by NASA, DOE, and DOD personnel involved in planning various phases of the SEI Nuclear Propulsion Project.

  15. Radio Frequency Plasma Applications for Space Propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    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.

    1999-09-13

    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 effcient use of both the propellant mass and power. Effcient 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beck, David F.

    1993-01-01

    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.

  17. Fundamentals of Plasma Sails Propulsion Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Khazanov, G. V.; Kabin, K.; Delamere, P. A.

    2002-01-01

    The Mini-Magnetospheric Plasma Propulsion (M2P2), originally proposed by Winglee et al. [2000], is based on the two-fluid plasma model and requires a 15-km frontal standoff distance (or 20-km cross-sectional diameter) in order for the magnetic bubble to absorb sufficient momentum from the SW to accelerate a spacecraft to the unprecedented speeds of 50-80 km/s after an acceleration period of about three months. Winglee et al. [2000] derived the above size requirement based on an extrapolation of their simulated results in which a system much smaller than a M2P2 was used (p. 21,074 of their study). We submit, however, that a fluid model has no validity for such a small scale size-even in the region near the plasma source! It is assumed in the MHD fluid model, normally applied to the magnetosphere, that the characteristic scale-size is much greater than the Larmor radius and ion skin depth of the SW. In the case of the M2P2, however, the size of the magnetic bubble is actually less than or, at best, comparable to, the scale of these characteristic parameters and, therefore, a kinetic approach, which addresses the smallscale physical mechanisms involved, must be used. A fully three-dimensional version of the hybrid code is used in our M2P2 (Plasma Sails) studies was originally developed by Delamere et al. [1999]. The M2P2 plasma sail is an excellent application for this hybrid code. The primary advantage of this code is the seamless interface between fluid and kinetic descriptions of the ion populations. A kinetic description is not necessary for the dense inner regions of the magnetic bubble and tremendous computational savings can be realized by treating this dense, magnetized ion population with the fluid description. It is essential, however, that the outer bubble regions be treated kinetically as well as the SW protons. Comparison of full size M2P2 simulation based on 3D MHD and kinetic models show that kinetic treatment introduces much more asymmetry to the

  18. Space nuclear thermal propulsion test facilities accommodation at INEL

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-01-15

    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.

  19. The F-15B Propulsion Flight Test Fixture: A New Flight Facility For Propulsion Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Corda, Stephen; Vachon, M. Jake; Palumbo, Nathan; Diebler, Corey; Tseng, Ting; Ginn, Anthony; Richwine, David

    2001-01-01

    The design and development of the F-15B Propulsion Flight Test Fixture (PFTF), a new facility for propulsion flight research, is described. Mounted underneath an F-15B fuselage, the PFTF provides volume for experiment systems and attachment points for propulsion devices. A unique feature of the PFTF is the incorporation of a six-degree-of-freedom force balance. Three-axis forces and moments can be measured in flight for experiments mounted to the force balance. The NASA F-15B airplane is described, including its performance and capabilities as a research test bed aircraft. The detailed description of the PFTF includes the geometry, internal layout and volume, force-balance operation, available instrumentation, and allowable experiment size and weight. The aerodynamic, stability and control, and structural designs of the PFTF are discussed, including results from aerodynamic computational fluid dynamic calculations and structural analyses. Details of current and future propulsion flight experiments are discussed. Information about the integration of propulsion flight experiments is provided for the potential PFTF user.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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. Crewed Mission to Callisto Using Advanced Plasma Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adams, R. B.; Statham, G.; White, S.; Patton, B.; Thio, Y. C. F.; Santarius, J.; Alexander, R.; Fincher, S.; Polsgrove, T.; Chapman, J.

    2003-01-01

    This paper describes the engineering of several vehicles designed for a crewed mission to the Jovian satellite Callisto. Each subsystem is discussed in detail. Mission and trajectory analysis for each mission concept is described. Crew support components are also described. Vehicles were developed using both fission powered magneto plasma dynamic (MPD) thrusters and magnetized target fusion (MTF) propulsion systems. Conclusions were drawn regarding the usefulness of these propulsion systems for crewed exploration of the outer solar system.

  2. Space Chemical Propulsion Test Facilities at NASA Lewis Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Urasek, Donald C.; Calfo, Frederick D.

    1993-01-01

    The NASA Lewis Research Center, located in Cleveland, Ohio, has a number of space chemical propulsion test facilities which constitute a significant national space testing resource. The purpose of this paper is to make more users aware of these test facilities and to encourage their use through cooperative agreements between the government, industry, and universities. Research which is of interest to the government is especially encouraged and often can be done in a cooperative manner that best uses the resources of all parties. An overview of the Lewis test facilities is presented.

  3. Ion beam sputtering in electric propulsion facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sovey, James S.; Patterson, Michael J.

    1991-01-01

    Experiments were undertaken to determine sputter yields of potential ion beam target materials, to assess the impact of charge exchange on beam diagnostics in large facilities, and to examine material erosion and deposition after a 957-hour test of a 5 kW-class ion thruster. The xenon ion sputter yield of flexible graphite was lower than other graphite forms especialy at high angles of incidence. Ion beam charge exchange effects were found to hamper beam probe current collection diagnostics even at pressures from 0.7 to 1.7 mPa. Estimates of the xenon ion beam envelope were made and predictions of the thickness of sputter deposited coatings in the facility were compared with measurements.

  4. Ion beam sputtering in electric propulsion facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sovey, James S.; Patterson, Michael J.

    1991-01-01

    Experiments were undertaken to determine sputter yields of potential ion beam target materials, to assess the impact of charge exchange on beam diagnostics in large facilities, and to examine material erosion and deposition after a 957 hr test of a 5 kW-class ion thruster. The xenon ion sputter yield of flexible graphite was lower than other graphite forms especially at high angles of incidence. Ion beam charge exchange effects were found to hamper beam probe current collection diagnostics even at pressures from 0.7 to 1.7 mPa. Estimates of the xenon ion beam envelope were made and predictions of the thickness of sputter deposited coatings in the facility were compared with measurements.

  5. Z-Pinch Pulsed Plasma Propulsion Technology Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Polsgrove, Tara; Adams, Robert B.; Fabisinski, Leo; Fincher, Sharon; Maples, C. Dauphne; Miernik, Janie; Percy, Tom; Statham, Geoff; Turner, Matt; Cassibry, Jason; Cortez, Ross; Santarius, John

    2010-01-01

    Fusion-based propulsion can enable fast interplanetary transportation. Magneto-inertial fusion (MIF) is an approach which has been shown to potentially lead to a low cost, small reactor for fusion break even. The Z-Pinch/dense plasma focus method is an MIF concept in which a column of gas is compressed to thermonuclear conditions by an axial current (I approximates 100 MA). Recent advancements in experiments and the theoretical understanding of this concept suggest favorable scaling of fusion power output yield as I(sup 4). This document presents a conceptual design of a Z-Pinch fusion propulsion system and a vehicle for human exploration. The purpose of this study is to apply Z-Pinch fusion principles to the design of a propulsion system for an interplanetary spacecraft. This study took four steps in service of that objective; these steps are identified below. 1. Z-Pinch Modeling and Analysis: There is a wealth of literature characterizing Z-Pinch physics and existing Z-Pinch physics models. In order to be useful in engineering analysis, simplified Z-Pinch fusion thermodynamic models are required to give propulsion engineers the quantity of plasma, plasma temperature, rate of expansion, etc. The study team developed these models in this study. 2. Propulsion Modeling and Analysis: While the Z-Pinch models characterize the fusion process itself, propulsion models calculate the parameters that characterize the propulsion system (thrust, specific impulse, etc.) The study team developed a Z-Pinch propulsion model and used it to determine the best values for pulse rate, amount of propellant per pulse, and mixture ratio of the D-T and liner materials as well as the resulting thrust and specific impulse of the system. 3. Mission Analysis: Several potential missions were studied. Trajectory analysis using data from the propulsion model was used to determine the duration of the propulsion burns, the amount of propellant expended to complete each mission considered. 4

  6. Space chemical propulsion test facilities at NASA Lewis Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Urasek, Donald C.; Calfo, Frederick D.

    1993-01-01

    The NASA Lewis Research Center, located in Cleveland, Ohio has a number of space chemical propulsion test facilities which constitute a significant national space testing resource. The purpose of this paper is to make more users aware of these test facilities and to encourage their use through cooperative agreements between the government, industry, and universities. Research which is of interest to the government is especiallly encouraged and often can be done in a cooperative manner that best uses the resources of all parties. This paper presents an overview of the Lewis test facilities. These facilities are clustered into three test areas: the Rocket Engine Test Facilities (RETF), the Rocket Laboratory (RL), and the Cryogenic Components Laboratory (CCL).

  7. Ferroelectric plasma thruster for microspacecraft propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Kemp, Mark A.; Kovaleski, Scott D.

    2006-12-01

    This paper presents a technology in microthruster design: the ferroelectric plasma thruster (FEPT). The FEPT utilizes an applied rf electric field to create plasma on the surface of a ferroelectric dielectric. Acceleration of ions from this plasma provides thrust. Advantages of the FEPT include emission of both electrons and ions leading to self-neutralization, creation of plasma, and acceleration of ions with a single power supply, and application of thrust in a short amount of time. We present the concept of the thruster, operational physics, as well as experimental results demonstrating plasma creation and ion acceleration. These results along with plasma spectroscopy allow us to calculate thruster parameters.

  8. Fusion for Space Propulsion and Plasma Liner Driven MTF

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thio, Y.C. Francis; Rodgers, Stephen L. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    in the light of significant development of the enabling pulsed power component technologies that have occurred in the last two decades because of defense and other energy requirements. The extreme states of matter required to produce fusion reactions may be more readily realizable in the pulsed states with less system mass than in steady states. Significant saving in system mass may result in pulsed fusion systems using plasmas in the appropriate density regimes. Magnetized target fusion, which attempts to combine the favorable attributes of magnetic confinement and inertial compression-containment into one single integrated fusion scheme, appears to have benefits that are worth exploring for propulsion application.

  9. Hybrid Propulsion In-Situ Resource Utilization Test Facility Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chandler, Ashley A.; Gatto, Corinne; Nakazono, Barry; Grayson, Kristian; Vaughan, David

    2014-01-01

    Hybrid propulsion could be a potential game changing technology for several Mars applications, such as Mars Sample Return (MSR) and human exploration. A flexible hybrid test facility has been built at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to provide data relevant to the design of such systems. This paper presents the motivations for such a system and its design. The facility is capable of testing 5 cm diameter fuel grains with gaseous oxygen and Mars in situ propellant production simulating oxidizer (varying mixtures of GO2, CO2 and CO). All currently planned tests utilize paraffin based fuels; however, alternative hybrid fuels may be used in the future. Variable length to outer diameter (L/D) ratios may also be tested to give insight on potential packaging constraints. The goal of this research is to enable the inclusion of hybrid propulsion systems in future mission design studies by determining the empirical constants in the regression rate equation for paraffin-based fuels with space storable and/or in situ oxidizers and to investigate the effect of L/D on combustion efficiency. Test results will be reported separately.

  10. On plasma detachment in propulsive magnetic nozzles

    SciTech Connect

    Ahedo, Eduardo; Merino, Mario

    2011-05-15

    Three detachment mechanisms proposed in the literature (via resistivity, via electron inertia, and via induced magnetic field) are analyzed with an axisymmetric model of the expansion of a small-beta, weakly collisional, near-sonic plasma in a diverging magnetic nozzle. The model assumes cold, partially magnetized ions and hot, isothermal, fully magnetized electrons. Different conditions of the plasma beam at the nozzle throat are considered. A central feature is that a positive thrust gain in the nozzle of a plasma thruster is intimately related to the azimuthal current in the plasma being diamagnetic. Then, and contrary to existing expectations, the three aforementioned detachment mechanisms are divergent, that is, the plasma beam diverges outwards of the guide nozzle, further hindering its axial expansion and the thrust efficiency. The rate of divergent detachment is quantified for the small-parameter range of the three mechanisms. Alternative mechanisms for a convergent detachment of the plasma beam are suggested.

  11. A Flight Demonstration of Plasma Rocket Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petro, Andrew; Chang-Diaz, Franklin; Schwenterly, WIlliam; Hitt, Michael; Lepore, Joseph

    2000-01-01

    The Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory at the NASA Johnson Space Center has been engaged in the development of a variable specific impulse magnetoplasma rocket (V ASIMR) for several years. This type of rocket could be used in the future to propel interplanetary spacecraft and has the potential to open the entire solar system to human exploration. One feature of this propulsion technology is the ability to vary its specific impulse so that it can be operated in a mode that maximizes propellant efficiency or a mode that maximizes thrust. Variation of specific impulse and thrust enhances the ability to optimize interplanetary trajectories and results in shorter trip times and lower propellant requirements than with a fixed specific impulse. In its ultimate application for interplanetary travel, the VASIMR would be a multi-megawatt device. A much lower power system is being designed for demonstration in the 2004 timeframe. This first space demonstration would employ a lO-kilowatt thruster aboard a solar powered spacecraft in Earth orbit. The 1O-kilowatt V ASIMR demonstration unit would operate for a period of several months with hydrogen or deuterium propellant with a specific impulse of 10,000 seconds.

  12. Method of hybrid plume plasma propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chang, Franklin R. (Inventor)

    1990-01-01

    A technique for producing thrust by generating a hybrid plume plasma exhaust is disclosed. A plasma flow is generated and introduced into a nozzle which features one or more inlets positioned to direct a flow of neutral gas about the interior of the nozzle. When such a neutral gas flow is combined with the plasma flow within the nozzle, a hybrid plume is constructed including a flow of hot plasma along the center of the nozzle surrounded by a generally annular flow of neutral gas, with an annular transition region between the pure plasma and the neutral gas. The temperature of the outer gas layer is below that of the pure plasma and generally separates the pure plasma from the interior surfaces of the nozzle. The neutral gas flow both insulates the nozzle walls from the high temperatures of the plasma flow and adds to the mass flow rate of the hybrid exhaust. The rate of flow of neutral gas into the interior of the nozzle may be selectively adjusted to control the thrust and specific impulse of the device.

  13. Magnetized Target Fusion Propulsion: Plasma Injectors for MTF Guns

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griffin, Steven T.

    2003-01-01

    To achieve increased payload size and decreased trip time for interplanetary travel, a low mass, high specific impulse, high thrust propulsion system is required. This suggests the need for research into fusion as a source of power and high temperature plasma. The plasma would be deflected by magnetic fields to provide thrust. Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) research consists of several related investigations into these topics. These include the orientation and timing of the plasma guns and the convergence and interface development of the "pusher" plasma. Computer simulations of the gun as it relates to plasma initiation and repeatability are under investigation. One of the items under development is the plasma injector. This is a surface breakdown driven plasma generator designed to function at very low pressures. The performance, operating conditions and limitations of these injectors need to be determined.

  14. Brief review on plasma propulsion with neutralizer-free systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rafalskyi, D.; Aanesland, A.

    2016-06-01

    Electric space propulsion is an intensively developing field addressing new demands and challenges for long-term spacecraft operation. Many novel plasma propulsion concepts aim to find new acceleration principles, use alternative propellants, upscale or downscale thrusters for large thrust or for very small spacecrafts etc. In this work we review the neutralizer-free concepts, where both positive and negative particles are extracted and accelerated from plasmas. We can divide these concepts into three main categories, defined by their acceleration principle: (i) neutral beam generation, (ii) plasma acceleration/expansion and (iii) bipolar beam acceleration. We describe the basic physical principles and evaluate the main advantages and drawbacks in view of general space applications. We also present here further detail on a recent concept where RF voltages are used to accelerate quasi-simultaneously positive ions and electrons from the same source.

  15. Parasitic current losses due to solar electric propulsion generated plasmas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Katz, I.; Parks, D. E.; Mandell, M. J.; Schnuelle, G. W.

    1981-01-01

    Solar electric propulsion is a leading candidate for many upcoming space missions. Under many circumstances plasma produced by charge-exchange reactions within the ion beam dominates the ambient environment near the spacecraft. The calculations presented here contain a predictive hydrodynamic model for the charge-exchange plasma expansion, and a fully three-dimensional model for the structure of the plasma sheath around the solar array wing. Results of calculations for several configurations and voltage levels indicate that with kilovolt biases power losses of approximately 10 percent or more are likely, even with only one engine in operation, and that ameliorative measures should focus on the inboard portion of the solar arrays.

  16. Feasibility of MHD submarine propulsion. Phase II, MHD propulsion: Testing in a two Tesla test facility

    SciTech Connect

    Doss, E.D.; Sikes, W.C.

    1992-09-01

    This report describes the work performed during Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the collaborative research program established between Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company (NNS). Phase I of the program focused on the development of computer models for Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) propulsion. Phase 2 focused on the experimental validation of the thruster performance models and the identification, through testing, of any phenomena which may impact the attractiveness of this propulsion system for shipboard applications. The report discusses in detail the work performed in Phase 2 of the program. In Phase 2, a two Tesla test facility was designed, built, and operated. The facility test loop, its components, and their design are presented. The test matrix and its rationale are discussed. Representative experimental results of the test program are presented, and are compared to computer model predictions. In general, the results of the tests and their comparison with the predictions indicate that thephenomena affecting the performance of MHD seawater thrusters are well understood and can be accurately predicted with the developed thruster computer models.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, G.C.; Beck, D.F.; Harmon, C.D.; Shipers, L.R.

    1992-08-01

    Interagency panels evaluating nuclear thermal propulsion development options have consistently recognized the need for constructing a major new ground test facility to support fuel element and engine testing. This paper summarizes the requirements, configuration, and design issues of a proposed ground test complex for evaluating nuclear thermal propulsion engines and fuel elements being developed for the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program. 2 refs.

  18. Experimental research on electrical propulsion. Note 2: Experimental research on a plasma jet with vortex type stabilization for propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robotti, A. C.; Oggero, M.

    1985-01-01

    Results of experimental electric propulsion research are presented. A plasma generator, with an arc stabilized by an air vortex is examined. The heat transfer efficiency between arc and fluid environment at a varying current and flow rate is discussed.

  19. The Altitude Wind Tunnel (AWT): A unique facility for propulsion system and adverse weather testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chamberlin, R.

    1985-01-01

    A need has arisen for a new wind tunnel facility with unique capabilities for testing propulsion systems and for conducting research in adverse weather conditions. New propulsion system concepts, new aircraft configurations with an unprecedented degree of propulsion system/aircraft integration, and requirements for aircraft operation in adverse weather dictate the need for a new test facility. Required capabilities include simulation of both altitude pressure and temperature, large size, full subsonic speed range, propulsion system operation, and weather simulation (i.e., icing, heavy rain). A cost effective rehabilitation of the NASA Lewis Research Center's Altitude Wind Tunnel (AWT) will provide a facility with all these capabilities.

  20. The Role of Numerical Simulation in Advancing Plasma Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turchi, P. J.; Mikellides, P. G.; Mikellides, I. G.

    1999-11-01

    Plasma thrusters often involve a complex set of interactions among several distinct physical processes. While each process can yield to separate mathematical representation, their combination generally requires numerical simulation. We have extended and used the MACH2 code successfully to simulate both self-field and applied-field magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters and, more recently, ablation-fed pulsed plasma microthrusters. MACH2 provides a framework in which to compute 2-1/2 dimensional, unsteady, MHD flows in two-temperature LTE. It couples to several options for electrical circuitry and allows access to both analytic formulas and tabular values for material properties and transport coefficients, including phenomenological models for anomalous transport. Even with all these capabilities, however, successful modeling demands comparison with experiment and with analytic solutions in idealized limits, and careful combination of MACH2 results with separate physical reasoning. Although well understood elsewhere in plasma physics, the strengths and limitations of numerical simulation for plasma propulsion needs further discussion.

  1. Development of Modeling Approaches for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Test Facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Daniel R.; Allgood, Daniel C.; Nguyen, Ke

    2014-01-01

    High efficiency of rocket propul-sion systems is essential for humanity to venture be-yond the moon. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is a promising alternative to conventional chemical rock-ets with relatively high thrust and twice the efficiency of the Space Shuttle Main Engine. NASA is in the pro-cess of developing a new NTP engine, and is evaluat-ing ground test facility concepts that allow for the thor-ough testing of NTP devices. NTP engine exhaust, hot gaseous hydrogen, is nominally expected to be free of radioactive byproducts from the nuclear reactor; how-ever, it has the potential to be contaminated due to off-nominal engine reactor performance. Several options are being investigated to mitigate this hazard potential with one option in particular that completely contains the engine exhaust during engine test operations. The exhaust products are subsequently disposed of between engine tests. For this concept (see Figure 1), oxygen is injected into the high-temperature hydrogen exhaust that reacts to produce steam, excess oxygen and any trace amounts of radioactive noble gases released by off-nominal NTP engine reactor performance. Water is injected to condense the potentially contaminated steam into water. This water and the gaseous oxygen (GO2) are subsequently passed to a containment area where the water and GO2 are separated into separate containment tanks.

  2. A laboratory facility for electric vehicle propulsion system testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sargent, N. B.

    1980-01-01

    The road load simulator facility located at the NASA Lewis Research Center enables a propulsion system or any of its components to be evaluated under a realistic vehicle inertia and road loads. The load is applied to the system under test according to the road load equation: F(net)=K1F1+K2F2V+K3 sq V+K4(dv/dt)+K5 sin theta. The coefficient of each term in the equation can be varied over a wide range with vehicle inertial representative of vehicles up to 7500 pounds simulated by means of flywheels. The required torque is applied by the flywheels, a hydroviscous absorber and clutch, and a drive motor integrated by a closed loop control system to produce a smooth, continuous load up to 150 horsepower.

  3. Quantifying Plasma Collision Processes in Xenon Powered Electric Propulsion Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dressler, Rainer A.; Chiu, Yu-hui

    2011-05-01

    The use of xenon plasma electrostatic space propulsion systems for low-thrust applications is growing rapidly due to the significant propellant mass savings associated with the high specific impulse of the engines. The high expense of the propellant drives the cost of ground-based testing, which lacks many attributes of in-space conditions. The cost-effective performance and integration optimization of these propulsion systems, consequently, is highly dependent on models that correctly render the static plasma properties and its outflow from the engine at arbitrary conditions. A primary impediment to the accuracy of models is quantitative data such as energy dependent cross sections for a multitude of collision processes that govern the plasma properties. We present a review of theoretical and experimental advances in determining vital cross sections and their implementation in models of electrostatic thruster plasmas. Experimentally validated theoretical charge exchange and xenon ion differential scattering cross sections have led to improved modeling of the angular distribution of Hall Effect thruster plume ion currents. New cross sections for inelastic electron and xenon ion scattering on xenon atoms, including atoms in the 5p56s J = 2 metastable state, have led to the development of a collisional radiative model that predicts local electron temperatures from near-infrared spectral intensities.

  4. Plasma stability studies of the gasdynamic mirror fusion propulsion experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emrich, William Julius, Jr.

    The gasdynamic mirror has been proposed as a concept which could form the basis of a highly efficient fusion rocket engine. Gasdynamic mirrors differ from most other mirror type plasma confinement schemes in that they have much larger aspect ratios and operate at somewhat higher plasma densities. These differences are postulated to permit gasdynamic mirrors to confine plasmas in a stable manner without the additional complicated equipment required by low aspect ratio, low plasma density mirror machines. To verify that a gasdynamic mirror could indeed confine plasmas in a stable manner for long periods of time, a small scale experimental gasdynamic mirror was built and tested. The gasdynamic mirror which was constructed is 2.5 meters long and can accommodate plasmas up to 20 centimeters in diameter. The device is able to support mirror magnetic fields of up to two tesla and central cell magnetic fields of up to a third of a tesla. A reciprocating Langmuir probe was used to determine the radial plasma density and electron temperature profiles upon which the experimental results of this study are based. The objective of this experiment was to determine ranges of mirror ratios and plasma densities over which gasdynamic mirror could maintain stable plasmas. Theoretical analyses indicated that plasma magnetohydrodynamic instabilities were likely to occur during subsonic to supersonic flow transitions in the mirror throat region of the gasdynamic mirror. The experimental evidence based upon data derived from the Langmuir probe measurements seems to confirm this analysis. These instabilities result in a loss of plasma confinement and would almost certainly prevent the initiation of fusion reactions. The assumption that a gasdynamic mirror using a simple mirror geometry could be used as a propulsion system, therefore, appears questionable. Fairly simple modifications to the simple mirror concept are presented, however, which if incorporated into the simple mirror

  5. Propulsion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Air and Space, 1978

    1978-01-01

    An introductory discussion of aircraft propulsion is included along with diagrams and pictures of piston, turbojet, turboprop, turbofan, and jet engines. Also, a table on chemical propulsion is included. (MDR)

  6. Modular Pulsed Plasma Electric Propulsion System for Cubesats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perez, Andres Dono; Gazulla, Oriol Tintore; Teel, George Lewis; Mai, Nghia; Lukas, Joseph; Haque, Sumadra; Uribe, Eddie; Keidar, Michael; Agasid, Elwood

    2014-01-01

    Current capabilities of CubeSats must be improved in order to perform more ambitious missions. Electric propulsion systems will play a key role due to their large specific impulse. Compared to other propulsion alternatives, their simplicity allows an easier miniaturization and manufacturing of autonomous modules into the nano and pico-satellite platform. Pulsed Plasma Thrusters (PPTs) appear as one of the most promising technologies for the near term. The utilization of solid and non-volatile propellants, their low power requirements and their proven reliability in the large scale make them great candidates for rapid implementation. The main challenges are the integration and miniaturization of all the electronic circuitry into a printed circuit board (PCB) that can satisfy the strict requirements that CubeSats present. NASA Ames and the George Washington University have demonstrated functionality and control of three discrete Micro-Cathode Arc Thrusters (CAT) using a bench top configuration that was compatible with the ARC PhoneSat Bus. This demonstration was successfully conducted in a vaccum chamber at the ARC Environmental Test Laboratory. A new effort will integrate a low power Plasma Processing Unit and two plasma thrusters onto a single printed circuit board that will utilize less than 13 U of Bus volume. The target design will be optimized for the accommodation into the PhoneSatEDISON Demonstration of SmallSatellite Networks (EDSN) bus as it uses the same software interface application, which was demonstrated in the previous task. This paper describes the design, integration and architecture of the proposed propulsion subsystem for a planned Technology Demonstration Mission. In addition, a general review of the Pulsed Plasma technology available for CubeSats is presented in order to assess the necessary challenges to overcome further development.

  7. Advanced Plasma Propulsion for Human Missions to Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donahue, Benjamin B.; Pearson, J. Boise

    1999-01-01

    This paper will briefly identify a promising fusion plasma power source, which when coupled with a promising electric thruster technology would provide for an efficient interplanetary transfer craft suitable to a 4 year round trip mission to the Jovian system. An advanced, nearly radiation free Inertial Electrostatic Confinement scheme for containing fusion plasma was judged as offering potential for delivering the performance and operational benefits needed for such high energy human expedition missions, without requiring heavy superconducting magnets for containment of the fusion plasma. Once the Jovian transfer stage has matched the heliocentric velocity of Jupiter, the energy requirements for excursions to its outer satellites (Callisto, Ganymede and Europa) by smaller excursion craft are not prohibitive. The overall propulsion, power and thruster system is briefly described and a preliminary vehicle mass statement is presented.

  8. Advancements in Dense Plasma Focus (DPF) for Space Propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, Robert; Yang Yang; Miley, G.H.; Mead, F.B.

    2005-02-06

    The development of a dense plasma focus (DPF) propulsion device using p-11B is described. A propulsion system of this type is attractive because of its high thrust-to-weight ratio capabilities at high specific impulses. From a fuel standpoint, p-11B is advantageous because of the aneutronic nature of the reaction, which is favorable for the production of thrust since the charged particles can be channeled by a magnetic field. Different fusion mechanisms are investigated and their implication to the p-11B reaction is explored. Three main requirements must be satisfied to reach breakeven for DPF fusion: a high Ti/Te ratio ({approx}20), an order of magnitude higher pinch lifetime, and the reflection and absorption of at least 50% radiation. Moreover, a power re-circulation method with high efficiency must be available for the relatively low Q value of the DPF fusion reactor. A possible direct energy conversion scheme using magnetic field compression is discussed. DPF parameters are estimated for thrust levels of 1000 kN and 500 kN, and possible propulsion applications are discussed, along with developmental issues.

  9. A digital computer propulsion control facility: Description of capabilities and summary of experimental program results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zeller, J. R.; Arpasi, D. J.; Lehtinen, B.

    1976-01-01

    Flight weight digital computers are being used today to carry out many of the propulsion system control functions previously delegated exclusively to hydromechanical controllers. An operational digital computer facility for propulsion control mode studies has been used successfully in several experimental programs. This paper describes the system and some of the results concerned with engine control, inlet control, and inlet engine integrated control. Analytical designs for the digital propulsion control modes include both classical and modern/optimal techniques.

  10. Plasma simulation in a hybrid ion electric propulsion system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jugroot, Manish; Christou, Alex

    2015-04-01

    An exciting possibility for the next generation of satellite technology is the microsatellite. These satellites, ranging from 10-500 kg, can offer advantages in cost, reduced risk, and increased functionality for a variety of missions. For station keeping and control of these satellites, a suitable compact and high efficiency thruster is required. Electrostatic propulsion provides a promising solution for microsatellite thrust due to their high specific impulse. The rare gas propellant is ionized into plasma and generates a beam of high speed ions by electrostatic processes. A concept explored in this work is a hybrid combination of dc ion engines and hall thrusters to overcome space-charge and lifetime limitations of current ion thruster technologies. A multiphysics space and time-dependent formulation was used to investigate and understand the underlying physical phenomena. Several regions and time scales of the plasma have been observed and will be discussed.

  11. Liquid Metal Propellant Feed System for Plasma Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markusic, T. E.

    2004-01-01

    High-power plasma thrusters that utilize molten metallic propellants (e.g., the Lithium Lorentz Force Accelerator) are currently being investigated as a primary propulsion option for in-space nuclear-electric systems. A critical component of the thruster is the propellant feed system, which must reliably and accurately pump liquid metal into the thruster discharge chamber. We present design details and calibration results for a compact liquid metal propellant feed system that contains no moving parts, for use in laboratory testing of plasma thrusters. Feed line pressure is maintained using an MHD flow coupler, and the flow rate is monitored using a simple voltage divider, which is submerged in the propellant reservoir. Results for lithium and gallium propellants show capability to meter propellant at flow rates up to 10 +/- 0.1 mg/s.

  12. Space Propulsion Research Facility (B-2): An Innovative, Multi-Purpose Test Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hill, Gerald M.; Weaver, Harold F.; Kudlac, Maureen T.; Maloney, Christian T.; Evans, Richard K.

    2011-01-01

    The Space Propulsion Research Facility, commonly referred to as B-2, is designed to hot fire rocket engines or upper stage launch vehicles with up to 890,000 N force (200,000 lb force), after environmental conditioning of the test article in simulated thermal vacuum space environment. As NASA s third largest thermal vacuum facility, and the largest designed to store and transfer large quantities of propellant, it is uniquely suited to support developmental testing associated with large lightweight structures and Cryogenic Fluid Management (CFM) systems, as well as non-traditional propulsion test programs such as Electric and In-Space propulsion. B-2 has undergone refurbishment of key subsystems to support the NASA s future test needs, including data acquisition and controls, vacuum, and propellant systems. This paper details the modernization efforts at B-2 to support the Nation s thermal vacuum/propellant test capabilities, the unique design considerations implemented for efficient operations and maintenance, and ultimately to reduce test costs.

  13. Activation of the E1 Ultra High Pressure Propulsion Test Facility at Stennis Space Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Messer, Bradley; Messer, Elisabeth; Sewell, Dale; Sass, Jared; Lott, Jeff; Dutreix, Lionel, III

    2001-01-01

    After a decade of construction and a year of activation the El Ultra High Pressure Propulsion Test Facility at NASA's Stennis Space Center is fully operational. The El UHP Propulsion Test Facility is a multi-cell, multi-purpose component and engine test facility . The facility is capable of delivering cryogenic propellants at low, high, and ultra high pressures with flow rates ranging from a few pounds per second up to two thousand pounds per second. Facility activation is defined as a series of tasks required to transition between completion of construction and facility operational readiness. Activating the El UHP Propulsion Test Facility involved independent system checkouts, propellant system leak checks, fluid and gas sampling, gaseous system blow downs, pressurization and vent system checkouts, valve stability testing, valve tuning cryogenic cold flows, and functional readiness tests.

  14. Design of Electrical Systems for Rocket Propulsion Test Facilities at the John C. Stennis Space Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hughes, Mark S.; Davis, Dawn M.; Bakker, Henry J.; Jensen, Scott L.

    2007-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the design of the electrical systems that are required for the testing of rockets at the Rocket Propulsion Facility at NASA Stennis Space Center (NASA SSC). NASA/SSC s Mission in Rocket Propulsion Testing Is to Acquire Test Performance Data for Verification, Validation and Qualification of Propulsion Systems Hardware. These must be accurate reliable comprehensive and timely. Data acquisition in a rocket propulsion test environment is challenging: severe temporal transient dynamic environments, large thermal gradients, vacuum to 15 ksi pressure regimes SSC has developed and employs DAS, control systems and control systems and robust instrumentation that effectively satisfies these challenges.

  15. Wind Tunnel and Propulsion Test Facilities: An Assessment of NASA's Capabilities to Serve National Needs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anton, Philip S.; Gritton, Eugene C.; Mesic, Richard; Steinberg, Paul; Johnson, Dana J.

    2004-01-01

    This monograph reveals and discusses the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) wind tunnel and propulsion test facility management issues that are creating real risks to the United States' competitive aeronautics advantage.

  16. A Nuclear-Powered Laser-Accelerated Plasma Propulsion System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kammash, Terry

    2003-01-01

    Recent experiments at the University of Michigan and other laboratories throughout the world have demonstrated that ultrafast (very short pulse length) lasers can accelerate charged particles to relativistic speeds. The terrawatt laser at the University of Michigan has generated a beam of protons containing more than 1010 particles at a mean energy of over one Mev while the petawatt laser at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has produced proton beams containing more than 1014 particles with maximum energy of 58 Mev and a mean energy of about 6 Mev. Using the latter data as a basis for a present-day LAPPS (Laser Accelerated Plasma Propulsion System) propulsion device we show that it can produce a specific impulse of several million seconds albeit at a fraction of a Newton of thrust. We show that if the thrust can be increased to a modest 25 Newtons a fly-by robotic interstellar mission to 10,000 AU can be achieved in about 26 years, while a round trip to Mars will be accomplished in about 6 months. In both instances a one MWe nuclear power system with a mass of about 5 MT will be needed to drive the laser, and the recently announced NASA's Nuclear Space Initiative should be able to address such reactors in the near future.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  18. Low Cost Propulsion Technology Testing at the Stennis Space Center: Propulsion Test Article and the Horizontal Test Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fisher, Mark F.; King, Richard F.; Chenevert, Donald J.

    1998-01-01

    The need for low cost access to space has initiated the development of low cost liquid rocket engine and propulsion system hardware at the Marshall Space Flight Center. This hardware will be tested at the Stennis Space Center's B-2 test stand. This stand has been reactivated for the testing of the Marshall designed Fastrac engine and the Propulsion Test Article. The RP-1 and LOX engine is a turbopump fed gas generator rocket with an ablative nozzle which has a thrust of 60,000 lbf. The Propulsion Test Article (PTA) is a test bed for low cost propulsion system hardware including a composite RP-I tank, flight feedlines and pressurization system, stacked in a booster configuration. The PTA is located near the center line of the B-2 test stand, firing vertically into the water cooled flame deflector. A new second position on the B-2 test stand has been designed and built for the horizontal testing of the Fastrac engine in direct support of the X-34 launch vehicle. The design and integration of these test facilities as well as the coordination which was required between the two Centers is described and lessons learned are provided. The construction of the horizontal test position is discussed in detail. The activation of these facilities is examined and the major test milestones are described.

  19. Antiproton powered propulsion with magnetically confined plasma engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lapointe, Michael R.

    1989-01-01

    The reaction of the matter-antimatter annihilation, with its specific energy being over 250 times the specific energy released in nuclear fusion, is considered as an energy source for spacecraft propulsion. A concept of a magnetically confined pulsed plasma engine is described. In this concept, antiproton beams are injected axially into a pulsed magnetic mirror system, where they annihilate with an initially neutral hydrogen gas; the resulting charge annihilation products transfer energy to the hydrogen propellant, which is then exhausted through one end of the pulsed mirror system to provide thrust. Numerical simulations were developed to calculate the annihilation rate of antiprotons in hydrogen and to follow the resulting ion, muon, and electron/positron number density evolutions.

  20. Antiproton powered propulsion with magnetically confined plasma engines

    SciTech Connect

    Lapointe, M.R.

    1989-01-01

    The reaction of the matter-antimatter annihilation, with its specific energy being over 250 times the specific energy released in nuclear fusion, is considered as an energy source for spacecraft propulsion. A concept of a magnetically confined pulsed plasma engine is described. In this concept, antiproton beams are injected axially into a pulsed magnetic mirror system, where they annihilate with an initially neutral hydrogen gas; the resulting charge annihilation products transfer energy to the hydrogen propellant, which is then exhausted through one end of the pulsed mirror system to provide thrust. Numerical simulations were developed to calculate the annihilation rate of antiprotons in hydrogen and to follow the resulting ion, muon, and electron/positron number density evolutions. 22 refs.

  1. Magnetic-Nozzle Studies for Fusion Propulsion Applications: Gigawatt Plasma Source Operation and Magnetic Nozzle Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gilland, James H.; Mikekkides, Ioannis; Mikellides, Pavlos; Gregorek, Gerald; Marriott, Darin

    2004-01-01

    This project has been a multiyear effort to assess the feasibility of a key process inherent to virtually all fusion propulsion concepts: the expansion of a fusion-grade plasma through a diverging magnetic field. Current fusion energy research touches on this process only indirectly through studies of plasma divertors designed to remove the fusion products from a reactor. This project was aimed at directly addressing propulsion system issues, without the expense of constructing a fusion reactor. Instead, the program designed, constructed, and operated a facility suitable for simulating fusion reactor grade edge plasmas, and to examine their expansion in an expanding magnetic nozzle. The approach was to create and accelerate a dense (up to l0(exp 20)/m) plasma, stagnate it in a converging magnetic field to convert kinetic energy to thermal energy, and examine the subsequent expansion of the hot (100's eV) plasma in a subsequent magnetic nozzle. Throughout the project, there has been a parallel effort between theoretical and numerical design and modelling of the experiment and the experiment itself. In particular, the MACH2 code was used to design and predict the performance of the magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) plasma accelerator, and to design and predict the design and expected behavior for the magnetic field coils that could be added later. Progress to date includes the theoretical accelerator design and construction, development of the power and vacuum systems to accommodate the powers and mass flow rates of interest to out research, operation of the accelerator and comparison to theoretical predictions, and computational analysis of future magnetic field coils and the expected performance of an integrated source-nozzle experiment.

  2. Antiproton powered propulsion with magnetically confined plasma engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lapointe, Michael R.

    1989-01-01

    Matter-antimatter annihilation releases more energy per unit mass than any other method of energy production, making it an attractive energy source for spacecraft propulsion. In the magnetically confined plasma engine, antiproton beams are injected axially into a pulsed magnetic mirror system, where they annihilate with an initially neutral hydrogen gas. The resulting charged annihilation products transfer energy to the hydrogen propellant, which is then exhausted through one end of the pulsed mirror system to provide thrust. The calculated energy transfer efficiencies for a low number density (10(14)/cu cm) hydrogen propellant are insufficient to warrant operating the engine in this mode. Efficiencies are improved using moderate propellant number densities (10(16)/cu cm), but the energy transferred to the plasma in a realistic magnetic mirror system is generally limited to less than 2 percent of the initial proton-antiproton annihilation energy. The energy transfer efficiencies are highest for high number density (10(18)/cu cm) propellants, but plasma temperatures are reduced by excessive radiation losses. Low to moderate thrust over a wide range of specific impulse can be generated with moderate propellant number densities, while higher thrust but lower specific impulse may be generated using high propellant number densities. Significant mass will be required to shield the superconducting magnet coils from the high energy gamma radiation emitted by neutral pion decay. The mass of such a radiation shield may dominate the total engine mass, and could severely diminish the performance of antiproton powered engines which utilize magnetic confinement. The problem is compounded in the antiproton powered plasma engine, where lower energy plasma bremsstrahlung radiation may cause shield surface ablation and degradation.

  3. Antiproton powered propulsion with magnetically confined plasma engines

    SciTech Connect

    Lapointe, M.R.

    1989-08-01

    Matter-antimatter annihilation releases more energy per unit mass than any other method of energy production, making it an attractive energy source for spacecraft propulsion. In the magnetically confined plasma engine, antiproton beams are injected axially into a pulsed magnetic mirror system, where they annihilate with an initially neutral hydrogen gas. The resulting charged annihilation products transfer energy to the hydrogen propellant, which is then exhausted through one end of the pulsed mirror system to provide thrust. The calculated energy transfer efficiencies for a low number density (10(14)/cu cm) hydrogen propellant are insufficient to warrant operating the engine in this mode. Efficiencies are improved using moderate propellant number densities (10(16)/cu cm), but the energy transferred to the plasma in a realistic magnetic mirror system is generally limited to less than 2 percent of the initial proton-antiproton annihilation energy. The energy transfer efficiencies are highest for high number density (10(18)/cu cm) propellants, but plasma temperatures are reduced by excessive radiation losses. Low to moderate thrust over a wide range of specific impulse can be generated with moderate propellant number densities, while higher thrust but lower specific impulse may be generated using high propellant number densities. Significant mass will be required to shield the superconducting magnet coils from the high energy gamma radiation emitted by neutral pion decay. The mass of such a radiation shield may dominate the total engine mass, and could severely diminish the performance of antiproton powered engines which utilize magnetic confinement. The problem is compounded in the antiproton powered plasma engine, where lower energy plasma bremsstrahlung radiation may cause shield surface ablation and degradation.

  4. Engineered plasma interactions for geomagnetic propulsion of ultra small satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Palmer, Jeremy A.; Boerner, Jeremiah J.; Hughes, Thomas P.; Bennett, Guy R.

    2013-05-01

    Previous astrophysical studies have explained the orbital dynamics of particles that acquire a high electrostatic charge. In low Earth orbit, the charge collected by a microscopic particle or an ultra-small, low-mass satellite interacts with the geomagnetic field to induce the Lorentz force which, in the ideal case, may be exploited as a form of propellantless propulsion. Efficient mechanisms for negative and positive electrostatic charging of a so-called attosatellite are proposed considering material, geometry, and emission interactions with the ionosphere's neutral plasma with characteristic Debye length. A novel model-based plasma physics study was undertaken to optimize the positive charge mechanism quantified by the system charge-to-mass ratio. In the context of the practical system design considered, a positive charge-to-mass ratio on the order of 1.9x10-9 C/kg is possible with maximum spacecraft potential equal to the sum of the kinetic energy of electrons from active field emission (+43V) and less than +5V from passive elements. The maximum positive potential is less than what is possible with negative electrostatic charging due to differences in thermal velocity and number density of electronic and ionic species. These insights are the foundation of a practical system design.

  5. Ablation of carbon-doped liquid propellant in laser plasma propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Z. Y.; Liang, T.; Zhang, S. Q.; Gao, L.; Gao, H.; Zhang, Z. L.

    2016-04-01

    Carbon-doped liquid glycerol ablated by nanosecond pulse laser is investigated in laser plasma propulsion. It is found that the propulsion is much more correlated with the carbon content. The doped carbon can change the laser intensity and laser focal position so as to reduce the splashing quantity of the glycerol. Less consumption of the liquid volume results in a high specific impulse.

  6. Proposed Facility Modifications to Support Propulsion Systems Testing Under Simulated Space Conditions at Plum Brook Station's Spacecraft Propulsion Research Facility (B-2)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edwards, Daryl A.

    2007-01-01

    Preparing NASA's Plum Brook Station's Spacecraft Propulsion Research Facility (B-2) to support NASA's new generation of launch vehicles has raised many challenges for B-2 s support staff. The facility provides a unique capability to test chemical propulsion systems/vehicles while simulating space thermal and vacuum environments. Designed and constructed 4 decades ago to support upper stage cryogenic engine/vehicle system development, the Plum Brook Station B-2 facility will require modifications to support the larger, more powerful, and more advanced engine systems for the next generation of vehicles leaving earth's orbit. Engine design improvements over the years have included large area expansion ratio nozzles, greater combustion chamber pressures, and advanced materials. Consequently, it has become necessary to determine what facility changes are required and how the facility can be adapted to support varying customers and their specific test needs. Instrumental in this task is understanding the present facility capabilities and identifying what reasonable changes can be implemented. A variety of approaches and analytical tools are being employed to gain this understanding. This paper discusses some of the challenges in applying these tools to this project and expected facility configuration to support the varying customer needs.

  7. Proposed Facility Modifications to Support Propulsion Systems Testing Under Simulated Space Conditions at Plum Brook Station's Spacecraft Propulsion Research Facility (B-2)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edwards, Daryl A.

    2008-01-01

    Preparing NASA's Plum Brook Station's Spacecraft Propulsion Research Facility (B-2) to support NASA's new generation of launch vehicles has raised many challenges for B-2's support staff. The facility provides a unique capability to test chemical propulsion systems/vehicles while simulating space thermal and vacuum environments. Designed and constructed in the early 1960s to support upper stage cryogenic engine/vehicle system development, the Plum Brook Station B-2 facility will require modifications to support the larger, more powerful, and more advanced engine systems for the next generation of vehicles leaving earth's orbit. Engine design improvements over the years have included large area expansion ratio nozzles, greater combustion chamber pressures, and advanced materials. Consequently, it has become necessary to determine what facility changes are required and how the facility can be adapted to support varying customers and their specific test needs. Exhaust system performance, including understanding the present facility capabilities, is the primary focus of this work. A variety of approaches and analytical tools are being employed to gain this understanding. This presentation discusses some of the challenges in applying these tools to this project and expected facility configuration to support the varying customer needs.

  8. Honeycomblike large area LaB6 plasma source for Multi-Purpose Plasma facility.

    PubMed

    Woo, Hyun-Jong; Chung, Kyu-Sun; You, Hyun-Jong; Lee, Myoung-Jae; Lho, Taihyeop; Choh, Kwon Kook; Yoon, Jung-Sik; Jung, Yong Ho; Lee, Bongju; Yoo, Suk Jae; Kwon, Myeon

    2007-10-01

    A Multi-Purpose Plasma (MP(2)) facility has been renovated from Hanbit mirror device [Kwon et al., Nucl. Fusion 43, 686 (2003)] by adopting the same philosophy of diversified plasma simulator (DiPS) [Chung et al., Contrib. Plasma Phys. 46, 354 (2006)] by installing two plasma sources: LaB(6) (dc) and helicon (rf) plasma sources; and making three distinct simulators: divertor plasma simulator, space propulsion simulator, and astrophysics simulator. During the first renovation stage, a honeycomblike large area LaB(6) (HLA-LaB(6)) cathode was developed for the divertor plasma simulator to improve the resistance against the thermal shock fragility for large and high density plasma generation. A HLA-LaB(6) cathode is composed of the one inner cathode with 4 in. diameter and the six outer cathodes with 2 in. diameter along with separate graphite heaters. The first plasma is generated with Ar gas and its properties are measured by the electric probes with various discharge currents and magnetic field configurations. Plasma density at the middle of central cell reaches up to 2.6 x 10(12) cm(-3), while the electron temperature remains around 3-3.5 eV at the low discharge current of less than 45 A, and the magnetic field intensity of 870 G. Unique features of electric property of heaters, plasma density profiles, is explained comparing with those of single LaB(6) cathode with 4 in. diameter in DiPS. PMID:17979417

  9. Honeycomblike large area LaB6 plasma source for Multi-Purpose Plasma facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woo, Hyun-Jong; Chung, Kyu-Sun; You, Hyun-Jong; Lee, Myoung-Jae; Lho, Taihyeop; Choh, Kwon Kook; Yoon, Jung-Sik; Jung, Yong Ho; Lee, Bongju; Yoo, Suk Jae; Kwon, Myeon

    2007-10-01

    A Multi-Purpose Plasma (MP2) facility has been renovated from Hanbit mirror device [Kwon et al., Nucl. Fusion 43, 686 (2003)] by adopting the same philosophy of diversified plasma simulator (DiPS) [Chung et al., Contrib. Plasma Phys. 46, 354 (2006)] by installing two plasma sources: LaB6 (dc) and helicon (rf) plasma sources; and making three distinct simulators: divertor plasma simulator, space propulsion simulator, and astrophysics simulator. During the first renovation stage, a honeycomblike large area LaB6 (HLA-LaB6) cathode was developed for the divertor plasma simulator to improve the resistance against the thermal shock fragility for large and high density plasma generation. A HLA-LaB6 cathode is composed of the one inner cathode with 4in. diameter and the six outer cathodes with 2in. diameter along with separate graphite heaters. The first plasma is generated with Ar gas and its properties are measured by the electric probes with various discharge currents and magnetic field configurations. Plasma density at the middle of central cell reaches up to 2.6×1012 cm-3, while the electron temperature remains around 3-3.5eV at the low discharge current of less than 45A, and the magnetic field intensity of 870G. Unique features of electric property of heaters, plasma density profiles, is explained comparing with those of single LaB6 cathode with 4in. diameter in DiPS.

  10. Test Facilities in Support of High Power Electric Propulsion Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Dyke, Melissa; Houts, Mike; Godfroy, Thomas; Dickens, Ricky; Martin, James J.; Salvail, Patrick; Carter, Robert

    2003-01-01

    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 non-nuclear testing. Through demonstration of systems concepts (designed by DOE National Laboratories) in relevant environments, this philosophy has been demonstrated through hardware testing in the High Power Propulsion Thermal Simulator (HPPTS). The HPPTS is designed to enable very realistic non-nuclear testing of space fission systems. Ongoing research at the HPPTS is geared towards facilitating research, development, system integration, and system utilization via cooperative efforts with DOE labs, industry, universities, and other NASA centers. Through hardware based design and testing, the HPPTS investigates High Power Electric Propulsion (HPEP) component, subsystem, and integrated system design and performance.

  11. Test Facilities in Support of High Power Electric Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    VanDyke, Melissa; Houts, Mike; Godfroy, Thomas; Dickens, Ricky; Martin, James J.; Salvail, Patrick; Carter, Robert

    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 non-nuclear testing. Through demonstration of systems concepts (designed by DOE National Laboratories) in relevant environments, this philosophy has been demonstrated through hardware testing in the High Power Propulsion Thermal Simulator (HPPTS). The HPPTS is designed to enable very realistic non-nuclear testing of space fission systems. Ongoing research at the HPPTS is geared towards facilitating research, development, system integration, and system utilization via cooperative efforts with DOE labs, industry, universities, and other NASA centers. Through hardware based design and testing, the HPPTS investigates High Power Electric Propulsion (HPEP) component, subsystem, and integrated system design and performance.

  12. Plasma Propulsion of a Metallic Microdroplet and its Deformation upon Laser Impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurilovich, Dmitry; Klein, Alexander L.; Torretti, Francesco; Lassise, Adam; Hoekstra, Ronnie; Ubachs, Wim; Gelderblom, Hanneke; Versolato, Oscar O.

    2016-07-01

    The propulsion of a liquid indium-tin microdroplet by nanosecond-pulse laser impact is experimentally investigated. We capture the physics of the droplet propulsion in a scaling law that accurately describes the plasma-imparted momentum transfer over nearly three decades of pulse energy, enabling the optimization of the laser-droplet coupling. The subsequent deformation of the droplet is described by an analytical model that accounts for the droplet's propulsion velocity and the liquid properties. Comparing our findings to those from vaporization-accelerated millimeter-sized water droplets, we demonstrate that the fluid-dynamic response of laser-impacted droplets is scalable and decoupled from the propulsion mechanism. By contrast, the physics behind the propulsion of liquid-metal droplets differs from that of water. It is studied here in detail and under industrially relevant conditions as found in next-generation nanolithography machines.

  13. Electric propulsion. [pulsed plasma thruster and electron bombardment ion engine for MSAT attitude control and stationkeeping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

    An alternative propulsion subsystem for MSAT is presented which has a potential of reducing the satellite weight by more than 15%. The characteristics of pulsed plasma and ion engines are described and used to estimate of the mass of the propellant and thrusters for attitude control and stationkeeping functions for MSAT. Preliminary estimates indicate that the electric propulsion systems could also replace the large momentum wheels necessary to counteract the solar pressure; however, the fine pointing wheels would be retained. Estimates also show that either electric propulsion system can save approximately 18% to 20% of the initial 4,000 kg mass. The issues that require further experimentation are mentioned.

  14. Operational summary of an electric propulsion long term test facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trump, G. E.; James, E. L.; Bechtel, R. T.

    1982-01-01

    An automated test facility capable of simultaneously operating three 2.5 kW, 30-cm mercury ion thrusters and their power processors is described, along with a test program conducted for the documentation of thruster characteristics as a function of time. Facility controls are analog, with full redundancy, so that in the event of malfunction the facility automaticcally activates a backup mode and notifies an operator. Test data are recorded by a central data collection system and processed as daily averages. The facility has operated continuously for a period of 37 months, over which nine mercury ion thrusters and four power processor units accumulated a total of over 14,500 hours of thruster operating time.

  15. CARS Temperature Measurements in a Hypersonic Propulsion Test Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jarrett, Olin, Jr.; Smith, M. W.; Antcliff, R. R.; Northam, G. Burt; Cutler, A. D.; Capriotti, D. P.; Taylor, D. J.

