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Sample records for advanced plasma propulsion

  1. Recent Advances in Plasma Propulsion for Spacecraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choueiri, E. Y.

    1998-11-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Crewed Mission to Callisto Using Advanced Plasma Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. The Role of Numerical Simulation in Advancing Plasma Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1999-11-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Advanced Propulsion Concepts at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brophy, J. R.

    1997-01-01

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

  8. Advanced electric propulsion and space plasma contactor research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilbur, P. J.

    1986-01-01

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

  9. Advanced electric propulsion and space plasma contactor research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilbur, Paul J.

    1987-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Plasmas for space propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahedo, Eduardo

    2011-12-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Advanced rocket propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Obrien, Charles J.

    1993-01-01

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

  16. Advanced rocket propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obrien, Charles J.

    1993-02-01

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

  17. Advanced Space Fission Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Michael G.; Borowski, Stanley K.

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Advanced Chemical Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexander, L.

    2004-11-01

    Improving the performance and reliability characteristics of chemical propulsion systems requires research and testing of higher-performance propellants, higher efficiency thrusters, cryogenics technology, lightweight components and advancements in propulsion system design and assessment. Propellants are being investigated to identify practical combinations with higher efficiencies and better thermal properties to reduce thermal control requirements. This includes combinations with modest increases, such as LOX-hydrazine, as well as a new evaluation of major improvements available from fluorine-bearing oxidizers. Practical ways of implementing cryogenic propulsion to further increase efficiency are also being studied. Some potential advances include small pump-fed engines, and improvements in cryocooler technology and tank pressure control. Gelled propellants will be tested to determine the practicality of letting propellants freeze at low environmental temperatures and thawing them only when required for use. The propellant tank is typically the single highest non-expendable mass in a chemical propulsion system. Lightweight tank designs, materials and methods of fabrication are being investigated. These are projected to offer a 45-50 percent decrease in tank mass, representing the potential inert system mass savings. Mission and systems analyses are being conducted to guide the technology research and set priorities for technology investment, based on estimated gains in payload and mission capabilities. This includes development of advanced assessment tools and analyses of specific missions selected from Science Missions' Directorate. The goal is to mature a suite of reliable advanced propulsion technologies that will promote more cost efficient missions through the reduction of interplanetary trip time, increased scientific payload mass fraction and longer on-station operations. This talk will review the Advanced Chemical technology development roadmap, current

  19. Advanced propulsion on a shoestring

    SciTech Connect

    Lerner, E.J.

    1990-05-01

    Consideration is given to propulsion concepts under study by NASA Advanced Propulsion Research Program. These concepts include fusion, antimatter-matter annihilation, microwave electrothermal, and electron cyclotron resonance propulsion. Results from programs to develop fusion technologies are reviewed, including compact fusion devices and inertial confinement experiments. Problems concerning both antimatter and fusion propulsion concepts are examined and the economic issues related to propulsion research are discussed.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Theory for Plasma Rocket Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grabbe, Crockett

    2009-11-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Megawatt Electromagnetic Plasma Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gilland, James; Lapointe, Michael; Mikellides, Pavlos

    2003-01-01

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

  5. High Energy Plasma Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, S. T.

    2000-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Nuclear Powered Laser Driven Plasma Propulsion System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kammash, T.

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. The Potential for Ambient Plasma Wave Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gilland, James H.; Williams, George J.

    2016-01-01

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

  13. A fusion based plasma propulsion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

  14. Nuclear propulsion technology advanced fuels technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stark, Walter A., Jr.

    1993-01-01

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

  15. Plasma propulsion for space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fruchtman, Amnon

    2000-04-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Advanced technology for future space propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diehl, Larry A.

    1989-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levack, Daniel

    1993-04-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. External Pulsed Plasma Propulsion (EPPP) Analysis Maturation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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. TOPICAL REVIEW: Plasmas for spacecraft propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Charles, C.

    2009-08-01

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

  11. 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.

  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. Z-Pinch Pulsed Plasma Propulsion Technology Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  14. Advanced Propulsion for the XXIst Century

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frisbee, Robert H.

    2003-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Plasma ignition for laser propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Askew, R. F.

    1982-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Establishing a center for advanced space propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garrison, George W.

    1990-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Advanced space propulsion thruster research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilbur, P. J.

    1981-01-01

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

  5. Advanced electric propulsion research, 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Electric propulsion using ion-ion plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  8. The Challenges of High-Power Plasma Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang-Diaz, Franklin

    2004-11-01

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

  9. Materials Requirements for Advanced Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  10. Thermal fatigue durability for advanced propulsion materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Halford, Gary R.

    1989-01-01

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

  11. PEGASES - plasma propulsion with electronegative gases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-10-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Comparison of advanced propulsion capabilities for future planetary missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1974-01-01

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

  15. An overview of the NASA Advanced Propulsion Concepts program

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-07-01

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

  16. An overview of the NASA Advanced Propulsion Concepts program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dressler, Rainer A.; Chiu, Yu-hui

    2011-05-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Radio Frequency Plasma Applications for Space Propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Baity, F.W., Jr.; Barber, G.C.; Carter, M.D.; Chang-Diaz, F.R.; Goulding, R.H.; Ilin, A.V.; Jaeger, E.F.; Sparks, D.O.; Squire, J.P.

    1999-09-13

    Recent developments in solid-state radio frequency (RF) power technologies allow for the practical consideration of RF heated plasmas for space propulsion. These technologies permit the use of any electrical power source, de-couple the power and propellant sources, and allow for the effcient use of both the propellant mass and power. Effcient use of the propellant is obtained by expelling the rocket exhaust at the highest possible velocity, which can be orders of magnitude higher than those achieved in chemical rockets. Handling the hot plasma exhaust requires the use of magnetic nozzles, and the basic physics of ion detachment from the magnetic eld is discussed. The plasma can be generated by RF using helicon waves to heat electrons. Further direct heating of the ions helps to reduce the line radiation losses, and the magnetic geometry is tailored to allow ion cyclotron resonance heating. RF eld and ion trajectory calculations are presented to give a reasonably self-consistent picture of the ion acceleration process.

  5. A Flight Demonstration of Plasma Rocket Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, R. E.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, R. E.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  13. Advanced Space Propulsion: A Research Perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Advances in Green Cryogenic Solid Propellant Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-10-01

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

  16. Fundamentals of Plasma Sails Propulsion Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sabatella, J. A. (Editor)

    1974-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. A tandem mirror hybrid plume plasma propulsion facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klem, Mark D.; Smith, Timothy D.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palaszewski, Bryan A.

    1990-01-01

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

  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. 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. 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.

  9. Advanced computational techniques for hypersonic propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Povinelli, Louis A.

    1989-01-01

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

  10. Ferroelectric plasma thruster for microspacecraft propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Kemp, Mark A.; Kovaleski, Scott D.

    2006-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-01-20

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

  12. 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.

  13. Fusion for Space Propulsion and Plasma Liner Driven MTF

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schneider, Steven J.

    1987-01-01

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

  15. On plasma detachment in propulsive magnetic nozzles

    SciTech Connect

    Ahedo, Eduardo; Merino, Mario

    2011-05-15

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

  16. 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

  17. Method of hybrid plume plasma propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chang, Franklin R. (Inventor)

    1990-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griffin, Steven T.

    2003-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rafalskyi, D.; Aanesland, A.

    2016-06-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  6. Propulsion technology for an advanced subsonic transport

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1972-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robotti, A. C.; Oggero, M.

    1985-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emrich, William Julius, Jr.

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

  17. 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)

  18. Modular Pulsed Plasma Electric Propulsion System for Cubesats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Plasma Propulsion Testing Capabilities at Arnold Engineering Development Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  20. Advanced energy conversion concept for beamed-energy propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Myrabo, Leik N.

    1987-08-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Application of advanced computational technology to propulsion CFD

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szuch, John R.

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  8. A tandem mirror hybrid plume plasma propulsion facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  9. Plasma simulation in a hybrid ion electric propulsion system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jugroot, Manish; Christou, Alex

    2015-04-01

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

  10. Liquid Metal Propellant Feed System for Plasma Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markusic, T. E.

    2004-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thom, K.; Schwenk, F. C.; Schneider, R. T.

    1976-01-01

    Fissioning uranium plasmas are the nuclear fuel in conceptual high-temperature gaseous-core reactors for advanced rocket propulsion in space. A gaseous-core nuclear rocket would be a thermal reactor in which an enriched uranium plasma at about 10,000 K is confined in a reflector-moderator cavity where it is nuclear critical and transfers its fission power to a confining propellant flow for the production of thrust at a specific impulse up to 5000 sec. With a thrust-to-engine weight ratio approaching unity, the gaseous-core nuclear rocket could provide for propulsion capabilities needed for manned missions to the nearby planets and for economical cislunar ferry services. Fueled with enriched uranium hexafluoride and operated at temperatures lower than needed for propulsion, the gaseous-core reactor scheme also offers significant benefits in applications for space and terrestrial power. They include high-efficiency power generation at low specific mass, the burnup of certain fission products and actinides, the breeding of U-233 from thorium with short doubling times, and improved convenience of fuel handling and processing in the gaseous phase.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kammash, Terry

    2003-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Small low mass advanced PBR`s for propulsion

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-01-10

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

  19. 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.

  20. Antiproton powered propulsion with magnetically confined plasma engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lapointe, Michael R.

    1989-01-01

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

  1. Antiproton powered propulsion with magnetically confined plasma engines

    SciTech Connect

    Lapointe, M.R.

    1989-01-01

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

  2. Antiproton powered propulsion with magnetically confined plasma engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lapointe, Michael R.

    1989-01-01

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

  3. Antiproton powered propulsion with magnetically confined plasma engines

    SciTech Connect

    Lapointe, M.R.

    1989-08-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Advanced rocket propulsion technology assessment for future space transportation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilhite, A. W.

    1982-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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,

  13. 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.

