Science.gov

Sample records for aeropropulsion space propulsion

  1. Comprehensive report of aeropropulsion, space propulsion, space power, and space science applications of the Lewis Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    The research activities of the Lewis Research Center for 1988 are summarized. The projects included are within basic and applied technical disciplines essential to aeropropulsion, space propulsion, space power, and space science/applications. These disciplines are materials science and technology, structural mechanics, life prediction, internal computational fluid mechanics, heat transfer, instruments and controls, and space electronics.

  2. Aeropropulsion 1987. Session 5: Subsonic Propulsion Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    NASA is conducting aeropropulsion research over a broad range of Mach numbers. In addition to the high-speed propulsion research described, major progress was recorded in research aimed at the subsonic flight regimes of interest to many commercial and military users. Recent progress and future directions in such areas as small engine technology, rotorcraft transmissions, icing, Hot Section Technology (HOST) and the Advanced Turboprop Program (ATP) are covered.

  3. Modular Aero-Propulsion System Simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parker, Khary I.; Guo, Ten-Huei

    2006-01-01

    The Modular Aero-Propulsion System Simulation (MAPSS) is a graphical simulation environment designed for the development of advanced control algorithms and rapid testing of these algorithms on a generic computational model of a turbofan engine and its control system. MAPSS is a nonlinear, non-real-time simulation comprising a Component Level Model (CLM) module and a Controller-and-Actuator Dynamics (CAD) module. The CLM module simulates the dynamics of engine components at a sampling rate of 2,500 Hz. The controller submodule of the CAD module simulates a digital controller, which has a typical update rate of 50 Hz. The sampling rate for the actuators in the CAD module is the same as that of the CLM. MAPSS provides a graphical user interface that affords easy access to engine-operation, engine-health, and control parameters; is used to enter such input model parameters as power lever angle (PLA), Mach number, and altitude; and can be used to change controller and engine parameters. Output variables are selectable by the user. Output data as well as any changes to constants and other parameters can be saved and reloaded into the GUI later.

  4. Aerosciences, Aero-Propulsion and Flight Mechanics Technology Development for NASA's Next Generation Launch Technology Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cockrell, Charles E., Jr.

    2003-01-01

    The Next Generation Launch Technology (NGLT) program, Vehicle Systems Research and Technology (VSR&T) project is pursuing technology advancements in aerothermodynamics, aeropropulsion and flight mechanics to enable development of future reusable launch vehicle (RLV) systems. The current design trade space includes rocket-propelled, hypersonic airbreathing and hybrid systems in two-stage and single-stage configurations. Aerothermodynamics technologies include experimental and computational databases to evaluate stage separation of two-stage vehicles as well as computational and trajectory simulation tools for this problem. Additionally, advancements in high-fidelity computational tools and measurement techniques are being pursued along with the study of flow physics phenomena, such as boundary-layer transition. Aero-propulsion technology development includes scramjet flowpath development and integration, with a current emphasis on hypervelocity (Mach 10 and above) operation, as well as the study of aero-propulsive interactions and the impact on overall vehicle performance. Flight mechanics technology development is focused on advanced guidance, navigation and control (GN&C) algorithms and adaptive flight control systems for both rocket-propelled and airbreathing vehicles.

  5. Revolutionary Aeropropulsion Concept for Sustainable Aviation: Turboelectric Distributed Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Hyun Dae; Felder, James L.; Tong, Michael. T.; Armstrong, Michael

    2013-01-01

    In response to growing aviation demands and concerns about the environment and energy usage, a team at NASA proposed and examined a revolutionary aeropropulsion concept, a turboelectric distributed propulsion system, which employs multiple electric motor-driven propulsors that are distributed on a large transport vehicle. The power to drive these electric propulsors is generated by separately located gas-turbine-driven electric generators on the airframe. This arrangement enables the use of many small-distributed propulsors, allowing a very high effective bypass ratio, while retaining the superior efficiency of large core engines, which are physically separated but connected to the propulsors through electric power lines. Because of the physical separation of propulsors from power generating devices, a new class of vehicles with unprecedented performance employing such revolutionary propulsion system is possible in vehicle design. One such vehicle currently being investigated by NASA is called the "N3-X" that uses a hybrid-wing-body for an airframe and superconducting generators, motors, and transmission lines for its propulsion system. On the N3-X these new degrees of design freedom are used (1) to place two large turboshaft engines driving generators in freestream conditions to minimize total pressure losses and (2) to embed a broad continuous array of 14 motor-driven fans on the upper surface of the aircraft near the trailing edge of the hybrid-wing-body airframe to maximize propulsive efficiency by ingesting thick airframe boundary layer flow. Through a system analysis in engine cycle and weight estimation, it was determined that the N3-X would be able to achieve a reduction of 70% or 72% (depending on the cooling system) in energy usage relative to the reference aircraft, a Boeing 777-200LR. Since the high-power electric system is used in its propulsion system, a study of the electric power distribution system was performed to identify critical dynamic and

  6. Commercial Modular Aero-Propulsion System Simulation 40k

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guo, Ten-Huei; Lavelle, Thomas; Litt, Jonathan; Csank, Jeffrey; May, Ryan

    2011-01-01

    The Commercial Modular Aero-Propulsion System Simulation 40k (CMAPSS40k) software package is a nonlinear dynamic simulation of a 40,000-pound (approximately equals 178-kN) thrust class commercial turbofan engine, written in the MATLAB/Simulink environment. The model has been tuned to capture the behavior of flight test data, and is capable of running at any point in the flight envelope [up to 40,000 ft (approximately equals 12,200 m) and Mach 0.8]. In addition to the open-loop engine, the simulation includes a controller whose architecture is representative of that found in industry. C-MAPSS40k fills the need for an easy-to-use, realistic, transient simulation of a medium-size commercial turbofan engine with a representative controller. It is a detailed component level model (CLM) written in the industry-standard graphical MATLAB/Simulink environment to allow for easy modification and portability. At the time of this reporting, no other such model exists in the public domain.

  7. User's Guide for the Commercial Modular Aero-Propulsion System Simulation (C-MAPSS): Version 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liu, Yuan; Frederick, Dean K.; DeCastro, Jonathan A.; Litt, Jonathan S.; Chan, William W.

    2012-01-01

    This report is a Users Guide for version 2 of the NASA-developed Commercial Modular Aero-Propulsion System Simulation (C-MAPSS) software, which is a transient simulation of a large commercial turbofan engine (up to 90,000-lb thrust) with a realistic engine control system. The software supports easy access to health, control, and engine parameters through a graphical user interface (GUI). C-MAPSS v.2 has some enhancements over the original, including three actuators rather than one, the addition of actuator and sensor dynamics, and an improved controller, while retaining or improving on the convenience and user-friendliness of the original. C-MAPSS v.2 provides the user with a graphical turbofan engine simulation environment in which advanced algorithms can be implemented and tested. C-MAPSS can run user-specified transient simulations, and it can generate state-space linear models of the nonlinear engine model at an operating point. The code has a number of GUI screens that allow point-and-click operation, and have editable fields for user-specified input. The software includes an atmospheric model which allows simulation of engine operation at altitudes from sea level to 40,000 ft, Mach numbers from 0 to 0.90, and ambient temperatures from -60 to 103 F. The package also includes a power-management system that allows the engine to be operated over a wide range of thrust levels throughout the full range of flight conditions.

  8. Aeropropulsion 1987

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    Papers from the Aeropropulsion '87 Conference, held at the NASA Lewis Research Center (LeRC), are presented. Unclassified presentations by LeRC and NASA Headquarters senior management and many LeRC technical authors covered the philosophy and major directions of the LeRC aeropropulsion program, and presented a broad spectrum of recent research results in materials, structures, internal fluid mechanics, instrumentation and controls, and both subsonic and high-speed propulsion technology.

  9. Aeropropulsion 1987. Session 6: High-Speed Propulsion Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    NASA is conducting aeronautical research over a broad range of Mach numbers. In addition to the advanced CTOL propulsion research described in a separate session, the Lewis Research Center has intensified its efforts towards propulsion technology for selected high-speed flight applications. In a companion program, the Langley Research Center has also accomplished excellent research in Supersonic Combustion Ramjet (SCRAM) propulsion. What is presented in this session is an unclassified review of some of the propulsion research results that are applicable for supersonic to hypersonic vehicles. Not only is a review provided for several key work areas, it also presents a viewpoint on future research directions by calling attention to cycles, components, and facilities involved in this rapidly expanding field of work.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. Space propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kazaroff, John M.

    1993-01-01

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

  12. Space propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazaroff, John M.

    1993-02-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Space Transportation Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  16. 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).

  17. Laser space propulsion overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phipps, Claude; Luke, James; Helgeson, Wesley

    2007-03-01

    In this paper, we review the history of laser space propulsion from its earliest theoretical conceptions to modern practical applicatons. Applications begin with the "Lightcraft" flights of Myrabo and include practical thrusters for satellites now completing development as well as proposals for space debris removal and direct launch of payloads into orbit. We consider laser space propulsion in the most general sense, in which laser radiation is used to propel a vehicle in space. In this sense, the topic includes early proposals for pure photon propulsion, laser ablation propulsion, as well as propulsion using lasers to detonate a gas, expel a liquid, heat and expel a gas, or even to propagate power to a remote conventional electric thruster. We also discuss the most recent advances in LSP. For the first time, it is possible to consider space propulsion engines which exhibit thrust of one to several newtons while simultaneously delivering 3,000 seconds, or greater, specific impulse. No other engine concept can do both in a compact format. These willl use onboard, rather than remote, lasers. We will review the concept of chemically augmented electric propulsion, which can provide overall thrust efficiency greater than unity while maintaining very low mass to power ratio, high mean time to failure and broad operating range. The main advantage of LSP is exhaust velocity which can be instantaneously varied from 2km/s to 30km/s, simply by varying laser pulsewidth and focal spot size on target. The laser element will probably be a diode-pumped, fiber master-oscillator-power-amplifier (MOPA) system. Liquid fuels are necessary for volumetric efficiency and reliable performance at the multi-kW optical power levels required for multi-N thrust.

  18. Common Analysis Tool Being Developed for Aeropropulsion: The National Cycle Program Within the Numerical Propulsion System Simulation Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Follen, Gregory J.; Naiman, Cynthia G.

    1999-01-01

    The NASA Lewis Research Center is developing an environment for analyzing and designing aircraft engines-the Numerical Propulsion System Simulation (NPSS). NPSS will integrate multiple disciplines, such as aerodynamics, structure, and heat transfer, and will make use of numerical "zooming" on component codes. Zooming is the coupling of analyses at various levels of detail. NPSS uses the latest computing and communication technologies to capture complex physical processes in a timely, cost-effective manner. The vision of NPSS is to create a "numerical test cell" enabling full engine simulations overnight on cost-effective computing platforms. Through the NASA/Industry Cooperative Effort agreement, NASA Lewis and industry partners are developing a new engine simulation called the National Cycle Program (NCP). NCP, which is the first step toward NPSS and is its initial framework, supports the aerothermodynamic system simulation process for the full life cycle of an engine. U.S. aircraft and airframe companies recognize NCP as the future industry standard common analysis tool for aeropropulsion system modeling. The estimated potential payoff for NCP is a $50 million/yr savings to industry through improved engineering productivity.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-06-01

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

  20. NASA aeropropulsion research in support of propulsion systems of the 21st century

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ziemianski, Joseph A.; Willis, Edward A.

    1991-01-01

    A review is given of the NASA's ongoing and planned research and technology programs leading to advanced air breathing propulsion systems of the next century. The primary focus is on efforts being performed or sponsored by NASA-Lewis, with emphasis on civil, subsonic, and supersonic transportation systems which should begin to enter service within 10 to 20 years. Subsonic transport propulsion program elements, including ducted UltraHigh Bypass (UHB) engines and high efficiency cores are discussed in terms of goals, technical issues and problems, approaches and plans. Similarly, The Supersonic Cruise Propulsion Program is reviewed via discussion of near term and far term goals; barrier issues such as NOx and noise reduction and the consequent Phase 1 (near term) research plans are described; and finally, emerging technologies such as the supersonic through-flow fan are considered for their potential long term impact.

  1. Comparison of Aero/Propulsion Transition Characteristics for a Joint Strike Fighter Configuration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Naumowicz, Tim; Margason, Richard; Wardwell, Doug; Hange, Craig; Arledge, Tom; Olson, Lawerence E. (Technical Monitor)

    1996-01-01

    NASA Ames conducted a series tests of a large-scale powered model of Lockheed Martin Skunk Works' JSF STOVL configuration at the 80- by 120-Foot Wind Tunnel. The model uses a modified version of an F-16 fighter engine (a Pratt & Whitney F100-229 engine). To provide vertical flight capability, the Lockheed aircraft incorporates a forward fuselage mounted vertical lift fan in addition to an aft mounted vectoring nozzle all driven by a single engine. The lift fan is driven off the engine by means of a shaft and gear system. The data presented is for STOVL configuration 140, a wing-body-canard planform. The main goal of this testing was to obtain propulsion induced data for evaluating differences between small- and large-scale model testing during the transition flight regime between jet- and wing-borne flight. The data presented is from aerodynamic testing of the model in both the unpowered (engine-off) and powered (engine running) configurations. This data, when combined with the propulsion system thrust calibration data from the NASA Ames' Outdoor Aerodynamic Research Facility (OARF), is used to determine the propulsion induced effects during transition.

  2. Aeropropulsion structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nichols, Lester D.

    1987-01-01

    The structural engineer is faced with unique problems when dealing with aeropropulsion systems. He is faced with extremes in operating temperatures, rotational effects, and behaviors of advanced material systems which combine into complexities that require advances in many scientific disciplines involved in structural analysis and design procedures. This presentation provides an overview of the complexities of aeropropulsion structures and the theoretical, computational, and experimental research conducted to achieve the needed advances.

  3. Aero-Propulsion Technology (APT) Task V Low Noise ADP Engine Definition Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holcombe, V.

    2003-01-01

    A study was conducted to identify and evaluate noise reduction technologies for advanced ducted prop propulsion systems that would allow increased capacity operation and result in an economically competitive commercial transport. The study investigated the aero/acoustic/structural advancements in fan and nacelle technology required to match or exceed the fuel burned and economic benefits of a constrained diameter large Advanced Ducted Propeller (ADP) compared to an unconstrained ADP propulsion system with a noise goal of 5 to 10 EPNDB reduction relative to FAR 36 Stage 3 at each of the three measuring stations namely, takeoff (cutback), approach and sideline. A second generation ADP was selected to operate within the maximum nacelle diameter constrain of 160 deg to allow installation under the wing. The impact of fan and nacelle technologies of the second generation ADP on fuel burn and direct operating costs for a typical 3000 nm mission was evaluated through use of a large, twin engine commercial airplane simulation model. The major emphasis of this study focused on fan blade aero/acoustic and structural technology evaluations and advanced nacelle designs. Results of this study have identified the testing required to verify the interactive performance of these components, along with noise characteristics, by wind tunnel testing utilizing and advanced interaction rig.

  4. A Modular Aero-Propulsion System Simulation of a Large Commercial Aircraft Engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DeCastro, Jonathan A.; Litt, Jonathan S.; Frederick, Dean K.

    2008-01-01

    A simulation of a commercial engine has been developed in a graphical environment to meet the increasing need across the controls and health management community for a common research and development platform. This paper describes the Commercial Modular Aero Propulsion System Simulation (C-MAPSS), which is representative of a 90,000-lb thrust class two spool, high bypass ratio commercial turbofan engine. A control law resembling the state-of-the-art on board modern aircraft engines is included, consisting of a fan-speed control loop supplemented by relevant engine limit protection regulator loops. The objective of this paper is to provide a top-down overview of the complete engine simulation package.

  5. Fusion for Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

    There is little doubt that humans will attempt to explore and develop the solar system in this century. A large amount of energy will be required for accomplishing this. The need for fusion propulsion is discussed. For a propulsion system, there are three important thermodynamical 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 human exploration and development 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 can produce exhaust velocity up to about 5 km/s. 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 energy to heat a hydrogen propellant increases the exhaust velocity by only a factor of about two. Alternatively the energy can be converted into electricity which is then used to accelerate particles to high exhaust velocity. The necessary power conversion and conditioning equipment, however, increases the mass of the propulsion system for the same jet power by more than two orders of magnitude over chemical system, thus greatly limits the thrust-to-weight ratio attainable. The principal advantage of the fission process is that its development is relatively mature and is available right now. If fusion can be developed, fusion appears to have the best of all worlds in terms of propulsion - it can provide the absolute amount, the propellant exhaust velocity, and the high specific jet power. An intermediate step towards pure fusion propulsion is a bimodal system in which a fission reactor is used to provide some of the energy to drive a fusion propulsion unit. The technical issues related to fusion for space propulsion are discussed. The technical priorities for developing and applying fusion for propulsion are

  6. Center for Advanced Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    The Center for Advanced Space Propulsion (CASP) is part of the University of Tennessee-Calspan Center for Aerospace Research (CAR). It was formed in 1985 to take advantage of the extensive research faculty and staff of the University of Tennessee and Calspan Corporation. It is also one of sixteen NASA sponsored Centers established to facilitate the Commercial Development of Space. Based on investigators' qualifications in propulsion system development, and matching industries' strong intent, the Center focused its efforts in the following technical areas: advanced chemical propulsion, electric propulsion, AI/Expert systems, fluids management in microgravity, and propulsion materials processing. This annual report focuses its discussion in these technical areas.

  7. Space station propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Robert E.; Morren, W. Earl; Sovey, James S.; Tacina, Robert R.

    1987-01-01

    Two propulsion systems have been selected for the space station: gaseous H/O rockets for high thrust applications and the multipropellant resistojets for low thrust needs. These two thruster systems integrate very well with the fluid systems on the space station, utilizing waste fluids as their source of propellant. The H/O rocket will be fueled by electrolyzed water and the resistojets will use waste gases collected from the environmental control system and the various laboratories. The results are presented of experimental efforts with H/O and resistojet thrusters to determine their performance and life capability, as well as results of studies to determine the availability of water and waste gases.

  8. Space transportation propulsion USSR launcher technology, 1990

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    Space transportation propulsion U.S.S.R. launcher technology is discussed. The following subject areas are covered: Energia background (launch vehicle summary, Soviet launcher family) and Energia propulsion characteristics (booster propulsion, core propulsion, and growth capability).

  9. 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.

  10. Advanced Space Fission Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Michael G.; Borowski, Stanley K.

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Nuclear Propulsion in Space (1968)

    SciTech Connect

    2012-06-23

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

  12. Nuclear Propulsion in Space (1968)

    ScienceCinema

    None

    2016-07-12

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

  13. 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

  14. Innovative Airbreathing Propulsion Concepts for Access to Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whitlow, Jr., Woodrow; Blech, Richard A.; Blankson, Isaiah M.

    2001-01-01

    This paper will present technologies and concepts for novel aeropropulsion systems. These technologies will enhance the safety of operations, reduce life cycle costs, and contribute to reduced costs of air travel and access to space. One of the goals of the NASA program is to reduce the carbon-dioxide emissions of aircraft engines. Engine concepts that use highly efficient fuel cell/electric drive technologies in hydrogen-fueled engines will be presented in the proposed paper. Carbon-dioxide emissions will be eliminated by replacing hydrocarbon fuel with hydrogen, and reduce NOx emissions through better combustion process control. A revolutionary exoskeletal engine concept, in which the engine drum is rotated, will be shown. This concept has the potential to allow a propulsion system that can be used for subsonic through hypersonic flight. Dual fan concepts that have ultra-high bypass ratios, low noise, and low drag will be presented. Flow-controlled turbofans and control-configured turbofans also will be discussed. To increase efficiency, a system of microengines distributed along lifting surfaces and on the fuselage is being investigated. This concept will be presented in the paper. Small propulsion systems for affordable, safe personal transportation vehicles will be discussed. These low-oil/oilless systems use technologies that enable significant cost and weight reductions. Pulse detonation engine-based hybrid-cycle and combined-cycle propulsion systems for aviation and space access will be presented.

  15. Research Opportunities in Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rodgers, Stephen L.

    2007-01-01

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

  16. Space and transatmospheric propulsion technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1994-03-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Space station propulsion test bed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1989-01-01

    A test bed was fabricated to demonstrate hydrogen/oxygen propulsion technology readiness for the intital operating configuration (IOC) space station application. The test bed propulsion module and computer control system were delivered in December 1985, but activation was delayed until mid-1986 while the propulsion system baseline for the station was reexamined. A new baseline was selected with hydrogen/oxygen thruster modules supplied with gas produced by electrolysis of waste water from the space shuttle and space station. As a result, an electrolysis module was designed, fabricated, and added to the test bed to provide an end-to-end simulation of the baseline system. Subsequent testing of the test bed propulsion and electrolysis modules provided an end-to-end demonstration of the complete space station propulsion system, including thruster hot firings using the oxygen and hydrogen generated from electrolysis of water. Complete autonomous control and operation of all test bed components by the microprocessor control system designed and delivered during the program was demonstrated. The technical readiness of the system is now firmly established.

  19. Space station propulsion requirements study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

  20. In-space nuclear propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bruno, C.; Dujarric, C.

    2013-02-01

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

  1. Aeropropulsion 1987. Session 2: Aeropropulsion Structures Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    Aeropropulsion systems present unique problems to the structural engineer. The extremes in operating temperatures, rotational effects, and behaviors of advanced material systems combine into complexities that require advances in many scientific disciplines involved in structural analysis and design procedures. This session provides an overview of the complexities of aeropropulsion structures and the theoretical, computational, and experimental research conducted to achieve the needed advances.

  2. Space station propulsion analysis study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donovan, R. M.; Sovey, J. S.; Hannum, N. B.

    1984-01-01

    This paper summarizes the impacts on the weight, volume and power usage of a manned space station and its 90-day resupply for three integrated, auxiliary propulsion subsystems. The study was performed in coordination with activities of the Space Staton Concept Development Group (CDG). The study focused on three space station propulsion high-low thrust options that make use of fluids that will be available on the manned space station. Specific uses of carbon dioxide, water and cryogen boiloff were considered. For each of the options the increase in station hardware mass and volume to accommodate the dual thrust option is offset by the resupply savings, relative to the reference hydrazine system, after one to several resupplies. Over the life of the station the savings in cost of logistics could be substantial. The three options are examples of alternative technology paths that, because of the opportunity they provide for integration with the environmental control life support system (ECLSS) and OTV propellant storage systems, may reduce the scarring which is required on the early station to meet the increasing propulsion requirements of the growth station.

  3. Space Shuttle Propulsion Finishing Strong

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Owen, James W.; Singer, Jody

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Impact and promise of NASA aeropropulsion technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saunders, Neal T.; Bowditch, David N.

    1987-01-01

    The aeropropulsion industry in the United States has established an enviable record of leading the world in aeropropulsion for commercial and military aircraft. The NASA aeropropulsion propulsion program (primarily conducted through the Lewis Research Center) has significantly contributed to that success through research and technology advances and technology demonstrations such as the Refan, Engine Component Improvement, and the Energy Efficient Engine Programs. Some past NASA contributions to engines in current aircraft are reviewed, and technologies emerging from current research programs for the aircraft of the 1990's are described. Finally, current program thrusts toward improving propulsion systems in the 2000's for subsonic commercial aircraft and higher speed aircraft such as the High-Speed Civil Transport and the National Aerospace Plane (NASP) are discussed.

  5. In-Space Propulsion Solar Electric Propulsion Technology Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dankanich, John W.

    2006-12-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Space storable propulsion components development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hagler, R., Jr.

    1982-01-01

    The current development status of components to control the flow of propellants (liquid fluorine and hydrazine) in a demonstration space storable propulsion system is discussed. The criteria which determined the designs for the pressure regulator, explosive-actuated valves, propellant shutoff valve, latching solenoid-actuated valve and propellant filter are presented. The test philosophy that was followed during component development is outlined. The results from compatibility demonstrations for reusable connectors, flange seals, and CRES/Ti-6Al4V transition tubes and the evaluations of processes for welding (hand-held TIG, automated TIG, and EB), cleaning for fluorine service, and decontamination after fluorine exposure are described.

  8. Space station propulsion system technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Robert E.; Meng, Phillip R.; Schneider, Steven J.; Sovey, James S.; Tacina, Robert R.

    1987-01-01

    Two propulsion systems have been selected for the space station: O/H rockets for high thrust applications and the multipropellant resistojets for low thrust needs. These thruster systems integrate very well with the fluid systems on the station. Both thrusters will utilize waste fluids as their source of propellant. The O/H rocket will be fueled by electrolyzed water and the resistojets will use stored waste gases from the environmental control system and the various laboratories. This paper presents the results of experimental efforts with O/H and resistojet thrusters to determine their performance and life capability.

  9. Space nuclear thermal propulsion program

    SciTech Connect

    Haslett, R.A.

    1994-12-31

    This report describes te development and funding problems of the space nuclear thermal propulsion program (SNTP). The SNTP program was transferred to the air force, and almost immediately , they indicated that they would have to terminate the program because of a decreasing defense budget and other air force priorities. Congress continued to strongly support the program and $55 million was appropriated for fiscal year 1993, but the air force would not release any of the money to the program. By the summer of 1993, barely 18 months after the program was transferred to the air force, the SNTP team had essentially stopped all work and reduced to a skeleton staff to perform an orderly termination. Despite the significant accomplishments of the program and the endorsements it received from two DSBs, the 1994 Congressional Appropriations Committee had no alternative but to withhold further funding support since no cognizant agency (air force, NASA, or the DOE) was willing to take the lead and continue the technology for future space applications. Once again, the inability to forge cooperation between government agencies for a long-term goal doomed another nuclear technology program. The technology is currently being documented to the extent possible with existing funds because it is clear that a compact lightweight PBR space power and/or propulsion system will be required to enable unmanned and eventually manned exploration of the solar system.

  10. Space vehicle propulsion systems: Environmental space hazards

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Disimile, P. J.; Bahr, G. K.

    1990-01-01

    The hazards that exist in geolunar space which may degrade, disrupt, or terminate the performance of space-based LOX/LH2 rocket engines are evaluated. Accordingly, a summary of the open literature pertaining to the geolunar space hazards is provided. Approximately 350 citations and about 200 documents and abstracts were reviewed; the documents selected give current and quantitative detail. The methodology was to categorize the various space hazards in relation to their importance in specified regions of geolunar space. Additionally, the effect of the various space hazards in relation to spacecraft and their systems were investigated. It was found that further investigation of the literature would be required to assess the effects of these hazards on propulsion systems per se; in particular, possible degrading effects on exterior nozzle structure, directional gimbals, and internal combustion chamber integrity and geometry.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The future challenge for aeropropulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosen, Robert; Bowditch, David N.

    1992-01-01

    NASA's research in aeropropulsion is focused on improving the efficiency, capability, and environmental compatibility for all classes of future aircraft. The development of innovative concepts, and theoretical, experimental, and computational tools provide the knowledge base for continued propulsion system advances. Key enabling technologies include advances in internal fluid mechanics, structures, light-weight high-strength composite materials, and advanced sensors and controls. Recent emphasis has been on the development of advanced computational tools in internal fluid mechanics, structural mechanics, reacting flows, and computational chemistry. For subsonic transport applications, very high bypass ratio turbofans with increased engine pressure ratio are being investigated to increase fuel efficiency and reduce airport noise levels. In a joint supersonic cruise propulsion program with industry, the critical environmental concerns of emissions and community noise are being addressed. NASA is also providing key technologies for the National Aerospaceplane, and is studying propulsion systems that provide the capability for aircraft to accelerate to and cruise in the Mach 4-6 speed range. The combination of fundamental, component, and focused technology development underway at NASA will make possible dramatic advances in aeropropulsion efficiency and environmental compatibility for future aeronautical vehicles.

  14. NASA Aeropropulsion Research: Looking Forward

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Seidel, Jonathan A.; Sehra, Arun K.; Colantonio, Renato O.

    2001-01-01

    NASA has been researching new technology and system concepts to meet the requirements of aeropropulsion for 21st Century aircraft. The air transportation for the new millennium will require revolutionary solutions to meet public demand for improving safety, reliability, environmental compatibility, and affordability. Whereas the turbine engine revolution will continue during the next two decades, several new revolutions are required to achieve the dream of an affordable, emissionless, and silent aircraft. This paper reviews the continuing turbine engine revolution and explores the propulsion system impact of future revolutions in propulsion configuration, fuel infrastructure, and alternate energy systems. A number of promising concepts, ranging from the ultrahigh to fuel cell-powered distributed propulsion are also reviewed.

  15. Exploring the notion of space coupling propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Millis, Marc G.

    1990-01-01

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

  16. Overview of DOE space nuclear propulsion programs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newhouse, Alan R.

    1993-01-01

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

  17. Laser Propulsion for LOTV Space Missions

    SciTech Connect

    Rezunkov, Yuri A.

    2004-03-30

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

  18. 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.

  19. Roadmap for In-Space Propulsion Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  20. In-Space Transportation Propulsion Architecture Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woodcock, Gordon

    2000-01-01

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

  1. Planetary mission applications for space storable propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chase, R. L.; Cork, M. J.; Young, D. L.

    1974-01-01

    This paper presents the results of a study to compare space-storable with earth-storable spacecraft propulsion systems, space-storable with solid kick stages, and several space-storable development options on the basis of benefits received for cost expenditures required. The results show that, for a launch vehicle with performance less than that of Shuttle/Centaur, space-storable spacecraft propulsion offers an incremental benefit/cost ratio between 1.0 and 5.5 when compared to earth-storable systems for three of the four missions considered. In the case of VOIR 83, positive benefits were apparent only for a specific launch vehicle-spacecraft propulsion combination. A space-storable propulsion system operating at thrust of 600 lbf, 355 units of specific impulse, and with blowdown pressurization, represents the best choice for the JO 81 mission on a Titan/Centaur if only spacecraft propulsion modifications are considered. For still higher performance, a new solid-propellant kick stage with space-storable spacecraft propulsion is preferred over a system which uses space-storable propellants for both the kick stage and the spacecraft system.

  2. Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bleeker, Gary A.

    1993-01-01

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

  3. Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Test Facilities Subpanel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

    On 20 Jul. 1989, in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, President George Bush proclaimed his vision for manned space exploration. He stated, 'First for the coming decade, for the 1990's, Space Station Freedom, the next critical step in our space endeavors. And next, for the new century, back to the Moon. Back to the future. And this time, back to stay. And then, a journey into tomorrow, a journey to another planet, a manned mission to Mars.' On 2 Nov. 1989, the President approved a national space policy reaffirming the long range goal of the civil space program: to 'expand human presence and activity beyond Earth orbit into the solar system.' And on 11 May 1990, he specified the goal of landing Astronauts on Mars by 2019, the 50th anniversary of man's first steps on the Moon. To safely and ever permanently venture beyond near Earth environment as charged by the President, mankind must bring to bear extensive new technologies. These include heavy lift launch capability from Earth to low-Earth orbit, automated space rendezvous and docking of large masses, zero gravity countermeasures, and closed loop life support systems. One technology enhancing, and perhaps enabling, the piloted Mars missions is nuclear propulsion, with great benefits over chemical propulsion. Asserting the potential benefits of nuclear propulsion, NASA has sponsored workshops in Nuclear Electric Propulsion and Nuclear Thermal Propulsion and has initiated a tri-agency planning process to ensure that appropriate resources are engaged to meet this exciting technical challenge. At the core of this planning process, NASA, DOE, and DOD established six Nuclear Propulsion Technical Panels in 1991 to provide groundwork for a possible tri-agency Nuclear Propulsion Program and to address the President's vision by advocating an aggressive program in nuclear propulsion. To this end the Nuclear Electric Propulsion Technology Panel has focused it energies; this final report

  4. Nuclear systems for space power and propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klein, M.

    1971-01-01

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

  5. In-Space Propulsion for Science and Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bishop-Behel, Karen; Johnson, Les

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dankanich, John W.

    2006-01-01

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

  7. In-Space Chemical Propulsion System Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  8. In-Space Chemical Propulsion System Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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).

  11. 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.

  12. In-Space Propulsion (ISP) Aerocapture Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  13. Onyx-Advanced Aeropropulsion Simulation Framework Created

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reed, John A.

    2001-01-01

    The Numerical Propulsion System Simulation (NPSS) project at the NASA Glenn Research Center is developing a new software environment for analyzing and designing aircraft engines and, eventually, space transportation systems. Its purpose is to dramatically reduce the time, effort, and expense necessary to design and test jet engines by creating sophisticated computer simulations of an aerospace object or system (refs. 1 and 2). Through a university grant as part of that effort, researchers at the University of Toledo have developed Onyx, an extensible Java-based (Sun Micro-systems, Inc.), objectoriented simulation framework, to investigate how advanced software design techniques can be successfully applied to aeropropulsion system simulation (refs. 3 and 4). The design of Onyx's architecture enables users to customize and extend the framework to add new functionality or adapt simulation behavior as required. It exploits object-oriented technologies, such as design patterns, domain frameworks, and software components, to develop a modular system in which users can dynamically replace components with others having different functionality.

  14. 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.

  15. Pratt and Whitney Space Propulsion NPSS Usage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, Dean

    2004-01-01

    This talk presents Pratt and Whitney's space division overview of the Numerical Propulsion System Simulation (NPSS). It examines their reasons for wanting to use the NPSS system, their past activities supporting its development, and their planned future usage. It also gives an overview how different analysis tools fit into their overall product development.

  16. Nuclear propulsion for the space exploration initiative

    SciTech Connect

    Stanley, M.L. )

    1991-11-01

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

  17. Space station onboard propulsion system: Technology study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcallister, J. G.; Rudland, R. S.; Redd, L. R.; Beekman, D. H.; Cuffin, S. M.; Beer, C. M.; Mccarthy, K. K.

    1987-01-01

    The objective was to prepare for the design of the space station propulsion system. Propulsion system concepts were defined and schematics were developed for the most viable concepts. A dual model bipropellant system was found to deliver the largest amount of payload. However, when resupply is considered, an electrolysis system with 10 percent accumulators requires less resupply propellant, though it is penalized by the amount of time required to fill the accumulators and the power requirements for the electrolyzer. A computer simulation was prepared, which was originally intended to simulate the water electrolysis propulsion system but which was expanded to model other types of systems such as cold gas, monopropellant and bipropellant storable systems.

  18. The electric rail gun for space propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bauer, D. P.; Barber, J. P.; Vahlberg, C. J.

    1981-01-01

    An analytic feasibility investigation of an electric propulsion concept for space application is described. In this concept, quasistatic thrust due to inertial reaction to repetitively accelerated pellets by an electric rail gun is used to propel a spacecraft. The study encompasses the major subsystems required in an electric rail gun propulsion system. The mass, performance, and configuration of each subsystem are described. Based on an analytic model of the system mass and performance, the electric rail gun mission performance as a reusable orbital transfer vehicle (OTV) is analyzed and compared to a 30 cm ion thruster system (BIMOD) and a chemical propulsion system (IUS) for payloads with masses of 1150 kg and 2300 kg. For system power levels in the range from 25 kW(e) to 100 kW(e) an electric rail gun OTV is more attractive than a BIMOD system for low Earth orbit to geosynchronous orbit transfer durations in the range from 20 to 120 days.

  19. Space Propulsion Synergy Group ETO technology assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bray, James

    The Space Propulsion Synergy Group (SPSG), which was chartered to support long-range strategic planning, has, using a broad industry/government team, evaluated and achieved consensus on the vehicles, propulsion systems, and propulsion technologies that have the best long-term potential for achieving desired system attributes. The breakthrough that enabled broad consensus was developing criteria that are measurable a priori. The SPSG invented a dual prioritization approach that balances long-term strategic thrusts with current programmatic constraints. This enables individual program managers to make decisions based on both individual project needs and long-term strategic needs. Results indicate that an SSTO using an integrated modular engine has the best long-term potential for a 20 Klb class vehicle, and that health monitoring and control technologies are among the highest dual priority liquid rocket technologies.

  20. 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.

  1. Nuclear Propulsion for Space Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

    Basics of Nuclear Systems: Long history of use on Apollo and space science missions. 44 RTGs and hundreds of RHUs launched by U.S. during past 4 decades. Heat produced from natural alpha (a) particle decay of Plutonium (Pu-238). Used for both thermal management and electricity production. Used terrestrially for over 65 years. Fissioning 1 kg of uranium yields as much energy as burning 2,700,000 kg of coal. One US space reactor (SNAP-10A) flown (1965). Former U.S.S.R. flew 33 space reactors. Heat produced from neutron-induced splitting of a nucleus (e.g. U-235). At steady-state, 1 of the 2 to 3 neutrons released in the reaction causes a subsequent fission in a "chain reaction" process. Heat converted to electricity, or used directly to heat a propellant. Fission is highly versatile with many applications.

  2. Space Shuttle Propulsion System Reliability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Welzyn, Ken; VanHooser, Katherine; Moore, Dennis; Wood, David

    2011-01-01

    This session includes the following sessions: (1) External Tank (ET) System Reliability and Lessons, (2) Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME), Reliability Validated by a Million Seconds of Testing, (3) Reusable Solid Rocket Motor (RSRM) Reliability via Process Control, and (4) Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) Reliability via Acceptance and Testing.

  3. Heat transfer in aeropropulsion systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simoneau, R. J.

    1985-07-01

    Aeropropulsion heat transfer is reviewed. A research methodology based on a growing synergism between computations and experiments is examined. The aeropropulsion heat transfer arena is identified as high Reynolds number forced convection in a highly disturbed environment subject to strong gradients, body forces, abrupt geometry changes and high three dimensionality - all in an unsteady flow field. Numerous examples based on heat transfer to the aircraft gas turbine blade are presented to illustrate the types of heat transfer problems which are generic to aeropropulsion systems. The research focus of the near future in aeropropulsion heat transfer is projected.

  4. Heat transfer in aeropropulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simoneau, R. J.

    1985-01-01

    Aeropropulsion heat transfer is reviewed. A research methodology based on a growing synergism between computations and experiments is examined. The aeropropulsion heat transfer arena is identified as high Reynolds number forced convection in a highly disturbed environment subject to strong gradients, body forces, abrupt geometry changes and high three dimensionality - all in an unsteady flow field. Numerous examples based on heat transfer to the aircraft gas turbine blade are presented to illustrate the types of heat transfer problems which are generic to aeropropulsion systems. The research focus of the near future in aeropropulsion heat transfer is projected.

  5. Conceptual designs for antiproton space propulsion systems

    SciTech Connect

    Cassenti, B.N.

    1989-01-01

    Five conceptual designs for antimatter space propulsion systems were compared in terms of their performance characteristics. The systems examined included solid-core liquid-propellant rockets; magnetically confined gaseous-core rockets using liquid or solid propellants; plasma-core rockets; pion rockets, which are driven directly by the mass annihilation products; and ram-augmented rockets, in which antiproton annihilation is used to heat hydrogen collected in interstellar space. It was found that, in general, as the specific impulse of the propulsion system increases, the thrust decreases. The comparison between designs showed that only fusion rockets have the capability to compete in performance with mass annihilation rockets. For very-high-speed interstellar missions, pion rockets, which can have a specific impulse of 20 million sec (although with a thrust-to-engine mass ratios of only 0.01 G) will offer best performance. 36 refs.

  6. The State of Space Propulsion Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sackheim, R. L.; Cole, J. W.; Litchford, R. J.

    2006-01-01

    The current state of space propulsion research is assessed from both a historical perspective, spanning the decades since Apollo, and a forward-looking perspective, as defined by the enabling technologies required for a meaningful and sustainable human and robotic exploration program over the forthcoming decades. Previous research and technology investment approaches are examined and a course of action suggested for obtaining a more balanced portfolio of basic and applied research. The central recommendation is the establishment of a robust national Space Propulsion Research Initiative that would run parallel with systems development and include basic research activities. The basic framework and technical approach for this proposed initiative are defined and a potential implementation approach is recommended.

  7. Designing the Space Shuttle Propulsion System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Owen, James; Moore, Dennis; Wood, David; VanHooser, Kathrine; Wlzyn, Ken

    2011-01-01

    The major elements of the Space Shuttle Main Propulsion System include two reusable solid rocket motors integrated into recoverable solid rocket boosters, an expendable external fuel and oxidizer tank, and three reusable Space Shuttle Main Engines. Both the solid rocket motors and space shuttle main engines ignite prior to liftoff, with the solid rocket boosters separating about two minutes into flight. The external tank separates after main engine shutdown and is safely expended in the ocean. The SSME's, integrated into the Space Shuttle Orbiter aft structure, are reused after post landing inspections. Both the solid rocket motors and the space shuttle main engine throttle during early ascent flight to limit aerodynamic loads on the structure. The configuration is called a stage and a half as all the propulsion elements are active during the boost phase, and the SSME's continue operation to achieve orbital velocity approximately eight and a half minutes after liftoff. Design and performance challenges were numerous, beginning with development work in the 1970 s. The solid rocket motors were large, and this technology had never been used for human space flight. The SSME s were both reusable and very high performance staged combustion cycle engines, also unique to the Space Shuttle. The multi body side mount configuration was unique and posed numerous integration and interface challenges across the elements. Operation of the system was complex and time consuming. This paper discusses a number of the system level technical challenges including development and operations.

