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Sample records for advanced in-space propulsion

  1. 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.

  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. 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. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Advanced subsonic transport propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nored, D. L.; Ciepluch, C. C.; Chamberlain, R.; Meleason, E. T.; Kraft, G. A.

    1981-01-01

    A brief review of the current NASA Energy Efficient Engine (E(3)) Project is presented. Included in this review are the factors that influenced the design of these turbofan engines and the advanced technology incorporated in them to reduce fuel consumption and improve environmental characteristics. In addition, factors such as the continuing spiral in fuel cost, that could influence future aircraft propulsion systems beyond those represented by the E(3) engines, are also discussed. Advanced technologies that will address these influencing factors and provide viable future propulsion systems are described. The potential importance of other propulsion system types, such as geared fans and turboshaft engines, is presented.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. In-Space Propulsion Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dankanich, John W.

    2006-12-01

    NASA’s In-space Propulsion Technology Project is developing new propulsion technologies that can enable or enhance near and mid-term NASA science missions. The solar electric propulsion technology area has been investing in NASA’s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT), the High Voltage Hall Accelerator (HiVHAC), lightweight reliable feed systems, wear testing and thruster modeling. These investments are specifically targeted to increase planetary science payload capability, expand the envelope of planetary science destinations, and significantly reduce the travel times, risk and cost of NASA planetary science missions. Current status and expected capabilities of the solar electric propulsion technologies will be discussed.

  3. Advanced cryo propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tabata, William K.

    1991-01-01

    The following topics are presented in viewgraph form: (1) advanced space engine (ASE) chronology; (2) an ASE description; (3) a single expander; (4) a dual expander; (5) split expander; (6) launch vehicle start; (7) space start; (8) chemical transfer propulsion; and (9) an advanced expander test bed.

  4. 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.

  5. Nuclear Propulsion in Space (1968)

    SciTech Connect

    2012-06-23

    Project NERVA was an acronym for Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application, a joint program of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and NASA managed by the Space Nuclear Propulsion Office (SNPO) at the Nuclear Rocket Development Station in Jackass Flats, Nevada U.S.A. Between 1959 and 1972, the Space Nuclear Propulsion Office oversaw 23 reactor tests, both the program and the office ended at the end of 1972.

  6. Nuclear Propulsion in Space (1968)

    ScienceCinema

    None

    2016-07-12

    Project NERVA was an acronym for Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application, a joint program of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and NASA managed by the Space Nuclear Propulsion Office (SNPO) at the Nuclear Rocket Development Station in Jackass Flats, Nevada U.S.A. Between 1959 and 1972, the Space Nuclear Propulsion Office oversaw 23 reactor tests, both the program and the office ended at the end of 1972.

  7. Research Opportunities in Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rodgers, Stephen L.

    2007-01-01

    Rocket propulsion determines the primary characteristics of any space vehicle; how fast and far it can go, its lifetime, and its capabilities. It is the primary factor in safety and reliability and the biggest cost driver. The extremes of heat and pressure produced by propulsion systems push the limits of materials used for manufacturing. Space travel is very unforgiving with little room for errors, and so many things can go wrong with these very complex systems. So we have to plan for failure and that makes it costly. But what is more exciting than the roar of a rocket blasting into space? By its nature the propulsion world is conservative. The stakes are so high at every launch, in terms of payload value or in human life, that to introduce new components to a working, qualified system is extremely difficult and costly. Every launch counts and no risks are tolerated, which leads to the space world's version of Catch-22:"You can't fly till you flown." The last big 'game changer' in propulsion was the use of liquid hydrogen as a fuel. No new breakthrough, low cost access to space system will be developed without new efficient propulsion systems. Because there is no large commercial market driving investment in propulsion, what propulsion research is done is sponsored by government funding agencies. A further difficulty in propulsion technology development is that there are so few new systems flying. There is little opportunity to evolve propulsion technologies and to update existing systems with results coming out of research as there is in, for example, the auto industry. The biggest hurdle to space exploration is getting off the ground. The launch phase will consume most of the energy required for any foreseeable space exploration mission. The fundamental physical energy requirements of escaping earth's gravity make it difficult. It takes 60,000 kJ to put a kilogram into an escape orbit. The vast majority (-97%) of the energy produced by a launch vehicle is used

  8. In-space nuclear propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruno, C.; Dujarric, C.

    2013-02-01

    The past and the recent status of nuclear propulsion (NP) for application to space mission is presented. The case for using NP in manned space missions is made based on fundamental physics and on the necessity to ensure safe radiation doses to future astronauts. In fact, the presence of solar and galactic-cosmic radiation poses substantial risks to crews traveling for months in a row to destinations such as asteroids and Mars. Since passive or active shields would be massive to protect against the more energetic part of the radiation energy spectrum, the only alternative is to reduce dose by traveling faster. Hence the importance of propulsion systems with much higher specific impulse than that of current chemical systems, and thus the use of nuclear propulsion. Nuclear-thermal and nuclear-electric propulsions are then discussed in view of their potential application to missions now in the preliminary planning stage by space agencies and industries and being considered by the ISECG international panel. In this context, recent ideas for future use of the ISS that may require NP are also presented.

  9. 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.

  10. In-Space Propulsion (ISP) Aerocapture Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Munk, Michelle M.; James, Bonnie F.; Moon, Steve

    2005-01-01

    A viewgraph presentation is shown to raise awareness of aerocapture technology through in-space propulsion. The topics include: 1) Purpose; 2) In-Space Propulsion Program; 3) Aerocapture Overview; 4) Aerocapture Technology Alternatives; 5) Aerocapture Technology Project Process; 6) Results from 2002 Aerocapture TAG; 7) Bounding Case Requirements; 8) ST9 Flight Demonstration Opportunity; 9) Aerocapture NRA Content: Cycles 1 and 2; 10) Ames Research Center TPS Development; 11) Applied Research Associates TPS Development; 12) LaRC Structures Development; 13) Lockheed Martin Astronautics Aeroshell Development; 14) ELORET/ARC Sensor Development; 15) Ball Aerospace Trailing Ballute Development; 16) Cycle 2 NRA Selections - Aerocapture; and 17) Summary.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. NASA In-Space Propulsion Technologies and Their Infusion Potential

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.; Pencil,Eric J.; Peterson, Todd; Vento, Daniel; Munk, Michelle M.; Glaab, Louis J.; Dankanich, John W.

    2012-01-01

    The In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) program has been developing in-space propulsion technologies that will enable or enhance NASA robotic science missions. The ISPT program is currently developing technology in four areas that include Propulsion System Technologies (Electric and Chemical), Entry Vehicle Technologies (Aerocapture and Earth entry vehicles), Spacecraft Bus and Sample Return Propulsion Technologies (components and ascent vehicles), and Systems/Mission Analysis. Three technologies are ready for flight infusion: 1) the high-temperature Advanced Material Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine providing higher performance; 2) NASA s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion propulsion system, a 0.6-7 kW throttle-able gridded ion system; and 3) Aerocapture technology development with investments in a family of thermal protection system (TPS) materials and structures; guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) models of blunt-body rigid aeroshells; and aerothermal effect models. Two component technologies that will be ready for flight infusion in the near future will be Advanced Xenon Flow Control System, and ultra-lightweight propellant tank technologies. Future focuses for ISPT are sample return missions and other spacecraft bus technologies like: 1) Mars Ascent Vehicles (MAV); 2) multi-mission technologies for Earth Entry Vehicles (MMEEV) for sample return missions; and 3) electric propulsion for sample return and low cost missions. These technologies are more vehicle-focused, and present a different set of technology infusion challenges. While the Systems/Mission Analysis area is focused on developing tools and assessing the application of propulsion technologies to a wide variety of mission concepts. These in-space propulsion technologies are applicable, and potentially enabling for future NASA Discovery, New Frontiers, and sample return missions currently under consideration, as well as having broad applicability to potential Flagship missions. This paper

  14. In-Space Propulsion Technology Program Solar Electric Propulsion Technologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dankanich, John W.

    2006-01-01

    NASA's In-space Propulsion (ISP) Technology Project is developing new propulsion technologies that can enable or enhance near and mid-term NASA science missions. The Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) technology area has been investing in NASA s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT), the High Voltage Hall Accelerator (HiVHAC), lightweight reliable feed systems, wear testing, and thruster modeling. These investments are specifically targeted to increase planetary science payload capability, expand the envelope of planetary science destinations, and significantly reduce the travel times, risk, and cost of NASA planetary science missions. Status and expected capabilities of the SEP technologies are reviewed in this presentation. The SEP technology area supports numerous mission studies and architecture analyses to determine which investments will give the greatest benefit to science missions. Both the NEXT and HiVHAC thrusters have modified their nominal throttle tables to better utilize diminished solar array power on outbound missions. A new life extension mechanism has been implemented on HiVHAC to increase the throughput capability on low-power systems to meet the needs of cost-capped missions. Lower complexity, more reliable feed system components common to all electric propulsion (EP) systems are being developed. ISP has also leveraged commercial investments to further validate new ion and hall thruster technologies and to potentially lower EP mission costs.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Development priorities for in-space propulsion technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-02-01

    During the summer of 2010, NASA's Office of Chief Technologist assembled 15 civil service teams to support the creation of a NASA integrated technology roadmap. The Aero-Space Technology Area Roadmap is an integrated set of technology area roadmaps recommending the overall technology investment strategy and prioritization for NASA's technology programs. The integrated set of roadmaps will provide technology paths needed to meet NASA's strategic goals. The roadmaps have been reviewed by senior NASA management and the National Research Council. With the exception of electric propulsion systems used for commercial communications satellite station-keeping and a handful of deep space science missions, almost all of the rocket engines in use today are chemical rockets; that is, they obtain the energy needed to generate thrust by combining reactive chemicals to create a hot gas that is expanded to produce thrust. A significant limitation of chemical propulsion is that it has a relatively low specific impulse. Numerous concepts for advanced propulsion technologies with significantly higher values of specific impulse have been developed over the past 50 years. Advanced in-space propulsion technologies will enable much more effective exploration of our solar system, near and far, and will permit mission designers to plan missions to "fly anytime, anywhere, and complete a host of science objectives at the destinations" with greater reliability and safety. With a wide range of possible missions and candidate propulsion technologies with very diverse characteristics, the question of which technologies are 'best' for future missions is a difficult one. A portfolio of technologies to allow optimum propulsion solutions for a diverse set of missions and destinations are described in the roadmap and herein.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Lightweight Radiator for in Space Nuclear Electric Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Craven, Paul; Tomboulian, Briana; SanSoucie, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) is a promising option for high-speed in-space travel due to the high energy density of nuclear fission power sources and efficient electric thrusters. Advanced power conversion technologies may require high operating temperatures and would benefit from lightweight radiator materials. Radiator performance dictates power output for nuclear electric propulsion systems. Game-changing propulsion systems are often enabled by novel designs using advanced materials. Pitch-based carbon fiber materials have the potential to offer significant improvements in operating temperature, thermal conductivity, and mass. These properties combine to allow advances in operational efficiency and high temperature feasibility. An effort at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center to show that woven high thermal conductivity carbon fiber mats can be used to replace standard metal and composite radiator fins to dissipate waste heat from NEP systems is ongoing. The goals of this effort are to demonstrate a proof of concept, to show that a significant improvement of specific power (power/mass) can be achieved, and to develop a thermal model with predictive capabilities making use of constrained input parameter space. A description of this effort is presented.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. NASA's In Space Propulsion Technology Program Accomplishments and Lessons Learned

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les C.; Harris, David

    2008-01-01

    NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) Program was managed for 5 years at the NASA MSFC and significant strides were made in the advancement of key transportation technologies that will enable or enhance future robotic science and deep space exploration missions. At the program's inception, a set of technology investment priorities were established using an NASA-wide, mission-driven prioritization process and, for the most part, these priorities changed little - thus allowing a consistent framework in which to fund and manage technology development. Technologies in the portfolio included aerocapture, advanced chemical propulsion, solar electric propulsion, solar sail propulsion, electrodynamic and momentum transfer tethers, and various very advanced propulsion technologies with significantly lower technology readiness. The program invested 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. By developing the capability to support mid-term robotic mission needs, the program was to lay the technological foundation for travel to nearby interstellar space. The ambitious goals of the program at its inception included supporting the development of technologies that could support all of NASA's missions, both human and robotic. As time went on and budgets were never as high as planned, the scope of the program was reduced almost every year, forcing the elimination of not only the broader goals of the initial program, but also of

  7. In-Space Transportation Propulsion Architecture Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woodcock, Gordon

    2000-01-01

    Almost all space propulsion development and application has been chemical. Aerobraking has been used at Venus and Mars, and for entry at Jupiter. One electric propulsion mission has been flown (DS-1) and electric propulsion is in general use by commercial communications satellites for stationkeeping. Gravity assist has been widely used for high-energy missions (Voyager, Galileo, Cassini, etc.). It has served as a substitute for high-energy propulsion but is limited in energy gain, and adds mission complexity as well as launch opportunity restrictions. It has very limited value for round trip missions such as humans to Mars and return. High-energy space propulsion has been researched for many years, and some major developments, such as nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP), undertaken. With the exception of solar electric propulsion at a scale of a few kilowatts, high-energy space propulsion has never been used on a mission. Most mission studies have adopted TRL 6 technology because most have looked for a near-term start. The current activity is technology planning aimed at broadening the options available to mission planners. Many of the illustrations used in this report came from various NASA sources; their use is gratefully acknowledged.

  8. The NASA In-Space Propulsion Technology Project, Products, and Mission Applicability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.; Pencil, Eric; Liou, Larry; Dankanich, John; Munk, Michelle M.; Kremic, Tibor

    2009-01-01

    The In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) Project, funded by NASA s Science Mission Directorate (SMD), is continuing to invest in propulsion technologies that will enable or enhance NASA robotic science missions. This overview provides development status, near-term mission benefits, applicability, and availability of in-space propulsion technologies in the areas of aerocapture, electric propulsion, advanced chemical thrusters, and systems analysis tools. Aerocapture investments improved: guidance, navigation, and control models of blunt-body rigid aeroshells; atmospheric models for Earth, Titan, Mars, and Venus; and models for aerothermal effects. Investments in electric propulsion technologies focused on completing NASA s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion propulsion system, a 0.6 to 7 kW throttle-able gridded ion system. The project is also concluding its High Voltage Hall Accelerator (HiVHAC) mid-term product specifically designed for a low-cost electric propulsion option. The primary chemical propulsion investment is on the high-temperature Advanced Material Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine providing higher performance for lower cost. The project is also delivering products to assist technology infusion and quantify mission applicability and benefits through mission analysis and tools. In-space propulsion technologies are applicable, and potentially enabling for flagship destinations currently under evaluation, as well as having broad applicability to future Discovery and New Frontiers mission solicitations.

  9. NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Project Overview, Near-term Products and Mission Applicability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dankanich, John; Anderson, David J.

    2008-01-01

    The In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) Project, funded by NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD), is continuing to invest in propulsion technologies that will enable or enhance NASA robotic science missions. This overview provides development status, near-term mission benefits, applicability, and availability of in-space propulsion technologies in the areas of aerocapture, electric propulsion, advanced chemical thrusters, and systems analysis tools. Aerocapture investments improved (1) guidance, navigation, and control models of blunt-body rigid aeroshells, 2) atmospheric models for Earth, Titan, Mars and Venus, and 3) models for aerothermal effects. Investments in electric propulsion technologies focused on completing NASA s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion propulsion system, a 0.6-7 kW throttle-able gridded ion system. The project is also concluding its High Voltage Hall Accelerator (HiVHAC) mid-term product specifically designed for a low-cost electric propulsion option. The primary chemical propulsion investment is on the high-temperature Advanced Material Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine providing higher performance for lower cost. The project is also delivering products to assist technology infusion and quantify mission applicability and benefits through mission analysis and tools. In-space propulsion technologies are applicable, and potentially enabling for flagship destinations currently under evaluation, as well as having broad applicability to future Discovery and New Frontiers mission solicitations.

  10. The NASA In-Space Propulsion Technology Project's Current Products and Future Directions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.; Dankanich, John; Munk, Michelle M.; Pencil, Eric; Liou, Larry

    2010-01-01

    Since its inception in 2001, the objective of the In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) project has been developing and delivering in-space propulsion technologies that enable or enhance NASA robotic science missions. These in-space propulsion technologies are applicable, and potentially enabling for future NASA flagship and sample return missions currently under consideration, as well as having broad applicability to future Discovery and New Frontiers mission solicitations. This paper provides status of the technology development, applicability, and availability of in-space propulsion technologies that recently completed, or will be completing within the next year, their technology development and are ready for infusion into missions. The paper also describes the ISPT project s future focus on propulsion for sample return missions. The ISPT technologies completing their development are: 1) the high-temperature Advanced Material Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine providing higher performance for lower cost; 2) NASA s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion propulsion system, a 0.6-7 kW throttle-able gridded ion system; and 3) aerocapture technologies which include thermal protection system (TPS) materials and structures, guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) models of blunt-body rigid aeroshells; and atmospheric and aerothermal effect models. The future technology development areas for ISPT are: 1) Planetary Ascent Vehicles (PAV); 2) multi-mission technologies for Earth Entry Vehicles (MMEEV) needed for sample return missions from many different destinations; 3) propulsion for Earth Return Vehicles (ERV) and transfer stages, and electric propulsion for sample return and low cost missions; 4) advanced propulsion technologies for sample return; and 5) Systems/Mission Analysis focused on sample return propulsion.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petro, Andrew J.; Reed, Brian; Chavers, D. Greg; Sarmiento, Charles; Cenci, Susanna; Lemmons, Neil

    2005-01-01

    This paper will describe the results of the preliminary phase of a NASA design study for a facility to test high-power electric propulsion systems in space. The results of this design study are intended to provide a firm foundation for subsequent detailed design and development activities leading to the deployment of a valuable space facility. The NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate is sponsoring this design project. A team from the NASA Johnson Space Center, Glenn Research Center, the Marshall Space Flight Center and the International Space Station Program Office is conducting the project. The test facility is intended for a broad range of users including government, industry and universities. International participation is encouraged. The objectives for human and robotic exploration of space can be accomplished affordably, safely and effectively with high-power electric propulsion systems. But, as thruster power levels rise to the hundreds of kilowatts and up to megawatts, their testing will pose stringent and expensive demands on existing Earth-based vacuum facilities. These considerations and the human access to near-Earth space provided by the International Space Station (ISS) have led to a renewed interest in space testing. The ISS could provide an excellent platform for a space-based test facility with the continuous vacuum conditions of the natural space environment and no chamber walls to modify the open boundary conditions of the propulsion system exhaust. The test platform could take advantage of the continuous vacuum conditions of the natural space environment. Space testing would provide open boundary conditions without walls, micro-gravity and a realistic thermal environment. Testing on the ISS would allow for direct observation of the test unit, exhaust plume and space-plasma interactions. When necessary, intervention by on-board personnel and post-test inspection would be possible. The ISS can provide electrical power, a location for

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Advanced propulsion activities in the USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garrison, P. W.

    Advances in propulsion system performance are necessary to meet the projected requirements of future launch vehicles, orbit transfer vehicles, satellites and planetary spacecraft. Ongoing U.S. space propulsion research programs are aggressively pursuing the development of the technology to meet these requirements. This paper reviews advanced propulsion research in the USA. Work accomplished in 1985 and future plans for ongoing research programs are discussed. Theoretical and experimental research programs and system studies of augmented hydrazine, arcjet, magnetoplasma dynamic thruster, ion thruster, metastable chemical, solar thermal, light sail, microwave and laser propulsion, nuclear fission rockets, and fusion and antimatter propulsion systems are addressed.

  15. Status of NASA In-Space Propulsion Technologies and Their Infusion Potential

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David; Pencil, Eric; Vento, Dan; Peterson, Todd; Dankanich, John; Hahne, David; Munk, Michelle

    2011-01-01

    Since 2001, the In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) program has been developing in-space propulsion technologies that will enable or enhance NASA robotic science missions. These in-space propulsion technologies have broad applicability to future competed Discovery and New Frontiers mission solicitations, and are potentially enabling for future NASA flagship and sample return missions currently being considered. This paper provides status of the technology development of several in-space propulsion technologies that are ready for infusion into future missions. The technologies that are ready for flight infusion are: 1) the high-temperature Advanced Material Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine providing higher performance; 2) NASA s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion propulsion system, a 0.6-7 kW throttle-able gridded ion system; and 3) Aerocapture technology development with investments in a family of thermal protection system (TPS) materials and structures; guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) models of blunt-body rigid aeroshells; and aerothermal effect models. Two component technologies that will be ready for flight infusion in FY12/13 are 1) Advanced Xenon Flow Control System, and 2) ultra-lightweight propellant tank technology advancements and their infusion potential will be also discussed. The paper will also describe the ISPT project s future focus on propulsion for sample return missions: 1) Mars Ascent Vehicles (MAV); 2) multi-mission technologies for Earth Entry Vehicles (MMEEV) needed for sample return missions from many different destinations; and 3) electric propulsion for sample return and low cost missions. These technologies are more vehicle-focused, and present a different set of technology infusion challenges. Systems/Mission Analysis focused on developing tools and assessing the application of propulsion technologies to a wide variety of mission concepts.

  16. Status of Propulsion Technology Development Under the NASA In-Space Propulsion Technology Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David; Kamhawi, Hani; Patterson, Mike; Pencil, Eric; Pinero, Luis; Falck, Robert; Dankanich, John

    2014-01-01

    Since 2001, the In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) program has been developing and delivering in-space propulsion technologies for NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD). These in-space propulsion technologies are applicable, and potentially enabling for future NASA Discovery, New Frontiers, Flagship and sample return missions currently under consideration. The ISPT program is currently developing technology in three areas that include Propulsion System Technologies, Entry Vehicle Technologies, and Systems/Mission Analysis. ISPT's propulsion technologies include: 1) the 0.6-7 kW NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) gridded ion propulsion system; 2) a 0.3-3.9kW Halleffect electric propulsion (HEP) system for low cost and sample return missions; 3) the Xenon Flow Control Module (XFCM); 4) ultra-lightweight propellant tank technologies (ULTT); and 5) propulsion technologies for a Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV). The NEXT Long Duration Test (LDT) recently exceeded 50,000 hours of operation and 900 kg throughput, corresponding to 34.8 MN-s of total impulse delivered. The HEP system is composed of the High Voltage Hall Accelerator (HIVHAC) thruster, a power processing unit (PPU), and the XFCM. NEXT and the HIVHAC are throttle-able electric propulsion systems for planetary science missions. The XFCM and ULTT are two component technologies which being developed with nearer-term flight infusion in mind. Several of the ISPT technologies are related to sample return missions needs: MAV propulsion and electric propulsion. And finally, one focus of the Systems/Mission Analysis area is developing tools that aid the application or operation of these technologies on wide variety of mission concepts. This paper provides a brief overview of the ISPT program, describing the development status and technology infusion readiness.

  17. Status of Propulsion Technology Development Under the NASA In-space Propulsion Technology Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David; Kamhawi, Hani; Patterson, Mike; Dankanich, John; Pencil, Eric; Pinero, Luis

    2014-01-01

    Since 2001, the In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) program has been developing and delivering in-space propulsion technologies for NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD). These in-space propulsion technologies are applicable, and potentially enabling for future NASA Discovery, New Frontiers, Flagship and sample return missions currently under consideration. The ISPT program is currently developing technology in three areas that include Propulsion System Technologies, Entry Vehicle Technologies, and Systems Mission Analysis. ISPT's propulsion technologies include: 1) the 0.6-7 kW NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) gridded ion propulsion system; 2) a 0.3-3.9kW Hall-effect electric propulsion (HEP) system for low cost and sample return missions; 3) the Xenon Flow Control Module (XFCM); 4) ultra-lightweight propellant tank technologies (ULTT); and 5) propulsion technologies for a Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV). The HEP system is composed of the High Voltage Hall Accelerator (HiVHAc) thruster, a power processing unit (PPU), and the XFCM. NEXT and the HiVHAc are throttle-able electric propulsion systems for planetary science missions. The XFCM and ULTT are two component technologies which being developed with nearer-term flight infusion in mind. Several of the ISPT technologies are related to sample return missions needs like: MAV propulsion and electric propulsion. And finally, one focus of the SystemsMission Analysis area is developing tools that aid the application or operation of these technologies on wide variety of mission concepts. This paper provides a brief overview of the ISPT program, describing the development status and technology infusion readiness.

  18. Electric Propulsion Requirements and Mission Analysis Under NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dudzinski, Leonard a.; Pencil, Eric J.; Dankanich, John W.