  14. Advanced plasma diagnostics for plasma processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malyshev, Mikhail Victorovich

    1999-10-01

    A new, non-intrusive, non-perturbing diagnostic method was developed that can be broadly applied to low pressure, weakly ionized plasmas and glow discharges-trace rare gases optical emission spectroscopy (TRG-OES). The method is based on a comparison of intensities of atomic emission from trace amounts of inert gases (He, Ne, Ar, Kr, and Xe) that are added to the discharge to intensities calculated from the theoretical model. The model assumes a Maxwellian electron energy distribution function (EEDF), computes the population of emitting levels both from the ground state and the metastable states of rare gases, and from the best fit between theory and experiment determines electron temperature (Te). Subject to conditions, TRG-OES can also yield electron density or its upper or lower limit. From the comparison of the emission from levels excited predominantly by high energy electrons to that excited by low energy electrons, information about the EEDF can be obtained. The use of TRG-OES also allows a traditionally qualitative actinometry technique (determination of concentration of radical species in plasma through optical emission) to become a precise quantitative method by including Te and rare gases metastables effects. A combination of TRG-OES, advanced actinometry, and Langmuir probe measurements was applied to several different plasma reactors and regimes of operation. Te measurements and experiments to correct excitation cross section were conducted in a laboratory helical resonator. Two chamber configuration of a commercial (Lam Research) metal etcher were studied to determine the effects of plasma parameters on plasma-induced damage. Two different methods (RF inductive coupling and ultra-high frequency coupling) for generating a plasma in a prototype reactor were also studied. Pulsed plasmas, a potential candidate to eliminate the plasma-induced damage to microelectronics devices that occurs in manufacturing due to differential charging of the wafer, have

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Plasma Processing of Advanced Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Heberlein, Joachim, V.R.; Pfender, Emil; Kortshagen, Uwe

    2005-02-28

    Plasma Processing of Advanced Materials The project had the overall objective of improving our understanding of the influences of process parameters on the properties of advanced superhard materials. The focus was on high rate deposition processes using thermal plasmas and atmospheric pressure glow discharges, and the emphasis on superhard materials was chosen because of the potential impact of such materials on industrial energy use and on the environment. In addition, the development of suitable diagnostic techniques was pursued. The project was divided into four tasks: (1) Deposition of superhard boron containing films using a supersonic plasma jet reactor (SPJR), and the characterization of the deposition process. (2) Deposition of superhard nanocomposite films in the silicon-nitrogen-carbon system using the triple torch plasma reactor (TTPR), and the characterization of the deposition process. (3) Deposition of films consisting of carbon nanotubes using an atmospheric pressure glow discharge reactor. (4) Adapting the Thomson scattering method for characterization of atmospheric pressure non-uniform plasmas with steep spatial gradients and temporal fluctuations. This report summarizes the results.

  1. Plasma Diagnostics Development for Advanced Rocket Engines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glover, Timothy; Kittrell, Carter; Chan, Anthony; Chang-Diaz, Franklin

    2000-10-01

    The VASIMR (Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket) engine is a next-generation rocket engine under development at the Johnson Space Center's Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory. With an exhaust velocity up to 50 times that of chemical rocket engines such as the Space Shuttle Main Engine, the VASIMR concept promises fast, efficient interplanetary flight. Rice University has participated in VASIMR research since 1996 and at present is developing two new diagnostic probes: a retarding potential analyzer to measure the velocity of ions in the rocket's exhaust, and a moveable optical probe to examine the spectrum of the rocket's helicon plasma source. In support of the probe development, a test facility is under construction at Rice, consisting of a small electric rocket engine firing into a 2-m vacuum chamber. This engine, the MPD (magnetoplasmadynamic) thruster, dates from the 1960's and provides a well-characterized source plasma for testing of the probes under development. We present details of the ion energy analyzer and the facility under construction at Rice.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Advanced charged particle beam ignited nuclear pulse propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winterberg, F.

    2009-06-01

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

  8. Nuclear-electric propulsion - Manned Mars propulsion options

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palaszewski, Bryan; Brophy, John; King, David

    1989-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. The Propulsion Center at MSFC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Plasma Propulsion Research at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sheehy, Jeffrey A.

    2004-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1977-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. NASA's Propulsion Research Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The grand opening of NASA's new, world-class laboratory for research into future space transportation technologies located at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama, took place in July 2004. The state-of-the-art Propulsion Research Laboratory (PRL) serves as a leading national resource for advanced space propulsion research. Its purpose is to conduct research that will lead to the creation and development of innovative propulsion technologies for space exploration. The facility is the epicenter of the effort to move the U.S. space program beyond the confines of conventional chemical propulsion into an era of greatly improved access to space and rapid transit throughout the solar system. The laboratory is designed to accommodate researchers from across the United States, including scientists and engineers from NASA, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, universities, and industry. The facility, with 66,000 square feet of useable laboratory space, features a high degree of experimental capability. Its flexibility allows it to address a broad range of propulsion technologies and concepts, such as plasma, electromagnetic, thermodynamic, and propellant propulsion. An important area of emphasis is the development and utilization of advanced energy sources, including highly energetic chemical reactions, solar energy, and processes based on fission, fusion, and antimatter. The Propulsion Research Laboratory is vital for developing the advanced propulsion technologies needed to open up the space frontier, and sets the stage of research that could revolutionize space transportation for a broad range of applications.

  2. Integrated Vehicle Thermal Management for Advanced Vehicle Propulsion Technologies

    SciTech Connect

    Bennion, K.; Thornton, M.

    2010-04-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Development of advanced seals for space propulsion turbomachinery

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-04-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chang-Diaz, Franklin R.

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gonzalez, Dora E.; Karr, Gerald R.

    1990-01-01

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

  12. Advanced diagnostics for plasma chemistry

    SciTech Connect

    Kruger, C.H.

    1994-03-01

    Since July 15, 1992, the High Temperature Gasdynamics Laboratory in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University has been engaged in a four-year research program on Advanced Diagnostics for Plasma Chemistry. The goal of this program is to develop state-of-the-art laser-based diagnostics of molecular species in harsh chemical environments, particularly those encountered in plasma synthesis of new materials. Emphasis has been placed on exploiting a new nonlinear spectroscopy, degenerate four wave mixing, as well as linear laser induced fluorescence to accomplish these goals. The present submittal is a proposal for the continuation funding for the third year of this program, from July 15, 1994, until July 14, 1995. Section 2 summarizes the research accomplished during the first eighteen months of the program. Section 3 discusses the plans for continuing research activities. Publications and presentations to date resulting from this program are listed in Section 4. The proposed budget for the third year is given in Section 5.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Coaxial plasma thrusters for high specific impulse propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  18. 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].

  19. Microwave plasma generation of hydrogen atoms for rocket propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-05-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levack, Daniel J. H.

    2000-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. A laser driven fusion plasma for space propulsion

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-07-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  9. Theory components of the VASIMR plasma propulsion concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arefiev, Alexey

    2003-10-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. HTS Magnets for Advanced Magnetoplasma Space Propulsion Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Carte, M.D.; Chang-Diaz, F.R. Squire, J.P.; Schwenterly, S.W.

    1999-07-12

    Plasma rockets are being considered for both Earth-orbit and interplanetary missions because their extremely high exhaust velocity and ability to modulate thrust allow very efficient use of propellant mass. In such rockets, a hydrogen or helium plasma is RF-heated and confined by axial magnetic fields produced by coils around the plasma chamber. HTS coils cooled by the propellant are desirable to increase the energy efficiency of the system. We describe a set of prototype high-temperature superconducting (HTS) coils that are being considered for the VASIMR ( Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket) thruster proposed for testing on the Radiation Technology Demonstration (RTD) satellite. Since this satellite will be launched by the Space Shuttle, for safety reasons liquid helium will be used as propellant and coolant. The coils must be designed to operate in the space environment at field levels of 1 T. This generates a unique set of requirements. Details of the overall winding geometry and current density, as well as the challenging thermal control aspects associated with a compact, minimum weight design will be discussed.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. High Resolution Spectral Measurements of Electrical Propulsion Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-05-01

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

  18. An RF heated tandem mirror plasma propulsion study

    SciTech Connect

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

    1989-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Rapid Mars transits with exhaust-modulated plasma propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-12-31

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

  11. NASA's In-Space Propulsion Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  19. “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.

  20. Plasma Heating: An Advanced Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    The Mercury and Apollo spacecraft shields were designed to protect astronauts from high friction temperatures (well over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit) when re-entering the Earth's atmosphere. It was necessary to test and verify the heat shield materials on Earth before space flight. After exhaustive research and testing, NASA decided to use plasma heating as a heat source. This technique involves passing a strong electric current through a rarefied gas to create a plasma (ionized gas) that produces an intensely hot flame. Although NASA did not invent the concept, its work expanded the market for commercial plasma heating systems. One company, Plasma Technology Corporation (PTC), was founded by a member of the team that developed the Re-entry Heating Simulator at Ames Research Center (ARC). Dr. Camacho, President of PTC, believes the technology has significant environmental applications. These include toxic waste disposal, hydrocarbon, decomposition, medical waste disposal, asbestos waste destruction, and chemical and radioactive waste disposal.

  1. 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.

  2. Recent Advances in Plasma Acceleration

    SciTech Connect

    Hogan, Mark

    2007-03-19

    The costs and the time scales of colliders intended to reach the energy frontier are such that it is important to explore new methods of accelerating particles to high energies. Plasma-based accelerators are particularly attractive because they are capable of producing accelerating fields that are orders of magnitude larger than those used in conventional colliders. In these accelerators a drive beam, either laser or particle, produces a plasma wave (wakefield) that accelerates charged particles. The ultimate utility of plasma accelerators will depend on sustaining ultra-high accelerating fields over a substantial length to achieve a significant energy gain. More than 42 GeV energy gain was achieved in an 85 cm long plasma wakefield accelerator driven by a 42 GeV electron drive beam in the Final Focus Test Beam (FFTB) Facility at SLAC. Most of the beam electrons lose energy to the plasma wave, but some electrons in the back of the same beam pulse are accelerated with a field of {approx}52 GV/m. This effectively doubles their energy, producing the energy gain of the 3 km long SLAC accelerator in less than a meter for a small fraction of the electrons in the injected bunch. Prospects for a drive-witness bunch configuration and high-gradient positron acceleration experiments planned for the SABER facility will be discussed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ogino, Yousuke; Ohnishi, Naofumi

    2010-05-06

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

  6. Advances in cold plasma technology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Foodborne pathogens continue to be an issue on a variety of commodities, prompting research into novel interventions. Cold plasma is a nonthermal food processing technology which uses energetic, reactive gases to inactivate contaminating microbes on meats, poultry and fruits and vegetables. The prim...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-01-20

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  10. Advances and Challenges in Computational Plasma Science

    SciTech Connect

    W.M. Tang; V.S. Chan

    2005-01-03

    Scientific simulation, which provides a natural bridge between theory and experiment, is an essential tool for understanding complex plasma behavior. Recent advances in simulations of magnetically-confined plasmas are reviewed in this paper with illustrative examples chosen from associated research areas such as microturbulence, magnetohydrodynamics, and other topics. Progress has been stimulated in particular by the exponential growth of computer speed along with significant improvements in computer technology.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-05-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Advances in Plasma-Filled Microwave Sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goebel, Dan M.

    1998-11-01

    Significant improvements in the performance of high power microwave tubes have been achieved in recent years by the introduction of plasma into the beam- coupling structures of the devices. Plasma has been credited with increasing the maximum electron beam current, frequency bandwidth, electrical efficiency and reducing or eliminating the need for guiding magnetic fields in microwave sources. These advances are critically important for the development of high power, frequency agile microwave systems where size and weight are important. Conversely, plasma has been blamed for causing noise, instabilities, power variations and pulse-length limitations in microwave tubes for many years. Recent experimental and theoretical studies have demonstrated that introducing the right amount of plasma in a controlled manner can be beneficial in the areas described above. Enhanced beam propagation at lower magnetic fields and higher beam current levels due to the space-charge neutralization by plasma can be realized provided that the neutralization fraction is fairly stable and maintained near a value of one for the duration of the desired pulse length. The generation of hybrid waves in plasma-filled slow-wave structures (SWS) operating near cutoff has resulted in an increased electric field on axis and improved coupling to solid beams in both helix and coupled-cavity SWS, and wider coupling-aperture pass-bands and frequency bandwidth in coupled-cavity devices. In the event of excess plasma generation in these TWTs or BWOs, the device structures rapidly approach cutoff or breakdown and the beam forms instabilities, which degrades the output power level and pulse length. Recent experimental and theoretical advances in this field including plasma implementation techniques in the gun and circuit will be presented, and the benefits and limitations of plasma filling of microwave sources will be shown and discussed.

