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Sample records for advanced earth-to-orbit propulsion

  1. Auxiliary propulsion technology for advanced Earth-to-orbit vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schneider, Steven J.

    1987-01-01

    The payload which can be delivered to orbit by advanced Earth-to-Orbit vehicles is significantly increased by advanced subsystem technology. Any weight which can be saved by advanced subsystem design can be converted to payload at Main Engine Cut Off (MECO) given the same launch vehicle performance. The auxiliary propulsion subsystem and the impetus for the current hydrogen/oxygen technology program is examined. A review of the auxiliary propulsion requirements of advanced Earth-to-Orbit (ETO) vehicles and their proposed missions is given first. Then the performance benefits of hydrogen/oxygen auxiliary propulsion are illustrated using current shuttle data. The proposed auxiliary propulsion subsystem implementation includes liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen (LH2/LO2) primary Reaction Control System (RCS) engines and gaseous hydrogen/gaseous oxygen (GH2/GO2) vernier RCS engines. A distribution system for the liquid cryogens to the engines is outlined. The possibility of providing one dual-phase engine that can operate on either liquid or gaseous propellants is being explored, as well as the simultaneous firing of redundant primary RCS thrusters to provide Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) level impulse. Scavenging of propellants from integral main engine tankage is proposed to utilize main engine tank residuals and to combine launch vehicle and subsystem reserves.

  2. Advanced Earth-to-orbit propulsion technology information, dissemination and research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, S. T.

    1995-01-01

    In this period of performance a conference (The 1994 Conference on Advanced Earth-to-Orbit Propulsion Technology) was organized and implemented by the University of Alabama in Huntsville and held May 15-17 to assemble and disseminate the current information on Advanced Earth-to-Orbit Propulsion Technology. The results were assembled for publication as NASA-CP-3282, Volume 1 and 2 and NASA-CP-3287.

  3. Advanced Earth-to-orbit propulsion technology information, dissemination and research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, S. T.

    1993-01-01

    A conference was held at MSFC in May 1992 describing the research achievements of the NASA-wide research and technology programs dealing with advanced oxygen/hydrogen and oxygen/hydrocarbon earth-to-orbit propulsion. The purpose of this conference was to provide a forum for the timely dissemination to the propulsion community of the results emerging from this program with particular emphasis on the transfer of information from the scientific/research to the designer.

  4. Advanced Earth-to-orbit propulsion technology program overview: Impact of civil space technology initiative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stephenson, Frank W., Jr.

    1988-01-01

    The NASA Earth-to-Orbit (ETO) Propulsion Technology Program is dedicated to advancing rocket engine technologies for the development of fully reusable engine systems that will enable space transportation systems to achieve low cost, routine access to space. The program addresses technology advancements in the areas of engine life extension/prediction, performance enhancements, reduced ground operations costs, and in-flight fault tolerant engine operations. The primary objective is to acquire increased knowledge and understanding of rocket engine chemical and physical processes in order to evolve more realistic analytical simulations of engine internal environments, to derive more accurate predictions of steady and unsteady loads, and using improved structural analyses, to more accurately predict component life and performance, and finally to identify and verify more durable advanced design concepts. In addition, efforts were focused on engine diagnostic needs and advances that would allow integrated health monitoring systems to be developed for enhanced maintainability, automated servicing, inspection, and checkout, and ultimately, in-flight fault tolerant engine operations.

  5. Earth-to-Orbit Rocket Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beaurain, Andre; Souchier, Alain; Moravie, Michel; Sackheim, Robert L.; Cikanek, Harry A., III

    2003-01-01

    The Earth-to-orbit (ETO) phase of access to space is and always will be the first and most critical phase of all space missions. This first phase of all space missions has unique characteristics that have driven space launcher propulsion requirements for more than half a century. For example, the need to overcome the force of the Earth s gravity in combination with high levels of atmospheric drag to achieve the initial orbital velocity; i.e., Earth parking orbit or =9 km/s, will always require high thrust- to-weight (TN) propulsion systems. These are necessary with a T/W ratio greater than one during the ascent phase. The only type of propulsion system that can achieve these high T/W ratios are those that convert thermal energy to kinetic energy. There are only two basic sources of onboard thermal energy: chemical combustion-based systems or nuclear thermal-based systems (fission, fusion, or antimatter). The likelihood of advanced open-cycle, nuclear thermal propulsion being developed for flight readiness or becoming environmentally acceptable during the next century is extremely low. This realization establishes that chemical propulsion for ET0 launchers will be the technology of choice for at least the next century, just as it has been for the last half century of rocket flight into space. The world s space transportation propulsion requirements have evolved through several phases over the history of the space program, as has been necessitated by missions and systems development, technological capabilities available, and the growth and evolution of the utilization of space for economic, security, and science benefit. Current projections for the continuing evolution of requirements and concepts may show how future space transportation system needs could be addressed. The evolution and projections will be described in detail in this manuscript.

  6. Physical Limitations of Nuclear Propulsion for Earth to Orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blevins, John A.; Patton, Bruce; Rhys, Noah O.; Schafer, Charles F. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    An assessment of current nuclear propulsion technology for application in Earth to Orbit (ETO) missions has been performed. It can be shown that current nuclear thermal rocket motors are not sufficient to provide single stage performance as has been stated by previous studies. Further, when taking a systems level approach, it can be shown that NTRs do not compete well with chemical engines where thrust to weight ratios of greater than I are necessary, except possibly for the hybrid chemical/nuclear LANTR (LOX Augmented Nuclear Thermal Rocket) engine. Also, the ETO mission requires high power reactors and consequently large shielding weights compared to NTR space missions where shadow shielding can be used. In the assessment, a quick look at the conceptual ASPEN vehicle proposed in 1962 in provided. Optimistic NTR designs are considered in the assessment as well as discussion on other conceptual nuclear propulsion systems that have been proposed for ETO. Also, a quick look at the turbulent, convective heat transfer relationships that restrict the exchange of nuclear energy to thermal energy in the working fluid and consequently drive the reactor mass is included.

  7. Econometric comparisons of liquid rocket engines for dual-fuel advanced earth-to-orbit shuttles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, J. A.

    1978-01-01

    Econometric analyses of advanced Earth-to-orbit vehicles indicate that there are economic benefits from development of new vehicles beyond the space shuttle as traffic increases. Vehicle studies indicate the advantage of the dual-fuel propulsion in single-stage vehicles. This paper shows the economic effect of incorporating dual-fuel propulsion in advanced vehicles. Several dual-fuel propulsion systems are compared to a baseline hydrogen and oxygen system.

  8. Prospective new transportation application initiatives in NASA's earth-to-orbit propulsion technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Escher, William J. D.

    1992-01-01

    NASA's Earth-to-Orbit (ETO) Propulsion Technology Program, a multi-year/multi-task focused technology effort is, today, highly focused on conventional high-thrust cryogenic liquid chemical rocket engines and their envisioned future technology needs. But as highlighted in the U.S. National Ten-Year Space Launch Technology Plan, a set of less-conventional propulsion subjects, ones which offer significant promise for both, improving the state of the art and opening up new propulsion-capability possibilities, is now directed to the space propulsion planning community's attention. In conducting its forward-planning activities, it is highly appropriate that the ETO Program (and other programs as well) carefully consider integrating these "new initiative" subjects into the taskwork of future years. After an introductory consideration of the National Plan's propulsion-related directives, followed by a brief background overview of the ETO Program, the following specific new-initiative candidates are discussed from the standpoint of technology-program planning: operationally efficient propulsion systems; high-thrust hybrid rocket propulsion; low-cost, low-pressure expendable propulsion subsystems; advanced cryogenic in-space propulsion systems; integrated modular engine (IME) configured propulsion systems, and combined-cycle airbreathing/rocket propulsion systems.

  9. CSTI Earth-to-orbit propulsion research and technology program overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gentz, Steven J.

    1993-01-01

    NASA supports a vigorous Earth-to-orbit (ETO) research and technology program as part of its Civil Space Technology Initiative. The purpose of this program is to provide an up-to-date technology base to support future space transportation needs for a new generation of lower cost, operationally efficient, long-lived and highly reliable ETO propulsion systems by enhancing the knowledge, understanding and design methodology applicable to advanced oxygen/hydrogen and oxygen/hydrocarbon ETO propulsion systems. Program areas of interest include analytical models, advanced component technology, instrumentation, and validation/verification testing. Organizationally, the program is divided between technology acquisition and technology verification as follows: (1) technology acquisition; and (2) technology verification.

  10. Aneutronic fusion propulsion for earth-to-orbit and beyond

    SciTech Connect

    Froning, H. David Jr.; Bussard, Robert W.

    1998-01-15

    Previous work by Bussard has indicated that certain aneutronic fusion rocket propulsion systems could enable establishment of self-supporting space colonies throughout the solar system at transportation costs less than one-tenth current costs to place satellites in orbit around earth. This paper shows that such colonization costs would not significantly increase, even if fusion propulsion performance that is significantly less than that estimated by Bussard would cause increase in the masses and flight times of some of the vehicles. Costs for some colonization missions would significantly increase if colonization vehicles could not be used for other space missions. But even under such circumstances, transportation costs would be extraordinarily low compared to those currently envisioned for solar system exploration.

  11. Application of single crystal superalloys for earth-to-orbit propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dreshfield, R. L.; Parr, R. A.

    1987-01-01

    Single crystal superalloys were first identified as potentially useful engineering materials for aircraft gas turbine engines in the mid-1960s. Although they were not introduced into service as turbine blades in commercial aircraft engines until the early 1980's, they have subsequently accumulated tens of millions of flight hours in revenue producing service. The Space Shuttle main engine (SSME) and potential advanced earth-to-orbit propulsion systems impose severe conditions on turbopump turbine blades which for some potential failure modes are more severe than in aircraft gas turbines. Research activities which are directed at evaluating the potential for single crystal superalloys for application as turbopump turbine blades in the SSME and advanced rocket engines are discussed. The mechanical properties of these alloys are summarized and the effects of hydrogen are noted. The use of high gradient directional solidification and hot isostatic pressing to improve fatigue properties is also addressed.

  12. Application of single crystal superalloys for Earth-to-orbit propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dreshfield, R. L.; Parr, R. A.

    1987-01-01

    Single crystal superalloys were first identified as potentially useful engineering materials for aircraft gas turbine engines in the mid-1960's. Although they were not introduced into service as turbine blades in commercial aircraft engines until the early 1980's, they have subsequently accumulated tens of millions of flight hours in revenue producing service. The space shuttle main engine (SSME) and potential advanced earth-to-orbit propulsion systems impose severe conditions on turbopump turbine blades which for some potential failure modes are more severe than in aircraft gas turbines. Research activities which are directed at evaluating the potential for single crystal superalloys for application as turbopump turbine blades in the SSME and advanced rocket engines are discussed. The mechanical properties of these alloys are summarized and the effects of hydrogen are noted. The use of high gradient directional solidification and hot isostatic pressing to improve fatigue properties is also addressed.

  13. Health management and controls for Earth-to-orbit propulsion systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bickford, R. L.

    1995-03-01

    Avionics and health management technologies increase the safety and reliability while decreasing the overall cost for Earth-to-orbit (ETO) propulsion systems. New ETO propulsion systems will depend on highly reliable fault tolerant flight avionics, advanced sensing systems and artificial intelligence aided software to ensure critical control, safety and maintenance requirements are met in a cost effective manner. Propulsion avionics consist of the engine controller, actuators, sensors, software and ground support elements. In addition to control and safety functions, these elements perform system monitoring for health management. Health management is enhanced by advanced sensing systems and algorithms which provide automated fault detection and enable adaptive control and/or maintenance approaches. Aerojet is developing advanced fault tolerant rocket engine controllers which provide very high levels of reliability. Smart sensors and software systems which significantly enhance fault coverage and enable automated operations are also under development. Smart sensing systems, such as flight capable plume spectrometers, have reached maturity in ground-based applications and are suitable for bridging to flight. Software to detect failed sensors has reached similar maturity. This paper will discuss fault detection and isolation for advanced rocket engine controllers as well as examples of advanced sensing systems and software which significantly improve component failure detection for engine system safety and health management.

  14. Health management and controls for earth to orbit propulsion systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bickford, R. L.

    1992-08-01

    Fault detection and isolation for advanced rocket engine controllers are discussed focusing on advanced sensing systems and software which significantly improve component failure detection for engine safety and health management. Aerojet's Space Transportation Main Engine controller for the National Launch System is the state of the art in fault tolerant engine avionics. Health management systems provide high levels of automated fault coverage and significantly improve vehicle delivered reliability and lower preflight operations costs. Key technologies, including the sensor data validation algorithms and flight capable spectrometers, have been demonstrated in ground applications and are found to be suitable for bridging programs into flight applications.

  15. Health management and controls for earth to orbit propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bickford, R. L.

    1992-01-01

    Fault detection and isolation for advanced rocket engine controllers are discussed focusing on advanced sensing systems and software which significantly improve component failure detection for engine safety and health management. Aerojet's Space Transportation Main Engine controller for the National Launch System is the state of the art in fault tolerant engine avionics. Health management systems provide high levels of automated fault coverage and significantly improve vehicle delivered reliability and lower preflight operations costs. Key technologies, including the sensor data validation algorithms and flight capable spectrometers, have been demonstrated in ground applications and are found to be suitable for bridging programs into flight applications.

  16. Earth-to-orbit propulsion turbomachinery subsystem: Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schutzenhofer, L. A.; Garcia, R.

    1991-01-01

    The topics presented are covered in viewgraph form. The objectives are: (1) to develop the technology related to the turbomachinery systems of high performance rocket engines, which focuses on advanced design methodologies and concepts, develops high performance turbomachinery data bases, and validates turbomachinery design tools; and (2) specific turbomachinery subsystems and disciplines, which focus on turbine stages, pump stages, bearings, deals, structural dynamics, complex flow paths, materials, manufacturability, producibility, and inspectability, rotordynamics, and fatigue/fracture/life.

  17. Technologies Involved in Configuring an Advanced Earth-to-Orbit Transport for Low Structural Mass

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    MacConochie, Ian O.; Klich, Phillip J.

    1980-01-01

    The current space shuttle is expected to adequately meet Government and industry needs for the transport of cargo to and from orbit well into the 1990's. However, continual study of potential follow-on shuttle systems is necessary and desirable in order to complement ongoing research in materials, structures, propulsion, aerodynamics, and other related areas. By studying alternate systems well in advance, it will be possible to explore the various technologies and develop those for which there is the greatest apparent payoff. In this paper a single-stage Earth-to-orbit transport designed for delivery of approximately 29,500 kg (65,000 lb) payload will be described. The vehicle, which takes off vertically and lands horizontally, is 60 m (197 feet) long and weighs approximately 1.8 Gg (4 M lb) at liftoff. In the interest of weight reduction, a simple body of revolution is utilized for the main body shell. In this design the main propulsion tanks serve as a primary load-carrying structure. Further, in order to minimize structural mass, the cargo bay is located between two of the main propellant tanks. The cargo volume, at 396 cu m (14,000 cu feet), exceeds that provided by the shuttle; but the bay itself is nonconforming in shape - being approximately 10 m (32 feet) in diameter by 5 m (17 feet) long. Dual-fuel propulsion is employed, since a number of studies have shown that (though lowering performance) the operation of hydrocarbon (RP) engines in parallel with LOX/LH2 engines results in a net reduction in the vehicle's physical size and structural mass. Other weight-saving features entail the extensive use of honeycomb sandwiches, advanced materials, and advanced fabrication techniques. The vehicle presented is utilized only as a means to study and identify various technologies needed in order to develop a low mass Earth-to-orbit transportation system for the future. The conclusion of this study is that vehicle geometry and structural/materials technology are

  18. Analysis of quasi-hybrid solid rocket booster concepts for advanced earth-to-orbit vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zurawski, Robert L.; Rapp, Douglas C.

    1987-01-01

    A study was conducted to assess the feasibility of quasi-hybrid solid rocket boosters for advanced Earth-to-orbit vehicles. Thermochemical calculations were conducted to determine the effect of liquid hydrogen addition, solids composition change plus liquid hydrogen addition, and the addition of an aluminum/liquid hydrogen slurry on the theoretical performance of a PBAN solid propellant rocket. The space shuttle solid rocket booster was used as a reference point. All three quasi-hybrid systems theoretically offer higher specific impulse when compared with the space shuttle solid rocket boosters. However, based on operational and safety considerations, the quasi-hybrid rocket is not a practical choice for near-term Earth-to-orbit booster applications. Safety and technology issues pertinent to quasi-hybrid rocket systems are discussed.

  19. NASA Advanced Concepts Office, Earth-To-Orbit Team Design Process and Tools

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Waters, Eric D.; Creech, Dennis M.; Garcia, Jessica; Threet, Grady E., Jr.; Phillips, Alan

    2012-01-01

    The Earth-to-Orbit Team (ETO) of the Advanced Concepts Office (ACO) at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is considered the pre-eminent go-to group for pre-phase A and phase A concept definition. Over the past several years the ETO team has evaluated thousands of launch vehicle concept variations for a significant number of studies including agency-wide efforts such as the Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS), Constellation, Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (HLLV), Augustine Report, Heavy Lift Propulsion Technology (HLPT), Human Exploration Framework Team (HEFT), and Space Launch System (SLS). The ACO ETO Team is called upon to address many needs in NASA s design community; some of these are defining extremely large trade-spaces, evaluating advanced technology concepts which have not been addressed by a large majority of the aerospace community, and the rapid turn-around of highly time critical actions. It is the time critical actions, those often limited by schedule or little advanced warning, that have forced the five member ETO team to develop a design process robust enough to handle their current output level in order to meet their customer s needs. Based on the number of vehicle concepts evaluated over the past year this output level averages to four completed vehicle concepts per day. Each of these completed vehicle concepts includes a full mass breakdown of the vehicle to a tertiary level of subsystem components and a vehicle trajectory analysis to determine optimized payload delivery to specified orbital parameters, flight environments, and delta v capability. A structural analysis of the vehicle to determine flight loads based on the trajectory output, material properties, and geometry of the concept is also performed. Due to working in this fast-paced and sometimes rapidly changing environment, the ETO Team has developed a finely tuned process to maximize their delivery capabilities. The objective of this paper is to describe the interfaces

  20. NASA Advanced Concepts Office, Earth-To-Orbit Team Design Process and Tools

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Waters, Eric D.; Garcia, Jessica; Threet, Grady E., Jr.; Phillips, Alan

    2013-01-01

    The Earth-to-Orbit Team (ETO) of the Advanced Concepts Office (ACO) at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is considered the pre-eminent "go-to" group for pre-phase A and phase A concept definition. Over the past several years the ETO team has evaluated thousands of launch vehicle concept variations for a significant number of studies including agency-wide efforts such as the Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS), Constellation, Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (HLLV), Augustine Report, Heavy Lift Propulsion Technology (HLPT), Human Exploration Framework Team (HEFT), and Space Launch System (SLS). The ACO ETO Team is called upon to address many needs in NASA's design community; some of these are defining extremely large trade-spaces, evaluating advanced technology concepts which have not been addressed by a large majority of the aerospace community, and the rapid turn-around of highly time critical actions. It is the time critical actions, those often limited by schedule or little advanced warning, that have forced the five member ETO team to develop a design process robust enough to handle their current output level in order to meet their customer's needs. Based on the number of vehicle concepts evaluated over the past year this output level averages to four completed vehicle concepts per day. Each of these completed vehicle concepts includes a full mass breakdown of the vehicle to a tertiary level of subsystem components and a vehicle trajectory analysis to determine optimized payload delivery to specified orbital parameters, flight environments, and delta v capability. A structural analysis of the vehicle to determine flight loads based on the trajectory output, material properties, and geometry of the concept is also performed. Due to working in this fast-paced and sometimes rapidly changing environment, the ETO Team has developed a finely tuned process to maximize their delivery capabilities. The objective of this paper is to describe the interfaces

  1. NASA Advanced Concepts Office, Earth-To-Orbit Team Design Process and Tools

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Waters, Eric D.; Garcia, Jessica; Beers, Benjamin; Philips, Alan; Holt, James B.; Threet, Grady E., Jr.

    2013-01-01

    The Earth to Orbit (ETO) Team of the Advanced Concepts Office (ACO) at NASA Marshal Space Flight Center (MSFC) is considered the preeminent group to go to for prephase A and phase A concept definition. The ACO team has been at the forefront of a multitude of launch vehicle studies determining the future direction of the Agency as a whole due, in part, to their rapid turnaround time in analyzing concepts and their ability to cover broad trade spaces of vehicles in that limited timeframe. Each completed vehicle concept includes a full mass breakdown of each vehicle to tertiary subsystem components, along with a vehicle trajectory analysis to determine optimized payload delivery to specified orbital parameters, flight environments, and delta v capability. Additionally, a structural analysis of the vehicle based on material properties and geometries is performed as well as an analysis to determine the flight loads based on the trajectory outputs. As mentioned, the ACO Earth to Orbit Team prides themselves on their rapid turnaround time and often need to fulfill customer requests within limited schedule or little advanced notice. Due to working in this fast paced environment, the ETO team has developed some finely honed skills and methods to maximize the delivery capability to meet their customer needs. This paper will describe the interfaces between the 3 primary disciplines used in the design process; weights and sizing, trajectory, and structural analysis, as well as the approach each discipline employs to streamline their particular piece of the design process.

  2. Overview of the Space Propulsion Synergy Group (SPSG) strategic planning support efforts for earth to orbit transportation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dankhoff, Walter F.; Hope, William P., Jr.

    1993-06-01

    An essential requirement of a successful space program is the assurance of a safe affordable routine access to space. In view of this, a national organization known as the Space Propulsion Synergy Group (SPSG) has been directed for the past two years toward supporting strategic planning for earth-to-orbit space transportation and propulsion systems. This paper presents a short description of the approach the SPSG followed in their space transportation and propulsion systems strategic planning support activities. The SPSG study emphasized the identification of the transportation systems users/customers and the characteristics of attributes most valued by them in earth-to-LEO payload transportation services. The study initiated the process known as Quality Function Deployment to ensure that the customer/user real requirements and needs are properly addressed and that the transportation system concepts advocated had the greatest probability of satisfying the custosmer's requirements and desired attributes.

  3. Combining MHD Airbreathing and Fusion Rocket Propulsion for Earth-to-Orbit Flight

    SciTech Connect

    Froning, H. D. Jr; Yang, Yang; Momota, H.; Burton, E.; Miley, G. H.; Luo, Nie

    2005-02-06

    Previous studies have shown that Single-State-to-Orbit (SSTO) vehicle propellant can be reduced by Magnets-Hydro-Dynamic (MHD) processes that minimize airbreathing propulsion losses and propellant consumption during atmospheric flight. Similarly additional reduction in SSTO propellant is enabled by Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) fusion, whose more energetic reactions reduce rocket propellant needs. MHD airbreathing propulsion during an SSTO vehicle's initial atmospheric flight phase and IEC fusion propulsion during its final exo-atmospheric flight phase is therefore being explored. Accomplished work is not yet sufficient for claiming such a vehicle's feasibility. But takeoff and propellant mass for an MHD airbreathing and IEC fusion vehicle could be as much as 25 and 40 percent less than one with ordinary airbreathing and IEC fusion; and as much as 50 and 70 percent less than SSTO takeoff and propellant mass with MHD airbreathing and chemical rocket propulsion. Thus this unusual combined cycle engine shows great promise for performance gains beyond contemporary combined-cycle airbreathing engines.

  4. Dual nozzle design update. [on liquid rocket engines for advanced earth-to-orbit transportation systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Obrien, C. J.

    1982-01-01

    Dual-nozzle engines, such as the dual-throat and dual-expander engines, are being evaluated for advanced earth-to-orbit transportation systems. Potential derivatives of the Space Shuttle and completely new vehicles might benefit from these advanced engines. In this paper, progress in the design of single-fuel and dual-fuel dual-nozzle engines is summarized. Dual-nozzle engines include those burning propellants such as LOX/RP-1/LH2, LOX/LC3H8/LH2, LOX/LCH4/LH2, LOX/LH2/LH2, LOX/LCH4/LCH4, LOX/LC3H8/C3H8 and N2O4/MMH/LH2. Engine data are applicable for thrust levels from 200,000 through 670,000 lbF. The results indicate that several versions of these engines utilize state-of-the-art technology and that even advanced versions of these engines do not require a major breakthrough in technology.

  5. Guidance and control of an earth to orbit vehicle with optimum transition from airbreathing to concurrent airbreathing/rocket propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kauffman, H. G.; Grandhi, R. V.; Hankey, W. L.; Belcher, P. J.

    1990-07-01

    An efficient performance analysis method (suitable for PC operation) is developed to evaluate potential airbreathing/rocket propulsion systems for advanced technology single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) launch vehicles. Evaluated are tradeoffs between airbreathing (AB), rocket, and concurrent airbreathing/rocket propulsion in minimizing fuel consumption for a given ascent flight trajectory. Many mission, flight, and vehicle related requirements and constraints are satisfied in the process. With the analysis method, several modes of airbreathing/rocket propulsion are compared to a baseline 'airbreather alone' propulsion system in terms of fuel required to attain orbital velocity. The optimal switch point (staging) is identified for the transition from airbreathing to rocket propulsion.

  6. Parametric analysis of performance and design characteristics for advanced earth-to-orbit shuttles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Willis, E. A., Jr.; Strack, W. C.; Padrutt, J. A.

    1972-01-01

    Performance, trajectory, and design characteristics are presented for (1) a single-stage shuttle with a single advanced rocket engine, (2) a single-stage shuttle with an initial parallel chemical engine and advanced engine burn followed by an advanced engine sustainer burn, (3) a single-stage shuttle with an initial chemical engine burn followed by an advanced engine burn, and (4) a two-stage shuttle with a chemical propulsion booster stage and an advanced propulsion upper stage. The ascent trajectory profile includes a brief initial vertical rise; zero-lift flight through the sensible atmosphere; variational steering into an 83-kilometer by 185-kilometer intermediate orbit; and a fixed, 460-meter per second allowance for subsequent maneuvers. Results are given in terms of burnout mass fractions (including structure and payload), trajectory profiles, propellant loadings, and burn times. These results are generated with a trajectory analysis that includes a parametric variation of the specific impulse from 800 to 3000 seconds and the specific engine weight from 0 to 1.0.

  7. 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

  8. From Earth to orbit. [assessment of transportation options

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gavin, Joseph G., Jr.; Blond, Edmund; Brill, Yvonne C.; Budiansky, Bernard; Cooper, Robert S.; Demisch, Wolfgang H.; Hawk, Clark W.; Kerrebrock, Jack L.; Lichtenberg, Byron K.; Mager, Arthur

    1992-01-01

    Within this document, the National Research Council (NRC) assesses the requirements, benefits, technological feasibility, and roles of Earth-to-orbit transportation options that could be developed in support of the national space program. Among the topics covered are launch vehicles and infrastructure, propulsion, and technology.

  9. SSTAC/ARTS Review of the Draft Integrated Technology Plan (ITP). Volume 2: Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    The topics addressed are: (1) space propulsion technology program overview; (2) space propulsion technology program fact sheet; (3) low thrust propulsion; (4) advanced propulsion concepts; (5) high-thrust chemical propulsion; (6) cryogenic fluid management; (7) NASA CSTI earth-to-orbit propulsion; (8) advanced main combustion chamber program; (9) earth-to-orbit propulsion turbomachinery; (10) transportation technology; (11) space chemical engines technology; (12) nuclear propulsion; (13) spacecraft on-board propulsion; and (14) low-cost commercial transport.

  10. Transportation technology: Earth-to-orbit propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gorland, S.

    1991-01-01

    The topics presented are covered in viewgraph form and include the following: (1) sensor autodiagnosis and autocalibration; (2) autodiagnostic and autocalibration program; (3) plume diagnostics; (4) plume diagnostics program; (5) failure modeling; (6) mass data storage and retrieval; (7) fiber optic instrumentation bus; (8) model based diagnostics; (9) safety monitoring system (SMS); (10) control and real time diagnostics; (11) current intelligent controls program; (12) augumented intelligent controls program; (13) current real time diagnostics program; (14) augumented RT diagnostics program; and (15) control and diagnostic system hardware.

  11. From Earth to Orbit: An assessment of transportation options

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gavin, Joseph G., Jr.; Blond, Edmund; Brill, Yvonne C.; Budiansky, Bernard; Cooper, Robert S.; Demisch, Wolfgang H.; Hawk, Clark W.; Kerrebrock, Jack L.; Lichtenberg, Byron K.; Mager, Artur

    1992-01-01

    The report assesses the requirements, benefits, technological feasibility, and roles of Earth-to-Orbit transportation systems and options that could be developed in support of future national space programs. Transportation requirements, including those for Mission-to-Planet Earth, Space Station Freedom assembly and operation, human exploration of space, space science missions, and other major civil space missions are examined. These requirements are compared with existing, planned, and potential launch capabilities, including expendable launch vehicles (ELV's), the Space Shuttle, the National Launch System (NLS), and new launch options. In addition, the report examines propulsion systems in the context of various launch vehicles. These include the Advanced Solid Rocket Motor (ASRM), the Redesigned Solid Rocket Motor (RSRM), the Solid Rocket Motor Upgrade (SRMU), the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME), the Space Transportation Main Engine (STME), existing expendable launch vehicle engines, and liquid-oxygen/hydrocarbon engines. Consideration is given to systems that have been proposed to accomplish the national interests in relatively cost effective ways, with the recognition that safety and reliability contribute to cost-effectiveness. Related resources, including technology, propulsion test facilities, and manufacturing capabilities are also discussed.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Earth-to-Orbit Education Program 'Makes Science Cool'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    In this photograph, Jeff Alden (left) and Justin O'Cornor, two middle school students at Lane Middle School in Portland, Oregon are demonstrating their Earth-to-Orbit (ETO) Design Challenge project at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama. Jeff and Justin, who are just a couple of 'typical teens,' have been spending their time tackling some of the same challenges NASA engineers face when designing propulsion systems at MSFC. The ETO Design Challenge is a hands-on educational program, targeted to middle school students, in which students are assigned a project engaging in related design challenges in their classrooms under the supervision of their teachers. The project is valuable because it can be used by any student and any teacher, even those without technical backgrounds. Students in 12 states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, Montana, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington, are taking part in the MSFC's Earth-to-Orbit program. NASA uses such programs to support educational excellence while participating in educational outreach programs through centers around the country. The Oregon students' teacher, Joanne Fluvog, commented, 'the biggest change I've seen is in the students' motivation and their belief in their ability to think.' Both Justin and Jeff said being involved in a real engineering project has made them realize that 'science is cool.'

  17. Earth-to-Orbit Education Program 'Makes Science Cool'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    In this photograph, students from all over the country gathered and discussed their Earth-to-Orbit (ETO) Design Challenge project at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. These students who are just 'typical teens,' have been spending their time tackling some of the same challenges NASA engineers face when designing propulsion systems at MSFC. The ETO Design Challenge is a hands-on educational program, targeted to middle school students, in which students are assigned a project engaging in related design challenges in their classrooms under the supervision of their teachers. The project is valuable because it can be used by any student, and any teacher, even those without technical backgrounds. Student in 12 states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, Montana, New York, Ohio, Ternessee, Virginia, and Washington, are taking part in MSFC's Earth-to-Orbit program. NASA uses such programs to support educational excellence while participating in educational outreach programs through centers around the country. One of the students' teachers, Joanne Fluvog, commented, 'the biggest change I've seen is in the students' motivation and their belief in their ability to think.' Justin O'Connor and Jeff Alden, students of Lane Middle School in Portland, Oregon, participated in the ETO program and said being involved in a real engineering project has made them realize that 'science is cool.'

  18. 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).

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Status of advanced propulsion for space based orbital transfer vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, L. P.; Scheer, D. D.

    1986-01-01

    A new Orbital Transfer Vehicle (OTV) propulsion system will be required to meet the needs of space missions beyond the mid-1990's. As envisioned, the advanced OTV will be used in conjunction with Earth-to-orbit vehicles, Space Station, and Orbit Maneuvering Vehicle. The OTV will transfer men, large space structures, and conventional payloads between low Earth and higher energy orbits. Space probes carried by the OTV will continue the exploration of the solar system. When lunar bases are established, the OTV will be their transportation link to Earth. NASA is currently funding the development of technology for advanced propulsion concepts for future Orbital Transfer Vehicles. Progress in key areas during 1986 is presented.

  3. 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.

  4. Advanced Electric Propulsion for Space Solar Power Satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steve

    1999-01-01

    The sun tower concept of collecting solar energy in space and beaming it down for commercial use will require very affordable in-space as well as earth-to-orbit transportation. Advanced electric propulsion using a 200 kW power and propulsion system added to the sun tower nodes can provide a factor of two reduction in the required number of launch vehicles when compared to in-space cryogenic chemical systems. In addition, the total time required to launch and deliver the complete sun tower system is of the same order of magnitude using high power electric propulsion or cryogenic chemical propulsion: around one year. Advanced electric propulsion can also be used to minimize the stationkeeping propulsion system mass for this unique space platform. 50 to 100 kW class Hall, ion, magnetoplasmadynamic, and pulsed inductive thrusters are compared. High power Hall thruster technology provides the best mix of launches saved and shortest ground to Geosynchronous Earth Orbital Environment (GEO) delivery time of all the systems, including chemical. More detailed studies comparing launch vehicle costs, transfer operations costs, and propulsion system costs and complexities must be made to down-select a technology. The concept of adding electric propulsion to the sun tower nodes was compared to a concept using re-useable electric propulsion tugs for Low Earth Orbital Environment (LEO) to GEO transfer. While the tug concept would reduce the total number of required propulsion systems, more launchers and notably longer LEO to GEO and complete sun tower ground to GEO times would be required. The tugs would also need more complex, longer life propulsion systems and the ability to dock with sun tower nodes.

  5. Advances in Green Cryogenic Solid Propellant Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lo, R. E.; Adirim, H.; Poller, S.; Glaeser, S.; Schoeyer, H.; Caramelli, F.

    2004-10-01

    The combustion of hydrocarbons with hydrogen peroxide or oxygen based oxidizers is known as the best possible realization of green bipropellants in the realm of conventional propellants. By the nature of these constituents, corresponding rocket motors are either hybrids or bi-liquids. This is advantageous in all applications requiring the merits of these categories, such as variations of the thrust - time profile (throttle-ability up to shut down and restart), or variable propellant loading and mixture ratio variation in liquid bipropellants. However, when it comes to thriving on the simplicity and reliability of solid propellant technology, it takes cryogenic solid propulsion (CSP) as enabling technology to make these normally liquid propellants available for many solid propellant applications, in particular for high thrust Earth-to-orbit boosting. It is obvious that proper CSP propellant selection yields solids that are as "green" as any chemical propellant combination can be. The paper describes recent advances in CSP technology related investigations sponsored by the German Aerospace Centre DLR and the European Space Agency ESA at AI/ICT.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. An assessment of liquid propulsion in the United States

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccarty, John P.; Murphy, J. M.

    1989-01-01

    The paper examines the status of liquid propulsion capability and technology in the U.S. today versus where it needs to be to satisfy proposed near and long term goals. Attention is given to four areas of liquid propulsion: earth-to-orbit propulsion, orbital transfer propulsion, on-orbit and planetary propulsion, and advanced propulsion. Recommendations on improving the state of liquid propulsion in the U.S. are presented.

  9. Air-Cored Linear Induction Motor for Earth-to-Orbit Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zabar, Zivan; Levi, Enrico; Birenbaum, Leo

    1996-01-01

    The need for lowering the cost of Earth-to-Orbit (ETO) launches has prompted consideration of electromagnetic launchers. A preliminary design based on the experience gained in an advanced type of coilgun and on innovative ideas shows that such a launcher is technically feasible with almost off-the-shelf components.

  10. 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.

  11. Advanced Space Fission Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Michael G.; Borowski, Stanley K.

    2010-01-01

    Fission has been considered for in-space propulsion since the 1940s. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) systems underwent extensive development from 1955-1973, completing 20 full power ground tests and achieving specific impulses nearly twice that of the best chemical propulsion systems. Space fission power systems (which may eventually enable Nuclear Electric Propulsion) have been flown in space by both the United States and the Former Soviet Union. Fission is the most developed and understood of the nuclear propulsion options (e.g. fission, fusion, antimatter, etc.), and fission has enjoyed tremendous terrestrial success for nearly 7 decades. Current space nuclear research and technology efforts are focused on devising and developing first generation systems that are safe, reliable and affordable. For propulsion, the focus is on nuclear thermal rockets that build on technologies and systems developed and tested under the Rover/NERVA and related programs from the Apollo era. NTP Affordability is achieved through use of previously developed fuels and materials, modern analytical techniques and test strategies, and development of a small engine for ground and flight technology demonstration. Initial NTP systems will be capable of achieving an Isp of 900 s at a relatively high thrust-to-weight ratio. The development and use of first generation space fission power and propulsion systems will provide new, game changing capabilities for NASA. In addition, development and use of these systems will provide the foundation for developing extremely advanced power and propulsion systems capable of routinely and affordably accessing any point in the solar system. The energy density of fissile fuel (8 x 10(exp 13) Joules/kg) is more than adequate for enabling extensive exploration and utilization of the solar system. For space fission propulsion systems, the key is converting the virtually unlimited energy of fission into thrust at the desired specific impulse and thrust

  12. 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.

  13. Two-stage earth-to-orbit vehicles with series and parallel burn

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, J. A.

    1986-01-01

    Recent studies have indicated that a fully reusable earth-to-orbit vehicle system will be needed near the beginning of the next century. One likely concept is a two-stage, vertical takeoff system with liquid rocket propulsion. Such vehicles have been examined with series burn and parallel burn of the engines of each stage. The results indicate that the preferred concept will have parallel burn with crossfeed, the booster will have hydrocarbon engines, the Orbiter will have both hydrocarbon and hydrogen engines, and the staging velocity will be low enough to allow the booster to glide back to the launch site.

  14. Advanced propulsion concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sercel, Joel C.

    1991-01-01

    The topics presented are covered in viewgraph form. The programmatic objective is to establish the feasibility of propulsion technologies for vastly expanded space activity. The technical objective is a revolutionary performance sought, such as: (1) about 1 kg/kW specific mass; (2) specific impulse tailored to mission requirements; (3) ability to use in-situ resources; (4) round-trips to Mars in months; (5) round-trips to outer planets in 1 to 2 years; and (6) the capability for robotic mission beyond the solar system.

  15. Materials Advance Chemical Propulsion Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2012-01-01

    In the future, the Planetary Science Division of NASA's Science Mission Directorate hopes to use better-performing and lower-cost propulsion systems to send rovers, probes, and observers to places like Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. For such purposes, a new propulsion technology called the Advanced Materials Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) was developed under NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) project, located at Glenn Research Center. As an advanced chemical propulsion system, AMBR uses nitrogen tetroxide oxidizer and hydrazine fuel to propel a spacecraft. Based on current research and development efforts, the technology shows great promise for increasing engine operation and engine lifespan, as well as lowering manufacturing costs. In developing AMBR, ISPT has several goals: to decrease the time it takes for a spacecraft to travel to its destination, reduce the cost of making the propulsion system, and lessen the weight of the propulsion system. If goals like these are met, it could result in greater capabilities for in-space science investigations. For example, if the amount (and weight) of propellant required on a spacecraft is reduced, more scientific instruments (and weight) could be added to the spacecraft. To achieve AMBR s maximum potential performance, the engine needed to be capable of operating at extremely high temperatures and pressure. To this end, ISPT required engine chambers made of iridium-coated rhenium (strong, high-temperature metallic elements) that allowed operation at temperatures close to 4,000 F. In addition, ISPT needed an advanced manufacturing technique for better coating methods to increase the strength of the engine chamber without increasing the costs of fabricating the chamber.

  16. Advanced transportation system studies technical area 3: Alternate propulsion subsystem concepts, volume 3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levak, Daniel

    1993-01-01

    The objective of this contract was to provide definition of alternate propulsion systems for both earth-to-orbit (ETO) and in-space vehicles (upper stages and space transfer vehicles). For such propulsion systems, technical data to describe performance, weight, dimensions, etc. was provided along with programmatic information such as cost, schedule, needed facilities, etc. Advanced technology and advanced development needs were determined and provided. This volume separately presents the various program cost estimates that were generated under three tasks: the F-1A Restart Task, the J-2S Restart Task, and the SSME Upper Stage Use Task. The conclusions, technical results, and the program cost estimates are described in more detail in Volume 1 - Executive Summary and in individual Final Task Reports.

  17. Advanced Transportation System Studies. Technical Area 3: Alternate Propulsion Subsystems Concepts. Volume 3; Program Cost Estimates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levack, Daniel J. H.

    2000-01-01

    The objective of this contract was to provide definition of alternate propulsion systems for both earth-to-orbit (ETO) and in-space vehicles (upper stages and space transfer vehicles). For such propulsion systems, technical data to describe performance, weight, dimensions, etc. was provided along with programmatic information such as cost, schedule, needed facilities, etc. Advanced technology and advanced development needs were determined and provided. This volume separately presents the various program cost estimates that were generated under three tasks: the F- IA Restart Task, the J-2S Restart Task, and the SSME Upper Stage Use Task. The conclusions, technical results , and the program cost estimates are described in more detail in Volume I - Executive Summary and in individual Final Task Reports.

  18. Comparisons of rocket and air-breathing vehicle concepts for earth-to-orbit transportarion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorrington, G. E.

    1990-07-01

    To illustrate that there is ample room for improvement in earth-to-orbit reliability, transportation cost and environmental cleanliness, some future European launch vehicle concepts are presented. Varying assumptions of technology level and operational strategy offer a wide range of system/subsystem options for consideration. Specific examples cited include: the advanced reusable single-stage VTOL all-rocket vehicles, the all-liquid hydrogen-oxygen variants of Ariane 5, and the advanced one-and-a-half-stage horizontal take-off air-breathing vehicles.

  19. Nuclear propulsion technology advanced fuels technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stark, Walter A., Jr.

    1993-01-01

    Viewgraphs on advanced fuels technology are presented. Topics covered include: nuclear thermal propulsion reactor and fuel requirements; propulsion efficiency and temperature; uranium fuel compounds; melting point experiments; fabrication techniques; and sintered microspheres.

  20. Characterization of advanced electric propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ray, P. K.

    1982-01-01

    Characteristic parameters of several advanced electric propulsion systems are evaluated and compared. The propulsion systems studied are mass driver, rail gun, argon MPD thruster, hydrogen free radical thruster and mercury electron bombardment ion engine. Overall, ion engines have somewhat better characteristics as compared to the other electric propulsion systems.

  1. Advanced research and technology program for advanced high pressure oxygen-hydrogen rocket propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marsik, S. J.; Morea, S. F.