    1990-01-01

    Nonintrusive diagnostic measurements were performed in the supersonic reacting flow of the Hypersonic Propulsion Test Cell 2 at NASA-Langley. A Coherent Anti-stokes Raman Spectroscopy (CARS) system was assembled specifically for the test cell environment. System design considerations were: (1) test cell noise and vibration; (2) contamination from flow field or atmospheric borne dust; (3) unwanted laser or electrically induced combustion (inside or outside the duct); (4) efficient signal collection; (5) signal splitting to span the wide dynamic range present throughout the flow field; (6) movement of the sampling volume in the flow; and (7) modification of the scramjet model duct to permit optical access to the reacting flow with the CARS system. The flow in the duct was a nominal Mach 2 flow with static pressure near one atmosphere. A single perpendicular injector introduced hydrogen into the flow behind a rearward facing step. CARS data was obtained in three planes downstream of the injection region. At least 20 CARS data points were collected at each of the regularly spaced sampling locations in each data plane. Contour plots of scramjet combustor static temperature in a reacting flow region are presented.

  16. CARS temperature measurements in a hypersonic propulsion test facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jarrett, O., Jr.; Smith, M. W.; Antcliff, R. R.; Northam, G. B.; Cutler, A. D.

    1990-01-01

    Static-temperature measurements performed in a reacting vitiated air-hydrogen Mach-2 flow in a duct in Test Cell 2 at NASA LaRC by using a coherent anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy (CARS) system are discussed. The hypersonic propulsion Test Cell 2 hardware is outlined with emphasis on optical access ports and safety features in the design of the Test Cell. Such design considerations as vibration, noise, contamination from flow field or atmospheric-borne dust, unwanted laser- and electrically-induced combustion, and movement of the sampling volume in the flow are presented. The CARS system is described, and focus is placed on the principle and components of system-to-monochromator signal coupling. Contour plots of scramjet combustor static temperature in a reacting-flow region are presented for three stations, and it is noted that the measurements reveal such features in the flow as maximum temperature near the model wall in the region of the injector footprint.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-10-25

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

  18. Characterization of Vacuum Facility Background Gas Through Simulation and Considerations for Electric Propulsion Ground Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yim, John T.; Burt, Jonathan M.

    2015-01-01

    The background gas in a vacuum facility for electric propulsion ground testing is examined in detail through a series of cold flow simulations using a direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) code. The focus here is on the background gas itself, its structure and characteristics, rather than assessing its interaction and impact on thruster operation. The background gas, which is often incorrectly characterized as uniform, is found to have a notable velocity within a test facility. The gas velocity has an impact on the proper measurement of pressure and the calculation of ingestion flux to a thruster. There are also considerations for best practices for tests that involve the introduction of supplemental gas flows to artificially increase the background pressure. All of these effects need to be accounted for to properly characterize the operation of electric propulsion thrusters across different ground test vacuum facilities.

  19. Plasma Propulsion Research at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sheehy, Jeffrey A.

    2004-01-01

    The Propulsion Research Center at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center is pursuing a range of research efforts aimed at identifying and developing new technologies for primary spacecraft propulsion. Efficient high-power electric propulsion (Ep) thrusters are a particular area of emphasis; these would enable the relatively rapid transit of large payloads about the solar system for unmanned or manned science and exploration. Such a mission would make heavy demands on the propulsion system, which may be required to run reliably for several years at a specific impulse approaching 10,OOO s with an efficiency of turning electrical power into jet power of at least 70%. The transit time to a destination scales approximately inversely with the cube root of the specific power, which is the ratio of jet power to power-plant mass. Consequently, reducing a trip time by half requires roughly an eight-fold increase in specific power. Given a renewed NASA commitment to space nuclear power, developing efficient EP thrusters with high jet power (> 100 kW) would seem to provide the most direct means of significantly increasing the specific power and hence reducing trip times. In particular, electromagnetic devices, with their high inherent thrust densities, should be better suited to high power applications than thrusters which depend exclusively on electrostatic forces for propellant acceleration.

  20. Magnetic Dipole Inflation with Cascaded ARC and Applications to Mini-Magnetospheric Plasma Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Giersch, L.; Winglee, R.; Slough, J.; Ziemba, T.; Euripides, P.

    2003-01-01

    Mini-Magnetospheric Plasma Propulsion (M2P2) seeks to create a plasma-inflated magnetic bubble capable of intercepting significant thrust from the solar wind for the purposes of high speed, high efficiency spacecraft propulsion. Previous laboratory experiments into the M2P2 concept have primarily used helicon plasma sources to inflate the dipole magnetic field. The work presented here uses an alternative plasma source, the cascaded arc, in a geometry similar to that used in previous helicon experiments. Time resolved measurements of the equatorial plasma density have been conducted and the results are discussed. The equatorial plasma density transitions from an initially asymmetric configuration early in the shot to a quasisymmetric configuration during plasma production, and then returns to an asymmetric configuration when the source is shut off. The exact reasons for these changes in configuration are unknown, but convection of the loaded flux tube is suspected. The diffusion time was found to be an order of magnitude longer than the Bohm diffusion time for the period of time after the plasma source was shut off. The data collected indicate the plasma has an electron temperature of approximately 11 eV, an order of magnitude hotter than plasmas generated by cascaded arcs operating under different conditions. In addition, indirect evidence suggests that the plasma has a beta of order unity in the source region.

  1. NASA's Propulsion Research Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    James Werner; Sam Bhattacharyya; Mike Houts

    2011-02-01

    Abstract. The future of American space exploration depends on the ability to rapidly and economically access locations of interest throughout the solar system. There is a large body of work (both in the US and the Former Soviet Union) that show that Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is the most technically mature, advanced propulsion system that can enable this rapid and economical access by its ability to provide a step increase above what is a feasible using a traditional chemical rocket system. For an NTP system to be deployed, the earlier measurements and recent predictions of the performance of the fuel and the reactor system need to be confirmed experimentally prior to launch. Major fuel and reactor system issues to be addressed include fuel performance at temperature, hydrogen compatibility, fission product retention, and restart capability. The prime issue to be addressed for reactor system performance testing involves finding an affordable and environmentally acceptable method to test a range of engine sizes using a combination of nuclear and non-nuclear test facilities. This paper provides an assessment of some of the capabilities and facilities that are available or will be needed to develop and test the nuclear fuel, and reactor components. It will also address briefly options to take advantage of the greatly improvement in computation/simulation and materials processing capabilities that would contribute to making the development of an NTP system more affordable. Keywords: Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP), Fuel fabrication, nuclear testing, test facilities.

  3. Superconducting applications in propulsion systems. Magnetic insulation for plasma propulsion devices

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gonzalez, Dora E.; Karr, Gerald R.

    1990-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to review the status of knowledge of the basic concepts needed to establish design parameters for effective magnetic insulation. The objective is to estimate the effectiveness of the magnetic field in insulating the plasma, to calculate the magnitude of the magnetic field necessary to reduce the heat transfer to the walls sufficiently enough to demonstrate the potential of magnetically driven plasma rockets.

  4. Coaxial plasma thrusters for high specific impulse propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schoenberg, Kurt F.; Gerwin, Richard A.; Barnes, Cris W.; Henins, Ivars; Mayo, Robert; Moses, Ronald, Jr.; Scarberry, Richard; Wurden, Glen

    1991-01-01

    A fundamental basis for coaxial plasma thruster performance is presented and the steady-state, ideal MHD properties of a coaxial thruster using an annular magnetic nozzle are discussed. Formulas for power usage, thrust, mass flow rate, and specific impulse are acquired and employed to assess thruster performance. The performance estimates are compared with the observed properties of an unoptimized coaxial plasma gun. These comparisons support the hypothesis that ideal MHD has an important role in coaxial plasma thruster dynamics.

  5. Low energy stable plasma calibration facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frederick-Frost, K. M.; Lynch, K. A.

    2007-07-01

    We have designed and fabricated a low energy plasma calibration facility for testing and calibration of rocket-borne charged-particle detectors and for the investigation of plasma sheath formation in an environment with ionospheric plasma energies, densities, and Debye lengths. We describe the vacuum system and associated plasma source, which was modified from a Naval Research Laboratory design [Bowles et al. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 67, 455 (1996)]. Mechanical and electrical modifications to this cylindrical microwave resonant source are outlined together with a different method of operating the magnetron that achieves a stable discharge. This facility produces unmagnetized plasmas with densities from 1×103/cm3to6×105/cm3, electron temperatures from 0.1to1.7eV, and plasma potentials from 0.5to8V depending on varying input microwave power and neutral gas flow. For the range of input microwave power explored (350-600W), the energy density of the plasma remains constant because of an inverse relationship between density and temperature. This relationship allows a wide range of Debye lengths (0.3-8.4cm) to be investigated, which is ideal for simulating the ionospheric plasma sheaths we explore.

  6. Microwave plasma generation of hydrogen atoms for rocket propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chapman, R.; Filpus, J.; Morin, T.; Snellenberger, R.; Asmussen, J.; Hawley, M.; Kerber, R.

    1981-01-01

    A flow microwave plasma reaction system is used to study the conversion of hydrogen to hydrogen atoms as a function of pressure, power density, cavity tuning, cavity mode, and time in the plasma zone. Hydrogen atom concentration is measured down-stream from the plasma by NOCl titration. Extensive modeling of the plasma and recombination zones is performed with the plasma zone treated as a backmix reaction system and the recombination zone treated as a plug flow. The thermodynamics and kinetics of the recombination process are examined in detail to provide an understanding of the conversion of recombination energy to gas kinetic energy. It is found that cavity tuning, discharge stability, and optimum power coupling are critically dependent on the system pressure, but nearly independent of the flow rate.

  7. Electron cyclotron resonant multicusp magnetic field microwave plasma source for electric propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Dahimene, M.; Mahoney, L.; Asmussen, J.

    1987-05-01

    The development of electrodeless microwave ion and plasma sources has been a recent, very active research project at Michigan State University. The results are efficient, compact microwave discharge configurations that operate at low pressures (0.5 mtorr to 100 mtorr) and efficiently produce low energy ions and free radicals and broad ion beams for oxidation, deposition, and etching experiments. The microwave discharge technology developed for these applications may be useful for application in electric propulsion. This paper reviews this microwave applicator technology and indicates how it may be extended to higher power levels and applied to electric propulsion systems. 12 references.

  8. Mass savings domain of plasma propulsion for LEO to GEO transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Choueiri, E.Y.; Kelly, A.J.; Jahn, R.G. )

    1993-01-20

    A parametric model is used to study the mass savings of plasma propulsion over advanced chemical propulsion for lower earth orbit (LEO) to geosynchronous orbit (GEO) transfer. Such savings are characterized by stringent requirements of massive payloads (O(10) metric tons) and high power levels (O(100) kW). Mass savings on the order of the payload mass are possible but at the expense of longer transfer times (8--20 months). Typical of the savings domain is the case of a self-field magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thruster running quasi-steadily, at an [ital I][sub [ital s

  9. External pulsed plasma propulsion and its potential for the near future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonometti, J. A.; Morton, P. J.; Schmidt, G. R.

    2000-01-01

    This paper examines External Pulsed Plasma Propulsion (EPPP), a propulsion concept that derives its thrust from plasma waves generated from a series of small, supercritical fission/fusion pulses behind an object in space. For spacecraft applications, a momentum transfer mechanism translates the intense plasma wave energy into a vehicle acceleration that is tolerable to the rest of the spacecraft and its crew. This propulsion concept offers extremely high performance in terms of both specific impulse (Isp) and thrust-to-weight ratio, something that other concepts based on available technology cannot do. The political concerns that suspended work on this type of system (i.e., termination of Project ORION) may now not be as insurmountable as they were in 1965. The appeal of EPPP stems from its relatively low cost and reusability, fast interplanetary transit times, safety and reliability, and independence from major technological breakthroughs. In fact, a first generation EPPP system based on modern-day technology (i.e., GABRIEL-an evolutionary framework of EPPP concepts) may very well be the only form of propulsion that could realistically be developed to perform ambitious human exploration beyond Mars in the 21st century. It could also provide the most effective approach for deterrence against collision between earth and small planetary objects-a growing concern over recent years. .

  10. External Pulsed Plasma Propulsion and Its Potential for the Near Future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bonometti, J. A.; Morton, P. J.; Schmidt, G. R.

    1999-01-01

    This paper examines External Pulsed Plasma Propulsion (EPPP), a propulsion concept that derives its thrust from plasma waves generated from a series of small, supercritical fission/fusion pulses behind an object in space. For spacecraft applications, a momentum transfer mechanism translates the intense plasma wave energy into a vehicle acceleration that is tolerable to the rest of the spacecraft and its crew. This propulsion concept offers extremely high performance in terms of both specific impulse (Isp) and thrust-to-weight ratio, something that other concepts based on available technology cannot do, The political concerns that suspended work on this type of system (i.e. termination of Project ORION) may now not be as insurmountable as they were in 1965. The appeal of EPPP stems from its relatively low cost and reusability, fast interplanetary transit times, safety and reliability, and independence from major technological breakthroughs. In fact, a first generation EPPP system based on modern-day technology (i.e., GABRIEL - an evolutionary framework- of EPPP concepts) may very well be the only form of propulsion that could realistically be developed to perform ambitious human exploration beyond Mars in the 21st century. It could also provide the most effective approach for deterrence against collision between earth and small planetary objects - a growing concern over recent years.

  11. Magnetic Flux Compression Using Detonation Plasma Armatures and Superconductor Stators: Integrated Propulsion and Power Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Litchford, Ron; Robertson, Tony; Hawk, Clark; Turner, Matt; Koelfgen, Syri

    1999-01-01

    This presentation discusses the use of magnetic flux compression for space flight applications as a propulsion and other power applications. The qualities of this technology that make it suitable for spaceflight propulsion and power, are that it has high power density, it can give multimegawatt energy bursts, and terawatt power bursts, it can produce the pulse power for low impedance dense plasma devices (e.g., pulse fusion drivers), and it can produce direct thrust. The issues of a metal vs plasma armature are discussed, and the requirements for high energy output, and fast pulse rise time requires a high speed armature. The plasma armature enables repetitive firing capabilities. The issues concerning the high temperature superconductor stator are also discussed. The concept of the radial mode pulse power generator is described. The proposed research strategy combines the use of computational modeling (i.e., magnetohydrodynamic computations, and finite element modeling) and laboratory experiments to create a demonstration device.

  12. A Facility for Testing High-Power Electric Propulsion Systems in Space: A Design Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petro, Andrew J.

    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 a subsequent detailed design and development activities leading to the deployment of a valuable space facility supporting the new vision of space exploration. 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 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 platform would be designed to accommodate the side-by-side testing of multiple types of electric thrusters currently under development and thus provide a strong basis for comparing their relative performance. The utility of testing on the station is further enhanced by the human presence, enabling close interaction with and modification of the test hardware in a true laboratory environment. These conditions facilitate rapid development and flight certification at potentially lower cost than with conventional Earth-bound facilities. As an added benefit, the propulsive effect of these tests could provide some drag compensation for the station, reducing the re-boost cost for the orbital facility. While it is expected that the ISS will not be capable of generating continuous levels of high power, the utilization of state-of-the-art energy storage media

  13. A laser driven fusion plasma for space propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Kammash, T.; Galbraith, D.L. )

    1992-07-01

    The present inertial-confinement fusion concept employs a magnetized target pellet that is driven by a laser beam in conjunction with a tungsten shell whose inner surface is coated with a deuterium-tritium fusion fuel mixture. A laser beam that enters the pellet through a hole simultaneously creates a fusion-grade plasma and gives rise to a powerful, instantaneous magnetic field which thermally insulates the plasma from the material wall. The plasma lifetime of this self-generated magnetic field scheme is dictated by the shock speed in the tungsten shell rather than by the speed of sound in the plasma: it consequently burns much longer and efficiently than plausible alternatives. A manned mission could by these means be completed in a few months rather than a few years, in virtue of the great specific impulse achieved. 8 refs.

  14. Advanced electric propulsion and space plasma contactor research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilbur, P. J.

    1986-01-01

    A series of experiments performed on an 8 cm dia. ring cusp magnetic field ion thruster are described. The results show the effects of anode and cathode position and size, ring cusp axial location and discharge chamber length on plasma ion energy cost and extracted ion fraction. Thruster performance is shown to be improved substantially when optimum values of these parameters are used. Investigations into the basic plasma phenomena associated with the process of plasma contacting are described. The results show the process of electron collection from a background plasma to a hollow cathode plasma contactor exhibits a higher impedance than the process of electron emission from the hollow cathode. The importance of having cold ions present to facilitate the plasma contacting process is shown. Results of experiments into the behavior of hollow cathodes operating at high interelectrode pressures (up to approx. 100 Torr) on nitrogen and ammonia are presented. They suggest that diffuse emission from the insert of a hollow cathode can be sustained at high interelectrode pressures if the cathode is made of non-conducting material and the cathode internal pressure is reduced by evacuating the cathode interior. A theoretical model of discharge chamber operation developed for inert gas thrusters is extended so it can be used to evaluste the performance of mercury ion thrusters. Predictions of the model are compared to experimental results obtained on two 30 cm dia. thrusters.

  15. The propagation of RF wave in a tandem mirror plasma propulsion device

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yang, T. F.; Peng, S.; Chang-Diaz, F. R.

    1990-01-01

    The propagation of RF waves launched in the end and the central cell of the tandem mirror propulsion device has been investigated both theoretically and experimentally. It was found that the amplitude of the wave excited in the plasma peaked while approaching the resonance, but then damped out, indicating strong absorption of the wave by the plasma. The absorption took place near the axis and the midplane of the device. The experimental results confirmed the theoretical prediction of the resonance effect. A very important discovery of this experiment was the broadening of the ICRF Fourier spectrum in the presence of the plasma.

  16. Theory components of the VASIMR plasma propulsion concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arefiev, Alexey

    2003-10-01

    The talk presents a selection of theoretical problems all motivated by the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) concept [1]. The focus of the talk is on fundamental physics aspects of VASIMR operation, which are formulated as standalone physics problems. The VASIMR device has a magnetic mirror configuration and consists of three main components: a low energy helicon plasma source; an ion cyclotron-resonance heating (ICRH) section; and a magnetic nozzle, which forms a superalfvenic outgoing plasma flow. The ICRH conditions in VASIMR are fundamentally different from the conventional ICRH, because 1) each ion passes the resonance only once; 2) the ion motion is collisionless; 3) the ion energy gain in a single pass significantly exceeds ion energy in the incoming flow. A self-consistent nonlinear model for the rf-power deposition in the ion cyclotron frequency range into a steady-state plasma flow has been developed [3], which generalizes the linear magnetic beach problem solved by T. Stix. Despite the fact that helicon sources are routinely used for plasma production, the underlying physics mechanism is yet to be established. The talk presents a first-principle theory for light-gas helicon plasma sources with a self-consistent treatment of the particle balance [4], power balance, and rf-field structure [2]. A separation of scales among the particle confinement time, the energy confinement time, and the wave period allows one to consider all three constituents separately prior to combining them into an integrated description. The theory addresses the mystery of the high efficiency of helicon sources at frequencies below the typical helicon frequency. The magnetic nozzle transforms the ion rotational motion into the longitudinal motion and it also ensures plasma detachment from the rocket. The detachment occurs when the energy density of the magnetic field drops below the kinetic energy density of the plasma flow. Then the plasma breaks free

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

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  18. Description of the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) cryogenic and hot-hydrogen test facility

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, D.A.; Riffle, G.K.; Merdich, J.A. )

    1993-01-15

    Cryogenic and high-temperature and high-pressure hydrogen test capabilities are required for component development and qualification for the U.S. Air Force Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program. To effectively support the non-nuclear test needs of the SNTP program, as well as other specialized programs that utilize hydrogen as a working fluid, Allied-Signal Aerospace Company, Garrett Fluid Systems Division (GFSD) is currently developing a hydrogen test facility at our remote San Tan test site. The facility is specifically designed to support turbopump, propellant management valves, instrumentation and general materials evaluation testing with hydrogen at pressures and temperatures representative of actual SNTP engine operating conditions. This paper presents a general description of the SNTP hot-hydrogen test facility including test capabilities, technical approach, and technical status.

  19. Survey of Aerothermodynamics Facilities Useful for the Design of Hypersonic Vehicles Using Air-Breathing Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arnold, James O.; Deiwert, George S.

    1997-01-01

    This paper surveys the use of aerothermodynamic facilities which have been useful in the study of external flows and propulsion aspects of hypersonic, air-breathing vehicles. While the paper is not a survey of all facilities, it covers the utility of shock tunnels and conventional hypersonic blow-down facilities which have been used for hypersonic air-breather studies. The problems confronting researchers in the field of aerothermodynamics are outlined. Results from the T5 GALCIT tunnel for the shock-on lip problem are outlined. Experiments on combustors and short expansion nozzles using the semi-free jet method have been conducted in large shock tunnels. An example which employed the NASA Ames 16-Inch shock tunnel is outlined, and the philosophy of the test technique is described. Conventional blow-down hypersonic wind tunnels are quite useful in hypersonic air-breathing studies. Results from an expansion ramp experiment, simulating the nozzle on a hypersonic air-breather from the NASA Ames 3.5 Foot Hypersonic wind tunnel are summarized. Similar work on expansion nozzles conducted in the NASA Langley hypersonic wind tunnel complex is cited. Free-jet air-frame propulsion integration and configuration stability experiments conducted at Langley in the hypersonic wind tunnel complex on a small generic model are also summarized.

  20. High Resolution Spectral Measurements of Electrical Propulsion Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Celik, Murat; Batishchev, Oleg; Martinez-Sanchez, Manuel

    2007-11-01

    Among various diagnostics methods in studying the EP thrusters' plasma, emission spectroscopy provides a non-invasive, fast and economical diagnostics allowing also the ability to access hard to reach locations. This study presents the spectral measurement results of SPT (BHT-200) and TAL (MHT-9) Hall Effect thrusters and mini-Helicon (mHTX@MIT) thruster plasmas. The measurements were conducted using a 750mm focal length spectrometer with a spectral resolution of up to ˜0.01 nm in the UV-VIS-NIR wavelength range, 200-1000nm. For one set of the measurements, collection optics was placed on a portable optical shelf attached to the window port of the vacuum chamber. For another set of measurements the thruster plasma radiation emission was collected using a collimating lens inside the vacuum chamber and the signal was brought out of the chamber to the spectrometer by the use of UV-rated optical fibers. Accurate spectral characterization was done for Xe and Ar plasma in a broad operational range. Additionally, emission spectroscopy was used to detect line radiation due to wall erosion products in SPT, to study the effect of thruster operational parameters on the ceramic lining erosion rate, subsequently of the thruster's lifetime.

  1. Electric propulsion plasma plume interaction with “Phobos-Soil” spacecraft structural components

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadiradze, Andrey B.; Obukhov, Vladimir A.; Popov, Garri A.

    2009-05-01

    Assessment was made by calculations for the possible consequences of the effect of plasma plume injected by the solar electric propulsion system (SEPS) on the structural components of "Phobos-Soil" spacecraft (SC). Propulsion system comprises three SPT-140 thrusters, two of which should secure the required total thrust impulse during 8000 hours of operation approximately. Variation of the solar panel (SP) properties as a result of their surface contamination with the products of erosion of thruster and SC structural components is the primary negative consequence of plasma plume effect on the SC. Calculation study for the processes of erosion, particle flow distribution, and contaminating coating formation on the SP surface was made for different SEPS arrangements. It is shown that power reduction for the landing module SP sections, which are subjected to the contaminating coating deposition to the most extent, will not exceed 5% of the nominal level.

  2. An RF heated tandem mirror plasma propulsion study

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, T.F.; Yao, X.; Peng, S.; Krueger, W.A.; Chang-Diaz, F.R.

    1989-01-01

    Experimental results on a tandem mirror hybrid plume rocket involving a three-stage system of plasma injection, heating, and subsequent injection through a magnetic nozzle are presented. In the experiments, a plasma is created by breaking down the gas with electron cyclotron resonance heating at 2 kW in the central cell, and the ion species is then heated to high temperatures with ion cyclotron resonance heating at 10 kW in the end cell. A Langmuir probe measured an electron density of 2.5 x 10 to the 16th/cu m and a temperature of 100 eV in the central cell and an ion density of 1.25 x 10 to the 17th/cu m and a temperature of 500 eV in the end cell. 6 refs.

  3. Rapid Mars transits with exhaust-modulated plasma propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chang-Diaz, Franklin R.; Braden, Ellen; Johnson, Ivan; Hsu, Michael M.; Yang, Tien Fang

    1995-01-01

    The operational characteristics of the Exhaust-Modulated Plasma Rocket are described. Four basic human and robotic mission scenarios to Mars are analyzed using numerical optimization techniques at variable specific impulse and constant power. The device is well suited for 'split-sprint' missions, allowing fast, one-way low-payload human transits of 90 to 104 days, as well as slower, 180-day, high-payload robotic precursor flights. Abort capabilities, essential for human missions, are also explored.

  4. Experimental Research on Plasma Induced by TEA CO2 Laser Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Hong; Cheng, Zuhai; Zuo, Duluo; Zhai, Bingjie; Yu, Liangying; Zhu, Haihong

    2008-04-01

    Results in the air-breathing propulsion experiments with a parabolic light craft and a self-made UV-preionized 100 J TEA CO2 laser device are presented. Air disturbance and the spectrum of the plasma after the interaction of pulsed laser radiation with the light craft were studied. It was found that the focal length of the parabolic light craft had a significant effect on the air-disturbance. Two shock waves were detected for the longer focal length, while only one shock wave detected for the short focal length. The spectrum of the laser-induced plasma, the distribution of the characteristic lines, and the temporal behaviors of the air plasma were studied in detail. The results showed that, the evolution of the laser-induced plasma lasted 20 μs, and the plasma spectrum would reach the maximum intensity at 7 μs.

  5. Study on Electrodeless Electric Propulsion in High-Density Helicon Plasma with Permanent Magnets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishii, Takamichi; Ishii, Hiroki; Otsuka, Shuhei; Teshigahara, Naoto; Fujitsuka, Hiroaki; Waseda, Shimpei; Kuwahara, Daisuke; Shinohara, Shunjiro

    To establish electrodeless electric propulsion, we have been developing a new electrodeless plasma acceleration thruster using high-density helicon plasmas and permanent magnets, and characterizing them by, e.g., electrostatic and magnetic probes, a high-resolution spectrometer (measuring argon line intensity and line intensity ratio to derive plasma parameters), and a high-speed camera measurements (deriving radial distribution of electron density), in addition to a laser induced fluorescence (LIF) method to measure plasma flow velocity, where they are under development. Here, we will present preliminary acceleration methods using such as Rotating Magnetic Field coil and m = 0 coil along with results of various measurements mentioned above to estimate the plasma performance.

  6. Advanced electric propulsion and space plasma contactor research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilbur, Paul J.

    1987-01-01

    A theory of the plasma contacting process is described and experimental results obtained using three different hollow cathode-based plasma contactors are presented. The existence of a sheath across which the bulk of the voltage drop associated with the contacting process occurs is demonstrated. Test results are shown to agree with a model of a spherical, space-charge-limited double sheath. The concept of ignited mode contactor operation is discussed, which is shown to enhance contactor efficiency when it is collecting electrons. An investigation of the potentials in the plasma plumes downstream of contactors operating at typical conditions is presented. Results of tests performed on hollow cathodes operating at high interelectrode pressures (up to about 1000 Torr) on ammonia are presented and criteria that are necessary to ensure that the cathode will operate properly in this regime are presented. These results suggest that high pressure hollow cathode operation is difficult to achieve and that special care must be taken to assure that the electron emission region remains diffuse and attached to the low work function insert. Experiments conducted to verify results obtained previously using a ring cusp ion source equipped with a moveable anode are described and test results are reported. A theoretical study of hollow cathode operation at high electron emission currents is presented. Preliminary experiments using the constrained sheath optics concept to achieve ion extraction under conditions of high beam current density, low net accelerating voltage and well columniated beamlet formation are discussed.

  7. Numerical Simulation of Plasma Behavior in a Magnetic Nozzle of a Laser-plasma Driven Nuclear Electric Propulsion System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kajimura, Y.; Matsuda, N.; Hayashida, K.; Maeno, A.; Nakashima, H.

    2008-12-01

    Numerical simulations of plasma behavior in a magnetic nozzle of a Laser-Plasma Driven Nuclear Electric Propulsion System are conducted. The propellant is heated and accelerated by the laser and expanded isotropically. The magnetic nozzle is a combination of solenoidal coils and used to collimate and guide the plasma to produce thrust. Simulation calculations by a three-dimensional hybrid code are conducted to examine the plasma behaviors in the nozzle and to estimate the thrust efficiency. We also estimate a fraction (α) of plasma particles leaking in the forward (spacecraft) direction. By a combination of a few coils, we could decrease α value without degrading the thrust efficiency. Finally, the shaped propellant is proposed to increase the thrust efficiency.

  8. Numerical Simulation of Plasma Behavior in a Magnetic Nozzle of a Laser-plasma Driven Nuclear Electric Propulsion System

    SciTech Connect

    Kajimura, Y.; Matsuda, N.; Hayashida, K.; Maeno, A.; Nakashima, H.

    2008-12-31

    Numerical simulations of plasma behavior in a magnetic nozzle of a Laser-Plasma Driven Nuclear Electric Propulsion System are conducted. The propellant is heated and accelerated by the laser and expanded isotropically. The magnetic nozzle is a combination of solenoidal coils and used to collimate and guide the plasma to produce thrust. Simulation calculations by a three-dimensional hybrid code are conducted to examine the plasma behaviors in the nozzle and to estimate the thrust efficiency. We also estimate a fraction ({alpha}) of plasma particles leaking in the forward (spacecraft) direction. By a combination of a few coils, we could decrease {alpha} value without degrading the thrust efficiency. Finally, the shaped propellant is proposed to increase the thrust efficiency.

  9. Simulation of Mini-Magnetospheric Plasma Propulsion (M2P2) Interacting with an External Plasma Wind

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Winglee, R. M.; Euripides, P.; Ziemba, T.; Slough, J.; Giersch, L.

    2003-01-01

    Substantial progress has been made over the last year in the development of the laboratory Mini-Magnetospheric Plasma Propulsion (M2P2) prototype. The laboratory testing has shown that that the plasma can be produced at high neutral gas efficiency, at high temperatures (a few tens of eV) with excellent confinement up to the point where chamber wall interactions dominate the physics. This paper investigates the performance of the prototype as it is opposed by an external plasma acting as a surrogate for the solar wind. The experiments were performed in 5ft diameter by 6ft long vacuum chamber at the University of Washington. The solar wind source comprised of a 33 kWe arc jet attached to a 200 kWe inductively generated plasma source. The dual plasma sources allow the interaction to be studied for different power levels, shot duration and production method. It is shown that plasma from the solar wind source (SWS) is able to penetrate the field of the M2P2 magnetic when no plasma is present. With operation of the M2P2 plasma source at only 1.5 kWe, the penetration of the SWS even at the highest power of operation at 200 kWe is stopped. This deflection is shown to be greatly enhanced over that produced by the magnet alone. In addition it is shown that with the presence of the SWS, M2P2 is able to produce enhanced magnetized plasma production out to at least 10 magnet radii where the field strength is only marginally greater than the terrestrial field. The results are consistent with the initial predictions that kWe M2P2 systems would be able to deflect several hundred kWe plasma winds to produce enhanced propulsion for a spacecraft.

  10. Unsteady loads due to propulsive lift configurations. Part D: The development of an experimental facility for the investigation of scaling effects on propulsive lift configurations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haviland, J. K.; Herling, W. W.

    1978-01-01

    The design and construction of an experimental facility for the investigation of scaling effects in propulsive lift configurations are described. The facility was modeled after an existing full size NASA facility which consisted of a coaxial turbofan jet engine with a rectangular nozzle in a blown surface configuration. The flow field of the model facility was examined with and without a simulated wing surface in place at several locations downstream of the nozzle exit plane. Emphasis was placed on obtaining pressure measurements which were made with static probes and surface pressure ports connected via plastic tubing to condenser microphones for fluctuating measurements. Several pressure spectra were compared with those obtained from the NASA facility, and were used in a preliminary evaluation of scaling laws.

  11. A commercial plasma source ion implantation facility

    SciTech Connect

    Scheuer, J.T.; Adler, R.A.; Horne, W.G.

    1996-10-01

    Empire Hard Chrome has recently installed commercial plasma source ion implantation (PSU) equipment built by North Star Research Corporation. Los Alamos National Laboratory has assisted in this commercialization effort via two Cooperative Research and Development Agreements to develop the plasma source for the equipment and to identify low-risk commercial PSII applications. The PSII system consists of a 1 m x 1 m cylindrical vacuum chamber with a rf plasma source. The pulse modulator is capable of delivering pulses kV and peak currents of 300 A at maximum repetition rate of 400 Hz. thyratron tube to switch a pulse forming network which is tailored to match the dynamic PSII load. In this paper we discuss the PSII system, process facility, and early commercial applications to production tooling.

  12. A Proposed Magnetized Dusty Plasma User Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, E.; Merlino, R. L.; Rosenberg, M.

    2009-11-01

    As the experimental study of dusty (complex) plasmas has advanced over the last two decades, a great deal of new insight has been gained on the complex interaction between the background plasma and charged microparticles. Even through the charged dust grains in a typical experiment can acquire several thousand elementary charges, the large mass of the grains ensures that the charge-to-mass ratio is quite low. As a result, it has been considered experimentally challenging to design an experiment that can achieve full magnetization of ions, electrons, and the charged dust grains. However, with continuing improvements in magnet design and sub-micron particle imaging technologies, it is now possible to contemplate the development of a Magnetized Dusty Plasma Facility. This presentation discusses the design, experimental parameters, and scientific motivation for a flexible, superconducting, 4 Tesla magnetic field user facility for the study of magnetized dusty plasmas. This work is supported by NSF grant number PHY-0936470 (AU), DOE Grant No. DE-FG01-04ER54795 (UI) and DOE Grant No. DE-FG02-04ER54804 (UCSD)

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  14. Large-Scale Mini-Magnetosphere Plasma Propulsion (M2P2) Experiments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Winglee, R. M.; Slough, J.; Ziemba, T.; Euripides, P.; Adrian, M. L.; Gallagher, D.; Craven, P.; Tomlinson, W.; Cravens, J.; Burch, J.; Whitaker, Ann F. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Mini-Magnetosphere Plasma Propulsion (M2P2) is an innovative plasma propulsion system that has the potential to propel spacecraft at unprecedented speeds of 50 to 80 km per second with a low-power requirement of approx. 1 kW per 100 kg of payload and approx. 1 kg of neutral gas [fuel] consumption per day of acceleration. Acceleration periods from several days to a few months are envisioned. High specific impulse and efficiency are achieved through coupling of the spacecraft to the 400 km per second solar wind through an artificial magnetosphere. The mini-magnetosphere or inflated magnetic bubble is produced by the injection of cold dense plasma into a spacecraft-generated magnetic field envelope. Magnetic bubble inflation is driven by electromagnetic processes thereby avoiding the material and deployment problems faced by mechanical solar sail designs, Here, we present the theoretical design of M2P2 as well as initial results from experimental testing of an M2P2 prototype demonstrating: 1) inflation of the dipole magnetic field geometry through the internal injection of cold plasma; and 2) deflection of and artificial solar wind by the prototype M2P2 system. In addition, we present plans for direct laboratory measurement of thrust imparted to a prototype M2P2 by an artificial solar wind during the summer of 2001.

  15. Large-Scale Mini-Magnetosphere Plasma Propulsion (M2P2) Experiments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Winglee, R. M.; Slough, J.; Ziemba, T.; Euripides, P.; Gallagher, D.; Craven, P.; Adrian, M. L.; Tomlinson, W.; Cravens, J.; Burch, J.; Rose, M. Franklin (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Mini-Magnetosphere Plasma Propulsion (M2P2) is an innovative plasma propulsion system that has the potential to propel spacecraft at unprecedented speeds of 50 to 80 km/s, with a low power requirement of approx. 1 kW per 100 kg of payload and -1 kg of neutral gas [fuel] consumption per day of acceleration. Acceleration periods from several days to a few months are envisioned. High specific impulse and efficiency are achieved through coupling of the spacecraft to the 400 km/s. solar wind through an artificial magnetosphere. The mini-magnetosphere or inflated magnetic bubble is produced by the injection of cold dense plasma into a spacecraft-generated magnetic field envelope. Magnetic bubble inflation is driven by electromagnetic processes thereby avoiding the material and deployment problems faced by mechanical solar sail designs. Here, we present the theoretical design of M2P2 as well as initial results from experimental testing of an M2P2 prototype demonstrating: 1) inflation of the dipole magnetic field geometry through the internal injection of cold plasma; and 2) deflection of and artificial solar wind by the prototype M2P2 system. In addition, we present plans for direct laboratory measurement of thrust imparted to a prototype M2P2 by an artificial solar wind during the summer of 2001.

  16. Computational model of collisional-radiative nonequilibrium plasma in an air-driven type laser propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Ogino, Yousuke; Ohnishi, Naofumi

    2010-05-06

    A thrust power of a gas-driven laser-propulsion system is obtained through interaction with a propellant gas heated by a laser energy. Therefore, understanding the nonequilibrium nature of laser-produced plasma is essential for increasing available thrust force and for improving energy conversion efficiency from a laser to a propellant gas. In this work, a time-dependent collisional-radiative model for air plasma has been developed to study the effects of nonequilibrium atomic and molecular processes on population densities for an air-driven type laser propulsion. Many elementary processes are considered in the number density range of 10{sup 12}/cm{sup 3}<=N<=10{sup 19}/cm{sup 3} and the temperature range of 300 K<=T<=40,000 K. We then compute the unsteady nature of pulsively heated air plasma. When the ionization relaxation time is the same order as the time scale of a heating pulse, the effects of unsteady ionization are important for estimating air plasma states. From parametric computations, we determine the appropriate conditions for the collisional-radiative steady state, local thermodynamic equilibrium, and corona equilibrium models in that density and temperature range.

  17. The Burning Plasma Experiment conventional facilities

    SciTech Connect

    Commander, J.C.

    1991-12-01

    The Burning Program Plasma Experiment (BPX) is phased to start construction of conventional facilities in July 1994, in conjunction with the conclusion of the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR) project. This paper deals with the conceptual design of the BPX Conventional Facilities, for which Functional and Operational Requirements (F&ORs) were developed. Existing TFTR buildings and utilities will be adapted and used to satisfy the BPX Project F&ORs to the maximum extent possible. However, new conventional facilities will be required to support the BPX project. These facilities include: The BPX building; Site improvements and utilities; the Field Coil Power Conversion (FCPC) building; the TFTR modifications; the Motor Generation (MG) building; Liquid Nitrogen (LN{sub 2}) building; and the associated Instrumentation and Control (I&C) systems. The BPX building will provide for safe and efficient shielding, housing, operation, handling, maintenance and decontamination of the BPX and its support systems. Site improvements and utilities will feature a utility tunnel which will provide a space for utility services--including pulse power duct banks and liquid nitrogen coolant lines. The FCPC building will house eight additional power supplied for the Toroidal Field (TF) coils. The MG building will house the two MG sets larger than the existing TFTR MG sets. This paper also addresses the conventional facility cost estimating methodology and the rationale for the construction schedule developed. 6 figs., 1 tab.

  18. The Burning Plasma Experiment conventional facilities

    SciTech Connect

    Commander, J.C.

    1991-01-01

    The Burning Program Plasma Experiment (BPX) is phased to start construction of conventional facilities in July 1994, in conjunction with the conclusion of the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR) project. This paper deals with the conceptual design of the BPX Conventional Facilities, for which Functional and Operational Requirements (F ORs) were developed. Existing TFTR buildings and utilities will be adapted and used to satisfy the BPX Project F ORs to the maximum extent possible. However, new conventional facilities will be required to support the BPX project. These facilities include: The BPX building; Site improvements and utilities; the Field Coil Power Conversion (FCPC) building; the TFTR modifications; the Motor Generation (MG) building; Liquid Nitrogen (LN{sub 2}) building; and the associated Instrumentation and Control (I C) systems. The BPX building will provide for safe and efficient shielding, housing, operation, handling, maintenance and decontamination of the BPX and its support systems. Site improvements and utilities will feature a utility tunnel which will provide a space for utility services--including pulse power duct banks and liquid nitrogen coolant lines. The FCPC building will house eight additional power supplied for the Toroidal Field (TF) coils. The MG building will house the two MG sets larger than the existing TFTR MG sets. This paper also addresses the conventional facility cost estimating methodology and the rationale for the construction schedule developed. 6 figs., 1 tab.

  19. Common Data Acquisition Systems (DAS) Software Development for Rocket Propulsion Test (RPT) Test Facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hebert, Phillip W., Sr.; Davis, Dawn M.; Turowski, Mark P.; Holladay, Wendy T.; Hughes, Mark S.

    2012-01-01

    The advent of the commercial space launch industry and NASA's more recent resumption of operation of Stennis Space Center's large test facilities after thirty years of contractor control resulted in a need for a non-proprietary data acquisition systems (DAS) software to support government and commercial testing. The software is designed for modularity and adaptability to minimize the software development effort for current and future data systems. An additional benefit of the software's architecture is its ability to easily migrate to other testing facilities thus providing future commonality across Stennis. Adapting the software to other Rocket Propulsion Test (RPT) Centers such as MSFC, White Sands, and Plumbrook Station would provide additional commonality and help reduce testing costs for NASA. Ultimately, the software provides the government with unlimited rights and guarantees privacy of data to commercial entities. The project engaged all RPT Centers and NASA's Independent Verification & Validation facility to enhance product quality. The design consists of a translation layer which provides the transparency of the software application layers to underlying hardware regardless of test facility location and a flexible and easily accessible database. This presentation addresses system technical design, issues encountered, and the status of Stennis development and deployment.

  20. NASA Data Acquisition System Software Development for Rocket Propulsion Test Facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herbert, Phillip W., Sr.; Elliot, Alex C.; Graves, Andrew R.

    2015-01-01

    Current NASA propulsion test facilities include Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, Plum Brook Station in Ohio, and White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico. Within and across these centers, a diverse set of data acquisition systems exist with different hardware and software platforms. The NASA Data Acquisition System (NDAS) is a software suite designed to operate and control many critical aspects of rocket engine testing. The software suite combines real-time data visualization, data recording to a variety formats, short-term and long-term acquisition system calibration capabilities, test stand configuration control, and a variety of data post-processing capabilities. Additionally, data stream conversion functions exist to translate test facility data streams to and from downstream systems, including engine customer systems. The primary design goals for NDAS are flexibility, extensibility, and modularity. Providing a common user interface for a variety of hardware platforms helps drive consistency and error reduction during testing. In addition, with an understanding that test facilities have different requirements and setups, the software is designed to be modular. One engine program may require real-time displays and data recording; others may require more complex data stream conversion, measurement filtering, or test stand configuration management. The NDAS suite allows test facilities to choose which components to use based on their specific needs. The NDAS code is primarily written in LabVIEW, a graphical, data-flow driven language. Although LabVIEW is a general-purpose programming language; large-scale software development in the language is relatively rare compared to more commonly used languages. The NDAS software suite also makes extensive use of a new, advanced development framework called the Actor Framework. The Actor Framework provides a level of code reuse and extensibility that has previously been difficult

  1. Target micro-displacement measurement by a "comb" structure of intensity distribution in laser plasma propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Z. Y.; Zhang, S. Q.; Gao, L.; Gao, H.

    2015-05-01

    A "comb" structure of beam intensity distribution is designed and achieved to measure a target displacement of micrometer level in laser plasma propulsion. Base on the "comb" structure, the target displacement generated by nanosecond laser ablation solid target is measured and discussed. It is found that the "comb" structure is more suitable for a thin film target with a velocity lower than tens of millimeters per second. Combing with a light-electric monitor, the `comb' structure can be used to measure a large range velocity.

  2. Investigation of plasma-surface interaction at plasma beam facilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurnaev, V.; Vizgalov, I.; Gutorov, K.; Tulenbergenov, T.; Sokolov, I.; Kolodeshnikov, A.; Ignashev, V.; Zuev, V.; Bogomolova, I.; Klimov, N.

    2015-08-01

    The new Plasma Beam Facility (PBF) has been put into operation for assistance in testing of plasma faced components at Material Science Kazakhstan Tokamak (KTM). PBF includes a powerful electron gun (up to 30 kV, 1 A) and a high vacuum chamber with longitudinal magnetic field coils (up to 0.2 T). The regime of high vacuum electron beam transportation is used for thermal tests with power density at the target surface up to 10 GW/m2. The beam plasma discharge (BPD) regime with a gas-puff is used for generation of intensive ion fluxes up to 3 ṡ 1022 m-2 s-1. Initial tests of the KTM PBF's capabilities were carried out: various discharge regimes, carbon deposits cleaning, simultaneous thermal and ion impacts on radiation cooled refractory targets. With a water-cooled target the KTM PBF could be used for high heat flux tests of materials (validated by the experiment with W mock-up at the PR-2 PBF).

  3. Investigation of a Light Gas Helicon Plasma Source for the VASIMR Space Propulsion System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Squire, J. P.; Chang-Diaz, F. R.; Jacobson, V. T.; Glover, T. W.; Baity, F. W.; Carter, M. D.; Goulding, R. H.; Bengtson, R. D.; Bering, E. A., III

    2003-01-01

    An efficient plasma source producing a high-density (approx.10(exp 19/cu m) light gas (e.g. H, D, or He) flowing plasma with a high degree of ionization is a critical component of the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) concept. We are developing an antenna to apply ICRF power near the fundamental ion cyclotron resonance to further accelerate the plasma ions to velocities appropriate for space propulsion applications. The high degree of ionization and a low vacuum background pressure are important to eliminate the problem of radial losses due to charge exchange. We have performed parametric (e.g. gas flow, power (0.5 - 3 kW), magnetic field , frequency (25 and 50 MHz)) studies of a helicon operating with gas (H2 D2, He, N2 and Ar) injected at one end with a high magnetic mirror downstream of the antenna. We have explored operation with a cusp and a mirror field upstream. Plasma flows into a low background vacuum (<10(exp -4) torr) at velocities higher than the ion sound speed. High densities (approx. 10(exp 19/cu m) have been achieved at the location where ICRF will be applied, just downstream of the magnetic mirror.

  4. The development of space plasma testing facility using RF source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamieneski, Richard; Hyde, Alexander; Batishchev, Oleg

    2012-10-01

    A new testing facility is being developed to simulate space and atmospheric plasmas. It utilizes modified helicon plasma source [1] to ionize gases common to space and ionosphere, namely hydrogen, helium, and nitrogen. Emission spectra of ionized gases are analyzed by vacuum spectrometer to understand plasma composition. The design of computerized controls and data acquisition system are discussed. [4pt] [1] O. Batishchev, Minihelicon Plasma Thruster, IEEE Trans. Plasma Science, 37 (8) 1563, 2009.

  5. Aqueous Cleaning and Validation for Space Shuttle Propulsion Hardware at the White Sands Test Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hornung, Steven D.; Biesinger, Paul; Kirsch, Mike; Beeson, Harold; Leuders, Kathy

    1999-01-01

    The NASA White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) has developed an entirely aqueous final cleaning and verification process to replace the current chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) 113 based process. This process has been accepted for final cleaning and cleanliness verification of WSTF ground support equipment. The aqueous process relies on ultrapure water at 50 C (323 K) and ultrasonic agitation for removal of organic compounds and particulate. The cleanliness is verified bv determining the total organic carbon (TOC) content and filtration with particulate counting. The effectiveness of the aqueous methods for detecting hydrocarbon contamination and particulate was compared to the accepted CFC 113 sampling procedures. Testing with known contaminants, such as hydraulic fluid and cutting and lubricating oils, to establish a correlation between aqueous TOC and CFC 113 nonvolatile residue (NVR) was performed. Particulate sampling on cleaned batches of hardware that were randomly separated and sampled by the two methods was performed. This paper presents the approach and results, and discusses the issues in establishing the equivalence of aqueous sampling to CFC 113 sampling, while describing the approach for implementing aqueous techniques on Space Shuttle Propulsion hardware.

  6. Numerical simulation of the actuation system for the ALDF's propulsion control valve. [Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Korte, John J.

    1990-01-01

    A numerical simulation of the actuation system for the propulsion control valve (PCV) of the NASA Langley Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility was developed during the preliminary design of the PCV and used throughout the entire project. The simulation is based on a predictive model of the PCV which is used to evaluate and design the actuation system. The PCV controls a 1.7 million-pound thrust water jet used in propelling a 108,000-pound test carriage. The PCV can open and close in 0.300 second and deliver over 9,000 gallons of water per sec at pressures up to 3150 psi. The numerical simulation results are used to predict transient performance and valve opening characteristics, specify the hydraulic control system, define transient loadings on components, and evaluate failure modes. The mathematical model used for numerically simulating the mechanical fluid power system is described, and numerical results are demonstrated for a typical opening and closing cycle of the PCV. A summary is then given on how the model is used in the design process.

  7. Development and Demonstration of a Computational Tool for the Analysis of Particle Vitiation Effects in Hypersonic Propulsion Test Facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perkins, Hugh Douglas

    2010-01-01

    In order to improve the understanding of particle vitiation effects in hypersonic propulsion test facilities, a quasi-one dimensional numerical tool was developed to efficiently model reacting particle-gas flows over a wide range of conditions. Features of this code include gas-phase finite-rate kinetics, a global porous-particle combustion model, mass, momentum and energy interactions between phases, and subsonic and supersonic particle drag and heat transfer models. The basic capabilities of this tool were validated against available data or other validated codes. To demonstrate the capabilities of the code a series of computations were performed for a model hypersonic propulsion test facility and scramjet. Parameters studied were simulated flight Mach number, particle size, particle mass fraction and particle material.

  8. Pulsed Plasma Propulsion - Making CubeSat Missions Beyond Low Earth Orbit Possible

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Northway, P.

    2015-12-01

    As CubeSat missions become more and more popular means of scientific exploration of space, the current direction of interest is to utilize them in areas beyond low earth orbit. The University of Washington CubeSat program focuses on examining possible mission scenarios in addition to technology development and integration. Specifically, we are developing an inert CubeSat propulsion system in the form of a pulsed plasma thruster (PPT) capable of orbit maneuvers. Such a system would allow for missions at the Earth beyond LEO, extended missions at the Moon, and even missions at Europa, when assisted to the Jovian system. We will discuss how starting with a CubeSat design using PPTs for orbital maneuvers, other developing compact technology can be adapted to create a full suite of systems that would meet the requirements for a mission traveling outside low earth orbit.

  9. Vacuum Plasma Spray (VPS) Forming of Solar Thermal Propulsion Components Using Refractory Metals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zimmerman, Frank R.; Hissam, David A.; Gerrish, Harold P.; Davis, William M.

    1999-01-01

    The Thermal Spray Laboratory at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center has developed and demonstrated a fabrication technique using Vacuum Plasma Spray (VPS) to form structural components from a tungsten/rhenium alloy. The components were assembled into an absorber cavity for a fully-functioning, ground test unit of a solar then-nal propulsion engine. The VPS process deposits refractory metal onto a graphite mandrel of the desired shape. The mandrel acts as a male mold, forming the required contour and dimensions of the inside surface of the deposit. Tungsten and tungsten/25% rhenium were used in the development and production of several absorber cavity components. These materials were selected for their high temperature (greater than 25000 C [greater than 4530 F]) strength. Each absorber cavity comprises 3 coaxial shells with two, double-helical flow passages through which the propellant gas flows. This paper describes the processing techniques, design considerations, and process development associated with forming these engine components.

  10. Vacuum Plasma Spray (VPS) Forming of Solar Thermal Propulsion Components Using Refractory Metals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zimmerman, Frank; Gerish, Harold; Davis, William; Hissam, D. Andy

    1998-01-01

    The Thermal Spray Laboratory at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center has developed and demonstrated a fabrication technique using Vacuum Plasma Spray (VPS) to form structural components from a tungsten/rhenium alloy. The components were assembled into an absorption cavity for a fully-functioning, ground test unit of a solar thermal propulsion engine. The VPS process deposits refractory metal onto a graphite mandrel of the desired shape. The mandrel acts as a male mold, forming the required contour and dimensions of the inside surface of the deposit. Tungsten and tungsten/25% rhenium were used in the development and production of several absorber cavity components. These materials were selected for their high temperature (less than 2500 C) strength. Each absorber cavity comprises 3 coaxial shells with two, double-helical flow passages through which the propellant gas flows. This paper describes the processing techniques, design considerations, and process development associated with forming these engine components.

  11. Development and operation of new arc heater technology for a large-scale scramjet propulsion test facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Balboni, John; Atler, Doug

    1993-01-01

    An arc-heater technology development effort conducted at NASA-Ames has led to the creation of a 100 MW Huels arc heater which has been integrated into the hydrogen-fueled Direct Connect Arcjet Facility for long-duration, high Mach-number scramjet performance evaluation. This development effort has significantly advanced the design of vortex-stabilized arc heaters; air enthalpy levels of 2.8-7.5 MJ/kg, at stagnation pressures of up to 45 atm, are produced. The facility furnishes technology-development support that is critical to the definition of NASP-related propulsion systems.

  12. A tandem mirror plasma source for a hybrid plume plasma propulsion concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yang, T. F.; Miller, R. H.; Wenzel, K. W.; Krueger, W. A.; Chang, F. R.

    1985-01-01

    This paper describes a tandem mirror magnetic plasma confinement device to be considered as a hot plasma source for the hybrid plume rocket concept. The hot plasma from this device is injected into an exhaust duct, which will interact with an annular layer of hypersonic neutral gas. Such a device can be used to study the dynamics of the hybrid plume and to experimentally verify the numerical predictions obtained with computer codes. The basic system design is also geared toward being lightweight and compact, as well as having high power density (i.e., several kW/sq cm) at the exhaust. This feature is aimed toward the feasibility of 'space testing'. The plasma is heated by microwaves. A 50 percent heating efficiency can be obtained by using two half-circle antennas. The preliminary Monte Carlo modeling of test particles result reported here indicates that interaction does take place in the exhaust duct. Neutrals gain energy from the ion, which confirms the hybrid plume concept.