  16. 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.

  17. Advances and challenges in computational plasma science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, W. M.

    2005-02-01

    Scientific simulation, which provides a natural bridge between theory and experiment, is an essential tool for understanding complex plasma behaviour. Recent advances in simulations of magnetically confined plasmas are reviewed in this paper, with illustrative examples, chosen from associated research areas such as microturbulence, magnetohydrodynamics and other topics. Progress has been stimulated, in particular, by the exponential growth of computer speed along with significant improvements in computer technology. The advances in both particle and fluid simulations of fine-scale turbulence and large-scale dynamics have produced increasingly good agreement between experimental observations and computational modelling. This was enabled by two key factors: (a) innovative advances in analytic and computational methods for developing reduced descriptions of physics phenomena spanning widely disparate temporal and spatial scales and (b) access to powerful new computational resources. Excellent progress has been made in developing codes for which computer run-time and problem-size scale well with the number of processors on massively parallel processors (MPPs). Examples include the effective usage of the full power of multi-teraflop (multi-trillion floating point computations per second) MPPs to produce three-dimensional, general geometry, nonlinear particle simulations that have accelerated advances in understanding the nature of turbulence self-regulation by zonal flows. These calculations, which typically utilized billions of particles for thousands of time-steps, would not have been possible without access to powerful present generation MPP computers and the associated diagnostic and visualization capabilities. In looking towards the future, the current results from advanced simulations provide great encouragement for being able to include increasingly realistic dynamics to enable deeper physics insights into plasmas in both natural and laboratory environments. This

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hueter, Uwe; Turner, James

    1998-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

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

  7. INTEGRATED PLASMA CONTROL FOR ADVANCED TOKAMAKS

    SciTech Connect

    HUMPHREYS,D.A; FERRON,J.R; JOHNSON,R.D; LEUER,J.A; PENAFLOR,B.G; WALKER,M.L; WELANDER,A.S; KHAYRUTDINOV,R.R; DOKOUKA,V; EDGELL,D.H; FRANSSON,C.M

    2003-10-01

    OAK-B135 Advanced tokamaks (AT) are distinguished from conventional tokamaks by their high degree of shaping, achievement of profiles optimized for high confinement and stability characteristics, and active stabilization of MHD instabilities to attain high values of normalized beta and confinement. These high performance fusion devices thus require accurate regulation of the plasma boundary, internal profiles, pumping, fueling, and heating, as well as simultaneous and well-coordinated MHD control action to stabilize such instabilities as tearing modes and resistive wall modes. Satisfying the simultaneous demands on control accuracy, reliability, and performance for all of these subsystems requires a high degree of integration in both design and operation of the plasma control system in an advanced tokamak. The present work describes the approach, benefits, and progress made in integrated plasma control with application examples drawn from the DIII-D tokamak. The approach includes construction of plasma and system response models, validation of models against operating experiments, design of integrated controllers which operate in concert with one another as well as with supervisory modules, simulation of control action against off-line and actual machine control platforms, and iteration of the design-test loop to optimize performance.

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Northway, P.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Advancements in predictive plasma formation modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Purvis, Michael A.; Schafgans, Alexander; Brown, Daniel J. W.; Fomenkov, Igor; Rafac, Rob; Brown, Josh; Tao, Yezheng; Rokitski, Slava; Abraham, Mathew; Vargas, Mike; Rich, Spencer; Taylor, Ted; Brandt, David; Pirati, Alberto; Fisher, Aaron; Scott, Howard; Koniges, Alice; Eder, David; Wilks, Scott; Link, Anthony; Langer, Steven

    2016-03-01

    We present highlights from plasma simulations performed in collaboration with Lawrence Livermore National Labs. This modeling is performed to advance the rate of learning about optimal EUV generation for laser produced plasmas and to provide insights where experimental results are not currently available. The goal is to identify key physical processes necessary for an accurate and predictive model capable of simulating a wide range of conditions. This modeling will help to drive source performance scaling in support of the EUV Lithography roadmap. The model simulates pre-pulse laser interaction with the tin droplet and follows the droplet expansion into the main pulse target zone. Next, the interaction of the expanded droplet with the main laser pulse is simulated. We demonstrate the predictive nature of the code and provide comparison with experimental results.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-03-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-12-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  20. 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.

  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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-02-01

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

  3. 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).

  4. Directions in propulsion control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lorenzo, Carl F.

    1990-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    A new, world-class laboratory for research into future space transportation technologies is under construction at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, AL. The state-of-the-art Propulsion Research Laboratory will serve as a leading national resource for advanced space propulsion research. Its purpose is to conduct research that will lead to the creation and development of irnovative propulsion technologies for space exploration. The facility will be the epicenter of the effort to move the U.S. space program beyond the confines of conventional chemical propulsion into an era of greatly improved access to space and rapid transit throughout the solar system. The Laboratory is designed to accommodate researchers from across the United States, including scientists and engineers from NASA, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, universities, and industry. The facility, with 66,000 square feet of useable laboratory space, will feature a high degree of experimental capability. Its flexibility will allow it to address a broad range of propulsion technologies and concepts, such as plasma, electromagnetic, thermodynamic, and propellantless propulsion. An important area of emphasis will be development and utilization of advanced energy sources, including highly energetic chemical reactions, solar energy, and processes based on fission, fusion, and antimatter. The Propulsion Research Laboratory is vital for developing the advanced propulsion technologies needed to open up the space frontier, and will set the stage of research that could revolutionize space transportation for a broad range of applications.

  7. Fusion for Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chow, S.

    1976-01-01

    A mini-cavity plasma core reactor is investigated for potential use in a dual-mode space power and propulsion system. In the propulsive mode, hydrogen propellant is injected radially inward through the reactor solid regions and into the cavity. The propellant is heated by both solid driver fuel elements surrounding the cavity and uranium plasma before it is exhausted out the nozzle. The propellant only removes a fraction of the driver power, the remainder is transferred by a coolant fluid to a power conversion system, which incorporates a radiator for heat rejection. Neutronic feasibility of dual mode operation and smaller reactor sizes than those previously investigated are shown to be possible. A heat transfer analysis of one such reactor shows that the dual-mode concept is applicable when power generation mode thermal power levels are within the same order of magnitude as direct thrust mode thermal power levels.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1975-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

  12. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Buehler, R.D.

    1986-02-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-11-15

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

  15. Cold plasma processing technology makes advances

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cold plasma (AKA nonthermal plasma, cool plasma, gas plasma, etc.) is a rapidly maturing antimicrobial process being developed for applications in the food industry. A wide array of devices can be used to create cold plasma, but the defining characteristic is that they operate at or near room temper...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capece, Angela Maria

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCune, M. E.

    1993-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1993-11-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Electromagnetic Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schafer, Charles

    2000-01-01

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

  6. US in-space electric propulsion experiments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Lee W.; Bagdigian, Deborah R.

    1989-01-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1982-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-01-20

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

  12. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Hot spots and dark current in advanced plasma wakefield accelerators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manahan, G. G.; Deng, A.; Karger, O.; Xi, Y.; Knetsch, A.; Litos, M.; Wittig, G.; Heinemann, T.; Smith, J.; Sheng, Z. M.; Jaroszynski, D. A.; Andonian, G.; Bruhwiler, D. L.; Rosenzweig, J. B.; Hidding, B.

    2016-01-01

    Dark current can spoil witness bunch beam quality and acceleration efficiency in particle beam-driven plasma wakefield accelerators. In advanced schemes, hot spots generated by the drive beam or the wakefield can release electrons from higher ionization threshold levels in the plasma media. These electrons may be trapped inside the plasma wake and will then accumulate dark current, which is generally detrimental for a clear and unspoiled plasma acceleration process. Strategies for generating clean and robust, dark current free plasma wake cavities are devised and analyzed, and crucial aspects for experimental realization of such optimized scenarios are discussed.

  17. Advances in Dusty Plasmas 5.Strongly Coupled Dusty Plasmas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamaguchi, Satoshi

    We review thermodynamical and dynamical properties of strongly coupled dusty plasmas, focusing on the recent development of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. In the present paper, dusty plasmas are modeled by the Yukawa system, which is a collection of particles interacting through Yukawa (i.e., screened Coulomb) potentials. The phase diagram, wave dispersion relations and some transport coefficients of Yukawa systems are discussed.

  18. Theoretical Investigations of Plasma-Based Accelerators and Other Advanced Accelerator Concepts

    SciTech Connect

    Shuets, G.

    2004-05-21

    Theoretical investigations of plasma-based accelerators and other advanced accelerator concepts. The focus of the work was on the development of plasma based and structure based accelerating concepts, including laser-plasma, plasma channel, and microwave driven plasma accelerators.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sathiyavel, C.

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

  20. 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

  1. Advanced oxide powders processing based on cascade plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solonenko, O. P.; Smirnov, A. V.

    2014-11-01

    Analysis of the potential advantages offered to thermal spraying and powder processing by the implementation of plasma torches with inter-electrode insert (IEI) or, in other words, cascade plasma torches (CPTs) is presented. The paper provides evidence that the modular designed single cathode CPT helps eliminate the following major disadvantages of conventional plasma torches: plasma parameters drifting, 1-5 kHz pulsing of plasma flow, as well as excessive erosion of electrodes. More stable plasma results in higher quality, homogeneity and reproducibility of plasma sprayed coatings and powders treated. In addition, CPT offers an extremely wide operating window, which allows better control of plasma parameters, particle dwell time and, consequently, particle temperature and velocity within a wide range by generating high enthalpy quasi-laminar plasmas, medium enthalpy transient plasmas, as well as relatively low enthalpy turbulent plasmas. Stable operation, flexibility with plasma gases as well as wide operating window of CPT should help significantly improve the existing plasma spraying processes and coatings, and also help develop new advanced technologies.

  2. 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

  3. Advances in induction-heated plasma torch technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Poole, J. W.; Vogel, C. E.