    2007-01-01

    The In-Space Propulsion Technology Project (ISPT) is currently NASA's sole investment in electric propulsion technologies. This project is managed at NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) for the NASA Headquarters Science Mission Directorate (SMD). The objective of the electric propulsion project area is to develop near-term and midterm electric propulsion technologies to enhance or enable future NASA science missions while minimizing risk and cost to the end user. Systems analysis activities sponsored by ISPT seek to identify future mission applications in order to quantify mission requirements, as well as develop analytical capability in order to facilitate greater understanding and application of electric propulsion and other propulsion technologies in the ISPT portfolio. These analyses guide technology investments by informing decisions and defining metrics for technology development to meet identified mission requirements. This paper discusses the missions currently being studied for electric propulsion by the ISPT project, and presents the results of recent electric propulsion (EP) mission trades. Recent ISPT systems analysis activities include: an initiative to standardize life qualification methods for various electric propulsion systems in order to retire perceived risk to proposed EP missions; mission analysis to identify EP requirements from Discovery, New Frontiers, and Flagship classes of missions; and an evaluation of system requirements for radioisotope-powered electric propulsion. Progress and early results of these activities is discussed where available.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Status and Mission Applicability of NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.; Munk, Michelle M.; Dankanich, John; Pencil, Eric; Liou, Larry

    2009-01-01

    The In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) project develops propulsion technologies that will enable or enhance NASA robotic science missions. Since 2001, the ISPT project developed and delivered products to assist technology infusion and quantify mission applicability and benefits through mission analysis and tools. These in-space propulsion technologies are applicable, and potentially enabling for flagship destinations currently under evaluation, as well as having broad applicability to future Discovery and New Frontiers mission solicitations. This paper provides status of the technology development, near-term mission benefits, applicability, and availability of in-space propulsion technologies in the areas of advanced chemical thrusters, electric propulsion, aerocapture, and systems analysis tools. The current chemical propulsion investment is on the high-temperature Advanced Material Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine providing higher performance for lower cost. Investments in electric propulsion technologies focused on completing NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion propulsion system, a 0.6-7 kW throttle-able gridded ion system, and the High Voltage Hall Accelerator (HiVHAC) thruster, which is a mid-term product specifically designed for a low-cost electric propulsion option. Aerocapture investments developed a family of thermal protections system materials and structures; guidance, navigation, and control models of blunt-body rigid aeroshells; atmospheric models for Earth, Titan, Mars and Venus; and models for aerothermal effects. In 2009 ISPT started the development of propulsion technologies that would enable future sample return missions. The paper describes the ISPT project's future focus on propulsion for sample return missions. The future technology development areas for ISPT is: Planetary Ascent Vehicles (PAV), with a Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV) being the initial development focus; multi-mission technologies for Earth Entry Vehicles (MMEEV) needed

  2. Unibody Composite Pressurized Structure (UCPS) for In-Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rufer, Markus

    2015-01-01

    Microcosm, Inc., in conjunction with the Scorpius Space Launch Company, is developing a UCPS (Unibody Composite Pressurized Structure )for in-space propulsion. This innovative approach constitutes a clean break from traditional spacecraft design by combining what were traditionally separate primary and secondary support structures and metal propellant tanks into a single unit.

  3. NASA In-Space Propulsion Technologies and Their Infusion Potential

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pencil, Eric J.; Anderson, David

    2013-01-01

    This is an overview presentation of In Space Propulsion Technology products that have been developed under the sponsorship of the Planetary Science Division of NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The materials have been prepared for Outer Planetary Assessment Group Meeting in Atlanta, GA in January 2013.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. In-Space Propulsion Technology Products Ready for Infusion on NASA's Future Science Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.; Pencil, Eric; Peterson, Todd; Dankanich, John; Munk, Michele M.

    2012-01-01

    Since 2001, the In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) program has been developing and delivering in-space propulsion technologies that will enable or enhance NASA robotic science missions. These in-space propulsion technologies are applicable, and potentially enabling, for future NASA flagship and sample return missions currently being considered. They have a broad applicability to future competed mission solicitations. The high-temperature Advanced Material Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine, providing higher performance for lower cost, was completed in 2009. Two other ISPT technologies are nearing completion of their technology development phase: 1) NASA s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion propulsion system, a 0.6-7 kW throttle-able gridded ion system; and 2) Aerocapture technology development with investments in a family of thermal protection system (TPS) materials and structures; guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) models of blunt-body rigid aeroshells; aerothermal effect models; and atmospheric models for Earth, Titan, Mars and Venus. This paper provides status of the technology development, applicability, and availability of in-space propulsion technologies that have recently completed their technology development and will be ready for infusion into NASA s Discovery, New Frontiers, SMD Flagship, or technology demonstration missions.

  7. In-Space Propulsion Technology Products for NASA's Future Science and Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.; Pencil, Eric; Peterson, Todd; Dankanich, John; Munk, Michelle M.

    2011-01-01

    Since 2001, the In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) project has been developing and delivering in-space propulsion technologies that will enable or enhance NASA robotic science missions. These in-space propulsion technologies are applicable, and potentially enabling, for future NASA flagship and sample return missions currently being considered, as well as having broad applicability to future competed mission solicitations. The high-temperature Advanced Material Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine providing higher performance for lower cost was completed in 2009. Two other ISPT technologies are nearing completion of their technology development phase: 1) NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion propulsion system, a 0.6-7 kW throttle-able gridded ion system; and 2) Aerocapture technology development with investments in a family of thermal protection system (TPS) materials and structures; guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) models of blunt-body rigid aeroshells; aerothermal effect models: and atmospheric models for Earth, Titan, Mars and Venus. This paper provides status of the technology development, applicability, and availability of in-space propulsion technologies that have recently completed their technology development and will be ready for infusion into NASA s Discovery, New Frontiers, Science Mission Directorate (SMD) Flagship, and Exploration technology demonstration missions

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. The Status of Spacecraft Bus and Platform Technology Development under the NASA In-Space Propulsion Technology Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David; Pencil, Eric J.; Glaab, Louis; Falck, Robert D.; Dankanich, John

    2013-01-01

    NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) program has been developing technologies for lowering the cost of planetary science missions. The technology areas include electric propulsion technologies, spacecraft bus technologies, entry vehicle technologies, and design tools for systems analysis and mission trajectories. The electric propulsion technologies include critical components of both gridded and non-gridded ion propulsion systems. The spacecraft bus technologies under development include an ultra-lightweight tank (ULTT) and advanced xenon feed system (AXFS). The entry vehicle technologies include the development of a multi-mission entry vehicle, mission design tools and aerocapture. The design tools under development include system analysis tools and mission trajectory design tools.

  11. Materials Needs for Future In-Space Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les

    2006-01-01

    NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Project is developing the next generation of in-space propulsion systems in support of robotic exploration missions throughout the solar system. The propulsion technologies being developed are non-traditional and have stressing materials performance requirements. Earth-storable bipropellant performance is constrained by temperature limitations of the columbium used in the chamber. Iridium/rhenium (Ir/Re) is now available and has been implemented in initial versions of Earth- Storable rockets with specific impulses about 10 seconds higher than columbium rocket chambers. New chamber fabrication methods that improve process and performance of Ir/Re and other promising material systems are needed. The solar sail is a propellantless propulsion system that gains momentum by reflecting sunlight. The sails need to be very large in area (from 10000 sq m up to 62500 sq m) yet be very lightweight in order to achieve adequate accelerations for realistic mission times. Lightweight materials that can be manufactured in thicknesses of less than 1 micron and that are not harmed by the space environment are desired. Blunt Body Aerocapture uses aerodynamic drag to slow an approaching spacecraft and insert it into a science orbit around any planet or moon with an atmosphere. The spacecraft is enclosed by a rigid aeroshell that protects it from the entry heating and aerodynamic environment. Lightweight, high-temperature structural systems, adhesives, insulators, and ablatives are key components for improving aeroshell efficiencies at heating rates of 1000-2000 W/sq cm and beyond. Inflatable decelerators in the forms of ballutes and inflatable aeroshells will use flexible polymeric thin film materials, high temperature fabrics, and structural adhesives. The inflatable systems will be tightly packaged during cruise and will be inflated prior to entry interface at the destination. Materials must maintain strength and flexibility while packaged at

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Materials Needs for Future In-space Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Charles Les

    2008-01-01

    NASA is developing the next generation of in-space propulsion systems in support of robotic exploration missions throughout the solar system. The propulsion technologies being developed are non-traditional and have stressing materials performance requirements. (Chemical Propulsion) Earth-storable chemical bipropellant performance is constrained by temperature limitations of the columbium used in the chamber. Iridium/rhenium (Ir/Re) is now available and has been implemented in initial versions of Earth-Storable rockets with specific impulses (Isp) about 10 seconds higher than columbium rocket chambers. New chamber fabrication methods that improve process and performance of Ir/Re and other promising material systems are needed. (Solar Sail Propulsion) The solar sail is a propellantless propulsion system that gains momentum by reflecting sunlight. The sails need to be very large in area (from 10000 m2 up to 62500 m2) yet be very lightweight in order to achieve adequate accelerations for realistic mission times. Lightweight materials that can be manufactured in thicknesses of less than 1 micron and that are not harmed by the space environment are desired. (Aerocapture) Blunt Body Aerocapture uses aerodynamic drag to slow an approaching spacecraft and insert it into a science orbit around any planet or moon with an atmosphere. The spacecraft is enclosed by a rigid aeroshell that protects it from the entry heating and aerodynamic environment. Lightweight, high-temperature structural systems, adhesives, insulators, and ablatives are key components for improving aeroshell efficiencies at heating rates of 1000-2000 W/cu cm and beyond. Inflatable decelerators in the forms of ballutes and inflatable aeroshells will use flexible polymeric thin film materials, high temperature fabrics, and structural adhesives. The inflatable systems will be tightly packaged during cruise and will be inflated prior to entry interface at the destination. Materials must maintain strength and

  15. In-Space Propulsion: Where We Stand and What's Next

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sackheim, Robert L.

    2003-01-01

    The focus of this paper will be on the three stages of in-space transportation propulsion systems, now commonly referred to as in-space propulsion (ISP); i.e., the transfer of payloads from low-Earth orbits into higher orbits or into trajectories for planetary encounters, including planetary landers and sample return launchers, if required. Functions required at the operational location where ISP must provide thrust for orbit include maintenance, position control, stationkeeping, and spacecraft altitude control; i.e., proper pointing and dynamic stability in inertial space; and the third function set to enable operations at various planetary locations, such as atmospheric entry and capture, descent to the surface and ascent, back to rendezvous orbit. The discussion will concentrate on where ISP stands today and some observations of what might be next in line for new ISP technologies and systems for near-term and future flight applications. The architectural choices that are applicable for ISP will also be described and discussed in detail.

  16. Products from NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Program Applicable to Low-Cost Planetary Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.; Pencil, Eric; Vento, Daniel; Peterson, Todd; Dankanich, John; Hahne, David; Munk, Michelle M.

    2011-01-01

    Since September 2001 NASA s In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) program has been developing technologies for lowering the cost of planetary science missions. Recently completed is the high-temperature Advanced Material Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine providing higher performance for lower cost. Two other cost saving technologies nearing completion are the NEXT ion thruster and the Aerocapture technology project. Also under development are several technologies for low cost sample return missions. These include a low cost Hall effect thruster (HIVHAC) which will be completed in 2011, light weight propellant tanks, and a Multi-Mission Earth Entry Vehicle (MMEEV). This paper will discuss the status of the technology development, the cost savings or performance benefits, and applicability of these in-space propulsion technologies to NASA s future Discovery, and New Frontiers missions, as well as their relevance for sample return missions.

  17. Products from NASA's in-space propulsion technology program applicable to low-cost planetary missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, David J.; Pencil, Eric; Vento, Daniel; Peterson, Todd; Dankanich, John; Hahne, David; Munk, Michelle M.

    2014-01-01

    Since September 2001, NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) program has been developing technologies for lowering the cost of planetary science missions. Recently completed is the high-temperature Advanced Material Bipropellant Rocket (AMBR) engine providing higher performance for lower cost. Two other cost saving technologies nearing completion are the NEXT ion thruster and the Aerocapture technology project. Under development are several technologies for low-cost sample return missions. These include a low-cost Hall-effect thruster (HIVHAC) which will be completed in 2011, light-weight propellant tanks, and a Multi-Mission Earth Entry Vehicle (MMEEV). This paper will discuss the status of the technology development, the cost savings or performance benefits, and applicability of these in-space propulsion technologies to NASA's future Discovery, and New Frontiers missions, as well as their relevance for sample return missions.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Benefits of advanced propulsion technology for the advanced supersonic transport

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hines, R. W.; Sabatella, J. A.

    1973-01-01

    Future supersonic transports will have to provide improvement in the areas of economics, range, and emissions relative to the present generation of supersonic transports, as well as meeting or improving upon FAR 36 noise goals. This paper covers the promising propulsion systems including variable-cycle engine concepts for long-range supersonic commercial transport application. The benefits of applying advanced propulsion technology to solve the economic and environmental problems are reviewed. The advanced propulsion technologies covered are in the areas of structures, materials, cooling techniques, aerodynamics, variable engine geometry, jet noise suppressors, acoustic treatment, and low-emission burners. The results of applying the advanced propulsion technology are presented in terms of improvement in overall system takeoff gross weight and return on investment.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Advanced propulsion concepts for orbital transfer vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, L. P.

    1982-01-01

    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 possible men to geosynchronous orbit. NASA is conducting a technology program in support of an advanced propulsion system for future OTVs. This program is briefly described with results to date of the first program element, the Conceptual Design and Technology Definition studies.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. RS-34 Phoenix In-Space Propulsion System Applied to Active Debris Removal Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Esther, Elizabeth A.; Burnside, Christopher G.

    2014-01-01

    In-space propulsion is a high percentage of the cost when considering Active Debris Removal mission. For this reason it is desired to research if existing designs with slight modification would meet mission requirements to aid in reducing cost of the overall mission. Such a system capable of rendezvous, close proximity operations, and de-orbit of Envisat class resident space objects has been identified in the existing RS-34 Phoenix. RS-34 propulsion system is a remaining asset from the de-commissioned United States Air Force Peacekeeper program; specifically the pressure-fed storable bi-propellant Stage IV Post Boost Propulsion System. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) gained experience with the RS-34 propulsion system on the successful Ares I-X flight test program flown in the Ares I-X Roll control system (RoCS). The heritage hardware proved extremely robust and reliable and sparked interest for further utilization on other potential in-space applications. Subsequently, MSFC has obtained permission from the USAF to obtain all the remaining RS-34 stages for re-use opportunities. The MSFC Advanced Concepts Office (ACO) was commissioned to lead a study for evaluation of the Rocketdyne produced RS-34 propulsion system as it applies to an active debris removal design reference mission for resident space object targets including Envisat. Originally designed, the RS-34 Phoenix provided in-space six-degrees-of freedom operational maneuvering to deploy payloads at multiple orbital locations. The RS-34 Concept Study lead by sought to further understand application for a similar orbital debris design reference mission to provide propulsive capability for rendezvous, close proximity operations to support the capture phase of the mission, and deorbit of single or multiple large class resident space objects. Multiple configurations varying the degree of modification were identified to trade for dry mass optimization and

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Technology Area Roadmap for In-Space Propulsion Technologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

    The exponential increase of launch system size.and cost.with delta-V makes missions that require large total impulse cost prohibitive. Led by NASA fs Marshall Space Flight Center, a team from government, industry, and academia has developed a flight demonstration mission concept of an integrated electrodynamic (ED) tethered satellite system called PROPEL: \\Propulsion using Electrodynamics.. The PROPEL Mission is focused on demonstrating a versatile configuration of an ED tether to overcome the limitations of the rocket equation, enable new classes of missions currently unaffordable or infeasible, and significantly advance the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) to an operational level. We are also focused on establishing a far deeper understanding of critical processes and technologies to be able to scale and improve tether systems in the future. Here, we provide an overview of the proposed PROPEL mission. One of the critical processes for efficient ED tether operation is the ability to inject current to and collect current from the ionosphere. Because the PROPEL mission is planned to have both boost and deboost capability using a single tether, the tether current must be capable of flowing in both directions and at levels well over 1 A. Given the greater mobility of electrons over that of ions, this generally requires that both ends of the ED tether system can both collect and emit electrons. For example, hollow cathode plasma contactors (HCPCs) generally are viewed as state-of-the-art and high TRL devices; however, for ED tether applications important questions remain of how efficiently they can operate as both electron collectors and emitters. Other technologies will be highlighted that are being investigated as possible alternatives to the HCPC such as Solex that generates a plasma cloud from a solid material (Teflon) and electron emission (only) technologies such as cold-cathode electron field emission or photo-electron beam generation (PEBG) techniques

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. NASA directions in space propulsion for 2000 and beyond

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reck, Gregory M.

    1989-01-01

    In his National Space Policy of 1988, President Reagan committed to a goal of expanding human presence and activity in the solar system. This goal has provided the impetus for a resurgence of activity in a broad range of space technology efforts in general and for a number of propulsion technology programs in particular. Building on recommendations from several detailed studies of the U.S. space program, NASA has increased the level of investment in propulsion technology development. The Civil Space Technology Initiative is developing propulsion technology in support of near-Earth operations. These efforts are focused on both main and booster engines and seek to provide design methods and databases to support future developments of low cost, reliable transportation systems. Program elements include turbomachinery, combustion systems, and condition monitoring and diagnostics, and the design methodology developed at component levels will be verified in large scale systems. The Pathfinder program is developing a suite of technologies to enable a broad range of manned and unmanned missions beyond Earth's orbit. These include both chemical and electric propulsion technologies to support potential missions to the moon and Mars.

  2. Advanced propulsion options for the Mars cargo mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frisbee, Robert H.; Blandino, John J.; Sercel, Joel C.; Sargent, Mark S.; Gowda, Nandini

    1990-01-01

    Several advanced propulsion options for a split-mission piloted Mars exploration scenario are presented. The primary study focus is on identifying concepts that can reduce total initial mass in low earth orbit (IMLEO) for the cargo delivery portion of the mission; in addition, concepts that can reduce the trip time of the piloted option are assessed. The propulsion options considered are nuclear thermal propulsion, solar sails, multimegawatt-class nuclear electric propulsion, solar electric propulsion, magnetic sails, mass drivers, rail guns, solar thermal rockets, beamed-energy propulsion systems, and tethers. For the cargo mission, solar sails are found to provide the greatest mass savings over the baseline chemical system, although they suffer from having very long trip times; a good performance compromise between a low IMLEO and a short trip time can be obtained using multimegawatt-class nuclear electric propulsion systems.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Lightweight Damage Tolerant Radiators for In-Space Nuclear Electric Power and Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Craven, Paul; SanSoucie, Michael P.; Tomboulian, Briana; Rogers, Jan; Hyers, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) is a promising option for high-speed in-space travel due to the high energy density of nuclear power sources and efficient electric thrusters. Advanced power conversion technologies for converting thermal energy from the reactor to electrical energy at high operating temperatures would benefit from lightweight, high temperature radiator materials. Radiator performance dictates power output for nuclear electric propulsion systems. Pitch-based carbon fiber materials have the potential to offer significant improvements in operating temperature and mass. An effort at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center to show that woven high thermal conductivity carbon fiber mats can be used to replace standard metal and composite radiator fins to dissipate waste heat from NEP systems is ongoing. The goals of this effort are to demonstrate a proof of concept, to show that a significant improvement of specific power (power/mass) can be achieved, and to develop a thermal model with predictive capabilities. A description of this effort is presented.

  6. 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.

  7. Fluid Distribution for In-space Cryogenic Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lear, William

    2005-01-01

    The ultimate goal of this task is to enable the use of a single supply of cryogenic propellants for three distinct spacecraft propulsion missions: main propulsion, orbital maneuvering, and attitude control. A fluid distribution system is sought which allows large propellant flows during the first two missions while still allowing control of small propellant flows during attitude control. Existing research has identified the probable benefits of a combined thermal management/power/fluid distribution system based on the Solar Integrated Thermal Management and Power (SITMAP) cycle. Both a numerical model and an experimental model are constructed in order to predict the performance of such an integrated thermal management/propulsion system. This research task provides a numerical model and an experimental apparatus which will simulate an integrated thermal/power/fluid management system based on the SITMAP cycle, and assess its feasibility for various space missions. Various modifications are done to the cycle, such as the addition of a regeneration process that allows heat to be transferred into the working fluid prior to the solar collector, thereby reducing the collector size and weight. Fabri choking analysis was also accounted for. Finally the cycle is to be optimized for various space missions based on a mass based figure of merit, namely the System Mass Ratio (SMR). -. 1 he theoretical and experimental results from these models are be used to develop a design code (JETSIT code) which is able to provide design parameters for such a system, over a range of cooling loads, power generation, and attitude control thrust levels. The performance gains and mass savings will be compared to those of existing spacecraft systems.

  8. Heat transfer in space power and propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hendricks, R. C.; Simoneau, R. J.; Dunning, J. W., Jr.

    1986-01-01

    NASA's planned Space Station has projected power requirements in the 75-300 kW range; attention is presently given to the range of power system configurations thus far proposed. These are a silicon solar cell system incorporating regenerative fuel cell or battery storage, with a 10-year lifetime, a solar-dynamic power system with phase-change or regenerative fuel cell energy storage, and a combination of these two alternatives. A development status evaluation is also given for the propulsion systems that may be used by next-generation boosters. These include such novel airbreathing systems as turboramjets, air liquefaction cycle rockets, airturboramjet/rockets, and supersonic combustion ramjets.

  9. 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.

  10. Tailoring Laser Propulsion for Future Applications in Space

    SciTech Connect

    Eckel, Hans-Albert; Scharring, Stefan

    2010-10-08

    Pulsed laser propulsion may turn out as a low cost alternative for the transportation of small payloads in future. In recent years DLR investigated this technology with the goal of cheaply launching small satellites into low earth orbit (LEO) with payload masses on the order of 5 to 10 kg. Since the required high power pulsed laser sources are yet not at the horizon, DLR focused on new applications based on available laser technology. Space-borne, i.e. in weightlessness, there exist a wide range of missions requiring small thrusters that can be propelled by laser power. This covers space logistic and sample return missions as well as position keeping and attitude control of satellites.First, a report on the proof of concept of a remote controlled laser rocket with a thrust vector steering device integrated in a parabolic nozzle will be given. Second, the road from the previous ground-based flight experiments in earth's gravity using a 100-J class laser to flight experiments with a parabolic thruster in an artificial 2D-zero gravity on an air cushion table employing a 1-J class laser and, with even less energy, new investigations in the field of laser micro propulsion will be reviewed.

  11. 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,

  12. Applying design principles to fusion reactor configurations for propulsion in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carpenter, Scott A.; Deveny, Marc E.; Schulze, Norman R.

    1993-01-01

    We applied three design principles (DPs) to adapt and optimize three candidate-terrestrial-fusion-reactor configurations for propulsion in space. The three design principles are: (1) provide maximum direct access to space for waste radiation, (2) operate components as passive radiators to minimize cooling-system mass, and (3) optimize the plasma fuel, fuel mix, and temperature for best specific Jet power. The three candidate-terrestrial-fusion-reactor configurations are: (1) the thermal-barrier-tandem-mirror (TBTM), (2) field-reversed-mirror (FRM), and (3) levitated-dipole-field (LDF). The resulting three candidate-space-fusion-propulsion systems have their initial-mass-to-LEO minimized and their specific jet power and reusability maximized. We performed a preliminary rating of these configurations and concluded that the leading engineering-design solution to space fusion propulsion is a modified TBTM that we call the Mirror Fusion Propulsion System.

  13. 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.

  14. Review of NASA In-Space Propulsion Technology Program Inflatable Decelerator Investments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richardson, E. H.; Mnk, M. M.; James, B. F.; Moon, S. A.