  13. Development of a miniature microwave electron cyclotron resonance plasma ion thruster for exospheric micro-propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dey, Indranuj; Toyoda, Yuji; Yamamoto, Naoji; Nakashima, Hideki

    2015-12-01

    A miniature microwave electron cyclotron resonance plasma source [(discharge diameter)/(microwave cutoff diameter) < 0.3] has been developed at Kyushu University to be used as an ion thruster in micro-propulsion applications in the exosphere. The discharge source uses both radial and axial magnetostatic field confinement to facilitate electron cyclotron resonance and increase the electron dwell time in the volume, thereby enhancing plasma production efficiency. Performance of the ion thruster is studied at 3 microwave frequencies (1.2 GHz, 1.6 GHz, and 2.45 GHz), for low input powers (<15 W) and small xenon mass flow rates (<40 μg/s), by experimentally measuring the extracted ion beam current through a potential difference of ≅1200 V. The discharge geometry is found to operate most efficiently at an input microwave frequency of 1.6 GHz. At this frequency, for an input power of 8 W, and propellant (xenon) mass flow rate of 21 μg/s, 13.7 mA of ion beam current is obtained, equivalent to an calculated thrust of 0.74 mN.

  14. Evidence of nonclassical plasma transport in hollow cathodes for electric propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Mikellides, Ioannis G.; Katz, Ira; Goebel, Dan M.; Jameson, Kristina K.

    2007-03-15

    Measurements, simplified analyses, and two-dimensional numerical simulations with a fluid plasma model show that classical resistivity cannot account for the elevated electron temperatures and steep plasma potential gradients measured in a 25-27.5 A electric propulsion hollow cathode. The cathode consisted of a 1.5 cm hollow tube with an {approx}0.28 cm diameter orifice and was operated with 5.5 SCCM (SCCM denotes cubic centimeter per minute at STP) of xenon flow using two different anode geometries: a segmented cone and a circular flat plate. The numerical simulations show that classical resistivity yields as much as four times colder electron temperatures compared to the measured values in the orifice and near-plume regions of the cathode. Classical transport and Ohm's law also predict exceedingly high electron-ion relative drift speeds compared to the electron thermal speed (>4). It is found that the addition of anomalous resistivity based on existing growth rate formulas for electron-ion streaming instabilities improves qualitatively the comparison between the numerical results and the time-averaged measurements. Simplified analyses that have been based largely on the axial measurements support the conclusion that additional resistivity is required in Ohm's law to explain the measurements. The combined results from the two-dimensional simulations and the analyses bound the range of enhanced resistivity to be 3-100 times the classical value.

  15. Development of a miniature microwave electron cyclotron resonance plasma ion thruster for exospheric micro-propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Dey, Indranuj; Toyoda, Yuji; Yamamoto, Naoji; Nakashima, Hideki

    2015-12-15

    A miniature microwave electron cyclotron resonance plasma source [(discharge diameter)/(microwave cutoff diameter) < 0.3] has been developed at Kyushu University to be used as an ion thruster in micro-propulsion applications in the exosphere. The discharge source uses both radial and axial magnetostatic field confinement to facilitate electron cyclotron resonance and increase the electron dwell time in the volume, thereby enhancing plasma production efficiency. Performance of the ion thruster is studied at 3 microwave frequencies (1.2 GHz, 1.6 GHz, and 2.45 GHz), for low input powers (<15 W) and small xenon mass flow rates (<40 μg/s), by experimentally measuring the extracted ion beam current through a potential difference of ≅1200 V. The discharge geometry is found to operate most efficiently at an input microwave frequency of 1.6 GHz. At this frequency, for an input power of 8 W, and propellant (xenon) mass flow rate of 21 μg/s, 13.7 mA of ion beam current is obtained, equivalent to an calculated thrust of 0.74 mN.

  16. Development of a miniature microwave electron cyclotron resonance plasma ion thruster for exospheric micro-propulsion.

    PubMed

    Dey, Indranuj; Toyoda, Yuji; Yamamoto, Naoji; Nakashima, Hideki

    2015-12-01

    A miniature microwave electron cyclotron resonance plasma source [(discharge diameter)/(microwave cutoff diameter) < 0.3] has been developed at Kyushu University to be used as an ion thruster in micro-propulsion applications in the exosphere. The discharge source uses both radial and axial magnetostatic field confinement to facilitate electron cyclotron resonance and increase the electron dwell time in the volume, thereby enhancing plasma production efficiency. Performance of the ion thruster is studied at 3 microwave frequencies (1.2 GHz, 1.6 GHz, and 2.45 GHz), for low input powers (<15 W) and small xenon mass flow rates (<40 μg/s), by experimentally measuring the extracted ion beam current through a potential difference of ≅1200 V. The discharge geometry is found to operate most efficiently at an input microwave frequency of 1.6 GHz. At this frequency, for an input power of 8 W, and propellant (xenon) mass flow rate of 21 μg/s, 13.7 mA of ion beam current is obtained, equivalent to an calculated thrust of 0.74 mN. PMID:26724025

  17. Results of the qualification test campaign of a Pulsed Plasma Thruster for Cubesat Propulsion (PPTCUP)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciaralli, S.; Coletti, M.; Gabriel, S. B.

    2016-04-01

    Pulsed Plasma Thruster for Cubesat Propulsion (PPTCUP) is an ablative pulsed plasma thruster designed with the aim of providing translational and orbital control to Cubesat platforms. The qualification model presented in this paper has been developed by Mars Space Ltd, Clyde Space Ltd and the University of Southampton to produce a versatile "stand-alone" module that can be bolted on the Cubesat structure, allowing the orbital control along the X or Y-axis of the satellite. An extensive and complete test campaign to qualify the unit for space flight, which includes electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) characterization, thermal cycling and mechanical tests, has been performed according to the NASA GEVS procedures. PPTCUP is characterized by an averaged specific impulse of 655±58 s and a deliverable total impulse of 48.2±4.2 Ns. Finally, it has been found that the unit is compliant with the EMC requirements and can successfully withstand the thermal and mechanical loads typical of a Cubesat space mission.

  18. Multifunctional laser facility with photoelectric recording for plasma diagnostics

    SciTech Connect

    Pyatnitsky, L.N.; Yakushev, G.G.; Oberman, F.M. )

    1989-01-01

    A laser facility with photoelectric recording is described. It can be used in performing plasma diagnostics by four different measuring techniques. The application of photoelectric recording considerably simplifies the automation of measurements.

  19. Feasibility Study for a Plasma Dynamo Facility to Investigate Fundamental Processes in Plasma Astrophysics. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Forest, Cary B.

    2013-09-19

    The scientific equipment purchased on this grant was used on the Plasma Dynamo Prototype Experiment as part of Professor Forest's feasibility study for determining if it would be worthwhile to propose building a larger plasma physics experiment to investigate various fundamental processes in plasma astrophysics. The initial research on the Plasma Dynamo Prototype Experiment was successful so Professor Forest and Professor Ellen Zweibel at UW-Madison submitted an NSF Major Research Instrumentation proposal titled "ARRA MRI: Development of a Plasma Dynamo Facility for Experimental Investigations of Fundamental Processes in Plasma Astrophysics." They received funding for this project and the Plasma Dynamo Facility also known as the "Madison Plasma Dynamo Experiment" was constructed. This experiment achieved its first plasma in the fall of 2012 and U.S. Dept. of Energy Grant No. DE-SC0008709 "Experimental Studies of Plasma Dynamos," now supports the research.

  20. Plasma system of the GOL-3T facility

    SciTech Connect

    Arzhannikov, A. V.; Burdakov, A. V.; Burmasov, V. S.; Ivanov, I. A.; Kuznetsov, S. A.; Kuklin, K. N.; Mekler, K. I.; Polosatkin, S. V.; Postupaev, V. V. Rovenskikh, A. F.; Sinitsky, S. L.; Sklyarov, V. F.

    2015-11-15

    The plasma system and diagnostics of the new facility GOL-3T are described. This facility is the final result of the first stage in the deep upgrade of the GOL-3 multiple-mirror system, which has operated at the Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics since 1988. The upgrade project supposes creation of two new independent facilities at the site of GOL-3. The GOL-3T facility is intended to study the physics of beam—plasma interaction and generation of subterahertz electromagnetic radiation during the collective relaxation of a high-power relativistic electron beam with a duration of 5–10 μs. Studies on the physics of multiple-mirror plasma confinement in axisymmetric magnetic systems will be continued in a new range of experiment parameters at the second facility, named GOL-NB.

  1. Project Icarus: Analysis of Plasma jet driven Magneto-Inertial Fusion as potential primary propulsion driver for the Icarus probe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanic, M.; Cassibry, J. T.; Adams, R. B.

    2013-05-01

    Hopes of sending probes to another star other than the Sun are currently limited by the maturity of advanced propulsion technologies. One of the few candidate propulsion systems for providing interstellar flight capabilities is nuclear fusion. In the past many fusion propulsion concepts have been proposed and some of them have even been explored in detail, Project Daedalus for example. However, as scientific progress in this field has advanced, new fusion concepts have emerged that merit evaluation as potential drivers for interstellar missions. Plasma jet driven Magneto-Inertial Fusion (PJMIF) is one of those concepts. PJMIF involves a salvo of converging plasma jets that form a uniform liner, which compresses a magnetized target to fusion conditions. It is an Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF)-Magnetic Confinement Fusion (MCF) hybrid approach that has the potential for a multitude of benefits over both ICF and MCF, such as lower system mass and significantly lower cost. This paper concentrates on a thermodynamic assessment of basic performance parameters necessary for utilization of PJMIF as a candidate propulsion system for the Project Icarus mission. These parameters include: specific impulse, thrust, exhaust velocity, mass of the engine system, mass of the fuel required etc. This is a submission of the Project Icarus Study Group.

  2. Artist's Concept of NASA's Propulsion Research Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    A new, world-class laboratory for research into future space transportation technologies is under construction at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, AL. The state-of-the-art Propulsion Research Laboratory will serve 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 irnovative propulsion technologies for space exploration. The facility will be 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, will feature a high degree of experimental capability. Its flexibility will allow it to address a broad range of propulsion technologies and concepts, such as plasma, electromagnetic, thermodynamic, and propellantless propulsion. An important area of emphasis will be 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 will set the stage of research that could revolutionize space transportation for a broad range of applications.

  3. Mini-cavity plasma core reactors for dual-mode space nuclear power/propulsion systems. M.S. Thesis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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. Neutronic feasibility of dual mode operation and smaller reactor sizes than those previously investigated are shown to be possible. A heat transfer analysis of one such reactor shows that the dual-mode concept is applicable when power generation mode thermal power levels are within the same order of magnitude as direct thrust mode thermal power levels.

  4. Pulsed electromagnetic gas acceleration. [magnetohydrodynamics, plasma power sources and plasma propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jahn, R. G.; Vonjaskowsky, W. F.; Clark, K. E.

    1975-01-01

    Terminal voltage measurements with various cathodes and anodes in a high power, quasi-steady magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) are discussed. The magnitude of the current at the onset of voltage fluctuations is shown to be an increasing function of cathode area and a weaker decreasing function of anode area. Tests with a fluted cathode indicated that the fluctuations originate in the plasma adjacent to the cathode rather than at the cathode surface. Measurements of radiative output from an optical cavity aligned to examine the current-carrying portion of a two-dimensional, 56 kA magnetoplasmadynamic discharge reveal no lasing in that region, consistent with calculations of electron excitation and resonance radiation trapping. A voltage-swept double probe technique allows single-shot determination of electron temperature and electron number density in the recombining MPD exhaust flow. Current distributions within the cavity of MPD hollow cathodes for various static prefills with no injected mass flow are examined.

  5. Advanced Propulsion Concepts at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brophy, J. R.

    1997-01-01

    Current interest in advanced propulsion within NASA and research activities in advanced propulsion concepts at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are reviewed. The concepts, which include high power plasma thrusters such as lithuim-fueled Lorentz-Force-Accelerators, MEMS-scale propulsion systems, in-situ propellant utilization techniques, fusion propulsion systems and methods of using antimatter, offer the potential for either significantly enhancing space transportation capability as compared with that of traditional chemical propulsion, or enabling ambitious new missions.

  6. Plasma thruster development: magnetoplasmadynamic propulsion, status, and basic problems. Interim report, October 1984-September 1985

    SciTech Connect

    Buehler, R.D.

    1986-02-01

    This report provides an overview of the present state and the problem areas of magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) space-propulsion devices and systems potentially suitable for orbit raising and maneuvering of large space structures, i.e., thrust and power levels of presently most-promising steady (or quasisteady pulsed) thruster types, self-field, axial applied-field arcjets, and Hall ion thrusters are reviewed in terms of performance trends, present understanding, uncertainties and ground-testing problems, with the conclusion that there is as yet no reliable basis for choosing one type for final development. Typical efficiency vs. specific-impulse curves for all MPD thrusters show the dominant role of the propellant on the thrust to input power ratio (as for ion engines), and the necessity of achieving relatively high specific impulse values for each propellant for acceptable efficiencies. The specific-impulse (or onset) limit of self-field thrusters using a variety of propellants is discussed, together with predicted trends from several theoretical models. Considering system complexity and development cost as well as performance, the advantages and disadvantages if pulsed (quasisteady) vs. continuous thruster operation and the propellant selection criteria are reviewed. Electrode erosion, especially on cathodes, losses and limits imposed by radiation cooling are emphasized as critical problem areas for larger MPD thrusters. Besides the electrode attachments, the unresolved basis theoretical problems of efficient plasma acceleration and of the midstream flow discharge stability are identified, and proposed approaches towards gaining additional understanding are outlined.

  7. Propulsive performance of a finite-temperature plasma flow in a magnetic nozzle with applied azimuthal current

    SciTech Connect

    Ferrario, Lorenzo; Little, Justin M. Choueiri, Edgar Y.

    2014-11-15

    The plasma flow in a finite-electron-temperature magnetic nozzle, under the influence of an applied azimuthal current at the throat, is modeled analytically to assess its propulsive performance. A correction to the nozzle throat boundary conditions is derived by modifying the radial equilibrium of a magnetized infinite two-population cylindrical plasma column with the insertion of an external azimuthal body force for the electrons. Inclusion of finite-temperature effects, which leads to a modification of the radial density profile, is necessary for calculating the propulsive performance, which is represented by nozzle divergence efficiency and thrust coefficient. The solutions show that the application of the azimuthal current enhances all the calculated performance parameters through the narrowing of the radial density profile at the throat, and that investing power in this beam focusing effect is more effective than using the same power to pre-heat the electrons. The results open the possibility for the design of a focusing stage between the plasma source and the nozzle that can significantly enhance the propulsive performance of electron-driven magnetic nozzles.

  8. Complex plasma research on ISS past, present, and future facilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seurig, R.; Morfill, G.; Fortov, V.; Hofmann, P.

    2007-11-01

    The research in dusty plasma, also known as complex plasma, under prolonged microgravity condition took its first steps in 1998 onboard the Russian Space Station MIR: cosmonauts Vladimir Solovyov and Pavel Vinogradov conducted the first experiments to obtain plasma-dust crystals in the 'Plazmennyi Kristall 1'(PK-1) device using the sun as a 'natural' ionization source. This experiment was followed afterwards by the PK-2 already utilizing its own DC plasma generator. A major step came only three years later with the PKE-Nefedov facility (formerly called PKE-3). Launched in February 2001 and operated in over 13 missions for five consecutive years in the Russian Segment of the International Space Station ISS, this bilateral German-Russian research facility has already shown some surprising, new behavior of radio-frequency induced complex plasmas. An advanced model of PKE-Nefedov, the PK-3 Plus experiment apparatus, is getting readied to be launched to ISS on Progress Cargo spacecraft 20P. Additional developments are in progress to continue this exciting growing research field with: (a) PK-4 utilizing high voltage DC controlled plasma, and (b) IMPACT Laboratory, the European Space Agency's next generation premier research laboratory for plasma and dust physics on the ISS. The paper will provide background information of each of the complex plasma research facilities.

  9. Plasma-Surface Interactions in Hollow Cathode Discharges for Electric Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capece, Angela Maria

    Electric thrusters generate high exhaust velocities and can achieve specific impulses in excess of 1000 s. The low thrust generation and high specific impulse make electric propulsion ideal for interplanetary missions, spacecraft station keeping, and orbit raising maneuvers. Consequently, these devices have been used on a variety of space missions including Deep Space 1, Dawn, and hundreds of commercial spacecraft in Earth orbit. In order to provide the required total impulses, thruster burn time can often exceed 10,000 hours, making thruster lifetime essential. One of the main life-limiting components on ion engines is the hollow cathode, which serves as the electron source for ionization of the xenon propellant gas. Reactive contaminants such as oxygen can modify the cathode surface morphology and degrade the electron emission properties. Hollow cathodes that operate with reactive impurities in the propellant will experience higher operating temperatures, which increase evaporation of the emission materials and reduce cathode life. A deeper understanding of the mechanisms initiating cathode failure will improve thruster operation, increase lifetime, and ultimately reduce cost. A significant amount of work has been done previously to understand the effects of oxygen poisoning on vacuum cathodes; however, the xenon plasma adds complexity, and its role during cathode poisoning is not completely understood. The work presented here represents the first attempt at understanding how oxygen impurities in the xenon discharge plasma alter the emitter surface and affect operation of a 4:1:1 BaO-CaO-Al2O3 hollow cathode. A combination of experimentation and modeling was used to investigate how oxygen impurities in the discharge plasma alter the emitter surface and reduce the electron emission capability. The experimental effort involved operating a 4:1:1 hollow cathode at various conditions with oxygen impurities in the xenon flow. Since direct measurements of the emitter

  10. Plasma wakefield acceleration at CLARA facility in Daresbury Laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xia, G.; Nie, Y.; Mete, O.; Hanahoe, K.; Dover, M.; Wigram, M.; Wright, J.; Zhang, J.; Smith, J.; Pacey, T.; Li, Y.; Wei, Y.; Welsch, C.

    2016-09-01

    A plasma accelerator research station (PARS) has been proposed to study the key issues in electron driven plasma wakefield acceleration at CLARA facility in Daresbury Laboratory. In this paper, the quasi-nonlinear regime of beam driven plasma wakefield acceleration is analysed. The wakefield excited by various CLARA beam settings are simulated by using a 2D particle-in-cell (PIC) code. For a single drive beam, an accelerating gradient up to 3 GV/m can be achieved. For a two bunch acceleration scenario, simulation shows that a witness bunch can achieve a significant energy gain in a 10-50 cm long plasma cell.

  11. User facility for research on fusion systems with dense plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Ryutov, D. D.

    1999-01-07

    There are a number of fusion systems whose dimensions can be scaled down to a few centimeters, if the plasma density and confining magnetic field are raised to sufficiently high values. This prompts a "user-facility" approach to the studies of this class of fusion systems. The concept of such a user facility was first briefly mentioned in Ref. 1. Here we present a more detailed description.

  12. Design philosophy of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory infrared detector test facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burns, R.; Blessinger, M. A.

    1983-01-01

    To support the development of advanced infrared remote sensing instrumentation using line and area arrays, a test facility has been developed to characterize the detectors. The necessary performance characteristics of the facility were defined by considering current and projected requirements for detector testing. The completed facility provides the desired level of detector testing capability as well as providing ease of human interaction.

  13. Common Data Acquisition Systems (DAS) Software Development for Rocket Propulsion Test (RPT) Test Facilities - A General Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hebert, Phillip W., Sr.; Hughes, Mark S.; Davis, Dawn M.; Turowski, Mark P.; Holladay, Wendy T.; Marshall, PeggL.; Duncan, Michael E.; Morris, Jon A.; Franzl, Richard W.

    2012-01-01

    The advent of the commercial space launch industry and NASA's more recent resumption of operation of Stennis Space Center's large test facilities after thirty years of contractor control resulted in a need for a non-proprietary data acquisition system (DAS) software to support government and commercial testing. The software is designed for modularity and adaptability to minimize the software development effort for current and future data systems. An additional benefit of the software's architecture is its ability to easily migrate to other testing facilities thus providing future commonality across Stennis. Adapting the software to other Rocket Propulsion Test (RPT) Centers such as MSFC, White Sands, and Plumbrook Station would provide additional commonality and help reduce testing costs for NASA. Ultimately, the software provides the government with unlimited rights and guarantees privacy of data to commercial entities. The project engaged all RPT Centers and NASA's Independent Verification & Validation facility to enhance product quality. The design consists of a translation layer which provides the transparency of the software application layers to underlying hardware regardless of test facility location and a flexible and easily accessible database. This presentation addresses system technical design, issues encountered, and the status of Stennis' development and deployment.

  14. Performance of the Spacecraft Propulsion Research Facility During Altitude Firing Tests of the Delta 3 Upper Stage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meyer, Michael L.; Dickens, Kevin W.; Skaff, Tony F.; Cmar, Mark D.; VanMeter, Matthew J.; Haberbusch, Mark S.

    1998-01-01

    The Spacecraft Propulsion Research Facility at the NASA Lewis Research Center's Plum Brook Station was reactivated in order to conduct flight simulation ground tests of the Delta 3 cryogenic upper stage. The tests were a cooperative effort between The Boeing Company, Pratt and Whitney, and NASA. They included demonstration of tanking and detanking of liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen and helium pressurant gas as well as 12 engine firings simulating first, second, and third burns at altitude conditions. A key to the success of these tests was the performance of the primary facility systems and their interfaces with the vehicle. These systems included the structural support of the vehicle, propellant supplies, data acquisition, facility control systems, and the altitude exhaust system. While the facility connections to the vehicle umbilical panel simulated the performance of the launch pad systems, additional purge and electrical connections were also required which were unique to ground testing of the vehicle. The altitude exhaust system permitted an approximate simulation of the boost-phase pressure profile by rapidly pumping the test chamber from 13 psia to 0.5 psia as well as maintaining altitude conditions during extended steady-state firings. The performance of the steam driven ejector exhaust system has been correlated with variations in cooling water temperature during these tests. This correlation and comparisons to limited data available from Centaur tests conducted in the facility from 1969-1971 provided insight into optimizing the operation of the exhaust system for future tests. Overall, the facility proved to be robust and flexible for vehicle space simulation engine firings and enabled all test objectives to be successfully completed within the planned schedule.

  15. Plasma Jet Experiments Using LULI 2000 Laser Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loupias, B.; Falize, E.; Koenig, M.; Bouquet, S.; Ozaki, N.; Benuzzi-Mounaix, A.; Michaut, C.; Goahec, M. Rabec Le; Nazarov, W.; Courtois, C.; Aglitskiy, Y.; Faenov, A. Ya.; Pikuz, T.

    2007-01-01

    We present experiments performed with the LULI2000 nanosecond laser facility. We generated plasma jets by using specific designed target. The main measured quantities related to the jet such as its propagation velocity, temperature and emissive radius evolution are presented. We also performed analytical work, which explains the jet evolution in some cases.

  16. Modification of NASA Langley 8 foot high temperature tunnel to provide a unique national research facility for hypersonic air-breathing propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kelly, H. N.; Wieting, A. R.

    1984-01-01

    A planned modification of the NASA Langley 8-Foot High Temperature Tunnel to make it a unique national research facility for hypersonic air-breathing propulsion systems is described, and some of the ongoing supporting research for that modification is discussed. The modification involves: (1) the addition of an oxygen-enrichment system which will allow the methane-air combustion-heated test stream to simulate air for propulsion testing; and (2) supplemental nozzles to expand the test simulation capability from the current nominal Mach number to 7.0 include Mach numbers 3.0, 4.5, and 5.0. Detailed design of the modifications is currently underway and the modified facility is scheduled to be available for tests of large scale propulsion systems by mid 1988.

  17. Modification of NASA Langley 8 Foot High Temperature Tunnel to provide a unique national research facility for hypersonic air-breathing propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kelly, H. N.; Wieting, A. R.

    1984-01-01

    A planned modification of the NASA Langley 8-Foot High Temperature Tunnel to make it a unique national research facility for hypersonic air-breathing propulsion systems is described, and some of the ongoing supporting research for that modification is discussed. The modification involves: (1) the addition of an oxygen-enrichment system which will allow the methane-air combustion-heated test stream to simulate air for propulsion testing; and (2) supplemental nozzles to expand the test simulation capability from the current nominal Mach number to 7.0 include Mach numbers 3.0, 4.5, and 5.0. Detailed design of the modifications is currently underway and the modified facility is scheduled to be available for tests of large scale propulsion systems by mid 1988.

  18. Measurements of energy distribution and thrust for microwave plasma coupling of electrical energy to hydrogen for propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morin, T.; Chapman, R.; Filpus, J.; Hawley, M.; Kerber, R.; Asmussen, J.; Nakanishi, S.

    1982-01-01

    A microwave plasma system for transfer of electrical energy to hydrogen flowing through the system has potential application for coupling energy to a flowing gas in the electrothermal propulsion concept. Experimental systems have been designed and built for determination of the energy inputs and outputs and thrust for the microwave coupling of energy to hydrogen. Results for experiments with pressure in the range 100 microns-6 torr, hydrogen flow rate up to 1000 micronmoles/s, and total absorbed power to 700 w are presented.

  19. MHD Simulation of Magnetic Nozzle Plasma with the NIMROD Code: Applications to the VASIMR Advanced Space Propulsion Concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarditi, Alfonso G.; Shebalin, John V.

    2002-11-01

    A simulation study with the NIMROD code [1] is being carried on to investigate the efficiency of the thrust generation process and the properties of the plasma detachment in a magnetic nozzle. In the simulation, hot plasma is injected in the magnetic nozzle, modeled as a 2D, axi-symmetric domain. NIMROD has two-fluid, 3D capabilities but the present runs are being conducted within the MHD, 2D approximation. As the plasma travels through the magnetic field, part of its thermal energy is converted into longitudinal kinetic energy, along the axis of the nozzle. The plasma eventually detaches from the magnetic field at a certain distance from the nozzle throat where the kinetic energy becomes larger than the magnetic energy. Preliminary NIMROD 2D runs have been benchmarked with a particle trajectory code showing satisfactory results [2]. Further testing is here reported with the emphasis on the analysis of the diffusion rate across the field lines and of the overall nozzle efficiency. These simulation runs are specifically designed for obtaining comparisons with laboratory measurements of the VASIMR experiment, by looking at the evolution of the radial plasma density and temperature profiles in the nozzle. VASIMR (Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket, [3]) is an advanced space propulsion concept currently under experimental development at the Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center. A plasma (typically ionized Hydrogen or Helium) is generated by a RF (Helicon) discharge and heated by an Ion Cyclotron Resonance Heating antenna. The heated plasma is then guided into a magnetic nozzle to convert the thermal plasma energy into effective thrust. The VASIMR system has no electrodes and a solenoidal magnetic field produced by an asymmetric mirror configuration ensures magnetic insulation of the plasma from the material surfaces. By powering the plasma source and the heating antenna at different levels it is possible to vary smoothly of the

  20. Application of diamond films to electric propulsion: Low energy sputter yield measurement and MPD plasma assisted chemical vapor deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blandino, John Joseph

    One application of chemically vapor deposited (CVD) diamond films under evaluation at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is the coating of ion thruster electrodes subject to sputter erosion from xenon ions. Sputter yields were measured for polycrystalline diamond, single crystal diamond, a carbon-carbon composite, and molybdenum subject to xenon ion bombardment. The tests were performed using a 3 cm Kaufman ion source to produce incident ions with energy in the range of 150--750 eV and a profilometry-based technique to measure the amount of sputtered material. The yields increased monotonically with energy with values ranging from 0.16 atoms/ion at 150 eV to 0.80 at 750 eV for the molybdenum and 0.06 to 0.14 for the carbon-carbon. At 150 eV the yield for both diamond samples was 0.07 and at 7 50 eV, 0.19 and 0.17 for the CVD and single crystal diamond respectively. In terms of erosion rate, this translates into a factor of 7--12 lower erosion rate for diamond compared to molybdenum and at least a factor of 1.5 compared to carbon-carbon. In addition, an experimental investigation of an electromagnetic (magnetoplasmadynamic or MPD) plasma source for diamond CVD was undertaken using gas mixtures of methane, hydrogen and argon. Numerous trials were conducted using methane to hydrogen mixture ratios of 1.5--3.5 percent by volume, four different methane injector configurations, and substrate biasing at potentials of 25--75 V positive with respect to facility ground. These tests were performed at discharge currents of 700--950 A at approximately 18 V (12--17 kW). Crystalline films were produced with growth rates of 0.8 to 6.3 microns/hr. X-ray diffraction spectroscopy was used to identify at least one unambiguous diamond peak in each sample. The films all exhibited poor Raman spectra with no well defined peak at 1332 cm-1 and a broad background possibly due to high background levels of nitrogen, defects, and metal vapor contamination. Finally, the potential benefits of the MPD

  1. Solar Thermal Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gerrish, Harold P., Jr.

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents viewgraphs on Solar Thermal Propulsion (STP). Some of the topics include: 1) Ways to use Solar Energy for Propulsion; 2) Solar (fusion) Energy; 3) Operation in Orbit; 4) Propulsion Concepts; 5) Critical Equations; 6) Power Efficiency; 7) Major STP Projects; 8) Types of STP Engines; 9) Solar Thermal Propulsion Direct Gain Assembly; 10) Specific Impulse; 11) Thrust; 12) Temperature Distribution; 13) Pressure Loss; 14) Transient Startup; 15) Axial Heat Input; 16) Direct Gain Engine Design; 17) Direct Gain Engine Fabrication; 18) Solar Thermal Propulsion Direct Gain Components; 19) Solar Thermal Test Facility; and 20) Checkout Results.

  2. International Microgravity Plasma Facility IMPF: A Multi-User Modular Research Facility for Complex Plasma Research on ISS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seurig, R.; Burfeindt, J.; Castegini, R.; Griethe, W.; Hofmann, P.

    2002-01-01

    On March 03, 2001, the PKE-Nefedov plasma experiment was successfully put into operation on board ISS. This complex plasma experiment is the predecessor for the semi-autonomous multi-user facility IMPF (International Microgravity Plasma Facility) to be flown in 2006 with an expected operational lifetime of 10 years. IMPF is envisioned to be an international research facility for investigators in the field of multi-component plasmas containing ions, electrons, and charged microparticles. This research filed is often referred to as "complex plasmas". The actual location of IMPF on ISS is not decided yet; potential infrastructure under consideration are EXPRESS Rack, Standard Interface Rack SIR, European Drawer Rack EDR, or a to be designed custom rack infrastructure on the Russian Segment. The actual development status of the DLR funded Pre-phase B Study for IMPF will be presented. For this phase, IMPF was assumed to be integrated in an EXPRESS Rack requiring four middeck lockers with two 4-PU ISIS drawers for accommodation. Technical and operational challenges, like a 240 Mbytes/sec continuous experimental data stream for 60 minutes, will be addressed. The project was funded by the German Space Agency (DLR) and was performed in close cooperation with scientists from the Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestical Physics in Munich, Germany.

  3. Simulation Based on Ion-Ion Plasma Techniques of Electric propulsion In Mars Mission Using Chlorine Gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sathiyavel, C.

    Abstract:The recently(Nov-5/2013) launched Mangalyan by the Indian space Research Organization (ISRO) to Mars orbit with Mankalyan contained by small liquid engine(MMH+N2O4).This will take long time to reach the Mars orbit that is around the 9 Months. Bi-Propellant rocket system has good thrust but low specific impulse and velocity. In future we need a rocket with good high specific impulse and high velocity of rocket system, to reduce the trip time to Mars. Electric propulsion rocket system is expected to become popular with the development of ion-ion pair techniques because this needs low propellant, Design thrust range is 1.5 N with high efficiency. An ion - ion pair of Electric propulsion rocket system is proposed in this work. Ion-Ion(positive ion- negative ion) Based Rocket system consists of three parts 1.The negative ionization stage with electro negative propellant 2. Ion-Ion plasma formation and ion accelerator 3. Exhaust of Nozzle. The Negative ions from electro negative gas are produced by adding up the gas, such as chlorine with electron emitted from an Electron gun ionization chamber. The formulate of large stable negative ion is achievable in chlorine gas with respect to electron affinity (∆E). When a neutral chlorine atom in the gaseous form picks up an electron to form a Cl- ion, it releases energy of 3.6eV. The negative ion density becomes several orders of magnitude larger than that of the electrons, hence forming ion-ion (positive ion - negative ion) plasma at the periphery of the discharge. The distance between ion- ions is important for the evaluate the rocket thrust and it also that the distance is determined by the exhaust velocity of the propellant. Accelerate the ion-ion plasma to a high velocity in the thrust vector direction via electron gun and the exhaust of ions through Nozzle. The simulation of the ion propulsion system has been carried out by MATLAB. By comparing the simulation results with the theoretical and previous results, we

  4. Spacecraft propulsion research facility (B-2) at the Lewis Research Center, Plum Brook Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klein, William E.

    1993-01-01

    The B-2 facility is designed to hot fire rocket engines or upper stage launch vehicles with up to 890,000 N thrust, after environmental conditioning of the test article in a simulated thermal vaccum space environment. The facility can handle cryogenic fuels and oxidizers. A steam ejector system maintains vacuum around the test article and on the engine discharge during the test firing. Two high speed computer systems control the test, monitor critical parameters and record all of the desired data.

  5. Spacecraft propulsion research facility (B-2) at the Lewis Research Center, Plum Brook Station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, William E.

    The B-2 facility is designed to hot fire rocket engines or upper stage launch vehicles with up to 890,000 N thrust, after environmental conditioning of the test article in a simulated thermal vaccum space environment. The facility can handle cryogenic fuels and oxidizers. A steam ejector system maintains vacuum around the test article and on the engine discharge during the test firing. Two high speed computer systems control the test, monitor critical parameters and record all of the desired data.

  6. Dusty Plasma Physics Facility for the International Space Station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goree, John; Hahn, Inseob

    2015-09-01

    The Dusty Plasma Physics Facility (DPPF) is an instrument planned for the International Space Station (ISS). If approved by NASA, JPL will build and operate the facility, and NASA will issue calls for proposals allowing investigators outside JPL to carry out research, public education, and outreach. Microgravity conditions on the ISS will be useful for eliminating two unwanted effects of gravity: sedimentation of dust particles to the bottom of a plasma chamber, and masking weak forces such as the ion drag force that act on dust particles. The DPPF facility is expected to support multiple scientific users. It will have a modular design, with a scientific locker, or insert, that can be exchanged without removing the entire facility. The first insert will use a parallel-plate radio-frequency discharge, polymer microspheres, and high-speed video cameras. This first insert will be designed for fundamental physics experiments. Possible future inserts could be designed for other purposes, such as engineering applications, and experimental simulations of astrophysical or geophysical conditions. The design of the facility will allow remote operation from ground-based laboratories, using telescience.

  7. Advanced space propulsion concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lapointe, Michael R.

    1993-01-01

    The NASA Lewis Research Center has been actively involved in the evaluation and development of advanced spacecraft propulsion. Recent program elements have included high energy density propellants, electrode less plasma thruster concepts, and low power laser propulsion technology. A robust advanced technology program is necessary to develop new, cost-effective methods of spacecraft propulsion, and to continue to push the boundaries of human knowledge and technology.

  8. Experimental validation of the dual positive and negative ion beam acceleration in the plasma propulsion with electronegative gases thruster

    SciTech Connect

    Rafalskyi, Dmytro Popelier, Lara; Aanesland, Ane

    2014-02-07

    The PEGASES (Plasma Propulsion with Electronegative Gases) thruster is a gridded ion thruster, where both positive and negative ions are accelerated to generate thrust. In this way, additional downstream neutralization by electrons is redundant. To achieve this, the thruster accelerates alternately positive and negative ions from an ion-ion plasma where the electron density is three orders of magnitude lower than the ion densities. This paper presents a first experimental study of the alternate acceleration in PEGASES, where SF{sub 6} is used as the working gas. Various electrostatic probes are used to investigate the source plasma potential and the energy, composition, and current of the extracted beams. We show here that the plasma potential control in such system is key parameter defining success of ion extraction and is sensitive to both parasitic electron current paths in the source region and deposition of sulphur containing dielectric films on the grids. In addition, large oscillations in the ion-ion plasma potential are found in the negative ion extraction phase. The oscillation occurs when the primary plasma approaches the grounded parts of the main core via sub-millimetres technological inputs. By controlling and suppressing the various undesired effects, we achieve perfect ion-ion plasma potential control with stable oscillation-free operation in the range of the available acceleration voltages (±350 V). The measured positive and negative ion currents in the beam are about 10 mA for each component at RF power of 100 W and non-optimized extraction system. Two different energy analyzers with and without magnetic electron suppression system are used to measure and compare the negative and positive ion and electron fluxes formed by the thruster. It is found that at alternate ion-ion extraction the positive and negative ion energy peaks are similar in areas and symmetrical in position with +/− ion energy corresponding to the amplitude of the applied

  9. Photoionized Plasmas in the Z Facility and in Astrophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mancini, Roberto

    2013-06-01

    Many astrophysical environments such as x-ray binaries, active galactic nuclei, and accretion disks of compact objects have photoionized plasmas. Detailed x-ray spectral observations performed with the Chandra and XMM-Newton orbiting telescopes provide critical information on the state of photoionized plasmas. However, the complexity of the astrophysical environment makes the spectral analysis challenging, and thus laboratory experiments are important for data interpretation and testing of modeling codes. The Z facility at Sandia National Laboratories is a powerful source of x-rays to produce and study in the laboratory photoionized plasmas relevant for astrophysics under well characterized conditions. We discuss an experimental and theory/modeling effort in which the intense x-ray flux emitted at the collapse of a z-pinch implosion conducted at the Z pulsed-power machine is employed to produce a neon photoionized plasma. The broadband x-ray radiation flux from the z-pinch is used to both create the photoionized plasma and provide a source of backlighting photons to study the atomic kinetics through K-shell line absorption spectroscopy. The plasma is contained in a cm-scale gas cell that can be located at different distances from the z-pinch, thus effectively controlling the x-ray flux producing the plasma. Time-integrated and gated transmission spectra are recorded with a spectrometer equipped with two elliptically-bent KAP crystals and a set of slits to record up to six spatially-resolved spectra per crystal in the same shot. The transmission data shows a rich line absorption spectrum that spans over several ionization stages of neon including Be-, Li-, He- and H-like ions. Modeling calculations are used to interpret the transmission spectra recorded in the Z experiments with the goal of extracting the charge- state distribution, electron temperature and the radiation flux driving the plasma, as well as to determine the ionization parameter of the plasma. This

  10. Development of a propulsion system and component test facility for advanced radioisotope powered Mars Hopper platforms

    SciTech Connect

    Robert C. O'Brien; Nathan D. Jerred; Steven D. Howe

    2011-02-01

    Verification and validation of design and modeling activities for radioisotope powered Mars Hopper platforms undertaken at the Center for Space Nuclear Research is essential for proof of concept. Previous research at the center has driven the selection of advanced material combinations; some of which require specialized handling capabilities. The development of a closed and contained test facility to forward this research is discussed within this paper.

  11. Survey of Aerothermodynamics Facilities Useful for the Design of Hypersonic Vehicles Using Air-Breathing Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arnold, James O.; Deiwert, G. S.

    1997-01-01

    The dream of producing an air-breathing, hydrogen fueled, hypervelocity aircraft has been before the aerospace community for decades. However, such a craft has not yet been realized, even in an experimental form. Despite the simplicity and beauty of the concept, many formidable problems must be overcome to make this dream a reality. This paper summarizes the aero/aerothermodynamic issues that must be addressed to make the dream a reality and discusses how aerothermodynamics facilities and their modem companion, real-gas computational fluid dynamics (CFD), can help solve the problems blocking the way to realizing the dream. The approach of the paper is first to outline the concept of an air-breathing hypersonic vehicle and then discuss the nose-to-tail aerothermodynamics issues and special aerodynamic problems that arise with such a craft. Then the utility of aerothermodynamic facilities and companion CFD analysis is illustrated by reviewing results from recent United States publications wherein these problems have been addressed. Papers selected for the discussion have k e n chosen such that the review will serve to survey important U.S. aero/aerothermodynamic real gas and conventional wind tunnel facilities that are useful in the study of hypersonic, hydrogen propelled hypervelocity vehicles.

  12. LABVIEW graphical user interface for precision multichannel alignment of Raman lidar at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Table Mountain Facility.

    PubMed

    Aspey, R A; McDermid, I S; Leblanc, T; Howe, J W; Walsh, T D

    2008-09-01

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory operates lidar systems at Table Mountain Facility (TMF), California (34.4 degrees N, 117.7 degrees W) and Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii (19.5 degrees N, 155.6 degrees W) under the framework of the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change. To complement these systems a new Raman lidar has been developed at TMF with particular attention given to optimizing water vapor profile measurements up to the tropopause and lower stratosphere. The lidar has been designed for accuracies of 5% up to 12 km in the free troposphere and a detection capability of <5 ppmv. One important feature of the lidar is a precision alignment system using range resolved data from eight Licel transient recorders, allowing fully configurable alignment via a LABVIEW/C++ graphical user interface (GUI). This allows the lidar to be aligned on any channel while simultaneously displaying signals from other channels at configurable altitude/bin combinations. The general lidar instrumental setup and the details of the alignment control system, data acquisition, and GUI alignment software are described. Preliminary validation results using radiosonde and lidar intercomparisons are briefly presented. PMID:19044439

  13. Propulsion and Power Generation Capabilities of a Dense Plasma Focus (DPF) Fusion System for Future Military Aerospace Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knecht, Sean D.; Thomas, Robert E.; Mead, Franklin B.; Miley, George H.; Froning, David

    2006-01-01

    The objective of this study was to perform a parametric evaluation of the performance and interface characteristics of a dense plasma focus (DPF) fusion system in support of a USAF advanced military aerospace vehicle concept study. This vehicle is an aerospace plane that combines clean ``aneutronic'' dense plasma focus (DPF) fusion power and propulsion technology, with advanced ``lifting body''-like airframe configurations utilizing air-breathing MHD propulsion and power technology within a reusable single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) vehicle. The applied approach was to evaluate the fusion system details (geometry, power, T/W, system mass, etc.) of a baseline p-11B DPF propulsion device with Q = 3.0 and thruster efficiency, ɛprop = 90% for a range of thrust, Isp and capacitor specific energy values. The baseline details were then kept constant and the values of Q and ɛprop were varied to evaluate excess power generation for communication systems, pulsed-train plasmoid weapons, ultrahigh-power lasers, and gravity devices. Thrust values were varied between 100 kN and 1,000 kN with Isp of 1,500 s and 2,000 s, while capacitor specific energy was varied from 1 - 15 kJ/kg. Q was varied from 3.0 to 6.0, resulting in gigawatts of excess power. Thruster efficiency was varied from 0.9 to 1.0, resulting in hundreds of megawatts of excess power. Resulting system masses were on the order of 10's to 100's of metric tons with thrust-to-weight ratios ranging from 2.1 to 44.1, depending on capacitor specific energy. Such a high thrust/high Isp system with a high power generation capability would allow military versatility in sub-orbital space, as early as 2025, and beyond as early as 2050. This paper presents the results that coincide with a total system mass between 15 and 20 metric tons.

  14. Propulsion and Power Generation Capabilities of a Dense Plasma Focus (DPF) Fusion System for Future Military Aerospace Vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Knecht, Sean D.; Mead, Franklin B.; Miley, George H.; Froning, David

    2006-01-20

    The objective of this study was to perform a parametric evaluation of the performance and interface characteristics of a dense plasma focus (DPF) fusion system in support of a USAF advanced military aerospace vehicle concept study. This vehicle is an aerospace plane that combines clean 'aneutronic' dense plasma focus (DPF) fusion power and propulsion technology, with advanced 'lifting body'-like airframe configurations utilizing air-breathing MHD propulsion and power technology within a reusable single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) vehicle. The applied approach was to evaluate the fusion system details (geometry, power, T/W, system mass, etc.) of a baseline p-11B DPF propulsion device with Q = 3.0 and thruster efficiency, {eta}prop = 90% for a range of thrust, Isp and capacitor specific energy values. The baseline details were then kept constant and the values of Q and {eta}prop were varied to evaluate excess power generation for communication systems, pulsed-train plasmoid weapons, ultrahigh-power lasers, and gravity devices. Thrust values were varied between 100 kN and 1,000 kN with Isp of 1,500 s and 2,000 s, while capacitor specific energy was varied from 1 - 15 kJ/kg. Q was varied from 3.0 to 6.0, resulting in gigawatts of excess power. Thruster efficiency was varied from 0.9 to 1.0, resulting in hundreds of megawatts of excess power. Resulting system masses were on the order of 10's to 100's of metric tons with thrust-to-weight ratios ranging from 2.1 to 44.1, depending on capacitor specific energy. Such a high thrust/high Isp system with a high power generation capability would allow military versatility in sub-orbital space, as early as 2025, and beyond as early as 2050. This paper presents the results that coincide with a total system mass between 15 and 20 metric tons.

  15. Burning plasma regime for Fussion-Fission Research Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakharov, Leonid E.

    2010-11-01

    The basic aspects of burning plasma regimes of Fusion-Fission Research Facility (FFRF, R/a=4/1 m/m, Ipl=5 MA, Btor=4-6 T, P^DT=50-100 MW, P^fission=80-4000 MW, 1 m thick blanket), which is suggested as the next step device for Chinese fusion program, are presented. The mission of FFRF is to advance magnetic fusion to the level of a stationary neutron source and to create a technical, scientific, and technology basis for the utilization of high-energy fusion neutrons for the needs of nuclear energy and technology. FFRF will rely as much as possible on ITER design. Thus, the magnetic system, especially TFC, will take advantage of ITER experience. TFC will use the same superconductor as ITER. The plasma regimes will represent an extension of the stationary plasma regimes on HT-7 and EAST tokamaks at ASIPP. Both inductive discharges and stationary non-inductive Lower Hybrid Current Drive (LHCD) will be possible. FFRF strongly relies on new, Lithium Wall Fusion (LiWF) plasma regimes, the development of which will be done on NSTX, HT-7, EAST in parallel with the design work. This regime will eliminate a number of uncertainties, still remaining unresolved in the ITER project. Well controlled, hours long inductive current drive operation at P^DT=50-100 MW is predicted.

  16. OFF-Stagnation point testing in plasma facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viladegut, A.; Chazot, O.

    2015-06-01

    Reentry space vehicles face extreme conditions of heat flux when interacting with the atmosphere at hypersonic velocities. Stagnation point heat flux is normally used as a reference for Thermal Protection Material (TPS) design; however, many critical phenomena also occur at off-stagnation point. This paper adresses the implementation of an offstagnation point methodology able to duplicate in ground facility the hypersonic boundary layer over a flat plate model. The first analysis using two-dimensional (2D) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations is carried out to understand the limitations of this methodology when applying it in plasma wind tunnel. The results from the testing campaign at VKI Plasmatron are also presented.

  17. Laser Propulsion - Quo Vadis

    SciTech Connect

    Bohn, Willy L.

    2008-04-28

    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.

  18. Helicon thruster plasma modeling: Two-dimensional fluid-dynamics and propulsive performances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahedo, Eduardo; Navarro-Cavallé, Jaume

    2013-04-01

    An axisymmetric macroscopic model of the magnetized plasma flow inside the helicon thruster chamber is derived, assuming that the power absorbed from the helicon antenna emission is known. Ionization, confinement, subsonic flows, and production efficiency are discussed in terms of design and operation parameters. Analytical solutions and simple scaling laws for ideal plasma conditions are obtained. The chamber model is then matched with a model of the external magnetic nozzle in order to characterize the whole plasma flow and assess thruster performances. Thermal, electric, and magnetic contributions to thrust are evaluated. The energy balance provides the power conversion between ions and electrons in chamber and nozzle, and the power distribution among beam power, ionization losses, and wall losses. Thruster efficiency is assessed, and the main causes of inefficiency are identified. The thermodynamic behavior of the collisionless electron population in the nozzle is acknowledged to be poorly known and crucial for a complete plasma expansion and good thrust efficiency.

  19. Helicon thruster plasma modeling: Two-dimensional fluid-dynamics and propulsive performances

    SciTech Connect

    Ahedo, Eduardo; Navarro-Cavalle, Jaume

    2013-04-15

    An axisymmetric macroscopic model of the magnetized plasma flow inside the helicon thruster chamber is derived, assuming that the power absorbed from the helicon antenna emission is known. Ionization, confinement, subsonic flows, and production efficiency are discussed in terms of design and operation parameters. Analytical solutions and simple scaling laws for ideal plasma conditions are obtained. The chamber model is then matched with a model of the external magnetic nozzle in order to characterize the whole plasma flow and assess thruster performances. Thermal, electric, and magnetic contributions to thrust are evaluated. The energy balance provides the power conversion between ions and electrons in chamber and nozzle, and the power distribution among beam power, ionization losses, and wall losses. Thruster efficiency is assessed, and the main causes of inefficiency are identified. The thermodynamic behavior of the collisionless electron population in the nozzle is acknowledged to be poorly known and crucial for a complete plasma expansion and good thrust efficiency.

  20. A Compact Disk Type Plasma Propulsion System with Modulated Magnetic Field for Nanoscale Space Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukuda, Takeshi; Ueda, Satoshi; Ohnishi, Yukihiro; Inomoto, Michiaki

    2008-12-01

    A compact 5 mm disk type plasma thruster simply composed of only a set of antenna windings and bias field coil which produces significant thrust of 0.74 mN with rotating magnetic field has been proposed and successfully developed for future applications to low altitude nanosatellites. The key technology issue is that the rotating speed is set above the ion plasma frequency but far below the electron plasma frequency, in order to produce the electron drag current and axial electric field as a consequence of the interaction with the bias field. The formation of axial electric field was confirmed and the produced plasma density was >6×1018 m-3, whereas the power consumption is 500 W in the inductively coupled mode of operation. The anticipated thrust density and specific thrust could potentially be extended to 7.64 Nm-2 and 850 s, respectively, which is comparable to conventional Hall effect thrusters.

  1. A Compact Disk Type Plasma Propulsion System with Modulated Magnetic Field for Nanoscale Space Vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Fukuda, Takeshi; Ueda, Satoshi; Ohnishi, Yukihiro; Inomoto, Michiaki

    2008-12-31

    A compact 5 mm disk type plasma thruster simply composed of only a set of antenna windings and bias field coil which produces significant thrust of 0.74 mN with rotating magnetic field has been proposed and successfully developed for future applications to low altitude nanosatellites. The key technology issue is that the rotating speed is set above the ion plasma frequency but far below the electron plasma frequency, in order to produce the electron drag current and axial electric field as a consequence of the interaction with the bias field. The formation of axial electric field was confirmed and the produced plasma density was >6x10{sup 18} m{sup -3}, whereas the power consumption is 500 W in the inductively coupled mode of operation. The anticipated thrust density and specific thrust could potentially be extended to 7.64 Nm{sup -2} and 850 s, respectively, which is comparable to conventional Hall effect thrusters.

  2. Optimizing space-charge limits of electron emission into plasmas with application to in-space electric propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, David Peter

    The topic of this thesis is the improvement of space-charge limits for electron emission into a plasma, primarily as applied to in-space electric propulsion applications. The space-charge limit is the point at which the electrostatic forces in a beam of emitted charged particles becomes sufficient to slow down and reflect new particles as they are emitted. Any emitter operating above this limit will suffer severe efficiency losses, as an average of 50% or more of the beam is reflected back to the emitter. This limit is especially salient to small spacecraft electric propulsion and other applications where power spent on electron emission is at a premium, such that it is not acceptable to improve the space-charge limit by simply adding energy to the emitted beam. The primary motivation of this work is field effect electron emitters because they are capable of high-current, low-power emission, but the results are applicable to thermionic and other types of emitters as well. Several techniques were studied including variation of emitter size and spacing, the addition of defocus rings, and time and spatial modulation of the emitted beam. Separating large emitters into multiple small emitters provided the greatest improvement, and trade studies are given showing the balance between integration cost and emission power. Defocus rings were found to be capable of improving emission from small emitters by 40% even in their most simple form of a grounded ring. Modulation of the beam was less effective at improving the space-charge limit, with a modulated beam having at best the same time-average space-charge limit as an un-modulated beam. It was discovered, however, that beam modulation significantly increases the efficiency of emission when the emitter must operate at current levels higher than the space-charge limit. Finally, it was confirmed that these results are consistent both for emission across a vacuum gap to a conducting anode, and across a plasma sheath into a

  3. Electric propulsion system technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brophy, John R.; Garner, Charles E.; Goodfellow, Keith D.; Pivirotto, Thomas J.; Polk, James E.

    1992-11-01

    The work performed in fiscal year (FY) 1991 under the Propulsion Technology Program RTOP (Research and Technology Objectives and Plans) No. (55) 506-42-31 for Low-Thrust Primary and Auxiliary Propulsion technology development is described. The objectives of this work fall under two broad categories. The first of these deals with the development of ion engines for primary propulsion in support of solar system exploration. The second with the advancement of steady-state magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thruster technology at 100 kW to multimegawatt input power levels. The major technology issues for ion propulsion are demonstration of adequate engine life at the 5 to 10 kW power level and scaling ion engines to power levels of tens to hundreds of kilowatts. Tests of a new technique in which the decelerator grid of a three-grid ion accelerator system is biased negative of neutralizer common potential in order to collect facility induced charge-exchange ions are described. These tests indicate that this SAND (Screen, Accelerator, Negative Decelerator) configuration may enable long duration ion engine endurance tests to be performed at vacuum chamber pressures an order of magnitude higher than previously possible. The corresponding reduction in pumping speed requirements enables endurance tests of 10 kW class ion engines to be performed within the resources of existing technology programs. The results of a successful 5,000-hr endurance of a xenon hollow cathode operating at an emission current of 25 A are described, as well as the initial tests of hollow cathodes operating on a mixture of argon and 3 percent nitrogen. Work performed on the development of carbon/carbon grids, a multi-orifice hollow cathode, and discharge chamber erosion reduction through the addition of nitrogen are also described. Critical applied-field MPD thruster technical issues remain to be resolved, including demonstration of reliable steady-state operation at input powers of hundreds to thousands of

  4. Electric propulsion system technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brophy, John R.; Garner, Charles E.; Goodfellow, Keith D.; Pivirotto, Thomas J.; Polk, James E.