    1972-01-01

    Continuing research has resulted in significant advances in induction-heated plasma torch technology which extend and enhance its potential for broad range of uses in chemical processing, materials development and testing, and development of large illumination sources. Summaries of these advances are briefly described.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Rafalskyi, Dmytro Popelier, Lara; Aanesland, Ane

    2014-02-07

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

  5. Diagnostics of nonlocal plasmas: advanced techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mustafaev, Alexander; Grabovskiy, Artiom; Strakhova, Anastasiya; Soukhomlinov, Vladimir

    2014-10-01

    This talk generalizes our recent results, obtained in different directions of plasma diagnostics. First-method of flat single-sided probe, based on expansion of the electron velocity distribution function (EVDF) in series of Legendre polynomials. It will be demonstrated, that flat probe, oriented under different angles with respect to the discharge axis, allow to determine full EVDF in nonlocal plasmas. It is also shown, that cylindrical probe is unable to determine full EVDF. We propose the solution of this problem by combined using the kinetic Boltzmann equation and experimental probe data. Second-magnetic diagnostics. This method is implemented in knudsen diode with surface ionization of atoms (KDSI) and based on measurements of the magnetic characteristics of the KDSI in presence of transverse magnetic field. Using magnetic diagnostics we can investigate the wide range of plasma processes: from scattering cross-sections of electrons to plasma-surface interactions. Third-noncontact diagnostics method for direct measurements of EVDF in remote plasma objects by combination of the flat single-sided probe technique and magnetic polarization Hanley method.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-08-01

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

  7. Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robson, R. R.

    1982-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  10. Advanced manufacturing technologies on color plasma displays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Betsui, Keiichi

    2000-06-01

    The mass production of the color plasma display started from 1996. However, since the price of the panel is still expensive, PDPs are not in widespread use at home. It is necessary to develop the new and low-cost manufacturing technologies to reduce the price of the panel. This paper describes some of the features of new fabrication technologies of PDPs.

  11. Recent Advances in Plasma Edge Physics Theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stacey, W. M.

    2015-11-01

    This presentation summarizes recent theory developments for interpreting plasma edge physics experiments in DIII-D. i) Radial and poloidal moment balance require that the radial particle flux be of a pinch-diffusive nature with the pinch representing the electromagnetic forces and external momentum input. Ion radial particle fluxes in experiment are found to be a smaller difference between large outward diffusion fluxes and inward pinch fluxes. When the pinch-diffusion relation is used in the continuity equation a new diffusion theory that preserves momentum balance is obtained. ii) The majority of thermalized ions and their energy cross the LCFS on ion loss orbits and are deposited in the SOL near the outboard midplane. The lost ions are predominantly ctr-current, producing a co-current intrinsic rotation of the remaining ions in the edge plasma. iii) While the contribution of the leading order parallel viscosity to toroidal momentum damping vanishes identically in axisymmetric plasmas, non-axisymmetric radial B-fields in the edge plasma enable parallel viscosity to enhance the damping of toroidal rotation. Work supported by the US DOE under DE-FG02-00ER54538, DE-FC02-04ER54698.

  12. 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.

  13. Advanced Tokamak Plasmas in the Fusion Ignition Research Experiment

    SciTech Connect

    C.E. Kessel; D. Meade; D.W. Swain; P. Titus; M.A. Ulrickson

    2003-10-13

    The Advanced Tokamak (AT) capability of the Fusion Ignition Research Experiment (FIRE) burning plasma experiment is examined with 0-D systems analysis, equilibrium and ideal-MHD stability, radio-frequency current-drive analysis, and full discharge dynamic simulations. These analyses have identified the required parameters for attractive burning AT plasmas, and indicate that these are feasible within the engineering constraints of the device.

  14. Propulsion controls

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harkney, R. D.

    1980-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Recent Advancements in Microwave Imaging Plasma Diagnostics

    SciTech Connect

    H. Park; C.C. Chang; B.H. Deng; C.W. Domier; A.J.H. Donni; K. Kawahata; C. Liang; X.P. Liang; H.J. Lu; N.C. Luhmann, Jr.; A. Mase; H. Matsuura; E. Mazzucato; A. Miura; K. Mizuno; T. Munsat; K. and Y. Nagayama; M.J. van de Pol; J. Wang; Z.G. Xia; W-K. Zhang

    2002-03-26

    Significant advances in microwave and millimeter wave technology over the past decade have enabled the development of a new generation of imaging diagnostics for current and envisioned magnetic fusion devices. Prominent among these are revolutionary microwave electron cyclotron emission imaging (ECEI), microwave phase imaging interferometers, imaging microwave scattering and microwave imaging reflectometer (MIR) systems for imaging electron temperature and electron density fluctuations (both turbulent and coherent) and profiles (including transport barriers) on toroidal devices such as tokamaks, spherical tori, and stellarators. The diagnostic technology is reviewed, and typical diagnostic systems are analyzed. Representative experimental results obtained with these novel diagnostic systems are also presented.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Los Alamos NEP research in advanced plasma thrusters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schoenberg, Kurt; Gerwin, Richard

    1991-01-01

    Research was initiated in advanced plasma thrusters that capitalizes on lab capabilities in plasma science and technology. The goal of the program was to examine the scaling issues of magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thruster performance in support of NASA's MPD thruster development program. The objective was to address multi-megawatt, large scale, quasi-steady state MPD thruster performance. Results to date include a new quasi-steady state operating regime which was obtained at space exploration initiative relevant power levels, that enables direct coaxial gun-MPD comparisons of thruster physics and performance. The radiative losses are neglible. Operation with an applied axial magnetic field shows the same operational stability and exhaust plume uniformity benefits seen in MPD thrusters. Observed gun impedance is in close agreement with the magnetic Bernoulli model predictions. Spatial and temporal measurements of magnetic field, electric field, plasma density, electron temperature, and ion/neutral energy distribution are underway. Model applications to advanced mission logistics are also underway.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahedo, Eduardo; Navarro-Cavallé, Jaume

    2013-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ahedo, Eduardo; Navarro-Cavalle, Jaume

    2013-04-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-12-31

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

  7. Ion propulsion for communications satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Poeschel, R. L.

    1984-01-01

    In a recent study of potential applications for electric propulsion, it was determined that ion propulsion can provide North-South stationkeeping (NSSK) for communication satellites in geosynchronous orbit with appreciably less mass than chemical propulsion. While this finding is not new, the margin of benefit over advanced chemical propulsion technology depends strongly on the ion propulsion system specifications. Full advantage must be taken of the under-utilized stored energy available from the communication satellite's batteries. This paper describes a methodology for evaluating the benefits obtained in using ion propulsion for NSSK, both in terms of the mass reduction and its economic value.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, David Peter

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

  11. Propulsion technology discipline

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Lee W.

    1990-01-01

    Viewgraphs on propulsion technology discipline for Space Station Freedom are presented. Topics covered include: water electrolysis O2/H2 system; hydrazine system advancements; common technology; fluids disposal; and storable bipropellant system.

  12. Electric propulsion cost estimation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palaszewski, B. A.

    1985-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Modelling and Simulation of the Advanced Plasma Source

    SciTech Connect

    Schroeder, Benjamin; Peter, Ralf; Harhausen, Jens; Ohl, Andreas

    2011-08-15

    Plasma ion assisted-deposition (PIAD) is a combination of conventional thermal evaporation deposition and plasma-beam surface modification; it serves as a well-established technology for the creation of high quality coatings on mirrors, lenses, and other optical devices. It is closely related to ion-assisted deposition to the extent that electrons preserve quasineutrality of the ion beam. This paper investigates the Advanced Plasma Source (APS), a plasma beam source employed for PIAD. A field enhanced glow discharge generates a radially expanding plasma flow with an ion energy of about 80-120 eV. Charge exchange collisions with the neutral background gas (pressure 0.1 Pa and below) produce a cold secondary plasma, which expands as well. A model is developed which describes the primary ions by a simplified Boltzmann equation, the secondary ions by the equations of continuity and momentum balance, and the electrons by the condition of Boltzmann equilibrium. Additionally, quasineutrality is assumed. The model can be reduced to a single nonlinear differential equation for the velocity of the secondary ions, which has several removable singularities and one essential singularity, identified as the Bohm singularity. Solving the model yields macroscopic plasma features, such as fluxes, densities, and the electrical field. An add-on Monte-Carlo simulation is employed to calculate the ion energy distribution function at the substrate. All results compare well to experiments conducted at a commercial APS system.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Díaz, F. R. Chang

    2001-10-01

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

  18. ALPS - advanced limiter-divertor plasma-facing systems.

    SciTech Connect

    Allain, J. P.; Bastasz, R.; Brooks, J. N.; Evans, T.; Hassanein, A.; Luckhardt, S.; Maingi, R.; Mattas, R. F.; McCarthy, K.; Mioduszewski, P.; Mogahed, E.; Moir, R.; Molokov, S.; Morely, N.; Nygren, R.; Reed, C.; Rognlien, T.; Ruzic, D.; Sviatoslavsky, I.; Sze, D.; Tillack, M.; Ulrickson, M.; Wade, P. M.; Wong, C.; Wooley, R.

    1999-09-15

    The Advanced Limiter-divertor Plasma-facing Systems (ALPS) program was initiated in order to evaluate the potential for improved performance and lifetime for plasma-facing systems. The main goal of the program is to demonstrate the advantages of advanced limiter/divertor systems over conventional systems in terms of power density capability, component lifetime, and power conversion efficiency, while providing for safe operation and minimizing impurity concerns for the plasma. Most of the work to date has been applied to free surface liquids. A multi-disciplinary team from several institutions has been organized to address the key issues associated with these systems. The main performance goals for advanced limiters and diverters are a peak heat flux of >50 MW/m{sup 2},elimination of a lifetime limit for erosion, and the ability to extract useful heat at high power conversion efficiency ({approximately}40%). The evaluation of various options is being conducted through a combination of laboratory experiments, modeling of key processes, and conceptual design studies. The current emphasis for the work is on the effects of free surface liquids on plasma edge performance.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-11-01

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

  20. TOPICAL REVIEW: Advances and challenges in computational plasma science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, W. M.; Chan, V. S.

    2005-02-01

    Scientific simulation, which provides a natural bridge between theory and experiment, is an essential tool for understanding complex plasma behaviour. Recent advances in simulations of magnetically confined plasmas are reviewed in this paper, with illustrative examples, chosen from associated research areas such as microturbulence, magnetohydrodynamics and other topics. Progress has been stimulated, in particular, by the exponential growth of computer speed along with significant improvements in computer technology. The advances in both particle and fluid simulations of fine-scale turbulence and large-scale dynamics have produced increasingly good agreement between experimental observations and computational modelling. This was enabled by two key factors: (a) innovative advances in analytic and computational methods for developing reduced descriptions of physics phenomena spanning widely disparate temporal and spatial scales and (b) access to powerful new computational resources. Excellent progress has been made in developing codes for which computer run-time and problem-size scale well with the number of processors on massively parallel processors (MPPs). Examples include the effective usage of the full power of multi-teraflop (multi-trillion floating point computations per second) MPPs to produce three-dimensional, general geometry, nonlinear particle simulations that have accelerated advances in understanding the nature of turbulence self-regulation by zonal flows. These calculations, which typically utilized billions of particles for thousands of time-steps, would not have been possible without access to powerful present generation MPP computers and the associated diagnostic and visualization capabilities. In looking towards the future, the current results from advanced simulations provide great encouragement for being able to include increasingly realistic dynamics to enable deeper physics insights into plasmas in both natural and laboratory environments. This

  1. Fusion Propulsion Z-Pinch Engine Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Advanced Plasma Pyrolysis Assembly (PPA) Reactor and Process Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wheeler, Richard R., Jr.; Hadley, Neal M.; Dahl, Roger W.; Abney, Morgan B.; Greenwood, Zachary; Miller, Lee; Medlen, Amber

    2012-01-01

    Design and development of a second generation Plasma Pyrolysis Assembly (PPA) reactor is currently underway as part of NASA's Atmosphere Revitalization Resource Recovery effort. By recovering up to 75% of the hydrogen currently lost as methane in the Sabatier reactor effluent, the PPA helps to minimize life support resupply costs for extended duration missions. To date, second generation PPA development has demonstrated significant technology advancements over the first generation device by doubling the methane processing rate while, at the same time, more than halving the required power. One development area of particular interest to NASA system engineers is fouling of the PPA reactor with carbonaceous products. As a mitigation plan, NASA MSFC has explored the feasibility of using an oxidative plasma based upon metabolic CO2 to regenerate the reactor window and gas inlet ports. The results and implications of this testing are addressed along with the advanced PPA reactor development.