    1985-01-01

    A research and technology program for advanced high pressure, oxygen-hydrogen rocket propulsion technology is presently being pursued by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to establish the basic discipline technologies, develop the analytical tools, and establish the data base necessary for an orderly evolution of the staged combustion reusable rocket engine. The need for the program is based on the premise that the USA will depend on the Shuttle and its derivative versions as its principal Earth-to-orbit transportation system for the next 20 to 30 yr. The program is focused in three principal areas of enhancement: (1) life extension, (2) performance, and (3) operations and diagnosis. Within the technological disciplines the efforts include: rotordynamics, structural dynamics, fluid and gas dynamics, materials fatigue/fracture/life, turbomachinery fluid mechanics, ignition/combustion processes, manufacturing/producibility/nondestructive evaluation methods and materials development/evaluation. An overview of the Advanced High Pressure Oxygen-Hydrogen Rocket Propulsion Technology Program Structure and Working Groups objectives are presented with highlights of several significant achievements.

  2. Advanced research and technology programs for advanced high-pressure oxygen-hydrogen rocket propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marsik, S. J.; Morea, S. F.

    1985-01-01

    A research and technology program for advanced high pressure, oxygen-hydrogen rocket propulsion technology is presently being pursued by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to establish the basic discipline technologies, develop the analytical tools, and establish the data base necessary for an orderly evolution of the staged combustion reusable rocket engine. The need for the program is based on the premise that the USA will depend on the Shuttle and its derivative versions as its principal Earth-to-orbit transportation system for the next 20 to 30 yr. The program is focused in three principal areas of enhancement: (1) life extension, (2) performance, and (3) operations and diagnosis. Within the technological disciplines the efforts include: rotordynamics, structural dynamics, fluid and gas dynamics, materials fatigue/fracture/life, turbomachinery fluid mechanics, ignition/combustion processes, manufacturing/producibility/nondestructive evaluation methods and materials development/evaluation. An overview of the Advanced High Pressure Oxygen-Hydrogen Rocket Propulsion Technology Program Structure and Working Groups objectives are presented with highlights of several significant achievements.

  3. Advanced technology for future space propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diehl, Larry A.

    1989-01-01

    The NASA Project Pathfinder contains programs to provide technologies for future transfer vehicles including those powered by both advanced chemical and electric propulsion rockets. This paper discusses the Chemical Transfer Propulsion and Cargo Vehicle Propulsion elements of Pathfinder. The program requirements and goals for both elements are discussed, and technical activities which are planned or underway are summarized. Recent progress in programs which support or proceed the Pathfinder activities is detailed. In particular, the NASA Program for Advanced Orbital Transfer Vehicle Propulsion, which acted as the precursor for the Chemical Transfer Propulsion element of Pathfinder is summarized.

  4. Advanced Chemical Propulsion System Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Portz, Ron; Alexander, Leslie; Chapman, Jack; England, Chris; Henderson, Scott; Krismer, David; Lu, Frank; Wilson, Kim; Miller, Scott

    2007-01-01

    A detailed; mission-level systems study has been performed to show the benefit resulting from engine performance gains that will result from NASA's In-Space Propulsion ROSS Cycle 3A NRA, Advanced Chemical Technology sub-topic. The technology development roadmap to accomplish the NRA goals are also detailed in this paper. NASA-Marshall and NASA-JPL have conducted mission-level studies to define engine requirements, operating conditions, and interfaces. Five reference missions have been chosen for this analysis based on scientific interest, current launch vehicle capability and trends in space craft size: a) GTO to GEO, 4800 kg, delta-V for GEO insertion only approx.1830 m/s; b) Titan Orbiter with aerocapture, 6620 kg, total delta V approx.210 m/s, mostly for periapsis raise after aerocapture; c) Enceladus Orbiter (Titan aerocapture) 6620 kg, delta V approx.2400 m/s; d) Europa Orbiter, 2170 kg, total delta V approx.2600 m/s; and e) Mars Orbiter, 2250 kg, total delta V approx.1860 m/s. The figures of merit used to define the benefit of increased propulsion efficiency at the spacecraft level include propulsion subsystem wet mass, volume and overall cost. The objective of the NRA is to increase the specific impulse of pressure-fed earth storable bipropellant rocket engines to greater than 330 seconds with nitrogen tetroxide and monomothylhydrazine propellants and greater than 335 , seconds with nitrogen tetroxide and hydrazine. Achievement of the NRA goals will significantly benefit NASA interplanetary missions and other government and commercial opportunities by enabling reduced launch weight and/or increased payload. The study also constitutes a crucial stepping stone to future development, such as pump-fed storable engines.

  5. NASA's Advanced Propulsion Technology Activities for Third Generation Fully Reusable Launch Vehicle Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hueter, Uwe

    2000-01-01

    NASA's Office of Aeronautics and Space Transportation Technology (OASTT) established the following three major goals, referred to as "The Three Pillars for Success": Global Civil Aviation, Revolutionary Technology Leaps, and Access to Space. The Advanced Space Transportation Program Office (ASTP) at the NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. focuses on future space transportation technologies under the "Access to Space" pillar. The Propulsion Projects within ASTP under the investment area of Spaceliner100, focus on the earth-to-orbit (ETO) third generation reusable launch vehicle technologies. The goals of Spaceliner 100 is to reduce cost by a factor of 100 and improve safety by a factor of 10,000 over current conditions. The ETO Propulsion Projects in ASTP, are actively developing combination/combined-cycle propulsion technologies that utilized airbreathing propulsion during a major portion of the trajectory. System integration, components, materials and advanced rocket technologies are also being pursued. Over the last several years, one of the main thrusts has been to develop rocket-based combined cycle (RBCC) technologies. The focus has been on conducting ground tests of several engine designs to establish the RBCC flowpaths performance. Flowpath testing of three different RBCC engine designs is progressing. Additionally, vehicle system studies are being conducted to assess potential operational space access vehicles utilizing combined-cycle propulsion systems. The design, manufacturing, and ground testing of a scale flight-type engine are planned. The first flight demonstration of an airbreathing combined cycle propulsion system is envisioned around 2005. The paper will describe the advanced propulsion technologies that are being being developed under the ETO activities in the ASTP program. Progress, findings, and future activities for the propulsion technologies will be discussed.

  6. Advanced nuclear thermal propulsion concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howe, Steven D.

    1993-01-01

    In 1989, a Presidential directive created the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) which had a goal of placing mankind on Mars in the early 21st century. The SEI was effectively terminated in 1992 with the election of a new administration. Although the initiative did not exist long enough to allow substantial technology development, it did provide a venue, for the first time in 20 years, to comprehensively evaluate advanced propulsion concepts which could enable fast, manned transits to Mars. As part of the SEI based investigations, scientists from NASA, DoE National Laboratories, universities, and industry met regularly and proceeded to examine a variety of innovative ideas. Most of the effort was directed toward developing a solid-core, nuclear thermal rocket and examining a high-power nuclear electric propulsion system. In addition, however, an Innovative Concepts committee was formed and charged with evaluating concepts that offered a much higher performance but were less technologically mature. The committee considered several concepts and eventually recommended that further work be performed in the areas of gas core fission rockets, inertial confinement fusion systems, antimatter based rockets, and gas core fission electric systems. Following the committee's recommendations, some computational modeling work has been performed at Los Alamos in certain of these areas and critical issues have been identified.

  7. Advanced transportation system studies. Alternate propulsion subsystem concepts: Propulsion database

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levack, Daniel

    1993-01-01

    The Advanced Transportation System Studies alternate propulsion subsystem concepts propulsion database interim report is presented. The objective of the database development task is to produce a propulsion database which is easy to use and modify while also being comprehensive in the level of detail available. The database is to be available on the Macintosh computer system. The task is to extend across all three years of the contract. Consequently, a significant fraction of the effort in this first year of the task was devoted to the development of the database structure to ensure a robust base for the following years' efforts. Nonetheless, significant point design propulsion system descriptions and parametric models were also produced. Each of the two propulsion databases, parametric propulsion database and propulsion system database, are described. The descriptions include a user's guide to each code, write-ups for models used, and sample output. The parametric database has models for LOX/H2 and LOX/RP liquid engines, solid rocket boosters using three different propellants, a hybrid rocket booster, and a NERVA derived nuclear thermal rocket engine.

  8. Advanced transportation system studies. Alternate propulsion subsystem concepts: Propulsion database

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levack, Daniel

    1993-04-01

    The Advanced Transportation System Studies alternate propulsion subsystem concepts propulsion database interim report is presented. The objective of the database development task is to produce a propulsion database which is easy to use and modify while also being comprehensive in the level of detail available. The database is to be available on the Macintosh computer system. The task is to extend across all three years of the contract. Consequently, a significant fraction of the effort in this first year of the task was devoted to the development of the database structure to ensure a robust base for the following years' efforts. Nonetheless, significant point design propulsion system descriptions and parametric models were also produced. Each of the two propulsion databases, parametric propulsion database and propulsion system database, are described. The descriptions include a user's guide to each code, write-ups for models used, and sample output. The parametric database has models for LOX/H2 and LOX/RP liquid engines, solid rocket boosters using three different propellants, a hybrid rocket booster, and a NERVA derived nuclear thermal rocket engine.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

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

  10. Modeling of Spacecraft Advanced Chemical Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benfield, Michael P. J.; Belcher, Jeremy A.

    2004-01-01

    This paper outlines the development of the Advanced Chemical Propulsion System (ACPS) model for Earth and Space Storable propellants. This model was developed by the System Technology Operation of SAIC-Huntsville for the NASA MSFC In-Space Propulsion Project Office. Each subsystem of the model is described. Selected model results will also be shown to demonstrate the model's ability to evaluate technology changes in chemical propulsion systems.

  11. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion for Advanced Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, M. 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 Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP).

  12. Evaluation of Proposed Rocket Engines for Earth-to-Orbit Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, James A.; Kramer, Richard D.

    1990-01-01

    The objective is to evaluate recently analyzed rocket engines for advanced Earth-to-orbit vehicles. The engines evaluated are full-flow staged combustion engines and split expander engines, both at mixture ratios at 6 and above with oxygen and hydrogen propellants. The vehicles considered are single-stage and two-stage fully reusable vehicles and the Space Shuttle with liquid rocket boosters. The results indicate that the split expander engine at a mixture ratio of about 7 is competitive with the full-flow staged combustion engine for all three vehicle concepts. A key factor in this result is the capability to increase the chamber pressure for the split expander as the mixture ratio is increased from 6 to 7.

  13. Propulsion issues for advanced orbit transfer vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, L. P.

    1984-01-01

    Studies of the United States Space Transportation System show that in the mid to late 1990s expanded capabilities for orbital transfer vehicles (OTV) will be needed to meet increased payload requirements for transporting materials and possibly men to geosynchronous orbit. Discussion and observations relative to the propulsion system issues of space basing, aeroassist compatibility, man ratability and enhanced payload delivery capability are presented. These issues will require resolution prior to the development of a propulsion system for the advanced OTV. The NASA program in support of advanced propulsion for an OTV is briefly described along with conceptual engine design characteristics.

  14. Advanced Chemical Propulsion for Science Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liou, Larry

    2008-01-01

    The advanced chemical propulsion technology area of NASA's In-Space Technology Project is investing in systems and components for increased performance and reduced cost of chemical propulsion technologies applicable to near-term science missions. Presently the primary investment in the advanced chemical propulsion technology area is in the AMBR high temperature storable bipropellant rocket engine. Scheduled to be available for flight development starting in year 2008, AMBR engine shows a 60 kg payload gain in an analysis for the Titan-Enceladus orbiter mission and a 33 percent manufacturing cost reduction over its baseline, state-of-the-art counterpart. Other technologies invested include the reliable lightweight tanks for propellant and the precision propellant management and mixture ratio control. Both technologies show significant mission benefit, can be applied to any liquid propulsion system, and upon completion of the efforts described in this paper, are at least in parts ready for flight infusion. Details of the technologies are discussed.

  15. Technical Considerations for Advanced Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Michael G.

    1999-01-01

    This presentation reviews concerns involving advanced propulsion systems. The problems involved with the use of Am-242m, is that it has a high "eta" plus an order of magnitude larger fission cross section than other fissionable materials, and that it is extremely rare. However other americium isotopes are much more common, but extremely effective isotopic separation is required. Deuterium-Tritium fusion is also not attractive for space propulsion applications. Because the pulsed systems cannot breed adequate amounts of tritium and it is difficult and expensive to bring tritium from Earth. The systems that do breed tritium have severely limited performance. However, other fusion processes should still be evaluated. Another problem with advanced propellants is that inefficiencies in converting the total energy generated into propellant energy can lead to tremendous heat rejection requirements. Therefore Many. advanced propulsion concepts benefit greatly from low-mass radiators.

  16. 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.

  17. Advanced Propulsion for the XXIst Century

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frisbee, Robert H.

    2003-01-01

    This document represents a poster presentation offered at the AIAA/CAS International Air & Space Symposium and Exposition from July 14-17, 2003 in Dayton Ohio. This presentation outlines advanced space propulsion concepts as well as associated research and industry activities during the 21st century.

  18. MSFC's Advanced Space Propulsion Formulation Task

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Huebner, Lawrence D.; Gerrish, Harold P.; Robinson, Joel W.; Taylor, Terry L.

    2012-01-01

    In NASA s Fiscal Year 2012, a small project was undertaken to provide additional substance, depth, and activity knowledge to the technology areas identified in the In-Space Propulsion Systems Roadmap, Technology Area 02 (TA-02), as created under the auspices of the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT). This roadmap was divided into four basic groups: (1) Chemical Propulsion, (2) Non-chemical Propulsion, (3) Advanced (TRL<3) Propulsion Technologies, and (4) Supporting Technologies. The first two were grouped according to the governing physics. The third group captured technologies and physic concepts that are at a lower TRL level. The fourth group identified pertinent technical areas that are strongly coupled with these related areas which could allow significant improvements in performance. There were a total of 45 technologies identified in TA-02, and 25 of these were studied in this formulation task. The goal of this task was to provide OCT with a knowledge-base for decisionmaking on advanced space propulsion technologies and not waste money by unintentionally repeating past projects or funding the technologies with minor impacts. This formulation task developed the next level of detail for technologies described and provides context to OCT where investments should be made. The presentation will begin with the list of technologies from TA-02, how they were prioritized for this study, and details on what additional data was captured for the technologies studied. Following this, some samples of the documentation will be provided, followed by plans on how the data will be made accessible.

  19. The NASA-JPL advanced propulsion program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frisbee, Robert H.

    1994-01-01

    The NASA Advanced Propulsion Concepts (APC) program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) consists of two main areas: The first involves cooperative modeling and research activities between JPL and various universities and industry; the second involves research at universities and industry that is directly supported by JPL. The cooperative research program consists of mission studies, research and development of ion engine technology using C-60 (Buckminsterfullerene) propellant, and research and development of lithium-propellant Lorentz-force accelerator (LFA) engine technology. The university/industry- supported research includes research (modeling and proof-of-concept experiments) in advanced, long-life electric propulsion, and in fusion propulsion. These propulsion concepts were selected primarily to cover a range of applications from near-term to far-term missions. For example, the long-lived pulsed-xenon thruster research that JPL is supporting at Princeton University addresses the near-term need for efficient, long-life attitude control and station-keeping propulsion for Earth-orbiting spacecraft. The C-60-propellant ion engine has the potential for good efficiency in a relatively low specific impulse (Isp) range (10,000 - 30,000 m/s) that is optimum for relatively fast (less than 100 day) cis-lunar (LEO/GEO/Lunar) missions employing near-term, high-specific mass electric propulsion vehicles. Research and modeling on the C-60-ion engine are currently being performed by JPL (engine demonstration), Caltech (C-60 properties), MIT (plume modeling), and USC (diagnostics). The Li-propellant LFA engine also has good efficiency in the modest Isp range (40,000 - 50,000 m/s) that is optimum for near-to-mid-term megawatt-class solar- and nuclear-electric propulsion vehicles used for Mars missions transporting cargo (in support of a piloted mission). Research and modeling on the Li-LFA engine are currently being performed by JPL (cathode development), Moscow Aviation

  20. Advanced supersonic propulsion study, phase 3

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howlett, R. A.; Johnson, J.; Sabatella, J.; Sewall, T.

    1976-01-01

    The variable stream control engine is determined to be the most promising propulsion system concept for advanced supersonic cruise aircraft. This concept uses variable geometry components and a unique throttle schedule for independent control of two flow streams to provide low jet noise at takeoff and high performance at both subsonic and supersonic cruise. The advanced technology offers a 25% improvement in airplane range and an 8 decibel reduction in takeoff noise, relative to first generation supersonic turbojet engines.

  1. Next generation earth-to-orbit space transportation systems: Unmanned vehicles and liquid/hybrid boosters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hueter, Uwe

    1991-01-01

    The United States civil space effort when viewed from a launch vehicle perspective tends to categorize into pre-Shuttle and Shuttle eras. The pre-Shuttle era consisted of expendable launch vehicles where a broad set of capabilities were matured in a range of vehicles, followed by a clear reluctance to build on and utilize those systems. The Shuttle era marked the beginning of the U.S. venture into reusable space launch vehicles and the consolidation of launch systems used to this one vehicle. This led to a tremendous capability, but utilized men on a few missions where it was not essential and compromised launch capability resiliency in the long term. Launch vehicle failures, between the period of Aug. 1985 and May 1986, of the Titan 34D, Shuttle Challenger, and the Delta vehicles resulted in a reassessment of U.S. launch vehicle capability. The reassessment resulted in President Reagan issuing a new National Space Policy in 1988 calling for more coordination between Federal agencies, broadening the launch capabilities and preparing for manned flight beyond the Earth into the solar system. As a result, the Department of Defense (DoD) and NASA are jointly assessing the requirements and needs for this nations's future transportation system. Reliability/safety, balanced fleet, and resiliency are the cornerstone to the future. An insight is provided into the current thinking in establishing future unmanned earth-to-orbit (ETO) space transportation needs and capabilities. A background of previous launch capabilities, future needs, current and proposed near term systems, and system considerations to assure future mission need will be met, are presented. The focus is on propulsion options associated with unmanned cargo vehicles and liquid booster required to assure future mission needs will be met.

  2. Performance of advanced missions using fusion propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Friedlander, Alan; Mcadams, Jim; Schulze, Norm

    1989-01-01

    A quantitive evaluation of the premise that nuclear fusion propulsion offers benefits as compared to other propulsion technologies for carrying out a program of advanced exploration of the solar system and beyond is presented. Using a simplified analytical model of trajectory performance, numerical results of mass requirements versus trip time are given for robotic missions beyond the solar system that include flyby and rendezvous with the Oort cloud of comets and with the star system Alpha Centauri. Round trip missions within the solar system, including robotic sample returns from the outer planet moons and multiple asteroid targets, and manned Mars exploration are also described.

  3. Advanced electrostatic ion thruster for space propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1978-01-01

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

  4. Establishing a center for advanced space propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garrison, George W.

    1990-01-01

    The goals and the concept of NASA-sponsored Centers for the Commercial Development of Space (CCDSs) are presented. The Center for Advanced Space Propulsion (CASP), its research projects, and the prognosis for their success are discussed. The establishment of CCDSs is recognized as an experiment to bring together university and industry researchers to maintain and improve the internationally competitive position of the United States in space. Increasing private investment in space-related technology and developing new commercial products are the basic requirements for success. CASP is the only CCDS that focuses on propulsion technology, which is critical to ensuring continued U.S. leadership in space. CASP is expected to become a recognized center for propulsion research and commercialization within the next five years.

  5. Earth-to-orbit reusable launch vehicles: A comparative assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chase, R. L.

    1978-01-01

    A representative set of space systems, functions, and missions for NASA and DoD from which launch vehicle requirements and characteristics was established as well as a set of air-breathing launch vehicles based on graduated technology capabilities corresponding to increasingly higher staging Mach numbers. The utility of the air-breathing launch vehicle candidates based on lift-off weight, performance, technology needs, and risk was assessed and costs were compared to alternative concepts. The results indicate that a fully reusable launch vehicle, whether two stage or one stage, could potentially reduce the cost per flight 60-80% compared to that for a partially reusable vehicle but would require advances in thermal protection system technology. A two-stage-to-orbit, parallel-lift vehicle with an air-breathing booster would cost approximately the same as a single-stage-to-orbit vehicle, but the former would have greater flexibility and a significantly reduced developmental risk. A twin-booster, subsonic-staged, parallel-lift vehicle represents the lowest system cost and developmental risk. However, if a large supersonic turbojet engine in the 350,000-N thrust class were available, supersonic staging would be preferred, and the investment in development would be returned in reduced program cost.

  6. Center for Advanced Space Propulsion (CASP)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    With a mission to initiate and conduct advanced propulsion research in partnership with industry, and a goal to strengthen U.S. national capability in propulsion technology, the Center for Advanced Space Propulsion (CASP) is the only NASA Center for Commercial Development of Space (CCDS) which focuses on propulsion and associated technologies. Meetings with industrial partners and NASA Headquarters personnel provided an assessment of the constraints placed on, and opportunities afforded commercialization projects. Proprietary information, data rights, and patent rights were some of the areas where well defined information is crucial to project success and follow-on efforts. There were five initial CASP projects. At the end of the first year there are six active, two of which are approaching the ground test phase in their development. Progress in the current six projects has met all milestones and is detailed. Working closely with the industrial counterparts it was found that the endeavors in expert systems development, computational fluid dynamics, fluid management in microgravity, and electric propulsion were well received. One project with the Saturn Corporation which dealt with expert systems application in the assembly process, was placed on hold pending further direction from Saturn. The Contamination Measurment and Analysis project was not implemented since CASP was unable to identify an industrial participant. Additional propulsion and related projects were investigated during the year. A subcontract was let to a small business, MicroCraft, Inc., to study rocket engine certification standards. The study produced valuable results; however, based on a number of factors it was decided not to pursue this project further.

  7. 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).

  8. Advanced orbit transfer vehicle propulsion system study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cathcart, J. A.; Cooper, T. W.; Corringrato, R. M.; Cronau, S. T.; Forgie, S. C.; Harder, M. J.; Mcallister, J. G.; Rudman, T. J.; Stoneback, V. W.

    1985-01-01

    A reuseable orbit transfer vehicle concept was defined and subsequent recommendations for the design criteria of an advanced LO2/LH2 engine were presented. The major characteristics of the vehicle preliminary design include a low lift to drag aerocapture capability, main propulsion system failure criteria of fail operational/fail safe, and either two main engines with an attitude control system for backup or three main engines to meet the failure criteria. A maintenance and servicing approach was also established for the advanced vehicle and engine concepts. Design tradeoff study conclusions were based on the consideration of reliability, performance, life cycle costs, and mission flexibility.

  9. Materials Requirements for Advanced Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whitaker, Ann F.; Cook, Mary Beth; Clinton, R. G., Jr.

    2005-01-01

    NASA's mission to "reach the Moon and Mars" will be obtained only if research begins now to develop materials with expanded capabilities to reduce mass, cost and risk to the program. Current materials cannot function satisfactorily in the deep space environments and do not meet the requirements of long term space propulsion concepts for manned missions. Directed research is needed to better understand materials behavior for optimizing their processing. This research, generating a deeper understanding of material behavior, can lead to enhanced implementation of materials for future exploration vehicles. materials providing new approaches for manufacture and new options for In response to this need for more robust materials, NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) has established a strategic research initiative dedicated to materials development supporting NASA's space propulsion needs. The Advanced Materials for Exploration (AME) element directs basic and applied research to understand material behavior and develop improved materials allowing propulsion systems to operate beyond their current limitations. This paper will discuss the approach used to direct the path of strategic research for advanced materials to ensure that the research is indeed supportive of NASA's future missions to the moon, Mars, and beyond.

  10. Thermal fatigue durability for advanced propulsion materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Halford, Gary R.

    1989-01-01

    A review is presented of thermal and thermomechanical fatigue (TMF) crack initiation life prediction and cyclic constitutive modeling efforts sponsored recently by the NASA Lewis Research Center in support of advanced aeronautical propulsion research. A brief description is provided of the more significant material durability models that were created to describe TMF fatigue resistance of both isotropic and anisotropic superalloys, with and without oxidation resistant coatings. The two most significant crack initiation models are the cyclic damage accumulation model and the total strain version of strainrange partitioning. Unified viscoplastic cyclic constitutive models are also described. A troika of industry, university, and government research organizations contributed to the generation of these analytic models. Based upon current capabilities and established requirements, an attempt is made to project which TMF research activities most likely will impact future generation propulsion systems.

  11. Characterization of advanced electric propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ray, P. K.

    1982-01-01

    Characteristics of several advanced electric propulsion systems are evaluated and compared. The propulsion systems studied are mass driver, rail gun, MPD thruster, hydrogen free radical thruster and mercury electron bombardment ion engine. These are characterized by specific impulse, overall efficiency, input power, average thrust, power to average thrust ratio and average thrust to dry weight ratio. Several important physical characteristics such as dry system mass, accelerator length, bore size and current pulse requirement are also evaluated in appropriate cases. Only the ion engine can operate at a specific impulse beyond 2000 sec. Rail gun, MPD thruster and free radical thruster are currently characterized by low efficiencies. Mass drivers have the best performance characteristics in terms of overall efficiency, power to average thrust ratio and average thrust to dry weight ratio. But, they can only operate at low specific impulses due to large power requirements and are extremely long due to limitations of driving current. Mercury ion engines have the next best performance characteristics while operating at higher specific impulses. It is concluded that, overall, ion engines have somewhat better characteristics as compared to the other electric propulsion systems.

  12. Advanced supersonic propulsion study, phase 4

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howlett, R. A.

    1977-01-01

    Installation characteristics for a Variable Stream Control Engine (VSCE) were studied for three advanced supersonic airplane designs. Sensitivity of the VSCE concept to change in technology projections was evaluated in terms of impact on overall installed performance. Based on these sensitivity results, critical technology requirements were reviewed, resulting in the reaffirmation of the following requirements: low-noise nozzle system; a high performance, low emissions duct burner and main burner; hot section technology; variable geometry components; and propulsion integration features, including an integrated electronic control system.

  13. 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.

  14. Comparison of advanced propulsion capabilities for future planetary missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niehoff, J. C.; Friedlander, A. L.

    1974-01-01

    This paper summarizes unmanned planetary performance (payload and trip time) of Shuttle-based advanced propulsion systems for 1980-90 missions analyzed as part of the recent NASA/AEC Advanced Propulsion Comparisons Studies. Propulsion system designs and condensed results from over 300 propulsion/mission combinations are discussed. Chemical rocket (CRP), solar electric (SEP), nuclear rocket (NRP), and nuclear electric (NEP) propulsion systems are all considered. In terms of missions flown, total flight time, and number of Shuttle launches required, NEP provides the best performance. Relative to NEP, it is shown that NRP, SEP, and CRP degrade mission performance by 20%, 40%, and 50%, respectively, at nominal payloads.

  15. An overview of the NASA Advanced Propulsion Concepts program

    SciTech Connect

    Curran, F.M.; Bennett, G.L.; Frisbee, R.H.; Sercel, J.C.; Lapointe, M.R. JPL, Pasadena, CA Sverdrup Technology, Inc., Brook Park, OH NASA, Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, OH )

    1992-07-01

    NASA Advanced Propulsion Concepts (APC) program for the development of long-term space propulsion system schemes is managed by both NASA-Lewis and the JPL and is tasked with the identification and conceptual development of high-risk/high-payoff configurations. Both theoretical and experimental investigations have been undertaken in technology areas deemed essential to the implementation of candidate concepts. These APC candidates encompass very high energy density chemical propulsion systems, advanced electric propulsion systems, and an antiproton-catalyzed nuclear propulsion concept. A development status evaluation is presented for these systems. 45 refs.

  16. An overview of the NASA Advanced Propulsion Concepts program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curran, Francis M.; Bennett, Gary L.; Frisbee, Robert H.; Sercel, Joel C.; Lapointe, Michael R.

    1992-01-01

    NASA Advanced Propulsion Concepts (APC) program for the development of long-term space propulsion system schemes is managed by both NASA-Lewis and the JPL and is tasked with the identification and conceptual development of high-risk/high-payoff configurations. Both theoretical and experimental investigations have been undertaken in technology areas deemed essential to the implementation of candidate concepts. These APC candidates encompass very high energy density chemical propulsion systems, advanced electric propulsion systems, and an antiproton-catalyzed nuclear propulsion concept. A development status evaluation is presented for these systems.

  17. Spacecraft Impacts with Advanced Power and Electric Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mason, Lee S.; Oleson, Steven R.

    2000-01-01

    A study was performed to assess the benefits of advanced power and electric propulsion systems for various space missions. Advanced power technologies that were considered included multiband gap and thin-film solar arrays, lithium batteries, and flywheels. Electric propulsion options included Hall effect thrusters and Ion thrusters. Several mission case studies were selected as representative of future applications for advanced power and propulsion systems. These included a low altitude Earth science satellite, a LEO communications constellation, a GEO military surveillance satellite, and a Mercury planetary mission. The study process entailed identification of overall mission performance using state-of-the-art power and propulsion technology, enhancements made possible with either power or electric propulsion advances individually, and the collective benefits realized when advanced power and electric propulsion are combined. Impacts to the overall spacecraft included increased payload, longer operational life, expanded operations and launch vehicle class step-downs.

  18. Green Propulsion Technologies for Advanced Air Transports

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Del Rosario, Ruben

    2015-01-01

    Air transportation is critical to U.S. and Global economic vitality. However, energy and climate issues challenge aviations ability to be sustainable in the long term. Aviation must dramatically reduce fuel use and related emissions. Energy costs to U.S. airlines nearly tripled between 1995 and 2011, and continue to be the highest percentage of operating costs. The NASA Advanced Air Transports Technology Project addresses the comprehensive challenge of enabling revolutionary energy efficiency improvements in subsonic transport aircraft combined with dramatic reductions in harmful emissions and perceived noise to facilitate sustained growth of the air transportation system. Advanced technologies and the development of unconventional aircraft systems offer the potential to achieve these improvements. The presentation will highlight the NASA vision of revolutionary systems and propulsion technologies needed to achieve these challenging goals. Specifically, the primary focus is on the N+3 generation; that is, vehicles that are three generations beyond the current state of the art, requiring mature technology solutions in the 2025-30 timeframe, which are envisioned as being powered by Hybrid Electric Propulsion Systems.

  19. Advanced hybrid vehicle propulsion system study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwarz, R.

    1982-01-01

    Results are presented of a study of an advanced heat engine/electric automotive hybrid propulsion system. The system uses a rotary stratified charge engine and ac motor/controller in a parallel hybrid configuration. The three tasks of the study were (1) parametric studies involving five different vehicle types, (2) design trade-off studies to determine the influence of various vehicle and propulsion system paramaters on system performance fuel economy and cost, and (3) a conceptual design establishing feasibility at the selected approach. Energy consumption for the selected system was .034 1/km (61.3 mpg) for the heat engine and .221 kWh/km (.356 kWh/mi) for the electric power system over a modified J227 a schedule D driving cycle. Life cycle costs were 7.13 cents/km (11.5 cents/mi) at $2/gal gasoline and 7 cents/kWh electricity for 160,000 km (100,000 mi) life.

  20. Small low mass advanced PBR's for propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1993-10-01

    The advanced Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) to be described in this paper is characterized by relatively low power, and low cost, while still maintaining competition values for thrust/weight, specific impulse and operating times. In order to retain competitive values for the thrust/weight ratio while reducing the reactor size, it is necessary to change the basic reactor layout, by incorporating new concepts. The new reactor design concept is termed SIRIUS (Small Lightweight Reactor Integral Propulsion System). The following modifications are proposed for the reactor design to be discussed in this paper: Pre-heater (U-235 included in Moderator); Hy-C (Hydride/De-hydride for Reactor Control); Afterburner (U-235 impregnated into Hot Frit); and Hy-S (Hydride Spike Inside Hot Frit). Each of the modifications will be briefly discussed below, with benefits, technical issues, design approach, and risk levels addressed. The paper discusses conceptual assumptions, feasibility analysis, mass estimates, and information needs.

  1. Advanced NSTS propulsion system verification study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, Charles

    1989-01-01

    The merits of propulsion system development testing are discussed. The existing data base of technical reports and specialists is utilized in this investigation. The study encompassed a review of all available test reports of propulsion system development testing for the Saturn stages, the Titan stages, and the Space Shuttle main propulsion system. The knowledge on propulsion system development and system testing available from specialists and managers was also 'tapped' for inclusion.

  2. Green Propulsion Technologies for Advanced Air Transports

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Del Rosario, Ruben

    2015-01-01

    Air transportation is critical to U.S. and Global economic vitality. However, energy and climate issues challenge aviation's ability to be sustainable in the long term. Aviation must dramatically reduce fuel use and related emissions. Energy costs to U.S. airlines nearly tripled between 1995 and 2011, and continue to be the highest percentage of operating costs. The NASA Advanced Air Transports Technology Project addresses the comprehensive challenge of enabling revolutionary energy efficiency improvements in subsonic transport aircraft combined with dramatic reductions in harmful emissions and perceived noise to facilitate sustained growth of the air transportation system. Advanced technologies and the development of unconventional aircraft systems offer the potential to achieve these improvements. The presentation will highlight the NASA vision of revolutionary systems and propulsion technologies needed to achieve these challenging goals. Specifically, the primary focus is on the N+3 generation; that is, vehicles that are three generations beyond the current state of the art, requiring mature technology solutions in the 2025-30 timeframe.

  3. Advanced supersonic technology propulsion system study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Szeliga, R.; Allan, R. D.

    1974-01-01

    This study had the objectives of determining the most promising conventional and variable cycle engine types; the effect of design cruise Mach number (2.2, 2.7 and 3.2) on a commercial supersonic transport; effect of advanced engine technology on the choice of engine cycle; and effect of utilizing hydrogen as the engine fuel. The technology required for the engines was defined, and the levels of development to ensure availability of this technology in advanced aircraft propulsion systems were assessed. No clearcut best conventional or variable cycle engine was identified. The dry bypass turbojet and the duct burning turbofans were initially selected as the best conventional engines, but later results, utilizing augmentation at takeoff, added the mixed-flow augmented turbofan as a promising contender. The modulating air flow, three-rotor variable cycle engine identified the performance features desired from VCE concepts (elimination of inlet drag and reduction in afterbody drag), but was a very heavy and complex engine.

  4. Advanced beamed-energy and field propulsion concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myrabo, L. N.

    1983-01-01

    Specific phenomena which might lead to major advances in payload, range and terminal velocity of very advanced vehicle propulsion are studied. The effort focuses heavily on advanced propulsion spinoffs enabled by current government-funded investigations in directed-energy technology: i.e., laser, microwave, and relativistic charged particle beams. Futuristic (post-year 2000) beamed-energy propulsion concepts which indicate exceptional promise are identified and analytically investigated. The concepts must be sufficiently developed to permit technical understanding of the physical processes involved, assessment of the enabling technologies, and evaluation of their merits over conventional systems. Propulsion concepts that can be used for manned and/or unmanned missions for purposes of solar system exploration, planetary landing, suborbital flight, transport to orbit, and escape are presented. Speculations are made on the chronology of milestones in beamed-energy propulsion development, such as in systems applications of defense, satellite orbit-raising, global aerospace transportation, and manned interplanetary carriers.

  5. Space Station propulsion - The Advanced Development Program at Lewis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, R. E.

    1985-01-01

    A reference configuration was established for the initial operating capability (IOC) station. The reference configuration has assumed hydrazine fueled thrusters as the propulsion system. This was to establish costing and as a reference for comparison when other propulsion systems are considered. An integral part of the plan to develop the Space Station is the advanced development program. The objective of this program is to provide advanced technology alternatives for the initial and evolutionary Space Station which optimize the system's functional characteristics in terms of performance, cost, and utilization. The portion of the Advanced Development Program that is concerned with auxiliary propulsion and the research and programmatic activities conducted are discussed.

  6. Space station propulsion: The advanced development program at Lewis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, R. E.

    1985-01-01

    A reference configuration was established for the initial operating capability (IOC) station. The reference configuration has assumed hydrazine fueled thrusters as the propulsion system. This was to establish costing and as a reference for comparison when other propulsion systems are considered. An integral part of the plan to develop the Space Station is the advanced development program. The objective of this program is to provide advanced technology alternatives for the initial and evolutionary Space Station which optimize the system's functional characteristics in terms of performance, cost, and utilization. The portion of the Advanced Development Program that is concerned with auxiliary propulsion and the research and programmatic activities conducted are discussed.

  7. Advanced Space Propulsion: A Research Perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Litchford, Ron; Cole, John; Rodgers, Steve; Sackheim, Bob

    2002-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation provides information on spacecraft propulsion research. The organizational and management principals needed for the research are stated. The presentation recommends a space propulsion research program. It also states some of the factors which drive research in the field, as well as the desired goals, objectives, and focus of the research.

  8. Advancements Toward Oil-Free Rotorcraft Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howard, Samuel A.; Bruckner, Robert J.; Radil, Kevin C.

    2010-01-01

    NASA and the Army have been working for over a decade to advance the state-of-the-art (SOA) in Oil-Free Turbomachinery with an eye toward reduced emissions and maintenance, and increased performance and efficiency among other benefits. Oil-Free Turbomachinery is enabled by oil-free gas foil bearing technology and relatively new high-temperature tribological coatings. Rotorcraft propulsion is a likely candidate to apply oil-free bearing technology because the engine size class matches current SOA for foil bearings and because foil bearings offer the opportunity for higher speeds and temperatures and lower weight, all critical issues for rotorcraft engines. This paper describes an effort to demonstrate gas foil journal bearing use in the hot section of a full-scale helicopter engine core. A production engine hot-core location is selected as the candidate foil bearing application. Rotordynamic feasibility, bearing sizing, and load capability are assessed. The results of the program will help guide future analysis and design in this area by documenting the steps required and the process utilized for successful application of oil-free technology to a full-scale engine.

  9. Advanced supersonic propulsion study. [with emphasis on noise level reduction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sabatella, J. A. (Editor)

    1974-01-01

    A study was conducted to determine the promising propulsion systems for advanced supersonic transport application, and to identify the critical propulsion technology requirements. It is shown that noise constraints have a major effect on the selection of the various engine types and cycle parameters. Several promising advanced propulsion systems were identified which show the potential of achieving lower levels of sideline jet noise than the first generation supersonic transport systems. The non-afterburning turbojet engine, utilizing a very high level of jet suppression, shows the potential to achieve FAR 36 noise level. The duct-heating turbofan with a low level of jet suppression is the most attractive engine for noise levels from FAR 36 to FAR 36 minus 5 EPNdb, and some series/parallel variable cycle engines show the potential of achieving noise levels down to FAR 36 minus 10 EPNdb with moderate additional penalty. The study also shows that an advanced supersonic commercial transport would benefit appreciably from advanced propulsion technology. The critical propulsion technology needed for a viable supersonic propulsion system, and the required specific propulsion technology programs are outlined.

  10. Advanced propulsion for LEO-Moon transport. 1: A method for evaluating advanced propulsion performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stern, Martin O.

    1992-01-01

    This report describes a study to evaluate the benefits of advanced propulsion technologies for transporting materials between low Earth orbit and the Moon. A relatively conventional reference transportation system, and several other systems, each of which includes one advanced technology component, are compared in terms of how well they perform a chosen mission objective. The evaluation method is based on a pairwise life-cycle cost comparison of each of the advanced systems with the reference system. Somewhat novel and economically important features of the procedure are the inclusion not only of mass payback ratios based on Earth launch costs, but also of repair and capital acquisition costs, and of adjustments in the latter to reflect the technological maturity of the advanced technologies. The required input information is developed by panels of experts. The overall scope and approach of the study are presented in the introduction. The bulk of the paper describes the evaluation method; the reference system and an advanced transportation system, including a spinning tether in an eccentric Earth orbit, are used to illustrate it.

  11. Advanced propulsion system for hybrid vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Norrup, L. V.; Lintz, A. T.

    1980-01-01

    A number of hybrid propulsion systems were evaluated for application in several different vehicle sizes. A conceptual design was prepared for the most promising configuration. Various system configurations were parametrically evaluated and compared, design tradeoffs performed, and a conceptual design produced. Fifteen vehicle/propulsion systems concepts were parametrically evaluated to select two systems and one vehicle for detailed design tradeoff studies. A single hybrid propulsion system concept and vehicle (five passenger family sedan)were selected for optimization based on the results of the tradeoff studies. The final propulsion system consists of a 65 kW spark-ignition heat engine, a mechanical continuously variable traction transmission, a 20 kW permanent magnet axial-gap traction motor, a variable frequency inverter, a 386 kg lead-acid improved state-of-the-art battery, and a transaxle. The system was configured with a parallel power path between the heat engine and battery. It has two automatic operational modes: electric mode and heat engine mode. Power is always shared between the heat engine and battery during acceleration periods. In both modes, regenerative braking energy is absorbed by the battery.

  12. Propulsion and Cryogenics Advanced Development (PCAD) Project Propulsion Technologies for the Lunar Lander

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klem, Mark D.; Smith, Timothy D.

    2008-01-01

    The Propulsion and Cryogenics Advanced Development (PCAD) Project in the Exploration Technology Development Program is developing technologies as risk mitigation for Orion and the Lunar Lander. An integrated main and reaction control propulsion system has been identified as a candidate for the Lunar Lander Ascent Module. The propellants used in this integrated system are Liquid Oxygen (LOX)/Liquid Methane (LCH4) propellants. A deep throttle pump fed Liquid Oxygen (LOX)/Liquid Hydrogen (LH2) engine system has been identified for the Lunar Lander Descent Vehicle. The propellant combination and architecture of these propulsion systems are novel and would require risk reduction prior to detailed design and development. The PCAD Project addresses the technology requirements to obtain relevant and necessary test data to further the technology maturity of propulsion hardware utilizing these propellants. This plan and achievements to date will be presented.

  13. 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.

  14. Advanced launch vehicle propulsion at the NASA Lewis Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palaszewski, Bryan A.

    1990-01-01

    Several programs are investigating the benefits of advanced propellant and propulsion systems for future launch vehicles and upper stages. The two major research areas are the Metallized Propellants Program and the Advanced Concepts Program. Both of these programs have theoretical and experimental studies underway to determine the system-level performance effects of these propellants on future NASA vehicles.

  15. Space Experiments to Advance Beamed Energy Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johansen, Donald G.

    2010-05-01

    High power microwave sources are now available and usable, with modification, or beamed energy propulsion experiments in space. As output windows and vacuum seals are not needed space is a natural environment for high power vacuum tubes. Application to space therefore improves reliability and performance but complicates testing and qualification. Low power communications satellite devices (TWT, etc) have already been through the adapt-to-space design cycle and this history is a useful pathway for high power devices such as gyrotrons. In this paper, space experiments are described for low earth orbit (LEO) and lunar environment. These experiments are precursors to space application for beamed energy propulsion using high power microwaves. Power generation and storage using cryogenic systems are important elements of BEP systems and also have an important role as part of BEP experiments in the space environment.