  8. NASA Glenn Research Center's Hypersonic Propulsion Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palac, Donald T.

    1999-01-01

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

  9. Trends in aeropropulsion research and their impact on engineering education

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Povinelli, Louis A.; Reichert, Bruce A.; Glassman, Arthur J.

    1992-01-01

    This presentation is concerned with the trends in aeropropulsion both in the U.S. and abroad and the impact of these trends on the educational process in our universities. In this paper, we shall outline the new directions for research which may be of interest to educators in the aeropropulsion field. Awareness of new emphases, such as emission reductions, noise control, maneuverability, speed, etc., will have a great impact on engineering educators responsible for restructuring courses in propulsion. The information presented herein will also provide some background material for possible consideration in the future development of propulsion courses. In describing aeropropulsion, we are concerned primarily with air-breathing propulsion; however many observations apply equally as well to rocket engine systems. Aeropropulsion research needs are primarily motivated by technologies required for advanced vehicle systems and frequently driven by external requirements such as economic competitiveness, environmental concern and national security. In this presentation, vehicle based research is first described, followed by a discussion of discipline and multidiscipline research necessary to implement the vehicle-focused programs. The importance of collaboration in research and the training of future researchers concludes this presentation.

  10. Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster Joins Propulsion Park Display

    NASA Video Gallery

    A crane lifts a space shuttle solid rocket booster into its final position in the “propulsion park” outside Building 4205, the Propulsion Research & Development Laboratory at the Marshall Cente...

  11. Interplanetary space transport using inertial fusion propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Orth, C.D.

    1998-04-20

    In this paper, we indicate how the great advantages that ICF offers for interplanetary propulsion can be accomplished with the VISTA spacecraft concept. The performance of VISTA is expected to surpass that from other realistic technologies for Mars missions if the energy gain achievable for ICF targets is above several hundred. Based on the good performance expected from the U. S. National Ignition Facility (NIF), the requirements for VISTA should be well within the realm of possibility if creative target concepts such as the fast ignitor can be developed. We also indicate that a 6000-ton VISTA can visit any planet in the solar system and return to Earth in about 7 years or less without any significant physiological hazards to astronauts. In concept, VISTA provides such short-duration missions, especially to Mars, that the hazards from cosmic radiation and zero gravity can be reduced to insignificant levels. VISTA therefore represents a significant step forward for space-propulsion concepts.

  12. Colliding Beam Fusion Reactor Space Propulsion System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheung, A.; Binderbauer, M.; Liu, F.; Qerushi, A.; Rostoker, N.; Wessel, F. J.

    2004-02-01

    The Colliding Beam Fusion Reactor Space Propulsion System, CBFR-SPS, is an aneutronic, magnetic-field-reversed configuration, fueled by an energetic-ion mixture of hydrogen and boron11 (H-B11). Particle confinement and transport in the CBFR-SPS are classical, hence the system is scaleable. Fusion products are helium ions, α-particles, expelled axially out of the system. α-particles flowing in one direction are decelerated and their energy recovered to ``power'' the system; particles expelled in the opposite direction provide thrust. Since the fusion products are charged particles, the system does not require the use of a massive-radiation shield. This paper describes a 100 MW CBFR-SPS design, including estimates for the propulsion-system parameters and masses. Specific emphasis is placed on the design of a closed-cycle, Brayton-heat engine, consisting of heat-exchangers, turbo-alternator, compressor, and finned radiators.

  13. 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.

  14. Propulsion Progress for NASA's Space Launch System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    May, Todd A.; Lyles, Garry M.; Priskos, Alex S.; Kynard, Michael H.; Lavoie, Anthony R.

    2012-01-01

    Leaders from NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) will participate in a panel discussing the progress made on the program's propulsion systems. The SLS will be the nation's next human-rated heavy-lift vehicle for new missions beyond Earth's orbit. With a first launch slated for 2017, the SLS Program is turning plans into progress, with the initial rocket being built in the U.S.A. today, engaging the aerospace workforce and infrastructure. Starting with an overview of the SLS mission and programmatic status, the discussion will then delve into progress on each of the primary SLS propulsion elements, including the boosters, core stage engines, upper stage engines, and stage hardware. Included will be a discussion of the 5-segment solid rocket motors (ATK), which are derived from Space Shuttle and Ares developments, as well as the RS-25 core stage engines from the Space Shuttle inventory and the J- 2X upper stage engine now in testing (Pratt and Whitney Rocketdyne). The panel will respond to audience questions about this important national capability for human and scientific space exploration missions.

  15. Space Fission Propulsion System Development Status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  16. Space Transportation Propulsion Technology Symposium. Volume 1: Executive summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    The Space Transportation Propulsion Technology Symposium was held to provide a forum for communication within the propulsion within the propulsion technology developer and user communities. Emphasis was placed on propulsion requirements and initiatives to support current, next generation, and future space transportation systems, with the primary objectives of discerning whether proposed designs truly meet future transportation needs and identifying possible technology gaps, overlaps, and other programmatic deficiencies. Key space transportation propulsion issues were addressed through four panels with government, industry, and academia membership. The panels focused on systems engineering and integration; development, manufacturing and certification; operational efficiency; and program development and cultural issues.

  17. Space shuttle propulsion estimation development verification

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rogers, Robert M.

    1989-01-01

    The application of extended Kalman filtering to estimating the Space Shuttle Propulsion performance, i.e., specific impulse, from flight data in a post-flight processing computer program is detailed. The flight data used include inertial platform acceleration, SRB head pressure, SSME chamber pressure and flow rates, and ground based radar tracking data. The key feature in this application is the model used for the SRB's, which is a nominal or reference quasi-static internal ballistics model normalized to the propellant burn depth. Dynamic states of mass overboard and propellant burn depth are included in the filter model to account for real-time deviations from the reference model used. Aerodynamic, plume, wind and main engine uncertainties are also included for an integrated system model. Assuming uncertainty within the propulsion system model and attempts to estimate its deviations represent a new application of parameter estimation for rocket powered vehicles. Illustrations from the results of applying this estimation approach to several missions show good quality propulsion estimates.

  18. Space nuclear power applied to electric propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vicente, F. A.; Karras, T.; Darooka, D.; Isenberg, L.

    1989-01-01

    Space reactor power systems with characteristics ideal for advanced spacecraft systems applications are discussed. These characteristics are: high power-to-weight ratio (15 to 33 W/kg); high volume density (high ballistic coefficient); no preferential orientation in orbit; long operational life; high reliability; and total launch and operational safety. These characteristics allow the use of electric propulsion to raise spacecraft from low earth parking orbits to operational orbits, greatly increasing the useful orbit payload for a given launch vehicle by eliminating the need for a separation injection stage. A proposed demonstration mission is described.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. Propulsion recommendations for Space Station free flying platforms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Redd, L. R.; Rose, L. J.

    1986-01-01

    Propulsion system candidates have been defined for Space Station free flying platforms for the purpose of comparison and to understand the impact of the various mission requirements on the candidate designs. Consideration of the platform mission requirements and comparisons of the conceptual propulsion system design candidates has led to a fairly clear set of recommendations for propulsion for each of the various platforms.

  3. Hybrid Propulsion Testing at Marshall Space Flight Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prince, Andrew S.; Cash, Stephon F. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Hybrid propulsion testing involving eleven and twenty-four inch motors performed at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) from the early 1990's to the present are discussed. Topics covered include: Solid Propulsion Investigation Program, Joint NASA Industry Research and Development (JIRAD) program, Large Subscale Solid Rocket Combustion Simulator (LSSRCS), Hybrid Propulsion Demonstration Program (HPDP), Hybrid Propulsion for Launch Vehicle Booster (HPTLV), Peroxide Hybrid Upper Stage (PHUS) and Solid Fuel Torch (SFT).

  4. Nuclear Electric Propulsion for Outer Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barret, Chris

    2003-01-01

    Today we know of 66 moons in our very own Solar System, and many of these have atmospheres and oceans. In addition, the Hubble (optical) Space Telescope has helped us to discover a total of 100 extra-solar planets, i.e., planets going around other suns, including several solar systems. The Chandra (X-ray) Space Telescope has helped us to discover 33 Black Holes. There are some extremely fascinating things out there in our Universe to explore. In order to travel greater distances into our Universe, and to reach planetary bodies in our Solar System in much less time, new and innovative space propulsion systems must be developed. To this end NASA has created the Prometheus Program. When one considers space missions to the outer edges of our Solar System and far beyond, our Sun cannot be relied on to produce the required spacecraft (s/c) power. Solar energy diminishes as the square of the distance from the Sun. At Mars it is only 43% of that at Earth. At Jupiter, it falls off to only 3.6% of Earth's. By the time we get out to Pluto, solar energy is only .066% what it is on Earth. Therefore, beyond the orbit of Mars, it is not practical to depend on solar power for a s/c. However, the farther out we go the more power we need to heat the s/c and to transmit data back to Earth over the long distances. On Earth, knowledge is power. In the outer Solar System, power is knowledge. It is important that the public be made aware of the tremendous space benefits offered by Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) and the minimal risk it poses to our environment. This paper presents an overview of the reasons for NEP systems, along with their basic components including the reactor, power conversion units (both static and dynamic), electric thrusters, and the launch safety of the NEP system.

  5. 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.

  6. Technology Area Roadmap for In Space Propulsion Technologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  7. Auxiliary propulsion requirements for large space systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maloy, J. E.; Smith, W. W.; Machles, G. W.

    1983-01-01

    An insight into auxiliary propulsion systems (APS) requirements for large space systems (LSS) launchable by a single shuttle is presented. In an effort to scope the APS requirements for LSS, a set of generic LSSs were defined. For each generic LSS class a specific structural configuration, representative of that most likely to serve the needs of the 1980's and 1990's was defined. The environmental disturbance forces and torques which would be acting on each specific structural configuration in LEO and GEO orbits were then determined. Auxiliary propulsion requirements were determined as a function of: generic class specific configuration, size and openness of structure, orbit, angle of orientation, correction frequency, duty cycle, number and location of thrusters and direction of thrusters and APS/LSS interactions. The results of this analysis were used to define the APS characteristics of: (1) number and distribution of thrusters, (2) thruster modulation, (3) thrust level, (4) mission energy requirements, (5) total APS mass component breakdown, and (6) state of the art adequacy/deficiency.

  8. Space Transportation Propulsion Technology Symposium. Volume 2: Symposium proceedings

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    The Space Transportation Propulsion Symposium was held to provide a forum for communication within the propulsion technology developer and user communities. Emphasis was placed on propulsion requirements and initiatives to support current, next generation, and future space transportation systems, with the primary objectives of discerning whether proposed designs truly meet future transportation needs and identifying possible technology gaps, overlaps, and other programmatic deficiencies. Key space transportation propulsion issues were addressed through four panels with government, industry, and academia membership. The panels focused on systems engineering and integration; development, manufacturing and certification; operational efficiency; and program development and cultural issues.

  9. JTEC panel report on space and transatmospheric propulsion technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shelton, Duane

    1990-01-01

    An assessment of Japan's current capabilities in the areas of space and transatmospheric propulsion is presented. The report focuses primarily upon Japan's programs in liquid rocket propulsion and in propulsion for spaceplanes and related transatmospheric areas. It also includes brief reference to Japan's solid rocket programs, as well as to supersonic air-breathing propulsion efforts that are just getting underway. The results are based upon the findings of a panel of U.S. engineers made up of individuals from academia, government, and industry, and are derived from a review of a broad array of the open literature, combined with visits to the primary propulsion laboratories and development agencies in Japan.

  10. Heatpipe space power and propulsion systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houts, M. G.; Poston, D. I.; Ranken, W. A.

    1995-04-01

    Safe, reliable, low-mass space power and propulsion systems could have numerous civilian and military applications. This paper discusses two fission-powered concepts: the Heatpipe Power System (HPS) that provides power only, and the Heatpipe Bimodal System (HBS) that provides both power and thermal propulsion. Both concepts have 10 important features. First, only existing technology and recently tested fuel forms are used. Second, fuel can be removed whenever desired, greatly facilitating system fabrication and handling. Third, full electrically heated system testing is possible, with minimal operations required to replace the heaters with fuel and ready the system for launch. Fourth, the systems are passively subcritical during launch accidents. Fifth, a modular approach is used, and most technical issues can be resolved with inexpensive module tests. Sixth, bonds between dissimilar metals are minimized. Seventh, there are no single point failures during power mode operation. Eighth, fuel burnup rate is quite low to help ensure greater than 10-year system life. Ninth, there are no pumped coolant loops, and the systems can be shut down and restarted without coolant freeze/thaw concerns. Finally, a full ground nuclear test is not needed, and development costs will be low. The baseline HPS uses SNAP-10A-style thermoelectric power converters to produce 5 kWe at a system mass of about 500 kg. The unicouple thermoelectric converters have a hot shoe temperature of 1275 K and reject waste heat at 775 K. This type of thermoelectric converter has been used extensively by the space program, demonstrating an operational lifetime of decades. At higher thermal power, the same core can produce over 10 kWe using thermoelectric converters, and over 50 kWe using advanced power conversion systems.

  11. Heatpipe space power and propulsion systems

    SciTech Connect

    Houts, M.G.; Poston, D.I.; Ranken, W.A.

    1995-12-01

    Safe, reliable, low-mass space power and propulsion systems could have numerous civilian and military applications. This paper discusses two fission-powered concepts: The Heatpipe Power System (HPS), which provides power only; and the Heatpipe Bimodal System (HBS), which provides both power and thermal propulsion. Both concepts have 10 important features. First, only existing technology and recently tested fuel forms are used. Second, fuel can be removed whenever desired, which greatly facilitates system fabrication and handling. Third, full electrically heated system testing of all modes is possible, with minimal operations required to replace the heaters with fuel and to ready the system for launch. Fourth, the systems are passively subcritical during launch accidents. Fifth, a modular approach is used, and most technical issues can be resolved with inexpensive module tests. Sixth, bonds between dissimilar metals are minimized. Seventh, there are no single-point failures during power mode operation. Eighth, the fuel burnup rate is quite low to help ensure >10-yr system life. Ninth, there are no pumped coolant loops, and the systems can be shut down and restarted without coolant freeze/thaw concerns. Finally, full ground nuclear test is not needed, and development costs will be low. One design for a low-power HPS uses SNAP-10A-style thermoelectric power converters to produce 5 kWe at a system mass of {approximately}500 kg. The unicouple thermoelectric converters have a hot-shoe temperature of 1275 K and reject waste heat at 775 K. This type of thermoelectric converter has been used extensively by the space program and has demonstrated an operational lifetime of decades. A core with a larger number of smaller modules (same overall size) can be used to provide up to 500 kWt to a power conversion subsystem, and a slightly larger core using a higher heatpipe to fuel ratio can provide >1 MWt.

  12. Heatpipe space power and propulsion systems

    SciTech Connect

    Houts, M.G.; Poston, D.I.; Ranken, W.A.

    1995-07-01

    Safe, reliable, low-mass space power and propulsion systems could have numerous civilian and military applications. This paper discusses two fission-powered concepts: the Heatpipe Power System (HPS) that provides power only, and the Heatpipe Bimodal System (HBS) that provides both power and thermal propulsion. Both concepts have 10 important features. First, only existing technology and recently tested fuel forms are used. Second, fuel can be removed whenever desired, greatly facilitating system fabrication and handling. Third, full electrically heated system testing is possible, with minimal operations required to replace the heaters with fuel and ready the system for launch. Fourth, the systems are passively subcritical during launch accidents. Fifth, a modular approach is used, and most technical issues can be resolved with inexpensive module tests. Sixth, bonds between dissimilar metals are minimized. Seventh, there are no single point failures during power mode operation. Eighth, fuel burnup rate is quite low to help ensure greater than 10-year system life. Ninth, there are no pumped coolant loops, and the systems can be shut down and restarted without coolant freeze/thaw concerns. Finally, a full ground nuclear test is not needed, and development costs will be low. The baseline HPS uses SNAP-10A-style thermoelectric power converters to produce 5 kWe at a system mass of about 500 kg. The unicouple thermoelectric converters have a hot shoe temperature of 1275 K and reject waste heat at 775 K. This type of thermoelectric converter has been used extensively by the space program, demonstrating an operational lifetime of decades. At higher thermal power, the same core can produce over 10 kWe using thermoelectric converters, and over 50 kWe using advanced power conversion systems.

  13. 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,

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  15. Concept of electric propulsion realization for high power space tug

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakharenkov, L. E.; Semenkin, A. V.; Solodukhin, A. E.

    2016-07-01

    Popular at the beginning of the Space Age, ambitious projects aimed at Moon, Mars, and other space objects exploration, have returned with new technology and design level. High power space tug with electric propulsion system (EPS) is mainly considered as a transport vehicle for such missions. Modern high power space tugs projects as well as their spacecraft (SC) power and propulsion systems are reviewed in the paper. The main technologies and design solutions needed for high-power EPS realization are considered.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Aeropropulsion 1979. [conferences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    State of the art technology in aeronautical propulsion is assessed. Noise and air pollution control techniques, advances in supersonic propulsion for transport aircraft, and composite materials and structures for reliable engine components are covered along with engine design for improved fuel consumption.

  19. Propulsion at the Marshall Space Flight Center - A brief history

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, L. W.; Fisher, M. F.; Mccool, A. A.; Mccarty, J. P.

    1991-01-01

    The history of propulsion development at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center is summarized, beginning with the development of the propulsion system for the Redstone missile. This course of propulsion development continues through the Jupiter IRBM, the Saturn family of launch vehicles and the engines that powered them, the Centaur upper stage and RL-10 engine, the Reactor In-Flight Test stage and the NERVA nuclear engine. The Space Shuttle Main Engine and Solid Rocket Boosters are covered, as are spacecraft propulsion systems, including the reaction control systems for the High Energy Astronomy Observatory and the Space Station. The paper includes a description of several technology efforts such as those in high pressure turbomachinery, aerospike engines, and the AS203 cyrogenic fluid management flight experiment. These and other propulsion projects are documented, and the scope of activities in support of these efforts at Marshall delineated.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harmon, Timothy J.

    1992-01-01

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

  1. Propulsion recommendations for space station free flying platforms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Redd, L. R.; Rose, L. J.

    1986-01-01

    Propulsion system candidates have been defined for Space Station free flying platforms for the purpose of comparison and to understand the impact of the various mission requirements on the candidate designs. Recommendations for propulsion for each of the various platforms are given.

  2. Space Transportation Technology Workshop: Propulsion Research and Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

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

  3. Options For Development of Space Fission Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houta, Mike; VanDyke, Melissa; Godfroy, Tom; Pedersen, Kevin; Martin, James; Dickens, Ricky; Salvail, Pat; Hrbud, Ivana; Rodgers, Stephen L. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Fission technology can enable rapid, affordable access to any point in the solar system. Potential fission-based transportation options include high specific power continuous impulse propulsion systems and bimodal nuclear thermal rockets. Despite their tremendous potential for enhancing or enabling deep space and planetary missions, to date space fission system have only been used in Earth orbit. The first step towards utilizing advanced fission propulsion systems is development of a safe, near-term, affordable fission system that can enhance or enable near-term missions of interest. An evolutionary approach for developing space fission propulsion systems is proposed.

  4. Advanced Electric Propulsion for Space Solar Power Satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steve

    1999-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  8. Uranium arc fission reactor for space propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watanabe, Yoichi; Maya, Isaac; Vitali, Juan; Appelbaum, Jacob; Schneider, Richard T.

    Combining the proven technology of solid core reactors with uranium arc confinement and non-equilibrium ionization by fission fragments can lead to an attractive propulsion system which has a higher specific impulse than a solid core propulsion system and higher thrust than an electric propulsion system. A preliminary study indicates that a system with 300 MW of fission power can achieve a gas exhaust velocity of 18,000 m/sec and a thrust of 10,000 Newtons utilizing a magnetohydrodynamic generator and accelerator. An experimental program is underway to examine the major mass and energy transfer issues.

  9. Uranium arc fission reactor for space propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watanabe, Yoichi; Maya, Isaac; Vitali, Juan; Appelbaum, Jacob; Schneider, Richard T.

    1991-01-01

    Combining the proven technology of solid core reactors with uranium arc confinement and non-equilibrium ionization by fission fragments can lead to an attractive propulsion system which has a higher specific impulse than a solid core propulsion system and higher thrust than an electric propulsion systems. A preliminary study indicates that a system with 300 MW of fission power can achieve a gas exhaust velocity of 18,000 m/sec and a thrust of 10,000 Newtons utilizing a magnetohydrodynamic generator and accelerator. An experimental program is underway to examine the major mass and energy transfer issues.

  10. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, G.C.; Warren, J.W.; Martinell, J.; Clark, J.S.; Perkins, D.

    1993-04-01

    On 20 Jul. 1989, in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, President George Bush proclaimed his vision for manned space exploration. He stated, 'First for the coming decade, for the 1990's, Space Station Freedom, the next critical step in our space endeavors. And next, for the new century, back to the Moon. Back to the future. And this time, back to stay. And then, a journey into tomorrow, a journey to another planet, a manned mission to Mars.' On 2 Nov. 1989, the President approved a national space policy reaffirming the long range goal of the civil space program: to 'expand human presence and activity beyond Earth orbit into the solar system.' And on 11 May 1990, he specified the goal of landing Astronauts on Mars by 2019, the 50th anniversary of man's first steps on the Moon. To safely and ever permanently venture beyond near Earth environment as charged by the President, mankind must bring to bear extensive new technologies. These include heavy lift launch capability from Earth to low-Earth orbit, automated space rendezvous and docking of large masses, zero gravity countermeasures, and closed loop life support systems. One technology enhancing, and perhaps enabling, the piloted Mars missions is nuclear propulsion, with great benefits over chemical propulsion. Asserting the potential benefits of nuclear propulsion, NASA has sponsored workshops in Nuclear Electric Propulsion and Nuclear Thermal Propulsion and has initiated a tri-agency planning process to ensure that appropriate resources are engaged to meet this exciting technical challenge. At the core of this planning process, NASA, DOE, and DOD established six Nuclear Propulsion Technical Panels in 1991 to provide groundwork for a possible tri-agency Nuclear Propulsion Program and to address the President's vision by advocating an aggressive program in nuclear propulsion. To this end the Nuclear Electric Propulsion Technology Panel has focused it energies.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  13. A Plasmoid Thruster for Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koelfgen, Syri J.; Hawk, Clark W.; Eskridge, Richard; Smith, James W.; Martin, Adam K.

    2003-01-01

    There are a number of possible advantages to using accelerated plasmoids for in-space propulsion. A plasmoid is a compact plasma structure with an integral magnetic field. They have been studied extensively in controlled fusion research and are classified according to the relative strength of the poloidal and toroidal magnetic field (B(sub p), and B(sub t), respectively). An object with B(sub p), / B(sub t) much greater than 1 is classified as a Field Reversed Configuration (FRC); if B(sub p) approximately equal to B(sub t), it is called a Spheromak. The plasmoid thruster operates by producing FRC-like plasmoids and subsequently ejecting them from the device at a high velocity. The plasmoid is formed inside of a single-turn conical theta-pinch coil. As this process is inductive, there are no electrodes. Similar experiments have yielded plasmoid velocities of at least 50 km/s, and calculations indicate that velocities in excess of 100 km/s should be possible. This concept should be capable of producing Isp's in the range of 5,000 - 15,000 s with thrust densities on the order of 10(exp 5) N per square meters. The current experiment is designed to produce jet powers in the range of 5 - 10 kW, although the concept should be scalable to several MW's. The plasmoid mass and velocity will be measured with a variety of diagnostics, including internal and external B-dot probes, flux loops, Langmuir probes, high-speed cameras and a laser interferometer. Also of key importance will be measurements of the efficiency and mass utilization. Simulations of the plasmoid thruster using MOQUI, a time-dependent MHD code, will be carried out concurrently with experimental testing.

  14. A Plasmoid Thruster for Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Koelfgen, Syri J.; Hawk, Clark W.; Eskridge, Richard; Smith, James W.; Martin, Adam K.

    2003-01-01

    There are a number of possible advantages to using accelerated plasmoids for in-space propulsion. A plasmoid is a compact plasma structure with an integral magnetic field. They have been studied extensively in controlled fusion research and are classified according to the relative strength of the poloidal and toroidal magnetic field (BP and Bt, respectively). An Object with B P t >> 1 is classified as a Field Reverse Configuration (FRC); if B, = Bt, it is called a Spheromak. The plasmoid thruster operates by producing FRC-like plasmoids, and subsequently ejecting them from the device at high velocity. The plasmoid is formed inside of a single turn conical theta-pinch coil. As this process is inductive, there are no electrodes. Similar experiments have yielded plasmoid velocities of at least 50 km/s (l), and calculations indicate that velocities in excess of 100 km/s should be possible. This concept should be capable of producing Isp s in the range of 5,000 - 10,000 s with thrust densities of order 10(exp 5) N/sq m. The current experiment is designed to produce jet powers in the range of 5-10 kW, although the concept should be scalable to several MW s. The plasmoids mass and velocity will be measured with a variety of diagnostics, including internal and external B-dot probes, flux loops, Langmuir probes, high-speed cameras, and a laser interferometer. Also of key importance will be measurements of the efficiency and mass utilization. Simulations of the plasmoid thruster using MOQUI, a time dependent MHD code, will be carried out concurrently with experimental testing.

  15. Legal Implications of Nuclear Propulsion for Space Objects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pop, V.

    2002-01-01

    This paper is intended to examine nuclear propulsion concepts such as "Project Orion", "Project Daedalus", NERVA, VASIMIR, from the legal point of view. The UN Principles Relevant to the Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer Space apply to nuclear power sources in outer space devoted to the generation of electric power on board space objects for non-propulsive purposes, and do not regulate the use of nuclear energy as a means of propulsion. However, nuclear propulsion by means of detonating atomic bombs (ORION) is, in principle, banned under the 1963 Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space, and Under Water. The legality of use of nuclear propulsion will be analysed from different approaches - historical (i.e. the lawfulness of these projects at the time of their proposal, at the present time, and in the future - in the light of the mutability and evolution of international law), spatial (i.e. the legal regime governing peaceful nuclear explosions in different spatial zones - Earth atmosphere, Earth orbit, Solar System, and interstellar space), and technical (i.e, the legal regime applicable to different nuclear propulsion techniques, and to the various negative effects - e.g. damage to other space systems as an effect of the electromagnetic pulse, etc). The paper will analyse the positive law, and will also come with suggestions "de lege ferenda".

  16. Space station integrated propulsion and fluid systems study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bicknell, B.; Wilson, S.; Dennis, M.; Shepard, D.; Rossier, R.

    1988-01-01

    The program study was performed in two tasks: Task 1 addressed propulsion systems and Task 2 addressed all fluid systems associated with the Space Station elements, which also included propulsion and pressurant systems. Program results indicated a substantial reduction in life cycle costs through integrating the oxygen/hydrogen propulsion system with the environmental control and life support system, and through supplying nitrogen in a cryogenic gaseous supercritical or subcritical liquid state. A water sensitivity analysis showed that increasing the food water content would substantially increase the amount of water available for propulsion use and in all cases, the implementation of the BOSCH CO2 reduction process would reduce overall life cycle costs to the station and minimize risk. An investigation of fluid systems and associated requirements revealed a delicate balance between the individual propulsion and fluid systems across work packages and a strong interdependence between all other fluid systems.

  17. A comparison of propulsion systems for potential space mission applications

    SciTech Connect

    Harvego, E.A.; Sulmeisters, T.K.

    1987-01-01

    A derivative of the NERVA nuclear rocket engine was compared with a chemical propulsion system and a nuclear electric propulsion system to assess the relative capabilities of the different propulsion system options for three potential space missions. The missions considered were (1) orbital transfer from low earth orbit (LEO) to geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO), (2) LEO to a lunar base, and (3) LEO to Mars. The results of this comparison indicate that the direct-thrust NERVA-derivative nuclear rocket engine has the best performance characteristics for the missions considered. The combined high thrust and high specific impulse achievable with a direct-thrust nuclear stage permits short operating times (transfer times) comparable to chemical propulsion systems, but with considerably less required propellant. While nuclear-electric propulsion systems are more fuel efficient than either direct-nuclear or chemical propulsion, they are not stand-alone systems, since their relatively low thrust levels require the use of high-thrust ferry or lander stages in high gravity applications such as surface-to-orbit propulsion. The extremely long transfer times and inefficient trajectories associated with electric propulsion systems were also found to be a significant drawback.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, W. W.

    1981-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. Electric propulsion applications enabled by space nuclear power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vicente, F. A.; Karras, T.; Brewer, L.; Gore, R.

    1989-01-01

    Electric propulsion promises the advantage of providing high Isp's for placing payloads into their assigned orbits. This translates into heavier payloads using a given lift capability or, conversely, the use of smaller boosters. To accomplish this, high electric powers are required. Space reactor power systems such as SP-100 enable this technology. The electric propulsion requirements needed, namely, their power requirements and the resulting payload masses and time-to-orbit, are shown. Also indicated are the missions most benefitting from the use of electric propulsion. An Interim Reference Mission is described, synthesizing the results shown, for demonstration purposes.

  1. Electric Propulsion for International Space Station Reboost: A Fresh Look

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven R.; Benson, Scott W.

    2002-01-01

    Electric propulsion has recently been revisited for reboost of space station due to its high fuel efficiency. This paper focuses upon the propulsion system and orbit analysis trades undertaken at the beginning of a study to show the relative performance of potential electric propulsion system. A code was developed to analyze continuous low thrust reboost of space station with various electric propulsion systems at various power levels. Analysis showed that a major portion of reboost of space station can be made using electric propulsion systems with 0.5 N of continuous thrust. 1.0 N of EP thrust can provide almost the entire reboost mission, Three electric propulsion systems at various total power levels were chosen for further investigation: N2H4 arcjets at 5 kW, xenon Hall at 10 kW, and xenon ion thrusters at 20 kW. They were chosen for their ability to reduce the internationally launched chemical reboost fuel by 50% or more.

  2. Risk-Based Probabilistic Approach to Aeropropulsion System Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tong, Michael T.

    2002-01-01

    In an era of shrinking development budgets and resources, where there is also an emphasis on reducing the product development cycle, the role of system assessment, performed in the early stages of an engine development program, becomes very critical to the successful development of new aeropropulsion systems. A reliable system assessment not only helps to identify the best propulsion system concept among several candidates, it can also identify which technologies are worth pursuing. This is particularly important for advanced aeropropulsion technology development programs, which require an enormous amount of resources. In the current practice of deterministic, or point-design, approaches, the uncertainties of design variables are either unaccounted for or accounted for by safety factors. This could often result in an assessment with unknown and unquantifiable reliability. Consequently, it would fail to provide additional insight into the risks associated with the new technologies, which are often needed by decision makers to determine the feasibility and return-on-investment of a new aircraft engine. In this work, an alternative approach based on the probabilistic method was described for a comprehensive assessment of an aeropropulsion system. The statistical approach quantifies the design uncertainties inherent in a new aeropropulsion system and their influences on engine performance. Because of this, it enhances the reliability of a system assessment. A technical assessment of a wave-rotor-enhanced gas turbine engine was performed to demonstrate the methodology. The assessment used probability distributions to account for the uncertainties that occur in component efficiencies and flows and in mechanical design variables. The approach taken in this effort was to integrate the thermodynamic cycle analysis embedded in the computer code NEPP (NASA Engine Performance Program) and the engine weight analysis embedded in the computer code WATE (Weight Analysis of Turbine

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rufer, Markus

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Structural Integrity and Durability of Reusable Space Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    The space shuttle main engine (SSME), a reusable space propulsion system, is discussed. The advances in high pressure oxygen hydrogen rocket technology are reported to establish the basic technology and to develop new analytical tools for the evaluation in reusable rocket systems.

  6. Self-refueling space propulsion system and operating method

    SciTech Connect

    Minovitch, M.A.

    1988-07-05

    A propulsion system is described for generating decelerating retro thrust on a space vehicle moving in the vicinity of a celestial body having an atmosphere comprising: a hypervelocity diffuser mounted on the space vehicle for ingesting atmospheric gas at orbital velocities thereby converting the directed kinetic energy of the incoming atmospheric gas stream relative to the space vehicle into thermal energy and generating decelerating retro thrust; and means for cooling the ingested gas by radiative heat transfer into space.

  7. Benefits of electric propulsion for the Space Exploration Initiative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brophy, John R.; Barnett, John W.

    1990-01-01

    An overview of the benefits which may be derived through the use of electric propulsion in support of the Space Exploration Initiative is presented. Lunar cargo, Mars cargo and piloted Mars vehicles using electric propulsion are considered. The high performance of electric propulsion systems is shown to offer substantial benefits for these applications, including: substantially reduced initial masses in low earth orbit, reduced round-trip times for piloted Mars vehicles, availability of large amounts of electrical power en route and at the destination, less sensitivity to launch dates and windows, reusability, and growth potential for human exploration of the solar system. Hybrid chemical/NEP and NTR/NEP vehicles are discussed for their potential to reduce piloted round-trip time to Mars even further. A brief technology assessment of the major electric propulsion system components is also presented.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  9. NASA research in aeropropulsion

    SciTech Connect

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

    1981-12-01

    Future advances in aircraft propulsion systems will be aided by the research performed by NASA and its contractors. This paper gives selected examples of recent accomplishments and current activities relevant to the principal classes of civil and military aircraft. Some instances of new emerging technologies with potential high impact on further progress are discussed. NASA research described includes noise abatement and fuel economy measures for commercial subsonic, supersonic, commuter, and general aviation aircraft, aircraft engines of the jet, turboprop, diesel and rotary types, VTOL, X-wing rotocraft, helicopters, and ''stealth'' aircraft. Applications to military aircraft are also discussed.

  10. Integrated Aeropropulsion Control System Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lin, C. -F.; Hurley, Francis X.; Huang, Jie; Hadaegh, F. Y.

    1996-01-01

    %T Integrated Aeropropulsion Control System Design%A C-F. Lin%A Francis X. Hurley%A Jie Huang%A F. Y. Hadaegh%J International Conference on Control and Information(psi)995%C Hong Kong%D June 1995%K aeropropulsion, control, system%U http://jpltrs.jpl.nasa.gov/1995/95-0658.pdfAn integrated intelligent control approach is proposed to design a high performance control system for aeropropulsion systems based on advanced sensor processing, nonlinear control and neural fuzzy control integration. Our approach features the following innovations:??e complexity and uncertainty issues are addressed via the distributed parallel processing, learning, and online reoptimization properties of neural networks.??e nonlinear dynamics and the severe coupling can be naturally incorporated into the design framework.??e knowledge base and decision making logic furnished by fuzzy systems leads to a human intelligence enhanced control scheme.In addition, fault tolerance, health monitoring and reconfigurable control strategies will be accommodated by this approach to ensure stability, graceful degradation and reoptimization in the case of failures, malfunctions and damage.!.

  11. Asteroids as Propulsion Systems of Space Ships

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bolonkin, Alexander

    2003-01-01

    Currently, rockets are used to change the trajectory of space ships and probes. This method is very expensive and requires a lot of fuel, which limits the feasibility of space stations, interplanetary space ships, and probes. Sometimes space probes use the gravity field of a planet However, there am only nine planets in the Solar System, all separated by great distances. There are tons of millions of asteroids in outer space. This paper offers a revolutionary method for changing the trajectory of space probes. The method uses the kinetic or rotary energy of asteroids, comet nuclei, meteorites or other space bodies (small planets, natural planetary satellites, space debris, etc.) to increase (to decrease) ship (probe) speed up to 1000 m/sec (or more) and to achieve any new direction in outer space. The flight possibilities of space ships and probes are increased by a factor of millions.

  12. 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

    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 human exploration and development 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 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 energy to heat a low atomic weight propellant cannot overcome the problem. Alternatively the energy can be converted into electricity which is then used to accelerate particles to high exhaust velocity. The necessary power conversion and conditioning equipment, however, increases the mass of the propulsion system for the same jet power by more than two orders of magnitude over chemical system, thus greatly limits the thrust-to-weight ratio attainable. If fusion can be developed, fusion appears to have the best of all worlds in terms of propulsion - it can provide the absolute amount, the propellant exhaust velocity, and the high specific jet power. An intermediate step towards pure fusion propulsion is a bimodal system in which a fission reactor is used to provide some of the energy to drive a fusion propulsion unit. The technical issues related to fusion for space propulsion are discussed. There are similarities as well as differences at the system level between applying fusion to propulsion and to terrestrial electrical power generation. The differences potentially provide a wider window of opportunities for applying fusion to propulsion. For example, pulsed approaches to fusion may be attractive for the propulsion application. This is particularly so

  13. Primary propulsion/large space system interaction study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coyner, J. V.; Dergance, R. H.; Robertson, R. I.; Wiggins, J. V.

    1981-01-01

    An interaction study was conducted between propulsion systems and large space structures to determine the effect of low thrust primary propulsion system characteristics on the mass, area, and orbit transfer characteristics of large space systems (LSS). The LSS which were considered would be deployed from the space shuttle orbiter bay in low Earth orbit, then transferred to geosynchronous equatorial orbit by their own propulsion systems. The types of structures studied were the expandable box truss, hoop and column, and wrap radial rib each with various surface mesh densities. The impact of the acceleration forces on system sizing was determined and the effects of single point, multipoint, and transient thrust applications were examined. Orbit transfer strategies were analyzed to determine the required velocity increment, burn time, trip time, and payload capability over a range of final acceleration levels. Variables considered were number of perigee burns, delivered specific impulse, and constant thrust and constant acceleration modes of propulsion. Propulsion stages were sized for four propellant combinations; oxygen/hydrogen, oxygen/methane, oxygen/kerosene, and nitrogen tetroxide/monomethylhydrazine, for pump fed and pressure fed engine systems. Two types of tankage configurations were evaluated, minimum length to maximize available payload volume and maximum performance to maximize available payload mass.

  14. 70 Years of Aeropropulsion Research at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reddy, Dhanireddy R.

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents a brief overview of air-breathing propulsion research conducted at the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) over the past 70 years. It includes a historical perspective of the center and its various stages of propulsion research in response to the countrys different periods of crises and growth opportunities. GRCs research and technology development covered a broad spectrum, from a short-term focus on improving the energy efficiency of aircraft engines to advancing the frontier technologies of high-speed aviation in the supersonic and hypersonic speed regimes. This paper highlights major research programs, showing their impact on industry and aircraft propulsion, and briefly discusses current research programs and future aeropropulsion technology trends in related areas

  15. Progress report on nuclear propulsion for space exploration and science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.; Miller, Thomas J.

    1993-01-01

    NASA is continuing its work in cooperation with the Department of Energy (DOE) on nuclear propulsion - both nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) and nuclear electric propulsion (NEP). The focus of the NTP studies remains on piloted and cargo missions to Mars (with precursor missions to the moon) although studies are under way to examine the potential uses of NTP for science missions. The focus of the NEP studies has shifted to space science missions with consideration of combining a science mission with an earlier demonstration of NEP using the SP-100 space nuclear reactor power system. Both NTP and NEP efforts are continuing in 1993 to provide a good foundation for science and exploration planners. Both NTP and NEP provide a very important transportation resource and in a number of cases enable missions that could not otherwise be accomplished.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beck, David F.

    1993-01-01

    The Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) Program is an initiative within the US Air Force to acquire and validate advanced technologies that could be used to sustain superior capabilities in the area or space nuclear propulsion. The SNTP Program has a specific objective of demonstrating the feasibility of the particle bed reactor (PBR) concept. The term PIPET refers to a project within the SNTP Program responsible for the design, development, construction, and operation of a test reactor facility, including all support systems, that is intended to resolve program technology issues and test goals. A nuclear test facility has been designed that meets SNTP Facility requirements. The design approach taken to meet SNTP requirements has resulted in a nuclear test facility that should encompass a wide range of nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) test requirements that may be generated within other programs. The SNTP PIPET project is actively working with DOE and NASA to assess this possibility.

  17. Enhancing space transportation: The NASA program to develop electric propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.; Watkins, Marcus A.; Byers, David C.; Barnett, John W.

