Science.gov

Sample records for plasma propulsion facility

  1. A tandem mirror hybrid plume plasma propulsion facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1988-01-01

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

  2. Solar Thermal Propulsion Test Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Researchers at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) have designed, fabricated and tested the first solar thermal engine, a non-chemical rocket engine that produces lower thrust but has better thrust efficiency than a chemical combustion engine. MSFC turned to solar thermal propulsion in the early 1990s due to its simplicity, safety, low cost, and commonality with other propulsion systems. Solar thermal propulsion works by acquiring and redirecting solar energy to heat a propellant. This photograph, taken at MSFC's Solar Thermal Propulsion Test Facility, shows a concentrator mirror, a combination of 144 mirrors forming this 18-ft diameter concentrator, and a vacuum chamber that houses the focal point. The 20- by 24-ft heliostat mirror (not shown in this photograph) has a dual-axis control that keeps a reflection of the sunlight on the 18-foot diameter concentrator mirror, which then focuses the sunlight to a 4-in focal point inside the vacuum chamber. The focal point has 10 kilowatts of intense solar power. As part of MSFC's Space Transportation Directorate, the Propulsion Research Center serves as a national resource for research of advanced, revolutionary propulsion technologies. The mission is to move the Nation's capabilities beyond the confines of conventional chemical propulsion into an era of aircraft-like access to Earth-orbit, rapid travel throughout the solar system, and exploration of interstellar space.

  3. Solar Thermal Propulsion Test Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

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

  4. Magnetic insulation for plasma propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gonzalez, Dora E.

    1990-01-01

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

  5. Test facilities for high power electric propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sovey, James S.; Vetrone, Robert H.; Grisnik, Stanley P.; Myers, Roger M.; Parkes, James E.

    1991-01-01

    Electric propulsion has applications for orbit raising, maneuvering of large space systems, and interplanetary missions. These missions involve propulsion power levels from tenths to tens of megawatts, depending upon the application. General facility requirements for testing high power electric propulsion at the component and thrust systems level are defined. The characteristics and pumping capabilities of many large vacuum chambers in the United States are reviewed and compared with the requirements for high power electric propulsion testing.

  6. Solar Thermal Propulsion Test Facility at MSFC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    This photograph shows an overall view of the Solar Thermal Propulsion Test Facility at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). The 20-by 24-ft heliostat mirror, shown at the left, has dual-axis control that keeps a reflection of the sunlight on an 18-ft diameter concentrator mirror (right). The concentrator mirror then focuses the sunlight to a 4-in focal point inside the vacuum chamber, shown at the front of concentrator mirror. Researchers at MSFC have designed, fabricated, and tested the first solar thermal engine, a non-chemical rocket engine that produces lower thrust but has better thrust efficiency than chemical a combustion engine. MSFC turned to solar thermal propulsion in the early 1990s due to its simplicity, safety, low cost, and commonality with other propulsion systems. Solar thermal propulsion works by acquiring and redirecting solar energy to heat a propell nt. As part of MSFC's Space Transportation Directorate, the Propulsion Research Center serves as a national resource for research of advanced, revolutionary propulsion technologies. The mission is to move the Nation's capabilities beyond the confines of conventional chemical propulsion into an era of aircraft-like access to Earth-orbit, rapid travel throughout the solar system, and exploration of interstellar space.

  7. Nuclear electric propulsion development and qualification facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dutt, D. S.; Thomassen, K.; Sovey, J.; Fontana, Mario

    1991-01-01

    This paper summarizes the findings of a Tri-Agency panel consisting of members from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) that were charged with reviewing the status and availability of facilities to test components and subsystems for megawatt-class nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) systems. The facilities required to support development of NEP are available in NASA centers, DOE laboratories, and industry. However, several key facilities require significant and near-term modification in order to perform the testing required to meet a 2014 launch date. For the higher powered Mars cargo and piloted missions, the priority established for facility preparation is: (1) a thruster developmental testing facility, (2) a thruster lifetime testing facility, (3) a dynamic energy conversion development and demonstration facility, and (4) an advanced reactor testing facility (if required to demonstrate an advanced multiwatt power system). Facilities to support development of the power conditioning and heat rejection subsystems are available in industry, federal laboratories, and universities. In addition to the development facilities, a new preflight qualifications and acceptance testing facility will be required to support the deployment of NEP systems for precursor, cargo, or piloted Mars missions. Because the deployment strategy for NEP involves early demonstration missions, the demonstration of the SP-100 power system is needed by the early 2000's.

  8. The Potential for Ambient Plasma Wave Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gilland, James H.; Williams, George J.

    2016-01-01

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

  9. An electric propulsion long term test facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trump, G.; James, E.; Vetrone, R.; Bechtel, R.

    1979-01-01

    An existing test facility was modified to provide for extended testing of multiple electric propulsion thruster subsystems. A program to document thruster subsystem characteristics as a function of time is currently in progress. The facility is capable of simultaneously operating three 2.7-kW, 30-cm mercury ion thrusters and their power processing units. Each thruster is installed via a separate air lock so that it can be extended into the 7m x 10m main chamber without violating vacuum integrity. The thrusters exhaust into a 3m x 5m frozen mercury target. An array of cryopanels collect sputtered target material. Power processor units are tested in an adjacent 1.5m x 2m vacuum chamber or accompanying forced convection enclosure. The thruster subsystems and the test facility are designed for automatic unattended operation with thruster operation computer controlled. Test data are recorded by a central data collection system scanning 200 channels of data a second every two minutes. Results of the Systems Demonstration Test, a short shakedown test of 500 hours, and facility performance during the first year of testing are presented.

  10. Mini-Magnetospheric Plasma Propulsion Experiment (MMPX)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ziemba, Tim; Slough, John; Winglee, Robert

    1999-11-01

    The MMPX is a new laboratory device that is designed to study plasma dynamics and confinement in a magnetic dipole with field strengths ranging from 0.01 to 0.2 T. The magnetic dipole is constructed of two short solenoidal Helmholtz coils with a 0.3 m diameter. Plasma is injected onto the field lines by a Helicon source located on the inner, high field side of the dipole field. Plasma densities of 1-2× 10^19m-3 are expected with electron temperatures of 4 eV or greater. As plasma flows out along the dipole field, the background neutral pressure is kept low to maintain the plasma in a collisionless, ``frozen-in'' state. As the local field decreases, the plasma pressure eventually exceeds the field pressure. At this point the magnetic flux will be pulled dynamically outward with the plasma. Observation of this flux expansion is the major goal of the experiment. In space the continued expansion of the dipole flux will be inhibited only by the solar wind pressure. The configuration would thus act as a large scale ( ~ 30 km) magneto-plasma barrier to the solar wind, and would allow for spacecraft propulsion with megawatt thrust power from a kilowatt source.

  11. Nuclear thermal propulsion test facility requirements and development strategy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, George C.; Warren, John; Clark, J. S.

    1991-01-01

    The Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) subpanel of the Space Nuclear Propulsion Test Facilities Panel evaluated facility requirements and strategies for nuclear thermal propulsion systems development. High pressure, solid core concepts were considered as the baseline for the evaluation, with low pressure concepts an alternative. The work of the NTP subpanel revealed that a wealth of facilities already exists to support NTP development, and that only a few new facilities must be constructed. Some modifications to existing facilities will be required. Present funding emphasis should be on long-lead-time items for the major new ground test facility complex and on facilities supporting nuclear fuel development, hot hydrogen flow test facilities, and low power critical facilities.

  12. Plasma Propulsion Testing Capabilities at Arnold Engineering Development Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  13. External Pulsed Plasma Propulsion (EPPP) Analysis Maturation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  14. A Flight Demonstration of Plasma Rocket Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Petro, Andrew

    1999-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. Test facilities for evaluating nuclear thermal propulsion systems

    SciTech Connect

    Beck, D.F.; Allen, G.C.; Shipers, L.R.; Dobranich, D.; Ottinger, C.A.; Harmon, C.D.; Fan, W.C. ); Todosow, M. )

    1992-09-22

    Interagency panels evaluating nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) development options have consistently recognized the need for constructing a major new ground test facility to support fuel element and engine testing. This paper summarizes the requirements, configuration, and baseline performance of some of the major subsystems designed to support a proposed ground test complex for evaluating nuclear thermal propulsion fuel elements and engines being developed for the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program. Some preliminary results of evaluating this facility for use in testing other NTP concepts are also summarized.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  1. Fundamentals of Plasma Sails Propulsion Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  2. Crewed Mission to Callisto Using Advanced Plasma Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  3. A clean air continuous flow propulsion facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krauss, R. H.; Mcdaniel, J. C., Jr.

    1992-01-01

    Consideration is given to a contaminant-free, high enthalpy, continuous flow facility designed to obtain detailed code validation measurements of high speed combustion. The facility encompasses uncontaminated air temperature control to within 5 K, fuel temperature control to 2 K, a ceramic flow straightener, drying of inlet air, and steady state continuous operation. The air heating method provides potential for independent control of contaminant level by injection, mixing, and heating upstream. Particular attention is given to extension of current capability of 1250 K total air temperature, which simulates Scramjet enthalpy at Mach 5.

  4. The F-15B Propulsion Flight Test Fixture: A New Flight Facility For Propulsion Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Corda, Stephen; Vachon, M. Jake; Palumbo, Nathan; Diebler, Corey; Tseng, Ting; Ginn, Anthony; Richwine, David

    2001-01-01

    The design and development of the F-15B Propulsion Flight Test Fixture (PFTF), a new facility for propulsion flight research, is described. Mounted underneath an F-15B fuselage, the PFTF provides volume for experiment systems and attachment points for propulsion devices. A unique feature of the PFTF is the incorporation of a six-degree-of-freedom force balance. Three-axis forces and moments can be measured in flight for experiments mounted to the force balance. The NASA F-15B airplane is described, including its performance and capabilities as a research test bed aircraft. The detailed description of the PFTF includes the geometry, internal layout and volume, force-balance operation, available instrumentation, and allowable experiment size and weight. The aerodynamic, stability and control, and structural designs of the PFTF are discussed, including results from aerodynamic computational fluid dynamic calculations and structural analyses. Details of current and future propulsion flight experiments are discussed. Information about the integration of propulsion flight experiments is provided for the potential PFTF user.

  5. 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.

  6. Neutron plasma propulsion - A precursor to magnetic fusion rocket

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watanabe, Yoichi; Parrish, Ted; Montalvo, Elena; Carrera, Rodolfo

    1993-06-01

    A novel advanced space propulsion concept, neutron plasma space propulsion (NPP), is proposed. The NPP system is an open cycle nuclear thermal type with a varying specific impulse (800-10 million sec). The NPP system uses a state-of-art magnetic confinement scheme for a hot plasma. The plasma is heated by high energy ions produced by thermal neutron-induced nuclear reactions. The low density plasma is confined in a magnetic bottle for a sufficiently long time period so that the plasma temperature may be high (10 eV to 1 keV). Thermal neutrons are provided by a nuclear fission reactor. A magnetic nozzle is used for the plasma exhaust.

  7. 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.

  8. Ion beam sputtering in electric propulsion facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sovey, James S.; Patterson, Michael J.

    1991-01-01

    Experiments were undertaken to determine sputter yields of potential ion beam target materials, to assess the impact of charge exchange on beam diagnostics in large facilities, and to examine material erosion and deposition after a 957 hr test of a 5 kW-class ion thruster. The xenon ion sputter yield of flexible graphite was lower than other graphite forms especially at high angles of incidence. Ion beam charge exchange effects were found to hamper beam probe current collection diagnostics even at pressures from 0.7 to 1.7 mPa. Estimates of the xenon ion beam envelope were made and predictions of the thickness of sputter deposited coatings in the facility were compared with measurements.

  9. Ion beam sputtering in electric propulsion facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sovey, James S.; Patterson, Michael J.

    1991-01-01

    Experiments were undertaken to determine sputter yields of potential ion beam target materials, to assess the impact of charge exchange on beam diagnostics in large facilities, and to examine material erosion and deposition after a 957-hour test of a 5 kW-class ion thruster. The xenon ion sputter yield of flexible graphite was lower than other graphite forms especialy at high angles of incidence. Ion beam charge exchange effects were found to hamper beam probe current collection diagnostics even at pressures from 0.7 to 1.7 mPa. Estimates of the xenon ion beam envelope were made and predictions of the thickness of sputter deposited coatings in the facility were compared with measurements.

  10. Z-Pinch Pulsed Plasma Propulsion Technology Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Rocket Propulsion Through Multiply Charged Ions From a Mirror Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leung, L.; Petty, C. C.; Evans, T. E.

    2006-10-01

    Plasma propulsion is of interest for space exploration because the high exit velocity of the propellant, compared to that of chemical means, generates a high final spacecraft velocity with reduced propellant mass. This project evaluates the viability of using plasma in a magnetic mirror to produce multiply charged ions as propellant. Electron cyclotron heating of a mirror plasma produces deeply trapped hot electrons which strip heavy ions of electrons. The ambipolar potential accelerates the greatly charged ions to high velocity as they exit the end of the magnetic mirror open to space, generating thrust. We model the distribution of ion charge states to include all relevant atomic processes using the conservation of particle and energy equations in tandem with cross-sections from the ADAS database. The system of equations is then optimized to determine the feasibility of plasma propulsion. The results of this model in a high- density rocket regime are benchmarked against experimental data in low-density mirror plasmas.

  12. 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).

  13. Fusion for Space Propulsion and Plasma Liner Driven MTF

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  14. Hybrid Propulsion In-Situ Resource Utilization Test Facility Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chandler, Ashley A.; Gatto, Corinne; Nakazono, Barry; Grayson, Kristian; Vaughan, David

    2014-01-01

    Hybrid propulsion could be a potential game changing technology for several Mars applications, such as Mars Sample Return (MSR) and human exploration. A flexible hybrid test facility has been built at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to provide data relevant to the design of such systems. This paper presents the motivations for such a system and its design. The facility is capable of testing 5 cm diameter fuel grains with gaseous oxygen and Mars in situ propellant production simulating oxidizer (varying mixtures of GO2, CO2 and CO). All currently planned tests utilize paraffin based fuels; however, alternative hybrid fuels may be used in the future. Variable length to outer diameter (L/D) ratios may also be tested to give insight on potential packaging constraints. The goal of this research is to enable the inclusion of hybrid propulsion systems in future mission design studies by determining the empirical constants in the regression rate equation for paraffin-based fuels with space storable and/or in situ oxidizers and to investigate the effect of L/D on combustion efficiency. Test results will be reported separately.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griffin, Steven T.

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rafalskyi, D.; Aanesland, A.

    2016-06-01

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

  17. NASA Glenn Propulsion Systems Lab (PSL) Icing Facility Update

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas, Queito P.

    2015-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center Propulsion Systems Lab (PSL) was recently upgraded to perform engine inlet ice crystal testing in an altitude environment. The system installed 10 spray bars in the inlet plenum for ice crystal generation using 222 spray nozzles. As an altitude test chamber, PSL is capable of simulation of in-flight icing events in a ground test facility. The system was designed to operate at altitudes from 4,000 ft. to 40,000 ft. at Mach numbers up to 0.8M and inlet total temperatures from -60F to +15F.

  18. Feasibility of MHD submarine propulsion. Phase II, MHD propulsion: Testing in a two Tesla test facility

    SciTech Connect

    Doss, E.D.; Sikes, W.C.

    1992-09-01

    This report describes the work performed during Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the collaborative research program established between Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company (NNS). Phase I of the program focused on the development of computer models for Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) propulsion. Phase 2 focused on the experimental validation of the thruster performance models and the identification, through testing, of any phenomena which may impact the attractiveness of this propulsion system for shipboard applications. The report discusses in detail the work performed in Phase 2 of the program. In Phase 2, a two Tesla test facility was designed, built, and operated. The facility test loop, its components, and their design are presented. The test matrix and its rationale are discussed. Representative experimental results of the test program are presented, and are compared to computer model predictions. In general, the results of the tests and their comparison with the predictions indicate that thephenomena affecting the performance of MHD seawater thrusters are well understood and can be accurately predicted with the developed thruster computer models.

  19. Characteristics of volume expansion of laser plasma for efficient propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uchida, Shigeaki; Hashimoto, Kazuhisa; Fujita, Kazuhisa; Niino, Masayuki; Ashizuka, Takashi; Kawashima, Nobuki

    2002-09-01

    Laser propulsion has many advantages over other conventional methods of producing thrust in space applications. For example, laser energy can be delivered to a remote objects such as space debris which otherwise is impossible to make thrust on its surfaces to remove from the orbits. However, essential advantage of laser propulsion lies in the fact that the characteristics of laser propulsion can be controlled over wide range of parameters by changing laser irradiation conditions. This advantage is based on the capability of controlling specific energy carried by propellant. The specific energy is a key parameter of thrust performance since it determines the propellant temperature or expanding velocity and thus propulsion efficiency. A number of researches so far conducted have treated laser plasma interactions created on solid surfaces with laser parameters such as wavelength, pulse width, intensity, as well as ambient gas pressure. The present study will give a new insight to laser plasma interactions and/or new mechanism of laser thrust generation. Laser energy is deposited inside solid target and, as an initial condition, confined by solid material. Since the confinement time is an order of milli-second, both shock waves and thermal conduction can tale part in the energy transfer process and therefore, give more controllable parameters over the thrust characteristics. In this manner, specific energy carried by target material or propellant can be controlled by changing the depth of energy deposition region. This will give a new dimension of controlling laser plasma characteristics for laser propulsion. In this paper, experimental results and physical insights will be presented as to propelled mass and velocity dependence on laser energy and temporal behavior of impulse generation, as well as enhancement of impact generation over the conventional ablation scheme.

  20. Ground test facilities for evaluating nuclear thermal propulsion engines and fuel elements

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, G.C.; Beck, D.F.; Harmon, C.D.; Shipers, L.R.

    1992-08-01

    Interagency panels evaluating nuclear thermal propulsion development options have consistently recognized the need for constructing a major new ground test facility to support fuel element and engine testing. This paper summarizes the requirements, configuration, and design issues of a proposed ground test complex for evaluating nuclear thermal propulsion engines and fuel elements being developed for the Space Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (SNTP) program. 2 refs.

  1. Multi-Megawatt MPD Plasma Source Operation and Modeling for Fusion Propulsion Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilland, James; Williams, Craig; Mikellides, Ioannis; Mikellides, Pavlos; Marriott, Darin

    2004-02-01

    The expansion of a high temperature fusion plasma through an expanding magnetic field is a process common to most fusion propulsion concepts. The efficiency of this process has a strong bearing on the overall performance of fusion propulsion. In order to simulate the expansion of a fusion plasma, a concept has been developed in which a high velocity plasma is first stagnated in a converging magnetic field to high (100's of eV) temperatures, then expanded though a converging/diverging magnetic nozzle. A Magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) plasma accelerator has been constructed to generate the initial high velocity plasma and is currently undergoing characterization at the Ohio State University. The device has been operated with currents up to 300 kA and power levels up to 200 MWe. The source is powered by a 1.6 MJ, 1.6 ms pulse-forming-network. In addition to experimental tests of the accelerator, computational and theoretical modeling of both the accelerator and the plasma stagnation have been performed using the MACH2 MHD code. Insights into plasma compression and attachment to magnetic field lines have led to recommended design improvements in the facility and to preliminary predictions of nozzle performance.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Robotti, A. C.; Oggero, M.

    1985-01-01

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

  3. Development of Modeling Approaches for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Test Facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Daniel R.; Allgood, Daniel C.; Nguyen, Ke

    2014-01-01

    High efficiency of rocket propul-sion systems is essential for humanity to venture be-yond the moon. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is a promising alternative to conventional chemical rock-ets with relatively high thrust and twice the efficiency of the Space Shuttle Main Engine. NASA is in the pro-cess of developing a new NTP engine, and is evaluat-ing ground test facility concepts that allow for the thor-ough testing of NTP devices. NTP engine exhaust, hot gaseous hydrogen, is nominally expected to be free of radioactive byproducts from the nuclear reactor; how-ever, it has the potential to be contaminated due to off-nominal engine reactor performance. Several options are being investigated to mitigate this hazard potential with one option in particular that completely contains the engine exhaust during engine test operations. The exhaust products are subsequently disposed of between engine tests. For this concept (see Figure 1), oxygen is injected into the high-temperature hydrogen exhaust that reacts to produce steam, excess oxygen and any trace amounts of radioactive noble gases released by off-nominal NTP engine reactor performance. Water is injected to condense the potentially contaminated steam into water. This water and the gaseous oxygen (GO2) are subsequently passed to a containment area where the water and GO2 are separated into separate containment tanks.

  4. Pulsed plasma propulsion system for North-South stationkeeping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guman, W. J.; Palumbo, D. J.

    1976-01-01

    A completely integrated pulsed plasma propulsion system for North-South stationkeeping has been developed. System testing on a thrust balance has provided following new results: (1) A simple, helically coiled, spring-fed propellant subsystem for 38,284 lb-s (166,000 N-S) total impulse is feasible; (2) The propulsive performance level is compatible with North-South stationkeeping requirements; (3) Power conditioning is as simple as that of the space flight proven microthruster system; (4) Vacuum compatible, high energy density capacitors (40 joules/lb) capacitors have been developed and tested as part of the system; (5) 10,000 lb-sec of total impulse has been generated. Future improvements will include reducing electrode erosion, improving the structural rigidity of the assembly and continuously operating the system until 37,000 lb-sec of total impulse have been generated.