  16. 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.

  17. Advanced gel propulsion controls for kill vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yasuhara, W. K.; Olson, A.; Finato, S.

    1993-06-01

    A gel propulsion control concept for tactical applications is reviewed, and the status of the individual component technologies currently under development at the Aerojet Propulsion Division is discussed. It is concluded that a gel propellant Divert and Attitude Control Subsystem (DACS) provides a safe, insensitive munitions compliant alternative to current liquid Theater Missile Defense (TMD) DACS approaches. The gel kill vehicle (KV) control system packages a total impulse typical of a tactical weapon interceptor for the ground- or sea-based TMD systems. High density packaging makes it possible to increase firepower and to eliminate long-term high pressure gas storage associated with bipropellant systems. The integrated control subsystem technologies encompass solid propellant gas generators, insulated composite overwrapped propellant tanks, lightweight endoatmospheric thrusters, and insensitive munition gel propellants, which meet the requirements of a deployable, operationally safe KV.

  18. The NASA Advanced Exploration Systems Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Michael G.; Mitchell, Doyce P.; Kim, Tony; Emrich, William J.; Hickman, Robert R.; Gerrish, Harold P.; Doughty, Glen; Belvin, Anthony; Clement, Steven; Borowski, Stanley K.; Scott, John; Power, Kevin P.

    2015-01-01

    The fundamental capability of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is game changing for space exploration. A first generation NTP system could provide high thrust at a specific impulse (Isp) above 900 s, roughly double that of state of the art chemical engines. Characteristics of fission and NTP indicate that useful first generation systems will provide a foundation for future systems with extremely high performance. The role of a first generation NTP in the development of advanced nuclear propulsion systems could be analogous to the role of the DC-3 in the development of advanced aviation systems.

  19. Fiber-reinforced ceramic composites for Earth-to-orbit rocket engine turbines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brockmeyer, Jerry W.; Schnittgrund, Gary D.

    1990-01-01

    Fiber reinforced ceramic matrix composites (FRCMC) are emerging materials systems that offer potential for use in liquid rocket engines. Advantages of these materials in rocket engine turbomachinery include performance gain due to higher turbine inlet temperature, reduced launch costs, reduced maintenance with associated cost benefits, and reduced weight. This program was initiated to assess the state of FRCMC development and to propose a plan for their implementation into liquid rocket engine turbomachinery. A complete range of FRCMC materials was investigated relative to their development status and feasibility for use in the hot gas path of earth-to-orbit rocket engine turbomachinery. Of the candidate systems, carbon fiber-reinforced silicon carbide (C/SiC) offers the greatest near-term potential. Critical hot gas path components were identified, and the first stage inlet nozzle and turbine rotor of the fuel turbopump for the liquid oxygen/hydrogen Space Transportation Main Engine (STME) were selected for conceptual design and analysis. The critical issues associated with the use of FRCMC were identified. Turbine blades were designed, analyzed and fabricated. The Technology Development Plan, completed as Task 5 of this program, provides a course of action for resolution of these issues.

  20. Filament wound metal lined propellant tanks for future Earth-to-orbit transports

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Macconochie, Ian O.; Davis, Robert B.; Freeman, William T., Jr.

    1988-01-01

    For future Earth-to-orbit transport vehicles, reusability and lighter weights are sought for the main propellant tanks. To achieve this, a filament wound tank with a metal liner and an intermediate layer of foam-filled honeycomb is proposed. A hydrogen tank is used as an example. To accommodate mismatches in the expansion of liner and overwrap a design is proposed wherin the liner is configured so that the extension of the liner under pressure matches the expected contraction of the same liner due to the presence of a cryogen. In operation, the liner is pressurized at a rate such that the pressure strain matches the contraction due to decrease in temperature. As an alternate approach, compressive pre-stress is placed in the liner such that it will not separate from the overwrap. A finite element program is used to show stresses in the liner and overwrap for various tank pressures for the pre-stressed liner concept. A fracture mechanics analysis is made of the liners to determine tank life. The tank concept shown has a similar weight to the Shuttle external hydrogen tank, but the filament wound tank is expected to be reusable. Integration of the propellant tanks into a future transport vehicle is discussed.

  1. Supersonic aerodynamic characteristics of a circular body Earth-to-Orbit vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ware, George M.; Engelund, Walter C.; Macconochie, Ian O.

    1994-01-01

    The circular body configuration is a generic single- or multi-stage reusable Earth-to-orbit transport. A thick clipped-delta wing is the major lifting surface. For directional control, three different vertical fin arrangements were investigated: a conventional aft-mounted center fin, wingtip fins, and a nose-mounted fin. The tests were conducted in the Langley Unitary Plan Wind Tunnel. The configuration is longitudinally stable about the estimated center of gravity of 0.72 body length up to a Mach number of about 3.0. Above Mach 3.0, the model is longitudinally unstable at low angles of attack but has a stable secondary trim point at angles of attack above 30 deg. The model has sufficient pitch control authority with elevator and body flap to produce stable trim over the test range. The model with the center fin is directionally stable at low angles of attack up to a Mach number of 3.90. The rudder-like surfaces on the tip fins and the all-movable nose fin are designed as active controls to produce artificial directional stability and are effective in producing yawing moment. The wing trailing-edge aileron surfaces are effective in producing rolling moment, but they also produce large adverse yawing moment.

  2. Subsonic aerodynamic characteristics of a circular body earth-to-orbit transport

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lepsch, R. A., Jr.; Macconochie, I. O.

    1986-01-01

    To reduce the weight and improve the performance of future earth-to-orbit transports, the use of circular cross sections in the fuselage bodies of these vehicles is being considered at the Langley Research Center. Structurally, circular cross sections are stronger and lighter than other shapes. A study has been made applying the circular body concept to a vertical-takeoff, delta-winged, single-stage-to-orbit transport. A 52 in., 0.022-scale model of the circular body vehicle was tested at a Mach number of 0.3 in the 7 x 10 ft High Speed Wind Tunnel at the Langley Research Center to obtain aerodynamic forces and moments. Oil-flow photographs were taken at several angles of attack to aid in the aerodynamic analysis. Model control surfaces included elevons and ailerons for the evaluation of pitch and roll characteristics and either wing-tip fins, a nose mounted dorsal fin, or a conventional vertical tail for the evaluation of yaw characteristics. Other deflecting surfaces included speedbrakes and body flaps. Basic data on longitudinal flight characteristics are shown, including lift, drag, and pitching moments. Comparisons of the directional stability and control effectiveness of the three directional control devices are also shown.

  3. Heating Rate Distributions at Mach 10 on a Circular Body Earth-to-Orbit Transport Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wells, William L.; MacConochie, Ian O.; Helms, Vernon T., III; Raney, David

    1985-01-01

    Among the concepts being considered for future Earth-to-orbit transport vehicles are fully reusable single-stage systems which take off vertically and land horizontally. Because these vehicles carry their own propellant internally, they are much larger than the present Space Shuttle Orbiter. One such single-stage vehicle under study is the circular body configuration which has the advantages of simple structural design and large volume-to-weight ratio. As part of an overall evaluation of this configuration, a series of heat transfer and surface flow tests were conducted. The phase-change paint and oil-flow tests were performed in the Langley 31-Inch Mach-10 Tunnel at angles of attack from 20 through 40 degrees in 5-degree increments. Heat-transfer coefficient data are presented for all angles of attack and detailed oil-flow photographs are shown for windward and leeward surfaces at 25 and 40 degrees angle of attack. In many ways, heating was similar to that previously determined for the Shuttle Orbiter so that, in a cursory sense, existing thermal protection systems would appear to be adequate for the proposed circular-body configurations.

  4. Advanced propulsion system concept for hybrid vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bhate, S.; Chen, H.; Dochat, G.

    1980-01-01

    A series hybrid system, utilizing a free piston Stirling engine with a linear alternator, and a parallel hybrid system, incorporating a kinematic Stirling engine, are analyzed for various specified reference missions/vehicles ranging from a small two passenger commuter vehicle to a van. Parametric studies for each configuration, detail tradeoff studies to determine engine, battery and system definition, short term energy storage evaluation, and detail life cycle cost studies were performed. Results indicate that the selection of a parallel Stirling engine/electric, hybrid propulsion system can significantly reduce petroleum consumption by 70 percent over present conventional vehicles.

  5. Magnetized Target Fusion in Advanced Propulsion Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cylar, Rashad

    2003-01-01

    The Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) Propulsion lab at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama has a program in place that has adopted to attempt to create a faster, lower cost and more reliable deep space transportation system. In this deep space travel the physics and development of high velocity plasma jets must be understood. The MTF Propulsion lab is also in attempt to open up the solar system for human exploration and commercial use. Fusion, as compared to fission, is just the opposite. Fusion involves the light atomic nuclei combination to produce denser nuclei. In the process, the energy is created by destroying the mass according to the distinguished equation: E = mc2 . Fusion energy development is being pursued worldwide as a very sustainable form of energy that is environmentally friendly. For the purposes of space exploration fusion reactions considered include the isotopes of hydrogen-deuterium (D2) and tritium (T3). Nuclei have an electrostatic repulsion between them and in order for the nuclei to fuse this repulsion must be overcome. One technique to bypass repulsion is to heat the nuclei to very high temperatures. The temperatures vary according to the type of reactions. For D-D reactions, one billion degrees Celsius is required, and for D-T reactions, one hundred million degrees is sufficient. There has to be energy input for useful output to be obtained form the fusion To make fusion propulsion practical, the mass, the volume, and the cost of the equipment to produce the reactions (generally called the reactor) need to be reduced by an order of magnitude or two from the state-of-the-art fusion machines. Innovations in fusion schemes are therefore required, especially for obtaining thrust for propulsive applications. Magnetized target fusion (MTF) is one of the innovative fusion concepts that have emerged over the last several years. MSFC is working with Los Alamos National Laboratory and other research groups in studying the

  6. Advanced computational techniques for hypersonic propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Povinelli, Louis A.

    1989-01-01

    Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has played a major role in the resurgence of hypersonic flight, on the premise that numerical methods will allow performance of simulations at conditions for which no ground test capability exists. Validation of CFD methods is being established using the experimental data base available, which is below Mach 8. It is important, however, to realize the limitations involved in the extrapolation process as well as the deficiencies that exist in numerical methods at the present time. Current features of CFD codes are examined for application to propulsion system components. The shortcomings in simulation and modeling are identified and discussed.

  7. Advanced propulsion concepts study: Comparative study of solar electric propulsion and laser electric propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forward, R. L.

    1975-01-01

    Solar electric propulsion (SEP) and laser electric propulsion (LEP) was compared. The LEP system configuration consists of an 80 kW visible laser source on earth, transmitting via an 8 m diameter adaptively controlled phased array through the atmosphere to a 4 m diameter synchronous relay mirror that tracks the LEP spacecraft. The only significant change in the SEP spacecraft for an LEP mission is the replacement of the two 3.7 m by 33.5 m solar cell arrays with a single 8 m diameter laser photovoltaic array. The solar cell array weight is decreased from 320 kg to 120 kg for an increase in payload of 200 kg and a decrease in specific mass of the power system from 20.5 kg/kW to 7.8 kg/kW.

  8. Antiproton Trapping for Advanced Space Propulsion Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Gerald A.

    1998-01-01

    The Summary of Research parallels the Statement of Work (Appendix I) submitted with the proposal, and funded effective Feb. 1, 1997 for one year. A proposal was submitted to CERN in October, 1996 to carry out an experiment on the synthesis and study of fundamental properties of atomic antihydrogen. Since confined atomic antihydrogen is potentially the most powerful and elegant source of propulsion energy known, its confinement and properties are of great interest to the space propulsion community. Appendix II includes an article published in the technical magazine Compressed Air, June 1997, which describes CERN antiproton facilities, and ATHENA. During the period of this grant, Prof. Michael Holzscheiter served as spokesman for ATHENA and, in collaboration with Prof. Gerald Smith, worked on the development of the antiproton confinement trap, which is an important part of the ATHENA experiment. Appendix III includes a progress report submitted to CERN on March 12, 1997 concerning development of the ATHENA detector. Section 4.1 reviews technical responsibilities within the ATHENA collaboration, including the Antiproton System, headed by Prof. Holzscheiter. The collaboration was advised (see Appendix IV) on June 13, 1997 that the CERN Research Board had approved ATHENA for operation at the new Antiproton Decelerator (AD), presently under construction. First antiproton beams are expected to be delivered to experiments in about one year. Progress toward assembly of the ATHENA detector and initial testing expected in 1999 has been excellent. Appendix V includes a copy of the minutes of the most recently documented collaboration meeting held at CERN of October 24, 1997, which provides more information on development of systems, including the antiproton trapping apparatus. On February 10, 1998 Prof. Smith gave a 3 hour lecture on the Physics of Antimatter, as part of the Physics for the Third Millennium Lecture Series held at MSFC. Included in Appendix VI are notes and

  9. Advanced Concepts: Aneutronic Fusion Power and Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chapman, John J.

    2012-01-01

    Aneutronic Fusion for In-Space thrust, power. Clean energy & potential nuclear gains. Fusion plant concepts, potential to use advanced fuels. Methods to harness ionic momentum for high Isp thrust plus direct power conversion into electricity will be presented.

  10. Liquid Oxygen/Liquid Methane Propulsion and Cryogenic Advanced Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klem, Mark D.; Smith, Timothy D.; Wadel, Mary F.; Meyer, Michael L.; Free, James M.; Cikanek, Harry A., III

    2011-01-01

    Exploration Systems Architecture Study conducted by NASA in 2005 identified the liquid oxygen (LOx)/liquid methane (LCH4) propellant combination as a prime candidate for the Crew Exploration Vehicle Service Module propulsion and for later use for ascent stage propulsion of the lunar lander. Both the Crew Exploration Vehicle and Lunar Lander were part the Constellation architecture, which had the objective to provide global sustained lunar human exploration capability. From late 2005 through the end of 2010, NASA and industry matured advanced development designs for many components that could be employed in relatively high thrust, high delta velocity, pressure fed propulsion systems for these two applications. The major investments were in main engines, reaction control engines, and the devices needed for cryogenic fluid management such as screens, propellant management devices, thermodynamic vents, and mass gauges. Engine and thruster developments also included advanced high reliability low mass igniters. Extensive tests were successfully conducted for all of these elements. For the thrusters and engines, testing included sea level and altitude conditions. This advanced development provides a mature technology base for future liquid oxygen/liquid methane pressure fed space propulsion systems. This paper documents the design and test efforts along with resulting hardware and test results.

  11. Advanced Space Propulsion System Flowfield Modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Sheldon

    1998-01-01

    Solar thermal upper stage propulsion systems currently under development utilize small low chamber pressure/high area ratio nozzles. Consequently, the resulting flow in the nozzle is highly viscous, with the boundary layer flow comprising a significant fraction of the total nozzle flow area. Conventional uncoupled flow methods which treat the nozzle boundary layer and inviscid flowfield separately by combining the two calculations via the influence of the boundary layer displacement thickness on the inviscid flowfield are not accurate enough to adequately treat highly viscous nozzles. Navier Stokes models such as VNAP2 can treat these flowfields but cannot perform a vacuum plume expansion for applications where the exhaust plume produces induced environments on adjacent structures. This study is built upon recently developed artificial intelligence methods and user interface methodologies to couple the VNAP2 model for treating viscous nozzle flowfields with a vacuum plume flowfield model (RAMP2) that is currently a part of the Plume Environment Prediction (PEP) Model. This study integrated the VNAP2 code into the PEP model to produce an accurate, practical and user friendly tool for calculating highly viscous nozzle and exhaust plume flowfields.

  12. Advanced Filter Technology For Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Castillon, Erick

    2015-01-01

    The Scrubber System focuses on using HEPA filters and carbon filtration to purify the exhaust of a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion engine of its aerosols and radioactive particles; however, new technology may lend itself to alternate filtration options, which may lead to reduction in cost while at the same time have the same filtering, if not greater, filtering capabilities, as its predecessors. Extensive research on various types of filtration methods was conducted with only four showing real promise: ionization, cyclonic separation, classic filtration, and host molecules. With the four methods defined, more research was needed to find the devices suitable for each method. Each filtration option was matched with a device: cyclonic separators for the method of the same name, electrostatic separators for ionization, HEGA filters, and carcerands for the host molecule method. Through many hours of research, the best alternative for aerosol filtration was determined to be the electrostatic precipitator because of its high durability against flow rate and its ability to cleanse up to 99.99% of contaminants as small as 0.001 micron. Carcerands, which are the only alternative to filtering radioactive particles, were found to be non-existent commercially because of their status as a "work in progress" at research institutions. Nevertheless, the conclusions after the research were that HEPA filters is recommended as the best option for filtering aerosols and carbon filtration is best for filtering radioactive particles.

  13. The Economics of Advanced In-Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bangalore, Manju; Dankanich, John

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Development of Metal Matrix Composites for NASA'S Advanced Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Jonathan A.

    2000-01-01

    The state-of-the-art development of several aluminum and copper based Metal Matrix Composites (MMC) for NASA's advanced propulsion systems will be presented. The presentation's goal is to provide an overview of NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center's planned and on-going activities in MMC for advanced liquid rocket engines such as the X-33 vehicle's Aerospike and X-34 Fastrac engine. The focus will be on lightweight and environmental compatibility with oxygen and hydrogen of key MMC materials, within each NASA's new propulsion application, that will provide a high payoff for NASA's reusable launch vehicle systems and space access vehicles. Advanced MMC processing techniques such as plasma spray, centrifugal casting, pressure infiltration casting will be discussed. Development of a novel 3D printing method for low cost production of composite preform, and functional gradient MMC to enhanced rocket engine's dimensional stability will be presented.

  15. Propulsion technology for an advanced subsonic transport

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beheim, M. A.; Antl, R. J.; Povolny, J. H.

    1972-01-01

    Engine design studies for future subsonic commercial transport aircraft were conducted in parallel with airframe studies. These studies surveyed a broad distribution of design variables, including aircraft configuration, payload, range, and speed, with particular emphasis on reducing noise and exhaust emissions without severe economic and performance penalties. The results indicated that an engine for an advanced transport would be similar to the currently emerging turbofan engines. Application of current technology in the areas of noise suppression and combustors imposed severe performance and economic penalties.

  16. Development of sensors for ceramic components in advanced propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Atkinson, William H.; Cyr, M. A.; Strange, R. R.

    1994-01-01

    The 'Development of Sensors for Ceramics Components in Advanced Propulsion Systems' program was divided into two phases. The objectives of Phase 1 were to analyze, evaluate and recommend sensor concepts for the measurement of surface temperature, strain and heat flux on ceramic components for advanced propulsion systems. The results of this effort were previously published in NASA CR-182111. As a result of Phase 1, three approaches were recommended for further development: pyrometry, thin-film sensors, and thermographic phosphors. The objectives of Phase 2 were to fabricate and conduct laboratory demonstration tests of these systems. A summary report of the Phase 2 effort, together with conclusions and recommendations for each of the categories evaluated, has been submitted to NASA. Emittance tests were performed on six materials furnished by NASA Lewis Research Center. Measurements were made of various surfaces at high temperature using a Thermogage emissometer. This report describes the emittance test program and presents a summary of the results.

  17. Development of Metal Matrix Composites for NASA's Advanced Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, J.; Elam, S.

    2001-01-01

    The state-of-the-art development of several Metal Matrix Composites (MMC) for NASA's advanced propulsion systems will be presented. The goal is to provide an overview of NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center's on-going activities in MMC components for advanced liquid rocket engines such as the X-33 vehicle's Aerospike engine and X-34's Fastrac engine. The focus will be on lightweight, low cost, and environmental compatibility with oxygen and hydrogen of key MMC materials, within each of NASA's new propulsion application, that will provide a high payoff for NASA's Reusable Launch Vehicles and space access vehicles. In order to fabricate structures from MMC, effective joining methods must be developed to join MMC to the same or to different monolithic alloys. Therefore, a qualitative assessment of MMC's welding and joining techniques will be outlined.

  18. Evaluation of advanced propulsion options for the next manned transportation system: Propulsion evolution study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spears, L. T.; Kramer, R. D.

    1990-01-01

    The objectives were to examine launch vehicle applications and propulsion requirements for potential future manned space transportation systems and to support planning toward the evolution of Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) and Space Transportation Main Engine (STME) engines beyond their current or initial launch vehicle applications. As a basis for examinations of potential future manned launch vehicle applications, we used three classes of manned space transportation concepts currently under study: Space Transportation System Evolution, Personal Launch System (PLS), and Advanced Manned Launch System (AMLS). Tasks included studies of launch vehicle applications and requirements for hydrogen-oxygen rocket engines; the development of suggestions for STME engine evolution beyond the mid-1990's; the development of suggestions for STME evolution beyond the Advanced Launch System (ALS) application; the study of booster propulsion options, including LOX-Hydrocarbon options; the analysis of the prospects and requirements for utilization of a single engine configuration over the full range of vehicle applications, including manned vehicles plus ALS and Shuttle C; and a brief review of on-going and planned LOX-Hydrogen propulsion technology activities.

  19. Advanced Electric Propulsion for RLV Launched Geosynchronous Spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven

    1999-01-01

    Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) when used for station keeping and final orbit insertion has been shown to increase a geostationary satellite's payload when launched by existing expendable launch vehicles. In the case of reusable launch vehicles or expendable launch vehicles where an upper stage is an expensive option, this methodology can be modified by using the existing on-board apogee chemical system to perform a perigee burn and then letting the electric propulsion system complete the transfer to geostationary orbit. The elimination of upper stages using on-board chemical and electric propulsion systems was thus examined for GEO spacecraft. Launch vehicle step-down from an Atlas IIAR to a Delta 7920 (no upper stage) was achieved using expanded on-board chemical tanks, 40 kW payload power for electric propulsion, and a 60 day elliptical to GEO SEP orbit insertion. Optimal combined chemical and electric trajectories were found using SEPSPOT. While Hall and ion thrusters provided launch vehicle step-down and even more payload for longer insertion times, NH3 arcjets had insufficient performance to allow launch vehicle step-down. Degradation levels were only 5% to 7% for launch step-down cases using advanced solar arrays. Results were parameterized to allow comparisons for future reusable launch vehicles. Results showed that for an 8 W/kg initial power/launch mass power density spacecraft, 50% to 100% more payload can be launched using this method.

  20. Advanced ignition and propulsion technology program

    SciTech Connect

    Oldenborg, R.; Early, J.; Lester, C.

    1998-11-01

    This is the final report of a three-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). Reliable engine re-ignition plays a crucial role in enabling commercial and military aircraft to fly safely at high altitudes. This project addressed research elements critical to the optimization of laser-based igniter. The effort initially involved a collaborative research and development agreement with B.F. Goodrich Aerospace and Laser Fare, Inc. The work involved integrated experiments with theoretical modeling to provide a basic understanding of the chemistry and physics controlling the laser-induced ignition of fuel aerosols produced by turbojet engine injectors. In addition, the authors defined advanced laser igniter configurations that minimize laser packaging size, weight, complexity and power consumption. These innovative ignition concepts were shown to reliably ignite jet fuel aerosols over a broad range of fuel/air mixture and a t fuel temperatures as low as -40 deg F. The demonstrated fuel ignition performance was highly superior to that obtained by the state-of-the-art, laser-spark ignition method utilizing comparable laser energy. The authors also developed a laser-based method that effectively removes optically opaque deposits of fuel hydrocarbon combustion residues from laser window surfaces. Seven patents have been either issued or are pending that resulted from the technology developments within this project.

  1. Towards Run-time Assurance of Advanced Propulsion Algorithms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, Edmond; Schierman, John D.; Schlapkohl, Thomas; Chicatelli, Amy

    2014-01-01

    This paper covers the motivation and rationale for investigating the application of run-time assurance methods as a potential means of providing safety assurance for advanced propulsion control systems. Certification is becoming increasingly infeasible for such systems using current verification practices. Run-time assurance systems hold the promise of certifying these advanced systems by continuously monitoring the state of the feedback system during operation and reverting to a simpler, certified system if anomalous behavior is detected. The discussion will also cover initial efforts underway to apply a run-time assurance framework to NASA's model-based engine control approach. Preliminary experimental results are presented and discussed.

  2. An advanced optical system for laser ablation propulsion in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergstue, Grant; Fork, Richard; Reardon, Patrick

    2014-03-01

    We propose a novel space-based ablation driven propulsion engine concept utilizing transmitted energy in the form of a series of ultra-short optical pulses. Key differences are generating the pulses at the transmitting spacecraft and the safe delivery of that energy to the receiving spacecraft for propulsion. By expanding the beam diameter during transmission in space, the energy can propagate at relatively low intensity and then be refocused and redistributed to create an array of ablation sites at the receiver. The ablation array strategy allows greater control over flight dynamics and eases thermal management. Research efforts for this transmission and reception of ultra-short optical pulses include: (1) optical system design; (2) electrical system requirements; (3) thermal management; (4) structured energy transmission safety. Research has also been focused on developing an optical switch concept for the multiplexing of the ultra-short pulses. This optical switch strategy implements multiple reflectors polished into a rotating momentum wheel device to combine the pulses from different laser sources. The optical system design must minimize the thermal load on any one optical element. Initial specifications and modeling for the optical system are being produced using geometrical ray-tracing software to give a better understanding of the optical requirements. In regards to safety, we have advanced the retro-reflective beam locking strategy to include look-ahead capabilities for long propagation distances. Additional applications and missions utilizing multiplexed pulse transmission are also presented. Because the research is in early development, it provides an opportunity for new and valuable advances in the area of transmitted energy for propulsion as well as encourages joint international efforts. Researchers from different countries can cooperate in order to find constructive and safe uses of ordered pulse transmission for propulsion in future space

  3. 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)

  4. Advanced energy conversion concept for beamed-energy propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myrabo, Leik N.

    1987-08-01

    Basic research was performed on an innovative power conversion concept for trans atmospheric, beamed energy propulsion: a new class of External Surface Impulse (ESI) thrusters. This advanced thruster principle could be used for atmospheric VTOL, high acceleration, and lateral flight (e.g., short-term cruise) propulsion of Single-Stage-To-Orbit (SSTO) beam-powered shuttlecraft of the next century. Three classes of ESI thrusters were initially examined: (1) simple thermal, (2) electrostatic, and (3) electromagnetic. Beam power wavelengths from 10 cm (microwave) to 0.3 micron (laser) were considered. The subsequent effort concentrated on the simple thermal repetitively-pulsed ESI thrusters, energized with laser power and using air as the working fluid. Laser frequencies were selected because of the relative wealth of experimental data and theoretical research on laser impulse coupling existing in the literature. The first year analytical effort has proven conclusively that such an engine can deliver high levels of thrust-to-beam-power at liftoff (e.g., at least an order of magnitude greater than beam-powered hydrogen-fueled rockets), with infinite specific impulse (decreased only, perhaps, by ablation of the thruster surface). Later along an orbital trajectory, the primary propulsion function would transition to other modes; upon leaving the atmosphere, the SSTO vehicle would continue in a pure rocket mode.

  5. Recent Advances in Solar Sail Propulsion at NASA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Young, Roy M.; Montgomery, Edward E., IV

    2006-01-01

    Supporting NASA's Science Mission Directorate, the In-Space Propulsion Technology Program is developing solar sail propulsion for use in robotic science and exploration of the solar system. Solar sail propulsion will provide longer on-station operation, increased scientific payload mass fraction, and access to previously inaccessible orbits for multiple potential science missions. Two different 20-meter solar sail systems were produced and successfully completed functional vacuum testing last year in NASA Glenn's Space Power Facility at Plum Brook Station, Ohio. The sails were designed and developed by ATK Space Systems and L'Garde, respectively. These sail systems consist of a central structure with four deployable booms that support the sails. This sail designs are robust enough for deployments in a one atmosphere, one gravity environment, and are scalable to much larger solar sails-perhaps as much as 150 meters on a side. In addition, computation modeling and analytical simulations have been performed to assess the scalability of the technology to the large sizes (>150 meters) required for first generation solar sails missions. Life and space environmental effects testing of sail and component materials are also nearly complete. This paper will summarize recent technology advancements in solar sails and their successful ambient and vacuum testing.

  6. Recent Advances in Solar Sail Propulsion Systems at NASA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les

    2006-01-01

    Supporting NASA's Science Mission Directorate, the In-Space Propulsion Technology Program is developing solar sail propulsion for use in robotic science and exploration of the solar system. Solar sail propulsion has the potential to provide longer on-station operation, increased scientific payload mass fraction, and access to previously inaccessible orbits for multiple potential science missions. Two different 20-meter solar sail systems were produced and successfully completed functional vacuum testing last year in NASA Glenn s Space Power Facility at Plum Brook Station Ohio. The sails were designed and developed by ATK Space Systems and L'Garde, respectively. The sail systems consist of a central structure with four deployable booms that support the sails. The sail designs are robust enough for deployments in a one atmosphere, one gravity environment and are scalable to much larger solar sails - perhaps as large as 150 meters on a side. In addition, computational modeling and analytical simulations have been performed to assess the scalability of the technology to the large sizes (150 meters) required to implement the first generation of missions using solar sails. Life and space environmental effects testing of sail and component materials are also nearly complete. This paper will summarize recent technology advancements in solar sails and their successful ambient and vacuum environment testing.

  7. Advanced Propulsion System Studies for General Aviation Aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eisenberg, Joseph D. (Technical Monitor); German, Jon

    2003-01-01

    This final report addresses the following topics: Market Impact Analysis (1) assessment of general aviation, including commuter/regional, aircraft market impact due to incorporation of advanced technology propulsion system on acquisition and operating costs, job creation and/or manpower demand, and future fleet size; (2) selecting an aircraft and engine for the study by focusing on the next generation 19-passenger commuter and the Williams International FJ44 turbofan engine growth. Propulsion System Analysis Conducted mission analysis studies and engine cycle analysis to define a new commuter mission and required engine performance, define acquisition and operating costs and, select engine configuration and initiated preliminary design for hardware modifications required. Propulsion System Benefits (1) assessed and defined engine emissions improvements, (2) assessed and defined noise reduction potential and, (3) conducted a cost analysis impact study. Review of Relevant NASA Programs Conducted literature searches using NERAC and NASA RECON services for related technology in the emissions and acoustics area. Preliminary Technology Development Plans Defined plan to incorporate technology improvements for an FJ44-2 growth engine in performance, emissions, and noise suppression.

  8. Application of advanced computational technology to propulsion CFD

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szuch, John R.

    The Internal Fluid Mechanics Division of the NASA Lewis Research Center is combining the key elements of computational fluid dynamics, aerothermodynamic experiments, and advanced computational technology to bring internal computational fluid dynamics (ICFM) to a state of practical application for aerospace propulsion system design. This paper presents an overview of efforts underway at NASA Lewis to advance and apply computational technology to ICFM. These efforts include the use of modern, software engineering principles for code development, the development of an AI-based user-interface for large codes, the establishment of a high-performance, data communications network to link ICFM researchers and facilities, and the application of parallel processing to speed up computationally intensive and/or time-critical ICFM problems. A multistage compressor flow physics program is cited as an example of efforts to use advanced computational technology to enhance a current NASA Lewis ICFM research program.

  9. Lightweight, Efficient Power Converters for Advanced Turboelectric Aircraft Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hennessy, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    NASA is investigating advanced turboelectric aircraft propulsion systems that use superconducting motors to drive multiple distributed turbofans. Conventional electric motors are too large and heavy to be practical for this application; therefore, superconducting motors are required. In order to improve aircraft maneuverability, variable-speed power converters are required to throttle power to the turbofans. The low operating temperature and the need for lightweight components that place a minimum of additional heat load on the refrigeration system open the possibility of incorporating extremely efficient cryogenic power conversion technology. This Phase II project is developing critical components required to meet these goals.

  10. Advanced Models for Aeroelastic Analysis of Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keith, Theo G., Jr.; Mahajan, Aparajit

    1996-01-01

    This report describes an integrated, multidisciplinary simulation capability for aeroelastic analysis and optimization of advanced propulsion systems. This research is intended to improve engine development, acquisition, and maintenance costs. One of the proposed simulations is aeroelasticity of blades, cowls, and struts in an ultra-high bypass fan. These ducted fans are expected to have significant performance, fuel, and noise improvements over existing engines. An interface program was written to use modal information from COBSTAN and NASTRAN blade models in aeroelastic analysis with a single rotation ducted fan aerodynamic code.

  11. Advanced Propulsion for Geostationary Orbit Insertion and North-South Station Keeping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven R.; Myers, Roger M.; Kluever, Craig A.; Riehl, John P.; Curran, Francis M.

    1997-01-01

    Solar electric propulsion technology is currently being used for geostationary satellite station keeping. Analyses show that electric propulsion technologies can be used to obtain additional increases in payload mass by using them to perform part of the orbit transfer. Three electric propulsion technologies are examined at two power levels for geostationary insertion of an Atlas IIAS class spacecraft. The onboard chemical propulsion apogee engine fuel is reduced in this analysis to allow the use of electric propulsion. A numerical optimizer is used to determine the chemical burns that will minimize the electric propulsion transfer times. For a 1550-kg Atlas IIAS class payload, increases in net mass (geostationary satellite mass less wet propulsion system mass) of 150-800 kg are enabled by using electric propulsion for station keeping, advanced chemical engines for part of the transfer, and electric propulsion for the remainder of the transfer. Trip times are between one and four months.

  12. Ground-to-orbit laser propulsion: Advanced applications

    SciTech Connect

    Kare, J.T.

    1990-01-01

    Laser propulsion uses a large fixed laser to supply energy to heat an inert propellant in a rocket thruster. Such a system has two potential advantages: extreme simplicity of the thruster, and potentially high performance -- particularly high exhaust velocity. By taking advantage of the simplicity of the thruster, it should be possible to launch small (10--1000 kg) payloads to orbit using roughly 1 MW of average laser power per kg of payload. The incremental cost of such launches would be of order $200/kg for the smallest systems, decreasing to essentially the cost of electricity to run the laser (a few times $10/kg) for large systems. Although the individual payload size would be small, a laser launch system would be inherently high-volume, with the capacity to launch tens of thousands of payloads per year. Also, with high exhaust velocity, a laser launch system could launch payloads to high velocities -- geosynchronous transfer, Earth escape, or beyond -- at a relatively small premium over launches to LEO. In this paper, we briefly review the status of pulsed laser propulsion, including proposals for advanced vehicles. We then discuss qualitatively several unique applications appropriate to the early part of the next century, and perhaps valuable well into the next millenium: space habitat supply, deep space mission supply, nuclear waste disposal, and manned vehicle launching.

  13. Ground-to-orbit laser propulsion: Advanced applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kare, Jordin T.

    1990-01-01

    Laser propulsion uses a large fixed laser to supply energy to heat an inert propellant in a rocket thruster. Such a system has two potential advantages: extreme simplicity of the thruster, and potentially high performance, particularly high exhaust velocity. By taking advantage of the simplicity of the thruster, it should be possible to launch small (10 to 1000 kg) payloads to orbit using roughly 1 MW of average laser power per kg of payload. The incremental cost of such launches would be of an order of $200/kg for the smallest systems, decreasing to essentially the cost of electricity to run the laser (a few times $10/kg) for larger systems. Although the individual payload size would be smaller, a laser launch system would be inherently high-volume, with the capacity to launch tens of thousands of payloads per year. Also, with high exhaust velocity, a laser launch system could launch payloads to high velocities - geosynchronous transfer, Earth escape, or beyond - at a relatively small premium over launches to LEO. The status of pulsed laser propulsion is briefly reviewed including proposals for advanced vehicles. Several applications appropriate to the early part of the next century and perhaps valuable well into the next millennium are discussed qualitatively: space habitat supply, deep space mission supply, nuclear waste disposal, and manned vehicle launching.

  14. Cryogenic Fluid Management Technologies for Advanced Green Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Motil, Susan M.; Meyer, Michael L.; Tucker, Stephen P.

    2007-01-01

    In support of the Exploration Vision for returning to the Moon and beyond, NASA and its partners are developing and testing critical cryogenic fluid propellant technologies that will meet the need for high performance propellants on long-term missions. Reliable knowledge of low-gravity cryogenic fluid management behavior is lacking and yet is critical in the areas of tank thermal and pressure control, fluid acquisition, mass gauging, and fluid transfer. Such knowledge can significantly reduce or even eliminate tank fluid boil-off losses for long term missions, reduce propellant launch mass and required on-orbit margins, and simplify vehicle operations. The Propulsion and Cryogenic Advanced Development (PCAD) Project is performing experimental and analytical evaluation of several areas within Cryogenic Fluid Management (CFM) to enable NASA's Exploration Vision. This paper discusses the status of the PCAD CFM technology focus areas relative to the anticipated CFM requirements to enable execution of the Vision for Space Exploration.

  15. Small low mass advanced PBR`s for propulsion

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-10-01

    The advanced Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) to be described in this paper is characterized by relatively low power, and low cost, while still maintaining competition values for thrust/weight, specific impulse and operating times. In order to retain competitive values for the thrust/weight ratio while reducing the reactor size, it is necessary to change the basic reactor layout, by incorporating new concepts. The new reactor design concept is termed SIRIUS (Small Lightweight Reactor Integral Propulsion System). The following modifications are proposed for the reactor design to be discussed in this paper: Pre-heater (U-235 included in Moderator); Hy-C (Hydride/De-hydride for Reactor Control); Afterburner (U-235 impregnated into Hot Frit); and Hy-S (Hydride Spike Inside Hot Frit). Each of the modifications will be briefly discussed below, with benefits, technical issues, design approach, and risk levels addressed. The paper discusses conceptual assumptions, feasibility analysis, mass estimates, and information needs.

  16. IMPULSE---an advanced, high performance nuclear thermal propulsion system

    SciTech Connect

    Petrosky, L.J.; Disney, R.K.; Mangus, J.D. ); Gunn, S.A.; Zweig, H.R. )

    1993-01-10

    IMPULSE is an advanced nuclear propulsion engine for future space missions based on a novel conical fuel. Fuel assemblies are formed by stacking a series of truncated (U, Zr)C cones with non-fueled lips. Hydrogen flows radially inward between the cones to a central plenum connected to a high performance bell nozzle. The reference IMPULSE engine rated at 75,000 lb thrust and 1800 MWt weighs 1360 kg and is 3.65 meters in height and 81 cm in diameter. Specific impulse is estimated to be 1000 for a 15 minute life at full power. If longer life times are required, the operating temperature can be reduced with a concomitant decrease in specific impulse. Advantages of this concept include: well defined coolant paths without outlet flow restrictions; redundant orificing; very low thermal gradients and hence, thermal stresses, across the fuel elements; and reduced thermal stresses because of the truncated conical shape of the fuel elements.

  17. 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.

  18. Advanced supersonic propulsion study, phase 2. [propulsion system performance, design analysis and technology assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howlett, R. A.

    1975-01-01

    A continuation of the NASA/P and WA study to evaluate various types of propulsion systems for advanced commercial supersonic transports has resulted in the identification of two very promising engine concepts. They are the Variable Stream Control Engine which provides independent temperature and velocity control for two coannular exhaust streams, and a derivative of this engine, a Variable Cycle Engine that employs a rear flow-inverter valve to vary the bypass ratio of the cycle. Both concepts are based on advanced engine technology and have the potential for significant improvements in jet noise, exhaust emissions and economic characteristics relative to current technology supersonic engines. Extensive research and technology programs are required in several critical areas that are unique to these supersonic Variable Cycle Engines to realize these potential improvements. Parametric cycle and integration studies of conventional and Variable Cycle Engines are reviewed, features of the two most promising engine concepts are described, and critical technology requirements and required programs are summarized.

  19. Selecting hydrocarbon rocket propulsion technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, J. A.

    1986-01-01

    Past studies have shown that the dry weight of future earth-to-orbit vehicles can be reduced by the combined use of hydrogen and hydrocarbon propulsion compared to all-hydrogen propulsion. This paper shows that the use of certain hydrocarbon engines with hydrogen engines produces the lowest vehicle dry mass. These hydrocarbon engines use propane or RP-1 fuel, hydrogen cooling, and hydrogen-rich gas generators. Integration of the hydrogen and hydrocarbon nozzles is also beneficial.

  20. Advanced Fusion Reactors for Space Propulsion and Power Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Chapman, John J.

    2011-06-15

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

  1. Advanced Single-Aisle Transport Propulsion Design Options Revisited

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guynn, Mark D.; Berton, Jeffrey J.; Tong, Michael T.; Haller, William J.

    2013-01-01

    Future propulsion options for advanced single-aisle transports have been investigated in a number of previous studies by the authors. These studies have examined the system level characteristics of aircraft incorporating ultra-high bypass ratio (UHB) turbofans (direct drive and geared) and open rotor engines. During the course of these prior studies, a number of potential refinements and enhancements to the analysis methodology and assumptions were identified. This paper revisits a previously conducted UHB turbofan fan pressure ratio trade study using updated analysis methodology and assumptions. The changes incorporated have decreased the optimum fan pressure ratio for minimum fuel consumption and reduced the engine design trade-offs between minimizing noise and minimizing fuel consumption. Nacelle drag and engine weight are found to be key drivers in determining the optimum fan pressure ratio from a fuel efficiency perspective. The revised noise analysis results in the study aircraft being 2 to 4 EPNdB (cumulative) quieter due to a variety of reasons explained in the paper. With equal core technology assumed, the geared engine architecture is found to be as good as or better than the direct drive architecture for most parameters investigated. However, the engine ultimately selected for a future advanced single-aisle aircraft will depend on factors beyond those considered here.

  2. Advanced rocket propulsion technology assessment for future space transportation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilhite, A. W.

    1982-01-01

    Single-stage and two-stage launch vehicles were evaluated for various levels of propulsion technology and payloads. The evaluation included tradeoffs between ascent flight performance and vehicle sizing that were driven by engine mass, specific impulse, and propellant requirements. Numerous mission, flight, and vehicle-related requirements and constraints were satisfied in the design process. The results showed that advanced technology had a large effect on reducing both single- and two-stage vehicle size. High-pressure hydrocarbon-fueled engines that were burned in parallel with two-position nozzle hydrogen-fueled engines reduced dry mass by 23% for the two-stage vehicle and 28% for the single-stage vehicle as compared to an all-hydrogen-fueled system. The dual-expander engine reduced single-stage vehicle dry mass by 41%. Using advanced technology, the single-stage vehicle became comparable in size and sensitivity to that of the two-stage vehicle for small payloads.

  3. Advanced Fusion Reactors for Space Propulsion and Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chapman, John J.

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Applications of advanced upper surface blowing propulsive-lift technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cochrane, J. A.; Riddle, D. W.; Youth, S.

