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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. The Modular Aero-Propulsion System Simulation (MAPSS) Users' Guide

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parker, Khary I.; Melcher, Kevin J.

    2004-01-01

    The Modular Aero-Propulsion System Simulation is a flexible turbofan engine simulation environment that provides the user a platform to develop advanced control algorithms. It is capable of testing the performance of control designs on a validated and verified generic engine model. In addition, it is able to generate state-space linear models of the engine model to aid in controller design. The engine model used in MAPSS is a generic high-pressure ratio, dual-spool, lowbypass, military-type, variable cycle turbofan engine with a digital controller. MAPSS is controlled by a graphical user interface (GUI) and this guide explains how to use it to take advantage of the capabilities of MAPSS.

  5. Current Challenges for HTCMC Aero-Propulsion Components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DiCarlo, James A.; Bansal, Narottam P.

    2007-01-01

    In comparison to the best metallic materials, HTCMC aero-propulsion engine components offer the opportunity of reduced weight and higher temperature operation, with corresponding improvements in engine cooling requirements, emissions, thrust, and specific fuel consumption. Although much progress has been made in the development of advanced HTCMC constituent materials and processes, major challenges still remain for their implementation into these components. The objectives of this presentation are to briefly review (1) potential HTCMC aero-propulsion components and their generic material performance requirements, (2) recent progress at NASA and elsewhere concerning advanced constituents and processes for meeting these requirements, (3) key HTCMC component implementation challenges that are currently being encountered, and (4) on-going activities within the new NASA Fundamental Aeronautics Program that are addressing these challenges.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. User's Guide for the Commercial Modular Aero-Propulsion System Simulation (C-MAPSS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

    This report is a Users Guide for 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 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. Integrated Aero-Propulsion CFD Methodology for the Hyper-X Flight Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cockrell, Charles E., Jr.; Engelund, Walter C.; Bittner, Robert D.; Dilley, Arthur D.; Jentink, Tom N.; Frendi, Abdelkader

    2000-01-01

    Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools have been used extensively in the analysis and development of the X-43A Hyper-X Research Vehicle (HXRV). A significant element of this analysis is the prediction of integrated vehicle aero-propulsive performance, which includes an integration of aerodynamic and propulsion flow fields. This paper describes analysis tools used and the methodology for obtaining pre-flight predictions of longitudinal performance increments. The use of higher-fidelity methods to examine flow-field characteristics and scramjet flowpath component performance is also discussed. Limited comparisons with available ground test data are shown to illustrate the approach used to calibrate methods and assess solution accuracy. Inviscid calculations to evaluate lateral-directional stability characteristics are discussed. The methodology behind 3D tip-to-tail calculations is described and the impact of 3D exhaust plume expansion in the afterbody region is illustrated. Finally, future technology development needs in the area of hypersonic propulsion-airframe integration analysis are discussed.

  15. 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.

  16. Aeropropulsion 1991

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-03-01

    For the 50th anniversary, a review was provided of recent accomplishments of the ongoing programs at Lewis Research Center. The Lewis Aeropropulsion Program has the charter to develop advanced airbreathing propulsion technology for applications of national interest. To implement this program, Lewis concentrates its basic research in the critical disciplines of internal fluid mechanics, instrumentation and control, and structures and materials. The efforts are focused on developing new science, often implemented through advanced computer codes. Carefully designed experiments provide the data required to validate the advanced codes. Recent results and planned accomplishments in these areas are reviewed. From this firm foundation technology is investigated for a number of applications including propulsion, high performance and hypersonic aircraft, rotorcraft, and general aviation.

  17. Laser space propulsion overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phipps, Claude; Luke, James; Helgeson, Wesley

    2007-05-01

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

  18. Space station propulsion technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Space Propulsion Technology Program Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Escher, William J. D.

    1991-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Space propulsion technology overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pelouch, J. J., Jr.

    1979-01-01

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

  4. Space propulsion technology overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pelouch, J. J., Jr.

    1979-01-01

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

  5. Space station propulsion technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briley, G. L.

    1986-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Plasmas for space propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahedo, Eduardo

    2011-12-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Future of space propulsion

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-03-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. Future directions in aeropropulsion technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saunders, N. T.; Glassman, A. J.

    1985-01-01

    Future directions in aeropropulsion technology that have been identified in a series of studies recently sponsored by the U.S. Government are discussed. Advanced vehicle concepts that could become possible by the turn of the century are presented along with some of their projected capabilities. Key building-block propulsion technologies that will contribute to making these vehicle concepts a reality are discussed along with projections of their status by the year 2000. Some pertinent highlights of the NASA aeropropulsion program are included in the discussion.

  20. Nuclear propulsion for space exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Thomas J.; Bennett, Gary L.

    1992-01-01

    The results of some recent studies of the application of both nuclear electric and nuclear thermal propulsion systems in space exploration are presented. Issues that require further study and which have a significant effect on the propulsion system design and selection are identified. Attention is given to robotic missions, lunar piloted and cargo missions, and Mars missions.

  1. 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

  2. Nuclear Propulsion in Space (1968)

    ScienceCinema

    None

    2014-06-17

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Impact and promise of NASA aeropropulsion technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saunders, Neal T.; Bowditch, David N.

    1990-01-01

    The aeropropulsion industry in the U.S. has established an enviable record of leading the world in aeropropulsion for commercial and military aircraft. NASA's aeropropulsion program (primarily conducted through the Lewis Research Center) has significantly contributed to that success through research and technology advances and technology demonstration. 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 are discussed.

  6. 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.

  7. Space propulsion technology and cryogenic fluid depot

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diehl, Larry A.

    1988-01-01

    Information on space propulsion and technology and the cryogenic fluid depot is given in viewgraph form. Information is given on orbit transfer, electric propulsion, spacecraft propulsion, and program objectives.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Nuclear space propulsion critical technologies

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, J.S.; Borowski, S.K.; Doherty, M.P. )

    1993-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has actively pursued technology development for nuclear rocket propulsion systems for possible use on lunar outpost missions, for exploration missions to Mars, and for outer planet and other solar system exploration missions. A number of these technologies have been broadly identified by the ANS National Critical Technologies Panel, as well as the Department of Commerce as [open quotes]Critical Technologies.[close quotes] A Nuclear Propulsion Office was established at the Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, to lead nuclear propulsion development for NASA and to establish appropriate interagency working relationships with the U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories for nuclear technology development and with the Department of Defense (DoD). The NASA intercenter and interagency teams and NASA contractors have initiated conceptual design activities and other trade studies that provide the focus for appropriate critical technology development for both nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) systems and nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) systems. Critical technology issues have been identified and are discussed in this paper. For NTP systems, the heat generated in the nuclear reactor is used to simply heat a propellant such as hydrogen, and then the high-temperature propellant expands through a nozzle to produce thrust. Specific impulse for NTP systems should be on the order of 900 to 950 s-approximately double the best chemical propulsion systems.

  12. Space Station Freedom propulsion activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spera, David A. (Editor)

    1990-01-01

    The technical highlights and accomplishments made at NASA LeRC in the development of the Space Station Freedom (SSF) propulsion system are discussed. The objectives are as follows: develop and characterize resistojet-thruster components and assemblies; develop and characterize hydrogen-oxygen thruster components; and conduct system trade studies. The research projects primarily characterize propulsion performance and life. Other tests include environmental impacts, such as exhaust gas profiles and electromagnetic interference. The technical activities that are highlighted are being conducted at LeRC within the Aerospace Technology and Space Station Freedom directorates. These activities include the following: derivation of design analysis models; trade studies of design options; propulsion system impact studies; and component testing for characterization and design verification.

  13. Space station propulsion requirements study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Space Shuttle Propulsion Safety Upgrades

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Plasma propulsion for space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fruchtman, Amnon

    2000-04-01

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

  8. High Energy Plasma Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, S. T.

    2000-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. NASA's In-Space Propulsion Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les

    2003-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. US in-space electric propulsion experiments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  13. Space station propulsion-ECLSS interaction study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brennan, Scott M.

    1986-01-01

    The benefits of the utilization of effluents of the Space Station Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS) system are examined. Various ECLSS-propulsion system interaction options are evaluated and compared on the basis of weight, volume, and power requirements. Annual propulsive impulse to maintain station altitude during a complete solar cycle of eleven years and the effect on station resupply are considered.

  14. Advanced Space Propulsion: A Research Perspective

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  15. SPE (tm) electrolyzers for space propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shane, E. M.

    1990-01-01

    Viewgraphs on SPE electrolyzers for space propulsion are presented. Topics covered include: SPE electrochemical cell reactions; SPE fuel cell/electrolyzer features; SPE cell life capability; SPE cell voltage stability; state-of-the-art SPE cell structure; electrolysis cell stack; electrolysis system; integrated propulsion test article-electrolyzer module components; and oxygen generator module.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Space Propulsion Design and Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sinha, Neeraj; Brinckman, Kevin; Ayyalasomayajula, Hanitha; Dash, Sanford

    2007-01-01

    This software provides an improved methodology for predicting launcher base pressure and heat loads for RSRM (Reusable Solid Rocket Motor) launchers by accounting for complex anisotropic stress/strains and variable turbulent Prandtl and Schmidt numbers. A "building block" approach to turbulence model development, and validation has been applied for improved missile/launcher base region analysis. Modifications to existing kappa - epsilon turbulence models and application of scalar variance models are incorporated into a RANS-based method for aeropropulsive flow modeling, directly related to base flow methodology. (RANS stands for Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes.) The models are applied in a RANS solver framework and can improve analysis of other complex flow fields. The enhanced models provide a more accurate predictive capability for improving the design and analysis of RSRM launcher configuration. The kappa - epsilon model enhancements have been shown to improve the capability for predicting turbulence effects in base blow environments. The scalar variance models have been assessed over a wide range of flow configurations to improve prediction of turbulent scalar mixing.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Primary propulsion/large space system interactions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dergance, R. H.