    2005-01-01

    The NASA In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) Program is managed by the NASA Headquarters Science Mission Directorate and is implemented by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The ISPT objective is to fund development of promising in-space propulsion technologies that can decrease flight times, decrease cost, or increase delivered payload mass for future science missions. Before ISPT will invest in a technology, the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the concept must be estimated to be at TRL 3. A TRL 3 signifies that the technical community agrees that the feasibility of the concept has been proven through experiment or analysis. One of the highest priority technology investments for ISPT is Aerocapture. The aerocapture maneuver uses a planetary atmosphere to reduce or alter the speed of a vehicle allowing for quick, propellantless (or using very little propellant) orbit capture. The atmosphere is used as a brake, transferring the energy associated with the vehicle's high speed into thermal energy. The ISPT Aerocapture Technology Area (ATA) is currently investing in the development of advanced lightweight ablative thermal protection systems, high temperature composite structures, and heat-flux sensors for rigid aeroshells. The heritage of rigid aeroshells extends back to the Apollo era and this technology will most likely be used by the first generation aerocapture vehicle. As a second generation aerocapture technology, ISPT is investing in three inflatable aerodynamic decelerator concepts for planetary aerocapture. They are: trailing ballute (balloon-parachute), attached afterbody ballute, and an inflatable aeroshell. ISPT also leverages the NASA Small Business Innovative Research Program for additional inflatable decelerator technology development. In mid-2004 ISPT requested an independent review of the three inflatable decelerator technologies funded directly by ISPT to validate the TRL and to identify technology maturation concerns. An

  15. Review of NASA In-Space Propulsion Technology Program Inflatable Decelerator Investments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richardson, Erin H.; Munk, Michelle M.; James, Bonnie F.; Moon, Steve A.

    2005-01-01

    The NASA In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) Program is managed by the NASA Headquarters Science Mission Directorate and is implemented by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The ISPT objective is to fund development of promising in- space propulsion technologies that can decrease flight times, decrease cost, or increase delivered payload mass for future science missions. Before ISPT will invest in a technology, the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of the concept must be estimated to be at TRL 3. A TRL 3 signifies that the technical community agrees that the feasibility of the concept has been proven through experiment or analysis. One of the highest priority technology investments for ISPT is Aerocapture. The aerocapture maneuver uses a planetary atmosphere to reduce or alter the speed of a vehicle allowing for quick, propellantless (or using very little propellant) orbit capture. The atmosphere is used as a brake, transferring the energy associated with the vehicle s high speed into thermal energy. The ISPT Aerocapture Technology Area (ATA) is currently investing in the development of advanced lightweight ablative thermal protection systems, high temperature composite structures, and heat-flux sensors for rigid aeroshells. The heritage of rigid aeroshells extends back to the Apollo era and this technology will most likely be used by the first generation aerocapture vehicle. As a second generation aerocapture technology, ISPT is investing in three inflatable aerodynamic decelerator concepts for planetary aerocapture. They are: trailing ballute (balloon-parachute), attached afterbody ballute, and an inflatable aeroshell. ISPT also leverages the NASA Small Business Innovative Research Program for additional inflatable decelerator technology development. In mid-2004 ISPT requested an independent review of the three inflatable decelerator technologies funded directly by ISPT to validate the TRL and to identify technology maturation concerns. An

  16. Development of Ionic Liquid Monopropellants for In-Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blevins, John A.; Osborne, Robin; Drake, Gregory W.

    2005-01-01

    A family of new, low toxicity, high energy monopropellants is currently being evaluated at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center for in-space rocket engine applications such as reaction control engines. These ionic liquid monopropellants, developed in recent years by the Air Force Research Laboratory, could offer system simplification, less in-flight thermal management, and reduced handling precautions, while increasing propellant energy density as compared to traditional storable in-space propellants such as hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide. However, challenges exist in identifying ignition schemes for these ionic liquid monopropellants, which are known to burn at much hotter combustion temperatures compared to traditional monopropellants such as hydrazine. The high temperature combustion of these new monopropellants make the use of typical ignition catalyst beds prohibitive since the catalyst cannot withstand the elevated temperatures. Current research efforts are focused on monopropellant ignition and burn rate characterization, parameters that are important in the fundamental understanding of the monopropellant behavior and the eventual design of a thruster. Laboratory studies will be conducted using alternative ignition techniques such as laser-induced spark ignition and hot wire ignition. Ignition delay, defined as the time between the introduction of the ignition source and the first sign of light emission from a developing flame kernel, will be measured using Schlieren visualization. An optically-accessible liquid monopropellant burner will be used to determine propellant burn rate as a function of pressure and initial propellant temperature. The burn rate will be measured via high speed imaging through the chamber s windows.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Development of Ionic Liquid Monopropellants for In-Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blevins, John A.; Drake, Gregory W.; Osborne, Robin J.

    2005-01-01

    A family of new, low toxicity, high energy monopropellants is currently being evaluated at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center for in-space rocket engine applications such as reaction control engines. These ionic liquid monopropellants, developed in recent years by the Air Force Research Laboratory, could offer system simplification, less in-flight thermal management, and reduced handling precautions, while increasing propellant energy density as compared to traditional storable in-space propellants such as hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide. However, challenges exist in identifying ignition schemes for these ionic liquid monopropellants, which are known to burn at much hotter combustion temperatures compared to traditional monopropellants such as hydrazine. The high temperature combustion of these new monopropellants make the use of typical ignition catalyst beds prohibitive since the catalyst cannot withstand the elevated temperatures. Current research efforts are focused on monopropellant ignition and burn rate characterization, parameters that are important in the fundamental understanding of the monopropellant behavior and the eventual design of a thruster. Laboratory studies will be conducted using alternative ignition techniques such as laser-induced spark ignition and hot wire ignition. Ignition delay, defined as the time between the introduction of the ignition source and the first sign of light emission from a developing flame kernel, will be measured using Schlieren visualization. An optically-accessible liquid monopropellant burner, shown schematically in Figure 1 and similar in design to apparatuses used by other researchers to study solid and liquid monopropellants, will be used to determine propellant burn rate as a function of pressure and initial propellant temperature. The burn rate will be measured via high speed imaging through the chamber s windows.

  20. An Overview of In-Space Propulsion and Cryogenics Fluids Management Efforts for 2014 SBIR Phases I and II

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nguyen, Hung D.; Steele, Gynelle C.

    2016-01-01

    NASA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program focuses on technological innovation by investing in the development of innovative concepts and technologies to help NASA's mission directorates address critical research and development needs for Agency programs. This report highlights 11 of the innovative SBIR 2014 Phase I and II projects from 2010 to 2012 that focus on one of NASA Glenn Research Center's six core competencies-In-Space Propulsion and Cryogenic Fluids Management. The technologies cover a wide spectrum of applications such as divergent field annular ion engines, miniature nontoxic nitrous oxide-propane propulsion, noncatalytic ignition systems for high-performance advanced monopropellant thrusters, nontoxic storable liquid propulsion, and superconducting electric boost pumps for nuclear thermal propulsion. Each article describes an innovation and technical objective and highlights NASA commercial and industrial applications. This report provides an opportunity for NASA engineers, researchers, and program managers to learn how NASA SBIR technologies could help their programs and projects, and lead to collaborations and partnerships between the small SBIR companies and NASA that would benefit both.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Applying design principles to fusion reactor configurations for propulsion in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carpenter, Scott A.; Deveny, Marc E.; Schulze, Norman R.

    1993-01-01

    The application of fusion power to space propulsion requires rethinking the engineering-design solution to controlled-fusion energy. Whereas the unit cost of electricity (COE) drives the engineering-design solution for utility-based fusion reactor configurations; initial mass to low earth orbit (IMLEO), specific jet power (kW(thrust)/kg(engine)), and reusability drive the engineering-design solution for successful application of fusion power to space propulsion. We applied three design principles (DP's) to adapt and optimize three candidate-terrestrial-fusion-reactor configurations for propulsion in space. The three design principles are: provide maximum direct access to space for waste radiation, operate components as passive radiators to minimize cooling-system mass, and optimize the plasma fuel, fuel mix, and temperature for best specific jet power. The three candidate terrestrial fusion reactor configurations are: the thermal barrier tandem mirror (TBTM), field reversed mirror (FRM), and levitated dipole field (LDF). The resulting three candidate space fusion propulsion systems have their IMLEO minimized and their specific jet power and reusability maximized. We performed a preliminary rating of these configurations and concluded that the leading engineering-design solution to space fusion propulsion is a modified TBTM that we call the Mirror Fusion Propulsion System (MFPS).

  4. In-Space Propulsion, Logistics Reduction, and Evaluation of Steam Reformer Kinetics: Problems and Prospects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jaworske, D. A.; Palaszewski, B. A.; Kulis, M. J.; Gokoglu, S. A.

    2015-01-01

    Human space missions generate waste materials. A 70-kg crewmember creates a waste stream of 1 kg per day, and a four-person crew on a deep space habitat for a 400+ day mission would create over 1600 kg of waste. Converted into methane, the carbon could be used as a fuel for propulsion or power. The NASA Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Logistics Reduction and Repurposing (LRR) project is investing in space resource utilization with an emphasis on repurposing logistics materials for useful purposes and has selected steam reforming among many different competitive processes as the preferred method for repurposing organic waste into methane. Already demonstrated at the relevant processing rate of 5.4 kg of waste per day, high temperature oxygenated steam consumes waste and produces carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen which can then be converted into methane catalytically. However, the steam reforming process has not been studied in microgravity. Data are critically needed to understand the mechanisms that allow use of steam reforming in a reduced gravity environment. This paper reviews the relevant literature, identifies gravity-dependent mechanisms within the steam gasification process, and describes an innovative experiment to acquire the crucial kinetic information in a small-scale reactor specifically designed to operate within the requirements of a reduced gravity aircraft flight. The experiment will determine if the steam reformer process is mass-transport limited, and if so, what level of forced convection will be needed to obtain performance comparable to that in 1-g.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. NASA's 2004 In-Space Propulsion Refocus Studies for New Frontiers Class Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Witzberger, Kevin E.; Manzella, David; Oh, David; Cupples, Mike

    2006-01-01

    The New Frontiers (NF) program is designed to provide opportunities to fulfill the science objectives for top priority, medium class missions identified in the Decadal Solar System Exploration Survey. This paper assesses the applicability of the In-Space Propulsion s (ISP) Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) technologies for representative NF class missions that include a Jupiter Polar Orbiter with Probes (JPOP), Comet Surface Sample Return (CSSR), and two different Titan missions. The SEP technologies evaluated include the 7-kW, 4,100-second NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT), the 3-kW, 2,700-second Hall thruster, and two different NASA Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Readiness (NSTAR) thrusters that are variants of the Deep Space 1 (DS1) thruster. One type of NSTAR, a 2.6-kW, 3,100-second thruster, will be the primary propulsion system for the DAWN mission that is scheduled to launch in 2006; the other is an "enhanced", higher power variant (3.8-kW, 4,100-second) and is so-called because it uses NEXT system components such as the NEXT power processing unit (PPU). The results show that SEP is applicable for the CSSR mission and a Titan Lander mission. In addition, NEXT has improved its applicability for these types of missions by modifying its thruster performance relative to its performance at the beginning of this study.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Direct Energy Conversion for Low Specific Mass In-Space Power and Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scott, John H.; George, Jeffrey A.; Tarditi, Alfonso G.

    2013-01-01

    "Changing the game" in space exploration involves changing the paradigm for the human exploration of the Solar System, e.g, changing the human exploration of Mars from a three-year epic event to an annual expedition. For the purposes of this assessment an "annual expedition" capability is defined as an in-space power & propulsion system which, with launch mass limits as defined in NASA s Mars Architecture 5.0, enables sending a crew to Mars and returning them after a 30-day surface stay within one year, irrespective of planetary alignment. In this work the authors intend to show that obtaining this capability requires the development of an in-space power & propulsion system with an end-to-end specific mass considerably less than 3 kg/kWe. A first order energy balance analysis reveals that the technologies required to create a system with this specific mass include direct energy conversion and nuclear sources that release energy in the form of charged particle beams. This paper lays out this first order approximation and details these conclusions.

  20. SEP Mission to Titan NEXT Aerocapture In-Space Propulsion (Quicktime Movie)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baggett, Randy

    2004-01-01

    The ion thruster is one of the most promising solar electric propulsion (SEP) technologies to support future Outer Planet missions (place provided link below here) for NASA's Office of Space Science. Typically, ion thrusters are used in high Isp- low thrust applications that require long lifetimes, as well as, higher efficiency over state-of-the-art chemical propulsion systems.Today, the standard for ion thrusters is the SEP Technology Application Readiness (NSTAR) thruster. Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL's) extended life test (ELT) of the DS 1 flight spare NSTAR thruster began in October 1998. This test successfully demonstrated lifetime of the NSTAR flight spare thruster, which will provide a solid basis for selection of ion thrusters for future Code S missions. The NSTAR ELT was concluded on June 30,2003 after 30,352 hours. The purpose of the Next Generation Ion (NGI) activities is to advance Ion propulsion system technologies through the development of NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT). The goal of NEXT is to more than double the power capability and lifetime throughput (the total amount of propellant which can be processed) while increasing the Isp by 30% and the thrust by 120%.

  1. 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.

  2. Small Low Mass Advanced PBR's for Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1994-07-01

    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. The mission parameter which this reactor attempts to satisfy are: Thrust (N) = 6.8 (4); Specific Impulse (S) = 875; Total Full Thrust Time (S) = 1500; Thrust/Weight (unshielded) = 20 These requirements imply the following reactor design goals: Power (MW) = 400; Mixed Mean Outlet Temperature (K) = 3000; Chamber Pressure (Mpa) = 7 The following discussion will cover concept feasibility analyses, mass estimates, and a conclusion.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Preliminary assessment of power-generating tethers in space and of propulsion for their orbit maintenance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    English, R. E.; Finnegan, P. M.

    1985-01-01

    The concept of generating power in space by means of a conducting tether deployed from a spacecraft was studied. Using hydrogen and oxygen as the rocket propellant to overcome the drag of such a power-generating tether would yield more benefit than if used in a fuel cell. The mass consumption would be 25 percent less than the reactant consumption of fuel cells. Residual hydrogen and oxygen in the external tank and in the orbiter could be used very effectively for this purpose. Many other materials (such as waste from life support) could be used as the propellant. Electrical propulsion using tether generated power can compensate for the drag of a power-generating tether, half the power going to the useful load and the rest for electric propulsion. In addition, the spacecraft's orbital energy is a large energy reservoir that permits load leveling and a ratio of peak to average power equal to 2. Critical technologies to be explored before a power-generating tether can be used in space are delineated.

  8. 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.

  9. 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)

  10. Advanced Propulsion and TPS for a Rapidly-Prototyped CEV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hudson, Gary C.

    2005-02-01

    Transformational Space Corporation (t/Space) is developing for NASA the initial designs for the Crew Exploration Vehicle family, focusing on a Launch CEV for transporting NASA and civilian passengers from Earth to orbit. The t/Space methodology is rapid prototyping of major vehicle systems, and deriving detailed specifications from the resulting hardware, avoiding "written-in-advance" specs that can force the costly invention of new capabilities simply to meet such specs. A key technology shared by the CEV family is Vapor Pressurized propulsion (Vapak) for simplicity and reliability, which provides electrical power, life support gas and a heat sink in addition to propulsion. The CEV family also features active transpiration cooling of re-entry surfaces (for reusability) backed up by passive thermal protection.

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petro, Andrew J.

    2005-01-01

    This paper will describe the results of the preliminary phase of a NASA design study for a facility to test high-power electric propulsion systems in space. The results of this design study are intended to provide a firm foundation for a subsequent detailed design and development activities leading to the deployment of a valuable space facility supporting the new vision of space exploration. The objectives for human and robotic exploration of space can be accomplished affordably, safely and effectively with high-power electric propulsion systems. But, as thruster power levels rise to the hundreds of kilowatts and up to megawatts, their testing will pose stringent and expensive demands on existing Earth-based vacuum facilities. These considerations and the access to near-Earth space provided by the International Space Station (ISS) have led to a renewed interest in space testing. The ISS could provide an excellent platform for a space-based test facility with the continuous vacuum conditions of the natural space environment and no chamber walls to modify the open boundary conditions of the propulsion system exhaust. The platform would be designed to accommodate the side-by-side testing of multiple types of electric thrusters currently under development and thus provide a strong basis for comparing their relative performance. The utility of testing on the station is further enhanced by the human presence, enabling close interaction with and modification of the test hardware in a true laboratory environment. These conditions facilitate rapid development and flight certification at potentially lower cost than with conventional Earth-bound facilities. As an added benefit, the propulsive effect of these tests could provide some drag compensation for the station, reducing the re-boost cost for the orbital facility. While it is expected that the ISS will not be capable of generating continuous levels of high power, the utilization of state-of-the-art energy storage media

  13. Overview of the NASA Advanced In-Space Propulsion Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    LaPointe, Michael

    2011-01-01

    In FY11, NASA established the Enabling Technologies Development and Demonstration (ETDD) Program, a follow on to the earlier Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) within the NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. Objective: Develop, mature and test enabling technologies for human space exploration.

  14. 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.

  15. Advanced instrumentation for next-generation aerospace propulsion control systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barkhoudarian, S.; Cross, G. S.; Lorenzo, Carl F.

    1993-01-01

    New control concepts for the next generation of advanced air-breathing and rocket engines and hypersonic combined-cycle propulsion systems are analyzed. The analysis provides a database on the instrumentation technologies for advanced control systems and cross matches the available technologies for each type of engine to the control needs and applications of the other two types of engines. Measurement technologies that are considered to be ready for implementation include optical surface temperature sensors, an isotope wear detector, a brushless torquemeter, a fiberoptic deflectometer, an optical absorption leak detector, the nonintrusive speed sensor, and an ultrasonic triducer. It is concluded that all 30 advanced instrumentation technologies considered can be recommended for further development to meet need of the next generation of jet-, rocket-, and hypersonic-engine control systems.

  16. Advanced instrumentation for next-generation aerospace propulsion control systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barkhoudarian, S.; Cross, G. S.; Lorenzo, Carl F.

    1993-06-01

    New control concepts for the next generation of advanced air-breathing and rocket engines and hypersonic combined-cycle propulsion systems are analyzed. The analysis provides a database on the instrumentation technologies for advanced control systems and cross matches the available technologies for each type of engine to the control needs and applications of the other two types of engines. Measurement technologies that are considered to be ready for implementation include optical surface temperature sensors, an isotope wear detector, a brushless torquemeter, a fiberoptic deflectometer, an optical absorption leak detector, the nonintrusive speed sensor, and an ultrasonic triducer. It is concluded that all 30 advanced instrumentation technologies considered can be recommended for further development to meet need of the next generation of jet-, rocket-, and hypersonic-engine control systems.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Aerocapture Technology Developments from NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Munk, Michelle M.; Moon, Steven A.

    2007-01-01

    This paper will explain the investment strategy, the role of detailed systems analysis, and the hardware and modeling developments that have resulted from the past 5 years of work under NASA's In-Space Propulsion Program (ISPT) Aerocapture investment area. The organizations that have been funded by ISPT over that time period received awards from a 2002 NASA Research Announcement. They are: Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Applied Research Associates, Inc., Ball Aerospace, NASA's Ames Research Center, and NASA's Langley Research Center. Their accomplishments include improved understanding of entry aerothermal environments, particularly at Titan, demonstration of aerocapture guidance algorithm robustness at multiple bodies, manufacture and test of a 2-meter Carbon-Carbon "hot structure," development and test of evolutionary, high-temperature structural systems with efficient ablative materials, and development of aerothermal sensors that will fly on the Mars Science Laboratory in 2009. Due in large part to this sustained ISPT support for Aerocapture, the technology is ready to be validated in flight.

  20. Advanced automation in space shuttle mission control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heindel, Troy A.; Rasmussen, Arthur N.; Mcfarland, Robert Z.

    1991-01-01

    The Real Time Data System (RTDS) Project was undertaken in 1987 to introduce new concepts and technologies for advanced automation into the Mission Control Center environment at NASA's Johnson Space Center. The project's emphasis is on producing advanced near-operational prototype systems that are developed using a rapid, interactive method and are used by flight controllers during actual Shuttle missions. In most cases the prototype applications have been of such quality and utility that they have been converted to production status. A key ingredient has been an integrated team of software engineers and flight controllers working together to quickly evolve the demonstration systems.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Liquid-Metal-Fed Pulsed Electromagnetic Thrusters For In-Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markusic, T. E.

    2004-01-01

    We describe three pulsed electromagnetic thruster concepts, which span four orders of magnitude in power processing capability (100 W to >100 kW), for in-space propulsion applications. The primary motivation for using a pulsed system is to is to enable high (instantaneous) power operation, which provides high acceleration efficiency, while using considerably less (continuous) power from the spacecraft power system. Unfortunately, conventional pulsed thrusters require failure-prone electrical switches and gas-puff valves. The series of thrusters described here directly address this problem, through the use of liquid metal propellant, by either eliminating both components or providing less taxing operational requirements, thus yielding a path toward both efficient and reliable pulsed electromagnetic thrusters. The emphasis of this paper is to conceptually describe each of the thruster concepts; however, initial test results with gallium propellant in one thruster geometry are presented. These tests reveal that a greater understanding of gallium material compatibility, contamination, and wetting behavior will be necessary before a completely functional thruster can be developed. Initial experimental results aimed at providing insight into these issues are presented.

  7. An Overview of SBIR Phase 2 In-Space Propulsion and Cryogenic Fluids Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nguyen, Hung D.; Steele, Gynelle C.

    2015-01-01

    Technological innovation is the overall focus of NASA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The program invests in the development of innovative concepts and technologies to help NASA's mission directorates address critical research and development needs for agency projects. This report highlights innovative SBIR Phase II projects from 2007-2012 specifically addressing Areas in In-Space Propulsion and Cryogenic Fluids Management which is one of six core competencies at NASA Glenn Research Center. There are nineteen technologies featured with emphasis on a wide spectrum of applications such as high-performance Hall thruster support system, thruster discharge power converter, high-performance combustion chamber, ion thruster design tool, green liquid monopropellant thruster, and much more. Each article in this booklet describes an innovation, technical objective, and highlights NASA commercial and industrial applications. This report serves as an opportunity for NASA personnel including engineers, researchers, and program managers to learn of NASA SBIR's capabilities that might be crosscutting into this technology area. As the result, it would cause collaborations and partnerships between the small companies and NASA Programs and Projects resulting in benefit to both SBIR companies and NASA.

  8. Advanced core technology: Key to subsonic propulsion benefits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glassman, Arthur J.; Snyder, Christopher A.; Knip, Gerald, Jr.

    1989-01-01

    A study was conducted to identify the potential performance benefits and key technology drivers associated with advanced cores for subsonic high bypass turbofan engines. Investigated first were the individual sensitivities of varying compressor efficiency, pressure ratio and bleed (turbine cooling); combustor pressure recovery; and turbine efficiency and inlet temperature on thermal efficiency and core specific power output. Then, engine cycle and mission performance benefits were determined for systems incorporating all potentially achievable technology advancements. The individual thermodynamic sensitivities are shown over a range of turbine temperatures (at cruise) from 2900 to 3500 R and for both constant (current technology) and optimum (maximum thermal efficiency) overall pressure ratios. It is seen that no single parameter alone will provide a large increase in core thermal efficiency, which is the thermodynamic parameter of most concern for transport propulsion. However, when all potentially achievable advancements are considered, there occurs a synergism that produces significant cycle and mission performance benefits. The nature of these benefits are presented along with the technology challenges.

  9. Advanced core technology - Key to subsonic propulsion benefits

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Glassman, Arthur J.; Snyder, Christopher A.; Knip, Gerald, Jr.

    1989-01-01

    A study was conducted to identify the potential performance benefits and key technology drivers associated with advanced cores for subsonic high bypass turbofan engines. Investigated first were the individual sensitivities of varying compressor efficiency, pressure ratio and bleed (turbine cooling); combustor pressure recovery; and turbine efficiency and inlet temperature on thermal efficiency and core specific power output. Then, engine cycle and mission performance benefits were determined for systems incorporating all potentially achievable technology advancements. The individual thermodynamic sensitivities are shown over a range of turbine temperatures (at cruise) from 2900 to 3500 R and for both constant (current technology) and optimum (maximum thermal efficiency) overall pressure ratios. It is seen that no single parameter alone will provide a large increase in core thermal efficiency, which is the thermodynamic parameter of most concern for transport propulsion. However, when all potentially achievable advancements are considered, there occurs a synergism that produces significant cycle and mission performance benefits. The nature of these benefits are presented along with the technology challenges.

  10. NASA/MSFC Interest in Advanced Propulsion and Power Technologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cole, John W.

    2003-01-01

    This viewgraph representation provides an overview of research being conducted at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Conventional propulsion systems are at near peak performance levels but will not enable the science and exploration deep space missions NASA envisions. Energetic propulsion technologies can make these missions possible but only if the fundamental problems of energy storage density and energy to energy thrust conversion efficiency are solved. Topics covered include: research rationale, limits of thermal propulsion systems, need for propulsion energetics research, emerging energetic propulsion technologies, and potential research opportunities.

  11. 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.

  12. In-Space Propulsion Engine Architecture Based on Sublimation of Planetary Resources: From Exploration Robots to NED Mitigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sibille, Laurent; Mantovani, James G.