    1990-01-01

    The NASA Office of Aeronautics, Exploration, and Technology (OAET) supports a research and technology (R and T) program in electric propulsion to provide the basis for increased performance and life of electric thruster systems which can have a major impact on space system performance, including orbital transfer, stationkeeping, and planetary exploration. The program is oriented toward providing high-performance options that will be applicable to a broad range of near-term and far-term missions and vehicles. The program, which is being conducted through the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Lewis Research Center (LeRC) includes research on resistojet, arcjets, ion engines, magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thrusters, and electrodeless thrusters. Planning is also under way for nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) as part of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI).

  18. Nuclear modules for space electric propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Difilippo, F. C.

    1998-01-01

    Analysis of interplanetary cargo and piloted missions requires calculations of the performances and masses of subsystems to be integrated in a final design. In a preliminary and scoping stage the designer needs to evaluate options iteratively by using fast computer simulations. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has been involved in the development of models and calculational procedures for the analysis (neutronic and thermal hydraulic) of power sources for nuclear electric propulsion. The nuclear modules will be integrated into the whole simulation of the nuclear electric propulsion system. The vehicles use either a Brayton direct-conversion cycle, using the heated helium from a NERVA-type reactor, or a potassium Rankine cycle, with the working fluid heated on the secondary side of a heat exchanger and lithium on the primary side coming from a fast reactor. Given a set of input conditions, the codes calculate composition. dimensions, volumes, and masses of the core, reflector, control system, pressure vessel, neutron and gamma shields, as well as the thermal hydraulic conditions of the coolant, clad and fuel. Input conditions are power, core life, pressure and temperature of the coolant at the inlet of the core, either the temperature of the coolant at the outlet of the core or the coolant mass flow and the fluences and integrated doses at the cargo area. Using state-of-the-art neutron cross sections and transport codes, a database was created for the neutronic performance of both reactor designs. The free parameters of the models are the moderator/fuel mass ratio for the NERVA reactor and the enrichment and the pitch of the lattice for the fast reactor. Reactivity and energy balance equations are simultaneously solved to find the reactor design. Thermalhydraulic conditions are calculated by solving the one-dimensional versions of the equations of conservation of mass, energy, and momentum with compressible flow.

  19. Nuclear modules for space electric propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Difilippo, F.C.

    1998-12-31

    Analysis of interplanetary cargo and piloted missions requires calculations of the performances and masses of subsystems to be integrated in a final design. In a preliminary and scoping stage the designer needs to evaluate options iteratively by using fast computer simulations. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has been involved in the development of models and calculational procedures for the analysis (neutronic and thermal hydraulic) of power sources for nuclear electric propulsion. The nuclear modules will be integrated into the whole simulation of the nuclear electric propulsion system. The vehicles use either a Brayton direct-conversion cycle, using the heated helium from a NERVA-type reactor, or a potassium Rankine cycle, with the working fluid heated on the secondary side of a heat exchanger and lithium on the primary side coming from a fast reactor. Given a set of input conditions, the codes calculate composition. dimensions, volumes, and masses of the core, reflector, control system, pressure vessel, neutron and gamma shields, as well as the thermal hydraulic conditions of the coolant, clad and fuel. Input conditions are power, core life, pressure and temperature of the coolant at the inlet of the core, either the temperature of the coolant at the outlet of the core or the coolant mass flow and the fluences and integrated doses at the cargo area. Using state-of-the-art neutron cross sections and transport codes, a database was created for the neutronic performance of both reactor designs. The free parameters of the models are the moderator/fuel mass ratio for the NERVA reactor and the enrichment and the pitch of the lattice for the fast reactor. Reactivity and energy balance equations are simultaneously solved to find the reactor design. Thermalhydraulic conditions are calculated by solving the one-dimensional versions of the equations of conservation of mass, energy, and momentum with compressible flow. 10 refs., 1 tab.

  20. Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Space Explorations. Part 1; History of JPL

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chau, Savio

    2005-01-01

    This slide presentation briefly reviews the history of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory from its founding by Dr von Karman in 1936 for research in rocketry through the post-Sputnik shift to unmanned space exploration in 1957. The presentation also reviews the major JPL missions with views of the spacecraft.

  1. NASA directions in space propulsion for 2000 and beyond

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reck, Gregory M.

    1989-01-01

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

  2. Structural Integrity and Durability of Reusable Space Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    A two-day conference on the structural integrity and durability of reusable space propulsion systems was held on May 12 and 13, 1987, at the NASA Lewis research Center. Aerothermodynamic loads; instrumentation; fatigue, fracture, and constitutive modeling; and structural dynamics were discussed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pencil, Eric J.; Anderson, David

    2013-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Development priorities for in-space propulsion technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Solar Electric Propulsion Concepts for Human Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mercer, Carolyn R.; McGuire, Melissa L.; Oleson, Steven R.; Barrett, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Advances in solar array and electric thruster technologies now offer the promise of new, very capable space transportation systems that will allow us to cost effectively explore the solar system. NASA has developed numerous solar electric propulsion spacecraft concepts with power levels ranging from tens to hundreds of kilowatts for robotic and piloted missions to asteroids and Mars. This paper describes nine electric and hybrid solar electric/chemical propulsion concepts developed over the last 5 years and discusses how they might be used for human exploration of the inner solar system.

  8. Solar Electric Propulsion Concepts for Human Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mercer, Carolyn R.; Mcguire, Melissa L.; Oleson, Steven R.; Barrett, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Advances in solar array and electric thruster technologies now offer the promise of new, very capable space transportation systems that will allow us to cost effectively explore the solar system. NASA has developed numerous solar electric propulsion spacecraft concepts with power levels ranging from tens to hundreds of kilowatts for robotic and piloted missions to asteroids and Mars. This paper describes nine electric and hybrid solar electric/chemical propulsion concepts developed over the last 5 years and discusses how they might be used for human exploration of the inner solar system.

  9. Space Fission Propulsion System Development Status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Mike; VanDyke, Melissa; Godfroy, Tom; Pedersen, Kevin; Martin, James; Dickens, Ricky; Williams, Eric; Harper, Roger; Salvail, Pat; Hrbud, Ivana; Rodgers, Stephen L. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    The world's first man-made self-sustaining fission reaction was achieved in 1942. Since then fission has been used to propel submarines, generate tremendous amounts of electricity, produce medical isotopes, and provide numerous other benefits to society. Fission systems operate independently of solar proximity or orientation, and are thus well suited for deep spare or planetary surface missions. In addition, the fuel for fission systems (enriched uranium) is virtually non-radioactive. The primary safety issue with fission systems is avoiding inadvertent system start - addressing this issue through proper system design is straightforward. Despite the relative simplicity and tremendous potential of space fission systems, the development and utilization of these systems has proven elusive. The first use of fission technology in space occurred 3 April 1965 with the US launch of the SNAP-10A reactor. There have been no additional US uses of space fission system. While space fission system were used extensively by the former Soviet Union, their application was limited to earth-orbital missions. Early space fission systems must be safely and affordably utilized if Ae are to reap the benefits of advanced space fission systems.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les C.; Harris, David

    2008-01-01

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

  11. Space Technology: Propulsion, Control and Guidance of Space Vehicles. Aerospace Education III.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Savler, D. S.; Mackin, T. E.

    This book, one in the series on Aerospace Education III, includes a discussion of the essentials of propulsion, control, and guidance and the conditions of space travel. Chapter 1 provides a brief account of basic laws of celestial mechanics. Chapters 2, 3, and 4 are devoted to the chemical principles of propulsion. Included are the basics of…

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  13. Component Data Base for Space Station Resistojet Auxiliary Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bader, Clayton H.

    1988-01-01

    The resistojet was baselined for Space Station auxiliary propulsion because of its operational versatility, efficiency, and durability. This report was conceived as a guide to designers and planners of the Space Station auxiliary propulsion system. It is directed to the low thrust resistojet concept, though it should have application to other station concepts or systems such as the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS), Manufacturing and Technology Laboratory (MTL), and the Waste Fluid Management System (WFMS). The information will likely be quite useful in the same capacity for other non-Space Station systems including satellite, freeflyers, explorers, and maneuvering vehicles. The report is a catalog of the most useful information for the most significant feed system components and is organized for the greatest convenience of the user.

  14. Space nuclear power, propulsion, and related technologies

    SciTech Connect

    Berman, M.; Stikar, J.A.

    1992-01-01

    Sandia National Laboratories is one of the nation's largest research and development (R and D) facilities and is responsible for national security programs in defense and energy with a primary emphasis on nuclear weapon R and D. However, Sandia also supports a wide variety of projects ranging from basic materials research to the design of specialized parachutes. As a multiprogram national laboratory, Sandia has much to offer both industrial and government customers in pursuing space nuclear technologies. A brief summary of Sandia's technical capabilities, test facilities, and example programs that relate to military and civilian objectives in space is presented.

  15. Space nuclear power, propulsion, and related technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berman, Marshall

    1992-01-01

    Sandia National Laboratories is one of the nation's largest research and development (R&D) facilities and is responsible for national security programs in defense and energy with a primary emphasis on nuclear weapon R&D. However, Sandia also supports a wide variety of projects ranging from basic materials research to the design of specialized parachutes. As a multiprogram national laboratory, Sandia has much to offer both industrial and government customers in pursuing space nuclear technologies. A brief summary of Sandia's technical capabilities, test facilities, and example programs that relate to military and civilian objectives in space is presented.

  16. Structural Requirements for the Space Propulsion Engine Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Aggarwal, Pravin K.

    2006-01-01

    In January 2004, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was given a vision for Space Exploration by President Bush, setting our sight on a bold new path to go back to the Moon, then to Mars and beyond. As NASA gets ready to meet the vision set by President Bush, failures are not an option. Reliability of the propulsion engine systems will play an important role in establishing an overall safe and reliable operation of these new space systems. A new standard, NASA-STD-5012, Strength and Life Assessment for Space Propulsion System Engines, has been developed to provide structural requirements for assessment of the propulsion systems engine. This standard is a complement to the current NASA-wide standard NASA-STD-5001, Structural Design and Test Factors of Safety for Spaceflight Hardware, which excluded the requirement for the engine systems (rotatory structures) along with pressure vessels. As developed, this document builds on the heritage of the multiple industrial standards related to strength and life assessment of the structures. For assuring a safe and reliable operation of a product and/or mission, establishing a set of structural assessment requirements is a key ingredient. Hence, a concentrated effort was made to improve the requirements where there are known lessons learned during the design, test, and operation phases of the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) and other engine development programs. Requirements delineated in this standard are also applicable for the reusable and/or human missions. It shall be noted that "reliability of a system cannot be tested and inspected but can only be achieved if it is first designed into a system." Hence, these strength and life assessment requirements for the space propulsion system engines shall be used along with other good engineering practices, requirements, and policies.

  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. Novel extraterrestrial processing for space propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramohalli, K.; Dowler, W.; French, J.; Ash, R.

    1985-01-01

    In the present quantitative consideration of space processing concepts for chemicals, theoretical parametric calculations are supplemented by a bench scale experiment. Attention is given to the case of water splitting to generate hydrogen and oxygen for a simple rocket motor that can be used in periodic thrusting. This concept of in situ propellant production is treated in detail and compared with more recent energy and materials technologies.

  19. Aeropropulsion 1987. Session 4: Instrumentation and Controls Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    The Lewis Research Center has had a long history of research directed toward advancing the national capability in the areas of propulsion research instrumentation and propulsion controls. Some of the major advances from this research that are currently in use are highlighted as well as some of the ongoing and planned research that will strongly impact the future capabilities. The presentations will cover the efforts on research instrumentation and controls as well as the research on high temperature electronics. This introductory section will focus on the major drivers or needs of the aeropropulsion industry that have shaped the instrumentation and controls research programs. Also covered will be the technological opportunities that have greatly impacted the program and that permitted break-throughs in several areas.

  20. Enhancing aeropropulsion research with high-speed interactive computing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Szuch, John R.; Arpasi, Dale J.; Strazisar, Anthony J.

    1991-01-01

    NASA-Lewis has committed to a long range goal of creating a numerical test cell for aeropropulsion research and development. Efforts are underway to develop a first generation Numerical Propulsion System Simulation (NPSS). The NPSS will provide a unique capability to numerically simulate advanced propulsion systems from nose to tail. Two essential ingredients to the NPSS are: (1) experimentally validated Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes; and (2) high performing computing systems (hardware and software) that will permit those codes to be used efficiently. To this end, NASA-Lewis is using high speed, interactive computing as a means for achieving Integrated CFD and Experiments (ICE). The development is described of a prototype ICE system for multistage compressor flow physics research.

  1. 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.

  2. Numerical Propulsion System Simulation for Space Transportation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Owen, Karl

    2000-01-01

    Current system simulations are mature, difficult to modify, and poorly documented. Probabilistic life prediction techniques for space applications are in their early application stage. Many parts of the full system, variable fidelity simulation, have been demonstrated individually or technology is available from aeronautical applications. A 20% reduction in time to design with improvements in performance and risk reduction is anticipated. GRC software development will proceed with similar development efforts in aeronautical simulations. Where appropriate, parallel efforts will be encouraged/tracked in high risk areas until success is assured.

  3. Space nuclear power, propulsion, and related technologies.

    SciTech Connect

    Berman, Marshall

    1992-01-01

    Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) is one of the nation's largest research and development (R&D) facilities, with headquarters at Albuquerque, New Mexico; a laboratory at Livermore, California; and a test range near Tonopah, Nevada. Smaller testing facilities are also operated at other locations. Established in 1945, Sandia was operated by the University of California until 1949, when, at the request of President Truman, Sandia Corporation was formed as a subsidiary of Bell Lab's Western Electric Company to operate Sandia as a service to the U.S. Government without profit or fee. Sandia is currently operated for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) by AT&T Technologies, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of AT&T. Sandia's responsibility is national security programs in defense and energy with primary emphasis on nuclear weapon research and development (R&D). However, Sandia also supports a wide variety of projects ranging from basic materials research to the design of specialized parachutes. Assets, owned by DOE and valued at more than $1.2 billion, include about 600 major buildings containing about 372,000 square meters (m2) (4 million square feet [ft2]) of floor space, located on land totalling approximately 1460 square kilometers (km2) (562 square miles [mi]). Sandia employs about 8500 people, the majority in Albuquerque, with about 1000 in Livermore. Approximately 60% of Sandia's employees are in technical and scientific positions, and the remainder are in crafts, skilled labor, and administrative positions. As a multiprogram national laboratory, Sandia has much to offer both industrial and government customers in pursuing space nuclear technologies. The purpose of this brochure is to provide the reader with a brief summary of Sandia's technical capabilities, test facilities, and example programs that relate to military and civilian objectives in space. Sandia is interested in forming partnerships with industry and government organizations, and has already

  4. Laser propulsion for space applications: Is it another myth or a real potential?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, Joung R.

    2007-05-01

    This paper discusses different principles of inducing propulsive power using lasers and examines the performance limits along with pros and cons with respect to different space propulsion applications: satellite launching, orbital transfer, space debris clearing, satellite propulsion, and space travels. It concludes that a use of electrical propulsion, in conjunction with laser power beaming, is the most feasible application with technological and economic advantages for commercial use within the next decades.

  5. Inertial-Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) Fusion for Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nadler, Jon

    1999-01-01

    An Inertial-Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) device was assembled at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Propulsion Research Center (PRC) to study the possibility of using EEC technology for deep space propulsion and power. Inertial-Electrostatic Confinement is capable of containing a nuclear fusion plasma in a series of virtual potential wells. These wells would substantially increase plasma confinement, possibly leading towards a high-gain, breakthrough fusion device. A one-foot in diameter IEC vessel was borrowed from the Fusion Studies Laboratory at the University of Illinois@Urbana-Champaign for the summer. This device was used in initial parameterization studies in order to design a larger, actively cooled device for permanent use at the PRC.

  6. Inertial-Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) Fusion For Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nadler, Jon

    1999-01-01

    An Inertial-Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) device was assembled at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Propulsion Research Center (PRC) to study the possibility of using IEC technology for deep space propulsion and power. Inertial-Electrostatic Confinement is capable of containing a nuclear fusion plasma in a series of virtual potential wells. These wells would substantially increase plasma confinement, possibly leading towards a high-gain, breakthrough fusion device. A one-foot in diameter IEC vessel was borrowed from the Fusion Studies Laboratory at the University of Illinois @ Urbana-Champaign for the summer. This device was used in initial parameterization studies in order to design a larger, actively cooled device for permanent use at the PRC.

  7. Unconventional nozzle tradeoff study. [space tug propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Obrien, C. J.

    1979-01-01

    Plug cluster engine design, performance, weight, envelope, operational characteristics, development cost, and payload capability, were evaluated and comparisons were made with other space tug engine candidates using oxygen/hydrogen propellants. Parametric performance data were generated for existing developed or high technology thrust chambers clustered around a plug nozzle of very large diameter. The uncertainties in the performance prediction of plug cluster engines with large gaps between the modules (thrust chambers) were evaluated. The major uncertainty involves, the aerodynamics of the flow from discrete nozzles, and the lack of this flow to achieve the pressure ratio corresponding to the defined area ratio for a plug cluster. This uncertainty was reduced through a cluster design that consists of a plug contour that is formed from the cluster of high area ratio bell nozzles that have been scarfed. Light-weight, high area ratio, bell nozzles were achieved through the use of AGCarb (carbon-carbon cloth) nozzle extensions.

  8. Space shuttle auxiliary propulsion system design study. Executive summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kelly, P. J.; Schweickert, T. F.

    1972-01-01

    The development and characteristics of an auxiliary propulsion system for space shuttle applications are presented. The system design data necessary for selection of preferred system concepts and the requirements for complementing component design and test programs are analyzed. The use of cryogenic oxygen and hydrogen as a propellant combination is explained on the basis of high vehicle impulse requirements, safety factors, reuse, and logistics considerations. The final configurations for the alternate propellant system, with primary emphasis on earth storable propellants is described.

  9. Space shuttle propulsion estimation development verification, volume 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rogers, Robert M.

    1989-01-01

    The results of the Propulsion Estimation Development Verification are summarized. A computer program developed under a previous contract (NAS8-35324) was modified to include improved models for the Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) internal ballistics, the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) power coefficient model, the vehicle dynamics using quaternions, and an improved Kalman filter algorithm based on the U-D factorized algorithm. As additional output, the estimated propulsion performances, for each device are computed with the associated 1-sigma bounds. The outputs of the estimation program are provided in graphical plots. An additional effort was expended to examine the use of the estimation approach to evaluate single engine test data. In addition to the propulsion estimation program PFILTER, a program was developed to produce a best estimate of trajectory (BET). The program LFILTER, also uses the U-D factorized algorithm form of the Kalman filter as in the propulsion estimation program PFILTER. The necessary definitions and equations explaining the Kalman filtering approach for the PFILTER program, the models used for this application for dynamics and measurements, program description, and program operation are presented.

  10. Lightweight Radiator for in Space Nuclear Electric Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Craven, Paul; Tomboulian, Briana; SanSoucie, Michael

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Materials Needs for Future In-Space Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les

    2006-01-01

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

  13. Structural Integrity and Durability of Reusable Space Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    A two-day conference on the structural integrity and durability of reusable space propulsion systems was held on 14 to 15 May 1991 at the NASA Lewis Research Center. Presentations were made by industry, university, and government researchers organized into four sessions: (1) aerothermodynamic loads; (2) instrumentation; (3) fatigue, fracture, and constitutive modeling; and (4) structural dynamics. The principle objectives were to disseminate research results and future plans in each of four areas. This publication contains extended abstracts and the visual material presented during the conference. Particular emphasis is placed on the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) and the SSME turbopump.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Urasek, Donald C.; Calfo, Frederick D.

    1993-01-01

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

  15. Coupling gravity, electromagnetism and space-time for space propulsion breakthroughs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Millis, Marc G.

    1994-01-01

    spaceflight would be revolutionized if it were possible to propel a spacecraft without rockets using the coupling between gravity, electromagnetism, and space-time (hence called 'space coupling propulsion'). New theories and observations about the properties of space are emerging which offer new approaches to consider this breakthrough possibility. To guide the search, evaluation, and application of these emerging possibilities, a variety of hypothetical space coupling propulsion mechanisms are presented to highlight the issues that would have to be satisfied to enable such breakthroughs. A brief introduction of the emerging opportunities is also presented.

  16. Materials Needs for Future In-space Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Charles Les

    2008-01-01

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

  17. Nuclear electric propulsion for future NASA space science missions

    SciTech Connect

    Yen, Chen-wan L.

    1993-07-20

    This study has been made to assess the needs, potential benefits and the applicability of early (circa year 2000) Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) technology in conducting NASA science missions. The study goals are: to obtain the performance characteristics of near term NEP technologies; to measure the performance potential of NEP for important OSSA missions; to compare NEP performance with that of conventional chemical propulsion; to identify key NEP system requirements; to clarify and depict the degree of importance NEP might have in advancing NASA space science goals; and to disseminate the results in a format useful to both NEP users and technology developers. This is a mission performance study and precludes investigations of multitudes of new mission operation and systems design issues attendant in a NEP flight.

  18. IEC Thrusters for Space Probe Applications and Propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Miley, George H.; Momota, Hiromu; Wu Linchun; Reilly, Michael P.; Teofilo, Vince L.; Burton, Rodney; Dell, Richard; Dell, Dick; Hargus, William A.

    2009-03-16

    Earlier conceptual design studies (Bussard, 1990; Miley et al., 1998; Burton et al., 2003) have described Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) fusion propulsion to provide a high-power density fusion propulsion system capable of aggressive deep space missions. However, this requires large multi-GW thrusters and a long term development program. As a first step towards this goal, a progression of near-term IEC thrusters, stating with a 1-10 kWe electrically-driven IEC jet thruster for satellites are considered here. The initial electrically-powered unit uses a novel multi-jet plasma thruster based on spherical IEC technology with electrical input power from a solar panel. In this spherical configuration, Xe ions are generated and accelerated towards the center of double concentric spherical grids. An electrostatic potential well structure is created in the central region, providing ion trapping. Several enlarged grid opening extract intense quasi-neutral plasma jets. A variable specific impulse in the range of 1000-4000 seconds is achieved by adjusting the grid potential. This design provides high maneuverability for satellite and small space probe operations. The multiple jets, combined with gimbaled auxiliary equipment, provide precision changes in thrust direction. The IEC electrical efficiency can match or exceed efficiencies of conventional Hall Current Thrusters (HCTs) while offering advantages such as reduced grid erosion (long life time), reduced propellant leakage losses (reduced fuel storage), and a very high power-to-weight ratio. The unit is ideally suited for probing missions. The primary propulsive jet enables delicate maneuvering close to an object. Then simply opening a second jet offset 180 degrees from the propulsion one provides a 'plasma analytic probe' for interrogation of the object.

  19. IEC Thrusters for Space Probe Applications and Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miley, George H.; Momota, Hiromu; Wu, Linchun; Reilly, Michael P.; Teofilo, Vince L.; Burton, Rodney; Dell, Richard; Dell, Dick; Hargus, William A.

    2009-03-01

    Earlier conceptual design studies (Bussard, 1990; Miley et al., 1998; Burton et al., 2003) have described Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) fusion propulsion to provide a high-power density fusion propulsion system capable of aggressive deep space missions. However, this requires large multi-GW thrusters and a long term development program. As a first step towards this goal, a progression of near-term IEC thrusters, stating with a 1-10 kWe electrically-driven IEC jet thruster for satellites are considered here. The initial electrically-powered unit uses a novel multi-jet plasma thruster based on spherical IEC technology with electrical input power from a solar panel. In this spherical configuration, Xe ions are generated and accelerated towards the center of double concentric spherical grids. An electrostatic potential well structure is created in the central region, providing ion trapping. Several enlarged grid opening extract intense quasi-neutral plasma jets. A variable specific impulse in the range of 1000-4000 seconds is achieved by adjusting the grid potential. This design provides high maneuverability for satellite and small space probe operations. The multiple jets, combined with gimbaled auxiliary equipment, provide precision changes in thrust direction. The IEC electrical efficiency can match or exceed efficiencies of conventional Hall Current Thrusters (HCTs) while offering advantages such as reduced grid erosion (long life time), reduced propellant leakage losses (reduced fuel storage), and a very high power-to-weight ratio. The unit is ideally suited for probing missions. The primary propulsive jet enables delicate maneuvering close to an object. Then simply opening a second jet offset 180 degrees from the propulsion one provides a "plasma analytic probe" for interrogation of the object.

  20. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory space exploration: Past, present and future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bellan, Josette

    1993-02-01

    The most recent scientific results from space exploration carried out by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) are discussed. To aid understanding of these results, a brief background of JPL's history is presented, followed by a description of the Deep Space Network, JPL's system of antennas which communicates with spacecraft. The results from the missions of Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are described. The atmosphere, rings, satellites and magnetospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are discussed with particular emphasis on novelty of the discoveries and the challenges encountered in explaining them. A brief discussion of the impact of spray research upon space exploration follows. This is because most recently launched missions used liquid fueled rockets to escape Earth's gravity. A summary of future missions and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's new policies is presented in the conclusion.

  1. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory space exploration: Past, present and future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bellan, Josette

    1993-01-01

    The most recent scientific results from space exploration carried out by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) are discussed. To aid understanding of these results, a brief background of JPL's history is presented, followed by a description of the Deep Space Network, JPL's system of antennas which communicates with spacecraft. The results from the missions of Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are described. The atmosphere, rings, satellites and magnetospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are discussed with particular emphasis on novelty of the discoveries and the challenges encountered in explaining them. A brief discussion of the impact of spray research upon space exploration follows. This is because most recently launched missions used liquid fueled rockets to escape Earth's gravity. A summary of future missions and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's new policies is presented in the conclusion.

  2. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory Space Exploration: Past, Present and Future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bellan, Josette

    1993-01-01

    The most recent scientific results from space exploration carried out by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) are discussed. To aid understanding of these results, a brief background of JPL's history is presented, followed by a description of the Deep Space Network, JPL's system of antennas which communicates with spacecraft. The results from the missions of Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are described. The atmosphere, rings, satellites and magnetospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are discussed with particular emphasis on novelty of the discoveries and the challenges encountered in explaining them. A brief discussion of the impact of spray research upon space exploration follows. This is because most recently launched missions used liquid fueled rockets to escape Earth's gravity. A summary of future missions and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's new policies is presented in the conclusion.

  3. Probabilistic Risk-Based Approach to Aeropropulsion System Assessment Developed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tong, Michael T.

    2001-01-01

    In an era of shrinking development budgets and resources, where there is also an emphasis on reducing the product development cycle, the role of system assessment, performed in the early stages of an engine development program, becomes very critical to the successful development of new aeropropulsion systems. A reliable system assessment not only helps to identify the best propulsion system concept among several candidates, it can also identify which technologies are worth pursuing. This is particularly important for advanced aeropropulsion technology development programs, which require an enormous amount of resources. In the current practice of deterministic, or point-design, approaches, the uncertainties of design variables are either unaccounted for or accounted for by safety factors. This could often result in an assessment with unknown and unquantifiable reliability. Consequently, it would fail to provide additional insight into the risks associated with the new technologies, which are often needed by decisionmakers to determine the feasibility and return-on-investment of a new aircraft engine.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  6. Structures-propulsion interactions and requirements. [large space structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Coyner, J. V.

    1982-01-01

    The effects of low-thrust primary propulsion system characteristics on the mass, area, and orbit transfer characteristics of large space systems (LSS) were determined. Three general structural classes of LSS were considered, each with a broad range of diameters and nonstructural surface densities. While transferring the deployed structure from LEO and to GEO, an acceleration range of 0.02 to 0.1 g's was found to maximize deliverable payload based on structural mass impact. After propulsion system parametric analyses considering four propellant combinations produced values for available payload mass, length and volume, a thrust level range which maximizes deliverable LSS diameter was determined corresponding to a structure and propulsion vehicle. The engine start and/or shutdown thrust transients on the last orbit transfer (apogee) burn can impose transient loads which would be greater than the steady-state loads at the burnout acceleration. The effect of the engine thrust transients on the LSS was determined from the dynamic models upon which various engine ramps were imposed.

  7. Carbon-carbon turbopump concept for Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Overholt, D.M.

    1993-06-01

    The U.S. Air Force Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program is placing high priority on maximizing specific impulse (ISP) and thrust-to-weight ratio in the development of a practical high-performance nuclear rocket. The turbopump design is driven by these goals. The liquid hydrogen propellant is pressurized and pumped to the reactor inlet by the turbopump assembly (TPA). Rocket propulsion is from rapid heating of the propellant from 180 R to thousands of degrees in the particle bed reactor (PBR). The exhausted propellant is then expanded through a high-temperature nozzle. A high-performance approach is to use an uncooled carbon-carbon nozzle and duct turbine inlet. Carbon-carbon components are used throughout the TPA hot section to obtain the high-temperature capability. Several carbon-carbon components are in development including structural parts, turbine nozzles/stators, and turbine rotors. The technology spinoff is applicable to conventional liquid propulsion engines and many other turbomachinery applications. 3 refs.

  8. High-temperature turbopump assembly for space nuclear thermal propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Overholt, D.M. )

    1993-01-20

    The development of a practical, high-performance nuclear rocket by the U.S. Air Force Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program places high priority on maximizing specific impulse (ISP) and thrust-to-weight ratio. The operating parameters arising from these goals drive the propellant-pump design. The liquid hydrogen propellant is pressurized and pumped to the reactor inlet by the turbopump assembly (TPA). Rocket propulsion is effected by rapid heating of the propellant from 100 K to thousands of degrees in the particle-bed reactor (PBR). The exhausted propellant is then expanded through a high-temperature nozzle. One approach to achieve high performance is to use an uncooled carbon-carbon nozzle and duct turbine inlet. The high-temperature capability is obtained by using carbon-carbon throughout the TPA hot section. Carbon-carbon components in development include structural parts, turbine nozzles/stators, and turbine rotors. The technology spinoff is applicable to conventional liquid propulsion engines plus a wide variety of other turbomachinery applications.

  9. Carbon-carbon turbopump concept for Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overholt, David M.

    1993-06-01

    The U.S. Air Force Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program is placing high priority on maximizing specific impulse (ISP) and thrust-to-weight ratio in the development of a practical high-performance nuclear rocket. The turbopump design is driven by these goals. The liquid hydrogen propellant is pressurized and pumped to the reactor inlet by the turbopump assembly (TPA). Rocket propulsion is from rapid heating of the propellant from 180 R to thousands of degrees in the particle bed reactor (PBR). The exhausted propellant is then expanded through a high-temperature nozzle. A high-performance approach is to use an uncooled carbon-carbon nozzle and duct turbine inlet. Carbon-carbon components are used throughout the TPA hot section to obtain the high-temperature capability. Several carbon-carbon components are in development including structural parts, turbine nozzles/stators, and turbine rotors. The technology spinoff is applicable to conventional liquid propulsion engines and many other turbomachinery applications.

  10. Analysis of the Space Propulsion System Problem Using RAVEN

    SciTech Connect

    diego mandelli; curtis smith; cristian rabiti; andrea alfonsi

    2014-06-01

    This paper presents the solution of the space propulsion problem using a PRA code currently under development at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). RAVEN (Reactor Analysis and Virtual control ENviroment) is a multi-purpose Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) software framework that allows dispatching different functionalities. It is designed to derive and actuate the control logic required to simulate the plant control system and operator actions (guided procedures) and to perform both Monte- Carlo sampling of random distributed events and Event Tree based analysis. In order to facilitate the input/output handling, a Graphical User Interface (GUI) and a post-processing data-mining module are available. RAVEN allows also to interface with several numerical codes such as RELAP5 and RELAP-7 and ad-hoc system simulators. For the space propulsion system problem, an ad-hoc simulator has been developed and written in python language and then interfaced to RAVEN. Such simulator fully models both deterministic (e.g., system dynamics and interactions between system components) and stochastic behaviors (i.e., failures of components/systems such as distribution lines and thrusters). Stochastic analysis is performed using random sampling based methodologies (i.e., Monte-Carlo). Such analysis is accomplished to determine both the reliability of the space propulsion system and to propagate the uncertainties associated to a specific set of parameters. As also indicated in the scope of the benchmark problem, the results generated by the stochastic analysis are used to generate risk-informed insights such as conditions under witch different strategy can be followed.

  11. Space Technology: Propulsion, Control and Guidance of Space Vehicles. Aerospace Education III. Instructional Unit II.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Air Univ., Maxwell AFB, AL. Junior Reserve Office Training Corps.

    This curriculum guide is prepared for the Aerospace Education III series publication entitled "Space Technology: Propulsion, Control and Guidance of Space Vehicles." It provides guidelines for each chapter. The guide includes objectives, behavioral objectives, suggested outline, orientation, suggested key points, suggestions for teaching,…

  12. Beamed energy for space craft propulsion - Conceptual status and development potential

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sercel, Joel C.; Frisbee, Robert H.

    1987-01-01

    This paper outlines the results of a brief study that sought to identify and characterize beamed energy spacecraft propulsion concepts that may have positive impact on the economics of space industrialization. It is argued that the technology of beamed energy propulsion systems may significantly improve the prospects for near-term colonization of outer space. It is tentatively concluded that, for space industrialization purposes, the most attractive near-term beamed energy propulsion systems are based on microwave technology. This conclusion is reached based on consideration of the common features that exist between beamed microwave propulsion and the Solar Power Satellite (SPS) concept. Laser power beaming also continues to be an attractive option for spacecraft propulsion due to the reduced diffraction-induced beam spread afforded by laser radiation wavelengths. The conceptual status and development potential of a variety of beamed energy propulsion concepts are presented. Several alternative space transportation system concepts based on beamed energy propulsion are described.

  13. Probabilistic assessment of space nuclear propulsion system nozzle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shah, Ashwin R.; Ball, Richard D.; Chamis, Christos C.

    1994-01-01

    In assessing the reliability of a space nuclear propulsion system (SNPS) nozzle, uncertainties associated with the following design parameters were considered: geometry, boundary conditions, material behavior, and thermal and pressure loads. A preliminary assessment of the reliability was performed using NESSUS (Numerical Evaluation of Stochastic Structures Under Stress), a finite-element computer code developed at the NASA Lewis Research Center. The sensitivity of the nozzle reliability to the uncertainties in the random variables was quantified. With respect to the effective stress, preliminary results showed that the nozzle spatial geometry uncertainties have the most significant effect at low probabilities whereas the inner wall temperature has the most significant effect at higher probabilities.

  14. Heat transfer in space power and propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  15. Space R/T base: Propulsion (high thrust chemical)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gorland, S.

    1991-01-01

    The topics presented are covered in viewgraph form. The programmatic objective is to provide a technology base and maintain an institutional capability for continued advances in the development of advanced space propulsion systems to support launch, upper stage, orbit transfer and ascent/descent engines. The technical objectives are to study: (1) validated design and analytical codes for cryogenic turbopump bearings and seals; (2) design methodologies and diagnostic capabilities for combustion stability; and (3) reduced operations cost, increase life, safety, higher energy density propellants, and in-situ engine concepts.

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sackheim, Robert L.

    2003-01-01

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

  18. Efficient solid rocket propulsion for access to space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maggi, Filippo; Bandera, Alessio; Galfetti, Luciano; De Luca, Luigi T.; Jackson, Thomas L.

    2010-06-01

    Space launch activity is expected to grow in the next few years in order to follow the current trend of space exploitation for business purpose. Granting high specific thrust and volumetric specific impulse, and counting on decades of intense development, solid rocket propulsion is a good candidate for commercial access to space, even with common propellant formulations. Yet, some drawbacks such as low theoretical specific impulse, losses as well as safety issues, suggest more efficient propulsion systems, digging into the enhancement of consolidated techniques. Focusing the attention on delivered specific impulse, a consistent fraction of losses can be ascribed to the multiphase medium inside the nozzle which, in turn, is related to agglomeration; a reduction of agglomerate size is likely. The present paper proposes a model based on heterogeneity characterization capable of describing the agglomeration trend for a standard aluminized solid propellant formulation. Material microstructure is characterized through the use of two statistical descriptors (pair correlation function and near-contact particles) looking at the mean metal pocket size inside the bulk. Given the real formulation and density of a propellant, a packing code generates the material representative which is then statistically analyzed. Agglomerate predictions are successfully contrasted to experimental data at 5 bar for four different formulations.

  19. Proposal of Space Reactor for Nuclear Electric Propulsion System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagata, Hidetaka; Nishiyama, Takaaki; Nakashima, Hideki

    Currently, the solar battery, the chemical cell, and the RI battery are used for the energy source in space. However, it is difficult for them to satisfy requirements for deep space explorations. Therefore, other electric power sources which can stably produce high electric energy output, regardless of distance from the sun, are necessary to execute such missions. Then, we here propose small nuclear reactors as power sources for deep space exploration, and consider a conceptual design of a small nuclear reactor for Nuclear Electric Propulsion System. It is found from nuclear analyses that the Gas-Cooled reactor could not meet the design requirement imposed on the core mass. On the other hand, a light water reactor is found to be a promising alternative to the Gas-Cooled reactor.

  20. Fresnel Concentrators for Space Solar Power and Solar Thermal Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bradford, Rodney; Parks, Robert W.; Craig, Harry B. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Large deployable Fresnel concentrators are applicable to solar thermal propulsion and multiple space solar power generation concepts. These concentrators can be used with thermophotovoltaic, solar thermionic, and solar dynamic conversion systems. Thin polyimide Fresnel lenses and reflectors can provide tailored flux distribution and concentration ratios matched to receiver requirements. Thin, preformed polyimide film structure components assembled into support structures for Fresnel concentrators provide the capability to produce large inflation-deployed concentrator assemblies. The polyimide film is resistant to the space environment and allows large lightweight assemblies to be fabricated that can be compactly stowed for launch. This work addressed design and fabrication of lightweight polyimide film Fresnel concentrators, alternate materials evaluation, and data management functions for space solar power concepts, architectures, and supporting technology development.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  2. Solar powered propulsion for space. (Latest citations from the Aerospace database). Published Search

    SciTech Connect

    1998-02-01

    The bibliography contains citations concerning the design, development, and performance of solar propulsion systems. Solar electric propulsion and solar thermal propulsion are reviewed. Topics include solar power satellites, nuclear electric propulsion, solar-powered orbit transfer vehicles, and solar dynamic and bimodal power systems. References also discuss atmospheric pollution control, telephone services, space commercialization, interplanetary missions, and lunar and Mars exploration. (Contains 50-250 citations and includes a subject term index and title list.) (Copyright NERAC, Inc. 1995)

  3. On the capabilities of nano electrokinetic thrusters for space propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diez, F. J.; Hernaiz, G.; Miranda, J. J.; Sureda, M.

    2013-02-01

    A theoretical analysis considering the capabilities of nano electrokinetic thrusters for space propulsion is presented. The work describes an electro-hydro-dynamic model of the electrokinetic flow in nano-channels and represents the first attempt to exploit the advantages of the electrokinetic effect as the basis for a new class of nano-scale thrusters suitable for space propulsion. Among such advantages are their small volume, fundamental simplicity, overall low mass, and actuation efficiency. Their electrokinetic efficiency is affected by the slip length, surface charge, pH and molarity. These design variables are analyzed and optimized for the highest electrokinetic performance inside nano-channels. The optimization is done for power consumption, thrust and specific impulse resulting in high theoretical efficiency ˜99% with corresponding high thrust-to-power ratios. Performance curves are obtained for the electrokinetic design variables showing that high molarity electrolytes lead to high thrust and specific impulse values, whereas low molarities provide highest thrust-to-power ratios and efficiencies. A theoretically designed 100 nm wide by 1 μm long emitter optimized using the ideal performance charts developed would deliver thrusts from 5 to 43 μN, specific impulse from 60 to 210 s, and would have power consumption between 1-15 mW. It should be noted that although this is a detail analytical analysis no prototypes exist and any future experimental work will face challenges that could affect the final performance. By designing an array composed of thousands of these single electrokinetic emitters, it would result in a flexible and scalable propulsion system capable of providing a wide range of thrust control for different mission scenarios and maintaining very high efficiencies and thrust-to-power ratio by varying the number of emitters in use at any one time.

  4. Fluid Distribution for In-space Cryogenic Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lear, William

    2005-01-01

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

  5. Lunar He-3, fusion propulsion, and space development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Santarius, John F.

    1992-01-01

    The recent identification of a substantial lunar resource of the fusion energy fuel He-3 may provide the first terrestrial market for a lunar commodity and, therefore, a major impetus to lunar development. The impact of this resource-when burned in D-He-3 fusion reactors for space power and propulsion-may be even more significant as an enabling technology for safe, efficient exploration and development of space. One possible reactor configuration among several options, the tandem mirror, illustrates the potential advantages of fusion propulsion. The most important advantage is the ability to provide either fast, piloted vessels or high-payload-fraction cargo vessels due to a range of specific impulses from 50 sec to 1,000,000 sec at thrust-to-weight ratios from 0.1 to 5x10(exp -5). Fusion power research has made steady, impressive progress. It is plausible, and even probable, that fusion rockets similar to the designs presented here will be available in the early part of the twenty-first century, enabling a major expansion of human presence into the solar system.