  5. Modular Pulsed Plasma Electric Propulsion System for Cubesats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 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)

  7. Advanced Plasma Propulsion for Human Missions to Jupiter

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donahue, Benjamin B.; Pearson, J. Boise

    1999-01-01

    This paper will briefly identify a promising fusion plasma power source, which when coupled with a promising electric thruster technology would provide for an efficient interplanetary transfer craft suitable to a 4 year round trip mission to the Jovian system. An advanced, nearly radiation free Inertial Electrostatic Confinement scheme for containing fusion plasma was judged as offering potential for delivering the performance and operational benefits needed for such high energy human expedition missions, without requiring heavy superconducting magnets for containment of the fusion plasma. Once the Jovian transfer stage has matched the heliocentric velocity of Jupiter, the energy requirements for excursions to its outer satellites (Callisto, Ganymede and Europa) by smaller excursion craft are not prohibitive. The overall propulsion, power and thruster system is briefly described and a preliminary vehicle mass statement is presented.

  8. 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.

  9. Plasma simulation in a hybrid ion electric propulsion system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jugroot, Manish; Christou, Alex

    2015-04-01

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

  10. Liquid Metal Propellant Feed System for Plasma Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markusic, T. E.

    2004-01-01

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

  11. A digital computer propulsion control facility: Description of capabilities and summary of experimental program results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zeller, J. R.; Arpasi, D. J.; Lehtinen, B.

    1976-01-01

    Flight weight digital computers are being used today to carry out many of the propulsion system control functions previously delegated exclusively to hydromechanical controllers. An operational digital computer facility for propulsion control mode studies has been used successfully in several experimental programs. This paper describes the system and some of the results concerned with engine control, inlet control, and inlet engine integrated control. Analytical designs for the digital propulsion control modes include both classical and modern/optimal techniques.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Wind Tunnel and Propulsion Test Facilities: An Assessment of NASA's Capabilities to Serve National Needs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anton, Philip S.; Gritton, Eugene C.; Mesic, Richard; Steinberg, Paul; Johnson, Dana J.

    2004-01-01

    This monograph reveals and discusses the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) wind tunnel and propulsion test facility management issues that are creating real risks to the United States' competitive aeronautics advantage.

  15. Antiproton powered propulsion with magnetically confined plasma engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lapointe, Michael R.

    1989-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  19. Antiproton powered propulsion with magnetically confined plasma engines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lapointe, Michael R.

    1989-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Ground Test Facility for Propulsion and Power Modes of Nuclear Engine Operation

    SciTech Connect

    Michael, WILLIAMS

    2004-11-22

    Existing DOE Ground Test Facilities have not been used to support nuclear propulsion testing since the Rover/NERVA programs of the 1960's. Unlike the Rover/NERVA programs, DOE Ground Test facilities for space exploration enabling nuclear technologies can no longer be vented to the open atmosphere. The optimal selection of DOE facilities and accompanying modifications for confinement and treatment of exhaust gases will permit the safe testing of NASA Nuclear Propulsion and Power devices involving variable size and source nuclear engines for NASA Jupiter Icy Moon Orbiter (JIMO) and Commercial Space Exploration Missions with minimal cost, schedule and environmental impact. NASA site selection criteria and testing requirements are presented.

  2. Possibilities for magnetic control of fission plasma propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerwin, R. A.; Poston, D. I.; Nebel, R. A.

    Magnetic fusion energy research suggests the use of some magnetoplasma configurations to address certain critical issues in the gas-core fission approach to nuclear-thermal propulsion. The general framework of such an investigation that was outlined in a previous paper is directed here at the spheromak configuration in greater detail. In some unoptimized examples, the authors explore the compatibility of gas-core fission reactor criticality conditions with the dynamo action needed to non-inductively sustain the spheromak. The Lundquist number S is identified as a figure of merit, and is estimated by modeling to be as large as 100 in near-critical uranium (U-233) plasmas of several-meter dimensions diluted with lithium (Li-7) when the spheromak power consumption is treated as a constraint; whereas S as small as 200 is observed to be still able to preserve MHD dynamo activity in 3D resistive MHD simulations. Further optimization studies are required to ascertain whether these two values can be made to coincide.

  3. Possibilities for magnetic control of fission plasma propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Gerwin, R.A.; Poston, D.I.; Nebel, R.A.

    1995-09-01

    Magnetic fusion energy research suggests the use of some magnetoplasma configurations to address certain critical issues in the gas-core fission approach to nuclear-thermal propulsion. The general framework of such an investigation that was outlined in a previous paper is directed here at the spheromak configuration in greater detail. In some unoptimized examples, the authors explore the compatibility of gas-core fission reactor criticality conditions with the dynamo action needed to non-inductively sustain the spheromak. The Lundquist number S is identified as a figure of merit, and is estimated by modeling to be as large as 100 in near-critical uranium ({sup 233}U) plasmas of several-meter dimensions diluted with lithium ({sup 7}Li) when the spheromak power consumption is treated as a constraint; whereas S as small as 200 is observed to be still able to preserve MHD dynamo activity in 3D resistive MHD simulations. Further optimization studies are required to ascertain whether these two values can be made to coincide.

  4. Proposed Facility Modifications to Support Propulsion Systems Testing Under Simulated Space Conditions at Plum Brook Station's Spacecraft Propulsion Research Facility (B-2)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edwards, Daryl A.

    2007-01-01

    Preparing NASA's Plum Brook Station's Spacecraft Propulsion Research Facility (B-2) to support NASA's new generation of launch vehicles has raised many challenges for B-2 s support staff. The facility provides a unique capability to test chemical propulsion systems/vehicles while simulating space thermal and vacuum environments. Designed and constructed 4 decades ago to support upper stage cryogenic engine/vehicle system development, the Plum Brook Station B-2 facility will require modifications to support the larger, more powerful, and more advanced engine systems for the next generation of vehicles leaving earth's orbit. Engine design improvements over the years have included large area expansion ratio nozzles, greater combustion chamber pressures, and advanced materials. Consequently, it has become necessary to determine what facility changes are required and how the facility can be adapted to support varying customers and their specific test needs. Instrumental in this task is understanding the present facility capabilities and identifying what reasonable changes can be implemented. A variety of approaches and analytical tools are being employed to gain this understanding. This paper discusses some of the challenges in applying these tools to this project and expected facility configuration to support the varying customer needs.

  5. Investigation of hypersonic ramjet propulsion cycles using a ram accelerator test facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bruckner, A. P.; Chew, G.; De Turenne, J. A.; Dunmire, B.

    1991-01-01

    Experimental research on hypersonic propulsion using a ram accelerator test facility is presented. The gasdynamics of the ram accelerator has been studied experimentally in a 38-mm bore facility over the Mach number range of 2.5 to 8.5, using methane- and ethylene-based propellant mixtures. Three different propulsive modes, centered on the Chapman-Jouguet (C-J) detonation speed of the combustible gas, have been experimentally observed. Projectiles have been accelerated smoothly from velocities below to above the C-J speed within a single propellant mixture.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  7. Operational summary of an electric propulsion long term test facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trump, G. E.; James, E. L.; Bechtel, R. T.

    1982-01-01

    An automated test facility capable of simultaneously operating three 2.5 kW, 30-cm mercury ion thrusters and their power processors is described, along with a test program conducted for the documentation of thruster characteristics as a function of time. Facility controls are analog, with full redundancy, so that in the event of malfunction the facility automaticcally activates a backup mode and notifies an operator. Test data are recorded by a central data collection system and processed as daily averages. The facility has operated continuously for a period of 37 months, over which nine mercury ion thrusters and four power processor units accumulated a total of over 14,500 hours of thruster operating time.

  8. An assessment of testing requirement impacts on nuclear thermal propulsion ground test facility design

    SciTech Connect

    Shipers, L.R.; Ottinger, C.A.; Sanchez, L.C.

    1993-10-25

    Programs to develop solid core nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) systems have been under way at the Department of Defense (DoD), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Department of Energy (DOE). These programs have recognized the need for a new ground test facility to support development of NTP systems. However, the different military and civilian applications have led to different ground test facility requirements. The Department of Energy (DOE) in its role as landlord and operator of the proposed research reactor test facilities has initiated an effort to explore opportunities for a common ground test facility to meet both DoD and NASA needs. The baseline design and operating limits of the proposed DoD NTP ground test facility are described. The NASA ground test facility requirements are reviewed and their potential impact on the DoD facility baseline is discussed.

  9. CARS Temperature Measurements in a Hypersonic Propulsion Test Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jarrett, Olin, Jr.; Smith, M. W.; Antcliff, R. R.; Northam, G. Burt; Cutler, A. D.; Capriotti, D. P.; Taylor, D. J.

    1990-01-01

    Nonintrusive diagnostic measurements were performed in the supersonic reacting flow of the Hypersonic Propulsion Test Cell 2 at NASA-Langley. A Coherent Anti-stokes Raman Spectroscopy (CARS) system was assembled specifically for the test cell environment. System design considerations were: (1) test cell noise and vibration; (2) contamination from flow field or atmospheric borne dust; (3) unwanted laser or electrically induced combustion (inside or outside the duct); (4) efficient signal collection; (5) signal splitting to span the wide dynamic range present throughout the flow field; (6) movement of the sampling volume in the flow; and (7) modification of the scramjet model duct to permit optical access to the reacting flow with the CARS system. The flow in the duct was a nominal Mach 2 flow with static pressure near one atmosphere. A single perpendicular injector introduced hydrogen into the flow behind a rearward facing step. CARS data was obtained in three planes downstream of the injection region. At least 20 CARS data points were collected at each of the regularly spaced sampling locations in each data plane. Contour plots of scramjet combustor static temperature in a reacting flow region are presented.

  10. Characterization of Vacuum Facility Background Gas Through Simulation and Considerations for Electric Propulsion Ground Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yim, John T.; Burt, Jonathan M.

    2015-01-01

    The background gas in a vacuum facility for electric propulsion ground testing is examined in detail through a series of cold flow simulations using a direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) code. The focus here is on the background gas itself, its structure and characteristics, rather than assessing its interaction and impact on thruster operation. The background gas, which is often incorrectly characterized as uniform, is found to have a notable velocity within a test facility. The gas velocity has an impact on the proper measurement of pressure and the calculation of ingestion flux to a thruster. There are also considerations for best practices for tests that involve the introduction of supplemental gas flows to artificially increase the background pressure. All of these effects need to be accounted for to properly characterize the operation of electric propulsion thrusters across different ground test vacuum facilities.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gonzalez, Dora E.; Karr, Gerald R.

    1990-01-01

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

  13. An Overview of Facilities and Capabilities to Support the Development of Nuclear Thermal Propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    James Werner; Sam Bhattacharyya; Mike Houts

    2011-02-01

    Abstract. The future of American space exploration depends on the ability to rapidly and economically access locations of interest throughout the solar system. There is a large body of work (both in the US and the Former Soviet Union) that show that Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) is the most technically mature, advanced propulsion system that can enable this rapid and economical access by its ability to provide a step increase above what is a feasible using a traditional chemical rocket system. For an NTP system to be deployed, the earlier measurements and recent predictions of the performance of the fuel and the reactor system need to be confirmed experimentally prior to launch. Major fuel and reactor system issues to be addressed include fuel performance at temperature, hydrogen compatibility, fission product retention, and restart capability. The prime issue to be addressed for reactor system performance testing involves finding an affordable and environmentally acceptable method to test a range of engine sizes using a combination of nuclear and non-nuclear test facilities. This paper provides an assessment of some of the capabilities and facilities that are available or will be needed to develop and test the nuclear fuel, and reactor components. It will also address briefly options to take advantage of the greatly improvement in computation/simulation and materials processing capabilities that would contribute to making the development of an NTP system more affordable. Keywords: Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP), Fuel fabrication, nuclear testing, test facilities.

  14. Coaxial plasma thrusters for high specific impulse propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  15. Low energy stable plasma calibration facility.

    PubMed

    Frederick-Frost, K M; Lynch, K A

    2007-07-01

    We have designed and fabricated a low energy plasma calibration facility for testing and calibration of rocket-borne charged-particle detectors and for the investigation of plasma sheath formation in an environment with ionospheric plasma energies, densities, and Debye lengths. We describe the vacuum system and associated plasma source, which was modified from a Naval Research Laboratory design [Bowles et al. Rev. Sci. Instrum. 67, 455 (1996)]. Mechanical and electrical modifications to this cylindrical microwave resonant source are outlined together with a different method of operating the magnetron that achieves a stable discharge. This facility produces unmagnetized plasmas with densities from 1x10(3)/cm(3) to 6x10(5)/cm(3), electron temperatures from 0.1 to 1.7 eV, and plasma potentials from 0.5 to 8 V depending on varying input microwave power and neutral gas flow. For the range of input microwave power explored (350-600 W), the energy density of the plasma remains constant because of an inverse relationship between density and temperature. This relationship allows a wide range of Debye lengths (0.3-8.4 cm) to be investigated, which is ideal for simulating the ionospheric plasma sheaths we explore.

  16. Theoretical components of the VASIMR plasma propulsion concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arefiev, Alexey V.; Breizman, Boris N.

    2004-05-01

    The ongoing development of the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) involves basic physics analysis of its three major components: helicon plasma source, ion cyclotron-resonance heating module, and magnetic nozzle. This paper presents an overview of recent theoretical efforts associated with the project. It includes (1) a first-principle model for helicon plasma source, (2) a nonlinear theory for the deposition of rf-power at the ion cyclotron frequency into plasma flow, and (3) a discussion of the plasma detachment mechanism relevant to VASIMR.

  17. Microwave plasma generation of hydrogen atoms for rocket propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  20. Advanced electric propulsion and space plasma contactor research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilbur, P. J.

    1986-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. Theory components of the VASIMR plasma propulsion concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arefiev, Alexey

    2003-10-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Test facility for high pressure plasmas

    SciTech Connect

    Block, R.; Laroussi, M.; Schoenbach, K.H.

    1999-07-01

    High pressure nonthermal plasmas are gaining increasing importance because of their wide range of applications, e.g. in air plasma ramparts, gas processing, surface treatment, thin film deposition, and chemical and biological decontamination. In order to compare various methods of plasma generation with respect to efficiency, development of instabilities, homogeneity, lifetime etc., a central test facility for high pressure plasmas is being established. The facility will allow one to study large volume (> 100 cm{sup 3}), nonthermal (gas temperature: < 2,000 K) plasmas over a large pressure range (10{sup {minus}6} Torr up to more than 1 atmosphere) in a standardized discharge cell. The setup was designed to generate plasmas in air as well as in gas mixtures. The available voltage range extends to 25 kV dc (10 kW power). The electrodes can be water cooled. Electrical diagnostics include a 400 Mhz, 2 GS/s 4-channel oscilloscope for current and voltage measurements and the detection of the onset of instabilities. For optical diagnostics, a CCD video camera is used to record the appearance of dc discharges. A high-speed light intensified CCD-camera (25 mm MCP with photocathode, gating speed: 200 ps, adjustable in 10 ps steps) allows to study the development of instabilities and can also be utilized in temporally resolved spectroscopic measurements. Optical emission spectroscopy allows one to determine plasma parameters such as electron density (through Stark broadening measurements) and gas temperature measurements. Interferometry is well suited for electron density measurements especially in weakly ionized plasmas.

  5. Modeling of plasma propulsion using an inflated magnetic field and its interaction with a fast plasma stream

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saha, Saikat

    It has been proposed to extract momentum from the solar wind for spacecraft propulsion in deep space. For this purpose, a magnetic bubble is inflated from the spacecraft. The magnetic bubble inflation is affected by the expansion of a dense warm plasma in the magnetic field created by a solenoid aboard the spacecraft. The interaction between the inflated magnetic field and solar wind is likely to affect the transfer of momentum for the purpose of propulsion. The aim of our research here is to study the feasibility of this propulsion scheme by means of numerical simulations. For this purpose, we developed a 3-D hybrid particle code to model (i) the expansion of plasma in an ambient magnetic field created by a solenoid and (ii) the interaction of a plasma stream with the inflated magnetic field. The code is hybrid in the sense that ions are treated as particles and electrons as an isothermal fluid. We solve the coupled set of Maxwell's equations and the electron momentum equation for the electromagnetic fields using a predictor-corrector method. Using the 3-D simulations, we have demonstrated that when a warm and high-density plasma is injected in solenoidal magnetic fields, the trapping of the plasma in a magnetic mirror creates a dense plasma. When the trapped plasma energy densities (thermal and dynamic) exceed the magnetic energy density, the expanding plasma inflates the magnetic field lines. The extent of field inflation is seen to be greatly dependent on the injection velocity of the thermal plasma. The higher the injection velocity, the larger is the size of the inflated magnetic bubble. It is seen that the original magnetic field, which decreases as R-3, is stretched to the extent where it falls as R-alpha, where R is the distance from the center of the solenoid and alpha is found in the range 1 ≤ alpha ≤ 2. We have also demonstrated that when a plasma stream resembling the solar wind interacts with the expanding magnetic bubble, a magnetopause or bow

  6. Survey of Aerothermodynamics Facilities Useful for the Design of Hypersonic Vehicles Using Air-Breathing Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arnold, James O.; Deiwert, George S.

    1997-01-01

    This paper surveys the use of aerothermodynamic facilities which have been useful in the study of external flows and propulsion aspects of hypersonic, air-breathing vehicles. While the paper is not a survey of all facilities, it covers the utility of shock tunnels and conventional hypersonic blow-down facilities which have been used for hypersonic air-breather studies. The problems confronting researchers in the field of aerothermodynamics are outlined. Results from the T5 GALCIT tunnel for the shock-on lip problem are outlined. Experiments on combustors and short expansion nozzles using the semi-free jet method have been conducted in large shock tunnels. An example which employed the NASA Ames 16-Inch shock tunnel is outlined, and the philosophy of the test technique is described. Conventional blow-down hypersonic wind tunnels are quite useful in hypersonic air-breathing studies. Results from an expansion ramp experiment, simulating the nozzle on a hypersonic air-breather from the NASA Ames 3.5 Foot Hypersonic wind tunnel are summarized. Similar work on expansion nozzles conducted in the NASA Langley hypersonic wind tunnel complex is cited. Free-jet air-frame propulsion integration and configuration stability experiments conducted at Langley in the hypersonic wind tunnel complex on a small generic model are also summarized.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-05-01

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

  8. An RF heated tandem mirror plasma propulsion study

    SciTech Connect

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

    1989-01-01

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

  9. Rapid Mars transits with exhaust-modulated plasma propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-12-31

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  13. A commercial plasma source ion implantation facility

    SciTech Connect

    Scheuer, J.T.; Adler, R.A.; Horne, W.G.

    1996-10-01

    Empire Hard Chrome has recently installed commercial plasma source ion implantation (PSU) equipment built by North Star Research Corporation. Los Alamos National Laboratory has assisted in this commercialization effort via two Cooperative Research and Development Agreements to develop the plasma source for the equipment and to identify low-risk commercial PSII applications. The PSII system consists of a 1 m x 1 m cylindrical vacuum chamber with a rf plasma source. The pulse modulator is capable of delivering pulses kV and peak currents of 300 A at maximum repetition rate of 400 Hz. thyratron tube to switch a pulse forming network which is tailored to match the dynamic PSII load. In this paper we discuss the PSII system, process facility, and early commercial applications to production tooling.

  14. Unsteady loads due to propulsive lift configurations. Part D: The development of an experimental facility for the investigation of scaling effects on propulsive lift configurations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haviland, J. K.; Herling, W. W.

    1978-01-01

    The design and construction of an experimental facility for the investigation of scaling effects in propulsive lift configurations are described. The facility was modeled after an existing full size NASA facility which consisted of a coaxial turbofan jet engine with a rectangular nozzle in a blown surface configuration. The flow field of the model facility was examined with and without a simulated wing surface in place at several locations downstream of the nozzle exit plane. Emphasis was placed on obtaining pressure measurements which were made with static probes and surface pressure ports connected via plastic tubing to condenser microphones for fluctuating measurements. Several pressure spectra were compared with those obtained from the NASA facility, and were used in a preliminary evaluation of scaling laws.

  15. The Burning Plasma Experiment conventional facilities

    SciTech Connect

    Commander, J.C.

    1991-01-01

    The Burning Program Plasma Experiment (BPX) is phased to start construction of conventional facilities in July 1994, in conjunction with the conclusion of the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR) project. This paper deals with the conceptual design of the BPX Conventional Facilities, for which Functional and Operational Requirements (F ORs) were developed. Existing TFTR buildings and utilities will be adapted and used to satisfy the BPX Project F ORs to the maximum extent possible. However, new conventional facilities will be required to support the BPX project. These facilities include: The BPX building; Site improvements and utilities; the Field Coil Power Conversion (FCPC) building; the TFTR modifications; the Motor Generation (MG) building; Liquid Nitrogen (LN{sub 2}) building; and the associated Instrumentation and Control (I C) systems. The BPX building will provide for safe and efficient shielding, housing, operation, handling, maintenance and decontamination of the BPX and its support systems. Site improvements and utilities will feature a utility tunnel which will provide a space for utility services--including pulse power duct banks and liquid nitrogen coolant lines. The FCPC building will house eight additional power supplied for the Toroidal Field (TF) coils. The MG building will house the two MG sets larger than the existing TFTR MG sets. This paper also addresses the conventional facility cost estimating methodology and the rationale for the construction schedule developed. 6 figs., 1 tab.