    1982-01-01

    The success of the Quiet Short-Haul Research Aircraft led to studies of this technology for a business jet and a Short-Haul Transport. The studies showed that the Short-Haul Transport could operate from a 762.0-m runway with 95 passengers at low noise levels. Design range was 500 n. mi. but with maximum fuel load the runway length is only increased to 883.9 m while the range is increased to more than 1000 n. mi. Two business jet designs were studied; one design was based on a 457.2-m field length and the other was designed for a 760.0-m field length. The business jet designed for a 457.2-m field length can also be loaded to maximum fuel capacity. In this case the range increases from 500 n. mi. to 1400 n. mi. while the runway length increases from 457.2 m to 632.5 m. The business jet studies showed that the application of advanced propulsive-lift technology to this class aircraft can result in payload-range-speed performance comparable to current aircraft with about one-half the runway length requirement.

  5. Recent Advances in Nuclear Powered Electric Propulsion for Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  6. Advanced Propulsion for Geostationary Orbit Insertion and North-South Station Keeping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven R.; Myers, Roger M.; Kluever, Craig A.; Riehl, John P.; Curran, Francis M.

    1995-01-01

    Solar electric propulsion (SEP) technology is currently being used for geostationary satellite station keeping to increase payload mass. Analyses show that advanced electric propulsion technologies can be used to obtain additional increases in payload mass by using these same technologies to perform part of the orbit transfer. In this work three electric propulsion technologies are examined at two power levels for an Atlas 2AS class spacecraft. The on-board chemical propulsion apogee engine fuel is reduced to allow the use of electric propulsion. A numerical optimizer is used to determine the chemical burns which will minimize the electric propulsion transfer time. Results show that for a 1550 kg Atlas 2AS class payload, increases in net mass (geostationary satellite mass less wet propulsion system mass) of 150 to 800 kg are possible using electric propulsion for station keeping, advanced chemical engines for part of the transfer, and electric propulsion for the remainder of the transfer. Trip times are between one and four months.

  7. Frame synchronization in Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Advanced Multi-Mission Operations System (AMMOS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, E.

    2002-01-01

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Advanced Multi-Mission Operations System system processes data received from deep-space spacecraft, where error rates can be high, bit rates are low, and data is unique precious.

  8. An airline study of advanced technology requirements for advanced high speed commercial engines. 3: Propulsion system requirements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sallee, G. P.

    1973-01-01

    The advanced technology requirements for an advanced high speed commercial transport engine are presented. The results of the phase 3 effort cover the requirements and objectives for future aircraft propulsion systems. These requirements reflect the results of the Task 1 and 2 efforts and serve as a baseline for future evaluations, specification development efforts, contract/purchase agreements, and operational plans for future subsonic commercial engines. This report is divided into five major sections: (1) management objectives for commercial propulsion systems, (2) performance requirements for commercial transport propulsion systems, (3) design criteria for future transport engines, (4) design requirements for powerplant packages, and (5) testing.

  9. Advanced design concepts in nuclear electric propulsion. [and spacecraft configurations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peelgren, M. L.; Mondt, J. F.

    1974-01-01

    Conceptual designs of the nuclear propulsion programs are reported. Major areas of investigation were (1) design efforts on spacecraft configuration and heat rejection subsystem, (2) high-voltage thermionic reactor concepts, and (3) dual-mode spacecraft configuration study.

  10. 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.

  11. Recent advances in low-thrust propulsion technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stone, James R.

    1988-01-01

    The NASA low-thrust propulsion technology program is aimed at providing high performance options to a broad class of near-term and future missions. Major emphases of the program are on storable and hydrogen/oxygen low-thrust chemical, low-power (auxiliary) electrothermal, and high-power electric propulsion. This paper represents the major accomplishments of the program and discusses their impact.

  12. Selection and Prioritization of Advanced Propulsion Technologies for Future Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eberle, Bill; Farris, Bob; Johnson, Les; Jones, Jonathan; Kos, Larry; Woodcock, Gordon; Brady, Hugh J. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The exploration of our solar system will require spacecraft with much greater capability than spacecraft which have been launched in the past. This is particularly true for exploration of the outer planets. Outer planet exploration requires shorter trip times, increased payload mass, and ability to orbit or land on outer planets. Increased capability requires better propulsion systems, including increased specific impulse. Chemical propulsion systems are not capable of delivering the performance required for exploration of the solar system. Future propulsion systems will be applied to a wide variety of missions with a diverse set of mission requirements. Many candidate propulsion technologies have been proposed but NASA resources do not permit development of a] of them. Therefore, we need to rationally select a few propulsion technologies for advancement, for application to future space missions. An effort was initiated to select and prioritize candidate propulsion technologies for development investment. The results of the study identified Aerocapture, 5 - 10 KW Solar Electric Ion, and Nuclear Electric Propulsion as high priority technologies. Solar Sails, 100 Kw Solar Electric Hall Thrusters, Electric Propulsion, and Advanced Chemical were identified as medium priority technologies. Plasma sails, momentum exchange tethers, and low density solar sails were identified as high risk/high payoff technologies.

  13. Nuclear powered Mars cargo transport mission utilizing advanced ion propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Galecki, D.L.; Patterson, M.J.

    1987-01-01

    Nuclear-powered ion propulsion technology was combined with detailed trajectory analysis to determine propulsion system and trajectory options for an unmanned cargo mission to Mars in support of manned Mars missions. A total of 96 mission scenarios were identified by combining two power levels, two propellants, four values of specific impulse per propellant, three starting altitudes, and two starting velocities. Sixty of these scenarios were selected for a detailed trajectory analysis; a complete propulsion system study was then conducted for 20 of these trajectories. Trip times ranged from 344 days for a xenon propulsion system operating at 300 kW total power and starting from lunar orbit with escape velocity, to 770 days for an argon propulsion system operating at 300 kW total power and starting from nuclear start orbit with circular velocity. Trip times for the 3 MW cases studied ranged from 356 to 413 days. Payload masses ranged from 5700 to 12,300 kg for the 300 kW power level, and from 72,200 to 81,500 kg for the 3 MW power level.

  14. Advances in computational design and analysis of airbreathing propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klineberg, John M.

    1989-01-01

    The development of commercial and military aircraft depends, to a large extent, on engine manufacturers being able to achieve significant increases in propulsion capability through improved component aerodynamics, materials, and structures. The recent history of propulsion has been marked by efforts to develop computational techniques that can speed up the propulsion design process and produce superior designs. The availability of powerful supercomputers, such as the NASA Numerical Aerodynamic Simulator, and the potential for even higher performance offered by parallel computer architectures, have opened the door to the use of multi-dimensional simulations to study complex physical phenomena in propulsion systems that have previously defied analysis or experimental observation. An overview of several NASA Lewis research efforts is provided that are contributing toward the long-range goal of a numerical test-cell for the integrated, multidisciplinary design, analysis, and optimization of propulsion systems. Specific examples in Internal Computational Fluid Mechanics, Computational Structural Mechanics, Computational Materials Science, and High Performance Computing are cited and described in terms of current capabilities, technical challenges, and future research directions.

  15. Advanced charged particle beam ignited nuclear pulse propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winterberg, F.

    2009-06-01

    It is shown that the mass of the driver for nuclear microexplosion—Orion type—pulse propulsion can be substantially reduced with a special fusion-fast fission configuration, which permits to replace an inefficient laser beam driver with a much more efficient and less massive relativistic electron beam (or light ion beam) driver. The driver mass can be further reduced, and the propulsion efficiency increased, by surrounding the nuclear microexplosion assembly with a shell of conventional hydrogen-rich explosive, helping to ignite the nuclear reaction and dissipating the otherwise lost kinetic neutron energy in the shell which becomes part of the propellant.

  16. Advanced technology application for combustion chamber concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tygielski, Kathy S.

    1992-01-01

    NASA-Marshall is engaged in the development of an Advanced Main Combustion Chamber under the aegis of the Earth-to-Orbit Propulsion Technology Program. AMCC is to be a robust and highly reliable combustion-chamber prototype costing one-third as much as current designs of comparable performance; it will be associated with a reduction of fabrication time by one-half. Attention is presently given to the three component-manufacturing processes used: single-piece investment casting for the structural jacket and manifolds; vacuum plasma spraying, for the combustion liner, and an alternative, platelet-compounded liner.

  17. Advances in NASA's Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Technology project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peecook, Keith M.; Stone, James R.

    1993-01-01

    The status of the Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) project for space exploration and the future plans for NTP technology are discussed. Current activities in the framework of the NTP project deal with nonnuclear material tests; instrumentation, controls, and health management; turbopumps; nozzles and nozzle extension; and an exhaust plume.

  18. Advances in adaptive structures at Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wada, Ben K.; Garba, John A.

    1993-01-01

    Future proposed NASA missions with the need for large deployable or erectable precision structures will require solutions to many technical problems. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is developing new technologies in Adaptive Structures to meet these challenges. The technology requirements, approaches to meet the requirements using Adaptive Structures, and the recent JPL research results in Adaptive Structures are described.

  19. Advanced hybrid nuclear propulsion Mars mission performance enhancement

    SciTech Connect

    Dagle, J.E.; Noffsinger, K.E.; Segna, D.R.

    1992-02-01

    Nuclear electric propulsion (NEP), compared with chemical and nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP), can effectively deliver the same mass to Mars using much less propellant, consequently requiring less mass delivered to Earth orbit. The lower thrust of NEP requires a spiral trajectory near planetary bodies, which significantly increases the travel time. Although the total travel time is long, the portion of the flight time spent during interplanetary transfer is shorter, because the vehicle is thrusting for much longer periods of time. This has led to the supposition that NEP, although very attractive for cargo missions, is not suitable for piloted missions to Mars. However, with the application of a hybrid approach to propulsion, the benefits of NEP can be utilized while drastically reducing the overall travel time required. Development of a dual-mode system, which utilizes high-thrust NTP to propel the spacecraft from the planetary gravitational influence and low-thrust NEP to accelerate in interplanetary space, eliminates the spiral trajectory and results in a much faster transit time than could be obtained by either NEP or NTP alone. This results in a mission profile with a lower initial mass in low Earth orbit. In addition, the propulsion system would have the capability to provide electrical power for mission applications.

  20. WAMI: A Menu-Driven Computer Program for the Estimation of Weight and Moments of Inertia of Earth-to-Orbit Transports

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    MacConochie, Ian O.; White, Nancy H.; Mills, Janelle C.

    2004-01-01

    A program, entitled Weights, Areas, and Mass Properties (or WAMI) is centered around an array of menus that contain constants that can be used in various mass estimating relationships for the ultimate purpose of obtaining the mass properties of Earth-to-Orbit Transports. The current Shuttle mass property data was relied upon heavily for baseline equation constant values from which other options were derived.

  1. Heavy-lift launch vehicle propulsion considerations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ordway, Wayne L.

    1991-01-01

    Information on heavy-lift launch vehicle (HLLV) propulsion is given in viewgraph form. The objective was to investigate Earth to orbit options which minimize on-orbit operations and impacts to Space Station Freedom, have a reasonable capability to support Mars missions, and minimize mass in low Earth orbit. Potential synergism with the Space Transportation System is considered. Launch vehicle sizing results, HLLV thrust requirements, and propulsion system reliability are covered.

  2. 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.

  3. Advanced Hall Electric Propulsion for Future In-space Transportation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven R.; Sankovic, John M.

    2001-01-01

    The Hall thruster is an electric propulsion device used for multiple in-space applications including orbit raising, on-orbit maneuvers, and de-orbit functions. These in-space propulsion functions are currently performed by toxic hydrazine monopropellant or hydrazine derivative/nitrogen tetroxide bi-propellant thrusters. The Hall thruster operates nominally in the 1500 sec specific impulse regime. It provides greater thrust to power than conventional gridded ion engines, thus reducing trip times and operational life when compared to that technology in Earth orbit applications. The technology in the far term, by adding a second acceleration stage, has shown promise of providing over 4000s Isp, the regime of the gridded ion engine and necessary for deep space applications. The Hall thruster system consists of three parts, the thruster, the power processor, and the propellant system. The technology is operational and commercially available at the 1.5 kW power level and 5 kW application is underway. NASA is looking toward 10 kW and eventually 50 kW-class engines for ambitious space transportation applications. The former allows launch vehicle step-down for GEO missions and demanding planetary missions such as Europa Lander, while the latter allows quick all-electric propulsion LEO to GEO transfers and non-nuclear transportation human Mars missions.

  4. Advanced Compatibility Characterization Of AF-M315E With Spacecraft Propulsion System Materials Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McClure, Mark B.; Greene, Benjamin

    2014-01-01

    All spacecraft require propulsion systems for thrust and maneuvering. Propulsion systems can be chemical, nuclear, electrical, cold gas or combinations thereof. Chemical propulsion has proven to be the most reliable technology since the deployment of launch vehicles. Performance, storability, and handling are three important aspects of liquid chemical propulsion. Bipropellant systems require a fuel and an oxidizer for propulsion, but monopropellants only require a fuel and a catalyst for propulsion and are therefore simpler and lighter. Hydrazine is the state of the art propellant for monopropellant systems, but has drawbacks because it is highly hazardous to human health, which requires extensive care in handling, complex ground ops due to safety and environmental considerations, and lengthy turnaround times for reusable spacecraft. All users of hydrazine monopropellant must contend with these issues and their associated costs. The development of a new monopropellant, intended to replace hydrazine, has been in progress for years. This project will apply advanced techniques to characterize the engineering properties of materials used in AF-M315E propulsion systems after propellant exposure. AF-M315E monopropellant has been selected HQ's Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) to replace toxic hydrazine for improved performance and reduce safety and health issues that will shorten reusable spacecraft turn-around time. In addition, this project will fundamentally strengthen JSC's core competency to evaluate, use and infuse liquid propellant systems.

  5. Beamed-Energy Propulsion (BEP) Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    George, Patrick; Beach, Raymond

    2012-01-01

    The scope of this study was to (1) review and analyze the state-of-art in beamed-energy propulsion (BEP) by identifying potential game-changing applications, (2) formulate a roadmap of technology development, and (3) identify key near-term technology demonstrations to rapidly advance elements of BEP technology to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6. The two major areas of interest were launching payloads and space propulsion. More generally, the study was requested and structured to address basic mission feasibility. The attraction of beamed-energy propulsion (BEP) is the potential for high specific impulse while removing the power-generation mass. The rapid advancements in high-energy beamed-power systems and optics over the past 20 years warranted a fresh look at the technology. For launching payloads, the study concluded that using BEP to propel vehicles into space is technically feasible if a commitment to develop new technologies and large investments can be made over long periods of time. From a commercial competitive standpoint, if an advantage of beamed energy for Earth-to-orbit (ETO) is to be found, it will rest with smaller, frequently launched payloads. For space propulsion, the study concluded that using beamed energy to propel vehicles from low Earth orbit to geosynchronous Earth orbit (LEO-GEO) and into deep space is definitely feasible and showed distinct advantages and greater potential over current propulsion technologies. However, this conclusion also assumes that upfront infrastructure investments and commitments to critical technologies will be made over long periods of time. The chief issue, similar to that for payloads, is high infrastructure costs.

  6. Technology requirements for advanced earth-orbital transportation systems, dual-mode propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haefeli, R. C.; Littler, E. G.; Hurley, J. B.; Winter, M. G.

    1977-01-01

    The application of dual-mode propulsion concepts to fully reusable single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) vehicles is discussed. Dual-mode propulsion uses main rocket engines that consume hydrocarbon fuels as well as liquid hydrogen fuel. Liquid oxygen is used as the oxidizer. These engine concepts were integrated into transportation vehicle designs capable of vertical takeoff, delivering a payload to earth orbit, and return to earth with a horizontal landing. Benefits of these vehicles were assessed and compared with vehicles using single-mode propulsion (liquid hydrogen and oxygen engines). Technology requirements for such advanced transportation systems were identified. Figures of merit, including life-cycle cost savings and research costs, were derived for dual-mode technology programs, and were used for assessments of potential benefits of proposed technology activities. Dual-mode propulsion concepts display potential for significant cost and performance benefits when applied to SSTO vehicles.

  7. Technology requirements for advanced earth orbital transportation systems. Volume 3: Summary report - dual mode propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hepler, A. K.; Bangsund, E. L.

    1978-01-01

    The impact of dual-mode propulsion on cost-effective technology requirements for advanced earth-orbital transportation systems is considered. Additional objectives were to determine the advantages of the best dual mode concept relative to the LO2/LH2 concept of the basic study. Normal technology requirements applicable to horizontal take-off and landing single-stage-to-orbit systems utilizing dual mode rocket propulsion were projected to the 1985 time period. These technology projections were then incorporated in a vehicle parametric design analysis for two different operational concepts of a dual mode propulsion system. The resultant performance, weights and costs of each concept were compared. The selected propulsion concept was evaluated to confirm the parametric trending/scaling of weights and to optimize the configuration.

  8. Integrated Vehicle Thermal Management for Advanced Vehicle Propulsion Technologies

    SciTech Connect

    Bennion, K.; Thornton, M.

    2010-04-01

    A critical element to the success of new propulsion technologies that enable reductions in fuel use is the integration of component thermal management technologies within a viable vehicle package. Vehicle operation requires vehicle thermal management systems capable of balancing the needs of multiple vehicle systems that may require heat for operation, require cooling to reject heat, or require operation within specified temperature ranges. As vehicle propulsion transitions away from a single form of vehicle propulsion based solely on conventional internal combustion engines (ICEs) toward a wider array of choices including more electrically dominant systems such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), new challenges arise associated with vehicle thermal management. As the number of components that require active thermal management increase, so do the costs in terms of dollars, weight, and size. Integrated vehicle thermal management is one pathway to address the cost, weight, and size challenges. The integration of the power electronics and electric machine (PEEM) thermal management with other existing vehicle systems is one path for reducing the cost of electric drive systems. This work demonstrates techniques for evaluating and quantifying the integrated transient and continuous heat loads of combined systems incorporating electric drive systems that operate primarily under transient duty cycles, but the approach can be extended to include additional steady-state duty cycles typical for designing vehicle thermal management systems of conventional vehicles. The work compares opportunities to create an integrated low temperature coolant loop combining the power electronics and electric machine with the air conditioning system in contrast to a high temperature system integrated with the ICE cooling system.

  9. ADVANCED RADIOISOTOPE HEAT SOURCE AND PROPULSION SYSTEMS FOR PLANETARY EXPLORATION

    SciTech Connect

    R. C. O'Brien; S. D. Howe; J. E. Werner

    2010-09-01

    The exploration of planetary surfaces and atmospheres may be enhanced by increasing the range and mobility of a science platform. Fundamentally, power production and availability of resources are limiting factors that must be considered for all science and exploration missions. A novel power and propulsion system is considered and discussed with reference to a long-range Mars surface exploration mission with in-situ resource utilization. Significance to applications such as sample return missions is also considered. Key material selections for radioisotope encapsulation techniques are presented.

  10. Development of advanced seals for space propulsion turbomachinery

    SciTech Connect

    Hendricks, R.C.; Liang, A.D.; Childs, D.W.; Proctor, M.P.

    1992-04-01

    Current activities in seals for space propulsion turbomachinery that the NASA Lewis Research Center sponsors are surveyed. The overall objective is to provide the designer and researcher with the concepts and the data to control seal dynamics and leakage. Included in the program are low-leakage seals, such as the brush seal, the 'ceramic rope' seal, low-leakage seals for liquid oxygen turbopumps, face seals for two phase flow, and swirl brakes for stability. Two major efforts are summarized: a seal dynamics in rotating machinery and an effort in seal code development.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Mission Concepts Enabled by Solar Electric Propulsion and Advanced Modular Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klaus, Kurt K.; Elsperman, M. S.; Rogers, F.

    2013-10-01

    Introduction: Over the last several years we have introduced a number of planetary mission concepts enabled by Solar Electric Propulsion and Advanced Modular Power systems. The Boeing 702 SP: Using a common spacecraft for multiple missions reduces costs. Solar electric propulsion (SEP) provides the flexibility required for multiple mission objectives. Hosted payloads allow launch and operations costs to be shared. Advanced Modular Power System (AMPS): The 702 SP for deep space is designed to be able to use the Advanced Modular Power System (AMPS) solar array, producing multi Kw power levels with significantly lower system mass than current solar power system technologies. Mission Concepts: Outer Planets. 1) Europa Explorer - Our studies demonstrate that New Frontiers-class science missions to the Jupiter and Saturn systems are possible with commercial solar powered spacecraft. 2) Trojan Tour -The mission objective is 1143 Odysseus, consistent with the Decadal Survey REP (Radioisotope Electric Propulsion) mission objective. Small Body. 1) NEO Precursor Mission - NEO missions benefit greatly by using high ISP (Specific Impulse) Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) coupled with high power generation systems. This concept further sets the stage for human exploration by doing the type of science exploration needed and flight demonstrating technology advances (high power generation, SEP). 2) Multiple NEO Rendezvous, Reconnaissance and In Situ Exploration - We propose a two spacecraft mission (Mother Ship and Small Body Lander) rendezvous with multiple Near Earth Objects (NEO). Mars. Our concept involved using the Boeing 702SP with a highly capable SAR imager that also conducts autonomous rendezvous and docking experiments accomplished from Mars orbit. Conclusion: Using advanced in-space power and propulsion technologies like High Power Solar Electric Propulsion provides enormous mission flexibility to execute baseline science missions and conduct Technology Demonstrations in

  13. Mission Concepts Enabled by Solar Electric Propulsion and Advanced Modular Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elsperman, M. S.; Klaus, K.; Rogers, F.

    2013-12-01

    Introduction: Over the last several years we have introduced a number of planetary mission concepts enabled by Solar Electric Propulsion and Advanced Modular Power systems. The Boeing 702 SP: Using a common spacecraft for multiple missions reduces costs. Solar electric propulsion (SEP) provides the flexibility required for multiple mission objectives. Hosted payloads allow launch and operations costs to be shared. Advanced Modular Power System (AMPS): The 702 SP for deep space is designed to be able to use the Advanced Modular Power System (AMPS) solar array, producing multi Kw power levels with significantly lower system mass than current solar power system technologies. Mission Concepts: Outer Planets. 1) Europa Explorer - Our studies demonstrate that New Frontiers-class science missions to the Jupiter and Saturn systems are possible with commercial solar powered spacecraft. 2) Trojan Tour -The mission objective is 1143 Odysseus, consistent with the Decadal Survey REP (Radioisotope Electric Propulsion) mission objective. Small Body. 1) NEO Precursor Mission - NEO missions benefit greatly by using high ISP (Specific Impulse) Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) coupled with high power generation systems. This concept further sets the stage for human exploration by doing the type of science exploration needed and flight demonstrating technology advances (high power generation, SEP). 2) Multiple NEO Rendezvous, Reconnaissance and In Situ Exploration - We propose a two spacecraft mission (Mother Ship and Small Body Lander) rendezvous with multiple Near Earth Objects (NEO). Mars. Our concept involved using the Boeing 702SP with a highly capable SAR imager that also conducts autonomous rendezvous and docking experiments accomplished from Mars orbit. Conclusion: Using advanced in-space power and propulsion technologies like High Power Solar Electric Propulsion provides enormous mission flexibility to execute baseline science missions and conduct Technology Demonstrations in

  14. Advanced Deuterium Fusion Rocket Propulsion for Manned Deep Space Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winterberg, F.

    Excluding speculations about future breakthrough discoveries in physics, it is shown that with what is at present known, and also what is technically feasible, manned space flight to the limits of the solar system and beyond deep into the Oort cloud is quite possible. Using deuterium as the rocket fuel of choice, abundantly available on the comets of the Oort cloud, rockets driven by deuterium fusion can there be refuelled. To obtain a high thrust with high specific impulse favours the propulsion by deuterium micro-bombs, and it is shown that the ignition of deuterium micro-bombs is possible by intense GeV proton beams, generated in space by using the entire spacecraft as a magnetically insulated billion volt capacitor. The cost to develop this kind of a propulsion system in space would be very high, but it can also be developed on Earth by a magnetically insulated Super Marx Generator. Since the ignition of deuterium is theoretically possible with the Super Marx Generator, making obsolete the ignition of deuterium-tritium with a laser, where 80% of the energy goes into neutrons, this would also mean a breakthrough in fusion research, and therefore would justify the large development costs.

  15. Advanced Propulsion System Studies in High Speed Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zola, Charles L.

    2000-01-01

    Propulsion for acceptable supersonic passenger transport aircraft is primarily impacted by the very high jet noise characteristics of otherwise attractive engines. The mixed flow turbofan, when equipped with a special ejector nozzle seems to be the best candidate engine for this task of combining low jet noise with acceptable flight performance. Design, performance, and operation aspects of mixed flow turbofans are discussed. If the special silencing nozzle is too large, too heavy, or not as effective as expected, alternative concepts in mixed flow engines should be examined. Presented herein is a brief summary of efforts performed under cooperative agreement NCC3-193. Three alternative engine concepts, conceived during this study effort, are herein presented and their limitations and potentials are described. These three concepts intentionally avoid the use of special silencing nozzles and achieve low jet noise by airflow augmentation of the engine cycle.

  16. 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.

  17. Study of advanced electric propulsion system concept using a flywheel for electric vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Younger, F. C.; Lackner, H.

    1979-01-01

    Advanced electric propulsion system concepts with flywheels for electric vehicles are evaluated and it is predicted that advanced systems can provide considerable performance improvement over existing electric propulsion systems with little or no cost penalty. Using components specifically designed for an integrated electric propulsion system avoids the compromises that frequently lead to a loss of efficiency and to inefficient utilization of space and weight. A propulsion system using a flywheel power energy storage device can provide excellent acceleration under adverse conditions of battery degradation due either to very low temperatures or high degrees of discharge. Both electrical and mechanical means of transfer of energy to and from the flywheel appear attractive; however, development work is required to establish the safe limits of speed and energy storage for advanced flywheel designs and to achieve the optimum efficiency of energy transfer. Brushless traction motor designs using either electronic commutation schemes or dc-to-ac inverters appear to provide a practical approach to a mass producible motor, with excellent efficiency and light weight. No comparisons were made with advanced system concepts which do not incorporate a flywheel.

  18. Precious bits: frame synchronization in Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Advanced Multi-Mission Operations System (AMMOS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, E.

    2001-01-01

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) Advanced Multi-Mission Operations System (AMMOS) system processes data received from deep-space spacecraft, where error rates are high, bit rates are low, and every bit is precious. Frame synchronization and data extraction as performed by AMMOS enhanced data acquisition and reliability for maximum data return and validity.

  19. Laboratory Demonstrations for PDE and Metals Combustion at NASA MSFC's Advanced Propulsion Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Report provides status reporting on activities under order no. H-30549 for the period December 1 through December 31, 1999. Details the activities of the contract in the coordination of planned conduct of experiments at the MSFC Advanced Propulsion Laboratory in pulse detonation MHD power production and metals combustion.

  20. Advanced Ceramics for Use as Fuel Element Materials in Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Valentine, Peter G.; Allen, Lee R.; Shapiro, Alan P.

    2012-01-01

    With the recent start (October 2011) of the joint National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (NCPS) Program, there is renewed interest in developing advanced ceramics for use as fuel element materials in nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) systems. Three classes of fuel element materials are being considered under the NCPS Program: (a) graphite composites - consisting of coated graphite elements containing uranium carbide (or mixed carbide), (b) cermets (ceramic/metallic composites) - consisting of refractory metal elements containing uranium oxide, and (c) advanced carbides consisting of ceramic elements fabricated from uranium carbide and one or more refractory metal carbides [1]. The current development effort aims to advance the technology originally developed and demonstrated under Project Rover (1955-1973) for the NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) [2].

  1. Overview of Advanced Space Propulsion Activities in the Space Environmental Effects Team at MSFC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edwards, David; Carruth, Ralph; Vaughn, Jason; Schneider, Todd; Kamenetzky, Rachel; Gray, Perry

    2000-01-01

    Exploration of our solar system, and beyond, requires spacecraft velocities beyond our current technological level. Technologies addressing this limitation are numerous. The Space Environmental Effects (SEE) Team at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is focused on three discipline areas of advanced propulsion; Tethers, Beamed Energy, and Plasma. This presentation will give an overview of advanced propulsion related activities in the Space Environmental Effects Team at MSFC. Advancements in the application of tethers for spacecraft propulsion were made while developing the Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System (ProSEDS). New tether materials were developed to meet the specifications of the ProSEDS mission and new techniques had to be developed to test and characterize these tethers. Plasma contactors were developed, tested and modified to meet new requirements. Follow-on activities in tether propulsion include the Air-SEDS activity. Beamed energy activities initiated with an experimental investigation to quantify the momentum transfer subsequent to high power, 5J, ablative laser interaction with materials. The next step with this experimental investigation is to quantify non-ablative photon momentum transfer. This step was started last year and will be used to characterize the efficiency of solar sail materials before and after exposure to Space Environmental Effects (SEE). Our focus with plasma, for propulsion, concentrates on optimizing energy deposition into a magnetically confined plasma and integration of measurement techniques for determining plasma parameters. Plasma confinement is accomplished with the Marshall Magnetic Mirror (M3) device. Initial energy coupling experiments will consist of injecting a 50 amp electron beam into a target plasma. Measurements of plasma temperature and density will be used to determine the effect of changes in magnetic field structure, beam current, and gas species. Experimental observations will be compared to

  2. Advanced Transportation System Studies. Technical Area 3: Alternate Propulsion Subsystem Concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levack, Daniel J. H.

    2000-01-01

    The Alternate Propulsion Subsystem Concepts contract had seven tasks defined for this report. The tasks were: F-1A Restart Study, J-2S Restart Study, Propulsion Database Development, SSME Upper Stage Use, CERs for Liquid Propellant Rocket Engines, Advanced Low Cost Engines, and Tripropellant Comparison Study. The detailed study results, with the data to support the conclusions from various analyses, are being reported as a series of five separate Final Task Reports. Consequently, this volume only reports the required programmatic information concerning Computer Aided Design Documentation, and New Technology Reports. A detailed Executive Summary, covering all the tasks, is also available as Volume I of this report.

  3. Space transportation systems, launch systems, and propulsion for the Space Exploration Initiative: Results from Project Outreach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garber, T.; Hiland, J.; Orletsky, D.; Augenstein, B.; Miller, M.

    1991-01-01

    A number of transportation and propulsion options for Mars exploration missions are analyzed. As part of Project Outreach, RAND received and evaluated 350 submissions in the launch vehicle, space transportation, and propulsion areas. After screening submissions, aggregating those that proposed identical or nearly identical concepts, and eliminating from further consideration those that violated known physical princples, we had reduced the total number of viable submissions to 213. In order to avoid comparing such disparate things as launch vehicles and electric propulsion systems, six broad technical areas were selected to categorize the submissions: space transportation systems; earth-to-orbit (ETO) launch systems; chemical propulsion; nuclear propulsion; low-thrust propulsion; and other. To provide an appropriate background for analyzing the submissions, an extensive survey was made of the various technologies relevant to the six broad areas listed above. We discuss these technologies with the intent of providing the reader with an indication of the current state of the art, as well as the advances that might be expected within the next 10 to 20 years.

  4. Simulation of an advanced techniques of ion propulsion Rocket system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakkiyaraj, R.

    2016-07-01

    The ion propulsion rocket system is expected to become popular with the development of Deuterium,Argon gas and Hexagonal shape Magneto hydrodynamic(MHD) techniques because of the stimulation indirectly generated the power from ionization chamber,design of thrust range is 1.2 N with 40 KW of electric power and high efficiency.The proposed work is the study of MHD power generation through ionization level of Deuterium gas and combination of two gaseous ions(Deuterium gas ions + Argon gas ions) at acceleration stage.IPR consists of three parts 1.Hexagonal shape MHD based power generator through ionization chamber 2.ion accelerator 3.Exhaust of Nozzle.Initially the required energy around 1312 KJ/mol is carrying out the purpose of deuterium gas which is changed to ionization level.The ionized Deuterium gas comes out from RF ionization chamber to nozzle through MHD generator with enhanced velocity then after voltage is generated across the two pairs of electrode in MHD.it will produce thrust value with the help of mixing of Deuterium ion and Argon ion at acceleration position.The simulation of the IPR system has been carried out by MATLAB.By comparing the simulation results with the theoretical and previous results,if reaches that the proposed method is achieved of thrust value with 40KW power for simulating the IPR system.

  5. Advanced electric propulsion system concept for electric vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raynard, A. E.; Forbes, F. E.

    1979-01-01

    Seventeen propulsion system concepts for electric vehicles were compared to determine the differences in components and battery pack to achieve the basic performance level. Design tradeoffs were made for selected configurations to find the optimum component characteristics required to meet all performance goals. The anticipated performance when using nickel-zinc batteries rather than the standard lead-acid batteries was also evaluated. The two systems selected for the final conceptual design studies included a system with a flywheel energy storage unit and a basic system that did not have a flywheel. The flywheel system meets the range requirement with either lead-acid or nickel-zinc batteries and also the acceleration of zero to 89 km/hr in 15 s. The basic system can also meet the required performance with a fully charged battery, but, when the battery approaches 20 to 30 percent depth of discharge, maximum acceleration capability gradually degrades. The flywheel system has an estimated life-cycle cost of $0.041/km using lead-acid batteries. The basic system has a life-cycle cost of $0.06/km. The basic system, using batteries meeting ISOA goals, would have a life-cycle cost of $0.043/km.

  6. Rocket Based Combined Cycle (RBCC) Propulsion Technology Workshop. Volume 1: Executive summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chojnacki, Kent T.

    1992-01-01

    The goal of the Rocket-Based Combined Cycle (RBCC) Propulsion Technology Workshop was to assess the RBCC propulsion system's viability for Earth-to-Orbit (ETO) transportation systems. This was accomplished by creating a forum (workshop) in which past work in the field of RBCC propulsion systems was reviewed, current technology status was evaluated, and future technology programs in the field of RBCC propulsion systems were postulated, discussed, and recommended.

  7. Research Study to Identify Technology Requirements for Advanced Earth-Orbital Transportation Systems, Dual-Mode Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1977-01-01

    The results of a study of dual mode propulsion concepts applied to advanced earth orbital transportation systems using reuseable single stage to orbit vehicle concepts were summarized. Both series burn and parallel burn modes of propulsion were analyzed for vertical takeoff, horizontal landing vehicles based on accelerated technology goals. A major study objective was to assess the merits of dual mode main propulsion concepts compared to single mode concepts for carrying payloads of Space Shuttle type to orbit.

  8. Propulsion technology needs for advanced space transportation systems. [orbit maneuvering engine (space shuttle), space shuttle boosters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gregory, J. W.

    1975-01-01

    Plans are formulated for chemical propulsion technology programs to meet the needs of advanced space transportation systems from 1980 to the year 2000. The many possible vehicle applications are reviewed and cataloged to isolate the common threads of primary propulsion technology that satisfies near term requirements in the first decade and at the same time establish the technology groundwork for various potential far term applications in the second decade. Thrust classes of primary propulsion engines that are apparent include: (1) 5,000 to 30,000 pounds thrust for upper stages and space maneuvering; and (2) large booster engines of over 250,000 pounds thrust. Major classes of propulsion systems and the important subdivisions of each class are identified. The relative importance of each class is discussed in terms of the number of potential applications, the likelihood of that application materializing, and the criticality of the technology needed. Specific technology programs are described and scheduled to fulfill the anticipated primary propulsion technology requirements.

  9. Performance and Environmental Assessment of an Advanced Aircraft with Open Rotor Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guynn, Mark D.; Berton, Jeffrey J.; Haller, William J.; Hendricks, Eric S.; Tong, Michael T.

    2012-01-01

    Application of high speed, advanced turboprops, or "propfans," to transonic transport aircraft received significant attention during the 1970s and 1980s when fuel efficiency was the driving focus of aeronautical research. Unfortunately, after fuel prices declined sharply there was no longer sufficient motivation to continue maturing this technology. Recent volatility in fuel prices and increasing concern for aviation s environmental impact, however, have renewed interest in unducted, open rotor propulsion. Because of the renewed interest in open rotor propulsion, the lack of publicly available up-to-date studies assessing its benefits, and NASA s focus on reducing fuel consumption, a preliminary aircraft system level study on open rotor propulsion was initiated to inform decisions concerning research in this area. New analysis processes were established to assess the characteristics of open rotor aircraft. These processes were then used to assess the performance, noise, and emissions characteristics of an advanced, single-aisle aircraft using open rotor propulsion. The results of this initial study indicate open rotor engines have the potential to provide significant reductions in fuel consumption and landing-takeoff cycle NOX emissions. Noise analysis of the study configuration indicates that an open rotor aircraft in the single-aisle class would be able to meet current noise regulations with margin.

  10. Thermal and Environmental Barrier Coatings for Advanced Propulsion Engine Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhu, Dong-Ming; Miller, Robert A.

    2004-01-01

    Ceramic thermal and environmental barrier coatings (TEBCs) are used in gas turbine engines to protect engine hot-section components in the harsh combustion environments, and extend component lifetimes. For future high performance engines, the development of advanced ceramic barrier coating systems will allow these coatings to be used to simultaneously increase engine operating temperature and reduce cooling requirements, thereby leading to significant improvements in engine power density and efficiency. In order to meet future engine performance and reliability requirements, the coating systems must be designed with increased high temperature stability, lower thermal conductivity, and improved thermal stress and erosion resistance. In this paper, ceramic coating design and testing considerations will be described for high temperature and high-heat-flux engine applications in hot corrosion and oxidation, erosion, and combustion water vapor environments. Further coating performance and life improvements will be expected by utilizing advanced coating architecture design, composition optimization, and improved processing techniques, in conjunction with modeling and design tools.

  11. Propulsion and navigation within the advancing monolayer sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Jae Hun; Serra-Picamal, Xavier; Tambe, Dhananjay T.; Zhou, Enhua H.; Park, Chan Young; Sadati, Monirosadat; Park, Jin-Ah; Krishnan, Ramaswamy; Gweon, Bomi; Millet, Emil; Butler, James P.; Trepat, Xavier; Fredberg, Jeffrey J.

    2013-09-01

    As a wound heals, or a body plan forms, or a tumour invades, observed cellular motions within the advancing cell swarm are thought to stem from yet to be observed physical stresses that act in some direct and causal mechanical fashion. Here we show that such a relationship between motion and stress is far from direct. Using monolayer stress microscopy, we probed migration velocities, cellular tractions and intercellular stresses in an epithelial cell sheet advancing towards an island on which cells cannot adhere. We found that cells located near the island exert tractions that pull systematically towards this island regardless of whether the cells approach the island, migrate tangentially along its edge, or paradoxically, recede from it. This unanticipated cell-patterning motif, which we call kenotaxis, represents the robust and systematic mechanical drive of the cellular collective to fill unfilled space.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2000-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2000-07-14

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

  14. Thermal and Environmental Barrier Coating Development for Advanced Propulsion Engine Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhu, Dongming; Miller, Robert A.; Fox, Dennis S.

    2008-01-01

    Ceramic thermal and environmental barrier coatings (TEBCs) are used in gas turbine engines to protect engine hot-section components in the harsh combustion environments, and extend component lifetimes. Advanced TEBCs that have significantly lower thermal conductivity, better thermal stability and higher toughness than current coatings will be beneficial for future low emission and high performance propulsion engine systems. In this paper, ceramic coating design and testing considerations will be described for turbine engine high temperature and high-heat-flux applications. Thermal barrier coatings for metallic turbine airfoils and thermal/environmental barrier coatings for SiC/SiC ceramic matrix composite (CMC) components for future supersonic aircraft propulsion engines will be emphasized. Further coating capability and durability improvements for the engine hot-section component applications can be expected by utilizing advanced modeling and design tools.

  15. Development of Sensors for Ceramic Components in Advanced Propulsion Systems. Phase 2; Temperature Sensor Systems Evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Atkinson, W. H.; Cyr, M. A.; Strange, R. R.

    1994-01-01

    The 'development of sensors for ceramic components in advanced propulsion systems' program is divided into two phases. The objectives of Phase 1 were to analyze, evaluate and recommend sensor concepts for the measurement of surface temperature, strain and heat flux on ceramic components for advanced propulsion systems. The results of this effort were previously published in NASA CR-182111. As a result of Phase 1, three approaches were recommended for further development: pyrometry, thin-film sensors, and thermographic phosphors. The objective of Phase 2 were to fabricate and conduct laboratory demonstration tests of these systems. Six materials, mutually agreed upon by NASA and Pratt & Whitney, were investigated under this program. This report summarizes the Phase 2 effort and provides conclusions and recommendations for each of the categories evaluated.

  16. Kuiper Belt Object Orbiter Using Advanced Radioisotope Power Sources and Electric Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven R.; McGuire, Melissa L.; Dankanich, John; Colozza, Anthony; Schmitz, Paul; Khan, Omair; Drexler, Jon; Fittje, James

    2011-01-01

    A joint NASA GRC/JPL design study was performed for the NASA Radioisotope Power Systems Office to explore the use of radioisotope electric propulsion for flagship class missions. The Kuiper Belt Object Orbiter is a flagship class mission concept projected for launch in the 2030 timeframe. Due to the large size of a flagship class science mission larger radioisotope power system building blocks were conceptualized to provide the roughly 4 kW of power needed by the NEXT ion propulsion system and the spacecraft. Using REP the spacecraft is able to rendezvous with and orbit a Kuiper Belt object in 16 years using either eleven (no spare) 420 W advanced RTGs or nine (with a spare) 550 W advanced Stirling Radioisotope systems. The design study evaluated integrating either system and estimated impacts on cost as well as required General Purpose Heat Source requirements.

  17. Advances in the Use of Thermography to Inspect Composite Tanks for Liquid Fuel Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lansing, Matthew D.; Russell, Samuel S.; Walker, James L.; Jones, Clyde S. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation gives an overview of advances in the use of thermography to inspect composite tanks for liquid fuel propulsion systems. Details are given on the thermographic inspection system, thermographic analysis method (includes scan and defect map, method of inspection, and inclusions, ply wrinkle, and delamination defects), graphite composite cryogenic feedline (including method, image map, and deep/shallow inclusions and resin rich area defects), and material degradation nondestructive evaluation.

  18. Advanced Transportation System Studies. Technical Area 3: Alternate Propulsion Subsystem Concepts. Volume 1; Executive Summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levack, Daniel J. H.