  6. Tailoring Laser Propulsion for Future Applications in Space

    SciTech Connect

    Eckel, Hans-Albert; Scharring, Stefan

    2010-10-08

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

  7. Composite load spectra for select space propulsion structural components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  8. Composite Load Spectra for Select Space Propulsion Structural Components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ho, Hing W.; Newell, James F.

    1994-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Urasek, Donald C.; Calfo, Frederick D.

    1993-01-01

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

  10. Space propulsion and power beaming using millimeter systems

    SciTech Connect

    Benford, J.; Dickinson, R.

    1995-11-01

    Past schemes for using beamed microwave power for space propulsion and providing power to space platforms have used microwaves below 10 GHz. Recent expansions of the high power microwave technology domain offer fundamental reassessment of the following missions: (1) location of orbital debris, (2) supplying power to loitering high-altitude airplanes, (3) satellite battery recharging, (4) imaging of asteroids, (5) orbit raising and transfer, (6) interplanetary probe launch to the outer planets and comets, and ultimately (7) launch into Earth orbit. This group of applications may be done by a ground-based system. The system would start small, being built for the near Earth missions, and be enlarged incrementally as the technology matures and confidence develops. Of particular interest are sources in the millimeter range where there are low loss atmospheric windows and MJ pulses are available in quasi-CW operation. A development scenario for these missions using millimeter wave technology is described.

  11. Ion propulsion engine installed on Deep Space 1 at CCAS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Workers at the Defense Satellite Communications System Processing Facility (DPF), Cape Canaveral Air Station (CCAS), install an ion propulsion engine on Deep Space 1. The first flight in NASA's New Millennium Program, Deep Space 1 is designed to validate 12 new technologies for scientific space missions of the next century, including the engine. Propelled by the gas xenon, the engine is being flight-tested for future deep space and Earth-orbiting missions. Deceptively powerful, the ion drive emits only an eerie blue glow as ionized atoms of xenon are pushed out of the engine. While slow to pick up speed, over the long haul it can deliver 10 times as much thrust per pound of fuel as liquid or solid fuel rockets. Other onboard experiments include software that tracks celestial bodies so the spacecraft can make its own navigation decisions without the intervention of ground controllers. Deep Space 1 will complete most of its mission objectives within the first two months, but will also do a flyby of a near-Earth asteroid, 1992 KD, in July 1999. Deep Space 1 will be launched aboard a Boeing Delta 7326 rocket from Launch Pad 17A, CCAS, in October.

  12. Ion propulsion engine installed on Deep Space 1 at CCAS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Workers at the Defense Satellite Communications System Processing Facility (DPF), Cape Canaveral Air Station (CCAS), make adjustments while installing the ion propulsion engine on Deep Space 1. The first flight in NASA's New Millennium Program, Deep Space 1 is designed to validate 12 new technologies for scientific space missions of the next century, including the engine. Propelled by the gas xenon, the engine is being flight- tested for future deep space and Earth-orbiting missions. Deceptively powerful, the ion drive emits only an eerie blue glow as ionized atoms of xenon are pushed out of the engine. While slow to pick up speed, over the long haul it can deliver 10 times as much thrust per pound of fuel as liquid or solid fuel rockets. Other onboard experiments include software that tracks celestial bodies so the spacecraft can make its own navigation decisions without the intervention of ground controllers. Deep Space 1 will complete most of its mission objectives within the first two months, but will also do a flyby of a near-Earth asteroid, 1992 KD, in July 1999. Deep Space 1 will be launched aboard a Boeing Delta 7326 rocket from Launch Pad 17A, CCAS, in October.

  13. Ion propulsion engine installed on Deep Space 1 at CCAS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Workers at the Defense Satellite Communications System Processing Facility (DPF), Cape Canaveral Air Station (CCAS), attach a strap during installation of the ion propulsion engine on Deep Space 1. The first flight in NASA's New Millennium Program, Deep Space 1 is designed to validate 12 new technologies for scientific space missions of the next century, including the engine. Propelled by the gas xenon, the engine is being flight-tested for future deep space and Earth-orbiting missions. Deceptively powerful, the ion drive emits only an eerie blue glow as ionized atoms of xenon are pushed out of the engine. While slow to pick up speed, over the long haul it can deliver 10 times as much thrust per pound of fuel as liquid or solid fuel rockets. Other onboard experiments include software that tracks celestial bodies so the spacecraft can make its own navigation decisions without the intervention of ground controllers. Deep Space 1 will complete most of its mission objectives within the first two months, but will also do a flyby of a near-Earth asteroid, 1992 KD, in July 1999. Deep Space 1 will be launched aboard a Boeing Delta 7326 rocket from Launch Pad 17A, CCAS, in October.

  14. Ion propulsion engine installed on Deep Space 1 at CCAS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Workers at the Defense Satellite Communications System Processing Facility (DPF), Cape Canaveral Air Station (CCAS), maneuver the ion propulsion engine into place before installation on Deep Space 1. The first flight in NASA's New Millennium Program, Deep Space 1 is designed to validate 12 new technologies for scientific space missions of the next century, including the engine. Propelled by the gas xenon, the engine is being flight- tested for future deep space and Earth-orbiting missions. Deceptively powerful, the ion drive emits only an eerie blue glow as ionized atoms of xenon are pushed out of the engine. While slow to pick up speed, over the long haul it can deliver 10 times as much thrust per pound of fuel as liquid or solid fuel rockets. Other onboard experiments include software that tracks celestial bodies so the spacecraft can make its own navigation decisions without the intervention of ground controllers. Deep Space 1 will complete most of its mission objectives within the first two months, but will also do a flyby of a near-Earth asteroid, 1992 KD, in July 1999. Deep Space 1 will be launched aboard a Boeing Delta 7326 rocket from Launch Pad 17A, CCAS, in October.

  15. Ion propulsion engine installed on Deep Space 1 at CCAS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Workers in the Defense Satellite Communications Systems Processing Facility (DPF) at Cape Canaveral Air Station (CCAS) finish installing the ion propulsion engine on Deep Space 1. The first flight in NASA's New Millennium Program, Deep Space 1 is designed to validate 12 new technologies for scientific space missions of the next century, including the engine. Propelled by the gas xenon, the engine is being flight-tested for future deep space and Earth-orbiting missions. Deceptively powerful, the ion drive emits only an eerie blue glow as ionized atoms of xenon are pushed out of the engine. While slow to pick up speed, over the long haul it can deliver 10 times as much thrust per pound of fuel as liquid or solid fuel rockets. Other onboard experiments include software that tracks celestial bodies so the spacecraft can make its own navigation decisions without the intervention of ground controllers. Deep Space 1 will complete most of its mission objectives within the first two months, but will also do a flyby of a near-Earth asteroid, 1992 KD, in July 1999. Deep Space 1 will be launched Oct. 25 aboard a Boeing Delta 7326 rocket from Launch Pad 17A, CCAS.

  16. Ion propulsion engine installed on Deep Space 1 at CCAS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Workers in the Defense Satellite Communications Systems Processing Facility (DPF) at Cape Canaveral Air Station (CCAS) make adjustments while installing the ion propulsion engine on Deep Space 1. The first flight in NASA's New Millennium Program, Deep Space 1 is designed to validate 12 new technologies for scientific space missions of the next century, including the engine. Propelled by the gas xenon, the engine is being flight- tested for future deep space and Earth-orbiting missions. Deceptively powerful, the ion drive emits only an eerie blue glow as ionized atoms of xenon are pushed out of the engine. While slow to pick up speed, over the long haul it can deliver 10 times as much thrust per pound of fuel as liquid or solid fuel rockets. Other onboard experiments include software that tracks celestial bodies so the spacecraft can make its own navigation decisions without the intervention of ground controllers. Deep Space 1 will complete most of its mission objectives within the first two months, but will also do a flyby of a near-Earth asteroid, 1992 KD, in July 1999. Deep Space 1 will be launched Oct. 25 aboard a Boeing Delta 7326 rocket from Launch Pad 17A, CCAS.

  17. Space Weather Concerns for All-Electric Propulsion Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horne, Richard B.; Pitchford, David

    2015-08-01

    The introduction of all-electric propulsion satellites is a game changer in the quest for low-cost access to space. It also raises new questions for satellite manufacturers, operators, and the insurance industry regarding the general risks and specifically the threat of adverse space weather. The issues surrounding this new concept were discussed by research scientists and up to 30 representatives from the space industry at a special meeting at the European Space Weather Week held in November 2014. Here we report on the discussions at that meeting. We show that for a satellite undergoing electric orbit raising for 200 days the radiation dose due to electrons is equivalent to approximately 6.7 year operation at geostationary orbit or approximately half the typical design life. We also show that electrons can be injected into the slot region (8000 km) where they pose a risk of satellite internal charging. The results highlight the importance of additional radiation protection. We also discuss the benefits, the operational considerations, the other risks from the Van Allen radiation belts, the new business opportunities for space insurance, and the need for space situation awareness in medium Earth orbit where electric orbit raising takes place.

  18. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

    Magnetized target fusion is an approach in which a magnetized target plasma is compressed inertially by an imploding material wall. A high energy plasma liner may be used to produce the required implosion. The plasma liner is formed by the merging of a number of high momentum plasma jets converging towards the center of a sphere where two compact toroids have been introduced. Preliminary 3-D hydrodynamics modeling results using the SPHINX code of Los Alamos National Laboratory have been very encouraging and confirm earlier theoretical expectations. The concept appears ready for experimental exploration and plans for doing so are being pursued. In this talk, we explore conceptually how this innovative fusion approach could be packaged for space propulsion for interplanetary travel. We discuss the generally generic components of a baseline propulsion concept including the fusion engine, high velocity plasma accelerators, generators of compact toroids using conical theta pinches, magnetic nozzle, neutron absorption blanket, tritium reprocessing system, shock absorber, magnetohydrodynamic generator, capacitor pulsed power system, thermal management system, and micrometeorite shields.

  20. Conceptual Design of an MTF Space Propulsion System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thio, Y. C. F.; Schmidt, G. R.; Kirkpatrick, R. C.; Turchi, P. J.; Rodgers, Stephen L. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Most fusion propulsion concepts that have been investigated in the past employ some form of inertial or magnetic confinement separately, and are encumbered by the need for advanced drivers (e.g. laser) or steady-state magnetic confinement systems (e.g. superconductors) that have historically resulted in large, massive spacecraft designs. Here we present a comparatively new approach, Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF), which offers a nearer-term avenue for realizing the tremendous performance benefits of fusion propulsion. MTF attempts to combine the favorable attributes of both inertially and magnetically confined fusion to achieve both efficient and low-cost compressional plasma heating and energy confinement. The key advantage of MTF is its less demanding requirements for driver energy and power processing. Additional features include: 1) very low system masses and volumes, 2) relatively low waste heat, 3) substantial utilization of energy from product neutrons, 4) efficient, low peak-power drivers based on existing pulsed power technology, 5) very high Isp , specific power and thrust, and 6) relatively affordable R&D pathways. MTF overcomes many of the problems associated with traditional fusion techniques, thus making it particularly attractive for space applications. Isp greater than 50,000 seconds and specific powers greater than 20 kilowatts/kilogram appear feasible using relatively near-term pulse power and plasma gun technology.

  1. Conceptual Design of an MTF Space Propulsion System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thio, Y. C. Francis; Schmidt, G. R.; Kirkpatrick, R. C.; Turchi, P. J.; Rodgers, Stephen L. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Most fusion propulsion concepts that have been investigated in the past employ some form of inertial or magnetic confinement separately, and are encumbered by the need for advanced drivers (e.g. laser) or steady-state magnetic confinement systems (e.g. superconductors) that have historically resulted in large, massive spacecraft designs. Here we present a comparatively new approach, Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF), which offers a nearer-term avenue for realizing the tremendous performance benefits of fusion propulsion. MTF attempts to combine the favorable attributes of both inertially and magnetically confined fusion to achieve both efficient and low-cost compressional plasma heating and energy confinement. The key advantage of MTF is its less demanding requirements for driver energy and power processing. Additional features include: 1) very low system masses and volumes, 2) high gain and relatively low waste heat, 3) substantial utilization of energy from product neutrons, 4) efficient, low peak-power drivers based on existing pulsed power technology, and 5) very high I(sub sp), specific power and thrust. MTF overcomes many of the problems associated with traditional fusion techniques, thus making it particularly attractive for space applications. I(sub sp) greater than 50,000 seconds and specific powers greater than 20 kilowatts/kilogram appear feasible using relatively near-term pulse power and plasma gun technology.

  2. Radioisotope Electric Propulsion for Deep Space Sample Return

    SciTech Connect

    Noble, Robert J.; /SLAC

    2009-07-14

    The need to answer basic questions regarding the origin of the Solar System will motivate robotic sample return missions to destinations like Pluto, its satellite Charon, and objects in the Kuiper belt. To keep the mission duration short enough to be of interest, sample return from objects farther out in the Solar System requires increasingly higher return velocities. A sample return mission involves several complicated steps to reach an object and obtain a sample, but only the interplanetary return phase of the mission is addressed in this paper. Radioisotope electric propulsion is explored in this parametric study as a means to propel small, dedicated return vehicles for transferring kilogram-size samples from deep space to Earth. Return times for both Earth orbital rendezvous and faster, direct atmospheric re-entry trajectories are calculated for objects as far away as 100 AU. Chemical retro-rocket braking at Earth is compared to radioisotope electric propulsion but the limited deceleration capability of chemical rockets forces the return trajectories to be much slower.

  3. High Power Electric Propulsion for Deep Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Polk, Jay

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Propulsion system ignition overpressure for the Space Shuttle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ryan, R. S.; Jones, J. H.; Guest, S. H.; Struck, H. G.; Rheinfurth, M. H.; Verferaime, V. S.

    1981-01-01

    Liquid and solid rocket motor propulsion systems create an overpressure wave during ignition, caused by the accelerating gas particles pushing against or displacing the air contained in the launch pad or launch facility and by the afterburning of the fuel-rich gases. This wave behaves as a blast or shock wave characterized by a positive triangular-shaped first pulse and a negative half-sine wave second pulse. The pulse travels up the space vehicle and has the potential of either overloading individual elements or exciting overall vehicle dynamics. The latter effect results from the phasing difference of the wave from one side of the vehicle to the other. This overpressure phasing, or delta P environment, because of its frequency content as well as amplitude, becomes a design driver for certain panels (e.g., thermal shields) and payloads for the Space Shuttle. The history of overpressure effects on the Space Shuttle, the basic overpressure phenomenon, Space Shuttle overpressure environment, scale model overpressure testing, and techniques for suppressing the overpressure environments are considered.

  5. Space propulsion by fusion in a magnetic dipole

    SciTech Connect

    Teller, E.; Glass, A.J.; Fowler, T.K. ); Hasegawa, A. ); Santarius, J.F. . Fusion Technology Inst.)

    1991-07-15

    The unique advantages of fusion rocket propulsion systems for distant missions are explored using the magnetic dipole configurations as an example. The dipole is found to have features well suited to space applications. Parameters are presented for a system producing a specific power of kW/kg, capable of interplanetary flights to Mars in 90 days and to Jupiter in a year, and of extra-solar-system flights to 1000 astronomical units (the Tau mission) in 20 years. This is about 10 times better specific power performance than nuclear electric fission systems. Possibilities to further increase the specific power toward 10 kW/kg are discussed, as is an approach to implementing the concept through proof-testing on the moon. 20 refs., 14 figs., 2 tabs.

  6. Space propulsion by fusion in a magnetic dipole

    SciTech Connect

    Teller, E.; Glass, A.J.; Fowler, T.K. ); Hasegawa, A. ); Santarius, J.F. . Fusion Technology Inst.)

    1991-04-12

    A conceptual design is discussed for a fusion rocket propulsion system based on the magnetic dipole configuration. The dipole is found to have features well suited to space applications. Example parameters are presented for a system producing a specific power of 1 kW/kg, capable of interplanetary flights to Mars in 90 days and to Jupiter in a year, and of extra-solar-system flights to 1000 astronomical units (the Tau mission) in 20 years. This is about 10 times better specific power toward 10 kW/kg are discussed, as in an approach to implementing the concept through proof-testing on the moon. 21 refs., 14 figs., 2 tabs.

  7. Conical solar absorber/thruster for space propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Strumpf, H.J.; Borghese, J.B.; Keating, R.F.

    1995-11-01

    Solar-powered space propulsion uses solar heating of a propellant such as hydrogen to impart thrust to a rocket when the hydrogen exists through an appropriately designed nozzle. Because of the low molecular weight of hydrogen, exhaust velocities, and hence specific impulses, can potentially be much greater than for chemical combustion of fuel. A very efficient solar thermal absorber design has been developed. The design consists of two interwound helical coils of rhenium tubing, through which the propellant flows to be heated before being exhausted out a rhenium nozzle. The conical absorbing surface is configured to conform to the extreme solar rays from a solar concentrator; i.e., the receiver apex angle is designed to match the concentrator apex angle. This shape helps to minimize the amount of reflected or emitted energy lost through the receiver aperture.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  10. Black Holes, Worm Holes, and Future Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barret, Chris

    2000-01-01

    NASA has begun examining the technologies needed for an Interstellar Mission. In 1998, a NASA Interstellar Mission Workshop was held at the California Institute of Technology to examine the technologies required. Since then, a spectrum of research efforts to support such a mission has been underway, including many advanced and futuristic space propulsion concepts which are being explored. The study of black holes and wormholes may provide some of the breakthrough physics needed to travel to the stars. The first black hole, CYGXI, was discovered in 1972 in the constellation Cygnus X-1. In 1993, a black hole was found in the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. In 1994, the black hole GRO J1655-40 was discovered by the NASA Marshall Space Flight center using the Gamma Ray Observatory. Today, we believe we have found evidence to support the existence of 19 black holes, but our universe may contain several thousands. This paper discusses the dead star states - - both stable and unstable, white dwarfs, neutron stars, pulsars, quasars, the basic features and types of black holes: nonspinning, nonspinning with charge, spinning, and Hawking's mini black holes. The search for black holes, gravitational waves, and Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) are reviewed. Finally, concepts of black hole powered space vehicles and wormhole concepts for rapid interstellar travel are discussed in relation to the NASA Interstellar Mission.

  11. Space station integrated propulsion and fluid systems study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rose, L.; Bergman, D.; Bicknell, B.; Wilson, S.

    1987-01-01

    This Databook addresses the integration of fluid systems of the Space Station program. It includes a catalog of components required for the Space Station elements fluid systems and information on potential hardware commonality. The components catalog is in four parts. The first part lists the components defined for all the fluid systems identified in EP 2.1, Space Station Program Fluid Systems Configuration Databook. The components are cross-referenced in three sections. Section 2.1 lists the components by the fluid system in which they are used. Section 2.2 lists the components by type. Section 2.3 lists by the type of fluid media handled by the component. The next part of the catalog provides a description of the individual component. This section (2.4) is made up of data retrieved from Martin Marietta Denver Aerospace component data base. The third part is an assessment of propulsion hardware technology requirements. Section 2.5 lists components identified during the study as requiring development prior to flight qualification. Finally, Section 2.6 presents the results of the evaluation of commonality between components. The specific requirements of each component have been reviewed and duplication eliminated.

  12. Review of direct-drive laser space propulsion concepts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phipps, Claude

    1998-01-01

    Laser impulse space propulsion (LISP) involves the direct drive of objects which are remote from their energy source, via the thrust produced by laser ablation of the object mass. A repetitively-pulsed laser is favored relative to CW operation because high peak-to-average power ratio allows achievement of the necessary conditions for most efficient thrust production at greater range for each mission, with smaller optics-plus avoidance of certain deleterious nonlinear processes in the atmosphere. We discuss nearterm as well as far-future LISP applications ranging from the clearance of near-Earth, manmade space debris [the ORION concept] to lifting a 10-tonne payload into low-Earth orbit (LEO). The ORION concept employs a 30-kW laser system, optical tracker and telescope with adaptive optics to lock on and ignite a plasma jet on the surface of 1-10-cm space debris objects at range up to 1500 km. The ablation jet slows the object sufficiently (~150 m/s) to produce re-entry and burnup. Direct insertion illustrates the distant future of LISP. A 10-tonne payload is delivered from the launch pad to LEO at a cost of order $100/kg delivered, two orders of magnitude less than current LEO insertion cost. This cost is based on 5 launches per day.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Manzella, David

    2008-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Composite load spectra for select space propulsion structural components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

    A multiyear program is performed with the objective to develop generic load models with multiple levels of progressive sophistication to simulate the composite (combined) load spectra that are induced in space propulsion system components, representative of Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME), such as transfer ducts, turbine blades, and liquid oxygen (LOX) posts. Progress of the first year's effort includes completion of a sufficient portion of each task -- probabilistic models, code development, validation, and an initial operational code. This code has from its inception an expert system philosophy that could be added to throughout the program and in the future. The initial operational code is only applicable to turbine blade type loadings. The probabilistic model included in the operational code has fitting routines for loads that utilize a modified Discrete Probabilistic Distribution termed RASCAL, a barrier crossing method and a Monte Carlo method. An initial load model was developed by Battelle that is currently used for the slowly varying duty cycle type loading. The intent is to use the model and related codes essentially in the current form for all loads that are based on measured or calculated data that have followed a slowly varying profile.

  17. NASA Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology Summer Workshop. Volume 5: Propulsion technology panel, part 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    Payload experiments which could be carried out in near earth space using the shuttle orbiter, its payload bay, the Spacelab, and/or some free-flying device that might be used for long duration testing were identified. Specific areas examined in terms of user requirements include: chemical propulsion, nuclear propulsion (fission, fussion, radioisotopes), and collected energy (coherent energy and solar electromagnetic energy). Cost reduction objectives for advanced propulsion technology development were also developed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. Spacecraft Chemical Propulsion Systems at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center: Heritage and Capabilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McRight, Patrick S.; Sheehy, Jeffrey A.; Blevins, John A.

    2005-01-01

    NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is well known for its contributions to large ascent propulsion systems such as the Saturn V and the Space Shuttle. This paper highlights a lesser known but equally rich side of MSFC - its heritage in spacecraft chemical propulsion systems and its current capabilities for in-space propulsion system development and chemical propulsion research. The historical narrative describes the efforts associated with developing upper-stage main propulsion systems such as the Saturn S-IVB as well as orbital maneuvering and reaction control systems such as the S-IVB auxiliary propulsion system, the Skylab thruster attitude control system, and many more recent activities such as Chandra, the Demonstration of Automated Rendezvous Technology, X-37, the X-38 de-orbit propulsion system, the Interim Control Module, the US Propulsion Module, and several technology development activities. Also discussed are MSFC chemical propulsion research capabilities, along with near- and long-term technology challenges to which MSFC research and system development competencies are relevant.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dankanich, John; Anderson, David J.

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Ion Propulsion Development Projects in US: Space Electric Rocket Test I to Deep Space 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sovey, James S.; Rawlin, Vincent K.; Patterson, Michael J.

    2001-01-01

    The historical background and characteristics of the experimental flights of ion propulsion systems and the major ground-based technology demonstrations are reviewed. The results of the first successful ion engine flight in 1964, Space Electric Rocket Test (SERT) I, which demonstrated ion beam neutralization, are discussed along with the extended operation of SERT II starting in 1970. These results together with the technologies employed on the early cesium engine flights, the applications technology satellite series, and the ground-test demonstrations, have provided the evolutionary path for the development of xenon ion thruster component technologies, control systems, and power circuit implementations. In the 1997-1999 period, the communication satellite flights using ion engine systems and the Deep Space 1 flight confirmed that these auxiliary and primary propulsion systems have advanced to a high level of flight readiness.

  3. Large Space Systems/Low-Thrust Propulsion Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    The potentially critical interactions that occur between propulsion, structures and materials, and controls for large spacecraft are considered, the technology impacts within these fields are defined and the net effect on large systems and the resulting missions is determined. Topical areas are systems/mission analysis, LSS static and dynamic characterization, and propulsion systems characterization.

  4. Space shuttle propulsion systems on-board checkout and monitoring system development study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1971-01-01

    Investigations on the fundamental space shuttle propulsion systems program are reported, with emphasis on in-depth reviews of preliminary drafts of the guidelines. The guidelines will be used to incorporate the onboard checkout and monitoring function into the basic design of the propulsion systems and associated interfacing systems. The analysis of checkout and monitoring requirements of the Titan 3 L expandable booster propulsion systems was completed, and the techniques for accomplishing the checkout and monitoring functions were determined. Updating results of the basic study of propulsion system checkout and monitoring is continuing.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  6. Overview of space propulsion systems for identifying nondestructive evaluation and health monitoring opportunities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Generazio, Edward R.

    1991-01-01

    The next generation of space propulsion systems will be designed to incorporate advanced health monitoring and nondestructive inspection capabilities. As a guide to help the nondestructive evaluation (NDE) community impact the development of these space propulsion systems, several questions should be addressed. An overview of background and current information on space propulsion systems at both the programmatic and technical levels is provided. A framework is given that will assist the NDE community in addressing key questions raised during the 2 to 5 April 1990 meeting of the Joint Army-Navy-NASA-Air Force (JANNAF) Nondestructive Evaluation Subcommittee (NDES).

  7. Nondestructive evaluation tools and experimental studies for monitoring the health of space propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Generazio, Edward R.

    1991-01-01

    An overview is given of background and information on space propulsion systems on both the programmatic and technical levels. Feasibility experimental studies indicate that nondestructive evaluation tools such as ultrasonic, eddy current and x-ray may be successfully used to monitor the life limiting failure mechanisms of space propulsion systems. Encouraging results were obtained for monitoring the life limiting failure mechanisms for three space propulsion systems; the degradation of tungsten arcjet and magnetoplasmadynamic electrodes; presence and thickness of spallable electrically conducting molybdenum films in ion thrusters; and the degradation of the catalyst in hydrazine thrusters.

  8. Space Transportation Propulsion Technology Symposium. Volume 3: Panel Session Summaries and Presentations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    The Space Transportation Propulsion Technology Symposium was held at the Pennsylvania State University on June 25 to 29, 1990. Emphasis was placed on propulsion requirements and initiatives to support current, next generation, and future space transportation systems, with the primary objectives of discerning whether proposed designs truly meet future transportation needs and identifying possible technology gaps, overlaps and other programmatic deficiencies. Key space transportation propulsion issues are addressed through four panels with government, industry, and academia membership. The panel focused on systems engineering and integration; development, manufacturing, and certification; operational efficiency; program development; and cultural issues.

  9. Space Propulsion Based on Dipole Assisted IEC System

    SciTech Connect

    Miley, George H.; Thomas, Robert; Takeyama, Yoshikazu; Momota, Hiromu; Shrestha, Prajakti J.

    2006-01-20

    A potential opportunity to enhance Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) fusion propulsion exists by introducing a magnetic dipole into the IEC chamber. The dipole fields should increase the plasma density, hence fusion rate, in the center region of the IEC and the combined IEC and dipole confinement properties will reduce plasma losses. To demonstrate that a hybrid Dipole-IEC (DaIEC) configuration can provide improved confinement vs. a stand alone IEC, a first model DaIEC experiment has been benchmarked against a reference IEC. A triple Langmuir probe was used to measure the electron temperature and density. It was confirmed that the magnetic field increases the electron density by an order of magnitude and the addition of a controlled electrical potential to the dipole structure allows control of space charge buildup in the dense core region. This paper describes the dipole assisted IEC concept, its advantages, and soon missions it is well suited for. Here the present status of DaIEC experiments are described, the issues for scale up are discussed, and a conceptual plan for a power unit development is presented.

  10. A Unique Hybrid Propulsion System Design for Large Space Boosters

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rodgers, Frederick C.

    1990-01-01

    A study was made of the application of hybrid rocket propulsion technology to large space boosters. Safety, reliability, cost, and performance comprised the evaluation criteria, in order of relative importance, for this study. The effort considered the so called classic hybrid design approach versus a novel approach which utilizes a fuel-rich gas generator for the fuel source. Other trades included various fuel/oxidizer combinations, pressure-fed versus pump fed oxidizer delivery systems, and reusable versus expandable booster systems. Following this initial trade study, a point design was generated. A gas generated-type fuel grain with pump fed liquid oxygen comprised the basis of this point design. This design study provided a mechanism for considering the means of implementing the gas generator approach for further defining details of the design. Subsequently, a system trade study was performed which determined the sensitivity of the design to various design parameters and predicted optimum values for these same parameters. The study concluded that a gas generator hybrid booster design offers enhanced safety and reliability over current of proposed solid booster designs while providing equal or greater performance levels. These improvements can be accomplished at considerably lower cost than for the liquid booster designs of equivalent capability.

  11. Space station integrated propulsion and fluid systems study. Space station program fluid management systems databook

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bicknell, B.; Wilson, S.; Dennis, M.; Lydon, M.

    1988-01-01

    Commonality and integration of propulsion and fluid systems associated with the Space Station elements are being evaluated. The Space Station elements consist of the core station, which includes habitation and laboratory modules, nodes, airlocks, and trusswork; and associated vehicles, platforms, experiments, and payloads. The program is being performed as two discrete tasks. Task 1 investigated the components of the Space Station architecture to determine the feasibility and practicality of commonality and integration among the various propulsion elements. This task was completed. Task 2 is examining integration and commonality among fluid systems which were identified by the Phase B Space Station contractors as being part of the initial operating capability (IOC) and growth Space Station architectures. Requirements and descriptions for reference fluid systems were compiled from Space Station documentation and other sources. The fluid systems being examined are: an experiment gas supply system, an oxygen/hydrogen supply system, an integrated water system, the integrated nitrogen system, and the integrated waste fluids system. Definitions and descriptions of alternate systems were developed, along with analyses and discussions of their benefits and detriments. This databook includes fluid systems descriptions, requirements, schematic diagrams, component lists, and discussions of the fluid systems. In addition, cost comparison are used in some cases to determine the optimum system for a specific task.

  12. Hybrid thermionic space reactor for power and propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Sahin, S. . Teknik Egitim Fakueltesi); Kennel, E.B. )

    1994-08-01

    A thermo-hydrodynamic-neutronic analysis is performed for a fast, uranium carbide (UC) fueled space-craft nuclear in-core thermionic reactor. The thermo-hydrodynamic analysis shows that a hybrid thermionic spacecraft nuclear reactor can be designed for both electricity generation and nuclear thermal propulsion purposes. The neutronic analysis has been conducted in S[sub 8]-P[sub 3] approximation with the help of one- and two-dimensional neutron transport codes ANISN and DORT, respectively. The calculations have shown that a UC fueled electricity generating single mode thermionic nuclear reactor can be designed to be extremely compact because of the high atomic density of the nuclear fuel (by 95% sintering density), namely, with a core radius of 8.7 cm and core height of 25 cm, leading to power levels as low as 5 kW (electric) by an electrical output on an emitter surface of 1.243 W/cm[sup 2]. A reactor control with boronated reflector drums at the outer periphery of the radial reflector of 16-cm thickness would make possible reactivity changes of [Delta]k[sub eff] > 10% -- amply sufficient for a fast reactor -- without a significant distortion of the fission power profile during all phases of the space mission. The hybrid thermionic spacecraft nuclear reactor mode contains cooling channels in the nuclear fuel for the hydrogen propellant. This increase the critical reactor size because of the lower uranium atomic density in this design concept. Calculations have lead to a reactor with a core radius of 22 cm and core height of 35 cm leading to power levels [approximately] 50 kW(electric) under the aforementioned thermionic conversion conditions.

  13. Composite load spectra for select space propulsion structural components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

    The objective of this program is to develop generic load models with multiple levels of progressive sophistication to simulate the composite load spectra that are induced in space propulsion system components, representative of Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSME), such as transfer ducts, turbine blades, and liquid oxygen (LOX) posts and system ducting. These models will be developed using two independent approaches. The first approach consists of using state-of-the-art probabilistic methods to describe the individual loading conditions and combinations of these loading conditions to synthesize the composite load spectra simulation. The methodology required to combine the various individual load simulation models (hot-gas dynamic, vibrations, instantaneous position, centrifugal field, etc.) into composite load spectra simulation models will be developed under this program. A computer code incorporating the various individual and composite load spectra models will be developed to construct the specific load model desired. The second approach, which is covered under the options portion of the contract, will consist of developing coupled models for composite load spectra simulation which combine the (deterministic) models for composite load dynamic, acoustic, high-pressure and high rotational speed, etc., load simulation using statistically varying coefficients. These coefficients will then be determined using advanced probabilistic simulation methods with and without strategically selected experimental data. This report covers the efforts of the third year of the contract. The overall program status is that the turbine blade loads have been completed and implemented. The transfer duct loads are defined and are being implemented. The thermal loads for all components are defined and coding is being developed. A dynamic pressure load model is under development. The parallel work on the probabilistic methodology is essentially completed. The overall effort is being

  14. Electric propulsion and its applications to space missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finke, R. C.

    1981-01-01

    Consideration is given the NASA, Air Force and European electric propulsion programs, the characteristics of primary electric propulsion systems, nuclear electric orbit transfer vehicles, and such topics in the fundamental processes of electrostatic thrusters as sputtering in mercury ion thrusters, the screen hole plasma sheath of an ion accelerator system, and the modelling of ion beam neutralization and nitrogen chemisorption. Also considered are electrostatic thruster components and systems, electromagnetic thrusters such as MPD and RIT systems, electric rail guns and mass drivers, power sources which include solar and nuclear alternatives, power conversion systems and their cooling apparatus, and the environmental interactions between spacecraft and their electric propulsion systems.

  15. Solar Electric Propulsion System Integration Technology (SEPSIT). Volume 2: Encke rendezvous mission and space vehicle functional description

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gardner, J. A.

    1972-01-01

    A solar electric propulsion system integration technology study is discussed. Detailed analyses in support of the solar electric propulsion module were performed. The thrust subsystem functional description is presented. The space vehicle and the space mission to which the propulsion system is applied are analyzed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  18. Technology Area Roadmap for In-Space Propulsion Technologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. Electric Sail Propulsion for Exploring Nearby Interstellar Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Wiegmann, Bruce; Bangham, Mike

    2015-01-01

    An Electric Sail is a revolutionary propellant-less propulsion system that is ideal for deep space missions to the outer planets, the Heliopause, and beyond. It is revolutionary in that it uses momentum exchange with the hypersonic solar wind to propel a spacecraft within the heliosphere. The momentum exchange is affected by the deflection of charged solar wind particles by an array of electrically biased wires that extend outward up to 30 km from a slowly rotating spacecraft. A high-voltage, positive bias on the wires, which are oriented normal to the solar wind flow, deflects the streaming protons, resulting in a reaction force on the wires that is also directed radially away from the sun. Over a period of months, this small force can accelerate the spacecraft to enormous speeds-on the order of 100-150 km/s (approximately 20 to 30 AU/yr). Unlike solar sails, Electric Sails do not rely on a fixed area to produce thrust. In fact, as they move away from the Sun and solar wind pressure decreases, the area for solar proton momentum transfer becomes larger, increasing system efficiency. As a result, thrust decreases at ˜1/r**(7/6) instead of the ˜1/r**2 rate typical for solar sails. The net effect is that an increased radial range of operation, together with increased thrust, both contribute to higher velocities and shorter total trip times to distant destinations. The MSFC Advanced Concepts Office (ACO) was awarded a Phase II NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) study to mature the technology for possible future demonstration and implementation. Preliminary results indicate that the physics of the system is viable and that a spacecraft propelled by an Electric Sail could reach the Heliopause in less than 15 years - and could be developed within a decade.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Space exploration initiative candidate nuclear propulsion test facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baldwin, Darrell; Clark, John S.

    1993-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  4. An evaluation of oxygen-hydrogen propulsion systems for the Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klemetson, R. W.; Garrison, P. W.; Hannum, N. P.

    1985-01-01

    Conceptual designs for O2/H2 chemical and resistojet propulsion systems for the space station was developed and evaluated. The evolution of propulsion requirements was considered as the space station configuration and its utilization as a space transportation node change over the first decade of operation. The characteristics of candidate O2/H2 auxiliary propulsion systems are determined, and opportunities for integration with the OTV tank farm and the space station life support, power and thermal control subsystems are investigated. OTV tank farm boiloff can provide a major portion of the growth station impulse requirements and CO2 from the life support system can be a significant propellant resource, provided it is not denied by closure of that subsystem. Waste heat from the thermal control system is sufficient for many propellant conditioning requirements. It is concluded that the optimum level of subsystem integration must be based on higher level space station studies.

  5. Low Emissions Alternative Power (LEAP) Project Office Business Team of the Aeropropulsion Research Program Office (ARPO) Org. 0140

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buttler, Jennifer A.

    2004-01-01

    The program for which I am working at this summer is Propulsion and Power/Low Emissions Alternative Power (P&P/LEAP). It invests in a fundamental TRL 1-6 research and technology portfolio that will enable the future of: Alternative fuels and/or alternative propulsion systems, non-combustion (electric) propulsion systems. P&P/LEAP will identify and capitalize on the highest potential concepts generated both internal and external to the Agency. During my 2004 summer at NASA Glenn Research Center, I worked with my mentor Barbara Mader, in the Project Office with the Business Team completing various tasks for the project and personnel. The LEAP project is a highly matrixed organization. The Project Office is responsible for the goals advocacy and dollar (budget) of the LEAP project. The objectives of the LEAP Project are to discover new energy sources and develop unconventional engines and power systems directed towards greatly reduced emissions, enable new vehicle concepts for public mobility, new science missions and national security. The Propulsion and PowerLow Emissions Alternative Power directly supports the environmental, mobility, national security objectives of the Vehicle Systems Program and the Aeronautics Technology Theme. Technology deliverables include the demonstration through integrated ground tests, a constant volume combustor in an engine system, and UAV/small transport aircraft all electric power system. My mentor serves as a key member of the management team for the Aeropropulsion Research Program Office (ARPO). She has represented the office on numerous occasions, and is a member of a number of center-wide panels/teams, such as the Space management Committee and is chair to the Business Process Consolidation Team. She is responsible for the overall coordination of resources for the Propulsion and Power Project - from advocacy to implementation. The goal for my summer at NASA was to document processes and archive program documents from the past

  6. Application of high power lasers to space power and propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nored, D. L.

    1976-01-01

    The transmission of laser power over long distances for applications such as direct conversion to propulsive thrust or electrical power is considered. Factors discussed include: problems inherent in transmitting, propagating, and receiving the laser beam over long ranges; high efficiency, closed-cycle, continuous wave operation; advancement of CO2 laser technology; and compatibility with photovoltaic power conversion devices.

  7. Propulsion technology for National Aero-Space Plane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, C. W.; Mcclinton, Charles R.; Guy, R. W.

    1990-01-01

    The National Aerospace Plane (NASP) program is briefly reviewed, including its growth, objectives, team organization, and schedule. The NASP propulsion technology is discussed, and the results of engine module tests are described. Future large-scale and higher-speed testing needs are examined.

  8. Robust Thermal Control of Propulsion Lines for Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bhandari, Pradeep

    2011-01-01

    A document discusses an approach to insulating propulsion lines for spacecraft. In spacecraft that have propulsion lines that are located externally with open bus architecture, the lines are typically insulated by Multi Layer Insulation (MLI) blankets. MLI on propulsion lines tends to have large and somewhat random variances in its heat loss properties (effective emittance) from one location to the next, which makes it an un-robust approach to control propulsion line temperatures. The approach described here consists of a clamshell design in which the inner surface of the shell is coated with low-emissivity aluminized Kapton tape, and the outer surface is covered with black tape. This clamshell completely encloses the propulsion line. The line itself is covered with its heater, which in turn, is covered completely with black tape. This approach would be low in heater power needs because even though the outer surface of the prop line (and its heater) is covered with black tape as well as the outer surface of the clamshell, the inner surface of the clamshell is covered with low-emissivity aluminized Kapton tape. Hence, the heat loss from the line will be small and comparable to the MLI based one. In terms of contamination changing the radiative properties of surfaces, since the clamshell s inner surface is always protected during handling and is only installed after all the work on the prop line has been completed, the controlling surface, which is the clamshell s inner surface, is always in pristine condition. This proposed design allows for a much more deterministic and predictable design using a very simple and implementable approach for thermal control. It also uses low heater power and is robust to handling and contamination during and after implementation.

  9. Design, operation, and critical issues of the U.S. Space Station Freedom propulsion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morano, Joseph S.; Henderson, John B.