  8. Millimeter-Wave Imaging Technology Advancements for Plasma Diagnostics Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kong, Xiangyu

    To realize fusion plant, the very first step is to understand the fundamental physics of materials under fusion conditions, i.e. to understand fusion plasmas. Our research group, Plasma Diagnostics Group, focuses on developing advanced tools for physicists to extract as much information as possible from fusion plasmas at millions degrees. The Electron Cyclotron Emission Imaging (ECEI) diagnostics is a very useful tool invented in this group to study fusion plasma electron temperature and it fluctuations. This dissertation presents millimeter wave imaging technology advances recently developed in this group to improve the ECEI system. New technologies made it more powerful to image and visualize magneto-hydrodynamics (MHD) activities and micro-turbulence in fusion plasmas. Topics of particular emphasis start from development of miniaturized elliptical substrate lens array. This novel substrate lens array replaces the previous generation substrate lens, hyper-hemispherical substrate lens, in terms of geometry. From the optical performance perspective, this substitution not only significantly simplifies the optical system with improved optical coupling, but also enhances the RF/LO coupling efficiency. By the benefit of the mini lens focusing properties, a wideband dual-dipole antenna array is carefully designed and developed. The new antenna array is optimized simultaneously for receiving both RF and LO, with sharp radiation patterns, low side-lobe levels, and less crosstalk between adjacent antennas. In addition, a high frequency antenna is also developed, which extends the frequency limit from 145 GHz to 220 GHz. This type of antenna will be used on high field operation tokamaks with toroidal fields in excess of 3 Tesla. Another important technology advance is so-called extended bandwidth double down-conversion electronics. This new electronics extends the instantaneous IF coverage from 2 to 9.2 GHz to 2 to 16.4 GHz. From the plasma point of view, it means that the

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miley, G. H.

    1999-01-01

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

  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. Recent advances in long-pulse high-confinement plasma operations in Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak

    SciTech Connect

    Guo, H. Y.; Li, J.; Wan, B. N. Gong, X. Z.; Xu, G. S.; Zhang, X. D.; Ding, S. Y.; Gan, K. F.; Hu, J. S.; Hu, L. Q.; Liu, S. C.; Qian, J. P.; Sun, Y. W.; Wang, H. Q.; Wang, L.; Xia, T. Y.; Xiao, B. J.; Zeng, L.; Zhao, Y. P.; and others

    2014-05-15

    A long-pulse high confinement plasma regime known as H-mode is achieved in the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) with a record duration over 30 s, sustained by Lower Hybrid wave Current Drive (LHCD) with advanced lithium wall conditioning and divertor pumping. This long-pulse H-mode plasma regime is characterized by the co-existence of a small Magneto-Hydrodynamic (MHD) instability, i.e., Edge Localized Modes (ELMs) and a continuous quasi-coherent MHD mode at the edge. We find that LHCD provides an intrinsic boundary control for ELMs, leading to a dramatic reduction in the transient power load on the vessel wall, compared to the standard Type I ELMs. LHCD also induces edge plasma ergodization, broadening heat deposition footprints, and the heat transport caused by ergodization can be actively controlled by regulating edge plasma conditions, thus providing a new means for stationary heat flux control. In addition, advanced tokamak scenarios have been newly developed for high-performance long-pulse plasma operations in the next EAST experimental campaign.

  13. Recent advances in long-pulse high-confinement plasma operations in Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamaka)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, H. Y.; Li, J.; Wan, B. N.; Gong, X. Z.; Liang, Y. F.; Xu, G. S.; Zhang, X. D.; Ding, S. Y.; Gan, K. F.; Hu, J. S.; Hu, L. Q.; Liu, S. C.; Qian, J. P.; Sun, Y. W.; Wang, H. Q.; Wang, L.; Xia, T. Y.; Xiao, B. J.; Zeng, L.; Zhao, Y. P.; Denner, P.; Ferron, J. R.; Garofalo, A. M.; Holcomb, C. T.; Hyatt, A. W.; Jackson, G. L.; Loarte, A.; Maingi, R.; Menard, J. E.; Rack, M.; Solomon, W. M.; Xu, X. Q.; Van Zeeland, M.; Zou, X. L.

    2014-05-01

    A long-pulse high confinement plasma regime known as H-mode is achieved in the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) with a record duration over 30 s, sustained by Lower Hybrid wave Current Drive (LHCD) with advanced lithium wall conditioning and divertor pumping. This long-pulse H-mode plasma regime is characterized by the co-existence of a small Magneto-Hydrodynamic (MHD) instability, i.e., Edge Localized Modes (ELMs) and a continuous quasi-coherent MHD mode at the edge. We find that LHCD provides an intrinsic boundary control for ELMs, leading to a dramatic reduction in the transient power load on the vessel wall, compared to the standard Type I ELMs. LHCD also induces edge plasma ergodization, broadening heat deposition footprints, and the heat transport caused by ergodization can be actively controlled by regulating edge plasma conditions, thus providing a new means for stationary heat flux control. In addition, advanced tokamak scenarios have been newly developed for high-performance long-pulse plasma operations in the next EAST experimental campaign.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friz, Paul Daniel

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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Mechanisms of Electric Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fisch, Nathaniel J.

    2004-11-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-10-01

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

  3. Laser thermal propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  4. Space propulsion technology overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pelouch, J. J., Jr.

    1979-01-01

    Chemical and electric propulsion technologies for operations beyond the shuttle's orbit with focus on future mission needs and economic effectiveness is discussed. The adequacy of the existing propulsion state-of-the-art, barriers to its utilization, benefit of technology advances, and the prognosis for advancement are the themes of the discussion. Low-thrust propulsion for large space systems is cited as a new technology with particularly high benefit. It is concluded that the shuttle's presence for at least two decades is a legitimate basis for new propulsion technology, but that this technology must be predicted on an awareness of mission requirements, economic factors, influences of other technologies, and real constraints on its utilization.

  5. Space propulsion technology overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pelouch, J. J., Jr.

    1979-01-01

    This paper discusses Shuttle-era, chemical and electric propulsion technologies for operations beyond the Shuttle's orbit with focus on future mission needs and economic effectiveness. The adequacy of the existing propulsion state-of-the-art, barriers to its utilization, benefit of technology advances, and the prognosis for advancement are the themes of the discussion. Low-thrust propulsion for large space systems is cited as a new technology with particularly high benefit. It is concluded that the Shuttle's presence for at least two decades is a legitimate basis for new propulsion technology, but that this technology must be predicated on an awareness of mission requirements, economic factors, influences of other technologies, and real constraints on its utilization.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frisbee, Robert H.

    2003-01-01

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

  7. Plasma shape and position controller design for advance plasma configurations in TCV

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anand, Himank; Coda, Stefano; Felici, Federico; Moret, Jean Marc; Le, Hoang Bao

    2015-11-01

    The performance and stability of tokamak plasma configurations depend strongly on its shape and position. They play a particularly important role in the stability of global magneto-hydrodynamics (MHD) modes and in heat and particle transport. We report on the controller design of a new generalised plasma shape and position controller for advance plasma configurations, using the linearised plasma model RZIP. The controller design is based on an isoflux control scheme and utilises singular value decomposition (SVD), which provides a natural framework for limiting the controlled parameters to the set with the largest singular values, while respecting the combined poloidal field coil current (PF) limits. It also includes the option of weighting the various observers based on the level of importance for a given plasma configuration. The generalised plasma shape and position control algorithm has been successfully tested off-line for limiter and diverted plasma (single null and snowflake configuration) shapes. The testing and commissioning of the controller will commence in the next TCV experimental campaign.

  8. Space station propulsion technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Electric propulsion for communications satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1978-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. New Propulsion Technologies For Exploration of the Solar System and Beyond

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Cook, Stephen (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    In order to implement the ambitious science and exploration missions planned over the next several decades, improvements in in-space transportation and propulsion technologies must be achieved. For robotic exploration and science missions, increased efficiencies of future propulsion systems are critical to reduce overall life-cycle costs. Future missions will require 2 to 3 times more total change in velocity over their mission lives than the NASA Solar Electric Technology Application Readiness (NSTAR) demonstration on the Deep Space 1 mission. Rendezvous and return missions will require similar investments in in-space propulsion systems. New opportunities to explore beyond the outer planets and to the stars will require unparalleled technology advancement and innovation. The Advanced Space Transportation Program (ASTP) is investing in technologies to achieve a factor of 10 reduction in the cost of Earth orbital transportation and a factor of 2 reduction in propulsion system mass and travel time for planetary missions within the next 15 years. Since more than 70% of projected launches over the next 10 years will require propulsion systems capable of attaining destinations beyond Low Earth Orbit, investment in in-space technologies will benefit a large percentage of future missions. The ASTP technology portfolio includes many advanced propulsion systems. From the next generation ion propulsion system operating in the 5 - 10 kW range, to fission-powered multi-kilowatt systems, 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. An overview of the state-of-the-art in propellantless propulsion technologies such as solar and plasma sails, electrodynamic and momentum transfer tethers, and aeroassist and aerocapture

  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. 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.

  15. 1998 JANNAF Propulsion Meeting. Volume 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eggleston, Debra S. (Editor)

    1998-01-01

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

  16. Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) propulsion technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1979-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    A new, world-class laboratory for research into future space transportation technologies is under construction at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, AL. The state-of-the-art Propulsion Research Laboratory will serve as a leading national resource for advanced space propulsion research. Its purpose is to conduct research that will lead to the creation and development of irnovative propulsion technologies for space exploration. The facility will be the epicenter of the effort to move the U.S. space program beyond the confines of conventional chemical propulsion into an era of greatly improved access to space and rapid transit throughout the solar system. The Laboratory is designed to accommodate researchers from across the United States, including scientists and engineers from NASA, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, universities, and industry. The facility, with 66,000 square feet of useable laboratory space, will feature a high degree of experimental capability. Its flexibility will allow it to address a broad range of propulsion technologies and concepts, such as plasma, electromagnetic, thermodynamic, and propellantless propulsion. An important area of emphasis will be development and utilization of advanced energy sources, including highly energetic chemical reactions, solar energy, and processes based on fission, fusion, and antimatter. The Propulsion Research Laboratory is vital for developing the advanced propulsion technologies needed to open up the space frontier, and will set the stage of research that could revolutionize space transportation for a broad range of applications. This photo depicts construction workers taking part in a tree topping ceremony as the the final height of the laboratory is framed. The ceremony is an old German custom of paying homage to the trees that gave their lives in preparation of the building site.