    2000-01-01

    The Alternate Propulsion Subsystem Concepts contract had seven tasks defined that are reported under this contract deliverable. The tasks were: FAA Restart Study, J-2S Restart Study, Propulsion Database Development. SSME Upper Stage Use. CERs for Liquid Propellant Rocket Engines. Advanced Low Cost Engines, and Tripropellant Comparison Study. The two restart studies, F-1A and J-2S, generated program plans for restarting production of each engine. Special emphasis was placed on determining changes to individual parts due to obsolete materials, changes in OSHA and environmental concerns, new processes available, and any configuration changes to the engines. The Propulsion Database Development task developed a database structure and format which is easy to use and modify while also being comprehensive in the level of detail available. The database structure included extensive engine information and allows for parametric data generation for conceptual engine concepts. The SSME Upper Stage Use task examined the changes needed or desirable to use the SSME as an upper stage engine both in a second stage and in a translunar injection stage. The CERs for Liquid Engines task developed qualitative parametric cost estimating relationships at the engine and major subassembly level for estimating development and production costs of chemical propulsion liquid rocket engines. The Advanced Low Cost Engines task examined propulsion systems for SSTO applications including engine concept definition, mission analysis. trade studies. operating point selection, turbomachinery alternatives, life cycle cost, weight definition. and point design conceptual drawings and component design. The task concentrated on bipropellant engines, but also examined tripropellant engines. The Tripropellant Comparison Study task provided an unambiguous comparison among various tripropellant implementation approaches and cycle choices, and then compared them to similarly designed bipropellant engines in the

  19. Outer Planet Exploration with Advanced Radioisotope Electric Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven; Gefert, Leon; Patterson, Michael; Schreiber, Jeffrey; Benson, Scott; McAdams, Jim; Ostdiek, Paul

    2002-01-01

    In response to a request by the NASA Deep Space Exploration Technology Program, NASA Glenn Research Center conducted a study to identify advanced technology options to perform a Pluto/Kuiper mission without depending on a 2004 Jupiter Gravity Assist, but still arriving before 2020. A concept using a direct trajectory with small, sub-kilowatt ion thrusters and Stirling radioisotope power systems was shown to allow the same or smaller launch vehicle class as the chemical 2004 baseline and allow a launch slip and still flyby in the 2014 to 2020 timeframe. With this promising result the study was expanded to use a radioisotope power source for small electrically propelled orbiter spacecraft for outer planet targets such as Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

  20. Pluto/Kuiper Missions with Advanced Electric Propulsion and Power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, S. R.; Patterson, M. J.; Schrieber, J.; Gefert, L. P.

    2001-01-01

    In response to a request by NASA Code SD Deep Space Exploration Technology Program, NASA Glenn Research center performed a study to identify advanced technology options to perform a Pluto/Kuiper mission without depending on a 2004 Jupiter Gravity Assist, but still arriving before 2020. A concept using a direct trajectory with small, sub-kilowatt ion thrusters and Stirling radioisotope power system was shown to allow the same or smaller launch vehicle class (EELV) as the chemical 2004 baseline and allow launch in any year and arrival in the 2014 to 2020 timeframe. With the nearly constant power available from the radioisotope power source such small ion propelled spacecraft could explore many of the outer planetary targets. Such studies are already underway. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  1. Advanced Propulsion Systems Study for General Aviation Aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mount, R.

    2003-01-01

    This study defines a family of advanced technology Stratified Charge Rotary Engines (SCRE) appropriate for the enablement of the development of a new generation of general aviation aircraft. High commonality, affordability, and environmental compatibility are considerations influencing the family composition and ratings. The SCRE family is comprised of three engines in the 70 Series (40 cu in. displacement per rotor), i.e. one, two, and four rotor and two engines in the 170 Series (105 cu in. displacement per rotor), i.e., two and four rotor. The two rotor engines are considered the primary engines in each series. A wide power range is considered covering 125 to 2500 HP through growth and compounding/dual pac considerations. Mission requirements, TBO, FAA Certification, engine development cycles, and costs are examined. Comparisons to current and projected reciprocating and turbine engine configurations in the 125 to 1000 HP class are provided. Market impact, estimated sales, and U.S. job creation (R&D, manufacturing and infractures) are examined.

  2. Heat pipe radiation cooling of advanced hypersonic propulsion system components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, R. A.; Keddy, M.; Merrigan, M. A.; Silverstein, C. C.

    1991-01-01

    Heat transfer, heat pipe, and system studies were performed to assess the newly proposed heat pipe radiation cooling (HPRC) concept. With an HPRC system, heat is removed from the ramburner and nozzle of a hypersonic aircraft engine by a surrounding, high-temperature, heat pipe nacelle structure, transported to nearby external surfaces, and rejected to the environment by thermal radiation. With HPRC, the Mach number range available for using hydrocarbon fuels for aircraft operation extends into the Mach 4 to Mach 6 range, up from the current limit of about Mach 4. Heat transfer studies using a newly developed HPRC computer code determine cooling system and ramburner and nozzle temperatures, heat loads, and weights for a representative combined-cycle engine cruising at Mach 5 at 80,000 ft altitude. Heat pipe heat transport calculations, using the Los Alamos code HTPIPE, reveal that adequate heat trasport capability is available using molybdenum-lithium heat pipe technology. Results show that the HPRC system radiator area is limited in size to the ramburner-nozzle region of the engine nacelle; reasonable system weights are expected; hot section temperatures are consistent with advanced structural materials development goals; and system impact on engine performance is minimal.

  3. Initial Assessment of Open Rotor Propulsion Applied to an Advanced Single-Aisle Aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guynn, Mark D.; Berton, Jeffrey J.; Hendricks, Eric S.; Tong, Michael T.; Haller, William J.; Thurman, Douglas R.

    2011-01-01

    Application of high speed, advanced turboprops, or propfans, to subsonic transport aircraft received significant attention and research in the 1970s and 1980s when fuel efficiency was the driving focus of aeronautical research. Recent volatility in fuel prices and concern for aviation s environmental impact have renewed interest in unducted, open rotor propulsion, and revived research by NASA and a number of engine manufacturers. Unfortunately, in the two decades that have passed since open rotor concepts were thoroughly investigated, NASA has lost experience and expertise in this technology area. This paper describes initial efforts to re-establish NASA s capability to assess aircraft designs with open rotor propulsion. Specifically, methodologies for aircraft-level sizing, performance analysis, and system-level noise analysis are described. Propulsion modeling techniques have been described in a previous paper. Initial results from application of these methods to an advanced single-aisle aircraft using open rotor engines based on historical blade designs are presented. These results indicate open rotor engines have the potential to provide large reductions in fuel consumption and emissions. Initial noise analysis indicates that current noise regulations can be met with old blade designs and modern, noiseoptimized blade designs are expected to result in even lower noise levels. Although an initial capability has been established and initial results obtained, additional development work is necessary to make NASA s open rotor system analysis capability on par with existing turbofan analysis capabilities.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rahman, Shamim A.

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Electro-optic architecture for servicing sensors and actuators in advanced aircraft propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Poppel, G. L.; Glasheen, W. M.

    1989-01-01

    A detailed design of a fiber optic propulsion control system, integrating favored sensors and electro-optics architecture is presented. Layouts, schematics, and sensor lists describe an advanced fighter engine system model. Components and attributes of candidate fiber optic sensors are identified, and evaluation criteria are used in a trade study resulting in favored sensors for each measurand. System architectural ground rules were applied to accomplish an electro-optics architecture for the favored sensors. A key result was a considerable reduction in signal conductors. Drawings, schematics, specifications, and printed circuit board layouts describe the detailed system design, including application of a planar optical waveguide interface.

  6. Investigation of advanced propulsion technologies: The RAM accelerator and the flowing gas radiation heater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bruckner, A. P.; Knowlen, C.; Mattick, A. T.; Hertzberg, A.

    1992-01-01

    The two principal areas of advanced propulsion investigated are the ram accelerator and the flowing gas radiation heater. The concept of the ram accelerator is presented as a hypervelocity launcher for large-scale aeroballistic range applications in hypersonics and aerothermodynamics research. The ram accelerator is an in-bore ramjet device in which a projectile shaped like the centerbody of a supersonic ramjet is propelled in a stationary tube filled with a tailored combustible gas mixture. Combustion on and behind the projectile generates thrust which accelerates it to very high velocities. The acceleration can be tailored for the 'soft launch' of instrumented models. The distinctive reacting flow phenomena that have been observed in the ram accelerator are relevant to the aerothermodynamic processes in airbreathing hypersonic propulsion systems and are useful for validating sophisticated CFD codes. The recently demonstrated scalability of the device and the ability to control the rate of acceleration offer unique opportunities for the use of the ram accelerator as a large-scale hypersonic ground test facility. The flowing gas radiation receiver is a novel concept for using solar energy to heat a working fluid for space power or propulsion. Focused solar radiation is absorbed directly in a working gas, rather than by heat transfer through a solid surface. Previous theoretical analysis had demonstrated that radiation trapping reduces energy loss compared to that of blackbody receivers, and enables higher efficiencies and higher peak temperatures. An experiment was carried out to measure the temperature profile of an infrared-active gas and demonstrate the effect of radiation trapping. The success of this effort validates analytical models of heat transfer in this receiver, and confirms the potential of this approach for achieving high efficiency space power and propulsion.

  7. Advanced supersonic propulsion study, phases 3 and 4. [variable cycle engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allan, R. D.; Joy, W.

    1977-01-01

    An evaluation of various advanced propulsion concepts for supersonic cruise aircraft resulted in the identification of the double-bypass variable cycle engine as the most promising concept. This engine design utilizes special variable geometry components and an annular exhaust nozzle to provide high take-off thrust and low jet noise. The engine also provides good performance at both supersonic cruise and subsonic cruise. Emission characteristics are excellent. The advanced technology double-bypass variable cycle engine offers an improvement in aircraft range performance relative to earlier supersonic jet engine designs and yet at a lower level of engine noise. Research and technology programs required in certain design areas for this engine concept to realize its potential benefits include refined parametric analysis of selected variable cycle engines, screening of additional unconventional concepts, and engine preliminary design studies. Required critical technology programs are summarized.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hueter, Uwe; Turner, James

    1998-01-01

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

  9. Cost-effective technology advancement directions for electric propulsion transportation systems in earth-orbital missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Regetz, J. D., Jr.; Terwilliger, C. H.

    1979-01-01

    The directions that electric propulsion technology should take to meet the primary propulsion requirements for earth-orbital missions in the most cost effective manner are determined. The mission set requirements, state of the art electric propulsion technology and the baseline system characterized by it, adequacy of the baseline system to meet the mission set requirements, cost optimum electric propulsion system characteristics for the mission set, and sensitivities of mission costs and design points to system level electric propulsion parameters are discussed. The impact on overall costs than specific masses or costs of propulsion and power systems is evaluated.

  10. Propulsion system advances that enable a reusable Liquid Fly Back Booster (LFBB)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keith, E. L.; Rothschild, W. J.

    1998-01-01

    This paper provides an overview of the booster propulsion system for the Liquid Fly Back Booster (LFBB). This includes, system requirements, design approach, concept of operations, reliability, safety and cost assumptions. The paper summarizes the findings of the Boeing propulsion team that has been studying the LFBB feasibility as a booster replacement for the Space Shuttle. This paper will discuss recent advances including a new generation of kerosene and oxygen rich pre-burner staged combustion cycle main rocket engines. The engine reliability and safety is expected to be much higher than current standards by adding extra operating margins into the design and normally operating the engines at 75% of engine rated power. This allows for engine out capability. The new generation of main engines operates at significantly higher chamber pressure than the prior generation of gas generator cycle engines. The oxygen rich pre-burner engine cycle, unlike the fuel rich gas generator cycle, results in internally self-cleaning firings which facilitates reusability. Maintenance is further enhanced with integrated health monitoring to improve safety and turn-around efficiency. The maintainability of the LFBB LOX/kerosene engines is being improved by designing the vehicle/engine interfaces for easy access to key engine components.

  11. Propulsion System Advances that Enable a Reusable Liquid Fly Back Booster (LFBB)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keith, Edward L.; Rothschild, William J.

    1998-01-01

    This paper provides an overview of the booster propulsion system for the Liquid Fly Back Booster (LFBB). This includes, system requirements, design approach, concept of operations, reliability, safety and cost assumptions. The paper summarizes the findings of the Boeing propulsion team that has been studying the LFBB feasibility as a booster replacement for the Space Shuttle. This paper will discuss recent advances including a new generation of kerosene and oxygen rich pre-burner staged combustion cycle main rocket engines. The engine reliability and safety is expected to be much higher than current standards by adding extra operating margins into the design and normally operating the engines at 75% of engine rated power. This allows for engine out capability. The new generation of main engines operates at significantly higher chamber pressure than the prior generation of gas generator cycle engines. The oxygen rich pre-burner engine cycle, unlike the fuel rich gas generator cycle, results in internally self-cleaning firings which facilitates reusability. Maintenance is further enhanced with integrated health monitoring to improve safety and turn-around efficiency. The maintainability of the LFBB LOX / kerosene engines is being improved by designing the vehicle/engine interfaces for easy access to key engine components.

  12. Propulsion Simulations Using Advanced Turbulence Models with the Unstructured Grid CFD Tool, TetrUSS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abdol-Hamid, Khaled S.; Frink, Neal T.; Deere, Karen A.; Pandya, Mohangna J.

    2004-01-01

    A computational investigation has been completed to assess the capability of TetrUSS for exhaust nozzle flows. Three configurations were chosen for this study (1) an axisymmetric supersonic jet, (2) a transonic axisymmetric boattail with solid sting operated at different Reynolds number and Mach number, and (3) an isolated non-axisymmetric nacelle with a supersonic cruise nozzle. These configurations were chosen because existing experimental data provided a means for measuring the ability of TetrUSS for simulating complex nozzle flows. The main objective of this paper is to validate the implementation of advanced two-equation turbulence models in the unstructured-grid CFD code USM3D for propulsion flow cases. USM3D is the flow solver of the TetrUSS system. Three different turbulence models, namely, Menter Shear Stress Transport (SST), basic k epsilon, and the Spalart-Allmaras (SA) are used in the present study. The results are generally in agreement with other implementations of these models in structured-grid CFD codes. Results indicate that USM3D provides accurate simulations for complex aerodynamic configurations with propulsion integration.

  13. Aerodynamics of the advanced launch system (ALS) propulsion and avionics (P/A) module

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ferguson, Stan; Savage, Dick

    1992-01-01

    This paper discusses the design and testing of candidate Advanced Launch System (ALS) Propulsion and Avionics (P/A) Module configurations. The P/A Module is a key element of future launch systems because it is essential to the recovery and reuse of high-value propulsion and avionics hardware. The ALS approach involves landing of first stage (booster) and/or second stage (core) P/A modules near the launch site to minimize logistics and refurbishment cost. The key issue addressed herein is the aerodynamic design of the P/A module, including the stability characteristics and the lift-to-drag (L/D) performance required to achieve the necessary landing guidance accuracy. The reference P/A module configuration was found to be statically stable for the desired flight regime, to provide adequate L/D for targeting, and to have effective modulation of the L/D performance using a body flap. The hypersonic aerodynamic trends for nose corner radius, boattail angle and body flap deflections were consistent with pretest predictions. However, the levels for the L/D and axial force for hypersonic Mach numbers were overpredicted by impact theories.

  14. Propulsion system studies for an advanced high subsonic, long range jet commercial transport aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    Propulsion system characteristics for a long range, high subsonic (Mach 0.90 - 0.98), jet commercial transport aircraft are studied to identify the most desirable cycle and engine configuration and to assess the payoff of advanced engine technologies applicable to the time frame of the late 1970s to the mid 1980s. An engine parametric study phase examines major cycle trends on the basis of aircraft economics. This is followed by the preliminary design of two advanced mixed exhaust turbofan engines pointed at two different technology levels (1970 and 1985 commercial certification for engines No. 1 and No. 2, respectively). The economic penalties of environmental constraints - noise and exhaust emissions - are assessed. The highest specific thrust engine (lowest bypass ratio for a given core technology) achievable with a single-stage fan yields the best economics for a Mach 0.95 - 0.98 aircraft and can meet the noise objectives specified, but with significant economic penalties. Advanced technologies which would allow high temperature and cycle pressure ratios to be used effectively are shown to provide significant improvement in mission performance which can partially offset the economic penalties incurred to meet lower noise goals. Advanced technology needs are identified; and, in particular, the initiation of an integrated fan and inlet aero/acoustic program is recommended.

  15. Advances in Engine Test Capabilities at the NASA Glenn Research Center's Propulsion Systems Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pachlhofer, Peter M.; Panek, Joseph W.; Dicki, Dennis J.; Piendl, Barry R.; Lizanich, Paul J.; Klann, Gary A.

    2006-01-01

    The Propulsion Systems Laboratory at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Glenn Research Center is one of the premier U.S. facilities for research on advanced aeropropulsion systems. The facility can simulate a wide range of altitude and Mach number conditions while supplying the aeropropulsion system with all the support services necessary to operate at those conditions. Test data are recorded on a combination of steady-state and highspeed data-acquisition systems. Recently a number of upgrades were made to the facility to meet demanding new requirements for the latest aeropropulsion concepts and to improve operational efficiency. Improvements were made to data-acquisition systems, facility and engine-control systems, test-condition simulation systems, video capture and display capabilities, and personnel training procedures. This paper discusses the facility s capabilities, recent upgrades, and planned future improvements.

  16. Brayton Power Conversion System Study to Advance Technology Readiness for Nuclear Electric Propulsion - Phase I

    SciTech Connect

    Frye, Patrick E.; Allen, Robert; Delventhal, Rex

    2005-02-06

    To investigate and mature space based nuclear power conversion technologies NASA awarded several contracts under Prometheus, the Nuclear Systems Program. The studies described in this paper were performed under one of those contracts, which was to investigate the use of a nuclear power conversion system based on the closed Brayton cycle (CBC). The conceptual design effort performed included BPCS (Brayton power conversion system) trade studies to minimize system weight and radiator area and advance the state of the art of BPCS technology. The primary requirements for studies were a power level of 100 kWe (to the PPU), a low overall power system mass (with a target of less than 3000 kg), and a lifetime of 15 years (10 years full power). For the radiation environment, the system was to operate in the generic space environment and withstand the extreme environments within the Jovian system. The studies defined a BPCS design traceable to NBP (Nuclear Electric Propulsion) requirements and suitable for future potential missions with a sound technology plan for TRL (Technical Readiness Level) advancement identified. The studies assumed a turbine inlet temperature {approx} 100C above the current the state of the art capabilities with materials issues identified and an approach for resolution developed. Analyses and evaluations of six HRS (heat rejection subsystem) concepts and PMAD (Power Management and Distribution) architecture trades will be discussed in the paper.

  17. Brayton Power Conversion System Study to Advance Technology Readiness for Nuclear Electric Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, Bog; Delventhal, Rex; Frye, Patrick

    2004-01-01

    Recently, there has been significant interest within the aerospace community to develop space based nuclear power conversion technologies especially for exploring the outer planets of our solar system where the solar energy density is very low. To investigate these technologies NASA awarded several contracts under Project Prometheus, the Nuclear Systems Program. The studies described in this paper were performed under one of those contracts, which was to investigate the use of a nuclear power conversion system based on the closed Brayton cycle (CBC).The investigation performed included BPCS (Brayton Power Conversion System) trade studies to minimize system weight and radiator area and advance the state of the art of BPCS technology. The primary requirements for studies were a power level of 100 kWe (to the PPU), a low overall power system mass and a lifetime of 15 years (10 years full power). For the radiation environment, the system was to be capable of operation in the generic space environment and withstand the extreme environments surrounding Jupiter. The studies defined a BPCS design traceable to NEP (Nuclear Electric Propulsion) requirements and suitable for future missions with a sound technology plan for technology readiness level (TRL) advancement identified. The studies assumed a turbine inlet temperature approx. 100 C above the current the state of the art capabilities with materials issues and related development tasks identified. Analyses and evaluations of six different HRS (heat rejection system) designs and three primary power management and distribution (PMAD) configurations will be discussed in the paper.

  18. Brayton Power Conversion System Study to Advance Technology Readiness for Nuclear Electric Propulsion — Phase I

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frye, Patrick E.; Allen, Robert; Delventhal, Rex

    2005-02-01

    To investigate and mature space based nuclear power conversion technologies NASA awarded several contracts under Prometheus, the Nuclear Systems Program. The studies described in this paper were performed under one of those contracts, which was to investigate the use of a nuclear power conversion system based on the closed Brayton cycle (CBC). The conceptual design effort performed included BPCS (Brayton power conversion system) trade studies to minimize system weight and radiator area and advance the state of the art of BPCS technology. The primary requirements for studies were a power level of 100 kWe (to the PPU), a low overall power system mass (with a target of less than 3000 kg), and a lifetime of 15 years (10 years full power). For the radiation environment, the system was to operate in the generic space environment and withstand the extreme environments within the Jovian system. The studies defined a BPCS design traceable to NBP (Nuclear Electric Propulsion) requirements and suitable for future potential missions with a sound technology plan for TRL (Technical Readiness Level) advancement identified. The studies assumed a turbine inlet temperature ˜ 100C above the current the state of the art capabilities with materials issues identified and an approach for resolution developed. Analyses and evaluations of six HRS (heat rejection subsystem) concepts and PMAD (Power Management and Distribution) architecture trades will be discussed in the paper.

  19. 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.

  20. Cost-effective technology advancement directions for electric propulsion transportation systems in earth-orbital missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Regetz, J. D., Jr.; Terwilliger, C. H., Jr.

    1979-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a study to determine the directions that electric propulsion technology should take to meet the primary propulsion requirements for earth-orbital missions of the next three decades in the most cost-effective manner. Discussed are the mission set requirements, state-of-the-art electric propulsion technology and the baseline system characterized by it, adequacy of the baseline system to meet the mission set requirements, cost-optimum electric propulsion system characteristics for the mission set, and sensitivities of mission costs and design points to system-level electric propulsion parameters. It is found that the efficiency-specific impulse characteristic generally has a more significant impact on overall costs than specific masses or costs of propulsion and power systems.

  1. Advanced Power and Propulsion: Insuring Human Survival and Productivity in Deep Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chang-Diaz, Franklin R.

    2001-01-01

    Dr. Chang-Diaz gave an intriguing presentation of his research in advanced rocket propulsion and its relevance for planning and executing crewed deep space explorations. Though not necessarily exclusively Martian, his thrust looks critically at future Mars missions. Initially Dr. Chang-Diaz showed the time constraints of Mars missions due to orbital mechanics and our present chemically powered rocket technology. Since essentially all the energy required to place current generation spacecraft into a Martian trajectory must be expended in the early minutes of a flight, most of such a mission is spent in free-fall drift, captive to the gravitational forces among Earth, the Sun, and Mars. The simple physics of such chemically powered missions requires nearly a year in transit for each direction of a Mars mission. And the optimal orientations of Earth and Mars for rendezvous require further time on or around Mars to await return. These extensions of mission duration place any crew under a three-fold jeopardy: (1) physiological deconditioning (which in some aspects is still unknown and unpreventable), (2) psychological stress, and (3) ionizing radiation. This latter risk is due to exposure of crew members for extended time to the highly unpredictable and potentially lethal radiations of open space. Any gains in shortening mission duration would reap equivalent or greater benefits for these crew concerns. Dr. Chang-Diaz has applied his training and expertise (Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in applied plasma physics) toward development of continuous rocket propulsion which would offer great time advantages in travel, and also more launch options than are now available. He clearly explained the enormous gains from a relatively low thrust accelerative force applied essentially continuously versus the high, but short-lived propulsion of present chemical rockets. In fact, such spacecraft could be powered throughout the mission, accelerating to approximately

  2. Advanced APS impacts on vehicle payloads

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, Steven J.; Reed, Brian D.

    1989-04-01

    Advanced auxiliary propulsion system (APS) technology has the potential to both, increase the payload capability of earth-to-orbit (ETO) vehicles by reducing APS propellant mass, and simplify ground operations and logistics by reducing the number of fluids on the vehicle and eliminating toxic, corrosive propellants. The impact of integrated cryogenic APS on vehicle payloads is addressed. In this system, launch propulsion system residuals are scavenged from integral launch propulsion tanks for use in the APS. Sufficient propellant is preloaded into the APS to return to earth with margin and noncomplete scavenging assumed. No propellant conditioning is required by the APS, but ambient heat soak is accommodated. High temperature rocket materials enable the use of the unconditioned hydrogen/oxygen in the APS and are estimated to give APS rockets specific impulse of up to about 444 sec. The payload benefits are quantified and compared with an uprated monomethylhydrazine/nitrogen tetroxide system in a conservative fashion, by assuming a 25.5 percent weight growth for the hydrogen/oxygen system and a 0 percent weight growth for the uprated system. The combination of scavenging and high performance gives payload impacts which are highly mission specific. A payload benefit of 861 kg (1898 lbm) was estimated for a Space Station Freedom rendezvous mission and 2099 kg (4626 lbm) for a sortie mission, with payload impacts varying with the amount of launch propulsion residual propellants. Missions without liquid propellant scavenging were estimated to have payload penalties, however, operational benefits were still possible.

  3. Advanced APS Impacts on Vehicle Payloads

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schneider, Steven J.; Reed, Brian D.

    1989-01-01

    Advanced auxiliary propulsion system (APS) technology has the potential to both, increase the payload capability of earth-to-orbit (ETO) vehicles by reducing APS propellant mass, and simplify ground operations and logistics by reducing the number of fluids on the vehicle and eliminating toxic, corrosive propellants. The impact of integrated cryogenic APS on vehicle payloads is addressed. In this system, launch propulsion system residuals are scavenged from integral launch propulsion tanks for use in the APS. Sufficient propellant is preloaded into the APS to return to earth with margin and noncomplete scavenging assumed. No propellant conditioning is required by the APS, but ambient heat soak is accommodated. High temperature rocket materials enable the use of the unconditioned hydrogen/oxygen in the APS and are estimated to give APS rockets specific impulse of up to about 444 sec. The payload benefits are quantified and compared with an uprated monomethyl hydrazine/nitrogen tetroxide system in a conservative fashion, by assuming a 25.5 percent weight growth for the hydrogen/oxygen system and a 0 percent weight growth for the uprated system. The combination and scavenging and high performance gives payload impacts which are highly mission specific. A payload benefit of 861 kg (1898 lbm) was estimated for a Space Station Freedom rendezvous mission and 2099 kg (4626 lbm) for a sortie mission, with payload impacts varying with the amount of launch propulsion residual propellants. Missions without liquid propellant scavenging were estimated to have payload penalties, however, operational benefits were still possible.

  4. Advanced APS impacts on vehicle payloads

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schneider, Steven J.; Reed, Brian D.

    1989-01-01

    Advanced auxiliary propulsion system (APS) technology has the potential to both, increase the payload capability of earth-to-orbit (ETO) vehicles by reducing APS propellant mass, and simplify ground operations and logistics by reducing the number of fluids on the vehicle and eliminating toxic, corrosive propellants. The impact of integrated cryogenic APS on vehicle payloads is addressed. In this system, launch propulsion system residuals are scavenged from integral launch propulsion tanks for use in the APS. Sufficient propellant is preloaded into the APS to return to earth with margin and noncomplete scavenging assumed. No propellant conditioning is required by the APS, but ambient heat soak is accommodated. High temperature rocket materials enable the use of the unconditioned hydrogen/oxygen in the APS and are estimated to give APS rockets specific impulse of up to about 444 sec. The payload benefits are quantified and compared with an uprated monomethylhydrazine/nitrogen tetroxide system in a conservative fashion, by assuming a 25.5 percent weight growth for the hydrogen/oxygen system and a 0 percent weight growth for the uprated system. The combination of scavenging and high performance gives payload impacts which are highly mission specific. A payload benefit of 861 kg (1898 lbm) was estimated for a Space Station Freedom rendezvous mission and 2099 kg (4626 lbm) for a sortie mission, with payload impacts varying with the amount of launch propulsion residual propellants. Missions without liquid propellant scavenging were estimated to have payload penalties, however, operational benefits were still possible.

  5. Research and development of advanced nickel-iron batteries for electric vehicle propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    The purpose of this program was to develop and demonstrate an advanced nickel-iron battery suitable for use in electric vehicles. During the course of this contract various steps were taken to improve nickel-iron battery performance while reducing cost. Improvement of the nickel electrode through slurry formulations and substrate changes, as seen with the fiber electrode, were investigated. Processing parameters for impregnation and formation were also manipulated to improve efficiency. Impregnation saw the change of anode type from platinized titanium to the consumable nickel anode. Formation changes were also made allowing for doubled processing capabilities of positive electrodes, a savings in both time and money. A final design change involved the evolution of the NIF-200 from the NIF-220. This change permitted the use of 1.2 mm iron electrodes and maintained the necessary performance characteristics for electric vehicle propulsion. Emphasis on a pilot plant became the main focus during the late 1989 - 90 period. The pilot plant facility would be a culmination of the program providing the best product at the lowest price.

  6. Collector temperature effects on the performance of advanced thermionic converters and nuclear electric propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dick, R. S.; Mcvey, J.; Britt, E. J.; Fitzpatrick, G. O.

    1980-01-01

    The specific weight of a thermionic nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) system depends on the collector temperature because of changes in power density, efficiency and the temperature of heat rejection. Increasing the collector temperature above the value for maximum converter performance decreases both the efficiency and the power density of the converters, but the specific weight of the total system is decreased because of the reduction in radiator weight due to the increased heat rejection temperature. The effect of collector temperature on the performance of thermionic converters was investigated. The behavior of conventional ignited mode converters as well as advanced converters with lower collector work functions; the specific mass of an 'uninsulated' NEP system design was then evaluated as a function of collector temperature. The uninsulated design uses the electrical resistance of the heat pipes between the converters and the reactor to provide electrical insolation, eliminating the need for ceramic insulators at emitter temperature and providing other design advantages. The results indicate that an optimum collector temperature, which minimizes system weight, exists at a temperature above the optimum temperature for converter performance.

  7. Advances in SiC/SiC Composites for Aero-Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DiCarlo, James A.

    2013-01-01

    In the last decade, considerable progress has been made in the development and application of ceramic matrix composites consisting of silicon carbide (SiC) based matrices reinforced by small-diameter continuous-length SiC-based fibers. For example, these SiC/SiC composites are now in the early stages of implementation into hot-section components of civil aero-propulsion gas turbine engines, where in comparison to current metallic components they offer multiple advantages due to their lighter weight and higher temperature structural capability. For current production-ready SiC/SiC, this temperature capability for long time structural applications is 1250 degC, which is better than 1100 degC for the best metallic superalloys. Foreseeing that even higher structural reliability and temperature capability would continue to increase the advantages of SiC/SiC composites, progress in recent years has also been made at NASA toward improving the properties of SiC/SiC composites by optimizing the various constituent materials and geometries within composite microstructures. The primary objective of this chapter is to detail this latter progress, both fundamentally and practically, with particular emphasis on recent advancements in the materials and processes for the fiber, fiber coating, fiber architecture, and matrix, and in the design methods for incorporating these constituents into SiC/SiC microstructures with improved thermo-structural performance.

  8. 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.

  9. An advanced arrangement of the combined propulsion, levitation and guidance system of superconducting Maglev

    SciTech Connect

    Fujie, Junji

    1999-09-01

    The PLG (combined Propulsion, Levitation and Guidance) method was proposed for a more favorable Maglev ground coil system, combining the functions of propulsion, levitation, and guidance of the vehicle into one coil. Research and development is currently being conducted on this method. In this paper, the characteristics of a newly-structured system for the PLG method is examined. The discussed characteristics include propulsion, levitation-guidance, vehicle dynamics in the cases of problems with the superconducting magnets, and the magnetic field on board the vehicle.

  10. Advanced Aero-Propulsive Mid-Lift-to-Drag Ratio Entry Vehicle for Future Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Campbell, C. H.; Stosaric, R. R; Cerimele, C. J.; Wong, K. A.; Valle, G. D.; Garcia, J. A.; Melton, J. E.; Munk, M. M.; Blades, E.; Kuruvila, G.; Picetti, D. J.; Hassan, B.; Kniskern, M. W.

    2012-01-01

    vehicle stage return, thus making ideas reality. These paradigm shifts include the technology maturation of advanced flexible thermal protection materials onto mid lift-to-drag ratio entry vehicles, the development of integrated supersonic aero-propulsive maneuvering, and the implementation of advanced asymmetric launch shrouds. These paradigms have significant overlap with launch vehicle stage return already being developed by the Air Force and several commercial space efforts. Completing the realization of these combined paradigms holds the key to a high-performing entry vehicle system capability that fully leverages multiple technology benefits to accomplish NASA's Exploration missions to atmospheric planetary destinations.

  11. Measurements of Forward Flight Effects on the Advanced Ducted Propulsion Demonstrator Engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Horne, W. C.; Soderman, P. T.; Larkin, M.; Bock, L.; Olson, Lawrence (Technical Monitor)

    1994-01-01

    The performance of the Pratt & Whitney Advanced Ducted Propulsion (ADP) UHB concept has been recently evaluated with studies of a 17 in. diameter fan simulator. Following the model scale tests, a 118 in. diameter demonstrator was tested at the NASA Ames 40- by 80-Foot Wind Tunnel. The 18 blade fan was driven by the low compressor shaft of a PW2037 core through a reduction gear system fabricated by Fiat with approximately 1:3.7 reduction ratio. ne variable pitch fan was hydraulically actuated with settings for take-off, cruise, feather, and reverse thrust. The low-pressure turbine was built by MTU to provide higher shaft power in comparison with the standard PW2037. The demonstrator was provided with 45 vanes located 2.6 fan chords downstream of the rotor, and 10 case struts approximately 1 fan chord downstream of the vanes. The inlet, mid-duct, and exhaust linings were acoustically treated. Acoustic surveys were taken in the for-ward thrust mode for fan speeds of 898, 1120, 1205, and 1302 R.P.M., and at tunnel speeds of 25, 50, 100, and 140 kts. The lowest speed was achieved with the wind tunnel fans at flat pitch, but with the engine pumping the test section Microphone signals were recorded for 30 seconds at 5 deg. increments. These measurements will be used to assess the effects of forward speed on UHB engines, to compare these effects with the corresponding characteristics of conventional bypass ratio engines, and to discuss the various aspects of testing large engines in the wind tunnel.

  12. Initial test results of 40,000 horsepower fan drive gear system for advanced ducted propulsion systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCune, M. E.

    1993-06-01

    Analytical and model testing during the past several years by industry and NASA have shown projections for further improvements in the next generation of turbofan engines: the advanced ducted propulsion (ADP) system. The ADP offers the fundamental propulsive benefit of high bypass ratio resulting in significant reduction in fuel consumption and noise. One of the key enabling technologies for the ADP is the fan drive gear system (FDGS). After describing the FDGS configuration, the specific technical goals for a back-to-back rig test program are identified and results are presented from the 40,000 horsepower FDGS test program, which demonstrated operation with over 41,000 horsepower, efficiency in excess of the 99.3 percent goal, and successful completion of endurance testing.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1993-11-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Lee W.; Bagdigian, Deborah R.

    1989-01-01

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

  17. Advanced Supersonic Technology Study: Engine Program Summary. Supersonic Propulsion: 1971 to 1976

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krebs, J. N.

    1976-01-01

    Sustained supersonic cruise propulsion systems for military applications are studied. The J79-5 in the Mach 2 B-58; YJ93 in the Mach 3.0 B-70 and the current F101 in the B-1, are all examples of military propulsion systems and airplanes operated at sustained supersonic cruise speeds. The Mach 2.7 B2707 transport powered by GE4 turbojet engines was the only non-military, sustained supersonic cruise vehicle intended for commercial passenger service.

  18. Note: An advanced in situ diagnostic system for characterization of electric propulsion thrusters and ion beam sources.

    PubMed

    Bundesmann, C; Tartz, M; Scholze, F; Leiter, H J; Scortecci, F; Gnizdor, R Y; Neumann, H

    2010-04-01

    We present an advanced diagnostic system for in situ characterization of electric propulsion thrusters and ion beam sources. The system uses a high-precision five-axis positioning system with a modular setup and the following diagnostic tools: a telemicroscopy head for optical imaging, a triangular laser head for surface profile scanning, a pyrometer for temperature scanning, a Faraday probe for current density mapping, and an energy-selective mass spectrometer for beam characterization (energy and mass distribution, composition). The capabilities of our diagnostic system are demonstrated with a Hall effect thruster SPT-100D EM1. PMID:20441379

  19. NASA/HAA Advanced Rotorcraft Technology and Tilt Rotor Workshop. Volume 5: Propulsion Session

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    The expressed needs and priorities of the civil helicopter users, the existing research efforts, and technology requirements as perceived by leading airframe and engine manufacturers were addressed, compared, and evaluated. Specifically, the observations and conclusions of these areas as they relate to the helicopter propulsion system are reported.

  20. 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.

  1. Development of sensors for ceramic components in advanced propulsion systems: Survey and evaluation of measurement techniques for temperature, strain and heat flux for ceramic components in advanced propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Atkinson, W. H.; Cyr, M. A.; Strange, R. R.

    1988-01-01

    The report presents the final results of Tasks 1 and 2, Development of Sensors for Ceramic Components in Advanced Propulsion Systems (NASA program NAS3-25141). During Task 1, an extensive survey was conducted of sensor concepts which have the potential for measuring surface temperature, strain and heat flux on ceramic components for advanced propulsion systems. Each sensor concept was analyzed and evaluated under Task 2; sensor concepts were then recommended for further development. For temperature measurement, both pyrometry and thermographic phosphors are recommended for measurements up to and beyond the melting point of ceramic materials. For lower temperature test programs, the thin-film techniques offer advantages in the installation of temperature sensors. Optical strain measurement techniques are recommended because they offer the possibility of being useful at very high temperature levels. Techniques for the measurement of heat flux are recommended for development based on both a surface mounted sensor and the measurement of the temperature differential across a portion of a ceramic component or metallic substrate.

  2. Rocket-Based Combined-Cycle Propulsion Technology for Access-to-Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hueter, Uwe

    1999-01-01

    NASA's Office of Aero-Space Technology (OAST) established three major goals, referred to as, "The Three Pillars for Success". The Advanced Space Transportation Program Office (ASTP) at the NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Ala. focuses on future space transportation technologies under the "Access to Space" pillar. One of the main activities over the past three years has been on advancing the hydrogen fueled rocket-based combined cycle (RBCC) technologies. The RBCC effort that was completed early this year was the initial step leading to flight demonstrations of the technology for space launch vehicle propulsion. Aerojet and Boeing-Rocketdyne designed, built and ground tested their RBCC engine concepts. In addition, ASTROX, Georgia Institute of Technology, McKinney Associates, Pennsylvania State University (PSU), and University of Alabama in Huntsville conducted supporting activities. The RBCC activity included ground testing of components (e.g., injectors, thrusters, ejectors and inlets) and integrated flowpaths. Inlet testing was performed at the Lewis Research Center's 1 x 1 wind tunnel. All direct connect and free-jet engine testing were conducted at the GASL facilities on Long Island, New York. Testing spanned the Mach range from sea level static to Mach 8. Testing of the rocket-only mode, simulating the final phase of the ascent mission profile, was also performed. The originally planned work on these contracts was completed in 1999. Follow-on activities have been initiated for both hydrogen and hydrocarbon fueled RBCC concepts. Studies to better understand system level issues with the integration of RBCC propulsion with earth-to-orbit vehicles have also been conducted. This paper describes the status, progress and future plans of the RBCC activities funded by NASA/MSFC with a major focus on the benefits of utilizing air-breathing combined-cycle propulsion in access-to-space applications.

  3. “You can get there from here”: Advanced low cost propulsion concepts for small satellites beyond LEO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, Adam M.; da Silva Curiel, Alex; Schaffner, Jake; Sweeting, Martin

    2005-07-01

    microsatellite from a typical 700 km sun-synchronous orbit to a lower or higher orbit using a low cost 40 N thrust concentrated hydrogen peroxide/kerosene bipropellant engine. A spin stabilized 'tug' concept capable of providing between 130 and 300 m/s of deltaV to the payload is described. Transfer of an enhanced microsatellite from LEO to lunar orbit using a novel, storable propellant solar thermal propulsion system under development at the Surrey Space Centre. The solar thermal propulsion unit is designed for low cost small satellite support and will be compared with a more traditional approach using and industry standard storable bipropellant chemical engine. Nanosatellite manoeuvring for formation flying using advanced low power electric propulsion. A colloid thruster system concept is planned for development jointly between SSTL, Queen Mary University London and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK. The colloid thruster system is designed to complement an existing butane resistojet to give full 3-axis manoeuvrability to an upgraded SNAP nanosatellite platform which could be reflown in 2007 alongside ESA's Proba 2 technology demonstrator microsatellite. A comparison between low power resistojets, a colloid thruster system, and pulsed plasma thrusters for orbit manoeuvring of microsatellites will be made. This paper's final section will briefly describe some of the interplanetary missions which have been considered at the Surrey Space Centre, and will highlight the few as yet practical solutions for sending small spacecraft on high deltaV missions without the use of a costly upper stage.

  4. Advancement of a 30K W Solar Electric Propulsion System Capability for NASA Human and Robotic Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Bryan K.; Nazario, Margaret L.; Manzella, David H.

    2012-01-01

    Solar Electric Propulsion has evolved into a demonstrated operational capability performing station keeping for geosynchronous satellites, enabling challenging deep-space science missions, and assisting in the transfer of satellites from an elliptical orbit Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO) to a Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO). Advancing higher power SEP systems will enable numerous future applications for human, robotic, and commercial missions. These missions are enabled by either the increased performance of the SEP system or by the cost reductions when compared to conventional chemical propulsion systems. Higher power SEP systems that provide very high payload for robotic missions also trade favorably for the advancement of human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. Demonstrated reliable systems are required for human space flight and due to their successful present day widespread use and inherent high reliability, SEP systems have progressively become a viable entrant into these future human exploration architectures. NASA studies have identified a 30 kW-class SEP capability as the next appropriate evolutionary step, applicable to wide range of both human and robotic missions. This paper describes the planning options, mission applications, and technology investments for representative 30kW-class SEP mission concepts under consideration by NASA

  5. Use of advanced particle methods in modeling space propulsion and its supersonic expansions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borner, Arnaud

    This research discusses the use of advanced kinetic particle methods such as Molecular Dynamics (MD) and direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) to model space propulsion systems such as electrospray thrusters and their supersonic expansions. MD simulations are performed to model an electrospray thruster for the ionic liquid (IL) EMIM--BF4 using coarse-grained (CG) potentials. The model is initially featuring a constant electric field applied in the longitudinal direction. Two coarse-grained potentials are compared, and the effective-force CG (EFCG) potential is found to predict the formation of the Taylor cone, the cone-jet, and other extrusion modes for similar electric fields and mass flow rates observed in experiments of a IL fed capillary-tip-extractor system better than the simple CG potential. Later, one-dimensional and fully transient three-dimensional electric fields, the latter solving Poisson's equation to take into account the electric field due to space charge at each timestep, are computed by coupling the MD model to a Poisson solver. It is found that the inhomogeneous electric field as well as that of the IL space-charge improve agreement between modeling and experiment. The boundary conditions (BCs) are found to have a substantial impact on the potential and electric field, and the tip BC is introduced and compared to the two previous BCs, named plate and needle, showing good improvement by reducing unrealistically high radial electric fields generated in the vicinity of the capillary tip. The influence of the different boundary condition models on charged species currents as a function of the mass flow rate is studied, and it is found that a constant electric field model gives similar agreement to the more rigorous and computationally expensive tip boundary condition at lower flow rates. However, at higher mass flow rates the MD simulations with the constant electric field produces extruded particles with higher Coulomb energy per ion, consistent with

  6. Advanced ceramic matrix composite materials for current and future propulsion technology applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, S.; Beyer, S.; Knabe, H.; Immich, H.; Meistring, R.; Gessler, A.