    1992-01-01

    The work performed in fiscal year (FY) 1991 under the Propulsion Technology Program RTOP (Research and Technology Objectives and Plans) No. (55) 506-42-31 for Low-Thrust Primary and Auxiliary Propulsion technology development is described. The objectives of this work fall under two broad categories. The first of these deals with the development of ion engines for primary propulsion in support of solar system exploration. The second with the advancement of steady-state magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thruster technology at 100 kW to multimegawatt input power levels. The major technology issues for ion propulsion are demonstration of adequate engine life at the 5 to 10 kW power level and scaling ion engines to power levels of tens to hundreds of kilowatts. Tests of a new technique in which the decelerator grid of a three-grid ion accelerator system is biased negative of neutralizer common potential in order to collect facility induced charge-exchange ions are described. These tests indicate that this SAND (Screen, Accelerator, Negative Decelerator) configuration may enable long duration ion engine endurance tests to be performed at vacuum chamber pressures an order of magnitude higher than previously possible. The corresponding reduction in pumping speed requirements enables endurance tests of 10 kW class ion engines to be performed within the resources of existing technology programs. The results of a successful 5,000-hr endurance of a xenon hollow cathode operating at an emission current of 25 A are described, as well as the initial tests of hollow cathodes operating on a mixture of argon and 3 percent nitrogen. Work performed on the development of carbon/carbon grids, a multi-orifice hollow cathode, and discharge chamber erosion reduction through the addition of nitrogen are also described. Critical applied-field MPD thruster technical issues remain to be resolved, including demonstration of reliable steady-state operation at input powers of hundreds to thousands of

  5. An overview of the VASIMR engine: High power space propulsion with RF plasma generation and heating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Díaz, F. R. Chang

    2001-10-01

    The Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) is a high power, radio frequency-driven magnetoplasma rocket, capable of exhaust modulation at constant power. While the plasma is produced by a helicon discharge, the bulk of the energy is added in a separate downstream stage by ion cyclotron resonance heating (ICRH). Axial momentum is obtained by the adiabatic expansion of the plasma in a magnetic nozzle. Exhaust variation in the VASIMR is primarily achieved by the selective partitioning of the RF power to the helicon and ICRH systems, with the proper adjustment of the propellant flow. However, other complementary techniques are also being studied. Operational and performance considerations favor the light gases. The physics and engineering of this device have been under study since the late 1970s. A NASA-led, research effort, involving several terms in the United States, continues to explore the scientific and technological foundations of this concept. The research involves theory, experiment, engineering design, mission analysis, and technology development. Experimentally, high density, stable plasma discharges have been generated in Helium, Hydrogen and Deuterium, as well as mixtures of these gases. Key issues involve the optimization of the helicon discharge for high-density operation and the efficient coupling of ICRH to the plasma, prior to acceleration by the magnetic nozzle. Theoretically, the dynamics of the magnetized plasma are being studied from kinetic and fluid perspectives. Plasma acceleration by the magnetic nozzle and subsequent detachment has been demonstrated in numerical simulations. These results are presently undergoing experimental verification. A brisk technology development effort for space-qualified, compact, solid-state RF equipment, and high temperature superconducting magnets is under way in support of this project. A conceptual point design for an early space demonstrator on the International Space Station has been defined

  6. Scaling Laws of Lissajous Helicon Plasma Accelerator toward Electric Propulsion in Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Funaki, Ikkou; Matsuoka, T.; Nakamura, T.; Yokoi, K.; Nishida, H.; Shamrai, K. P.; Tanikawa, T.; Hada, T.; Shinohara, S.

    2010-11-01

    Scaling law of Lissajous Helicon Plasma Accelerator(LHPA) is derived and tested via PIC simulations with code VORPAL. In the LHPA, rotating transverse electric field in external longitudinal uniform magnetic field drives azimuthal current via ExB drift then thrust is produced due to Lorentz force. An 1D analytical model is developed which includes field penetration and ExB current estimation based on trajectory analysis. Scaling law of thrust as a function of parameters of RF drive frequency, applied RF voltage, plasma density, size of the thruster will be shown.

  7. Nuclear-electric propulsion - Manned Mars propulsion options

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palaszewski, Bryan; Brophy, John; King, David

    1989-01-01

    Nuclear-electric propulsion can significantly reduce the launch mass for manned Mars missions. By using high-specific-impulse (lsp) electric propulsion systems with advanced nuclear reactors, the total mass-to-orbit for a series of manned Mars flight is reduced. Propulsion technologies required for the manned Mars mission are described. Multi-megawatt Ion and Magneto-Plasma-Dynamic (MPD) propulsion thrusters, Power-Processing Units and nuclear power source are needed. Xenon (Xe)-Ion and MPD thruster performance are detailed. Mission analyses for several Mars mission options are addressed. Both MPD and Ion propulsion were investigated. A four-megawatt propulsion system power level was assumed. Mass comparisons for all-chemical oxygen/hydrogen propulsion missions and combined chemical and nuclear-electric propulsion Mars fleets are included. With fleets of small nuclear-electric vehicles, short trip times to Mars are also enabled.

  8. Working group report on beam plasmas, electronic propulsion, and active experiments using beams

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dawson, J. M.; Eastman, T.; Gabriel, S.; Hawkins, J.; Matossian, J.; Raitt, J.; Reeves, G.; Sasaki, S.; Szuszczewicz, E.; Winkler, J. R.

    1986-01-01

    The JPL Workshop addressed a number of plasma issues that bear on advanced spaceborne technology for the years 2000 and beyond. Primary interest was on the permanently manned space station with a focus on identifying environmentally related issues requiring early clarification by spaceborne plasma experimentation. The Beams Working Group focused on environmentally related threats that platform operations could have on the conduct and integrity of spaceborne beam experiments and vice versa. Considerations were to include particle beams and plumes. For purposes of definition it was agreed that the term particle beams described a directed flow of charged or neutral particles allowing single-particle trajectories to represent the characteristics of the beam and its propagation. On the other hand, the word plume was adopted to describe a multidimensional flow (or expansion) of a plasma or neutral gas cloud. Within the framework of these definitions, experiment categories included: (1) Neutral- and charged-particle beam propagation, with considerations extending to high powers and currents. (2) Evolution and dynamics of naturally occurring and man-made plasma and neutral gas clouds. In both categories, scientific interest focused on interactions with the ambient geoplasma and the evolution of particle densities, energy distribution functions, waves, and fields.

  9. Improving plasma actuator performance at low pressure, and an analysis of the pointing capabilities of cubeSats using Plasmonic Force Propulsion (PFP) thrusters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friz, Paul Daniel

    This thesis details the work done on two unrelated projects, plasma actuators, an aerodynamic flow control device, and Plasmonic Force Propulsion (PFP) thrusters, a space propulsion system for small satellites. The first half of the thesis is a paper published in the International Journal of Flow Control on plasma actuators. In this paper the thrust and power consumption of plasma actuators with varying geometries was studied at varying pressure. It was found that actuators with longer buried electrodes produce the most thrust over all and that they substantially improved thrust at low pressure. In particular actuators with 75 mm buried electrodes produced 26% more thrust overall and 34% more thrust at low pressure than the standard 15 mm design. The second half details work done modeling small satellite attitude and reaction control systems in order to compare the use of Plasmonic Force Propulsion thrusters with other state of the art reaction control systems. The model uses bang bang control algorithms and assumes the worst case scenario solar radiation pressure is the only disturbing force. It was found that the estimated 50-500 nN of thrust produced by PFP thrusters would allow the spacecraft which use them extremely high pointing and positioning accuracies (<10-9 degrees and 3 pm). PFP thrusters still face many developmental challenges such as increasing specific impulse which require more research, however, they have great potential to be an enabling technology for future NASA missions such as the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, and The Stellar Imager.

  10. Mechanisms of Electric Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisch, Nathaniel J.

    2004-11-01

    The technology of electric propulsion evolved to overcome the high propellant weight associated with propulsion by chemical means. As opposed to ejecting propellant at velocities of kilometers per second, exhaust velocities of plasma at tens of kilometers per second and more could be accomplished through electrical means. Although higher exhaust velocities require higher on-board power, the reduced propellant requirements facilitate a large variety of space transportation missions, such as orbit-raising, station-keeping, or other propulsion missions requiring the conservation of propellant mass such as interplanetary flight. To produce thrust by the application of electric forces, plasma can be accelerated directly, or ions can be accelerated and then neutralized to form flowing neutral plasma. The different mechanisms of acceleration are embodied in such thrust devices as ion thrusters, Hall thrusters, magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters, or arcjets. In each method of electric propulsion, different technological limitations arise from basic plasma properties. This talk reviews the basic acceleration mechanisms at play in contemporary means of electric propulsion within the broader context of accelerating plasma by any means.

  11. Experiment and numerical simulation of RF heating in the Tandem Mirror plasma propulsion device

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yang, T. F.; Peng, S.; Chang-Diaz, F. R.

    1991-01-01

    Recent results of experimental and theoretical studies of ICRF heating of the plasma in the Tendem Mirror rocket are presented. The radial and axial profile of the magnetic field of the wave have been measured, and the data agree with the results from numerical simulation. One very important new finding is that the wave damped when it approached the resonance plane. This is a strong indication of beach heating effect and that RF power is absorbed by the ions in the plasma as expected. This power absorption phenomenon was also further confirmed by the refined analytical study of the wave propagation in a slab model. The electron density in the central cell has been measured by a microwave interferometer. The existence of two types of discharge similar to those of H-alpha emission have also been observed from the density measurements. A preliminary design of a flight system for a 100-day Mars transit has been undertaken. The specific weight for a 10 MW rocket is only 0.04 kg/kW.

  12. An Investigation of Bremsstrahlung Reflection in a Dense Plasma Focus (DPF) Propulsion Device

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, Robert; Miley, G. H.; Mead, Franklin

    2006-01-20

    The dense plasma focus device is one of the few fusion systems that is capable of burning advanced fuels such as D - 3He and p - 11B. An study has been performed and shown that three main requirements must be satisfied to reach breakeven for DPF fusion: a high Ti/Te ration ({approx} 20), an order of magnitude higher pinch lifetime, and the reflection and absorption if at least 50% Bremsstrahlung radiation. The latter issue is the focus of this report, and a literature search has been performed on laser-driven fusion radiation cavities, multilayer reflectors, and their application to Bremsstrahlung radiation reflection is presented. Additionally, the results found are compared to those assumed in the earlier DPF study bring p-11B.

  13. Passive optical diagnostic of electric propulsion Xe plasmas: the role of metastable atoms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dressler, Rainer A.; Chiu, Yu-Hui; Sharma, Lalita; Srivastava, Rajesh; Karabadzhak, George F.

    2007-10-01

    Metastable Xe atoms play an important role in the radiation of xenon propelled electric thrusters. Experimental and theoretical cross sections for electron-excitation from the 5p^56s J=2 metastable level (1s5 state in Paschen notation) to the lowest six 5p^56p (2p) levels have recently become available, thereby providing important rate coefficients for the depopulation of the 1s5 state. Application of a collisional radiative model to near-infrared spectral intensities observed in the plume of a Hall thruster, however, demonstrates that additional depopulation paths are important. Present calculations show that the electron-induced excitation to 5p^56s J=1 (1s4) and other 5p^56s levels, for which newly calculated cross sections are presented, can account for the additional de-excitation mechanisms in plasma regions with low electron temperatures.

  14. Laser thermal propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keefer, D.; Elkins, R.; Peters, C.; Jones, L.

    1984-01-01

    Laser thermal propulsion (LTP) is studied for the case in which laser power is absorbed by a small very high-temperature plasma (about 20,000 K) and transferred to the remainder of the pure hydrogen propellant by radiation and mixing. This concept could lead to the realization of a lightweight orbital transfer vehicle propulsion system having a specific impulse in the range 1000-2000 s. Approximately 12 percent of the input power may be radiated to the thruster walls, and 15 percent of the total propellant flow must be heated to 20,000 K to provide a bulk temperature of 5000 K prior to expansion. Three principal research issues identified are: (1) conditions for hydrogen plasma ignition, (2) control of the plasma position within the laser beam, plasma stability, and plasma absorption efficiency, and (3) characterization of the mixing of the plasma and buffer flows.

  15. Plasma Facing Components Generic Facilities Review Panel (PFC-GFRP): Final report

    SciTech Connect

    McGrath, R.; Allen, S.; Hill, D.; Brooks, J.; Mattas, R.; Davis, J.; Lipschultz, B.; Ulrickson, M.

    1993-10-01

    The Plasma Facing Components (PFC) Facilities Review Panel was chartered by the US Department of Energy, Office of Fusion Energy, ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) and Technology Division, to outline the program plan and identify the supporting test facilities that lead to reliable, long-lived plasma facing components for ITER. This report summarizes the panel`s findings and identifies the necessary and sufficient set of test facilities required for ITER PFC development.

  16. The Propulsion Center at MSFC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gerrish, Harold; Schmidt, George R. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The Propulsion Research Center at MSFC serves as a national resource for research of advanced, revolutionary propulsion technologies. Our mission is to move the nation's capabilities beyond the confines of conventional chemical propulsion into an era of aircraft like access to earth-orbit, rapid travel throughout the solar system, and exploration of interstellar space. Current efforts cover a wide range of exciting areas, including high-energy plasma thrusters, advanced fission and fusion engines, antimatter propulsion systems, beamed energy rockets and sails, and fundamental motive physics. Activities involve concept investigation, proof-of-concept demonstration, and breadboard validation of new propulsion systems. The Propulsion Research Center at MSFC provides an environment where NASA, national laboratories, universities, and industry researchers can pool their skills together to perform landmark propulsion achievements. We offer excellent educational opportunities to students and young researchers-fostering a wellspring of innovation that will revolutionize space transportation.

  17. Electric propulsion for communications satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Free, B. A.; Guman, W. J.; Herron, B. G.; Zafran, S.

    1978-01-01

    Electric propulsion systems derive their low overall mass, relative to chemical propulsion systems, from an optimized mix of independently controlled power and mass flow rate. A significant reduction in mass can be secured by substituting electric propulsion for conventional hydrazine systems for all the major propulsion tasks of a communications satellite. Additional advantages for all electric propulsion maneuvers are precision location and higher pointing accuracy. Three auxiliary electric propulsion systems are now available for application on communications satellites: the electrically augmented hydrazine system, the Teflon pulsed plasma system, and the mercury ion thruster system. Primary electric propulsion will be available in the mid to late 1980s as a spin-off of NASA's program of interplanetary exploration.

  18. Plasma flow switch experiments on the Pegasus facility

    SciTech Connect

    Cochrane, J.C. Jr.; Anderson, B.; Bartsch, R.R.; Bowers, R.; Findley, C.; Greene, A.; Kruse, H.; Oona, H.; Parker, J.V.; Peterson, D.; Sandoval, G. ); Lee, P.H.Y. ); Turchi, P. )

    1991-01-01

    Plasma flow switch experiments conducted on Pegasus have shown that a conducting layer of plasma shunts the load slot preventing efficient switching of current to the load. This effect is seen computationally. The magnitude of the effect depends on the specific parameters of the switch plasma and current level. Computations have also shown that a plasma boundary layer trap'' would effectively remove enough plasma from the inner conductor of the power flow channel so that efficient switching would occur. This plasma trap has been successfully demonstrated when used with a static load. It has not yet been tested with an imploding load. 3 refs., 8 figs.

  19. Tree Topping Ceremony at NASA's Propulsion Research Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    A new, world-class laboratory for research into future space transportation technologies is under construction at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, AL. The state-of-the-art Propulsion Research Laboratory will serve 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 irnovative propulsion technologies for space exploration. The facility will be 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, will feature a high degree of experimental capability. Its flexibility will allow it to address a broad range of propulsion technologies and concepts, such as plasma, electromagnetic, thermodynamic, and propellantless propulsion. An important area of emphasis will be 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 will set the stage of research that could revolutionize space transportation for a broad range of applications. This photo depicts construction workers taking part in a tree topping ceremony as the the final height of the laboratory is framed. The ceremony is an old German custom of paying homage to the trees that gave their lives in preparation of the building site.

  20. Laser Plasma Particle Accelerators: Large Fields for Smaller Facility Sources

    SciTech Connect

    Geddes, Cameron G.R.; Cormier-Michel, Estelle; Esarey, Eric H.; Schroeder, Carl B.; Vay, Jean-Luc; Leemans, Wim P.; Bruhwiler, David L.; Cary, John R.; Cowan, Ben; Durant, Marc; Hamill, Paul; Messmer, Peter; Mullowney, Paul; Nieter, Chet; Paul, Kevin; Shasharina, Svetlana; Veitzer, Seth; Weber, Gunther; Rubel, Oliver; Ushizima, Daniela; Bethel, Wes; Wu, John

    2009-03-20

    Compared to conventional particle accelerators, plasmas can sustain accelerating fields that are thousands of times higher. To exploit this ability, massively parallel SciDAC particle simulations provide physical insight into the development of next-generation accelerators that use laser-driven plasma waves. These plasma-based accelerators offer a path to more compact, ultra-fast particle and radiation sources for probing the subatomic world, for studying new materials and new technologies, and for medical applications.

  1. NASA Now: Propulsion

    NASA Video Gallery

    In this episode of NASA Now, you’ll visit NASA’s Spacecraft Propulsion Research Facility, called B-2, at NASA Plum Brook Station. You’ll meet Dr. Louis Povinelli and Brian Jones who explain w...

  2. Electric propulsion for small satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keidar, Michael; Zhuang, Taisen; Shashurin, Alexey; Teel, George; Chiu, Dereck; Lukas, Joseph; Haque, Samudra; Brieda, Lubos

    2015-01-01

    Propulsion is required for satellite motion in outer space. The displacement of a satellite in space, orbit transfer and its attitude control are the task of space propulsion, which is carried out by rocket engines. Electric propulsion uses electric energy to energize or accelerate the propellant. The electric propulsion, which uses electrical energy to accelerate propellant in the form of plasma, is known as plasma propulsion. Plasma propulsion utilizes the electric energy to first, ionize the propellant and then, deliver energy to the resulting plasma leading to plasma acceleration. Many types of plasma thrusters have been developed over last 50 years. The variety of these devices can be divided into three main categories dependent on the mechanism of acceleration: (i) electrothermal, (ii) electrostatic and (iii) electromagnetic. Recent trends in space exploration associate with the paradigm shift towards small and efficient satellites, or micro- and nano-satellites. A particular example of microthruster considered in this paper is the micro-cathode arc thruster (µCAT). The µCAT is based on vacuum arc discharge. Thrust is produced when the arc discharge erodes some of the cathode at high velocity and is accelerated out the nozzle by a Lorentz force. The thrust amount is controlled by varying the frequency of pulses with demonstrated range to date of 1-50 Hz producing thrust ranging from 1 µN to 0.05 mN.

  3. Nuclear Propulsion Technical Interchange Meeting, volume 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    The purpose of the meeting was to review the work performed in fiscal year 1992 in the areas of nuclear thermal and nuclear electric propulsion technology development. These proceedings are an accumulation of the presentations provided at the meeting along with annotations provided by authors. The proceedings cover system concepts, technology development, and system modeling for nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) and nuclear electric propulsion (NEP). The test facilities required for the development of the nuclear propulsion systems are also discussed.

  4. Description of an innovative vacuum pumping and energy absorption system for a multi-megawatt electric propulsion test facility

    SciTech Connect

    Coomes, E.P.; Bennett, D.W.; Lundgren, R.A.; McClanahan, E.D.; Moss, R.W.

    1988-03-01

    The development of high power magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters is rapidly approaching an impasse to further development: the lack of a facility with adequate vacuum pumping and energy removal capacity to support the resolution of key MPD life and performance issues by FY-93. Several studies have been performed that identify vacuum systems or facility concepts that would alleviate this problem. Although feasible, the proposed vacuum systems require significant research and development; and the proposed facility concepts all require the added development of a gas dynamic diffuser. 8 refs., 4 figs.

  5. Advanced Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frisbee, Robert H.

    1996-01-01

    This presentation describes a number of advanced space propulsion technologies with the potential for meeting the need for dramatic reductions in the cost of access to space, and the need for new propulsion capabilities to enable bold new space exploration (and, ultimately, space exploitation) missions of the 21st century. For example, current Earth-to-orbit (e.g., low Earth orbit, LEO) launch costs are extremely high (ca. $10,000/kg); a factor 25 reduction (to ca. $400/kg) will be needed to produce the dramatic increases in space activities in both the civilian and government sectors identified in the Commercial Space Transportation Study (CSTS). Similarly, in the area of space exploration, all of the relatively 'easy' missions (e.g., robotic flybys, inner solar system orbiters and landers; and piloted short-duration Lunar missions) have been done. Ambitious missions of the next century (e.g., robotic outer-planet orbiters/probes, landers, rovers, sample returns; and piloted long-duration Lunar and Mars missions) will require major improvements in propulsion capability. In some cases, advanced propulsion can enable a mission by making it faster or more affordable, and in some cases, by directly enabling the mission (e.g., interstellar missions). As a general rule, advanced propulsion systems are attractive because of their low operating costs (e.g., higher specific impulse, ISD) and typically show the most benefit for relatively 'big' missions (i.e., missions with large payloads or AV, or a large overall mission model). In part, this is due to the intrinsic size of the advanced systems as compared to state-of-the-art (SOTA) chemical propulsion systems. Also, advanced systems often have a large 'infrastructure' cost, either in the form of initial R&D costs or in facilities hardware costs (e.g., laser or microwave transmission ground stations for beamed energy propulsion). These costs must then be amortized over a large mission to be cost-competitive with a SOTA

  6. MSFC Nuclear Propulsion Materials Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rogers, J. R.; Cook, B.

    2004-01-01

    Nuclear propulsion systems for spacecraft applications present numerous technical challenges for propulsion systems. They have been the focus of a recent NRA. Challenges inclue: a nuclear reactor subsystem to produce thermal energy; a power conversion subsystem to convert the thermal energy into electrical energy; a propulsion subsystem that utilizes Hall effect thrusters; thruster technologies and high temperature materials to support subsystems. The MSFC Electrostatic Levitation (ESL) Facility provides an ideal platform for the study of high temperature and reactive materials. An overview of the facility and its capabilities will be presented.

  7. Supersonic laser propulsion.

    PubMed

    Rezunkov, Yurii; Schmidt, Alexander

    2014-11-01

    To produce supersonic laser propulsion, a new technique based on the interaction of a laser-ablated jet with supersonic gas flow in a nozzle is proposed. It is shown that such parameters of the jet, such as gas-plasma pressure and temperature in the ablation region as well as the mass consumption rate of the ablated solid propellant, are characteristic in this respect. The results of numerical simulations of the supersonic laser propulsion are presented for two types of nozzle configuration. The feasibility to achieve the momentum coupling coefficient of C(m)∼10(-3) N/W is shown. PMID:25402938

  8. Dutch plasma facility reveals new problems for ITER

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Calmthout, Martijn

    2012-06-01

    Scientists have expressed concern about the ability of the ITER experimental fusion reactor, currently being built in Cadarache, France, to hold intense high-temperature plasmas without seriously damaging the reactor core.

  9. Space Station Freedom solar array panels plasma interaction test facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, Donald F.; Mellott, Kenneth D.

    1989-01-01

    The Space Station Freedom Power System will make extensive use of photovoltaic (PV) power generation. The phase 1 power system consists of two PV power modules each capable of delivering 37.5 KW of conditioned power to the user. Each PV module consists of two solar arrays. Each solar array is made up of two solar blankets. Each solar blanket contains 82 PV panels. The PV power modules provide a 160 V nominal operating voltage. Previous research has shown that there are electrical interactions between a plasma environment and a photovoltaic power source. The interactions take two forms: parasitic current loss (occurs when the currect produced by the PV panel leaves at a high potential point and travels through the plasma to a lower potential point, effectively shorting that portion of the PV panel); and arcing (occurs when the PV panel electrically discharges into the plasma). The PV solar array panel plasma interaction test was conceived to evaluate the effects of these interactions on the Space Station Freedom type PV panels as well as to conduct further research. The test article consists of two active solar array panels in series. Each panel consists of two hundred 8 cm x 8 cm silicon solar cells. The test requirements dictated specifications in the following areas: plasma environment/plasma sheath; outgassing; thermal requirements; solar simulation; and data collection requirements.

  10. Electric Propulsion Orbital Platform

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Friedly, V. J.; Ruyten, Wilhelmus M.; Litchford, R. J.; Garrison, G. W.

    1993-01-01

    This paper describes the Electric Propulsion Orbital Platform (EPOP), of which the primary objective is to provide an instrumented platform for testing electric propulsion devices in space. It is anticipated that the first flight, EPOP-1, will take place on the Shuttle-deployed Wake Shield Facility in 1996, and will be designed around a commercial 1.8 kW arcjet system which will be operated on gaseous hydrogen propellant. Specific subsystems are described, including the arcjet system, the propellant and power systems, and the diagnostics systems.

  11. Electric propulsion: Experimental research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruyten, W. M.; Friedly, V. J.; Keefer, D.

    1992-01-01

    This paper describes experimental electric propulsion research which was carried out at the University of Tennessee Space Institute with support from the Center for Space Transportation and Applied Research. Specifically, a multiplexed laser induced fluorescence (LIF) technique for obtaining vector velocities, Doppler temperatures, and relative number densities in the exhaust plumes from electric propulsion devices is described, and results are presented that were obtained on a low power argon arcjet. Also, preliminary Langmuir probe measurements on an ion source are described, and an update on the vacuum facility is presented.

  12. Electric Propulsion: Experimental Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ruyten, W. M.; Friedly, V. J.; Keefer, D.

    1995-01-01

    This paper describes experimental electric propulsion research which was carried out at the University of Tennessee Space Institute with support from the Center for Space Transportation and Applied Research. Specifically, a multiplexed LIF technique for obtaining vector velocities, Doppler temperatures, and relative number densities in the exhaust plumes form electric propulsion devices is described, and results are presented that were obtained on a low power argon arcjet. Also, preliminary Langmuir probe measurements on an ion source are described, and an update on the vacuum facility is presented.

  13. Focused technology: Nuclear propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Thomas J.

    1991-01-01

    The topics presented are covered in viewgraph form and include: nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP), which challenges (1) high temperature fuel and materials, (2) hot hydrogen environment, (3) test facilities, (4) safety, (5) environmental impact compliance, and (6) concept development, and nuclear electric propulsion (NEP), which challenges (1) long operational lifetime, (2) high temperature reactors, turbines, and radiators, (3) high fuel burn-up reactor fuels, and designs, (4) efficient, high temperature power conditioning, (5) high efficiency, and long life thrusters, (6) safety, (7) environmental impact compliance, and (8) concept development.

  14. Dynamics of self-compressed argon and helium plasma streams in the MPC facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ladygina, M. S.; Marchenko, A. K.; Solyakov, D. G.; Petrov, Yu V.; Makhlaj, V. A.; Yeliseyev, D. V.; Garkusha, I. E.; Cherednichenko, T. N.

    2016-07-01

    The results of experimental investigations on self-compressed plasma streams and compression zone formation are presented for varied mass flow rate and initial concentrations of particles of working gas that depend on initial pressure. Experiments were carried out in the Magnetoplasma Compressor (MPC) facility. Space–time distributions of the electric current and electron density in the plasma stream compression region were measured under different experimental conditions. High-speed images of plasma stream dynamics in the MPC accelerating channel with a high temporal resolution were also obtained for different initial pressures. The experimental results show a strong dependence of plasma stream parameters and compression zone location on the initial gas concentration. The maximum electron density is obtained in the range of Ne = (1 ÷ 5) × 1018 cm‑3. Plasma streams have a good radial symmetry under all experimental conditions. The distributions of plasma parameters along the plasma stream flows are discussed.

  15. Free radical propulsion concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hawkins, C. E.; Nakanishi, S.

    1981-01-01

    A free radical propulsion concept utilizing the recombination energy of dissociated low molecular weight gases to produce thrust was examined. The concept offered promise of a propulsion system operating at a theoretical impulse, with hydrogen, as high as 2200 seconds at high thrust to power ratio, thus filling the gas existing between chemical and electrostatic propulsion capabilities. Microwave energy used to dissociate a continuously flowing gas was transferred to the propellant via three body recombination for conversion to propellant kinetic energy. Power absorption by the microwave plasma discharge was in excess of 90 percent over a broad range of pressures. Gas temperatures inferred from gas dynamic equations showed much higher temperatures from microwave heating than from electrothermal heating. Spectroscopic analysis appeared to corroborate the inferred temperatures of one of the gases tested.

  16. New electron beam facility for irradiated plasma facing materials testing in hot cell

    SciTech Connect

    Sakamoto, N.; Kawamura, H.; Akiba, M.

    1995-09-01

    Since plasma facing components such as the first wall and the divertor for the next step fusion reactors are exposed to high heat loads and high energy neutron flux generated by the plasma, it is urgent to develop of plasma facing components which can resist these. Then, we have established electron beam heat facility ({open_quotes}OHBIS{close_quotes}, Oarai Hot-cell electron Beam Irradiating System) at a hot cell in JMTR (Japan Materials Testing Reactor) hot laboratory in order to estimate thermal shock resistivity of plasma facing materials and heat removal capabilities of divertor elements under steady state heating. In this facility, irradiated plasma facing materials (beryllium, carbon based materials and so on) and divertor elements can be treated. This facility consists of an electron beam unit with the maximum beam power of 50kW and the vacuum vessel. The acceleration voltage and the maximum beam current are 30kV (constant) and 1.7A, respectively. The loading time of electron beam is more than 0.1ms. The shape of vacuum vessel is cylindrical, and the mainly dimensions are 500mm in inner diameter, 1000mm in height. The ultimate vacuum of this vessel is 1 x 10{sup -4}Pa. At present, the facility for thermal shock test has been established in a hot cell. And performance estimation on the electron beam is being conducted. Presently, the devices for heat loading tests under steady state will be added to this facility.

  17. Facile synthesis of cuprous oxide nanoparticles by plasma electrochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jiandi; Chen, Qiang; Li, Junshuai; Xiong, Qing; Yue, Guanghui; Zhang, Xianhui; Yang, Size; Huo Liu, Qing

    2016-07-01

    We report on a simple plasma electrochemistry method for synthesizing cuprous oxide (Cu2O) nanoparticles in the presence of glucose. In this system, Ar plasma in contact with a NaCl solution was used as one electrode, and a Cu plate was immersed in the solution as the counter electrode. The plasma-solution interaction produced many reducing and oxidizing species which can react with the Cu ions released from the Cu electrode. Cu2O nanoparticles, with an average diameter of 22 +/- 6 nm, were formed under the competition of reducing and oxidizing reactions in the solution. The results show that the glucose added in the electrolyte strongly influences the properties of the products. Corresponding to high, medium, and low concentrations of glucose, the products were nanoparticles from amorphous Cu2O, polycrystalline Cu2O, and a mixture of polycrystalline Cu2O and Cu2Cl(OH)3, respectively.

  18. Advanced rocket propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Obrien, Charles J.

    1993-01-01

    Existing NASA research contracts are supporting development of advanced reinforced polymer and metal matrix composites for use in liquid rocket engines of the future. Advanced rocket propulsion concepts, such as modular platelet engines, dual-fuel dual-expander engines, and variable mixture ratio engines, require advanced materials and structures to reduce overall vehicle weight as well as address specific propulsion system problems related to elevated operating temperatures, new engine components, and unique operating processes. High performance propulsion systems with improved manufacturability and maintainability are needed for single stage to orbit vehicles and other high performance mission applications. One way to satisfy these needs is to develop a small engine which can be clustered in modules to provide required levels of total thrust. This approach should reduce development schedule and cost requirements by lowering hardware lead times and permitting the use of existing test facilities. Modular engines should also reduce operational costs associated with maintenance and parts inventories.

  19. Advanced rocket propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obrien, Charles J.

    1993-02-01

    Existing NASA research contracts are supporting development of advanced reinforced polymer and metal matrix composites for use in liquid rocket engines of the future. Advanced rocket propulsion concepts, such as modular platelet engines, dual-fuel dual-expander engines, and variable mixture ratio engines, require advanced materials and structures to reduce overall vehicle weight as well as address specific propulsion system problems related to elevated operating temperatures, new engine components, and unique operating processes. High performance propulsion systems with improved manufacturability and maintainability are needed for single stage to orbit vehicles and other high performance mission applications. One way to satisfy these needs is to develop a small engine which can be clustered in modules to provide required levels of total thrust. This approach should reduce development schedule and cost requirements by lowering hardware lead times and permitting the use of existing test facilities. Modular engines should also reduce operational costs associated with maintenance and parts inventories.

  20. Fusion for Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thio, Y. C. Francis; Schmidt, George R.; Santarius, John F.; Turchi, Peter J.; Siemon, Richard E.; Rodgers, Stephen L. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The need for fusion propulsion for interplanetary flights is discussed. For a propulsion system, there are three important system attributes: (1) The absolute amount of energy available, (2) the propellant exhaust velocity, and (3) the jet power per unit mass of the propulsion system (specific power). For efficient and affordable human exploration of the solar system, propellant exhaust velocity in excess of 100 km/s and specific power in excess of 10 kW/kg are required. Chemical combustion obviously cannot meet the requirement in propellant exhaust velocity. Nuclear fission processes typically result in producing energy in the form of heat that needs to be manipulated at temperatures limited by materials to about 2,800 K. Using the fission energy to heat a low atomic weight propellant produces propellant velocity of the order of 10 kinds. Alternatively the fission energy can be converted into electricity that is used to accelerate particles to high exhaust velocity. However, the necessary power conversion and conditioning equipment greatly increases the mass of the propulsion system. Fundamental considerations in waste heat rejection and power conditioning in a fission electric propulsion system place a limit on its jet specific power to the order of about 0.2 kW/kg. If fusion can be developed for propulsion, it appears to have the best of all worlds - it can provide the largest absolute amount of energy, the propellant exhaust velocity (> 100 km/s), and the high specific jet power (> 10 kW/kg). An intermediate step towards fusion propulsion might be a bimodal system in which a fission reactor is used to provide some of the energy to drive a fusion propulsion unit. There are similarities as well as differences between applying fusion to propulsion and to terrestrial electrical power generation. The similarities are the underlying plasma and fusion physics, the enabling component technologies, the computational and the diagnostics capabilities. These physics and

  1. Texas Experimental Tokamak, a plasma research facility: Technical progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Wootton, A.J.

    1995-08-01

    In the year just past, the authors made major progress in understanding turbulence and transport in both core and edge. Development of the capability for turbulence measurements throughout the poloidal cross section and intelligent consideration of the observed asymmetries, played a critical role in this work. In their confinement studies, a limited plasma with strong, H-mode-like characteristics serendipitously appeared and received extensive study though a diverted H-mode remains elusive. In the plasma edge, they appear to be close to isolating a turbulence drive mechanism. These are major advances of benefit to the community at large, and they followed from incremental improvements in diagnostics, in the interpretation of the diagnostics, and in TEXT itself. Their general philosophy is that the understanding of plasma physics must be part of any intelligent fusion program, and that basic experimental research is the most important part of any such program. The work here demonstrates a continuing dedication to the problems of plasma transport which continue to plague the community and are an impediment to the design of future devices. They expect to show here that they approach this problem consistently, systematically, and effectively.

  2. Nuclear concepts/propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Thomas J.

    1993-01-01

    Nuclear thermal and nuclear electric propulsion systems will enable and/or enhance important space exploration missions to the moon and Mars. Current efforts are addressing certain research areas, although NASA and DOE still have much work yet to do. Relative to chemical systems, nuclear thermal propulsion offers the potential of reduced vehicle weight, wider launch windows. and shorter transit times, even without aerobrakes. This would improve crew safety by reducing their exposure to cosmic radiation. Advanced materials and structures will be an important resource in responding to the challenges posed by safety and test facility requirements, environmental concerns, high temperature fuels and the high radiation, hot hydrogen environment within nuclear thermal propulsion systems. Nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) has its own distinct set of advantages relative to chemical systems. These include low resupply mass, the availability of large amounts of onboard electric power for other uses besides propulsion, improved launch windows, and the ability to share technology with surface power systems. Development efforts for NEP reactors will emphasize long life operation of compact designs. This will require designs that provide high fuel burnup and high temperature operation along with personnel and environmental safety.

  3. Eagleworks Laboratories: Advanced Propulsion Physics Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, Harold; March, Paul; Williams, Nehemiah; ONeill, William

    2011-01-01

    NASA/JSC is implementing an advanced propulsion physics laboratory, informally known as "Eagleworks", to pursue propulsion technologies necessary to enable human exploration of the solar system over the next 50 years, and enabling interstellar spaceflight by the end of the century. This work directly supports the "Breakthrough Propulsion" objectives detailed in the NASA OCT TA02 In-space Propulsion Roadmap, and aligns with the #10 Top Technical Challenge identified in the report. Since the work being pursued by this laboratory is applied scientific research in the areas of the quantum vacuum, gravitation, nature of space-time, and other fundamental physical phenomenon, high fidelity testing facilities are needed. The lab will first implement a low-thrust torsion pendulum (<1 uN), and commission the facility with an existing Quantum Vacuum Plasma Thruster. To date, the QVPT line of research has produced data suggesting very high specific impulse coupled with high specific force. If the physics and engineering models can be explored and understood in the lab to allow scaling to power levels pertinent for human spaceflight, 400kW SEP human missions to Mars may become a possibility, and at power levels of 2MW, 1-year transit to Neptune may also be possible. Additionally, the lab is implementing a warp field interferometer that will be able to measure spacetime disturbances down to 150nm. Recent work published by White [1] [2] [3] suggests that it may be possible to engineer spacetime creating conditions similar to what drives the expansion of the cosmos. Although the expected magnitude of the effect would be tiny, it may be a "Chicago pile" moment for this area of physics.

  4. Facilities for technology testing of ITER divertor concepts, models, and prototypes in a plasma environment

    SciTech Connect

    Cohen, S.A.

    1991-12-01

    The exhaust of power and fusion-reaction products from ITER plasma are critical physics and technology issues from performance, safety, and reliability perspectives. Because of inadequate pulse length, fluence, flux, scrape-off layer plasma temperature and density, and other parameters, the present generation of tokamaks, linear plasma devices, or energetic beam facilities are unable to perform adequate technology testing of divertor components, though they are essential contributors to many physics issues such as edge-plasma transport and disruption effects and control. This Technical Requirements Documents presents a description of the capabilities and parameters divertor test facilities should have to perform accelerated life testing on predominantly technological divertor issues such as basic divertor concepts, heat load limits, thermal fatigue, tritium inventory and erosion/redeposition. The cost effectiveness of such divertor technology testing is also discussed.

  5. Electrical conductivity of the thermal dusty plasma under the conditions of a hybrid plasma environment simulation facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhukhovitskii, Dmitry I.; Petrov, Oleg F.; Hyde, Truell W.; Herdrich, Georg; Laufer, Rene; Dropmann, Michael; Matthews, Lorin S.

    2015-05-01

    We discuss the inductively heated plasma generator (IPG) facility in application to the generation of the thermal dusty plasma formed by the positively charged dust particles and the electrons emitted by them. We develop a theoretical model for the calculation of plasma electrical conductivity under typical conditions of the IPG. We show that the electrical conductivity of dusty plasma is defined by collisions with the neutral gas molecules and by the electron number density. The latter is calculated in the approximations of an ideal and strongly coupled particle system and in the regime of weak and strong screening of the particle charge. The maximum attainable electron number density and corresponding maximum plasma electrical conductivity prove to be independent of the particle emissivity. Analysis of available experiments is performed, in particular, of our recent experiment with plasma formed by the combustion products of a propane-air mixture and the CeO2 particles injected into it. A good correlation between the theory and experimental data points to the adequacy of our approach. Our main conclusion is that a level of the electrical conductivity due to the thermal ionization of the dust particles is sufficiently high to compete with that of the potassium-doped plasmas.

  6. Simulation of laser-plasma interaction experiments with gas-filled hohlraums on the LIL facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loiseau, P.; Masson-Laborde, P.-E.; Teychenné, D.; Monteil, M.-C.; Casanova, M.; Marion, D.; Tran, G.; Huser, G.; Rousseaux, C.; Hüller, S.; Héron, A.; Pesme, D.

    2016-03-01

    Laser-plasma interaction is a major issue for achieving ignition in inertial confinement fusion schemes, and still a major concern for the upcoming french laser mégajoule (LMJ) program. In order to mitigate the deleterious effects due to laser-plasma instabilities (LPI), clearly evidenced during the recent US National Ignition Campaign conducted on the National Ignition Facility, we use the LIL facility as a demonstrator for LPI studies. In this article, we focus on preliminary results regarding the propagation of a typical LMJ quadruplet through gas-filled hohlraums. Results on hohlraum energetics will then be discussed.

  7. Fourth-generation plasma immersion ion implantation and deposition facility for hybrid surface modification layer fabrication.

    PubMed

    Wang, Langping; Huang, Lei; Xie, Zhiwen; Wang, Xiaofeng; Tang, Baoyin

    2008-02-01

    The fourth-generation plasma immersion ion implantation and deposition (PIIID) facility for hybrid and batch treatment was built in our laboratory recently. Comparing with our previous PIIID facilities, several novel designs are utilized. Two multicathode pulsed cathodic arc plasma sources are fixed on the chamber wall symmetrically, which can increase the steady working time from 6 h (the single cathode source in our previous facilities) to about 18 h. Meanwhile, the inner diameter of the pulsed cathodic arc plasma source is increased from the previous 80 to 209 mm, thus, large area metal plasma can be obtained by the source. Instead of the simple sample holder in our previous facility, a complex revolution-rotation sample holder composed of 24 shafts, which can rotate around its axis and adjust its position through revolving around the center axis of the vacuum chamber, is fixed in the center of the vacuum chamber. In addition, one magnetron sputtering source is set on the chamber wall instead of the top cover in the previous facility. Because of the above characteristic, the PIIID hybrid process involving ion implantation, vacuum arc, and magnetron sputtering deposition can be acquired without breaking vacuum. In addition, the PIIID batch treatment of cylinderlike components can be finished by installing these components on the rotating shafts on the sample holder. PMID:18315292

  8. Fourth-generation plasma immersion ion implantation and deposition facility for hybrid surface modification layer fabrication

    SciTech Connect

    Wang Langping; Huang Lei; Xie Zhiwen; Wang Xiaofeng; Tang Baoyin

    2008-02-15

    The fourth-generation plasma immersion ion implantation and deposition (PIIID) facility for hybrid and batch treatment was built in our laboratory recently. Comparing with our previous PIIID facilities, several novel designs are utilized. Two multicathode pulsed cathodic arc plasma sources are fixed on the chamber wall symmetrically, which can increase the steady working time from 6 h (the single cathode source in our previous facilities) to about 18 h. Meanwhile, the inner diameter of the pulsed cathodic arc plasma source is increased from the previous 80 to 209 mm, thus, large area metal plasma can be obtained by the source. Instead of the simple sample holder in our previous facility, a complex revolution-rotation sample holder composed of 24 shafts, which can rotate around its axis and adjust its position through revolving around the center axis of the vacuum chamber, is fixed in the center of the vacuum chamber. In addition, one magnetron sputtering source is set on the chamber wall instead of the top cover in the previous facility. Because of the above characteristic, the PIIID hybrid process involving ion implantation, vacuum arc, and magnetron sputtering deposition can be acquired without breaking vacuum. In addition, the PIIID batch treatment of cylinderlike components can be finished by installing these components on the rotating shafts on the sample holder.

  9. Electron beam-plasma interaction experiments with the Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF)

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, S.M.; Lee, M.C.; Moriarty, D.T.; Riddolls, R.J.

    1995-12-31

    The laboratory investigation of electron beam-plasma interactions is motivated by the recent space shuttle experiments. Interesting but puzzling phenomena were observed in the shuttle experiments such as the bulk heating of background ionospheric plasmas by the injected electron beams and the excitation of plasma waves in the frequency range of ELF waves. The plasma machine, the Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF) can generate a large magnetized plasma with the electron plasma frequency greater than the electron gyrofrequency by a factor of 3--5 similar to the plasma condition in the ionosphere. Short pulses of electron beams are injected into the VTF plasmas in order to simulate the beam injection from spacecrafts in the ionosphere. A Langmuir probe installed at a bottom port of VTF monitors the spatial variation of electron beams emitted from LaB6 filaments. An energy analyzer has been used to determine the particle energy distribution in the VTF plasmas. Several mechanisms will be tested as potential causes of the bulk heating of background plasmas by the injected electron beams as seen in the space shuttle experiments. It is speculated that the observed ELF emissions result from the excitation of purely growing modes detected by the space shuttle-borne detectors. Results of the laboratory experiments will be reported to corroborate this speculation.

  10. Focused technology: Nuclear propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Thomas J.

    1993-01-01

    Five viewgraphs are presented that outline the objectives and elements of the Nuclear Propulsion Program, mission considerations, propulsion technologies, and the logic flow path for nuclear propulsion development.

  11. Fusion for Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thio, Y. C. Francis; Schafer, Charles (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    somewhat different from those for terrestrial electrical power generation. Thus fusion schemes that are initially attractive for electrical power generation might not necessarily be attractive also for propulsion and vice versa, though the underlying fusion science and engineering enjoy much overlap. Parallel efforts to develop these qualitatively differently fusion schemes for the two applications could benefit greatly from each other due to the synergy in the underlying physics and engineering. Pulsed approaches to fusion have not been explored to the same degree as steady-state or long-pulse approaches to fusion in the fusion power research program. The concerns early on were several. One was that the pulsed power components might not have the service lifetimes meeting the requirements of a practical power generating plant. Another was that, for many pulsed fusion schemes, it was not clear whether the destruction of hardware per pulse could be minimized or eliminated or recycled to such an extent as to make economical electrical power generation feasible, Significant development of the underlying pulsed power component technologies have occurred in the last two decades because of defense and other energy requirements. The state of development of the pulsed power technologies are sufficiently advanced now to make it compelling to visit or re-visit pulsed fusion approaches for application to propulsion where the cost of energy is not so demanding a factor as in the case of terrestrial power application. For propulsion application, the overall mass of the fusion system is the critical factor. Producing fusion reactions require extreme states of matter. Conceptually, these extreme states of matter are more readily realizable in the pulsed states, at least within appropriate bounds, than in the steady states. Significant saving in system mass may result in such systems. Magnetic fields are effective in confining plasma energy, whereas inertial compression is an effective way

  12. A Summary of the NASA Fusion Propulsion Workshop 2000

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thio, Y. C. Francis; Turchi, Peter J.; Santarius, John F.; Schafer, Charles (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    A NASA Fusion Propulsion Workshop was held on Nov. 8 and 9, 2000 at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama. A total of 43 papers were presented at the Workshop orally or by posters, covering a broad spectrum of issues related to applying fusion to propulsion. The status of fusion research was reported at the Workshop showing the outstanding scientific research that has been accomplished worldwide in the fusion energy research program. The international fusion research community has demonstrated the scientific principles of fusion creating plasmas with conditions for fusion burn with a gain of order unity: 0.25 in Princeton TFTR, 0.65 in the Joint European Torus, and a Q-equivalent of 1.25 in Japan's JT-60. This research has developed an impressive range of physics and technological capabilities that may be applied effectively to the research of possibly new propulsion-oriented fusion schemes. The pertinent physics capabilities include the plasma computational tools, the experimental plasma facilities, the diagnostics techniques, and the theoretical understanding. The enabling technologies include the various plasma heating, acceleration, and the pulsed power technologies.

  13. Isentropic expansion of copper plasma in Mbar pressure range at “Luch” laser facility

    SciTech Connect

    Bel'kov, S. A.; Derkach, V. N.; Garanin, S. G.; Mitrofanov, E. I.; Voronich, I. N.; Fortov, V. E.; Levashov, P. R.; Minakov, D. V.

    2014-01-21

    We present experimental results on thermodynamic properties of dense copper plasma in Mbar pressure range. The laser facility “Luch” with laser intensity 10{sup 14} W/cm{sup 2} is used to compress copper up to ∼8 Mbar by a strong shock wave; subsequent expansion of copper plasma into Al, Ti, Sn allows us to obtain release isentropes of copper by the impedance–matching method. A theoretical analysis and quantum simulations show that in our experiments strongly coupled quantum plasma is generated.

  14. Experimental basis for laser-plasma interactions in ignition hohlraums at the National Ignition Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Froula, D H; Divol, L; London, R A; Berger, R L; Doeppner, T; Meezan, N B; Ralph, J; Ross, J S; Suter, L J; Glenzer, S H

    2009-11-12

    A series of laser plasma interaction experiments at OMEGA (LLE, Rochester) using gas-filled hohlraums shed light on the behavior of stimulated Raman scattering and stimulated Brillouin scattering at various plasma conditions encountered in indirect drive ignition designs. We present detailed experimental results that quantify the density, temperature, and intensity thresholds for both of these instabilities. In addition to controlling plasma parameters, the National Ignition Campaign relies on optical beam smoothing techniques to mitigate backscatter. We show that polarization smoothing is effective at controlling backscatter. These results provide an experimental basis for forthcoming experiments on National Ignition Facility.

  15. Dependence of the source performance on plasma parameters at the BATMAN test facility

    SciTech Connect

    Wimmer, C.; Fantz, U.

    2015-04-08

    The investigation of the dependence of the source performance (high j{sub H{sup −}}, low j{sub e}) for optimum Cs conditions on the plasma parameters at the BATMAN (Bavarian Test MAchine for Negative hydrogen ions) test facility is desirable in order to find key parameters for the operation of the source as well as to deepen the physical understanding. The most relevant source physics takes place in the extended boundary layer, which is the plasma layer with a thickness of several cm in front of the plasma grid: the production of H{sup −}, its transport through the plasma and its extraction, inevitably accompanied by the co-extraction of electrons. Hence, a link of the source performance with the plasma parameters in the extended boundary layer is expected. In order to characterize electron and negative hydrogen ion fluxes in the extended boundary layer, Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy and Langmuir probes have been applied for the measurement of the H{sup −} density and the determination of the plasma density, the plasma potential and the electron temperature, respectively. The plasma potential is of particular importance as it determines the sheath potential profile at the plasma grid: depending on the plasma grid bias relative to the plasma potential, a transition in the plasma sheath from an electron repelling to an electron attracting sheath takes place, influencing strongly the electron fraction of the bias current and thus the amount of co-extracted electrons. Dependencies of the source performance on the determined plasma parameters are presented for the comparison of two source pressures (0.6 Pa, 0.45 Pa) in hydrogen operation. The higher source pressure of 0.6 Pa is a standard point of operation at BATMAN with external magnets, whereas the lower pressure of 0.45 Pa is closer to the ITER requirements (p ≤ 0.3 Pa)

  16. An experimental study of laser-supported plasmas for laser propulsion: Center director's discretionary fund project DFP-82-33

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eskridge, R. H.; Mccay, T. D.; Vanzandt, D. M.

    1987-01-01

    The rudiments of a rocket thruster, which receives its enthalpy from an energy source which is remotely beamed from a laser, is described. An experimental study, now partially complete, is discussed which will eventually provide a detailed understanding of the physics for assessing the feasibility of using hydrogen plasmas for accepting and converting this energy to enthalpy. A plasma ignition scheme which uses a pulsed CO2 laser was develped and the properites of the ignition spark documented, including breakdown intensities in hydrogen. A complete diagnostic system capable of determining plasma temperature and the plasma absorptivitiy for subsequent steady-state absorption of a high power CO2 laser beam are developed and demonstrative use is discussed for the preliminary case study, a two atmosphere laser supported argon plasma.

  17. PLASMA ELECTRODE POCKELS CELL SUBSYSTEM PERFORMANCE IN THE NATIONAL IGNITION FACILITY

    SciTech Connect

    Barbosa, F; Arnold, P; Hinz, A; Zacharias, R; Ollis, C; Fulkerson, E; Mchale, B; Runtal, A; Bishop, C

    2007-07-27

    The Plasma Electrode Pockels Cell (PEPC) subsystem is a key component of the National Ignition Facility, enabling the laser to employ an efficient four-pass main amplifier architecture. PEPC relies on a pulsed power technology to initiate and maintain plasma within the cells and to provide the necessary high voltage bias to the cells nonlinear crystals. Ultimately, nearly 300 high-voltage, high-current pulse generators will be deployed in the NIF in support of PEPC. Production of solid-state plasma pulse generators and thyratron-switched pulse generators is now complete, with the majority of the hardware deployed in the facility. An entire cluster (one-fourth of a complete NIF) has been commissioned and is operating on a routine basis, supporting laser shot operations. Another cluster has been deployed, awaiting final commissioning. Activation and commissioning of new hardware continues to progress in parallel, driving toward a goal of completing the PEPC subsystem in late 2007.

  18. Electromagnetic Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schafer, Charles

    2000-01-01

    The design and development of an Electromagnetic Propulsion is discussed. Specific Electromagnetic Propulsion Topics discussed include: (1) Technology for Pulse Inductive Thruster (PIT), to design, develop, and test of a multirepetition rate pulsed inductive thruster, Solid-State Switch Technology, and Pulse Driver Network and Architecture; (2) Flight Weight Magnet Survey, to determine/develop light weight high performance magnetic materials for potential application Advanced Space Flight Systems as these systems develop; and (3) Magnetic Flux Compression, to enable rapid/robust/reliable omni-planetary space transportation within realistic development and operational costs constraints.

  19. Study of the impurity composition and effective plasma charge in the GOL-3 facility

    SciTech Connect

    Sorokina, N. V. Burdakov, A. V.; Ivanov, I. A.; Polosatkin, S. V.; Postupaev, V. V.; Rovenskikh, A. F.; Shoshin, A. A.