  18. The NASA Electric Propulsion program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Byers, D. C.

    1984-01-01

    It is pointed out that the NASA Electric Propulsion program is aimed at providing technology for auxiliary and primary propulsion functions for earth-orbital and planetary space missions. Efforts in electrostatic propulsion include analyses of ion propulsion for Geosynchronous (GEO) and planetary spacecraft, continued preflight efforts associated with the Ion Auxiliary Propulsion System (IAPS), and research and technology for advanced and simplified ion thruster systems. In the area of electromagnetic propulsion, studies were conducted regarding the feasibility and impacts of the use of electromagnetic launchers. Research on magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters, electromagnetic launchers, and Hall current thrusters was also performed. Studies in the electrothermal sector included an evaluation of electric propulsion options for the Space Station, taking into account also resistojets, a pulsed electrothermal thruster, and arc jets.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Robust Low Cost Liquid Rocket Combustion Chamber by Advanced Vacuum Plasma Process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holmes, Richard; Elam, Sandra; Ellis, David L.; McKechnie, Timothy; Hickman, Robert; Rose, M. Franklin (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Next-generation, regeneratively cooled rocket engines will require materials that can withstand high temperatures while retaining high thermal conductivity. Fabrication techniques must be cost efficient so that engine components can be manufactured within the constraints of shrinking budgets. Three technologies have been combined to produce an advanced liquid rocket engine combustion chamber at NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) using relatively low-cost, vacuum-plasma-spray (VPS) techniques. Copper alloy NARloy-Z was replaced with a new high performance Cu-8Cr-4Nb alloy developed by NASA-Glenn Research Center (GRC), which possesses excellent high-temperature strength, creep resistance, and low cycle fatigue behavior combined with exceptional thermal stability. Functional gradient technology, developed building composite cartridges for space furnaces was incorporated to add oxidation resistant and thermal barrier coatings as an integral part of the hot wall of the liner during the VPS process. NiCrAlY, utilized to produce durable protective coating for the space shuttle high pressure fuel turbopump (BPFTP) turbine blades, was used as the functional gradient material coating (FGM). The FGM not only serves as a protection from oxidation or blanching, the main cause of engine failure, but also serves as a thermal barrier because of its lower thermal conductivity, reducing the temperature of the combustion liner 200 F, from 1000 F to 800 F producing longer life. The objective of this program was to develop and demonstrate the technology to fabricate high-performance, robust, inexpensive combustion chambers for advanced propulsion systems (such as Lockheed-Martin's VentureStar and NASA's Reusable Launch Vehicle, RLV) using the low-cost VPS process. VPS formed combustion chamber test articles have been formed with the FGM hot wall built in and hot fire tested, demonstrating for the first time a coating that will remain intact through the hot firing test, and with

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blandino, John Joseph

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The NASA Electric Propulsion Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Byers, David C.; Wasel, Robert A.

    1987-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Solar electric propulsion thruster interactions with solar arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parks, D. E.; Katz, I.

    1977-01-01

    The effect of interactions of spacecraft-generated and naturally occurring plasmas with high voltage solar array components on an advanced solar electric propulsion system proposed for the Halley's Comet rendezvous mission was investigated. The spacecraft-generated plasma consists of mercury ions and neutralizing electrons resulting from the operation of ion thrusters (the charge-exchange plasma) and associated hollow cathode neutralizers. Quantitative results are given for the parasitic currents and power coupled into solar arrays with voltage fixed as a function of position on the array.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Transonic airframe propulsion integration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coltrin, Robert E.; Sanders, Bobby W.; Bencze, Daniel P.

    1992-01-01

    This chart shows the time line for HSR propulsion/airframe integration program. HSR Phase 1 efforts are underway in both propulsion and aerodynamics. The propulsion efforts focus on cycles, inlets combustors and nozzles that will be required to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOX) at cruise and noise at takeoff and landing to acceptable levels. The aerodynamic efforts concentrate on concepts that will reduce sonic booms and increase the lift/drag (L/D) ratio for the aircraft. The Phase 2 critical propulsion component technology program will focus on large scale demonstrators of the inlet, fan, combustor, and nozzle. The hardware developed here will feed into the propulsion system program which will demonstrate overall system technology readiness, particularly in the takeoff and supersonic cruise speed ranges. The Phase 2 aerodynamic performance and vehicle integration program will provide a validated data base for advanced airframe/control/integration concepts over the full HSR speed range. The results of this program will also feed into the propulsion system demonstration program, particularly in the critical transonic arena.

  14. Ion Beam Propulsion Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    The Ion Beam Propulsion Study was a joint high-level study between the Applied Physics Laboratory operated by NASA and ASRC Aerospace at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, and Berkeley Scientific, Berkeley, California. The results were promising and suggested that work should continue if future funding becomes available. The application of ion thrusters for spacecraft propulsion is limited to quite modest ion sources with similarly modest ion beam parameters because of the mass penalty associated with the ion source and its power supply system. Also, the ion source technology has not been able to provide very high-power ion beams. Small ion beam propulsion systems were used with considerable success. Ion propulsion systems brought into practice use an onboard ion source to form an energetic ion beam, typically Xe+ ions, as the propellant. Such systems were used for steering and correction of telecommunication satellites and as the main thruster for the Deep Space 1 demonstration mission. In recent years, "giant" ion sources were developed for the controlled-fusion research effort worldwide, with beam parameters many orders of magnitude greater than the tiny ones of conventional space thruster application. The advent of such huge ion beam sources and the need for advanced propulsion systems for exploration of the solar system suggest a fresh look at ion beam propulsion, now with the giant fusion sources in mind.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Supersonic laser propulsion.

    PubMed

    Rezunkov, Yurii; Schmidt, Alexander

    2014-11-01

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

  19. 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.

  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.; 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).

  1. Propulsion issues, options and trades

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forsythe, Doug J.

    1986-01-01

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

  2. Robust Low Cost Aerospike/RLV Combustion Chamber by Advanced Vacuum Plasma Process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holmes, Richard; Ellis, David; McKechnie

    1999-01-01

    Next-generation, regeneratively cooled rocket engines will require materials that can withstand high temperatures while retaining high thermal conductivity. At the same time, fabrication techniques must be cost efficient so that engine components can be manufactured within the constraints of a shrinking NASA budget. In recent years, combustion chambers of equivalent size to the Aerospike chamber have been fabricated at NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) using innovative, relatively low-cost, vacuum-plasma-spray (VPS) techniques. Typically, such combustion chambers are made of the copper alloy NARloy-Z. However, current research and development conducted by NASA-Lewis Research Center (LeRC) has identified a Cu-8Cr-4Nb alloy which possesses excellent high-temperature strength, creep resistance, and low cycle fatigue behavior combined with exceptional thermal stability. In fact, researchers at NASA-LeRC have demonstrated that powder metallurgy (P/M) Cu-8Cr-4Nb exhibits better mechanical properties at 1,200 F than NARloy-Z does at 1,000 F. The objective of this program was to develop and demonstrate the technology to fabricate high-performance, robust, inexpensive combustion chambers for advanced propulsion systems (such as Lockheed-Martin's VentureStar and NASA's Reusable Launch Vehicle, RLV) using the low-cost, VPS process to deposit Cu-8Cr-4Nb with mechanical properties that match or exceed those of P/M Cu-8Cr-4Nb. In addition, oxidation resistant and thermal barrier coatings can be incorporated as an integral part of the hot wall of the liner during the VPS process. Tensile properties of Cu-8Cr-4Nb material produced by VPS are reviewed and compared to material produced previously by extrusion. VPS formed combustion chamber liners have also been prepared and will be reported on following scheduled hot firing tests at NASA-Lewis.

  3. Vacuum Plasma Spray of CuCrNb Alloy for Advanced Liquid - Fuel Combustion Chambers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zimmerman, Frank

    2000-01-01

    The copper-8 atomic percent chromium-4 atomic percent niobium (CuCrNb) alloy was developed by Glenn Research Center (formally Lewis Research Center) as an improved alloy for combustion chamber liners. In comparison to NARloy-Z, the baseline (as in Space Shuttle Main Engine) alloy for such liners, CuCrNb demonstrates mechanical and thermophysical properties equivalent to NARloy-Z, but at temperatures 100 C to 150 C (180 F to 270 F) higher. Anticipated materials related benefits include decreasing the thrust cell liner weight 5% to 20%, increasing the service life at least two fold over current combustion chamber design, and increasing the safety margins available to designers. By adding an oxidation and thermal barrier coating to the liner, the combustion chamber can operate at even higher temperatures. For all these benefits, however, this alloy cannot be formed using conventional casting and forging methods because of the levels of chromium and niobium, which exceed their solubility limit in copper. Until recently, the only forming process that maintains the required microstructure of CrNb intermetallics is powder metallurgy formation of a billet from powder stock, followed by extrusion. This severely limits its usefulness in structural applications, particularly the complex shapes required for combustion chamber liners. Vacuum plasma spray (VPS) has been demonstrated as a method to form structural articles including small combustion chambers from the CuCrNb alloy. In addition, an oxidation and thermal barrier layer can be formed integrally on the hot wall of the liner that improve performance and extend service life. This paper discusses the metallurgy and thermomechanical properties of VPS formed CuCrNb versus the baseline powder metallurgy process, and the manufacturing of small combustion chamber liners at Marshall Space Flight Center using the VPS process. The benefits to advanced propulsion initiatives of using VPS to fabricate combustion chamber liners

  4. 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.

  5. Free radical propulsion concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hawkins, C. E.; Nakanishi, S.

    1981-01-01

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

  6. 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).

  7. Propellantless Propulsion Technologies for In-Space Transportation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Cook, Stephen (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    In order to implement the ambitious science and exploration missions planned over the next several decades, improvements in in-space transportation and propulsion technologies must be achieved. For robotic exploration and science missions, increased efficiencies of future propulsion systems are critical to reduce overall life-cycle costs. Future missions will require 2 to 3 times more total change in velocity over their mission lives than the NASA Solar Electric Technology Application Readiness (NSTAR) demonstration on the Deep Space 1 mission. Rendezvous and return missions will require similar investments in in-space propulsion systems. New opportunities to explore beyond the outer planets and to the stars will require unparalleled technology advancement and innovation. The Advanced Space Transportation Program (ASTP) is investing in technologies to achieve a factor of 10 reduction in the cost of Earth orbital transportation and a factor of 2 or 3 reduction in propulsion system mass and travel time for planetary missions within the next 15 years. Since more than 70% of projected launches over the next 10 years will require propulsion systems capable of attaining destinations beyond Low Earth Orbit, investment in in-space technologies will benefit a large percentage of future missions. 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. An overview of the state-of-the-art in propellantless propulsion technologies such as solar and plasma sails, electrodynamic and momentum transfer tethers, and aeroassist and aerocapture will be described. Results of recent earth-based technology demonstrations and space tests will also be discussed.