    2004-08-01

    Current rocket engines, due to their method of construction, the materials used and the extreme loads to which they are subjected, feature a limited number of load cycles. Various technology programmes in Europe are concerned, besides developing reliable and rugged, low cost, throwaway equipment, with preparing for future reusable propulsion technologies. One of the key roles for realizing reusable engine components is the use of modern and innovative materials. One of the key technologies which concern various engine manufacturers worldwide is the development of fibre-reinforced ceramics—ceramic matrix composites. The advantages for the developers are obvious—the low specific weight, the high specific strength over a large temperature range, and their great damage tolerance compared to monolithic ceramics make this material class extremely interesting as a construction material. Over the past years, the Astrium company (formerly DASA) has, together with various partners, worked intensively on developing components for hypersonic engines and liquid rocket propulsion systems. In the year 2000, various hot-firing tests with subscale (scale 1:5) and full-scale nozzle extensions were conducted. In this year, a further decisive milestone was achieved in the sector of small thrusters, and long-term tests served to demonstrate the extraordinary stability of the C/SiC material. Besides developing and testing radiation-cooled nozzle components and small-thruster combustion chambers, Astrium worked on the preliminary development of actively cooled structures for future reusable propulsion systems. In order to get one step nearer to this objective, the development of a new fibre composite was commenced within the framework of a regionally sponsored programme. The objective here is to create multidirectional (3D) textile structures combined with a cost-effective infiltration process. Besides material and process development, the project also encompasses the development of

  7. 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.

  8. Advances in series resonant inverter technology and its effect on spacecraft employing electric propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robson, R. R.

    1982-01-01

    The efficiency of transistorized Series Resonant Inverters (SRIs), which is higher than that of silicon-controlled rectifier alternatives, reduces spacecraft radiator requirements by 40% and may eliminate the need for heat pipes on 30-cm ion thruster systems. Recently developed 10- and 25-kW inverters have potential applications in gas thrusters, and represent the first spaceborne SRI designs for such power levels. Attention is given to the design and control system approaches employed in these inverter designs to improve efficiency and reduce weight, along with the impact of such improved parameters on electric propulsion systems.

  9. Probabilistic structural analysis methodology and applications to advanced space propulsion system components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cruse, T. A.; Rajagopal, K. R.; Dias, J. B.

    1990-01-01

    The goal of the reported work is to develop and apply new technology that will enable the designer to efficiently and accurately account for each of the design sources of uncertainty as it might affect structural reliability and risk assessment. The paper discusses the development of the Numerical Evaluation of Stochastic Structures Under Stress (NESSUS) finite element code and its supporting reliability algorithms. The NESSUS code and the elements of the solution strategy are outlined and applications are made to several propulsion system components.

  10. Recent Advances in LOX / LH2 Propulsion System for Reusable Vehicle Testing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tokudome, Shinichiro; Naruo, Yoshihiro; Yagishita, Tsuyoshi; Nonaka, Satoshi; Shida, Maki; Mori, Hatsuo; Nakamura, Takeshi

    The third-generation vehicle RVT#3 equipped with a pressure-fed engine, which had upgraded in terms of durability enhancement and a LH2 tank of composite material, successfully performed in repeated flight operation tests; and the vehicle reached its maximum flying altitude of 42m in October 2003. The next step for demonstrating entire sequence of full-scale operation is to put a turbopump-fed system into propulsion system. From a result of primary system analysis, we decided to build an expander-cycle engine by diverting a pair of turbopumps, which had built for another research program, to the present study. A combustion chamber with long cylindrical portion adapted to the engine cycle was also newly made. Two captive firing tests have been conducted with two different thrust control methods, following the component tests of combustor and turbopumps separately conducted. A considerable technical issues recognized in the tests were the robustness enhancement of shaft seal design, the adjustment of shaft stiffness, and start-up operation adapted to the specific engine system. Experimental study of GOX/GH2 RCS thrusters have also been started as a part of a conceptual study of the integration of the propulsion system associated with simplification and reliability improvement of the vehicle system.

  11. 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.

  12. Space Power Architectures for NASA Missions: The Applicability and Benefits of Advanced Power and Electric Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoffman, David J.

    2001-01-01

    The relative importance of electrical power systems as compared with other spacecraft bus systems is examined. The quantified benefits of advanced space power architectures for NASA Earth Science, Space Science, and Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) missions is then presented. Advanced space power technologies highlighted include high specific power solar arrays, regenerative fuel cells, Stirling radioisotope power sources, flywheel energy storage and attitude control, lithium ion polymer energy storage and advanced power management and distribution.

  13. Liquid Rocket Propulsion Technology: An evaluation of NASA's program. [for space transportation systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    The liquid rocket propulsion technology needs to support anticipated future space vehicles were examined including any special action needs to be taken to assure that an industrial base in substained. Propulsion system requirements of Earth-to-orbit vehicles, orbital transfer vehicles, and planetary missions were evaluated. Areas of the fundamental technology program undertaking these needs discussed include: pumps and pump drives; combustion heat transfer; nozzle aerodynamics; low gravity cryogenic fluid management; and component and system life reliability, and maintenance. The primary conclusion is that continued development of the shuttle main engine system to achieve design performance and life should be the highest priority in the rocket engine program.

  14. Space Shuttle Propulsion Finishing Strong

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Owen, James W.; Singer, Jody

    2011-01-01

    Numerous lessons have been documented from the Space Shuttle Propulsion elements. Major events include loss of the SRB's on STS-4 and shutdown of an SSME during ascent on STS- 51F. On STS-112 only half the pyrotechnics fired to release the vehicle from the launch pad, a testament for redundancy. STS-91 exhibited freezing of a main combustion chamber pressure measurement and on STS-93 nozzle tube ruptures necessitated a low liquid level oxygen cut off of the main engines. A number of on pad aborts were experienced during the early program resulting in delays. And the two accidents, STS-51L and STS-107, had unique heritage in history from early Program decisions and vehicle configuration. Following STS-51L significant resources were invested in developing fundamental physical understanding of solid rocket motor environments and material system behavior. Human rating of solid rocket motors was truly achieved. And following STS-107, the risk of ascent debris was better characterized and controlled. Situational awareness during all mission phases improved, and the management team instituted effective risk assessment practices. These major events and lessons for the future are discussed. The last 22 flights of the Space Shuttle, following the Columbia accident, were characterized by remarkable improvement in safety and reliability. Numerous problems were solved in addition to reduction of the ascent debris hazard. The propulsion system elements evolved to high reliability and heavy lift capability. The Shuttle system, though not a operable as envisioned in the 1970's, successfully assembled the International Space Station (ISS) and provided significant logistics and down mass for ISS operations. By the end of the Program, the remarkable Space Shuttle Propulsion system achieved very high performance, was largely reusable, exhibited high reliability, and is a heavy lift earth to orbit propulsion system. The story of this amazing system is discussed in detail in the paper.

  15. Study of Advanced Propulsion Systems for Small Transport Aircraft Technology (STAT) Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baerst, C. F.; Heldenbrand, R. W.; Rowse, J. H.

    1981-01-01

    Definitions of takeoff gross weight, performance, and direct operating cost for both a 30 and 50 passenger airplane were established. The results indicate that a potential direct operating cost benefit, resulting from advanced technologies, of approximately 20 percent would be achieved for the 1990 engines. Of the numerous design features that were evaluated, only maintenance-related items contributed to a significant decrease in direct operating cost. Recommendations are made to continue research and technology programs for advanced component and engine development.

  16. Advanced propulsion for LEO-Moon transport. 3: Transportation model. M.S. Thesis - California Univ.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Henley, Mark W.

    1992-01-01

    A simplified computational model of low Earth orbit-Moon transportation system has been developed to provide insight into the benefits of new transportation technologies. A reference transportation infrastructure, based upon near-term technology developments, is used as a departure point for assessing other, more advanced alternatives. Comparison of the benefits of technology application, measured in terms of a mass payback ratio, suggests that several of the advanced technology alternatives could substantially improve the efficiency of low Earth orbit-Moon transportation.

  17. Evaluation of High-Power Solar Electric Propulsion using Advanced Ion, Hall, MPD, and PIT Thrusters for Lunar and Mars Cargo Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frisbee, Robert H.

    2006-01-01

    This paper presents the results of mission analyses that expose the advantages and disadvantages of high-power (MWe-class) Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) for Lunar and Mars Cargo missions that would support human exploration of the Moon and Mars. In these analyses, we consider SEP systems using advanced Ion thrusters (the Xenon [Xe] propellant Herakles), Hall thrusters (the Bismuth [Bi] propellant Very High Isp Thruster with Anode Layer [VHITAL], magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters (the Lithium [Li] propellant Advanced Lithium-Fed, Applied-field Lorentz Force Accelerator (ALFA2), and pulsed inductive thruster (PIT) (the Ammonia [NH3] propellant Nuclear-PIT [NuPIT]). The analyses include comparison of the advanced-technology propulsion systems (VHITAL, ALFA2, and NuPIT) relative to state-of-theart Ion (Herakles) propulsion systems and quantify the unique benefits of the various technology options such as high power-per-thruster (and/or high power-per-thruster packaging volume), high specific impulse (Isp), high-efficiency, and tankage mass (e.g., low tankage mass due to the high density of bismuth propellant). This work is based on similar analyses for Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) systems.

  18. 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.

  19. Advanced Launch Vehicle Upper Stages Using Liquid Propulsion and Metallized Propellants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palaszewski, Bryan A.

    1990-01-01

    Metallized propellants are liquid propellants with a metal additive suspended in a gelled fuel or oxidizer. Typically, aluminum (Al) particles are the metal additive. These propellants provide increase in the density and/or the specific impulse of the propulsion system. Using metallized propellant for volume-and mass-constrained upper stages can deliver modest increases in performance for low earth orbit to geosynchronous earth orbit (LEO-GEO) and other earth orbital transfer missions. Metallized propellants, however, can enable very fast planetary missions with a single-stage upper stage system. Trade studies comparing metallized propellant stage performance with non-metallized upper stages and the Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) are presented. These upper stages are both one- and two-stage vehicles that provide the added energy to send payloads to altitudes and onto trajectories that are unattainable with only the launch vehicle. The stage designs are controlled by the volume and the mass constraints of the Space Transportation System (STS) and Space Transportation System-Cargo (STS-C) launch vehicles. The influences of the density and specific impulse increases enabled by metallized propellants are examined for a variety of different stage and propellant combinations.

  20. Advanced electric propulsion system concept for electric vehicles. Addendum 1: Voltage considerations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raynard, A. E.; Forbes, F. E.

    1980-01-01

    The two electric vehicle propulsion systems that best met cost and performance goals were examined to assess the effect of battery pack voltage on system performance and cost. A voltage range of 54 to 540 V was considered for a typical battery pack capacity of 24 k W-hr. The highest battery specific energy (W-hr/kg) and the lowest cost ($/kW-hr) were obtained at the minimum voltage level. The flywheel system traction motor is a dc, mechanically commutated with shunt field control, and due to the flywheel the traction motor and the battery are not subject to extreme peaks of power demand. The basic system uses a permanent-magnet motor with electronic commutation supplied by an ac power control unit. In both systems battery cost were the major factor in system voltage selection, and a battery pack with the minimum voltage of 54 V produced the lowest life-cycle cost. The minimum life-cycle cost for the basic system with lead-acid batteries was $0.057/km and for the flywheel system was $0.037/km.

  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. Fabrication and Testing of Ceramic Matrix Composite Rocket Propulsion Components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Effinger, Michael; Clinton, R. G., Jr.; Dennis, Jay; Elam, Sandy; Genge, Gary; Eckel, Andy; Jaskowiak, Matha; Kiser, J. Doug; Lang, Jerry

    1999-01-01

    lot less costly Earth-to-Orbit full-scale propulsion system by 2005.

  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. 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.

  5. Recent Advances in Hydrogen Peroxide Propulsion Test Capability at NASA's Stennis Space Center E-Complex

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jacks, Thomas E.; Beisler, Michele

    2003-01-01

    In recent years, the rocket propulsion test capability at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center's (SSC) E-Complex has been enhanced to include facilitization for hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) based ground testing. In particular, the E-3 test stand has conducted numerous test projects that have been reported in the open literature. These include combustion devices as simple as small-scale catalyst beds, and larger devices such as ablative thrust chambers and a flight-type engine (AR2-3). Consequently, the NASA SSC test engineering and operations knowledge base and infrastructure have grown considerably in order to conduct safe H2O2 test operations with a variety of test articles at the component and engine level. Currently, the E-Complex has a test requirement for a hydrogen peroxide based stage test. This new development, with its unique set of requirements, has motivated the facilitization for hydrogen peroxide propellant use at the E-2 Cell 2 test position in addition to E-3. Since the E-2 Cell 2 test position was not originally designed as a hydrogen peroxide test stand, a facility modernization-improvement project was planned and implemented in FY 2002-03 to enable this vertical engine test stand to accomodate H2O2. This paper discusses the ongoing enhancement of E-Complex ground test capability, specifically at the E-3 stand (Cell 1 and Cell 2) and E-2 Cell 2 stand, that enable current and future customers considerable test flexibility and operability in conducting their peroxide based rocket R&D efforts.

  6. Advanced Optical Diagnostics for Ice Crystal Cloud Measurements in the NASA Glenn Propulsion Systems Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bencic, Timothy J.; Fagan, Amy; Van Zante, Judith F.; Kirkegaard, Jonathan P.; Rohler, David P.; Maniyedath, Arjun; Izen, Steven H.

    2013-01-01

    A light extinction tomography technique has been developed to monitor ice water clouds upstream of a direct connected engine in the Propulsion Systems Laboratory (PSL) at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). The system consists of 60 laser diodes with sheet generating optics and 120 detectors mounted around a 36-inch diameter ring. The sources are pulsed sequentially while the detectors acquire line-of-sight extinction data for each laser pulse. Using computed tomography algorithms, the extinction data are analyzed to produce a plot of the relative water content in the measurement plane. To target the low-spatial-frequency nature of ice water clouds, unique tomography algorithms were developed using filtered back-projection methods and direct inversion methods that use Gaussian basis functions. With the availability of a priori knowledge of the mean droplet size and the total water content at some point in the measurement plane, the tomography system can provide near real-time in-situ quantitative full-field total water content data at a measurement plane approximately 5 feet upstream of the engine inlet. Results from ice crystal clouds in the PSL are presented. In addition to the optical tomography technique, laser sheet imaging has also been applied in the PSL to provide planar ice cloud uniformity and relative water content data during facility calibration before the tomography system was available and also as validation data for the tomography system. A comparison between the laser sheet system and light extinction tomography resulting data are also presented. Very good agreement of imaged intensity and water content is demonstrated for both techniques. Also, comparative studies between the two techniques show excellent agreement in calculation of bulk total water content averaged over the center of the pipe.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Advanced technology payoffs for future rotorcraft, commuter aircraft, cruise missile, and APU propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Turk, M. A.; Zeiner, P. K.

    1986-01-01

    In connection with the significant advances made regarding the performance of larger gas turbines, challenges arise concerning the improvement of small gas turbine engines in the 250 to 1000 horsepower range. In response to these challenges, the NASA/Army-sponsored Small Engine Component Technology (SECT) study was undertaken with the objective to identify the engine cycle, configuration, and component technology requirements for the substantial performance improvements desired in year-2000 small gas turbine engines. In the context of this objective, an American turbine engine company evaluated engines for four year-2000 applications, including a rotorcraft, a commuter aircraft, a supersonic cruise missile, and an auxiliary power unit (APU). Attention is given to reference missions, reference engines, reference aircraft, year-2000 technology projections, cycle studies, advanced engine selections, and a technology evaluation.

  10. Development of Predictive Models of Advanced Propulsion Concepts for Low Cost Space Transportation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morrell, Michael Randy

    2002-01-01

    This final report presents the Graduate Student Research Program (GSRP) work Mr. Morrell was able to complete as a summer intern at NASA MSFS during the summer of 2001, and represents work completed from inception through project termination. The topics include: 1) NASA TD40 Organization; 2) Combustion Physics Lab; 3) Advanced Hydrocarbon Fuels; 4) GSRP Summer Tasks; 5) High Pressure Facility Installation; 6) High Pressure Combustion Issues; 7) High Energy Density Matter (HEDM) Hydrocarbons; and 8) GSRP Summer Intern Summary.

  11. 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.

  12. Investigation of advanced thrust vectoring exhaust systems for high speed propulsive lift

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hutchison, R. A.; Petit, J. E.; Capone, F. J.; Whittaker, R. W.

    1980-01-01

    The paper presents the results of a wind tunnel investigation conducted at the NASA-Langley research center to determine thrust vectoring/induced lift characteristics of advanced exhaust nozzle concepts installed on a supersonic tactical airplane model. Specific test objectives include: (1) basic aerodynamics of a wing body configuration, (2) investigation of induced lift effects, (3) evaluation of static and forward speed performance, and (4) the effectiveness of a canard surface to trim thrust vectoring/induced lift forces and moments.

  13. 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.

  14. Advanced Computing Technologies for Rocket Engine Propulsion Systems: Object-Oriented Design with C++

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bekele, Gete

    2002-01-01

    This document explores the use of advanced computer technologies with an emphasis on object-oriented design to be applied in the development of software for a rocket engine to improve vehicle safety and reliability. The primary focus is on phase one of this project, the smart start sequence module. The objectives are: 1) To use current sound software engineering practices, object-orientation; 2) To improve on software development time, maintenance, execution and management; 3) To provide an alternate design choice for control, implementation, and performance.

  15. Hybrid nuclear light bulb-nuclear-pumped laser propulsion for advanced missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miley, G. H.

    1999-01-01

    A hybrid ``nuclear light bulb'' gaseous core reactor that can radiantly transfer energy to a propellant or alternately activate laser action is proposed for advanced space missions. The propellant mode would be employed in the phases of the mission requiring a higher thrust. However, for the bulk of the travel, the propellant would be turned off and the ultrahigh specific impulse laser mode of operation would be employed. The concept is reviewed, research and development issues are identified, and steps necessary for a feasibility demonstration are discussed.

  16. The Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Michael G.; Kim, Tony; Emrich, William J.; Hickman, Robert R.; Broadway, Jeramie W.; Gerrish, Harold P.; Doughty, Glen; Belvin, Anthony; Borowski, Stanley K.; Scott, John

    2014-01-01

    The fundamental capability of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is game changing for space exploration. A first generation Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (NCPS) based on NTP could provide high thrust at a specific impulse above 900 s, roughly double that of state of the art chemical engines. Characteristics of fission and NTP indicate that useful first generation systems will provide a foundation for future systems with extremely high performance. The role of the NCPS in the development of advanced nuclear propulsion systems could be analogous to the role of the DC-3 in the development of advanced aviation. Progress made under the NCPS project could help enable both advanced NTP and advanced Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP). Nuclear propulsion can be affordable and viable compared to other propulsion systems and must overcome a biased public fear due to hyper-environmentalism and a false perception of radiation and explosion risk.

  17. Processing of solid solution, mixed uranium/refractory metal carbides for advanced space nuclear power and propulsion systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knight, Travis Warren

    Nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) and space nuclear power are two enabling technologies for the manned exploration of space and the development of research outposts in space and on other planets such as Mars. Advanced carbide nuclear fuels have been proposed for application in space nuclear power and propulsion systems. This study examined the processing technologies and optimal parameters necessary to fabricate samples of single phase, solid solution, mixed uranium/refractory metal carbides. In particular, the pseudo-ternary carbide, UC-ZrC-NbC, system was examined with uranium metal mole fractions of 5% and 10% and corresponding uranium densities of 0.8 to 1.8 gU/cc. Efforts were directed to those methods that could produce simple geometry fuel elements or wafers such as those used to fabricate a Square Lattice Honeycomb (SLHC) fuel element and reactor core. Methods of cold uniaxial pressing, sintering by induction heating, and hot pressing by self-resistance heating were investigated. Solid solution, high density (low porosity) samples greater than 95% TD were processed by cold pressing at 150 MPa and sintering above 2600 K for times longer than 90 min. Some impurity oxide phases were noted in some samples attributed to residual gases in the furnace during processing. Also, some samples noted secondary phases of carbon and UC2 due to some hyperstoichiometric powder mixtures having carbon-to-metal ratios greater than one. In all, 33 mixed carbide samples were processed and analyzed with half bearing uranium as ternary carbides of UC-ZrC-NbC. Scanning electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, and density measurements were used to characterize samples. Samples were processed from powders of the refractory mono-carbides and UC/UC 2 or from powders of uranium hydride (UH3), graphite, and refractory metal carbides to produce hypostoichiometric mixed carbides. Samples processed from the constituent carbide powders and sintered at temperatures above the melting point of UC

  18. Research and development of advanced lead-acid batteries for electric vehicle propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrew, M. G.; Bowman, D. E.

    1987-04-01

    The purpose was to develop an advanced lead-acid battery based on the concept of forced flow of electrolyte through porous electrodes for enhanced battery performance. The objectives were: specific energy of 42 Wh/kg, energy density of 70 Wh/l, and cycle life of 100 cycles. Accomplishments were: 35 flow-through cells with reduced construction time, higher fiber content in the positive active materials (PAM) with increased strength by a factor of 3, high-density PAM for increased life without utilization losses, confirmation of solid-state relaxation theory, methods for measuring permeability, 31 cycles achieved in C-450, oxygen recombination in many test cells, electrolyte reservoir can be below the top of the cells, and completed designs for positive and negative flow-through grids and for the injection molds to produce the grid/plastic laminates.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Improved NASA-ANOPP Noise Prediction Computer Code for Advanced Subsonic Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kontos, K. B.; Janardan, B. A.; Gliebe, P. R.

    1996-01-01

    Recent experience using ANOPP to predict turbofan engine flyover noise suggests that it over-predicts overall EPNL by a significant amount. An improvement in this prediction method is desired for system optimization and assessment studies of advanced UHB engines. An assessment of the ANOPP fan inlet, fan exhaust, jet, combustor, and turbine noise prediction methods is made using static engine component noise data from the CF6-8OC2, E(3), and QCSEE turbofan engines. It is shown that the ANOPP prediction results are generally higher than the measured GE data, and that the inlet noise prediction method (Heidmann method) is the most significant source of this overprediction. Fan noise spectral comparisons show that improvements to the fan tone, broadband, and combination tone noise models are required to yield results that more closely simulate the GE data. Suggested changes that yield improved fan noise predictions but preserve the Heidmann model structure are identified and described. These changes are based on the sets of engine data mentioned, as well as some CFM56 engine data that was used to expand the combination tone noise database. It should be noted that the recommended changes are based on an analysis of engines that are limited to single stage fans with design tip relative Mach numbers greater than one.

  2. Advanced propulsion for LEO-Moon transport. 2: Tether configurations in the LEO-Moon system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arnold, J. R.; Thompson, W. B.

    1992-01-01

    This brief work discusses a possible application of a tether as a dynamical element in a low Earth orbit (LEO)-Moon transport system, and is a part of the Cal Space study of that transport system. To be specific, that study concentrated on the downward transport of O2 from the Moon to LEO, where it is stored for use as a rocket propellant, thus reducing Earth liftoff mass requirements by a factor of about 8. Moreover, in order to display clearly the role of advanced technology, only one novel technology was introduced at a single node in the transport system, the rest being 'conventional' rocket transport. Tethers were found useful in several different roles: hanging from platforms in lunar orbits, as supports for elevators, spinning in LEO, or spinning in a tether transport orbit, an elliptical orbit with perigee at approximately 600 km. This last use is considered here. Presented are the usefulness of the tether, nature of the tether system, the apparatus needed to support, deploy, and control it, and a discussion of needed developments.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. How to build an antimatter rocket for interstellar missions - systems level considerations in designing advanced propulsion technology vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frisbee, Robert H.

    2003-01-01

    This paper discusses the general mission requirements and system technologies that would be required to implement an antimatter propulsion system where a magnetic nozzle is used to direct charged particles to produce thrust.

  6. Highlights of NASA's Special ETO Program Planning Workshop on rocket-based combined-cycle propulsion system technologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Escher, W. J. D.

    1992-01-01

    A NASA workshop on rocket-based combined-cycle propulsion technologies is described emphasizing the development of a starting point for earth-to-orbit (ETO) rocket technologies. The tutorial is designed with attention given to the combined development of aeronautical airbreathing propulsion and space rocket propulsion. The format, agenda, and group deliberations for the tutorial are described, and group deliberations include: (1) mission and space transportation infrastructure; (2) vehicle-integrated propulsion systems; (3) development operations, facilities, and human resource needs; and (4) spaceflight fleet applications and operations. Although incomplete the workshop elevates the subject of combined-cycle hypersonic propulsion and develops a common set of priniciples regarding the development of these technologies.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  10. In-Space Propulsion for Science and Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bishop-Behel, Karen; Johnson, Les

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents viewgraphs on the development of In-Space Propulsion Technologies for Science and Exploration. The topics include: 1) In-Space Propulsion Technology Program Overview; 2) In-Space Propulsion Technology Project Status; 3) Solar Electric Propulsion; 4) Next Generation Electric Propulsion; 5) Aerocapture Technology Alternatives; 6) Aerocapture; 7) Advanced Thermal Protection Systems Developed and Being Tested; 8) Solar Sails; 9) Advanced Chemical Propulsion; 10) Momentum Exchange Tethers; and 11) Momentum-exchange/electrodynamic reboost (MXER) Tether Basic Operation.

  11. 1998 JANNAF Propulsion Meeting. Volume 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eggleston, Debra S. (Editor)

    1998-01-01

    This volume, the first of four volumes, is a collection of 40 unclassified/unlimited-distribution papers which were presented at the 1998 Joint Army-Navy-NASA-Air Force (JANNAF) Propulsion Meeting (JPM), held 15-17 July 1998 at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center and the Celebreeze Federal Building in Cleveland, Ohio. The 1998 JPM was co-located with the 1998 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Joint Propulsion Conference. Specific subjects discussed include reusable liquid boosters, controllable solid propulsion, advanced propellants for the 2.75' rocket system, air-turbo-rocket propulsion, issues in gun propulsion, electric propulsion, liquid engine turbomachinery, and new liquid propulsion technology.

  12. Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) propulsion technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ciepluch, C. C.; Abbott, J. M.; Moore, R. D.; Sellers, J. F.

    1979-01-01

    Propulsion problems and advanced technology requirements of VTOL aircraft are discussed. Specific topics covered include inlets with high angle of attack capability, rapid thrust modulation fans, and propulsion-system/aircraft-control integration.

  13. 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.

  14. Advanced electric propulsion research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilbur, Paul J.

    1988-01-01

    Results are presented which show that hollow cathodes can be operated on ammonia but that sustained operation in the high pressures where arcjet thrusters operate (of the order of 1000 Torr) is difficult to achieve. The concept of using contoured, fine wire meshes attached across the screen grid apertures in an ion thruster to effect control of the ion beam divergence is introduced. The concept is compared to conventional (free sheath) ion extraction and is shown to be potentially attractive. The performance related effects of changing the anode and cathode locations and of interchanging hollow cathode and refractory filament electron sources within an 8-cm diameter, argon, ring cusp ion thruster discharge chamber are examined. The effects induced in discharge chamber performance by changes in magnetic field strength and configuration and in propellant flow distribution are also measured. Results are presented in terms of changes in the parameters that describe the effectiveness of primary electron utilization and ion extraction into the beam. The apparatus and instrumentation used to study hollow cathode operation at high electron emission levels (of the order of 100 A) is described.

  15. 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.

  16. Electric Drive Dynamic Thermal System Model for Advanced Vehicle Propulsion Technologies: Cooperative Research and Development Final Report, CRADA Number CRD-09-360

    SciTech Connect

    Bennion, K.

    2013-10-01

    Electric drive systems, which include electric machines and power electronics, are a key enabling technology for advanced vehicle propulsion systems that reduce the dependence of the U.S. transportation sector on petroleum. However, to penetrate the market, these electric drive technologies must enable vehicle solutions that are economically viable. The push to make critical electric drivesystems smaller, lighter, and more cost-effective brings respective challenges associated with heat removal and system efficiency. In addition, the wide application of electric drive systems to alternative propulsion technologies ranging from integrated starter generators, to hybrid electric vehicles, to full electric vehicles presents challenges in terms of sizing critical components andthermal management systems over a range of in-use operating conditions. This effort focused on developing a modular modeling methodology to enable multi-scale and multi-physics simulation capabilities leading to generic electric drive system models applicable to alternative vehicle propulsion configurations. The primary benefit for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the abilityto define operating losses with the respective impact on component sizing, temperature, and thermal management at the component, subsystem, and system level. However, the flexible nature of the model also allows other uses related to evaluating the impacts of alternative component designs or control schemes depending on the interests of other parties.

  17. Results of the Workshop on Two-Phase Flow, Fluid Stability and Dynamics: Issues in Power, Propulsion, and Advanced Life Support Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McQuillen, John; Rame, Enrique; Kassemi, Mohammad; Singh, Bhim; Motil, Brian

    2003-01-01

    The Two-phase Flow, Fluid Stability and Dynamics Workshop was held on May 15, 2003 in Cleveland, Ohio to define a coherent scientific research plan and roadmap that addresses the multiphase fluid problems associated with NASA s technology development program. The workshop participants, from academia, industry and government, prioritized various multiphase issues and generated a research plan and roadmap to resolve them. This report presents a prioritization of the various multiphase flow and fluid stability phenomena related primarily to power, propulsion, fluid and thermal management and advanced life support; and a plan to address these issues in a logical and timely fashion using analysis, ground-based and space-flight experiments.

  18. Air-breathing aerospace plane development essential: Hypersonic propulsion flight tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mehta, Unmeel B.

    1994-01-01

    Hypersonic air-breathing propulsion utilizing scramjets can fundamentally change transatmospheric accelerators for low earth-to-orbit and return transportation. The value and limitations of ground tests, of flight tests, and of computations are presented, and scramjet development requirements are discussed. It is proposed that near full-scale hypersonic propulsion flight tests are essential for developing a prototype hypersonic propulsion system and for developing computational-design technology so that it can be used for designing this system. In order to determine how these objectives should be achieved, some lessons learned from past programs are presented. A conceptual two-stage-to-orbit (TSTO) prototype/experimental aerospace plane is recommended as a means of providing access-to-space and for conducting flight tests. A road map for achieving these objectives is also presented.

  19. NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, L.; Robinson, J.

    2004-11-01

    NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Program is investing in technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the robotic exploration of deep space. For robotic exploration and science missions, increased efficiencies of future propulsion systems are critical to reduce overall life-cycle costs and, in some cases, enable missions previously considered impossible. Continued reliance on conventional chemical propulsion alone will not enable the robust exploration of deep space - the maximum theoretical efficiencies have almost been reached and they are insufficient to meet needs for many ambitious science missions currently being considered. The In-Space Propulsion Technology Program's 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 sails, electrodynamic and momentum transfer tethers, aeroassist, and aerocapture. This paper will provide an overview of both propellantless and propellant-based advanced propulsion technologies, and NASA's plans for advancing them as part of the \\$60M per year In-Space Propulsion Technology Program. Solar sails and aerocapture are candidates for flight validation as early as 2008 in partnership with NASA's New Millennium Program.

  20. Progress in NASA Rotorcraft Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DellaCorte, Christopher; Johnson, Susan M.

    2008-01-01

    This presentation reviews recent progress made under NASA s Subsonic Rotary Wing (SRW) propulsion research activities. Advances in engines, drive systems and optimized propulsion systems are discussed. Progress in wide operability compressors, modeling of variable geometry turbine performance, foil gas bearings and multi-speed transmissions are presented.

  1. The NASA Electric Propulsion Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Byers, David C.; Wasel, Robert A.

    1987-01-01

    The NASA OAST Propulsion, Power and Energy Division supports electric propulsion for a broad class of missions. Concepts with potential to significantly benefit or enable space exploration and exploitation are identified and advanced toward applications in the near to far term. Recent program progress in mission/system analyses and in electrothermal, ion, and electromagnetic technologies are summarized.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Millis, Marc G.

    1998-01-01

    In 1996, NASA established the Breakthrough Propulsion Physics program to seek the ultimate breakthroughs in space transportation: propulsion that requires no propellant mass, propulsion that attains the maximum transit speeds physically possible, and breakthrough methods of energy production to power such devices. Topics of interest include experiments and theories regarding the coupling of gravity and electromagnetism, vacuum fluctuation energy, warp drives and worm-holes, and superluminal quantum effects. Because these propulsion goals are presumably far from fruition, a special emphasis is to identify affordable, near-term, and credible research that could make measurable progress toward these propulsion goals. The methods of the program and the results of the 1997 workshop are presented. This Breakthrough Propulsion Physics program, managed by Lewis Research Center, is one part of a comprehensive, long range Advanced Space Transportation Plan managed by Marshall Space Flight Center.

  6. NASA Propulsion Engineering Research Center, Volume 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    This is the second volume in the 1994 annual report for the NASA Propulsion Engineering Research Center's Sixth Annual Symposium. This conference covered: (1) Combustors and Nozzles; (2) Turbomachinery Aero- and Hydro-dynamics; (3) On-board Propulsion systems; (4) Advanced Propulsion Applications; (5) Vaporization and Combustion; (6) Heat Transfer and Fluid Mechanics; and (7) Atomization and Sprays.

  7. 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.

  8. The Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Michael G.; Kim, Tony; Emrich, William J.; Hickman, Robert R.; Broadway, Jeramie W.; Gerrish, Harold P.; Doughty, Glen; Belvin, Anthony; Borowski, Stanley K.; Scott, John

    2014-01-01

    The fundamental capability of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is game changing for space exploration. A first generation Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (NCPS) based on NTP could provide high thrust at a specific impulse above 900 s, roughly double that of state of the art chemical engines. Characteristics of fission and NTP indicate that useful first generation systems will provide a foundation for future systems with extremely high performance. The role of the NCPS in the development of advanced nuclear propulsion systems could be analogous to the role of the DC-3 in the development of advanced aviation. Progres made under the NCPS project could help enable both advanced NTP and advanced Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP).

  9. Propulsion issues, options and trades

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forsythe, Doug J.

    1986-01-01

    Several different types of propulsion concepts are discussed: pulsed fission; continuous nuclear fission; chemical; and chemical boost with advanced nuclear fission. Some of the key characteristics of each type are provided, and typical concepts of each are shown.

  10. DUAL-MODE PROPULSION SYSTEM ENABLING CUBESAT EXPLORATION OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Phase I Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Nathan Jerred; Troy Howe; Adarsh Rajguru; Dr. Steven Howe

    2014-06-01

    -based systems. The second scenario allows for the production of electrical power, which is then available for electric-based propulsion. Additionally, once at location the production of electrical power can be dedicated to the payload’s communication system for data transfer. Ultimately, the proposed dual-mode propulsion platform capitalizes on the benefits of two types of propulsion methods – the thrust of thermal propulsion ideal for quick orbital maneuvers and the specific impulse of electric propulsion ideal for efficient inter-planetary travel. Previous versions of this RTR-based concept have been studied for various applications [NETS 1-3]. The current version of this concept is being matured through a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Phase I grant, awarded for FY 2014. In this study the RTR concept is being developed to deliver a 6U CubeSat payload to the orbit of the Saturnian moon - Enceladus. Additionally, this study will develop an entire mission architecture for Enceladus targeting a total allowable launch mass of 1,000 kg.

  11. Design issues for propulsion systems using metallized propellants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palaszewski, Bryan; Rapp, Douglas

    1991-01-01

    Metallized propellants are liquid propellants that contain metal particles. These particles are suspended in a gelled fuel or oxidizer. Aluminum is used as the metal additive. The addition of metal to conventional propellants can increase their specific impulse and their density over conventional propellants, and consequently, the payload delivered on Mars and lunar transportation vehicles, Earth-to-Orbit vehicles and upper stages for robotic planetary missions. Gelled fuels also provide increased safety during accidental propellant leakage or spills. To take full advantage of these potential performance increases, there are changes that must be made to the vehicle design. The differences are discussed between metallized propellant and traditional liquid propellants and their effect on the propulsion system design. These differences include the propellant density, mixture ratio, engine performance, and propellant rheology. Missions related to the Space Exploration Initiative are considered as design examples to illustrate these issues.

  12. NASA's Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Michael G.; Mitchell, Doyce P.; Kim, Tony; Emrich, William J.; Hickman, Robert R.; Gerrish, Harold P.; Doughty, Glen; Belvin, Anthony; Clement, Steven; Borowski, Stanley K.; Scott, John; Power, Kevin P.

    2015-01-01

    The fundamental capability of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is game changing for space exploration. A first generation NTP system could provide high thrust at a specific impulse above 900 s, roughly double that of state of the art chemical engines. Characteristics of fission and NTP indicate that useful first generation systems will provide a foundation for future systems with extremely high performance. The role of a first generation NTP in the development of advanced nuclear propulsion systems could be analogous to the role of the DC- 3 in the development of advanced aviation. Progress made under the NTP project could also help enable high performance fission power systems and Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP).

  13. 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.

  14. Electrolysis Propulsion for Spacecraft Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    deGroot, Wim A.; Arrington, Lynn A.; McElroy, James F.; Mitlitsky, Fred; Weisberg, Andrew H.; Carter, Preston H., II; Myers, Blake; Reed, Brian D.

    1997-01-01

    Electrolysis propulsion has been recognized over the last several decades as a viable option to meet many satellite and spacecraft propulsion requirements. This technology, however, was never used for in-space missions. In the same time frame, water based fuel cells have flown in a number of missions. These systems have many components similar to electrolysis propulsion systems. Recent advances in component technology include: lightweight tankage, water vapor feed electrolysis, fuel cell technology, and thrust chamber materials for propulsion. Taken together, these developments make propulsion and/or power using electrolysis/fuel cell technology very attractive as separate or integrated systems. A water electrolysis propulsion testbed was constructed and tested in a joint NASA/Hamilton Standard/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories program to demonstrate these technology developments for propulsion. The results from these testbed experiments using a I-N thruster are presented. A concept to integrate a propulsion system and a fuel cell system into a unitized spacecraft propulsion and power system is outlined.

  15. 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

    engineering capabilities have been demonstrated for a fusion reactor gain (Q) of the order of unity (TFTR: 0.25, JET: 0.65, JT-60: Q(sub eq) approx. 1.25). These technological advances made it compelling for considering fusion for propulsion.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  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. Advanced Development of a Compact 5-15 lbf Lox/Methane Thruster for an Integrated Reaction Control and Main Engine Propulsion System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hurlbert, Eric A.; McManamen, John Patrick; Sooknanen, Josh; Studak, Joseph W.

    2011-01-01

    This paper describes the advanced development and testing of a compact 5 to 15 lbf LOX/LCH4 thruster for a pressure-fed integrated main engine and RCS propulsion system to be used on a spacecraft "vertical" test bed (VTB). The ability of the RCS thruster and the main engine to operate off the same propellant supply in zero-g reduces mass and improves mission flexibility. This compact RCS engine incorporates several features to dramatically reduce mass and parts count, to ease manufacturing, and to maintain acceptable performance given that specific impulse (Isp) is not the driver. For example, radial injection holes placed on the chamber body for easier drilling, and high temperature Haynes 230 were selected for the chamber over other more expensive options. The valve inlets are rotatable before welding allowing different orientations for vehicle integration. In addition, the engine design effort selected a coil-on-plug ignition system which integrates a relay and coil with the plug electrode, and moves some exciter electronics to avionics driver board. The engine injector design has small dribble volumes to target minimum pulse widths of 20 msec. and an efficient minimum impulse bit of less than 0.05 lbf-sec. The propellants, oxygen and methane, were chosen because together they are a non-toxic, Mars-forward, high density, space storable, and high performance propellant combination that is capable of pressure-fed and pump-fed configurations and integration with life support and power subsystems. This paper will present the results of the advanced development testing to date of the RCS thruster and the integration with a vehicle propulsion system.

  1. Nuclear gas core propulsion research program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diaz, Nils J.; Dugan, Edward T.; Anghaie, Samim

    1993-01-01

    Viewgraphs on the nuclear gas core propulsion research program are presented. The objectives of this research are to develop models and experiments, systems, and fuel elements for advanced nuclear thermal propulsion rockets. The fuel elements under investigation are suitable for gas/vapor and multiphase fuel reactors. Topics covered include advanced nuclear propulsion studies, nuclear vapor thermal rocket (NVTR) studies, and ultrahigh temperature nuclear fuels and materials studies.

  2. 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.

  3. Concepts for Near-Earth Asteroid Deflection using Spacecraft with Advanced Nuclear and Solar Electric Propulsion Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, R.; Izzo, D.; de Negueruela, C.; Summerer, L.; Ayre, M.; Vasile, M.

    The near-Earth object population, composed mostly of asteroids rather than comets, poses an impact hazard to Earth. Space technology is reaching a sufficient level of capability and maturity where the deflection of an Earth impactor may be possible within the next decades. The paper focuses on assessing the maximum deflection capability (minimum response time) that could be achieved with a rendezvous/landed spacecraft, using electric propulsion and nuclear/solar power technologies likely to be available in the near-term, within the constraints of a single heavy launch into low Earth orbit. Preliminary design concepts are presented for large, high-power nuclear and solar electric spacecraft, based on a trade-off analysis of power/ propulsion technology options and an optimisation of the complete mission design to the minimise the total response time for a representative impactor/deflection scenario. High specific impulse gridded-ion engines show significantly improved mission performance over Hall effect thrusters due to the high delta-V requirements for Earth spiral out, rendezvous, spin axis re-orientation and deflection. Amorphous silicon thin film solar arrays perform substantially better than conventional high cell efficiency alternatives. It was found that solar electric spacecraft could achieve lower total response times for the deflection than a nuclear electric spacecraft of the same initial mass, if the asteroid perihelion is much lower than the Earth. The comparison is expected to be much closer if the asteroid perihelion is near the Earth. Both systems were found to provide effective deflection capabilities for small/moderate-size impactors.

  4. Air-breathing aerospace plane development essential: Hypersonic propulsion flight tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mehta, Unmeel B.

    1995-01-01

    Hypersonic airbreathing propulsion utilizing scramjets can change transatmospheric accelerators for low earth-to-orbit and return transportation. The value and limitation of ground tests, of flight tests, and of computations are presented, and scramjet development requirements are discussed. It is proposed that near full-scale hypersonic propulsion flight tests are essential for developing computational design technology so that it can be used for designing this system. In order to determine how these objectives should be achieved, some lessons learned from past programs are presented. A conceptual two-stage-to-orbit (TSTO) prototype/experimental aerospace plane is recommended as a means of providing access-to-space and for conducting flight tests.