    2011-01-01

    Volatile solids occur naturally on most planetary bodies including the Moon, Mars, asteroids and comets. Examples of recent discoveries include water ice, frozen carbon dioxide and hydrocarbons. The ability to utilize readily available resources for in-space propulsion and for powering surface systems during a planetary mission will help minimize the overall cost and extend the op.erational life of a mission. The utilization of volatile solids to achieve these goals is attractive for its simplicity. We have investigated the potential of subliming in situ volatiles and silicate minerals to power propulsion engines for a wide range of in-space applications where environmental conditions are favorable. This paper addresses the' practicality of using planetary solid volatiles as a power source for propulsion and surface systems by presenting results of modeling involving thermodynamic and physical mechanics calculations, and laboratory testing to measure the thrust obtained from ,a volatile solid engine (VSE). Applications of a VSE for planetary exploration are discussed as a means for propulsion and for mechanical actuators and surface mobility platforms.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, C. H.; Sostaric, 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.

    2012-06-01

    Advanced mid-L/D entry vehicles can provide performance advantages significant to mid-term robotic and human missions. Preliminary simulations with new paradigms show transonic Mach vehicle staging possible for retro-propulsion, descent and landing.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Crewed Mission to Callisto Using Advanced Plasma Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  2. High-pressure propulsion - advanced concepts for cooling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schoerman, Leonard

    The state-of-the-art liquid propellant cooled combustion chambers utilized in the space shuttle are third-generation designs which have evolved from a continuing demand for higher operating pressure and aircraft-type reusability. History has shown that major advances in cooling occur in approximately ten-year cycles, with each cycle providing a nominal 400% increase in operating pressure and/or a higher degree of reusability. The previous technologies include the first-generation double-wall steel jackets used in the 220 psi V-2 and Aerobee, and the second generation wire-wrapped double tapered tubular assemblies typical of the 800 psi Titan I, II, and III, and 1000 psi F-1 engines. The third-generation designs utilize milled slot, high thermal conductivity liners and electrodeposited nickel closures. The space shuttle main engine operating at 3200 psia is adequate for individual flights; however, the desired goal of 55 service-free missions has yet to be realized. Future single-stage-to-orbit propulsion concepts can benefit from a further increase in operating pressures to 6000 to 10,000 psi combined with engine reuse capabilities in excess of the 55 flight goals of the space shuttle. A fourth-generation approach will be required to attain these more ambitious goals. These new designs will require a combination of cooling processes, including regenerative and transpiration, combined with improved high-temperature materials and new fabrication techniques. The limitations of the third-generation designs, the impact of propellant/coolant selection, and the approaches for the coming fourth-generation cooling technologies are discussed.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Flow Control of Liquid Metal Propellants for In-Space Electric Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bonds, Kevin W.; Polzin, Kurt A.

    2010-01-01

    Operation of Hall thrusters with bismuth propellant has been shown to be a promising path for development of high-power (140 kW per thruster), high performance (8000s I(sub sp at >70% efficiency) electric propulsion systems.

  7. 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.

  8. Advanced earth-to-orbit transportation vehicles and their propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shelton, B. W.

    1978-01-01

    This paper identifies some of the advanced transportation systems and their associated propulsion systems being considered by MSFC for near-term missions (1980-1990), future missions (1990-2000), and far-term missions (post 2000). The near-term launch-vehicle considerations center around the growth Shuttle and the Shuttle-derived Heavy-Lift Launch Vehicle (HLLV) systems. The future and far-term considerations support the development of larger more advanced transportation systems. In such cases, the changing nature of the propulsion requirements needed by the launch vehicle are identified. The evolvement of chemical propulsion launch vehicles into the far future is prognosticated, and where applicable from a launch vehicle or propulsion viewpoint, orbit transfer vehicles are discussed.

  9. Main propulsion system design recommendations for an advanced Orbit Transfer Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Redd, L.

    1985-01-01

    Various main propulsion system configurations of an advanced OTV are evaluated with respect to the probability of nonindependent failures, i.e., engine failures that disable the entire main propulsion system. Analysis of the life-cycle cost (LCC) indicates that LCC is sensitive to the main propulsion system reliability, vehicle dry weight, and propellant cost; it is relatively insensitive to the number of missions/overhaul, failures per mission, and EVA and IVA cost. In conclusion, two or three engines are recommended in view of their highest reliability, minimum life-cycle cost, and fail operational/fail safe capability.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Slosh wave excitation due to cryogenic liquid reorientation in space-based propulsion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hung, R. J.; Shyu, K. L.; Lee, C. C.

    1991-01-01

    The objective of the cryogenic fluid management of the spacecraft propulsion system is to develop the technology necessary for acquistion or positioning of liquid and vapor within a tank in reduced gravity to enable liquid outflow or vapor venting. In this study slosh wave excitation induced by the resettling flow field activated by 1.0 Hz medium frequency impulsive reverse gravity acceleration during the course of liquid fluid reorientation with the initiation of geyser for liquid filled levels of 30, 50, and 80 percent have been studied. Characteristics of slosh waves with various frequencies excited are discussed.

  18. 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.

  19. Laser power beaming: an emerging technology for power transmission and propulsion in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennett, Harold E.

    1997-05-01

    A ground based laser beam transmitted to space can be used as an electric utility for satellites. It can significantly increase the electric power available to operate a satellite or to transport it from low earth orbit (LEO) to mid earth or geosynchronous orbits. The increase in electrical power compared to that obtainable from the sun is as much as 1000% for the same size solar panels. An increase in satellite electric power is needed to meet the increasing demands for power caused by the advent of 'direct to home TV,' for increased telecommunications, or for other demands made by the burgeoning 'space highway.' Monetary savings as compared to putting up multiple satellites in the same 'slot' can be over half a billion dollars. To obtain propulsion, the laser power can be beamed through the atmosphere to an 'orbit transfer vehicle' (OTV) satellite which travels back and forth between LEO and higher earth orbits. The OTV will transport the satellite into orbit as does a rocket but does not require the heavy fuel load needed if rocket propulsion is used. Monetary savings of 300% or more in launch costs are predicted. Key elements in the proposed concept are a 100 to 200 kW free- electron laser operating at 0.84 m in the photographic infrared region of the spectrum and a novel adaptive optic telescope.

  20. Selected Lessons Learned in Space Shuttle Orbiter Propulsion and Power Subsystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hernandez, Francisco J.; Martinez, Hugo; Ryan, Abigail; Westover, Shayne; Davies, Frank

    2011-01-01

    Over its 30 years of space flight history, plus the nearly 10 years of design, development test and evaluation, the Space Shuttle Orbiter is full of lessons learned in all of its numerous and complex subsystems. In the current paper, only selected lessons learned in the areas of the Orbiter propulsion and power subsystems will be described. The particular Orbiter subsystems include: Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), Hydraulics and Water Spray Boiler (WSB), Mechanical Flight Controls, Main Propulsion System (MPS), Fuel Cells and Power Reactant and Storage Devices (PRSD), Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS), Reaction Control System (RCS), Electrical Power Distribution (EPDC), electrical wiring and pyrotechnics. Given the complexity and extensive history of each of these subsystems, and the limited scope of this paper, it is impossible to include most of the lessons learned; instead the attempt will be to present a selected few or key lessons, in the judgment of the authors. Each subsystem is presented separate, beginning with an overview of the hardware and their function, a short description of a few historical problems and their lessons, followed by a more comprehensive table listing of the major subsystem problems and lessons. These tables serve as a quick reference for lessons learned in each subsystem. In addition, this paper will establish common lessons across subsystems as well as concentrate on those lessons which are deemed to have the highest applicability to future space flight programs.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Development of actively cooled panels for advanced propulsion systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauber, Brett K.

    1998-01-01

    Development of actively cooled flowpath panels for the National Aero-Space Plane (NASP) propulsion system was a critical task in the development plan of the air vehicle system. This task encompassed development of design requirements and loads, and component design and testing. In the early 90's the effort focused on six cooled panel designs based in five different materials (NARloy-Z, Haynes 188, MoRe, IN909, C/C and C/SiC), each satisfying requirements in a different area of the propulsion flowpath. Eventually, three of these designs were fabricated and tested. For these tests, two primary facilities were used. The first was a radiant heating facility at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB), and the second, a vitiated air heater at General Applied Science Laboratories (GASL) Inc. In these facilities, tests were run to validate thermal and mechanical models and to demonstrate coating durability and effectiveness. Additional tests to assess the damage tolerance of these designs were planned but never run. These tests ultimately exposed strengths and weaknesses in the designs and the analysis methods.

  4. 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

    the midpoint and decelerating during the latter half. This would not only provide some level of gravity (acceleration) throughout the mission but also allow very high velocities to be achieved, thus saving many months of travel time. In proposing the design of such a spacecraft propulsion system, Dr. Chang-Diaz was quick to acknowledge the need for a large power source, which undoubtedly must be nuclear fueled at the solar distances involved. He calls his system the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR). The other major ingredient is a mass (deuterium, which could also function as a radiation shield for crews) for energizing into the ultra hot, high velocity exhaust plasma. He foresees models now functional in the laboratory soon to be tested in space. In fact, some of these concepts have already been tried there. His optimism and determination would have operational rockets in the next decades.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. The importance of being asymmetric: the physiology of digesta propulsion on Earth and in space.

    PubMed

    Arun, C P

    2004-11-01

    In the embryo, the mammalian gastrointestinal tract (GIT) is a midline structure, but later becomes strikingly asymmetric. Such asymmetry is in contrast to other organ systems that are essentially bilaterally symmetric. Making a departure from the traditional straight tube model of the bowel, we offer a more realistic model-a kinked collapsible conduit disposed as a constrained kinematic chain. We examine evidence for the importance of its asymmetry to the unidirectional flow of digesta. A number of factors cooperate to ensure a unidirectional flow. The anatomical factors must include (1) the shape of the abdomen, the inverted truncated cone allowing several degrees of freedom of movement of the bowel allowing folds and twists; (2) the location of the liver and the stomach under the diaphragm, providing for efficient force transmission from the diaphragm (especially in the distended state in the case of the stomach); (3) cranio-caudal gradients in length of the small bowel mesentery and diameter of the bowel lumen. The physiological factors include (1) a deliberate conversion of ingested food into a non-Newtonian fluid with increasing viscosity, (2) nonlinearity of the tube law, (3) respiratory excursions of the diaphragm, and (4) a "Law of the Intestine". In microgravity, the bowel can be expected to float and exhibit loss of polarity of propulsion of digesta, but this can be compensated for by exercise (indirectly by increasing diaphragmatic movement). The asymmetry of the GIT is an ingenious device to ensure a unidirectional movement of digesta. PMID:15644347

  10. 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].

  11. Nanomaterials for Advanced Life Support in Advanced Life Support in Space systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allada, Rama Kumar; Moloney, Padraig; Yowell, Leonard

    2006-01-01

    A viewgraph presentation describing nanomaterial research at NASA Johnson Space Center with a focus on advanced life support in space systems is shown. The topics include: 1) Introduction; 2) Research and accomplishments in Carbon Dioxide Removal; 3) Research and Accomplishments in Water Purification; and 4) Next Steps

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. High Temperature Nanocomposites For Nuclear Thermal Propulsion and In-Space Fabrication by Hyperbaric Pressure Laser Chemical Vapor Deposition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maxwell, J. L.; Webb, N. D.; Espinoza, M.; Cook, S.; Houts, M.; Kim, T.

    Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is an indispensable technology for the manned exploration of the solar system. By using Hyperbaric Pressure Laser Chemical Vapor Deposition (HP-LCVD), the authors propose to design and build a promising next-generation fuel element composed of uranium carbide UC embedded in a latticed matrix of highly refractory Ta4HfC5 for an NTP rocket capable of sustaining temperatures up to 4000 K, enabling an Isp of up to 1250 s. Furthermore, HP-LCVD technology can also be harnessed to enable 3D rapid prototyping of a variety of materials including metals, ceramics and composites, opening up the possibility of in-space fabrication of components, replacement parts, difficult-to-launch solar sails and panels and a variety of other space structures. Additionally, rapid prototyping with HP-LCVD makes a feasible "live off the land" strategy of interplanetary and interstellar exploration ­ the precursors commonly used in the technology are found, often in abundance, on other solar system bodies either as readily harvestable gas (e.g. methane) or as a raw material that could be converted into a suitable precursor (e.g. iron oxide into ferrocene on Mars).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Advances in Space Transportation Technology Toward the NASA Goals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lyles, Garry M.

    2000-01-01

    disassembly and inspections required for the Space Shuttle's subsystems, the next generation vehicle's on-board health monitoring systems will could tell the ground crews which systems need replacement before landing. In twenty-five years, vehicles will be re-flown within one with crews numbering less than one hundred. Fully automated ground processing systems must require only a handful of personnel to launch the vehicle. Due to the increased intelligence of on-board systems, only cursory walk-around inspections would be required between flights An assessment of the progress in breakthrough technologies toward these goals by the NASA Advanced Space Transportation Program is presented. These breakthrough technologies include combined rocket and air breathing propulsion, high strength lightweight structures, high temperature materials, vehicle health management, and flight operations.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Advances in space biology and medicine. Vol. 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bonting, Sjoerd L. (Editor)

    1991-01-01

    Topics discussed include the effects of prolonged spaceflights on the human body; skeletal responses to spaceflight; gravity effects on reproduction, development, and aging; neurovestibular physiology in fish; and gravity perception and circumnutation in plants. Attention is also given to the development of higher plants under altered gravitational conditions; the techniques, findings, and theory concerning gravity effects on single cells; protein crystal growth in space; and facilities for animal research in space.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Dual-Fuel Propulsion in Single-Stage Advanced Manned Launch System Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lepsch, Roger A., Jr.; Stanley, Douglas O.; Unal, Resit

    1995-01-01

    As part of the United States Advanced Manned Launch System study to determine a follow-on, or complement, to the Space Shuttle, a reusable single-stage-to-orbit concept utilizing dual-fuel rocket propulsion has been examined. Several dual-fuel propulsion concepts were investigated. These include: a separate-engine concept combining Russian RD-170 kerosene-fueled engines with space shuttle main engine-derivative engines: the kerosene- and hydrogen-fueled Russian RD-701 engine; and a dual-fuel, dual-expander engine. Analysis to determine vehicle weight and size characteristics was performed using conceptual-level design techniques. A response-surface methodology for multidisciplinary design was utilized to optimize the dual-fuel vehicles with respect to several important propulsion-system and vehicle design parameters, in order to achieve minimum empty weight. The tools and methods employed in the analysis process are also summarized. In comparison with a reference hydrogen- fueled single-stage vehicle, results showed that the dual-fuel vehicles were from 10 to 30% lower in empty weight for the same payload capability, with the dual-expander engine types showing the greatest potential.

  17. Three-dimensional modeling of an ideal nozzle for advanced propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schillo, Kevin

    Advanced propulsion systems such as pulsed fission and fusion rockets hold the potential for opening up the solar system in ways few other propulsion technologies can. The University of Alabama in Huntsville is exploring one such concept in the form of pulsed z-pinch fusion propulsion. One of the technical hurdles to utilizing any pulsed fusion concept is the conversion from an isotropic expansion of a plasma into directed motion to produce thrust. This thesis investigates three dimensional modeling of pulsed nozzle performance in which the initial gas is a cylindrical gas column, emulating the initial conditions found in pulsed plasma discharges common in fusion experiments. Two nozzle geometries were investigated, a pusher plate and a hemispherical nozzle. Simulations of these systems were conducted using SPFMax, a recently developed smoothed particle hydrodynamics code (SPH). The SPH method was chosen because it is naturally adaptive and accurate for resolving the vacuum/gas boundary which always exists in pulsed fusion systems. Argon plasma was used to compare the two systems to determine which offers better performance. The plasma was also subjected to a wide variety of shapes and initial conditions to determine what would offer higher performance for the two systems.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Affordable In-Space Transportation. Phase 2; An Advanced Concepts Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    The Affordable In-Space Transportation (AIST) program was established by the NASA Office of Space Access to improve transportation and lower the costs from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) and beyond (to Lunar orbit, Mars orbit, inner solar system missions, and return to LEO). A goal was established to identify and develop radically innovative concepts for new upper stages for Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLV) and Highly Reusable Space Transportation (HRST) systems. New architectures and technologies are being identified which have the potential to meet a cost goal of $1,000 to $2,000 per pound for transportation to GEO and beyond for overall mission cost (including the cost to LEO). A Technical Interchange Meeting (ITM) was held on October 16 and 17, 1996 in Huntsville, Alabama to review previous studies, present advanced concepts and review technologies that could be used to meet the stated goals. The TIM was managed by NASA-Mar-shaU Space Flight Center (MSFC) Advanced Concepts Office with Mr. Alan Adams providing TIM coordination. Mr. John C. Manidns of NASA Headquarters provided overall sponsorship. The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Propulsion Research Center hosted the TM at the UAH Research Center. Dr. Clark Hawk, Center Director, was the principal investigator. Technical support was provided by Christensen Associates. Approximately 70 attendees were present at the meeting. This Executive Summary provides a record of the key discussions and results of the TIM in a summary format. It incorporates the response to the following basic issues of the TPA, which addressed the following questions: 1. What are the cost drivers and how can they be reduced? 2. What are the operational issues and their impact on cost? What is the current Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and what will it take to reach TRL 6? 4. What are the key enabling technologies and sequence for their accomplishment? 5. What is the proposed implementation time frame

  1. Affordable In-Space Transportation Phase 2: An Advanced Concepts Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    The Affordable In-Space Transportation (AIST) program was established by the NASA Office of Space Access to improve transportation and lower the costs from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO) and beyond (to Lunar orbit, Mars orbit, inner solar system missions, and return to LEO). A goal was established to identify and develop radically innovative concepts for new upper stages for Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLV) and Highly Reusable Space Transportation (HRST) systems. New architectures and technologies are being identified which have the potential to meet a cost goal of $1,000 to $2,000 per pound for transportation to GEO and beyond for overall mission cost (including the cost to LEO). A Technical Interchange Meeting (TTM) was held on October 16 and 17, 1996 in Huntsville, Alabama to review previous studies, present advanced concepts and review technologies that could be used to meet the stated goals. The TIN4 was managed by NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Advanced Concepts Office with Mr. Alan Adams providing TIM coordination. Mr. John C. Mankins of NASA Headquarters provided overall sponsorship. The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) Propulsion Research Center hosted the TIM at the UAH Research Center. Dr. Clark Hawk, Center Director, was the principal investigator. Technical support was provided by Christensen Associates. Approximately 70 attendees were present at the meeting. This Executive Summary provides a record of the key discussions and results of the TIN4 in a summary for-mat. It incorporates the response to the following basic issues of the TDVL which addressed the following questions: 1. What are the cost drivers and how can they be reduced? 2. What are the operational issues and their impact on cost? 3. What is the current technology readiness level (TRL) and what will it take to reach TRL 6? 4. What are the key enabling technologies and sequence for their accomplishment? 5 . What is the proposed implementation time

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Space and transatmospheric propulsion technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1994-03-01

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. Advances in space technology: the NSBRI Technology Development Team

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maurer, R. H.; Charles, H. K. Jr; Pisacane, V. L.

    2002-01-01

    As evidenced from Mir and other long-duration space missions, the space environment can cause significant alterations in the human physiology that could prove dangerous for astronauts. The NASA programme to develop countermeasures for these deleterious human health effects is being carried out by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI). The NSBRI has 12 research teams, ten of which are primarily physiology based, one addresses on-board medical care, and the twelfth focuses on technology development in support of the other research teams. This Technology Development (TD) Team initially supported four instrumentation developments: (1) an advanced, multiple projection, dual energy X ray absorptiometry (AMPDXA) scanning system: (2) a portable neutron spectrometer; (3) a miniature time-of-flight mass spectrometer: and (4) a cardiovascular identification system. Technical highlights of the original projects are presented along with an introduction to the five new TD Team projects being funded by the NSBRI.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Electric propulsion, circa 2000

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hudson, W. R.; Finke, R. C.

    1980-01-01

    This paper discusses the future of electric propulsion, circa 2000. Starting with the first generation Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) technology as the first step toward the next century's advanced propulsion systems, the current status and future trends of other systems such as the magnetoplasmadynamic accelerator, the mass driver, the laser propulsion system, and the rail gun are described.

  12. 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.

  13. The use of advanced materials in space structure applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eaton, D. C. G.; Slachmuylders, E. J.

    The last decade has seen the Space applications of composite materials become almost commonplace in the construction of configurations requiring high stiffness and/or dimensional stability, particularly in the field of antennas. As experience has been accumulated, applications for load carrying structures utilizing the inherent high specific strength/stiffness of carbon fibres have become more frequent. Some typical examples of these and their design development criteria are reviewed. As these structures and the use of new plastic matrices emerge, considerable attention has to be given to establishing essential integrity control requirements from both safety and cost aspects. The advent of manned European space flight places greater emphasis on such requirements. Attention is given to developments in the fields of metallic structures with discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of their application. The design and development of hot structures, thermal protection systems and air-breathing engines for future launch vehicles necessitates the use of the emerging metal/matrix and other advanced materials. Some of their important features are outlined. Means of achieving such objectives by greater harmonization within Europe are emphasized. Typical examples of on-going activities to promote such collaboration are described.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. In-Space Propulsion Engine Architecture Based on Sublimation of Planetary Resources: From Exploration Robots to NED Mitigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sibille, Laurent; Mantovani, James; Dominquez, Jesus

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this NIAC study is to identify those volatile and mineral resources that are available on asteroids, comets, moons and planets in the solar system, and investigate methods to transform these resources into forms of power that will expand the capabilities of future robotic and human exploration missions to explore planetary bodies beyond the Moon and will mitigate hazards from NEOs. The sources of power used for deep space probe missions are usually derived from either solar panels for electrical energy, radioisotope thermal generators for thermal energy, or fuel cells and chemical reactions for chemical energy and propulsion.

  19. 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.

  20. 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).

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. A Review of Past Insights by Robert Forward and Current Advanced Propulsion Activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robertson, Tony; Norley, G. D.

    2003-01-01

    A review of various technologies discussed by Dr. Robert Forward is done as a tribute to Dr. Forward, and is based on selections from his writings. These speculations and predictions by Dr. Forward are used as a basis for discussing expected propulsion technology work over the next twenty years. Among the technologies to be discussed are antimatter propulsion, space elevators and tethers, and laser propulsion.

  4. 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.

  5. Characterization of Pump-Induced Acoustics in Space Launch System Main Propulsion System Liquid Hydrogen Feedline Using Airflow Test Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eberhart, C. J.; Snellgrove, L. M.; Zoladz, T. F.

    2015-01-01

    High intensity acoustic edgetones located upstream of the RS-25 Low Pressure Fuel Turbo Pump (LPFTP) were previously observed during Space Launch System (STS) airflow testing of a model Main Propulsion System (MPS) liquid hydrogen (LH2) feedline mated to a modified LPFTP. MPS hardware has been adapted to mitigate the problematic edgetones as part of the Space Launch System (SLS) program. A follow-on airflow test campaign has subjected the adapted hardware to tests mimicking STS-era airflow conditions, and this manuscript describes acoustic environment identification and characterization born from the latest test results. Fluid dynamics responsible for driving discrete excitations were well reproduced using legacy hardware. The modified design was found insensitive to high intensity edgetone-like discretes over the bandwidth of interest to SLS MPS unsteady environments. Rather, the natural acoustics of the test article were observed to respond in a narrowband-random/mixed discrete manner to broadband noise thought generated by the flow field. The intensity of these responses were several orders of magnitude reduced from those driven by edgetones.

  6. 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.

  7. Development of Thin Film Thermocouples on Ceramic Materials for Advanced Propulsion System Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holanda, R.

    1992-01-01

    Thin film thermocouples have been developed for use on metal parts in jet engines to 1000 c. However, advanced propulsion systems are being developed that will use ceramic materials and reach higher temperatures. The purpose of this work is to develop thin film thermocouples for use on ceramic materials. The new thin film thermocouples are Pt13Rh/Pt fabricated by the sputtering process. Lead wires are attached using the parallel-gap welding process. The ceramic materials tested are silicon nitride, silicon carbide, aluminum oxide, and mullite. Both steady state and thermal cycling furnace tests were performed in the temperature range to 1500 C. High-heating-rate tests were performed in an arc lamp heat-flux-calibration facility. The fabrication of the thin film thermocouples is described. The thin film thermocouple output was compared to a reference wire thermocouple. Drift of the thin film thermocouples was determined, and causes of drift are discussed. The results of high heating rate tests up to 2500 C/sec are presented. The stability of the ceramic materials is examined. It is concluded that Pt13Rh/Pt thin film thermocouples are capable of meeting lifetime goals of 50 hours or more up to temperature of 1500 C depending on the stability of the particular ceramic substrate.