    2015-07-15

    Heating and confinement of plasma in a multimirror magnetic configuration have been studied at the GOL-3 facility (Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk). The experiments are aimed at estimating the densities and charge states of the main impurities in the GOL-3 plasma and determining their contribution to the effective plasma charge. Plasma with a density of ∼10{sup 15} cm{sup −3} was heated by a relativistic electron beam (1 MeV, 8 μs, ⩽200 kJ). At the end of electron beam injection, the plasma temperature reached 1 keV. The densities of impurities were determined using VUV and visible spectroscopy, as well as mass spectrometry of the residual vacuum. To determine the effective plasma charge, the experimental data were compared with the results of numerical simulations of the ionization balance of impurities. It is shown that the effective plasma charge calculated with allowance for the contributions from the main impurities does not exceed Z{sub eff} = 1.8, which cannot explain the experimentally observed improved confinement of low-density plasma.

  20. Determination of the plasma parameters in the PF-3 facility by the methods of X-ray spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Baronova, E. O.; Vinogradov, V. P.; Krauz, V. I.; Myalton, V. V.; Stepanenko, A. M.; Stepanenko, M. M.

    2011-11-15

    NeIX and NeX spectra emitted by the PF-3 high-current (2 MA) plasma focus facility are measured. A numerical model describing the spectral intensities of the emission of helium- and hydrogen-like neon ions from an optically thick plasma is proposed. The electron temperature T{sub e} and electron density n{sub e} in the plasma of the PF-3 facility are determined by comparing the calculated and measured emission spectra of neon.

  1. Z-Pinch Fusion Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miernik, Janie

    2011-01-01

    Fusion-based nuclear propulsion has the potential to enable fast interplanetary transportation. Shorter trips are better for humans in the harmful radiation environment of deep space. Nuclear propulsion and power plants can enable high Ispand payload mass fractions because they require less fuel mass. Fusion energy research has characterized the Z-Pinch dense plasma focus method. (1) Lightning is form of pinched plasma electrical discharge phenomena. (2) Wire array Z-Pinch experiments are commonly studied and nuclear power plant configurations have been proposed. (3) Used in the field of Nuclear Weapons Effects (NWE) testing in the defense industry, nuclear weapon x-rays are simulated through Z-Pinch phenomena.

  2. NEP facilities (LeRC)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vetrone, Robert H.

    The topics are presented in viewgraph form and include the following: the Electric Propulsion Research Building (no. 16) the Electric Power Laboratory (BLDG. 301); the Tank 6 Vacuum Facility; and test facilities for electric propulsion and LeRC.

  3. Infrared Camera Characterization of Bi-Propellant Reaction Control Engines during Auxiliary Propulsion Systems Tests at NASA's White Sands Test Facility in Las Cruces, New Mexico

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holleman, Elizabeth; Sharp, David; Sheller, Richard; Styron, Jason

    2007-01-01

    This paper describes the application of a FUR Systems A40M infrared (IR) digital camera for thermal monitoring of a Liquid Oxygen (LOX) and Ethanol bi-propellant Reaction Control Engine (RCE) during Auxiliary Propulsion System (APS) testing at the National Aeronautics & Space Administration's (NASA) White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) near Las Cruces, New Mexico. Typically, NASA has relied mostly on the use of ThermoCouples (TC) for this type of thermal monitoring due to the variability of constraints required to accurately map rapidly changing temperatures from ambient to glowing hot chamber material. Obtaining accurate real-time temperatures in the JR spectrum is made even more elusive by the changing emissivity of the chamber material as it begins to glow. The parameters evaluated prior to APS testing included: (1) remote operation of the A40M camera using fiber optic Firewire signal sender and receiver units; (2) operation of the camera inside a Pelco explosion proof enclosure with a germanium window; (3) remote analog signal display for real-time monitoring; (4) remote digital data acquisition of the A40M's sensor information using FUR's ThermaCAM Researcher Pro 2.8 software; and (5) overall reliability of the system. An initial characterization report was prepared after the A40M characterization tests at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to document controlled heat source comparisons to calibrated TCs. Summary IR digital data recorded from WSTF's APS testing is included within this document along with findings, lessons learned, and recommendations for further usage as a monitoring tool for the development of rocket engines.

  4. Current-voltage characteristics of a cathodic plasma contactor with discharge chamber for application in electrodynamic tether propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xie, Kan; Martinez, Rafael A.; Williams, John D.

    2014-04-01

    This paper focuses on the net electron-emission current as a function of bias voltage of a plasma source that is being used as the cathodic element in a bare electrodynamic tether system. An analysis is made that enables an understanding of the basic issues determining the current-voltage (C-V) behaviour. This is important for the efficiency of the electrodynamic tether and for low impedance performance without relying on the properties of space plasma for varying orbital altitudes, inclinations, day-night cycles or the position of the plasma contactor relative to the wake of the spacecraft. The cathodic plasma contactor considered has a cylindrical discharge chamber (10 cm in diameter and ˜11 cm in length) and is driven by a hollow cathode. Experiments and a 1D spherical model are both used to study the contactor's C-V curves. The experiments demonstrate how the cathodic contactor would emit electrons into space for anode voltages in the range of 25-40 V, discharge currents in the range of 1-2.5 A, and low xenon gas flows of 2-4 sccm. Plasma properties are measured and compared with (3 A) and without net electron emission. A study of the dependence of relevant parameters found that the C-V behaviour strongly depends on electron temperature, initial ion energy and ion emission current at the contactor exit. However, it depended only weakly on ambient plasma density. The error in the developed model compared with the experimental C-V curves is within 5% at low electron-emission currents (0-2 A). The external ionization processes and high ion production rate caused by the discharge chamber, which dominate the C-V behaviour at electron-emission currents over 2 A, are further highlighted and discussed.

  5. Experiments on the transportation of a magnetized plasma stream in the GOL-3 facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Postupaev, V. V.; Batkin, V. I.; Burdakov, A. V.; Ivanov, I. A.; Kuklin, K. N.; Mekler, K. I.; Rovenskikh, A. F.

    2016-04-01

    The program of the deep upgrade of the GOL-3 multiple-mirror trap is presented. The upgrade is aimed at creating a new GOL-NB open trap located at the GOL-3 site and intended to directly demonstrate the efficiency of using multiple-mirror magnetic cells to improve longitudinal plasma confinement in a gasdynamic open trap. The GOL-NB device will consist of a new central trap, adjoint cells with a multiple-mirror magnetic field, and end tanks (magnetic flux expanders). Plasma in the central trap will be heated by neutral beam injection with a power of up to 1.5 MW and duration of 1 ms. At present, physical experiments directed at developing plasma technologies that are novel for this facility are being carried out using the 6-m-long autonomous part of the GOL-3 solenoid. The aim of this work was to develop a method for filling the central trap with a low-temperature start plasma. Transportation of a plasma stream from an arc source over a distance of 3 m in a uniform magnetic field with an induction of 0.5-4.5 T is demonstrated. In these experiments, the axial plasma density was (1-4) × 1020 m-3 and the mirror ratio varied from 5 to 60. In general, the experiments confirmed the correctness of the adopted decisions for the start plasma source of the GOL-NB device.

  6. Electromagnetic propulsion for spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myers, Roger M.

    1993-01-01

    Three electromagnetic propulsion technologies, solid propellant pulsed plasma thrusters (PPT), magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters, and pulsed inductive thrusters (PIT) have been developed for application to auxiliary and primary spacecraft propulsion. Both the PPT and MPD thrusters have been flown in space, though only PPTs have been used on operational satellites. The performance of operational PPTs is quite poor, providing only about 8 percent efficiency at about 1000 sec specific impulse. Laboratory PPTs yielding 34 percent efficiency at 5170 sec specific impulse have been demonstrated. Laboratory MPD thrusters have been demonstrated with up to 70 percent efficiency and 7000 sec specific impulse. Recent PIT performance measurements using ammonia and hydrazine propellants are extremely encouraging, reaching 50 percent efficiency for specific impulses between 4000 and 8000 sec.

  7. Damages of Carbon-Tungsten Samples under Influence of Deuterium Ions and Dense Plasma Streams within Plasma-Focus Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Gribkov, V. A.; Grebenschikova, Ye. S.; Dubrovsky, A. V.; Makeev, O. N.; Rogozhkin, S. V.; Zaluzhnij, A. G.; Demina, Ye. V.; Kovtun, A. V.; Maslayev, S. A.; Pimenov, V. N.; Malinowski, K.; Skladnik-Sadowska, E.; Paduch, M.; Scholz, M.; Sadowski, M. J.

    2008-03-19

    The paper reports on experimental studies of processes of the interaction of pulsed streams of fast deuterium ions (E{sub i}{approx}100 keV) and dense deuterium plasma (v{sub pl}>10{sup 7} cm/s) with samples made of carbon and tungsten. Experiments were performed in the large PF-1000 plasma-focus facility with the charging energy of 481 kJ and with the pure deuterium filling. Power flux density of plasma/ions streams was q = 10{sup 7}-10{sup 10} W/cm{sup 2} and the pulse length was from 10{sup -7} s to 10{sup -6} s, whereas the duration of heat pulses (due to a secondary plasma at the target's surface) was 10{sup -4} s. The stainless steel, tungsten and carbon-tungsten samples were placed in the zone of their strong melting and evaporation or in the zone without their melting. Each sample was exposed to 1 through 10 discharges, and the irradiated samples were investigated with optical-, electron- and atomic-force-microscopes. The interaction of intense plasma-ion pulses with the carbon-tungsten samples caused the formation of a wave-like relief on sample surfaces, the evident erosion of the sample material, and the creation of numerous micro-cracks. It was also found that about 200-nm-thick layer of the irradiated tungsten sample contained many melted fragments of nm-dimensions. The results might be useful for estimations of tungsten behavior in extreme situations (e.g. disruptions) expected in fusion reactors with magnetic plasma confinement.

  8. Overview of DOE space nuclear propulsion programs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newhouse, Alan R.

    1993-01-01

    An overview of Department of Energy space nuclear propulsion programs is presented in outline and graphic form. DOE's role in the development and safety assurance of space nuclear propulsion is addressed. Testing issues and facilities are discussed along with development needs and recent research activities.

  9. Propulsion controls

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harkney, R. D.

    1980-01-01

    Increased system requirements and functional integration with the aircraft have placed an increased demand on control system capability and reliability. To provide these at an affordable cost and weight and because of the rapid advances in electronic technology, hydromechanical systems are being phased out in favor of digital electronic systems. The transition is expected to be orderly from electronic trimming of hydromechanical controls to full authority digital electronic control. Future propulsion system controls will be highly reliable full authority digital electronic with selected component and circuit redundancy to provide the required safety and reliability. Redundancy may include a complete backup control of a different technology for single engine applications. The propulsion control will be required to communicate rapidly with the various flight and fire control avionics as part of an integrated control concept.

  10. Propulsion materials

    SciTech Connect

    Wall, Edward J.; Sullivan, Rogelio A.; Gibbs, Jerry L.

    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.

  11. Study of nuclear reactions in laser plasmas at future ELI-NP facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanzalone, G.; Altana, C.; Anzalone, A.; Cappuzzello, F.; Cavallaro, M.; Gizzi, L. A.; Labate, L.; Lamia, L.; Mascali, D.; Muoio, A.; Negoita, F.; Odorici, F.; Petrascu, H.; Trifirò, A.; Trimarchi, M.; Tudisco, S.

    2016-05-01

    In this contribution we will present the future activities that our collaboration will carry out at ELI-NP (Extreme Light Infrastructure Nuclear Physics), the new multi peta-watt Laser facility, currently under construction at Bucharest (Romania). The activities concerns the study of nuclear reactions in laser plasmas. In this framework we proposed the construction of a new, general-purpose experimental set-up able to detect and identify neutrons and charged particles.

  12. Studies of the Optical Properties of a Nonequilibrium Plasma in the MKV-4 Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Bogunenko, Yu.D.; Bessarab, A.V.; Bondarenko, G.A.; Dolgoleva, G.V.; Zhmailo, V.A.; Kravchenko, A.G.; Novikova, E.A.; Pinegin, A.V.; Starodubtsev, V.A.; Statsenko, V.P.

    2005-08-15

    Results are presented from experimental and theoretical studies of a glowing plasma object emerging behind a shock front that propagates through the background gas at a pressure of p{sub 0} = 6 torr after laser irradiation of a hollow spherical target. The results of calculations are compared to the experimental results obtained in the MKV-4 device (a component of the Iskra-5 facility)

  13. The Madison plasma dynamo experiment: A facility for studying laboratory plasma astrophysics

    SciTech Connect

    Cooper, C. M.; Brookhart, M.; Collins, C.; Khalzov, I.; Milhone, J.; Nornberg, M.; Weisberg, D.; Forest, C. B.; Wallace, J.; Clark, M.; Flanagan, K.; Li, Y.; Nonn, P.; Ding, W. X.; Whyte, D. G.; Zweibel, E.

    2014-01-15

    The Madison plasma dynamo experiment (MPDX) is a novel, versatile, basic plasma research device designed to investigate flow driven magnetohydrodynamic instabilities and other high-β phenomena with astrophysically relevant parameters. A 3 m diameter vacuum vessel is lined with 36 rings of alternately oriented 4000 G samarium cobalt magnets, which create an axisymmetric multicusp that contains ∼14 m{sup 3} of nearly magnetic field free plasma that is well confined and highly ionized (>50%). At present, 8 lanthanum hexaboride (LaB{sub 6}) cathodes and 10 molybdenum anodes are inserted into the vessel and biased up to 500 V, drawing 40 A each cathode, ionizing a low pressure Ar or He fill gas and heating it. Up to 100 kW of electron cyclotron heating power is planned for additional electron heating. The LaB{sub 6} cathodes are positioned in the magnetized edge to drive toroidal rotation through J × B torques that propagate into the unmagnetized core plasma. Dynamo studies on MPDX require a high magnetic Reynolds number Rm > 1000, and an adjustable fluid Reynolds number 10 < Re < 1000, in the regime where the kinetic energy of the flow exceeds the magnetic energy (M{sub A}{sup 2}=(v/v{sub A}){sup 2}>1). Initial results from MPDX are presented along with a 0-dimensional power and particle balance model to predict the viscosity and resistivity to achieve dynamo action.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  15. Emergent Propulsion Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Fakdi Sencianes, Andres

    2002-01-01

    almost an Engineer (2002 will be my last year as student) and the studies that I'm now ending here, in Girona, are closely related not only with science and technology subjects but with optimization and economic result obtention, too. Huge distances that separate us from everything in space have launched scientists and engineers into a new challenge: How to reach maximum speeds keeping high ratios payload/total spacecraft mass? The key limitation of chemical rockets is that their exhaust velocity is relatively low. Because achieving Earth orbit requires a high velocity change a rocket must carry far more propellant than payload. The answer to all this complications seems to stare in one way: electric propulsion systems and the possibility of taking advantatge of solar winds to thrust our crafts. possible solutions, some of them have been studied for years and now they are not a project but a reality; also newest theories bring us the possibility of dream. Improve of commom propellants, search of new ones: Investigators continued research on use of atomic species as high-energy-density propellants, which could increase the specific impulse of hydrogen/oxygen rockets by 50-150%. Nuclear fission propulsion: Centered in development of reactors for nearterm nuclear electric propulsion aplications. Multimegawatt systems based on vapor core reactors and magnetohydrodynamic power conversion. Engineers investigated new fuels for compact nuclear thermal propulsion systems. What is called plasma state?: When a gas is heated to tens of thousands or millions of degrees, atoms lose their electrons. The result is a "soup" of charged particles, or plasma, made up of negatively charged electrons and positively charged ions. No known material can contain the hot plasma necessary for rocket propulsion, but specially designed magnetic fields can. Plasma rockets: This rockets are not powered by conventional chemical reactions as today's rockets are, but by electrical energy that heats

  16. Advanced Space Fission Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Michael G.; Borowski, Stanley K.

    2010-01-01

    -to-weight ratio. This presentation will discuss potential space fission propulsion options ranging from first generation systems to highly advanced systems. Ongoing research that shows promise for enabling second generation NTP systems with Isp greater than 1000 s will be discussed, as will the potential for liquid, gas, or plasma core systems. Space fission propulsion systems could also be used in conjunction with simple (water-based) propellant depots to enable routine, affordable missions to various destinations (e.g. moon, Mars, asteroids) once in-space infrastructure is sufficiently developed. As fuel and material technologies advance, very high performance Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) systems may also become viable. These systems could enable sophisticated science missions, highly efficient cargo delivery, and human missions to numerous destinations. Commonalities between NTP, fission power systems, and NEP will be discussed.

  17. Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bleeker, Gary A.

    1993-01-01

    An overview of the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion program is presented in graphic form. A program organizational chart is presented that shows the government and industry participants. Enabling technologies and test facilities and approaches are also addressed.

  18. Fusion for Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thio, Y. C. Francis; Schafer, Charles (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    somewhat different from those for terrestrial electrical power generation. Thus fusion schemes that are initially attractive for electrical power generation might not necessarily be attractive also for propulsion and vice versa, though the underlying fusion science and engineering enjoy much overlap. Parallel efforts to develop these qualitatively differently fusion schemes for the two applications could benefit greatly from each other due to the synergy in the underlying physics and engineering. Pulsed approaches to fusion have not been explored to the same degree as steady-state or long-pulse approaches to fusion in the fusion power research program. The concerns early on were several. One was that the pulsed power components might not have the service lifetimes meeting the requirements of a practical power generating plant. Another was that, for many pulsed fusion schemes, it was not clear whether the destruction of hardware per pulse could be minimized or eliminated or recycled to such an extent as to make economical electrical power generation feasible, Significant development of the underlying pulsed power component technologies have occurred in the last two decades because of defense and other energy requirements. The state of development of the pulsed power technologies are sufficiently advanced now to make it compelling to visit or re-visit pulsed fusion approaches for application to propulsion where the cost of energy is not so demanding a factor as in the case of terrestrial power application. For propulsion application, the overall mass of the fusion system is the critical factor. Producing fusion reactions require extreme states of matter. Conceptually, these extreme states of matter are more readily realizable in the pulsed states, at least within appropriate bounds, than in the steady states. Significant saving in system mass may result in such systems. Magnetic fields are effective in confining plasma energy, whereas inertial compression is an effective way

  19. Free radical propulsion concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hawkins, C. E.; Nakanishi, S.

    1981-01-01

    The concept of a free radical propulsion system, utilizing the recombination energy of dissociated low molecular weight gases to produce thrust, is analyzed. The system, operating at a theoretical impulse with hydrogen, as high as 2200 seconds at high thrust to power ratio, is hypothesized to bridge the gap between chemical and electrostatic propulsion capabilities. A comparative methodology is outlined by which characteristics of chemical and electric propulsion for orbit raising mission can be investigated. It is noted that free radicals proposed in rockets previously met with difficulty and complexity in terms of storage requirements; the present study proposes to eliminate the storage requirements by using electric energy to achieve a continuous-flow product of free radicals which are recombined to produce a high velocity propellant. Microwave energy used to dissociate a continuously flowing gas is transferred to the propellant via three-body-recombination for conversion to propellant kinetic energy. Microwave plasma discharge was found in excess of 90 percent over a broad range of pressure in preliminary experiments, and microwave heating compared to electrothermal heating showed much higher temperatures in gasdynamic equations.

  20. NASA's In-Space Propulsion Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les

    2003-01-01

    In order to implement the ambitious science and exploration missions planned over the next several decades, improvements in in-space transportation and propulsion technologies must be achieved. For robotic exploration and science missions, increased efficiencies of future propulsion systems are critical to reduce overall life-cycle costs. Future missions will require 2 to 3 times more total change in velocity over their mission lives than the NASA Solar Electric Technology Application Readiness (NSTAR) demonstration on the Deep Space 1 mission. New opportunities to explore beyond the outer planets and to the stars will require unparalleled technology advancement and innovation. NASA's In-Space Propulsion (ISP) Program is investing in technologies to meet these needs. The ISP technology portfolio includes many advanced propulsion systems. From the next generation ion propulsion system operating in the 5-10 kW range, to advanced cryogenic propulsion, substantial advances in spacecraft propulsion performance are anticipated. Some of the most promising technologies for achieving these goals use the environment of space itself for energy and propulsion and are generically called, propellantless because they do not require on-board fuel to achieve thrust. Propellantless propulsion technologies include scientific innovations such as solar and plasma sails, electrodynamic and momentum transfer tethers, and aeroassist and aerocapture. An overview of both propellantless and propellant-based advanced propulsion technologies, and NASA s plans for advancing them, will be provided.

  1. Laser propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rom, F. E.; Putre, H. A.

    1972-01-01

    The use of an earth-based high-power laser beam to provide energy for earth-launched rocket vehicle is investigated. The laser beam energy is absorbed in an opaque propellant gas and is converted to high-specific-impulse thrust by expanding the heated propellant to space by means of a nozzle. This laser propulsion scheme can produce specific impulses of several thousand seconds. Payload to gross-weight fractions about an order of magnitude higher than those for conventional chemical earth-launched vehicles appear possible. There is a potential for a significant reduction in cost per payload mass in earth orbit.

  2. Design of magnetic field configuration in Space Plasma Environment Research Facility (SPERF)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Qingmei; Wang, Zhibin; Wang, Xiaogang; Xiao, Chijie; Zheng, Jinxing; E, Peng; Nie, Qiuyue; Mao, Aohua

    2015-11-01

    The Space Plasma Environment Research Facility (SPERF) for geospace plasma environment simulation, as a component of Space Environment Simulation Research Infrastructure (SESRI), is designed to investigate fundamental space plasma phenomenon such as magnetic reconnection at magnetopause and magnetotail, as well as energetic particles transport and interaction with waves in magnetosphere, etc. To achieve the scientific and experimental goals, it is essential to realize the magnetic field configuration. In this report, the magnetic field coils, including four flux cores for simulating the magnetosheath field and plasma, a dipole coil for simulating the inner magnetosphere a disturbance coil for simulating magnetic storm distortion, and a group of magnetotail coils for simulating the magnetotail and the near earth neutral line, are designed to imitate the large-scale space structures based on the numerical simulations and the scaling relation of hydromagnetism between the laboratory and the magnetosphere. Three scenarios with operations of various coils to simulate specified processes in space plasmas will also be presented. This work has been supported by National Nature Science Foundation of China (Nos. 11261140326, 11405038).

  3. A New Facility at AFRL for Studying VLF Waves in A Magnetized Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hopkins, Mark; Zechar, Nate; Main, Daniel; Caplinger, James; Kim, Tony; Sotnikov, Vladimir

    2015-11-01

    An experimental facility was designed and built in the Plasma Physics Sensors Laboratory (PPSL) at AFRL for the study of very low frequency (VLF) wave generation and propagation in magnetized plasmas. Using a 6kW magnetron and electromagnets to produce fields up to 350 Gauss, a magnetized plasma will be produced inside a 0.5-m-diameter x 1.0-m-long cylindrical chamber. Langmuir probes will be used to characterize plasma parameters and static electric fields. Electromagnetic and electrostatic field strengths will be measured independently using dipole antennas and B-dot probes to characterize the radiation patterns of novel antenna designs. One application of VLF wave-plasma interaction is radiation remediation for protection of space assets. The in-situ generation of electromagnetic whistler waves in the ionosphere is a promising approach for radiation remediation via enhanced pitch angle diffusion of high-energy electrons. The majority of the radiation generated by conventional VLF antennas is quasi-electrostatic and does not propagate large distances from the source. Antenna designs using parametric wave interaction to generate whistlers may increase the percentage of power radiated into the electromagnetic part of the VLF wave spectrum.

  4. Micro electric propulsion feasibility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Aston, Graeme; Aston, Martha

    1992-01-01

    , minimal detectability and low cost are requirements. All these miniature spacecraft share a common characteristic: because of their on-board electronic equipment they have, by design, solar order 50-100 W. In a relative sense, such spacecraft are power rich when compared to other larger spacecraft. This power rich situation is offset by very tight mass budgets, which make reductions in propellant mass requirements a key issue in meeting overall spacecraft minimum mass goals. In principle, power rich and propellant poor brilliant pebbles class spacecraft can benefit from using high specific impulse electric propulsion to reduce chemical propellant mass requirements. However, at power levels of order 50 W, arcjets cannot be made to function, ion thrusters are too complex and heavy and resistojets have too low a specific impulse. Recognizing these capability limitations in existing electric propulsion technology, the SDIO/IST sponsored the Phase I SBIR Micro Electric Propulsion (MEP) thruster study described in this report. The objective of this study was to examine the feasibility of developing a very simple, low mass and small volume, electric thruster for operation on hydrazine at less than 100 W of input power. The feasibility of developing such a MEP thruster was successfully demonstrated by EPL by the discovery of a novel plasma acceleration process. The sections in this report summarize the approach, test results and major accomplishments of this proof-of-concept program.

  5. Gasdynamic Mirror Fusion Propulsion Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emrich, Bill

    2000-10-01

    A gasdynamic mirror (GDM) fusion propulsion experiment is currently being constructed at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to test the feasibility of this particular type of fusion device. Because of the open magnetic field line configuration of mirror fusion devices, they are particularly well suited for propulsion system applications since they allow for the easy ejection of thrust producing plasma. Currently, the MSFC GDM is constructed in three segments. The vacuum chamber mirror segment, the plasma injector mirror segment, and the main plasma chamber segment. Enough magnets are currently available to construct up to three main plasma chamber segments. The mirror segments are also segmented such that they can be expanded to accommodate new end plugging strategies without requiring the disassembly of the entire mirror segment. The plasma for the experiment is generated in a microwave cavity located between the main magnets and the mirror magnets. Ion heating is accomplished through ambipolar diffusion. The objective of the experiment is to investigate the stability characteristics of the gasdynamic mirror and to map a region of parameter space within which the plasma can be confined in a stable steady state configuration. The mirror ratio, plasma density, and plasma ``b" will be varied over a range of values and measurements subsequently taken to determine the degree of plasma stability.

  6. Gasdynamic Mirror Fusion Propulsion Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Emrich, Bill; Rodgers, Stephen L. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    A gasdynamic mirror (GDM) fusion propulsion experiment is currently being constructed at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to test the feasibility of this particular type of fusion device. Because of the open magnetic field line configuration of mirror fusion devices, they are particularly well suited for propulsion system applications since they allow for the easy ejection of thrust producing plasma. Currently, the MSFC GDM is constructed in three segments. The vacuum chamber mirror segment, the plasma injector mirror segment, and the main plasma chamber segment. Enough magnets are currently available to construct up to three main plasma chamber segments. The mirror segments are also segmented such that they can be expanded to accommodate new end plugging strategies with out requiring the disassembly of the entire mirror segment. The plasma for the experiment is generated in a microwave cavity located between the main magnets and the mirror magnets. Ion heating is accomplished through ambipolar diffusion. The objective of the experiment is to investigate the stability characteristics of the gasdynamic mirror and to map a region of parameter space within which the plasma can be confined in a stable steady state configuration. The mirror ratio, plasma density, and plasma "b" will be varied over a range of values and measurements subsequently taken to determine the degree of plasma stability.

  7. Propulsion Systems Panel deliberations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  8. Laser-Plasma Interactions on NIKE and the Fusion Test Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, Lee; Weaver, James

    2008-11-01

    Recent proposed designs for a Fusion Test Facility (FTF) (Obenchain et al., Phys. Plasmas 13 056320 (2006)) for direct-drive ICF targets for energy applications involve high implosion velocities combined with higher laser irradiances. The use of high irradiances increases the likelihood of deleterious laser plasma instabilities (LPI) but the proposed use of a 248 nm KrF laser to drive these targets is expected to minimize the LPI risk. We examine, using simulation results from NRL's FAST hydrocode, the proposed operational regimes of the FTF in relation to the thresholds for the SRS, SBS, and 2-plasmon instabilities. Simulations are also used to help design and interpret ongoing experiments being conducted at NRL's NIKE facility for the purpose of generating and studying LPI. Target geometries and laser pulseshapes were devised in order to create plasma conditions with long scalelengths and low electron temperatures that allow the growth of parametric instabilities. These simulations include the effects of finite beam angles through the use of raytracing.

  9. Electric vehicle propulsion alternatives

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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. The electrodeless Lorentz force (ELF) thruster experimental facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weber, T. E.; Slough, J. T.; Kirtley, D.

    2012-11-01

    An innovative facility for testing high-power, pulsed plasmoid thrusters has been constructed to develop the electrodeless Lorentz force (ELF) thruster concept. It is equipped with a suite of diagnostics optimized to study the physical processes taking place within ELF and evaluate its propulsive utility including magnetic field, neutral gas, and plasma flux diagnostics, a method to determine energy flow into the plasma from the pulsed power systems, and a new type of ballistic pendulum, which enables thrust to be measured without the need for installing the entire propulsion system on a thrust stand. Variable magnetic fields allow controlled studies of plume expansion in a small-scale experiment and dielectric chamber walls reduce electromagnetic influences on plasma behavior and thruster operation. The unique capabilities of this facility enable novel concept development to take place at greatly reduced cost and increased accessibility compared to testing at large user-facilities.

  11. The electrodeless Lorentz force (ELF) thruster experimental facility.

    PubMed

    Weber, T E; Slough, J T; Kirtley, D

    2012-11-01

    An innovative facility for testing high-power, pulsed plasmoid thrusters has been constructed to develop the electrodeless Lorentz force (ELF) thruster concept. It is equipped with a suite of diagnostics optimized to study the physical processes taking place within ELF and evaluate its propulsive utility including magnetic field, neutral gas, and plasma flux diagnostics, a method to determine energy flow into the plasma from the pulsed power systems, and a new type of ballistic pendulum, which enables thrust to be measured without the need for installing the entire propulsion system on a thrust stand. Variable magnetic fields allow controlled studies of plume expansion in a small-scale experiment and dielectric chamber walls reduce electromagnetic influences on plasma behavior and thruster operation. The unique capabilities of this facility enable novel concept development to take place at greatly reduced cost and increased accessibility compared to testing at large user-facilities. PMID:23206064

  12. Gasdynamic Mirror (GDM) Fusion Propulsion Engine Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    The Gasdynamic Mirror, or GDM, is an example of a magnetic mirror-based fusion propulsion system. Its design is primarily consisting of a long slender solenoid surrounding a vacuum chamber that contains plasma. The bulk of the fusion plasma is confined by magnetic field generated by a series of toroidal-shaped magnets in the center section of the device. the purpose of the GDM Fusion Propulsion Experiment is to confirm the feasibility of the concept and to demonstrate many of the operational characteristics of a full-size plasma can be confined within the desired physical configuration and still reman stable. This image shows an engineer from Propulsion Research Technologies Division at Marshall Space Flight Center inspecting solenoid magnets-A, an integrate part of the Gasdynamic Mirror Fusion Propulsion Engine Experiment.

  13. Pulsed plasmoid electric propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bourque, Robert F.; Parks, Paul B.; Tamano, Teruo

    1990-01-01

    A method of electric propulsion is explored where plasmoids such as spheromaks and field reversed configurations (FRC) are formed and then allowed to expand down a diverging conducting shell. The plasmoids contain a toroidal electric current that provides both heating and a confining magnetic field. They are free to translate because there are no externally supplied magnetic fields that would restrict motion. Image currents in the diverging conducting shell keep the plasmoids from contacting the wall. Because these currents translate relative to the wall, losses due to magnetic flux diffusion into the wall are minimized. During the expansion of the plasma in the diverging cone, both the inductive and thermal plasma energy are converted to directed kinetic energy producing thrust. Specific impulses can be in the 4000 to 20000 sec range with thrusts from 0.1 to 1000 Newtons, depending on available power.

  14. Nuclear Propulsion Project Workshop summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Thomas J.; Clark, John S.; Barnett, John W.

    1991-01-01

    NASA-Lewis has undertaken the planning and coordination of a joint NASA/DOE/DOD Nuclear Propulsion Project which will investigate both nuclear electric and nuclear thermal concepts. The three-agency team has been tasked with the development of an Interagency Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding, as well as the drafting of a statement as to astronaut crew guidelines and values, the assessment of human-rating requirements, the development of an interagency safety and environmental assessment plan, and the development of test facility requirements. Attention is to be given to the role of SP-100 for nuclear-electric propulsion applications.

  15. Analyses of laser-plasma interactions in National Ignition Facility ignition targets

    SciTech Connect

    Hinkel, D. E.; Callahan, D. A.; Langdon, A. B.; Langer, S. H.; Still, C. H.; Williams, E. A.

    2008-05-15

    A capability to analyze laser-plasma interactions (LPI) for ignition targets to be fielded at the National Ignition Facility has been developed and exercised. LPI in these targets may cause direct energy loss (backscatter) or energy redirection (beam spray, deflection, and energy transfer). These analyses range from analyzing the gain exponents for backscatter and beam spray to performing massively parallel, three-dimensional simulations of laser beam propagation in the most promising candidate ignition target designs. In the former assessment, ignition designs are iterated to reduce the gain exponent values. In the latter, beam propagation simulations are performed to analyze the reflectivity and beam transmission of speckled laser beams in the computed plasma profiles of the ignition targets. In current ignition designs, laser reflectivity is calculated to be well below 10%.

  16. Magnetohydrodynamic Augmented Propulsion Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Litchford, Ron J.

    2008-01-01

    Over the past several years, efforts have been under way to design and develop an operationally flexible research facility for investigating the use of cross-field MHD accelerators as a potential thrust augmentation device for thermal propulsion systems. The baseline configuration for this high-power experimental facility utilizes a 1.5-MWe multi-gas arc-heater as a thermal driver for a 2-MWe MHD accelerator, which resides in a large-bore 2-tesla electromagnet. A preliminary design study using NaK seeded nitrogen as the working fluid led to an externally diagonalized segmented MHD channel configuration based on an expendable heat-sink design concept. The current status report includes a review of engineering/design work and performance optimization analyses and summarizes component hardware fabrication and development efforts, preliminary testing results, and recent progress toward full-up assembly and testing

  17. Diagnostics of PF-1000 Facility Operation and Plasma Concentration on the Basis of Spectral Measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Skladnik-Sadowska, E.; Malinowski, K.; Sadowski, M. J.; Scholz, M.; Tsarenko, A. V.

    2006-01-15

    The paper concerns the monitoring of high-current pulse discharges and the determination of the plasma concentration within the dense magnetized plasma by means of optical spectroscopy methods. In experiments with the large PF-1000 facility operated at IPPLM in Warsaw, Poland, attention was paid to the determination of the operational mode and electron concentration under different experimental conditions. To measure the visible radiation (VR) the use was made of the MECHELLE registered 900-spectrometer equipped with the CCD readout. The VR emission, observed at 65 deg. to the z-axis, originated from a part of the electrode surfaces, the collapsing current-sheath layer and the dense plasma pinch-region (40-50 mm from the electrode ends). Considerable differences were found in the optical spectra recorded for so-called 'good shots' and for cases of some failures. Estimates of the electron concentration, which were performed with different spectroscopic techniques, showed that it ranged from 5.56x1018 cm-3 to 4.8x1019 cm-3, depending on experimental conditions. The correlation of the fusion-neutron yield and the plasma density was proved.

  18. Kite propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du Pontavice, Emmanuel; Clanet, Christophe; Quéré, David

    2014-11-01

    Kite propulsion is one way to harvest wind energy. The typical force is 1 kilo Newton per square meter, which means that with kites in the range 100 to 1000 square meters, one is able to propel ships from the trawler to the tanker. Several scientific issues arise when trying to design kites of these sizes. They first need to take off and land autonomously. This leads to the use of kites with an inflatable structure that can be compact when stored but very rigid and light once in the air. For that matter, we studied the behavior of large inflatable structures under static and dynamic load. Then, the kite needs to stay in the air. However, it appears that under certain conditions, kites without active control tend to engage into large oscillations and eventually crash. Through wind tunnel experiments, we try to understand this flight behavior to find the conditions of stability.

  19. Pulsed Plasma Thruster

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Dr. Tom Markusic, a propulsion research engineer at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), adjusts a diagnostic laser while a pulsed plasma thruster (PPT) fires in a vacuum chamber in the background. NASA/MSFC's Propulsion Research Center (PRC) is presently investigating plasma propulsion for potential use on future nuclear-powered spacecraft missions, such as human exploration of Mars.

  20. Nuclear thermal propulsion workshop overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, John S.

    1991-01-01

    NASA is planning an Exploration Technology Program as part of the Space Exploration Initiative to return U.S. astronauts to the moon, conduct intensive robotic exploration of the moon and Mars, and to conduct a piloted mission to Mars by 2019. Nuclear Propulsion is one of the key technology thrust for the human mission to Mars. The workshop addresses NTP (Nuclear Thermal Rocket) technologies with purpose to: assess the state-of-the-art of nuclear propulsion concepts; assess the potential benefits of the concepts for the mission to Mars; identify critical, enabling technologies; lay-out (first order) technology development plans including facility requirements; and estimate the cost of developing these technologies to flight-ready status. The output from the workshop will serve as a data base for nuclear propulsion project planning.

  1. Spectroscopic measurements of the parameters of the helium plasma jets generated in the plasma focus discharge at the PF-3 facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ananyev, S. S.; Dan'ko, S. A.; Myalton, V. V.; Zhuzhunashvili, A. I.; Kalinin, Yu. G.; Krauz, V. I.; Ladygina, M. S.; Marchenko, A. K.

    2016-03-01

    The spectroscopic technique used to measure the parameters of the plasma jets generated in the plasma focus discharge and those of the plasma of the immobile gas through which these jets propagate is described. The time evolution of the intensities and shapes of spectral lines in experiments carried out with helium at the PF-3 facility was studied by means of electron-optical streak cameras. The plasma electron temperature, T ≈ 4-5 eV, was determined from the intensity ratio of two spectral lines, one of which (λ1 = 5876 Å) belongs to neutral helium, while the other (λ2 = 4686 Å), to hydrogen-like helium ions. The plasma density at different time instants was determined from the Stark broadening of these lines in the electric fields of different nature. The plasma density is found to vary from 4 × 1014 to 2 × 1017 cm-3.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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

  3. Solar-Powered Electric Propulsion Systems: Engineering and Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stearns, J. W.; Kerrisk, D. J.

    1966-01-01

    Lightweight, multikilowatt solar power arrays in conjunction with electric propulsion offer potential improvements to space exploration, extending the usefulness of existing launch vehicles to higher-energy missions. Characteristics of solar-powered electric propulsion missions are outlined, and preliminary performance estimates are shown. Spacecraft system engineering is discussed with respect to parametric trade-offs in power and propulsion system design. Relationships between mission performance and propulsion system performance are illustrated. The present state of the art of electric propulsion systems is reviewed and related to the mission requirements identified earlier. The propulsion system design and test requirements for a mission spacecraft are identified and discussed. Although only ion engine systems are currently available, certain plasma propulsion systems offer some advantages in over-all system design. These are identified, and goals are set for plasma-thrustor systems to make them competitive with ion-engine systems for mission applications.

  4. Solar Thermal Propulsion Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Harnessing the Sun's energy through Solar Thermal Propulsion will propel vehicles through space by significantly reducing weight, complexity, and cost while boosting performance over current conventional upper stages. Another solar powered system, solar electric propulsion, demonstrates ion propulsion is suitable for long duration missions. Pictured is an artist's concept of space flight using solar thermal propulsion.

  5. Propulsion Research at the Propulsion Research Center of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blevins, John; Rodgers, Stephen

    2003-01-01

    The Propulsion Research Center of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center is engaged in research activities aimed at providing the bases for fundamental advancement of a range of space propulsion technologies. There are four broad research themes. Advanced chemical propulsion studies focus on the detailed chemistry and transport processes for high-pressure combustion, and on the understanding and control of combustion stability. New high-energy propellant research ranges from theoretical prediction of new propellant properties through experimental characterization propellant performance, material interactions, aging properties, and ignition behavior. Another research area involves advanced nuclear electric propulsion with new robust and lightweight materials and with designs for advanced fuels. Nuclear electric propulsion systems are characterized using simulated nuclear systems, where the non-nuclear power source has the form and power input of a nuclear reactor. This permits detailed testing of nuclear propulsion systems in a non-nuclear environment. In-space propulsion research is focused primarily on high power plasma thruster work. New methods for achieving higher thrust in these devices are being studied theoretically and experimentally. Solar thermal propulsion research is also underway for in-space applications. The fourth of these research areas is advanced energetics. Specific research here includes the containment of ion clouds for extended periods. This is aimed at proving the concept of antimatter trapping and storage for use ultimately in propulsion applications. Another activity in this involves research into lightweight magnetic technology for space propulsion applications.

  6. High-energy x-ray microscopy of laser-fusion plasmas at the National Ignition Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Koch, J.A.; Landen, O.L.; Hammel, B.A.

    1997-08-26

    Multi-keV x-ray microscopy will be an important laser-produced plasma diagnostic at future megajoule facilities such as the National Ignition Facility (NIF).In preparation for the construction of this facility, we have investigated several instrumentation options in detail, and we conclude that near normal incidence single spherical or toroidal crystals may offer the best general solution for high-energy x-raymicroscopy at NIF and at similar large facilities. Kirkpatrick-Baez microscopes using multi-layer mirrors may also be good secondary options, particularly if apertures are used to increase the band-width limited field of view.

  7. Future of space propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Weiss, R.R.; Mackay, D.S. )

    1992-03-01

    A development status-and-prospects evaluation is presented for the range of spacecraft propulsion alternatives under consideration by the USAF's Phillips Laboratory, encompassing technologies broadly characterizable as 'conventional' (solid, storable liquid, cryogenic) and 'nonconventional'. Nonconventional spacecraft propulsion system types include arcjets, magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters, solar thermal propulsion, and nuclear propulsion. The prospects for high energy density materials' application to more coventional propulsion concepts are noted.

  8. Optical Plasma Diagnostics for Magnetic Reconnection Studies in the Versatile Toroidal Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarkowski, David; Fasoli, Ambrogio; Egedal, Jan

    2000-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection studies in a collisionless regime are performed on the MIT Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF) with emphasis on particle dynamics around the magnetic null point. Plasmas are produced in the VTF by electron cyclotron resonance heating and are confined in a magnetic cusp field. Magnetic reconnection is driven by the ExB drift generated by the combination of the cusp field and the toroidal electric field, which is created by electromagnetic induction using an ohmic transformer. The plasmas are composed primarily of singly ionized argon with typical densities and electron temperatures on the order of 10^17 m-3 and 10 eV. The number of available optical lines and the optical thinness of the plasma suggest that optical diagnostics can play a key role on VTF. Passive spectroscopic measurements yield ion temperature and density and electron temperature as a function of time both before and after the reconnection event. The active measurement is a three level laser induced fluorescence (LIF) scheme. A 10 ns pulsed dye laser is used to pump the 611 nm Argon II line. LIF yields the ion distribution function at a single point in time and can be used to study ion evolution during the reconnection event. Measurement techniques and an analysis of first results will be presented.

  9. Results from colliding magnetized plasma jet experiments executed at the Trident laser facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manuel, M. J.-E.; Rasmus, A. M.; Kurnaz, C. C.; Klein, S. R.; Davis, J. S.; Drake, R. P.; Montgomery, D. S.; Hsu, S. C.; Adams, C. S.; Pollock, B. B.

    2015-11-01

    The interaction of high-velocity plasma flows in a background magnetic field has applications in pulsed-power and fusion schemes, as well as astrophysical environments, such as accretion systems and stellar mass ejections into the magnetosphere. Experiments recently executed at the Trident Laser Facility at the Los Alamos National Laboratory investigated the effects of an expanding aluminum plasma flow into a uniform 4.5-Tesla magnetic field created using a solenoid designed and manufactured at the University of Michigan. Opposing-target experiments demonstrate interesting collisional behavior between the two magnetized flows. Preliminary interferometry and Faraday rotation measurements will be presented and discussed. This work is funded by the U.S Department of Energy, through the NNSA-DS and SC-OFES Joint Program in High-Energy-Density Laboratory Plasmas, grant number DE-NA0001840. Support for this work was provided by NASA through Einstein Postdoctoral Fellowship grant number PF3-140111 awarded by the Chandra X-ray Center, which is operated by the Astrophysical Observatory for NASA under contract NAS8-03060.

  10. A Review of Laser Ablation Propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Phipps, Claude; Bohn, Willy; Lippert, Thomas; Sasoh, Akihiro; Schall, Wolfgang; Sinko, John

    2010-10-08

    Laser Ablation Propulsion is a broad field with a wide range of applications. We review the 30-year history of laser ablation propulsion from the transition from earlier pure photon propulsion concepts of Oberth and Saenger through Kantrowitz's original laser ablation propulsion idea to the development of air-breathing 'Lightcraft' and advanced spacecraft propulsion engines. The polymers POM and GAP have played an important role in experiments and liquid ablation fuels show great promise. Some applications use a laser system which is distant from the propelled object, for example, on another spacecraft, the Earth or a planet. Others use a laser that is part of the spacecraft propulsion system on the spacecraft. Propulsion is produced when an intense laser beam strikes a condensed matter surface and produces a vapor or plasma jet. The advantages of this idea are that exhaust velocity of the propulsion engine covers a broader range than is available from chemistry, that it can be varied to meet the instantaneous demands of the particular mission, and that practical realizations give lower mass and greater simplicity for a payload delivery system. We review the underlying theory, buttressed by extensive experimental data. The primary problem in laser space propulsion theory has been the absence of a way to predict thrust and specific impulse over the transition from the vapor to the plasma regimes. We briefly discuss a method for combining two new vapor regime treatments with plasma regime theory, giving a smooth transition from one regime to the other. We conclude with a section on future directions.

  11. Laser Ablation Propulsion A Study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irfan, Sayed A.; Ugalatad, Akshata C.

    Laser Ablation Propulsion (LAP) will serve as an alternative propulsion system for development of microthrusters. The principle of LAP is that when a laser (pulsed or continuous wave) with sufficient energy (more than the vaporization threshold energy of material) is incident on material, ablation or vaporization takes place which leads to the generation of plasma. The generated plasma has the property to move away from the material hence pressure is generated which leads to the generation of thrust. Nowadays nano satellites are very common in different space and defence applications. It is important to build micro thruster which are useful for orienting and re-positioning small aircraft (like nano satellites) above the atmosphere. modelling of LAP using MATLAB and Mathematica. Schematic is made for the suitable optical configuration of LAP. Practical experiments with shadowgraphy and self emission techniques and the results obtained are analysed taking poly (vinyl-chloride) (PVC) as propellant to study the

  12. Laser Diagnostics for Spacecraft Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacDonald-Tenenbaum, Natalia

    2015-09-01

    Over the past several decades, a variety of laser diagnostic techniques have been developed and applied to diagnose spacecraft propulsion devices. Laser diagnostics are inherently non-intrusive, and provide the opportunity to probe properties such as temperature, concentration or number density of plume species, and plume velocities in the harsh environments of combustion and plasma discharges. This presentation provides an overview of laser diagnostic capabilities for spacecraft propulsion devices such as small monopropellant thrusters, arcjets, ion engines and Hall thrusters. Particular emphasis is placed on recent developments for time-resolved ion velocity measurements in Hall thruster plumes. Results are presented for one such diagnostic method, a time-synchronized CW-laser induced fluorescence (LIF) technique based on a sample hold scheme. This method is capable of correlating measured fluorescence excitation lineshapes with high frequency current fluctuations in the plasma discharge of a Hall thruster and is tolerant of natural drifting in the current oscillation frequency.

  13. Electromagnetic propulsion for spacecraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myers, Roger M.

    1993-09-01

    Three electromagnetic propulsion technologies, solid propellant pulsed plasma thrusters (PPT), magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters, and pulsed inductive thrusters (PIT), were developed for application to auxiliary and primary spacecraft propulsion. Both the PPT and MPD thrusters were flown in space, though only PPT's were used on operational satellites. The performance of operational PPT's is quite poor, providing only approximately 8 percent efficiency at approximately 1000 s specific impulse. However, laboratory PPT's yielding 34 percent efficiency at 2000 s specific impulse were extensively tested, and peak performance levels of 53 percent efficiency at 5170 s specific impulse were demonstrated. MPD thrusters were flown as experiments on the Japanese MS-T4 spacecraft and the Space Shuttle and were qualified for a flight in 1994. The flight MPD thrusters were pulsed, with a peak performance of 22 percent efficiency at 2500 s specific impulse using ammonia propellant. Laboratory MPD thrusters were demonstrated with up to 70 percent efficiency and 700 s specific impulse using lithium propellant. While the PIT thruster has never been flown, recent performance measurements using ammonia and hydrazine propellants are extremely encouraging, reaching 50 percent efficiency for specific impulses between 4000 to 8000 s. The fundamental operating principles, performance measurements, and system level design for the three types of electromagnetic thrusters are reviewed, and available data on flight tests are discussed for the PPT and MPD thrusters.

  14. Electromagnetic propulsion for spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myers, Roger M.

    1993-01-01

    Three electromagnetic propulsion technologies, solid propellant pulsed plasma thrusters (PPT), magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters, and pulsed inductive thrusters (PIT), were developed for application to auxiliary and primary spacecraft propulsion. Both the PPT and MPD thrusters were flown in space, though only PPT's were used on operational satellites. The performance of operational PPT's is quite poor, providing only approximately 8 percent efficiency at approximately 1000 s specific impulse. However, laboratory PPT's yielding 34 percent efficiency at 2000 s specific impulse were extensively tested, and peak performance levels of 53 percent efficiency at 5170 s specific impulse were demonstrated. MPD thrusters were flown as experiments on the Japanese MS-T4 spacecraft and the Space Shuttle and were qualified for a flight in 1994. The flight MPD thrusters were pulsed, with a peak performance of 22 percent efficiency at 2500 s specific impulse using ammonia propellant. Laboratory MPD thrusters were demonstrated with up to 70 percent efficiency and 700 s specific impulse using lithium propellant. While the PIT thruster has never been flown, recent performance measurements using ammonia and hydrazine propellants are extremely encouraging, reaching 50 percent efficiency for specific impulses between 4000 to 8000 s. The fundamental operating principles, performance measurements, and system level design for the three types of electromagnetic thrusters are reviewed, and available data on flight tests are discussed for the PPT and MPD thrusters.

  15. Electrostatic propulsion using C60 molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leifer, Stephanie D.; Rapp, Donald; Saunders, Winston A.

    1992-01-01

    An evaluation is made of the potential benefits of C60 molecules as a basis for ion propulsion. Because C60 is storable, its use may result in a larger usable propellant fraction than previous methods of cluster ion propulsion. C60 may also relax such engineering constraints as grid spacing, which restrict the performance of noble gas ion propulsion. The behavior of C60 in a plasma discharge environment, as well as various electron impact cross sections of the molecule, will greatly afftect the feasibility of the concept.

  16. In-Tube Laser Propulsion Configurations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Sukyum; Urabe, Naohide; Torikai, Hiroyuki; Sasoh, Akihiro; Jeung, In-Seuck

    2003-05-01

    Laser propulsion research activities at Shock Wave Research Center, Institute of Fluid Science, Tohoku University, focus themselves on `in-tube' configurations. The thrust is enhanced in a confined acceleration region. Other advantages are obtained from the viewpoint of practical application. We are now investigating various extensions of the Laser-driven In-Tube Accelerator (LITA) (1) ablative in-tube propulsion, (2) thrust enhancement using applied magnetic field, (3) plasma pre-generation using a pilot laser irradiation, (4) demonstration of supersonic laser propulsion. The progresses in these subjects are presented.

  17. US in-space electric propulsion experiments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stocky, John F.; Vondra, Robert; Sutton, Alan M.

    1995-01-01

    Arcjet and ion propulsion offer potentially significant reductions in the mass of propulsion systems required for Earth orbiting satellites and planetary spacecraft. For this reason, they have been the subject of validation and demonstration programs. After examining the benefits of electric propulsion, this paper discusses the technology base for the Electric Propulsion Space Experiment (ESEX) arcjet demonstration experiment and the NASA Technology Application Readiness (NSTAR) ion propulsion validation program. As part of the Advanced Research Global Observation Spacecraft (ARGOS), ESEX will perform ten 15-min firings of a 30-kW ammonia arcjet. NASA's validation program, NSTAR, consists of two major elements: a ground-test element and an in-space experiment. The ground element will validate the life, integrability, and performance of low-power ion propulsion. The in-space element will demonstrate the feasibility of integrating and flying an ion propulsion system. The experiment will measure the interactions among the ion propulsion system, the host spacecraft, and the surrounding space plasma. It will provide a quantitative assessment of the ability of ground testing to replicate the in-space performance ion thrusters. By involving industry in NSTAR, a commercial source for this technology will be ensured. Furthermore, the successful completion of the NSTAR validation program will stimulate commercial and government (both civilian and military) uses of this technology.

  18. Magnetohydrodynamic Augmented Propulsion Experiment: I. Performance Analysis and Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Litchford, R. J.; Cole, J. W.; Lineberry, J. T.; Chapman, J. N.; Schmidt, H. J.; Lineberry, C. W.

    2003-01-01

    The performance of conventional thermal propulsion systems is fundamentally constrained by the specific energy limitations associated with chemical fuels and the thermal limits of available materials. Electromagnetic thrust augmentation represents one intriguing possibility for improving the fuel composition of thermal propulsion systems, thereby increasing overall specific energy characteristics; however, realization of such a system requires an extremely high-energy-density electrical power source as well as an efficient plasma acceleration device. This Technical Publication describes the development of an experimental research facility for investigating the use of cross-field magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) accelerators as a possible thrust augmentation device for thermal propulsion systems. In this experiment,a 1.5-MW(sub e) Aerotherm arc heater is used to drive a 2-MW(sub e) MHD accelerator. The heatsink MHD accelerator is configured as an externally diagonalized, segmented channel, which is inserted into a large-bore, 2-T electromagnet. The performance analysis and engineering design of the flow path are described as well as the parameter measurements and flow diagnostics planned for the initial series of test runs.