    1989-01-01

    The U.S. Space Station Freedom Manned Base (SSFMB) propulsion system is a gaseous hydrogen/oxygen-based system for primary reboost, attitude control, and station contingencies using electrolyzed water as a propellant. A secondary propulsion reboost system employs multipropellant resistojets which utilize the various waste gases generated during normal station operations. The hydrogen/oxygen propulsion system is comprised of several modules which contain thrusters, propellant storage tanks, regulation subsystems, water electrolysis units, electronic controls, and fluid plumbing. The resistojet system is comprised of one module containing the resistojets, regulators, electronic controls, and fluid plumbing. The waste gas propellant storage takes place in the Fluid Management System.

  10. Electric Propulsion Concepts Enabled by High Power Systems for Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gilland, James; Fiehler, Douglas; Lyons, Valerie

    2005-01-01

    This paper describes the latest development in electric propulsion systems being planned for the new Space Exploration initiative. Missions to the Moon and Mars will require these new thrusters to deliver the large quantities of supplies that would be needed to support permanent bases on other worlds. The new thrusters are also being used for unmanned exploration missions that will go to the far reaches of the solar system. This paper is intended to give the reader some insight into several electric propulsion concepts their operating principles and capabilities, as well as an overview of some mission applications that would benefit from these propulsion systems, and their accompanying advanced power systems.

  11. Primary propulsion of electrothermal, ion and chemical systems for space-based radar orbit transfer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, S. Y.; Staiger, P. J.

    1985-01-01

    An orbit transfer mission concept has been studied for a Space-Based Radar (SBR) where 40 kW required for radar operation is assumed available for orbit transfer propulsion. Arcjet, pulsed electrothermal (PET), ion, and storable chemical systems are considered for the primary propulsion. Transferring two SBR per shuttle flight to 1112 km/60 deg using electrical propulsion systems offers an increased payload at the expense of increased trip time, up to 2000 kg each, which may be critical for survivability. Trade offs between payload mass, transfer time, launch site, inclination, and height of parking orbits are presented.

  12. Primary propulsion of electrothermal, ion, and chemical systems for space-based radar orbit transfer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wang, S.-Y.; Staiger, P. J.

    1985-01-01

    An orbit transfer mission concept has been studied for a Space-Based Radar (SBR) where 40 kW required for radar operation is assumed available for orbit transfer propulsion. Arcjet, pulsed electrothermal (PET), ion, and storable chemical systems are considered for the primary propulsion. Transferring two SBR per shuttle flight to 1112 km/60 deg using eiectrical propulsion systems offers an increased payload at the expense of increased trip time, up to 2000 kg each, which may be critical for survivability. Trade offs between payload mass, transfer time, launch site, inclination, and height of parking orbits are presented.

  13. Radioisotope electric propulsion of sciencecraft to the outer solar system and near-interstellar space

    SciTech Connect

    Noble, R.J.

    1998-08-01

    Recent results are presented in the study of radioisotope electric propulsion as a near-term technology for sending small robotic sciencecraft to the outer Solar System and near-interstellar space. Radioisotope electric propulsion (REP) systems are low-thrust, ion propulsion units based on radioisotope electric generators and ion thrusters. Powerplant specific masses are expected to be in the range of 100 to 200 kg/kW of thrust power. Planetary rendezvous missions to Pluto, fast missions to the heliopause (100 AU) with the capability to decelerate an orbiter for an extended science program and prestellar missions to the first gravitational lens focus of the Sun (550 AU) are investigated.

  14. Anti-Matter Propulsion for Space. (Latest citations from the Aerospace Database)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    The bibliography contains citations concerning techniques for the efficient production, long-term storage and effective utilization of antimatter for space propulsion. Inertial confinement fusion (ICF), magnetic mirror fusion, and liquid-propellant thermal antimatter fusion propulsion are some of the technologies discussed. Radiation shields, cryogenic confinement of plasma and single-stage-to-orbit vehicles are also cited. (Contains 50-250 citations and includes a subject term index and title list.)

  15. Study of auxiliary propulsion requirements for large space systems, volume 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, W. W.; Machles, G. W.

    1983-01-01

    A range of single shuttle launched large space systems were identified and characterized including a NASTRAN and loading dynamics analysis. The disturbance environment, characterization of thrust level and APS mass requirements, and a study of APS/LSS interactions were analyzed. State-of-the-art capabilities for chemical and ion propulsion were compared with the generated propulsion requirements to assess the state-of-the-art limitations and benefits of enhancing current technology.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Conceptual study of space plane powered by hypersonic airbreathing propulsion system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maita, Masataka; Ohkami, Yoshiaki; Yamanaka, Tatsuo; Mori, Takashige

    1990-10-01

    The paper describes the investigations of aerospace plane concept, conducted by the National Aerospace Laboratory (NAL) of Japan, with particular attention given to a concept which integrates a scram/liquid air cycle engine (LACE) hypersonic propulsion system fueling with slush hydrogen. The key requirements in achieving the space plane using scram/LACE propulsion system are described along with the mission requirements and the vehicle characteristics. Typical outputs of SSTO analysis are presented.

  18. Conceptual design and integration of a space station resistojet propulsion assembly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tacina, Robert R.

    1987-01-01

    The resistojet propulsion module is designed as a simple, long life, low risk system offering operational flexibility to the space station program. It can dispose of a wide variety of typical space station waste fluids by using them as propellants for orbital maintenance. A high temperature mode offers relatively high specific impulse with long life while a low temperature mode can propulsively dispose of mixtures that contain oxygen or hydrocarbons without reducing thruster life or generating particulates in the plume. A low duty cycle and a plume that is confined to a small aft region minimizes the impacts on the users. Simple interfaces with other space station systems facilitate integration. It is concluded that there are no major obstacles and many advantages to developing, installing, and operating a resistojet propulsion module aboard the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) space station.

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

    SciTech Connect

    James Werner

    2014-07-01

    The development of a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) system rests heavily upon being able to fabricate and demonstrate the performance of a high temperature nuclear fuel as well as demonstrating an integrated system prior to launch. A number of studies have been performed in the past which identified the facilities needed and the capabilities available to meet the needs and requirements identified at that time. Since that time, many facilities and capabilities within the Department of Energy have been removed or decommissioned. This paper provides a brief overview of the anticipated facility needs and identifies some promising concepts to be considered which could support the development of a nuclear thermal propulsion system. Detailed trade studies will need to be performed to support the decision making process.

  20. 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.

  1. Electric propulsion for near-Earth space missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Terwilliger, C. H.; Smith, W. W.

    1980-01-01

    A set of missions was postulated that was considered to be representative of those likely to be desirable/feasible over the next three decades. The characteristics of these missions, and their payloads, that most impact the choice/design of the requisite propulsion system were determined. A system-level model of the near-Earth transportation process was constructed, which incorporated these mission/system characteristics, as well as the fundamental parameters describing the technology/performance of an ion bombardment based electric propulsion system. The model was used for sensitivity studies to determine the interactions between the technology descriptors and program costs, and to establish the most cost-effective directions for technology advancement. The most important factor was seen to be the costs associated with the duration of the mission, and this in turn makes the development of advanced electric propulsion systems having moderate to high efficiencies ( 50 percent) at intermediate ranges of specific impulse (approximately 1000 seconds) very desirable.

  2. Phase 1 Space Fission Propulsion System Design Considerations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Mike; VanDyke, Melissa; Godfroy, Tom; Pedersen, Kevin; Martin, James; Carter, Robert; Dickens, Ricky; Salvail, Pat; Hrbud, Ivana; Rodgers, Stephen L. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Fission technology can enable rapid, affordable access to any point in the solar system. If fission propulsion systems are to be developed to their full potential; however, near-term customers must be identified and initial fission systems successfully developed, launched, and operated. Studies conducted in fiscal year 2001 (IISTP, 2001) show that fission electric propulsion (FEP) systems operating at 80 kWe or above could enhance or enable numerous robotic outer solar system missions of interest. At these power levels it is possible to develop safe, affordable systems that meet mission performance requirements. In selecting the system design to pursue, seven evaluation criteria were identified: safety, reliability, testability, specific mass, cost, schedule, and programmatic risk. A top-level comparison of three potential concepts was performed: an SP-100 based pumped liquid lithium system, a direct gas cooled system, and a heatpipe cooled system. For power levels up to at least 500 kWt (enabling electric power levels of 125-175 kWe, given 25-35% power conversion efficiency) the heatpipe system has advantages related to several criteria and is competitive with respect to all. Hardware-based research and development has further increased confidence in the heatpipe approach. Successful development and utilization of a "Phase 1" fission electric propulsion system will enable advanced Phase 2 and Phase 3 systems capable of providing rapid, affordable access to any point in the solar system.

  3. Marshall Space Flight Center Propulsion Systems Department (PSD) KM Initiative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caraccioli, Paul; Varnadoe, Tom; McCarter, Mike

    2006-01-01

    NASA Marshall Space Flight Center s Propulsion Systems Department (PSD) is four months into a fifteen month Knowledge Management (KM) initiative to support enhanced engineering decision making and analyses, faster resolution of anomalies (near-term) and effective, efficient knowledge infused engineering processes, reduced knowledge attrition, and reduced anomaly occurrences (long-term). The near-term objective of this initiative is developing a KM Pilot project, within the context of a 3-5 year KM strategy, to introduce and evaluate the use of KM within PSD. An internal NASA/MSFC PSD KM team was established early in project formulation to maintain a practitioner, user-centric focus throughout the conceptual development, planning and deployment of KM technologies and capabilities with in the PSD. The PSD internal team is supported by the University of Alabama's Aging Infrastructure Systems Center Of Excellence (AISCE), Intergraph Corporation, and The Knowledge Institute. The principle product of the initial four month effort has been strategic planning of PSD KM implementation by first determining the "as is" state of KM capabilities and developing, planning and documenting the roadmap to achieve the desired "to be" state. Activities undertaken to support the planning phase have included data gathering; cultural surveys, group work-sessions, interviews, documentation review, and independent research. Assessments and analyses have been performed including industry benchmarking, related local and Agency initiatives, specific tools and techniques used and strategies for leveraging existing resources, people and technology to achieve common KM goals. Key findings captured in the PSD KM Strategic Plan include the system vision, purpose, stakeholders, prioritized strategic objectives mapped to the top ten practitioner needs and analysis of current resource usage. Opportunities identified from research, analyses, cultural/KM surveys and practitioner interviews include

  4. The NASA Microelectronics Space Radiation Effects Program (MSREP) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barnes, C.; Coss, J.; Nichols, D.; Shaw, D.

    1991-01-01

    The primary objective of the Microelectronics Space Radiation Effects Program (MSREP) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is to assist NASA in the selection of radiation hardened microelectronic parts for insertion in NASA space systems through radiation testing and research. Prior to presenting examples of the research and testing on Single Event Effects (SEE) and Total Ionizing Dose (TID) effects, the space radiation environment and radiation requirements for the CRAFT/Cassini program, a typical JPL space project, are discussed.

  5. Aeropropulsion facilities configuration control: Procedures manual

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lavelle, James J.

    1990-01-01

    Lewis Research Center senior management directed that the aeropropulsion facilities be put under configuration control. A Configuration Management (CM) program was established by the Facilities Management Branch of the Aeropropulsion Facilities and Experiments Division. Under the CM program, a support service contractor was engaged to staff and implement the program. The Aeronautics Directorate has over 30 facilities at Lewis of various sizes and complexities. Under the program, a Facility Baseline List (FBL) was established for each facility, listing which systems and their documents were to be placed under configuration control. A Change Control System (CCS) was established requiring that any proposed changes to FBL systems or their documents were to be processed as per the CCS. Limited access control of the FBL master drawings was implemented and an audit system established to ensure all facility changes are properly processed. This procedures manual sets forth the policy and responsibilities to ensure all key documents constituting a facilities configuration are kept current, modified as needed, and verified to reflect any proposed change. This is the essence of the CM program.

  6. An integrated analytical aeropropulsive/aeroelastic model for the dynamic analysis of hypersonic vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chavez, Frank R.; Schmidt, David K.

    1992-01-01

    The development of an approach to the determination of the dynamic characteristics of hypersonic vehicles which is intentionally generic and basic is given. The approach involves a 2D hypersonic aerodynamic analysis utilizing Newtonian theory, coupled with a 1D aero/thermoanalysis of the flow in a scramjet-type propulsion system. In addition, the airframe is considered to be elastic, and the structural dynamics are characterized in terms of a simple lumped-mass model of the invacuo vibration modes. The vibration modes are coupled to the rigid-body modes through the aero/propulsive forces acting on the structure. The control effectors considered on a generic study configuration include aerodynamic pitch-control surfaces, as well as engine fuel flow and diffuser area ratio. The study configuration is shown to be highly statically unstable in pitch, and to exhibit strong airframe/engine/elastic coupling in the aeroelastic and attitude dynamics, as well as the engine responses.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Phase 1 Space Fission Propulsion Energy Source Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Mike; VanDyke, Melissa; Godfroy, Tom; Pedersen, Kevin; Martin, James; Dickens, Ricky; Salvail, Pat; Hrbud, Ivana; Carter, Robert; Rodgers, Stephen L. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Fission technology can enable rapid, affordable access to any point in the solar system. If fission propulsion systems are to be developed to their full potential; however, near-term customers must be identified and initial fission systems successfully developed, launched, and operated. Studies conducted in fiscal year 2001 (IISTP, 2001) show that fission electric propulsion (FEP) systems with a specific mass at or below 50 kg/kWjet could enhance or enable numerous robotic outer solar system missions of interest. At the required specific mass, it is possible to develop safe, affordable systems that meet mission requirements. To help select the system design to pursue, eight evaluation criteria were identified: system integration, safety, reliability, testability, specific mass, cost, schedule, and programmatic risk. A top-level comparison of four potential concepts was performed: a Testable, Passive, Redundant Reactor (TPRR), a Testable Multi-Cell In-Core Thermionic Reactor (TMCT), a Direct Gas Cooled Reactor (DGCR), and a Pumped Liquid Metal Reactor.(PLMR). Development of any of the four systems appears feasible. However, for power levels up to at least 500 kWt (enabling electric power levels of 125-175 kWe, given 25-35% power conversion efficiency) the TPRR has advantages related to several criteria and is competitive with respect to all. Hardware-based research and development has further increased confidence in the TPRR approach. Successful development and utilization of a "Phase I" fission electric propulsion system will enable advanced Phase 2 and Phase 3 systems capable of providing rapid, affordable access to any point in the solar system.

  13. Active space debris removal by a hybrid propulsion module

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeLuca, L. T.; Bernelli, F.; Maggi, F.; Tadini, P.; Pardini, C.; Anselmo, L.; Grassi, M.; Pavarin, D.; Francesconi, A.; Branz, F.; Chiesa, S.; Viola, N.; Bonnal, C.; Trushlyakov, V.; Belokonov, I.

    2013-10-01

    During the last 40 years, the mass of the artificial objects in orbit increased quite steadily at the rate of about 145 metric tons annually, leading to a total tally of approximately 7000 metric tons. Now, most of the cross-sectional area and mass (97% in LEO) is concentrated in about 4600 intact objects, i.e. abandoned spacecraft and rocket bodies, plus a further 1000 operational spacecraft. Simulations and parametric analyses have shown that the most efficient and effective way to prevent the outbreak of a long-term exponential growth of the catalogued debris population would be to remove enough cross-sectional area and mass from densely populated orbits. In practice, according to the most recent NASA results, the active yearly removal of approximately 0.1% of the abandoned intact objects would be sufficient to stabilize the catalogued debris in low Earth orbit, together with the worldwide adoption of mitigation measures. The candidate targets for removal would have typical masses between 500 and 1000 kg, in the case of spacecraft, and of more than 1000 kg, in the case of rocket upper stages. Current data suggest that optimal active debris removal missions should be carried out in a few critical altitude-inclination bands. This paper deals with the feasibility study of a mission in which the debris is removed by using a hybrid propulsion module as propulsion unit. Specifically, the engine is transferred from a servicing platform to the debris target by a robotic arm so to perform a controlled disposal. Hybrid rocket technology for de-orbiting applications is considered a valuable option due to high specific impulse, intrinsic safety, thrust throttle ability, low environmental impact and reduced operating costs. Typically, in hybrid rockets a gaseous or liquid oxidizer is injected into the combustion chamber along the axial direction to burn a solid fuel. However, the use of tangential injection on a solid grain Pancake Geometry allows for more compact design of

  14. An Airbreathing Launch Vehicle Design with Turbine-Based Low-Speed Propulsion and Dual Mode Scramjet High-Speed Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moses, P. L.; Bouchard, K. A.; Vause, R. F.; Pinckney, S. Z.; Ferlemann, S. M.; Leonard, C. P.; Taylor, L. W., III; Robinson, J. S.; Martin, J. G.; Petley, D. H.

    1999-01-01

    Airbreathing launch vehicles continue to be a subject of great interest in the space access community. In particular, horizontal takeoff and horizontal landing vehicles are attractive with their airplane-like benefits and flexibility for future space launch requirements. The most promising of these concepts involve airframe integrated propulsion systems, in which the external undersurface of the vehicle forms part of the propulsion flowpath. Combining of airframe and engine functions in this manner involves all of the design disciplines interacting at once. Design and optimization of these configurations is a most difficult activity, requiring a multi-discipline process to analytically resolve the numerous interactions among the design variables. This paper describes the design and optimization of one configuration in this vehicle class, a lifting body with turbine-based low-speed propulsion. The integration of propulsion and airframe, both from an aero-propulsive and mechanical perspective are addressed. This paper primarily focuses on the design details of the preferred configuration and the analyses performed to assess its performance. The integration of both low-speed and high-speed propulsion is covered. Structural and mechanical designs are described along with materials and technologies used. Propellant and systems packaging are shown and the mission-sized vehicle weights are disclosed.

  15. From the Rocket Equation to Maxwell's Equations: Electrodynamic Tether Propulsion Nears Space Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Estes, Robert

    1999-01-01

    The US space program is facing a growing challenge to its decades-long, global leadership position, as current launch costs consume valuable resources and limit achievements in science, exploration, and commercial development. More than 40% of projected launches over the next 10 years have payloads with intended destinations beyond low-Earth orbit. Therefore, more cost-effective upper stages and on-board propulsion systems are critical elements in reducing total space transportation costs. A new type of space propulsion, using electrodynamic tethers, may be capable of performing multiple sequential missions without resupply and have a potential usable lifetime of several years. They may provide an in-space infrastructure that has a very low life cycle cost and greatly enhanced mission flexibility, thus supporting the goal of reducing the cost of access to space. Electrodynamic tether thrusters work by virtue of the force the Earth's magnetic field exerts on a wire carrying an electrical current. The effect is the basis for electric motors and generators. The Propulsive Small Expendable Deployer System (ProSEDS) experiment, planned for launch in the summer of 2000, will demonstrate the use electrodynamic tether thrust by lowering the altitude of a Delta-H rocket's upper stage on which it will be flying. Applications of the technology include a passive deorbit system for spacecraft at their end-of-life, reusable Orbit Transfer Vehicles, propellantless reboost of the International Space Station, and propulsion and power generation for future missions to Jupiter.

  16. A study of the compatibility of science instruments with the solar electric propulsion space vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parker, R. H.; Ajello, J. M.; Bratenahl, A.; Clay, D. R.; Tsurutani, B.

    1973-01-01

    Electromagnetic interference and field-of-view constraints are identified as the areas of most concern to science on solar electric propulsion space vehicles. Several areas are indicated which more detailed data on the space vehicle environment are needed. In addition, possible means to attain or demonstrate science/space vehicle compatibility are recommended for further iteration between space vehicle design and science payload considerations. The space vehicle design developed by the solar electric propulsion system integration technology effort is used. Two payload sets for comet Encke missions (a slow flyby and a rendezvous), as well as several instruments which are not included in the two payload sets, are analyzed to determine requirements on the space vehicle imposed by the instruments in order to meet their objectives. Environmental requirements for the sets of instruments are developed and compared to both the SEPSIT design criteria and the environment as it is presently understood.

  17. Advanced Propulsion Systems for Low-Cost Access to Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whitlow, Woodrow, Jr.

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Space Access Goal Ensure the provision of space access and improve it by increasing safety, reliability, and affordability. (1) The launch phase continues to be the highest risk period of any space mission. (2) Launch costs remain an obstacle to the complete utilization of space for research, exploration, and commercial purposes (3) Improving the Nation's access to space through the application of new technology is one of NASA's primary roles.

  18. NASA safety program activities in support of the Space Exploration Initiatives Nuclear Propulsion program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sawyer, J. C., Jr.

    1993-01-01

    The activities of the joint NASA/DOE/DOD Nuclear Propulsion Program Technical Panels have been used as the basis for the current development of safety policies and requirements for the Space Exploration Initiatives (SEI) Nuclear Propulsion Technology development program. The Safety Division of the NASA Office of Safety and Mission Quality has initiated efforts to develop policies for the safe use of nuclear propulsion in space through involvement in the joint agency Nuclear Safety Policy Working Group (NSPWG), encouraged expansion of the initial policy development into proposed programmatic requirements, and suggested further expansion into the overall risk assessment and risk management process for the NASA Exploration Program. Similar efforts are underway within the Department of Energy to ensure the safe development and testing of nuclear propulsion systems on Earth. This paper describes the NASA safety policy related to requirements for the design of systems that may operate where Earth re-entry is a possibility. The expected plan of action is to support and oversee activities related to the technology development of nuclear propulsion in space, and support the overall safety and risk management program being developed for the NASA Exploration Program.

  19. Embedded Wing Propulsion Conceptual Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Hyun D.; Saunders, John D.

    2003-01-01

    As a part of distributed propulsion work under NASA's Revolutionary Aeropropulsion Concepts or RAC project, a new propulsion-airframe integrated vehicle concept called Embedded Wing Propulsion (EWP) is developed and examined through system and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) studies. The idea behind the concept is to fully integrate a propulsion system within a wing structure so that the aircraft takes full benefits of coupling of wing aerodynamics and the propulsion thrust stream. The objective of this study is to assess the feasibility of the EWP concept applied to large transport aircraft such as the Blended-Wing-Body aircraft. In this paper, some of early analysis and current status of the study are presented. In addition, other current activities of distributed propulsion under the RAC project are briefly discussed.

  20. Propulsion Utilizing Laser-Driven Ponderomotive Fields for Deep-Space Missions

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, George J.; Gilland, James H.

    2009-03-16

    The generation of large amplitude electric fields in plasmas by high-power lasers has been studied for several years in the context of high-energy particle acceleration. Fields on the order of GeV/m are generated in the plasma wake of the laser by non-linear ponderomotive forces. The laser fields generate longitudinal and translational electron plasma waves with phase velocities close to the speed of light. These fields and velocities offer the potential to revolutionize spacecraft propulsion, leading to extended deep space robotic probes. Based on these initial calculations, plasma acceleration by means of laser-induced ponderomotive forces appears to offer significant potential for spacecraft propulsion. Relatively high-efficiencies appear possible with proper beam conditioning, resulting in an order of magnitude more thrust than alternative concepts for high I{sub SP} (>10{sup 5} s) and elimination of the primary life-limiting erosion phenomena associated with conventional electric propulsion systems. Ponderomotive propulsion readily lends itself to beamed power which might overcome some of the constraints of power-limited propulsion concepts. A preliminary assessment of the impact of these propulsion systems for several promising configurations on mission architectures has been conducted. Emphasizing interstellar and interstellar-precursor applications, performance and technical requirements are identified for a number of missions. The use of in-situ plasma and gas for propellant is evaluated as well.

  1. Propulsion Utilizing Laser-Driven Ponderomotive Fields for Deep-Space Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, George J.; Gilland, James H.

    2009-03-01

    The generation of large amplitude electric fields in plasmas by high-power lasers has been studied for several years in the context of high-energy particle acceleration. Fields on the order of GeV/m are generated in the plasma wake of the laser by non-linear ponderomotive forces. The laser fields generate longitudinal and translational electron plasma waves with phase velocities close to the speed of light. These fields and velocities offer the potential to revolutionize spacecraft propulsion, leading to extended deep space robotic probes. Based on these initial calculations, plasma acceleration by means of laser-induced ponderomotive forces appears to offer significant potential for spacecraft propulsion. Relatively high-efficiencies appear possible with proper beam conditioning, resulting in an order of magnitude more thrust than alternative concepts for high ISP (>105 s) and elimination of the primary life-limiting erosion phenomena associated with conventional electric propulsion systems. Ponderomotive propulsion readily lends itself to beamed power which might overcome some of the constraints of power-limited propulsion concepts. A preliminary assessment of the impact of these propulsion systems for several promising configurations on mission architectures has been conducted. Emphasizing interstellar and interstellar-precursor applications, performance and technical requirements are identified for a number of missions. The use of in-situ plasma and gas for propellant is evaluated as well.

  2. Application of Recommended Design Practices for Conceptual Nuclear Fusion Space Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Craig H.

    2004-01-01

    An AIAA Special Project Report was recently produced by AIAA's Nuclear and Future Flight Propulsion Technical Committee and is currently in peer review. The Report provides recommended design practices for conceptual engineering studies of nuclear fusion space propulsion systems. Discussion and recommendations are made on key topics including design reference missions, degree of technological extrapolation and concomitant risk, thoroughness in calculating mass properties (nominal mass properties, weight-growth contingency and propellant margins, and specific impulse), and thoroughness in calculating power generation and usage (power-flow, power contingencies, specific power). The report represents a general consensus of the nuclear fusion space propulsion system conceptual design community and proposes 15 recommendations. This paper expands on the Report by providing specific examples illustrating how to apply each of the recommendations.

  3. Study of liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen auxiliary propulsion systems for the space tug

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nichols, J. F.

    1975-01-01

    Design concepts are considered that permit use of a liquid-liquid (as opposed to gas-gas) oxygen/hydrogen thrust chamber for attitude control and auxiliary propulsion thrusters on the space tug. The best of the auxiliary propulsion system concepts are defined and their principal characteristics, including cost as well as operational capabilities, are established. Design requirements for each of the major components of the systems, including thrusters, are developed at the conceptual level. The competitive concepts considered use both dedicated (separate tanks) and integrated (propellant from main propulsion tanks) propellant supply. The integrated concept is selected as best for the space tug after comparative evaluation against both cryogenic and storable propellant dedicated systems. A preliminary design of the selected system is established and recommendations for supporting research and technology to further the concept are presented.

  4. Spacecraft mission and shielding thermal study for a space-storable fluorine-hydrazine propulsion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, J. A.

    1981-01-01

    The thermal management and shielding problems related to a space-storable fluorine-hydrazine propulsion system are investigated. The general configuration of a space storable propulsion spacecraft and three types of shield configurations are described in detail. An advanced MLI shielding design is proposed showing good agreement with test data. All examined shield configurations were found to be acceptable for inner as well as outer planetary missions. However, for the latter small local heaters may be required to maintain the fluorine above a minimum required temperature of approximately -350 F. The fluorine/hydrazine system with a 25 percent higher specific impulse than the conventionally used propulsion systems, was suggested for interplanetary missions that require substantial velocity changes.

  5. Space transfer with ground-based laser/electric propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Stavnes, Mark; Oleson, Steve; Bozek, John

    1993-01-01

    A new method of providing power to space vehicles consists of using ground-based lasers to beam power to photovoltaic receivers in space. This can be used as a power source for electrically propelled orbital transfer vehicles.

  6. Nuclear power sources in outer space. [spacecraft propulsion legal aspects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hosenball, S. N.

    1978-01-01

    Legal problems associated with nuclear power sources in space are discussed with particular reference to the Cosmos 954 incident. Deliberations of the Legal and Scientific and Technical Subcommittees on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space on this subject are discussed.

  7. Future fundamental combustion research for aeropropulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mularz, E. J.

    1985-01-01

    Physical fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and chemical kinetic processes which occur in the combustion chamber of aeropropulsion systems were investigated. With the component requirements becoming more severe for future engines, the current design methodology needs the new tools to obtain the optimum configuration in a reasonable design and development cycle. Research efforts in the last few years were encouraging but to achieve these benefits research is required into the fundamental aerothermodynamic processes of combustion. It is recommended that research continues in the areas of flame stabilization, combustor aerodynamics, heat transfer, multiphase flow and atomization, turbulent reacting flows, and chemical kinetics. Associated with each of these engineering sciences is the need for research into computational methods to accurately describe and predict these complex physical processes. Research needs in each of these areas are highlighted.

  8. Radioisotope electric propulsion of sciencecraft to the outer Solar System and near-interstellar space

    SciTech Connect

    Noble, R.J.

    1999-11-01

    Radioisotopes have been used successfully for more than 25 years to supply the heat for thermoelectric generators on various deep-space probes. Radioisotope electric propulsion (REP) systems have been proposed as low-thrust ion propulsion units based on radioisotope electric generators and ion thrusters. The perceived liability of radioisotope electric generators for ion propulsion is their high mass. Conventional radioisotope thermoelectric generators have a specific mass of about 200 kg/kW of electric power. Many development efforts have been undertaken with the aim of reducing the specific mass of radioisotope electric systems. Recent performance estimates suggest that specific masses of 50 kg/kW may be achievable with thermophotovoltaic and alkali metal thermal-to-electric conversion generators. Powerplants constructed from these near-term radioisotope electric generators and long-life ion thrusters will likely have specific masses in the range of 100 to 200 kg/kW of thrust power if development continues over the next decade. In earlier studies, it was concluded that flight times within the Solar System are indeed insensitive to reductions in the powerplant specific mass, and that a timely scientific program of robotic planetary rendezvous and near-interstellar space missions is enabled by primary electric propulsion once the powerplant specific mass is in the range of 100 to 200 kg/kW. Flight times can be substantially reduced by using hybrid propulsion schemes that combine chemical propulsion, gravity assist, and electric propulsion. Hybrid schemes are further explored in this article to illustrate how the performance of REP is enhanced for Pluto rendezvous, heliopause orbiter, and gravitational lens missions.

  9. Propulsion Health Management System Development for Affordable and Reliable Operation of Space Exploration Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Melcher, Kevin J.; Maul, William A.; Garg, Sanjay

    2007-01-01

    The constraints of future Exploration Missions will require unique integrated system health management capabilities throughout the mission. An ambitious launch schedule, human-rating requirements, long quiescent periods, limited human access for repair or replacement, and long communication delays, all require an integrated approach to health management that can span distinct, yet interdependent vehicle subsystems, anticipate failure states, provide autonomous remediation and support the Exploration Mission from beginning to end. Propulsion is a critical part of any space exploration mission, and monitoring the health of the propulsion system is an integral part of assuring mission safety and success. Health management is a somewhat ubiquitous technology that encompasses a large spectrum of physical components and logical processes. For this reason, it is essential to develop a systematic plan for propulsion health management system development. This paper provides a high-level perspective of propulsion health management systems, and describes a logical approach for the future planning and early development that are crucial to planned space exploration programs. It also presents an overall approach, or roadmap, for propulsion health management system development and a discussion of the associated roadblocks and challenges.

  10. Space Station propulsion system test bed and control system testing results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Norman, A. M.; Briley, G. L.; Nave, L. H.; Pavlinsky, J. F.; Allums, S.

    1987-01-01

    The test bed fabricated to demonstrate hydrogen/oxygen propulsion technology readiness for the IOC Space Station application is described and test results are presented. The reliability and safety of the O2/H2 system was demonstrated with blowdowns and thruster firings. The flexibility of the system was demonstrated through the addition of an electrolysis supply module.

  11. Design and performance of the external tank portion of the Space Shuttle main propulsion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Norquist, L. W.

    1982-01-01

    The External Tank (ET) portion of the Space Transportation System (STS) Main Propulsion System (MPS) has achieved flight performance requirements on four very successful flights. This paper will describe the design requirements and goals, ground and flight performance achievements, lessons learned and future plans.

  12. Improved scaling laws for stage inert mass of space propulsion systems. Volume 1: Summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1971-01-01

    Summarized is a study which satisfies the need for improved scaling laws for stage inert mass of space propulsion systems. The resulting laws are applicable to current and future vehicle systems and designs for a comprehensive spectrum of anticipated planetary missions.

  13. Publications of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, January through December 1974. [deep space network, Apollo project, information theory, and space exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    Formalized technical reporting is described and indexed, which resulted from scientific and engineering work performed, or managed, by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The five classes of publications included are technical reports, technical memorandums, articles from the bimonthly Deep Space Network Progress Report, special publications, and articles published in the open literature. The publications are indexed by author, subject, and publication type and number.

  14. Space vehicle design and operation for efficient use of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stancati, Mike L.; Hodge, John R.; Borowski, Stanley K.

    1993-01-01

    Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is a high-leverage, and possibly enabling, propulsion choice for sending humans to Mars. Important performance gains are expected for NTP Mars transfer vehicle over their counterparts, the conventional chemical systems. These gains come in spite of vehicle unique requirements for NTP engine development and operations: expected higher development costs, prelaunch and in-space handing safeguards, extra propellant for reactor cool-down after engine burns, and safe, managed disposal of spent NTP engines. Prior studies have also shown that these NTP engines and stages, sized for Mars missions, could increase delivered payloads for some piloted lunar mission as well.

  15. Problems in developing bimodal space power and propulsion system fuel element

    SciTech Connect

    Nikolaev, Yu. V.; Gontar, A. S.; Zaznoba, V. A.; Parshin, N. Ya.; Ponomarev-Stepnoi, N. N.; Usov, V. A.

    1997-01-10

    The paper discusses design of a space nuclear power and propulsion system fuel element (PPFE) developed on the basis of an enhanced single-cell thermionic fuel element (TFE) of the 'TOPAZ-2' thermionic converter-reactor (TCR), and presents the PPFE performance for propulsion and power modes of operation. The choice of UC-TaC fuel composition is substantiated. Data on hydrogen effect on the PPFE output voltage are presented, design solutions are considered that allow to restrict hydrogen supply to an interelectrode gap (IEG). Long-term geometric stability of an emitter assembly is supported by calculated data.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Esther, Elizabeth A.; Burnside, Christopher G.

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Space shuttle auxiliary propulsion system design study. Phase A report: Requirements definition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Orton, G. F.; Schweickert, T. F.

    1972-01-01

    The analyses and rationale used to develop requirements for the oxygen-hydrogen auxiliary propulsion systems to be used with the space shuttle are presented. The requirements apply to a fully reusable space shuttle vehicle system using internal, reusable main engine propellant tanks in both the orbiter and booster stages. Requirements of principal interest are engine thrust, number of engines, maximum system thrust, total impulse, and total impulse expenditure history.

  18. Some aspects of space propulsion with extraterrestrial resources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramohalli, Kumar; Dowler, Warren; French, James; Ash, Robert

    1987-01-01

    Extraterrestrial resources for space processing of chemicals, in general, and propellants, in particular, are explored quantitatively. It is seen that, for several candidate space mission scenarios, space processing of both space resources and earth-carried resources can make decisive differences in the mission success for a given payload. To fix ideas and demonstrate trends, the specific case of water splitting to extract oxygen, discard (or use without storage) the resulting hydrogen, and burn earth-carried noncryogenic liquid fuel(s) in a simple rocket motor, designed for periodic thrusting, is treated in some detail. Experimental hardware is assembled and demonstrated to perform adequately, besides showing compactness of the space-packaged 'capsule' module that is self-contained. Building upon previous studies, the concept of in situ propellant production (ISPP) is reexamined in light of more recent energy and materials technologies. Missions to comets and Mars Sample Return are mentioned as candidate scenarios. The mission duration, reliability-repairability of hardware, resource availability in low earth orbit (LEO), and the thrust requirements are considered in turn. It is seen that space storage of hydrogen for extended durations (5-10 years) involves problems that require detailed studies, besides involving many presently unanswered issues. A study of the energy option in LEO and in deep space is developed in simple terms. The different solar, radioisotope, and nuclear power sources are mentioned. Storage and handling of raw and processed chemicals are considered.

  19. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory space exploration - Past, present and future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bellan, Josette

    1993-01-01

    Attention is given to the most recent scientific results from space exploration carried out by JPL. A brief background of JPL's history is presented, and the Deep Space Network, JPL's system of antennas which communicates with spacecraft, is described. Results from the missions of Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 are discussed. Consideration is given to the atmosphere, rings, satellites, and magnetospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The impact of spray research on space exploration is briefly discussed. An overview of future missions and new NASA policies is also presented.

  20. An interagency space nuclear propulsion safety policy for SEI - Issues and discussion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marshall, A. C.; Sawyer, J. C., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    An interagency Nuclear Safety Policy Working Group (NSPWG) was chartered to recommend nuclear safety policy, requirements, and guidelines for the Space Exploration Initiative nuclear propulsion program to facilitate the implementation of mission planning and conceptual design studies. The NSPWG developed a top level policy to provide the guiding principles for the development and implementation of the nuclear propulsion safety program and the development of Safety Functional Requirements. In addition, the NSPWG reviewed safety issues for nuclear propulsion and recommended top level safety requirements and guidelines to address these issues. Safety topics include reactor start-up, inadvertent criticality, radiological release and exposure, disposal, entry, safeguards, risk/reliability, operational safety, ground testing, and other considerations. In this paper the emphasis is placed on the safety policy and the issues and considerations that are addressed by the NSPWG recommendations.

  1. Nuclear safety policy working group recommendations on nuclear propulsion safety for the space exploration initiative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marshall, Albert C.; Lee, James H.; Mcculloch, William H.; Sawyer, J. Charles, Jr.; Bari, Robert A.; Cullingford, Hatice S.; Hardy, Alva C.; Niederauer, George F.; Remp, Kerry; Rice, John W.

    1993-01-01

    An interagency Nuclear Safety Working Group (NSPWG) was chartered to recommend nuclear safety policy, requirements, and guidelines for the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) nuclear propulsion program. These recommendations, which are contained in this report, should facilitate the implementation of mission planning and conceptual design studies. The NSPWG has recommended a top-level policy to provide the guiding principles for the development and implementation of the SEI nuclear propulsion safety program. In addition, the NSPWG has reviewed safety issues for nuclear propulsion and recommended top-level safety requirements and guidelines to address these issues. These recommendations should be useful for the development of the program's top-level requirements for safety functions (referred to as Safety Functional Requirements). The safety requirements and guidelines address the following topics: reactor start-up, inadvertent criticality, radiological release and exposure, disposal, entry, safeguards, risk/reliability, operational safety, ground testing, and other considerations.

  2. Solar Thermal Propulsion Improvements at Marshall Space Flight Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gerrish, Harold P.

    2003-01-01

    Solar Thermal Propulsion (STP) is a concept which operates by transferring solar energy to a propellant, which thermally expands through a nozzle. The specific impulse performance is about twice that of chemical combustions engines, since there is no need for an oxidizer. In orbit, an inflatable concentrator mirror captures sunlight and focuses it inside an engine absorber cavity/heat exchanger, which then heats the propellant. The primary application of STP is with upperstages taking payloads from low earth orbit to geosynchronous earth orbit or earth escape velocities. STP engines are made of high temperature materials since heat exchanger operation requires temperatures greater than 2500K. Refractory metals such as tungsten and rhenium have been examined. The materials must also be compatible with hot hydrogen propellant. MSFC has three different engine designs, made of different refractory metal materials ready to test. Future engines will be made of high temperature carbide materials, which can withstand temperatures greater than 3000K, hot hydrogen, and provide higher performance. A specific impulse greater than 1000 seconds greatly reduces the amount of required propellant. A special 1 OkW solar ground test facility was made at MSFC to test various STP engine designs. The heliostat mirror, with dual-axis gear drive, tracks and reflects sunlight to the 18 ft. diameter concentrator mirror. The concentrator then focuses sunlight through a vacuum chamber window to a small focal point inside the STP engine. The facility closely simulates how the STP engine would function in orbit. The flux intensity at the focal point is equivalent to the intensity at a distance of 7 solar radii from the sun.

  3. Two generic concepts for space propulsion based on thermal nuclear fusion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabrielli, R. A.; Petkow, D.; Herdrich, G.; Laufer, R.; Röser, H.-P.

    2014-08-01

    In the present work, two different concepts for fusion based space propulsion are compared. While the first concept is based solely on propulsion by hypothetic ejection of fusion products and hence may be called ash drive, the second one uses an additional coolant for thrust enhancement. Since this coolant was initially assumed to be gaseous and since it is doing most of the propulsion work, the name of “working gas drive” has been proposed. Propulsive characteristics for both types are evaluated for four fusion reactant couples (D-T; D-3He; 3He-3He; 11B-p). In working gas drives, only hydrogen is considered as coolant due to its exceptionally good caloric and propulsive properties. The results of comparative studies show that while ash drives excel working gas drives in terms of specific impulse the latter yield considerably more thrust than ash drives. Another major drawback of the ash drives is relatively small thrust efficiencies. The plasma power has to be disposed of nearly entirely as waste heat leading to prohibitive radiator masses.

  4. Refurbishment of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Large Space Simulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harrell, J.; Johnson, K.