  16. The Burning Plasma Experiment conventional facilities

    SciTech Connect

    Commander, J.C.

    1991-12-01

    The Burning Program Plasma Experiment (BPX) is phased to start construction of conventional facilities in July 1994, in conjunction with the conclusion of the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR) project. This paper deals with the conceptual design of the BPX Conventional Facilities, for which Functional and Operational Requirements (F&ORs) were developed. Existing TFTR buildings and utilities will be adapted and used to satisfy the BPX Project F&ORs to the maximum extent possible. However, new conventional facilities will be required to support the BPX project. These facilities include: The BPX building; Site improvements and utilities; the Field Coil Power Conversion (FCPC) building; the TFTR modifications; the Motor Generation (MG) building; Liquid Nitrogen (LN{sub 2}) building; and the associated Instrumentation and Control (I&C) systems. The BPX building will provide for safe and efficient shielding, housing, operation, handling, maintenance and decontamination of the BPX and its support systems. Site improvements and utilities will feature a utility tunnel which will provide a space for utility services--including pulse power duct banks and liquid nitrogen coolant lines. The FCPC building will house eight additional power supplied for the Toroidal Field (TF) coils. The MG building will house the two MG sets larger than the existing TFTR MG sets. This paper also addresses the conventional facility cost estimating methodology and the rationale for the construction schedule developed. 6 figs., 1 tab.

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  20. Common Data Acquisition Systems (DAS) Software Development for Rocket Propulsion Test (RPT) Test Facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hebert, Phillip W., Sr.; Davis, Dawn M.; Turowski, Mark P.; Holladay, Wendy T.; Hughes, Mark S.

    2012-01-01

    The advent of the commercial space launch industry and NASA's more recent resumption of operation of Stennis Space Center's large test facilities after thirty years of contractor control resulted in a need for a non-proprietary data acquisition systems (DAS) software to support government and commercial testing. The software is designed for modularity and adaptability to minimize the software development effort for current and future data systems. An additional benefit of the software's architecture is its ability to easily migrate to other testing facilities thus providing future commonality across Stennis. Adapting the software to other Rocket Propulsion Test (RPT) Centers such as MSFC, White Sands, and Plumbrook Station would provide additional commonality and help reduce testing costs for NASA. Ultimately, the software provides the government with unlimited rights and guarantees privacy of data to commercial entities. The project engaged all RPT Centers and NASA's Independent Verification & Validation facility to enhance product quality. The design consists of a translation layer which provides the transparency of the software application layers to underlying hardware regardless of test facility location and a flexible and easily accessible database. This presentation addresses system technical design, issues encountered, and the status of Stennis development and deployment.

  1. Influence of Surface Radius Curvature on Laser Plasma Propulsion with Ablation Water Propellant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liang, Tian; Zheng, Zhiyuan; Zhang, Siqi; Tang, Weichong; Xiao, Ke; Liang, Wenfei; Gao, Lu; Gao, Hua

    2016-10-01

    The surface shape of liquid water is well controlled during nanosecond pulse laser ablation plasma propulsion. In this study, we measured the effect of the shape on the coupling coefficient and the specific impulse. We found that the coupling coefficient and specific impulse could be optimized by varying the surface convexity. Based on the analysis of the surface radius curvature, we demonstrate that the convex surface changes the laser focal positions to achieve high efficiency. supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 10905049) and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities of China (Nos. 53200859165, 2562010050)

  2. NASA Data Acquisition System Software Development for Rocket Propulsion Test Facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herbert, Phillip W., Sr.; Elliot, Alex C.; Graves, Andrew R.

    2015-01-01

    Current NASA propulsion test facilities include Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama, Plum Brook Station in Ohio, and White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico. Within and across these centers, a diverse set of data acquisition systems exist with different hardware and software platforms. The NASA Data Acquisition System (NDAS) is a software suite designed to operate and control many critical aspects of rocket engine testing. The software suite combines real-time data visualization, data recording to a variety formats, short-term and long-term acquisition system calibration capabilities, test stand configuration control, and a variety of data post-processing capabilities. Additionally, data stream conversion functions exist to translate test facility data streams to and from downstream systems, including engine customer systems. The primary design goals for NDAS are flexibility, extensibility, and modularity. Providing a common user interface for a variety of hardware platforms helps drive consistency and error reduction during testing. In addition, with an understanding that test facilities have different requirements and setups, the software is designed to be modular. One engine program may require real-time displays and data recording; others may require more complex data stream conversion, measurement filtering, or test stand configuration management. The NDAS suite allows test facilities to choose which components to use based on their specific needs. The NDAS code is primarily written in LabVIEW, a graphical, data-flow driven language. Although LabVIEW is a general-purpose programming language; large-scale software development in the language is relatively rare compared to more commonly used languages. The NDAS software suite also makes extensive use of a new, advanced development framework called the Actor Framework. The Actor Framework provides a level of code reuse and extensibility that has previously been difficult

  3. Investigation of plasma-surface interaction at plasma beam facilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurnaev, V.; Vizgalov, I.; Gutorov, K.; Tulenbergenov, T.; Sokolov, I.; Kolodeshnikov, A.; Ignashev, V.; Zuev, V.; Bogomolova, I.; Klimov, N.

    2015-08-01

    The new Plasma Beam Facility (PBF) has been put into operation for assistance in testing of plasma faced components at Material Science Kazakhstan Tokamak (KTM). PBF includes a powerful electron gun (up to 30 kV, 1 A) and a high vacuum chamber with longitudinal magnetic field coils (up to 0.2 T). The regime of high vacuum electron beam transportation is used for thermal tests with power density at the target surface up to 10 GW/m2. The beam plasma discharge (BPD) regime with a gas-puff is used for generation of intensive ion fluxes up to 3 ṡ 1022 m-2 s-1. Initial tests of the KTM PBF's capabilities were carried out: various discharge regimes, carbon deposits cleaning, simultaneous thermal and ion impacts on radiation cooled refractory targets. With a water-cooled target the KTM PBF could be used for high heat flux tests of materials (validated by the experiment with W mock-up at the PR-2 PBF).

  4. The development of space plasma testing facility using RF source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamieneski, Richard; Hyde, Alexander; Batishchev, Oleg

    2012-10-01

    A new testing facility is being developed to simulate space and atmospheric plasmas. It utilizes modified helicon plasma source [1] to ionize gases common to space and ionosphere, namely hydrogen, helium, and nitrogen. Emission spectra of ionized gases are analyzed by vacuum spectrometer to understand plasma composition. The design of computerized controls and data acquisition system are discussed. [4pt] [1] O. Batishchev, Minihelicon Plasma Thruster, IEEE Trans. Plasma Science, 37 (8) 1563, 2009.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  6. Numerical simulation of the actuation system for the ALDF's propulsion control valve. [Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Korte, John J.

    1990-01-01

    A numerical simulation of the actuation system for the propulsion control valve (PCV) of the NASA Langley Aircraft Landing Dynamics Facility was developed during the preliminary design of the PCV and used throughout the entire project. The simulation is based on a predictive model of the PCV which is used to evaluate and design the actuation system. The PCV controls a 1.7 million-pound thrust water jet used in propelling a 108,000-pound test carriage. The PCV can open and close in 0.300 second and deliver over 9,000 gallons of water per sec at pressures up to 3150 psi. The numerical simulation results are used to predict transient performance and valve opening characteristics, specify the hydraulic control system, define transient loadings on components, and evaluate failure modes. The mathematical model used for numerically simulating the mechanical fluid power system is described, and numerical results are demonstrated for a typical opening and closing cycle of the PCV. A summary is then given on how the model is used in the design process.

  7. Aqueous Cleaning and Validation for Space Shuttle Propulsion Hardware at the White Sands Test Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hornung, Steven D.; Biesinger, Paul; Kirsch, Mike; Beeson, Harold; Leuders, Kathy

    1999-01-01

    The NASA White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) has developed an entirely aqueous final cleaning and verification process to replace the current chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) 113 based process. This process has been accepted for final cleaning and cleanliness verification of WSTF ground support equipment. The aqueous process relies on ultrapure water at 50 C (323 K) and ultrasonic agitation for removal of organic compounds and particulate. The cleanliness is verified bv determining the total organic carbon (TOC) content and filtration with particulate counting. The effectiveness of the aqueous methods for detecting hydrocarbon contamination and particulate was compared to the accepted CFC 113 sampling procedures. Testing with known contaminants, such as hydraulic fluid and cutting and lubricating oils, to establish a correlation between aqueous TOC and CFC 113 nonvolatile residue (NVR) was performed. Particulate sampling on cleaned batches of hardware that were randomly separated and sampled by the two methods was performed. This paper presents the approach and results, and discusses the issues in establishing the equivalence of aqueous sampling to CFC 113 sampling, while describing the approach for implementing aqueous techniques on Space Shuttle Propulsion hardware.

  8. Development and Demonstration of a Computational Tool for the Analysis of Particle Vitiation Effects in Hypersonic Propulsion Test Facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Perkins, Hugh Douglas

    2010-01-01

    In order to improve the understanding of particle vitiation effects in hypersonic propulsion test facilities, a quasi-one dimensional numerical tool was developed to efficiently model reacting particle-gas flows over a wide range of conditions. Features of this code include gas-phase finite-rate kinetics, a global porous-particle combustion model, mass, momentum and energy interactions between phases, and subsonic and supersonic particle drag and heat transfer models. The basic capabilities of this tool were validated against available data or other validated codes. To demonstrate the capabilities of the code a series of computations were performed for a model hypersonic propulsion test facility and scramjet. Parameters studied were simulated flight Mach number, particle size, particle mass fraction and particle material.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Northway, P.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-03-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-12-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  13. Multifunctional laser facility with photoelectric recording for plasma diagnostics

    SciTech Connect

    Pyatnitsky, L.N.; Yakushev, G.G.; Oberman, F.M. )

    1989-01-01

    A laser facility with photoelectric recording is described. It can be used in performing plasma diagnostics by four different measuring techniques. The application of photoelectric recording considerably simplifies the automation of measurements.

  14. Feasibility Study for a Plasma Dynamo Facility to Investigate Fundamental Processes in Plasma Astrophysics. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Forest, Cary B.

    2013-09-19

    The scientific equipment purchased on this grant was used on the Plasma Dynamo Prototype Experiment as part of Professor Forest's feasibility study for determining if it would be worthwhile to propose building a larger plasma physics experiment to investigate various fundamental processes in plasma astrophysics. The initial research on the Plasma Dynamo Prototype Experiment was successful so Professor Forest and Professor Ellen Zweibel at UW-Madison submitted an NSF Major Research Instrumentation proposal titled "ARRA MRI: Development of a Plasma Dynamo Facility for Experimental Investigations of Fundamental Processes in Plasma Astrophysics." They received funding for this project and the Plasma Dynamo Facility also known as the "Madison Plasma Dynamo Experiment" was constructed. This experiment achieved its first plasma in the fall of 2012 and U.S. Dept. of Energy Grant No. DE-SC0008709 "Experimental Studies of Plasma Dynamos," now supports the research.

  15. Plasma system of the GOL-3T facility

    SciTech Connect

    Arzhannikov, A. V.; Burdakov, A. V.; Burmasov, V. S.; Ivanov, I. A.; Kuznetsov, S. A.; Kuklin, K. N.; Mekler, K. I.; Polosatkin, S. V.; Postupaev, V. V. Rovenskikh, A. F.; Sinitsky, S. L.; Sklyarov, V. F.

    2015-11-15

    The plasma system and diagnostics of the new facility GOL-3T are described. This facility is the final result of the first stage in the deep upgrade of the GOL-3 multiple-mirror system, which has operated at the Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics since 1988. The upgrade project supposes creation of two new independent facilities at the site of GOL-3. The GOL-3T facility is intended to study the physics of beam—plasma interaction and generation of subterahertz electromagnetic radiation during the collective relaxation of a high-power relativistic electron beam with a duration of 5–10 μs. Studies on the physics of multiple-mirror plasma confinement in axisymmetric magnetic systems will be continued in a new range of experiment parameters at the second facility, named GOL-NB.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1975-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chow, S.

    1976-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-11-15

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

  20. Advanced Propulsion Concepts at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brophy, J. R.

    1997-01-01

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

  1. Plasma wakefield acceleration at CLARA facility in Daresbury Laboratory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xia, G.; Nie, Y.; Mete, O.; Hanahoe, K.; Dover, M.; Wigram, M.; Wright, J.; Zhang, J.; Smith, J.; Pacey, T.; Li, Y.; Wei, Y.; Welsch, C.

    2016-09-01

    A plasma accelerator research station (PARS) has been proposed to study the key issues in electron driven plasma wakefield acceleration at CLARA facility in Daresbury Laboratory. In this paper, the quasi-nonlinear regime of beam driven plasma wakefield acceleration is analysed. The wakefield excited by various CLARA beam settings are simulated by using a 2D particle-in-cell (PIC) code. For a single drive beam, an accelerating gradient up to 3 GV/m can be achieved. For a two bunch acceleration scenario, simulation shows that a witness bunch can achieve a significant energy gain in a 10-50 cm long plasma cell.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capece, Angela Maria

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

  3. Non-uniform Erosion and Surface Evolution of Plasma-Facing Materials for Electric Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matthes, Christopher Stanley Rutter

    A study regarding the surface evolution of plasma-facing materials is presented. Experimental efforts were performed in the UCLA Pi Facility, designed to explore the physics of plasma-surface interactions. The influence of micro-architectured surfaces on the effects of plasma sputtering is compared with the response of planar samples. Ballistic deposition of sputtered atoms as a result of geometric re-trapping is observed. This provides a self-healing mechanism of micro-architectured surfaces during plasma exposure. This result is quantified using a QCM to demonstrate the evolution of surface features and the corresponding influence on the instantaneous sputtering yield. The sputtering yield of textured molybdenum samples exposed to 300 eV Ar plasma is found to be roughly 1 of the 2 corresponding value of flat samples, and increases with ion fluence. Mo samples exhibited a sputtering yield initially as low as 0.22+/-8%, converging to 0.4+/-8% at high fluence. Although the yield is dependent on the initial surface structure, it is shown to be transient, reaching a steady-state value that is independent of initial surface conditions. A continuum model of surface evolution resulting from sputtering, deposition and surface diffusion is also derived to resemble the damped Kuramoto-Sivashinsky (KS) equation of non-linear dynamics. Linear stability analysis of the evolution equation provides an estimate of the selected wavelength, and its dependence on the ion energy and angle of incidence. The analytical results are confirmed by numerical simulations of the equation with a Fast Fourier Transform method. It is shown that for an initially flat surface, small perturbations lead to the evolution of a selected surface pattern that has nano- scale wavelength. When the surface is initially patterned by other means, the final resulting pattern is a competition between the "templated" pattern and the "self-organized" structure. Potential future routes of research are also

  4. Design philosophy of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory infrared detector test facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burns, R.; Blessinger, M. A.

    1983-01-01

    To support the development of advanced infrared remote sensing instrumentation using line and area arrays, a test facility has been developed to characterize the detectors. The necessary performance characteristics of the facility were defined by considering current and projected requirements for detector testing. The completed facility provides the desired level of detector testing capability as well as providing ease of human interaction.

  5. New diagnostic facilities for Caltech plasma experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhai, Xiang; Bellan, Paul

    2011-10-01

    An optically coupled high voltage probe (HV probe) and a visible and near infrared (VNIR) detector are being developed for Caltech solar coronal loop and astrophysical jet experiments. The HV probe uses a capacitive voltage divider coupled a fast LED to convert the electrical signal into an optical signal, which is then conveyed to a receiver via an optical fiber. A solar cell array powered by ambient laboratory lighting charges a capacitor that when triggered acts as a short-duration power supply for an onboard amplifier in the HV probe. The fast VNIR detector combined with specific atomic line filters measures the spectra with 10ns time resolution. Measurements show that before detachment, the gross VNIR emission power of the solar coronal plasma loop is a function of the axial electric current. H α and H β line emission power is found to be 102 ~103 greater than predicted by assuming local thermodynamic equilibrium. This indicates that the plasma is not in an ionization-recombination equilibrium state and can have a larger population of neutrals than predicted for an equilibrium state. NSF, DOE, AFOSR

  6. Common Data Acquisition Systems (DAS) Software Development for Rocket Propulsion Test (RPT) Test Facilities - A General Overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hebert, Phillip W., Sr.; Hughes, Mark S.; Davis, Dawn M.; Turowski, Mark P.; Holladay, Wendy T.; Marshall, PeggL.; Duncan, Michael E.; Morris, Jon A.; Franzl, Richard W.

    2012-01-01

    The advent of the commercial space launch industry and NASA's more recent resumption of operation of Stennis Space Center's large test facilities after thirty years of contractor control resulted in a need for a non-proprietary data acquisition system (DAS) software to support government and commercial testing. The software is designed for modularity and adaptability to minimize the software development effort for current and future data systems. An additional benefit of the software's architecture is its ability to easily migrate to other testing facilities thus providing future commonality across Stennis. Adapting the software to other Rocket Propulsion Test (RPT) Centers such as MSFC, White Sands, and Plumbrook Station would provide additional commonality and help reduce testing costs for NASA. Ultimately, the software provides the government with unlimited rights and guarantees privacy of data to commercial entities. The project engaged all RPT Centers and NASA's Independent Verification & Validation facility to enhance product quality. The design consists of a translation layer which provides the transparency of the software application layers to underlying hardware regardless of test facility location and a flexible and easily accessible database. This presentation addresses system technical design, issues encountered, and the status of Stennis' development and deployment.

  7. Plasma Jet Experiments Using LULI 2000 Laser Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loupias, B.; Falize, E.; Koenig, M.; Bouquet, S.; Ozaki, N.; Benuzzi-Mounaix, A.; Michaut, C.; Goahec, M. Rabec Le; Nazarov, W.; Courtois, C.; Aglitskiy, Y.; Faenov, A. Ya.; Pikuz, T.

    2007-01-01

    We present experiments performed with the LULI2000 nanosecond laser facility. We generated plasma jets by using specific designed target. The main measured quantities related to the jet such as its propagation velocity, temperature and emissive radius evolution are presented. We also performed analytical work, which explains the jet evolution in some cases.

  8. Performance of the Spacecraft Propulsion Research Facility During Altitude Firing Tests of the Delta 3 Upper Stage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meyer, Michael L.; Dickens, Kevin W.; Skaff, Tony F.; Cmar, Mark D.; VanMeter, Matthew J.; Haberbusch, Mark S.

    1998-01-01

    The Spacecraft Propulsion Research Facility at the NASA Lewis Research Center's Plum Brook Station was reactivated in order to conduct flight simulation ground tests of the Delta 3 cryogenic upper stage. The tests were a cooperative effort between The Boeing Company, Pratt and Whitney, and NASA. They included demonstration of tanking and detanking of liquid hydrogen, liquid oxygen and helium pressurant gas as well as 12 engine firings simulating first, second, and third burns at altitude conditions. A key to the success of these tests was the performance of the primary facility systems and their interfaces with the vehicle. These systems included the structural support of the vehicle, propellant supplies, data acquisition, facility control systems, and the altitude exhaust system. While the facility connections to the vehicle umbilical panel simulated the performance of the launch pad systems, additional purge and electrical connections were also required which were unique to ground testing of the vehicle. The altitude exhaust system permitted an approximate simulation of the boost-phase pressure profile by rapidly pumping the test chamber from 13 psia to 0.5 psia as well as maintaining altitude conditions during extended steady-state firings. The performance of the steam driven ejector exhaust system has been correlated with variations in cooling water temperature during these tests. This correlation and comparisons to limited data available from Centaur tests conducted in the facility from 1969-1971 provided insight into optimizing the operation of the exhaust system for future tests. Overall, the facility proved to be robust and flexible for vehicle space simulation engine firings and enabled all test objectives to be successfully completed within the planned schedule.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1982-01-01

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

  10. Modification of NASA Langley 8 foot high temperature tunnel to provide a unique national research facility for hypersonic air-breathing propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kelly, H. N.; Wieting, A. R.

    1984-01-01

    A planned modification of the NASA Langley 8-Foot High Temperature Tunnel to make it a unique national research facility for hypersonic air-breathing propulsion systems is described, and some of the ongoing supporting research for that modification is discussed. The modification involves: (1) the addition of an oxygen-enrichment system which will allow the methane-air combustion-heated test stream to simulate air for propulsion testing; and (2) supplemental nozzles to expand the test simulation capability from the current nominal Mach number to 7.0 include Mach numbers 3.0, 4.5, and 5.0. Detailed design of the modifications is currently underway and the modified facility is scheduled to be available for tests of large scale propulsion systems by mid 1988.

  11. MHD Simulation of Magnetic Nozzle Plasma with the NIMROD Code: Applications to the VASIMR Advanced Space Propulsion Concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarditi, Alfonso G.; Shebalin, John V.