  8. Development of thin film thermocouples on ceramic materials for advanced propulsion system applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holanda, Raymond

    1993-01-01

    Thin film thermocouples were developed for use on metal parts in jet engines to 1000 C. However, advanced propulsion systems are being developed that will use ceramic materials and reach higher temperatures. The purpose is to develop thin film thermocouples for use on ceramic materials. The new thin film thermocouples are Pt13Rh/Pt fabricated by the sputtering process. Lead wires are attached using the parallel-gap welding process. The ceramic materials tested are silicon nitride, silicon carbide, aluminum oxide, and mullite. Both steady state and thermal cycling furnace tests were performed in the temperature range to 1500 C. High-heating-rate tests were performed in an arc lamp heat-flux-calibration facility. The fabrication of the thin film thermocouples is described. The thin film thermocouple output was compared to a reference wire thermocouple. Drift of the thin film thermocouples was determined, and causes of drift are discussed. The results of high heating rate tests up to 2500 C/sec are presented. The stability of the ceramic materials is examined. It is concluded that Pt13Rh/Pt thin film thermocouples are capable of meeting lifetime goals of 50 hr or more up to temperatures of 1500 C depending on the stability of the particular ceramic substrate.

  9. 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.

  10. Nuclear thermal propulsion program overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.

    1991-01-01

    Nuclear thermal propulsion program is described. The following subject areas are covered: lunar and Mars missions; national space policy; international cooperation in space exploration; propulsion technology; nuclear rocket program; and budgeting.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  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. 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.

  20. “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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Self-propulsion of flapping bodies in viscous fluids: Recent advances and perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Shizhao; He, Guowei; Zhang, Xing

    2016-08-01

    Flapping-powered propulsion is used by many animals to locomote through air or water. Here we review recent experimental and numerical studies on self-propelled mechanical systems powered by a flapping motion. These studies improve our understanding of the mutual interaction between actively flapping bodies and surrounding fluids. The results obtained in these works provide not only new insights into biolocomotion but also useful information for the biomimetic design of artificial flyers and swimmers.

  5. 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.

  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. 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

  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. 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.

  10. 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 of Pathfinder is Space Transfer technology. A key element of this thrust 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. This paper describes the goals and objectives, management, technical plan, and technology transfer for the Chemical Transfer Propulsion element of Pathfinder.

  11. 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.

  12. NASA electric propulsion program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hudson, W. R.; Finke, R. C.

    1976-01-01

    Major portions of the NASA electric propulsion technology program have attained the level of maturity required to achieve near-term technology readiness for flight missions for primary and auxiliary propulsion application. Advanced electric propulsion program elements addressing less immediate requirements are in more exploratory stages. This paper will discuss the NASA electric propulsion technology program including - planetary and earth orbit raising applications, attitude control and stationkeeping of geosynchronous satellites, and the research support program. Objectives, requirements, and hardware status are presented for each program.

  13. Advanced chemical propulsion at NASA Lewis: Metallized and high energy density propellants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palaszewski, Bryan A.

    1991-01-01

    Two of the programs at the NASA Lewis Research Center investigating advanced systems for future space missions are the Metallized Propellant Program and the Advanced Concepts Program. Each program includes both experimental and theoretical studies of future propellants and the associated vehicle impacts and significant payload benefits for many types of space transportation. These programs are described.

  14. ESA Spacecraft Propulsion Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saccoccia, G.

    2004-10-01

    ESA is currently involved in several activities related to spacecraft chemical and electric propulsion, from the basic research and development of conventional and new concepts to the manufacturing, AIV and flight control of the propulsion subsystems of several European satellites. In the commercial application field, the strong competition among satellite manufacturers is a major driver for advancements in the area of propulsion, where increasing better performance together with low prices are required. Furthermore, new scientific and Earth observation missions dictate new challenging requirements for propulsion systems and components based on advanced technologies. For all these reasons, the technology area of spacecraft propulsion is in strong evolution and this paper presents an overview of the current European programmes and initiatives in this technology field. Specific attention is devoted in the paper to the performance and flight experience of spacecraft currently in orbit or ready to be launched.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Advanced launch vehicle upper stages using liquid propulsion and metallized propellants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palaszewski, B. A.

    1990-01-01

    Metallized propellants are liquid propellants with a metal additive suspended in a gelled fuel or oxidizer. Typically, aluminum particles are the metal additives. These propellants provide increase in the density and/or the specific impulse of the propulsion system. Using metallized propellants for volume- and mass-constrained upper stages can deliver modest increases in performance for Low Earth Orbit to Geosynchronous Earth Orbit 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 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 and Space Transportation System-Cargo 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. PEGASUS: a multi-megawatt nuclear electric propulsion system

    SciTech Connect

    Coomes, E.P.; Cuta, J.M.; Webb, B.J.; King, D.Q.

    1985-06-01

    With the Space Transportation System (STS), the advent of space station Columbus and the development of expertise at working in space that this will entail, the gateway is open to the final frontier. The exploration of this frontier is possible with state-of-the-art hydrogen/oxygen propulsion but would be greatly enhanced by the higher specific impulse of electric propulsion. This paper presents a concept that uses a multi-megawatt nuclear power plant to drive an electric propulsion system. The concept has been named PEGASUS, PowEr GenerAting System for Use in Space, and is intended as a ''work horse'' for general space transportation needs, both long- and short-haul missions. The recent efforts of the SP-100 program indicate that a power system capable of producing upwards of 1 megawatt of electric power should be available in the next decade. Additionally, efforts in other areas indicate that a power system with a constant power capability an order of magnitude greater could be available near the turn of the century. With the advances expected in megawatt-class space power systems, the high specific impulse propulsion systems must be reconsidered as potential propulsion systems. The power system is capable of meeting both the propulsion system and spacecraft power requirements.

  5. 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

  6. INSPACE CHEMICAL PROPULSION SYSTEMS AT NASA's MARSHALL SPACE FLIGHT CENTER: HERITAGE AND CAPABILITIES

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McRight, P. S.; Sheehy, J. A.; Blevins, J. A.

    2005-01-01

    NASA s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is well known for its contributions to large ascent propulsion systems such as the Saturn V rocket and the Space Shuttle external tank, solid rocket boosters, and main engines. This paper highlights a lesser known but very rich side of MSFC-its heritage in the development of in-space chemical propulsion systems and its current capabilities for spacecraft propulsion system development and chemical propulsion research. The historical narrative describes the flight development activities associated with upper stage main propulsion systems such as the Saturn S-IVB as well as orbital maneuvering and reaction control systems such as the S-IVB auxiliary propulsion system, the Skylab thruster attitude control system, and many more recent activities such as Chandra, the Demonstration of Automated Rendezvous Technology (DART), X-37, the X-38 de-orbit propulsion system, the Interim Control Module, the US Propulsion Module, and multiple technology development activities. This paper also highlights MSFC s advanced chemical propulsion research capabilities, including an overview of the center s Propulsion Systems Department and ongoing activities. The authors highlight near-term and long-term technology challenges to which MSFC research and system development competencies are relevant. This paper concludes by assessing the value of the full range of aforementioned activities, strengths, and capabilities in light of NASA s exploration missions.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. NASA's Chemical Transfer Propulsion Program for Pathfinder

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

    Pathfinder is a research and technology project, with specific deliverables, initiated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) which will strengthen the technology base of the United States civil space program in preparation for future space exploration missions. Pathfinder begins in Fiscal Year 1989, and is to advance a collection of critical technologies for these missions and ensure technology readiness for future national decisions regarding exploration of the solar system. The four major thrusts of Pathfinder are: surface exploration, in-space operations, humans-in-space, and space transfer. The space transfer thrust will provide the critical technologies needed for transportation to, and return from, the Moon, Mars, and other planets in the solar system, as well as for reliable and cost-effective Earth-orbit operations. A key element of this thrust is the Chemical Transfer Propulsion program which will provide the propulsion technology for high performance, liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen expander cycle engines which may be operated and maintained in space. Described here are the program overview including the goals and objectives, management, technical plan, and technology transfer for the Chemical Transfer Propulsion element of Pathfinder.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. IEC fusion: The future power and propulsion system for space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hammond, Walter E.; Coventry, Matt; Hanson, John; Hrbud, Ivana; Miley, George H.; Nadler, Jon

    2000-01-01

    Rapid access to any point in the solar system requires advanced propulsion concepts that will provide extremely high specific impulse, low specific power, and a high thrust-to-power ratio. Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) fusion is one of many exciting concepts emerging through propulsion and power research in laboratories across the nation which will determine the future direction of space exploration. This is part of a series of papers that discuss different applications of the Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) fusion concept for both in-space and terrestrial use. IEC will enable tremendous advances in faster travel times within the solar system. The technology is currently under investigation for proof of concept and transitioning into the first prototype units for commercial applications. In addition to use in propulsion for space applications, terrestrial applications include desalinization plants, high energy neutron sources for radioisotope generation, high flux sources for medical applications, proton sources for specialized medical applications, and tritium production. .

  16. Propulsion by laser power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schall, Wolfgang O.

    2005-03-01

    Laser power can be transformed into propulsive power to set into motion various kinds of vehicles and other objects on the surface, in the air and in space. The transformation process can occur indirectly, for instance by producing electricity via photovoltaic cells or thermal power. Another possibility is the generation of impulses by the ablation of matter from a solid body, or by the initiation of a high-pressure plasma breakdown wave in a fluid medium. Applications range from driving remotely powered roving vehicles to various kinds of thrusters for space propulsion. The direct thrust of the laser photon flux can be used for the propulsion of laser sailcrafts. Applications in space range from micropropulsion for satellite attitude control in the near-term to futuristic interstellar travel driven by photon propulsion. Other propulsive applications in space concern the change of orbits of objects like man-made orbital debris as well as of large objects (asteroids, comets) for protection of Earth against disastrous impacts.

  17. 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.

  18. Advances in space power research and technology at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mullin, J. P.; Randolph, L. P.; Hudson, W. R.; Ambrus, J. H.

    1981-01-01

    Progress and plans in various areas of the NASA Space Power Program are discussed. Solar cell research is narrowed to GaAs, multibandgap, and thin Si cells for arrays in planar and concentrator configurations, with further work to increase cell efficiency, radiation hardness, develop flexible encapsulants, and reduce cost. Electrochemical research is concentrating on increasing energy and power density, cycle and wet stand life, reliability and cost reduction of batteries. Further development of the Ni-H2 battery and O2-H2 fuel cell to multihundred kW with a 5 year life and 30,000 cycles is noted. Basic research is ongoing for alkali metal anodes for high energy density secondary cells. Nuclear thermoelectric propulsion is being developed for outer planets exploration propulsion systems, using Si-Ge generators, and studies with rare earth chalcogenides and sulfides are mentioned. Power Systems Management seeks to harmonize increasing power supply levels with inner and outer spacecraft environments, circuits, demands, and automatic monitoring. Concomitant development of bipolar transistors, an infrared rectenna, spacecraft charging measurement, and larger heat pipe transport capacity are noted.

  19. Propulsion Technology Development for Sample Return Missions Under NASA's ISPT Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.; Pencil, Eric J.; Vento, Daniel; Dankanich, John W.; Munk, Michelle M.; Hahne, David

    2011-01-01

    The In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) Program was tasked in 2009 to start development of propulsion technologies that would enable future sample return missions. Sample return missions could be quite varied, from collecting and bringing back samples of comets or asteroids, to soil, rocks, or atmosphere from planets or moons. The paper will describe the ISPT Program s propulsion technology development activities relevant to future sample return missions. The sample return propulsion technology development areas for ISPT are: 1) Sample Return Propulsion (SRP), 2) Planetary Ascent Vehicles (PAV), 3) Entry Vehicle Technologies (EVT), and 4) Systems/mission analysis and tools that focuses on sample return propulsion. The Sample Return Propulsion area is subdivided into: a) Electric propulsion for sample return and low cost Discovery-class missions, b) Propulsion systems for Earth Return Vehicles (ERV) including transfer stages to the destination, and c) Low TRL advanced propulsion technologies. The SRP effort will continue work on HIVHAC thruster development in FY2011 and then transitions into developing a HIVHAC system under future Electric Propulsion for sample return (ERV and transfer stages) and low-cost missions. Previous work on the lightweight propellant-tanks will continue under advanced propulsion technologies for sample return with direct applicability to a Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission and with general applicability to all future planetary spacecraft. A major effort under the EVT area is multi-mission technologies for Earth Entry Vehicles (MMEEV), which will leverage and build upon previous work related to Earth Entry Vehicles (EEV). The major effort under the PAV area is the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV). The MAV is a new development area to ISPT, and builds upon and leverages the past MAV analysis and technology developments from the Mars Technology Program (MTP) and previous MSR studies.

  20. 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.

  1. Reactors for nuclear electric propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Buden, D.; Angelo, J.A. Jr.

    1981-01-01

    Propulsion is the key to space exploitation and power is the key to propulsion. This paper examines the role of nuclear fission reactors as the primary power source for high specific impulse electric propulsion systems for space missions of the 1980s and 1990s. Particular mission applications include transfer to and a reusable orbital transfer vehicle from low-Earth orbit to geosynchronous orbit, outer planet exploration and reconnaissance missions, and as a versatile space tug supporting lunar resource development. Nuclear electric propulsion is examined as an indispensable component in space activities of the next two decades.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Space propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kazaroff, John M.

    1993-01-01

    Lewis Research Center is developing broad-based new technologies for space chemical engines to satisfy long-term needs of ETO launch vehicles and other vehicles operating in and beyond Earth orbit. Specific objectives are focused on high performance LO2/LH2 engines providing moderate thrusts of 7,5-200 klb. This effort encompasses research related to design analysis and manufacturing processes needed to apply advanced materials to subcomponents, components, and subsystems of space-based systems and related ground-support equipment. High-performance space-based chemical engines face a number of technical challenges. Liquid hydrogen turbopump impellers are often so large that they cannot be machined from a single piece, yet high stress at the vane/shroud interface makes bonding extremely difficult. Tolerances on fillets are critical on large impellers. Advanced materials and fabricating techniques are needed to address these and other issues of interest. Turbopump bearings are needed which can provide reliable, long life operation at high speed and high load with low friction losses. Hydrostatic bearings provide good performance, but transients during pump starts and stops may be an issue because no pressurized fluid is available unless a separate bearing pressurization system is included. Durable materials and/or coatings are needed that can demonstrate low wear in the harsh LO2/LH2 environment. Advanced materials are also needed to improve the lifetime, reliability and performance of other propulsion system elements such as seals and chambers.

  5. Space propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazaroff, John M.

    1993-02-01

    Lewis Research Center is developing broad-based new technologies for space chemical engines to satisfy long-term needs of ETO launch vehicles and other vehicles operating in and beyond Earth orbit. Specific objectives are focused on high performance LO2/LH2 engines providing moderate thrusts of 7,5-200 klb. This effort encompasses research related to design analysis and manufacturing processes needed to apply advanced materials to subcomponents, components, and subsystems of space-based systems and related ground-support equipment. High-performance space-based chemical engines face a number of technical challenges. Liquid hydrogen turbopump impellers are often so large that they cannot be machined from a single piece, yet high stress at the vane/shroud interface makes bonding extremely difficult. Tolerances on fillets are critical on large impellers. Advanced materials and fabricating techniques are needed to address these and other issues of interest. Turbopump bearings are needed which can provide reliable, long life operation at high speed and high load with low friction losses. Hydrostatic bearings provide good performance, but transients during pump starts and stops may be an issue because no pressurized fluid is available unless a separate bearing pressurization system is included. Durable materials and/or coatings are needed that can demonstrate low wear in the harsh LO2/LH2 environment. Advanced materials are also needed to improve the lifetime, reliability and performance of other propulsion system elements such as seals and chambers.

  6. Low Cost Electric Propulsion Thruster for Deep Space Robotic Science Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Manzella, David

    2008-01-01

    Electric Propulsion (EP) has found widespread acceptance by commercial satellite providers for on-orbit station keeping due to the total life cycle cost advantages these systems offer. NASA has also sought to benefit from the use of EP for primary propulsion onboard the Deep Space-1 and DAWN spacecraft. These applications utilized EP systems based on gridded ion thrusters, which offer performance unequaled by other electric propulsion thrusters. Through the In-Space Propulsion Project, a lower cost thruster technology is currently under development designed to make electric propulsion intended for primary propulsion applications cost competitive with chemical propulsion systems. The basis for this new technology is a very reliable electric propulsion thruster called the Hall thruster. Hall thrusters, which have been flown by the Russians dating back to the 1970s, have been used by the Europeans on the SMART-1 lunar orbiter and currently employed by 15 other geostationary spacecraft. Since the inception of the Hall thruster, over 100 of these devices have been used with no known failures. This paper describes the latest accomplishments of a development task that seeks to improve Hall thruster technology by increasing its specific impulse, throttle-ability, and lifetime to make this type of electric propulsion thruster applicable to NASA deep space science missions. In addition to discussing recent progress on this task, this paper describes the performance and cost benefits projected to result from the use of advanced Hall thrusters for deep space science missions.

  7. Results of Evaluation of Solar Thermal Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woodcock, Gordon; Byers, Dave

    2003-01-01

    The solar thermal propulsion evaluation reported here relied on prior research for all information on solar thermal propulsion technology and performance. Sources included personal contacts with experts in the field in addition to published reports and papers. Mission performance models were created based on this information in order to estimate performance and mass characteristics of solar thermal propulsion systems. Mission analysis was performed for a set of reference missions to assess the capabilities and benefits of solar thermal propulsion in comparison with alternative in-space propulsion systems such as chemical and electric propulsion. Mission analysis included estimation of delta V requirements as well as payload capabilities for a range of missions. Launch requirements and costs, and integration into launch vehicles, were also considered. The mission set included representative robotic scientific missions, and potential future NASA human missions beyond low Earth orbit. Commercial communications satellite delivery missions were also included, because if STP technology were selected for that application, frequent use is implied and this would help amortize costs for technology advancement and systems development. A C3 Topper mission was defined, calling for a relatively small STP. The application is to augment the launch energy (C3) available from launch vehicles with their built-in upper stages. Payload masses were obtained from references where available. The communications satellite masses represent the range of payload capabilities for the Delta IV Medium and/or Atlas launch vehicle family. Results indicated that STP could improve payload capability over current systems, but that this advantage cannot be realized except in a few cases because of payload fairing volume limitations on current launch vehicles. It was also found that acquiring a more capable (existing) launch vehicle, rather than adding an STP stage, is the most economical in most cases.

  8. Propulsion engineering study for small-scale Mars missions

    SciTech Connect

    Whitehead, J.

    1995-09-12

    Rocket propulsion options for small-scale Mars missions are presented and compared, particularly for the terminal landing maneuver and for sample return. Mars landing has a low propulsive {Delta}v requirement on a {approximately}1-minute time scale, but at a high acceleration. High thrust/weight liquid rocket technologies, or advanced pulse-capable solids, developed during the past decade for missile defense, are therefore more appropriate for small Mars landers than are conventional space propulsion technologies. The advanced liquid systems are characterize by compact lightweight thrusters having high chamber pressures and short lifetimes. Blowdown or regulated pressure-fed operation can satisfy the Mars landing requirement, but hardware mass can be reduced by using pumps. Aggressive terminal landing propulsion designs can enable post-landing hop maneuvers for some surface mobility. The Mars sample return mission requires a small high performance launcher having either solid motors or miniature pump-fed engines. Terminal propulsion for 100 kg Mars landers is within the realm of flight-proven thruster designs, but custom tankage is desirable. Landers on a 10 kg scale also are feasible, using technology that has been demonstrated but not previously flown in space. The number of sources and the selection of components are extremely limited on this smallest scale, so some customized hardware is required. A key characteristic of kilogram-scale propulsion is that gas jets are much lighter than liquid thrusters for reaction control. The mass and volume of tanks for inert gas can be eliminated by systems which generate gas as needed from a liquid or a solid, but these have virtually no space flight history. Mars return propulsion is a major engineering challenge; earth launch is the only previously-solved propulsion problem requiring similar or greater performance.

  9. Cryogenic Propulsion Stage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, David

    2011-01-01

    The CPS is an in-space cryogenic propulsive stage based largely on state of the practice design for launch vehicle upper stages. However, unlike conventional propulsive stages, it also contains power generation and thermal control systems to limit the loss of liquid hydrogen and oxygen due to boil-off during extended in-space storage. The CPS provides the necessary (Delta)V for rapid transfer of in-space elements to their destinations or staging points (i.e., E-M L1). The CPS is designed around a block upgrade strategy to provide maximum mission/architecture flexibility. Block 1 CPS: Short duration flight times (hours), passive cryo fluid management. Block 2 CPS: Long duration flight times (days/weeks/months), active and passive cryo fluid management.

  10. Distributed Propulsion Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Hyun Dae

    2010-01-01

    Since the introduction of large jet-powered transport aircraft, the majority of these vehicles have been designed by placing thrust-generating engines either under the wings or on the fuselage to minimize aerodynamic interactions on the vehicle operation. However, advances in computational and experimental tools along with new technologies in materials, structures, and aircraft controls, etc. are enabling a high degree of integration of the airframe and propulsion system in aircraft design. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been investigating a number of revolutionary distributed propulsion vehicle concepts to increase aircraft performance. The concept of distributed propulsion is to fully integrate a propulsion system within an airframe such that the aircraft takes full synergistic benefits of coupling of airframe aerodynamics and the propulsion thrust stream by distributing thrust using many propulsors on the airframe. Some of the concepts are based on the use of distributed jet flaps, distributed small multiple engines, gas-driven multi-fans, mechanically driven multifans, cross-flow fans, and electric fans driven by turboelectric generators. This paper describes some early concepts of the distributed propulsion vehicles and the current turboelectric distributed propulsion (TeDP) vehicle concepts being studied under the NASA s Subsonic Fixed Wing (SFW) Project to drastically reduce aircraft-related fuel burn, emissions, and noise by the year 2030 to 2035.

  11. Advanced 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.

  12. Solar concentrators for advanced solar-dynamic power systems in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rockwell, Richard

    1993-01-01

    This report summarizes the results of a study performed by Hughes Danbury Optical Systems, HDOS, (formerly Perkin-Elmer) to design, fabricate, and test a lightweight (2 kg/sq M), self supporting, and highly reflective sub-scale concentrating mirror panel suitable for use in space. The HDOS panel design utilizes Corning's 'micro sheet' glass as the top layer of a composite honeycomb sandwich. This approach, whose manufacturability was previously demonstrated under an earlier NASA contract, provides a smooth (specular) reflective surface without the weight of a conventional glass panel. The primary result of this study is a point design and it's performance assessment.

  13. Operationally efficient propulsion system study (OEPSS) data book. Volume 6; Space Transfer Propulsion Operational Efficiency Study Task of OEPSS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harmon, Timothy J.

    1992-01-01

    This document is the final report for the Space Transfer Propulsion Operational Efficiency Study Task of the Operationally Efficient Propulsion System Study (OEPSS) conducted by the Rocketdyne Division of Rockwell International. This Study task studied, evaluated and identified design concepts and technologies which minimized launch and in-space operations and optimized in-space vehicle propulsion system operability.

  14. Mixed NEP/NTP propulsion for split Mars missions

    SciTech Connect

    Stancati, M.L.; McAdams, J.V.; Collins, J.T. )

    1993-01-10

    Speed and safety have emerged as key factors in preliminary designs for piloted missions to Mars. Mission planners seek short flight times to maximize productive exploration time, and to minimize the risk of extended periods in space. To meet these objectives with reasonably sized vehicles will require some form of advanced propulsion; if the choice is nuclear, additional safety constraints may apply. Element-level redundancy for crew safety requires a significant increase in propulsion capability to keep vehicle and propellant masses within reason. Mixed high/low thrust propulsion for split Mars missions is a high performance option that supports fast, safe crew transfers, large payload movement, disposal of spent reactors, and feasible vehicle sizing throughout.