    1993-01-01

    The JPL large space simulator has recently undergone a major refurbishment to restore and enhance its capabilities to provide high fidelity space simulation. The nearly completed refurbishment has included upgrading the vacuum pumping system by replacing old oil diffusion pumps with new cryogenic and turbomolecular pumps; modernizing the entire control system to utilize computerized, distributed control technology; replacing the Xenon arc lamp power supplies with new upgraded units; refinishing the primary collimating mirror; and replacing the existing integrating lens unit and the fused quartz penetration window.

  5. Rocket Propulsion Testing at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwer, Robert

    2005-01-01

    Viewgraph presentation on the design and testing Liquid Hydrogen Barge Vaporizers at NASA John C. Stennis Space Center is shown. The topics include: 1) Vaporizer Requirements; 2) Vaporizer Design; 3) LH2 # 2 Vaporizer Statistics; 4) Corrective Actions; and 5) Lessons Learned.

  6. Space Shuttle Propulsion Materials, Manufacturing, and Operational Challenges

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Owen, James; Welzyn, Ken; Vanhooser, Katherine; Moore, Dennis; Wood, David

    2011-01-01

    Presentations in this session include: (1) External Tank (ET) Materials, Manufacturing, and Operational Challenges; (2) Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) Materials, Manufacturing, and Operational Challenges,(3) Reusable Solid Rocket Motor (RSRM) Materials, Manufacturing, and Operational Challenges and (4) Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) Materials, Manufacturing, and Operational Challenges.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    LaPointe, Michael

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  9. The Direction of Fluid Dynamics for Liquid Propulsion at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griffin, Lisa W.

    2012-01-01

    Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)-designated center for the development of space launch systems. MSFC is particularly known for propulsion system development. Many engineering skills and technical disciplines are needed to accomplish this mission. This presentation will focus on the work of the Fluid Dynamics Branch (ER42). ER42 resides in the Propulsion Systems Department at MSFC. The branch is responsible for all aspects of the discipline of fluid dynamics applied to propulsion or propulsion-induced loads and environments. This work begins with design trades and parametric studies, and continues through development, risk assessment, anomaly investigation and resolution, and failure investigations. Applications include the propellant delivery system including the main propulsion system (MPS) and turbomachinery; combustion devices for liquid engines and solid rocket motors; coupled systems; and launch environments. An advantage of the branch is that it is neither analysis nor test centric, but discipline centric. Fluid dynamics assessments are made by analysis, from lumped parameter modeling through unsteady computational fluid dynamics (CFD); testing, which can be cold flow or hot fire; or a combination of analysis and testing. Integration of all discipline methods into one branch enables efficient and accurate support to the projects. To accomplish this work, the branch currently employs approximately fifty engineers divided into four teams -- Propellant Delivery CFD, Combustion Driven Flows CFD, Unsteady and Experimental Flows, and Acoustics and Stability. This discussion will highlight some of the work performed in the branch and the direction in which the branch is headed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Finite-thrust optimization of interplanetary transfers of space vehicle with bimodal nuclear thermal propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kharytonov, Oleksii M.; Kiforenko, Boris M.

    2011-08-01

    The nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) propulsion is one of the leading promising technologies for primary space propulsion for manned exploration of the solar system due to its high specific impulse capability and sufficiently high thrust-to-weight ratio. Another benefit of NTR is its possible bimodal design, when nuclear reactor is used for generation of a jet thrust in a high-thrust mode and (with an appropriate power conversion system) as a source of electric power to supply the payload and the electric engines in a low-thrust mode. The model of the NTR thrust control was developed considering high-thrust NTR as a propulsion system of limited power and exhaust velocity. For the proposed model the control of the thrust value is accomplished by the regulation of reactor thermal power and propellant mass flow rate. The problem of joint optimization of the combination of high- and low-thrust arcs and the parameters of bimodal NTR (BNTR) propulsion system is considered for the interplanetary transfers. The interplanetary trajectory of the space vehicle is formed by the high-thrust NTR burns, which define planet-centric maneuvers and by the low-thrust heliocentric arcs where the nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) is used. The high-thrust arcs are analyzed using finite-thrust approach. The motion of the corresponding dynamical system is realized in three phase spaces concerning the departure planet-centric maneuver by means of high-thrust NTR propulsion, the low-thrust NEP heliocentric maneuver and the approach high-thrust NTR planet-centric maneuver. The phase coordinates are related at the time instants of the change of the phase spaces due to the relations between the space vehicle masses. The optimal control analysis is performed using Pontryagin's maximum principle. The numerical results are analyzed for Earth-Mars "sprint" transfer. The optimal values of the parameters that define the masses of NTR and NEP subsystems have been evaluated. It is shown that the low

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  14. Low Thrust Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

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

  15. Technology for Space Station Evolution. Volume 4: Power Systems/Propulsion/Robotics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    NASA's Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology (OAST) conducted a workshop on technology for space station evolution on 16-19 Jan. 1990. The purpose of this workshop was to collect and clarify Space Station Freedom technology requirements for evolution and to describe technologies that can potentially fill those requirements. These proceedings are organized into an Executive Summary and Overview and five volumes containing the Technology Discipline Presentations. Volume 4 consists of the technology discipline sections for Power, Propulsion, and Robotics. For each technology discipline, there is a Level 3 subsystem description, along with the papers.

  16. Future NASA Power Technologies for Space and Aero Propulsion Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Soeder, James F.

    2015-01-01

    To achieve the ambitious goals that NASA has outlined for the next decades considerable development of power technology will be necessary. This presentation outlines the development objectives for both space and aero applications. It further looks at the various power technologies that support these objectives and examines drivers that will be a driving force for future development. Finally, the presentation examines what type of non-traditional learning areas should be emphasized in student curriculum so that the engineering needs of the third decade of the 21st Century are met.

  17. MHD augmented chemical rocket propulsion for space applications

    SciTech Connect

    Schulz, R.J.; Chapman, J.N.; Rhodes, R.P. )

    1992-07-01

    A performance analysis is carried out of a magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) augmented chemical thruster (based on a gaseous hydrogen-oxygen system) for space applications such as orbit transfer. The mathematical model used in the analysis is a one-dimensional flow model using equilibrium chemistry for the combustor, choked nozzle, and MHD channel portions of the system, and chemical nonequilibrium kinetics for the high area-ratio gas dynamic nozzle portion of the system. The performance of the chemical-MHD-augmented thruster is compared with that of a pure electric thruster of the same specific impulse level. 13 refs.

  18. Space Fission Propulsion Testing and Development Progress. Phase 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    VanDyke, Melissa; Houts, Mike; Pedersen, Kevin; Godfroy, Tom; Dickens, Ricky; Poston, David; Reid, Bob; Salvail, Pat; Ring, Peter; Rodgers, Stephen L. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Successful development of space fission systems will require an extensive program of affordable and realistic testing. In addition to tests related to design/development of the fission system, realistic testing of the actual flight unit must also be performed. Testing can be divided into two categories, non-nuclear tests and nuclear tests. Full power nuclear tests of space fission systems we expensive, time consuming, and of limited use, even in the best of programmatic environments. If the system is designed to operate within established radiation damage and fuel burn up limits while simultaneously being designed to allow close simulation of heat from fission using resistance heaters, high confidence in fission system performance and lifetime can be attained through a series of non-nuclear tests. Non-nuclear tests are affordable and timely, and the cause of component and system failures can be quickly and accurately identified. MSFC is leading a Safe Affordable Fission Engine (SAFE) test series whose ultimate goal is the demonstration of a 300 kW flight configuration system using non-nuclear testing. This test series is carried out in collaboration with other NASA centers, other government agencies, industry, and universities. If SAFE-related nuclear tests are desired they will have a high probability of success and can be performed at existing nuclear facilities. The paper describes the SAFE non-nuclear test series, which includes test article descriptions, test results and conclusions, and future test plans.

  19. Phase 1 space fission propulsion system testing and development progress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Dyke, Melissa; Houts, Mike; Pedersen, Kevin; Godfroy, Tom; Dickens, Ricky; Poston, David; Reid, Bob; Salvail, Pat; Ring, Peter

    2001-02-01

    Successful development of space fission systems will require an extensive program of affordable and realistic testing. In addition to tests related to design/development of the fission system, realistic testing of the actual flight unit must also be performed. Testing can be divided into two categories, non-nuclear tests and nuclear tests. Full power nuclear tests of space fission systems are expensive, time consuming, and of limited use, even in the best of programmatic environments. If the system is designed to operate within established radiation damage and fuel burn up limits while simultaneously being designed to allow close simulation of heat from fission using resistance heaters, high confidence in fission system performance and lifetime can be attained through a series of non-nuclear tests. Non-nuclear tests are affordable and timely, and the cause of component and system failures can be quickly and accurately identified, MSFC is leading a Safe Affordable Fission Engine (SAFE) test series whose ultimate goal is the demonstration of a 300 kW flight configuration system using non-nuclear testing. This test series is carried out in collaboration with other NASA centers, other government agencies, industry, and universities. If SAFE-related nuclear tests are desired, they will have a high probability of success and can be performed at existing nuclear facilities. The paper describes the SAFE non-nuclear test series, which includes test article descriptions, test results and conclusions, and future test plans. .

  20. 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.

  1. Ultra-High-Temperature Ceramics Evaluated for Aeropropulsion Use

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levine, Stanley R.; Opila, Elizabeth J.; Halbig, Michael C.; Kiser, James D.; Singh, Mrityunjay; Salem, Jonathan A.

    2003-01-01

    application, an acceptable range of kp" would be less than or equal to those values divided by 100. For the more oxidation resistant ZS material, measured parabolic recession rate constants were 4.7 x 10(exp -3) millimeters per hour at 1327 C, 7.8 x 10(exp -2) square millimeters per hour at 1627 C, and 1.3 millimeters per hour at 1927 C. Thus, recession rate constants for ZS are acceptable at 1327 C for a 1-hr application, but here silicon nitride is a superior material. At 1627 C, ZS oxidation is marginal for a 1-hr application, but dimensional growth would be an issue. In a 100-hr application, ZS cannot be considered at any temperature. Our cursory examination of thermal shock, both from a theoretical and experimental viewpoint, indicated that the ZS and ZSC UHTCs are inferior to AS-800 silicon nitride. On the basis of this limited study, UHTCs are not ready to be considered as aeropropulsion materials for any applications longer than a few minutes. Current materials suffer from aggressive oxidation and moisture attack (Quynhgiao Nguyen, NASA Glenn, and Raymond C. Robinson, QSS Group, Inc., Cleveland, OH, 2002, private communication), and they are susceptible to thermal shock. For long-term propulsion applications, major improvements in environmental durability are needed. Work is in progress to improve the oxidation resistance of UHTC materials.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Current Development of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion technologies at the Center for Space Nuclear Research

    SciTech Connect

    Robert C. O'Brien; Steven K. Cook; Nathan D. Jerred; Steven D. Howe; Ronald Samborsky; Daniel Brasuell

    2012-09-01

    Nuclear power and propulsion has been considered for space applications since the 1950s. Between 1955 and 1972 the US built and tested over twenty nuclear reactors / rocket engines in the Rover/NERVA programs1. The Aerojet Corporation was the prime contractor for the NERVA program. Modern changes in environmental laws present challenges for the redevelopment of the nuclear rocket. Recent advances in fuel fabrication and testing options indicate that a nuclear rocket with a fuel composition that is significantly different from those of the NERVA project can be engineered; this may be needed to ensure public support and compliance with safety requirements. The Center for Space Nuclear Research (CSNR) is pursuing a number of technologies, modeling and testing processes to further the development of safe, practical and affordable nuclear thermal propulsion systems.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. The NASA Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT): NASA's Next Step for U.S. Deep Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidt, George R.; Patterson, Michael J.; Benson, Scott W.

    2008-01-01

    NASA s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) project is developing next generation ion propulsion technologies to enhance the performance and lower the costs of future NASA space science missions. This is being accomplished by producing Engineering Model (EM) and Prototype Model (PM) components, validating these via qualification-level and integrated system testing, and preparing the transition of NEXT technologies to flight system development. The project is currently completing one of the final milestones of the effort, that is operation of an integrated NEXT Ion Propulsion System (IPS) in a simulated space environment. This test will advance the NEXT system to a NASA Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 6 (i.e., operation of a prototypical system in a representative environment), and will confirm its readiness for flight. Besides its promise for upcoming NASA science missions, NEXT may have excellent potential for future commercial and international spacecraft applications.

  6. Space fusion energy conversion using a field reversed configuration reactor: A new technical approach for space propulsion and power

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schulze, Norman R.; Miley, George H.; Santarius, John F.

    1991-01-01

    The fusion energy conversion design approach, the Field Reversed Configuration (FRC) - when burning deuterium and helium-3, offers a new method and concept for space transportation with high energy demanding programs, like the Manned Mars Mission and planetary science outpost missions require. FRC's will increase safety, reduce costs, and enable new missions by providing a high specific power propulsion system from a high performance fusion engine system that can be optimally designed. By using spacecraft powered by FRC's the space program can fulfill High Energy Space Missions (HESM) in a manner not otherwise possible. FRC's can potentially enable the attainment of high payload mass fractions while doing so within shorter flight times.

  7. Probabilistic structural analysis of space propulsion system LOX post

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newell, J. F.; Rajagopal, K. R.; Ho, H. W.; Cunniff, J. M.

    1990-01-01

    The probabilistic structural analysis program NESSUS (Numerical Evaluation of Stochastic Structures Under Stress; Cruse et al., 1988) is applied to characterize the dynamic loading and response of the Space Shuttle main engine (SSME) LOX post. The design and operation of the SSME are reviewed; the LOX post structure is described; and particular attention is given to the generation of composite load spectra, the finite-element model of the LOX post, and the steps in the NESSUS structural analysis. The results are presented in extensive tables and graphs, and it is shown that NESSUS correctly predicts the structural effects of changes in the temperature loading. The probabilistic approach also facilitates (1) damage assessments for a given failure model (based on gas temperature, heat-shield gap, and material properties) and (2) correlation of the gas temperature with operational parameters such as engine thrust.

  8. Direct Estimation of Power Distribution in Reactors for Nuclear Thermal Space Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aldemir, Tunc; Miller, Don W.; Burghelea, Andrei

    2004-02-01

    A recently proposed constant temperature power sensor (CTPS) has the capability to directly measure the local power deposition rate in nuclear reactor cores proposed for space thermal propulsion. Such a capability reduces the uncertainties in the estimated power peaking factors and hence increases the reliability of the nuclear engine. The CTPS operation is sensitive to the changes in the local thermal conditions. A procedure is described for the automatic on-line calibration of the sensor through estimation of changes in thermal .conditions.

  9. Direct Estimation of Power Distribution in Reactors for Nuclear Thermal Space Propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Aldemir, Tunc; Miller, Don W.; Burghelea, Andrei

    2004-02-04

    A recently proposed constant temperature power sensor (CTPS) has the capability to directly measure the local power deposition rate in nuclear reactor cores proposed for space thermal propulsion. Such a capability reduces the uncertainties in the estimated power peaking factors and hence increases the reliability of the nuclear engine. The CTPS operation is sensitive to the changes in the local thermal conditions. A procedure is described for the automatic on-line calibration of the sensor through estimation of changes in thermal conditions.

  10. A Closed Brayton Power Conversion Unit Concept for Nuclear Electric Propulsion for Deep Space Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joyner, Claude Russell; Fowler, Bruce; Matthews, John

    2003-01-01

    In space, whether in a stable satellite orbit around a planetary body or traveling as a deep space exploration craft, power is just as important as the propulsion. The need for power is especially important for in-space vehicles that use Electric Propulsion. Using nuclear power with electric propulsion has the potential to provide increased payload fractions and reduced mission times to the outer planets. One of the critical engineering and design aspects of nuclear electric propulsion at required mission optimized power levels is the mechanism that is used to convert the thermal energy of the reactor to electrical power. The use of closed Brayton cycles has been studied over the past 30 or years and shown to be the optimum approach for power requirements that range from ten to hundreds of kilowatts of power. It also has been found to be scalable to higher power levels. The Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) engine power conversion unit (PCU) is the most flexible for a wide range of power conversion needs and uses state-of-the-art, demonstrated engineering approaches. It also is in use with many commercial power plants today. The long life requirements and need for uninterrupted operation for nuclear electric propulsion demands high reliability from a CBC engine. A CBC engine design for use with a Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) system has been defined based on Pratt & Whitney's data from designing long-life turbo-machines such as the Space Shuttle turbopumps and military gas turbines and the use of proven integrated control/health management systems (EHMS). An integrated CBC and EHMS design that is focused on using low-risk and proven technologies will over come many of the life-related design issues. This paper will discuss the use of a CBC engine as the power conversion unit coupled to a gas-cooled nuclear reactor and the design trends relative to its use for powering electric thrusters in the 25 kWe to 100kWe power level.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baggett, Randy

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Characterizing high-energy-density propellants for space propulsion applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kokan, Timothy

    There exists wide ranging research interest in high-energy-density matter (HEDM) propellants as a potential replacement for existing industry standard fuels for liquid rocket engines. The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, the U.S. Army Research Lab, the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, and the NASA Glenn Research Center each either recently concluded or currently has ongoing programs in the synthesis and development of these potential new propellants. In order to perform conceptual designs using these new propellants, most conceptual rocket engine powerhead design tools (e.g. NPSS, ROCETS, and REDTOP-2) require several thermophysical properties of a given propellant over a wide range of temperature and pressure. These properties include enthalpy, entropy, density, viscosity, and thermal conductivity. Very little thermophysical property data exists for most of these potential new HEDM propellants. Experimental testing of these properties is both expensive and time consuming and is impractical in a conceptual vehicle design environment. A new technique for determining these thermophysical properties of potential new rocket engine propellants is presented. The technique uses a combination of three different computational methods to determine these properties. Quantum mechanics and molecular dynamics are used to model new propellants at a molecular level in order to calculate density, enthalpy, and entropy. Additivity methods are used to calculate the kinematic viscosity and thermal conductivity of new propellants. This new technique is validated via a series of verification experiments of HEDM compounds. Results are provided for two HEDM propellants: quadricyclane and 2-azido-N,N-dimethylethanamine (DMAZ). In each case, the new technique does a better job than the best current computational methods at accurately matching the experimental data of the HEDM compounds of interest. A case study is provided to help quantify the vehicle level impacts of using HEDM

  14. Phase 1 Space Fission Propulsion System Testing and Development Progress

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    VanDyke, Melissa; Houts, Mike; Godfroy, Tom; Dickens, Ricky; Poston, David; Kapernick, Rick; Reid, Bob; Salvail, Pat; Ring, Peter; Schafer, Charles (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Successful development of space fission systems requires an extensive program of affordable and realistic testing. In addition to tests related to design/development of the fission system, realistic testing of the actual flight unit must also be performed. If the system is designed to operate within established radiation damage and fuel burn up limits while simultaneously being designed to allow close simulation of heat from fission using resistance heaters, high confidence in fission system performance and lifetime can be attained through a series of non-nuclear tests. The Safe Affordable Fission Engine (SAFE) test series, whose ultimate goal is the demonstration of a 300 kW flight configuration system, has demonstrated that realistic testing can be performed using non-nuclear methods. This test series, carried out in collaboration with other NASA centers, other government agencies, industry, and universities, successfully completed a testing program with a 30 kWt core, Stirling engine, and ion engine configuration. Additionally, a 100 kWt core is in fabrication and appropriate test facilities are being reconfigured. This paper describes the current SAFE non-nuclear tests, which includes test article descriptions, test results and conclusions, and future test plans.

  15. 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.

  16. Gas Foil Bearings for Space Propulsion Nuclear Electric Power Generation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howard, Samuel A.; DellaCorte, Christopher

    2006-01-01

    The choice of power conversion technology is critical in directing the design of a space vehicle for the future NASA mission to Mars. One candidate design consists of a foil bearing supported turbo alternator driven by a helium-xenon gas mixture heated by a nuclear reactor. The system is a closed-loop, meaning there is a constant volume of process fluid that is sealed from the environment. Therefore, foil bearings are proposed due to their ability to use the process gas as a lubricant. As such, the rotor dynamics of a foil bearing supported rotor is an important factor in the eventual design. The current work describes a rotor dynamic analysis to assess the viability of such a system. A brief technology background, assumptions, analyses, and conclusions are discussed in this report. The results indicate that a foil bearing supported turbo alternator is possible, although more work will be needed to gain knowledge about foil bearing behavior in helium-xenon gas.

  17. J. Preston Layton 1919-1992: A guiding light in nuclear space power and propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brill, Yvonne C.

    An eventful, highly productive career ended with the death of James Preston ("Pres") Layton in December 1992. His career in rockets, which spanned 50 years, is a chronology of developments in the U.S. space program. Layton was instrumental in the development of rocket technologies ranging from the first jet-assisted take off (JATO) boosters used on aircraft to space nuclear power and propulsion. His work on JATOs, during World War II, involved both testing of solid-fueled units on naval aircraft in the Pacific and developing advanced liquid-fueled systems at the U.S. Naval Academy's laboratory under the direction of Robert H. Goddard, the father of American rocketry. It was Goddard who inspired Layton to devote his life to rocketry. In 1948, as chief of propulsion for the Glenn L. Martin company, he became crew chief in charge of testing the first big U.S. rocket, the Viking series. Layton subsequently joined the research faculty at Princeton University where he served from 1951 to 1976, taking a brief leave in 1955 to earn a Masters Degree at Purdue University under the direction of Maurice Zucrow, another American rocket pioneer. As Chief Engineer of Princeton's Guggenheim Jet Propulsion Center, he created the nation's foremost university rocket research facilities, where he conducted the first experimental evaluation of liquid ozone as a rocket propellant. Later Layton led Princeton's Advanced Systems and Mission Analysis Laboratory, which conducted pioneering studies of space nuclear power and propulsion systems. During this period, at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (on leave from Princeton), Layton helped develop and test the world's first and only nuclear ram-rocket. During his career, Layton performed many responsible consulting tasks for industry and government in the U.S.A. and abroad. He was chief technical consultant to Mathematica, Inc., whose analyses formed the basis for the current Space Shuttle design. He conducted an AIAA assessment of

  18. Composite load spectra for select space propulsion structural components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

    The work performed to develop composite load spectra (CLS) for the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) using probabilistic methods. The three methods were implemented to be the engine system influence model. RASCAL was chosen to be the principal method as most component load models were implemented with the method. Validation of RASCAL was performed. High accuracy comparable to the Monte Carlo method can be obtained if a large enough bin size is used. Generic probabilistic models were developed and implemented for load calculations using the probabilistic methods discussed above. Each engine mission, either a real fighter or a test, has three mission phases: the engine start transient phase, the steady state phase, and the engine cut off transient phase. Power level and engine operating inlet conditions change during a mission. The load calculation module provides the steady-state and quasi-steady state calculation procedures with duty-cycle-data option. The quasi-steady state procedure is for engine transient phase calculations. In addition, a few generic probabilistic load models were also developed for specific conditions. These include the fixed transient spike model, the poison arrival transient spike model, and the rare event model. These generic probabilistic load models provide sufficient latitude for simulating loads with specific conditions. For SSME components, turbine blades, transfer ducts, LOX post, and the high pressure oxidizer turbopump (HPOTP) discharge duct were selected for application of the CLS program. They include static pressure loads and dynamic pressure loads for all four components, centrifugal force for the turbine blade, temperatures of thermal loads for all four components, and structural vibration loads for the ducts and LOX posts.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petro, Andrew J.

    2005-01-01

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

  20. The PEGASUS Drive: A nuclear electric propulsion system for the space exploration initiative

    SciTech Connect

    Coomes, E.P.; Dagle, J.E.

    1990-10-01

    The advantages of using electric propulsion for propulsion are well-known in the aerospace community. The high specific impulse, lower propellant requirements, and lower system mass make it a very attractive propulsion option for the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI), especially for the transport of cargo. One such propulsion system is the PEGASUS Drive (Coomes et al. 1987). In its original configuration, the PEGASUS Drive consisted of a 10-MWe power source coupled to a 6-MW magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thruster system. The PEGASUS Drive propelled a manned vehicle to Mars and back in 601 days. By removing the crew and their associated support systems from the spacecraft and by incorporating technology advances in reactor design and heat rejection systems, a second generation PEGASUS Drive can be developed with an alpha less than two. Utilizing this propulsion system, a 400-MT cargo vehicle, assembled and loaded in low Earth orbit (LEO), could deliver 262 MT of supplies and hardware to Mars 282 days after escaping Earth orbit. Upon arrival at Mars the transport vehicle would place its cargo in the desired parking orbit around Mars and then proceed to synchronous orbit above the desired landing sight. Using a laser transmitter, PEGASUS would provide 2-MWe on the surface to operate automated systems deployed earlier and then provide surface power to support crew activities after their arrival. The additional supplies and hardware, coupled with the availability of megawatt levels of electric power on the Mars surface, would greatly enhance and even expand the mission options being considered under SEI. 9 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.

  1. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) Development Activities at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center - 2006 Accomplishments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ballard, Richard O.

    2007-01-01

    In 2005-06, the Prometheus program funded a number of tasks at the NASA-Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to support development of a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) system for future manned exploration missions. These tasks include the following: 1. NTP Design Develop Test & Evaluate (DDT&E) Planning 2. NTP Mission & Systems Analysis / Stage Concepts & Engine Requirements 3. NTP Engine System Trade Space Analysis and Studies 4. NTP Engine Ground Test Facility Assessment 5. Non-Nuclear Environmental Simulator (NTREES) 6. Non-Nuclear Materials Fabrication & Evaluation 7. Multi-Physics TCA Modeling. This presentation is a overview of these tasks and their accomplishments

  2. A Critical Review of Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion 1984-1993

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Genk, Mohamed S.

    Market: Researchers in nuclear power, physicists, chemical and nuclear engineers, students, and policy makers. The papers in this volume summarize key technological advancements that occurred during the ten years from 1984 to 1993 in such areas as heat pipe technology, fuels, space nuclear safety, dynamic power conversion systems, and advanced radiator technologies for spacecraft power systems. In light of new industry initiatives to form a consortia and the possibility of bi-modal space nuclear power and propulsion systems, this informative volume will be an invaluable reference source.

  3. SPACE PROPULSION SYSTEM PHASED-MISSION PROBABILITY ANALYSIS USING CONVENTIONAL PRA METHODS

    SciTech Connect

    Curtis Smith; James Knudsen

    2006-05-01

    As part of a series of papers on the topic of advance probabilistic methods, a benchmark phased-mission problem has been suggested. This problem consists of modeling a space mission using an ion propulsion system, where the mission consists of seven mission phases. The mission requires that the propulsion operate for several phases, where the configuration changes as a function of phase. The ion propulsion system itself consists of five thruster assemblies and a single propellant supply, where each thruster assembly has one propulsion power unit and two ion engines. In this paper, we evaluate the probability of mission failure using the conventional methodology of event tree/fault tree analysis. The event tree and fault trees are developed and analyzed using Systems Analysis Programs for Hands-on Integrated Reliability Evaluations (SAPHIRE). While the benchmark problem is nominally a "dynamic" problem, in our analysis the mission phases are modeled in a single event tree to show the progression from one phase to the next. The propulsion system is modeled in fault trees to account for the operation; or in this case, the failure of the system. Specifically, the propulsion system is decomposed into each of the five thruster assemblies and fed into the appropriate N-out-of-M gate to evaluate mission failure. A separate fault tree for the propulsion system is developed to account for the different success criteria of each mission phase. Common-cause failure modeling is treated using traditional (i.e., parametrically) methods. As part of this paper, we discuss the overall results in addition to the positive and negative aspects of modeling dynamic situations with non-dynamic modeling techniques. One insight from the use of this conventional method for analyzing the benchmark problem is that it requires significant manual manipulation to the fault trees and how they are linked into the event tree. The conventional method also requires editing the resultant cut sets to

  4. Portable parallel stochastic optimization for the design of aeropropulsion components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sues, Robert H.; Rhodes, G. S.

    1994-01-01

    This report presents the results of Phase 1 research to develop a methodology for performing large-scale Multi-disciplinary Stochastic Optimization (MSO) for the design of aerospace systems ranging from aeropropulsion components to complete aircraft configurations. The current research recognizes that such design optimization problems are computationally expensive, and require the use of either massively parallel or multiple-processor computers. The methodology also recognizes that many operational and performance parameters are uncertain, and that uncertainty must be considered explicitly to achieve optimum performance and cost. The objective of this Phase 1 research was to initialize the development of an MSO methodology that is portable to a wide variety of hardware platforms, while achieving efficient, large-scale parallelism when multiple processors are available. The first effort in the project was a literature review of available computer hardware, as well as review of portable, parallel programming environments. The first effort was to implement the MSO methodology for a problem using the portable parallel programming language, Parallel Virtual Machine (PVM). The third and final effort was to demonstrate the example on a variety of computers, including a distributed-memory multiprocessor, a distributed-memory network of workstations, and a single-processor workstation. Results indicate the MSO methodology can be well-applied towards large-scale aerospace design problems. Nearly perfect linear speedup was demonstrated for computation of optimization sensitivity coefficients on both a 128-node distributed-memory multiprocessor (the Intel iPSC/860) and a network of workstations (speedups of almost 19 times achieved for 20 workstations). Very high parallel efficiencies (75 percent for 31 processors and 60 percent for 50 processors) were also achieved for computation of aerodynamic influence coefficients on the Intel. Finally, the multi-level parallelization

  5. Survey of Beamed Energy Propulsion Concepts by the MSFC Space Environmental Effects Team

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gray, P. A.; Nehls, M. K.; Edwards, D. L.; Carruth, M. R., Jr.; Munafo, Paul M. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    This will be a survey paper of work that was performed by the Space Environmental Effects Team at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in the area of laser energy propulsion concepts. Two types of laser energy propulsion techniques were investigated. The first was ablative propulsion, which used a pulsed ruby laser impacting on single layer coatings and films. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the laser power density that produced an optimum coupling coefficient for each type of material tested. A commercial off-the-shelf multi-layer film was also investigated for possible applications in ablative micro-thrusters, and its optimum coupling coefficient was determined. The second type of study measured the purely photonic force provided by a 300W CW YAG laser. In initial studies, the photon force resulting from the momentum of incident photons was measured directly using a vacuum compatible microbalance and these results were compared to theory. Follow-on work used the same CW laser to excite a stable optical cavity for the purpose of amplifying the available force from incident photons.

  6. Survey of Beamed Energy Propulsion Concepts by the MSFC Space Environmental Effects Team

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gray, P. A.; Nehls, M. K.; Edwards, D. L.; Carruth, M. R.

    2003-05-01

    This is a survey paper of work that was performed by the Space Environmental Effects Team at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in the area of laser energy propulsion concepts. Two techniques for laser energy propulsion were investigated. The first was ablative propulsion, which used a pulsed ruby laser impacting on single layer coatings and films. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the laser power density that produced an optimum coupling coefficient for each type of material tested. A commercial off-the-shelf multilayer film was also investigated for possible applications in ablative micro-thrusters, and its optimum coupling coefficient was determined. The second technique measured the purely photonic force provided by a 300W CW YAG laser. In initial studies, the photon force resulting from the momentum of incident photons was measured directly using a vacuum compatible microbalance and these results were compared to theory. Follow-on work used the same CW laser to excite a stable optical cavity for the purpose of amplifying the available force from incident photons.

  7. 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.

  8. Design and testing of the U.S. Space Station Freedom primary propulsion system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morano, Joseph S.; Delventhal, Rex A.; Chilcot, Kimberly J.

    1992-07-01

    The primary propulsion system (PPS) for the Space Station Freedom is discussed in terms of salient design characteristics and key testing procedures. The rocket engine modules contain reboost and attitude control thrusters, and their designs are illustrated showing the mounting structures, thruster solenoid valves, and thrust chambers. The propellant tank assembly for storing gaseous N pressurant and hydrazine propellant is described as are the system avionics, thruster solenoid valves, and latching isolation valves. PPS testing conducted on the development systems includes the use of a propulsion-module development unit, a development test article, and system qualification testing. Specific test articles include functional heaters, mass/thermal simulated components, flight-quality structures, and software control operations.

  9. Optimum performance of MHD-augumented chemical rocket thrusters for space propulsion applications

    SciTech Connect

    Schulz, R.J.; Chapman, J.N.

    1995-12-31

    The use of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) acceleration of a chemical rocket exhaust stream, to augment the thrust of small, space-propulsion type chemical thrusters was examined, with the purpose of identifying {open_quotes}optimum{close_quotes} performance. Optimum performance is defined herein as the highest spacecraft acceleration levels with concurrent highest specific impulse, that the hybrid propulsion system can generate, given a fixed mass flow of propellant and fixed chamber pressure (150 psia). The exhaust nozzle-MHD channel selected was of the simplest kind, a three-segmented Faraday generator, for simplicity in design, manufacture, and power control circuit assembly. The channel expanded in only one plane or direction, the plane intersecting the electrodes. The distance between the side walls was fixed. Three different fuel oxidizer combinations were investigated: H{sub 2} - O{sub 2}, fuel oil - O{sub 2}, and hydrazine - nitrogen tetroxide. These represent the spectrum of typical liquid rocket propellants. The fraction of the propellant flow representing potassium, as K{sub 2}CO{sub 3}, was kept constant at 1/2 percent of the total propellant flow. The results of the study verify that the MHD-augmented chemical thruster will be an important propulsion system option for space missions requiring accelerations of the order of milli-gravities with specific impulses of the order of 4,000 seconds. The system study showed that a 3-segmented, diverging Faraday channel with about a 2{degrees} divergence angle, enclosed by a 4 Tesla magnet, was capable of providing exhaust gas exit velocities of the order of 40000 m/s for all three propellant combinations. Hence, a hybrid propulsion system of the type identified here is capable of providing thrusts of the order of 400 Newtons, spacecraft accelerations of the order 2 milli-gravities, with electric power requirements of about 2.4 megawatts, based on propellant total mass flow rates of about 10 grams per second.

  10. Numerical Propulsion System Simulation: A Common Tool for Aerospace Propulsion Being Developed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Follen, Gregory J.; Naiman, Cynthia G.

    2001-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center is developing an advanced multidisciplinary analysis environment for aerospace propulsion systems called the Numerical Propulsion System Simulation (NPSS). This simulation is initially being used to support aeropropulsion in the analysis and design of aircraft engines. NPSS provides increased flexibility for the user, which reduces the total development time and cost. It is currently being extended to support the Aviation Safety Program and Advanced Space Transportation. 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 using the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) in the NPSS Developer's Kit to facilitate collaborative engineering. The NPSS Developer's Kit will provide the tools to develop custom components and to use the CORBA capability for zooming to higher fidelity codes, coupling to multidiscipline codes, transmitting secure data, and distributing simulations across different platforms. These powerful capabilities will extend NPSS from a zero-dimensional simulation tool to a multifidelity, multidiscipline system-level simulation tool for the full life cycle of an engine.

  11. Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion - a basic Tool for the manned Exploration of the Solar System

    SciTech Connect

    Frischauf, Norbert; Hamilton, Booz Allen

    2004-07-01

    Humanity has started to explore space more than 40 years ago. Numerous spacecraft have left the Earth in this endeavour, but while unmanned spacecraft were already sent out on missions, where they would eventually reach the outer limits of the Solar System, manned exploration has always been confined to the tiny bubble of the Earth's gravitational well, stretching out at maximum to our closest celestial companion - the Moon - during the era of the Apollo programme in the late 60's and early 70's. When mankind made its giant leap, the exploration of our cosmic neighbour was seen as the initial step for the manned exploration of the whole Solar System. Consequently ambitious research and development programmes were undertaken at that time to enable what seemed to be the next logical steps: the establishment of a permanent settled base on the Moon and the first manned mission to Mars in the 80's. Nuclear space power and propulsion played an important role in these entire future scenarios, hence ambitious development programmes were undertaken to make these technologies available. Unfortunately the 70's-paradigm shift in space policies did not only bring an end to the Apollo programme, but it also brought a complete halt to all of these technology programmes and confined the human presence in space to a tiny bubble including nothing more than the Earth's sphere and a mere shell of a few hundred kilometres of altitude, too small to even include the Moon. Today, after more than three decades, manned exploration of the Solar System has become an issue again and so are missions to Moon and Mars. However, studies and analyses show that all of these future plans are hampered by today's available propulsion systems and by the problematic of solar power generation at distances at and beyond of Mars, a problem, however, that can readily be solved by the utilisation of space nuclear reactors and propulsion systems. This paper intends to provide an overview on the various fission

  12. The rationale/benefits of nuclear thermal rocket propulsion for NASA's lunar space transportation system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borowski, Stanley K.

    1994-09-01

    The solid core nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) represents the next major evolutionary step in propulsion technology. With its attractive operating characteristics, which include high specific impulse (approximately 850-1000 s) and engine thrust-to-weight (approximately 4-20), the NTR can form the basis for an efficient lunar space transportation system (LTS) capable of supporting both piloted and cargo missions. Studies conducted at the NASA Lewis Research Center indicate that an NTR-based LTS could transport a fully-fueled, cargo-laden, lunar excursion vehicle to the Moon, and return it to low Earth orbit (LEO) after mission completion, for less initial mass in LEO than an aerobraked chemical system of the type studied by NASA during its '90-Day Study.' The all-propulsive NTR-powered LTS would also be 'fully reusable' and would have a 'return payload' mass fraction of approximately 23 percent--twice that of the 'partially reusable' aerobraked chemical system. Two NTR technology options are examined--one derived from the graphite-moderated reactor concept developed by NASA and the AEC under the Rover/NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) programs, and a second concept, the Particle Bed Reactor (PBR). The paper also summarizes NASA's lunar outpost scenario, compares relative performance provided by different LTS concepts, and discusses important operational issues (e.g., reusability, engine 'end-of life' disposal, etc.) associated with using this important propulsion technology.

  13. Solar Electric Propulsion Vehicle Demonstration to Support Future Space Exploration Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Bryan K.; Nazario, Margaret L.; Cunningham, Cameron C.

    2012-01-01

    Human and robotic exploration beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) will require enabling capabilities that are efficient, affordable, and reliable. Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) is highly advantageous because of its favorable in-space mass transfer efficiency compared to traditional chemical propulsion systems. The NASA studies have demonstrated that this advantage becomes highly significant as missions progress beyond Earth orbit. Recent studies of human exploration missions and architectures evaluated the capabilities needed to perform a variety of human exploration missions including missions to Near Earth Objects (NEOs). The studies demonstrated that SEP stages have potential to be the most cost effective solution to perform beyond LEO transfers of high mass cargoes for human missions. Recognizing that these missions require power levels more than 10X greater than current electric propulsion systems, NASA embarked upon a progressive pathway to identify critical technologies needed and a plan for an incremental demonstration mission. The NASA studies identified a 30kW class demonstration mission that can serve as a meaningful demonstration of the technologies, operational challenges, and provide the appropriate scaling and modularity required. This paper describes the planning options for a representative demonstration 30kW class SEP mission.

  14. Electric propulsion options for 10 kW class earth space missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patterson, M. J.; Curran, Francis M.

    1989-01-01

    Five and 10 kW ion and arcjet propulsion system options for a near-term space demonstration experiment have been evaluated. Analyses were conducted to determine first-order propulsion system performance and system component mass estimates. Overall mission performance of the electric propulsion systems was quantified in terms of the maximum thrusting time, total impulse, and velocity increment capability available when integrated onto a generic spacecraft under fixed mission model assumptions. Maximum available thrusting times for the ion-propelled spacecraft options, launched on a DELTA II 6920 vehicle, range from approximately 8,600 hours for a 4-engine 10 kW system to more than 29,600 hours for a single-engine 5 kW system. Maximum total impulse values and maximum delta-v's range from 1.2x10(7) to 2.1x10(7) N-s, and 3550 to 6200 m/s, respectively. Maximum available thrusting times for the arcjet propelled spacecraft launched on the DELTA II 6920 vehicle range from approximately 528 hours for the 6-engine 10 kW hydrazine system to 2328 hours for the single-engine 5 kW system. Maximum total impulse values and maximum delta-v's range from 2.2x10(6) to 3.6x10(6) N-s, and approximately 662 to 1072 m/s, respectively.

  15. Electric Propulsion Options for 10 kW Class Earth-Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patterson, M. J.; Curran, Francis M.

    1989-01-01

    Five and 10 kW ion and arcjet propulsion system options for a near-term space demonstration experiment were evaluated. Analyses were conducted to determine first-order propulsion system performance and system component mass estimates. Overall mission performance of the electric propulsion systems was quantified in terms of the maximum thrusting time, total impulse, and velocity increment capability available when integrated onto a generic spacecraft under fixed mission model assumptions. Maximum available thrusting times for the ion-propelled spacecraft options, launched on a DELTA 2 6920 vehicle, range from approximately 8,600 hours for a 4-engine 10 kW system to more than 29,600 hours for a single-engine 5 kW system. Maximum total impulse values and maximum delta-v's range from 1.2x10 (exp 7) to 2.1x10 (exp 7) N-s, and 3550 to 6200 m/s, respectively. Maximum available thrusting times for the arcjet propelled spacecraft launched on the DELTA 2 6920 vehicle range from approximately 528 hours for the 6-engine 10 kW hydrazine system to 2328 hours for the single-engine 5 kW system. Maximum total impulse values and maximum delta-v's range from 2.2x10 (exp 6) to 3.6x10 (exp 6) N-s, and approximately 662 to 1072 m/s, respectively.