    1980-01-01

    Three generic types of structural concepts and nonstructural surface densities were selected and combined to represent potential LSS applications. The design characteristics of various classes of large space systems that are impacted by primary propulsion thrust required to effect orbit transfer were identified. The effects of propulsion system thrust-to-mass ratio, thrust transients, and performance on the mass, area, and orbit transfer characteristics of large space systems were determined.

  4. 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.

  5. Establishing a center for advanced space propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Garrison, George W.

    1990-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion for Advanced Space Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Fusion power for space propulsion.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1972-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  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. Performance Criteria of Nuclear Space Propulsion Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shepherd, L. R.

    Future exploration of the solar system on a major scale will require propulsion systems capable of performance far greater than is achievable with the present generation of rocket engines using chemical propellants. Viable missions going deeper into interstellar space will be even more demanding. Propulsion systems based on nuclear energy sources, fission or (eventually) fusion offer the best prospect for meeting the requirements. The most obvious gain coming from the application of nuclear reactions is the possibility, at least in principle, of obtaining specific impulses a thousandfold greater than can be achieved in chemically energised rockets. However, practical considerations preclude the possibility of exploiting the full potential of nuclear energy sources in any engines conceivable in terms of presently known technology. Achievable propulsive power is a particularly limiting factor, since this determines the acceleration that may be obtained. Conventional chemical rocket engines have specific propulsive powers (power per unit engine mass) in the order of gigawatts per tonne. One cannot envisage the possibility of approaching such a level of performance by orders of magnitude in presently conceivable nuclear propulsive systems. The time taken, under power, to reach a given terminal velocity is proportional to the square of the engine's exhaust velocity and the inverse of its specific power. An assessment of various nuclear propulsion concepts suggests that, even with the most optimistic assumptions, it could take many hundreds of years to attain the velocities necessary to reach the nearest stars. Exploration within a range of the order of a thousand AU, however, would appear to offer viable prospects, even with the low levels of specific power of presently conceivable nuclear engines.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Electromagnetic railgun launchers: space-propulsion applications

    SciTech Connect

    Hawke, R.S.; Brooks, A.L.; Fowler, C.M.; Peterson, D.R.

    1981-01-01

    Considerable progress in understanding railgun operation, requirements, and limitations has been made. It appears that railguns may have potential application to space propulsion and direct launch. This paper discusses the state of the art and expected capability of railgun systems. It includes the requirements and an example design of an earth-based system capable of launching projectiles through the atmosphere at velocities greater than 8 km/s. The critical issues and problem areas that require investigation are described.

  8. 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.

  9. Space Propulsion Synergy Group ETO technology assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bray, James

    There exists within the aerospace community a widely recognized need to improve future space launch systems. While these needs have been expressed by many national committees, potential solutions have not achieved consensus nor have they endured. Facing the challenge to remain competitive with limited national resources, the U.S. must improve its strategic planning efforts. A nationally accepted strategic plan for space would enable a focused research & development program. The Space Propulsion Synergy Group (SPSG), chartered to support long range strategic planning, has achieved several breakthroughs. First, using a broad industry/government team, the SPSG 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. Second, realizing that systems having the best long term payoffs can loose support when constraints are tight, the SPSG invented a dual prioritization approach that balances long term strategic thrusts with current programmatic constraints. This breakthrough enables individual program managers to make decisions based on both individual project needs and long term strategic needs. Results indicate that a 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 rank among the highest dual priority liquid rocket technologies.

  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. Hybrid propulsion systems for space exploration missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Darooka, D. K.

    1991-01-01

    Combinations of nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP), nuclear electric propulsion (NEP), and chemical propulsion are discussed. Technical details are given in viewgraph form. The characteristics of each configuration are discussed, particularly thrust characteristics.

  15. Gravity-assist engine for space propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergstrom, Arne

    2014-06-01

    As a possible alternative to rockets, the present article describes a new type of engine for space travel, based on the gravity-assist concept for space propulsion. The new engine is to a great extent inspired by the conversion of rotational angular momentum to orbital angular momentum occurring in tidal locking between astronomical bodies. It is also greatly influenced by Minovitch's gravity-assist concept, which has revolutionized modern space technology, and without which the deep-space probes to the outer planets and beyond would not have been possible. Two of the three gravitating bodies in Minovitch's concept are in the gravity-assist engine discussed in this article replaced by an extremely massive ‘springbell' (in principle a spinning dumbbell with a powerful spring) incorporated into the spacecraft itself, and creating a three-body interaction when orbiting around a gravitating body. This makes gravity-assist propulsion possible without having to find suitably aligned astronomical bodies. Detailed numerical simulations are presented, showing how an actual spacecraft can use a ca 10-m diameter springbell engine in order to leave the earth's gravitational field and enter an escape trajectory towards interplanetary destinations.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Propulsion of space ships by nuclear explosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linhart, J. G.; Kravárik, J.

    2005-01-01

    Recent progress in the research on deuterium-tritium (D-T) inertially confined microexplosions encourages one to reconsider the nuclear propulsion of spaceships based on the concept originally proposed in the Orion project. We discuss first the acceleration of medium-sized spaceships by D-T explosions whose output is in the range of 0.1 10 t of TNT. The launching of such a ship into an Earth orbit or beyond by a large nuclear explosion in an underground cavity is sketched out in the second section of the paper, and finally we consider a hypothetical Mars mission based on these concepts. In the conclusion it is argued that propulsion based on the Orion concept only is not the best method for interplanetary travel owing to the very large number of nuclear explosion required. A combination of a super gun and subsequent rocket propulsion using advanced chemical fuels appears to be the best solution for space flights of the near future.

  1. Space vehicle propulsion systems - Environmental space hazards

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

    An evaluation of hazards which exist in geo-lunar space and have the potential to negatively affect a long-term mission-oriented spacecraft systems is presented based on published data. The hazards are categorized as pervasive (radiation), incident specific (meteoroids and thermal shock), and chemically corrosive (monatomic oxygen). It appears that the number one priority should be the development of new materials; and the secondary concern should be the development of fabrication techniques for the exterior hull, so that incident specific hazards can be minimized in an active fashion. The pervasive hazard can be dealt with by exploring on-board circuit technology with ancillary monitoring systems. Effects of thermal shock on the exterior nozzle, directional gimbals, and internal combustion chamber geometry seem to need more investigation.

  2. 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.

  3. Large space systems auxiliary propulsion requirements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1983-05-01

    To meet the needs of a variety of civilian and military missions objectives large space systems (LSS) will become a greater percentage of our orbiting hardware. These LSS's will be transported to low Earth orbit (LEO) by the space transportation system (STS Shuttle). Concurrently, for LSS missions to orbit higher than LEO, the predominant mission scenario is that the LSS will be deployed or assembled in LEO and then transferred to a higher orbit. In support of the LSS concepts, the Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology (OAST) has sponsored studies to determine LSS mission propulsion requirements. Since the fall of 1979, the Boeing Aerospace Company, under contract to NASA and Lewis Research Center, has been studying the disturbance forces and torques that will be experienced by LSS, and they have identified some of the associated auxiliary propulsion systems (APS) requirements. This presentation provides an insight into the results of some of the APS studies, focusing primarily on the APS requirements of single Shuttle launchable LSS's.

  4. Nuclear Electric Propulsion for Deep Space Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, G.

    Nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) holds considerable promise for deep space exploration in the future. Research and development of this technology is a key element of NASA's Nuclear Systems Initiative (NSI), which is a top priority in the President's FY03 NASA budget. The goal is to develop the subsystem technologies that will enable application of NEP for missions to the outer planets and beyond by the beginning of next decade. The high-performance offered by nuclear-powered electric thrusters will benefit future missions by (1) reducing or eliminating the launch window constraints associated with complex planetary swingbys, (2) providing the capability to perform large spacecraft velocity changes in deep space, (3) increasing the fraction of vehicle mass allocated to payload and other spacecraft systems, and, (3) in some cases, reducing trip times over other propulsion alternatives. Furthermore, the nuclear energy source will provide a power-rich environment that can support more sophisticated science experiments and higher- speed broadband data transmission than current deep space missions. This paper addresses NASA's plans for NEP, and discusses the subsystem technologies (i.e., nuclear reactors, power conversion and electric thrusters) and system concepts being considered for the first generation of NEP vehicles.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. Space station propulsion technology: Space station propulsion system test bed test plan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briley, G. L.

    1986-01-01

    Testing of the hydrogen/oxygen Space Station Propulsion System will demonstrate the technology readiness for the IOC application. To facilitate early demonstration of this technology and to allow demonstration of maturing technology, this testing will be performed with the components installed on a test bed which simulated the Space Station Structure. The test plan contains a description of the test bed, test objective, instrumentation plan, and controls plan. Each of these is discussed in detail.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Colliding beam fusion reactor space propulsion system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wessel, Frank J.; Binderbauer, Michl W.; Rostoker, Norman; Rahman, Hafiz Ur; O'Toole, Joseph

    2000-01-01

    We describe a space propulsion system based on the Colliding Beam Fusion Reactor (CBFR). The CBFR is a high-beta, field-reversed, magnetic configuration with ion energies in the range of hundreds of keV. Repetitively-pulsed ion beams sustain the plasma distribution and provide current drive. The confinement physics is based on the Vlasov-Maxwell equation, including a Fokker Planck collision operator and all sources and sinks for energy and particle flow. The mean azimuthal velocities and temperatures of the fuel ion species are equal and the plasma current is unneutralized by the electrons. The resulting distribution functions are thermal in a moving frame of reference. The ion gyro-orbit radius is comparable to the dimensions of the confinement system, hence classical transport of the particles and energy is expected and the device is scaleable. We have analyzed the design over a range of 106-109 Watts of output power (0.15-150 Newtons thrust) with a specific impulse of, Isp~106 sec. A 50 MW propulsion system might involve the following parameters: 4-meters diameter×10-meters length, magnetic field ~7 Tesla, ion beam current ~10 A, and fuels of either D-He3,P-B11,P-Li6,D-Li6, etc. .