  19. OEPSS operationally efficient propulsion system study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    A final report on the Operationally Efficient Propulsion System Study (OEPSS) is presented. A review of Launch Site Operations, OEPSS objectives, operations support structure, OEPSS Concerns List, and scope of OEPSS are summarized, along with goals of OEPSS technologies, and operations technology levels. Air-augmented ejector/rocket, flash boiling tank pressurization technology, and advanced LH2 turbopump are described. Launch facilities, operations-driven propulsion system architecture, integrated booster propulsion module, turbopump operating conditions, and payload capability using integrated engine elements are addressed among other topics.

  20. Study of the interrelation between the electrotechnical parameters of the plasma focus discharge circuit and the plasma compression dynamics on the PF-3 and PF-1000 facilities

    SciTech Connect

    Mitrofanov, K. N.; Krauz, V. I. E-mail: vkrauz@yandex.ru; Grabovski, E. V.; Myalton, V. V.; Vinogradov, V. P.; Paduch, M.; Scholz, M.; Karpiński, L.

    2015-05-15

    The main stages of the plasma current sheath (PCS) dynamics on two plasma focus (PF) facilities with different geometries of the electrode system, PF-3 (Filippov type) and PF-1000 (Mather type), were studied by analyzing the results of the current and voltage measurements. Some dynamic characteristics, such as the PCS velocity in the acceleration phase in the Mather-type facility (PF-1000), the moment at which the PCS reaches the anode end, and the plasma velocity in the radial stage of plasma compression in the PF-3 Filippov-type facility, were determined from the time dependence of the inductance of the discharge circuit with a dynamic plasma load. The energy characteristics of the discharge circuit of the compressing PCS were studied for different working gases (deuterium, argon, and neon) at initial pressures of 1.5–3 Torr in discharges with energies of 0.3–0.6 MJ. In experiments with deuterium, correlation between the neutron yield and the electromagnetic energy deposited directly in the compressed PCS was investigated.

  1. Diagnosing Pulsed Power Produced Plasmas with X-ray Thomson Scattering at the Nevada Terawatt Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valenzuela, J. C.; Krauland, C.; Mariscal, D.; Krasheninnikov, I.; Beg, F. N.; Wiewior, P.; Covington, A.; Presura, R.; Ma, T.; Niemann, C.; Mabey, P.; Gregori, G.

    2015-11-01

    We present experimental results on X-ray Thomson scattering (XRTS) at the Nevada Terawatt Facility (NTF) to study current driven plasmas. Using the Leopard laser, ~ 30 J and pulse width of 0.8 ns, we generated He- α emission (4.75 keV) from a thin Ti foil. Initial parameter scans showed that the optimum intensity is ~ 1015W/cm2 with a foil thickness of 2 μm for forward X-ray production. Bandwidth measurements of the source, using a HAPG crystal in the Von Hamos configuration, were found to be ΔE/E ~ 0.01. Giving the scattering angle of our experimental setup of 129 degrees and X-ray probing energy, the non-collective regime was accessed. The ZEBRA load was a 3 mm wide, 500 μm thick, and 10 mm long graphite foil, placed at one of the six current return posts. Estimates of the plasma temperature, density and ionization state were made by fitting the scattering spectra with dynamic structure factor calculations based on the random phase approximation for the treatment of charged particle coupling. The work was partially funded by the Department of Energy grant number DE-NA0001995.

  2. Gasdynamic mirror fusion propulsion experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emrich, William J.

    2001-02-01

    Nuclear fusion appears to be the most promising concept for producing extremely high specific impulse rocket engines. One particular fusion concept which seems to be particularly well suited for fusion propulsion applications is the gasdynamic mirror (GDM). This device would operate at much higher plasma densities and with much larger L/D ratios than previous mirror machines. Several advantages accrue from such a design. First, the high L/D ratio minimizes to a large extent certain magnetic curvature effects which lead to plasma instabilities causing a loss of plasma confinement. Second, the high plasma density will result in the plasma behaving much more like a conventional fluid with a mean free path shorter than the length of the device. This characteristic helps reduce problems associated with ``loss cone'' microinstabilities. An experimental GDM device is currently being constructed at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center to provide an initial assessment of the feasibility of this type of propulsion system. Initial experiments are expected to commence in the late fall of 2000. .

  3. Gasdynamic Mirror Fusion Propulsion Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Emrich, William J., Jr.; Rodgers, Stephen L. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Nuclear fusion appears to be the most promising concept for producing extremely high specific impulse rocket engines. One particular fusion concept which seems to be particularly well suited for fusion propulsion applications is the gasdynamic mirror (GDM). This device would operate at much higher plasma densities and with much larger LD ratios than previous mirror machines. Several advantages accrue from such a design. First, the high LA:) ratio minimizes to a large extent certain magnetic curvature effects which lead to plasma instabilities causing a loss of plasma confinement. Second, the high plasma density will result in the plasma behaving much more Re a conventional fluid with a mean free path shorter than the length of the device. This characteristic helps reduce problems associated with "loss cone" microinstabilities. An experimental GDM device is currently being constructed at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center to provide an initial assessment of the feasibility of this type of propulsion system. Initial experiments are expected to commence in the late fall of 2000.

  4. TROPIX: A solar electric propulsion flight experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hickman, J. Mark; Hillard, G. Barry; Oleson, Steven R.

    1993-01-01

    The Transfer Orbit Plasma Interaction Experiment (TROPIX) is a proposed scientific experiment and flight demonstration of a solar electric propulsion vehicle. Its mission goals are to significantly increase our knowledge of Earth's magnetosphere and its associated plasma environment and to demonstrate an operational solar electric upper stage (SEUS) for small launch vehicles. The scientific investigations and flight demonstration technology experiments are uniquely interrelated because of the spacecraft's interaction with the surrounding environment. The data obtained will complement previous studies of the Earth's magnetosphere and space plasma environment by supplying the knowledge necessary to attain the strategic objectives of the NASA Office of Space Science. This first operational use of a primary ion propulsion vehicle, designed to withstand the harsh environments from low Earth orbit to geosynchronous Earth orbit, may lead to the development of a new class of electric propulsion upper stages or space-based transfer vehicles and may improve future spacecraft design and safety.

  5. OTV Propulsion Issues

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    The statistical technology needs of aero-assist maneuvering, propulsion, and usage of cryogenic fluids were presented. Industry panels discussed the servicing of reusable space based vehicles and propulsion-vehicle interation.

  6. Beamed energy propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shoji, James M.

    1992-01-01

    Beamed energy concepts offer an alternative for an advanced propulsion system. The use of a remote power source reduces the weight of the propulsion system in flight and this, combined with the high performance, provides significant payload gains. Within the context of this study's baseline scenario, two beamed energy propulsion concepts are potentially attractive: solar thermal propulsion and laser thermal propulsion. The conceived beamed energy propulsion devices generally provide low thrust (tens of pounds to hundreds of pounds); therefore, they are typically suggested for cargo transportation. For the baseline scenario, these propulsion system can provide propulsion between the following nodes: (1) low Earth orbit to geosynchronous Earth orbit; (2) low Earth orbit to low lunar orbit; (3) low lunar orbit to low Mars orbit--only solar thermal; and (4) lunar surface to low lunar orbit--only laser thermal.

  7. Propulsion of nanowire diodes.

    PubMed

    Calvo-Marzal, Percy; Sattayasamitsathit, Sirilak; Balasubramanian, Shankar; Windmiller, Joshua R; Dao, Cuong; Wang, Joseph

    2010-03-14

    The propulsion of semiconductor diode nanowires under external AC electric field is described. Such fuel-free electric field-induced nanowire propulsion offers considerable promise for diverse technological applications. PMID:20177595

  8. Hybrid rocket propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holzman, Allen L.

    1993-01-01

    Topics addressed are: (1) comparison of the theoretical impulses; (2) comparison of the density-specific impulses; (3) general propulsion system features comparison; (4) hybrid systems, booster applications; and (5) hybrid systems, upper stage propulsion applications.

  9. Electrodynamic Tether Propulsion System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This picture is an artist's concept of an orbiting vehicle using the Electrodynamic Tethers Propulsion System. Relatively short electrodynamic tethers can use solar power to push against a planetary magnetic field to achieve propulsion without the expenditure of propellant.

  10. A review of electric propulsion systems and mission applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vondra, R.; Nock, K.; Jones, R.

    1984-01-01

    The satisfaction of growing demands for access to space resources will require new developments related to advanced propulsion and power technologies. A key technology in this context is concerned with the utilization of electric propulsion. A brief review of the current state of development of electric propulsion systems on an international basis is provided, taking into account advances in the USSR, the U.S., Japan, West Germany, China and Brazil. The present investigation, however, is mainly concerned with the U.S. program. The three basic types of electric thrusters are considered along with the intrinsic differences between chemical and electric propulsion, the resistojet, the augmented hydrazine thruster, the arcjet, the ion auxiliary propulsion system flight test, the pulsed plasma thruster, magnetoplasmadynamic propulsion, a pulsed inductive thruster, and rail accelerators. Attention is also given to the applications of electric propulsion.

  11. NASA spacecraft propulsion activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curran, Francis M.; Tyburski, Timothy E.; Sankovic, John M.; Jankovsky, Robert S.; Reed, Brian D.; Schneider, Steven J.; Hamley, John A.; Patterson, Michael J.; Sovey, James S.

    1997-01-01

    The NASA's activities in the development of spacecraft propulsion systems are reviewed, with emphasis on program directions and recent progress made in this domain. The recent trends towards the use of smaller spacecraft and launch vehicles call for new onboard propulsion systems. The NASA's efforts are conducted within the framework of the onboard propulsion program. The research and development work carried out in relation to the different propulsion system technologies are considered: electromagnetic systems; electrostatic systems; electrothermal systems; bipropellant systems; and monopropellant systems.

  12. Antiproton Driven Fusion Propulsion System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, Ricky; Kammash, Terry; Gallimore, Alec

    A fusion propulsion system in which the plasma is heated to thermonuclear temperature by antiproton annihilation reactions is proposed. It makes use of an open-ended magnetic confinement device known as the gasdynamic mirror (GDM) in which the plasma - such as deuteriumtritium (DT) - is confined long enough to be heated before being ejected through one mirror (serving as a magnetic nozzle) to produce thrust. The heating process is based on recent theoretical and experimental physics research which revealed that "at rest" annihilation of antiprotons in uranium-238 targets causes fission at nearly 100% efficiency. Thus, heating in the proposed system can be achieved by inserting U238 targets (in the form of foils or atomic beams) in the proper position and then striking them with antiprotons released from a trap attached to one end of the asymmetric GDM device. The resulting fission fragments and annihilation products, namely pions and muons, are highly ionizing and energetic and could readily heat the background plasma to very high temperatures leading to its ignition. We have examined in detail the various phenomena that underlie the operation of such a propulsion system, ranging from the propagation of antiprotons in plasma, to the confinement of the various species by the mirror-type magnetic field, to the role of ambipolar potential in accelerating the plasma, as well as other relevant processes, and have concluded that the proposed system is capable of producing very impressive propulsive capabilities such as specific impulse and thrust. When applied to a round trip mission to Mars, as an example, we find that it can be accomplished in about 59 days and requires less than 4 micrograms of antiprotons. Although roughly nanograms of antiprotons are currently produced annually, it is expected that hundreds of milligrams or possibly several grams will be produced annually in the next decade or so when Mars missions might be contemplated.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schulze, Norman R.; Roth, J. Reece

    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.

  14. European auxiliary propulsion, 1972

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holcomb, L. B.

    1972-01-01

    The chemical and electric auxiliary propulsion technology of the United Kingdom, France, and West Germany is discussed in detail, and the propulsion technology achievements of Italy, India, Japan, and Russia are reviewed. A comparison is presented of Shell 405 catalyst and a European spontaneous hydrazine catalyst called CNESRO I. Finally, conclusions are drawn regarding future trends in European auxiliary propulsion technology development.

  15. Directions in propulsion control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lorenzo, Carl F.

    1990-01-01

    Discussed here is research at NASA Lewis in the area of propulsion controls as driven by trends in advanced aircraft. The objective of the Lewis program is to develop the technology for advanced reliable propulsion control systems and to integrate the propulsion control with the flight control for optimal full-system control.

  16. Electric propulsion system technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brophy, John R.; Garner, Charles E.; Goodfellow, Keith D.

    1991-01-01

    The work performed on the Ion Propulsion System Technology Task in FY90 is described. The objectives of this work fall under two broad categories. The first of these deals with issues associated with the application of xenon ion thrusters for primary propulsion of planetary spacecraft, and the second with the investigation of technologies which will facilitate the development of larger, higher power ion thrusters to support more advanced mission applications. Most of the effort was devoted to investigation of the critical issues associated with the use of ion thrusters for planetary spacecraft. These issues may be succinctly referred to as life time, system integration, and throttling. Chief among these is the engine life time. If the engines do not have sufficient life to perform the missions of interest, then the other issues become unimportant. Ion engine life time was investigated through two experimental programs: an investigation into the reduction of ion engine internal sputter erosion through the addition of small quantities of nitrogen, and a long duration cathode life test. In addition, a literature review and analysis of accelerator grid erosion were performed. The nitrogen addition tests indicated that the addition of between 0.5 and 1.0 percent of nitrogen by mass to the xenon propellant results in a reduction in the sputter erosion of discharge chamber components by a factor of between 20 and 50, with negligible reduction in thruster performance. The long duration test of a 6.35-mm dia. xenon hollow cathode is still in progress, and has accumulated more than 4,000 hours of operation at an emission current of 25 A at the time of this writing. One of the major system integration issues concerns possible interactions of the ion thruster produced charge exchange plasma with the spacecraft. A computer model originally developed to describe the behavior of mercury ion thruster charge exchange plasmas was resurrected and modified for xenon propellant. This

  17. Identification of propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merrill, Walter; Guo, Ten-Huei; Duyar, Ahmet

    1991-01-01

    This paper presents a tutorial on the use of model identification techniques for the identification of propulsion system models. These models are important for control design, simulation, parameter estimation, and fault detection. Propulsion system identification is defined in the context of the classical description of identification as a four step process that is unique because of special considerations of data and error sources. Propulsion system models are described along with the dependence of system operation on the environment. Propulsion system simulation approaches are discussed as well as approaches to propulsion system identification with examples for both air breathing and rocket systems.

  18. A development approach for nuclear thermal propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Buden, D.

    1992-09-01

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

  19. Electromagnetic thrusters for spacecraft prime propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rudolph, L. K.; King, D. Q.

    1984-01-01

    The benefits of electromagnetic propulsion systems for the next generation of US spacecraft are discussed. Attention is given to magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) and arc jet thrusters, which form a subset of a larger group of electromagnetic propulsion systems including pulsed plasma thrusters, Hall accelerators, and electromagnetic launchers. Mission/system study results acquired over the last twenty years suggest that for future prime propulsion applications high-power self-field MPD thrusters and low-power arc jets have the greatest potential of all electromagnetic thruster systems. Some of the benefits they are expected to provide include major reductions in required launch mass compared to chemical propulsion systems (particularly in geostationary orbit transfer) and lower life-cycle costs (almost 50 percent less). Detailed schematic drawings are provided which describe some possible configurations for the various systems.

  20. Study of energetic particle dynamics in Harbin Dipole eXperiment (HDX) on Space Plasma Environment Research Facility (SPERF)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhibin, W.; Xiao, Q.; Wang, X.; Xiao, C.; Zheng, J.; E, P.; Ji, H.; Ding, W.; Lu, Q.; Ren, Y.; Mao, A.

    2015-12-01

    Zhibin Wang1, Qingmei Xiao1, Xiaogang Wang1, Chijie Xiao2, Jinxing Zheng3, Peng E1, Hantao Ji1,5, Weixing Ding4, Quaming Lu6, Y. Ren1,5, Aohua Mao11 Laboratory for Space Environment and Physical Sciences, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China 150001 2 State Key Lab of Nuclear Physics & Technology, and School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing, China 100871 3ASIPP, Hefei, China, 230031 4University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, 90095 5Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08543 6University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China, 230026 A new terrella device for laboratory studies of space physics relevant to the inner magnetospheric plasmas, Harbin Dipole eXperiment (HDX), is scheduled to be built at Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), China. HDX is one of two essential parts of Space Plasma Environment Research Facility (SPERF), which is a major national research facility for space physics studies. HDX is designed to provide a laboratory experimental platform to reproduce the earth's magnetospheric structure for investigations on the mechanism of acceleration/loss and wave-particle interaction of energetic particles in radiation belt, and on the influence of magnetic storms on the inner magnetosphere. It can be operated together with Harbin Reconnection eXperiment (HRX), which is another part of SPERF, to study the fundamental processes during interactions between solar wind and Earth's magnetosphere. In this presentation, the scientific goals and experimental plans for HDX, together with the means applied to generate the plasma with desired parameters, including multiple plasma sources and different kinds of coils with specific functions, as well as advanced diagnostics designed to be equipped to the facility for multi-functions, are reviewed. Three typical scenarios of HDX with operations of various coils and plasma sources to study specific physical processes in space plasmas will also be

  1. NASA electric propulsion technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berkopec, F. D.; Stone, J. R.; Aston, G.

    1985-01-01

    It is pointed out that the requirements for future electric propulsion cover an extremely large range of technical and programmatic characteristics. A NASA program is to provide options for the many potential mission applications, taking into account work on electrostatic, electromagnetic, and electrothermal propulsion systems. The present paper is concerned with developments regarding the three classes of electric propulsion. Studies concerning electrostatic propulsion are concerned with ion propulsion for primary propulsion for planetary and earth-orbit transfer vehicles, stationkeeping for geosynchronous spacecraft, and ion thruster systems. In connection with investigations related to electromagnetic propulsion, attention is given to electromagnetic launchers, the Hall current thruster, and magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters. In a discussion of electrothermal developments, space station resistojets are considered along with high performance resistojets, arcjets, and a laser thruster.

  2. Deployment, Commissioning and Operation of Plasma Electrode Pockels Cells in the National Ignition Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Arnold, P A; Ollis, C W; Hinz, A; Robb, C; Primdahl, K A; Watson, J J; O'Brien, M D; Funkhouser, W G; Biltoft, P J; Shelton, R T; Tapley, W C; DeHope, W J

    2003-12-01

    Large aperture Plasma Electrode Pockels Cells (PEPCs) are an enabling technology in the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The Pockels cells allow the NIF laser to take advantage of multipass main amplifier architecture, thus reducing costs and physical size of the facility. Each Pockels cell comprises four 40-cm x 40-cm apertures arranged in a 4 x 1 array. The combination of the Pockels cell and a thin-film polarizer, also configured in a 4 x 1 array, forms an optical switch that is key to achieving the required multi-pass operation. The operation of the PEPC is a follows: Before the arrival of the laser pulse, optically transparent, low-density helium plasmas are initiated to serve as electrodes for the KDP crystals mounted in the Pockels cell. During beam propagation through the main laser cavity a longitudinal electric field is impressed on the electro-optic crystals. The polarization of the propagating beams is rotated by 90{sup o} on each of two passes, thereby allowing the beam to be trapped in the main laser amplifier cavity for a total of four passes before being switched out into the cavity spatial filter. The physics aspects of the PEPC are well documented. Consequently, this paper will emphasize the PEPC subsystem in the context of its role and relevance within the broader NIF laser system, provide a view of the complexity of the subsystem and give an overview of PEPC's interactions with other elements of NIF, including interfaces to the Beamline Infrastructure, the NIF Timing Subsystem, and the Integrated Computer Control System (ICCS); along with dependence on the Optics Production, Transport and Handling (T&H), and Assembly, Integration and Refurbishment (AIR) and Operations organizations. Further, we will discuss implementation details related to the functional blocks and individual components that comprise PEPC, with particular emphasis on the unique constraints placed on the elements and the attendant

  3. Deployment, commissioning, and operation of plasma electrode Pockels cells in the National Ignition Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnold, Phillip A.; Ollis, Craig W.; Hinz, Andrew F.; Robb, Calvin L.; Primdahl, Keith A.; Watson, Jayson J.; O'Brien, Michael D.; Funkhouser, William G.; Biltoft, Peter J.; Shelton, Randy T.; Tapley, William C.; DeHope, William J.

    2004-05-01

    Large aperture Plasma Electrode Pockels Cells (PEPCs) are an enabling technology in the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The Pockels cells allow the NIF laser to take advantage of multipass main amplifier architecture, thus reducing costs and physical size of the facility. Each Pockels cell comprises four 40-cm x 40-cm apertures arranged in a 4x1 array. The combination of the Pockels cell and a thin-film polarizer, also configured in a 4x1 array, forms an optical switch that is key to achieving the required multi-pass operation. The operation of the PEPC is a follows: Before the arrival of the laser pulse, optically transparent, low-density helium plasmas are initiated to serve as electrodes for the KDP crystals mounted in the Pockels cell. During beam propagation through the main laser cavity a longitudinal electric field is impressed on the electro-optic crystals. The polarization of the propagating beams is rotated by 90° on each of two passes, thereby allowing the beam to be trapped in the main laser amplifier cavity for a total of four passes before being switched out into the cavity spatial filter. The physics aspects of the PEPC are well documented. Consequently, this paper will emphasize the PEPC subsystem in the context of its role and relevance within the broader NIF laser system, provide a view of the complexity of the subsystem and give an overview of PEPC's interactions with other elements of NIF, including interfaces to the Beamline Infrastructure, the NIF Timing Subsystem, and the Integrated Computer Control System (ICCS); along with dependence on the Optics Production, Transport and Handling (T&H), and Assembly, Integration and Refurbishment (AIR) and Operations organizations. Further, we will discuss implementation details related to the functional blocks and individual components that comprise PEPC, with particular emphasis on the unique constraints placed on the elements and the attendant

  4. Laser-Plasma Interactions in Drive Campaign targets on the National Ignition Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinkel, D. E.; Callahan, D. A.; Moody, J. D.; Amendt, P. A.; Lasinski, B. F.; MacGowan, B. J.; Meeker, D.; Michel, P. A.; Ralph, J.; Rosen, M. D.; Ross, J. S.; Schneider, M. B.; Storm, E.; Strozzi, D. J.; Williams, E. A.

    2016-03-01

    The Drive campaign [D A Callahan et al., this conference] on the National Ignition Facility (NIF) laser [E. I. Moses, R. N. Boyd, B. A. Remington, C. J. Keane, R. Al-Ayat, Phys. Plasmas 16, 041006 (2009)] has the focused goal of understanding and optimizing the hohlraum for ignition. Both the temperature and symmetry of the radiation drive depend on laser and hohlraum characteristics. The drive temperature depends on the coupling of laser energy to the hohlraum, and the symmetry of the drive depends on beam-to-beam interactions that result in energy transfer [P. A. Michel, S. H. Glenzer, L. Divol, et al, Phys. Plasmas 17, 056305 (2010).] within the hohlraum. To this end, hohlraums are being fielded where shape (rugby vs. cylindrical hohlraums), gas fill composition (neopentane at room temperature vs. cryogenic helium), and gas fill density (increase of ∼ 150%) are independently changed. Cylindrical hohlraums with higher gas fill density show improved inner beam propagation, as should rugby hohlraums, because of the larger radius over the capsule (7 mm vs. 5.75 mm in a cylindrical hohlraum). Energy coupling improves in room temperature neopentane targets, as well as in hohlraums at higher gas fill density. In addition cross-beam energy transfer is being addressed directly by using targets that mock up one end of a hohlraum, but allow observation of the laser beam uniformity after energy transfer. Ideas such as splitting quads into “doublets” by re-pointing the right and left half of quads are also being pursued. LPI results of the Drive campaign will be summarized, and analyses of future directions presented.

  5. Electron temperature diagnostics of aluminium plasma in a z-pinch experiment at the “QiangGuang-1" facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Mo; Wu, Jian; Wang, Liang-Ping; Wu, Gang; Han, Juan-Juan; Guo, Ning; Qiu, Meng-Tong

    2012-12-01

    Two curved crystal spectrometers are set up on the “QiangGuang-1" generator to measure the z-pinch plasma spectra emitted from planar aluminum wire array loads. Kodak Biomax-MS film and an IRD AXUVHS5# array are employed to record time-integrated and time-resolved free-bound radiation, respectively. The photon energy recorded by each detector is ascertained by using the L-shell lines of molybdenum plasma. Based on the exponential relation between the continuum power and photon energies, the aluminum plasma electron temperatures are measured. For the time-integrated diagnosis, several “bright spots" indicate electron temperatures between (450 eV ~ 520 eV) ± 35%. And for the time-resolved ones, the result shows that the electron temperature reaches about 800 eV ± 30% at peak power. The system satisfies the demand of z-pinch plasma electron temperature diagnosis on a ~ 1 MA facility.

  6. Study of nonneutral plasma storage in a magnetic trap with a rotating electric field at the lepta facility

    SciTech Connect

    Eseev, M. K.; Kobets, A. G.; Meshkov, I. N.; Rudakov, A. Yu.; Yakovenko, S. L.

    2013-10-15

    Results from experimental studies of plasma storage in a Penning-Malmberg trap at the LEPTA facility are presented. The number of stored particles is found to increase substantially when using the so-called “rotating wall” method, in which a transverse rotating electric field generated by a cylindrical segmented electrode cut into four pairs is applied to the plasma storage region. The conditions of transverse compression of the plasma bunch under the action of the rotating field and buffer gas are studied. The optimal storage parameters are determined for these experimental conditions. Mechanisms of the action of the rotating field and buffer gas on the process of plasma storage are discussed.

  7. Space Propulsion Technology Program Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Escher, William J. D.

    1991-01-01

    The topics presented are covered in viewgraph form. Focused program elements are: (1) transportation systems, which include earth-to-orbit propulsion, commercial vehicle propulsion, auxiliary propulsion, advanced cryogenic engines, cryogenic fluid systems, nuclear thermal propulsion, and nuclear electric propulsion; (2) space platforms, which include spacecraft on-board propulsion, and station keeping propulsion; and (3) technology flight experiments, which include cryogenic orbital N2 experiment (CONE), SEPS flight experiment, and cryogenic orbital H2 experiment (COHE).

  8. Searching for the Hydrogen Plasma Phase Transition on the National Ignition Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millot, M. A.; Collins, G. W.; Jeanloz, R.; Hemley, R. J.; Goncharov, A. F.; Loubeyre, P.; Brygoo, S.; McWilliams, R. S.; Celliers, P. M.; Eggert, J.; Rygg, J. R.; Le Pape, S.; Fratanduono, D.; Hamel, S.; Peterson, L.; Meezan, N.; Braun, D.

    2015-12-01

    New dynamic-compression techniques allow scientists to recreate the material states expected to exist in the deep interiors of planets, including the newly discovered extra solar planets. At the conditions existing deep inside stars and planets, pressure produces highly degenerate conditions (strong quantum effects), with atoms brought closer than the Bohr radius. State-of-the-art calculations indicate that such strong degeneracy effects induce the insulator-conductor transition in fluid hydrogen to become first-order, i.e. discontinuous, at temperatures below about 2500 K. This phase transition is called the Plasma Phase Transition (PPT). This problem challenges the most advanced simulations and theories resulting in a span of proposed conditions for the PPT from 1 to 5 Mbar, between 1000 and 2500 K. At higher temperature the metallization onset is thought to be continuous. We will present recent experiments using a reverberation compression scheme on the National Ignition Facility to compress cryogenic deuterium up to several megabars (1Mbar=100 GPa) while keeping the temperature much lower than using single shock compression.

  9. Time-Resolved Optical Spectroscopy of Plasma Interaction with CD2 Fiber in PF-1000 Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Skladnik-Sadowska, Elzbieta; Malinowski, Karol; Kubes, Pavel; Sadowski, Marek J.; Scholz, Marek; Tsarenko, Aleksandr V.

    2006-01-05

    The paper reports on spectroscopic studies of the interaction of high-current Plasma-Focus (PF) discharges with a CD2 100-{mu}m-fiber within the PF-1000 facility operated at 600-650 kJ. Visible radiation (VR) spectra were recorded with a MECHELLE registered 900 spectrometer at different instants. The exposition was varied from 100 ns to 200 {mu}s. Hydrogen- or deuterium- and carbon-ion-lines were identified. The electron concentration of the core, as estimated from the Stark broadening of the CII-CIV lines, was above 1019 cm-13. From the intensity ratio of carbon-ion lines (CIII/CII and CIV/CIII) it was estimated that the electron temperature of the core was above 5 eV. For deuterium shots it was observed that the CD2-fiber induced a decrease in the neutron yield (to about 1010), but the obtained spectroscopic data are of interest for understanding of the physical processes.

  10. Aerospace test facilities at NASA LERC Plumbrook

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1992-10-01

    An overview of the facilities and research being conducted at LeRC's Plumbrook field station is given. The video highlights four main structures and explains their uses. The Space Power Facility is the worlds largest space environment simulation chamber, where spacebound hardware is tested in simulations of the vacuum and extreme heat and cold of the space plasma environment. This facility was used to prepare Atlas 1 rockets to ferry CRRES into orbit; it will also be used to test space nuclear electric power generation systems. The Spacecraft Propulsion Research Facility allows rocket vehicles to be hot fired in a simulated space environment. In the Cryogenic Propellant Tank Facility, researchers are developing technology for storing and transferring liquid hydrogen in space. There is also a Hypersonic Wind Tunnel which can perform flow tests with winds up to Mach 7.

  11. A concept of ferroelectric microparticle propulsion thruster

    SciTech Connect

    Yarmolich, D.; Vekselman, V.; Krasik, Ya. E.

    2008-02-25

    A space propulsion concept using charged ferroelectric microparticles as a propellant is suggested. The measured ferroelectric plasma source thrust, produced mainly by microparticles emission, reaches {approx}9x10{sup -4} N. The obtained trajectories of microparticles demonstrate that the majority of the microparticles are positively charged, which permits further improvement of the thruster.

  12. Nuclear propulsion for orbital transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Beale, G.A.; Lawrence, T.J. )

    1989-06-01

    The state of the art in nuclear propulsion for orbital transfer is discussed. Cryogenic propulsion, electric propulsion, solar-thermal propulsion and direct nuclear propulsion are examined in this context. New technologies with exceptional promise are addressed, emphasizing the particle test bed nuclear engine.

  13. Expendable launch vehicle propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fuller, Paul N.

    1991-01-01

    The current status is reviewed of the U.S. Expendable Launch Vehicle (ELV) fleet, the international competition, and the propulsion technology of both domestic and foreign ELVs. The ELV propulsion technology areas where research, development, and demonstration are most needed are identified. These propulsion technology recommendations are based on the work performed by the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC), an industry panel established by the Dept. of Transportation.

  14. Overview of electric propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daniłko, Dariusz

    2014-11-01

    Space Electric Rocket Test (SERT 1) was the first experiment in which electric propulsion device was sent into space. The present year marks the 50th anniversary of that particular mission that opened the door for the application of electric propulsion on board spacecrafts. We present an overview of existing electric propulsion technology along with the description of the most successful missions that followed the success of the SERT 1mission.

  15. Field resonance propulsion concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holt, A. C.

    1979-01-01

    A propulsion concept was developed based on a proposed resonance between coherent, pulsed electromagnetic wave forms, and gravitational wave forms (or space-time metrics). Using this concept a spacecraft propulsion system potentially capable of galactic and intergalactic travel without prohibitive travel times was designed. The propulsion system utilizes recent research associated with magnetic field line merging, hydromagnetic wave effects, free-electron lasers, laser generation of megagauss fields, and special structural and containment metals. The research required to determine potential, field resonance characteristics and to evaluate various aspects of the spacecraft propulsion design is described.

  16. Status and Perspectives of Electric Propulsion in Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svelto, F.; Marcuccio, S.; Matticari, G.

    2002-01-01

    Electric Propulsion (EP) is recognized as one of today's enabling technologies for scientific and commercial missions. In consideration of EP's major strategic impact on the near and long term scenarios, an EP development programme has been established within the Italian Space Agency (ASI), aimed at the development of a variety of propulsion capabilities covering different fields of application. This paper presents an overview of Electric Propulsion (EP) activities underway in Italy and outlines the planned development lines, both in research institutions and in industry. Italian EP activities are essentially concentrated in Pisa, at Centrospazio and Alta, and in Florence, at LABEN - Proel Tecnologie Division (LABEN/Proel). Centrospazio/Alta and LABEN/Proel have established a collaboration program for joint advanced developments in the EP field. Established in 1989, Centrospazio is a private research center closely related to the Department of Aerospace Engineering of Pisa University. Along the years, Centrospazio lines of development have included arcjets, magneto- plasma-dynamic thrusters, FEEP and Hall thrusters, as well as computational plasma dynamics and low-thrust mission studies. Alta, a small enterprise, was founded in 1999 to exploit in an industrial setting the results of research previously carried out at Centrospazio. Alta's activities include the development of micronewton and millinewton FEEP thrusters, and testing of high power Hall and ion thrusters in specialised facilities. A full micronewton FEEP propulsion system is being developed for the Microscope spacecraft, a scientific mission by CNES aimed at verification of the Equivalence Principle. FEEP will also fly on ASI's HypSEO, a technological demonstrator for Earth Observation, and is being considered for ESA's GOCE (geodesy) and SMART-2 (formation flying), as well as for the intended scientific spacecraft GG by ASI. The ASI-funded STEPS facility will be placed on an external site on the

  17. Xenon ion propulsion for orbit transfer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rawlin, V. K.; Patterson, M. J.; Gruber, R. P.

    1990-01-01

    For more than 30 years, NASA has conducted an ion propulsion program which has resulted in several experimental space flight demonstrations and the development of many supporting technologies. Technologies appropriate for geosynchronous stationkeeping, earth-orbit transfer missions, and interplanetary missions are defined and evaluated. The status of critical ion propulsion system elements is reviewed. Electron bombardment ion thrusters for primary propulsion have evolved to operate on xenon in the 5 to 10 kW power range. Thruster efficiencies of 0.7 and specific impulse values of 4000 s were documented. The baseline thruster currently under development by NASA LeRC includes ring-cusp magnetic field plasma containment and dished two-grid ion optics. Based on past experience and demonstrated simplifications, power processors for these thrusters should have approximately 500 parts, a mass of 40 kg, and an efficiency near 0.94. Thrust vector control, via individual thruster gimbals, is a mature technology. High pressure, gaseous xenon propellant storage and control schemes, using flight qualified hardware, result in propellant tankage fractions between 0.1 and 0.2. In-space and ground integration testing has demonstrated that ion propulsion systems can be successfully integrated with their host spacecraft. Ion propulsion system technologies are mature and can significantly enhance and/or enable a variety of missions in the nation's space propulsion program.

  18. Simulated Irradiation of Samples in HFIR for use as Possible Test Materials in the MPEX (Material Plasma Exposure Experiment) Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Ellis, Ronald James; Rapp, Juergen

    2014-01-01

    The importance of Plasma Material Interaction (PMI) is a major concern in fusion reactor design and analysis. The Material-Plasma Exposure eXperiment (MPEX) facility will explore PMI under fusion reactor plasma conditions. Samples with accumulated displacements per atom (DPA) damage produced by irradiations in the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will be studied in the MPEX facility. The project presented in this paper involved performing assessments of the induced radioactivity and resulting radiation fields of a variety of potential fusion reactor materials. The scientific code packages MCNP and SCALE were used to simulate irradiation of the samples in HFIR; generation and depletion of nuclides in the material and the subsequent composition, activity levels, gamma radiation fields, and resultant dose rates as a function of cooling time. These state-of-the-art simulation methods were used in addressing the challenge of the MPEX project to minimize the radioactive inventory in the preparation of the samples for inclusion in the MPEX facility.

  19. Antimatter propulsion, status and prospects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howe, Steven D.; Hynes, Michael V.

    1986-01-01

    The use of advanced propulsion techniques must be considered if the currently envisioned launch date of the manned Mars mission were delayed until 2020 or later. Within the next thirty years, technological advances may allow such methods as beaming power to the ship, inertial-confinement fusion, or mass-conversion of antiprotons to become feasible. A propulsion system with an ISP of around 5000 s would allow the currently envisioned mission module to fly to Mars in 3 months and would require about one million pounds to be assembled in Earth orbit. Of the possible methods to achieve this, the antiproton mass-conversion reaction offers the highest potential, the greatest problems, and the most fascination. Increasing the production rates of antiprotons is a high priority task at facilities around the world. The application of antiprotons to propulsion requires the coupling of the energy released in the mass-conversion reaction to thrust-producing mechanisms. Recent proposals entail using the antiprotons to produce inertial confinement fusion or to produce negative muons which can catalyze fusion. By increasing the energy released per antiproton, the effective cost, (dollars/joule) can be reduced. These proposals and other areas of research can be investigated now. These short term results will be important in assessing the long range feasibility of an antiproton powered engine.

  20. High-speed flight propulsion systems. Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics. Vol. 137

    SciTech Connect

    Murthy, S.N.B.; Curran, E.T. USAF, Wright Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH )

    1991-01-01

    Various papers on high-speed flight propulsion systems are presented. The topics addressed are: propulsion systems from takeoff to high-speed flight, propulsion system performance and integration for high Mach air-breathing flight, energy analysis of high-speed flight systems, waves and thermodynamics in high Mach number propulsive ducts, turbulent free shear layer mixing and combustion, turbulent mixing in supersonic combustion systems, mixing and mixing enhancement in supersonic reacting flowfields, study of combustion and heat-exchange processes in high-enthalpy short-duration facilities, and facility requirements for hypersonic propulsion system testing.

  1. Nanoporous Silver Film Fabricated by Oxygen Plasma: A Facile Approach for SERS Substrates.

    PubMed

    Ma, Chaoxiong; Trujillo, Michael J; Camden, Jon P

    2016-09-14

    Nanoporous metal films are promising substrates for surfaced-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) measurement, owing to their homogeneity, large surface area, and abundant hot-spots. Herein, a facile procedure was developed to fabricate nanoporous Ag film on various substrate surfaces. Thermally deposited Ag film was first treated with O2 plasma, resulting in porous Ag/AgxO film (AgxO-NF) with nanoscale feature. Sodium citrate was then used to reduce AgxO to Ag, forming nanoporous Ag film (AgNF) with similar morphology. The AgNF substrate demonstrates 30-fold higher Raman intensity than Ag film over polystyrene nanospheres (d = 600 nm) using 4-mercaptobenzoic acid (4-MBA) as the sensing molecule. Comparing with ordinary Raman measurement on 4-MBA solution, an enhancement factor of ∼6 × 10(6) was determined for AgNF. The AgNF substrate was evaluated for benzoic acid, 4-nitrophenol, and 2-mercaptoethanesulfonate, showing high SERS sensitivity for chemicals that bind weakly to Ag surface and molecules with relatively small Raman cross section at micromolar concentration. In addition to its simplicity, the procedure can be applied to various materials such as transparency film, filter paper, hard polystyrene film, and aluminum foil, revealing similar Raman sensitivity. By testing the durability of the substrate, we found that the AgxO films can be stored in ambient conditions for more than 90 days and still deliver the same SERS intensity if the films are treated with sodium citrate before use. These results demonstrate the advantage of the proposed approach for mass production of low-cost, sensitive, and durable SERS substrates. The transferable nature of these AgNF to different flexible surfaces also allows their easy integration with other sensing schemes. PMID:27551811

  2. The first experimental campaign on the Laser Megajoule Facility: characterization of plasma transparency in radiatively-heated slots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tassin, Veronique; Dulieu, Andre; Courtois, Cedric; Casner, Alexis; Rosch, Rudolf; Caillaud, Tony; Trosseille, Clement; Henry, Olivier; Seguineau, Frederic; Durut, Frederic

    2015-11-01

    The Laser Megajoule Facility has been commissioned in October 2014 with performing the first experimental campaign. The goal of this first experimental campaign was to study the evolution of the plasma transparency in slots machined within radiatively-heated samples. The plasma was produced using a radiation hohlraum drive. The evolution of the plasma transparency was radiographed with a 2D time-resolved imager consisting in grazing incidence X-ray microscopes and pinholes coupled to an X-ray framing camera. We have conducted a series of experiments to study the effect of the slot width, the material thickness and the material nature (either tantalum-oxide aerogel or gold). Experimental results will be compared with 2D and 3D radiation hydrodynamics codes.

  3. Facility for high heat flux testing of irradiated fusion materials and components using infrared plasma arc lamps

    SciTech Connect

    Sabau, Adrian S; Ohriner, Evan Keith; Kiggans, Jim; Harper, David C; Snead, Lance Lewis; Schaich, Charles Ross

    2014-01-01

    A new high-heat flux testing facility using water-wall stabilized high-power high-pressure argon Plasma Arc Lamps (PALs) has been developed for fusion applications. It can handle irradiated plasma facing component materials and mock-up divertor components. Two PALs currently available at ORNL can provide maximum incident heat fluxes of 4.2 and 27 MW/m2 over a heated area of 9x12 and 1x10 cm2, respectively, which are fusion-prototypical steady state heat flux conditions. The facility will be described and the main differences between the photon-based high-heat flux testing facilities, such as PALs, and the e-beam and particle beam facilities more commonly used for fusion HHF testing are discussed. The components of the test chamber were designed to accommodate radiation safety and materials compatibility requirements posed by high-temperature exposure of low levels irradiated tungsten articles. Issues related to the operation and temperature measurements during testing are presented and discussed.

  4. Magnetohydrodynamic sea water propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Petrick, M.; Thomas, A.; Genens, L.; Libera, J.; Nietert, R.; Bouillard, J.; Pierson, E.; Hill, D.; Picologlou, B.; Ohlsson, O.; Kasprzyk, T.; Berry, G.

    1991-01-01

    An experimental and theoretical investigation of a large scale MHD propulsor has been undertaken whose objectives are to (1) investigate the transient and steady state performance of the thruster over operating parameter ranges that are compatible with achievement of high efficiency, (2) to quantify the principal loss mechanisms within the thruster and (3) to obtain preliminary hydroacoustic data. The performance of the thruster was first investigated theoretically with a 3-D code to quantify the loss mechanisms and identify experimental parameter ranges of interest. The loss mechanisms of interest are ohmic losses within the channel and those resulting from electrical currents at the entrance and exit of the thruster, and enhanced frictional losses. The analysis indicated that the relative importance of the loss mechanisms was a function of the thruster design and operating parameters. The experimental investigation of the large scale propulsor is being conducted on a sea water test facility that was designed to match the capabilities of a large 6-T superconducting magnet. The facility design was such that {approximately}90{degrees} of all losses occurred within the propulsion test train (inlet nozzle, propulsor and diffuser) thus facilitating isolation of the loss mechanisms. The test thruster itself is heavily instrumented to provide local measurements of velocity, pressure, and electric fields. The predicted overall thruster performance and value of the loss mechanisms will be compared with measured values. Comparisons will also be presented of the voltage gradients between electrodes, overall thruster efficiency, axial pressure gradients across the propulsor, change in velocity profiles, axial and vertical current distributions and exit distribution of the electrolytic gases.

  5. Magnetohydrodynamic sea water propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Petrick, M.; Thomas, A.; Genens, L.; Libera, J.; Nietert, R.; Bouillard, J.; Pierson, E.; Hill, D.; Picologlou, B.; Ohlsson, O.; Kasprzyk, T.; Berry, G.

    1991-12-31

    An experimental and theoretical investigation of a large scale MHD propulsor has been undertaken whose objectives are to (1) investigate the transient and steady state performance of the thruster over operating parameter ranges that are compatible with achievement of high efficiency, (2) to quantify the principal loss mechanisms within the thruster and (3) to obtain preliminary hydroacoustic data. The performance of the thruster was first investigated theoretically with a 3-D code to quantify the loss mechanisms and identify experimental parameter ranges of interest. The loss mechanisms of interest are ohmic losses within the channel and those resulting from electrical currents at the entrance and exit of the thruster, and enhanced frictional losses. The analysis indicated that the relative importance of the loss mechanisms was a function of the thruster design and operating parameters. The experimental investigation of the large scale propulsor is being conducted on a sea water test facility that was designed to match the capabilities of a large 6-T superconducting magnet. The facility design was such that {approximately}90{degrees} of all losses occurred within the propulsion test train (inlet nozzle, propulsor and diffuser) thus facilitating isolation of the loss mechanisms. The test thruster itself is heavily instrumented to provide local measurements of velocity, pressure, and electric fields. The predicted overall thruster performance and value of the loss mechanisms will be compared with measured values. Comparisons will also be presented of the voltage gradients between electrodes, overall thruster efficiency, axial pressure gradients across the propulsor, change in velocity profiles, axial and vertical current distributions and exit distribution of the electrolytic gases.

  6. NASA/DOE/DOD nuclear propulsion technology planning: Summary of FY 1991 interagency panel results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, John S.; Wickenheiser, Timothy J.; Doherty, Michael P.; Marshall, Albert; Bhattacharryya, Samit K.; Warren, John

    1992-01-01

    Interagency (NASA/DOE/DOD) technical panels worked in 1991 to evaluate critical nuclear propulsion issues, compare nuclear propulsion concepts for a manned Mars mission on a consistent basis, and to continue planning a technology development project for the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). Panels were formed to address mission analysis, nuclear facilities, safety policy, nuclear fuels and materials, nuclear electric propulsion technology, and nuclear thermal propulsion technology. A summary of the results and recommendations of the panels is presented.

  7. Optimal propulsive efficiency of vortex enhanced propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whittlesey, Robert; Dabiri, John

    2013-11-01

    The formation of coherent vortex rings in the jet wake of a vehicle has been shown to increase the propulsive efficiency of self-propelled vehicles. However, the effect of varying vortex ring formation characteristics has not been explored for vehicles at Reynolds numbers comparable to autonomous or manned submersible vehicles. In this work, we considered a range of vortex ring formation characteristics and found a peak in the propulsive efficiency where the vortex rings generated are coincident with the onset of vortex ring pinch off. This peak corresponds to a 22% increase in the propulsive efficiency for the vortex-enhanced wake compared to a steady jet. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Office of Naval Research Grants N000140810918 and N000141010137.

  8. Launch configurations based on former (now decommissioned) Soviet ICBMs and Soyuz-Fregat, coupled with plasma propulsion as delivery systems for low cost missions beyond low earth orbits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karavasilis, K.; Mukhin, L.; Sagdeev, R.; Khatulev, V.; Yuriev, V.; Medvedev, A.; Dolgopolov, V.; Martinov, M.; Pichkhadze, K.; Avanesov, G.; Balebanov, V.; Zakharov, A.; Brylov, O.; Shpakovśkyy, Y.

    2003-01-01

    A number of former Cold War rockets is already suggested as commercially available launch vehicles, usable for delivery of small to medium mass payloads to LEO. Here, we suggest the baseline upgrade on top of nominal capabilities of decommissioned ICBMs to make them cost-efficient delivery vehicles for planetary missions. The specific analysis was made for the case of former SU SS-18 ( 4 ton to LEO) and SS-19 ( ˜1.6 ton to LEO). In parallel to the launch vehicles derived from the former ICBM's and in view of the recent successful qualification launch, the option of using Soyuz-Fregat was also considered. The paper discusses basic technical requirements for the upper stage boosters and their potential design options. Detailed examples illustrate the mission scenarios to Mars and its moons. The most efficient usage of such delivery configuration is achieved by combining suggested launch schemes with the ultimate use of electric propulsion as part of the spacecraft system.

  9. Electric Propulsion Apparatus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patterson, Michael J. (Inventor)

    2013-01-01

    An electric propulsion machine includes an ion thruster having an annular discharge chamber housing an anode having a large surface area. The ion thruster includes flat annular ion optics with a small span to gap ratio. Optionally, a second electric propulsion thruster may be disposed in a cylindrical space disposed within an interior of the annulus.

  10. Nuclear thermal propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.

    1991-01-01

    This document is presented in viewgraph form, and the topics covered include the following: (1) the direct fission-thermal propulsion process; (2) mission applications of direct fission-thermal propulsion; (3) nuclear engines for rocket vehicles; (4) manned mars landers; and (5) particle bed reactor design.

  11. Advanced Chemical Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alexander, Leslie, Jr.

    2006-01-01

    Advanced Chemical Propulsion (ACP) provides near-term incremental improvements in propulsion system performance and/or cost. It is an evolutionary approach to technology development that produces useful products along the way to meet increasingly more demanding mission requirements while focusing on improving payload mass fraction to yield greater science capability. Current activities are focused on two areas: chemical propulsion component, subsystem, and manufacturing technologies that offer measurable system level benefits; and the evaluation of high-energy storable propellants with enhanced performance for in-space application. To prioritize candidate propulsion technology alternatives, a variety of propulsion/mission analyses and trades have been conducted for SMD missions to yield sufficient data for investment planning. They include: the Advanced Chemical Propulsion Assessment; an Advanced Chemical Propulsion System Model; a LOx-LH2 small pumps conceptual design; a space storables propellant study; a spacecraft cryogenic propulsion study; an advanced pressurization and mixture ratio control study; and a pump-fed vs. pressure-fed study.

  12. Advanced Propulsion Physics Lab: Eagleworks Investigations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scogin, Tyler

    2014-01-01

    Eagleworks Laboratory is an advanced propulsions physics laboratory with two primary investigations currently underway. The first is a Quantum Vacuum Plasma Thruster (QVPT or Q-thrusters), an advanced electric propulsion technology in the development and demonstration phase. The second investigation is in Warp Field Interferometry (WFI). This is an investigation of Dr. Harold "Sonny" White's theoretical physics models for warp field equations using optical experiments in the Electro Optical laboratory (EOL) at Johnson Space Center. These investigations are pursuing technology necessary to enable human exploration of the solar system and beyond.

  13. High-Energy Space Propulsion Based on Magnetized Target Fusion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thio, Y. C. F.; Freeze, B.; Kirkpatrick, R. C.; Landrum, B.; Gerrish, H.; Schmidt, G. R.

    1999-01-01

    A conceptual study is made to explore the feasibility of applying magnetized target fusion (MTF) to space propulsion for omniplanetary travel. Plasma-jet driven MTF not only is highly amenable to space propulsion, but also has a number of very attractive features for this application: 1) The pulsed fusion scheme provides in situ a very dense hydrogenous liner capable of moderating the neutrons, converting more than 97% of the neutron energy into charged particle energy of the fusion plasma available for propulsion. 2) The fusion yield per pulse can be maintained at an attractively low level (< 1 GJ) despite a respectable gain in excess of 70. A compact, low-weight engine is the result. An engine with a jet power of 25 GW, a thrust of 66 kN, and a specific impulse of 77,000 s, can be achieved with an overall engine mass of about 41 metric tons, with a specific power density of 605 kW/kg, and a specific thrust density of 1.6 N/kg. The engine is rep-rated at 40 Hz to provide this power and thrust level. At a practical rep-rate limit of 200 Hz, the engine can deliver 128 GW jet power and 340 kN of thrust, at specific power and thrust density of 1,141 kW/kg and 3 N/kg respectively. 3) It is possible to operate the magnetic nozzle as a magnetic flux compression generator in this scheme, while attaining a high nozzle efficiency of 80% in converting the spherically radial momentum of the fusion plasma to an axial impulse. 4) A small fraction of the electrical energy generated from the flux compression is used directly to recharge the capacitor bank and other energy storage equipment, without the use of a highvoltage DC power supply. A separate electrical generator is not necessary. 5) Due to the simplicity of the electrical circuit and the components, involving mainly inductors, capacitors, and plasma guns, which are connected directly to each other without any intermediate equipment, a high rep-rate (with a maximum of 200 Hz) appears practicable. 6) All fusion related

  14. Fusion Propulsion Z-Pinch Engine Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miernik, J.; Statham, G.; Fabisinski, L.; Maples, C. D.; Adams, R.; Polsgrove, T.; Fincher, S.; Cassibry, J.; Cortez, R.; Turner, M.; Percy, T.

    2011-01-01

    Fusion-based nuclear propulsion has the potential to enable fast interplanetary transportation. Due to the great distances between the planets of our solar system and the harmful radiation environment of interplanetary space, high specific impulse (Isp) propulsion in vehicles with high payload mass fractions must be developed to provide practical and safe vehicles for human spaceflight missions. The Z-Pinch dense plasma focus method is a Magneto-Inertial Fusion (MIF) approach that may potentially lead to a small, low cost fusion reactor/engine assembly1. Recent advancements in experimental and theoretical understanding of this concept suggest favorable scaling of fusion power output yield 2. The magnetic field resulting from the large current compresses the plasma to fusion conditions, and this process can be pulsed over short timescales (10(exp -6 sec). This type of plasma formation is widely used in the field of Nuclear Weapons Effects testing in the defense industry, as well as in fusion energy research. A Decade Module 2 (DM2), approx.500 KJ pulsed-power is coming to the RSA Aerophysics Lab managed by UAHuntsville in January, 2012. A Z-Pinch propulsion concept was designed for a vehicle based on a previous fusion vehicle study called "Human Outer Planet Exploration" (HOPE), which used Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) 3 propulsion. The reference mission is the transport of crew and cargo to Mars and back, with a reusable vehicle.

  15. Plasma contactor technology for Space Station Freedom

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patterson, Michael J.; Hamley, John A.; Sarver-Verhey, Timothy; Soulas, George C.; Parkes, James; Ohlinger, Wayne L.; Schaffner, Michael S.; Nelson, Amy

    1993-01-01

    Hollow cathode plasma contactors were baselined for Space Station Freedom (SSF) to control the electrical potentials of surfaces to eliminate/mitigate damaging interactions with the space environment. The system represents a dual-use technology which is a direct outgrowth of the NASA electric propulsion program and in particular the technology development effort on ion thruster systems. Specific efforts include optimizing the design and configuration of the contactor, validating its required lifetime, and characterizing the contactor plume and electromagnetic interference. The plasma contact or subsystems include the plasma contact or unit, a power electronics unit, and an expellant management unit. Under this program these will all be brought to breadboard and engineering model development status. New test facilities were developed, and existing facilities were augmented, to support characterizations and life testing of contactor components and systems. The magnitude, scope, and status of the plasma contactor hardware development program now underway and preliminary test results on system components are discussed.