    2002-11-01

    A simulation study with the NIMROD code [1] is being carried on to investigate the efficiency of the thrust generation process and the properties of the plasma detachment in a magnetic nozzle. In the simulation, hot plasma is injected in the magnetic nozzle, modeled as a 2D, axi-symmetric domain. NIMROD has two-fluid, 3D capabilities but the present runs are being conducted within the MHD, 2D approximation. As the plasma travels through the magnetic field, part of its thermal energy is converted into longitudinal kinetic energy, along the axis of the nozzle. The plasma eventually detaches from the magnetic field at a certain distance from the nozzle throat where the kinetic energy becomes larger than the magnetic energy. Preliminary NIMROD 2D runs have been benchmarked with a particle trajectory code showing satisfactory results [2]. Further testing is here reported with the emphasis on the analysis of the diffusion rate across the field lines and of the overall nozzle efficiency. These simulation runs are specifically designed for obtaining comparisons with laboratory measurements of the VASIMR experiment, by looking at the evolution of the radial plasma density and temperature profiles in the nozzle. VASIMR (Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket, [3]) is an advanced space propulsion concept currently under experimental development at the Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center. A plasma (typically ionized Hydrogen or Helium) is generated by a RF (Helicon) discharge and heated by an Ion Cyclotron Resonance Heating antenna. The heated plasma is then guided into a magnetic nozzle to convert the thermal plasma energy into effective thrust. The VASIMR system has no electrodes and a solenoidal magnetic field produced by an asymmetric mirror configuration ensures magnetic insulation of the plasma from the material surfaces. By powering the plasma source and the heating antenna at different levels it is possible to vary smoothly of the

  12. Solar Thermal Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gerrish, Harold P., Jr.

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents viewgraphs on Solar Thermal Propulsion (STP). Some of the topics include: 1) Ways to use Solar Energy for Propulsion; 2) Solar (fusion) Energy; 3) Operation in Orbit; 4) Propulsion Concepts; 5) Critical Equations; 6) Power Efficiency; 7) Major STP Projects; 8) Types of STP Engines; 9) Solar Thermal Propulsion Direct Gain Assembly; 10) Specific Impulse; 11) Thrust; 12) Temperature Distribution; 13) Pressure Loss; 14) Transient Startup; 15) Axial Heat Input; 16) Direct Gain Engine Design; 17) Direct Gain Engine Fabrication; 18) Solar Thermal Propulsion Direct Gain Components; 19) Solar Thermal Test Facility; and 20) Checkout Results.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sathiyavel, C.

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

  14. Dusty Plasma Physics Facility for the International Space Station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goree, John; Hahn, Inseob

    2015-09-01

    The Dusty Plasma Physics Facility (DPPF) is an instrument planned for the International Space Station (ISS). If approved by NASA, JPL will build and operate the facility, and NASA will issue calls for proposals allowing investigators outside JPL to carry out research, public education, and outreach. Microgravity conditions on the ISS will be useful for eliminating two unwanted effects of gravity: sedimentation of dust particles to the bottom of a plasma chamber, and masking weak forces such as the ion drag force that act on dust particles. The DPPF facility is expected to support multiple scientific users. It will have a modular design, with a scientific locker, or insert, that can be exchanged without removing the entire facility. The first insert will use a parallel-plate radio-frequency discharge, polymer microspheres, and high-speed video cameras. This first insert will be designed for fundamental physics experiments. Possible future inserts could be designed for other purposes, such as engineering applications, and experimental simulations of astrophysical or geophysical conditions. The design of the facility will allow remote operation from ground-based laboratories, using telescience.

  15. Spacecraft propulsion research facility (B-2) at the Lewis Research Center, Plum Brook Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klein, William E.

    1993-01-01

    The B-2 facility is designed to hot fire rocket engines or upper stage launch vehicles with up to 890,000 N thrust, after environmental conditioning of the test article in a simulated thermal vaccum space environment. The facility can handle cryogenic fuels and oxidizers. A steam ejector system maintains vacuum around the test article and on the engine discharge during the test firing. Two high speed computer systems control the test, monitor critical parameters and record all of the desired data.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Rafalskyi, Dmytro Popelier, Lara; Aanesland, Ane

    2014-02-07

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

  17. RF-Plasma Source Commissioning in Indian Negative Ion Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, M. J.; Bandyopadhyay, M.; Yadava, Ratnakar; Chakraborty, A. K.; Bansal, G.; Gahlaut, A.; Soni, J.; Kumar, Sunil; Pandya, K.; Parmar, K. G.; Sonara, J.; Kraus, W.; Heinemann, B.; Riedl, R.; Obermayer, S.; Martens, C.; Franzen, P.; Fantz, U.

    2011-09-26

    The Indian program of the RF based negative ion source has started off with the commissioning of ROBIN, the inductively coupled RF based negative ion source facility under establishment at Institute for Plasma research (IPR), India. The facility is being developed under a technology transfer agreement with IPP Garching. It consists of a single RF driver based beam source (BATMAN replica) coupled to a 100 kW, 1 MHz RF generator with a self excited oscillator, through a matching network, for plasma production and ion extraction and acceleration. The delivery of the RF generator and the RF plasma source without the accelerator, has enabled initiation of plasma production experiments. The recent experimental campaign has established the matching circuit parameters that result in plasma production with density in the range of 0.5-1x10{sup 18}/m{sup 3}, at operational gas pressures ranging between 0.4-1 Pa. Various configurations of the matching network have been experimented upon to obtain a stable operation of the set up for RF powers ranging between 25-85 kW and pulse lengths ranging between 4-20 s. It has been observed that the range of the parameters of the matching circuit, over which the frequency of the power supply is stable, is narrow and further experiments with increased number of turns in the coil are in the pipeline to see if the range can be widened. In this paper, the description of the experimental system and the commissioning data related to the optimisation of the various parameters of the matching network, to obtain stable plasma of required density, are presented and discussed.

  18. RF-Plasma Source Commissioning in Indian Negative Ion Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singh, M. J.; Bandyopadhyay, M.; Bansal, G.; Gahlaut, A.; Soni, J.; Kumar, Sunil; Pandya, K.; Parmar, K. G.; Sonara, J.; Yadava, Ratnakar; Chakraborty, A. K.; Kraus, W.; Heinemann, B.; Riedl, R.; Obermayer, S.; Martens, C.; Franzen, P.; Fantz, U.

    2011-09-01

    The Indian program of the RF based negative ion source has started off with the commissioning of ROBIN, the inductively coupled RF based negative ion source facility under establishment at Institute for Plasma research (IPR), India. The facility is being developed under a technology transfer agreement with IPP Garching. It consists of a single RF driver based beam source (BATMAN replica) coupled to a 100 kW, 1 MHz RF generator with a self excited oscillator, through a matching network, for plasma production and ion extraction and acceleration. The delivery of the RF generator and the RF plasma source without the accelerator, has enabled initiation of plasma production experiments. The recent experimental campaign has established the matching circuit parameters that result in plasma production with density in the range of 0.5-1×1018/m3, at operational gas pressures ranging between 0.4-1 Pa. Various configurations of the matching network have been experimented upon to obtain a stable operation of the set up for RF powers ranging between 25-85 kW and pulse lengths ranging between 4-20 s. It has been observed that the range of the parameters of the matching circuit, over which the frequency of the power supply is stable, is narrow and further experiments with increased number of turns in the coil are in the pipeline to see if the range can be widened. In this paper, the description of the experimental system and the commissioning data related to the optimisation of the various parameters of the matching network, to obtain stable plasma of required density, are presented and discussed.

  19. 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.

  20. Development of a propulsion system and component test facility for advanced radioisotope powered Mars Hopper platforms

    SciTech Connect

    Robert C. O'Brien; Nathan D. Jerred; Steven D. Howe

    2011-02-01

    Verification and validation of design and modeling activities for radioisotope powered Mars Hopper platforms undertaken at the Center for Space Nuclear Research is essential for proof of concept. Previous research at the center has driven the selection of advanced material combinations; some of which require specialized handling capabilities. The development of a closed and contained test facility to forward this research is discussed within this paper.

  1. Survey of Aerothermodynamics Facilities Useful for the Design of Hypersonic Vehicles Using Air-Breathing Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arnold, James O.; Deiwert, G. S.

    1997-01-01

    The dream of producing an air-breathing, hydrogen fueled, hypervelocity aircraft has been before the aerospace community for decades. However, such a craft has not yet been realized, even in an experimental form. Despite the simplicity and beauty of the concept, many formidable problems must be overcome to make this dream a reality. This paper summarizes the aero/aerothermodynamic issues that must be addressed to make the dream a reality and discusses how aerothermodynamics facilities and their modem companion, real-gas computational fluid dynamics (CFD), can help solve the problems blocking the way to realizing the dream. The approach of the paper is first to outline the concept of an air-breathing hypersonic vehicle and then discuss the nose-to-tail aerothermodynamics issues and special aerodynamic problems that arise with such a craft. Then the utility of aerothermodynamic facilities and companion CFD analysis is illustrated by reviewing results from recent United States publications wherein these problems have been addressed. Papers selected for the discussion have k e n chosen such that the review will serve to survey important U.S. aero/aerothermodynamic real gas and conventional wind tunnel facilities that are useful in the study of hypersonic, hydrogen propelled hypervelocity vehicles.

  2. Burning plasma regime for Fussion-Fission Research Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zakharov, Leonid E.

    2010-11-01

    The basic aspects of burning plasma regimes of Fusion-Fission Research Facility (FFRF, R/a=4/1 m/m, Ipl=5 MA, Btor=4-6 T, P^DT=50-100 MW, P^fission=80-4000 MW, 1 m thick blanket), which is suggested as the next step device for Chinese fusion program, are presented. The mission of FFRF is to advance magnetic fusion to the level of a stationary neutron source and to create a technical, scientific, and technology basis for the utilization of high-energy fusion neutrons for the needs of nuclear energy and technology. FFRF will rely as much as possible on ITER design. Thus, the magnetic system, especially TFC, will take advantage of ITER experience. TFC will use the same superconductor as ITER. The plasma regimes will represent an extension of the stationary plasma regimes on HT-7 and EAST tokamaks at ASIPP. Both inductive discharges and stationary non-inductive Lower Hybrid Current Drive (LHCD) will be possible. FFRF strongly relies on new, Lithium Wall Fusion (LiWF) plasma regimes, the development of which will be done on NSTX, HT-7, EAST in parallel with the design work. This regime will eliminate a number of uncertainties, still remaining unresolved in the ITER project. Well controlled, hours long inductive current drive operation at P^DT=50-100 MW is predicted.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-01-20

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

  4. OFF-Stagnation point testing in plasma facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viladegut, A.; Chazot, O.

    2015-06-01

    Reentry space vehicles face extreme conditions of heat flux when interacting with the atmosphere at hypersonic velocities. Stagnation point heat flux is normally used as a reference for Thermal Protection Material (TPS) design; however, many critical phenomena also occur at off-stagnation point. This paper adresses the implementation of an offstagnation point methodology able to duplicate in ground facility the hypersonic boundary layer over a flat plate model. The first analysis using two-dimensional (2D) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations is carried out to understand the limitations of this methodology when applying it in plasma wind tunnel. The results from the testing campaign at VKI Plasmatron are also presented.

  5. Measurements of plasma conditions in precursor plasmas at the 1-MA Zebra facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ouart, N. D.; Coverdale, C. A.; Safronova, A. S.; Kantsyrev, V. L.; Williamson, K. M.; Shrestha, I.; Osborne, G. C.; Deeney, C.

    2007-11-01

    Precursor plasmas, both the early time precursor flow of mass and the accumulation of this material on axis, were observed on many z-pinch experiments at various facilities, including low current (< 1MA) and high current (>15 MA, Z) facilities. The impact of these precursors on stagnated plasmas, and targets such as those used for ICF experiments, is still under evaluation. Experiments were performed at the UNR 1-MA, 100ns Zebra facility to study these precursor plasmas with Cu wire arrays. Significant precursor radiation at photon energies > 1 keV was observed on filtered PCDs. Te and ne of the precursor radiation were obtained from modeling of time-resolved spectroscopy of the Cu L-shell emissions for 6 wires on 12mm diameter loads. The precursor plasma temperatures are consistently >250eV. Time resolved pinhole images were also collected, which show bright spots of radiation along the axial length of the pinch. Sandia is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the US DOE under Contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. Work was also supported by the DOE/NNSA Coop. agr. DE-FC52-06NA27616, 06NA27588, 06NA27586, and by fellowship from the NPSC with SNL.

  6. Laser Propulsion - Quo Vadis

    SciTech Connect

    Bohn, Willy L.

    2008-04-28

    First, an introductory overview of the different types of laser propulsion techniques will be given and illustrated by some historical examples. Second, laser devices available for basic experiments will be reviewed ranging from low power lasers sources to inertial confinement laser facilities. Subsequently, a status of work will show the impasse in which the laser propulsion community is currently engaged. Revisiting the basic relations leads to new avenues in ablative and direct laser propulsion for ground based and space based applications. Hereby, special attention will be devoted to the impact of emerging ultra-short pulse lasers on the coupling coefficient and specific impulse. In particular, laser sources and laser propulsion techniques will be tested in microgravity environment. A novel approach to debris removal will be discussed with respect to the Satellite Laser Ranging (SRL) facilities. Finally, some non technical issues will be raised aimed at the future prospects of laser propulsion in the international community.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ahedo, Eduardo; Navarro-Cavalle, Jaume

    2013-04-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-12-31

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Díaz, F. R. Chang

    2001-10-01

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

  10. Electric propulsion system technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brophy, John R.; Garner, Charles E.; Goodfellow, Keith D.; Pivirotto, Thomas J.; Polk, James E.

    1992-01-01

    The work performed in fiscal year (FY) 1991 under the Propulsion Technology Program RTOP (Research and Technology Objectives and Plans) No. (55) 506-42-31 for Low-Thrust Primary and Auxiliary Propulsion technology development is described. The objectives of this work fall under two broad categories. The first of these deals with the development of ion engines for primary propulsion in support of solar system exploration. The second with the advancement of steady-state magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thruster technology at 100 kW to multimegawatt input power levels. The major technology issues for ion propulsion are demonstration of adequate engine life at the 5 to 10 kW power level and scaling ion engines to power levels of tens to hundreds of kilowatts. Tests of a new technique in which the decelerator grid of a three-grid ion accelerator system is biased negative of neutralizer common potential in order to collect facility induced charge-exchange ions are described. These tests indicate that this SAND (Screen, Accelerator, Negative Decelerator) configuration may enable long duration ion engine endurance tests to be performed at vacuum chamber pressures an order of magnitude higher than previously possible. The corresponding reduction in pumping speed requirements enables endurance tests of 10 kW class ion engines to be performed within the resources of existing technology programs. The results of a successful 5,000-hr endurance of a xenon hollow cathode operating at an emission current of 25 A are described, as well as the initial tests of hollow cathodes operating on a mixture of argon and 3 percent nitrogen. Work performed on the development of carbon/carbon grids, a multi-orifice hollow cathode, and discharge chamber erosion reduction through the addition of nitrogen are also described. Critical applied-field MPD thruster technical issues remain to be resolved, including demonstration of reliable steady-state operation at input powers of hundreds to thousands of

  11. Electric propulsion system technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brophy, John R.; Garner, Charles E.; Goodfellow, Keith D.; Pivirotto, Thomas J.; Polk, James E.

    1992-11-01

    The work performed in fiscal year (FY) 1991 under the Propulsion Technology Program RTOP (Research and Technology Objectives and Plans) No. (55) 506-42-31 for Low-Thrust Primary and Auxiliary Propulsion technology development is described. The objectives of this work fall under two broad categories. The first of these deals with the development of ion engines for primary propulsion in support of solar system exploration. The second with the advancement of steady-state magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thruster technology at 100 kW to multimegawatt input power levels. The major technology issues for ion propulsion are demonstration of adequate engine life at the 5 to 10 kW power level and scaling ion engines to power levels of tens to hundreds of kilowatts. Tests of a new technique in which the decelerator grid of a three-grid ion accelerator system is biased negative of neutralizer common potential in order to collect facility induced charge-exchange ions are described. These tests indicate that this SAND (Screen, Accelerator, Negative Decelerator) configuration may enable long duration ion engine endurance tests to be performed at vacuum chamber pressures an order of magnitude higher than previously possible. The corresponding reduction in pumping speed requirements enables endurance tests of 10 kW class ion engines to be performed within the resources of existing technology programs. The results of a successful 5,000-hr endurance of a xenon hollow cathode operating at an emission current of 25 A are described, as well as the initial tests of hollow cathodes operating on a mixture of argon and 3 percent nitrogen. Work performed on the development of carbon/carbon grids, a multi-orifice hollow cathode, and discharge chamber erosion reduction through the addition of nitrogen are also described. Critical applied-field MPD thruster technical issues remain to be resolved, including demonstration of reliable steady-state operation at input powers of hundreds to thousands of

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

  13. Liquid-metal-fed Pulsed Plasma Thrusters for In-space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markusic, Thomas E.

    2004-01-01

    Liquid metal propellants may provide a path toward more reliable and efficient pulsed plasma thrusters (PPTs). Conceptual thruster designs which eliminate the need for high current switches and propellant metering valves are described. Propellant loading techniques are suggested that show promise to increase thruster propellant utilization, dynamic, and electrical efficiency. Calibration results from a compact, electromagnetically-pumped propellant feed system are presented. Results for lithium and gallium propellants show capability to meter propellant at flow rates up to 10 +/- 0.1 mg/s. Experiments investigating the initiation of arc discharges using liquid metal droplets are presented. High speed photography and laser interferometry provide spatially and temporally resolved information on the decomposition of liquid metal droplets , and the evolution of the accelerating current channel.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-01-20

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

  15. TOMAS - A Toroidal Magnetized Plasma Facility for Studying Wall Conditioning of Future Fusion Devices

    SciTech Connect

    Stoerk, H.B.; Winter, J.; Ihde, J.; Esser, H.G.; Reimer, H.; Freisinger, M

    2001-01-15

    The TOroidal MAgnetized System (TOMAS) is a simple magnetized torus dedicated to the investigation of wall conditioning methods by microwave-induced plasmas. In the TOMAS facility, an electron cyclotron resonance plasma is produced by microwaves at a frequency of 2.45 GHz and the corresponding resonant magnetic field of 87.6 mT. The facility and the first operational experience of film deposition by means of methane plasmas are described.

  16. Plasma Facing Components Generic Facilities Review Panel (PFC-GFRP): Final report

    SciTech Connect

    McGrath, R.; Allen, S.; Hill, D.; Brooks, J.; Mattas, R.; Davis, J.; Lipschultz, B.; Ulrickson, M.

    1993-10-01

    The Plasma Facing Components (PFC) Facilities Review Panel was chartered by the US Department of Energy, Office of Fusion Energy, ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) and Technology Division, to outline the program plan and identify the supporting test facilities that lead to reliable, long-lived plasma facing components for ITER. This report summarizes the panel`s findings and identifies the necessary and sufficient set of test facilities required for ITER PFC development.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

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

  18. Laser Plasma Particle Accelerators: Large Fields for Smaller Facility Sources

    SciTech Connect

    Geddes, Cameron G.R.; Cormier-Michel, Estelle; Esarey, Eric H.; Schroeder, Carl B.; Vay, Jean-Luc; Leemans, Wim P.; Bruhwiler, David L.; Cary, John R.; Cowan, Ben; Durant, Marc; Hamill, Paul; Messmer, Peter; Mullowney, Paul; Nieter, Chet; Paul, Kevin; Shasharina, Svetlana; Veitzer, Seth; Weber, Gunther; Rubel, Oliver; Ushizima, Daniela; Bethel, Wes; Wu, John

    2009-03-20

    Compared to conventional particle accelerators, plasmas can sustain accelerating fields that are thousands of times higher. To exploit this ability, massively parallel SciDAC particle simulations provide physical insight into the development of next-generation accelerators that use laser-driven plasma waves. These plasma-based accelerators offer a path to more compact, ultra-fast particle and radiation sources for probing the subatomic world, for studying new materials and new technologies, and for medical applications.

  19. NASA Now: Propulsion

    NASA Video Gallery

    In this episode of NASA Now, you’ll visit NASA’s Spacecraft Propulsion Research Facility, called B-2, at NASA Plum Brook Station. You’ll meet Dr. Louis Povinelli and Brian Jones who explain w...

  20. Electric propulsion for small satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Nuclear Propulsion Technical Interchange Meeting, volume 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    The purpose of the meeting was to review the work performed in fiscal year 1992 in the areas of nuclear thermal and nuclear electric propulsion technology development. These proceedings are an accumulation of the presentations provided at the meeting along with annotations provided by authors. The proceedings cover system concepts, technology development, and system modeling for nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) and nuclear electric propulsion (NEP). The test facilities required for the development of the nuclear propulsion systems are also discussed.

  2. Space Station Freedom solar array panels plasma interaction test facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martin, Donald F.; Mellott, Kenneth D.

    1989-01-01

    The Space Station Freedom Power System will make extensive use of photovoltaic (PV) power generation. The phase 1 power system consists of two PV power modules each capable of delivering 37.5 KW of conditioned power to the user. Each PV module consists of two solar arrays. Each solar array is made up of two solar blankets. Each solar blanket contains 82 PV panels. The PV power modules provide a 160 V nominal operating voltage. Previous research has shown that there are electrical interactions between a plasma environment and a photovoltaic power source. The interactions take two forms: parasitic current loss (occurs when the currect produced by the PV panel leaves at a high potential point and travels through the plasma to a lower potential point, effectively shorting that portion of the PV panel); and arcing (occurs when the PV panel electrically discharges into the plasma). The PV solar array panel plasma interaction test was conceived to evaluate the effects of these interactions on the Space Station Freedom type PV panels as well as to conduct further research. The test article consists of two active solar array panels in series. Each panel consists of two hundred 8 cm x 8 cm silicon solar cells. The test requirements dictated specifications in the following areas: plasma environment/plasma sheath; outgassing; thermal requirements; solar simulation; and data collection requirements.