  14. 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.

  15. Overview of Rocket Propulsion Testing at NASA Stennis Space Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rahman, S.; Gilbrech, R.; Lightfoot, R.; Dawson, M.

    1999-01-01

    THe recent nationwide thrust toward development of low-cost space transportation has precipitated a sharp increase in demand for subscale and full-scale propulsion test services. This paper highlights the unique capabilities of Stennis Space Center(SSC) to meet these demands, and summarizes several major propulsion test activities and other related milestone achievements during the 1999 calendar year. The current and projected list of SSC test projects heralds an even more vigorous, interesting, and challenging future in propulsion test.

  16. 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.

  17. Planning for the Space Exploration Initiative - The nuclear propulsion option

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.; Miller, Thomas J.

    1991-01-01

    The Space Exploration Initiative includes both lunar and Mars program elements as well as robotic science missions. Space transportation is a primary part of all planning for exploration. The high performance propulsion capabilities of nuclear propulsion offer the potential to reduce substantially the flight times to and from Mars and to reduce the mass launched into low earth orbit.

  18. Advanced technology for future space propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Diehl, Larry A.

    1989-01-01

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

  19. 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,

  20. 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.

  1. Space Launch Initiative Propulsion Projects Office Overview Briefing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lyles, Garry; Richards, Steve

    2001-01-01

    The goal of this Space Launch Initiative is for NASA to meet its future space flight needs, including human access to space, using commercial launch vehicles that will improve safety and reliability and reduce cost. The topics include: 1) Second Generation RLV Program Overview; 2) Space Launch Initiative (SLI) Investment Areas; 3) SLI Organizational Summary; 4) Propulsion Projects Overview; 5) Current Propulsion Content; and 6) Critical Needs Roadmap. This paper is presented in viewgraph form.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Montgomery, Edward E., IV

    2004-01-01

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

  5. 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; 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 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Heatpipe space power and propulsion systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houts, Michael G.; Poston, David I.; Ranken, William A.

    1996-03-01

    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 ˜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. The baseline HBS produces ≳50 N of thrust at a specific impulse ≳750 s, can

  8. Secondary propulsion system options for Space Station Freedom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zimmermann, Frank S.; France, Cory P.

    1992-07-01

    This paper considers secondary propulsion system options for Space Station Freedom which make use of excess onboard water and resupplied water to provide up to 90 percent of the Space Station propulsion needs. The water resistojet and both low-thrust and high-thrust hydrogen-oxygen propulsion systems are compared in terms of complexity, development risk, performance, and propellant-resupply requirements. These options could provide a reduction in propellant resupply in excess of five shuttle flights over an eleven-year solar cycle. Upon implementation of a low-thrust option, the Space Station high-thrust hydrazine primary propulsion system would be used to perform attitude control and collision avoidance maneuvers only while the secondary propulsion system would compensate for atmospheric drag. The options offered for consideration would be installed after the establishment of a permanently manned capability when adequate quantities of waste water are available and reboost propellant requirements become most significant.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rahman, Shamim A.

    2010-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Radio Frequency Plasma Applications for Space Propulsion

    SciTech Connect

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

    1999-09-13

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

  16. Antiproton Trapping for Advanced Space Propulsion Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Gerald A.

    1998-01-01

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

  17. Nuclear modules for space electric propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Difilippo, F. C.

    1998-01-01

    The analysis of interplanetary cargo and piloted missions requires the 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 in an iterative way by using simulations that run fast on a computer. As a consequence of a collaborative agreement between the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

    Ground-based high-power CW lasers can be used to beam power to photovoltaic receivers in space that furnish electricity to space vehicles; this energy can also be used to power electric-propulsion orbital transfer vehicles. An account is presently given of the anticipated requirements for the pulsed FEL lasers, large adaptive optics, photovoltaic receivers, and high specific impulse electrical propulsion. Preliminary system analysis results are presented.

  2. Space Station propulsion electrolysis system - 'A technology challenge'

    SciTech Connect

    Le, M.

    1989-01-01

    The Space Station propulsion system will utilize a water electrolysis system to produce the required eight-to-one ratio of gaseous hydrogen and oxygen propellants. This paper summarizes the state of the art in water electrolysis technologies and the supporting development programs at the NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Preliminary proof of concept test data from a fully integrated propulsion testbed are discussed. The technical challenges facing the development of the high-pressure water electrolysis system are discussed. 5 refs.

  3. Space Station propulsion electrolysis system - 'A technology challenge'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Le, Michael

    1989-01-01

    The Space Station propulsion system will utilize a water electrolysis system to produce the required eight-to-one ratio of gaseous hydrogen and oxygen propellants. This paper summarizes the state of the art in water electrolysis technologies and the supporting development programs at the NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Preliminary proof of concept test data from a fully integrated propulsion testbed are discussed. The technical challenges facing the development of the high-pressure water electrolysis system are discussed.

  4. Ionic liquid propellants: future fuels for space propulsion.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qinghua; Shreeve, Jean'ne M

    2013-11-11

    Use of green propellants is a trend for future space propulsion. Hypergolic ionic liquid propellants, which are environmentally-benign while exhibiting energetic performances comparable to hydrazine, have shown great potential to meet the requirements of developing nontoxic high-performance propellant formulations for space propulsion applications. This Concept article presents a review of recent advances in the field of ionic liquid propellants. PMID:24136866

  5. High Temperature Polymeric Materials for Space Transportation Propulsion Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meador, Michael A.; Campbell, Sandi G.; Chuang, Kathy C.; Scheimann, Daniel A.; Mintz, Eric; Hylton, Donald; Veazie, David; Criss, James; Kollmansberg, Ron; Tsotsis, Tom

    2003-01-01

    High temperature polymer matrix composites are attractive materials for space transporation propulsion systems because of their low density and high specific strength. However, the relatively poor stability and processability of these materials can render them unsuitable for many of these applications. New polymeric materials have been developed under the Propulsion Research and Technology Program through the use of novel resin chemistry and nanotechnology. These new materials can significantly enhance the durability and weight and improve the processability and affordability of propulsion components for advanced space transportation systems.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, R. E.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, R. E.

    1985-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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".

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The Economics of Advanced In-Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bangalore, Manju; Dankanich, John

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Propellantless Propulsion Technologies for In-Space Transportation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Les; Cook, Stephen (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    In order to implement the ambitious science and exploration missions planned over the next several decades, improvements in in-space transportation and propulsion technologies must be achieved. For robotic exploration and science missions, increased efficiencies of future propulsion systems are critical to reduce overall life-cycle costs. Future missions will require 2 to 3 times more total change in velocity over their mission lives than the NASA Solar Electric Technology Application Readiness (NSTAR) demonstration on the Deep Space 1 mission. Rendezvous and return missions will require similar investments in in-space propulsion systems. New opportunities to explore beyond the outer planets and to the stars will require unparalleled technology advancement and innovation. The Advanced Space Transportation Program (ASTP) is investing in technologies to achieve a factor of 10 reduction in the cost of Earth orbital transportation and a factor of 2 or 3 reduction in propulsion system mass and travel time for planetary missions within the next 15 years. Since more than 70% of projected launches over the next 10 years will require propulsion systems capable of attaining destinations beyond Low Earth Orbit, investment in in-space technologies will benefit a large percentage of future missions. Some of the most promising technologies for achieving these goals use the environment of space itself for energy and propulsion and are generically called, "propellantless" because they do not require on-board fuel to achieve thrust. An overview of the state-of-the-art in propellantless propulsion technologies such as solar and plasma sails, electrodynamic and momentum transfer tethers, and aeroassist and aerocapture will be described. Results of recent earth-based technology demonstrations and space tests will also be discussed.

  17. 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.

  18. Nuclear electric ion propulsion for three deep space missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiravalle, Vincent P.

    2008-03-01

    Nuclear electric ion propulsion is considered for three sample deep space missions starting from a 500 km low Earth orbit encompassing the transfer of a 100 MT payload into a 1500 km orbit around Mars, the rendezvous of a 10 MT payload with the Jovian moon Europa and the rendezvous of a similar payload with Saturn's moon Titan. Near term ion engine and space nuclear reactor technology are assumed. It is shown that nuclear electric ion propulsion offers more than twice the payload for the Mars mission relative to the case when a nuclear thermal rocket is used for the trans-Mars injection maneuver at Earth, and about the same payload advantage relative to the case when solar electric propulsion is used for the Mars heliocentric transfer. For missions to the outer planets nuclear electric ion propulsion increases the payload mass fraction by a factor of two or more compared with high thrust systems that utilize gravity assist trajectories.

  19. Surface modeling and grid generation for aeropropulsion CFD

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Choo, Yung K.; Slater, John W.; Loellbach, James; Lee, Jinho

    1995-01-01

    The efforts in geometry modeling and grid generation at the NASA Lewis Research Center, as applied to the computational fluid dynamic (CFD) analysis of aeropropulsion systems, are presented. The efforts are mainly characterized by a focus on the analysis of components of an aeropropulsion system, which involve turbulent viscous flow with heat transfer and chemistry. Thus, this discussion will follow that characterization and will sequence through the components of typical propulsion systems consisting of inlets, compressors, combustors, turbines, and nozzles. For each component, some applications of CFD analysis will be presented to show how CFD is used to compute the desired performance information, how geometry modeling and grid generation are performed, and what issues have developed related to geometry modeling and grid generation. The discussion will illustrate the following needs related to geometry modeling and grid generation as observed in aeropropulsion analysis: (1) accurate and efficient resolution of turbulent viscous and chemically-reacting flowfields; (2) easy-to-use interfaces with CAD data for automated grid generation about complex geometries; and (3) automated batch grid generation software for use with design and optimization software.

  20. An Assessment of NASA Aeropropulsion Technologies: A System Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tong, Michael T.; Jones, Scott M.; Haller, William J.