  8. Z-Pinch fusion-based nuclear propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-02-01

    Fusion-based nuclear propulsion has the potential to enable fast interplanetary transportation. Due to the great distances between the planets of our solar system and the harmful radiation environment of interplanetary space, high specific impulse (Isp) propulsion in vehicles with high payload mass fractions must be developed to provide practical and safe vehicles for human space flight missions. The Z-Pinch dense plasma focus method is a Magneto-Inertial Fusion (MIF) approach that may potentially lead to a small, low cost fusion reactor/engine assembly [1]. Recent advancements in experimental and theoretical understanding of this concept suggest favorable scaling of fusion power output yield [2]. The magnetic field resulting from the large current compresses the plasma to fusion conditions, and this process can be pulsed over short timescales (10-6 s). This type of plasma formation is widely used in the field of Nuclear Weapons Effects testing in the defense industry, as well as in fusion energy research. A Z-Pinch propulsion concept was designed for a vehicle based on a previous fusion vehicle study called "Human Outer Planet Exploration" (HOPE), which used Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) [3] propulsion. The reference mission is the transport of crew and cargo to Mars and back, with a reusable vehicle. The analysis of the Z-Pinch MIF propulsion system concludes that a 40-fold increase of Isp over chemical propulsion is predicted. An Isp of 19,436 s and thrust of 3812 N s/pulse, along with nearly doubling the predicted payload mass fraction, warrants further development of enabling technologies.

  9. 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.

  10. Space station propulsion technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briley, G. L.

    1986-01-01

    The progress on the Space Station Propulsion Technology Program is described. The objectives are to provide a demonstration of hydrogen/oxygen propulsion technology readiness for the Initial Operating Capability (IOC) space station application, specifically gaseous hydrogen/oxygen and warm hydrogen thruster concepts, and to establish a means for evolving from the IOC space station propulsion to that required to support and interface with advanced station functions. The evaluation of concepts was completed. The accumulator module of the test bed was completed and, with the microprocessor controller, delivered to NASA-MSFC. An oxygen/hydrogen thruster was modified for use with the test bed and successfully tested at mixture ratios from 4:1 to 8:1.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Studies of Jet Outflow from Advanced Beam-Driven FRC Plasma on C-2U

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sheftman, Daniel; Gupta, Deepak; Giammanco, Francesco; Conti, Fabio; Marsili, Paolo

    2015-11-01

    Experiments demonstrating sustainment of field-reversed configuration (FRC) plasma via neutral beam injection have been carried out on C-2U. Knowledge and control of the axial outflow of plasma particles and energy through open-magnetic-field lines are of crucial importance to the stability and longevity of the advanced beam-driven FRC plasma. Passive Doppler spectroscopy and microwave interferometry measurements provide an initial view of the behavior of the open-field-line plasmas on the C-2U device. These measurements and estimations of plasma density, flow velocity, excluded-magnetic flux, and ion temperature of the jet outflow plasmas are discussed. In addition, possible contributions from fast-ion losses from the advanced beam-driven FRC plasma to the jet will be explored and presented.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Focused technology: Nuclear propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Thomas J.

    1993-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  19. Influence of Dupree diffusivity on the occurrence scattering time advance in turbulent plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Myoung-Jae; Jung, Young-Dae

    2015-12-15

    The influence of Dupree diffusivity on the occurrence scattering time advance for the electron-ion collision is investigated in turbulent plasmas. The second-order eikonal method and the effective Dupree potential term associated with the plasma turbulence are employed to obtain the occurrence scattering time as a function of the diffusion coefficient, impact parameter, collision energy, thermal energy, and Debye length. The result shows that the occurrence scattering time advance decreases with an increase of the Dupree diffusivity. Hence, we have found that the influence of plasma turbulence diminishes the occurrence time advance in forward electron-ion collisions in thermal turbulent plasmas. The occurrence time advance shows that the propensity of the occurrence time advance increases with increasing scattering angle. It is also found that the effect of turbulence due to the Dupree diffusivity on the occurrence scattering time advance decreases with an increase of the thermal energy. In addition, the variation of the plasma turbulence on the occurrence scattering time advance due to the plasma parameters is also discussed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Z-Pinch Fusion Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miernik, Janie

    2011-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Advances and problems in plasma-optical mass-separation

    SciTech Connect

    Bardakov, V. M.; Ivanov, S. D.; Strokin, N. A.

    2014-03-15

    This paper presents a short review of plasma-optical mass-separation and defines the fields for its possible application. During theoretical studies, numerical simulations, and experiments, the effect of the azimuthator finite size and of the vacuum conditions on the mass separator characteristics was revealed, as well as the quality of different-mass ion separation. The problems, solving which may lead to a successful end of the mass-separation plasma-optical technique implementation, were specified.

  7. Space dusty plasmas: recent developments, advances, and unsolved problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popel, Sergey; Zelenyi, Lev

    2016-07-01

    The area of space dusty plasma research is a vibrant subfield of plasma physics that belongs to frontier research in physical sciences. This area is intrinsically interdisciplinary and encompasses astrophysics, planetary science, and atmospheric science. Dusty plasmas are ubiquitous in the universe; examples are proto-planetary and solar nebulae, molecular clouds, supernovae explosions, interplanetary medium, circumsolar rings, and asteroids. Within the solar system, we have planetary rings (e.g., Saturn and Jupiter), Martian atmosphere, cometary tails and comae, dust at the Moon, etc. Dust and dusty plasmas are also found in the vicinity of artificial satellites and space stations. The present review covers the main aspects of the area of space dusty plasma research. Emphasis is given to the description of dusty plasmas at the Moon which is important from the viewpoint of the future lunar missions and lunar observatory. This work was supported in part by the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences (under Fundamental Research Program No. 7, "Experimental and Theoretical Study of the Solar System Objects and Stellar Planet Systems. Transient Explosion Processes in Astrophysics" and the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (Project No. 15-02-05627-a).

  8. Electron Beam Transport in Advanced Plasma Wave Accelerators

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, Ronald L

    2013-01-31

    The primary goal of this grant was to develop a diagnostic for relativistic plasma wave accelerators based on injecting a low energy electron beam (5-50keV) perpendicular to the plasma wave and observing the distortion of the electron beam's cross section due to the plasma wave's electrostatic fields. The amount of distortion would be proportional to the plasma wave amplitude, and is the basis for the diagnostic. The beat-wave scheme for producing plasma waves, using two CO2 laser beam, was modeled using a leap-frog integration scheme to solve the equations of motion. Single electron trajectories and corresponding phase space diagrams were generated in order to study and understand the details of the interaction dynamics. The electron beam was simulated by combining thousands of single electrons, whose initial positions and momenta were selected by random number generators. The model was extended by including the interactions of the electrons with the CO2 laser fields of the beat wave, superimposed with the plasma wave fields. The results of the model were used to guide the design and construction of a small laboratory experiment that may be used to test the diagnostic idea.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  10. ADVANCED TOKAMAK OPERATION USING THE DIII-D PLASMA CONTROL SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect

    HUMPHREYS,DA; FERRON,JR; GAROFALO,AM; HYATT,AW; JERNIGAN,TC; JOHNSON,RD; LAHAYE,RJ; LEUER,JA; OKABAYASHI,M; PENAFLOR,BG; SCOVILLE,JT; STRAIT,EJ; WALKER,ML; WHYTE,DG

    2002-10-01

    A271 ADVANCED TOKAMAK OPERATION USING THE DIII-D PLASMA CONTROL SYSTEM. The principal focus of experimental operations in the DIII-D tokamak is the advanced tokamak (AT) regime to achieve, which requires highly integrated and flexible plasma control. In a high performance advanced tokamak, accurate regulation of the plasma boundary, internal profiles, pumping, fueling, and heating must be well coordinated with MHD control action to stabilize such instabilities as tearing modes and resistive wall modes. Sophisticated monitors of the operational regime must provide detection of off-normal conditions and trigger appropriate safety responses with acceptable levels of reliability. Many of these capabilities are presently implemented in the DIII-D plasma control system (PCS), and are now in frequent or routine operational use. The present work describes recent development, implementation, and operational experience with AT regime control elements for equilibrium control, MHD suppression, and off-normal event detection and response.

  11. Dusty (complex) plasmas: recent developments, advances, and unsolved problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popel, Sergey

    The area of dusty (complex) plasma research is a vibrant subfield of plasma physics that be-longs to frontier research in physical sciences. This area is intrinsically interdisciplinary and encompasses astrophysics, planetary science, atmospheric science, magnetic fusion energy sci-ence, and various applied technologies. The research in dusty plasma started after two major discoveries in very different areas: (1) the discovery by the Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1980 of the radial spokes in Saturn's B ring, and (2) the discovery of the early 80's growth of contaminating dust particles in plasma processing. Dusty plasmas are ubiquitous in the universe; examples are proto-planetary and solar nebulae, molecular clouds, supernovae explosions, interplanetary medium, circumsolar rings, and asteroids. Within the solar system, we have planetary rings (e.g., Saturn and Jupiter), Martian atmosphere, cometary tails and comae, dust clouds on the Moon, etc. Close to the Earth, there are noctilucent clouds and polar mesospheric summer echoes, which are clouds of tiny (charged) ice particles that are formed in the summer polar mesosphere at the altitudes of about 82-95 km. Dust and dusty plasmas are also found in the vicinity of artificial satellites and space stations. Dust also turns out to be common in labo-ratory plasmas, such as in the processing of semiconductors and in tokamaks. In processing plasmas, dust particles are actually grown in the discharge from the reactive gases used to form the plasmas. An example of the relevance of industrial dusty plasmas is the growth of silicon microcrystals for improved solar cells in the future. In fact, nanostructured polymorphous sili-con films provide solar cells with high and time stable efficiency. These nano-materials can also be used for the fabrication of ultra-large-scale integration circuits, display devices, single elec-tron devices, light emitting diodes, laser diodes, and others. In microelectronic industries, dust has to be

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Improvement of Flow Characteristics for an Advanced Plasma Thruster

    SciTech Connect

    Inutake, M.; Hosokawa, Y.; Sato, R.; Ando, A.; Tobari, H.; Hattori, K

    2005-01-15

    A higher specific impulse and a larger thrust are required for a manned interplanetary space thruster. Until the realization of a fusion-plasma thruster, a magneto-plasma-dynamic arcjet (MPDA) powered by a fission reactor is one of the promising candidates for a manned Mars space thruster. The MPDA plasma is accelerated axially by a self-induced j x B force. Thrust performance of the MPDA is expected to increase by applying a magnetic nozzle instead of a solid nozzle. In order to get a much higher thruster performance, two methods have been investigated in the HITOP device, Tohoku University. One is to use a magnetic Laval nozzle in the vicinity of the MPDA muzzle for converting the high ion thermal energy to the axial flow energy. The other is to heat ions by use of an ICRF antenna in the divergent magnetic nozzle. It is found that by use of a small-sized Laval-type magnetic nozzle, the subsonic flow near the muzzle is converted to be supersonic through the magnetic Laval nozzle. A fast-flowing plasma is successfully heated by use of an ICRF antenna in the magnetic beach configuration.