  3. Modeling Of Low-Z Plasma Spectroscopy Results from NSTX and Compact ``Sparky'' Plasma Facilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cox, P.; Safronova, A.; Kantsyrev, V.; Esaulov, A.; Safronova, U.; Williamson, K.; Weller, M.; Lepson, J.; Beiersdorfer, P.

    2010-03-01

    New non-LTE kinetic models of Li and B as well as previously developed and applied models of C and O, updated now with more high-Rydberg states, have been utilized in the modeling of recent experimental spectra from NSTX and compact laser plasma facility ``Sparky''. Emphasis was placed on the examination of EUV and soft x-ray Oxygen and Carbon spectra from both devices. In addition, Lithium and Boron lines from NSTX spectra were identified and used for benchmarking of corresponding kinetic models. The considered NSTX spectra cover the spectral range from 20 å to 200 å, where OVI and OV are the most dominant Oxygen ionization stages. Also, the most intense lines from He-like ions of C and H-like B ions in the soft X-ray region in first order of reflection have been observed. Prominent carbon and oxygen features from NSTX Tokamak experimental spectra were compared with those from ``Sparky'' and the most diagnostically significant temperature and density sensitive lines identified for use as future diagnostic tools. Research supported by DOE under grant DE-FG02-08ER54951 and by NNSA Coop. Agreements DE-FC52-06NA27588 and DE-FC52-06NA27586.

  4. MSFC Nuclear Propulsion Materials Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rogers, J. R.; Cook, B.

    2004-01-01

    Nuclear propulsion systems for spacecraft applications present numerous technical challenges for propulsion systems. They have been the focus of a recent NRA. Challenges inclue: a nuclear reactor subsystem to produce thermal energy; a power conversion subsystem to convert the thermal energy into electrical energy; a propulsion subsystem that utilizes Hall effect thrusters; thruster technologies and high temperature materials to support subsystems. The MSFC Electrostatic Levitation (ESL) Facility provides an ideal platform for the study of high temperature and reactive materials. An overview of the facility and its capabilities will be presented.

  5. 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

  6. Dynamics of self-compressed argon and helium plasma streams in the MPC facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ladygina, M. S.; Marchenko, A. K.; Solyakov, D. G.; Petrov, Yu V.; Makhlaj, V. A.; Yeliseyev, D. V.; Garkusha, I. E.; Cherednichenko, T. N.

    2016-07-01

    The results of experimental investigations on self-compressed plasma streams and compression zone formation are presented for varied mass flow rate and initial concentrations of particles of working gas that depend on initial pressure. Experiments were carried out in the Magnetoplasma Compressor (MPC) facility. Space–time distributions of the electric current and electron density in the plasma stream compression region were measured under different experimental conditions. High-speed images of plasma stream dynamics in the MPC accelerating channel with a high temporal resolution were also obtained for different initial pressures. The experimental results show a strong dependence of plasma stream parameters and compression zone location on the initial gas concentration. The maximum electron density is obtained in the range of Ne = (1 ÷ 5) × 1018 cm‑3. Plasma streams have a good radial symmetry under all experimental conditions. The distributions of plasma parameters along the plasma stream flows are discussed.

  7. Dynamics of self-compressed argon and helium plasma streams in the MPC facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ladygina, M. S.; Marchenko, A. K.; Solyakov, D. G.; Petrov, Yu V.; Makhlaj, V. A.; Yeliseyev, D. V.; Garkusha, I. E.; Cherednichenko, T. N.

    2016-07-01

    The results of experimental investigations on self-compressed plasma streams and compression zone formation are presented for varied mass flow rate and initial concentrations of particles of working gas that depend on initial pressure. Experiments were carried out in the Magnetoplasma Compressor (MPC) facility. Space-time distributions of the electric current and electron density in the plasma stream compression region were measured under different experimental conditions. High-speed images of plasma stream dynamics in the MPC accelerating channel with a high temporal resolution were also obtained for different initial pressures. The experimental results show a strong dependence of plasma stream parameters and compression zone location on the initial gas concentration. The maximum electron density is obtained in the range of Ne = (1 ÷ 5) × 1018 cm-3. Plasma streams have a good radial symmetry under all experimental conditions. The distributions of plasma parameters along the plasma stream flows are discussed.

  8. Focused technology: Nuclear propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Thomas J.

    1991-01-01

    The topics presented are covered in viewgraph form and include: nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP), which challenges (1) high temperature fuel and materials, (2) hot hydrogen environment, (3) test facilities, (4) safety, (5) environmental impact compliance, and (6) concept development, and nuclear electric propulsion (NEP), which challenges (1) long operational lifetime, (2) high temperature reactors, turbines, and radiators, (3) high fuel burn-up reactor fuels, and designs, (4) efficient, high temperature power conditioning, (5) high efficiency, and long life thrusters, (6) safety, (7) environmental impact compliance, and (8) concept development.

  9. Facile synthesis of cuprous oxide nanoparticles by plasma electrochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jiandi; Chen, Qiang; Li, Junshuai; Xiong, Qing; Yue, Guanghui; Zhang, Xianhui; Yang, Size; Huo Liu, Qing

    2016-07-01

    We report on a simple plasma electrochemistry method for synthesizing cuprous oxide (Cu2O) nanoparticles in the presence of glucose. In this system, Ar plasma in contact with a NaCl solution was used as one electrode, and a Cu plate was immersed in the solution as the counter electrode. The plasma-solution interaction produced many reducing and oxidizing species which can react with the Cu ions released from the Cu electrode. Cu2O nanoparticles, with an average diameter of 22 +/- 6 nm, were formed under the competition of reducing and oxidizing reactions in the solution. The results show that the glucose added in the electrolyte strongly influences the properties of the products. Corresponding to high, medium, and low concentrations of glucose, the products were nanoparticles from amorphous Cu2O, polycrystalline Cu2O, and a mixture of polycrystalline Cu2O and Cu2Cl(OH)3, respectively.

  10. New electron beam facility for irradiated plasma facing materials testing in hot cell

    SciTech Connect

    Sakamoto, N.; Kawamura, H.; Akiba, M.

    1995-09-01

    Since plasma facing components such as the first wall and the divertor for the next step fusion reactors are exposed to high heat loads and high energy neutron flux generated by the plasma, it is urgent to develop of plasma facing components which can resist these. Then, we have established electron beam heat facility ({open_quotes}OHBIS{close_quotes}, Oarai Hot-cell electron Beam Irradiating System) at a hot cell in JMTR (Japan Materials Testing Reactor) hot laboratory in order to estimate thermal shock resistivity of plasma facing materials and heat removal capabilities of divertor elements under steady state heating. In this facility, irradiated plasma facing materials (beryllium, carbon based materials and so on) and divertor elements can be treated. This facility consists of an electron beam unit with the maximum beam power of 50kW and the vacuum vessel. The acceleration voltage and the maximum beam current are 30kV (constant) and 1.7A, respectively. The loading time of electron beam is more than 0.1ms. The shape of vacuum vessel is cylindrical, and the mainly dimensions are 500mm in inner diameter, 1000mm in height. The ultimate vacuum of this vessel is 1 x 10{sup -4}Pa. At present, the facility for thermal shock test has been established in a hot cell. And performance estimation on the electron beam is being conducted. Presently, the devices for heat loading tests under steady state will be added to this facility.

  11. Free radical propulsion concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hawkins, C. E.; Nakanishi, S.

    1981-01-01

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

  12. Texas Experimental Tokamak, a plasma research facility: Technical progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Wootton, A.J.

    1995-08-01

    In the year just past, the authors made major progress in understanding turbulence and transport in both core and edge. Development of the capability for turbulence measurements throughout the poloidal cross section and intelligent consideration of the observed asymmetries, played a critical role in this work. In their confinement studies, a limited plasma with strong, H-mode-like characteristics serendipitously appeared and received extensive study though a diverted H-mode remains elusive. In the plasma edge, they appear to be close to isolating a turbulence drive mechanism. These are major advances of benefit to the community at large, and they followed from incremental improvements in diagnostics, in the interpretation of the diagnostics, and in TEXT itself. Their general philosophy is that the understanding of plasma physics must be part of any intelligent fusion program, and that basic experimental research is the most important part of any such program. The work here demonstrates a continuing dedication to the problems of plasma transport which continue to plague the community and are an impediment to the design of future devices. They expect to show here that they approach this problem consistently, systematically, and effectively.

  13. Fusion for Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  14. Propulsion by laser power

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schall, Wolfgang O.

    2005-03-01

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

  15. Facilities for technology testing of ITER divertor concepts, models, and prototypes in a plasma environment

    SciTech Connect

    Cohen, S.A.

    1991-12-01

    The exhaust of power and fusion-reaction products from ITER plasma are critical physics and technology issues from performance, safety, and reliability perspectives. Because of inadequate pulse length, fluence, flux, scrape-off layer plasma temperature and density, and other parameters, the present generation of tokamaks, linear plasma devices, or energetic beam facilities are unable to perform adequate technology testing of divertor components, though they are essential contributors to many physics issues such as edge-plasma transport and disruption effects and control. This Technical Requirements Documents presents a description of the capabilities and parameters divertor test facilities should have to perform accelerated life testing on predominantly technological divertor issues such as basic divertor concepts, heat load limits, thermal fatigue, tritium inventory and erosion/redeposition. The cost effectiveness of such divertor technology testing is also discussed.

  16. Nuclear concepts/propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, Thomas J.

    1993-01-01

    Nuclear thermal and nuclear electric propulsion systems will enable and/or enhance important space exploration missions to the moon and Mars. Current efforts are addressing certain research areas, although NASA and DOE still have much work yet to do. Relative to chemical systems, nuclear thermal propulsion offers the potential of reduced vehicle weight, wider launch windows. and shorter transit times, even without aerobrakes. This would improve crew safety by reducing their exposure to cosmic radiation. Advanced materials and structures will be an important resource in responding to the challenges posed by safety and test facility requirements, environmental concerns, high temperature fuels and the high radiation, hot hydrogen environment within nuclear thermal propulsion systems. Nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) has its own distinct set of advantages relative to chemical systems. These include low resupply mass, the availability of large amounts of onboard electric power for other uses besides propulsion, improved launch windows, and the ability to share technology with surface power systems. Development efforts for NEP reactors will emphasize long life operation of compact designs. This will require designs that provide high fuel burnup and high temperature operation along with personnel and environmental safety.

  17. Fourth-generation plasma immersion ion implantation and deposition facility for hybrid surface modification layer fabrication

    SciTech Connect

    Wang Langping; Huang Lei; Xie Zhiwen; Wang Xiaofeng; Tang Baoyin

    2008-02-15

    The fourth-generation plasma immersion ion implantation and deposition (PIIID) facility for hybrid and batch treatment was built in our laboratory recently. Comparing with our previous PIIID facilities, several novel designs are utilized. Two multicathode pulsed cathodic arc plasma sources are fixed on the chamber wall symmetrically, which can increase the steady working time from 6 h (the single cathode source in our previous facilities) to about 18 h. Meanwhile, the inner diameter of the pulsed cathodic arc plasma source is increased from the previous 80 to 209 mm, thus, large area metal plasma can be obtained by the source. Instead of the simple sample holder in our previous facility, a complex revolution-rotation sample holder composed of 24 shafts, which can rotate around its axis and adjust its position through revolving around the center axis of the vacuum chamber, is fixed in the center of the vacuum chamber. In addition, one magnetron sputtering source is set on the chamber wall instead of the top cover in the previous facility. Because of the above characteristic, the PIIID hybrid process involving ion implantation, vacuum arc, and magnetron sputtering deposition can be acquired without breaking vacuum. In addition, the PIIID batch treatment of cylinderlike components can be finished by installing these components on the rotating shafts on the sample holder.

  18. Eagleworks Laboratories: Advanced Propulsion Physics Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, Harold; March, Paul; Williams, Nehemiah; ONeill, William

    2011-01-01

    NASA/JSC is implementing an advanced propulsion physics laboratory, informally known as "Eagleworks", to pursue propulsion technologies necessary to enable human exploration of the solar system over the next 50 years, and enabling interstellar spaceflight by the end of the century. This work directly supports the "Breakthrough Propulsion" objectives detailed in the NASA OCT TA02 In-space Propulsion Roadmap, and aligns with the #10 Top Technical Challenge identified in the report. Since the work being pursued by this laboratory is applied scientific research in the areas of the quantum vacuum, gravitation, nature of space-time, and other fundamental physical phenomenon, high fidelity testing facilities are needed. The lab will first implement a low-thrust torsion pendulum (<1 uN), and commission the facility with an existing Quantum Vacuum Plasma Thruster. To date, the QVPT line of research has produced data suggesting very high specific impulse coupled with high specific force. If the physics and engineering models can be explored and understood in the lab to allow scaling to power levels pertinent for human spaceflight, 400kW SEP human missions to Mars may become a possibility, and at power levels of 2MW, 1-year transit to Neptune may also be possible. Additionally, the lab is implementing a warp field interferometer that will be able to measure spacetime disturbances down to 150nm. Recent work published by White [1] [2] [3] suggests that it may be possible to engineer spacetime creating conditions similar to what drives the expansion of the cosmos. Although the expected magnitude of the effect would be tiny, it may be a "Chicago pile" moment for this area of physics.

  19. Electron beam-plasma interaction experiments with the Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF)

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, S.M.; Lee, M.C.; Moriarty, D.T.; Riddolls, R.J.

    1995-12-31

    The laboratory investigation of electron beam-plasma interactions is motivated by the recent space shuttle experiments. Interesting but puzzling phenomena were observed in the shuttle experiments such as the bulk heating of background ionospheric plasmas by the injected electron beams and the excitation of plasma waves in the frequency range of ELF waves. The plasma machine, the Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF) can generate a large magnetized plasma with the electron plasma frequency greater than the electron gyrofrequency by a factor of 3--5 similar to the plasma condition in the ionosphere. Short pulses of electron beams are injected into the VTF plasmas in order to simulate the beam injection from spacecrafts in the ionosphere. A Langmuir probe installed at a bottom port of VTF monitors the spatial variation of electron beams emitted from LaB6 filaments. An energy analyzer has been used to determine the particle energy distribution in the VTF plasmas. Several mechanisms will be tested as potential causes of the bulk heating of background plasmas by the injected electron beams as seen in the space shuttle experiments. It is speculated that the observed ELF emissions result from the excitation of purely growing modes detected by the space shuttle-borne detectors. Results of the laboratory experiments will be reported to corroborate this speculation.

  20. Isentropic expansion of copper plasma in Mbar pressure range at “Luch” laser facility

    SciTech Connect

    Bel'kov, S. A.; Derkach, V. N.; Garanin, S. G.; Mitrofanov, E. I.; Voronich, I. N.; Fortov, V. E.; Levashov, P. R.; Minakov, D. V.

    2014-01-21

    We present experimental results on thermodynamic properties of dense copper plasma in Mbar pressure range. The laser facility “Luch” with laser intensity 10{sup 14} W/cm{sup 2} is used to compress copper up to ∼8 Mbar by a strong shock wave; subsequent expansion of copper plasma into Al, Ti, Sn allows us to obtain release isentropes of copper by the impedance–matching method. A theoretical analysis and quantum simulations show that in our experiments strongly coupled quantum plasma is generated.

  1. Experimental basis for laser-plasma interactions in ignition hohlraums at the National Ignition Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Froula, D H; Divol, L; London, R A; Berger, R L; Doeppner, T; Meezan, N B; Ralph, J; Ross, J S; Suter, L J; Glenzer, S H

    2009-11-12

    A series of laser plasma interaction experiments at OMEGA (LLE, Rochester) using gas-filled hohlraums shed light on the behavior of stimulated Raman scattering and stimulated Brillouin scattering at various plasma conditions encountered in indirect drive ignition designs. We present detailed experimental results that quantify the density, temperature, and intensity thresholds for both of these instabilities. In addition to controlling plasma parameters, the National Ignition Campaign relies on optical beam smoothing techniques to mitigate backscatter. We show that polarization smoothing is effective at controlling backscatter. These results provide an experimental basis for forthcoming experiments on National Ignition Facility.

  2. Dependence of the source performance on plasma parameters at the BATMAN test facility

    SciTech Connect

    Wimmer, C.; Fantz, U.

    2015-04-08

    The investigation of the dependence of the source performance (high j{sub H{sup −}}, low j{sub e}) for optimum Cs conditions on the plasma parameters at the BATMAN (Bavarian Test MAchine for Negative hydrogen ions) test facility is desirable in order to find key parameters for the operation of the source as well as to deepen the physical understanding. The most relevant source physics takes place in the extended boundary layer, which is the plasma layer with a thickness of several cm in front of the plasma grid: the production of H{sup −}, its transport through the plasma and its extraction, inevitably accompanied by the co-extraction of electrons. Hence, a link of the source performance with the plasma parameters in the extended boundary layer is expected. In order to characterize electron and negative hydrogen ion fluxes in the extended boundary layer, Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy and Langmuir probes have been applied for the measurement of the H{sup −} density and the determination of the plasma density, the plasma potential and the electron temperature, respectively. The plasma potential is of particular importance as it determines the sheath potential profile at the plasma grid: depending on the plasma grid bias relative to the plasma potential, a transition in the plasma sheath from an electron repelling to an electron attracting sheath takes place, influencing strongly the electron fraction of the bias current and thus the amount of co-extracted electrons. Dependencies of the source performance on the determined plasma parameters are presented for the comparison of two source pressures (0.6 Pa, 0.45 Pa) in hydrogen operation. The higher source pressure of 0.6 Pa is a standard point of operation at BATMAN with external magnets, whereas the lower pressure of 0.45 Pa is closer to the ITER requirements (p ≤ 0.3 Pa)

  3. Dependence of the source performance on plasma parameters at the BATMAN test facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wimmer, C.; Fantz, U.

    2015-04-01

    The investigation of the dependence of the source performance (high jH-, low je) for optimum Cs conditions on the plasma parameters at the BATMAN (Bavarian Test MAchine for Negative hydrogen ions) test facility is desirable in order to find key parameters for the operation of the source as well as to deepen the physical understanding. The most relevant source physics takes place in the extended boundary layer, which is the plasma layer with a thickness of several cm in front of the plasma grid: the production of H-, its transport through the plasma and its extraction, inevitably accompanied by the co-extraction of electrons. Hence, a link of the source performance with the plasma parameters in the extended boundary layer is expected. In order to characterize electron and negative hydrogen ion fluxes in the extended boundary layer, Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy and Langmuir probes have been applied for the measurement of the H- density and the determination of the plasma density, the plasma potential and the electron temperature, respectively. The plasma potential is of particular importance as it determines the sheath potential profile at the plasma grid: depending on the plasma grid bias relative to the plasma potential, a transition in the plasma sheath from an electron repelling to an electron attracting sheath takes place, influencing strongly the electron fraction of the bias current and thus the amount of co-extracted electrons. Dependencies of the source performance on the determined plasma parameters are presented for the comparison of two source pressures (0.6 Pa, 0.45 Pa) in hydrogen operation. The higher source pressure of 0.6 Pa is a standard point of operation at BATMAN with external magnets, whereas the lower pressure of 0.45 Pa is closer to the ITER requirements (p ≤ 0.3 Pa).

  4. Cleaning of tritiated laboratory tools using a plasma decontamination facility

    SciTech Connect

    Antoniazzi, A.B.; Shmayda, W.T.; Baksh, D.P.

    1995-12-31

    Decontamination of tritiated laboratory tools by an argon RF glow discharge has been examined. Chrome plated wrenches were contaminated by exposure to tritium glovebox environments for months prior to plasma cleaning. Surface activities were determined by dry smearing or by leaching in a 10%surfactant/water solution. An initial, smearable, surface activity of 36+/{minus}19 {mu}Ci/m{sup 2} corresponding to a leachable activity of 1,260+/{minus}50 {mu}Ci/m{sup 2}. Ion fluxes to the tritiated surfaces ranged from 1 to 180 A.hr/m{sup 2} with energies of {le} 25 eV. The surface activities were reduced from 0.6 to 0.04 of their original value. No regrowth of activity was evident.

  5. Plasma confinement to enhance the momentum coupling coefficient in ablative laser micro-propulsion: a novel approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmad, Muhammad Raza; Jamil, Yasir; Qaiser Zakaria, M.; Hussain, Tousif; Ahmad, Riaz

    2015-07-01

    We introduce for the first time the novel idea of manipulating the momentum coupling coefficient using plasma confinement and shock wave reflection from the cavity walls. The plasma was confined using cylindrical geometries of various cavity aspect ratios to manipulate the momentum coupling coefficient (C m ). The Nd: YAG laser (532 nm, 5 ns pulse duration) was focused on the ferrite sample surface to produce plasma in a region surrounded by cylindrical cavity walls. The multiple reflections of the shockwaves from the cavity walls confined the laser-induced plasma to the central region of the cavity that subsequently resulted in a significant enhancement of the momentum coupling coefficient values. The plasma shielding effect has also been observed for particular values of laser fluencies and cavity aspect ratios. Compared with the direct ablation, the confined ablation provides an effective way to obtain high C m values.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1987-01-01

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

  7. Study of the impurity composition and effective plasma charge in the GOL-3 facility

    SciTech Connect

    Sorokina, N. V. Burdakov, A. V.; Ivanov, I. A.; Polosatkin, S. V.; Postupaev, V. V.; Rovenskikh, A. F.; Shoshin, A. A.