    2007-01-01

    Aviation industry s robust growth rate has given rise to growing concerns about the contribution that aviation emissions will make to local air quality and global climate change. Over the last several years, NASA has been engaged in the development of aeropropulsion technologies with specific objectives to reduce aircraft emissions. A system analysis was performed to evaluate the potential impact of these propulsion technologies on aircraft CO2 (directly proportional to fuel burn) and NOx reductions. A large subsonic aircraft, with two 396-kN thrust (85,000-pound) engines was chosen for the study. Performance benefit estimates are presented for each technology, with a summary of potential emissions reduction possible from the development of these technologies. The results show that NASA s aeropropulsion technologies have the potential to significantly reduce the CO2 and NO(x) emissions. The results are used to support informed decision-making on the development of aeropropulsion technology portfolio for CO2 and NO(x) reductions.

  1. 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.

  2. Space Station benefits from ECLS - Propulsion system synergism

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brennan, S. M.; Donovan, R. M.

    1986-01-01

    Benefits of integrating the Space Station Environmental Control and Life Support (ECLS) system with the propulsion system are addressed in this paper for various levels of ECLS closure. Effluents generated by the ECLS system are used to augment or even supplement the propulsion system. Potential benefits include reductions in logistic weights and volumes, fixed weights and volumes, power requirements, and in total station systems cost.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.!.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Probabilistic structural analysis methods for space transportation propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chamis, C. C.; Moore, N.; Anis, C.; Newell, J.; Nagpal, V.; Singhal, S.

    1991-01-01

    Information on probabilistic structural analysis methods for space propulsion systems is given in viewgraph form. Information is given on deterministic certification methods, probability of failure, component response analysis, stress responses for 2nd stage turbine blades, Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) structural durability, and program plans. .

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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. .

  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. 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).

  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. Space energy, power, and propulsion committee assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mullin, J. P.; Ambrus, J. H.; Glaser, P. E.; Shepherd, L. R.

    1986-01-01

    Energy conversion technology and thermal management for space platforms are addressed using the NASA Space Station as an example. The Space Station IOC configuration includes the use of solar PV and solar dynamic conversion techniques to satisfy the 75-kWe requirement and plans to produce over 300 kWe with the addition of dynamic modules. Nuclear reactors will probably be used to provide the higher energy requirements for future Space Stations in the 1-MW and higher levels.

  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. Space station propulsion test bed: A complete system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Briley, G. L.; Norman, A. M.; Jones, L.; Campbell, H.

    1986-01-01

    A test bed was fabricated to demonstrate hydrogen/oxygen propulsion technology readiness for the Initial Operating Capabilities (IOC) space station application and for use as a means to test evolving technology for the growth station. The test bed, its function, and plans for future testing are discussed.

  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 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.

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  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. A modular propulsion system required for Space Station assembly

    SciTech Connect

    Morano, J.S.; Henderson, J.B.

    1989-01-01

    The U.S. Space Station Freedom Manned Base will be assembled on-orbit over the course of several years and multiple Space Shuttle flights. This paper discusses the assembly sequence evolution and its effects on the propulsion system. Relevant descriptions and parameters are given for the gaseous propellant storage, thruster quantity and orientation, and resistojet module. Specific assembly sequences are described and their most important characteristics are compared.

  10. Economics of ion propulsion for large space systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Masek, T. D.; Ward, J. W.; Rawlin, V. K.

    1978-01-01

    This study of advanced electrostatic ion thrusters for space propulsion was initiated to determine the suitability of the baseline 30-cm thruster for future missions and to identify other thruster concepts that would better satisfy mission requirements. The general scope of the study was to review mission requirements, select thruster designs to meet these requirements, assess the associated thruster technology requirements, and recommend short- and long-term technology directions that would support future thruster needs. Preliminary design concepts for several advanced thrusters were developed to assess the potential practical difficulties of a new design. This study produced useful general methodologies for assessing both planetary and earth orbit missions. For planetary missions, the assessment is in terms of payload performance as a function of propulsion system technology level. For earth orbit missions, the assessment is made on the basis of cost (cost sensitivity to propulsion system technology level).

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Failsafe multistrand tether structures for space propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forward, Robert L.

    1992-07-01

    The development of a circularly symmetric singly crosslinked multistrand space tether, named Hoytether, is reported. The Hoytether consists of a number of primary strands running the full length of the structure, with nearest neighbor primary strands crosslinked at intervals by secondary strands that are put under load only if a section of primary strand is cut by space debris. It has been demonstrated that a multistrand tether of the singly crosslinked Hoytether design can provide a long-lived failsafe multistrand replacement for a single-strand tether while imposing a minimal mass ratio penalty.

  17. 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.

  18. The MAUS nuclear space reactor with ion propulsion system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mainardi, Enrico

    2006-06-01

    MAUS (Moltiplicatore Avanzato Ultracompatto Spaziale) is a nuclear reactor concept design capable to ensure a reliable, long-lasting, low-mass, compact energy supply needed for advanced, future space missions. The exploration of the solar system and the space beyond requires the development of nuclear energy generators for supplying electricity to space-bases, spacecrafts, probes or satellites, as well as for propelling ships in long space missions. For propulsion, the MAUS nuclear reactor could be used to power electric ion drive engines. An ion engine is able to build up to very high velocities, far greater than chemical propulsion systems, but has high power and long service requirements. The MAUS concept is described, together with the ion propulsion engine and together with the reference thermoionic process used to convert the thermal power into electricity. The design work has been performed at the Nuclear Engineering and Energy Conversion Department of the University of Rome "La Sapienza" starting from 1992 on an issue submitted by the Italian Space Agency (ASI), in cooperation with the research laboratories of ENEA.

  19. 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.

  20. Plasma Propulsion Research at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sheehy, Jeffrey A.

    2004-01-01

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

  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. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Aeropropulsion opportunities for the 21st century

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Strack, W. C.

    1986-01-01

    A large number of novel aeropropulsion system concepts are presented for subsonic through hypersonic applications offering large potential improvements. Collectively, these examples illustrate the revolutionary opportunities and challenges that could enable truly revolutionary aircraft capabilities in the future. Certainly not all of these concepts will ultimately prove fruitful. Nevertheless, the sheer number of existing concepts, including many unmentioned herein, is so large and the applications so vast, that the prognosis for the future of aeropropulsion is very encouraging indeed.

  5. Propulsion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Air and Space, 1978

    1978-01-01

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

  6. 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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. The Aquila Launch Vehicle - A hybrid propulsion space booster

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flittie, Kirk J.; Estey, Paul N.; Kniffen, R. J.

    1991-10-01

    The Aquila Launch Vehicle is the first low-cost hybrid rocket propulsion space booster capable of placing 1450-kg payloads into LEO with high availability and reliability, as well as unprecedented levels of production, ground, and flight operations safety. Since hybrid rockets cannot explode, they may be readily manufactured in light-industrial production facilities. Polar-orbit operations with commercial and government-project payloads are scheduled to begin from Vandenberg AFB in 1995.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Space nuclear thermal propulsion test facilities accommodation at INEL

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-01-15

    The U.S. Air Force (USAF) has proposed to develop the technology and demonstrate the feasibility of a particle bed reactor (PBR) propulsion system that could be used to power an advanced upper stage rocket engine. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is cooperating with the USAF in that it would host the test facility if the USAF decides to proceed with the technology demonstration. Two DOE locations have been proposed for testing the PBR technology, a new test facility at the Nevada Test Site, or the modification and use of an existing facility at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory. The preliminary evaluations performed at the INEL to support the PBR technology testing has been completed. Additional evaluations to scope the required changes or upgrade needed to make the proposed USAF PBR test facility meet the requirements for testing Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) nuclear thermal propulsion engines are underway.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Nuclear Thermal Rocket - An Established Space Propulsion Technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klein, Milton

    2004-02-01

    From the late 1950s to the early 1970s a major program successfully developed the capability to conduct space exploration using the advanced technology of nuclear rocket propulsion. The program had two primary elements: pioneering and advanced technology work-Rover-at Los Alamos National Laboratory and its contractors provided the basic reactor design, fuel materials development, and reactor testing capability; and engine development-NERVA-by the industrial team of Aerojet and Westinghouse building on and extending the Los Alamos efforts to flight system development. This presentation describes the NERVA program, the engine system testing that demonstrated the space-practical operation capabilities of nuclear thermal rockets, and the mission studies that point the way to most effectively use the NTR capabilities. Together, the two programs established a technology base that includes proven NTR capabilities of (1) over twice the specific impulse of chemical propulsion systems, (2) thrust capabilities ranging from 44kN to 1112kN, and (3) practical thrust-to-weight ratios for future NASA space exploration missions, both manned payloads to Mars and unmanned payloads to the outer planets. The overall nuclear rocket program had a unique management structure that integrated the efforts of the two government agencies involved-NASA and the then-existing Atomic Energy Commission. The objective of this paper is to summarize and convey the technical and management lessons learned in this program as the nation considers the design of its future space exploration activities.

  7. Design Considerations for Space Transfer Vehicles Using Solar Thermal Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Emrich, William J.

    1995-01-01

    The economical deployment of satellites to high energy earth orbits is crucial to the ultimate success of this nations commerical space ventures and is highly desirable for deep space planetary missions requiring earth escape trajectories. Upper stage space transfer vehicles needed to accomplish this task should ideally be simple, robust, and highly efficient. In this regard, solar thermal propulsion is particularly well suited to those missions where high thrust is not a requirement. The Marshall Space Flight Center is , therefore, currently engaged in defining a transfer vehicle employing solar thermal propulsion capable of transferring a 1000 lb. payload from low Earth orbit (LEO) to a geostationary Earth orbit (GEO) using a Lockheed launch vehicle (LLV3) with three Castors and a large shroud. The current design uses liquid hydrogen as the propellant and employs two inflatable 16 x 24 feet eliptical off-axis parabolic solar collectors to focus sunlight onto a tungsten/rhenium windowless black body type absorber. The concentration factor on this design is projected to be approximately 1800:1 for the primary collector and 2.42:1 for the secondary collector for an overall concentration factor of nearly 4400:1. The engine, which is about twice as efficient as the best currently available chemical engines, produces two pounds of thrust with a specific impulse (Isp) of 860 sec. Transfer times to GEO are projected to be on the order of one month. The launch and deployed configurations of the solar thermal upper stage (STUS) are depicted.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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,…

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Development of advanced seals for space propulsion turbomachinery

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-04-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. LOX/Hydrocarbon auxiliary propulsion for the Space Shuttle Orbiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Orton, G. F.; Mark, T. D.; Lausten, M. F.