  16. Electric propulsion cost estimation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palaszewski, B. A.

    1985-01-01

    A parametric cost model for mercury ion propulsion modules is presented. A detailed work breakdown structure is included. Cost estimating relationships were developed for the individual subsystems and the nonhardware items (systems engineering, software, etc.). Solar array and power processor unit (PPU) costs are the significant cost drivers. Simplification of both of these subsystems through applications of advanced technology (lightweight solar arrays and high-efficiency, self-radiating PPUs) can reduce costs. Comparison of the performance and cost of several chemical propulsion systems with the Hg ion module are also presented. For outer-planet missions, advanced solar electric propulsion (ASEP) trip times and O2/H2 propulsion trip times are comparable. A three-year trip time savings over the baselined NTO/MMH propulsion system is possible with ASEP.

  17. Laser space propulsion overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phipps, Claude; Luke, James; Helgeson, Wesley

    2007-05-01

    In this paper, we review the history of laser space propulsion from its earliest theoretical conceptions to modern practical applicatons. Applications begin with the "Lightcraft" flights of Myrabo and include practical thrusters for satellites now completing development as well as proposals for space debris removal and direct launch of payloads into orbit. We consider laser space propulsion in the most general sense, in which laser radiation is used to propel a vehicle in space. In this sense, the topic includes early proposals for pure photon propulsion, laser ablation propulsion, as well as propulsion using lasers to detonate a gas, expel a liquid, heat and expel a gas, or even to propagate power to a remote conventional electric thruster.

  18. Fusion power for space propulsion.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roth, R.; Rayle, W.; Reinmann, J.

    1972-01-01

    Principles of operation, interplanetary orbit-to-orbit mission capabilities, technical problems, and environmental safeguards are examined for thermonuclear fusion propulsion systems. Two systems examined include (1) a fusion-electric concept in which kinetic energy of charged particles from the plasma is converted into electric power (for accelerating the propellant in an electrostatic thrustor) by the van de Graaf generator principle and (2) the direct fusion rocket in which energetic plasma lost from the reactor has a suitable amount of added propellant to obtain the optimum exhaust velocity. The deuterium-tritium and the deuterium/helium-3 reactions are considered as suitable candidates, and attention is given to problems of cryogenic refrigeration systems, magnet shielding, and high-energy particle extraction and guidance.

  19. Plasma Wakefield Acceleration and FACET - Facilities for Accelerator Science and Experimental Test Beams at SLAC

    ScienceCinema

    Andrei Seryi

    2010-01-08

    Plasma wakefield acceleration is one of the most promising approaches to advancing accelerator technology. This approach offers a potential 1,000-fold or more increase in acceleration over a given distance, compared to existing accelerators.  FACET, enabled by the Recovery Act funds, will study plasma acceleration, using short, intense pulses of electrons and positrons. In this lecture, the physics of plasma acceleration and features of FACET will be presented.  

  20. Plasma Wakefield Acceleration and FACET - Facilities for Accelerator Science and Experimental Test Beams at SLAC

    SciTech Connect

    Andrei Seryi

    2009-09-09

    Plasma wakefield acceleration is one of the most promising approaches to advancing accelerator technology. This approach offers a potential 1,000-fold or more increase in acceleration over a given distance, compared to existing accelerators.  FACET, enabled by the Recovery Act funds, will study plasma acceleration, using short, intense pulses of electrons and positrons. In this lecture, the physics of plasma acceleration and features of FACET will be presented.  

  1. Feasibility of MHD submarine propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Doss, E.D. ); Sikes, W.C. )

    1992-09-01

    This report describes the work performed during Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the collaborative research program established between Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company (NNS). Phase I of the program focused on the development of computer models for Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) propulsion. Phase 2 focused on the experimental validation of the thruster performance models and the identification, through testing, of any phenomena which may impact the attractiveness of this propulsion system for shipboard applications. The report discusses in detail the work performed in Phase 2 of the program. In Phase 2, a two Tesla test facility was designed, built, and operated. The facility test loop, its components, and their design are presented. The test matrix and its rationale are discussed. Representative experimental results of the test program are presented, and are compared to computer model predictions. In general, the results of the tests and their comparison with the predictions indicate that thephenomena affecting the performance of MHD seawater thrusters are well understood and can be accurately predicted with the developed thruster computer models.

  2. Advancing Sensor Technology for Aerospace Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Figueroa, Fernando; Mercer, Carolyn R.

    2002-01-01

    NASA's Stennis Space Center (SSC) and Glenn Research Center (GRC) participate in the development of technologies for propulsion testing and propulsion applications in air and space transportation. Future transportation systems and the test facilities needed to develop and sustain them are becoming increasingly complex. Sensor technology is a fundamental pillar that makes possible development of complex systems that must operate in automatic mode (closed loop systems), or even in assisted-autonomous mode (highly self-sufficient systems such as planetary exploration spacecraft). Hence, a great deal of effort is dedicated to develop new sensors and related technologies to be used in research facilities, test facilities, and in vehicles and equipment. This paper describes sensor technologies being developed and in use at SSC and GRC, including new technologies in integrated health management involving sensors, components, processes, and vehicles.

  3. Xenon ion propulsion for orbit transfer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rawlin, V. K.; Patterson, M. J.; Gruber, R. P.

    1990-01-01

    The status of critical ion propulsion system elements is reviewed. Electron bombardment ion thrusters for primary propulsion have evolved to operate on xenon in the 5-10 kW power range. Thruster efficiencies of 0.7 and specific impulse values of 4000 s have been documented. The baseline thruster currently under development by NASA LeRC includes ring-cusp magnetic field plasma containment and dished two-grid ion optics. Based on past experience and demonstrated simplifications, power processors for these thrusters should have approximately 500 parts, a mass of 40 kg, and an efficiency near 0.94. Thrust vector control, via individual thruster gimbals, is a mature technology. High pressure, gaseous xenon propellant storage and control schemes, using flight qualified hardware, result in propellant tankage fractions between 0.1 and 0.2. In-space and ground integration testing has demonstrated that ion propulsion systems can be successfully integrated with their host spacecraft.

  4. A Microwave Thruster for Spacecraft Propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Chiravalle, Vincent P

    2012-07-23

    This presentation describes how a microwave thruster can be used for spacecraft propulsion. A microwave thruster is part of a larger class of electric propulsion devices that have higher specific impulse and lower thrust than conventional chemical rocket engines. Examples of electric propulsion devices are given in this presentation and it is shown how these devices have been used to accomplish two recent space missions. The microwave thruster is then described and it is explained how the thrust and specific impulse of the thruster can be measured. Calculations of the gas temperature and plasma properties in the microwave thruster are discussed. In addition a potential mission for the microwave thruster involving the orbit raising of a space station is explored.

  5. Lunar Surface Origins Exploration (LunaSOX) -Virtual observatory facility for solar wind plasma interactions with the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooper, John

    A new virtual observatory facility is being will be implemented in support of solar wind and terrestrial magnetospheric plasma interactions with the lunar surface and atmospheric envi-ronments. The NASA Heliophysics virtual observatory approach of open on-line metadata registration, discovery, access, and supporting value-added tools will be applied to selected data products from lunar surface, lunar orbital, and earth-orbiting solar wind monitors. The LunaSOX facilty at lunasox,gsfc.nasa.gov will be operated by a science focus group for NASA's Virtual Heliospheric Observatory. Initial primary focus will be on the Apollo ALSEP solar wind monitor data products already accessible on-line in through the Coordinated Data Anal-ysis Web (CDAWeb) service of the NASA Space Physics Data Facility (SPDF). These data will be recast in forms appropriate for support of the plasma interaction modeling and the new value-added data products will be posted through the virtual observatory. Supporting lunar and Earth orbit data of the Apollo era in the NASA archives will be similarly treated and posted on-line. The LunaSOX virtual observatory will also provide links to other available lunar data. Selected data analysis (e.g., OMNIWeb), orbital ephemeris (SSCWeb), and associated visualization tools of SPDF will be utilized in support of the modeling and virtual observatory efforts. Please contact the author for potential virtual observatory support of specific data products related to plasma interactions with the lunar surface and atmosphere.

  6. Remote Handling and Plasma Conditions to Enable Fusion Nuclear Science R&D Using a US Component Testing Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Peng, Yueng Kay Martin; Burgess, Thomas W; Carroll, Adam J; Neumeyer, C. L.; Canik, John; Cole, Michael J; Dorland, W. D.; Fogarty, P. J.; Grisham, L.; Hillis, Donald Lee; Katoh, Yutai; Korsah, Kofi; Kotschenreuther, M.; LaHaye, R.; Mahajan, S.; Majeski, R.; Nelson, Brad E; Patton, Bradley D; Rasmussen, David A; Sabbagh, S. A.; Sontag, Aaron C; Stoller, Roger E; Tsai, C. C.; Vanlanju, P.; Wagner, Jill C; Yoder, III, Graydon L

    2009-08-01

    The use of a fusion component testing facility to study and establish, during the ITER era, the remaining scientific and technical knowledge needed by fusion Demo is considered and described in this paper. This use aims to lest components in an integrated fusion nuclear environment, for the first time, to discover and understand the underpinning physical properties, and to develop improved components for further testing, in a time-efficient manner. It requires a design with extensive modularization and remote handling of activated components, and flexible hot-cell laboratories. It further requires reliable plasma conditions to avoid disruptions and minimize their impact, and designs to reduce the divertor heat flux to the level of ITER design. As the plasma duration is extended through the planned ITER level (similar to 10(3) s) and beyond, physical properties with increasing time constants, progressively for similar to 10(4) s, similar to 10(5) s, and similar to 10(6) s, would become accessible for testing and R&D. The longest time constants of these are likely to be of the order of a week ( 106 S). Progressive stages of research operation are envisioned in deuterium, deuterium-tritium for the ITER duration, and deuterium-tritium with increasingly longer plasma durations. The fusion neutron fluence and operational duty factor anticipated for this "scientific exploration" phase of a component test facility are estimated to be up to 1 MW-yr/m(2) and up to 10%, respectively.

  7. Estimations of Mo X-pinch plasma parameters on QiangGuang-1 facility by L-shell spectral analyses

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Jian; Qiu, Aici; Li, Mo; Wang, Liangping; Wu, Gang; Ning, Guo; Qiu, Mengtong; Li, Xingwen

    2013-08-15

    Plasma parameters of molybdenum (Mo) X-pinches on the 1-MA QiangGuang-1 facility were estimated by L-shell spectral analysis. X-ray radiation from X-pinches had a pulsed width of 1 ns, and its spectra in 2–3 keV were measured with a time-integrated X-ray spectrometer. Relative intensities of spectral features were derived by correcting for the spectral sensitivity of the spectrometer. With an open source, atomic code FAC (flexible atomic code), ion structures, and various atomic radiative-collisional rates for O-, F-, Ne-, Na-, Mg-, and Al-like ionization stages were calculated, and synthetic spectra were constructed at given plasma parameters. By fitting the measured spectra with the modeled, Mo X-pinch plasmas on the QiangGuang-1 facility had an electron density of about 10{sup 21} cm{sup −3} and the electron temperature of about 1.2 keV.

  8. Particle-in-cell simulations of magnetic reconnection in laser-plasma experiments on Shenguang-II facility

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, San; Lu, Quanming; Huang, Can; Wang, Shui; Dong, Quanli; Zhu, Jianqiang; Sheng, Zhengming; Zhang, Jie

    2013-11-15

    Recently, magnetic reconnection has been realized in high-energy-density laser-produced plasmas. Plasma bubbles with self-generated magnetic fields are created by focusing laser beams to small-scale spots on a foil. The bubbles expand into each other, which may then drive magnetic reconnection. The reconnection experiment in laser-produced plasmas has also been conducted at Shenguang-II (SG-II) laser facility, and the existence of a plasmoid was identified in the experiment [Dong et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 215001 (2012)]. In this paper, by performing two-dimensional (2-D) particle-in-cell simulations, we investigate such a process of magnetic reconnection based on the experiment on SG-II facility, and a possible explanation for the formation of the plasmoid is proposed. The results show that before magnetic reconnection occurs, the bubbles squeeze strongly each other and a very thin current sheet is formed. The current sheet is unstable to the tearing mode instability, and we can then observe the formation of plasmoid(s) in such a multiple X-lines reconnection.

  9. Facility for high-heat flux testing of irradiated fusion materials and components using infrared plasma arc lamps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabau, Adrian S.; Ohriner, Evan K.; Kiggans, Jim; Harper, David C.; Snead, Lance L.; Schaich, Charles R.

    2014-04-01

    A new high-heat flux testing (HHFT) facility using water-wall stabilized high-power high-pressure argon plasma arc lamps (PALs) has been developed for fusion applications. It can accommodate irradiated plasma facing component materials and sub-size mock-up divertor components. Two PALs currently available at Oak Ridge National Laboratory can provide maximum incident heat fluxes of 4.2 and 27 MW m-2, which are prototypic of fusion steady state heat flux conditions, over a heated area of 9 × 12 and 1 × 10 cm2, respectively. The use of PAL permits the heat source to be environmentally separated from the components of the test chamber, simplifying the design to accommodate safe testing of low-level irradiated articles and materials under high-heat flux. Issues related to the operation and temperature measurements during testing of tungsten samples are presented and discussed. The relative advantages and disadvantages of this photon-based HHFT facility are compared to existing e-beam and particle beam facilities used for similar purposes.

  10. Distributed Propulsion Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  11. Advanced Propulsion Research Interest in Materials for Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cole, John

    2003-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation provides an overview of material science and technology in the area of propulsion energetics. The authors note that conventional propulsion systems are near peak performance and further refinements in manufacturing, engineering design and materials will only provide incremental increases in performance. Energetic propulsion technologies could potential solve the problems of energy storage density and energy-to-thrust conversion efficiency. Topics considered include: the limits of thermal propulsion systems, the need for energetic propulsion research, emerging energetic propulsion technologies, materials research needed for advanced propulsion, and potential research opportunities.

  12. Measurement of Noise Produced by a Plasma Contactor Operating in Ground Based Facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, Steve

    1996-01-01

    Methods to measure electric field fluctuations accurately in a plasma with an active monopole antenna are described. It is shown that the conductive surfaces of the antenna must be adequately isolated from the ambient plasma and that the monopole must be sufficiently short to avoid antenna amplifier saturation. Experimental results illustrate that the noise produced by plasma contactor operation and sensed by the antenna is due to plasma phenomena and is not induced by laboratory power supplies. A good correlation is shown between the current fluctuations in the contactor electrical circuit and the noise detected by the antenna. A large body of experimental data support the conclusion that the majority of noise sensed by the antenna at frequencies less than 1 MHz is due to current fluctuations (electrostatic waves) in the plasma adjacent to the antenna and not to electromagnetic wave radiation. Caution is suggested when comparing antenna noise measurements to conventional specifications for radiated emissions.

  13. Space station propulsion technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Norman, A. M.; Briley, G. L.; Evans, S. A.

    1987-01-01

    The objectives of this program are to provide a demonstration of hydrogen/oxygen propulsion technology readiness for the initial operational capability (IOC) space station application, specifically gaseous hydrogen/oxygen and warm hydrogen thruster concepts, and to establish a means for evolving from the IOC space station propulsion system (SSPS) to that required to support and interface with advanced station functions. These objectives were met by analytical studies and by furnishing a propulsion test bed to the Marshall Space Flight Center for testing.

  14. Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Michael G.; Borowski, S. K.; George, J. A.; Kim, T.; Emrich, W. J.; Hickman, R. R.; Broadway, J. W.; Gerrish, H. P.; Adams, R. B.

    2012-01-01

    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 NEP.

  15. Ion propulsion cost effectivity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zafran, S.; Biess, J. J.

    1978-01-01

    Ion propulsion modules employing 8-cm thrusters and 30-cm thrusters were studied for Multimission Modular Spacecraft (MMS) applications. Recurring and nonrecurring cost elements were generated for these modules. As a result, ion propulsion cost drivers were identified to be Shuttle charges, solar array, power processing, and thruster costs. Cost effective design approaches included short length module configurations, array power sharing, operation at reduced thruster input power, simplified power processing units, and power processor output switching. The MMS mission model employed indicated that nonrecurring costs have to be shared with other programs unless the mission model grows. Extended performance missions exhibited the greatest benefits when compared with monopropellant hydrazine propulsion.

  16. The NASA-JPL advanced propulsion program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frisbee, Robert H.

    1994-01-01

    Institute (engine testing), Thermacore (electrode development), as well as at MIT (plume modeling), and USC (diagnostics). Also, the mission performance of a nuclear-electric propulsion (NEP) Li-LFA Mars cargo vehicle is being modeled by JPL (mission analysis; thruster and power processor modeling) and the Rocketdyne Energy Technology and Engineering Center (ETEC) (power system modeling). Finally, the fusion propulsion research activities that JPL is supporting at Pennsylvania State University (PSU) and at Lawrenceville Plasma Physics (LPP) are aimed at far-term fast (less than 100 day round trip) piloted Mars missions and, in the very far term, interstellar missions.

  17. ECR-GDM Thruster for Fusion Propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Brainerd, Jerome J.; Reisz, Al

    2009-03-16

    The concept of the Gasdynamic Mirror (GDM) device for fusion propulsion was proposed by and Lee (1995) over a decade ago and several theoretical papers has supported the feasibility of the concept. A new ECR plasma source has been built to supply power to the GDM experimental thruster previously tested at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). The new plasma generator, powered by microwaves at 2.45 or 10 GHz. is currently being tested. This ECR plasma source operates in a number of distinct plasma modes, depending upon the strength and shape of the local magnetic field. Of particular interest is the compact plasma jet issuing form the plasma generator when operated in a mirror configuration. The measured velocity profile in the jet plume is bimodal, possibly as a result of the GDM effect in the ECR chamber of the thruster.

  18. ECR-GDM Thruster for Fusion Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brainerd, Jerome J.; Reisz, Al

    2009-03-01

    The concept of the Gasdynamic Mirror (GDM) device for fusion propulsion was proposed by and Lee (1995) over a decade ago and several theoretical papers has supported the feasibility of the concept. A new ECR plasma source has been built to supply power to the GDM experimental thruster previously tested at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). The new plasma generator, powered by microwaves at 2.45 or 10 GHz. is currently being tested. This ECR plasma source operates in a number of distinct plasma modes, depending upon the strength and shape of the local magnetic field. Of particular interest is the compact plasma jet issuing form the plasma generator when operated in a mirror configuration. The measured velocity profile in the jet plume is bimodal, possibly as a result of the GDM effect in the ECR chamber of the thruster.

  19. Aeronautical facilities assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Penaranda, F. E. (Compiler)

    1985-01-01

    A survey of the free world's aeronautical facilities was undertaken and an evaluation made on where the relative strengths and weaknesses exist. Special emphasis is given to NASA's own capabilities and needs. The types of facilities surveyed are: Wind Tunnels; Airbreathing Propulsion Facilities; and Flight Simulators

  20. Study of soft X-ray emission during wire array implosion under plasma focus conditions at the PF-3 facility

    SciTech Connect

    Dan’ko, S. A.; Mitrofanov, K. N.; Krauz, V. I.; Myalton, V. V.; Zhuzhunashvili, A. I.; Vinogradov, V. P.; Kharrasov, A. M.; Anan’ev, S. S.; Vinogradova, Yu. V.; Kalinin, Yu. G.

    2015-11-15

    Results of measurements of soft X-ray emission with photon energies of <1 keV under conditions of a plasma focus (PF) experiment are presented. The experiments were carried out at the world’s largest PF device—the PF-3 Filippov-type facility (I ⩽ 3 MA, T/4 ≈ 15–20 µs, W{sub 0} ⩽ 3 MJ). X-ray emission from both a discharge in pure neon and with a tungsten wire array placed on the axis of the discharge chamber was detected. The wire array imploded under the action of the electric current intercepted from the plasma current sheath of the PF discharge in neon. The measured soft X-ray powers from a conventional PF discharge in gas and a PF discharge in the presence of a wire array were compared for the first time.

  1. Overview of Advanced Electromagnetic Propulsion Development at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pencil, Eric J.; Kamhawi, Hani; Gilland, James H.; Arrington, Lynn A.

    2005-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center s Very High Power Electric Propulsion task is sponsored by the Energetics Heritage Project. Electric propulsion technologies currently being investigated under this program include pulsed electromagnetic plasma thrusters, magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters, helicon plasma sources as well as the systems models for high power electromagnetic propulsion devices. An investigation and evaluation of pulsed electromagnetic plasma thruster performance at energy levels up to 700 Joules is underway. On-going magnetoplasmadynamic thruster experiments will investigate applied-field performance characteristics of gas-fed MPDs. Plasma characterization of helicon plasma sources will provide additional insights into the operation of this novel propulsion concept. Systems models have been developed for high power electromagnetic propulsion concepts, such as pulsed inductive thrusters and magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters to enable an evaluation of mission-optimized designs.

  2. Magnetooptical Faraday and Light-Scattering Diagnostics of Laser Plasma in Leopard Laser Facility at UNR/NTF

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarkisov, G. S.; Yates, K.; Ivanov, V. V.; Sotnikov, V. I.; Yasin, E.; Wiewior, P.; Astanovitsky, A.; Chaly, O.; Kindel, J.

    2009-11-01

    Laser plasma of the solid target on Leopard Laser Facility at University of Nevada Reno was investigated using polarimetry, interferometry and laser-scattering diagnostics. 50 TW Nd:glass Leopard laser operates on 1056 nm wavelength, 10 J energy and 1ns/400 fs pulse width. Power flux on a target surface varied from 10^14 to 10^19W/cm^2 with 20 μm focus spot from off-axis parabola. The diagnostic of spontaneous magnetic fields in laser plasma was carried out using three-channel polarinterferometer with Faraday, shadow and interferogram channels. Ultrafast two-frame shadowgrams/interferograms with two probing beams with orthogonal polarizations were used for investigation of fast moving plasma phenomena (jets, ionization front propagation). Continuous 1W green DPSS-laser with external modulation was used for light scattering experiments for investigation of the late-time micro-particles generation in laser plasma with expected large charge number of the grain Z ˜ 100-1000.

  3. Propulsion technology discipline

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Lee W.

    1990-01-01

    Viewgraphs on propulsion technology discipline for Space Station Freedom are presented. Topics covered include: water electrolysis O2/H2 system; hydrazine system advancements; common technology; fluids disposal; and storable bipropellant system.

  4. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP)

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA's history with nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) technology goes back to the earliest days of the Agency. The Manned Lunar Rover Vehicle and the Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Applications p...

  5. Space propulsion technology overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pelouch, J. J., Jr.

    1979-01-01

    Chemical and electric propulsion technologies for operations beyond the shuttle's orbit with focus on future mission needs and economic effectiveness is discussed. The adequacy of the existing propulsion state-of-the-art, barriers to its utilization, benefit of technology advances, and the prognosis for advancement are the themes of the discussion. Low-thrust propulsion for large space systems is cited as a new technology with particularly high benefit. It is concluded that the shuttle's presence for at least two decades is a legitimate basis for new propulsion technology, but that this technology must be predicted on an awareness of mission requirements, economic factors, influences of other technologies, and real constraints on its utilization.

  6. Space propulsion technology overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pelouch, J. J., Jr.

    1979-01-01

    This paper discusses Shuttle-era, chemical and electric propulsion technologies for operations beyond the Shuttle's orbit with focus on future mission needs and economic effectiveness. The adequacy of the existing propulsion state-of-the-art, barriers to its utilization, benefit of technology advances, and the prognosis for advancement are the themes of the discussion. Low-thrust propulsion for large space systems is cited as a new technology with particularly high benefit. It is concluded that the Shuttle's presence for at least two decades is a legitimate basis for new propulsion technology, but that this technology must be predicated on an awareness of mission requirements, economic factors, influences of other technologies, and real constraints on its utilization.

  7. Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP)

    NASA Video Gallery

    Future Human Exploration requires high power solar electric propulsion vehicles to move cargo and humans beyond Low Earth Orbit, which requires large light weight arrays, high power processing, and...

  8. Solar Thermal Rocket Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sercel, J. C.

    1986-01-01

    Paper analyzes potential of solar thermal rockets as means of propulsion for planetary spacecraft. Solar thermal rocket uses concentrated Sunlight to heat working fluid expelled through nozzle to produce thrust.

  9. Evaluation of Cooling Conditions for a High Heat Flux Testing Facility Based on Plasma-Arc Lamps

    SciTech Connect

    Charry, Carlos H.; Abdel-khalik, Said I.; Yoda, Minami; Sabau, Adrian S.; Snead, Lance Lewis

    2015-07-31

    The new Irradiated Material Target Station (IMTS) facility for fusion materials at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) uses an infrared plasma-arc lamp (PAL) to deliver incident heat fluxes as high as 27 MW/m2. The facility is being used to test irradiated plasma-facing component materials as part of the joint US-Japan PHENIX program. The irradiated samples are to be mounted on molybdenum sample holders attached to a water-cooled copper rod. Depending on the size and geometry of samples, several sample holders and copper rod configurations have been fabricated and tested. As a part of the effort to design sample holders compatible with the high heat flux (HHF) testing to be conducted at the IMTS facility, numerical simulations have been performed for two different water-cooled sample holder designs using the ANSYS FLUENT 14.0 commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software package. The primary objective of this work is to evaluate the cooling capability of different sample holder designs, i.e. to estimate their maximum allowable incident heat flux values. 2D axisymmetric numerical simulations are performed using the realizable k-ε turbulence model and the RPI nucleate boiling model within ANSYS FLUENT 14.0. The results of the numerical model were compared against the experimental data for two sample holder designs tested in the IMTS facility. The model has been used to parametrically evaluate the effect of various operational parameters on the predicted temperature distributions. The results were used to identify the limiting parameter for safe operation of the two sample holders and the associated peak heat flux limits. The results of this investigation will help guide the development of new sample holder designs.

  10. Evaluation of Cooling Conditions for a High Heat Flux Testing Facility Based on Plasma-Arc Lamps

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Charry, Carlos H.; Abdel-khalik, Said I.; Yoda, Minami; Sabau, Adrian S.; Snead, Lance Lewis

    2015-07-31

    The new Irradiated Material Target Station (IMTS) facility for fusion materials at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) uses an infrared plasma-arc lamp (PAL) to deliver incident heat fluxes as high as 27 MW/m2. The facility is being used to test irradiated plasma-facing component materials as part of the joint US-Japan PHENIX program. The irradiated samples are to be mounted on molybdenum sample holders attached to a water-cooled copper rod. Depending on the size and geometry of samples, several sample holders and copper rod configurations have been fabricated and tested. As a part of the effort to design sample holders compatiblemore » with the high heat flux (HHF) testing to be conducted at the IMTS facility, numerical simulations have been performed for two different water-cooled sample holder designs using the ANSYS FLUENT 14.0 commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software package. The primary objective of this work is to evaluate the cooling capability of different sample holder designs, i.e. to estimate their maximum allowable incident heat flux values. 2D axisymmetric numerical simulations are performed using the realizable k-ε turbulence model and the RPI nucleate boiling model within ANSYS FLUENT 14.0. The results of the numerical model were compared against the experimental data for two sample holder designs tested in the IMTS facility. The model has been used to parametrically evaluate the effect of various operational parameters on the predicted temperature distributions. The results were used to identify the limiting parameter for safe operation of the two sample holders and the associated peak heat flux limits. The results of this investigation will help guide the development of new sample holder designs.« less

  11. Computational fluid dynamics for propulsion technology: Geometric grid visualization in CFD-based propulsion technology research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ziebarth, John P.; Meyer, Doug

    1992-01-01

    The coordination is examined of necessary resources, facilities, and special personnel to provide technical integration activities in the area of computational fluid dynamics applied to propulsion technology. Involved is the coordination of CFD activities between government, industry, and universities. Current geometry modeling, grid generation, and graphical methods are established to use in the analysis of CFD design methodologies.

  12. Advanced propulsion on a shoestring

    SciTech Connect

    Lerner, E.J.

    1990-05-01

    Consideration is given to propulsion concepts under study by NASA Advanced Propulsion Research Program. These concepts include fusion, antimatter-matter annihilation, microwave electrothermal, and electron cyclotron resonance propulsion. Results from programs to develop fusion technologies are reviewed, including compact fusion devices and inertial confinement experiments. Problems concerning both antimatter and fusion propulsion concepts are examined and the economic issues related to propulsion research are discussed.

  13. Mission applications of electric propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Atkins, K. L.

    1974-01-01

    This paper reviews the mission applications of electric propulsion. The energy requirements of candidate high-energy missions gaining in NASA priority are used to highlight the potential of electric propulsion. Mission-propulsion interfaces are examined to point out differences between chemical and electric applications. Brief comparisons between ballistic requirements and capabilities and those of electric propulsion show that electric propulsion is presently the most practical and perhaps the only technology which can accomplish missions with these energy requirements.

  14. Vehicle propulsion system

    SciTech Connect

    Ridgway, S.L.

    1981-11-17

    A hybrid vehicle propulsion system is disclosed which utilizes an internal combustion engine, an afterburner, and a steam engine in combination for improved efficiency and reduced emission of pollutants. The afterburner is provided to reduce the level of pollutants emitted and to increase the temperature of the exhaust gases from the internal combustion engine. The heat from the exhaust gases, together with the heat removed from the internal combustion cylinders, is then utilized in the steam engine to provide additional propulsion.

  15. Electric propulsion - Now

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gerpheide, J. H.

    1974-01-01

    The state of the art of electric propulsion technology is discussed with a review of the many difficult engineering problems which must be resolved before the incorporation of electric propulsion in space missions. Interferences with the spacecraft and its scientific instrumentation, conducted and radiated electromagnetic interferences during the switching and processing of large electrical loads, and mercury and other eroded materials deposition on the spacecraft are indicated among the engineering and design challenges to be overcome and resolved.

  16. Electric propulsion technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finke, R. C.

    1980-01-01

    The advanced electric propulsion program is directed towards lowering the specific impulse and increasing the thrust per unit of ion thruster systems. In addition, electrothermal and electromagnetic propulsion technologies are being developed to attempt to fill the gap between the conventional ion thruster and chemical rocket systems. Most of these new concepts are exagenous and are represented by rail accelerators, ablative Teflon thrusters, MPD arcs, Free Radicals, etc. Endogenous systems such as metallic hydrogen offer great promise and are also being pursued.

  17. Advanced propulsion concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frisbee, Robert H.

    1991-01-01

    A variety of Advanced Propulsion Concepts (APC) is discussed. The focus is on those concepts that are sufficiently near-term that they could be developed for the Space Exploration Initiative. High-power (multi-megawatt) electric propulsion, solar sails, tethers, and extraterrestrial resource utilization concepts are discussed. A summary of these concepts and some general conclusions on their technology development needs are presented.

  18. The LAPD Upgrade, Construction of a 18 meter plasma facility for Basic Physics Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pribyl, Patrick; Gekelman, Walter; Leneman, David

    1998-11-01

    The LAPD (LArge Plasma Device) at UCLA is in the process of being upgraded to a 18m long, 70 cm diameter plasma column with background magnetic field strength up to 4 KiloGauss. (Plasma length ≈ 2X10^6 λ _Debye diameter ≈ 1600 R_cI, 160 c/ω_pe, 2 c/ω_pi) The plasma is produced using two Barium Oxide coated cathodes, one at each end. The chambers containing the cathodes have been designed to allow for the production of counterstreaming plasmas. The machine has 450 radial access ports and ten specially designed ports with nearly 360^o viewing access (for LIF and microwave tomography). Many of the ports will have vacuum interlock stations for rapid reconfiguration of the experiments. Helium plasmas will be fully ionized and are expected to have densities ≈ 5X10^12 cm^3, Te ≈ 20 e.V., Ti ≈ 3 e.V). The machine is designed for rapid turnaround of experiments and full 3 dimensional diagnostic access. It will be fully automated and networked to a state of the art data analysis and visualization network. Details of the construction of the machine, its diagnostics and its current status will be presented.

  19. Transonic airframe propulsion integration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coltrin, Robert E.; Sanders, Bobby W.; Bencze, Daniel P.

    1992-01-01

    This chart shows the time line for HSR propulsion/airframe integration program. HSR Phase 1 efforts are underway in both propulsion and aerodynamics. The propulsion efforts focus on cycles, inlets combustors and nozzles that will be required to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOX) at cruise and noise at takeoff and landing to acceptable levels. The aerodynamic efforts concentrate on concepts that will reduce sonic booms and increase the lift/drag (L/D) ratio for the aircraft. The Phase 2 critical propulsion component technology program will focus on large scale demonstrators of the inlet, fan, combustor, and nozzle. The hardware developed here will feed into the propulsion system program which will demonstrate overall system technology readiness, particularly in the takeoff and supersonic cruise speed ranges. The Phase 2 aerodynamic performance and vehicle integration program will provide a validated data base for advanced airframe/control/integration concepts over the full HSR speed range. The results of this program will also feed into the propulsion system demonstration program, particularly in the critical transonic arena.

  20. Ion Beam Propulsion Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  1. Solar Thermal Propulsion Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Researchers at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) have designed, fabricated, and tested the first solar thermal engine, a non-chemical rocket engine that produces lower thrust but has better thrust efficiency than a chemical combustion engine. MSFC turned to solar thermal propulsion in the early 1990s due to its simplicity, safety, low cost, and commonality with other propulsion systems. Solar thermal propulsion works by acquiring and redirecting solar energy to heat a propellant. The 20- by 24-ft heliostat mirror (not shown in this photograph) has a dual-axis control that keeps a reflection of the sunlight on the 18-ft diameter concentrator mirror, which then focuses the sunlight to a 4-in focal point inside the vacuum chamber. The focal point has 10 kilowatts of intense solar power. This image, taken during the test, depicts the light being concentrated into the focal point inside the vacuum chamber. As part of MSFC's Space Transportation Directorate, the Propulsion Research Center serves as a national resource for research of advanced, revolutionary propulsion technologies. The mission is to move the Nation's capabilities beyond the confines of conventional chemical propulsion into an era of aircraft-like access to Earth orbit, rapid travel throughout the solar system, and exploration of interstellar space.

  2. Electric Propulsion Platforms at DFRC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baraaclough, Jonathan

    2009-01-01

    NASA Dryden Flight Research Center is a world-class flight research facility located at Edwards AFB, CA. With access to a 44 sq. mile dry lakebed and 350 testable days per year, it is the ideal location for flight research. DFRC has been undertaking aircraft research for approximately six decades including the famous X-aircraft (X-1 through X-48) and many science and exploration platforms. As part of this impressive heritage, DFRC has garnered more hours of full-sized electric aircraft testing than any other facility in the US, and possibly the world. Throughout the 80 s and 90 s Dryden was the home of the Pathfinder, Pathfinder Plus, and Helios prototype solar-electric aircraft. As part of the ERAST program, these electric aircraft achieved a world record 97,000 feet altitude for propeller-driven aircraft. As a result of these programs, Dryden s staff has collected thousands of man-hours of electric aircraft research and testing. In order to better answer the needs of the US in providing aircraft technologies with lower fuel consumption, lower toxic emissions (NOx, CO, VOCs, etc.), lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and lower noise emissions, NASA has engaged in cross-discipline research under the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD). As a part of this overall effort, Mark Moore of LaRC has initiated a cross-NASA-center electric propulsion working group (EPWG) to focus on electric propulsion technologies as applied to aircraft. Electric propulsion technologies are ideally suited to overcome all of the obstacles mentioned above, and are at a sufficiently advanced state of development component-wise to warrant serious R&D and testing (TRL 3+). The EPWG includes participation from NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC), Glenn Research Center (GRC), Ames Research Center (ARC), and Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC). Each of the center participants provides their own unique expertise to support the overall goal of advancing the state-of-the-art in aircraft

  3. Electric propulsion in Russia and its practical applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popov, G. A.; Ryzhov, Y. A.

    1993-06-01

    The R&D of electric propulsion in Russia is discussed. Results of studies and tests on ion thrusters, arc thrusters, magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters, pulsed plasma thrusters, and stationary plasma thrusters are described. The significance of the results for spacecraft discharging are addressed.

  4. NASA's Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Michael; Mitchell, Sonny; Kim, Tony; Borowski, Stanley; Power, Kevin; Scott, John; Belvin, Anthony; Clement, Steven

    2015-01-01

    Space fission power systems can provide a power rich environment anywhere in the solar system, independent of available sunlight. Space fission propulsion offers the potential for enabling rapid, affordable access to any point in the solar system. One type of space fission propulsion is Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP). NTP systems operate by using a fission reactor to heat hydrogen to very high temperature (>2500 K) and expanding the hot hydrogen through a supersonic nozzle. First generation NTP systems are designed to have an Isp of approximately 900 s. The high Isp of NTP enables rapid crew transfer to destinations such as Mars, and can also help reduce mission cost, improve logistics (fewer launches), and provide other benefits. However, for NTP systems to be utilized they must be affordable and viable to develop. NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) NTP project is a technology development project that will help assess the affordability and viability of NTP. Early work has included fabrication of representative graphite composite fuel element segments, coating of representative graphite composite fuel element segments, fabrication of representative cermet fuel element segments, and testing of fuel element segments in the Compact Fuel Element Environmental Tester (CFEET). Near-term activities will include testing approximately 16" fuel element segments in the Nuclear Thermal Rocket Element Environmental Simulator (NTREES), and ongoing research into improving fuel microstructure and coatings. In addition to recapturing fuels technology, affordable development, qualification, and utilization strategies must be devised. Options such as using low-enriched uranium (LEU) instead of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) are being assessed, although that option requires development of a key technology before it can be applied to NTP in the thrust range of interest. Ground test facilities will be required, especially if NTP is to be used in conjunction with high value or

  5. Electric propulsion and its applications to space missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finke, R. C.

    1981-01-01

    Consideration is given the NASA, Air Force and European electric propulsion programs, the characteristics of primary electric propulsion systems, nuclear electric orbit transfer vehicles, and such topics in the fundamental processes of electrostatic thrusters as sputtering in mercury ion thrusters, the screen hole plasma sheath of an ion accelerator system, and the modelling of ion beam neutralization and nitrogen chemisorption. Also considered are electrostatic thruster components and systems, electromagnetic thrusters such as MPD and RIT systems, electric rail guns and mass drivers, power sources which include solar and nuclear alternatives, power conversion systems and their cooling apparatus, and the environmental interactions between spacecraft and their electric propulsion systems.

  6. Plasmakristall-4: A microgravity complex plasma facility on the way to launch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pustylnik, Mikhail; Thomas, Hubertus; Fortov, Vladimir; Thoma, Markus; Lipaev, Andrey; Morfill, Gregor; Molotkov, Vladimir; Usachev, Alexander; Zobnin, Andrey; Tarantik, Karl; Albrecht, Sebastian; Deysenroth, Christian; Rau, Christian; Mitic, Slobodan; Nosenko, Vladimir; Fink, Martin; Prof

    Complex plasmas, a special case of dusty plasmas, are one of the most interesting physical objects to be studied under microgravity conditions. A way from dusty plasmas to complex plasmas was revealed when strong coupling phenomena in the dust subsystem were first theoretically predicted and then observed under ground laboratory conditions. Complex plasmas are, therefore, dusty plasmas, which are prepared intentionally to study generic phenomena of condensed matter physics. Complex plasmas have several advantages in this respect: Real-time, virtually undamped dynamics of the system can be resolved on the kinetic level, i.e. on the level of single microparticles. Under ground laboratory conditions the microparticles are strongly affected by the gravitational force, which has to be compensated by strong electrostatic forces. Therefore, the volume occupied by the microparticles is limited to sheath region. This makes formation of uniform 3D structures under ground condition almost impossible. Microgravity is therefore essential for studying 3D complex plasma systems. The next lab for complex plasma research under mug-conditions will be PK-4, a joint Russian-European project. The special feature of PK-4 (with respect to its predecessor PK-3 Plus on the ISS) is that it will allow to study the fluid phenomena. Geometry of the plasma chamber (a glass tube with the working part of about 200 mm long and 30 mm diameter) implies presence of micropaticle flows along its axis. A custom-made power supply will create either a DC or polarity-switched discharge inside the chamber filled with either neon or argon. In the DC mode the negatively-charged microparticles will drift opposite to the electric field. Polarity switching can be done with up to several kHz frequency, which will allow the discharge to change polarity, whereas heavy microparticles will be insensitive to such fast variations of the electric field. In this way, microparticles will be trapped inside the plasma

  7. Experimental characterization of ultraviolet radiation of air in a high enthalpy plasma torch facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casses, C. J.; Bertrand, P. J.; Jacobs, C. M.; Mac Donald, M. E.; Laux, Ch. O.

    2015-06-01

    During atmospheric reentry, a plasma is formed ahead of the surface of the vehicle and the excited particle present in the plasma produces radiative heating fluxes to the surface of the vehicle. A high-temperature air plasma torch operating at atmospheric pressure was used to experimentally reproduce atmospheric reentry conditions. A high-resolution and absolute intensity emission spectrum (full width at half maximum (FWHM) = 0.064 nm) was obtained from 200 to 450 nm and then compared with computational results provided by the SPECAIR code [1]. This paper discusses the comparison of the two spectra over this wavelength range in order to confirm the validity of the calculation and provide direction to improve the calculated spectrum.

  8. Laser space propulsion overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phipps, Claude; Luke, James; Helgeson, Wesley

    2007-03-01

    In this paper, we review the history of laser space propulsion from its earliest theoretical conceptions to modern practical applicatons. Applications begin with the "Lightcraft" flights of Myrabo and include practical thrusters for satellites now completing development as well as proposals for space debris removal and direct launch of payloads into orbit. We consider laser space propulsion in the most general sense, in which laser radiation is used to propel a vehicle in space. In this sense, the topic includes early proposals for pure photon propulsion, laser ablation propulsion, as well as propulsion using lasers to detonate a gas, expel a liquid, heat and expel a gas, or even to propagate power to a remote conventional electric thruster. We also discuss the most recent advances in LSP. For the first time, it is possible to consider space propulsion engines which exhibit thrust of one to several newtons while simultaneously delivering 3,000 seconds, or greater, specific impulse. No other engine concept can do both in a compact format. These willl use onboard, rather than remote, lasers. We will review the concept of chemically augmented electric propulsion, which can provide overall thrust efficiency greater than unity while maintaining very low mass to power ratio, high mean time to failure and broad operating range. The main advantage of LSP is exhaust velocity which can be instantaneously varied from 2km/s to 30km/s, simply by varying laser pulsewidth and focal spot size on target. The laser element will probably be a diode-pumped, fiber master-oscillator-power-amplifier (MOPA) system. Liquid fuels are necessary for volumetric efficiency and reliable performance at the multi-kW optical power levels required for multi-N thrust.

  9. Gravitational Wave Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fontana, Giorgio

    2005-02-01

    There is only one experimental proof that gravitational waves exist. With such a limitation, it may seem premature to suggest the possibility that gravitational waves can became a preferred space propulsion technique. The present understanding of the problem indicates that this is not the case. The emission of gravitational waves from astrophysical sources has been confirmed by observation, the respective detection at large distance from the source is difficult and actually we have no confirmation of a successful detection. Therefore the required preliminary discovery has been already made. This opinion is enforced by many different proposals for building the required powerful gravitational wave generators that have recently appeared in the literature and discussed at conferences. It is no longer reasonable to wait for additional confirmation of the existence of gravitational waves to start a program for building generators and testing their possible application to space travel. A vast literature shows that gravitational waves can be employed for space propulsion. Gravitational wave rockets have been proposed, non-linearity of Einstein equations allows the conversion of gravitational waves to a static gravitational field and ``artificial gravity assist'' may become a new way of travelling in space-time. Different approaches to gravitational wave propulsion are reviewed and compared. Gravitational wave propulsion is also compared to traditional rocket propulsion and an undeniable advantage can be demonstrated in terms of efficiency and performance. Testing the predictions will require gravitational wave generators with high power and wavelength short enough for producing high energy densities. Detectors designed for the specific application must be developed, taking into account that non-linearity effects are expected. The study and development of Gravitational wave propulsion is a very challenging endeavor, involving the most complex theories, sophisticated

  10. Coincident ion acceleration and electron extraction for space propulsion using the self-bias formed on a set of RF biased grids bounding a plasma source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rafalskyi, D.; Aanesland, A.

    2014-11-01

    We propose an alternative method to accelerate ions in classical gridded ion thrusters and ion sources such that co-extracted electrons from the source may provide beam space charge neutralization. In this way there is no need for an additional electron neutralizer. The method consists of applying RF voltage to a two-grid acceleration system via a blocking capacitor. Due to the unequal effective area of the two grids in contact with the plasma, a dc self-bias is formed, rectifying the applied RF voltage. As a result, ions are continuously accelerated within the grid system while electrons are emitted in brief instants within the RF period when the RF space charge sheath collapses. This paper presents the first experimental results and a proof-of-principle. Experiments are carried out using the Neptune thruster prototype which is a gridded Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) source operated at 4 MHz, attached to a larger beam propagation chamber. The RF power supply is used both for the ICP discharge (plasma generation) and powering the acceleration grids via a capacitor for ion acceleration and electron extraction without any dc power supplies. The ion and electron energies, particle flux and densities are measured using retarding field energy analyzers (RFEA), Langmuir probes and a large beam target. The system operates in Argon and N2. The dc self-bias is found to be generated within the gridded extraction system in all the range of operating conditions. Broad quasi-neutral ion-electron beams are measured in the downstream chamber with energies up to 400 eV. The beams from the RF acceleration method are compared with classical dc acceleration with an additional external electron neutralizer. It is found that the two acceleration techniques provide similar performance, but the ion energy distribution function from RF acceleration is broader, while the floating potential of the beam is lower than for the dc accelerated beam.

  11. EPOP: The Electric Propulsion Orbital Platform

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Friedly, V. J.; Ruyten, W. M.

    1995-01-01

    This paper describes the results of a one-year feasibility study for an Electric Propulsion Orbital Platform (EPOP), whose primary objective is to provide an instrumented platform for testing electric propulsion devices in space. The first flight, EPOP-1, is planned aboard the Shuttle-deployed Wake Shield Facility in March 1995, and will be designed around a commercial 1.8 kW, 0.5 hydrazine arcjet system. Specific subsystems are described, namely the arcjet and the power conditioning unit, the propellant and power systems, and Wake Shield Facility. Also, system engineering and integration issues are discussed. In an accompanying paper, the diagnostics and data acquisition and control systems are described in more detail.

  12. Nuclear Electric Propulsion Technology Panel findings and recommendations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doherty, Michael P.

    1992-01-01

    Summarized are the findings and recommendations of a triagency (NASA/DOE/DOD) panel on Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) Technology. NEP has been identified as a candidate nuclear propulsion technology for exploration of the Moon and Mars as part of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). The findings are stated in areas of system and subsystem considerations, technology readiness, and ground test facilities. Recommendations made by the panel are summarized concerning: (1) existing space nuclear power and propulsion programs, and (2) the proposed multiagency NEP technology development program.

  13. Design of an XUV FEL Driven by the Laser-Plasma Accelerator at theLBNL LOASIS Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Schroeder, Carl B.; Fawley, W.M.; Esarey, Eric; Leemans, W.P.

    2006-09-01

    We present a design for a compact FEL source of ultrafast, high-peak flux, soft x-ray pulses employing a high-current, GeV-energy electron beam from the existing laser-plasma accelerator at the LBNL LOASIS laser facility. The proposed ultra-fast source would be intrinsically temporally synchronized to the drive laser pulse, enabling pump-probe studies in ultra-fast science with pulse lengths of tens of fs. Owing both to the high current ({approx} 10 kA) and reasonable charge/pulse ({approx} 0.1-0.5 nC) of the laser-plasma-accelerated electron beams, saturated output fluxes are potentially 10{sup 13}--10{sup 14} photons/pulse. We examine devices based both on SASE and high-harmonic generated input seeds to give improved coherence and reduced undulator length, presenting both analytic scalings and numerical simulation results for expected FEL performance. A successful source would result in a new class of compact laser-driven FELs in which a conventional RF accelerator is replaced by a GeV-class laser-plasma accelerator whose active acceleration region is only a few cm in length.

  14. Simulating x-ray Thomson scattering signals from high-density, millimetre-scale plasmas at the National Ignition Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Chapman, D. A.; Kraus, D.; Falcone, R. W.; Kritcher, A. L.; Bachmann, B.; Collins, G. W.; Gaffney, J. A.; Hawreliak, J. A.; Landen, O. L.; Le Pape, S.; Ma, T.; Nilsen, J.; Pak, A.; Swift, D. C.; Döppner, T.; Gericke, D. O.; Glenzer, S. H.; Guymer, T. M.; Neumayer, P.; Redmer, R.; and others

    2014-08-15

    We have developed a model for analysing x-ray Thomson scattering data from high-density, millimetre-scale inhomogeneous plasmas created during ultra-high pressure implosions at the National Ignition Facility in a spherically convergent geometry. The density weighting of the scattered signal and attenuation of the incident and scattered x-rays throughout the target are included using radial profiles of the density, opacity, ionization state, and temperature provided by radiation-hydrodynamics simulations. These simulations show that the scattered signal is strongly weighted toward the bulk of the shocked plasma and the Fermi degenerate material near the ablation front. We show that the scattered signal provides a good representation of the temperature of this highly nonuniform bulk plasma and can be determined to an accuracy of ca. 15% using typical data analysis techniques with simple 0D calculations. On the other hand, the mean ionization of the carbon in the bulk is underestimated. We suggest that this discrepancy is due to the convolution of scattering profiles from different regions of the target. Subsequently, we discuss modifications to the current platform to minimise the impact of inhomogeneities, as well as opacity, and also to enable probing of conditions more strongly weighted toward the compressed core.

  15. Ion propulsion for communications satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Poeschel, R. L.

    1984-01-01

    In a recent study of potential applications for electric propulsion, it was determined that ion propulsion can provide North-South stationkeeping (NSSK) for communication satellites in geosynchronous orbit with appreciably less mass than chemical propulsion. While this finding is not new, the margin of benefit over advanced chemical propulsion technology depends strongly on the ion propulsion system specifications. Full advantage must be taken of the under-utilized stored energy available from the communication satellite's batteries. This paper describes a methodology for evaluating the benefits obtained in using ion propulsion for NSSK, both in terms of the mass reduction and its economic value.

  16. Efficiency of fish propulsion.

    PubMed

    Maertens, A P; Triantafyllou, M S; Yue, D K P

    2015-08-01

    The system efficiency of a self-propelled flexible body is ill-defined, hence we introduce the concept of quasi-propulsive efficiency, defined as the ratio of the power needed to tow a body in rigid-straight condition over the power it requires for self-propulsion, both measured for the same speed. Through examples we show that the quasi-propulsive efficiency is a rational non-dimensional metric of the propulsive fitness of fish and fish-like mechanisms, consistent with the goal to minimize fuel consumption under size and velocity constraints. We perform two-dimensional viscous simulations and apply the concept of quasi-propulsive efficiency to illustrate and discuss the efficiency of two-dimensional undulating foils employing first carangiform and then anguilliform kinematics. We show that low efficiency may be due to adverse body-propulsor hydrodynamic interactions, which cannot be accounted for by an increase in friction drag, as done previously, since at the Reynolds number Re = 5 000 considered in the simulations, pressure is a major contributor to both thrust and drag. PMID:26226349

  17. Nanosatellite Propulsion Development Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gagosian, J. S.; Rhee, M. S.; Zakrzwski, C. M.

    1999-01-01

    Earth-orbiting nanosatellite constellations are a unique and exciting means toward fulfilling part of the mission of the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). These constellations, which may consist of several hundred 10-kg spacecraft, present unique challenges in the area of propulsion. Many mission concepts require significant delta-v and attitude control capability to reside in the nanosatellites. In response to requirements from mission feasibility studies, such as the Magnetospheric Constellation study, the GSFC has initiated industry and government partnerships to develop enabling propulsion technologies. The largest challenge has been to meet the power constraints of nanosatellites. These power issues, combined with the high thrust required by many of the missions studied, have led the GSFC to concentrate its efforts on chemical propulsion technology. Electric propulsion technologies capable of performing efficiently at very low power are also of interest to the GSFC as potential candidates for nanosatellite formation flying missions. This paper provides the status of specific industrial or government partnerships undertaken by the GSFC to develop nano/micro propulsion components. Three specific technologies are described in detail: 1) Nanosatellite Solid Rocket Motor Prototype 2) Ultra-Low-Power Cold Gas Thruster for Spin-Axis Precession 3) Micro-Machined Solid-Propellant Gas Generators.

  18. Laser Propulsion Standardization Issues

    SciTech Connect

    Scharring, Stefan; Eckel, Hans-Albert; Roeser, Hans-Peter; Sinko, John E.; Sasoh, Akihiro

    2010-10-08

    It is a relevant issue in the research on laser propulsion that experimental results are treated seriously and that meaningful scientific comparison is possible between groups using different equipment and measurement techniques. However, critical aspects of experimental measurements are sparsely addressed in the literature. In addition, few studies so far have the benefit of independent confirmation by other laser propulsion groups. In this paper, we recommend several approaches towards standardization of published laser propulsion experiments. Such standards are particularly important for the measurement of laser ablation pulse energy, laser spot area, imparted impulse or thrust, and mass removal during ablation. Related examples are presented from experiences of an actual scientific cooperation between NU and DLR. On the basis of a given standardization, researchers may better understand and contribute their findings more clearly in the future, and compare those findings confidently with those already published in the laser propulsion literature. Relevant ISO standards are analyzed, and revised formats are recommended for application to laser propulsion studies.

  19. Propulsion IVHM Technology Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chicatelli, Amy K.; Maul, William A.; Fulton, Christopher E.