    2015-07-15

    Heating and confinement of plasma in a multimirror magnetic configuration have been studied at the GOL-3 facility (Budker Institute of Nuclear Physics, Siberian Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk). The experiments are aimed at estimating the densities and charge states of the main impurities in the GOL-3 plasma and determining their contribution to the effective plasma charge. Plasma with a density of ∼10{sup 15} cm{sup −3} was heated by a relativistic electron beam (1 MeV, 8 μs, ⩽200 kJ). At the end of electron beam injection, the plasma temperature reached 1 keV. The densities of impurities were determined using VUV and visible spectroscopy, as well as mass spectrometry of the residual vacuum. To determine the effective plasma charge, the experimental data were compared with the results of numerical simulations of the ionization balance of impurities. It is shown that the effective plasma charge calculated with allowance for the contributions from the main impurities does not exceed Z{sub eff} = 1.8, which cannot explain the experimentally observed improved confinement of low-density plasma.

  8. Determination of the plasma parameters in the PF-3 facility by the methods of X-ray spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Baronova, E. O.; Vinogradov, V. P.; Krauz, V. I.; Myalton, V. V.; Stepanenko, A. M.; Stepanenko, M. M.

    2011-11-15

    NeIX and NeX spectra emitted by the PF-3 high-current (2 MA) plasma focus facility are measured. A numerical model describing the spectral intensities of the emission of helium- and hydrogen-like neon ions from an optically thick plasma is proposed. The electron temperature T{sub e} and electron density n{sub e} in the plasma of the PF-3 facility are determined by comparing the calculated and measured emission spectra of neon.

  9. Z-Pinch Fusion Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miernik, Janie

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  11. Infrared Camera Characterization of Bi-Propellant Reaction Control Engines during Auxiliary Propulsion Systems Tests at NASA's White Sands Test Facility in Las Cruces, New Mexico

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holleman, Elizabeth; Sharp, David; Sheller, Richard; Styron, Jason

    2007-01-01

    This paper describes the application of a FUR Systems A40M infrared (IR) digital camera for thermal monitoring of a Liquid Oxygen (LOX) and Ethanol bi-propellant Reaction Control Engine (RCE) during Auxiliary Propulsion System (APS) testing at the National Aeronautics & Space Administration's (NASA) White Sands Test Facility (WSTF) near Las Cruces, New Mexico. Typically, NASA has relied mostly on the use of ThermoCouples (TC) for this type of thermal monitoring due to the variability of constraints required to accurately map rapidly changing temperatures from ambient to glowing hot chamber material. Obtaining accurate real-time temperatures in the JR spectrum is made even more elusive by the changing emissivity of the chamber material as it begins to glow. The parameters evaluated prior to APS testing included: (1) remote operation of the A40M camera using fiber optic Firewire signal sender and receiver units; (2) operation of the camera inside a Pelco explosion proof enclosure with a germanium window; (3) remote analog signal display for real-time monitoring; (4) remote digital data acquisition of the A40M's sensor information using FUR's ThermaCAM Researcher Pro 2.8 software; and (5) overall reliability of the system. An initial characterization report was prepared after the A40M characterization tests at Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) to document controlled heat source comparisons to calibrated TCs. Summary IR digital data recorded from WSTF's APS testing is included within this document along with findings, lessons learned, and recommendations for further usage as a monitoring tool for the development of rocket engines.

  12. Damages of Carbon-Tungsten Samples under Influence of Deuterium Ions and Dense Plasma Streams within Plasma-Focus Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Gribkov, V. A.; Grebenschikova, Ye. S.; Dubrovsky, A. V.; Makeev, O. N.; Rogozhkin, S. V.; Zaluzhnij, A. G.; Demina, Ye. V.; Kovtun, A. V.; Maslayev, S. A.; Pimenov, V. N.; Malinowski, K.; Skladnik-Sadowska, E.; Paduch, M.; Scholz, M.; Sadowski, M. J.

    2008-03-19

    The paper reports on experimental studies of processes of the interaction of pulsed streams of fast deuterium ions (E{sub i}{approx}100 keV) and dense deuterium plasma (v{sub pl}>10{sup 7} cm/s) with samples made of carbon and tungsten. Experiments were performed in the large PF-1000 plasma-focus facility with the charging energy of 481 kJ and with the pure deuterium filling. Power flux density of plasma/ions streams was q = 10{sup 7}-10{sup 10} W/cm{sup 2} and the pulse length was from 10{sup -7} s to 10{sup -6} s, whereas the duration of heat pulses (due to a secondary plasma at the target's surface) was 10{sup -4} s. The stainless steel, tungsten and carbon-tungsten samples were placed in the zone of their strong melting and evaporation or in the zone without their melting. Each sample was exposed to 1 through 10 discharges, and the irradiated samples were investigated with optical-, electron- and atomic-force-microscopes. The interaction of intense plasma-ion pulses with the carbon-tungsten samples caused the formation of a wave-like relief on sample surfaces, the evident erosion of the sample material, and the creation of numerous micro-cracks. It was also found that about 200-nm-thick layer of the irradiated tungsten sample contained many melted fragments of nm-dimensions. The results might be useful for estimations of tungsten behavior in extreme situations (e.g. disruptions) expected in fusion reactors with magnetic plasma confinement.

  13. The Madison plasma dynamo experiment: A facility for studying laboratory plasma astrophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooper, C. M.; Wallace, J.; Brookhart, M.; Clark, M.; Collins, C.; Ding, W. X.; Flanagan, K.; Khalzov, I.; Li, Y.; Milhone, J.; Nornberg, M.; Nonn, P.; Weisberg, D.; Whyte, D. G.; Zweibel, E.; Forest, C. B.

    2014-01-01

    The Madison plasma dynamo experiment (MPDX) is a novel, versatile, basic plasma research device designed to investigate flow driven magnetohydrodynamic instabilities and other high-β phenomena with astrophysically relevant parameters. A 3 m diameter vacuum vessel is lined with 36 rings of alternately oriented 4000 G samarium cobalt magnets, which create an axisymmetric multicusp that contains ˜14 m3 of nearly magnetic field free plasma that is well confined and highly ionized (>50%). At present, 8 lanthanum hexaboride (LaB6) cathodes and 10 molybdenum anodes are inserted into the vessel and biased up to 500 V, drawing 40 A each cathode, ionizing a low pressure Ar or He fill gas and heating it. Up to 100 kW of electron cyclotron heating power is planned for additional electron heating. The LaB6 cathodes are positioned in the magnetized edge to drive toroidal rotation through J × B torques that propagate into the unmagnetized core plasma. Dynamo studies on MPDX require a high magnetic Reynolds number Rm > 1000, and an adjustable fluid Reynolds number 10 < Re < 1000, in the regime where the kinetic energy of the flow exceeds the magnetic energy (MA2=(v/vA)2>1). Initial results from MPDX are presented along with a 0-dimensional power and particle balance model to predict the viscosity and resistivity to achieve dynamo action.

  14. Electromagnetic propulsion for spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myers, Roger M.

    1993-01-01

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

  15. The Madison plasma dynamo experiment: A facility for studying laboratory plasma astrophysics

    SciTech Connect

    Cooper, C. M.; Brookhart, M.; Collins, C.; Khalzov, I.; Milhone, J.; Nornberg, M.; Weisberg, D.; Forest, C. B.; Wallace, J.; Clark, M.; Flanagan, K.; Li, Y.; Nonn, P.; Ding, W. X.; Whyte, D. G.; Zweibel, E.

    2014-01-15

    The Madison plasma dynamo experiment (MPDX) is a novel, versatile, basic plasma research device designed to investigate flow driven magnetohydrodynamic instabilities and other high-β phenomena with astrophysically relevant parameters. A 3 m diameter vacuum vessel is lined with 36 rings of alternately oriented 4000 G samarium cobalt magnets, which create an axisymmetric multicusp that contains ∼14 m{sup 3} of nearly magnetic field free plasma that is well confined and highly ionized (>50%). At present, 8 lanthanum hexaboride (LaB{sub 6}) cathodes and 10 molybdenum anodes are inserted into the vessel and biased up to 500 V, drawing 40 A each cathode, ionizing a low pressure Ar or He fill gas and heating it. Up to 100 kW of electron cyclotron heating power is planned for additional electron heating. The LaB{sub 6} cathodes are positioned in the magnetized edge to drive toroidal rotation through J × B torques that propagate into the unmagnetized core plasma. Dynamo studies on MPDX require a high magnetic Reynolds number Rm > 1000, and an adjustable fluid Reynolds number 10 < Re < 1000, in the regime where the kinetic energy of the flow exceeds the magnetic energy (M{sub A}{sup 2}=(v/v{sub A}){sup 2}>1). Initial results from MPDX are presented along with a 0-dimensional power and particle balance model to predict the viscosity and resistivity to achieve dynamo action.

  16. Study of nuclear reactions in laser plasmas at future ELI-NP facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lanzalone, G.; Altana, C.; Anzalone, A.; Cappuzzello, F.; Cavallaro, M.; Gizzi, L. A.; Labate, L.; Lamia, L.; Mascali, D.; Muoio, A.; Negoita, F.; Odorici, F.; Petrascu, H.; Trifirò, A.; Trimarchi, M.; Tudisco, S.

    2016-05-01

    In this contribution we will present the future activities that our collaboration will carry out at ELI-NP (Extreme Light Infrastructure Nuclear Physics), the new multi peta-watt Laser facility, currently under construction at Bucharest (Romania). The activities concerns the study of nuclear reactions in laser plasmas. In this framework we proposed the construction of a new, general-purpose experimental set-up able to detect and identify neutrons and charged particles.

  17. 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.

  18. Propulsion materials

    SciTech Connect

    Wall, Edward J.; Sullivan, Rogelio A.; Gibbs, Jerry L.

    2008-01-01

    The Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Vehicle Technologies (OVT) is pleased to introduce the FY 2007 Annual Progress Report for the Propulsion Materials Research and Development Program. Together with DOE national laboratories and in partnership with private industry and universities across the United States, the program continues to engage in research and development (R&D) that provides enabling materials technology for fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly commercial and passenger vehicles.

  19. Emergent Propulsion Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Fakdi Sencianes, Andres

    2002-01-01

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

  20. Advanced Space Fission Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Michael G.; Borowski, Stanley K.

    2010-01-01

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

  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. Design of magnetic field configuration in Space Plasma Environment Research Facility (SPERF)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Qingmei; Wang, Zhibin; Wang, Xiaogang; Xiao, Chijie; Zheng, Jinxing; E, Peng; Nie, Qiuyue; Mao, Aohua

    2015-11-01

    The Space Plasma Environment Research Facility (SPERF) for geospace plasma environment simulation, as a component of Space Environment Simulation Research Infrastructure (SESRI), is designed to investigate fundamental space plasma phenomenon such as magnetic reconnection at magnetopause and magnetotail, as well as energetic particles transport and interaction with waves in magnetosphere, etc. To achieve the scientific and experimental goals, it is essential to realize the magnetic field configuration. In this report, the magnetic field coils, including four flux cores for simulating the magnetosheath field and plasma, a dipole coil for simulating the inner magnetosphere a disturbance coil for simulating magnetic storm distortion, and a group of magnetotail coils for simulating the magnetotail and the near earth neutral line, are designed to imitate the large-scale space structures based on the numerical simulations and the scaling relation of hydromagnetism between the laboratory and the magnetosphere. Three scenarios with operations of various coils to simulate specified processes in space plasmas will also be presented. This work has been supported by National Nature Science Foundation of China (Nos. 11261140326, 11405038).

  3. Fusion for Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

    somewhat different from those for terrestrial electrical power generation. Thus fusion schemes that are initially attractive for electrical power generation might not necessarily be attractive also for propulsion and vice versa, though the underlying fusion science and engineering enjoy much overlap. Parallel efforts to develop these qualitatively differently fusion schemes for the two applications could benefit greatly from each other due to the synergy in the underlying physics and engineering. Pulsed approaches to fusion have not been explored to the same degree as steady-state or long-pulse approaches to fusion in the fusion power research program. The concerns early on were several. One was that the pulsed power components might not have the service lifetimes meeting the requirements of a practical power generating plant. Another was that, for many pulsed fusion schemes, it was not clear whether the destruction of hardware per pulse could be minimized or eliminated or recycled to such an extent as to make economical electrical power generation feasible, Significant development of the underlying pulsed power component technologies have occurred in the last two decades because of defense and other energy requirements. The state of development of the pulsed power technologies are sufficiently advanced now to make it compelling to visit or re-visit pulsed fusion approaches for application to propulsion where the cost of energy is not so demanding a factor as in the case of terrestrial power application. For propulsion application, the overall mass of the fusion system is the critical factor. Producing fusion reactions require extreme states of matter. Conceptually, these extreme states of matter are more readily realizable in the pulsed states, at least within appropriate bounds, than in the steady states. Significant saving in system mass may result in such systems. Magnetic fields are effective in confining plasma energy, whereas inertial compression is an effective way

  4. Free radical propulsion concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hawkins, C. E.; Nakanishi, S.

    1981-01-01

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

  5. X-ray and EUV diagnostics for the Nevada Terawatt Facility: Plasma imaging, spectroscopy and polarimetry

    SciTech Connect

    Kantsyrev, V.L.; Bauer, B.S.; Mancini, R.C.

    1999-07-01

    A wide variety of advanced extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and x-ray diagnostics ar being developed for the Nevada Terawatt Facility (NTF) at the University of Nevada, Reno. Time-resolved short-wavelength imaging, backlighting, imaging spectroscopy, and polarization spectroscopy will be employed to measure profiles of plasma temperature, density, flow, charge state, and magnetic field. These diagnostics will be used to examine the early-time evolution of a current-driven wire, the formation of a plasma sheet from the explosion and merging of wires, etc. Wire materials will include Al, Ti, W, and various coatings (e.g., Mg, Ni, Cu). Doping of local regions of wires is planned, for additional spatial resolution of the plasma profiles. The instruments are state-of-the-art applications of glass capillary converters (GCC), multilayer mirrors (MLM), and crystals. The devices include: a prototype of a new glass-capillary-based two-dimensional imaging spectrometer; a pinhole camera with 6 MCP imagers; a 5-channel crystal/MLM spectrometer (Polychromator) with fast x-ray diodes and an added transmission grating spectrometer; a convex-crystal x-ray survey spectrometer; a prototype of an x-ray polarimeter/spectrometer; and a multiframe x-pinch backlighter yielding point-protection microscopy with few-micron, sub-ns resolution. Spectroscopic data will be interpreted with state-of-the-art spectral calculations that take into account line intensity, plasma broadening, opacity, and polarization effects, for both resonance and satellite lines. Emission spectroscopy will be used to measure plasma density and temperature in the hot plasma around exploding wires, with polarization measurements helping to determine the electron distribution function and the magnetic field in this region. The density and temperature of the high-density, low-temperature plasma inside exploding Al wires will be measured with absorption spectroscopy.

  6. Development and initial operating characteristics of the 20 megawatt linear plasma accelerator facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carter, A. F.; Weaver, W. R.; Mcfarland, D. R.; Wood, G. P.

    1971-01-01

    A 20-megawatt linear plasma accelerator facility, a steady flow, Faraday-type plasma accelerator facility for high velocity aerodynamic testing, was constructed, developed, and brought to an operational status. The accelerator has a 63.5-mm-square and 0.5-meter-long channel and utilizes nitrogen-seeded with 2 % mole fraction of cesium vapor. Modification of the original accelerator design characteristics and the improvements necessary to make the arc heater a suitable plasma source are described. The measured accelerator electrode current distribution and the electrode-wall potential distributions are given. The computed and the measured values are in good agreement. Measured pitot pressure indicates that an accelerator exit velocity of 9.2 km/sec, is obtained with 30 of the 36 electrode pairs powered and corresponds to a velocity increase to about 2 1/4 times the computed entrance velocity. The computed stagnation enthalpy at the accelerator exit is 92 MJ/kg, and the mass density corresponds to an altitude of about 58 km. The 92 MJ/kg stagnation enthalpy corresponds to a kinetic energy content at low temperature equivalent to a velocity of 13.6 km/sec.

  7. Micro electric propulsion feasibility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Aston, Graeme; Aston, Martha

    1992-01-01

    , minimal detectability and low cost are requirements. All these miniature spacecraft share a common characteristic: because of their on-board electronic equipment they have, by design, solar order 50-100 W. In a relative sense, such spacecraft are power rich when compared to other larger spacecraft. This power rich situation is offset by very tight mass budgets, which make reductions in propellant mass requirements a key issue in meeting overall spacecraft minimum mass goals. In principle, power rich and propellant poor brilliant pebbles class spacecraft can benefit from using high specific impulse electric propulsion to reduce chemical propellant mass requirements. However, at power levels of order 50 W, arcjets cannot be made to function, ion thrusters are too complex and heavy and resistojets have too low a specific impulse. Recognizing these capability limitations in existing electric propulsion technology, the SDIO/IST sponsored the Phase I SBIR Micro Electric Propulsion (MEP) thruster study described in this report. The objective of this study was to examine the feasibility of developing a very simple, low mass and small volume, electric thruster for operation on hydrazine at less than 100 W of input power. The feasibility of developing such a MEP thruster was successfully demonstrated by EPL by the discovery of a novel plasma acceleration process. The sections in this report summarize the approach, test results and major accomplishments of this proof-of-concept program.

  8. Electric vehicle propulsion alternatives

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Secunde, R. R.; Schuh, R. M.; Beach, R. F.

    1983-01-01

    Propulsion technology development for electric vehicles is summarized. Analytical studies, technology evaluation, and the development of technology for motors, controllers, transmissions, and complete propulsion systems are included.

  9. Low Thrust Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

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

  10. Diagnostics of PF-1000 Facility Operation and Plasma Concentration on the Basis of Spectral Measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Skladnik-Sadowska, E.; Malinowski, K.; Sadowski, M. J.; Scholz, M.; Tsarenko, A. V.

    2006-01-15

    The paper concerns the monitoring of high-current pulse discharges and the determination of the plasma concentration within the dense magnetized plasma by means of optical spectroscopy methods. In experiments with the large PF-1000 facility operated at IPPLM in Warsaw, Poland, attention was paid to the determination of the operational mode and electron concentration under different experimental conditions. To measure the visible radiation (VR) the use was made of the MECHELLE registered 900-spectrometer equipped with the CCD readout. The VR emission, observed at 65 deg. to the z-axis, originated from a part of the electrode surfaces, the collapsing current-sheath layer and the dense plasma pinch-region (40-50 mm from the electrode ends). Considerable differences were found in the optical spectra recorded for so-called 'good shots' and for cases of some failures. Estimates of the electron concentration, which were performed with different spectroscopic techniques, showed that it ranged from 5.56x1018 cm-3 to 4.8x1019 cm-3, depending on experimental conditions. The correlation of the fusion-neutron yield and the plasma density was proved.

  11. Gasdynamic Mirror (GDM) Fusion Propulsion Engine Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    The Gasdynamic Mirror, or GDM, is an example of a magnetic mirror-based fusion propulsion system. Its design is primarily consisting of a long slender solenoid surrounding a vacuum chamber that contains plasma. The bulk of the fusion plasma is confined by magnetic field generated by a series of toroidal-shaped magnets in the center section of the device. the purpose of the GDM Fusion Propulsion Experiment is to confirm the feasibility of the concept and to demonstrate many of the operational characteristics of a full-size plasma can be confined within the desired physical configuration and still reman stable. This image shows an engineer from Propulsion Research Technologies Division at Marshall Space Flight Center inspecting solenoid magnets-A, an integrate part of the Gasdynamic Mirror Fusion Propulsion Engine Experiment.

  12. Research Opportunities in High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas on the NDCX-II Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Barnard, John; Cohen, Ron; Friedman, Alex; Grote, Dave; Lund, Steven; Sharp, Bill; Bieniosek, Frank; Ni, Pavel; Roy, Prabir; Henestroza, Enrique; Jung, Jin-Young; Kwan, Joe; Lee, Ed; Leitner, Matthaeus; Lidia, Steven; Logan, Grant; Seidl, Peter; Vay, Jean-Luc; Waldron, Will

    2009-03-23

    Intense beams of heavy ions offer a very attractive tool for fundamental research in high energy density physics and inertial fusion energy science. These applications build on the significant recent advances in the generation, compression and focusing of intense heavy ion beams in the presence of a neutralizing background plasma. Such beams can provide uniform volumetric heating of the target during a time-scale shorter than the hydrodynamic response time, thereby enabling a significant suite of experiments that will elucidate the underlying physics of dense, strongly-coupled plasma states, which have been heretofore poorly understood and inadequately diagnosed, particularly in the warm dense matter regime. The innovations, fundamental knowledge, and experimental capabilities developed in this basic research program is also expected to provide new research opportunities to study the physics of directly-driven ion targets, which can dramatically reduce the size of heavy ion beam drivers for inertial fusion energy applications. Experiments examining the behavior of thin target foils heated to the warm dense matter regime began at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 2008, using the Neutralized Drift Compression Experiment - I (NDCX-I) facility, and its associated target chamber and diagnostics. The upgrade of this facility, called NDCX-II, will enable an exciting set of scientific experiments that require highly uniform heating of the target, using Li{sup +} ions which enter the target with kinetic energy in the range of 3 MeV, slightly above the Bragg peak for energy deposition, and exit with energies slightly below the Bragg peak. This document briefly summarizes the wide range of fundamental scientific experiments that can be carried out on the NDCX-II facility, pertaining to the two charges presented to the 2008 Fusion Energy Science Advisory Committee (FESAC) panel on High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas (HEDLP). These charges include: (1) Identify

  13. Pulsed Plasma Thruster

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Dr. Tom Markusic, a propulsion research engineer at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), adjusts a diagnostic laser while a pulsed plasma thruster (PPT) fires in a vacuum chamber in the background. NASA/MSFC's Propulsion Research Center (PRC) is presently investigating plasma propulsion for potential use on future nuclear-powered spacecraft missions, such as human exploration of Mars.