    1981-01-01

    The initial efforts are reported of a study evaluating liquid oxygen/hydrocarbon (LOX/HC) auxiliary propulsion system (APS) concepts for a second generation Space Shuttle Orbiter. The APS consists of: (1) an orbital maneuvering subsystem (OMS), (2) an aft reaction control subsystem (ARCS), and (3) a forward reaction control subsystem (FRCS). The overall study approach compares candidate LOX/HC concepts and evaluates major system/component design options, regarding the overall system, pressurization assembly, propellant tankage and feedline, accumulator, and engine conditioner and thrust chamber assemblies. Among the HC fuels considered are C3H8, CH4, NH3, and C2H5OH.

  1. 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.

  2. Active space debris removal by using laser propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rezunkov, Yu. A.

    2013-03-01

    At present, a few projects on the space debris removal by using highpower lasers are developed. One of the established projects is the ORION proposed by Claude Phipps from Photonics Associates Company and supported by NASA (USA) [1]. But the technical feasibility of the concept is limited by sizes of the debris objects (from 1 to 10 cm) because of a small thrust impulse generated at the laser ablation of the debris materials. At the same time, the removal of rocket upper stages and satellites, which have reached the end of their lives, has been carried out only in a very small number of cases and most of them remain on the Low Earth Orbits (LEO). To reduce the amount of these large-size objects, designing of space systems allowing deorbiting upper rocket stages and removing large-size satellite remnants from economically and scientifically useful orbits to disposal ones is considered. The suggested system is based on high-power laser propulsion. Laser-Orbital Transfer Vehicle (LOTV) with the developed aerospace laser propulsion engine is considered as applied to the problem of mitigation of man-made large-size space debris in LEO.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Solar Powered Propulsion for Space. (Latest citations from the Aerospace Database)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    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.)

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Stacking the odds in favor of a space propulsion jackpot

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Willoughby, Alan J.

    1991-01-01

    When faced with a variety of technical options to solve a problem, program planners often try to identify one potential winner, then channel their resources into this option. The more scarce their resources are perceived to be, the more likely they are to fall into this trap of illogic. The real ideal solution could well be an optimum combination of options, not just one. Many propulsion opportunities are tantalizing solutions to the potentially high cost of travelling to other planets. Among these opportunities, nuclear thermal rockets (NTR), nuclear electric propulsion (NEP), and asteroid derived propellants stand out as high-payoff modest-challenge options, as near term as they are resolved to be made. But which to choose? Or should higher risk higher payoff technology be opted for, such as fusion? The approach advocated here, technoflex, is one that addresses NTR, NEP, and asteroid propellants in harmony rather than in isolation. Technoflex is technology rich, and option flexible. Technoflex should cost roughly the same as a classic phased technology elimination approach. The synergistic benefits amongst these three options, how they can be efficiently pursued together, and how they can fit with longer range technologies are stressed. Even if no single option reaches its highest expectations, the combinations of any two partial winners would still give big dividends. These combinations are cheap propellants in space, dual mode high thrust/low thrust, or versatile propellant NTR. The triple payoff is excellent, even if all three options would pan out below expectations. If only one option reaches its potential, it could make the other two still worth their investment. If all three options meet full expectations, the triple payoff is a space propulsion jackpot which makes concern about the initial investment ludicrous as well as open up the solar system to expedient exploration.

  12. A Probabilistic Approach to Aeropropulsion System Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tong, Michael T.

    1999-01-01

    A probabilistic approach is described for aeropropulsion system assessment. To demonstrate this approach, the technical performance of a wave rotor-enhanced gas turbine engine (i.e. engine net thrust, specific fuel consumption, and engine weight) is assessed. The assessment accounts for the uncertainties in component efficiencies/flows and mechanical design variables, using probability distributions. The results are presented in the form of cumulative distribution functions (CDFs) and sensitivity analyses, and are compared with those from the traditional deterministic approach. The comparison shows that the probabilistic approach provides a more realistic and systematic way to assess an aeropropulsion system.

  13. 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.

  14. Tailoring Laser Propulsion for Future Applications in Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eckel, Hans-Albert; Scharring, Stefan

    2010-10-01

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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).

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Composite load spectra for select space propulsion structural components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newell, J. F.

    1987-01-01

    The objective of this program is to develop generic load models to simulate the composite load spectra (CLS) that are induced in space propulsion system components representative of the space shuttle main engines (SSME). These models are being developed through describing individual component loads with an appropriate mix of deterministic and state-of-the-art probabilistic models that are related to key generic variables. Combinations of the individual loads are used to synthesize the composite loads spectra. A second approach for developing the composite loads spectra load model simulation, the option portion of the contract will develop coupled models which combine the individual load models. Statistically varying coefficients of the physical models will be used to obtain the composite load spectra.

  20. An improved thermionic power conversion system for space propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hsieh, T. M.; Phillips, W. M.

    1978-01-01

    A concept of an out-of-core thermionic nuclear electric power conversion system for 400 Kwe power level is being investigated for space propulsion applications. Two key features distinguish the power system design from previous thermionic power conversion concepts. First, the thermionic converters are located outside a nuclear reactor with a neutron shield inserted to reduce the radiation level on the thermionic converter matrix. Second, multiple liquid-metal heat pipes are used exclusively for both thermal power transport (from the nuclear reactor to the thermionic converters) and waste heat removal (from the thermionic converters to the space radiator); no mechanical or electromagnetic pumps are involved. The system characteristics are are compared to those of the in-core thermionic reactor system concept. In many aspects, the system characteristics, including specific weight, lifetime, dynamics control and safety features are found to be more desirable than those of the in-core system concept.

  1. 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.

  2. Space Debris Orbit Modification Using Chemical Propulsion Shepherding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peters, Thomas; Pellacani, Andrea; Attina, Primo; Lavagna, Michele; Benvenuto, Riccardo; Luraschi, Eleonora

    2013-08-01

    SysNova is an ESA's technology assessment scheme using "technology challenges" and competitions to survey a comparatively large number of alternative solutions. The COBRA concept was proposed as a solution to one of the challenges, and was declared the winner of the SysNova competition. The COBRA project is a feasibility study of an active debris removal concept which relies on contactless technology to modify the orbit of a space debris object. A ΔV of 50 m/s needs to be imparted on a 100 kg space debris object. Momentum is imparted on the debris object using the exhaust plume of a monopropellant hydrazine propulsion system. The mission concept uses a standard satellite bus with a modified payload bay to suit mission needs.

  3. 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.

  4. Overview of materials technologies for space nuclear power and propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zinkle, S. J.; Ott, L. J.; Ingersoll, D. T.; Ellis, R. J.; Grossbeck, M. L.

    2002-01-01

    A wide range of different space nuclear systems are currently being evaluated as part of the DOE Special Purpose Fission Technology program. The near-term subset of systems scheduled to be evaluated range from 50 kWe gas-, pumped liquid metal-, or liquid metal heat pipe-cooled reactors for space propulsion to 3 kWe heat pipe or pumped liquid metal systems for Mars surface power applications. The current status of the materials technologies required for the successful development of near-term space nuclear power and propulsion systems is reviewed. Materials examined in this overview include fuels (UN, UO2, UZrH), cladding and structural materials (stainless steel, superalloys, refractory alloys), neutron reflector materials (Be, BeO), and neutron shield materials (B4C,LiH). The materials technologies issues are considerably less demanding for the 3 kWe reactor systems due to lower operating temperatures, lower fuel burnup, and lower radiation damage levels. A few reactor subcomponents in the 3 kWe reactors under evaluation are being used near or above their engineering limits, which may adversely affect the 5 to 10 year lifetime design goal. It appears that most of these issues for the 3 kWe reactor systems can be accommodated by incorporating a few engineering design changes. Design limits (temperature, burnup, stress, radiation levels) for the various materials proposed for space nuclear reactors will be summarized. For example, the temperature and stress limits for Type 316 stainless steel in the 3 kWe Na-cooled heat pipe reactor (Stirling engine) concept will be controlled by thermal creep and CO2 corrosion considerations rather than radiation damage issues. Conversely, the lower operating temperature limit for the LiH shield material will likely be defined by ionizing radiation damage (radiolysis)-induced swelling, even for the relatively low radiation doses associated with the 3 kWe reactor. .

  5. 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

  6. Oxygen-hydrogen thrusters for Space Station auxiliary propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berkman, D. K.

    1984-01-01

    The feasibility and technology requirements of a low-thrust, high-performance, long-life, gaseous oxygen (GO2)/gaseous hydrogen (GH2) thruster were examined. Candidate engine concepts for auxiliary propulsion systems for space station applications were identified. The low-thrust engine (5 to 100 lb sub f) requires significant departure from current applications of oxygen/hydrogen propulsion technology. Selection of the thrust chamber material and cooling method needed or long life poses a major challenge. The use of a chamber material requiring a minimum amount of cooling or the incorporation of regenerative cooling were the only choices available with the potential of achieving very high performance. The design selection for the injector/igniter, the design and fabrication of a regeneratively cooled copper chamber, and the design of a high-temperature rhenium chamber were documented and the performance and heat transfer results obtained from the test program conducted at JPL using the above engine components presented. Approximately 115 engine firings were conducted in the JPL vacuum test facility, using 100:1 expansion ratio nozzles. Engine mixture ratio and fuel-film cooling percentages were parametrically investigated for each test configuration.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. NASA research activities in aeropropulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccarthy, J. F., Jr.; Weber, R. J.