  16. The Rationale/Benefits of Nuclear Thermal Rocket Propulsion for NASA's Lunar Space Transportation System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borowski, Stanley K.

    1994-01-01

    The solid core nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) represents the next major evolutionary step in propulsion technology. With its attractive operating characteristics, which include high specific impulse (approximately 850-1000 s) and engine thrust-to-weight (approximately 4-20), the NTR can form the basis for an efficient lunar space transportation system (LTS) capable of supporting both piloted and cargo missions. Studies conducted at the NASA Lewis Research Center indicate that an NTR-based LTS could transport a fully-fueled, cargo-laden, lunar excursion vehicle to the Moon, and return it to low Earth orbit (LEO) after mission completion, for less initial mass in LEO than an aerobraked chemical system of the type studied by NASA during its '90-Day Study.' The all-propulsive NTR-powered LTS would also be 'fully reusable' and would have a 'return payload' mass fraction of approximately 23 percent--twice that of the 'partially reusable' aerobraked chemical system. Two NTR technology options are examined--one derived from the graphite-moderated reactor concept developed by NASA and the AEC under the Rover/NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) programs, and a second concept, the Particle Bed Reactor (PBR). The paper also summarizes NASA's lunar outpost scenario, compares relative performance provided by different LTS concepts, and discusses important operational issues (e.g., reusability, engine 'end-of life' disposal, etc.) associated with using this important propulsion technology.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1993-06-01

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

  18. Skin deposition of nickel, cobalt, and chromium in production of gas turbines and space propulsion components.

    PubMed

    Julander, Anneli; Skare, Lizbet; Mulder, Marie; Grandér, Margaretha; Vahter, Marie; Lidén, Carola

    2010-04-01

    Skin exposure to nickel, cobalt, and chromium may cause sensitization and allergic contact dermatitis and it is known that many alloys and platings may release significant amounts of the metals upon contact with skin. Occupational exposure to these sensitizing metals has been studied in different settings with regards to airborne dust and different biological end points, but little is known about deposition on skin from airborne dust and direct contact with materials containing the metals. In this study, skin deposition was studied in 24 workers in an industry for development and manufacturing of gas turbines and space propulsion components. The workers were employed in three departments, representing different exposure scenarios: tools sharpening of hard metal items, production of space propulsion structures, and thermal application of different metal-containing powders. A novel acid wipe sampling technique was used to sample metals from specific skin surfaces on the hands and the forehead of the workers. Total amounts of nickel, cobalt, and chromium were measured by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The result showed that nickel, cobalt, and chromium could be detected on all skin surfaces sampled. The highest level of nickel was 15 microg cm(-2) h(-1), the highest for cobalt was 4.5 microg cm(-2) h(-1), and for chromium 0.6 microg cm(-2) h(-1). The three departments had different exposures regarding the metals. The highest levels of nickel on the skin of the workers were found in the thermal applications department, cobalt in the tools sharpening department, and chromium in the space propulsion components department. In conclusion, the workers' exposure to the metals was more likely to come from direct skin contact with items, rather than from airborne dust, based on the fact that the levels of metals were much higher on the fingers than on the back side of the hands and the forehead. The skin exposure levels of nickel and cobalt detected are judged

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    1995-08-01

    This report presents the research and development study work performed for the Space Reactor Power System Division of the U.S. Department of Energy on an innovative ECS that would be used during ground testing of a space nuclear thermal rocket engine. A significant portion of the ground test facilities for a space nuclear thermal propulsion engine are the effluent treatment and containment systems. The proposed ECS configuration developed recycles all engine coolant media and does not impact the environment by venting radioactive material. All coolant media, hydrogen and water, are collected, treated for removal of radioactive particulates, and recycled for use in subsequent tests until the end of the facility life. Radioactive materials removed by the treatment systems are recovered, stored for decay of short-lived isotopes, or packaged for disposal as waste. At the end of the useful life, the facility will be decontaminated and dismantled for disposal.

  2. An Overview of Quantitative Risk Assessment of Space Shuttle Propulsion Elements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Safie, Fayssal M.

    1998-01-01

    Since the Space Shuttle Challenger accident in 1986, NASA has been working to incorporate quantitative risk assessment (QRA) in decisions concerning the Space Shuttle and other NASA projects. One current major NASA QRA study is the creation of a risk model for the overall Space Shuttle system. The model is intended to provide a tool to estimate Space Shuttle risk and to perform sensitivity analyses/trade studies, including the evaluation of upgrades. Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is a part of the NASA team conducting the QRA study; MSFC responsibility involves modeling the propulsion elements of the Space Shuttle, namely: the External Tank (ET), the Solid Rocket Booster (SRB), the Reusable Solid Rocket Motor (RSRM), and the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME). This paper discusses the approach that MSFC has used to model its Space Shuttle elements, including insights obtained from this experience in modeling large scale, highly complex systems with a varying availability of success/failure data. Insights, which are applicable to any QRA study, pertain to organizing the modeling effort, obtaining customer buy-in, preparing documentation, and using varied modeling methods and data sources. Also provided is an overall evaluation of the study results, including the strengths and the limitations of the MSFC QRA approach and of qRA technology in general.

  3. The Potential of Aluminium Metal Powder as a Fuel for Space Propulsion Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ismail, A. M.; Osborne, B.; Welch, C. S.

    Metal powder propulsion systems have been addressed intermittently since the Second World War, initially in the field of underwater propulsion where research in the application of propelling torpedoes continues until this day. During the post war era, researchers attempted to utilise metal powders as a fuel for ram jet applications in missiles. The 1960's and 1970's saw additional interest in the use of `pure powder' propellants, i.e. fluidised metal fuel and oxidiser, both in solid particulate form. Again the application was for employment in space-constrained missiles where the idea was to maximise the performance of high energy density powder propellants in order to enhance the missile's flight duration. Metal powder as possible fuel was investigated for in-situ resource utilisation propulsion systems post-1980's where the emphasis was on the use of gaseous oxygen or liquid oxygen combined with aluminium metal powder for use as a ``lunar soil propellant'' or carbon dioxide and magnesium metal powder as a ``Martian propellant''.Albeit aluminium metal powder propellants are lower in performance than cryogenic and Earth storable propellants, the former does have an advantage inasmuch that the propulsion system is generic, i.e. it can be powered with chemicals mined and processed on Earth, the Moon and Mars. Thus, due to the potential refuelling capability, the lower performing aluminium metal powder propellant would effectively possess a much higher change in velocity (V) for multiple missions than the cryogenic or Earth storable propellant which is only suitable for one planet or one mission scenario, respectively.One of the principal limitations of long duration human spaceflight beyond cis-lunar orbit is the lack of refuelling capabilities on distant planets resulting in the reliance on con- ventional non-cryogenic, propellants produced on Earth. If one could develop a reliable propulsion system operating on pro- pellants derived entirely of ingredients found on

  4. Condition monitoring requirements for the development of a space nuclear propulsion module

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wagner, Robert C.

    1993-01-01

    To facilitate the development of a space nuclear propulsion module for manned flights to Mars, requirements must be established early in the technology cycle. The long lead times for the acquisition of the engine system and nuclear test facilities demands that the engine system, size, performance, safety goals and condition monitoring philosophy be defined at the earliest possible time. These systems are highly complex and require a large multi-disciplinary systems engineering team to develop and track the requirements and to ensure that the as-built system reflects the intent of the mission. An effective methodology has been devised coupled with sophisticated computer tools to effectivly develop and interpret the functional requirements. These requirements can then be decomposed down to the specification level for implementation. This paper discusses the application of the methodology and the analyses to develop condition monitoring requirements under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Lewis Research Center (LeRC) Nuclear Propulsion Office (NPO).

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennett, Harold E.

    1997-05-01

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

  8. Structural integrity of a confinement vessel for testing nuclear fuels for space propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergmann, V. L.

    Nuclear propulsion systems for rockets could significantly reduce the travel time to distant destinations in space. However, long before such a concept can become reality, a significant effort must be invested in analysis and ground testing to guide the development of nuclear fuels. Any testing in support of development of nuclear fuels for space propulsion must be safely contained to prevent the release of radioactive materials. This paper describes analyses performed to assess the structural integrity of a test confinement vessel. The confinement structure, a stainless steel pressure vessel with bolted flanges, was designed for operating static pressures in accordance with the ASME Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code. In addition to the static operating pressures, the confinement barrier must withstand static overpressures from off-normal conditions without releasing radioactive material. Results from axisymmetric finite element analyses are used to evaluate the response of the confinement structure under design and accident conditions. For the static design conditions, the stresses computed from the ASME code are compared with the stresses computed by the finite element method.

  9. MOA2—an R&D paradigm buster enabling space propulsion by commercial applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frischauf, Norbert; Hettmer, Manfred; Koudelka, Otto; Löb, Horst

    2012-04-01

    More than 60 years after the late Nobel laureate Hannes Alfvén had published a letter stating that oscillating magnetic fields can accelerate ionised matter via magneto-hydrodynamic interactions in a wave like fashion, the technical implementation of Alfvén waves for propulsive purposes has been proposed, patented and examined for the first time by a group of inventors. Consequently improved since then, the name of the latest concept, relying on magneto-acoustic waves to accelerate electric conductive matter, is MOA2—Magnetic field Oscillating Amplified Accelerator. Based on computer simulations, which were undertaken to get a first estimate on the performance of the system, MOA2 is a corrosion free and highly flexible propulsion system, whose performance parameters might easily be adapted in operation, by changing the mass flow and/or the power level. As such the system is capable of delivering a maximum specific impulse of 13116 s (12.87 mN) at a power level of 11.16 kW, using Xe as propellant, but can also be attuned to provide a thrust of 236.5 mN (2411 s) at 6.15 kW of power. First tests—that are further described in this paper—have been conducted successfully with a 400 W prototype system at an ambient pressure of 0.20 Pa, delivered 9.24 mN of thrust at 1472 s ISP, thereby underlining the feasibility of the concept. Based on these results, space propulsion is expected to be a prime application for MOA2—a claim that is supported by numerous applications such as Solar and/or Nuclear Electric Propulsion or even as an 'afterburner system' for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion. However, MOA2 has so far seen most of its R&D impetus from terrestrial applications, like coating, semiconductor implantation and manufacturing as well as steel cutting. Based on this observation, MOA2 resembles an R&D paradigm buster, as it is the first space propulsion system, whose R&D is driven primarily by its terrestrial applications. Different terrestrial applications exist, but

  10. Comments on dual-mode nuclear space power and propulsion system concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Layton, J. Preston; Grey, Jerry

    1991-01-01

    Some form of Dual-Mode Nuclear Space Power & Propulsion System (D-MNSP&PS) will be essential to spacefaring throughout teh solar system and that such systems must evolve as mankind moves into outer space. The initial D-MNPSP&PS Reference System should be based on (1) present (1990), and (2) advanced (1995) technology for use on comparable mission in the 2000 and 2005 time period respectively. D-MNSP&PS can be broken down into a number of subsystems: Nuclear subsystems including the energy source and controls for the release of thermal power at elevated temperatures; power conversion subsystems; waste heat rejection subsystems; and control and safety subsystems. These systems are briefly detailed.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Munk, Michelle M.; Moon, Steven A.

    2007-01-01

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

  12. Lightweight thermally efficient composite feedlines, preliminary design and evaluation. [for the space tug propulsion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spond, D. E.; Holzworth, R. E.; Hall, C. A.

    1974-01-01

    Six liquid hydrogen feedline design concepts were developed for the cryogenic space tug. The feedlines include composite and all-metal vacuum jacketed and non-vacuum jacketed concepts, and incorporate the latest technology developments in the areas of thermally efficient vacuum jacket end closures and standoffs, radiation shields in the vacuum annulus, thermal coatings, and lightweight dissimilar metal flanged joints. The feedline design concepts were evaluated on the basis of thermal performance, weight, cost, reliability, and reusability. It is shown that composite tubing provides improved thermal performance and reduced weight for each design concept considered. Approximately 12 kg (26 lb.) can be saved by the use of composite tubing for the LH2 feedline and the other propulsion lines in the space tug.

  13. Lessons Learned from the Design, Certification, and Operation of the Space Shuttle Integrated Main Propulsion System (IMPS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martinez, Hugo E.; Albright, John D.; D'Amico, Stephen J.; Brewer, John M.; Melcher, John C., IV

    2011-01-01

    The Space Shuttle Integrated Main Propulsion System (IMPS) consists of the External Tank (ET), Orbiter Main Propulsion System (MPS), and Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs). The IMPS is tasked with the storage, conditioning, distribution, and combustion of cryogenic liquid hydrogen (LH2) and liquid oxygen (LO2) propellants to provide first and second stage thrust for achieving orbital velocity. The design, certification, and operation of the associated IMPS hardware have produced many lessons learned over the course of the Space Shuttle Program (SSP). A subset of these items will be discussed in this paper for consideration when designing, building, and operating future spacecraft propulsion systems. This paper will focus on lessons learned related to Orbiter MPS and is the first of a planned series to address the subject matter.

  14. Space propulsion systems. Present performance limits and application and development trends

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buehler, R. D.; Lo, R. E.

    1981-01-01

    Typical spaceflight programs and their propulsion requirements as a comparison for possible propulsion systems are summarized. Chemical propulsion systems, solar, nuclear, or even laser propelled rockets with electrical or direct thermal fuel acceleration, nonrockets with air breathing devices and solar cells are considered. The chemical launch vehicles have similar technical characteristics and transportation costs. A possible improvement of payload by using air breathing lower stages is discussed. The electrical energy supply installations which give performance limits of electrical propulsion and the electrostatic ion propulsion systems are described. The development possibilities of thermal, magnetic, and electrostatic rocket engines and the state of development of the nuclear thermal rocket and propulsion concepts are addressed.

  15. Performance of Solar Electric Powered Deep Space Missions Using Hall Thruster Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Witzberger, Kevin E.; Manzella, David

    2006-01-01

    Power limited, low-thrust trajectories were assessed for missions to Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune utilizing a single Venus Gravity Assist (VGA) and a primary propulsion system based on either a 3-kW high voltage Hall thruster, of the type being developed by the NASA In-Space Propulsion Technology Program, or an 8-kW variant of this thruster. These Hall thrusters operate with specific impulses below 3,000 seconds. A trade study was conducted to examine mission parameters that include: net delivered mass (NDM), beginning-of-life (BOL) solar array power, heliocentric transfer time, required launch vehicle, number of operating thrusters, and throttle profile. The top performing spacecraft configuration was defined to be the one that delivered the highest mass for a range of transfer times. In order to evaluate the potential future benefit of using next generation Hall thrusters as the primary propulsion system, comparisons were made with the advanced state-of-the-art (ASOA), 7-kW, 4,100 second NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) for the same mission scenarios. For the BOL array powers considered in this study (less than 30 kW), the results show that the performance of the Hall thrusters, relative to NEXT, is largely dependant on the performance capability of the launch vehicle, and that at least a 10 percent performance gain, equating to at least an additional 200 kg dry mass at each target planet, is achieved over the higher specific impulse NEXT when launched on an Atlas 551.

  16. Space Molten Salt Reactor Concept for Nuclear Electric Propulsion and Surface Power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eades, M.; Flanders, J.; McMurray, N.; Denning, R.; Sun, X.; Windl, W.; Blue, T.

    Students at The Ohio State University working under the NASA Steckler Grant sought to investigate how molten salt reactors with fissile material dissolved in a liquid fuel medium can be applied to space applications. Molten salt reactors of this kind, built for non-space applications, have demonstrated high power densities, high temperature operation without pressurization, high fuel burn up and other characteristics that are ideal for space fission systems. However, little research has been published on the application of molten salt reactor technology to space fission systems. This paper presents a conceptual design of the Space Molten Salt Reactor (SMSR), which utilizes molten salt reactor technology for Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) and surface power at the 100 kWe to 15 MWe level. Central to the SMSR design is a liquid mixture of LiF, BeF2 and highly enriched U235F4 that acts as both fuel and core coolant. In brief, some of the positive characteristics of the SMSR are compact size, simplified core design, high fuel burn up percentages, proliferation resistant features, passive safety mechanisms, a considerable body of previous research, and the possibility for flexible mission architecture.

  17. Proven, long-life hydrogen/oxygen thrust chambers for space station propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richter, G. P.; Price, H. G.

    1986-01-01

    The development of the manned space station has necessitated the development of technology related to an onboard auxiliary propulsion system (APS) required to provide for various space station attitude control, orbit positioning, and docking maneuvers. A key component of this onboard APS is the thrust chamber design. To develop the required thrust chamber technology to support the Space Station Program, the NASA Lewis Research Center has sponsored development programs under contracts with Aerojet TechSystems Company and with Bell Aerospace Textron Division of Textron, Inc. During the NASA Lewis sponsored program with Aerojet TechSystems, a 25 lb sub f hydrogen/oxygen thruster has been developed and proven as a viable candidate to meet the needs of the Space Station Program. Likewise, during the development program with Bell Aerospace, a 50 lb sub f hydrogen/oxygen Thrust Chamber has been developed and has demonstrated reliable, long-life expectancy at anticipated space station operating conditions. Both these thrust chambers were based on design criteria developed in previous thruster programs and successfully verified in experimental test programs. Extensive thermal analyses and models were used to design the thrusters to achieve total impulse goals of 2 x 10 to the 6th power lb sub f-sec. Test data for each thruster will be compared to the analytical predictions for the performance and heat transfer characteristics. Also, the results of thrust chamber life verification tests will be presented.

  18. A Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage for Near-Term Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Michael G.; Kim, Tony; Emrich, William J.; Hickman, Robert R.; Broadway, Jeramie W.; Gerrish, Harold P.; Adams, Robert B.; Bechtel, Ryan D.; Borowski, Stanley K.; George, Jeffrey A.

    2013-01-01

    The potential capability of NTP is game changing for space exploration. A first generation NCPS could provide high thrust at a specific impulse above 900 s, roughly double that of state of the art chemical engines. Near-term NCPS systems would provide a foundation for the development of significantly more advanced, higher performance systems. John F. Kennedy made his historic special address to Congress on the importance of space on May 25, 1961, "First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth..." This was accomplished. John F. Kennedy also made a second request, "Secondly... accelerate development of the Rover nuclear rocket. This gives promise of some day providing a means for even more exciting and ambitious exploration of space, perhaps beyond the Moon, perhaps to the very end of the solar system itself." The investment in the Rover nuclear rocket program provided the foundation of technology that gives us assurance for greater performing rockets that are capable of taking us further into space. Combined with current technologies, the vision to go beyond the Moon and to the very end of the solar system can be realized with space nuclear propulsion and power.

  19. Space Shuttle 750 psi Helium Regulator Application on Mars Science Laboratory Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mizukami, Masashi; Yankura, George; Rust, Thomas; Anderson, John R.; Dien, Anthony; Garda, Hoshang; Bezer, Mary Ann; Johnson, David; Arndt, Scott

    2009-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) is NASA's next major mission to Mars, to be launched in September 2009. It is a nuclear powered rover designed for a long duration mission, with an extensive suite of science instruments. The descent and landing uses a unique 'skycrane' concept, where a rocket-powered descent stage decelerates the vehicle, hovers over the ground, lowers the rover to the ground on a bridle, then flies a safe distance away for disposal. This descent stage uses a regulated hydrazine propulsion system. Performance requirements for the pressure regulator were very demanding, with a wide range of flow rates and tight regulated pressure band. These indicated that a piloted regulator would be needed, which are notoriously complex, and time available for development was short. Coincidentally, it was found that the helium regulator used in the Space Shuttle Orbiter main propulsion system came very close to meeting MSL requirements. However, the type was out of production, and fabricating new units would incur long lead times and technical risk. Therefore, the Space Shuttle program graciously furnished three units for use by MSL. Minor modifications were made, and the units were carefully tuned to MSL requirements. Some of the personnel involved had built and tested the original shuttle units. Delta qualification for MSL application was successfully conducted on one of the units. A pyrovalve slam start and shock test was conducted. Dynamic performance analyses for the new application were conducted, using sophisticated tools developed for Shuttle. Because the MSL regulator is a refurbished Shuttle flight regulator, it will be the only part of MSL which has physically already been in space.

  20. Drag Reduction Through Distributed Electric Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoll, Alex M.; Bevirt, JoeBen; Moore, Mark D.; Fredericks, William J.; Borer, Nicholas K.

    2014-01-01

    One promising application of recent advances in electric aircraft propulsion technologies is a blown wing realized through the placement of a number of electric motors driving individual tractor propellers spaced along each wing. This configuration increases the maximum lift coefficient by providing substantially increased dynamic pressure across the wing at low speeds. This allows for a wing sized near the ideal area for maximum range at cruise conditions, imparting the cruise drag and ride quality benefits of this smaller wing size without decreasing takeoff and landing performance. A reference four-seat general aviation aircraft was chosen as an exemplary application case. Idealized momentum theory relations were derived to investigate tradeoffs in various design variables. Navier-Stokes aeropropulsive simulations were performed with various wing and propeller configurations at takeoff and landing conditions to provide insight into the effect of different wing and propeller designs on the realizable effective maximum lift coefficient. Similar analyses were performed at the cruise condition to ensure that drag targets are attainable. Results indicate that this configuration shows great promise to drastically improve the efficiency of small aircraft.

  1. Study of auxiliary propulsion requirements for large space systems. Volume 1: Executive summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, W. W.; Machles, G. W.

    1983-01-01

    An insight into auxiliary propulsion systems (APS) requirements for large space systems (LSS) launchable by a single shuttle is presented. In an effort to scope the APS requirements for LSS, a set of generic LSSs were defined. For each generic LSS class a specific structural configuration, representative of that most likely to serve the needs of the 1980's and 1990's was defined. The environmental disturbance forces and torques which would be acting on each specific structural configuration in LEO and GEO orbits were then determined. Auxiliary propulsion requirements were determined as a function of: generic class specific configuration, size and openness of structure, orbit, angle of orientation, correction frequency, duty cycle, number and location of thrusters and direction of thrusters and APS/LSS interactions. The results of this analysis were used to define the APS characteristics of: (1) number and distribution of thrusters, (2) thruster modulation, (3) thrust level, (4) mission energy requirements, (5) total APS mass component breakdown, and (6) state of the art adequacy/deficiency.

  2. Space Shuttle propulsion parameter estimation using optimal estimation techniques, volume 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    The mathematical developments and their computer program implementation for the Space Shuttle propulsion parameter estimation project are summarized. The estimation approach chosen is the extended Kalman filtering with a modified Bryson-Frazier smoother. Its use here is motivated by the objective of obtaining better estimates than those available from filtering and to eliminate the lag associated with filtering. The estimation technique uses as the dynamical process the six degree equations-of-motion resulting in twelve state vector elements. In addition to these are mass and solid propellant burn depth as the ""system'' state elements. The ""parameter'' state elements can include aerodynamic coefficient, inertia, center-of-gravity, atmospheric wind, etc. deviations from referenced values. Propulsion parameter state elements have been included not as options just discussed but as the main parameter states to be estimated. The mathematical developments were completed for all these parameters. Since the systems dynamics and measurement processes are non-linear functions of the states, the mathematical developments are taken up almost entirely by the linearization of these equations as required by the estimation algorithms.

  3. Application of Magnetized Target Fusion to High-Energy Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thio, Y. C. F.; Schmidt, G. R.; Kirkpatrick, R. C.; Rodgers, Stephen L. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Most fusion propulsion concepts that have been investigated in the past employ some form of inertial or magnetic confinement. Although the prospective performance of these concepts is excellent, the fusion processes on which these concepts are based still require considerable development before they can be seriously considered for actual applications. Furthermore, these processes are encumbered by the need for sophisticated plasma and power handling systems that are generally quite inefficient and have historically resulted in large, massive spacecraft designs. Here we present a comparatively new approach, Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF), which offers a nearer-term avenue for realizing the tremendous performance benefits of fusion propulsion'. The key advantage of MTF is its less demanding requirements for driver energy and power processing. Additional features include: 1) very low system masses and volumes, 2) high gain and relatively low waste heat, 3) substantial utilization of energy from product neutrons, 4) efficient, low peak-power drivers based on existing pulsed power technology, and 5) very high Isp, specific power and thrust. MTF overcomes many of the problems associated with traditional fusion techniques, thus making it particularly attractive for space applications. Isp greater than 50,000 seconds and specific powers greater than 50 kilowatts/kilogram appear feasible using relatively near-term pulse power and plasma gun technology.

  4. An Ansatz Regarding Relativistic Space Travel Part II-Propulsion Realities

    SciTech Connect

    Murad, Paul A

    2008-01-21

    Travel to the stars can involve a perilous journey in an unfriendly space-time continuum that can include singularities, nonlinear events, gravity as a function of both position and vehicle velocity, and extra dimensional effects discussed in Part I. Such a device may possibly use field propulsion technology. Although several field propulsion schemes exist, a proposed candidate is based upon using an electromagnetic drive that uses a rotating magnetic field superimposed on the spacecraft's stationary or static electric field. This is comparable to a Searl generator and the field interaction would generate an electromagnetic vortex to create nonlinear gravitational effects possibly due to an inverse Gertsenshtein relationship to push against the intrinsic gravitational field of a planet. Moreover, changing alignment of the magnetic field axis with the electric field will induce a margin of lateral controllability. Issues such as assessing this combined effect of using both electric and magnetic fields are discussed. Finally, the need for experimental data is stressed to validate these otherwise very speculative theoretical notions.

  5. Mission roles for the Solar Electric Propulsion Stage (SEPS) with the space transportation system. Volume 1: Executive summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hammock, D. M.

    1975-01-01

    A study was conducted to determine the characteristics of solar electric propulsion stage (SEPS) for the space transportation system. Emphasis is placed on the rationale leading to the concepts for the development and operations program which enhances the cost effectiveness of the SEPS operating with the space transportation system. The approach in describing design concepts and configurations is concerned with the decision controlling factors and selection criteria. The mission roles for the SEPS in accomplishing proposed space activities are defined.

  6. Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Kennedy Space Center telerobotic inspection and manipulation demonstration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilcox, Brian; Davis, Leon

    1990-01-01

    The goal of this effort is to demonstrate telerobotic inspection and mainpulation of space shuttle payloads in the presence of substantial communications time delays between the operator station and the robotic work space. The processing of space shuttle payloads provides a variety of tasks which are typical of both space shuttle ground operations and Space Station in-flight operations, and communications time delays are inevitable in space operations where the operator station will be light-seconds away from the telerobot. With this demonstration we hope to show the efficacy and safety of robotic technology for ground and space operations. Our approach is to develop an experimental telerobotic system with the remote sensing, actuation and reflex portions located at KSC in Florida, while the operator control station will be located at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California. The JPL portion of the system includes a high-level operator interface, intelligent spatial planning and machine vision, while the KSC portion includes the robot arm, end effectors, cameras and proximity sensors, and the necessary control and communications computers and software. The communications between JPL and KSC are over a limited-bandwidth network channel (19200 baud) with unpredictable and unrepeatable time delays. In FY89 we integrated a basic version of the robotic, communications, and computer hardware, and we developed the software to perform an operator-supervised inspection of a PAM-D satellite upper stage rocket motor and its shuttle support cradle. The demonstration, though severely limited by the bulk of the available computer arm, showed the potential of telerobotics for inspection tasks. In the future, we plan to develop additional capabilities which will allow manipulation tasks to be performed, including removal of dust covers and lens caps, insertion of connectors and batteries, and installation of payload objects.

  7. A computational magnetohydrodynamic model of a gasdynamic fusion space propulsion system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohlandt, Chad J. R.

    This work advances the gasdynamic mirror (GDM) fusion space propulsion system concept by testing the potential of an advanced aneutronic fusion fuel combination of proton-11boron and evaluating GDMs operating at less than breakeven being driven with nuclear electric reactors. Finding neither option to be a panacea, the author moves forward in developing an ideal 3-D magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) computational model for simulating concept GDMs. The challenges identified and remediated include Alfven wave-speeds a few percent the speed of light with characteristic lengths on the order of a centimeter, the extreme aspect ratio of GDM systems, massive background magnetic fields, and traveling waves along the length of the GDM. Due to the remaining physical challenges of modeling the GDM system, including a slow systemic relaxation time and localized radiation losses, the computational requirements of the full 3-D MHD model remains too computationally demanding, which suggests a future approach involving a hybrid of 1-D and 3-D models.

  8. Probabilistic Structural Analysis Methods (PSAM) for Select Space Propulsion System Components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Probabilistic Structural Analysis Methods (PSAM) are described for the probabilistic structural analysis of engine components for current and future space propulsion systems. Components for these systems are subjected to stochastic thermomechanical launch loads. Uncertainties or randomness also occurs in material properties, structural geometry, and boundary conditions. Material property stochasticity, such as in modulus of elasticity or yield strength, exists in every structure and is a consequence of variations in material composition and manufacturing processes. Procedures are outlined for computing the probabilistic structural response or reliability of the structural components. The response variables include static or dynamic deflections, strains, and stresses at one or several locations, natural frequencies, fatigue or creep life, etc. Sample cases illustrates how the PSAM methods and codes simulate input uncertainties and compute probabilistic response or reliability using a finite element model with probabilistic methods.

  9. Probabilistic load model development and validation for composite load spectra for select space propulsion engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kurth, R.; Newell, J. F.

    1987-01-01

    A major task of the program to develop an expert system to predict the loads on selected components of a generic space propulsion engine is the design development and application of a probabilitic loads model. This model is being developed in order to account for the random nature of the loads and assess the variable load ranges' effect on the engine performance. A probabilistic model has been developed. The model is based primarily on simulation methods, but also has a Gaussian algebra method (if all variables are near normal), a fast probability integrator routine (for the calculation of low probability events), and a separate, stand alone program for performing barrier crossing calculations. Each of these probabilistic methods has been verified with theoretical calculations using assumed distributional forms.

  10. A large high vacuum, high pumping speed space simulation chamber for electric propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grisnik, Stanley P.; Parkes, James E.

    1994-01-01

    Testing high power electric propulsion devices poses unique requirements on space simulation facilities. Very high pumping speeds are required to maintain high vacuum levels while handling large volumes of exhaust products. These pumping speeds are significantly higher than those available in most existing vacuum facilities. There is also a requirement for relatively large vacuum chamber dimensions to minimize facility wall/thruster plume interactions and to accommodate far field plume diagnostic measurements. A 4.57 m (15 ft) diameter by 19.2 m (63 ft) long vacuum chamber at NASA Lewis Research Center is described. The chamber utilizes oil diffusion pumps in combination with cryopanels to achieve high vacuum pumping speeds at high vacuum levels. The facility is computer controlled for all phases of operation from start-up, through testing, to shutdown. The computer control system increases the utilization of the facility and reduces the manpower requirements needed for facility operations.

  11. Investigative techniques used to locate the liquid hydrogen leakage on the Space Shuttle Main Propulsion System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hammock, William R., Jr.; Cota, Phillip E., Jr.; Rosenbaum, Bernard J.; Barrett, Michael J.

    1991-01-01

    Standard leak detection methods at ambient temperature have been developed in order to prevent excessive leakage from the Space Shuttle liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen Main Propulsion System. Unacceptable hydrogen leakage was encountered on the Columbia and Atlantis flight vehicles in the summer of 1990 after the standard leak check requirements had been satisfied. The leakage was only detectable when the fuel system was exposed to subcooled liquid hydrogen during External Tank loading operations. Special instrumentation and analytical tools were utilized during a series of propellant tanking tests in order to identify the sources of the hydrogen leakage. After the leaks were located and corrected, the physical characteristics of the leak sources were analyzed in an effort to understand how the discrepancies were introduced and why the leakage had evaded the standard leak detection methods. As a result of the post-leak analysis, corrective actions and leak detection improvements have been implemented in order to preclude a similar incident.

  12. Mission needs and system commonality for space nuclear power and propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Buden, D.; Zuppero, A.; Redd, L.

    1993-07-01

    Nuclear power enables or significantly enhances a variety of space missions whether near-Earth, or for solar system exploration, lunar-Mars exploration and recovery of near-Earth resources. Performance optimizations for individual missions leads to a large number of power and propulsion systems to be developed. However, the realities of the budget and schedules indicates that the number of nuclear systems that will be developed are limited. One needs to seek the ``minimum requirements`` to do a job rather than the last ounce of performance, and areas of commonality. To develop a minimum number of systems to meet the overall DoD, NASA, and commercial needs, the broad spectrum of requirements has been examined along with cost drivers.

  13. Space nuclear thermal propulsion program. Final report, September 1989-May 1995

    SciTech Connect

    Haslett, R.A.

    1995-05-01

    The SNTP Program was an advanced technology development effort aimed at providing the Nation a new, dramatically higher performing rocket engine that would more than double the performance of the best conventional chemical rocket engines. The program consisted of three phases. Phase I ran from November 1987 through September 1989. The objective of this phase was to verify the feasibility of the Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) as the propulsion energy source for the upper stage of a ground-based Boost Phase Intercept (BPI) vehicle. The BPl mission was of interest to the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (SDIO) who sponsored the program. Phase II started under SDIO control and was transferred to the Air Force (AF) in October 1991. The BPI mission was de-emphasized, and engine requirements were revised to satisfy more general AF space missions. The goal of Phase II was to perform a ground demonstration of a prototypical PBR engine.

  14. High- and low-thrust propulsion systems for the space station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, R. E.

    1987-01-01

    The purpose of the Advanced Development program was to investigate propulsion options for the space station. Two options were investigated in detail: a high-thrust system consisting of 25 to 50 lbf gaseous oxygen/hydrogen rockets, and a low-thrust system of 0.1 lbf multipropellant resistojets. An effort is also being conducted to determine the life capability of hydrazine-fueled thrusters. During the course of this program, studies clearly identified the benefits of utilizing waste water and other fluids as propellant sources. The results of the H/O thruster test programs are presented and the plan to determine the life of hydrazine thrusters is discussed. The background required to establish a long-life resistojet is presented and the first design model is shown in detail.

  15. A revolutionary lunar space transportation system architecture using extraterrestrial LOX-augmented NTR propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borowski, Stanley K.; Corban, Robert R.; Culver, Donald W.; Bulman, Melvin J.; McIlwain, Mel C.

    1994-08-01

    The concept of a liquid oxygen (LOX)-augmented nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) engine is introduced, and its potential for revolutionizing lunar space transportation system (LTS) performance using extraterrestrial 'lunar-derived' liquid oxygen (LUNOX) is outlined. The LOX-augmented NTR (LANTR) represents the marriage of conventional liquid hydrogen (LH2)-cooled NTR and airbreathing engine technologies. The large divergent section of the NTR nozzle functions as an 'afterburner' into which oxygen is injected and supersonically combusted with nuclear preheated hydrogen emerging from the NTR's choked sonic throat: 'scramjet propulsion in reverse.' By varying the oxygen-to-fuel mixture ratio (MR), the LANTR concept can provide variable thrust and specific impulse (Isp) capability with a LH2-cooled NTR operating at relatively constant power output. For example, at a MR = 3, the thrust per engine can be increased by a factor of 2.75 while the Isp decreases by only 30 percent. With this thrust augmentation option, smaller, 'easier to develop' NTR's become more acceptable from a mission performance standpoint (e.g., earth escape gravity losses are reduced and perigee propulsion requirements are eliminated). Hydrogen mass and volume is also reduced resulting in smaller space vehicles. An evolutionary NTR-based lunar architecture requiring only Shuttle C and/or 'in-line' shuttle-derived launch vehicles (SDV's) would operate initially in an 'expandable mode' with NTR lunar transfer vehicles (LTV's) delivering 80 percent more payload on piloted missions than their LOX/LH2 chemical propulsion counterparts. With the establishment of LUNOX production facilities on the lunar surface and 'fuel/oxidizer' depot in low lunar orbit (LLO), monopropellant NTR's would be outfitted with an oxygen propellant module, feed system, and afterburner nozzle for 'bipropellant' operation. The LANTR cislunar LTV now transitions to a reusable mode with smaller vehicle and payload doubling benefits on

  16. A Revolutionary Lunar Space Transportation System Architecture Using Extraterrestrial Lox-augmented NTR Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borowski, Stanley K.; Corban, Robert R.; Culver, Donald W.; Bulman, Melvin J.; Mcilwain, Mel C.

    1994-01-01

    The concept of a liquid oxygen (LOX)-augmented nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) engine is introduced, and its potential for revolutionizing lunar space transportation system (LTS) performance using extraterrestrial 'lunar-derived' liquid oxygen (LUNOX) is outlined. The LOX-augmented NTR (LANTR) represents the marriage of conventional liquid hydrogen (LH2)-cooled NTR and airbreathing engine technologies. The large divergent section of the NTR nozzle functions as an 'afterburner' into which oxygen is injected and supersonically combusted with nuclear preheated hydrogen emerging from the NTR's choked sonic throat: 'scramjet propulsion in reverse.' By varying the oxygen-to-fuel mixture ratio (MR), the LANTR concept can provide variable thrust and specific impulse (Isp) capability with a LH2-cooled NTR operating at relatively constant power output. For example, at a MR = 3, the thrust per engine can be increased by a factor of 2.75 while the Isp decreases by only 30 percent. With this thrust augmentation option, smaller, 'easier to develop' NTR's become more acceptable from a mission performance standpoint (e.g., earth escape gravity losses are reduced and perigee propulsion requirements are eliminated). Hydrogen mass and volume is also reduced resulting in smaller space vehicles. An evolutionary NTR-based lunar architecture requiring only Shuttle C and/or 'in-line' shuttle-derived launch vehicles (SDV's) would operate initially in an 'expandable mode' with NTR lunar transfer vehicles (LTV's) delivering 80 percent more payload on piloted missions than their LOX/LH2 chemical propulsion counterparts. With the establishment of LUNOX production facilities on the lunar surface and 'fuel/oxidizer' depot in low lunar orbit (LLO), monopropellant NTR's would be outfitted with an oxygen propellant module, feed system, and afterburner nozzle for 'bipropellant' operation. The LANTR cislunar LTV now transitions to a reusable mode with smaller vehicle and payload doubling benefits on

  17. Aeropropulsive characteristics of isolated combined turbojet/ramjet nozzles at Mach numbers from 0 to 1.20

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carson, George T., Jr.; Lamb, Milton

    1988-01-01

    An investigation was conducted in the Langley 16-Foot Transonic Tunnel to determine the aeropropulsive performance characteristics (the aerodynamic quantities affected by propulsion) of 13 isolated combined turbojet/ramjet nozzle configurations. These configurations simulated the variable-geometry features of two nozzle designs designated as the multiple-expansion ramp nozzle (MERN) and the composite contour nozzle (CCN). Test data were obtained at static conditions and at Mach numbers of 0.60, 0.90, and 1.20 with jet exhaust simulated by high-pressure air. The results showed that the CCN had the higher performance over the Mach number range than the MERN, as indicated by the difference of thrust minus drag divided by ideal thrust. Increasing the ramjet throat area for the MERN resulted in an increase in performance that increased with Mach number. For the CCN at Mach numbers less than 1.20, increasing the ramjet throat area resulted in a loss in performance.

  18. Journey into tomorrow - Developing nuclear propulsion for the Space Exploration Initiative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harer, Kathleen F.; Graham, Scott R.; Bennett, Gary L.

    Nuclear propulsion, either nuclear thermal propulsion or nuclear electric propulsion, offers the potential of reduced trip times and/or reduced mass into low earth orbit, compared to chemical propulsion systems. In addition, the greater performance benefits of nuclear propulsion can provide the added margin for greater operational flexibility, including mission abort options and increased launch windows. During the 1950s and 1960s experimental and analytical studies showed the feasibility of nuclear propulsion. NASA, in cooperation with other agencies and organizations, is currently planning a technology development program for nuclear propulsion. The overall objective is to develop at least one NTP concept and one NEP concept for piloted and robotic (e.g., cargo) missions to Mars.

  19. 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

  20. Study on the Feasibility of Direct Fusion Energy Conversion for Deep-Space Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarditi, Alfonso G.; Miley, George H.; Scott, John H.