  14. Magnetohydrodynamic Augmented Propulsion Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Litchford, Ron J.

    2008-01-01

    Over the past several years, efforts have been under way to design and develop an operationally flexible research facility for investigating the use of cross-field MHD accelerators as a potential thrust augmentation device for thermal propulsion systems. The baseline configuration for this high-power experimental facility utilizes a 1.5-MWe multi-gas arc-heater as a thermal driver for a 2-MWe MHD accelerator, which resides in a large-bore 2-tesla electromagnet. A preliminary design study using NaK seeded nitrogen as the working fluid led to an externally diagonalized segmented MHD channel configuration based on an expendable heat-sink design concept. The current status report includes a review of engineering/design work and performance optimization analyses and summarizes component hardware fabrication and development efforts, preliminary testing results, and recent progress toward full-up assembly and testing

  15. ATF (Advanced Toroidal Facility) edge plasma turbulence studies using a fast reciprocating Langmuir probe

    SciTech Connect

    Uckan, T.; Hidalgo, C.; Bell, J.D.; Harris, J.H.; Dunlap, J.L.; Dyer, G.R.; Mioduszewski, P.K.; Wilgen, J.B. ); Ritz, C.P.; Wootton, A.J.; Rhodes, T.L.; Carter, K. . Fusion Research Center)

    1990-01-01

    Electrostatic turbulence on the edge of the Advanced Torodial Facility (ATF) torsatron is investigated experimentally with a fast reciprocating Langmuir probe (FRLP) array. Initial measurements of plasma electron density n{sub e} and temperature T{sub e} and fluctuations in density ({tilde n}{sub e}) and plasma floating potential ({tilde {phi}}{sub f}) are made in ECH plasmas at 1 T. At the last closed flux surface (LCFS, r/{bar a} {approximately}1), T{sub e} {approx} 20--40 eV and n{sub e} {approx} 10{sup 12} cm{sup {minus}3} for a line-averaged electron density {bar n}{sub e} = (3--6) {times} 10{sup 12} cm{sup {minus}3}. Relative fluctuation levels, as the FRLP is moved into core plasma where T{sub e} > 20 eV, are {tilde n}{sub e}/n{sub e} {approx} 5%, and e {tilde {phi}}{sub f}/T{sub e} {approx} 2{tilde n}{sub e}/n{sub e} about 2 cm inside the LCFS. The observed fluctuation spectra are broadband (40--300 kHz) with {bar k}{rho}{sub s} {le} 0.1, where {bar k} is the wavenumber of the fluctuations and {rho}{sub s} is the ion Larmor radius at the sound speed. The propagation direction of the fluctuations reverses to the electron diamagnetic direction around r/{bar a} < 1. The phase velocity and the electron drift velocity are comparable (v{sub ph} {approximately} v{sub de}). The fluctuation-induced particle flux is comparable to fluxes estimated from the particle balance using the H{sub {alpha}} spectroscopic measurements. Many of the features seen in these experiments resemble the features of ohmically heated plasmas in the Texas Experimental Tokamak (TEXT). 17 refs., 10 figs.

  16. Nuclear thermal propulsion workshop overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, John S.

    1991-01-01

    NASA is planning an Exploration Technology Program as part of the Space Exploration Initiative to return U.S. astronauts to the moon, conduct intensive robotic exploration of the moon and Mars, and to conduct a piloted mission to Mars by 2019. Nuclear Propulsion is one of the key technology thrust for the human mission to Mars. The workshop addresses NTP (Nuclear Thermal Rocket) technologies with purpose to: assess the state-of-the-art of nuclear propulsion concepts; assess the potential benefits of the concepts for the mission to Mars; identify critical, enabling technologies; lay-out (first order) technology development plans including facility requirements; and estimate the cost of developing these technologies to flight-ready status. The output from the workshop will serve as a data base for nuclear propulsion project planning.

  17. 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

  18. Solar-Powered Electric Propulsion Systems: Engineering and Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stearns, J. W.; Kerrisk, D. J.

    1966-01-01

    Lightweight, multikilowatt solar power arrays in conjunction with electric propulsion offer potential improvements to space exploration, extending the usefulness of existing launch vehicles to higher-energy missions. Characteristics of solar-powered electric propulsion missions are outlined, and preliminary performance estimates are shown. Spacecraft system engineering is discussed with respect to parametric trade-offs in power and propulsion system design. Relationships between mission performance and propulsion system performance are illustrated. The present state of the art of electric propulsion systems is reviewed and related to the mission requirements identified earlier. The propulsion system design and test requirements for a mission spacecraft are identified and discussed. Although only ion engine systems are currently available, certain plasma propulsion systems offer some advantages in over-all system design. These are identified, and goals are set for plasma-thrustor systems to make them competitive with ion-engine systems for mission applications.

  19. Electric propulsion, circa 2000

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1980-01-01

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

  20. Optical Plasma Diagnostics for Magnetic Reconnection Studies in the Versatile Toroidal Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tarkowski, David; Fasoli, Ambrogio; Egedal, Jan

    2000-10-01

    Magnetic reconnection studies in a collisionless regime are performed on the MIT Versatile Toroidal Facility (VTF) with emphasis on particle dynamics around the magnetic null point. Plasmas are produced in the VTF by electron cyclotron resonance heating and are confined in a magnetic cusp field. Magnetic reconnection is driven by the ExB drift generated by the combination of the cusp field and the toroidal electric field, which is created by electromagnetic induction using an ohmic transformer. The plasmas are composed primarily of singly ionized argon with typical densities and electron temperatures on the order of 10^17 m-3 and 10 eV. The number of available optical lines and the optical thinness of the plasma suggest that optical diagnostics can play a key role on VTF. Passive spectroscopic measurements yield ion temperature and density and electron temperature as a function of time both before and after the reconnection event. The active measurement is a three level laser induced fluorescence (LIF) scheme. A 10 ns pulsed dye laser is used to pump the 611 nm Argon II line. LIF yields the ion distribution function at a single point in time and can be used to study ion evolution during the reconnection event. Measurement techniques and an analysis of first results will be presented.

  1. Results from colliding magnetized plasma jet experiments executed at the Trident laser facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manuel, M. J.-E.; Rasmus, A. M.; Kurnaz, C. C.; Klein, S. R.; Davis, J. S.; Drake, R. P.; Montgomery, D. S.; Hsu, S. C.; Adams, C. S.; Pollock, B. B.

    2015-11-01

    The interaction of high-velocity plasma flows in a background magnetic field has applications in pulsed-power and fusion schemes, as well as astrophysical environments, such as accretion systems and stellar mass ejections into the magnetosphere. Experiments recently executed at the Trident Laser Facility at the Los Alamos National Laboratory investigated the effects of an expanding aluminum plasma flow into a uniform 4.5-Tesla magnetic field created using a solenoid designed and manufactured at the University of Michigan. Opposing-target experiments demonstrate interesting collisional behavior between the two magnetized flows. Preliminary interferometry and Faraday rotation measurements will be presented and discussed. This work is funded by the U.S Department of Energy, through the NNSA-DS and SC-OFES Joint Program in High-Energy-Density Laboratory Plasmas, grant number DE-NA0001840. Support for this work was provided by NASA through Einstein Postdoctoral Fellowship grant number PF3-140111 awarded by the Chandra X-ray Center, which is operated by the Astrophysical Observatory for NASA under contract NAS8-03060.

  2. 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.

  3. Space propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kazaroff, John M.

    1993-01-01

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

  4. Space propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazaroff, John M.

    1993-02-01

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

  5. A Review of Laser Ablation Propulsion

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-10-08

    Laser Ablation Propulsion is a broad field with a wide range of applications. We review the 30-year history of laser ablation propulsion from the transition from earlier pure photon propulsion concepts of Oberth and Saenger through Kantrowitz's original laser ablation propulsion idea to the development of air-breathing 'Lightcraft' and advanced spacecraft propulsion engines. The polymers POM and GAP have played an important role in experiments and liquid ablation fuels show great promise. Some applications use a laser system which is distant from the propelled object, for example, on another spacecraft, the Earth or a planet. Others use a laser that is part of the spacecraft propulsion system on the spacecraft. Propulsion is produced when an intense laser beam strikes a condensed matter surface and produces a vapor or plasma jet. The advantages of this idea are that exhaust velocity of the propulsion engine covers a broader range than is available from chemistry, that it can be varied to meet the instantaneous demands of the particular mission, and that practical realizations give lower mass and greater simplicity for a payload delivery system. We review the underlying theory, buttressed by extensive experimental data. The primary problem in laser space propulsion theory has been the absence of a way to predict thrust and specific impulse over the transition from the vapor to the plasma regimes. We briefly discuss a method for combining two new vapor regime treatments with plasma regime theory, giving a smooth transition from one regime to the other. We conclude with a section on future directions.

  6. A Review of Laser Ablation Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-10-01

    Laser Ablation Propulsion is a broad field with a wide range of applications. We review the 30-year history of laser ablation propulsion from the transition from earlier pure photon propulsion concepts of Oberth and Sänger through Kantrowitz's original laser ablation propulsion idea to the development of air-breathing "Lightcraft" and advanced spacecraft propulsion engines. The polymers POM and GAP have played an important rôle in experiments and liquid ablation fuels show great promise. Some applications use a laser system which is distant from the propelled object, for example, on another spacecraft, the Earth or a planet. Others use a laser that is part of the spacecraft propulsion system on the spacecraft. Propulsion is produced when an intense laser beam strikes a condensed matter surface and produces a vapor or plasma jet. The advantages of this idea are that exhaust velocity of the propulsion engine covers a broader range than is available from chemistry, that it can be varied to meet the instantaneous demands of the particular mission, and that practical realizations give lower mass and greater simplicity for a payload delivery system. We review the underlying theory, buttressed by extensive experimental data. The primary problem in laser space propulsion theory has been the absence of a way to predict thrust and specific impulse over the transition from the vapor to the plasma regimes. We briefly discuss a method for combining two new vapor regime treatments with plasma regime theory, giving a smooth transition from one regime to the other. We conclude with a section on future directions.

  7. Electromagnetic propulsion for spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myers, Roger M.

    1993-01-01

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

  8. Study of the interrelation between the electrotechnical parameters of the plasma focus discharge circuit and the plasma compression dynamics on the PF-3 and PF-1000 facilities

    SciTech Connect

    Mitrofanov, K. N.; Krauz, V. I. E-mail: vkrauz@yandex.ru; Grabovski, E. V.; Myalton, V. V.; Vinogradov, V. P.; Paduch, M.; Scholz, M.; Karpiński, L.

    2015-05-15

    The main stages of the plasma current sheath (PCS) dynamics on two plasma focus (PF) facilities with different geometries of the electrode system, PF-3 (Filippov type) and PF-1000 (Mather type), were studied by analyzing the results of the current and voltage measurements. Some dynamic characteristics, such as the PCS velocity in the acceleration phase in the Mather-type facility (PF-1000), the moment at which the PCS reaches the anode end, and the plasma velocity in the radial stage of plasma compression in the PF-3 Filippov-type facility, were determined from the time dependence of the inductance of the discharge circuit with a dynamic plasma load. The energy characteristics of the discharge circuit of the compressing PCS were studied for different working gases (deuterium, argon, and neon) at initial pressures of 1.5–3 Torr in discharges with energies of 0.3–0.6 MJ. In experiments with deuterium, correlation between the neutron yield and the electromagnetic energy deposited directly in the compressed PCS was investigated.

  9. Diagnostic system for studying generation of subterahertz radiation during beam-plasma interaction in the GOL-3 facility

    SciTech Connect

    Arzhannikov, A. V.; Burdakov, A. V.; Vyacheslavov, L. N.; Ivanov, I. A.; Ivantsivsky, M. V.; Kasatov, A. A.; Kuznetsov, S. A.; Makarov, M. A.; Mekler, K. I.; Polosatkin, S. V.; Postupaev, V. V.; Popov, S. S.; Sinitsky, S. L.; Sklyarov, V. F.; Thumm, M. K. A.

    2012-06-15

    The design principles and construction of the subterahertz radiometric spectral systems developed for the GOL-3 facility are described. The spectral systems are designed according to the quasi-optical scheme and use multilayer filters based on frequency-selective surfaces. The design and manufacturing technology of such elements are discussed. The results of measuring subterahertz radiation of plasma at the frequency close to the double plasma frequency are presented.

  10. Electrostatic propulsion using C60 molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leifer, Stephanie D.; Rapp, Donald; Saunders, Winston A.

    1992-01-01

    An evaluation is made of the potential benefits of C60 molecules as a basis for ion propulsion. Because C60 is storable, its use may result in a larger usable propellant fraction than previous methods of cluster ion propulsion. C60 may also relax such engineering constraints as grid spacing, which restrict the performance of noble gas ion propulsion. The behavior of C60 in a plasma discharge environment, as well as various electron impact cross sections of the molecule, will greatly afftect the feasibility of the concept.

  11. Methyl siloxanes in environmental matrices around a siloxane production facility, and their distribution and elimination in plasma of exposed population.

    PubMed

    Xu, Lin; Shi, Yali; Wang, Thanh; Dong, Zhirong; Su, Weiping; Cai, Yaqi

    2012-11-01

    In this study, we systematically investigated methyl siloxanes (D4-D6, L3-L16) exposure to workers from and residents living near a siloxanes manufacturing facility by measuring their concentrations in both environmental matrices (air, dust/soil, n = 62) and human plasma samples (n = 201). For the seventeen target compounds, the average concentrations in indoor matrixes from six workshops of the facility ranged from 0.6 μg/m(3) to 2.7 mg/m(3) in air samples and from 0.36 μg/g to 1.16 mg/g in dust samples, which were 3-5 orders of magnitudes higher than those levels at the reference zone. In plasma samples from the current workers in six workshops and residents living near the facility, the average concentrations of methyl siloxanes were 5.61-451 and 4.56-13.5 ng/g, respectively, which were 1-2 magnitudes higher than those in the reference group. Plasma methyl siloxanes concentrations of people from different workshops were positively correlated with their exposure levels, indicating that high occupational exposure in siloxane production process elevated human plasma concentrations. However, there was no significant correlation between human plasma concentrations with their duration of occupation. These methyl siloxanes were eliminated from human plasma with half-lives ranging from 2.34 to 9.64 days, which increased with the increasing number of Si-O bonds for most analogues.

  12. Magnetohydrodynamic Augmented Propulsion Experiment: I. Performance Analysis and Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Litchford, R. J.; Cole, J. W.; Lineberry, J. T.; Chapman, J. N.; Schmidt, H. J.; Lineberry, C. W.

    2003-01-01

    The performance of conventional thermal propulsion systems is fundamentally constrained by the specific energy limitations associated with chemical fuels and the thermal limits of available materials. Electromagnetic thrust augmentation represents one intriguing possibility for improving the fuel composition of thermal propulsion systems, thereby increasing overall specific energy characteristics; however, realization of such a system requires an extremely high-energy-density electrical power source as well as an efficient plasma acceleration device. This Technical Publication describes the development of an experimental research facility for investigating the use of cross-field magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) accelerators as a possible thrust augmentation device for thermal propulsion systems. In this experiment,a 1.5-MW(sub e) Aerotherm arc heater is used to drive a 2-MW(sub e) MHD accelerator. The heatsink MHD accelerator is configured as an externally diagonalized, segmented channel, which is inserted into a large-bore, 2-T electromagnet. The performance analysis and engineering design of the flow path are described as well as the parameter measurements and flow diagnostics planned for the initial series of test runs.

  13. OEPSS operationally efficient propulsion system study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    A final report on the Operationally Efficient Propulsion System Study (OEPSS) is presented. A review of Launch Site Operations, OEPSS objectives, operations support structure, OEPSS Concerns List, and scope of OEPSS are summarized, along with goals of OEPSS technologies, and operations technology levels. Air-augmented ejector/rocket, flash boiling tank pressurization technology, and advanced LH2 turbopump are described. Launch facilities, operations-driven propulsion system architecture, integrated booster propulsion module, turbopump operating conditions, and payload capability using integrated engine elements are addressed among other topics.

  14. Diagnosing Pulsed Power Produced Plasmas with X-ray Thomson Scattering at the Nevada Terawatt Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valenzuela, J. C.; Krauland, C.; Mariscal, D.; Krasheninnikov, I.; Beg, F. N.; Wiewior, P.; Covington, A.; Presura, R.; Ma, T.; Niemann, C.; Mabey, P.; Gregori, G.

    2015-11-01

    We present experimental results on X-ray Thomson scattering (XRTS) at the Nevada Terawatt Facility (NTF) to study current driven plasmas. Using the Leopard laser, ~ 30 J and pulse width of 0.8 ns, we generated He- α emission (4.75 keV) from a thin Ti foil. Initial parameter scans showed that the optimum intensity is ~ 1015W/cm2 with a foil thickness of 2 μm for forward X-ray production. Bandwidth measurements of the source, using a HAPG crystal in the Von Hamos configuration, were found to be ΔE/E ~ 0.01. Giving the scattering angle of our experimental setup of 129 degrees and X-ray probing energy, the non-collective regime was accessed. The ZEBRA load was a 3 mm wide, 500 μm thick, and 10 mm long graphite foil, placed at one of the six current return posts. Estimates of the plasma temperature, density and ionization state were made by fitting the scattering spectra with dynamic structure factor calculations based on the random phase approximation for the treatment of charged particle coupling. The work was partially funded by the Department of Energy grant number DE-NA0001995.

  15. Facile plasma-enhanced deposition of ultrathin crosslinked amino acid films for conformal biometallization.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Kyle D; Slocik, Joseph M; McConney, Michael E; Enlow, Jesse O; Jakubiak, Rachel; Bunning, Timothy J; Naik, Rajesh R; Tsukruk, Vladimir V

    2009-03-01

    A novel method for the facile fabrication of conformal, ultrathin, and uniform synthetic amino acid coatings on a variety of practical surfaces by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition is introduced. Tyrosine, which is utilized as an agent to reduce gold nanoparticles from solution, is sublimed into the plasma field and directly deposited on a variety of substrates to form a homogeneous, conformal, and robust polyamino acid coating in a one-step, solvent-free process. This approach is applicable to many practical surfaces and allows surface-induced biometallization while avoiding multiple wet-chemistry treatments that can damage many soft materials. Moreover, by placing a mask over the substrate during deposition, the tyrosine coating can be micropatterned. Upon its exposure to a solution of gold chloride, a network of gold nanoparticles forms on the surface, replicating the initial micropattern. This method of templated biometallization is adaptable to a variety of practical inorganic and organic substrates, such as silicon, glass, nitrocellulose, polystyrene, polydimethylsiloxane, polytetrafluoroethylene, polyethylene, and woven silk fibers. No special pretreatment is necessary, and the technique results in a rapid, conformal amino acid coating that can be utilized for further biometallization.

  16. Experimental facility for reactor experiments on study of spectral-luminescent characteristics of nuclear-excited plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gordienko, Yu N.; Batyrbekov, E. G.; Skakov, M. K.; Ponkratov, Yu V.; Khasenov, M. U.; Zaurbekova, Zh A.; Barsukov, N. I.; Kulsartov, T. V.; Tulubayev, Ye Yu

    2016-09-01

    The description of experimental facility and reactor ampoule device for carrying out the experiments on study of spectral-luminescent characteristics of nuclear-excited plasma formed by products of 6Li(n,α)T nuclear reaction under conditions of neutron irradiation is given in paper.

  17. Gasdynamic Mirror Fusion Propulsion Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Emrich, William J., Jr.; Rodgers, Stephen L. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Nuclear fusion appears to be the most promising concept for producing extremely high specific impulse rocket engines. One particular fusion concept which seems to be particularly well suited for fusion propulsion applications is the gasdynamic mirror (GDM). This device would operate at much higher plasma densities and with much larger LD ratios than previous mirror machines. Several advantages accrue from such a design. First, the high LA:) ratio minimizes to a large extent certain magnetic curvature effects which lead to plasma instabilities causing a loss of plasma confinement. Second, the high plasma density will result in the plasma behaving much more Re a conventional fluid with a mean free path shorter than the length of the device. This characteristic helps reduce problems associated with "loss cone" microinstabilities. An experimental GDM device is currently being constructed at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center to provide an initial assessment of the feasibility of this type of propulsion system. Initial experiments are expected to commence in the late fall of 2000.

  18. OTV Propulsion Issues

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1984-01-01

    The statistical technology needs of aero-assist maneuvering, propulsion, and usage of cryogenic fluids were presented. Industry panels discussed the servicing of reusable space based vehicles and propulsion-vehicle interation.