    1982-01-01

    NASA is responsible for advancing technologies related to air transportation. A sampling of the work at NASA's Lewis Research Center aimed at improved aircraft propulsion systems is described. Particularly stressed are efforts related to reduced noise and fuel consumption of subsonic transports. Generic work in specific disciplines are reviewed including computational analysis, materials, structures, controls, diagnostics, alternative fuels, and high-speed propellers. Prospects for variable cycle engines are also discussed.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Advanced Fusion Reactors for Space Propulsion and Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chapman, John J.

    2011-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

    NASAs 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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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).

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1993-06-01

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Potential propellant storage and feed systems for space station resistojet propulsion options

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bader, Clayton H.

    1987-01-01

    The resistojet system has been defined as part of the baseline propulsion system for the initial Operating Capability Space Station. The resistojet propulsion module will perform a reboost function using a wide variety of fluids as propellants. There are many optional propellants and propellant combinations for use in the resistojet including (but not limited to): hydrazine, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, water, carbon dioxide, and methane. Many different types of propulsion systems have flown or have been conceptualized that may have application for use with resistojets. This paper describes and compares representative examples of these systems that may provide a basis for space station resistojet system design.

  7. 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

  8. Square lattice honeycomb reactor for space power and propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gouw, Reza; Anghaie, Samim

    2000-01-01

    The most recent nuclear design study at the Innovative Nuclear Space Power and Propulsion Institute (INSPI) is the Moderated Square-Lattice Honeycomb (M-SLHC) reactor design utilizing the solid solution of ternary carbide fuels. The reactor is fueled with solid solution of 93% enriched (U,Zr,Nb)C. The square-lattice honeycomb design provides high strength and is amenable to the processing complexities of these ultrahigh temperature fuels. The optimum core configuration requires a balance between high specific impulse and thrust level performance, and maintaining the temperature and strength limits of the fuel. The M-SLHC design is based on a cylindrical core that has critical radius and length of 37 cm and 50 cm, respectively. This design utilized zirconium hydrate to act as moderator. The fuel sub-assemblies are designed as cylindrical tubes with 12 cm in diameter and 10 cm in length. Five fuel subassemblies are stacked up axially to form one complete fuel assembly. These fuel assemblies are then arranged in the circular arrangement to form two fuel regions. The first fuel region consists of six fuel assemblies, and 18 fuel assemblies for the second fuel region. A 10-cm radial beryllium reflector in addition to 10-cm top axial beryllium reflector is used to reduce neutron leakage from the system. To perform nuclear design analysis of the M-SLHC design, a series of neutron transport and diffusion codes are used. To optimize the system design, five axial regions are specified. In each axial region, temperature and fuel density are varied. The axial and radial power distributions for the system are calculated, as well as the axial and radial flux distributions. Temperature coefficients of the system are also calculated. A water submersion accident scenario is also analyzed for these systems. Results of the nuclear design analysis indicate that a compact core can be designed based on ternary uranium carbide square-lattice honeycomb fuel, which provides a relatively

  9. 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.

  10. 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).

  11. 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

  12. Structural integrity and durability for Space Shuttle main engine and future reusable space propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Marsik, S. J.; Gawrylowicz, H. T.

    1986-01-01

    NASA is conducting a program which will establish a technology base for the orderly evolution of reusable space propulsion systems. As part of that program, NASA initiated a Structural Integrity and Durability effort for advanced high-pressure oxygen-hydrogen rocket engine technology. That effort focuses on the development of: (1) accurate analytical models to describe flow fields; aerothermodynamic loads; structural responses; and fatigue/fracture, from which life prediction codes can be evolved; and (2) advanced instrumentation with capabilities to verify the codes in an SSME-like environment as well as the potential for future use as diagnostic sensors for real-time condition monitoring of critical engine components.

  13. 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

  14. Space exploration initiative candidate nuclear propulsion test facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baldwin, Darrell; Clark, John S.

    1993-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Design and operation of the U.S. Space Station Freedom Propulsion System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morano, Joseph S.; Delventhal, Rex A.

    1991-01-01

    The propulsion functions for the U.S. Space Station Freedom (SSF) are accomplished by two separate systems, the Primary Propulsion System and the Supplemental Reboost System (SRS). The Primary Propulsion System includes self-contained hydrazine modules for station reboost, attitude control and contingency maneuvers. These Propulsion Modules contain reboost and attitude control thrusters, propellant storage, thermal conditioning and electronic controls. The modules are serviced on the ground and launched on the Space Shuttle as replacements for the on-orbit modules which have expended their propellant. The expended modules are returned to the ground for reservicing and subsequent reuse. The Supplemental Reboost System includes a Waste Gas Assembly and Resistojet Modules which are used for reboost maneuvers only. The Waste Gas Assembly contains waste gas storage, compressors and dryers and the Resistojet Modules contain multipropellant resistojet thrusters, electronic pressure regulators and power conditioning equipment.

  5. Design and operation of the US Space Station Freedom propulsion system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morano, Joseph S.; Delventhal, Rex A.

    1992-02-01

    The propulsion functions for the U.S. Space Station Freedom (SSF) are accomplished by two separate systems, the Primary Propulsion System and the Supplemental Reboost System (SRS). The Primary Propulsion System includes self-contained hydrazine modules for station reboost, attitude control, and contingency maneuvers. These Propulsion Modules contain reboost and attitude control thrusters, propellant storage, thermal conditioning, and electronic controls. The modules are serviced on the ground and launched on the Space Shuttle as replacements for the on-orbit modules which have expended their propellant. The expended modules are returned to the ground for reservicing and subsequent reuse. The Supplemental Reboost System includes a Waste Gas Assembly and Resistojet Modules which are used for reboost maneuvers only. The Waste Gas Assembly contains waste gas storage, compressors, and dryers, and the Resistojet Modules contain multipropellant resistojet thrusters, electronic pressure regulators and power conditioning equipment.

  6. 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.)

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. The “Flying Carpet” concept: A possible alternative to nuclear space propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, Rudolf X.

    2006-05-01

    This paper examines the potential performance of a new concept for very high specific impulse propulsion for scientific explorations beyond the solar system. The concept is based on an ultra-light weight solar-electric membrane that is deployed, stretched, stabilized, and oriented by small electric thrusters at its corners. The potential performance is found to be greatly superior to what can be achieved by multiple planetary flybys. The concept is viewed as an alternative to nuclear space propulsion.

  10. Conceptual design and integration of a Space Station resistojet propulsion assembly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tacina, R. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Space station propulsion technology. Annual progress report, 24 May 1985-23 May 1986

    SciTech Connect

    Briley, G.L.

    1986-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Space shuttle propulsion parameter estimation using optimal estimation techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    The first twelve system state variables are presented with the necessary mathematical developments for incorporating them into the filter/smoother algorithm. Other state variables, i.e., aerodynamic coefficients can be easily incorporated into the estimation algorithm, representing uncertain parameters, but for initial checkout purposes are treated as known quantities. An approach for incorporating the NASA propulsion predictive model results into the optimal estimation algorithm was identified. This approach utilizes numerical derivatives and nominal predictions within the algorithm with global iterations of the algorithm. The iterative process is terminated when the quality of the estimates provided no longer significantly improves.

  7. 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

  8. A system level model for preliminary design of a space propulsion solid rocket motor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schumacher, Daniel M.

    Preliminary design of space propulsion solid rocket motors entails a combination of components and subsystems. Expert design tools exist to find near optimal performance of subsystems and components. Conversely, there is no system level preliminary design process for space propulsion solid rocket motors that is capable of synthesizing customer requirements into a high utility design for the customer. The preliminary design process for space propulsion solid rocket motors typically builds on existing designs and pursues feasible rather than the most favorable design. Classical optimization is an extremely challenging method when dealing with the complex behavior of an integrated system. The complexity and combinations of system configurations make the number of the design parameters that are traded off unreasonable when manual techniques are used. Existing multi-disciplinary optimization approaches generally address estimating ratios and correlations rather than utilizing mathematical models. The developed system level model utilizes the Genetic Algorithm to perform the necessary population searches to efficiently replace the human iterations required during a typical solid rocket motor preliminary design. This research augments, automates, and increases the fidelity of the existing preliminary design process for space propulsion solid rocket motors. The system level aspect of this preliminary design process, and the ability to synthesize space propulsion solid rocket motor requirements into a near optimal design, is achievable. The process of developing the motor performance estimate and the system level model of a space propulsion solid rocket motor is described in detail. The results of this research indicate that the model is valid for use and able to manage a very large number of variable inputs and constraints towards the pursuit of the best possible design.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Lee W.; Bagdigian, Deborah R.

    1989-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Composite propulsion feedlines for cryogenic space vehicles, volume 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hall, C. A.; Laintz, D. J.; Phillips, J. M.

    1973-01-01

    Thin metallic liners that provide leak-free service in cryogenic propulsion systems are overwrapped with a glass-fiber composite that provides strength and protection from handling damage. The resultant tube is lightweight, strong and has a very low thermal flux. Several styles of tubing ranging from 5 to 38 cm in diameter and up to 305 cm long were fabricated and tested at operating temperatures from 294 to 21 K and operating pressures up to 259 N/sq cm. The primary objective for the smaller sizes was thermal performance optimization of the propulsion system while the primary objective of the larger sizes was weight optimization and to prove fabricability. All major program objectives were met resulting in a design concept that is adaptable to a wide range of aerospace vehicle requirements. Major items of development included: bonding large diameter aluminum end fittings to the thin Inconel liner; fabrication of a 38 cm diameter tube from 0.008 cm thick Inconel; and evaluation of tubing which provides essentially zero quality propellant in a very short period of time resulting in a lower mass of propellant expended in chilldown.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Selection of combined water electrolysis and resistojet propulsion for Space Station Freedom

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidt, George R.