    2012-10-01

    A significant change in the current space mission capabilities can be achieved with a highly efficient integration of a fusion energy source with an advanced space propulsion thruster, both with low specific mass. With aneutronic nuclear fusion as the high-density primary energy source, this study considers first electric energy extraction from the fusion reaction products via direct energy conversion to recirculate power as required for the operation of the fusion core. Then the beam of remaining reaction products is conditioned to achieve the optimal thrust and specific impulse for the mission. The research is specifically focused on two key issues: (i) Efficiency improvement of a Traveling Wave Direct Energy Converter (TWDEC, [1]) by achieving a higher ion beam density and optimization of the electrode coupling and of the neutralizing electron flow. (ii) A fast-particle kinetic energy-to-thrust conversion process based on collective interaction between ion bunches well separated in space [2]. Computer simulation results and a design for a basic physics experiment currently under development are reported. [4pt] [1] H. Momota et al., Fus. Tech., 35, 60(1999)[0pt] [2] A. G. Tarditi et al. Proc. NETS 2012 Conf., Woodlands, TX (2012)

  1. Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion: Materials Challenges for the 21st Century

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Mike

    2008-01-01

    The current focus of NASA s space fission effort is Fission Surface Power (FSP). FSP systems could be used to provide power anytime, anywhere on the surface of the Moon or Mars. FSP systems could be used at locations away from the lunar poles or in permanently shaded regions, with no performance penalty. A potential reference 40 kWe option has been devised that is cost-competitive with alternatives while providing more power for less mass. The potential reference system is readily extensible for use on Mars. At Mars the system could be capable of operating through global dust storms and providing year-round power at any Martian latitude. To ensure affordability, the potential near-term, 40 kWe reference concept is designed to use only well established materials and fuels. However, if various materials challenges could be overcome, extremely high performance fission systems could be devised. These include high power, low mass fission surface power systems; in-space systems with high specific power; and high performance nuclear thermal propulsion systems. This tutorial will provide a brief overview of space fission systems and will focus on materials challenges that, if overcome, could help enable advanced exploration and utilization of the solar system.

  2. On-Orbit Propulsion and Methods of Momentum Management for the International Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Russell, Samuel P.; Spencer, Victor; Metrocavage, Kevin; Swanson, Robert A.; Krajchovich, Mark; Beisner, Matthew; Kamath, Ulhas P.

    2010-01-01

    Since the first documented design of a space station in 1929, it has been a dream of many to sustain a permanent presence in space. Russia and the US spent several decades competing for a sustained human presence in low Earth orbit. In the 1980 s, Russia and the US began to openly collaborate to achieve this goal. This collaboration lead to the current design of the ISS. Continuous improvement of procedures for controlling the ISS have lead to more efficient propellant management over the years. Improved efficiency combined with the steady use of cargo vehicles has kept ISS propellant levels well above their defined thresholds in all categories. The continuing evolution of propellant and momentum management operational strategies demonstrates the capability and flexibility of the ISS propulsion system. The hard work and cooperation of the international partners and the evolving operational strategies have made the ISS safe and successful. The ISS s proven success is the foundation for the future of international cooperation for sustaining life in space.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. MIC-Large Scale Magnetically Inflated Cable Structures for Space Power, Propulsion, Communications and Observational Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Powell, James; Maise, George; Rather, John

    2010-01-01

    A new approach for the erection of rigid large scale structures in space-MIC (Magnetically Inflated Cable)-is described. MIC structures are launched as a compact payload of superconducting cables and attached tethers. After reaching orbit, the superconducting cables are energized with electrical current. The magnet force interactions between the cables cause them to expand outwards into the final large structure. Various structural shapes and applications are described. The MIC structure can be a simple flat disc with a superconducting outer ring that supports a tether network holding a solar cell array, or it can form a curved mirror surface that concentrates light and focuses it on a smaller region-for example, a high flux solar array that generates electric power, a high temperature receiver that heats H2 propellant for high Isp propulsion, and a giant primary reflector for a telescope for astronomy and Earth surveillance. Linear dipole and quadrupole MIC structures are also possible. The linear quadrupole structure can be used for magnetic shielding against cosmic radiation for astronauts, for example. MIC could use lightweight YBCO superconducting HTS (High Temperature Superconductor) cables, that can operate with liquid N2 coolant at engineering current densities of ~105 amp/cm2. A 1 kilometer length of MIC cable would weigh only 3 metric tons, including superconductor, thermal insulations, coolant circuits, and refrigerator, and fit within a 3 cubic meter compact package for launch. Four potential MIC applications are described: Solar-thermal propulsion using H2 propellant, space based solar power generation for beaming power to Earth, a large space telescope, and solar electric generation for a manned lunar base. The first 3 applications use large MIC solar concentrating mirrors, while the 4th application uses a surface based array of solar cells on a magnetically levitated MIC structure to follow the sun. MIC space based mirrors can be very large and light

  5. Space shuttle propulsion systems on-board checkout and monitoring system development study (extension). Volume 1: Summary and technical results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    An analysis was conducted of the space shuttle propulsion systems to define the onboard checkout and monitoring function. A baseline space shuttle vehicle and mission were used to establish the techniques and approach for defining the requirements. The requirements were analyzed to formulate criteria for implementing the functions of preflight checkout, performance monitoring, fault isolation, emergency detection, display, data storage, postflight evaluation, and maintenance retest.

  6. OTV Propulsion Issues

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  9. A radiological assessment of nuclear power and propulsion operations near Space Station Freedom

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bolch, Wesley E.; Thomas, J. Kelly; Peddicord, K. Lee; Nelson, Paul; Marshall, David T.; Busche, Donna M.

    1990-01-01

    Scenarios were identified which involve the use of nuclear power systems in the vicinity of Space Station Freedom (SSF) and their radiological impact on the SSF crew was quantified. Several of the developed scenarios relate to the use of SSF as an evolutionary transportation node for lunar and Mars missions. In particular, radiation doses delivered to SSF crew were calculated for both the launch and subsequent return of a Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) cargo vehicle and a Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR) personnel vehicle to low earth orbit. The use of nuclear power on co-orbiting platforms and the storage and handling issues associated with radioisotope power systems were also explored as they relate to SSF. A central philosophy in these analyses was the utilization of a radiation dose budget, defined as the difference between recommended dose limits from all radiation sources and estimated doses received by crew members from natural space radiations. Consequently, for each scenario examined, the dose budget concept was used to identify and quantify constraints on operational parameters such as launch separation distances, returned vehicle parking distances, and reactor shutdown times prior to vehicle approach. The results indicate that realistic scenarios do not exist which would preclude the use of nuclear power sources in the vicinity of SSF. The radiation dose to the SSF crew can be maintained at safe levels solely by implementing proper and reasonable operating procedures.

  10. An overview of the Nuclear Electric Propulsion Space Test Program (NEPSTP) satellite

    SciTech Connect

    Voss, S.S.; Reynolds, E.L.

    1994-06-01

    Early in 1992 the idea of purchasing a Russian designed and fabricated space reactor power system and integrating it with a US designed satellite went from fiction to reality with the purchase of the first two Topaz II reactors by the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization (now the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO). The New Mexico Alliance was formed to establish a ground test facility in which to perform nonnuclear systems testing of the Topaz II, and to evaluate the Topaz 11 system for flight testing with respect to safety, performance, and operability. In conjunction, SDIO requested that the Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, MD propose a mission and design a satellite in which the Topaz II could be used as the power source. The outcome of these two activities was the design of the Nuclear Electric Propulsion Space Test Program (NEPSTP) satellite which combines a modified Russian Topaz II power system with a US designed satellite to achieve a specified mission. Due to funding reduction within the SDIO, the Topaz II flight program was postponed indefinitely at the end of Fiscal Year 1993. The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the NEPSTP mission and the satellite design at the time the flight program ended.

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sibille, Laurent; Mantovani, James G.

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Revolutionary/Unconventional Aeropropulsion Technology Evaluation through Thermodynamic Work Potential: A Revolutionary Aeropropulsion Concepts Program Research Initiative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mavris, Dimitri; Danner, Travis; Roth, Bryce

    2002-01-01

    This report is intended as a status report for activities covered May through July 2002 under the auspices of NASA Glenn's Revolutionary Aeropropulsion Concepts (RAC) project. This is the first phase I quarterly report and as such, considerable focus will be given to defining the basic need and motivation driving this research effort. In addition, background research has been ongoing for the past several months and has culminated in considerable information pertaining to the state-of-the-art in work potential analysis methods. This work is described in detail herein. Finally, the proposed analysis approach is described, as are the various ancillary concepts required for its implementation.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edwards, Daryl A.

    2007-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Submersion criticality safety of tungsten-rhenium urania cermet fuel for space propulsion and power applications

    SciTech Connect

    A.E. Craft; R. C. O'Brien; S. D. Howe; J. C. King

    2014-07-01

    Nuclear thermal rockets are the preferred propulsion technology for a manned mission to Mars, and tungsten–uranium oxide cermet fuels could provide significant performance and cost advantages for nuclear thermal rockets. A nuclear reactor intended for use in space must remain subcritical before and during launch, and must remain subcritical in launch abort scenarios where the reactor falls back to Earth and becomes submerged in terrestrial materials (including seawater, wet sand, or dry sand). Submersion increases reflection of neutrons and also thermalizes the neutron spectrum, which typically increases the reactivity of the core. This effect is typically very significant for compact, fast-spectrum reactors. This paper provides a submersion criticality safety analysis for a representative tungsten/uranium oxide fueled reactor with a range of fuel compositions. Each submersion case considers both the rhenium content in the matrix alloy and the uranium oxide volume fraction in the cermet. The inclusion of rhenium significantly improves the submersion criticality safety of the reactor. While increased uranium oxide content increases the reactivity of the core, it does not significantly affect the submersion behavior of the reactor. There is no significant difference in submersion behavior between reactors with rhenium distributed within the cermet matrix and reactors with a rhenium clad in the coolant channels. The combination of the flooding of the coolant channels in submersion scenarios and the presence of a significant amount of spectral shift absorbers (i.e. high rhenium concentration) further decreases reactivity for short reactor cores compared to longer cores.

  17. Nuclear design of a vapor core reactor for space nuclear propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dugan, Edward T.; Watanabe, Yoichi; Kuras, Stephen A.; Maya, Isaac; Diaz, Nils J.

    1993-01-01

    Neutronic analysis methodology and results are presented for the nuclear design of a vapor core reactor for space nuclear propulsion. The Nuclear Vapor Thermal Reactor (NVTR) Rocket Engine uses modified NERVA geometry and systems which the solid fuel replaced by uranium tetrafluoride vapor. The NVTR is an intermediate term gas core thermal rocket engine with specific impulse in the range of 1000-1200 seconds; a thrust of 75,000 lbs for a hydrogen flow rate of 30 kg/s; average core exit temperatures of 3100 K to 3400 K; and reactor thermal powers of 1400 to 1800 MW. Initial calculations were performed on epithermal NVTRs using ZrC fuel elements. Studies are now directed at thermal NVTRs that use fuel elements made of C-C composite. The large ZrC-moderated reactors resulted in thrust-to-weight ratios of only 1 to 2; the compact C-C composite systems yield thrust-to-weight ratios of 3 to 5.

  18. Particulate Titanium Matrix Composites Tested-Show Promise for Space Propulsion Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thesken, John C.; Lerch, Bradley A.; Arnold, Steven M.

    2003-01-01

    New manufacturing technologies can now produce uniformly distributed particle strengthened titanium matrix composites (TMCs) at lower cost than many types of continuous-fiber composites. The innovative process results in near-final-shape components having a material stiffness up to 26-percent greater than that of components made with conventional titanium materials. This benefit is achieved with no significant increase in the weight of the component. The improved mechanical performance and low-cost manufacturing capability motivated a review of particulate-reinforced metal composite technology as a way to lower the cost and weight of space-access propulsion systems. Focusing on the elevated-temperature properties of titanium alloy Ti-6Al-4V as the matrix material, researchers at the NASA Glenn Research Center conducted experiments to verify the improved performance of the alloy containing 10 wt% of ceramic titanium carbide (TiC) particles. The appropriate blend of metal and ceramic powder underwent a series of cold and hot isostatic pressing procedures to yield bar stock. A set of round dogbone specimens was manufactured from a small sample of the bars. The TMC material proved to have good machinability at this particle concentration as there was no difficulty in producing high-quality specimens.

  19. Summary of particle bed reactor designs for the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1993-09-01

    A summary report of the Particle Bed Reactor (PBR) designs considered for the space nuclear thermal propulsion program has been prepared. The first chapters outline the methods of analysis, and their validation. Monte Carlo methods are used for the physics analysis, several new algorithms are used for the fluid dynamics heat transfer and engine system analysis, and commercially available codes are used for the stress analysis. A critical experiment, prototypic of the PBR was used for the physics validation, and blowdown experiments using fuel beds of prototypic dimensions were used to validate the power extraction capabilities from particle beds. In all four different PBR rocket reactor designs were studied to varying degrees of detail. They varied in power from 400 MW to 2000 MW. These designs were all characterized by a negative prompt coefficient, due to Doppler feedback, and the feedback due to moderator heat up varied from slightly negative to slightly positive. In all practical cases, the coolant worth was positive, although core configurations with negative coolant worth could be designed. In all practical cases the thrust/weight ratio was greater than 20.

  20. High Temperature Propulsion System Structural Seals for Future Space Launch Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dunlap, Patrick H., Jr.; Steinetz, Bruce M.; DeMange, Jeffrey J.

    2004-01-01

    High temperature, dynamic structural seals are required in advanced hypersonic engines to seal the perimeters of movable engine ramps for efficient, safe operation in high heat flux environments at temperatures from 2000 to 2500 F. NASA GRC became involved in the development of high temperature structural seals in the late 1980 s and early 1990 s during the National Aerospace Plane (NASP) program. Researchers at GRC carried out an in-house program to develop seals for the NASP hypersonic engine and oversaw industry efforts for airframe and propulsion system seal development for this vehicle. The figure shows one of the seal locations in the NASP engine. Seals were needed along the edges of movable panels in the engine to seal gaps between the panels and adjacent engine sidewalls. Seals developed during the NASP program met many requirements but fell short of leakage, durability, and resiliency goals. Due to program termination the seals could not be adequately matured. To overcome these shortfalls, GRC is currently developing advanced seals and seal preloading devices for the hypersonic engines of future space vehicles as part of NASA s Next Generation Launch Technology (NGLT) program.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markusic, T. E.

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nguyen, Hung D.; Steele, Gynelle C.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Space shuttle auxiliary propulsion system design study. Phase C and E report: Storable propellants, RCS/OMS/APU integration study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anglim, D. D.; Bruns, A. E.; Perryman, D. C.; Wieland, D. L.

    1972-01-01

    Auxiliary propulsion concepts for application to the space shuttle are compared. Both monopropellant and bipropellant earth storable reaction control systems were evaluated. The fundamental concepts evaluated were: (1) monopropellant and bipropellant systems installed integrally within the vehicle, (2) fuel systems installed modularly in nose and wing tip pods, and (3) fuel systems installed modularly in nose and fuselage pods. Numerous design variations within these three concepts were evaluated. The system design analysis and methods for implementing each of the concepts are reported.

  6. Development of Liquid-Vapor Core Reactors with MHD Generator for Space Power and Propulsion Applications

    SciTech Connect

    Samim Anghaie

    2002-08-13

    . Still there are problems of containment since many of the proposed vessel materials such as W or Mo have high neutron cross sections making the design of a critical system difficult. There is also the possibility for a GCR to remain in a subcritical state, and by the use of a shockwave mechanism, increase the pressure and temperature inside the core to achieve criticality. This type of GCR is referred to as a shockwave-driven pulsed gas core reactor. These two basic designs were evaluated as advance concepts for space power and propulsion.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nguyen, Hung D.; Steele, Gynelle C.

    2016-01-01

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

  8. International Space Exploration Coordination Group Assessment of Technology Gaps for LOx/Methane Propulsion Systems for the Global Exploration Roadmap

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hurlbert, Eric A.; Whitley, Ryan; Klem, Mark D.; Johnson, Wesley; Alexander, Leslie; D'Aversa, Emanuela; Ruault, Jean-Marc; Manfletti, Chiara; Caruana, Jean-Noel; Ueno, Hiroshi; Asakawa, Hiroya

    2016-01-01

    As part of the Global Exploration Roadmap (GER), the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) formed two technology gap assessment teams to evaluate topic discipline areas that had not been worked at an international level to date. The participating agencies were ASI, CNES, DLR, ESA, JAXA, and NASA. Accordingly, the ISECG Technology Working Group (TWG) recommended two discipline areas based on Critical Technology Needs reflected within the GER Technology Development Map (GTDM): Dust Mitigation and LOX/Methane Propulsion. LOx/Methane propulsion systems are enabling for future human missions Mars by significantly reducing the landed mass of the Mars ascent stage through the use of in-situ propellant production, for improving common fluids for life support, power and propulion thus allowing for diverse redundancy, for eliminating the corrosive and toxic propellants thereby improving surface operations and resusabilty, and for inceasing the performance of propulsion systems. The goals and objectives of the international team are to determine the gaps in technology that must be closed for LOx/Methane to be used in human exploration missions in cis-lunar, lunar, and Mars mission applications. An emphasis is placed on near term lunar lander applications with extensibility to Mars. Each agency provided a status of the substantial amount of Lox/Methane propulsion system development to date and their inputs on the gaps in the technology that are remaining. The gaps, which are now opportunities for collaboration, are then discussed.

  9. Integrated propulsion for near-Earth space missions. Volume 2: Technical

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dailey, C. L.; Meissinger, H. F.; Lovberg, R. H.; Zafran, S.

    1981-01-01

    The calculation approach is described for parametric analysis of candidate electric propulsion systems employed in LEO to GEO missions. Occultation relations, atmospheric density effects, and natural radiation effects are presented. A solar cell cover glass tradeoff is performed to determine optimum glass thickness. Solar array and spacecraft pointing strategies are described for low altitude flight and for optimum array illumination during ascent. Mass ratio tradeoffs versus transfer time provide direction for thruster technology improvements. Integrated electric propulsion analysis is performed for orbit boosting, inclination change, attitude control, stationkeeping, repositioning, and disposal functions as well as power sharing with payload on orbit. Comparison with chemical auxiliary propulsion is made to quantify the advantages of integrated propulsion in terms of weight savings and concomittant launch cost savings.

  10. Hypothetical Dark Matter/axion Rockets:. Dark Matter in Terms of Space Physics Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beckwith, A.

    2010-12-01

    Current proposed photon rocket designs include the Nuclear Photonic Rocket and the Antimatter Photonic Rocket (proposed by Eugen Sanger in the 1950s, as reported by Ref. 1). This paper examines the feasibility of improving the thrust of photon-driven ramjet propulsion by using DM rocket propulsion. The open question is: would a heavy WIMP, if converted to photons, upgrade the power (thrust) of a photon rocket drive, to make interstellar travel a feasible proposition?

  11. Radioisotope electric propulsion for robotic science missions to near-interstellar space

    SciTech Connect

    Noble, R.J.

    1994-10-01

    The use of radioisotope electric propulsion for sending small robotic probes on fast science missions several hundred astronomical units (AU) from the Sun is investigated. Such missions would address a large variety of solar, interstellar, galactic and cosmological science themes from unique vantage points at 100 to 600 AU, including parallax distance measurements for the entire Milky Way Galaxy, sampling of the interstellar medium and imaging of cosmological objects at the gravitational lens foci of the Sun ({ge} 550 AU). Radioisotope electric propulsion (REP) systems are low-thrust, ion propulsion units based on multi-hundred watt, radioisotope electric generators and ion thrusters. In a previous work, the flight times for rendezvous missions to the outer planets (< 30 AU) using REP were found to be less than fifteen years. However fast prestellar missions to several hundred AU are not possible unless the probe`s energy can be substantially increased in the inner Solar System so as to boost the final hyperbolic excess velocity. In this paper an economical hybrid propulsion scheme combining chemical propulsion and gravity assist in the inner Solar System and radioisotope electric propulsion in the outer Solar System is studied which enables fast prestellar missions. Total hyperbolic excess velocities of 15 AU/year and flight times to 550 AU of about 40 years are possible using REP technology that may be available in the next decade.

  12. Nuclear thermal propulsion program overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.

    1991-01-01

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

  13. Expanding 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 at 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 accommodate 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. 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.

  15. Nuclear safety considerations in the conceptual design of a fast reactor for space electric power and propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hsieh, T.-M.; Koenig, D. R.

    1977-01-01

    Some nuclear safety aspects of a 3.2 mWt heat pipe cooled fast reactor with out-of-core thermionic converters are discussed. Safety related characteristics of the design including a thin layer of B4C surrounding the core, the use of heat pipes and BeO reflector assembly, the elimination of fuel element bowing, etc., are highlighted. Potential supercriticality hazards and countermeasures are considered. Impacts of some safety guidelines of space transportation system are also briefly discussed, since the currently developing space shuttle would be used as the primary launch vehicle for the nuclear electric propulsion spacecraft.

  16. Alkali metal Rankine cycle boiler technology challenges and some potential solutions for space nuclear power and propulsion applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, James R.

    1994-07-01

    Alkali metal boilers are of interest for application to future space Rankine cycle power conversion systems. Significant progress on such boilers was accomplished in the 1960's and early 1970's, but development was not continued to operational systems since NASA's plans for future space missions were drastically curtailed in the early 1970's. In particular, piloted Mars missions were indefinitely deferred. With the announcement of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) in July 1989 by President Bush, interest was rekindled in challenging space missions and, consequently in space nuclear power and propulsion. Nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) and nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) were proposed for interplanetary space vehicles, particularly for Mars missions. The potassium Rankine power conversion cycle became of interest to provide electric power for NEP vehicles and for 'dual-mode' NTP vehicles, where the same reactor could be used directly for propulsion and (with an additional coolant loop) for power. Although the boiler is not a major contributor to system mass, it is of critical importance because of its interaction with the rest of the power conversion system; it can cause problems for other components such as excess liquid droplets entering the turbine, thereby reducing its life, or more critically, it can drive instabilities-some severe enough to cause system failure. Funding for the SEI and its associated technology program from 1990 to 1993 was not sufficient to support significant new work on Rankine cycle boilers for space applications. In Fiscal Year 1994, funding for these challenging missions and technologies has again been curtailed, and planning for the future is very uncertain. The purpose of this paper is to review the technologies developed in the 1960's and 1970's in the light of the recent SEI applications. In this way, future Rankine cycle boiler programs may be conducted most efficiently. This report is aimed at evaluating alkali metal boiler

  17. Alkali Metal Rankine Cycle Boiler Technology Challenges and Some Potential Solutions for Space Nuclear Power and Propulsion Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stone, James R.

    1994-01-01

    Alkali metal boilers are of interest for application to future space Rankine cycle power conversion systems. Significant progress on such boilers was accomplished in the 1960's and early 1970's, but development was not continued to operational systems since NASA's plans for future space missions were drastically curtailed in the early 1970's. In particular, piloted Mars missions were indefinitely deferred. With the announcement of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) in July 1989 by President Bush, interest was rekindled in challenging space missions and, consequently in space nuclear power and propulsion. Nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) and nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) were proposed for interplanetary space vehicles, particularly for Mars missions. The potassium Rankine power conversion cycle became of interest to provide electric power for NEP vehicles and for 'dual-mode' NTP vehicles, where the same reactor could be used directly for propulsion and (with an additional coolant loop) for power. Although the boiler is not a major contributor to system mass, it is of critical importance because of its interaction with the rest of the power conversion system; it can cause problems for other components such as excess liquid droplets entering the turbine, thereby reducing its life, or more critically, it can drive instabilities-some severe enough to cause system failure. Funding for the SEI and its associated technology program from 1990 to 1993 was not sufficient to support significant new work on Rankine cycle boilers for space applications. In Fiscal Year 1994, funding for these challenging missions and technologies has again been curtailed, and planning for the future is very uncertain. The purpose of this paper is to review the technologies developed in the 1960's and 1970's in the light of the recent SEI applications. In this way, future Rankine cycle boiler programs may be conducted most efficiently. This report is aimed at evaluating alkali metal boiler

  18. Challenging the Future - Journey to Excellence. Aeropropulsion strategic plan for the 1990's

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    Over the past several months, the Lewis Aeropropulsion Management Council (AMC) has conducted a critical assessment of its strategic plan. This assessment clearly indicated a need for change, both in the aeropropulsion program emphasis and in the approach to carrying out that program. Customers sent a strong message that the program must improve the timeliness of research and technology products and services and must work more closely with them to develop and transfer new technology. The strategic plan defines AMC's vision for the future and underlying organizational values. It contains a set of broad strategies and actions that point the way toward achieving the goals of customer satisfaction, organizational effectiveness, and programmatic excellence. Those strategies are expected to form the basis for the development of specific tactical plans by Lewis aeropropulsion thrust teams, divisions, and branches. To guide tactical planning of the aeropropulsion program, this strategic plan outlines the agency's strategic directions and long-range aeronautics goals, the aeropropulsion goals and key objectives for achieving them, projections of Lewis aeropropulsion budgets, planned allocations of resources, and the processes that will be used to measure success in carrying out the strategic plan.

  19. Challenging the Future - Journey to Excellence. Aeropropulsion strategic plan for the 1990's

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Over the past several months, the Lewis Aeropropulsion Management Council (AMC) has conducted a critical assessment of its strategic plan. This assessment clearly indicated a need for change, both in the aeropropulsion program emphasis and in the approach to carrying out that program. Customers sent a strong message that the program must improve the timeliness of research and technology products and services and must work more closely with them to develop and transfer new technology. The strategic plan defines AMC's vision for the future and underlying organizational values. It contains a set of broad strategies and actions that point the way toward achieving the goals of customer satisfaction, organizational effectiveness, and programmatic excellence. Those strategies are expected to form the basis for the development of specific tactical plans by Lewis aeropropulsion thrust teams, divisions, and branches. To guide tactical planning of the aeropropulsion program, this strategic plan outlines the agency's strategic directions and long-range aeronautics goals, the aeropropulsion goals and key objectives for achieving them, projections of Lewis aeropropulsion budgets, planned allocations of resources, and the processes that will be used to measure success in carrying out the strategic plan.

  20. The Electric Propulsion Interactions Code (EPIC): A Member of the NASA Space Environment and Effects Program (SEE) Toolset

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mikellides, Ioannis G.; Mandell, Myron J.; Kuharski, Robert A.; Davis, D. A.; Gardner, Barbara M.; Minor, Jody

    2003-01-01

    Science Applications International Corporation is currently developing the Electric Propulsion Interactions Code, EPIC, as part of a project sponsored by the Space Environments and Effects Program at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center. Now in its second year of development, EPIC is an interactive computer toolset that allows the construction of a 3-D spacecraft model, and the assessment of a variety of interactions between its subsystems and the plume from an electric thruster. This paper reports on the progress of EPZC including the recently added ability to exchange results the NASA Charging Analyzer Program, Nascap-2k. The capability greatly enhances EPIC's range of applicability. Expansion of the toolset's various physics models proceeds in parallel with the overall development of the software. Also presented are recent upgrades of the elastic scattering algorithm in the electric propulsion Plume Tool. These upgrades are motivated by the need to assess the effects of elastically scattered ions on the SIC for ion beam energies that exceed loo0 eV. Such energy levels are expected in future high-power (>10 kW) ion propulsion systems empowered by nuclear sources.

  1. Goal-Oriented Down-Selection Criteria for Fusion Space Propulsion Based on a Concept's Physical Limitations

    SciTech Connect

    Orth, C D

    2000-11-01

    We propose that rational down-selection criteria for fusion space propulsion should be based on the goals for NASA's future missions, and in particular, on performance goals. Specifically, if the ultimate long-range performance for a certain fusion concept for a particular mission cannot exceed that expected for an economically and environmentally viable fission-propulsion system, which is obviously based on a more mature technology than the fusion system, NASA should not spend the time and resources required to develop that fusion system. We also propose consideration of inherent physical constraints for each space-propulsion concept, because the physical constraints can limit a concept's ultimate performance. Such constraints can thus make a concept subject to down-selection even though there are currently large uncertainties in a particular system's ultimate performance, projected cost of development, or even ''proof-of-principle'' status. One way to impose such goal-oriented criteria is to require all viable fusion concepts for a given mission to have an alpha (i.e., a ratio of dry mass to jet power) less than a maximum that corresponds to the performance of the fission systems. Specifically, using a Mars roundtrip as an example, we discuss how physical limitations in target gain and nozzle physics can preclude a concept achieving the required alpha. This goal-oriented approach for down-selection based on physical constraints can help NASA know up front where to wisely spend its R&D funds.

  2. 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.

  3. A Synopsis of Ion Propulsion Development Projects in the United States: SERT 1 to Deep Space I

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sovey, James S.; Rawlin, Vincent K.; Patterson, Michael J.

    1999-01-01

    The historical background and characteristics of the experimental flights of ion propulsion systems and the major ground-based technology demonstrations were reviewed. The results of the first successful ion engine flight in 1964, SERT I which demonstrated ion beam neutralization, are discussed along with the extended operation of SERT II starting in 1970. These results together with the technology employed on the early cesium engine flights. the Applications Technology Satellite (ATS) series, and the ground-test demonstrations, have provided the evolutionary path for the development of xenon ion thruster component technologies, control systems, and power circuit implementations. In the 1997-1999 period, the communication satellite flights using ion engine systems and the Deep Space I flight confirmed that these auxiliary and primary propulsion systems have advanced to a high-level of flight-readiness.

  4. Technology Roadmap for Dual-Mode Scramjet Propulsion to Support Space-Access Vision Vehicle Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cockrell, Charles E., Jr.; Auslender, Aaron H.; Guy, R. Wayne; McClinton, Charles R.; Welch, Sharon S.

    2002-01-01

    Third-generation reusable launch vehicle (RLV) systems are envisioned that utilize airbreathing and combined-cycle propulsion to take advantage of potential performance benefits over conventional rocket propulsion and address goals of reducing the cost and enhancing the safety of systems to reach earth orbit. The dual-mode scramjet (DMSJ) forms the core of combined-cycle or combination-cycle propulsion systems for single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) vehicles and provides most of the orbital ascent energy. These concepts are also relevant to two-stage-to-orbit (TSTO) systems with an airbreathing first or second stage. Foundation technology investments in scramjet propulsion are driven by the goal to develop efficient Mach 3-15 concepts with sufficient performance and operability to meet operational system goals. A brief historical review of NASA scramjet development is presented along with a summary of current technology efforts and a proposed roadmap. The technology addresses hydrogen-fueled combustor development, hypervelocity scramjets, multi-speed flowpath performance and operability, propulsion-airframe integration, and analysis and diagnostic tools.

  5. Space Exploration Initiative Fuels, Materials and Related Nuclear Propulsion Technologies Panel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bhattacharyya, S. K.; Olsen, C.; Cooper, R.; Matthews, R. B.; Walter, C.; Titran, R. J.

    1993-01-01

    This report was prepared by members of the Fuels, Materials and Related Technologies Panel, with assistance from a number of industry observers as well as laboratory colleagues of the panel members. It represents a consensus view of the panel members. This report was not subjected to a thorough review by DOE, NASA or DoD, and the opinions expressed should not be construed to represent the official position of these organizations, individually or jointly. Topics addressed include: requirement for fuels and materials development for nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) and nuclear electric propulsion (NEP); overview of proposed concepts; fuels technology development plan; materials technology development plan; other reactor technology development; and fuels and materials requirements for advanced propulsion concepts.

  6. Summary and recommendations on nuclear electric propulsion technology for the space exploration initiative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doherty, Michael P.; Holcomb, Robert S.

    1993-01-01

    A project in Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) technology is being established to develop the NEP technologies needed for advanced propulsion systems. A paced approach has been suggested which calls for progressive development of NEP component and subsystem level technologies. This approach will lead to major facility testing to achieve TRL-5 for megawatt NEP for SEI mission applications. This approach is designed to validate NEP power and propulsion technologies from kilowatt class to megawatt class ratings. Such a paced approach would have the benefit of achieving the development, testing, and flight of NEP systems in an evolutionary manner. This approach may also have the additional benefit of synergistic application with SEI extraterrestrial surface nuclear power applications.

  7. Application of Solar-Electric Propulsion to Robotic and Human Missions in Near-Earth Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woodcock, Gordon R.; Dankanich, John

    2011-01-01

    Interest in applications of solar electric propulsion (SEP) is increasing. Application of SEP technology is favored when: (1) the mission is compatible with low-thrust propulsion, (2) the mission needs high total delta V such that chemical propulsion is disadvantaged; and (3) performance enhancement is needed. If all such opportunities for future missions are considered, many uses of SEP are likely. Representative missions are surveyed and several SEP applications selected for analysis, including orbit raising, lunar science, lunar exploration, lunar exploitation, planetary science, and planetary exploration. These missions span SEP power range from 10s of kWe to several MWe. Modes of use and benefits are described, and potential SEP evolution is discussed.

  8. Application of Solar-Electric Propulsion to Robotic and Human Missions in Near-Earth Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woodcock, Gordon R.; Dankanich, John

    2006-01-01

    Interest in applications of solar electric propulsion (SEP) is increasing. Application of SEP technology is favored when: (1) the mission is compatible with low-thrust propulsion, (2) the mission needs high total delta V such that chemical propulsion is disadvantaged; and (3) performance enhancement is needed. If all such opportunities for future missions are considered, many uses of SEP are likely. Representative missions are surveyed and several SEP applications selected for analysis, including orbit raising, lunar science, lunar exploration, lunar exploitation, planetary science, and planetary exploration. These missions span SEP power range from 10s of kWe to several MWe. Modes of use and benefits are described, and potential SEP evolution is discussed.

  9. Application of Solar-Electric Propulsion to Robotic Missions in Near-Earth Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woodcock, Gordon R.; Dankanich, John

    2007-01-01

    Interest in applications of solar electric propulsion (SEP) is increasing. Application of SEP technology is favored when: (1) the mission is compatible with low-thrust propulsion, (2) the mission needs high total delta V such that chemical propulsion is disadvantaged; and (3) performance enhancement is needed. If all such opportunities for future missions are considered, many uses of SEP are likely. Representative missions are surveyed and several SEP applications selected for analysis, including orbit raising, lunar science and robotic exploration, and planetary science. These missions span SEP power range from 10 kWe to about 100 kWe. A SEP design compatible with small inexpensive launch vehicles, and capable of lunar science missions, is presented. Modes of use and benefits are described, and potential SEP evolution is discussed.

  10. Particulate Titanium Matrix Composites Tested--Show Promise for Space Propulsion Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lerch, Bradley A.; Ellis, J. Rodney; Arnold. Steven M.

    2004-01-01

    Uniformly distributed particle-strengthened titanium matrix composites (TMCs) can be manufactured at lower cost than many types of continuous-fiber composites. The innovative manufacturing technology combines cold and hot isostatic pressing procedures to produce near-final-shape components. Material stiffness is increased up to 26-percent greater than that of components made with conventional titanium materials at no significant increase in the weight. The improved mechanical performance and low-cost manufacturing capability motivated an independent review to assess the improved properties of ceramic titanium carbide (TiC) particulate-reinforced titanium at elevated temperature. Researchers at the NASA Glenn Research Center creatively designed and executed deformation and durability tests to reveal operating regimes where these materials could lower the cost and weight of space propulsion systems. The program compares the elevated-temperature performance of titanium alloy Ti-6Al-4V matrix material to an alloy containing 10 wt% of TiC particles. Initial experiments showed that at these relatively low particle concentrations the material stiffness of the TMC was improved 20 percent over that of the plain Ti-6Al-4V alloy when tested at 427 C. The proportional limit and ultimate strength of the composite in tension are 21- and 14-percent greater than those of the plain alloy. Compression tests showed that the proportional limit is about 30 percent greater for TMC than for the plain alloy. The enhanced deformation resistance of the TMC was also evident in a series of tensile and compressive stress relaxation tests that were made. Specimens were subjected to tensile or compressive strain amplitudes of 0.75 percent for 24 hr followed by a return to zero strain imposed for 24 hr. The stress relaxation data were normalized with respect to the maximum stress for each case and plotted as a function of time in the following graph. Tensile stresses relaxed 19 percent for the

  11. 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

  12. The Ion Propulsion System on NASA's Space Technology 4/Champollion Comet Rendezvous Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brophy, John R.; Garner, Charles E.; Weiss, Jeffery M.

    1999-01-01

    The ST4/Champollion mission is designed to rendezvous with and land on the comet Tempel 1 and return data from the first-ever sampling of a comet surface. Ion propulsion is an enabling technology for this mission. The ion propulsion system on ST4 consists of three ion engines each essentially identical to the single engine that flew on the DS1 spacecraft. The ST4 propulsion system will operate at a maximum input power of 7.5 kW (3.4 times greater than that demonstrated on DS1), will produce a maximum thrust of 276 mN, and will provide a total (Delta)V of 11.4 km/s. To accomplish this the propulsion system will carry 385 kg of xenon. All three engines will be operated simultaneously for the first 168 days of the mission. The nominal mission requires that each engine be capable of processing 118 kg. If one engine fails after 168 days, the remaining two engines can perform the mission, but must be capable of processing 160 kg of xenon, or twice the original thruster design requirement. Detailed analyses of the thruster wear-out failure modes coupled with experience from long-duration engine tests indicate that the thrusters have a high probability of meeting the 160-kg throughput requirement.

  13. Mission roles for the solar electric propulsion stage with the space transportation system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    A briefing outline is presented of the mission roles for the solar electric propulsion stage (SEPS). Topics outlined include operational considerations and mission characteristics, trade studies and technology assessments influencing SEPS configuration definition, program support requirements, and development and operations cost estimates.

  14. Evaluation of High-Performance Space Nuclear Electric Generators for Electric Propulsion Application

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woodcock, Gordon; Kross, Dennis A. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Electric propulsion applications are enhanced by high power-to-mass ratios for their electric power sources. At multi-megawatt levels, we can expect thrust production systems to be less than 5 kg/kWe. Application of nuclear electric propulsion to human Mars missions becomes an attractive alternative to nuclear thermal propulsion if the propulsion system is less than about 10 kg/kWe. Recent references have projected megawatt-plus nuclear electric sources at specific mass values from less than 1 kg/kWe to about 5 kg/kWe. Various assumptions are made regarding power generation cycle (turbogenerator; MHD (magnetohydrodynamics)) and reactor heat source design. The present paper compares heat source and power generation options on the basis of a parametric model that emphasizes heat transfer design and realizable hardware concept. Pressure drop (important!) is included in the power cycle analysis, and MHD and turbogenerator cycles are compared. Results indicate that power source specific mass less than 5 kg/kWe is attainable, even if peak temperatures achievable are limited to 1500 K. Projections of specific mass less than 1 kg/kWe are unrealistic, even at the highest peak temperatures considered.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bonds, Kevin W.; Polzin, Kurt A.

    2010-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. OAST Space Theme Workshop. Volume 3: Working Group Summary. 5: Propulsion (P-1). A. Summary Statement. B. Technology Needs (Form 1). C. Priority Assessments (Form 2)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1976-01-01

    All themes require some form of advanced propulsion capabilities to achieve their stated objectives. Requirements cover a broad spectrum ranging from a new generation of heavy lift launch vehicles to low thrust, long lift system for on-orbit operations. The commonality extant between propulsive technologies was established and group technologies were grouped into vehicle classes by functional capability. The five classes of launch vehicles identified by the space transportation theme were augmented with a sixth class, encompassing planetary and on-orbit operations. Propulsion technologies in each class were then ranked, and assigned priority numbers. Prioritized technologies were matched to theme requirements.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sibille, Laurent; Mantovani, James; Dominquez, Jesus

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Large-Scale Testing and High-Fidelity Simulation Capabilities at Sandia National Laboratories to Support Space Power and Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobranich, Dean; Blanchat, Thomas K.

    2008-01-01

    Sandia National Laboratories, as a Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Agency, has major responsibility to ensure the safety and security needs of nuclear weapons. As such, with an experienced research staff, Sandia maintains a spectrum of modeling and simulation capabilities integrated with experimental and large-scale test capabilities. This expertise and these capabilities offer considerable resources for addressing issues of interest to the space power and propulsion communities. This paper presents Sandia's capability to perform thermal qualification (analysis, test, modeling and simulation) using a representative weapon system as an example demonstrating the potential to support NASA's Lunar Reactor System.

  20. Large-Scale Testing and High-Fidelity Simulation Capabilities at Sandia National Laboratories to Support Space Power and Propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Dobranich, Dean; Blanchat, Thomas K.

    2008-01-21

    Sandia National Laboratories, as a Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Agency, has major responsibility to ensure the safety and security needs of nuclear weapons. As such, with an experienced research staff, Sandia maintains a spectrum of modeling and simulation capabilities integrated with experimental and large-scale test capabilities. This expertise and these capabilities offer considerable resources for addressing issues of interest to the space power and propulsion communities. This paper presents Sandia's capability to perform thermal qualification (analysis, test, modeling and simulation) using a representative weapon system as an example demonstrating the potential to support NASA's Lunar Reactor System.