  15. Development of a gravity-independent wastewater bioprocessor for advanced life support in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nashashibi-Rabah, Majda; Christodoulatos, Christos; Korfiatis, George P.; Janes, H. W. (Principal Investigator)

    2005-01-01

    Operation of aerobic biological reactors in space is controlled by a number of challenging constraints, mainly stemming from mass transfer limitations and phase separation. Immobilized-cell packed-bed bioreactors, specially designed to function in the absence of gravity, offer a viable solution for the treatment of gray water generated in space stations and spacecrafts. A novel gravity-independent wastewater biological processor, capable of carbon oxidation and nitrification of high-strength aqueous waste streams, is presented. The system, consisting of a fully saturated pressurized packed bed and a membrane oxygenation module attached to an external recirculation loop, operated continuously for over one year. The system attained high carbon oxidation efficiencies often exceeding 90% and ammonia oxidation reaching approximately 60%. The oxygen supply module relies on hydrophobic, nonporous, oxygen selective membranes, in a shell and tube configuration, for transferring oxygen to the packed bed, while keeping the gaseous and liquid phases separated. This reactor configuration and operating mode render the system gravity-independent and suitable for space applications.

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Astrochemistry: Recent Advances in the Study of Carbon Molecules in Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Salama, Farid

    2006-01-01

    Carbon molecules and ions play an important role in space. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are the best-known candidates to account for the infrared emission bands (UIR bands) and PAH spectral features are now being used as probes of the interstellar medium in Galactic and extra-galactic environments. PAHs are also thought to be among the carriers of the diffuse interstellar absorption bands (DIBs). In the model dealing with the interstellar spectral features, PAHs are present as a mixture of radicals, ions and neutral species. PAH ionization states reflect the ionization balance of the medium while PAH size, composition, and structure reflect the energetic and chemical history of the medium. A major challenge for laboratory Astrochemistry is to reproduce (in a realistic way) the physical conditions that exist in the emission and absorption interstellar zones. An extensive laboratory program has been developed in various laboratories to characterize the physical and chemical properties of PAHs in astrophysical environments and to describe how they influence the radiation and energy balance in space and the interstellar chemistry. In particular, laboratory experiments provide measurements of the spectral characteristics of interstellar PAH analogs from the ultraviolet and visible range to the infrared range for comparison with astronomical data. The harsh physical conditions of the interstellar medium - characterized by a low temperature, an absence of collisions and strong ultraviolet radiation fields - are simulated in the laboratory by associating a molecular beam with an ionizing discharge to generate a cold plasma expansion. PAH ions are formed from the neutral precursors in an isolated environment at low temperature (of the order of 100 K). The spectra of neutral and ionized PAHs are measured using the high sensitivity methods of cavity ring down spectroscopy (CRDS). These experiments provide unique information on the spectra of free, cold large carbon

  20. Sample Return Propulsion Technology Development Under NASA's ISPT Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.; Dankanich, John; Hahne, David; Pencil, Eric; Peterson, Todd; Munk, Michelle M.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract In 2009, the In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) program was tasked to start development of propulsion technologies that would enable future sample return missions. Sample return missions can be quite varied, from collecting and bringing back samples of comets or asteroids, to soil, rocks, or atmosphere from planets or moons. As a result, ISPT s propulsion technology development needs are also broad, and include: 1) Sample Return Propulsion (SRP), 2) Planetary Ascent Vehicles (PAV), 3) Multi-mission technologies for Earth Entry Vehicles (MMEEV), and 4) Systems/mission analysis and tools that focuses on sample return propulsion. The SRP area includes electric propulsion for sample return and low cost Discovery-class missions, and propulsion systems for Earth Return Vehicles (ERV) including transfer stages to the destination. Initially the SRP effort will transition ongoing work on a High-Voltage Hall Accelerator (HIVHAC) thruster into developing a full HIVHAC system. SRP will also leverage recent lightweight propellant-tanks advancements and develop flight-qualified propellant tanks with direct applicability to the Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission and with general applicability to all future planetary spacecraft. ISPT s previous aerocapture efforts will merge with earlier Earth Entry Vehicles developments to form the starting point for the MMEEV effort. The first task under the Planetary Ascent Vehicles (PAV) effort is the development of a Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV). The new MAV effort will leverage past MAV analysis and technology developments from the Mars Technology Program (MTP) and previous MSR studies. This paper will describe the state of ISPT project s propulsion technology development for future sample return missions.12

  1. Solar Thermal Propulsion Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Propulsion IVHM Extreme Environment Instrumentation Power IVHM

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zakrajsek, June

    2000-01-01

    This paper presents propulsion and instrumentation power for integrated vehicle health management technologies. The topics include: 1) Propulsion IVHM Capabilities Research; 2) Projects: X-33 Post-Test Diagnostic System; 3) X-34 NITEX; 4) Advanced Health Monitoring Systems; 5) Active Vibration Monitoring System; 6) Smart Self Healing Propulsion Systems; 7) Extreme Environment Sensors; and 8) Systems Engineering and Integration.

  4. 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.

  5. Controls Astrophysics and Structures Experiment in Space (CASES) advanced studies and planning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, S. T.

    1989-01-01

    The CASES (Controls, Astrophysics, and Structures Experiment in Space) program consists of a flight demonstration of CSI (Controls-Structures Interactions) technology on the Space Shuttle. The basis structure consists of a 32 m deployable boom with actuators and sensors distributed along its length. Upon deployment from the Orbiter bay, the CASES structure will be characterized dynamically and its deformations controlled by a series of experimental control laws; and cold gas thrusters at its tip will be used to orient the Orbiter to a fixed celestial reference. The scientific observations will consist of hard x-ray imaging, at high resolution, of the Sun and the Galactic center. The hard x-ray observations require stable (few arc min) pointing at these targets for one or more position-sensitive proportional counters in the Orbiter bay, which view the object to be imaged through an aperture-encoding mask at the boom tip. This report gives the concensus developed at the second CASES Science Working Group meeting, which took place at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center May 16-17, 1990. An earlier paper and scientific summaries are available and form the basis for the present discussion.

  6. Propulsion system noise reduction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feiler, C. E.; Heidelberg, L. J.; Karchmer, A. M.; Lansing, D. L.; Miller, B. A.; Rice, E. J.

    1975-01-01

    The progress in propulsion system noise reduction is reviewed. The noise technology areas discussed include: fan noise; advances in suppression including conventional acoustic treatment, high Mach number inlets, and wing shielding; engine core noise; flap noise from both under-the-wing and over-the-wing powered-lift systems; supersonic jet noise suppression; and the NASA program in noise prediction.

  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. A Flight Demonstration of Plasma Rocket Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petro, Andrew

    1999-01-01

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

  10. An Overview of Aerospace Propulsion Research at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reddy, D. R.

    2007-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research center is the recognized leader in aerospace propulsion research, advanced technology development and revolutionary system concepts committed to meeting the increasing demand for low noise, low emission, high performance, and light weight propulsion systems for affordable and safe aviation and space transportation needs. The technologies span a broad range of areas including air breathing, as well as rocket propulsion systems, for commercial and military aerospace applications and for space launch, as well as in-space propulsion applications. The scope of work includes fundamentals, components, processes, and system interactions. Technologies developed use both experimental and analytical approaches. The presentation provides an overview of the current research and technology development activities at NASA Glenn Research Center .

  11. Monitoring and Modeling Astronaut Occupational Radiation Exposures in Space: Recent Advances

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weyland, Mark; Golightly, Michael

    1999-01-01

    space weather monitoring and alarm system--SPE exposure analysis system, an advanced space weather data distribution and display system, and a high-fidelity space weather simulation system. In addition, significant new real-time space weather data sets, which will enhance the forecasting and now-casting of near-Earth space environment conditions, are being made available through unique NASA-NOAA-USAF collaborations. These new data sets include coronal mass ejection monitoring by the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and in-situ plasma and particle monitoring at the L1 libration point by the Solar Wind Monitor (SWIM) and Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) spacecraft. Advanced real-time radiation monitoring data from charged particle telescopes and tissue equivalent proportional counters will also be available to assist crew and flight controllers in monitoring the external and intravehicular radiation environment.

  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. Space Transportation Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liou, Meng-Sing; Stewart, Mark E.; Suresh, Ambady; Owen, A. Karl

    2001-01-01

    This report outlines the Space Transportation Propulsion Systems for the NPSS (Numerical Propulsion System Simulation) program. Topics include: 1) a review of Engine/Inlet Coupling Work; 2) Background/Organization of Space Transportation Initiative; 3) Synergy between High Performance Computing and Communications Program (HPCCP) and Advanced Space Transportation Program (ASTP); 4) Status of Space Transportation Effort, including planned deliverables for FY01-FY06, FY00 accomplishments (HPCCP Funded) and FY01 Major Milestones (HPCCP and ASTP); and 5) a review current technical efforts, including a review of the Rocket-Based Combined-Cycle (RBCC), Scope of Work, RBCC Concept Aerodynamic Analysis and RBCC Concept Multidisciplinary Analysis.

  14. Voxel Advanced Digital-Manufacturing for Earth and Regolith in Space Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zeitlin, Nancy; Mueller, Robert P.

    2015-01-01

    A voxel is a discrete three-dimensional (3D) element of material that is used to construct a larger 3D object. It is the 3D equivalent of a pixel. This project will conceptualize and study various approaches in order to develop a proof of concept 3D printing device that utilizes regolith as the material of the voxels. The goal is to develop a digital printer head capable of placing discrete self-aligning voxels in additive layers in order to fabricate small parts that can be given structural integrity through a post-printing sintering or other binding process. The quicker speeds possible with the voxel 3D printing approach along with the utilization of regolith material as the substrate will advance the use of this technology to applications for In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), which is key to reducing logistics from Earth to Space, thus making long-duration human exploration missions to other celestial bodies more possible.

  15. Advanced data management design for autonomous telerobotic systems in space using spaceborne symbolic processors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goforth, Andre

    1987-01-01

    The use of computers in autonomous telerobots is reaching the point where advanced distributed processing concepts and techniques are needed to support the functioning of Space Station era telerobotic systems. Three major issues that have impact on the design of data management functions in a telerobot are covered. It also presents a design concept that incorporates an intelligent systems manager (ISM) running on a spaceborne symbolic processor (SSP), to address these issues. The first issue is the support of a system-wide control architecture or control philosophy. Salient features of two candidates are presented that impose constraints on data management design. The second issue is the role of data management in terms of system integration. This referes to providing shared or coordinated data processing and storage resources to a variety of telerobotic components such as vision, mechanical sensing, real-time coordinated multiple limb and end effector control, and planning and reasoning. The third issue is hardware that supports symbolic processing in conjunction with standard data I/O and numeric processing. A SSP that currently is seen to be technologically feasible and is being developed is described and used as a baseline in the design concept.

  16. 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.

  17. Recent Electric Propulsion Development Activities for NASA Science Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pencil, Eric J.

    2009-01-01

    (The primary source of electric propulsion development throughout NASA is managed by the In-Space Propulsion Technology Project at the NASA Glenn Research Center for the Science Mission Directorate. The objective of the Electric Propulsion project area is to develop near-term electric propulsion technology to enhance or enable science missions while minimizing risk and cost to the end user. Major hardware tasks include developing NASA s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT), developing a long-life High Voltage Hall Accelerator (HIVHAC), developing an advanced feed system, and developing cross-platform components. The objective of the NEXT task is to advance next generation ion propulsion technology readiness. The baseline NEXT system consists of a high-performance, 7-kW ion thruster; a high-efficiency, 7-kW power processor unit (PPU); a highly flexible advanced xenon propellant management system (PMS); a lightweight engine gimbal; and key elements of a digital control interface unit (DCIU) including software algorithms. This design approach was selected to provide future NASA science missions with the greatest value in mission performance benefit at a low total development cost. The objective of the HIVHAC task is to advance the Hall thruster technology readiness for science mission applications. The task seeks to increase specific impulse, throttle-ability and lifetime to make Hall propulsion systems applicable to deep space science missions. The primary application focus for the resulting Hall propulsion system would be cost-capped missions, such as competitively selected, Discovery-class missions. The objective of the advanced xenon feed system task is to demonstrate novel manufacturing techniques that will significantly reduce mass, volume, and footprint size of xenon feed systems over conventional feed systems. This task has focused on the development of a flow control module, which consists of a three-channel flow system based on a piezo-electrically actuated

  18. 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.

  19. Advanced Key Technologies for Hot Control Surfaces in Space Re- Entry Vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dogigli, Michael; Pradier, Alain; Tumino, Giorgio

    2002-01-01

    (1)MAN Technologie AG, D- 86153 Augsburg, Germany (2,3) ESA, 2200 Noordwijk ZH, The Netherlands Current space re-entry vehicles (e.g. X-38 vehicle 201, the prototype of the International Space Station's Crew Return Vehicle (CRV)) require advanced control surfaces (so called body flaps). Such control surfaces allow the design of smaller and lighter vehicles as well as faster re-entries (compared to the US Shuttle). They are designed as light-weight structures that need no metallic parts, need no mass or volume consuming heat sinks to protect critical components (e.g. bearings) and that can be operated at temperatures of more than 1600 "C in air transferring high mechanical loads (dynamic 40 kN, static 70 kN) at the same time. Because there is a need for CRV and also for Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLV) in future, the European Space Agency (ESA) felt compelled to establish a "Future European Space Transportation and Investigation Program,, (FESTIP) and a "General Support for Technology Program,, (GSTP). One of the main goals of these programs was to develop and qualify key-technologies that are able to master the above mentioned challenging requirements for advanced hot control surfaces and that can be applied for different vehicles. In 1996 MAN Technologie has started the development of hot control surfaces for small lifting bodies in the national program "Heiü Strukturen,,. One of the main results of this program was that especially the following CMC (Ceramic Matrix Composite) key technologies need to be brought up to space flight standard: Complex CMC Structures, CMC Bearings, Metal-to-CMC Joining Technologies, CMC Fasteners, Oxidation Protection Systems and Static and Dynamic Seals. MAN Technologie was contracted by ESA to continue the development and qualification of these key technologies in the frame of the FESTIP and the GSTP program. Development and qualification have successfully been carried out. The key technologies have been applied for the X-38 vehicle

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. An Overview Of NASA's Solar Sail Propulsion Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garbe, Gregory; Montgomery, Edward E., IV

    2003-01-01

    Research conducted by the In-Space Propulsion (ISP) Technologies Projects is at the forefront of NASA's efforts to mature propulsion technologies that will enable or enhance a variety of space science missions. The ISP Program is developing technologies from a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 3 through TRL 6. Activities under the different technology areas are selected through the NASA Research Announcement (NRA) process. The ISP Program goal is to mature a suite of reliable advanced propulsion technologies that will promote more cost efficient missions through the reduction of interplanetary mission trip time, increased scientific payload mass fraction, and allowing for longer on-station operations. These propulsion technologies will also enable missions with previously inaccessible orbits (e.g., non-Keplerian, high solar latitudes). The ISP Program technology suite has been prioritized by an agency wide study. Solar Sail propulsion is one of ISP's three high-priority technology areas. Solar sail propulsion systems will be required to meet the challenge of monitoring and predicting space weather by the Office of Space Science s (OSS) Living with a Star (LWS) program. Near-to-mid-term mission needs include monitoring of solar activity and observations at high solar latitudes. Near-term work funded by the ISP solar sail propulsion project is centered around the quantitative demonstration of scalability of present solar sail subsystem designs and concepts to future mission requirements through ground testing, computer modeling and analytical simulations. This talk will review the solar sail technology roadmap, current funded technology development work, future funding opportunities, and mission applications.

  3. Status of Sample Return Propulsion Technology Development Under NASA's ISPT Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, David J.; Glaab, Louis J.; Munk, Michelle M.; Pencil, Eric; Dankanich, John; Peterson, Todd T.

    2012-01-01

    The In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) program was tasked in 2009 to start development of propulsion technologies that would enable future sample return missions. ISPT s sample return technology development areas are diverse. Sample Return Propulsion (SRP) addresses electric propulsion for sample return and low cost Discovery-class missions, propulsion systems for Earth Return Vehicles (ERV) including transfer stages to the destination, and low technology readiness level (TRL) advanced propulsion technologies. The SRP effort continues work on HIVHAC thruster development to transition into developing a Hall-effect propulsion system for sample return (ERV and transfer stages) and low-cost missions. Previous work on the lightweight propellant-tanks continues for sample return with direct applicability to a Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission with general applicability to all future planetary spacecraft. The Earth Entry Vehicle (EEV) work focuses on building a fundamental base of multi-mission technologies for Earth Entry Vehicles (MMEEV). The main focus of the Planetary Ascent Vehicles (PAV) area is technology development for the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), which builds upon and leverages the past MAV analysis and technology developments from the Mars Technology Program (MTP) and previous MSR studies

  4. 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.

  5. Electric propulsion for small satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Multiple NEO Rendezvous Using Solar Sail Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Alexander, Leslie; Fabisinski, Leo; Heaton, Andy; Miernik, Janie; Stough, Rob; Wright, Roosevelt; Young, Roy

    2012-01-01

    The NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Advanced Concepts Office performed an assessment of the feasibility of using a near-term solar sail propulsion system to enable a single spacecraft to perform serial rendezvous operations at multiple Near Earth Objects (NEOs) within six years of launch on a small-to-moderate launch vehicle. The study baselined the use of the sail technology demonstrated in the mid-2000 s by the NASA In-Space Propulsion Technology Project and is scheduled to be demonstrated in space by 2014 as part of the NASA Technology Demonstration Mission Program. The study ground rules required that the solar sail be the only new technology on the flight; all other spacecraft systems and instruments must have had previous space test and qualification. The resulting mission concept uses an 80-m X 80-m 3-axis stabilized solar sail launched by an Athena-II rocket in 2017 to rendezvous with 1999 AO10, Apophis and 2001 QJ142. In each rendezvous, the spacecraft will perform proximity operations for approximately 30 days. The spacecraft science payload is simple and lightweight; it will consist of only the multispectral imager flown on the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission to 433 Eros and 253 Mathilde. Most non-sail spacecraft systems are based on the Messenger mission spacecraft. This paper will describe the objectives of the proposed mission, the solar sail technology to be employed, the spacecraft system and subsystems, as well as the overall mission profile.

  7. 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.

  8. Lasers in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Michaelis, M. M.; Forbes, A.; Bingham, R.; Kellett, B. J.; Mathye, A.

    2008-05-01

    A variety of laser applications in space, past, present, future and far future are reviewed together with the contributions of some of the scientists and engineers involved, especially those that happen to have South African connections. Historically, two of the earliest laser applications in space, were atmospheric LIDAR and lunar ranging. These applications involved atmospheric physicists, several astronauts and many of the staff recruited into the Soviet and North American lunar exploration programmes. There is a strong interest in South Africa in both LIDAR and lunar ranging. Shortly after the birth of the laser (and even just prior) theoretical work on photonic propulsion and space propulsion by laser ablation was initiated by Georgii Marx, Arthur Kantrowitz and Eugen Saenger. Present or near future experimental programs are developing in the following fields: laser ablation propulsion, possibly coupled with rail gun or gas gun propulsion; interplanetary laser transmission; laser altimetry; gravity wave detection by space based Michelson interferometry; the de-orbiting of space debris by high power lasers; atom laser interferometry in space. Far future applications of laser-photonic space-propulsion were also pioneered by Carl Sagan and Robert Forward. They envisaged means of putting Saenger's ideas into practice. Forward also invented a laser based method for manufacturing solid antimatter or SANTIM, well before the ongoing experiments at CERN with anti-hydrogen production and laser-trapping. SANTIM would be an ideal propellant for interstellar missions if it could be manufactured in sufficient quantities. It would be equally useful as a power source for the transmission of information over light year distances. We briefly mention military lasers. Last but not least, we address naturally occurring lasers in space and pose the question: "did the Big Bang lase?"

  9. Instellar Exploration: Propulsion Options for Precursors and Beyond

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Charles Les; Leifer, Stephanie

    1999-01-01

    NASA is considering a mission to explore near-interstellar space early in the next decade as the first step toward a vigorous interstellar exploration program. A key enabling technology for such an ambitious science and exploration effort is the development of propulsion systems capable of providing fast trip times; mission duration should not exceed the professional lifetime of the investigative team. Advanced propulsion technologies that might support an interstellar precursor mission early in the next century include some combination of solar sails, nuclear electric propulsion systems, and aerogravity assists. Follow-on missions to far beyond the heliopause will require the development of propulsion technologies that are only at the conceptual stage today. These include 1) matter-antimatter annihilation, 2) beamed-energy sails, and 3) fusion systems. For years, the scientific community has been interested in the development of solar sail technology to support exploration of the inner and outer planets. Progress in thin-film technology and the development of technologies that may enable the remote assembly of large sails in space are only now maturing to the point where ambitious interstellar precursor missions can be considered. Electric propulsion is now being demonstrated for planetary exploration by the Deep Space 1 mission. The primary issues for it's adaptation to interstellar precursor applications include the nuclear reactor that would be required and the engine lifetime. For further term interstellar missions, matter-antimatter annihilation propulsion system concepts have the highest energy density of any propulsion systems using onboard propellants. However, there are numerous challenges to production and storage of antimatter that must be overcome before it can be seriously considered for interstellar flight. Off-board energy systems (laser sails) are candidates for long-distance interstellar flight but development of component technologies and

  10. Advances in space robotics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Varsi, Giulio

    1989-01-01

    The problem of the remote control of space operations is addressed by identifying the key technical challenge: the management of contact forces and the principal performance parameters. Three principal classes of devices for remote operation are identified: anthropomorphic exoskeletons, computer aided teleoperators, and supervised telerobots. Their fields of application are described, and areas in which progress has reached the level of system or subsystem laboratory demonstrations are indicated. Key test results, indicating performance at a level useful for design tradeoffs, are reported.

  11. Electromagnetic propulsion for spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myers, Roger M.

    1993-01-01

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

  12. A review of liquid rocket propulsion programs in Japan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merkle, Charles L.

    1991-01-01

    An assessment of Japan's current capabilities in the areas of space and transatmospheric propulsion is presented. The primary focus is upon Japan's programs in liquid rocket propulsion and in space plane and related transatmospheric areas. Brief reference is also made to their solid rocket programs, as well as to their supersonic air breathing propulsion efforts that are just getting underway.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Solar Sail Propulsion Technology Readiness Level Database

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adams, Charles L.

    2004-01-01

    The NASA In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) Projects Office has been sponsoring 2 solar sail system design and development hardware demonstration activities over the past 20 months. Able Engineering Company (AEC) of Goleta, CA is leading one team and L Garde, Inc. of Tustin, CA is leading the other team. Component, subsystem and system fabrication and testing has been completed successfully. The goal of these activities is to advance the technology readiness level (TRL) of solar sail propulsion from 3 towards 6 by 2006. These activities will culminate in the deployment and testing of 20-meter solar sail system ground demonstration hardware in the 30 meter diameter thermal-vacuum chamber at NASA Glenn Plum Brook in 2005. This paper will describe the features of a computer database system that documents the results of the solar sail development activities to-date. Illustrations of the hardware components and systems, test results, analytical models, relevant space environment definition and current TRL assessment, as stored and manipulated within the database are presented. This database could serve as a central repository for all data related to the advancement of solar sail technology sponsored by the ISPT, providing an up-to-date assessment of the TRL of this technology. Current plans are to eventually make the database available to the Solar Sail community through the Space Transportation Information Network (STIN).

  16. Exploring the notion of space coupling propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Millis, Marc G.

    1990-01-01

    All existing methods of space propulsion are based on expelling a reaction mass (propellant) to induce motion. Alternatively, 'space coupling propulsion' refers to speculations about reacting with space-time itself to generate propulsive forces. Conceivably, the resulting increases in payload, range, and velocity would constitute a breakthrough in space propulsion. Such speculations are still considered science fiction for a number of reasons: (1) it appears to violate conservation of momentum; (2) no reactive media appear to exist in space; (3) no 'Grand Uniform Theories' exist to link gravity, an acceleration field, to other phenomena of nature such as electrodynamics. The rationale behind these objectives is the focus of interest. Various methods to either satisfy or explore these issues are presented along with secondary considerations. It is found that it may be useful to consider alternative conventions of science to further explore speculations of space coupling propulsion.

  17. 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.

  18. Progress in Technology Validation of the Next Ion Propulsion System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benson, Scott W.; Patterson, Michael J.

    2007-01-01

    The NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion propulsion system has been in advanced technology development under the NASA In-Space Propulsion Technology project. The highest fidelity hardware planned has now been completed by the government/industry team, including a flight prototype model (PM) thruster, an engineering model (EM) power processing unit, EM propellant management assemblies, a breadboard gimbal, and control unit simulators. Subsystem and system level technology validation testing is in progress. To achieve the objective Technology Readiness Level 6, environmental testing is being conducted to qualification levels in ground facilities simulating the space environment. Additional tests have been conducted to characterize the performance range and life capability of the NEXT thruster. This paper presents the status and results of technology validation testing accomplished to date, the validated subsystem and system capabilities, and the plans for completion of this phase of NEXT development.

  19. NASA Glenn Research Center's Hypersonic Propulsion Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palac, Donald T.