  5. Enabling Electric Propulsion for Flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ginn, Starr Renee

    2015-01-01

    Team Seedling project AFRC and LaRC 31ft distributed electric propulsion wing on truck bed up 75 miles per hour for coefficient of lift validation. Convergent Aeronautic Solutions project, sub-project Convergent Electric Propulsion Technologies AFRC, LaRC and GRC, re-winging a 4 passenger Tecnam aircraft with a 31ft distributed electric propulsion wing. Advanced Air Transport Technologies (Fixed Wing), Hybrid Electric Research Theme, developing a series hybrid ironbird and flight sim to study integration and performance challenges in preparation for a 1-2 MW flight project.

  6. Enabling Electric Propulsion for Flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ginn, Starr

    2014-01-01

    Description of current ARMD projects; Team Seedling project AFRC and LaRC 31ft distributed electric propulsion wing on truck bed up 75 miles per hour for coefficient of lift validation. Convergent Aeronautic Solutions project (new ARMD reorg), sub-project Convergent Electric Propulsion Technologies AFRC, LaRC and GRC, re-winging a 4 passenger Tecnam aircraft with a 31ft distributed electric propulsion wing. Advanced Air Transport Technologies (Fixed Wing), Hybrid Electric Research Theme, developing a series hybrid ironbird and flight sim to study integration and performance challenges in preparation for a 1-2 MW flight project.

  7. Space and transatmospheric propulsion technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merkle, Charles; Stangeland, Maynard L.; Brown, James R.; Mccarty, John P.; Povinelli, Louis A.; Northam, G. Burton; Zukoski, Edward E.

    1994-01-01

    This report focuses primarily on Japan's programs in liquid rocket propulsion and propulsion for spaceplane and related transatmospheric areas. It refers briefly to Japan's solid rocket programs and to new supersonic air-breathing propulsion efforts. The panel observed that the Japanese had a carefully thought-out plan, a broad-based program, and an ambitious but achievable schedule for propulsion activity. Japan's overall propulsion program is behind that of the United States at the time of this study, but the Japanese are gaining rapidly. The Japanese are at the forefront in such key areas as advanced materials, enjoying a high level of project continuity and funding. Japan's space program has been evolutionary in nature, while the U.S. program has emphasized revolutionary advances. Projects have typically been smaller in Japan than in the United States, focusing on incremental advances in technology, with an excellent record of applying proven technology to new projects. This evolutionary approach, coupled with an ability to take technology off the shelf from other countries, has resulted in relatively low development costs, rapid progress, and enhanced reliability. Clearly Japan is positioned to be a world leader in space and transatmospheric propulsion technology by the year 2000.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Trajectory correction propulsion for TOPS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Long, H. R.; Bjorklund, R. A.

    1972-01-01

    A blowdown-pressurized hydrazine propulsion system was selected to provide trajectory correction impulse for outer planet flyby spacecraft as the result of cost/mass/reliability tradeoff analyses. Present hydrazine component and system technology and component designs were evaluated for application to the Thermoelectric Outer Planet Spacecraft (TOPS); while general hydrazine technology was adequate, component design changes were deemed necessary for TOPS-type missions. A prototype hydrazine propulsion system was fabricated and fired nine times for a total of 1600 s to demonstrate the operation and performance of the TOPS propulsion configuration. A flight-weight trajectory correction propulsion subsystem (TCPS) was designed for the TOPS based on actual and estimated advanced components.

  15. 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.

  16. NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Program: Overview and Status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Alexander, Leslie; Baggett, Randy; Bonometti, Joe; Herrmann, Melody; James, Bonnie; Montgomery, Sandy

    2004-01-01

    NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Program is investing in technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the robotic exploration of deep space. For robotic exploration and science missions, increased efficiencies of future propulsion systems are critical to reduce overall life-cycle costs and, in some cases, enable missions previously considered impossible. Continued reliance on conventional chemical propulsion alone will not enable the robust exploration of deep space - the maximum theoretical efficiencies have almost been reached and they are insufficient to meet needs for many ambitious science missions currently being considered. The In-Space Propulsion Technology Program s 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 onboard fuel to achieve thrust. Propellantless propulsion technologies include scientific innovations such as solar sails, electrodynamic and momentum transfer tethers, aeroassist, and aerocapture. This paper will provide an overview of both propellantless and propellant-based advanced propulsion technologies, and NASA s plans for advancing them as part of the $60M per year In-Space Propulsion Technology Program.

  17. NASA Technology Area 1: Launch Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McConnaughey, Paul; Femminineo, Mark; Koelfgen, Syri; Lepsch, Roger; Ryan, Richard M.; Taylor, Steven A.

    2011-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the technology advancements plans for the NASA Technology Area 1, Launch Propulsion Systems Technology Area (LPSTA). The draft roadmap reviews various propulsion system technologies that will be developed during the next 25 + years. This roadmap will be reviewed by the National Research Council which will issue a final report, that will include findings and recommendations.

  18. Integrated Propulsion Data System Public Web Site

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamilton, Kimberly

    2001-01-01

    The Integrated Propulsion Data System's (IPDS) focus is to provide technologically-advanced philosophies of doing business at SSC that will enhance the existing operations, engineering and management strategies and provide insight and metrics to assess their daily impacts, especially as related to the Propulsion Test Directorate testing scenarios for the 21st Century.

  19. Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, George C.

    1993-01-01

    Viewgraphs on the space nuclear thermal propulsion (SNTP) program are presented. The objective of the research is to develop advanced nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) technology based on the particle bed reactor concept. A strong philosophical commitment exists in the industry/national laboratory team to emphasize testing in development activities. Nuclear testing currently underway to support development of SNTP technology is addressed.

  20. Performance and Cost Evaluation of Cryogenic Solid Propulsion Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adirim, Harry; Lo, Roger; Knecht, Thomas; Reinbold, Georg-Friedrich; Poller, Sascha

    2002-01-01

    Under the sponsorship of the German Aerospace Center DLR, Cryogenic Solid Propulsion (CSP) is now in its 6th year of R&D. The development proceeds as a joint international university-, small business-, space industry- and professional research effort (Berlin University of Technology / AI: Aerospace Institute, Berlin / Bauman Moscow State Technical University, Russia / ASTRIUM GmbH, Bremen / Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology, Berghausen). This paper aims at introducing CSP as a novel type of chemical propellant that uses frozen liquids as Oxygen (SOX) or Hydrogen Peroxide (SH2O2) inside of a coherent solid Hydrocarbon (PE, PU or HTPB) matrix in solid rocket motors. Theoretically any conceivable chemical rocket propellant combination (including any environmentally benign ,,green propellant") can be used in solid rocket propellant motors if the definition of solids is not restricted to "solid at ambient temperature". The CSP concept includes all suitable high energy propellant combinations, but is not limited to them. Any liquid or hybrid bipropellant combination is (Isp-wise) superior to any conventional solid propellant formulation. While CSPs do share some of the disadvantages of solid propulsion (e.g. lack of cooling fluid and preset thrust-time function), they definitely share one of their most attractive advantages: the low number of components that is the base for high reliability and low cost of structures. In this respect, CSPs are superior to liquid propellant rocket motors with whom, they share the high Isp performance. High performance, low cost, low pollution CSP technology could bring about a near term improvement for chemical Earth-to-orbit high thrust propulsion. In the long run it could surpass conventional chemical propulsion because it is better suited for applying High Energy Density Matter (HEDM) than any other mode of propulsion. So far, ongoing preliminary analyses have not shown any insuperable problems in areas of concern, such as

  1. Propulsion Technology Needs for Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Thomas

    2007-01-01

    The objectives of currently planned exploration efforts, as well as those further in the future, require significant advancements in propulsion technologies. The current Lunar exploration architecture has set goals and mission objectives that necessitate the use of new systems and the extension of existing technologies beyond present applications. In the near term, the majority of these technologies are the result of a need to apply high performing cryogenic propulsion systems to long duration in-space applications. Advancement of cryogenic propulsion to these applications is crucial to provide higher performing propulsion systems that reduce the vehicle masses; enhance the safety of vehicle systems and ground operations; and provide a path for In-situ Resource Utilization (ISRU).Use of a LOX/LH2 main propulsion system for Lunar Lander Descent is a top priority because more conventional storable propellants are far from meeting the performance needs of the current architecture. While LOX/LH2 pump feed engines have been used in flight applications for many years, these engines have limited throttle capabilities. Engines that are capable of much greater throttling while still meeting high performance goals are a necessity to achieving exploration goals. Applications of LOX/CH4 propulsion to Lander ascent propulsion systems and reaction control systems are also if interest because of desirable performance and operations improvements over conventional storable systems while being more suitable for use of in-situ produced propellants. Within the current lunar architecture, use of cryogenic propulsion for the Earth Departure Stage and Lunar Lander elements also necessitate the need for advanced Cryogenic Fluid Management technologies. These technologies include long duration propellant storage/distribution, low-gravity propellant management, cryogenic couplings and disconnects, light weight composite tanks and support structure, and subsystem integration. In addition to

  2. 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.

  3. Green space propulsion: Opportunities and prospects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gohardani, Amir S.; Stanojev, Johann; Demairé, Alain; Anflo, Kjell; Persson, Mathias; Wingborg, Niklas; Nilsson, Christer

    2014-11-01

    Currently, toxic and carcinogenic hydrazine propellants are commonly used in spacecraft propulsion. These propellants impose distinctive environmental challenges and consequential hazardous conditions. With an increasing level of future space activities and applications, the significance of greener space propulsion becomes even more pronounced. In this article, a selected number of promising green space propellants are reviewed and investigated for various space missions. In-depth system studies in relation to the aforementioned propulsion architectures further unveil possible approaches for advanced green propulsion systems of the future.

  4. Explosive propulsion applications. [to future unmanned missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nakamura, Y.; Varsi, G.; Back, L. H.

    1974-01-01

    The feasibility and application of an explosive propulsion concept capable of supporting future unmanned missions in the post-1980 era were examined and recommendations made for advanced technology development tasks. The Venus large lander mission was selected as the first in which the explosive propulsion concept can find application. A conceptual design was generated and its performance, weight, costs, and interaction effects determined. Comparisons were made with conventional propulsion alternatives. The feasibility of the explosive propulsion system was verified for planetology experiments within the dense atmosphere of Venus as well as the outer planets. Additionally, it was determined that the Venus large lander mission could be augmented ballistically with a significant delivery margin.

  5. 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.

  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 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.

  7. Components of the Solar Thermal Propulsion Engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    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. This photograph shows components for the thermal propulsion engine being laid out prior to assembly. MSFC turned to solar thermal propulsion in the early 1990s due to its simplicity, safety, low cost, and commonality with other propulsion systems. 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.

  8. Micro electric propulsion feasibility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Aston, Graeme; Aston, Martha

    1992-01-01

    Miniature, 50 kg class, strategic satellites intended for extended deployment in space require an on-board propulsion capability to perform needed attitude control adjustments and drag compensation maneuvers. Even on such very small spacecraft, these orbit maintenance functions can be significant and result in a substantial propellant mass requirement. Development of advanced propulsion technology could reduce this propellant mass significantly, and thereby maximize the payload capability of these spacecraft. In addition, spacecraft maneuverability could be enhanced and/or multi-year mission lifetimes realized. These benefits cut spacecraft replacement costs, and reduce services needed to maintain the launch vehicles. For SDIO brilliant pebble spacecraft, a miniaturized hydrazine propulsion system provides both boost and divert thrust control. This type of propulsion system is highly integrated and is capable of delivering large thrust levels for short time periods. However, orbit maintenance functions such as drag make-up require only very small velocity corrections. Using the boost and/or divert thrusters for these small corrections exposes this highly integrated propulsion system to continuous on/off cycling and thereby increases the risk of system failure. Furthermore, since drag compensation velocity corrections would be orders of magnitude less than these thrusters were designed to deliver, their effective specific impulse would be expected to be lower when operated at very short pulse lengths. The net result of these effects would be a significant depletion of the on-board hydrazine propellant supply throughout the mission, and a reduced propulsion system reliability, both of which would degrade the interceptors usefulness. In addition to SDIO brilliant pebble spacecraft, comparably small spacecraft can be anticipated for other future strategic defense applications such as surveillance and communication. For such spacecraft, high capability and reliability

  9. High Power Electric Propulsion for Deep Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Polk, Jay

    2011-01-01

    Slide presentation reviews: (1) An Electric Propulsion Primer (2) The Flexible Path and the Electric Path (2a) A New Plan for Human Exploration (2b)The Role of Electric Propulsion (3) High Power Electric Thrusters (3a)Hall Thrusters (3b) Magnetoplasmadynamic Thrusters (4)Challenges for the Next Generation of Advanced Propulsion Technologist

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Innovative electric propulsion thruster modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frisbee, Robert H.

    1993-01-01

    The objective of this program is to model and evaluate advanced nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) system concepts as an aid to the performance of NEP mission benefits studies. The two primary goals are as follows: (1) provide scaling relationships for mass, power, and efficiency, as functions of Isp, propellant type, and other important quantities. The discussion is presented in vugraph form.

  13. Directions for future Earth-to-orbit vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, James A.

    1992-12-01

    NASA is currently assessing several programmatic possibilities. The desire is to maintain the current capability for transportation to orbit provided by the Space Shuttle and the existing fleet of commercial vehicles, develop the Space Station Freedom, and initiate a new program of exploration of the Moon and Mars, called the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). At the same time, the NASA budget is likely to be held to current levels. Cost estimates indicate that it will not be possible to satisfy all the goals without cost reductions. One of the concepts being considered for cost reduction is to replace the Space Shuttle and existing commercial vehicles with a new set of vehicles called the National Launch System (NLS). Several concepts have been studied, but none of the concepts studied to date provides the desired combination of cost/flight reduction, acceptable development cost, and technology readiness. An additional goal is to provide a path to grow the NLS capability into a heavy-lift capability for SEI missions.

  14. Safe, Affordable, Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, M. G.; Kim, T.; Emrich, W. J.; Hickman, R. R.; Broadway, J. W.; Gerrish, H. P.; Doughty, G. E.

    2014-01-01

    The fundamental capability of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is game changing for space exploration. A first generation Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (NCPS) based on NTP could provide high thrust at a specific impulse above 900 s, roughly double that of state of the art chemical engines. Characteristics of fission and NTP indicate that useful first generation systems will provide a foundation for future systems with extremely high performance. The role of the NCPS in the development of advanced nuclear propulsion systems could be analogous to the role of the DC-3 in the development of advanced aviation. Progress made under the NCPS project could help enable both advanced NTP and advanced Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP).

  15. Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage for Mars Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, M. 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 Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP).

  16. NASA Propulsion Engineering Research Center, volume 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    On 8-9 Sep. 1993, the Propulsion Engineering Research Center (PERC) at The Pennsylvania State University held its Fifth Annual Symposium. PERC was initiated in 1988 by a grant from the NASA Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology as a part of the University Space Engineering Research Center (USERC) program; the purpose of the USERC program is to replenish and enhance the capabilities of our Nation's engineering community to meet its future space technology needs. The Centers are designed to advance the state-of-the-art in key space-related engineering disciplines and to promote and support engineering education for the next generation of engineers for the national space program and related commercial space endeavors. Research on the following areas was initiated: liquid, solid, and hybrid chemical propulsion, nuclear propulsion, electrical propulsion, and advanced propulsion concepts.

  17. Affordable Development of a Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, M. 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. The foundation provided by development and utilization of a NCPS could enable development of extremely high performance systems. The role of the NCPS in the development of advanced nuclear propulsion systems could be analogous to the role of the DC-3 in the development of advanced aviation. Progress made under the NCPS project could help enable both advanced NTP and advanced Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP).

  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. Technology Area Roadmap for In Space Propulsion Technologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Meyer, Mike; Coote, David; Goebel, Dan; Palaszewski, Bryan; White, Sonny

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the technology area (TA) roadmap to develop propulsion technologies that will be used to enable further exploration of the solar system, and beyond. It is hoped that development of the technologies within this TA will result in technical solutions that will improve thrust levels, specific impulse, power, specific mass, volume, system mass, system complexity, operational complexity, commonality with other spacecraft systems, manufacturability and durability. Some of the propulsion technologies that are reviewed include: chemical and non-chemical propulsion, and advanced propulsion (i.e., those with a Technology Readiness level of less than 3). Examples of these advanced technologies include: Beamed Energy, Electric Sail, Fusion, High Energy Density Materials, Antimatter, Advanced Fission and Breakthrough propulsion technologies. Timeframes for development of some of these propulsion technologies are reviewed, and top technical challenges are reviewed. This roadmap describes a portfolio of in-space propulsion technologies that can meet future space science and exploration needs.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. NASA In-Space Propulsion Technology Program: Overview and Update

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Alexander, Leslie; Baggett, Randy M.; Bonometti, Joseph A.; Herrmann, Melody; James, Bonnie F.; Montgomery, Sandy E.

    2004-01-01

    NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Program is investing in technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the robotic exploration of deep space. For robotic exploration and science missions, increased efficiencies of future propulsion systems are critical to reduce overall life-cycle costs and, in some cases, enable missions previously considered impossible. Continued reliance on conventional chemical propulsion alone will not enable the robust exploration of deep space - the maximum theoretical efficiencies have almost been reached and they are insufficient to meet needs for many ambitious science missions currently being considered. The In-Space Propulsion Technology Program's technology portfolio includes many advanced propulsion systems. From the next-generation ion propulsion system operating in the 5- to 10-kW range to aerocapture and solar sails, 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 onboard fuel to achieve thrust. Propellantless propulsion technologies include scientific innovations such as solar sails, electrodynamic and momentum transfer.tethers, aeroassist and aerocapture. This paper will provide an overview of both propellantless and propellant-based advanced propulsion technologies, as well as NASA's plans for advancing them as part of the In-Space Propulsion Technology Program.

  3. NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Program: Overview and Update

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Alexander, Leslie; Baggett, Randy M.; Bonometti, Joseph A.; Herrmann, Melody; James, Bonnie F.; Montgomery, Sandy E.

    2004-01-01

    NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Program is investing in technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the robotic exploration of deep space. For robotic exploration and science missions, increased efficiencies of future propulsion systems are critical to reduce overall life-cycle costs and, in some cases, enable missions previously considered impossible. Continued reliance on conventional chemical propulsion alone will not enable the robust exploration of deep space - the maximum theoretical efficiencies have almost been reached and they are insufficient to meet needs for many ambitious science missions currently being considered. The In-Space Propulsion Technology Program s technology portfolio includes many advanced propulsion systems. From the next-generation ion propulsion system operating in the 5- to 10-kW range to aerocapture and solar sails, substantial advances in spacecraft propulsion performance are anticipated. Some of the most promising technologies for achieving these goals ase the environment of space itself for energy and propulsion and are generically called 'propellantless' because they do not require onboard fuel to achieve thrust. Propellantless propulsion technologies include scientific innovations such as solar sails, electrodynamic and momentum transfer tethers, aeroassist, and aerocapture. This paper will provide an overview of both propellantless and propellant-based advanced propulsion technologies, as well as NASA s plans for advancing them as part of the In-Space Propulsion Technology Program.

  4. Advanced space propulsion thruster research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilbur, P. J.

    1981-01-01

    Experiments showed that stray magnetic fields can adversely affect the capacity of a hollow cathode neutralizer to couple to an ion beam. Magnetic field strength at the neutralizer cathode orifice is a crucial factor influencing the coupling voltage. The effects of electrostatic accelerator grid aperture diameters on the ion current extraction capabilities were examined experimentally to describe the divergence, deflection, and current extraction capabilities of grids with the screen and accelerator apertures displaced relative to one another. Experiments performed in orificed, mercury hollow cathodes support the model of field enhanced thermionic electron mission from cathode inserts. Tests supported the validity of a thermal model of the cathode insert. A theoretical justification of a Saha equation model relating cathode plasma properties is presented. Experiments suggest that ion loss rates to discharge chamber walls can be controlled. A series of new discharge chamber magnetic field configurations were generated in the flexible magnetic field thruster and their effect on performance was examined. A technique used in the thruster to measure ion currents to discharge chamber walls is described. Using these ion currents the fraction of ions produced that are extracted from the discharge chamber and the energy cost of plasma ions are computed.

  5. Advanced electric propulsion research - 1990

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Monheiser, Jeffery M.; Wilbur, Paul J.

    1991-01-01

    An experimental study of impingement current collection on the accelerator grid of an ion thruster is presented. The equipment, instruments, and procedures being used to conduct the study are discussed. The contribution to this current due to charge-exchange ions produced close to the grid is determined using a volume-integration procedure and measured ion beam current design, computed neutral atom density and measured beam plasma potential data. This current, which is expected to be almost equal to that measured directly, is found to be an order of magnitude less. The impingement current determined by integrating the current density of ambient ions in the beam plasma close to the grid is found to agree with the directly measured impingement current. Possible reasons for the disagreement between the directly measured and volume integrated impingement currents are discussed.

  6. Advanced electric propulsion research, 1989

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilbur, Paul J.

    1990-01-01

    Results of an experimental study of the characteristics of ion thruster hollow cathodes operating at high discharge currents (up to 60 A) are presented in a companion report. This work shows that ions produced near the cathode orifice can acquire sufficient energy to induce the high sputter erosion rates on cathode potential surfaces that have been observed in ion thrusters. A mechanism by which these ions could be produced is also described. A second, brief study showing how a discharge chamber model developed previously can be applied to determine optimal values for one or more discharge chamber design parameters is presented. The experimental approach being used to study the plasma potential field and charge-exchange ion production rate downstream of the accelerator grid of an ion thruster is discussed and preliminary results are presented.

  7. Advanced electric propulsion research, 1991

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Monheiser, Jeffery M.

    1992-01-01

    A simple model for the production of ions that impinge on and sputter erode the accelerator grid of an ion thruster is presented. Charge-exchange and electron-impact ion production processes are considered, but initial experimental results suggest the charge-exchange process dominates. Additional experimental results show the effects of changes in thruster operating conditions on the length of the region from which these ions are drawn upstream into the grid. Results which show erosion patterns and indicate molybdenum accelerator grids erode more rapidly than graphite ones are also presented.

  8. Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Research Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Millis, Marc G.

    1996-01-01

    In 1996, a team of government, university and industry researchers proposed a program to seek the ultimate breakthroughs in space transportation: propulsion that requires no propellant mass, propulsion that can approach and, if possible, circumvent light speed, and breakthrough methods of energy production to power such devices. This Breakthrough Propulsion Physics program, managed by Lewis Research Center, is one part of a comprehensive, long range Advanced Space Transportation Plan managed by Marshall Space Flight Center. Because the breakthrough goals are beyond existing science, a main emphasis of this program is to establish metrics and ground rules to produce near-term credible progress toward these incredible possibilities. An introduction to the emerging scientific possibilities from which such solutions can be sought is also presented.

  9. 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.

  10. NASA electrothermal auxiliary propulsion technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stone, J. R.

    1986-01-01

    Electrothermal auxiliary propulsion systems provide high performance options which can have major mission benefits. There are several electrothermal concepts which offer a range of characteristics and benefits. Resistojets are the highest thrust to power option and are currently operational at mission average values of specific impulse, I sub sp approximately 295 sec. Long life, multipropellant resistojets are being developed for the space station, and resistojet technology advancements are being pursued to improve the I sub sp by more than 20 percent for resistojets used in satellite applications. Direct current arcjets have the potential of I sub sp over 400 sec with storable propellants and should provide over 1000 sec with hydrogen. Advanced concepts are being investigated to provide high power density options and possible growth to primary propulsion applications. Broad based experimental and analytical research and technology programs of NASA are summarized and recent significant advances are reviewed.

  11. 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.

  12. Solar Electric Propulsion for Mars Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hack, Kurt J.

    1998-01-01

    Highly propellant-efficient electric propulsion is being combined with advanced solar power technology to provide a non-nuclear transportation option for the human exploration of Mars. By virtue of its high specific impulse, electric propulsion offers a greater change in spacecraft velocity for each pound of propellant than do conventional chemical rockets. As a result, a mission to Mars based on solar electric propulsion (SEP) would require fewer heavy-lift launches than a traditional all-chemical space propulsion scenario would. Performance, as measured by mass to orbit and trip time, would be comparable to the NASA design reference mission for human Mars exploration, which utilizes nuclear thermal propulsion; but it would avoid the issues surrounding the use of nuclear reactors in space.

  13. A review of NASA's propulsion programs for civil aviation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stewart, W. L.; Johnson, H. W.; Weber, R. J.

    1978-01-01

    Five NASA engine-oriented propulsion programs of major importance to civil aviation are presented and discussed. Included are programs directed at exploring propulsion-system concepts for (1) energy-conservative subsonic aircraft (improved current turbofans, advanced turbofans, and advanced turboprops), (2) supersonic cruise aircraft (variable-cycle engines), (3) general aviation aircraft (improved reciprocating engines and small gas turbines), (4) powered-lift aircraft (advanced turbofans), and (5) advanced rotorcraft. These programs reflect the opportunities still existing for significant improvements in civil aviation through the application of advanced propulsion concepts

  14. 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.

  15. Various challenging aspects of hybrid propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orlandi, O.; Theil, D.; Saramago, J.; Amand, P. G.; Dauch, F.; Gautier, P.

    2011-10-01

    The hybrid technology appears as an innovative, high performance, and promising propulsion technique in a number of space missions. By combining functions and advantages taken from both solid and liquid propulsion, this technology is expected to provide mainly high performance with throttleability and stop-restart capabilities. The safety conditions of engine operation and design reliability almost similar to solid propulsion increase the interest to this technology. However, the standard fuels (mainly based on a carbon polymer) exhibit low regression rates that require complex grain shapes and low loading ratio. Thanks to a dedicated study supported by the European Space Agency (ESA), SNPE in collaboration with Avio and University of Naples (DIAS department) performed an exhaustive state-of-the-art and a market survey of accomplishments in hybrid propulsion. Based on the resulting tradeoff study on potential future launchers and spacecraft applications, the most promising applications are selected to conduct preliminary designs. These applications can also be seen as the vector of hybrid propulsion development. This study concentrates on hybrid propulsion systems with advanced hybrid fuels for Lander platform and Upper Stage. High throttleability and high propulsive performance associated with stop and restart capability are needed to meet mission requirements for Lander and Upper Stage, respectively. Preliminary design shows the advantages provided by hybrid propulsion: a significant payload mass increase for the upper stage case and a soft landing for the Lander case.

  16. NASA Propulsion Engineering Research Center, volume 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1993-11-01

    Over the past year, the Propulsion Engineering Research Center at The Pennsylvania State University continued its progress toward meeting the goals of NASA's University Space Engineering Research Centers (USERC) program. The USERC program was initiated in 1988 by the Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology to provide an invigorating force to drive technology advancements in the U.S. space industry. The Propulsion Center's role in this effort is to provide a fundamental basis from which the technology advances in propulsion can be derived. To fulfill this role, an integrated program was developed that focuses research efforts on key technical areas, provides students with a broad education in traditional propulsion-related science and engineering disciplines, and provides minority and other under-represented students with opportunities to take their first step toward professional careers in propulsion engineering. The program is made efficient by incorporating government propulsion laboratories and the U.S. propulsion industry into the program through extensive interactions and research involvement. The Center is comprised of faculty, professional staff, and graduate and undergraduate students working on a broad spectrum of research issues related to propulsion. The Center's research focus encompasses both current and advanced propulsion concepts for space transportation, with a research emphasis on liquid propellant rocket engines. The liquid rocket engine research includes programs in combustion and turbomachinery. Other space transportation modes that are being addressed include anti-matter, electric, nuclear, and solid propellant propulsion. Outside funding supports a significant fraction of Center research, with the major portion of the basic USERC grant being used for graduate student support and recruitment. The remainder of the USERC funds are used to support programs to increase minority student enrollment in engineering, to maintain Center

  17. NASA Propulsion Engineering Research Center, volume 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    Over the past year, the Propulsion Engineering Research Center at The Pennsylvania State University continued its progress toward meeting the goals of NASA's University Space Engineering Research Centers (USERC) program. The USERC program was initiated in 1988 by the Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology to provide an invigorating force to drive technology advancements in the U.S. space industry. The Propulsion Center's role in this effort is to provide a fundamental basis from which the technology advances in propulsion can be derived. To fulfill this role, an integrated program was developed that focuses research efforts on key technical areas, provides students with a broad education in traditional propulsion-related science and engineering disciplines, and provides minority and other under-represented students with opportunities to take their first step toward professional careers in propulsion engineering. The program is made efficient by incorporating government propulsion laboratories and the U.S. propulsion industry into the program through extensive interactions and research involvement. The Center is comprised of faculty, professional staff, and graduate and undergraduate students working on a broad spectrum of research issues related to propulsion. The Center's research focus encompasses both current and advanced propulsion concepts for space transportation, with a research emphasis on liquid propellant rocket engines. The liquid rocket engine research includes programs in combustion and turbomachinery. Other space transportation modes that are being addressed include anti-matter, electric, nuclear, and solid propellant propulsion. Outside funding supports a significant fraction of Center research, with the major portion of the basic USERC grant being used for graduate student support and recruitment. The remainder of the USERC funds are used to support programs to increase minority student enrollment in engineering, to maintain Center

  18. Highly reusable space transportation: Advanced concepts and the opening of the space frontier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mankins, John C.

    2002-11-01

    Revolutionary changes in how cargo and people are transported into space are needed to enable the affordable development and exploration of space in the 21st century. Diverse efforts to achieve major, but incremental Earth-to-orbit (ETO) improvements in the relatively near term have been undertaken in recent years in the US, including the Department of Defense evolved expendable launch vehicle system development project. The NASA-industry reusable launch vehicle (RLV) program is addressing this challenge for the mid-term. The RLV program will validate the technology to enable industry to develop all-rocket reusable launch systems that can deliver payloads from the current Civil Needs Data Base in the 20,000-40,000 pounds class and smaller to low Earth orbit (LEO) at costs of approximately 1000-2000 per pound. This represents a factor of 5 (or more) reduction below existing launch services. This "next generation" improvement in launch capability is a vital element of the US National Space Transportation policy for current and planned government and commercial payloads. The longer-term challenge is also being addressed. During 1995-1997, NASA conducted the highly reusable space transportation (HRST) study project to address the longer-term challenge: how to achieve an additional factor of 10 reduction in launch costs—to approximately 100-200 per payload pound to LEO—thus enabling a revolutionary expansion of space activity and enterprise. The HRST study has identified a "grand strategy" for achieving these cost goals, based on pursuing a revolutionary advance in main propulsion architectures and technology for ETO systems to enable a dramatic improvements in subsystem operability. The HRST study has examined diverse approaches, including combination propulsion systems, combined cycle propulsion, launch assist systems, and revolutionary rocket propulsion. An integrated assessment has been conducted, including both the concepts defined as part of the study as well

  19. Supersonic STOVL propulsion technology program: An overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blaha, Bernard J.; Batterton, Peter G.

    1990-01-01

    Planning activities are continuing between NASA, the DoD, and two foreign governments to develop the technology and to show the design capability by the mid-1990's for advanced, supersonic, short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft. Propulsion technology is the key to achieving viable STOVL aircraft, and NASA Lewis will play a lead role in the development of these required propulsion technologies. The initial research programs are focused on technologies common to two or more of the possible STOVL propulsion system concepts. An overview is presented of the NASA Lewis role in the overall program plan and recent results of the research program. The future research program will be focused on one or possibly two of the propulsion concepts seen as most likely to be successful in the post advanced tactical fighter time frame.

  20. In-Space Propulsion Solar Electric Propulsion Program Overview of 2006

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baggett, Randy M.; Hulgan, Wendy W.; Dankanich, John W.; Bechtel, Robert T.

    2006-01-01

    The primary source of electric propulsion development throughout NASA is implemented by the In-Space Propulsion Technology Project at the NASA MSFC under the management of the Science Mission Directorate. The Solar Electric Propulsion technology area's objective is to develop near and mid-term SEP technology to enhance or enable mission capture while minimizing risk and cost to the end user. Major activities include developing NASA s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT), implementing a Standard Architecture, and developing a long life High Voltage Hall Accelerator (HiVHAC). Lower level investments include advanced feed system development, advanced cathode testing and xenon recovery testing. Progress on current investments and future plans are discussed.

  1. Application of propfan propulsion to general aviation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Awker, R. W.

    1986-01-01

    Recent studies of advanced propfan propulsion systems have shown significant reductions in fuel consumption of 15-30 percent for transport class aircraft. This paper presents the results of a study which examined applying propfan propulsion to General Aviation class aircraft to determine if similar improvements could be achieved for business aircraft. In addition to the potential performance gains, this paper also addresses the cost aspects of propfan propulsion on General Aviation aircraft emphasizing the significant impact that the cost of capital and tax aspects have on determining the total cost of operation for business aircraft.

  2. The Pathfinder Chemical Transfer Propulsion Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hannum, Ned P.; Berkopec, Frank D.; Zurawski, Robert L.

    1989-01-01

    Pathfinder is a research and technology initiative by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) intended to strengthen the technology base of the United States civil space program in preparation for future space exploration missions. Pathfinder begins in FY-89. One of the four major thrusts is the Chemical Transfer Propulsion program which will provide the propulsion technology for high performance, liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen expander cycle engines which are expected to be operated and maintained in space. These advanced engines will enhance or enable a variety of future space exploration missions. The goals and objectives, management, technical plan, and technology transfer for the Chemical Transfer Propulsion element of Pathfinder are described.

  3. 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.

  4. OTV propulsion tecnology programmatic overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooper, L. P.

    1984-04-01

    An advanced orbit transfer vehicles (OTV) which will be an integral part of the national space transportation system to carry men and cargo between low Earth orbit and geosynchronous orbit will perform planetary transfers and deliver large acceleration limited space structures to high Earth orbits is reviewed. The establishment of an advanced propulsion technology base for an OTV for the mid 1990's is outlined. The program supports technology for three unique engine concepts. Work is conducted to generic technologies which benefit all three concepts and specific technology which benefits only one of the concepts. Concept and technology definitions to identify propulsion innovations, and subcomponent research to explore and validate their potential benefits are included.

  5. OTV propulsion tecnology programmatic overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, L. P.

    1984-01-01

    An advanced orbit transfer vehicles (OTV) which will be an integral part of the national space transportation system to carry men and cargo between low Earth orbit and geosynchronous orbit will perform planetary transfers and deliver large acceleration limited space structures to high Earth orbits is reviewed. The establishment of an advanced propulsion technology base for an OTV for the mid 1990's is outlined. The program supports technology for three unique engine concepts. Work is conducted to generic technologies which benefit all three concepts and specific technology which benefits only one of the concepts. Concept and technology definitions to identify propulsion innovations, and subcomponent research to explore and validate their potential benefits are included.

  6. Space Shuttle Propulsion Safety Upgrades

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Humphries, William Randy, Jr.; McCool, Alex (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    This document is a viewgraph presentation which reviews the proposed upgrades to the Space Shuttle Propulsion system, to improve safety, and reduce significant hazards. The goals of the program are to reduce the risk of a catastrophe in ascent, to achieve significant reduction in orbital and entry systems, and to improve the crew cockpit situational awareness for managing the critical operational situations. The document reviews the upgrades to the propulsion system which are planned to improve the safety. These include modifications to the Advanced Thrust Vector Control, modifications to the Space Shuttle Main Engine Block III, improvement in the Advanced Health Management System, the use of Friction Stir welding on the external tank, which is expected to improve mechanical properties, and reduce defect rate, and the modification of the propellant grains geometry.

  7. Air liquefaction and enrichment system propulsion in reusable launch vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Bond, W.H.; Yi, A.C.

    1994-07-01

    A concept is shown for a fully reusable, Earth-to-orbit launch vehicle with horizontal takeoff and landing, employing an air-turborocket for low speed and a rocket for high-speed acceleration, both using liquid hydrogen for fuel. The turborocket employs a modified liquid air cycle to supply the oxidizer. The rocket uses 90% pure liquid oxygen as its oxidizer that is collected from the atmosphere, separated, and stored during operation of the turborocket from about Mach 2 to 5 or 6. The takeoff weight and the thrust required at takeoff are markedly reduced by collecting the rocket oxidizer in-flight. This article shows an approach and the corresponding technology needs for using air liquefaction and enrichment system propulsion in a single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) vehicle. Reducing the trajectory altitude at the end of collection reduces the wing area and increases payload. The use of state-of-the-art materials, such as graphite polyimide, in a direct substitution for aluminum or aluminum-lithium alloy, is critical to meet the structure weight objective for SSTO. Configurations that utilize `waverider` aerodynamics show great promise to reduce the vehicle weight. 5 refs.

  8. Laser-supported detonation waves and pulsed laser propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Kare, J.T.

    1989-01-01

    A laser thermal rocket uses the energy of a large remote laser, possibly ground-based, to heat an inert propellant and generate thrust. Use of a pulsed laser allows the design of extremely simple thrusters with very high performance compared to chemical rockets. The temperatures, pressures, and fluxes involved in such thrusters (10{sup 4} K, 10{sup 2} atmospheres, 10{sup 7} w/cm{sup 2}) typically result in the creation of laser-supported detonation (LSD) waves. The thrust cycle thus involves a complex set of transient shock phenomena, including laser-surface interactions in the ignition if the LSD wave, laser-plasma interactions in the LSD wave itself, and high-temperature nonequilibrium chemistry behind the LSD wave. The SDIO Laser Propulsion Program is investigating these phenomena as part of an overall effort to develop the technology for a low-cost Earth-to-orbit laser launch system. We will summarize the program's approach to developing a high performance thruster, the double-pulse planar thruster, and present an overview of some results obtained to date, along with a discussion of the many research questions still outstanding in this area. 16 refs., 7 figs.

  9. Laser-supported detonation waves and pulsed laser propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Kare, J. )

    1990-07-30

    A laser thermal rocket uses the energy of a large remote laser, possibly ground-based, to heat an inert propellant and generate thrust. Use of a pulsed laser allows the design of extremely simple thrusters with very high performance compared to chemical rockets. The temperatures, pressures, and fluxes involved in such thrusters (10{sup 4} K, 10{sup 2} atmospheres, 10{sup 7} w/cm{sup 2}) typically result in the creation of laser-supported detonation (LSD) waves. The thrust cycle thus involves a complex set of transient shock phenomena, including laser-surface interactions in the ignition of the LSD wave, laser-plasma interactions in the LSD wave itself, and high-temperature nonequilibrium chemistry behind the LSD wave. The SDIO Laser Propulsion Program is investigating these phenomena as part of an overall effort to develop the technology for a low-cost Earth-to-orbit laser launch system. We will summarize the Program's approach to developing a high performance thruster, the double-pulse planar thruster, and present an overview of some results obtained to date, along with a discussion of the many research question still outstanding in this area.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Rocket-Based Combined-Cycle (RBCC) Propulsion Technology Workshop. Tutorial session

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    The goal of this workshop was to illuminate the nation's space transportation and propulsion engineering community on the potential of hypersonic combined cycle (airbreathing/rocket) propulsion systems for future space transportation applications. Four general topics were examined: (1) selections from the expansive advanced propulsion archival resource; (2) related propulsion systems technical backgrounds; (3) RBCC engine multimode operations related subsystem background; and (4) focused review of propulsion aspects of current related programs.

  15. A review of NASA's propulsion programs for aviation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stewart, W. L.; Johnson, H. W.; Weber, R. J.

    1978-01-01

    A review of five NASA engine-oriented propulsion programs of major importance to civil aviation are presented and discussed. Included are programs directed at exploring propulsion system concepts for (1) energy conservation subsonic aircraft (improved current turbofans, advanced turbofans, and advanced turboprops); (2) supersonic cruise aircraft (variable cycle engines); (3) general aviation aircraft (improved reciprocating engines and small gas turbines); (4) powered lift aircraft (advanced turbofans); and (5) advanced rotorcraft.

  16. 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.

  17. Propulsion Risk Reduction Activities for Nontoxic Cryogenic Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Timothy D.; Klem, Mark D.; Fisher, Kenneth L.

    2010-01-01

    The Propulsion and Cryogenics Advanced Development (PCAD) Project s primary objective is to develop propulsion system technologies for nontoxic or "green" propellants. The PCAD project focuses on the development of nontoxic propulsion technologies needed to provide necessary data and relevant experience to support informed decisions on implementation of nontoxic propellants for space missions. Implementation of nontoxic propellants in high performance propulsion systems offers NASA an opportunity to consider other options than current hypergolic propellants. The PCAD Project is emphasizing technology efforts in reaction control system (RCS) thruster designs, ascent main engines (AME), and descent main engines (DME). PCAD has a series of tasks and contracts to conduct risk reduction and/or retirement activities to demonstrate that nontoxic cryogenic propellants can be a feasible option for space missions. Work has focused on 1) reducing the risk of liquid oxygen/liquid methane ignition, demonstrating the key enabling technologies, and validating performance levels for reaction control engines for use on descent and ascent stages; 2) demonstrating the key enabling technologies and validating performance levels for liquid oxygen/liquid methane ascent engines; and 3) demonstrating the key enabling technologies and validating performance levels for deep throttling liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen descent engines. The progress of these risk reduction and/or retirement activities will be presented.

  18. Propulsion Risk Reduction Activities for Non-Toxic Cryogenic Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Timothy D.; Klem, Mark D.; Fisher, Kenneth

    2010-01-01

    The Propulsion and Cryogenics Advanced Development (PCAD) Project s primary objective is to develop propulsion system technologies for non-toxic or "green" propellants. The PCAD project focuses on the development of non-toxic propulsion technologies needed to provide necessary data and relevant experience to support informed decisions on implementation of non-toxic propellants for space missions. Implementation of non-toxic propellants in high performance propulsion systems offers NASA an opportunity to consider other options than current hypergolic propellants. The PCAD Project is emphasizing technology efforts in reaction control system (RCS) thruster designs, ascent main engines (AME), and descent main engines (DME). PCAD has a series of tasks and contracts to conduct risk reduction and/or retirement activities to demonstrate that non-toxic cryogenic propellants can be a feasible option for space missions. Work has focused on 1) reducing the risk of liquid oxygen/liquid methane ignition, demonstrating the key enabling technologies, and validating performance levels for reaction control engines for use on descent and ascent stages; 2) demonstrating the key enabling technologies and validating performance levels for liquid oxygen/liquid methane ascent engines; and 3) demonstrating the key enabling technologies and validating performance levels for deep throttling liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen descent engines. The progress of these risk reduction and/or retirement activities will be presented.

  19. 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.