    1988-01-01

    An analytical rationale is presented for the configuration of the NASA Space Station's two-element propulsion system, and attention is given to the cost benefits accruing to this system over the Space Station's service life. The principal system element uses gaseous oxygen and hydrogen obtained through water electrolysis to furnish attitude control, backup attitude control, and contingency maneuvering. The secondary element uses resistojets to augment Space Station reboost through the acceleration of waste gases in the direction opposite the Station's flight path.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  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. A fission fragment reactor concept for nuclear space propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suo-Anttila, A. J.; Parma, E. J.; Wright, S. A.; Vernon, M. E.; Pickard, P. S.

    1991-10-01

    Sandia National Laboratory (SNL) has proposed a new nuclear thermal propulsion concept that uses fission fragments to directly heat the propellant up to 1000 K or higher above the material temperatures. The concept offers significant advantages over traditional solid core nuclear rocket concepts because of higher propellant exit temperatures while at the same time providing for more reliable operation due to lower structure temperatures and lower power densities. The concept can be operated in either steady state or pulsed modes. The engine consists of tubular modules, each with its own pressure boundary and rocket nozzle. The steady state mode requires a large engine with a reflector for criticality, provides high thrust and high ISP. The pulse mode utilizes a driver reactor for criticality and can be considerably smaller with lower but scaleable thrust. The pulse mode does require an external heat radiator for reactor cooling, which limits its duty cycle.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Oxygen/hydrogen Space Station propulsion system concept definition for IOC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shoji, J. M.; Meisl, C. J.; Glass, J. F.; Tu, W.-H.; Ebert, S. J.; Evans, S. A.; Jones, L. W.; Campbell, H.

    1986-01-01

    The potential for the reduction in propulsion system life cycle costs through the use of on-board water electrolysis to generate oxygen and hydrogen propellants, as well as the potential advantages of improved system safety and contamination impact, led to a study to evaluate candidate oxygen-/hydrogen-based propulsion systems. In this study a representative set of propulsion system requirements were compiled and candidate oxygen/hydrogen-based propulsion systems synthesized. These candidate concepts were screened and a systems evaluation was performed on the remaining eight candidate concepts. Detailed system schematics were prepared. Operational design conditions were determined and system weight, volume, energy requirements, and costs were calculated. Evaluation results indicated that the oxygen/hydrogen propulsion systems can provide simple, low cost, and viable systems for the IOC Space Station. Based on these data, a relative concept evaluation was conducted using as selection criteria reliability, safety, cost, technical risk, contamination, operational utility, growth potential, and integration potential. Top ranked candidate systems were recommended to NASA/MSFC for consideration for the IOC Space Station.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Advanced rocket propulsion technology assessment for future space transportation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilhite, A. W.

    1982-01-01

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

  12. Fission fragment assisted reactor concept for space propulsion: Foil reactor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wright, Steven A.

    1991-01-01

    The concept is to fabricate a reactor using thin films or foils of uranium, uranium oxide and then to coat them on substrates. These coatings would be made so thin as to allow the escaping fission fragments to directly heat a hydrogen propellant. The idea was studied of direct gas heating and direct gas pumping in a nuclear pumped laser program. Fission fragments were used to pump lasers. In this concept two substrates are placed opposite each other. The internal faces are coated with thin foil of uranium oxide. A few of the advantages of this technology are listed. In general, however, it is felt that if one look at all solid core nuclear thermal rockets or nuclear thermal propulsion methods, one is going to find that they all pretty much look the same. It is felt that this reactor has higher potential reliability. It has low structural operating temperatures, very short burn times, with graceful failure modes, and it has reduced potential for energetic accidents. Going to a design like this would take the NTP community part way to some of the very advanced engine designs, such as the gas core reactor, but with reduced risk because of the much lower temperatures.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Space shuttle auxiliary propulsion system design study. Phase B report: Candidate RCS concept comparisons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1972-01-01

    The competing auxiliary propulsion concepts for the reusable space shuttle vehicle are defined. The concepts are compared on the basis of selection criteria such as weight, reliability, and technology requirements. Propulsion systems using both cryogenic oxygen-hydrogen and earth storable propellants were considered. Three high value oxygen-hydrogen reaction control system concepts were evaluated. The final comparisons demonstrate that all three concepts are viable design approaches. The flexibility and growth potential of the parallel concept are considered to provide an advantage over the series concept.

  16. The impact of integrated water management on the Space Station propulsion system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schmidt, George R.

    1987-01-01

    The water usage of elements in the Space Station integrated water system (IWS) is discussed, and the parameters affecting the overall water balance and the water-electrolysis propulsion-system requirements are considered. With nominal IWS operating characteristics, extra logistic water resupply (LWR) is found to be unnecessary in the satisfaction of the nominal propulsion requirements. With the consideration of all possible operating characteristics, LWR will not be required in 65.5 percent of the cases, and for 17.9 percent of the cases LWR can be eliminated by controlling the stay time of theShuttle Orbiter orbiter.

  17. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Multi-Reflex Propulsion Systems for Space and Air Vehicles and Energy Transfer for Long Distance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bolonkin, A.

    The purpose of this article is to call attention to the revolutionary idea of light multi-reflection. This idea allows the design of new engines, space and air propulsion systems, storage (of a beam and solar energy), transmitters of energy (to millions of kilometers), creation of new weapons, etc. This method and the main innovations were offered by the author in 1983 in the former USSR. Now the author shows in a series of articles the immense possibilities of this idea in many fields of engineering - astronautics, aviation, energy, optics, direct converter of light (laser beam) energy to mechanical energy (light engine), to name a few. This article considers the multi-reflex propulsion systems for space and air vehicles and energy transmitter for long distances in space.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Thermal-hydraulics for space power, propulsion, and thermal management system design

    SciTech Connect

    Krotiuk, W.J.

    1990-01-01

    The present volume discusses thermal-hydraulic aspects of current space projects, Space Station thermal management systems, the thermal design of the Space Station Free-Flying Platforms, the SP-100 Space Reactor Power System, advanced multi-MW space nuclear power concepts, chemical and electric propulsion systems, and such aspects of the Space Station two-phase thermal management system as its mechanical pumped loop and its capillary pumped loop's supporting technology. Also discussed are the startup thaw concept for the SP-100 Space Reactor Power System, calculational methods and experimental data for microgravity conditions, an isothermal gas-liquid flow at reduced gravity, low-gravity flow boiling, computations of Space Shuttle high pressure cryogenic turbopump ball bearing two-phase coolant flow, and reduced-gravity condensation.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Probabilistic structural analysis methods for space propulsion system components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chamis, C. C.

    1986-01-01

    The development of a three-dimensional inelastic analysis methodology for the Space Shuttle main engine (SSME) structural components is described. The methodology is composed of: (1) composite load spectra, (2) probabilistic structural analysis methods, (3) the probabilistic finite element theory, and (4) probabilistic structural analysis. The methodology has led to significant technical progress in several important aspects of probabilistic structural analysis. The program and accomplishments to date are summarized.

  15. Probabilistic structural analysis methods for space propulsion system components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chamis, Christos C.

    1987-01-01

    The development of a three-dimensional inelastic analysis methodology for the Space Shuttle main engine (SSME) structural components is described. The methodology is composed of: (1) composite load spectra, (2) probabilistic structural analysis methods, (3) the probabilistic finite element theory, and (4) probabilistic structural analysis. The methodology has led to significant technical progress in several important aspects of probabilistic structural analysis. The program and accomplishments to date are summarized.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. MHD augmented chemical rocket propulsion for space applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  2. Space Shuttle propulsion performance reconstruction from flight data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rogers, Robert M.

    1989-01-01

    The aplication of extended Kalman filtering to estimating Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) performance, specific impulse, from flight data in a post-flight processing computer program. The flight data used includes inertial platform acceleration, SRB head pressure, and ground based radar tracking data. The key feature in this application is the model used for the SRBs, which represents a 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 included.

  3. A History of Solid Propulsion at the Marshall Space Flight Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shackelford, Ben

    1998-01-01

    The talk describes the solid propulsion systems used on space launch vehicles developed by the Marshall Space Flight Center. The development approach, in simple terms, some of the technology developed, and features of the motors will be described. Vehicle programs involved are the SATURN vehicles, the Space Shuttle, the joint Air Force/NASA Inertial Upper Stage, and the McDonald Douglas Payload Assist Module series. The documentation supporting the talk consists of illustrations of the vehicles, and the solid propellant rocket motors, and includes some summary information on the motors.

  4. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    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. Separate abstracts have been prepared for papers from this report.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. .

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1991-01-01

    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 {ital et} {ital 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 vechicle to Mars and back in 601 days. By removing the crew and their associated support systems from the space craft 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 vechicle, 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 could provide 2-MW 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coomes, Edmund P.; Dagle, Jeffery E.

    1991-01-01

    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 vechicle to Mars and back in 601 days. By removing the crew and their associated support systems from the space craft 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 vechicle, 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 could provide 2-MW 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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%.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Nuclear safety, legal aspects and policy recommendations for space nuclear power and propulsion systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenard, Roger X.

    2006-07-01

    This paper represents a chapter of the International Astronautical Academy's Cosmic Study on safety, legal and policy aspects of advanced (specifically nuclear) power and propulsions systems; it is divided into several sections. The first section covers a series of findings and develops a set of recommendations for operations of space reactor systems in a safe, environmentally compliant fashion. The second section develops a generic set of hazard scenarios that might be experienced by a space nuclear system with emphasis on different methods under which such a system could be engaged, such as surface power, in-space nuclear electric or nuclear thermal propulsion. The third section develops these into test and analysis efforts that would likely be conducted. Risk areas with engineering judgment set toward frequency and consequences. The fourth section identifies what probable technology limits might be experienced by nuclear propulsion systems and the exploration limitations these technology restrictions might impose. Where the IAA recommends a change, the IAA leadership should be prepared to work with national and international bodies to implement the desired modifications.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hueter, Uwe

    1999-01-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-01-01

    Successful development of space fission systems requires an extensive program of affordable and realistic testing. In addition to tests related to design/development of the fission system, realistic testing of the actual flight unit must also be performed. If the system is designed to operate within established radiation damage and fuel burn up limits while simultaneously being designed to allow close simulation of heat from fission using resistance heaters, high confidence in fission system performance and lifetime can be attained through 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. .