    1999-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC), as NASA's lead center for aeropropulsion, is responding to the challenge of reducing the cost of space transportation through the integration of air-breathing propulsion into launch vehicles. Air- breathing launch vehicle (ABLV) propulsion requires a marked departure from traditional propulsion applications. and stretches the technology of both rocket and air-breathing propulsion. In addition, the demands of the space launch mission require an unprecedented level of integration of propulsion and vehicle systems. GRC is responding with a program with rocket-based combined cycle (RBCC) propulsion technology as its main focus. RBCC offers the potential for simplicity, robustness, and performance that may enable low-cost single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) transportation. Other technologies, notably turbine-based combined cycle (TBCC) propulsion, offer benefits such as increased robustness and greater mission flexibility, and are being advanced, at a slower pace, as part of GRC's program in hypersonics.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Knowledge representation in space flight operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Busse, Carl

    1989-01-01

    In space flight operations rapid understanding of the state of the space vehicle is essential. Representation of knowledge depicting space vehicle status in a dynamic environment presents a difficult challenge. The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory has pursued areas of technology associated with the advancement of spacecraft operations environment. This has led to the development of several advanced mission systems which incorporate enhanced graphics capabilities. These systems include: (1) Spacecraft Health Automated Reasoning Prototype (SHARP); (2) Spacecraft Monitoring Environment (SME); (3) Electrical Power Data Monitor (EPDM); (4) Generic Payload Operations Control Center (GPOCC); and (5) Telemetry System Monitor Prototype (TSM). Knowledge representation in these systems provides a direct representation of the intrinsic images associated with the instrument and satellite telemetry and telecommunications systems. The man-machine interface includes easily interpreted contextual graphic displays. These interactive video displays contain multiple display screens with pop-up windows and intelligent, high resolution graphics linked through context and mouse-sensitive icons and text.

  5. The Need for Fusion Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cassibry, Jason

    2005-01-01

    Fusion propulsion is inevitable if the human race remains dedicated to exploration of the solar system. There are fundamental reasons why fusion surpasses more traditional approaches to routine crewed missions to Mars, crewed missions to the outer planets, and deep space high speed robotic missions, assuming that reduced trip times, increased payloads, and higher available power are desired. A recent series of informal discussions were held among members from government, academia, and industry concerning fusion propulsion. We compiled a sufficient set of arguments for utilizing fusion in space. If the U.S. is to lead the effort and produce a working system in a reasonable amount of time, NASA must take the initiative, relying on, but not waiting for, DOE guidance. In this talk those arguments for fusion propulsion are presented, along with fusion enabled mission examples, fusion technology trade space, and a proposed outline for future efforts.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. RS-34 Phoenix (Peacekeeper Post Boost Propulsion System) Utilization Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Esther, Elizabeth A.; Kos, Larry; Bruno, Cy

    2012-01-01

    The Advanced Concepts Office (ACO) at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in conjunction with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne conducted a study to evaluate potential in-space applications for the Rocketdyne produced RS-34 propulsion system. The existing RS-34 propulsion system is a remaining asset from the decommissioned United States Air Force Peacekeeper ICBM program; specifically the pressure-fed storable bipropellant Stage IV Post Boost Propulsion System, renamed Phoenix. MSFC gained experience with the RS-34 propulsion system on the successful Ares I-X flight test program flown in October 2009. RS-34 propulsion system components were harvested from stages supplied by the USAF and used on the Ares I-X Roll control system (RoCS). The heritage hardware proved extremely robust and reliable and sparked interest for further utilization on other potential in-space applications. Subsequently, MSFC is working closely with the USAF to obtain all the remaining RS-34 stages for re-use opportunities. Prior to pursuit of securing the hardware, MSFC commissioned the Advanced Concepts Office to understand the capability and potential applications for the RS-34 Phoenix stage as it benefits NASA, DoD, and commercial industry. Originally designed, the RS-34 Phoenix provided in-space six-degrees-of freedom operational maneuvering to deploy multiple payloads at various orbital locations. The RS-34 Phoenix Utilization Study sought to understand how the unique capabilities of the RS-34 Phoenix and its application to six candidate missions: 1) small satellite delivery (SSD), 2) orbital debris removal (ODR), 3) ISS re-supply, 4) SLS kick stage, 5) manned GEO servicing precursor mission, and an Earth-Moon L-2 Waypoint mission. The small satellite delivery and orbital debris removal missions were found to closely mimic the heritage RS-34 mission. It is believed that this technology will enable a small, low-cost multiple satellite delivery to multiple orbital locations with a single

  9. RS-34 Phoenix (Peacekeeper Post Boost Propulsion System) Utilization Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Esther, Elizabeth A.; Kos, Larry; Burnside, Christopher G.; Bruno, Cy

    2013-01-01

    The Advanced Concepts Office (ACO) at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in conjunction with Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne conducted a study to evaluate potential in-space applications for the Rocketdyne produced RS-34 propulsion system. The existing RS-34 propulsion system is a remaining asset from the de-commissioned United States Air Force Peacekeeper ICBM program, specifically the pressure-fed storable bipropellant Stage IV Post Boost Propulsion System, renamed Phoenix. MSFC gained experience with the RS-34 propulsion system on the successful Ares I-X flight test program flown in October 2009. RS-34 propulsion system components were harvested from stages supplied by the USAF and used on the Ares I-X Roll control system (RoCS). The heritage hardware proved extremely robust and reliable and sparked interest for further utilization on other potential in-space applications. MSFC is working closely with the USAF to obtain RS-34 stages for re-use opportunities. Prior to pursuit of securing the hardware, MSFC commissioned the Advanced Concepts Office to understand the capability and potential applications for the RS-34 Phoenix stage as it benefits NASA, DoD, and commercial industry. As originally designed, the RS-34 Phoenix provided in-space six-degrees-of freedom operational maneuvering to deploy multiple payloads at various orbital locations. The RS-34 Phoenix Utilization Study sought to understand how the unique capabilities of the RS-34 Phoenix and its application to six candidate missions: 1) small satellite delivery (SSD), 2) orbital debris removal (ODR), 3) ISS re-supply, 4) SLS kick stage, 5) manned GEO servicing precursor mission, and an Earth-Moon L-2 Waypoint mission. The small satellite delivery and orbital debris removal missions were found to closely mimic the heritage RS-34 mission. It is believed that this technology will enable a small, low-cost multiple satellite delivery to multiple orbital locations with a single boost. For both the small

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Low Thrust Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    This video presents an overview of low thrust rocket engine propulsion concepts for space missions. Chemical and electrical rocket engines are shown. Animation illustrates various propulsion applications.

  16. 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

  17. The 21st century propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haloulakos, V. E.; Boehmer, C.

    1990-01-01

    The prediction of future space travel in the next millennium starts by examining the past and extrapolating into the far future. Goals for the 21st century include expanded space travel and establishment of permanent manned outposts, and representation of Lunar and Mars outposts as the most immediate future in space. Nuclear stage design/program considerations; launch considerations for manned Mars missions; and far future propulsion schemes are outlined.

  18. Viability of a Reusable In-Space Transportation System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jefferies, Sharon A.; McCleskey, Carey M.; Nufer, Brian M.; Lepsch, Roger A.; Merrill, Raymond G.; North, David D.; Martin, John G.; Komar, David R.

    2015-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is currently developing options for an Evolvable Mars Campaign (EMC) that expands human presence from Low Earth Orbit (LEO) into the solar system and to the surface of Mars. The Hybrid in-space transportation architecture is one option being investigated within the EMC. The architecture enables return of the entire in-space propulsion stage and habitat to cis-lunar space after a round trip to Mars. This concept of operations opens the door for a fully reusable Mars transportation system from cis-lunar space to a Mars parking orbit and back. This paper explores the reuse of in-space transportation systems, with a focus on the propulsion systems. It begins by examining why reusability should be pursued and defines reusability in space-flight context. A range of functions and enablers associated with preparing a system for reuse are identified and a vision for reusability is proposed that can be advanced and implemented as new capabilities are developed. Following this, past reusable spacecraft and servicing capabilities, as well as those currently in development are discussed. Using the Hybrid transportation architecture as an example, an assessment of the degree of reusability that can be incorporated into the architecture with current capabilities is provided and areas for development are identified that will enable greater levels of reuse in the future. Implications and implementation challenges specific to the architecture are also presented.

  19. 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.

  20. 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).

  1. 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).

  2. Resistojet propulsion for large spacecraft systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mirtich, M. J.

    1982-01-01

    Resistojet propulsion systems have characteristics that are ideally suited for the on-orbit and primary propulsion requirements of large spacecraft systems. These characteristics which offer advantages over other forms of propulsion are reviewed and presented. The feasibility of resistojets were demonstrated in space whereas only a limited number of ground life tests were performed. The major technology issues associated with these ground tests are evaluated. The past performance of resistojets is summarized and, looks into the present day technology status is reviewed. The material criteria, along with possible concepts, needed to attain high performance resistojets are presented.

  3. 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).

  4. Electromagnetic propulsion for spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myers, Roger M.

    1993-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Solar and Drag Sail Propulsion: From Theory to Mission Implementation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Alhorn, Dean; Boudreaux, Mark; Casas, Joe; Stetson, Doug; Young, Roy

    2014-01-01

    Solar and drag sail technology is entering the mainstream for space propulsion applications within NASA and around the world. Solar sails derive propulsion by reflecting sunlight from a large, mirror- like sail made of a lightweight, reflective material. The continuous sunlight pressure provides efficient primary propulsion without the expenditure of propellant or any other consumable, allowing for very high V maneuvers and long-duration deep space exploration. Drag sails increase the aerodynamic drag on Low Earth Orbit (LEO) spacecraft, providing a lightweight and relatively inexpensive approach for end-of-life deorbit and reentry. Since NASA began investing in the technology in the late 1990's, significant progress has been made toward their demonstration and implementation in space. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) managed the development and testing of two different 20-m solar sail systems and rigorously tested them under simulated space conditions in the Glenn Research Center's Space Power Facility at Plum Brook Station, Ohio. One of these systems, developed by L'Garde, Inc., is planned for flight in 2015. Called Sunjammer, the 38m sailcraft will unfurl in deep space and demonstrate solar sail propulsion and navigation as it flies to Earth-Sun L1. In the interim, NASA MSFC funded the NanoSail-D, a subscale drag sail system designed for small spacecraft applications. The NanoSail-D flew aboard the Fast Affordable Science and Technology SATellite (FASTSAT) in 2010, also developed by MSFC, and began its mission after it was was ejected from the FASTSAT into Earth orbit, where it remained for several weeks before deorbiting as planned. NASA recently selected two small satellite missions as part of the Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Program, both of which will use solar sails to enable their scientific objectives. Lunar Flashlight, managed by JPL, will search for and map volatiles in permanently shadowed Lunar craters using a solar sail as a gigantic

  7. Technology Readiness of the NEXT Ion Propulsion System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benson, Scott W.; Patterson, Michael J.

    2008-01-01

    The NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) ion propulsion system has been in advanced technology development under the NASA In-Space Propulsion Technology project. The highest fidelity hardware planned has now been completed by the government/industry team, including: a flight prototype model (PM) thruster, an engineering model (EM) power processing unit, EM propellant management assemblies, a breadboard gimbal, and control unit simulators. Subsystem and system level technology validation testing is in progress. To achieve the objective Technology Readiness Level 6, environmental testing is being conducted to qualification levels in ground facilities simulating the space environment. Additional tests have been conducted to characterize the performance range and life capability of the NEXT thruster. This paper presents the status and results of technology validation testing accomplished to date, the validated subsystem and system capabilities, and the plans for completion of this phase of NEXT development. The next round of competed planetary science mission announcements of opportunity, and directed mission decisions, are anticipated to occur in 2008 and 2009. Progress to date, and the success of on-going technology validation, indicate that the NEXT ion propulsion system will be a primary candidate for mission consideration in these upcoming opportunities.

  8. Propulsion Design With Freeform Fabrication (PDFF)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnes, Daudi; McKinnon, James; Priem, Richard

    2010-01-01

    an SFF thruster design could reduce thruster weight by a factor of two or more. The thrust-to-weight ratios for such designs can achieve 1,000:1 or more, depending on chamber pressure. The potential exists for continued development in materials, size, speed, accuracy of SFF techniques, which can lead to speculative developments of PDFF processes such as fabrication of custom human interface devices like masks, chairs, and clothing, and advanced biomedical application to human organ reconstruction. Other potential applications are: higher fidelity lower cost test fixtures for probes and inspection, disposable thrusters, and ISRU (in situ resource utilization) for component production in space or on Lunar and Martian missions, and application for embedding MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) during construction process of form changing aerostructure/dynamic structures.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Plasma propulsion for geostationary satellites for telecommunication and interplanetary missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dudeck, M.; Doveil, F.; Arcis, N.; Zurbach, S.

    2012-02-01

    The advantages of electric propulsion for the orbit maintenance of geostationary satellites for telecommunications are described. Different types of plasma sources for space propulsion are presented. Due to its large performances, one of them, named Hall effect thruster is described in detail and two recent missions in space (Stentor and Smart1) using French Hall thrusters are briefly presented.

  15. Electromagnetic interference assessment of an ion drive electric propulsion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whittlesey, A. C.

    1981-01-01

    An electric propulsion thrust system has the capability of providing a high specific impulse for long duration scientific missions in space. The EMI from the elements of an ion engine was characterized. The compatibility of ion drive electric propulsion systems with typical interplanetary spacecraft engineering was predicted.

  16. Flying on Sun Shine: Sailing in Space

    SciTech Connect

    Alhorn, Dean

    2012-03-28

    On January 20th, 2011, NanoSail-D successfully deployed its sail in space. It was the first solar sail vehicle to orbit the earth and the second sail ever unfurled in space. The 10m2 sail, deployment mechanism and electronics were packed into a 3U CubeSat with a volume of about 3500cc. The NanoSail-D mission had two objectives: eject a nanosatellite from a minisatellite; deploy its sail from a highly compacted volume to validate large structure deployment and potential de-orbit technologies. NanoSail-D was jointly developed by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and Ames Research Center. The ManTech/NeXolve Corporation provided key sail design support. NanoSail-D is managed by Marshall and jointly sponsored by the Army Space and Missile Defense Command, the Space Test Program, the Von Braun Center for Science and Innovation and Dynetics Inc. The presentation will provide insights into sailcraft advances and potential missions enabled by this emerging in-space propulsion technology.

  17. 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.

  18. Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Workshop Preliminary Results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Millis, Marc G.

    1997-01-01

    In August, 1997, a NASA workshop was held to assess the prospects emerging from physics that might lead to creating the ultimate breakthroughs in space transportation: propulsion that requires no propellant mass, attaining the maximum transit speeds physically possible, and breakthrough methods of energy production to power such devices. Because these propulsion goals are presumably far from fruition, a special emphasis was to identify affordable, near-term, and credible research that could make measurable progress toward these propulsion goals. Experiments and theories were discussed regarding the coupling of gravity and electromagnetism, vacuum fluctuation energy, warp drives and wormholes, and superluminal quantum tunneling. Preliminary results of this workshop are presented, along with the status of the Breakthrough Propulsion Physics program that conducted this workshop.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Emergent Propulsion Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Fakdi Sencianes, Andres

    2002-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Laser Propulsion for LOTV Space Missions

    SciTech Connect

    Rezunkov, Yuri A.

    2004-03-30

    Advanced Space Propulsion-Investigation Committee (ASPIC) of the Japan Society for Aeronautics and Space Sciences (JSASS) selected the Laser Orbital Transfer Vehicle (LOTV) project for development of non-chemical space propulsion systems that have a capability to sustain expanded human space activities in the 21st century. This talk is presenting an analysis of the laser propulsion researches made within the frames of the ISTC Project no. 1801 as applied to the LOTV Project. The study includes the development of techniques for low-thrust maneuvers of the spacecraft to achieve geostationary orbits.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Magnetic insulation for plasma propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gonzalez, Dora E.

    1990-01-01

    The design parameters of effective magnetic insulation for plasma engines are discussed. An experimental model used to demonstrate the process of plasma acceleration and magnetic insulation is considered which consists of a copper strap that is wound around a glass tube and connected to a capacitor. In order to adequately model the magnetic insulation mechanisms, a computer algorithm is developed. Plasma engines, with their efficient utilization of the propellant mass, are expected to provide the next-generation advanced propulsion systems.

  13. 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.

  14. Space Fission Propulsion System Development Status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, M.; Van Dyke, M. K.; Godfroy, T. J.; Pedersen, K. W.; Martin, J. J.; Dickens, R.; Williams, E.; Harper, R.; Salvail, P.; Hrbud, I.

    2001-01-01

    The world's first man-made self-sustaining fission reaction was achieved in 1942. Since then fission has been used to propel submarines, generate tremendous amounts of electricity, produce medical isotopes, and provide numerous other benefits to society. Fission systems operate independently of solar proximity or orientation, and are thus well suited for deep space or planetary surface missions. In addition, the fuel for fission systems (enriched uranium) is virtually non-radioactive. The primary safety issue with fission systems is avoiding inadvertent system start. Addressing this issue through proper system design is straight-forward. Despite the relative simplicity and tremendous potential of space fission systems, the development and utilization of these systems has proven elusive. The first use of fission technology in space occurred 3 April 1965 with the US launch of the SNAP-10A reactor. There have been no additional US uses of space fission systems. While space fission systems were used extensively by the former Soviet Union, their application was limited to earth-orbital missions. Early space fission systems must be safely and affordably utilized if we are to reap the benefits of advanced space fission systems. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, working with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Sandia National Laboratories, and others, has conducted preliminary research related to a Safe Affordable Fission Engine (SAFE). An unfueled core has been fabricated by LANL, and resistance heaters used to verify predicted core thermal performance by closely mimicking heat from fission. The core is designed to use only established nuclear technology and be highly testable. In FY01 an energy conversion system and thruster will be coupled to the core, resulting in an 'end-to-end' nuclear electric propulsion demonstrator being tested using resistance heaters to closely mimic heat from fission. Results of the SAFE test program will be presented. The applicability

  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. Emerging Propulsion Technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonometti, J. A.

    2004-11-01

    The Emerging Propulsion Technologies (EPT) technology area is a branch of the In-Space Program that serves as a bridge to bring high-risk/high-payoff technologies to a higher level of maturity. Emerging technologies are innovative and, if successfully developed, could result in revolutionary science capabilities for NASA science missions. EPT is also charged with the responsibility of assessing the technology readiness level (TRL) of technologies under consideration for inclusion in the ISP portfolio. One such technology is the Momentum-eXchange/Electrodynamic Reboost (MXER) tether concept, which is the current, primary investment of EPT. The MXER tether is a long, rotating cable placed in an elliptical Earth orbit, whose rapid rotation allows its tip to catch a payload in a low Earth orbit and throw that payload to a high-energy orbit. Electrodynamic tether propulsion is used to restore the orbital energy transferred by the MXER tether to the payload and reboost the tether's orbit. This technique uses solar power to drive electrical current collected from the Earth's ionosphere through the tether, resulting in a magnetic interaction with the terrestrial field. Since the Earth itself serves as the reaction mass, the thrust force is generated without propellant and allows the MXER facility to be repeatedly reused without re-supply. Essentially, the MXER facility is a 'propellantless' upper stage that could assist nearly every mission going beyond low Earth orbit. Payloads to interplanetary destinations could especially benefit from the boost provided by the MXER facility, resulting in launch vehicle cost reductions, increased payload fractions and more frequent mission opportunities. Synergistic tether technologies resulting from MXER development could include science sampling in the upper atmosphere, remote probes or attached formation flying, artificial gravity experiments with low Coriolis forces, and other science needs that use long, ultra-light strength or

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Concept for a shuttle-tended reusable interplanetary transport vehicle using nuclear electric propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nakagawa, R. Y.; Elliot, J. C.; Spilker, T. R.; Grayson, C. M.

    2003-01-01

    NASA has placed new emphasis on the development of advanced propulsion technologies including Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP). This technology would provide multiple benefits including high delta-V capability and high power for long duration spacecraft operations.

  1. In-Space Cryogenic Propellant Depot Stepping Stone

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howell, Joe T.; Mankins, John C.; Fikes, John C.

    2005-01-01

    An In-Space Cryogenic Propellant Depot (ISCPD) is an important stepping stone to provide the capability to preposition, store, manufacture, and later use the propellants for Earth-Neighborhood campaigns and beyond. An in-space propellant depot will provide affordable propellants and other similar consumables to support the development of sustainable and affordable exploration strategies as well as commercial space activities. An in-space propellant depot not only requires technology development in key areas such as zero boil-off storage and fluid transfer, but in other areas such as lightweight structures, highly reliable connectors, and autonomous operations. These technologies can be applicable to a broad range of propellant depot concepts or specific to a certain design. In addition, these technologies are required for spacecraft and orbit transfer vehicle propulsion and power systems, and space life support. Generally, applications of this technology require long-term storage, on-orbit fluid transfer and supply, cryogenic propellant production from water, unique instrumentation and autonomous operations. This paper discusses the reasons why such advances are important to future affordable and sustainable operations in space. This paper also discusses briefly R&D objectives comprising a promising approach to the systems planning and evolution into a meaningful stepping stone design, development, and implementation of an In-Space Cryogenic Propellant Depot. The success of a well-planned and orchestrated approach holds great promise for achieving innovation and revolutionary technology development for supporting future exploration and development of space.

  2. 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.

  3. Power systems for production, construction, life support, and operations in space

    SciTech Connect

    Sovie, R.J.

    1994-09-01

    As one looks forward to mankind`s future in space, it becomes obvious that unprecedented amounts of power will be required for the exploration, colonization, and exploitation of space. Activities envisioned include interplanetary travel, LEO to GEO transport using electric propulsion, lunar and Mars bases, advanced communications, planetary surface rovers, mining, construction, and manufacturing in space or at planetary surfaces. Power levels required for these applications vary from a few kilowatts (kWe) to 4 or 5 megawatts (MW{sub e}) electric. Significant advancements must be made over the present state of space power technology in order to enable or significantly enhance these missions. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the advanced power system technologies being pursued by NASA to fulfill these future needs. Technologies discussed will include photovoltaic, solar dynamic, and nuclear power systems.

  4. Foundational Methane Propulsion Related Technology Efforts, and Challenges for Applications to Human Exploration Beyond Earth Orbit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Thomas; Klem, Mark; McRight, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Current interest in human exploration beyond earth orbit is driving requirements for high performance, long duration space transportation capabilities. Continued advancement in photovoltaic power systems and investments in high performance electric propulsion promise to enable solar electric options for cargo delivery and pre-deployment of operational architecture elements. However, higher thrust options are required for human in-space transportation as well as planetary descent and ascent functions. While high thrust requirements for interplanetary transportation may be provided by chemical or nuclear thermal propulsion systems, planetary descent and ascent systems are limited to chemical solutions due to their higher thrust to weight and potential planetary protection concerns. Liquid hydrogen fueled systems provide high specific impulse, but pose challenges due to low propellant density and the thermal issues of long term propellant storage. Liquid methane fueled propulsion is a promising compromise with lower specific impulse, higher bulk propellant density and compatibility with proposed in-situ propellant production concepts. Additionally, some architecture studies have identified the potential for commonality between interplanetary and descent/ascent propulsion solutions using liquid methane (LCH4) and liquid oxygen (LOX) propellants. These commonalities may lead to reduced overall development costs and more affordable exploration architectures. With this increased interest, it is critical to understand the current state of LOX/LCH4 propulsion technology and the remaining challenges to its application to beyond earth orbit human exploration. This paper provides a survey of NASA's past and current methane propulsion related technology efforts, assesses the accomplishments to date, and examines the remaining risks associated with full scale development.

  5. Mars Mission Concepts: SAR and Solar Electric Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elsperman, Michael; Clifford, S.; Lawrence, S.; Klaus, K.; Smith, D.