  20. Auxiliary propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberg, S. D.

    1984-01-01

    When man is put in the loop, almost anything can happen. Caution must be exercised in permitting life cycle costs analysis to control technology investment. One of the ways of reducing cost is to stay with the old tried and true technology. However, when requirements of a permanent space station are considered (15-year life, the issues associated with health monitoring, maintenance, and repair), the conclusion is that very little, if anything, is really state of the art. Before investing in old technologies to make them comply with the requirements of a permanent space station, the question of whether or not it is worth putting the money there as opposed to advancing the state of the art should be considered. Program managers and system designers must not make the mistake of selecting old technologies in the belief that they are state of the art.

  1. Auxiliary propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rosenberg, S. D.

    1984-02-01

    When man is put in the loop, almost anything can happen. Caution must be exercised in permitting life cycle costs analysis to control technology investment. One of the ways of reducing cost is to stay with the old tried and true technology. However, when requirements of a permanent space station are considered (15-year life, the issues associated with health monitoring, maintenance, and repair), the conclusion is that very little, if anything, is really state of the art. Before investing in old technologies to make them comply with the requirements of a permanent space station, the question of whether or not it is worth putting the money there as opposed to advancing the state of the art should be considered. Program managers and system designers must not make the mistake of selecting old technologies in the belief that they are state of the art.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. High Power Electric Propulsion for Outer Planet Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donahue, Benjamin B.

    2003-01-01

    Focused technology trade studies for Nuclear Electric Propulsion vehicle concepts for outer planet missions are presented; representative mission, vehicle and technology characterizations illustrate samples of work done under the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center-Boeing-SAIC In-Space Technology Assessment (ISTA) contract. An objective of ISTA is to identify and present sound technical and programtic options for the formulation and implementation of advanced electric and chemical propulsion solar system exploration missions. Investigations to date include a variety of outer planet destinations, trip times, science payload allotments, orbital capture techniques, all conducted to illustrate how advanced technology would maximize mission benefits. Architecture wide optimizations that facilitate good propulsion technology investments for advanced electric and chemical propulsion systems were conducted, including those relevant to the nuclear system initiative. Representative analyses of vehicles utilizing fission reactors with advanced power generation, Conversion, processing and electric propulsion systems, which would enable scientifically rich robotic exploration missions, are presented.

  5. 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.

  6. Solar electric propulsion cargo spacecraft for Mars missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    One of the topics available to the 1990-91 Aerospace Engineering senior class was the development of a preliminary design of an unmanned cargo ferry that would support the Mars mission by bringing equipment and supplies from a low Earth orbit (LEO) to a low Mars orbit (LMO). Several previous studies initiated by NASA have indicated that low-thrust transportation systems seem to offer the best performance for Mars missions. Such systems are characterized by long spiral times during escape and capture maneuvers, high payload mass fractions, and, typically, low propellant mass fractions. Of two main low-thrust candidates, nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) and solar electric propulsion (SEP), only the first one received extensive consideration because it seemed to represent the most promising concept for a manned mission to Mars. However, any sustained Mars initiative will have to include an unmanned cargo transportation system, for which an SEP concept deserves very careful consideration. The key assumptions and requirements established in cooperation with the Space Exploration Initiative office at the NASA Langley Research Center were (1) vehicle is assembled at the Space Station Freedom (SSF); (2) Earth-to-orbit delivery of the vehicle components, propellant, and payload is via shuttle-C; (3) vehicle's cargo mass is 61,000 kg; (4) vehicle delivers cargo to LMO at an altitude of 500 km and inclination of 70 deg; (5) vehicle returns (without cargo) to SSF; (6) vehicle should be reusable for at least three missions; and (7) vehicle is powered by ion argon thrusters. Two configurations were developed by two student teams, working mostly independently.

  7. Solar electric propulsion cargo spacecraft for Mars missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    One of the topics available to the 1990-91 Aerospace Engineering senior class was the development of a preliminary design of an unmanned cargo ferry that would support the Mars mission by bringing equipment and supplies from a low Earth orbit (LEO) to a low Mars orbit (LMO). Several previous studies initiated by NASA have indicated that low-thrust transportation systems seem to offer the best performance for Mars missions. Such systems are characterized by long spiral times during escape and capture maneuvers, high payload mass fractions, and, typically, low propellant mass fractions. Of two main low-thrust candidates, nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) and solar electric propulsion (SEP), only the first one received extensive consideration because it seemed to represent the most promising concept for a manned mission to Mars. However, any sustained Mars initiative will have to include an unmanned cargo transportation system, for which an SEP concept deserves very careful consideration. The key assumptions and requirements established in cooperation with the Space Exploration Initiative office at the NASA Langley Research Center were (1) vehicle is assembled at the Space Station Freedom (SSF); (2) Earth-to-orbit delivery of the vehicle components, propellant, and payload is via shuttle-C; (3) vehicle's cargo mass is 61,000 kg; (4) vehicle delivers cargo to LMO at an altitude of 500 km and inclination of 70 deg; (5) vehicle returns (without cargo) to SSF; (6) vehicle should be reusable for at least three missions; and (7) vehicle is powered by ion argon thrusters. Two configurations were developed by two student teams, working mostly independently.

  8. 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.

  9. The effect of technology advancements on the comparative advantages of electric versus chemical propulsion for a large cargo orbit transfer vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rehder, J. J.; Wurster, K. E.

    1978-01-01

    Techniques for sizing electrically or chemically propelled orbit transfer vehicles and analyzing fleet requirements are used in a comparative analysis of the two concepts for various levels of traffic to geosynchronous orbit. The vehicle masses, fuel requirements, and fleet sizes are determined and translated into launch vehicle payload requirements. Technology projections beyond normal growth are made and their effect on the comparative advantages of the concepts is determined. A preliminary cost analysis indicates that although electric propulsion greatly reduces launch vehicle requirements substantial improvements in the cost and reusability of power systems must occur to make an electrically propelled vehicle competitive.

  10. Magnetohydrodynamic Augmented Propulsion Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Litchford, Ron J.; Cole, John; Lineberry, John; Chapman, Jim; Schmidt, Harold; Cook, Stephen (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    A fundamental obstacle to routine space access is the specific energy limitations associated with chemical fuels. In the case of vertical take-off, the high thrust needed for vertical liftoff and acceleration to orbit translates into power levels in the 10 GW range. Furthermore, useful payload mass fractions are possible only if the exhaust particle energy (i.e., exhaust velocity) is much greater than that available with traditional chemical propulsion. The electronic binding energy released by the best chemical reactions (e.g., LOX/LH2 for example, is less than 2 eV per product molecule (approx. 1.8 eV per H2O molecule), which translates into particle velocities less than 5 km/s. Useful payload fractions, however, will require exhaust velocities exceeding 15 km/s (i.e., particle energies greater than 20 eV). As an added challenge, the envisioned hypothetical RLV (reusable launch vehicle) should accomplish these amazing performance feats while providing relatively low acceleration levels to orbit (2-3g maximum). From such fundamental considerations, it is painfully obvious that planned and current RLV solutions based on chemical fuels alone represent only a temporary solution and can only result in minor gains, at best. What is truly needed is a revolutionary approach that will dramatically reduce the amount of fuel and size of the launch vehicle. This implies the need for new compact high-power energy sources as well as advanced accelerator technologies for increasing engine exhaust velocity. Electromagnetic acceleration techniques are of immense interest since they can be used to circumvent the thermal limits associated with conventional propulsion systems. This paper describes the Magnetohydrodynamic Augmented Propulsion Experiment (MAPX) being undertaken at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). In this experiment, a 1-MW arc heater is being used as a feeder for a 1-MW magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) accelerator. The purpose of the experiment is to demonstrate

  11. Engineering of the Magnetized Target Fusion Propulsion System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

    Engineering details are presented for a magnetized target fusion (MTF) propulsion system designed to support crewed missions to the outer solar system. Basic operation of an MTF propulsion system is introduced. Structural, thermal, radiation-management and electrical design details are presented. The propellant storage and supply system design is also presented. A propulsion system mass estimate and associated performance figures are given. The advantages of helium-3 as a fusion fuel for an advanced MTF system are discussed.

  12. 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.

  13. Space station propulsion requirements study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

  14. Development and Testing of Propulsion Health Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hunter, Gary W.; Lekki, John D.; Simon, Donald L.

    2012-01-01

    An Integrated Vehicle Health Management system aims to maintain vehicle health through detection, diagnostics, state awareness, prognostics, and lastly, mitigation of detrimental situations for each of the vehicle subsystems and throughout the vehicle as a whole. This paper discusses efforts to advance Propulsion Health Management technology for in-flight applications to provide improved propulsion sensors measuring a range of parameters, improve ease of propulsion sensor implementation, and to assess and manage the health of gas turbine engine flow-path components. This combined work is intended to enable real-time propulsion state assessments to accurately determine the vehicle health, reduce loss of control, and to improve operator situational awareness. A unique aspect of this work is demonstration of these maturing technologies on an operational engine.

  15. In-Space Propulsion: Connectivity to In-Space Fabrication and Repair

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, L.; Harris, D.; Trausch, A.; Matloff, G. L.; Taylor, T.; Cutting, K.

    2005-01-01

    The connectivity between new in-space propulsion technologies and the ultimate development of an in-space fabrication and repair infrastructure are described in this Technical Memorandum. A number of advanced in-space propulsion technologies are being developed by NASA, many of which are directly relevant to the establishment of such an in-space infrastructure. These include aerocapture, advanced solar-electric propulsion, solar-thermal propulsion, advanced chemical propulsion, tethers, and solar photon sails. Other, further-term technologies have also been studied to assess their utility to the development of such an infrastructure.

  16. 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.

  17. Radioisotope Electric Propulsion (REP): A Near-Term Approach to Nuclear Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidt, George R.; Manzella, David H.; Kamhawi, Hani; Kremic, Tibor; Oleson, Steven R.; Dankanich, John W.; Dudzinski, Leonard A.

    2009-01-01

    Studies over the last decade have shown radioisotope-based nuclear electric propulsion to be enhancing and, in some cases, enabling for many potential robotic science missions. Also known as radioisotope electric propulsion (REP), the technology offers the performance advantages of traditional reactor-powered electric propulsion (i.e., high specific impulse propulsion at large distances from the Sun), but with much smaller, affordable spacecraft. Future use of REP requires development of radioisotope power sources with system specific powers well above that of current systems. The US Department of Energy and NASA have developed an advanced Stirling radioisotope generator (ASRG) engineering unit, which was subjected to rigorous flight qualification-level tests in 2008, and began extended lifetime testing later that year. This advancement, along with recent work on small ion thrusters and life extension technology for Hall thrusters, could enable missions using REP sometime during the next decade.

  18. Radioisotope electric propulsion (REP): A near-term approach to nuclear propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, George R.; Manzella, David H.; Kamhawi, Hani; Kremic, Tibor; Oleson, Steven R.; Dankanich, John W.; Dudzinski, Leonard A.

    2010-02-01

    Studies over the last decade have shown radioisotope-based nuclear electric propulsion to be enhancing and, in some cases, enabling for many potential robotic science missions. Also known as radioisotope electric propulsion (REP), the technology offers the performance advantages of traditional reactor-powered electric propulsion (i.e., high specific impulse propulsion at large distances from the Sun), but with much smaller, affordable spacecraft. Future use of REP requires development of radioisotope power sources with system specific powers well above that of current systems. The US Department of Energy and NASA have developed an advanced Stirling radioisotope generator (ASRG) engineering unit, which was subjected to rigorous flight qualification-level tests in 2008, and began extended lifetime testing later that year. This advancement, along with recent work on small ion thrusters and life extension technology for Hall thrusters, could enable missions using REP sometime during the next decade.

  19. Shuttle Propulsion System Major Events and the Final 22 Flights

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Owen, James W.

    2011-01-01

    Numerous lessons have been documented from the Space Shuttle Propulsion elements. Major events include loss of the Solid Rocket Boosters (SRB's) on STS-4 and shutdown of a Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) during ascent on STS-51F. On STS-112 only half the pyrotechnics fired during release of the vehicle from the launch pad, a testament for redundancy. STS-91 exhibited freezing of a main combustion chamber pressure measurement and on STS-93 nozzle tube ruptures necessitated a low liquid level oxygen cut off of the main engines. A number of on pad aborts were experienced during the early program resulting in delays. And the two accidents, STS-51L and STS-107, had unique heritage in history from early program decisions and vehicle configuration. Following STS-51L significant resources were invested in developing fundamental physical understanding of solid rocket motor environments and material system behavior. And following STS-107, the risk of ascent debris was better characterized and controlled. Situational awareness during all mission phases improved, and the management team instituted effective risk assessment practices. The last 22 flights of the Space Shuttle, following the Columbia accident, were characterized by remarkable improvement in safety and reliability. Numerous problems were solved in addition to reduction of the ascent debris hazard. The Shuttle system, though not as operable as envisioned in the 1970's, successfully assembled the International Space Station (ISS). By the end of the program, the remarkable Space Shuttle Propulsion system achieved very high performance, was largely reusable, exhibited high reliability, and was a heavy lift earth to orbit propulsion system. During the program a number of project management and engineering processes were implemented and improved. Technical performance, schedule accountability, cost control, and risk management were effectively managed and implemented. Award fee contracting was implemented to provide

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Modeling of Power and Propulsion Parameters For Nuclear Electric Propulsion Misson Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sauer, Carl G., Jr.

    1993-01-01

    Advanced propulsion mission studies sponsored by NASA over the past 10-15 years have indicated that Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) may be a viable candidate for a detailed exploration of the solar system. The first generation of NEP to be used for Planetary missions will most likely be based on modest technology improvements to already existing designs or hardware for a technology readiness in the 2000-2010 time frame.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. A Future with Hybrid Electric Propulsion Systems: A NASA Perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DelRosario, Ruben

    2014-01-01

    The presentation highlights a NASA perspective on Hybrid Electric Propulsion Systems for aeronautical applications. Discussed are results from NASA Advance Concepts Study for Aircraft Entering service in 2030 and beyond and the potential use of hybrid electric propulsion systems as a potential solution to the requirements for energy efficiency and environmental compatibility. Current progress and notional potential NASA research plans are presented.

  8. An overview of the Penn State Propulsion Engineering Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merkle, Charles L.

    1991-01-01

    An overview of the Penn State Propulsion Engineering Research Center is presented. The following subject areas are covered: research objectives and long term perspective of the Center; current status and operational philosophy; and brief description of Center projects (combustion, fluid mechanics and heat transfer, materials compatibility, turbomachinery, and advanced propulsion concepts).

  9. Space Transportation Technology Workshop: Propulsion Research and Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

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

  10. FY2009 Annual Progress Report for Propulsion Materials

    SciTech Connect

    none,

    2010-01-16

    The Propulsion Materials program focuses on enabling and innovative materials technologies that are critical in improving the efficiency of advanced engines. Projects within the Propulsion Materials Program address materials concerns that directly impact the critical technical barriers in each of these programs—barriers such as fuel efficiency, thermal management, emissions reduction, and reduced manufacturing costs.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Montgomery, Edward E., IV

    2004-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Roadmap for In-Space Propulsion Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

    NASA has created a roadmap for the development of advanced in-space propulsion technologies for the NASA Office of the Chief Technologist (OCT). This roadmap was drafted by a team of subject matter experts from within the Agency and then independently evaluated, integrated and prioritized by a National Research Council (NRC) panel. The roadmap describes a portfolio of in-space propulsion technologies that could meet future space science and exploration needs, and shows their traceability to potential future missions. Mission applications range from small satellites and robotic deep space exploration to space stations and human missions to Mars. Development of technologies within the area of in-space propulsion will result in technical solutions with improvements in thrust, specific impulse (Isp), power, specific mass (or specific power), volume, system mass, system complexity, operational complexity, commonality with other spacecraft systems, manufacturability, durability, and of course, cost. These types of improvements will yield decreased transit times, increased payload mass, safer spacecraft, and decreased costs. In some instances, development of technologies within this area will result in mission-enabling breakthroughs that will revolutionize space exploration. There is no single propulsion technology that will benefit all missions or mission types. The requirements for in-space propulsion vary widely according to their intended application. This paper provides an updated summary of the In-Space Propulsion Systems technology area roadmap incorporating the recommendations of the NRC.

  14. Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project: Project Management Methods

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Millis, Marc G.

    2004-01-01

    To leap past the limitations of existing propulsion, the NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics (BPP) Project seeks further advancements in physics from which new propulsion methods can eventually be derived. Three visionary breakthroughs are sought: (1) propulsion that requires no propellant, (2) propulsion that circumvents existing speed limits, and (3) breakthrough methods of energy production to power such devices. Because these propulsion goals are presumably far from fruition, a special emphasis is to identify credible research that will make measurable progress toward these goals in the near-term. The management techniques to address this challenge are presented, with a special emphasis on the process used to review, prioritize, and select research tasks. This selection process includes these key features: (a) research tasks are constrained to only address the immediate unknowns, curious effects or critical issues, (b) reliability of assertions is more important than the implications of the assertions, which includes the practice where the reviewers judge credibility rather than feasibility, and (c) total scores are obtained by multiplying the criteria scores rather than by adding. Lessons learned and revisions planned are discussed.

  15. Conference on Advanced Technology for Future Space Systems, Hampton, Va., May 8-10, 1979, Technical Papers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    Propulsion systems for spacecraft, satellite communications technology, the design of large light-weight erectable structures for assembly in space, electronics and information processing for spacecraft, and self-diagnostic, fault-tolerant controls based on high memory and processing capabilities are discussed. Topics of the papers include the design of large delta wings for earth-to-orbit transports, dual-fuel propulsion units, magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters, heating rates on blunt-nosed bodies at various angles of attack, remote manipulators for space assembly tasks, solar electric propulsion for planetary missions, deployable space platforms with multiple payloads, the design of large offset-fed antennas, a nonlinear stress-strain relationship for metallic meshes, and adaptive sensors for spacecraft.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Hybrid Propulsion Technology Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jensen, G. E.; Holzman, A. L.

    1990-01-01

    Future launch systems of the United States will require improvements in booster safety, reliability, and cost. In order to increase payload capabilities, performance improvements are also desirable. The hybrid rocket motor (HRM) offers the potential for improvements in all of these areas. The designs are presented for two sizes of hybrid boosters, a large 4.57 m (180 in.) diameter booster duplicating the Advanced Solid Rocket Motor (ASRM) vacuum thrust-time profile and smaller 2.44 m (96 in.), one-quater thrust level booster. The large booster would be used in tandem, while eight small boosters would be used to achieve the same total thrust. These preliminary designs were generated as part of the NASA Hybrid Propulsion Technology Program. This program is the first phase of an eventual three-phaes program culminating in the demonstration of a large subscale engine. The initial trade and sizing studies resulted in preferred motor diameters, operating pressures, nozzle geometry, and fuel grain systems for both the large and small boosters. The data were then used for specific performance predictions in terms of payload and the definition and selection of the requirements for the major components: the oxidizer feed system, nozzle, and thrust vector system. All of the parametric studies were performed using realistic fuel regression models based upon specific experimental data.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. CFD propels NASP propulsion progress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Povinelli, Louis A.; Dwoyer, Douglas L.; Green, Michael J.

    1990-07-01

    The most complex aerothermodynamics encountered in the National Aerospace Plane (NASP) propulsion system are associated with the fuel-mixing and combustion-reaction flows of its combustor section; adequate CFD tools must be developed to model shock-wave systems, turbulent hydrogen/air mixing, flow separation, and combustion. Improvements to existing CFD codes have involved extension from two dimensions to three, as well as the addition of finite-rate hydrogen-air chemistry. A novel CFD code for the treatment of reacting flows throughout the NASP, designated GASP, uses the most advanced upwind-differencing technology.

  2. NASA's Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Mike; Mitchell, Sonny; Kim, Tony; Borowski, Stan; Power, Kevin; Scott, John; Belvin, Anthony; Clement, Steve

    2015-01-01

    HEOMD's (Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate) AES (Advanced Exploration Systems) Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) project is making significant progress. First of four FY 2015 milestones achieved this month. Safety is the highest priority for NTP (as with other space systems). After safety comes affordability. No centralized capability for developing, qualifying, and utilizing an NTP system. Will require a strong, closely integrated team. Tremendous potential benefits from NTP and other space fission systems. No fundamental reason these systems cannot be developed and utilized in a safe, affordable fashion.

  3. Installing a propulsion system in the HSCT

    SciTech Connect

    Gilkey, S.C.; Hines, R.H.; Shaw, R.J.

    1995-08-01

    This article reports on the development of an advanced propulsion system for the High Speed Civil Transport aircraft. The topics of the article include a review of the need for supersonic transport, the design mission and requirements, installed system performance including impact of intake and exhaust nozzle configuration, installed system noise, maintainability and safety, and future tests.

  4. Activities of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1986-01-01

    Work accomplished by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) under contract to NASA in 1985 is described. The work took place in the areas of flight projects, space science, geodynamics, materials science, advanced technology, defense and civil programs, telecommunications systems, and institutional activities.

  5. Propulsion opportunities for future commuter aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strack, W. C.

    1982-01-01

    Circa 1990 propulsion improvement concepts are discussed for 1000 to 5000 SHP conventional turboprop powerplants including engines, gearboxes, and propellers. Cycle selection, power plant configurations and advanced technology elements are defined and evaluated using average stage length DOC for commuter aircraft as the primary merit criterion.

  6. Propulsion control and control theory: A new research focus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zeller, J. R.

    1980-01-01

    Technological developments necessary for the implementation of advanced digital control concepts for aircraft propulsion are identified and discussed. Developments associated with the replacement analog controllers with digital control systems, sensors and actuators, and control modes and software are reported.

  7. FY2011 Annual Progress Report for Propulsion Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Davis, Patrick B.; Schutte, Carol L.; Gibbs, Jerry L.

    2011-12-01

    Annual Progress Report for Propulsion Materials focusing on enabling and innovative materials technologies that are critical in improving the efficiency of advanced engines by providing enabling materials support for combustion, hybrid, and power electronics development.

  8. Electric propulsion for geostationary orbit insertion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven R.; Curran, Francis M.; Myers, Roger M.

    1995-01-01

    Solar electric propulsion (SEP) technology is already being used for geostationary satellite stationkeeping to increase payload mass. By using this same technology to perform part of the orbit transfer additional increases in payload mass can be achieved. Advanced chemical and N2H4 arcjet systems are used to increase the payload mass by performing stationkeeping and part of the orbit transfer. Four mission options are analyzed which show the impact of either sharing the orbit transfer between chemical and SEP systems or having either complete the transfer alone. Results show that for an Atlas 2AS payload increases in net mass (geostationary satellite mass less wet propulsion system mass) of up to 100 kg can be achieved using advanced chemical for the transfer and advanced N2H4 arcjets for stationkeeping. An additional 100 kg can be added using advanced N2H4 arcjets for part of a 40 day orbit transfer.

  9. MW-Class Electric Propulsion System Designs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    LaPointe, Michael R.; Oleson, Steven; Pencil, Eric; Mercer, Carolyn; Distefano, Salvador

    2011-01-01

    Electric propulsion systems are well developed and have been in commercial use for several years. Ion and Hall thrusters have propelled robotic spacecraft to encounters with asteroids, the Moon, and minor planetary bodies within the solar system, while higher power systems are being considered to support even more demanding future space science and exploration missions. Such missions may include orbit raising and station-keeping for large platforms, robotic and human missions to near earth asteroids, cargo transport for sustained lunar or Mars exploration, and at very high-power, fast piloted missions to Mars and the outer planets. The Advanced In-Space Propulsion Project, High Efficiency Space Power Systems Project, and High Power Electric Propulsion Demonstration Project were established within the NASA Exploration Technology Development and Demonstration Program to develop and advance the fundamental technologies required for these long-range, future exploration missions. Under the auspices of the High Efficiency Space Power Systems Project, and supported by the Advanced In-Space Propulsion and High Power Electric Propulsion Projects, the COMPASS design team at the NASA Glenn Research Center performed multiple parametric design analyses to determine solar and nuclear electric power technology requirements for representative 300-kW class and pulsed and steady-state MW-class electric propulsion systems. This paper describes the results of the MW-class electric power and propulsion design analysis. Starting with the representative MW-class vehicle configurations, and using design reference missions bounded by launch dates, several power system technology improvements were introduced into the parametric COMPASS simulations to determine the potential system level benefits such technologies might provide. Those technologies providing quantitative system level benefits were then assessed for technical feasibility, cost, and time to develop. Key assumptions and primary

  10. Advanced propulsion systems and alternative fuels for non-highway transportation. An assessment of unique and priority research and development opportunities. Volume III. A compendium of research and development. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1985-09-01

    This report documents the combined results of a literature search and personal communications activity designed to identify on-going R and D and suggested R and D needs for advanced propulsion systems and alternative fuels utilization technologies for non-highway transportation applications. The results are presented in the three subsequent chapters of this report. Section 3 presents the results of the literature search. Some of the information reported in Section 3 was obtained through communications with and information received from various Government and private R and D funding entities. Each identified R an D program or project is summarized and various additional information deemed pertinent is noted. Section 4 presents the results of discussions and communications with various private organizations and academic institutions. These discussions and communications were designed to buttress the literature search effort and were conducted independently of the literature search. Thus, some cross-reporting of research efforts will exist. Section 5 presents the results of personal communications with selected key researchers. This latter activity was designed to elicit recommendations of R and D needs, thus providing the workshop panel with additional advance information for its considerations as well as to provide additional input for the final assessments reported in Volume I.

  11. 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

  12. Study of electrical and chemical propulsion systems for auxiliary propulsion of large space systems, volume 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, W. W.

    1981-01-01

    The five major tasks of the program are reported. Task 1 is a literature search followed by selection and definition of seven generic spacecraft classes. Task 2 covers the determination and description of important disturbance effects. Task 3 applies the disturbances to the generic spacecraft and adds maneuver and stationkeeping functions to define total auxiliary propulsion systems requirements for control. The important auxiliary propulsion system characteristics are identified and sensitivities to control functions and large space system characteristics determined. In Task 4, these sensitivities are quantified and the optimum auxiliary propulsion system characteristics determined. Task 5 compares the desired characteristics with those available for both electrical and chemical auxiliary propulsion systems to identify the directions technology advances should take.

  13. Component research for future propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walker, C. L.; Weden, G. J.; Zuk, J.

    1981-01-01

    A review of factors related to the acquisition and life-cycle cost, and mission reliability of helicopters is given. The potential for advanced vehicle configurations with improvements in energy efficiency, operating economics, and characteristics to satisfy the demands of the future market are identified. Special attention is given to advanced propulsion systems and related component technologies, and system requirements, powerplants and component thrusts, compressor designs, combustion systems, turbine efficiency, blade tip treatment concepts and shaft dynamics are discussed in detail.

  14. Supersonic Cruise Efficiency - Propulsion Tech Challenge Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DeBonis James R.

    2007-01-01

    This presentation provides a brief overview of the research underway in the Cruise Efficiency -- Propulsion technical challenge area of NASA's Fundamental Aeronautics Supersonics project. The research involves both computational and experimental efforts in the areas of Advanced Inlet Concepts, High Performance/Wide Operability Fan and Compressors, Advanced Nozzle Concepts and Intelligent Sensors/Actuators. The work consists of both internal NASA research and external efforts funded through the NASA Research Announcement process.

  15. Materials Aspects of Turboelectric Aircraft Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Gerald V.

    2009-01-01

    The turboelectric distributed propulsion approach for aircraft makes a contribution to all four "corners" of NASA s Subsonic Fixed Wing trade space, reducing fuel burn, noise, emissions and field length. To achieve the system performance required for the turboelectric approach, a number of advances in materials and structures must occur. These range from improved superconducting composites to structural composites for support windings in superconducting motors at cryogenic temperatures. The rationale for turboelectric distributed propulsion and the materials research and development opportunities that it may offer are outlined.

  16. 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.

  17. NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Program: A Step Toward Interstellar Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; James, Bonnie; Baggett, Randy; Montgomery, Sandy

    2005-01-01

    NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Program is investing in technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the robotic exploration of deep space. For robotic exploration and science missions, increased efficiencies of future propulsion systems are critical to reduce overall life-cycle costs and, in some cases, enable missions previously considered impossible. Continued reliance on conventional chemical propulsion alone will not enable the robust exploration of deep space. The maximum theoretical efficiencies have almost been reached and are insufficient to meet needs for many ambitious science missions currently being considered. By developing the capability to support mid-term robotic mission needs, the program is laying the technological foundation for travel to nearby interstellar space. The In-Space Propulsion Technology Program s technology portfolio includes many advanced propulsion systems. From the next-generation ion propulsion systems operating in the 5-10 kW range, to solar sail 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 onboard fuel to achieve thrust. Propellantless propulsion technologies include scientific innovations, such as solar sails, electrodynamic and momentum transfer tethers, and aerocapture. This paper will provide an overview of those propellantless and propellant-based advanced propulsion technologies that will most significantly advance our exploration of deep space.

  18. NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Program: A Step Toward Interstellar Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, L.; James, B.; Baggett, R.; Montgomery, E. E., IV

    NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Program is investing in technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the robotic exploration of deep space. For robotic exploration and science missions, increased efficiencies of future propulsion systems are critical to reduce overall life-cycle costs and, in some cases, enable missions previously considered impossible. Continued reliance on conventional chemical propulsion alone will not enable the robust exploration of deep space. The maximum theoretical efficiencies have almost been reached and are insufficient to meet needs for many ambitious science missions currently being considered. By developing the capability to support mid-term robotic mission needs, the program is laying the technological foundation for travel to nearby interstellar space. The In-Space Propulsion Technology Program's technology portfolio includes many advanced propulsion systems. From the next-generation ion propulsion systems operating in the 5-10 kW range, to solar sail 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 onboard fuel to achieve thrust. Propellantless propulsion technologies include scientific innovations such as solar sails and aerocapture. This paper will provide an overview of those propellantless and propellant-based advanced propulsion technologies that will most significantly advance our exploration of deep space.

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Supersonic STOVL propulsion technology program: An overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blaha, Bernard J.; Batterton, Peter G.

    1987-01-01

    Planning activities are continuing between NASA, DOD, and two foreign governments to develop the technology and to demonstrate the design capability for advanced, supersonic, short-takeoff and vertical-landing (STOVL) aircraft by the mid-1990s. As a result, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was established by the United Kingdom to jointly pursue the required technology; and an MOU with Canada is expected to be signed shortly. The NASA Lewis Research Center will play a lead role in the development of the required propulsion technologies which were identified as being critical to achieve viable STOVL aircraft. These planning activities have already resulted in initial research programs focused on technologies common to two or more of the proposed propulsion system concepts. An overview of the Lewis Research Center's role in the overall program plan and recent results in the development of the required propulsion technologies is presented.

  3. In-Space Chemical Propulsion System Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Byers, David C.; Woodcock, Gordon; Benfield, Michael P. J.

    2004-01-01

    Multiple, new technologies for chemical systems are becoming available and include high temperature rockets, very light propellant tanks and structures, new bipropellant and monopropellant options, lower mass propellant control components, and zero boil off subsystems. Such technologies offer promise of increasing the performance of in-space chemical propulsion for energetic space missions. A mass model for pressure-fed, Earth and space-storable, advanced chemical propulsion systems (ACPS) was developed in support of the NASA MSFC In-Space Propulsion Program. Data from flight systems and studies defined baseline system architectures and subsystems and analyses were formulated for parametric scaling relationships for all ACPS subsystem. The paper will first provide summary descriptions of the approaches used for the systems and the subsystems and then present selected analyses to illustrate use of the model for missions with characteristics of current interest.

  4. In-Space Chemical Propulsion System Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Byers, David C.; Woodcock, Gordon; Benfield, M. P. J.

    2004-01-01

    Multiple, new technologies for chemical systems are becoming available and include high temperature rockets, very light propellant tanks and structures, new bipropellant and monopropellant options, lower mass propellant control components, and zero boil off subsystems. Such technologies offer promise of increasing the performance of in-space chemical propulsion for energetic space missions. A mass model for pressure-fed, Earth and space-storable, advanced chemical propulsion systems (ACPS) was developed in support of the NASA MSFC In-Space Propulsion Program. Data from flight systems and studies defined baseline system architectures and subsystems and analyses were formulated for parametric scaling relationships for all ACPS subsystems. The paper will first provide summary descriptions of the approaches used for the systems and the subsystems and then present selected analyses to illustrate use of the model for missions with characteristics of current interest.

  5. NASA's Launch Propulsion Systems Technology Roadmap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McConnaughey, Paul K.; Femminineo, Mark G.; Koelfgen, Syri J.; Lepsch, Roger A; Ryan, Richard M.; Taylor, Steven A.

    2012-01-01

    Safe, reliable, and affordable access to low-Earth (LEO) orbit is necessary for all of the United States (US) space endeavors. In 2010, NASA s Office of the Chief Technologist commissioned 14 teams to develop technology roadmaps that could be used to guide the Agency s and US technology investment decisions for the next few decades. The Launch Propulsion Systems Technology Area (LPSTA) team was tasked to address the propulsion technology challenges for access to LEO. The developed LPSTA roadmap addresses technologies that enhance existing solid or liquid propulsion technologies and their related ancillary systems or significantly advance the technology readiness level (TRL) of less mature systems like airbreathing, unconventional, and other launch technologies. In developing this roadmap, the LPSTA team consulted previous NASA, military, and industry studies as well as subject matter experts to develop their assessment of this field, which has fundamental technological and strategic impacts for US space capabilities.

  6. 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.

  7. NASA Propulsion Investments for Exploration and Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Bryan K.; Free, James M.; Klem, Mark D.; Priskos, Alex S.; Kynard, Michael H.

    2008-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) invests in chemical and electric propulsion systems to achieve future mission objectives for both human exploration and robotic science. Propulsion system requirements for human missions are derived from the exploration architecture being implemented in the Constellation Program. The Constellation Program first develops a system consisting of the Ares I launch vehicle and Orion spacecraft to access the Space Station, then builds on this initial system with the heavy-lift Ares V launch vehicle, Earth departure stage, and lunar module to enable missions to the lunar surface. A variety of chemical engines for all mission phases including primary propulsion, reaction control, abort, lunar ascent, and lunar descent are under development or are in early risk reduction to meet the specific requirements of the Ares I and V launch vehicles, Orion crew and service modules, and Altair lunar module. Exploration propulsion systems draw from Apollo, space shuttle, and commercial heritage and are applied across the Constellation architecture vehicles. Selection of these launch systems and engines is driven by numerous factors including development cost, existing infrastructure, operations cost, and reliability. Incorporation of green systems for sustained operations and extensibility into future systems is an additional consideration for system design. Science missions will directly benefit from the development of Constellation launch systems, and are making advancements in electric and chemical propulsion systems for challenging deep space, rendezvous, and sample return missions. Both Hall effect and ion electric propulsion systems are in development or qualification to address the range of NASA s Heliophysics, Planetary Science, and Astrophysics mission requirements. These address the spectrum of potential requirements from cost-capped missions to enabling challenging high delta-v, long-life missions. Additionally, a high

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Propulsion System Choices and Their Implications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Joyner, Claude R., II; Levack, Daniel J. H.; Rhodes, Russell, E.; Robinson, John W.

    2010-01-01

    In defining a space vehicle architecture, the propulsion system and related subsystem choices will have a major influence on achieving the goals and objectives desired. There are many alternatives and the choices made must produce a system that meets the performance requirements, but at the same time also provide the greatest opportunity of reaching all of the required objectives. Recognizing the above, the SPST Functional Requirements subteam has drawn on the knowledge, expertise, and experience of its members, to develop insight that wiIJ effectively aid the architectural concept developer in making the appropriate choices consistent with the architecture goals. This data not only identifies many selected choices, but also, more importantly, presents the collective assessment of this subteam on the "pros" and the "cons" of these choices. The propulsion system choices with their pros and cons are presented in five major groups. A. System Integration Approach. Focused on the requirement for safety, reliability, dependability, maintainability, and low cost. B. Non-Chemical Propulsion. Focused on choice of propulsion type. C. Chemical Propulsion. Focused on propellant choice implications. D. Functional Integration. Focused on the degree of integration of the many propulsive and closely associated functions, and on the choice of the engine combustion power cycle. E. Thermal Management. Focused on propellant tank insulation and integration. Each of these groups is further broken down into subgroups, and at that level the consensus pros and cons are presented. The intended use of this paper is to provide a resource of focused material for architectural concept developers to use in designing new advanced systems including college design classes. It is also a possible source of input material for developing a model for designing and analyzing advanced concepts to help identify focused technology needs and their priorities.

  11. The USAF Electronic Propulsion Research Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spores, Ronald A.; Birkan, Mitat

    2002-06-01

    All overview of current electric propulsion research and development efforts within the United States Air Force is presented. The Air Force supports electric propulsion primarily through the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the AFOSR european Office of Aerospace Research and Development (BOARD). Overall direction for the programs comes from Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), with AFRL mission analysis used to define specific technological advances needed to meet AFSPC mission priorities. AFOSR funds basic research in electric propulsion throughout the country in both academia and industry. The AFRL Propulsion Directorate conducts electric propulsion efforts in basic research, engineering development, and space flight experiments. BOARD supports research at foreign laboratories that feeds directly into AFOSR and AFRL research programs. Current research efforts fall into 3 main categories defined loosely by the thruster power level. All three agencies are conducting research at the low-power regime (P less than 200 W), in support of emerging USAF microsatellite missions. Efforts in the mid-power range (500 W to 5 kW) is being shifted from research and development to thruster/spacecraft integration issues. The high power regime (P greater than 30 kW) is realizing increased emphasis.

  12. 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.

  13. On-Board Chemical Propulsion Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reed, Brian D.

    2004-01-01

    On-board propulsion functions include orbit insertion, orbit maintenance, constellation maintenance, precision positioning, in-space maneuvering, de-orbiting, vehicle reaction control, planetary retro, and planetary descent/ascent. This paper discusses on-board chemical propulsion technology, including bipropellants, monopropellants, and micropropulsion. Bipropellant propulsion has focused on maximizing the performance of Earth storable propellants by using high-temperature, oxidation-resistant chamber materials. The performance of bipropellant systems can be increased further, by operating at elevated chamber pressures and/or using higher energy oxidizers. Both options present system level difficulties for spacecraft, however. Monopropellant research has focused on mixtures composed of an aqueous solution of hydroxl ammonium nitrate (HAN) and a fuel component. HAN-based monopropellants, unlike hydrazine, do not present a vapor hazard and do not require extraordinary procedures for storage, handling, and disposal. HAN-based monopropellants generically have higher densities and lower freezing points than the state-of-art hydrazine and can higher performance, depending on the formulation. High-performance HAN-based monopropellants, however, have aggressive, high-temperature combustion environments and require advances in catalyst materials or suitable non-catalytic ignition options. The objective of the micropropulsion technology area is to develop low-cost, high-utility propulsion systems for the range of miniature spacecraft and precision propulsion applications.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Propulsion Technology Lifecycle Operational Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinson, John W.; Rhodes, Russell E.

    2010-01-01

    The paper presents the results of a focused effort performed by the members of the Space Propulsion Synergy Team (SPST) Functional Requirements Sub-team to develop propulsion data to support Advanced Technology Lifecycle Analysis System (ATLAS). This is a spreadsheet application to analyze the impact of technology decisions at a system-of-systems level. Results are summarized in an Excel workbook we call the Technology Tool Box (TTB). The TTB provides data for technology performance, operations, and programmatic parameters in the form of a library of technical information to support analysis tools and/or models. The lifecycle of technologies can be analyzed from this data and particularly useful for system operations involving long running missions. The propulsion technologies in this paper are listed against Chemical Rocket Engines in a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) format. The overall effort involved establishing four elements: (1) A general purpose Functional System Breakdown Structure (FSBS). (2) Operational Requirements for Rocket Engines. (3) Technology Metric Values associated with Operating Systems (4) Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) of Chemical Rocket Engines The list of Chemical Rocket Engines identified in the WBS is by no means complete. It is planned to update the TTB with a more complete list of available Chemical Rocket Engines for United States (US) engines and add the Foreign rocket engines to the WBS which are available to NASA and the Aerospace Industry. The Operational Technology Metric Values were derived by the SPST Sub-team in the form of the TTB and establishes a database for users to help evaluate and establish the technology level of each Chemical Rocket Engine in the database. The Technology Metric Values will serve as a guide to help determine which rocket engine to invest technology money in for future development.

  17. Overview 1993: Chemical propulsion at CSTAR

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knuth, William H.

    1993-01-01

    Chemical Propulsion at CSTAR continues to expand its activities and areas of interest. Several new initiatives are being developed which are extensions of, or replacements for, earlier projects. One current focus is on reassessing promising engine cycles and the enabling technologies for implementing them. These engine cycles which include advanced hybrids, and staged combustion cycles have the use of oxygen as a working fluid and coolant in common. Oxygen is used as a turbine drive gas, tank pressurant and as a cooling medium for combustion devices. CSTAR has interest in the propellant feed systems for advanced rocket engines, including propellant conditioning and tank pressurization, gas generators, and turbomachinery. CSTAR's interests also include propellant injection into the main chamber. These aspects of rocket propulsion embody a diverse range of technical disciplines and technologies, critical to the pursuit of low cost space access. The chemical propulsion program at CSTAR includes active projects investigating hybrid rocket engine oxygen feed systems, hybrid rocket injectors, gas fed hybrid rocket combustion, elements of main injectors for staged combustion devices. CSTAR is actively seeking industrial partners interested in joint participation in one or more phases of the analyses, design, development and application of propulsion technologies and related technical disciplines.

  18. The Numerical Propulsion System Simulation: An Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lytle, John K.

    2000-01-01

    Advances in computational technology and in physics-based modeling are making large-scale, detailed simulations of complex systems possible within the design environment. For example, the integration of computing, communications, and aerodynamics has reduced the time required to analyze major propulsion system components from days and weeks to minutes and hours. This breakthrough has enabled the detailed simulation of major propulsion system components to become a routine part of designing systems, providing the designer with critical information about the components early in the design process. This paper describes the development of the numerical propulsion system simulation (NPSS), a modular and extensible framework for the integration of multicomponent and multidisciplinary analysis tools using geographically distributed resources such as computing platforms, data bases, and people. The analysis is currently focused on large-scale modeling of complete aircraft engines. This will provide the product developer with a "virtual wind tunnel" that will reduce the number of hardware builds and tests required during the development of advanced aerospace propulsion systems.

  19. Future Propulsion Opportunities for Commuter Airplanes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strack, W. C.

    1982-01-01

    Commuter airplane propulsion opportunities are summarized. Consideration is given to advanced technology conventional turboprop engines, advanced propellers, and several unconventional alternatives: regenerative turboprops, rotaries, and diesels. Advanced versions of conventional turboprops (including propellers) offer 15-20 percent savings in fuel and 10-15 percent in DOC compared to the new crop of 1500-2000 SHP engines currently in development. Unconventional engines could boost the fuel savings to 30-40 percent. The conclusion is that several important opportunities exist and, therefore, powerplant technology need not plateau.

  20. 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