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyke, Melissa Van; Houts, Mike; Godfroy, Tom; Dickens, Ricky; Poston, David; Kapernick, Rick; Reid, Bob; Salvail, Pat; Ring, Peter

    2002-01-01

    Successful development of space fission systems requires an extensive program of affordable and realistic testing. In addition to tests related to design/development of the fission system, realistic testing of the actual flight unit must also be performed. If the system is designed to operate within established radiation damage and fuel burn up limits while simultaneously being designed to allow close simulation of heat from fission using resistance heaters, high confidence in fission system performance and lifetime can be attained through 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.

  9. Advanced electric propulsion and space plasma contactor research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilbur, Paul J.

    1987-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. The MPD arcjet thruster system for Electric Propulsion Experiment onboard Space Flyer Unit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toki, Kyoichiro; Shimizu, Yukio; Kuriki, Kyoichi; Suzuki, Hiroshi; Kunii, Yoshinori

    The Electric Propulsion Experiment (EPEX) will be tested in the Space Flyer Unit Mission One (SFU-1) as the first space-flown hydrazine MPD arcjet thruster system in the world. The development was continued after the breadboard model system endurance test in 1988 to start the engineering model fabrication/test. Presently the components of EPEX are scheduled to be integrated in a Payload Unit (PLU) box together with two other experiments in order to dedicate them to a system integration test following several environment tests.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Space shuttle auxiliary propulsion system design study. Phase D report: Oxygen-hydrogen special RCS studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baumann, T. L.; Pattern, T. C.; Mckee, H. B.

    1972-01-01

    Two alternate oxygen-hydrogen auxiliary propulsion system concepts for use with the space shuttle vehicle were evaluated. The two concepts considered were: (1) gaseous oxygen-hydrogen systems with electric or hydraulic motor driven pumps to provide system pressure and (2) liquid oxygen-hydrogen systems which delivered propellants to the engines in a liquid state without the need for pumps. The various means of implementing each of the concepts are compared on the basis of weight, technology requirements, and operational considerations. It was determined that the liquid oxygen-hydrogen system concepts have the potential to produce substantial weight reductions in the space shuttle orbiter total impulse range.

  19. Development of a Work Control System for Propulsion Testing at Stennis Space Center (SSC)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Messer, Elizabeth A.

    2004-01-01

    In 1996, Stennis Space Center was given management authority for all Propulsion Testing for NASA. Over the next few years several research and development (R&D) test facilities were completed and brought up to full operation in what is known as the E-Complex Test Facility at Stennis Space Center. This paper will explain the requirements and steps taken to develop the current Test Operations' electronic work control system. The Work Control System developed includes work authorization documents such as test preparation sheets, discrepancy reports, pre-test briefing reports, and test requests.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schulze, Norman R.; Roth, J. Reece

    1990-01-01

    An historical synopsis is provided of the NASA-Lewis research program on fusion energy for space power and propulsion systems. It was initiated to explore the potential applications of fusion energy to space power and propulsion systems. Some fusion related accomplishments and program areas covered include: basic research on the Electric Field Bumpy Torus (EFBT) magnetoelectric fusion containment concept, including identification of its radial transport mechanism and confinement time scaling; operation of the Pilot Rig mirror machine, the first superconducting magnet facility to be used in plasma physics or fusion research; operation of the Superconducting Bumpy Torus magnet facility, first used to generate a toroidal magnetic field; steady state production of neutrons from DD reactions; studies of the direct conversion of plasma enthalpy to thrust by a direct fusion rocket via propellant addition and magnetic nozzles; power and propulsion system studies, including D(3)He power balance, neutron shielding, and refrigeration requirements; and development of large volume, high field superconducting and cryogenic magnet technology.

  3. 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.

  4. NASA's In-Space Propulsion Technology Project's Trajectory and Mission Design Tools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dankanich, John

    2010-10-01

    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 by increasing performance while reducing mission cost, risk, and trip times. One of the technology areas of funding is systems analysis and mission design tools. These tools are necessary to increase awareness with the user community and to assist in the technology infusion. The primary tools investments include low-thrust trajectory tools such as MALTO and Mystic, generalized optimization tools such as Copernicus and OTIS, and an Aerocapture / Entry Vehicle design tool, the multidisciplinary tool for Systems Analysis of Planetary Entry, Descent, and Landing (SAPE). Tool demonstration, capabilities, and availability is presented.

  5. 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.

  6. A Perspective on the Use of Storable Propellants for Future Space Vehicle Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boyd, William C.; Brasher, Warren L.

    1989-01-01

    Propulsion system configurations for future NASA and DOD space initiatives are driven by the continually emerging new mission requirements. These initiatives cover an extremely wide range of mission scenarios, from unmanned planetary programs, to manned lunar and planetary programs, to earth-oriented (Mission to Planet Earth) programs, and they are in addition to existing and future requirements for near-earth missions such as to geosynchronous earth orbit (GEO). Increasing space transportation costs, and anticipated high costs associated with space-basing of future vehicles, necessitate consideration of cost-effective and easily maintainable configurations which maximize the use of existing technologies and assets, and use budgetary resources effectively. System design considerations associated with the use of storable propellants to fill these needs are presented. Comparisons in areas such as complexity, performance, flexibility, maintainability, and technology status are made for earth and space storable propellants, including nitrogen tetroxide/monomethylhydrazine and LOX/monomethylhydrazine.

  7. 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

  8. Solar Thermal Propulsion Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hueter, Uwe; Turner, James

    1998-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. MCNP benchmark analyses of critical experiments for space nuclear thermal propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Selcow, E.C.; Cerbone, R.J.; Ludewig, H. )

    1993-01-01

    The particle-bed reactor (PBR) system is being developed for use in the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) Program. This reactor system is characterized by a highly heterogeneous, compact configuration with many streaming pathways. The neutronics analyses performed for this system must be able to accurately predict reactor criticality, kinetics parameters, material worths at various temperatures, feedback coefficients, and detailed fission power and heating distributions. The latter includes coupled axial, radial, and azimuthal profiles. These responses constitute critical inputs and interfaces with the thermal-hydraulics design and safety analyses of the system.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Propulsion Systems Panel deliberations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Laser/space material uncooperative propulsion for orbital debris removal and asteroid, meteoroid, and comet deflection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, Jonathan W.; Taylor, Charles R.; Smalley, Larry L.; Dickerson, Thomas

    1999-01-01

    Orbital debris in low-Earth orbit in the size range from 1 to 10 cm in diameter can be detected but not tracked reliably enough to be avoided by spacecraft. It can cause catastrophic damage even to a shielded spacecraft. With adaptive optics, a ground-based pulsed laser ablating the debris surface can produce enough propulsion in several hundred pulses to cause such debris to reenter the atmosphere. A single laser station could remove all of the 1-10 cm debris in three years or less. A technology demonstration of laser space propulsion is proposed which would pave the way for the implementation of such a debris removal system. The cost of the proposed demonstration is comparable with the estimated annual cost of spacecraft operations in the present orbital debris environment. Orbital debris is not the only space junk that is deleterious to the Earth's environment. Collisions with asteroids have caused major havoc to the Earth's biosphere many times in the ancient past. Since the possibility still exists for major impacts, it is shown that it is possible to scale up the systems to prevent these catastrophic collisions given sufficient early warning.

  8. 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

  9. Cyclic structural analyses of anisotropic turbine blades for reusable space propulsion systems. [ssme fuel turbopump

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Manderscheid, J. M.; Kaufman, A.

    1985-01-01

    Turbine blades for reusable space propulsion systems are subject to severe thermomechanical loading cycles that result in large inelastic strains and very short lives. These components require the use of anisotropic high-temperature alloys to meet the safety and durability requirements of such systems. To assess the effects on blade life of material anisotropy, cyclic structural analyses are being performed for the first stage high-pressure fuel turbopump blade of the space shuttle main engine. The blade alloy is directionally solidified MAR-M 246 alloy. The analyses are based on a typical test stand engine cycle. Stress-strain histories at the airfoil critical location are computed using the MARC nonlinear finite-element computer code. The MARC solutions are compared to cyclic response predictions from a simplified structural analysis procedure developed at the NASA Lewis Research Center.

  10. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. The NASA/DOE space nuclear propulsion project plan—FY 1991 status

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, John S.

    1992-01-01

    NASA and the DOE have initiated critical technology development for nuclear rocket propulsion systems for U.S. Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) human and robotic missions to the Moon and to Mars. This paper summarizes the activities of the interagency project planning team in FY 1990 and 1991, and summarizes the project plan. The project plan includes evolutionary technology development for both nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) systems and nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) systems. The NEP development expands upon the SP-100 technology, being developed for lunar and Mars surface nuclear power, as a foundation from which to develop more powerful, lighter systems for interplanetary probes, lunar and Mars cargo vehicles, and lunar and Mars human-piloted vehicles. Similarly, the NTP technology development plan expands upon the substantial NERVA data base developed in the 1960s and early 1970s for solid core thermal reactors, by improving nuclear fules to permit higher operating temperatures (with appropriate safety and reliability margins), and ultimately, to upgrade the system to liquid or gaseous core concepts. Thus, a logical, step-wise program is planned that will have systems ready for initial unmanned flight by about 2008, will include robotic lunar missions to gain operational experience prior to manned flight, and will then proceed to a manned lunar mission that will simulate a full-up Mars mission. Mars robotic missions are planned to begin in about 2011-2012, with the first manned Mars mission in about 2014. System upgrades are expected to evolve that will result in shorter trips times, improved payload capabilities, or enhanced safety and reliability.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, David Peter

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