  18. Advanced properties of extended plasmas for efficient high-order harmonic generation

    SciTech Connect

    Ganeev, R. A.; Suzuki, M.; Kuroda, H.

    2014-05-15

    We demonstrate the advanced properties of extended plasma plumes (5 mm) for efficient harmonic generation of laser radiation compared with the short lengths of plasmas (∼0.3–0.5 mm) used in previous studies. The harmonic conversion efficiency quadratically increased with the growth of plasma length. The studies of this process along the whole extreme ultraviolet range using the long plasma jets produced on various metal surfaces, particularly including the resonance-enhanced laser frequency conversion and two-color pump, are presented. Such plasmas could be used for the quasi-phase matching experiments by proper modulation of the spatial characteristics of extended ablating area and formation of separated plasma jets.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Litchford, Ron J.

    2004-01-01

    Future propulsion and power technologies for deep space missions are profiled in this viewgraph presentation. The presentation includes diagrams illustrating possible future travel times to other planets in the solar system. The propulsion technologies researched at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) include: 1) Chemical Propulsion; 2) Nuclear Propulsion; 3) Electric and Plasma Propulsion; 4) Energetics. The presentation contains additional information about these technologies, as well as space reactors, reactor simulation, and the Propulsion Research Laboratory (PRL) at MSFC.

  20. 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.

  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. An Overview of Electric Propulsion Activities at NASA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dunning, John W., Jr.; Hamley, John A.; Jankovsky, Robert S.; Oleson, Steven R.

    2004-01-01

    This paper provides an overview of NASA s activities in the area of electric propulsion with an emphasis on project directions, recent progress, and a view of future project directions. The goals of the electric propulsion programs are to develop key technologies to enable new and ambitious science missions and to transfer these technologies to industry. Activities include the development of gridded ion thruster technology, Hall thruster technology, pulsed plasma thruster technology, and very high power electric propulsion technology, as well as systems technology that supports practical implementation of these advanced concepts. The performance of clusters of ion and Hall thrusters is being revisited. Mission analyses, based on science requirements and preliminary mission specifications, guide the technology projects and introduce mission planners to new capabilities. Significant in-house activity, with strong industrial/academia participation via contracts and grants, is maintained to address these development efforts. NASA has initiated a program covering nuclear powered spacecraft that includes both reactor and radioisotope power sources. This has provided an impetus to investigate higher power and higher specific impulse thruster systems. NASA continues to work closely with both supplier and user communities to maximize the understanding and acceptance of new technology in a timely and cost-effective manner. NASA s electric propulsion efforts are closely coordinated with Department of Defense and other national programs to assure the most effective use of available resources. Several NASA Centers are actively involved in these electric propulsion activities, including, the Glenn Research Center, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Johnson Space Center, and Marshall Space Flight Center.

  3. Advanced modeling techniques in application to plasma pulse treatment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pashchenko, A. F.; Pashchenko, F. F.

    2016-06-01

    Different approaches considered for simulation of plasma pulse treatment process. The assumption of a significant non-linearity of processes in the treatment of oil wells has been confirmed. Method of functional transformations and fuzzy logic methods suggested for construction of a mathematical model. It is shown, that models, based on fuzzy logic are able to provide a satisfactory accuracy of simulation and prediction of non-linear processes observed.

  4. A long-pulse high-confinement plasma regime in the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, J.; Guo, H. Y.; Wan, B. N.; Gong, X. Z.; Liang, Y. F.; Xu, G. S.; Gan, K. F.; Hu, J. S.; Wang, H. Q.; Wang, L.; Zeng, L.; Zhao, Y. P.; Denner, P.; Jackson, G. L.; Loarte, A.; Maingi, R.; Menard, J. E.; Rack, M.; Zou, X. L.

    2013-12-01

    High-performance and long-pulse operation is a crucial goal of current magnetic fusion research. Here, we demonstrate a high-confinement plasma regime known as an H-mode with a record pulse length of over 30s in the Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak sustained by lower hybrid wave current drive (LHCD) with advanced lithium wall conditioning. We find that LHCD provides a flexible boundary control for a ubiquitous edge instability in H-mode plasmas known as an edge-localized mode, which leads to a marked reduction in the heat load on the vessel wall compared with standard edge-localized modes. LHCD also induces edge plasma ergodization that broadens the heat deposition footprint. The heat transport caused by this ergodization can be actively controlled by regulating the edge plasma conditions. This potentially offers a new means for heat-flux control, which is a key issue for next-step fusion development.

  5. 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.

  6. Advanced Microstructural Study of Suspension Plasma Sprayed Hydroxyapatite Coatings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podlesak, Harry; Pawlowski, Lech; D'Haese, Romain; Laureyns, Jacky; Lampke, Thomas; Bellayer, Severine

    2010-03-01

    Fine, home-synthesized, hydroxyapatite powder was formulated with water and alcohol to obtain a suspension used to plasma spray coatings onto a titanium substrate. The deposition process was optimized using statistical design of 2 n experiments with two variables: spray distance and electric power input to plasma. X-ray diffraction (XRD) was used to determine quantitatively the phase composition of obtained deposits. Raman microscopy and electron probe microanalysis (EPMA) enabled localization of the phases in different positions of the coating cross sections. Transmission electron microscopic (TEM) study associated with energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) enabled visualization and analysis of a two-zone microstructure. One zone contained crystals of hydroxyapatite, tetracalcium phosphate, and a phase rich in calcium oxide. This zone included lamellas, usually observed in thermally sprayed coatings. The other zone contained fine hydroxyapatite grains that correspond to nanometric and submicrometric solids from the suspension that were agglomerated and sintered in the cold regions of plasma jet and on the substrate.

  7. Free radical propulsion concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hawkins, C. E.; Nakanishi, S.

    1981-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Integrated Propulsion Data System Public Web Site

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamilton, Kimberly

    2001-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  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. Laser propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1972-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Conceptual Design of a Z-Pinch Fusion Propulsion System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adams, Robert; Polsgrove, Tara; Fincher, Sharon; Fabinski, Leo; Maples, Charlotte; Miernik, Janie; Stratham, Geoffrey; Cassibry, Jason; Cortez, Ross; Turner, Matthew; Santarius, John; Percy, Thomas

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews a project that aims to develop a conceptual design for a Z-pinch thruster, that could be applied to develop advanced thruster designs which promise high thrust/high specific impulse propulsion. Overviews shows the concept of the design, which use annular nozzles with deuterium-tritium (D-T) fuel and a Lithium mixture as a cathode, Charts show the engine performance as a function of linear mass, nozzle performance (i.e., plasma segment trajectories), and mission analysis for possible Mars and Jupiter missions using this concept for propulsion. Slides show views of the concepts for the vehicle configuration, thrust coil configuration, the power management system, the structural analysis of the magnetic nozzle, the thermal management system, and the avionics suite,

  16. FIRE, A Test Bed for ARIES-RS/AT Advanced Physics and Plasma Technology

    SciTech Connect

    Dale M. Meade

    2004-10-21

    The overall vision for FIRE [Fusion Ignition Research Experiment] is to develop and test the fusion plasma physics and plasma technologies needed to realize capabilities of the ARIES-RS/AT power plant designs. The mission of FIRE is to attain, explore, understand and optimize a fusion dominated plasma which would be satisfied by producing D-T [deuterium-tritium] fusion plasmas with nominal fusion gains {approx}10, self-driven currents of {approx}80%, fusion power {approx}150-300 MW, and pulse lengths up to 40 s. Achieving these goals will require the deployment of several key fusion technologies under conditions approaching those of ARIES-RS/AT. The FIRE plasma configuration with strong plasma shaping, a double null pumped divertor and all metal plasma-facing components is a 40% scale model of the ARIES-RS/AT plasma configuration. ''Steady-state'' advanced tokamak modes in FIRE with high beta, high bootstrap fraction, and 100% noninductive current drive are suitable for testing the physics of the ARIES-RS/A T operating modes. The development of techniques to handle power plant relevant exhaust power while maintaining low tritium inventory is a major objective for a burning plasma experiment. The FIRE high-confinement modes and AT-modes result in fusion power densities from 3-10 MWm{sup -3} and neutron wall loading from 2-4 MWm{sup -2} which are at the levels expected from the ARIES-RS/AT design studies.

  17. Advancements toward matter-antimatter pair plasmas in the laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stenson, E. V.; Hergenhahn, U.; Niemann, H.; Paschkowski, N.; Sunn Pedersen, T.; Saitoh, H.; Stanja, J.; Stoneking, M. R.; Hugenschmidt, C.; Piochacz, C.; Vohburger, S.; Schweikhard, L.; Danielson, J. R.; Surko, C. M.

    2015-11-01

    APEX/PAX (A Positron Electron Experiment/Positron Accumulation Experiment) has as its overarching goal the creation and magnetic confinement of a laboratory electron-positron pair plasma, thereby enabling experimental investigations of a topic that has already been the subject of hundreds of analytical and computational studies. This goal involves several interdependent challenges: design and construction of a suitable magnetic confinement device, access to a sufficient number of sufficiently cool positrons, and refinement of methods for the transfer of the positrons (and an equal number of electrons) into the device. The latest results of the subprojects addressing these challenges will be summarized here. Highlights include efficient (40 percent) injection of the NEPOMUC (Neutron-Inducted Positron Source Munich) positron beam into the confinement region of a dipole magnetic field, characterization of the beam at energies from 5 eV to 1 keV, and hour-long electron plasma confinement in a high-field (2.3 Telsa) Penning-Malmberg trap. on behalf of the APEX/PAX team and collaborators.

  18. Gasdynamic Mirror Fusion Propulsion Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emrich, Bill

    2000-10-01

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

  19. Gasdynamic Mirror Fusion Propulsion Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  20. Propulsion Systems Panel deliberations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bianca, Carmelo J.; Miner, Robert; Johnston, Lawrence M.; Bruce, R.; Dennies, Daniel P.; Dickenson, W.; Dreshfield, Robert; Karakulko, Walt; Mcgaw, Mike; Munafo, Paul M.

    1993-01-01

    The Propulsion Systems Panel was established because of the specialized nature of many of the materials and structures technology issues related to propulsion systems. This panel was co-chaired by Carmelo Bianca, MSFC, and Bob Miner, LeRC. Because of the diverse range of missions anticipated for the Space Transportation program, three distinct propulsion system types were identified in the workshop planning process: liquid propulsion systems, solid propulsion systems and nuclear electric/nuclear thermal propulsion systems.