    2013-10-01

    Introduction: The time has come to leverage technology advances to reduce the cost and increase the flight rate of planetary missions, while actively developing a scientific and engineering workforce to achieve national space objectives. Mission Science at Mars: A SAR imaging radar offers an ability to conduct high resolution investigations of the shallow subsurface of Mars, enabling identification of fine-scale layering within the Martian polar layered deposits (PLD), as well as the identification of pingos, investigations of polygonal terrain, and measurements of the thickness of mantling layers at non-polar latitudes. It would allow systematic near-surface prospecting, which is tremendously useful for human exploration purposes. Limited color capabilities in a notional high-resolution stereo imaging system would enable the generation of false color images, resulting in useful science results, and the stereo data could be reduced into high-resolution Digital Elevation Models uniquely useful for exploration planning and science purposes. Mission Concept: Using a common spacecraft for multiple missions reduces costs. Solar electric propulsion (SEP) provides the flexibility required for multiple mission objectives. Our concept involves using a Boeing 702SP with a highly capable SAR imager that also conducts autonomous rendezvous and docking experiments accomplished from Mars orbit. Summary/Conclusions: A robust and compelling Mars mission can be designed to meet the 2018 Mars launch window opportunity. Using advanced in-space power and propulsion technologies like High Power Solar Electric Propulsion provides enormous mission flexibility to execute the baseline science mission and conduct necessary Mars Sample Return Technology Demonstrations in Mars orbit on the same mission. An observation spacecraft platform like the high power 5Kw) 702SP at Mars also enables the use of a SAR instrument to reveal new insights and understanding of the Mars regolith for both

  6. NASA's Advancements in Space-Based Spectrometry Lead to Improvements in Weather Prediction and Understanding of Climate Processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Susskind, Joel; Iredell, Lena

    2010-01-01

    AIRS (Atmospheric Infra-Red Sounder), was launched, in conjunction with AMSU-A (Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A) on the NASA polar orbiting research satellite EOS (Earth Observing System) Aqua satellite in May 2002 as a next generation atmospheric sounding system. Atmospheric sounders provide information primarily about the vertical distribution of atmospheric temperature and water vapor distribution. This is achieved by measuring outgoing radiation in discrete channels (spectral intervals) which are sensitive primarily to variations of these geophysical parameters. The primary objectives of AIRS/AMSU were to utilize such information in order to improve the skill of numerical weather prediction as well as to measure climate variability and trends. AIRS is a multi-detector array grating spectrometer with 2378 channels covering the spectral range 650/cm (15 microns) to 2660/cm (3.6 microns) with a resolving power (i/a i) of roughly 1200 where a i is the spectral channel bandpass. Atmospheric temperature profile can be determined from channel observations taken within the 15 micron (the long-wave CO2 absorption band) and within the 4.2 micron (the short-wave CO2 absorption band). Radiances in these (and all other) spectral intervals in the infrared are also sensitive to the presence of clouds in the instrument?s field of view (FOV), which are present about 95% of the time. AIRS was designed so as to allow for the ability to produce accurate Quality Controlled atmospheric soundings under most cloud conditions. This was achieved by having 1) extremely low channel noise values in the shortwave portion of the spectrum and 2) a very flat spatial response function within a channel?s FOV. IASI, the high spectral resolution IR interferometer flying on the European METOP satellite, does not contain either of these important characteristics. The AIRS instrument was also designed to be extremely stabile with regard to its spectral radiometric characteristics, which is

  7. Integrated Modular Propulsion and Regenerative Electro-energy Storage System (IMPRESS) for small satellites

    SciTech Connect

    Mitlitsky, F.; de Groot, W.; Butler, L.; McElroy, J.

    1996-09-01

    The IMPRESS is a significant advancement in space system technology as it is able to operate alternately as a fuel cell to produce electrical power from stored hydrogen and oxygen and as a water electrolyzer using electrical power to produce hydrogen and oxygen from stored water. The electrolysis of a controllable fraction of stored water can provide high Isp rocket propellants on demand. The heart of the IMPRESS is the Unitized Regenerative Fuel Cell (URFC), which produces power and electrolytically regenerates its reactants using a single stack of reversible cells. This integrated approach has several significant advantages over separate (battery) power and propulsion systems.

  8. Xenon ion propulsion for orbit transfer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  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. Composite load spectra for select space propulsion structural components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newell, J. F.; Kurth, R. E.; Ho, H.

    1991-01-01

    The objective of this program is to develop generic load models with multiple levels of progressive sophistication to simulate the composite (combined) load spectra that are induced in space propulsion system components, representative of Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME), such as transfer ducts, turbine blades, and liquid oxygen posts and system ducting. The first approach will consist of using state of the art probabilistic methods to describe the individual loading conditions and combinations of these loading conditions to synthesize the composite load spectra simulation. The second approach will consist of developing coupled models for composite load spectra simulation which combine the deterministic models for composite load dynamic, acoustic, high pressure, and high rotational speed, etc., load simulation using statistically varying coefficients. These coefficients will then be determined using advanced probabilistic simulation methods with and without strategically selected experimental data.

  12. Composite Load Spectra for Select Space Propulsion Structural Components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ho, Hing W.; Newell, James F.

    1994-01-01

    Generic load models are described with multiple levels of progressive sophistication to simulate the composite (combined) load spectra (CLS) that are induced in space propulsion system components, representative of Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME), such as transfer ducts, turbine blades and liquid oxygen (LOX) posts. These generic (coupled) models combine the deterministic models for composite load dynamic, acoustic, high-pressure and high rotational speed, etc., load simulation using statistically varying coefficients. These coefficients are then determined using advanced probabilistic simulation methods with and without strategically selected experimental data. The entire simulation process is included in a CLS computer code. Applications of the computer code to various components in conjunction with the PSAM (Probabilistic Structural Analysis Method) to perform probabilistic load evaluation and life prediction evaluations are also described to illustrate the effectiveness of the coupled model approach.

  13. Nuclear systems for space power and propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klein, M.

    1971-01-01

    As exploration and utilization of space proceeds through the 1970s, 1980s, and beyond, spacecraft in earth orbit will become increasingly larger, spacecraft will travel deeper into space, and space activities will involve more complex operations. These trends require increasing amounts of energy for power and propulsion. The role to be played by nuclear energy is presented, including plans for deep space missions using radioisotope generators, the reactor power systems for earth orbiting stations and satellites, and the role of nuclear propulsion in space transportation.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Development Risks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Tony

    2015-01-01

    There are clear advantages of development of a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) for a crewed mission to Mars. NTP for in-space propulsion enables more ambitious space missions by providing high thrust at high specific impulse ((is) approximately 900 sec) that is 2 times the best theoretical performance possible for chemical rockets. Missions can be optimized for maximum payload capability to take more payload with reduced total mass to orbit; saving cost on reduction of the number of launch vehicles needed. Or missions can be optimized to minimize trip time significantly to reduce the deep space radiation exposure to the crew. NTR propulsion technology is a game changer for space exploration to Mars and beyond. However, 'NUCLEAR' is a word that is feared and vilified by some groups and the hostility towards development of any nuclear systems can meet great opposition by the public as well as from national leaders and people in authority. The public often associates the 'nuclear' word with weapons of mass destruction. The development NTP is at risk due to unwarranted public fears and clear honest communication of nuclear safety will be critical to the success of the development of the NTP technology. Reducing cost to NTP development is critical to its acceptance and funding. In the past, highly inflated cost estimates of a full-scale development nuclear engine due to Category I nuclear security requirements and costly regulatory requirements have put the NTP technology as a low priority. Innovative approaches utilizing low enriched uranium (LEU). Even though NTP can be a small source of radiation to the crew, NTP can facilitate significant reduction of crew exposure to solar and cosmic radiation by reducing trip times by 3-4 months. Current Human Mars Mission (HMM) trajectories with conventional propulsion systems and fuel-efficient transfer orbits exceed astronaut radiation exposure limits. Utilizing extra propellant from one additional SLS launch and available

  20. 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.; Belvin, Anthony D.; Borowski, Stanley K.; Scott, John H.

    2014-01-01

    Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) development efforts in the United States have demonstrated the technical viability and performance potential of NTP systems. For example, Project Rover (1955 - 1973) completed 22 high power rocket reactor tests. Peak performances included operating at an average hydrogen exhaust temperature of 2550 K and a peak fuel power density of 5200 MW/m3 (Pewee test), operating at a thrust of 930 kN (Phoebus-2A test), and operating for 62.7 minutes in a single burn (NRX-A6 test). Results from Project Rover indicated that an NTP system with a high thrust-to-weight ratio and a specific impulse greater than 900 s would be feasible. Excellent results were also obtained by the former Soviet Union. Although historical programs had promising results, many factors would affect the development of a 21st century nuclear thermal rocket (NTR). Test facilities built in the US during Project Rover no longer exist. However, advances in analytical techniques, the ability to utilize or adapt existing facilities and infrastructure, and the ability to develop a limited number of new test facilities may enable affordable development, qualification, and utilization of a Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (NCPS). Bead-loaded graphite fuel was utilized throughout the Rover/NERVA program, and coated graphite composite fuel (tested in the Nuclear Furnace) and cermet fuel both show potential for even higher performance than that demonstrated in the Rover/NERVA engine tests.. NASA's NCPS project was initiated in October, 2011, with the goal of assessing the affordability and viability of an NCPS. FY 2014 activities are focused on fabrication and test (non-nuclear) of both coated graphite composite fuel elements and cermet fuel elements. Additional activities include developing a pre-conceptual design of the NCPS stage and evaluating affordable strategies for NCPS development, qualification, and utilization. NCPS stage designs are focused on supporting human Mars

  1. 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.

  2. A Review of Laser Ablation Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-10-01

    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 Sänger 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 rôle 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  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. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Solar and Drag Sail Propulsion: From Theory to Mission Implementation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Alhorn, Dean; Boudreaux, Mark; Casas, Joe; Stetson, Doug; Young, Roy

    2014-01-01

    , and began its mission after it was ejected from the FASTSAT into Earth orbit, where it remained for several weeks before deorbiting as planned. NASA recently selected two small satellite missions for study as part of the Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Program, both of which will use solar sails to enable their scientific objectives. Lunar Flashlight, managed by JPL, will search for and map volatiles in permanently shadowed Lunar craters using a solar sail as a gigantic mirror to steer sunlight into the shaded craters. The Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout mission will use the sail as primary propulsion allowing it to survey and image one or more NEA's of interests for possible future human exploration. Both are being studied for possible launch in 2017. The Planetary Society's privately funded LightSail-A and -B cubesat-class spacecraft are nearly complete and scheduled for launch in 2015 and 2016, respectively. MMA Design launched their DragNet deorbit system in November 2013, which will deploy from the STPSat-3 spacecraft as an end of life deorbit system. The University of Surrey is building a suite of cubesat class drag and solar sail systems that will be launched beginning in 2015. As the technology matures, solar sails will increasingly be used to enable science and exploration missions that are currently impossible or prohibitively expensive using traditional chemical and electric rockets. For example, the NASA Heliophysics Decadal Survey identifies no less than three such missions for possible flight before the mid-2020's. Solar and drag sail propulsion technology is no longer merely an interesting theoretical possibility; it has been demonstrated in space and is now a critical technology for science and solar system exploration.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. 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.

  13. Small Reactor Designs Suitable for Direct Nuclear Thermal Propulsion: Interim Report

    SciTech Connect

    Bruce G. Schnitzler

    2012-01-01

    Advancement of U.S. scientific, security, and economic interests requires high performance propulsion systems to support missions beyond low Earth orbit. A robust space exploration program will include robotic outer planet and crewed missions to a variety of destinations including the moon, near Earth objects, and eventually Mars. Past studies, in particular those in support of both the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) and the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI), have shown nuclear thermal propulsion systems provide superior performance for high mass high propulsive delta-V missions. In NASA's recent Mars Design Reference Architecture (DRA) 5.0 study, nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) was again selected over chemical propulsion as the preferred in-space transportation system option for the human exploration of Mars because of its high thrust and high specific impulse ({approx}900 s) capability, increased tolerance to payload mass growth and architecture changes, and lower total initial mass in low Earth orbit. The recently announced national space policy2 supports the development and use of space nuclear power systems where such systems safely enable or significantly enhance space exploration or operational capabilities. An extensive nuclear thermal rocket technology development effort was conducted under the Rover/NERVA, GE-710 and ANL nuclear rocket programs (1955-1973). Both graphite and refractory metal alloy fuel types were pursued. The primary and significantly larger Rover/NERVA program focused on graphite type fuels. Research, development, and testing of high temperature graphite fuels was conducted. Reactors and engines employing these fuels were designed, built, and ground tested. The GE-710 and ANL programs focused on an alternative ceramic-metallic 'cermet' fuel type consisting of UO2 (or UN) fuel embedded in a refractory metal matrix such as tungsten. The General Electric program examined closed loop concepts for space or terrestrial applications as

  14. Direct Energy Conversion for Nuclear Propulsion at Low Specific Mass

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scott, John H.

    2014-01-01

    The project will continue the FY13 JSC IR&D (October-2012 to September-2013) effort in Travelling Wave Direct Energy Conversion (TWDEC) in order to demonstrate its potential as the core of a high potential, game-changing, in-space propulsion technology. The TWDEC concept converts particle beam energy into radio frequency (RF) alternating current electrical power, such as can be used to heat the propellant in a plasma thruster. In a more advanced concept (explored in the Phase 1 NIAC project), the TWDEC could also be utilized to condition the particle beam such that it may transfer directed kinetic energy to a target propellant plasma for the purpose of increasing thrust and optimizing the specific impulse. The overall scope of the FY13 first-year effort was to build on both the 2012 Phase 1 NIAC research and the analysis and test results produced by Japanese researchers over the past twenty years to assess the potential for spacecraft propulsion applications. The primary objective of the FY13 effort was to create particle-in-cell computer simulations of a TWDEC. Other objectives included construction of a breadboard TWDEC test article, preliminary test calibration of the simulations, and construction of first order power system models to feed into mission architecture analyses with COPERNICUS tools. Due to funding cuts resulting from the FY13 sequestration, only the computer simulations and assembly of the breadboard test article were completed. The simulations, however, are of unprecedented flexibility and precision and were presented at the 2013 AIAA Joint Propulsion Conference. Also, the assembled test article will provide an ion current density two orders of magnitude above that available in previous Japanese experiments, thus enabling the first direct measurements of power generation from a TWDEC for FY14. The proposed FY14 effort will use the test article for experimental validation of the computer simulations and thus complete to a greater fidelity the

  15. Pulsed Fission Propulsion Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    In the 1960's U.S. Government laboratories, under Project Orion, investigated a pulsed nuclear fission propulsion system. Small nuclear pulse units would be sequentially discharged from the aft end of the vehicle. A blast shield and shock absorber system would protect the crew and convert the shock loads into a continuous propulsive force.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Green Mono Propulsion Activities at MSFC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robinson, Joel W.

    2014-01-01

    In 2012, the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) began the process of building an integrated technology roadmap, including both technology pull and technology push strategies. Technology Area 1 (TA-01) for Launch Propulsion Systems and TA-02 In-Space Propulsion are two of the fourteen TAs that provide recommendations for the overall technology investment strategy and prioritization of NASA's space technology activities. Identified within these documents are future needs of green propellant use. Green ionic liquid monopropellants and propulsion systems are beginning to be demonstrated in space flight environments. Starting in 2010 with the flight of Prisma, a 1-N thruster system began on-orbit demonstrations operating on ammonium dinitramide based propellant. The NASA Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) plans to demonstrate both 1-N, and 22-N hydroxyl ammonium nitrate (HAN)-based thrusters in a 2015 flight demonstration. In addition, engineers at MSFC have been evaluating green propellant alternatives for both thrusters and auxiliary power units (APUs). This paper summarizes the status of these development/demonstration activities and investigates the potential for evolution of green propellants from small spacecraft and satellites to larger spacecraft systems, human exploration, and launch system auxiliary propulsion applications.

  20. Nuclear propulsion for the space exploration initiative

    SciTech Connect

    Stanley, M.L. )

    1991-11-01

    President Bush's speech of July 20, 1989, outlining a goal to go back to the moon and then Mars initiated the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). The US Department of Defense (DOD), US Department of Energy (DOE), and NASA have been working together in the planning necessary to initiate a program to develop a nuclear propulsion system. Applications of nuclear technology for in-space transfer of personnel and cargo between Earth orbit and lunar or Martian orbit are being considered as alternatives to chemical propulsion systems. Mission and system concept studies conducted over the past 30 yr have consistently indicated that use of nuclear technology can substantially reduce in-space propellant requirements. A variety of nuclear technology options are currently being studied, including nuclear thermal rockets, nuclear electrical propulsion systems, and hybrid nuclear thermal rockets/nuclear electric propulsion concepts. Concept performance in terms of thrust, weight, power, and efficiency are dependent, and appropriate concept application is mission dependent (i.e., lunar, Mars, cargo, personnel, trajectory, transit time, payload). A comprehensive evaluation of mission application, technology performance capability and maturity, technology development programmatics, and safety characteristics is required to optimize both technology and mission selection to support the Presidential initiative.

  1. Integrated In-Space Transportation Plan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farris, B.; Eberle, B.; Woodcock, G.; Negast, B.

    2002-10-01

    The purpose of this report is to provide the reader with a readily accessible reference volume and history for the Integrated In-Space Transportation Plan (IISTP) phase I effort. This report was prepared by Gray Research, Inc. as a partial fulfillment of the Integrated Technology Assessment Center subcontract No. 4400037135 in support of the IISTP phase I effort within the In-Space Investment Area of the Advanced Space Transportation Program managed at Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama. Much of the data used in the preparation of this report was taken from analyses, briefings, and reports prepared by the vast number of dedicated engineers and scientists who participated in the IISTP phase I effort. The opinions and ideas expressed in this report are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of NASA in whole or in part. Reaching the outer solar system is a struggle against time and distance. The most distant planets are 4.5 to 6 billion kilometers from the Sun and to reach them in any reasonable time requires much higher values of specific impulse than can be achieved with conventional chemical rockets. In addition, the few spacecraft that have reached beyond Jupiter have used gravity assist, mainly by Jupiter, that is only available for a few months' period every 13 or so years. This permits only very infrequent missions and mission planners are very reluctant to accept travel times greater than about ten years since this is about the maximum for which one can have a realistic program plan. Advanced In-Space Propulsion (ISP) technologies will enable much more effective exploration of our Solar System and will permit mission designers to plan missions to "fly anytime, anywhere and complete a host of science objectives at the destinations' with greater reliability and safety. With a wide range of possible missions and candidate propulsion technologies with very diverse characteristics, the question of which technologies are

  2. Integrated In-space Transportation Plan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Farris, B.; Eberle, B.; Woodcock, G.; Negast, B.; Johnson, Les (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The purpose of this report is to provide the reader with a readily accessible reference volume and history for the Integrated In-Space Transportation Plan (IISTP) phase I effort. This report was prepared by Gray Research, Inc. as a partial fulfillment of the Integrated Technology Assessment Center subcontract No. 4400037135 in support of the IISTP phase I effort within the In-Space Investment Area of the Advanced Space Transportation Program managed at Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama. Much of the data used in the preparation of this report was taken from analyses, briefings, and reports prepared by the vast number of dedicated engineers and scientists who participated in the IISTP phase I effort. The opinions and ideas expressed in this report are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of NASA in whole or in part. Reaching the outer solar system is a struggle against time and distance. The most distant planets are 4.5 to 6 billion kilometers from the Sun and to reach them in any reasonable time requires much higher values of specific impulse than can be achieved with conventional chemical rockets. In addition, the few spacecraft that have reached beyond Jupiter have used gravity assist, mainly by Jupiter, that is only available for a few months' period every 13 or so years. This permits only very infrequent missions and mission planners are very reluctant to accept travel times greater than about ten years since this is about the maximum for which one can have a realistic program plan. Advanced In-Space Propulsion (ISP) technologies will enable much more effective exploration of our Solar System and will permit mission designers to plan missions to "fly anytime, anywhere and complete a host of science objectives at the destinations' with greater reliability and safety. With a wide range of possible missions and candidate propulsion technologies with very diverse characteristics, the question of which technologies are

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. In Space Nuclear Power as an Enabling Technology for Deep Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sackheim, Robert L.; Houts, Michael

    2000-01-01

    Deep Space Exploration missions, both for scientific and Human Exploration and Development (HEDS), appear to be as weight limited today as they would have been 35 years ago. Right behind the weight constraints is the nearly equally important mission limitation of cost. Launch vehicles, upper stages and in-space propulsion systems also cost about the same today with the same efficiency as they have had for many years (excluding impact of inflation). Both these dual mission constraints combine to force either very expensive, mega systems missions or very light weight, but high risk/low margin planetary spacecraft designs, such as the recent unsuccessful attempts for an extremely low cost mission to Mars during the 1998-99 opportunity (i.e., Mars Climate Orbiter and the Mars Polar Lander). When one considers spacecraft missions to the outer heliopause or even the outer planets, the enormous weight and cost constraints will impose even more daunting concerns for mission cost, risk and the ability to establish adequate mission margins for success. This paper will discuss the benefits of using a safe in-space nuclear reactor as the basis for providing both sufficient electric power and high performance space propulsion that will greatly reduce mission risk and significantly increase weight (IMLEO) and cost margins. Weight and cost margins are increased by enabling much higher payload fractions and redundant design features for a given launch vehicle (higher payload fraction of IMLEO). The paper will also discuss and summarize the recent advances in nuclear reactor technology and safety of modern reactor designs and operating practice and experience, as well as advances in reactor coupled power generation and high performance nuclear thermal and electric propulsion technologies. It will be shown that these nuclear power and propulsion technologies are major enabling capabilities for higher reliability, higher margin and lower cost deep space missions design to reliably

  8. Emerging Physics for Novel Field Propulsion Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hauser, Jochem; Dröscher, Walter

    2010-01-01

    All space vehicles in use today need some kind of fuel for operation. The basic physics underlying this propulsion principle severely limits the specific impulse and/or available thrust. Launch capabilities from the surface of the Earth require huge amounts of fuel. Hence, space flight, as envisaged by von Braun in the early 50s of the last century, will not be possible using this concept. Only if novel physical principles are found can these limits be overcome. Gravitational field propulsion is based on the generation of gravitational (gravity-like) fields by manmade devices. In other words, gravity-like fields should be experimentally controllable. Present physics believes that there are four fundamental interactions: strong (nuclei), weak (radioactive decay), electromagnetism and Newtonian gravitation. As experience has shown for the last six decades, none of these physical interactions is suitable as a basis for novel space propulsion. None of the advanced physical theories like string theory or quantum gravity, go beyond these four known interactions. On the contrary, recent results from causal dynamical triangulation simulations indicate that wormholes in spacetime do not seem to exist, and thus even this type of exotic space travel may well be impossible. Recently, novel physical concepts were published that might lead to advanced space propulsion technology, represented by two additional long range gravitational-like force fields that would be both attractive and repulsive, resulting from interaction of gravity with electromagnetism. A propulsion technology, based on these novel long range fields, would be working without propellant.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Methodolgy For Evaluation Of Technology Impacts In Space Electric Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holda, Julie

    2004-01-01

    The Analysis and Management branch of the Power and Propulsion Office at NASA Glenn Research Center is responsible for performing complex analyses of the space power and In-Space propulsion products developed by GRC. This work quantifies the benefits of the advanced technologies to support on-going advocacy efforts. The Power and Propulsion Office is committed to understanding how the advancement in space technologies could benefit future NASA missions. They support many diverse projects and missions throughout NASA as well as industry and academia. The area of work that we are concentrating on is space technology investment strategies. Our goal is to develop a Monte-Carlo based tool to investigate technology impacts in space electric power systems. The framework is being developed at this stage, which will be used to set up a computer simulation of a space electric power system (EPS). The outcome is expected to be a probabilistic assessment of critical technologies and potential development issues. We are developing methods for integrating existing spreadsheet-based tools into the simulation tool. Also, work is being done on defining interface protocols to enable rapid integration of future tools. Monte Carlo-based simulation programs for statistical modeling of the EPS Model. I decided to learn and evaluate Palisade's @Risk and Risk Optimizer software, and utilize it's capabilities for the Electric Power System (EPS) model. I also looked at similar software packages (JMP, SPSS, Crystal Ball, VenSim, Analytica) available from other suppliers and evaluated them. The second task was to develop the framework for the tool, in which we had to define technology characteristics using weighing factors and probability distributions. Also we had to define the simulation space and add hard and soft constraints to the model. The third task is to incorporate (preliminary) cost factors into the model. A final task is developing a cross-platform solution of this framework.

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. Flagellar propulsion near walls

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Arthur; Lauga, Eric

    2010-11-01

    Confinement and wall effects are known to affect the kinematics and propulsive characteristics of swimming microorganisms. When a solid body is dragged through a viscous fluid at constant velocity, the presence of a wall increases fluid drag, and thus the net force required to maintain speed has to increase. In contrast, recent optical trapping experiments have revealed that the propulsive force generated by human spermatozoa is decreased by the presence of boundaries. Here we use simple models to analytically elucidate the propulsive effects of a solid boundary on passively actuated filaments and model eukaryotic flagella. We show that in some cases, the increase in fluid friction induced by the wall can lead to a change in the waveform expressed by the flagella which results in a decrease of their propulsive force near a no-slip wall.