    2006-01-01

    The Propulsion IVHM Technology Experiment (PITEX) successfully demonstrated real-time fault detection and isolation of a virtual reusable launch vehicle (RLV) main propulsion system (MPS). Specifically, the PITEX research project developed and applied a model-based diagnostic system for the MPS of the X-34 RLV, a space-launch technology demonstrator. The demonstration was simulation-based using detailed models of the propulsion subsystem to generate nominal and failure scenarios during captive carry, which is the most safety-critical portion of the X-34 flight. Since no system-level testing of the X-34 Main Propulsion System (MPS) was performed, these simulated data were used to verify and validate the software system. Advanced diagnostic and signal processing algorithms were developed and tested in real time on flight-like hardware. In an attempt to expose potential performance problems, the PITEX diagnostic system was subjected to numerous realistic effects in the simulated data including noise, sensor resolution, command/valve talkback information, and nominal build variations. In all cases, the PITEX system performed as required. The research demonstrated potential benefits of model-based diagnostics, defined performance metrics required to evaluate the diagnostic system, and studied the impact of real-world challenges encountered when monitoring propulsion subsystems.

  20. High Speed Research: Propulsion Project Accomplishments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shaw, Robert J.

    1998-01-01

    This past year has been one of great accomplishment for the propulsion element of NASA's High Speed Research (HSR) Program. The HSR Program is a NASA/industry partnership to develop the high-risk/high-payoff airframe and propulsion technologies applicable to a second-generation supersonic commercial transport, or High Speed Civil Transport (HSCT). The propulsion element, which also involves industry partners, is managed by the NASA Lewis Research Center. These technologies will contribute greatly to U.S. industry's ability to make an informed product launch decision for an HSCT vehicle. Specific NASA Lewis accomplishments in 1997 include: 1. Small-scale combustor sector tests conducted in Lewis' Engine Research Building contributed to the evolution of approaches to developing a combustor with ultralow NOx emissions. 2. Components were tested in Lewis' CE-9 facility (in Lewis' Engine Research Building) to assess the performance of candidate ceramic matrix composite (CMC) materials in this realistic combustion environment. Test results were promising, and acceptable levels of structural durability were demonstrated for the ceramic matrix composite material tested. Ceramic matrix composites continue to show great promise for use in HSCT combustor liners. 3. Engine emissions tests in Lewis' Propulsion Systems Laboratory provided insight into other classes of emissions (e.g., particulates and aerosols) which will be important to control in HSCT propulsion system designs. 4. Small-scale nozzle tests conducted in Lewis' Aero-Acoustic Propulsion Laboratory are contributing to the design of a low-noise, high-performance mixer/ejector nozzle configuration for HSCT engines. Over 18,000 hours of durability testing were completed in Lewis' materials laboratories to evaluate superalloy and g-titanium aluminide performance for HSCT nozzle applications. A two-dimensional supersonic inlet concept was tested in Lewis' 10- by 10-Foot Supersonic Wind Tunnel. The extensive database and

  1. The NASA Advanced Propulsion Concepts at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leifer, S. D.; Frisbee, R. H.; Brophy, J. R.

    1997-01-01

    Research activities in advanced propulsion concepts at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are reviewed. The concepts were selected for study because each offers the potential for either significantly enhancing space transportation capability or enabling bold, ambitious new missions.

  2. Electric Propulsion Applications and Impacts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curran, Frank M.; Wickenheiser, Timothy J.

    1996-01-01

    Most space missions require on-board propulsion systems and these systems are often dominant spacecraft mass drivers. Presently, on-board systems account for more than half the injected mass for commercial communications systems and even greater mass fractions for ambitious planetary missions. Anticipated trends toward the use of both smaller spacecraft and launch vehicles will likely increase pressure on the performance of on-board propulsion systems. The acceptance of arcjet thrusters for operational use on commercial communications satellites ushered in a new era in on-board propulsion and exponential growth of electric propulsion across a broad spectrum of missions is anticipated. NASA recognizes the benefits of advanced propulsion and NASA's Office of Space Access and Technology supports an aggressive On-Board Propulsion program, including a strong electric propulsion element, to assure the availability of high performance propulsion systems to meet the goals of the ambitious missions envisioned in the next two decades. The program scope ranges from fundamental research for future generation systems through specific insertion efforts aimed at near term technology transfer. The On-Board propulsion program is committed to carrying technologies to levels required for customer acceptance and emphasizes direct interactions with the user community and the development of commercial sources. This paper provides a discussion of anticipated missions, propulsion functions, and electric propulsion impacts followed by an overview of the electric propulsion element of the NASA On-Board Propulsion program.

  3. Nuclear electric propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keaton, Paul W.; Tubb, David J.

    1986-01-01

    The feasibility is investigated of using nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) for slow freighter ships traveling from a 500 km low Earth orbit (LEO) to the Moon's orbit about the Earth, and on to Mars. NEP is also shown to be feasible for transporting people to Mars on long conjunction-class missions lasting about nine months one way, and on short sprint missions lasting four months one way. Generally, it was not attempted to optimize ion exhaust velocities, but rather suitable parameters to demonstrate NEP feasibility were chosen. Various combinations of missions are compared with chemical and nuclear thermal propulsion (NTR) systems. Typically, NEP and NTR can accomplish the same lifting task with similar mass in LEO. When compared to chemical propulsion, NEP was found to accomplish the same missions with 40% less mass in LEO. These findings are sufficiently encouraging as to merit further studies with optimum systems.

  4. Space station propulsion technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briley, G. L.

    1986-01-01

    The progress on the Space Station Propulsion Technology Program is described. The objectives are to provide a demonstration of hydrogen/oxygen propulsion technology readiness for the Initial Operating Capability (IOC) space station application, specifically gaseous hydrogen/oxygen and warm hydrogen thruster concepts, and to establish a means for evolving from the IOC space station propulsion to that required to support and interface with advanced station functions. The evaluation of concepts was completed. The accumulator module of the test bed was completed and, with the microprocessor controller, delivered to NASA-MSFC. An oxygen/hydrogen thruster was modified for use with the test bed and successfully tested at mixture ratios from 4:1 to 8:1.

  5. Nuclear electric propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keaton, Paul W.; Tubb, David J.

    1986-05-01

    The feasibility is investigated of using nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) for slow freighter ships traveling from a 500 km low Earth orbit (LEO) to the Moon's orbit about the Earth, and on to Mars. NEP is also shown to be feasible for transporting people to Mars on long conjunction-class missions lasting about nine months one way, and on short sprint missions lasting four months one way. Generally, it was not attempted to optimize ion exhaust velocities, but rather suitable parameters to demonstrate NEP feasibility were chosen. Various combinations of missions are compared with chemical and nuclear thermal propulsion (NTR) systems. Typically, NEP and NTR can accomplish the same lifting task with similar mass in LEO. When compared to chemical propulsion, NEP was found to accomplish the same missions with 40% less mass in LEO. These findings are sufficiently encouraging as to merit further studies with optimum systems.

  6. Advanced Chemical Propulsion Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  7. Space transportation propulsion USSR launcher technology, 1990

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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. Propulsion controlled aircraft computer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cogan, Bruce R. (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    A low-cost, easily retrofit Propulsion Controlled Aircraft (PCA) system for use on a wide range of commercial and military aircraft consists of an propulsion controlled aircraft computer that reads in aircraft data including aircraft state, pilot commands and other related data, calculates aircraft throttle position for a given maneuver commanded by the pilot, and then displays both current and calculated throttle position on a cockpit display to show the pilot where to move throttles to achieve the commanded maneuver, or is automatically sent digitally to command the engines directly.

  9. Nuclear thermal propulsion program overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.

    1991-01-01

    Nuclear thermal propulsion program is described. The following subject areas are covered: lunar and Mars missions; national space policy; international cooperation in space exploration; propulsion technology; nuclear rocket program; and budgeting.

  10. Characteristics and performance of a superconducting bumpy-torus magnet facility for plasma research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roth, J. R.; Holmes, A. D.; Keller, T. A.; Krawczonek, W. M.

    1973-01-01

    The NASA Lewis bumpy-torus facility consists of 12 superconducting coils, each 19 cm i.d. and capable of 3.0 T on its axis. The coils are equally spaced around a toroidal array with a major diameter of 1.52 m; they are mounted with the major axis of the torus vertical in a single vacuum tank 2.6 m in diameter. Tests of the facility mapped out its magnetic, cryogenic, vacuum, mechanical, and electrical performance. The design value of the maximum magnetic field on the magnetic axis, 3.0 T, was reached and exceeded. A maximum magnetic field of 3.23 T was held for a period of 60 minutes. When the coils were charged to a maximum magnetic field of 3.35 T, the coil system went normal without apparent damage or degradation of performance.

  11. Direct drive options for electric propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamley, John A.

    1995-01-01

    Power processing units (PPU's) in an electric propulsion system provide many challenging integration issues. The PPU must provide power to the electric thruster while maintaining compatibility with all of the spacecraft power and data systems. Inefficiencies in the power processor produce heat, which must be radiated to the environment in order to ensure reliable operation. Although PPU efficiencies are generally greater than 0.9, heat loads are often substantial. This heat must be rejected by thermal control systems which generally have specific masses of 15-30 kg/kW. PPU's also represent a large fraction of the electric propulsion system dry mass. Simplification or elimination of power processing in a propulsion system would reduce the electric propulsion system specific mass and improve the overall reliability and performance. A direct drive system would eliminate all or some of the power supplies required to operate a thruster by directly connecting the various thruster loads to the solar array. The development of concentrator solar arrays has enabled power bus voltages in excess of 300 V which is high enough for direct drive applications for Hall thrusters such as the Stationary Plasma Thruster (SPT). The option of solar array direct drive for SPT's is explored to provide a comparison between conventional and direct drive system mass.

  12. Nuclear Propulsion using Thin Foiled Fuel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, H.

    1998-11-01

    A new way to produce plasma for nuclear propulsion is proposed. A thin foiled fuel can be used for converting fission energy to propulsion energy efficiently. The fission products coming out of the thin foil directly ionize the hydrogen molecules which are used for propulsion. Thus very small portion of fission energy deposited in the thin foil, and integrity of the thin foiled fuel can be maintained even in high nuclear power. Fuel material with large thermal fission cross-section is preferable to make thin foiled fuel and the heat deposition in the foil can be reduced. To get high power from the foiled fuel assembly, thermal neutrons which are created out from the assembly can be supplied, or the assembly itself can create the high intensity thermal neutrons by self-multiplication. A flexible design of a highly efficient nuclear propulsion system can be made. The thickness of the foil and the maintenance of the thermo-mechanical integrity can be determined from the fission cross-section and the slowing down power for fission products. The talk discusses the issues related to heat removal from the assembly.

  13. The NASA Electric Propulsion Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stone, James R.; Byers, David C.; King, David Q.

    1988-01-01

    The NASA OAST Propulsion, Power, and Energy Division supports an electric propulsion program aimed at providing benefits to a broad class of missions. Concepts which have the potential to enable or significantly benefit space exploration and exploitation are identified and advanced toward application in the near and far term. This paper summarizes recent program progress in mission/system analysis; in electrothermal, electrostatic, and electromagnetic propulsion technologies; and in propulsion/spacecraft integration.

  14. Overview of high performance aircraft propulsion research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Biesiadny, Thomas J.

    1992-01-01

    The overall scope of the NASA Lewis High Performance Aircraft Propulsion Research Program is presented. High performance fighter aircraft of interest include supersonic flights with such capabilities as short take off and vertical landing (STOVL) and/or high maneuverability. The NASA Lewis effort involving STOVL propulsion systems is focused primarily on component-level experimental and analytical research. The high-maneuverability portion of this effort, called the High Alpha Technology Program (HATP), is part of a cooperative program among NASA's Lewis, Langley, Ames, and Dryden facilities. The overall objective of the NASA Inlet Experiments portion of the HATP, which NASA Lewis leads, is to develop and enhance inlet technology that will ensure high performance and stability of the propulsion system during aircraft maneuvers at high angles of attack. To accomplish this objective, both wind-tunnel and flight experiments are used to obtain steady-state and dynamic data, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) codes are used for analyses. This overview of the High Performance Aircraft Propulsion Research Program includes a sampling of the results obtained thus far and plans for the future.

  15. Implementation of a spark plasma sintering facility in a hermetic glovebox for compaction of toxic, radiotoxic, and air sensitive materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tyrpekl, V.; Berkmann, C.; Holzhäuser, M.; Köpp, F.; Cologna, M.; Wangle, T.; Somers, J.

    2015-02-01

    Spark plasma sintering (SPS) is a rapidly developing method for densification of powders into compacts. It belongs to the so-called "field assisted sintering techniques" that enable rapid sintering at much lower temperatures than the classical approaches of pressureless sintering of green pellets or hot isostatic pressing. In this paper, we report the successful integration of a SPS device into a hermetic glovebox for the handling of highly radioactive material containing radioisotopes of U, Th, Pu, Np, and Am. The glovebox implantation has been facilitated by the replacement of the hydraulic system to apply pressure with a compact electromechanical unit. The facility has been successfully tested using UO2 powder. Pellets with 97% of the theoretical density were obtained at 1000 °C for 5 min, significantly lower than the ˜1600 °C for 5-10 h used in conventional pellet sintering.

  16. Implementation of a spark plasma sintering facility in a hermetic glovebox for compaction of toxic, radiotoxic, and air sensitive materials.

    PubMed

    Tyrpekl, V; Berkmann, C; Holzhäuser, M; Köpp, F; Cologna, M; Wangle, T; Somers, J

    2015-02-01

    Spark plasma sintering (SPS) is a rapidly developing method for densification of powders into compacts. It belongs to the so-called "field assisted sintering techniques" that enable rapid sintering at much lower temperatures than the classical approaches of pressureless sintering of green pellets or hot isostatic pressing. In this paper, we report the successful integration of a SPS device into a hermetic glovebox for the handling of highly radioactive material containing radioisotopes of U, Th, Pu, Np, and Am. The glovebox implantation has been facilitated by the replacement of the hydraulic system to apply pressure with a compact electromechanical unit. The facility has been successfully tested using UO2 powder. Pellets with 97% of the theoretical density were obtained at 1000 °C for 5 min, significantly lower than the ∼1600 °C for 5-10 h used in conventional pellet sintering. PMID:25725860

  17. Modified Miniature Thomson-Type Analyzer For Measurements Of Mass- and Energy-Spectra Of Ions Within Plasma Facilities

    SciTech Connect

    Czaus, K.; Malinowski, K.; Sadowski, M. J.; Skladnik-Sadowska, E.

    2008-03-19

    The paper describes important improvements in the construction and operation of a miniature mass- and energy-analyzer of the Thomson type, which was developed especially for measurements of ions inside vacuum experimental chambers. The described analyzer constitutes a modified and improved version of the prototype miniature mass-spectrometer, which was designed several years ago. The paper describes experimental tests of the modified analyzer, which were carried out in the RPI-IBIS facility equipped with a multi-rod plasma injector. Results of the detailed measurements of energy distributions of protons and deuterons (from deuterium discharges) within the energy range from about 20 keV to about 300 keV are also presented.

  18. SPE propulsion electrolyzer for NASA's integrated propulsion test article

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1991-08-01

    Hamilton Standard has delivered a 3000 PSI SPE Propulsion Electrolyzer Stack and Special Test Fixture to the NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC) Integrated Propulsion Test Article (IPTA) program in June 1990, per contract NAS9-18030. This prototype unit demonstrates the feasibility of SPE-high pressure water electrolysis for future space applications such as Space Station propulsion and Lunar/Mars energy storage. The SPE-Propulsion Electrolyzer has met or exceeded all IPTA program goals. It continues to function as the primary hydrogen and oxygen source for the IPTA test bed at the NASA/JSC Propulsion and Power Division Thermochemical Test Branch.

  19. SPE propulsion electrolyzer for NASA's integrated propulsion test article

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    Hamilton Standard has delivered a 3000 PSI SPE Propulsion Electrolyzer Stack and Special Test Fixture to the NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC) Integrated Propulsion Test Article (IPTA) program in June 1990, per contract NAS9-18030. This prototype unit demonstrates the feasibility of SPE-high pressure water electrolysis for future space applications such as Space Station propulsion and Lunar/Mars energy storage. The SPE-Propulsion Electrolyzer has met or exceeded all IPTA program goals. It continues to function as the primary hydrogen and oxygen source for the IPTA test bed at the NASA/JSC Propulsion and Power Division Thermochemical Test Branch.

  20. General Aviation Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    Programs exploring and demonstrating new technologies in general aviation propulsion are considered. These programs are the quiet, clean, general aviation turbofan (QCGAT) program; the general aviation turbine engine (GATE) study program; the general aviation propeller technology program; and the advanced rotary, diesel, and reciprocating engine programs.

  1. Rarefaction wave gun propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kathe, Eric Lee

    A new species of gun propulsion that dramatically reduces recoil momentum imparted to the gun is presented. First conceived by the author on 18 March 1999, the propulsion concept is explained, a methodology for the design of a reasonable apparatus for experimental validation using NATO standard 35mm TP anti-aircraft ammunition is developed, and the experimental results are presented. The firing results are juxtaposed by a simple interior ballistic model to place the experimental findings into a context within which they may better be understood. Rarefaction wave gun (RAVEN) propulsion is an original contribution to the field of armament engineering. No precedent is known, and no experimental results of such a gun have been published until now. Recoil reduction in excess of 50% was experimentally achieved without measured loss in projectile velocity. RAVEN achieves recoil reduction by means of a delayed venting of the breech of the gun chamber that directs the high enthalpy propellant gases through an expansion nozzle to generate forward thrust that abates the rearward momentum applied to the gun prior to venting. The novel feature of RAVEN, relative to prior recoilless rifles, is that sufficiently delayed venting results in a rarefaction wave that follows the projectile though the bore without catching it. Thus, the projectile exits the muzzle without any compromise to its propulsion performance relative to guns that maintain a sealed chamber.

  2. Turboprop Propulsion Mechanic.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chanute AFB Technical Training Center, IL.

    This instructional package consists of a plan of instruction, glossary, and student handouts and exercises for use in training Air Force personnel to become turboprop propulsion mechanics. Addressed in the individual lessons of the course are the following: common hand tools, hardware, measuring devices, and safety wiring; aircraft and engine…

  3. Solar Electric Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    LaPointe, Michael

    2006-01-01

    The Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) technology area is tasked to develop near and mid-term SEP technology to improve or enable science mission capture while minimizing risk and cost to the end user. The solar electric propulsion investments are primarily driven by SMD cost-capped mission needs. The technology needs are determined partially through systems analysis tasks including the recent "Re-focus Studies" and "Standard Architecture Study." These systems analysis tasks transitioned the technology development to address the near term propulsion needs suitable for cost-capped open solicited missions such as Discovery and New Frontiers Class missions. Major SEP activities include NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT), implementing a Standard Architecture for NSTAR and NEXT EP systems, and developing a long life High Voltage Hall Accelerator (HiVHAC). Lower level investments include advanced feed system development and xenon recovery testing. Future plans include completion of ongoing ISP development activities and evaluating potential use of commercial electric propulsion systems for SMD applications. Examples of enhanced mission capability and technology readiness dates shall be discussed.

  4. Characterizing Hohlraum Plasma Conditions at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) Using X-ray Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrios, Maria Alejandra

    2015-11-01

    Improved hohlraums will have a significant impact on increasing the likelihood of indirect drive ignition at the NIF. In indirect-drive Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF), a high-Z hohlraum converts laser power into a tailored x-ray flux that drives the implosion of a spherical capsule filled with D-T fuel. The x-radiation drive to capsule coupling sets the velocity, adiabat, and symmetry of the implosion. Previous experiments in gas-filled hohlraums determined that the laser-hohlraum energy coupling is 20-25% less than modeled, therefore identifying energy loss mechanisms that reduce the efficacy of the hohlraum drive is central to improving implosion performance. Characterizing the plasma conditions, particularly the plasma electron temperature (Te) , is critical to understanding mechanism that affect the energy coupling such as the laser plasma interactions (LPI), hohlraum x-ray conversion efficiency, and dynamic drive symmetry. The first Te measurements inside a NIF hohlraum, presented here, were achieved using K-shell X-ray spectroscopy of an Mn-Co tracer dot. The dot is deposited on a thin-walled CH capsule, centered on the hohlraum symmetry axis below the laser entrance hole (LEH) of a bottom-truncated hohlraum. The hohlraum x-ray drive ablates the dot and causes it to flow upward, towards the LEH, entering the hot laser deposition region. An absolutely calibrated streaked spectrometer with a line of sight into the LEH records the temporal history of the Mn and Co X-ray emission. The measured (interstage) Lyα/ Heα line ratios for Co and Mn and the Mn-Heα/Co-Heα isoelectronic line ratio are used to infer the local plasma Te from the atomic physics code SCRAM. Time resovled x-ray images perpendicular to the hohlraum axis record the dot expansion and trajectory into the LEH region. The temporal evolution of the measured Te and dot trajectory are compared with simulations from radiation-hydrodynamic codes. This work was performed under the auspices of the U

  5. Overview on NASA's Advanced Electric Propulsion Concepts Activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frisbee, Robert H.

    1999-01-01

    Advanced electric propulsion research activities are currently underway that seek to addresses feasibility issues of a wide range of advanced concepts, and may result in the development of technologies that will enable exciting new missions within our solar system and beyond. Each research activity is described in terms of the present focus and potential future applications. Topics include micro-electric thrusters, electrodynamic tethers, high power plasma thrusters and related applications in materials processing, variable specific impulse plasma thrusters, pulsed inductive thrusters, computational techniques for thruster modeling, and advanced electric propulsion missions and systems studies.

  6. Electron temperature measurements inside the ablating plasma of gas-filled hohlraums at the National Ignition Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrios, M. A.; Liedahl, D. A.; Schneider, M. B.; Jones, O.; Brown, G. V.; Regan, S. P.; Fournier, K. B.; Moore, A. S.; Ross, J. S.; Landen, O.; Kauffman, R. L.; Nikroo, A.; Kroll, J.; Jaquez, J.; Huang, H.; Hansen, S. B.; Callahan, D. A.; Hinkel, D. E.; Bradley, D.; Moody, J. D.

    2016-05-01

    The first measurement of the electron temperature (Te) inside a National Ignition Facility hohlraum is obtained using temporally resolved K-shell X-ray spectroscopy of a mid-Z tracer dot. Both isoelectronic- and interstage-line ratios are used to calculate the local Te via the collisional-radiative atomic physics code SCRAM [Hansen et al., High Energy Density Phys 3, 109 (2007)]. The trajectory of the mid-Z dot as it is ablated from the capsule surface and moves toward the laser entrance hole (LEH) is measured using side-on x-ray imaging, characterizing the plasma flow of the ablating capsule. Data show that the measured dot location is farther away from the LEH in comparison to the radiation-hydrodynamics simulation prediction using HYDRA [Marinak et al., Phys. Plasmas 3, 2070 (1996)]. To account for this discrepancy, the predicted simulation Te is evaluated at the measured dot trajectory. The peak Te, measured to be 4.2 keV ± 0.2 keV, is ˜0.5 keV hotter than the simulation prediction.

  7. Advanced Chemical Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexander, L.

    2004-11-01

    Improving the performance and reliability characteristics of chemical propulsion systems requires research and testing of higher-performance propellants, higher efficiency thrusters, cryogenics technology, lightweight components and advancements in propulsion system design and assessment. Propellants are being investigated to identify practical combinations with higher efficiencies and better thermal properties to reduce thermal control requirements. This includes combinations with modest increases, such as LOX-hydrazine, as well as a new evaluation of major improvements available from fluorine-bearing oxidizers. Practical ways of implementing cryogenic propulsion to further increase efficiency are also being studied. Some potential advances include small pump-fed engines, and improvements in cryocooler technology and tank pressure control. Gelled propellants will be tested to determine the practicality of letting propellants freeze at low environmental temperatures and thawing them only when required for use. The propellant tank is typically the single highest non-expendable mass in a chemical propulsion system. Lightweight tank designs, materials and methods of fabrication are being investigated. These are projected to offer a 45-50 percent decrease in tank mass, representing the potential inert system mass savings. Mission and systems analyses are being conducted to guide the technology research and set priorities for technology investment, based on estimated gains in payload and mission capabilities. This includes development of advanced assessment tools and analyses of specific missions selected from Science Missions' Directorate. The goal is to mature a suite of reliable advanced propulsion technologies that will promote more cost efficient missions through the reduction of interplanetary trip time, increased scientific payload mass fraction and longer on-station operations. This talk will review the Advanced Chemical technology development roadmap, current

  8. Access and scientific exploitation of planetary plasma datasets with the CDPP/AMDA web-based facility in relation to the Europlanet-RI IDIS plasma node activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    André, N.; Cecconi, B.; Renard, B.; Budnik, E.; Genot, V.; Jacquey, C.; Hitier, R.; Bourrel, N.; Gangloff, M.; Pallier, E.; Bouchemit, M.; Besson, B.; Topf, F.; Baumjohann, W.; Khodachenko, M.; Rucker, H.; Zhang, T.

    2012-09-01

    The field of planetary sciences has greatly expanded in recent years with space missions orbiting around most of the planets of our Solar System. The growing amount and wealth of data available make it difficult for scientists to exploit data coming from many sources that can initially be heterogeneous in their organization, description and format. It is an important objective of the Europlanet-RI and IMPEx projects (supported by EU within FP7) to add value to space missions by significantly contributing to the effective scientific exploitation of collected data; to enable space researchers to take full advantage of the potential value of data sets. To this end and to enhance the science return from space missions, innovative tools have to be developed and offered to the community. AMDA (Automated Multi-Dataset Analysis, http://cdpp-amda.cesr.fr/) is a web-based facility developed at CDPP Toulouse in France (http://cdpp.cesr.fr) for on line analysis of space physics data (heliosphere, magnetospheres, planetary environments) coming from either its local database or distant ones. AMDA has been recently integrated as a service to the scientific community for the Plasma Physics thematic node of the Europlanet-RI IDIS (Integrated and Distributed Information Service, http://www.europlanet-idis.fi/) activities, in close cooperation with IWF Graz (http://europlanetplasmanode. oeaw.ac.at/index.php?id=9). We will report the status of our current technical and scientific efforts to integrate in the local database of AMDA various planetary plasma datasets (at Mercury, Venus, Mars, Earth and moon, Jupiter, Saturn) from heterogeneous sources, including NASA/Planetary Data System (http://ppi.pds.nasa.gov/). We will also present our prototype Virtual Observatory activities to connect the AMDA tool to the IVOA Aladin astrophysical tool to enable pluridisciplinary studies of giant planet auroral emissions.

  9. Access and scientific exploitation of planetary plasma datasets with the CDPP/AMDA web-based facility in relation to the Europlanet-RI IDIS plasma node activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Renard, B.; Budnik, E.; André, N.; Genot, V. N.; Jacquey, C.; Cecconi, B.; Fedorov, A.; Hitier, R.; Bourrel, N.; Gangloff, M.; Pallier, E.; Bouchemit, M.; Besson, B.; Topf, F.; Baumjohann, W.; Khodachenko, M. L.; Rucker, H. O.; Zhang, T.

    2011-12-01

    The field of planetary sciences has greatly expanded in recent years with space missions orbiting around most of the planets of our Solar System. The growing amount and wealth of data available make it difficult for scientists to exploit data coming from many sources that can initially be heterogeneous in their organization, description and format. It is an important objective of the Europlanet-RI and IMPEx projects (supported by EU within FP7) to add value to space missions by significantly contributing to the effective scientific exploitation of collected data; to enable space researchers to take full advantage of the potential value of data sets. To this end and to enhance the science return from space missions, innovative tools have to be developed and offered to the community. AMDA (Automated Multi-Dataset Analysis, http://cdpp-amda.cesr.fr/) is a web-based facility developed at CDPP Toulouse in France (http://cdpp.cesr.fr) for on line analysis of space physics data (heliosphere, magnetospheres, planetary environments) coming from either its local database or distant ones. AMDA has been recently integrated as a service to the scientific community for the Plasma Physics thematic node of the Europlanet-RI IDIS (Integrated and Distributed Information Service, http://www.europlanet-idis.fi/) activities, in close cooperation with IWF Graz (http://europlanet-plasmanode.oeaw.ac.at/index.php?id=9). We will report the status of our current technical and scientific efforts to integrate in the local database of AMDA various planetary plasma datasets (at Mercury, Venus, Mars, Earth and moon, Jupiter, Saturn) from heterogeneous sources, including NASA/Planetary Data System (http://ppi.pds.nasa.gov/).

  10. A 12 coil superconducting bumpy torus magnet facility for plasma research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roth, J. R.; Holmes, A. D.; Keller, T. A.; Krawczonek, W. M.

    1972-01-01

    A summary is presented of the performance of the two-coil superconducting pilot rig which preceded the NASA Lewis bumpy torus. This pilot rig was operated for 550 experimental runs over a period of 7 years. The NASA Lewis bumpy torus facility consists of 12 superconducting coils, each with a 19 cm in diameter and capable of producing magnetic field strengths of 3.0 teslas on their axes. The magnets are equally spaced around a major circumference 1.52 m in diameter, and are mounted with the major axis of the torus vertical in a single vacuum tank 2.59 m in diameter. The design value of maximum magnetic field on the magnetic axis (3.0 teslas) was reached and exceeded. A maximum magnetic field of 3.23 teslas was held for a period of 60 minutes, and the coils did not go to normal. When the coils were charged to a maximum magnetic field of 3.35 teslas, the coil system was driven normal without damage to the facility.

  11. Center for Advanced Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    The Center for Advanced Space Propulsion (CASP) is part of the University of Tennessee-Calspan Center for Aerospace Research (CAR). It was formed in 1985 to take advantage of the extensive research faculty and staff of the University of Tennessee and Calspan Corporation. It is also one of sixteen NASA sponsored Centers established to facilitate the Commercial Development of Space. Based on investigators' qualifications in propulsion system development, and matching industries' strong intent, the Center focused its efforts in the following technical areas: advanced chemical propulsion, electric propulsion, AI/Expert systems, fluids management in microgravity, and propulsion materials processing. This annual report focuses its discussion in these technical areas.

  12. Focal Point Inside the Vacuum Chamber for Solar Thermal Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Researchers at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) have designed, fabricated, and tested the first solar thermal engine, a non-chemical rocket engine that produces lower thrust but has better thrust efficiency than a chemical combustion engine. MSFC turned to solar thermal propulsion in the early 1990s due to its simplicity, safety, low cost, and commonality with other propulsion systems. Solar thermal propulsion works by acquiring and redirecting solar energy to heat a propellant. The 20- by 24-ft heliostat mirror (not shown in this photograph) has dual-axis control that keeps a reflection of the sunlight on an 18-ft diameter concentrator mirror, which then focuses the sunlight to a 4-in focal point inside the vacuum chamber. The focal point has 10 kilowatts of intense solar power. This photograph is a close-up view of a 4-in focal point inside the vacuum chamber at the MSFC Solar Thermal Propulsion Test facility. As part of MSFC's Space Transportation Directorate, the Propulsion Research Center serves as a national resource for research of advanced, revolutionary propulsion technologies. The mission is to move the Nation's capabilities beyond the confines of conventional chemical propulsion into an era of aircraft-like access to Earth orbit, rapid travel throughout the solar system, and exploration of interstellar space.

  13. The facile fabrication of tunable plasmonic gold nanostructure arrays using microwave plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, Chuen-Yuan; Huang, Jing-Wen; Gwo, Shangjr; Lin, Kuan-Jiuh

    2010-01-01

    Fabrication of isolated noble metal nanoparticles embedded in transparent substrates is the fasting growing demand for innovative plasmonic technologies. Here we report a simple and effective methodology for the preparation of highly stable plasmonic nanoparticles embedded in a glass surface. Size-controllable (10-70 nm) Au nanoparticles were rapidly prepared when subjected to the home-microwave plasma. Accordingly, the optical extinction maximum of the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) can be systematically tuned in the range 532-586 nm. We find that the plasmonic structures are exceedingly stable toward immersion in ethanol solvents and pass successfully the adhesive tape test, which makes our system highly promising for efficient transmission-LSPR nanosensors. Besides, the attractive features of substrate-bound plasmonic nanostructures include its low cost, versatility, robustness, reusability and a promising ability to make a multi-arrayed LSPR biochip.

  14. Note: Experimental platform for magnetized high-energy-density plasma studies at the omega laser facility.

    PubMed

    Fiksel, G; Agliata, A; Barnak, D; Brent, G; Chang, P-Y; Folnsbee, L; Gates, G; Hasset, D; Lonobile, D; Magoon, J; Mastrosimone, D; Shoup, M J; Betti, R

    2015-01-01

    An upgrade of the pulsed magnetic field generator magneto-inertial fusion electrical discharge system [O. Gotchev et al., Rev. Sci. Instrum. 80, 043504 (2009)] is described. The device is used to study magnetized high-energy-density plasma and is capable of producing a pulsed magnetic field of tens of tesla in a volume of a few cubic centimeters. The magnetic field is created by discharging a high-voltage capacitor through a small wire-wound coil. The coil current pulse has a duration of about 1 μs and a peak value of 40 kA. Compared to the original, the updated version has a larger energy storage and improved switching system. In addition, magnetic coils are fabricated using 3-D printing technology which allows for a greater variety of the magnetic field topology. PMID:25638132

  15. Note: Experimental platform for magnetized high-energy-density plasma studies at the omega laser facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiksel, G.; Agliata, A.; Barnak, D.; Brent, G.; Chang, P.-Y.; Folnsbee, L.; Gates, G.; Hasset, D.; Lonobile, D.; Magoon, J.; Mastrosimone, D.; Shoup, M. J.; Betti, R.

    2015-01-01

    An upgrade of the pulsed magnetic field generator magneto-inertial fusion electrical discharge system [O. Gotchev et al., Rev. Sci. Instrum. 80, 043504 (2009)] is described. The device is used to study magnetized high-energy-density plasma and is capable of producing a pulsed magnetic field of tens of tesla in a volume of a few cubic centimeters. The magnetic field is created by discharging a high-voltage capacitor through a small wire-wound coil. The coil current pulse has a duration of about 1 μs and a peak value of 40 kA. Compared to the original, the updated version has a larger energy storage and improved switching system. In addition, magnetic coils are fabricated using 3-D printing technology which allows for a greater variety of the magnetic field topology.

  16. Note: Experimental platform for magnetized high-energy-density plasma studies at the omega laser facility

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Fiksel, G.; Agliata, A.; Barnak, D.; Brent, G.; Chang, P. -Y.; Folnsbee, L.; Gates, G.; Hasset, D.; Lonobile, D.; Magoon, J.; et al

    2015-01-12

    Here, an upgrade of the pulsed magnetic field generator magneto-inertial fusion electrical discharge system [O. Gotchev et al., Rev. Sci. Instrum. 80, 043504 (2009)] is described. The device is used to study magnetized high-energy-density plasma and is capable of producing a pulsed magnetic field of tens of tesla in a volume of a few cubic centimeters. The magnetic field is created by discharging a high-voltage capacitor through a small wire-wound coil. The coil current pulse has a duration of about 1 μs and a peak value of 40 kA. Compared to the original, the updated version has a larger energymore » storage and improved switching system. In addition, magnetic coils are fabricated using 3-D printing technology which allows for a greater variety of the magnetic field topology.« less

  17. Note: Experimental platform for magnetized high-energy-density plasma studies at the omega laser facility

    SciTech Connect

    Fiksel, G.; Agliata, A.; Barnak, D.; Brent, G.; Chang, P. -Y.; Folnsbee, L.; Gates, G.; Hasset, D.; Lonobile, D.; Magoon, J.; Mastrosimone, D.; Shoup, III, M. J.; Betti, R.

    2015-01-12

    Here, an upgrade of the pulsed magnetic field generator magneto-inertial fusion electrical discharge system [O. Gotchev et al., Rev. Sci. Instrum. 80, 043504 (2009)] is described. The device is used to study magnetized high-energy-density plasma and is capable of producing a pulsed magnetic field of tens of tesla in a volume of a few cubic centimeters. The magnetic field is created by discharging a high-voltage capacitor through a small wire-wound coil. The coil current pulse has a duration of about 1 μs and a peak value of 40 kA. Compared to the original, the updated version has a larger energy storage and improved switching system. In addition, magnetic coils are fabricated using 3-D printing technology which allows for a greater variety of the magnetic field topology.

  18. The NASA Electric Propulsion program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Byers, D. C.

    1984-01-01

    It is pointed out that the NASA Electric Propulsion program is aimed at providing technology for auxiliary and primary propulsion functions for earth-orbital and planetary space missions. Efforts in electrostatic propulsion include analyses of ion propulsion for Geosynchronous (GEO) and planetary spacecraft, continued preflight efforts associated with the Ion Auxiliary Propulsion System (IAPS), and research and technology for advanced and simplified ion thruster systems. In the area of electromagnetic propulsion, studies were conducted regarding the feasibility and impacts of the use of electromagnetic launchers. Research on magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters, electromagnetic launchers, and Hall current thrusters was also performed. Studies in the electrothermal sector included an evaluation of electric propulsion options for the Space Station, taking into account also resistojets, a pulsed electrothermal thruster, and arc jets.

  19. Conceptual designs for antiproton space propulsion systems

    SciTech Connect

    Cassenti, B.N.

    1989-01-01

    Five conceptual designs for antimatter space propulsion systems were compared in terms of their performance characteristics. The systems examined included solid-core liquid-propellant rockets; magnetically confined gaseous-core rockets using liquid or solid propellants; plasma-core rockets; pion rockets, which are driven directly by the mass annihilation products; and ram-augmented rockets, in which antiproton annihilation is used to heat hydrogen collected in interstellar space. It was found that, in general, as the specific impulse of the propulsion system increases, the thrust decreases. The comparison between designs showed that only fusion rockets have the capability to compete in performance with mass annihilation rockets. For very-high-speed interstellar missions, pion rockets, which can have a specific impulse of 20 million sec (although with a thrust-to-engine mass ratios of only 0.01 G) will offer best performance. 36 refs.

  20. Texas Experimental Tokamak: A plasma research facility. Technical progress report, November 1, 1993--October 31, 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Wootton, A.J.

    1994-07-01

    The purpose is to operate and maintain TEXT Upgrade as a complete facility for applied tokamak physics in order to elucidate the mechanisms of working gas, impurity, and thermal transport in tokamaks and in particular to understand the role of turbulence. So that they can continue to study the physics that is most relevant to the fusion program, TEXT completed a significant device upgrade this year. The new capabilities of the device and new and innovative diagnostics were exploited in all main program areas including: (1) configuration studies; (2) electron cyclotron heating physics; (3) improved confinement modes; (4) edge physics/impurity studies; (5) central turbulence and transport; and (6) transient transport. Details of the progress in each of the research areas are described.

  1. A 12-coil superconducting 'bumpy torus' magnet facility for plasma research.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roth, J. R.; Holmes, A. D.; Keller, T. A.; Krawczonek, W. M.

    1972-01-01

    A retrospective summary is presented of the performance of the two-coil superconducting pilot rig which preceded the NASA Lewis bumpy torus. The NASA Lewis bumpy torus facility consists of 12 superconducting coils, each with a 19 cm i.d. and capable of producing magnetic field strengths of 3.0 teslas on their axes. The magnets are equally spaced around a major circumference 1.52 m in diameter, and are mounted with the major axis of the torus vertical in a single vacuum tank 2.59 m in diameter. The design value of maximum magnetic field on the magnetic axis (3.0 T) has been reached and exceeded.

  2. Aeropropulsion 1987. Session 6: High-Speed Propulsion Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    NASA is conducting aeronautical research over a broad range of Mach numbers. In addition to the advanced CTOL propulsion research described in a separate session, the Lewis Research Center has intensified its efforts towards propulsion technology for selected high-speed flight applications. In a companion program, the Langley Research Center has also accomplished excellent research in Supersonic Combustion Ramjet (SCRAM) propulsion. What is presented in this session is an unclassified review of some of the propulsion research results that are applicable for supersonic to hypersonic vehicles. Not only is a review provided for several key work areas, it also presents a viewpoint on future research directions by calling attention to cycles, components, and facilities involved in this rapidly expanding field of work.

  3. Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage Affordable Development Strategy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Interplanetary space transport using inertial fusion propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Orth, C.D.

    1998-04-20

    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.

  5. STOL propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Denington, R. J.; Koenig, R. W.; Vanco, M. R.; Sagerser, D. A.

    1972-01-01

    The selection and the characteristics of quiet, clean propulsion systems for STOL aircraft are discussed. Engines are evaluated for augmentor wing and externally blown flap STOL aircraft with the engines located both under and over the wings. Some supporting test data are presented. Optimum engines are selected based on achieving the performance, economic, acoustic, and pollution goals presently being considered for future STOL aircraft. The data and results presented were obtained from a number of contracted studies and some supporting NASA inhouse programs, most of which began in early 1972. The contracts include: (1) two aircraft and mission studies, (2) two propulsion system studies, (3) the experimental and analytic work on the augmentor wing, and (4) the experimental programs on Q-Fan. Engines are selected and discussed based on aircraft economics using the direct operating cost as the primary criterion. This cost includes the cost of the crew, fuel, aircraft, and engine maintenance and depreciation.

  6. CFD for hypersonic propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Povinelli, Louis A.

    1990-01-01

    An overview is given of research activity on the application of computational fluid dynamics (CDF) for hypersonic propulsion systems. After the initial consideration of the highly integrated nature of air-breathing hypersonic engines and airframe, attention is directed toward computations carried out for the components of the engine. A generic inlet configuration is considered in order to demonstrate the highly three dimensional viscous flow behavior occurring within rectangular inlets. Reacting flow computations for simple jet injection as well as for more complex combustion chambers are then discussed in order to show the capability of viscous finite rate chemical reaction computer simulations. Finally, the nozzle flow fields are demonstrated, showing the existence of complex shear layers and shock structure in the exhaust plume. The general issues associated with code validation as well as the specific issue associated with the use of CFD for design are discussed. A prognosis for the success of CFD in the design of future propulsion systems is offered.

  7. Hydrodynamics of Peristaltic Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Athanassiadis, Athanasios; Hart, Douglas

    2014-11-01

    A curious class of animals called salps live in marine environments and self-propel by ejecting vortex rings much like jellyfish and squid. However, unlike other jetting creatures that siphon and eject water from one side of their body, salps produce vortex rings by pumping water through siphons on opposite ends of their hollow cylindrical bodies. In the simplest cases, it seems like some species of salp can successfully move by contracting just two siphons connected by an elastic body. When thought of as a chain of timed contractions, salp propulsion is reminiscent of peristaltic pumping applied to marine locomotion. Inspired by salps, we investigate the hydrodynamics of peristaltic propulsion, focusing on the scaling relationships that determine flow rate, thrust production, and energy usage in a model system. We discuss possible actuation methods for a model peristaltic vehicle, considering both the material and geometrical requirements for such a system.

  8. Cryogenic Propulsion Stage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, David

    2011-01-01

    The CPS is an in-space cryogenic propulsive stage based largely on state of the practice design for launch vehicle upper stages. However, unlike conventional propulsive stages, it also contains power generation and thermal control systems to limit the loss of liquid hydrogen and oxygen due to boil-off during extended in-space storage. The CPS provides the necessary (Delta)V for rapid transfer of in-space elements to their destinations or staging points (i.e., E-M L1). The CPS is designed around a block upgrade strategy to provide maximum mission/architecture flexibility. Block 1 CPS: Short duration flight times (hours), passive cryo fluid management. Block 2 CPS: Long duration flight times (days/weeks/months), active and passive cryo fluid management.

  9. CFD for hypersonic propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Povinelli, Louis A.

    1991-01-01

    An overview is given of research activity on the application of computational fluid dynamics (CDF) for hypersonic propulsion systems. After the initial consideration of the highly integrated nature of air-breathing hypersonic engines and airframe, attention is directed toward computations carried out for the components of the engine. A generic inlet configuration is considered in order to demonstrate the highly three dimensional viscous flow behavior occurring within rectangular inlets. Reacting flow computations for simple jet injection as well as for more complex combustion chambers are then discussed in order to show the capability of viscous finite rate chemical reaction computer simulations. Finally, the nozzle flow fields are demonstrated, showing the existence of complex shear layers and shock structure in the exhaust plume. The general issues associated with code validation as well as the specific issue associated with the use of CFD for design are discussed. A prognosis for the success of CFD in the design of future propulsion systems is offered.

  10. Hybrid propulsion technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    Technology was identified which will enable application of hybrid propulsion to manned and unmanned space launch vehicles. Two design concepts are proposed. The first is a hybrid propulsion system using the classical method of regression (classical hybrid) resulting from the flow of oxidizer across a fuel grain surface. The second system uses a self-sustaining gas generator (gas generator hybrid) to produce a fuel rich exhaust that was mixed with oxidizer in a separate combustor. Both systems offer cost and reliability improvement over the existing solid rocket booster and proposed liquid boosters. The designs were evaluated using life cycle cost and reliability. The program consisted of: (1) identification and evaluation of candidate oxidizers and fuels; (2) preliminary evaluation of booster design concepts; (3) preparation of a detailed point design including life cycle costs and reliability analyses; (4) identification of those hybrid specific technologies needing improvement; and (5) preperation of a technology acquisition plan and large scale demonstration plan.

  11. Hypersonic missile propulsion system

    SciTech Connect

    Kazmar, R.R.

    1998-11-01

    Pratt and Whitney is developing the technology for hypersonic components and engines. A supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) database was developed using hydrogen fueled propulsion systems for space access vehicles and serves as a point of departure for the current development of hydrocarbon scramjets. The Air Force Hypersonic Technology (HyTech) Program has put programs in place to develop the technologies necessary to demonstrate the operability, performance and structural durability of an expendable, liquid hydrocarbon fueled scramjet system that operates from Mach 4 to 8. This program will culminate in a flight type engine test at representative flight conditions. The hypersonic technology base that will be developed and demonstrated under HyTech will establish the foundation to enable hypersonic propulsion systems for a broad range of air vehicle applications from missiles to space access vehicles. A hypersonic missile flight demonstration is planned in the DARPA Affordable Rapid Response Missile Demonstrator (ARRMD) program in 2001.

  12. Interstellar Propulsion Concepts Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forward, Robert L.

    2000-01-01

    NASA is investigating the feasibility of conducting extra-solar and interstellar missions over the next 10 to 50 years. An assessment of technologies supporting these near and far term objectives is required. To help meet these objectives the Principal Investigator assessed the feasibility of candidate propulsion systems for the proposed 'Interstellar Probe', a mission to send a spacecraft to the Heliopause at 250 AU and beyond.

  13. Emerging Propulsion Technologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keys, Andrew S.

    2006-01-01

    The Emerging Propulsion Technologies (EPT) investment area is the newest area within the In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) Project and strives to bridge technologies in the lower Technology Readiness Level (TRL) range (2 to 3) to the mid TRL range (4 to 6). A prioritization process, the Integrated In-Space Transportation Planning (IISTP), was developed and applied in FY01 to establish initial program priorities. The EPT investment area emerged for technologies that scored well in the IISTP but had a low technical maturity level. One particular technology, the Momentum-eXchange Electrodynamic-Reboost (MXER) tether, scored extraordinarily high and had broad applicability in the IISTP. However, its technical maturity was too low for ranking alongside technologies like the ion engine or aerocapture. Thus MXER tethers assumed top priority at EPT startup in FY03 with an aggressive schedule and adequate budget. It was originally envisioned that future technologies would enter the ISP portfolio through EPT, and EPT developed an EPT/ISP Entrance Process for future candidate ISP technologies. EPT has funded the following secondary, candidate ISP technologies at a low level: ultra-lightweight solar sails, general space/near-earth tether development, electrodynamic tether development, advanced electric propulsion, and in-space mechanism development. However, the scope of the ISPT program has focused over time to more closely match SMD needs and technology advancement successes. As a result, the funding for MXER and other EPT technologies is not currently available. Consequently, the MXER tether tasks and other EPT tasks were expected to phased out by November 2006. Presentation slides are presented which provide activity overviews for the aerocapture technology and emerging propulsion technology projects.

  14. NASA propulsion controls research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teren, F.

    1983-01-01

    Multivariable control theory is applied to the design of multiple input and output engine controls. Highly-accurate, real-time engine simulations are utilized for control development and checkout. Electro-optical control components are developed for use in electronic control systems having fiber optic data links. Integrated controls are developed for VSTOL and Rotorcraft propulsion systems. Post-stall models of engine systems are developed to aid in understanding and control of post-stall engine behavior.

  15. Numerical Propulsion System Simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Naiman, Cynthia

    2006-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center, in partnership with the aerospace industry, other government agencies, and academia, is leading the effort to develop an advanced multidisciplinary analysis environment for aerospace propulsion systems called the Numerical Propulsion System Simulation (NPSS). NPSS is a framework for performing analysis of complex systems. The initial development of NPSS focused on the analysis and design of airbreathing aircraft engines, but the resulting NPSS framework may be applied to any system, for example: aerospace, rockets, hypersonics, power and propulsion, fuel cells, ground based power, and even human system modeling. NPSS provides increased flexibility for the user, which reduces the total development time and cost. It is currently being extended to support the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate Fundamental Aeronautics Program and the Advanced Virtual Engine Test Cell (AVETeC). NPSS focuses on the integration of multiple disciplines such as aerodynamics, structure, and heat transfer with numerical zooming on component codes. Zooming is the coupling of analyses at various levels of detail. NPSS development includes capabilities to facilitate collaborative engineering. The NPSS will provide improved tools to develop custom components and to use capability for zooming to higher fidelity codes, coupling to multidiscipline codes, transmitting secure data, and distributing simulations across different platforms. These powerful capabilities extend NPSS from a zero-dimensional simulation tool to a multi-fidelity, multidiscipline system-level simulation tool for the full development life cycle.

  16. The MAP Propulsion Subsystem

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, Gary T.; Bauer, Frank H. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    This paper describes the requirements, design, integration, test, performance, and lessons learned of NASA's Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) propulsion subsystem. MAP was launched on a Delta-II launch vehicle from NASA's Kennedy Space Center on June 30, 2001. Due to instrument thermal stability requirements, the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrange point was selected for the mission orbit. The L2 trajectory incorporated phasing loops and a lunar gravity assist. The propulsion subsystem's requirements are to manage momentum, perform maneuvers during the phasing loops to set up the lunar swingby, and perform stationkeeping at L2 for 2 years. MAP's propulsion subsystem uses 8 thrusters which are located and oriented to provide attitude control and momentum management about all axes, and delta-V in any direction without exposing the instrument to the sun. The propellant tank holds 72 kg of hydrazine, which is expelled by unregulated blowdown pressurization. Thermal management is complex because no heater cycling is allowed at L2. Several technical challenges presented themselves during I and T, such as in-situ weld repairs and in-situ bending of thruster tubes to accommodate late changes in the observatory CG. On-orbit performance has been nominal, and all phasing loop, mid-course correction, and stationkeeping maneuvers have been successfully performed to date.

  17. Geosynchronous earth orbit base propulsion - electric propulsion options

    SciTech Connect

    Palaszewski, B.

    1987-01-01

    Electric propulsion and chemical propulsion requirements for a geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO) base were analyzed. The base is resupplied from the Space Station's low earth orbit. Orbit-transfer Delta-Vs, nodal-regression Delta-Vs and orbit-maintenance Delta-Vs were considered. For resupplying the base, a cryogenic oxygen/hydrogen (O2/H2) orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) is currently-baselined. Comparisons of several electric propulsion options with the O2/H2 OTV were conducted. Propulsion requirements for missions related to the GEO base were also analyzed. Payload data for the GEO missions were drawn from current mission data bases. Detailed electric propulsion module designs are presented. Mission analyses and propulsion analyses for the GEO-delivered payloads are included. 23 references.

  18. High heat flux testing of divertor plasma facing materials and components using the HHF test facility at IPR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patil, Yashashri; Khirwadkar, S. S.; Belsare, Sunil; Swamy, Rajamannar; Tripathi, Sudhir; Bhope, Kedar; Kanpara, Shailesh

    2016-02-01

    The High Heat Flux Test Facility (HHFTF) was designed and established recently at Institute for Plasma Research (IPR) in India for testing heat removal capability and operational life time of plasma facing materials and components of the ITER-like tokamak. The HHFTF is equipped with various diagnostics such as IR cameras and IR-pyrometers for surface temperature measurements, coolant water calorimetry for absorbed power measurements and thermocouples for bulk temperature measurements. The HHFTF is capable of simulating steady state heat load of several MW m-2 as well as short transient heat loads of MJ m-2. This paper presents the current status of the HHFTF at IPR and high heat flux tests performed on the curved tungsten monoblock type of test mock-ups as well as transient heat flux tests carried out on pure tungsten materials using the HHFTF. Curved tungsten monoblock type of test mock-ups were fabricated using hot radial pressing (HRP) technique. Two curved tungsten monoblock type test mock-ups successfully sustained absorbed heat flux up to 14 MW m-2 with thermal cycles of 30 s ON and 30 s OFF duration. Transient high heat flux tests or thermal shock tests were carried out on pure tungsten hot-rolled plate material (Make:PLANSEE) with incident power density of 0.49 GW m-2 for 20 milliseconds ON and 1000 milliseconds OFF time. A total of 6000 thermal shock cycles were completed on pure tungsten material. Experimental results were compared with mathematical simulations carried out using COMSOL Multiphysics for transient high heat flux tests.

  19. Comparative study of femtosecond and nanosecond laser ablation for propulsion applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ionin, A. A.; Kudryashov, S. I.; Makarov, S. V.; Seleznev, L. V.; Sinitsyn, D. V.

    2012-07-01

    Dependences of absolute vapor/plasma pressure on femtosecond and nanosecond laser intensities were obtained for graphitic materials using a non-contact broadband ultrasonic technique, and propulsion prospects of femtosecond and nanosecond laser launching approaches are discussed.

  20. In-Space Propulsion Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dankanich, John W.

    2006-12-01

    NASA’s In-space Propulsion Technology Project is developing new propulsion technologies that can enable or enhance near and mid-term NASA science missions. The solar electric propulsion 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. Current status and expected capabilities of the solar electric propulsion technologies will be discussed.