  19. Beamed energy propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shoji, James M.

    1992-01-01

    Beamed energy concepts offer an alternative for an advanced propulsion system. The use of a remote power source reduces the weight of the propulsion system in flight and this, combined with the high performance, provides significant payload gains. Within the context of this study's baseline scenario, two beamed energy propulsion concepts are potentially attractive: solar thermal propulsion and laser thermal propulsion. The conceived beamed energy propulsion devices generally provide low thrust (tens of pounds to hundreds of pounds); therefore, they are typically suggested for cargo transportation. For the baseline scenario, these propulsion system can provide propulsion between the following nodes: (1) low Earth orbit to geosynchronous Earth orbit; (2) low Earth orbit to low lunar orbit; (3) low lunar orbit to low Mars orbit--only solar thermal; and (4) lunar surface to low lunar orbit--only laser thermal.

  20. A review of electric propulsion systems and mission applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vondra, R.; Nock, K.; Jones, R.

    1984-01-01

    The satisfaction of growing demands for access to space resources will require new developments related to advanced propulsion and power technologies. A key technology in this context is concerned with the utilization of electric propulsion. A brief review of the current state of development of electric propulsion systems on an international basis is provided, taking into account advances in the USSR, the U.S., Japan, West Germany, China and Brazil. The present investigation, however, is mainly concerned with the U.S. program. The three basic types of electric thrusters are considered along with the intrinsic differences between chemical and electric propulsion, the resistojet, the augmented hydrazine thruster, the arcjet, the ion auxiliary propulsion system flight test, the pulsed plasma thruster, magnetoplasmadynamic propulsion, a pulsed inductive thruster, and rail accelerators. Attention is also given to the applications of electric propulsion.

  1. European auxiliary propulsion, 1972

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holcomb, L. B.

    1972-01-01

    The chemical and electric auxiliary propulsion technology of the United Kingdom, France, and West Germany is discussed in detail, and the propulsion technology achievements of Italy, India, Japan, and Russia are reviewed. A comparison is presented of Shell 405 catalyst and a European spontaneous hydrazine catalyst called CNESRO I. Finally, conclusions are drawn regarding future trends in European auxiliary propulsion technology development.

  2. Electric propulsion on SMART-1 - a technology milestone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Estublier, Denis; Saccoccia, Giorgio; Gonzales Del Amo, Jose

    2007-02-01

    In December 2002, when France's Stentor satellite was all set to use electric propulsion for stationkeeping, ESA's SMART-1 was just completing its first end-to-end spacecraft test. Then Stentor was lost in the Ariane-5 launch failure, making SMART-1 the first and only technology demonstration mission with Hall-effect plasma propulsion. As a result, there was a great deal of interest in the electric propulsion community in SMART-1's flight.

  3. Study of energetic particle dynamics in Harbin Dipole eXperiment (HDX) on Space Plasma Environment Research Facility (SPERF)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhibin, W.; Xiao, Q.; Wang, X.; Xiao, C.; Zheng, J.; E, P.; Ji, H.; Ding, W.; Lu, Q.; Ren, Y.; Mao, A.

    2015-12-01

    Zhibin Wang1, Qingmei Xiao1, Xiaogang Wang1, Chijie Xiao2, Jinxing Zheng3, Peng E1, Hantao Ji1,5, Weixing Ding4, Quaming Lu6, Y. Ren1,5, Aohua Mao11 Laboratory for Space Environment and Physical Sciences, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China 150001 2 State Key Lab of Nuclear Physics & Technology, and School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing, China 100871 3ASIPP, Hefei, China, 230031 4University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, 90095 5Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08543 6University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China, 230026 A new terrella device for laboratory studies of space physics relevant to the inner magnetospheric plasmas, Harbin Dipole eXperiment (HDX), is scheduled to be built at Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), China. HDX is one of two essential parts of Space Plasma Environment Research Facility (SPERF), which is a major national research facility for space physics studies. HDX is designed to provide a laboratory experimental platform to reproduce the earth's magnetospheric structure for investigations on the mechanism of acceleration/loss and wave-particle interaction of energetic particles in radiation belt, and on the influence of magnetic storms on the inner magnetosphere. It can be operated together with Harbin Reconnection eXperiment (HRX), which is another part of SPERF, to study the fundamental processes during interactions between solar wind and Earth's magnetosphere. In this presentation, the scientific goals and experimental plans for HDX, together with the means applied to generate the plasma with desired parameters, including multiple plasma sources and different kinds of coils with specific functions, as well as advanced diagnostics designed to be equipped to the facility for multi-functions, are reviewed. Three typical scenarios of HDX with operations of various coils and plasma sources to study specific physical processes in space plasmas will also be

  4. Electric propulsion system technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brophy, John R.; Garner, Charles E.; Goodfellow, Keith D.

    1991-01-01

    The work performed on the Ion Propulsion System Technology Task in FY90 is described. The objectives of this work fall under two broad categories. The first of these deals with issues associated with the application of xenon ion thrusters for primary propulsion of planetary spacecraft, and the second with the investigation of technologies which will facilitate the development of larger, higher power ion thrusters to support more advanced mission applications. Most of the effort was devoted to investigation of the critical issues associated with the use of ion thrusters for planetary spacecraft. These issues may be succinctly referred to as life time, system integration, and throttling. Chief among these is the engine life time. If the engines do not have sufficient life to perform the missions of interest, then the other issues become unimportant. Ion engine life time was investigated through two experimental programs: an investigation into the reduction of ion engine internal sputter erosion through the addition of small quantities of nitrogen, and a long duration cathode life test. In addition, a literature review and analysis of accelerator grid erosion were performed. The nitrogen addition tests indicated that the addition of between 0.5 and 1.0 percent of nitrogen by mass to the xenon propellant results in a reduction in the sputter erosion of discharge chamber components by a factor of between 20 and 50, with negligible reduction in thruster performance. The long duration test of a 6.35-mm dia. xenon hollow cathode is still in progress, and has accumulated more than 4,000 hours of operation at an emission current of 25 A at the time of this writing. One of the major system integration issues concerns possible interactions of the ion thruster produced charge exchange plasma with the spacecraft. A computer model originally developed to describe the behavior of mercury ion thruster charge exchange plasmas was resurrected and modified for xenon propellant. This

  5. Deployment, Commissioning and Operation of Plasma Electrode Pockels Cells in the National Ignition Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Arnold, P A; Ollis, C W; Hinz, A; Robb, C; Primdahl, K A; Watson, J J; O'Brien, M D; Funkhouser, W G; Biltoft, P J; Shelton, R T; Tapley, W C; DeHope, W J

    2003-12-01

    Large aperture Plasma Electrode Pockels Cells (PEPCs) are an enabling technology in the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The Pockels cells allow the NIF laser to take advantage of multipass main amplifier architecture, thus reducing costs and physical size of the facility. Each Pockels cell comprises four 40-cm x 40-cm apertures arranged in a 4 x 1 array. The combination of the Pockels cell and a thin-film polarizer, also configured in a 4 x 1 array, forms an optical switch that is key to achieving the required multi-pass operation. The operation of the PEPC is a follows: Before the arrival of the laser pulse, optically transparent, low-density helium plasmas are initiated to serve as electrodes for the KDP crystals mounted in the Pockels cell. During beam propagation through the main laser cavity a longitudinal electric field is impressed on the electro-optic crystals. The polarization of the propagating beams is rotated by 90{sup o} on each of two passes, thereby allowing the beam to be trapped in the main laser amplifier cavity for a total of four passes before being switched out into the cavity spatial filter. The physics aspects of the PEPC are well documented. Consequently, this paper will emphasize the PEPC subsystem in the context of its role and relevance within the broader NIF laser system, provide a view of the complexity of the subsystem and give an overview of PEPC's interactions with other elements of NIF, including interfaces to the Beamline Infrastructure, the NIF Timing Subsystem, and the Integrated Computer Control System (ICCS); along with dependence on the Optics Production, Transport and Handling (T&H), and Assembly, Integration and Refurbishment (AIR) and Operations organizations. Further, we will discuss implementation details related to the functional blocks and individual components that comprise PEPC, with particular emphasis on the unique constraints placed on the elements and the attendant

  6. Laser-Plasma Interactions in Drive Campaign targets on the National Ignition Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinkel, D. E.; Callahan, D. A.; Moody, J. D.; Amendt, P. A.; Lasinski, B. F.; MacGowan, B. J.; Meeker, D.; Michel, P. A.; Ralph, J.; Rosen, M. D.; Ross, J. S.; Schneider, M. B.; Storm, E.; Strozzi, D. J.; Williams, E. A.

    2016-03-01

    The Drive campaign [D A Callahan et al., this conference] on the National Ignition Facility (NIF) laser [E. I. Moses, R. N. Boyd, B. A. Remington, C. J. Keane, R. Al-Ayat, Phys. Plasmas 16, 041006 (2009)] has the focused goal of understanding and optimizing the hohlraum for ignition. Both the temperature and symmetry of the radiation drive depend on laser and hohlraum characteristics. The drive temperature depends on the coupling of laser energy to the hohlraum, and the symmetry of the drive depends on beam-to-beam interactions that result in energy transfer [P. A. Michel, S. H. Glenzer, L. Divol, et al, Phys. Plasmas 17, 056305 (2010).] within the hohlraum. To this end, hohlraums are being fielded where shape (rugby vs. cylindrical hohlraums), gas fill composition (neopentane at room temperature vs. cryogenic helium), and gas fill density (increase of ∼ 150%) are independently changed. Cylindrical hohlraums with higher gas fill density show improved inner beam propagation, as should rugby hohlraums, because of the larger radius over the capsule (7 mm vs. 5.75 mm in a cylindrical hohlraum). Energy coupling improves in room temperature neopentane targets, as well as in hohlraums at higher gas fill density. In addition cross-beam energy transfer is being addressed directly by using targets that mock up one end of a hohlraum, but allow observation of the laser beam uniformity after energy transfer. Ideas such as splitting quads into “doublets” by re-pointing the right and left half of quads are also being pursued. LPI results of the Drive campaign will be summarized, and analyses of future directions presented.

  7. Identification of propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merrill, Walter; Guo, Ten-Huei; Duyar, Ahmet

    1991-01-01

    This paper presents a tutorial on the use of model identification techniques for the identification of propulsion system models. These models are important for control design, simulation, parameter estimation, and fault detection. Propulsion system identification is defined in the context of the classical description of identification as a four step process that is unique because of special considerations of data and error sources. Propulsion system models are described along with the dependence of system operation on the environment. Propulsion system simulation approaches are discussed as well as approaches to propulsion system identification with examples for both air breathing and rocket systems.

  8. Study of nonneutral plasma storage in a magnetic trap with a rotating electric field at the lepta facility

    SciTech Connect

    Eseev, M. K.; Kobets, A. G.; Meshkov, I. N.; Rudakov, A. Yu.; Yakovenko, S. L.

    2013-10-15

    Results from experimental studies of plasma storage in a Penning-Malmberg trap at the LEPTA facility are presented. The number of stored particles is found to increase substantially when using the so-called “rotating wall” method, in which a transverse rotating electric field generated by a cylindrical segmented electrode cut into four pairs is applied to the plasma storage region. The conditions of transverse compression of the plasma bunch under the action of the rotating field and buffer gas are studied. The optimal storage parameters are determined for these experimental conditions. Mechanisms of the action of the rotating field and buffer gas on the process of plasma storage are discussed.

  9. Emerging Propulsion Technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonometti, J. A.

    2004-11-01

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

  10. NASA electric propulsion technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Berkopec, F. D.; Stone, J. R.; Aston, G.

    1985-01-01

    It is pointed out that the requirements for future electric propulsion cover an extremely large range of technical and programmatic characteristics. A NASA program is to provide options for the many potential mission applications, taking into account work on electrostatic, electromagnetic, and electrothermal propulsion systems. The present paper is concerned with developments regarding the three classes of electric propulsion. Studies concerning electrostatic propulsion are concerned with ion propulsion for primary propulsion for planetary and earth-orbit transfer vehicles, stationkeeping for geosynchronous spacecraft, and ion thruster systems. In connection with investigations related to electromagnetic propulsion, attention is given to electromagnetic launchers, the Hall current thruster, and magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters. In a discussion of electrothermal developments, space station resistojets are considered along with high performance resistojets, arcjets, and a laser thruster.

  11. Time-Resolved Optical Spectroscopy of Plasma Interaction with CD2 Fiber in PF-1000 Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Skladnik-Sadowska, Elzbieta; Malinowski, Karol; Kubes, Pavel; Sadowski, Marek J.; Scholz, Marek; Tsarenko, Aleksandr V.

    2006-01-05

    The paper reports on spectroscopic studies of the interaction of high-current Plasma-Focus (PF) discharges with a CD2 100-{mu}m-fiber within the PF-1000 facility operated at 600-650 kJ. Visible radiation (VR) spectra were recorded with a MECHELLE registered 900 spectrometer at different instants. The exposition was varied from 100 ns to 200 {mu}s. Hydrogen- or deuterium- and carbon-ion-lines were identified. The electron concentration of the core, as estimated from the Stark broadening of the CII-CIV lines, was above 1019 cm-13. From the intensity ratio of carbon-ion lines (CIII/CII and CIV/CIII) it was estimated that the electron temperature of the core was above 5 eV. For deuterium shots it was observed that the CD2-fiber induced a decrease in the neutron yield (to about 1010), but the obtained spectroscopic data are of interest for understanding of the physical processes.

  12. Diagnostic development in precise opacity measurement of radiatively heated Al plasma on Shenguang II laser facility.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yang; Yang, Jiamin; Zhang, Jiyan; Liu, Jinsong; Yuan, Xiao; Jin, Fengtao

    2009-04-01

    Simultaneous measurements of the self-emission spectrum, the backlighting source spectrum, and the transmission spectrum in one shot, which reduce the experimental uncertainties from shot-to-shot fluctuation, are essential for precise opacity experiments. In order to achieve precise absorption spectrum of Al plasmas, a special half sample sandwich target was designed and short backlighter was used to provide time- and space-resolving diagnostics on the Shenguang II high power laser facility. In the measurement, a cylindrical cavity with CH foam baffles was used to provide a clean x-ray radiation environment for sample heating. The x-ray source spectrum, the transmission spectrum, and the self-emission spectrum of the soft x-ray heated Al sample were recorded in one shot with a penta-erythritol tetrakis (hydroxymethy) methane C(CH(2)OH)(4) (PET) crystal spectrometer by using the point-projection method. Experimental results have been compared with the calculation results of a detailed level accounting opacity code. PMID:19405658

  13. Diagnostic development in precise opacity measurement of radiatively heated Al plasma on Shenguang II laser facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Yang; Yang, Jiamin; Zhang, Jiyan; Liu, Jinsong; Yuan, Xiao; Jin, Fengtao

    2009-04-01

    Simultaneous measurements of the self-emission spectrum, the backlighting source spectrum, and the transmission spectrum in one shot, which reduce the experimental uncertainties from shot-to-shot fluctuation, are essential for precise opacity experiments. In order to achieve precise absorption spectrum of Al plasmas, a special half sample sandwich target was designed and short backlighter was used to provide time- and space-resolving diagnostics on the Shenguang II high power laser facility. In the measurement, a cylindrical cavity with CH foam baffles was used to provide a clean x-ray radiation environment for sample heating. The x-ray source spectrum, the transmission spectrum, and the self-emission spectrum of the soft x-ray heated Al sample were recorded in one shot with a penta-erythritol tetrakis (hydroxymethy) methane C(CH2OH)4 (PET) crystal spectrometer by using the point-projection method. Experimental results have been compared with the calculation results of a detailed level accounting opacity code.

  14. Diagnostic development in precise opacity measurement of radiatively heated Al plasma on Shenguang II laser facility

    SciTech Connect

    Zhao Yang; Yang Jiamin; Zhang Jiyan; Liu Jinsong; Yuan Xiao; Jin Fengtao

    2009-04-15

    Simultaneous measurements of the self-emission spectrum, the backlighting source spectrum, and the transmission spectrum in one shot, which reduce the experimental uncertainties from shot-to-shot fluctuation, are essential for precise opacity experiments. In order to achieve precise absorption spectrum of Al plasmas, a special half sample sandwich target was designed and short backlighter was used to provide time- and space-resolving diagnostics on the Shenguang II high power laser facility. In the measurement, a cylindrical cavity with CH foam baffles was used to provide a clean x-ray radiation environment for sample heating. The x-ray source spectrum, the transmission spectrum, and the self-emission spectrum of the soft x-ray heated Al sample were recorded in one shot with a penta-erythritol tetrakis (hydroxymethy) methane C(CH{sub 2}OH){sub 4} (PET) crystal spectrometer by using the point-projection method. Experimental results have been compared with the calculation results of a detailed level accounting opacity code.

  15. 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).

  16. LAPTAG: Los Angeles Physics Teachers Alliance Group and the UCLA Basic Plasma User Facility.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gekelman, Walter

    2001-10-01

    LAPTAG was founded in 1993 during a meeting sponsored by the APS, which encouraged high schools and Universities to form alliances. There are currently about twenty high schools, several community colleges and two Universities (UCLA and USC) involved. At first LAPTAG organized tours of laboratories at UCLA, USC, JPL, General Atomics and the Mt. Wilson Observatory and had meetings in which issues on curricula were discussed. It became obvious after awhile that in order for the group to last that projects were necessary. An early project involved having the high school faculty and students create Websites for most of the schools. This was before most the schools could afford Internet connections and Web authoring tools did not exist. Then with funding from the UC Office of the President, a seismology project was initiated and ten schools received seismometers. There were lectures by geologists and staff members of the Southern California Earthquake center; results were reported on the Web. In the spring of 1999 LAPTAG gave seven posters at the Condensed Matter APS meeting in Los Angeles. A web based astronomy course was created and high school students controlled the Mount Wilson telescope remotely and studied a variable star. Our latest project, funded by the Department of Energy resulted in the construction of a plasma lab dedicated to LAPTAG. The lab has equipment that is used by practicing plasma physicists (tone-burst generators, digital scopes, digital data acquisition and computerized probe drives) as well as software (LabView, PVwave). The high school students and teachers built the machine and all the associated diagnostics. Examples of the experiments will be given, however it is not a cookbook lab. As new experiments are introduced the same difficulties we all face must be overcome; the students take part in this. The LAPD laboratory is now a National User Facility and LAPTAG is a key component of its outreach program. We have met with the director of

  17. Simulated Irradiation of Samples in HFIR for use as Possible Test Materials in the MPEX (Material Plasma Exposure Experiment) Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Ellis, Ronald James; Rapp, Juergen

    2014-01-01

    The importance of Plasma Material Interaction (PMI) is a major concern in fusion reactor design and analysis. The Material-Plasma Exposure eXperiment (MPEX) facility will explore PMI under fusion reactor plasma conditions. Samples with accumulated displacements per atom (DPA) damage produced by irradiations in the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will be studied in the MPEX facility. The project presented in this paper involved performing assessments of the induced radioactivity and resulting radiation fields of a variety of potential fusion reactor materials. The scientific code packages MCNP and SCALE were used to simulate irradiation of the samples in HFIR; generation and depletion of nuclides in the material and the subsequent composition, activity levels, gamma radiation fields, and resultant dose rates as a function of cooling time. These state-of-the-art simulation methods were used in addressing the challenge of the MPEX project to minimize the radioactive inventory in the preparation of the samples for inclusion in the MPEX facility.

  18. Expendable launch vehicle propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fuller, Paul N.

    1991-01-01

    The current status is reviewed of the U.S. Expendable Launch Vehicle (ELV) fleet, the international competition, and the propulsion technology of both domestic and foreign ELVs. The ELV propulsion technology areas where research, development, and demonstration are most needed are identified. These propulsion technology recommendations are based on the work performed by the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC), an industry panel established by the Dept. of Transportation.

  19. Nanoporous Silver Film Fabricated by Oxygen Plasma: A Facile Approach for SERS Substrates.

    PubMed

    Ma, Chaoxiong; Trujillo, Michael J; Camden, Jon P

    2016-09-14

    Nanoporous metal films are promising substrates for surfaced-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) measurement, owing to their homogeneity, large surface area, and abundant hot-spots. Herein, a facile procedure was developed to fabricate nanoporous Ag film on various substrate surfaces. Thermally deposited Ag film was first treated with O2 plasma, resulting in porous Ag/AgxO film (AgxO-NF) with nanoscale feature. Sodium citrate was then used to reduce AgxO to Ag, forming nanoporous Ag film (AgNF) with similar morphology. The AgNF substrate demonstrates 30-fold higher Raman intensity than Ag film over polystyrene nanospheres (d = 600 nm) using 4-mercaptobenzoic acid (4-MBA) as the sensing molecule. Comparing with ordinary Raman measurement on 4-MBA solution, an enhancement factor of ∼6 × 10(6) was determined for AgNF. The AgNF substrate was evaluated for benzoic acid, 4-nitrophenol, and 2-mercaptoethanesulfonate, showing high SERS sensitivity for chemicals that bind weakly to Ag surface and molecules with relatively small Raman cross section at micromolar concentration. In addition to its simplicity, the procedure can be applied to various materials such as transparency film, filter paper, hard polystyrene film, and aluminum foil, revealing similar Raman sensitivity. By testing the durability of the substrate, we found that the AgxO films can be stored in ambient conditions for more than 90 days and still deliver the same SERS intensity if the films are treated with sodium citrate before use. These results demonstrate the advantage of the proposed approach for mass production of low-cost, sensitive, and durable SERS substrates. The transferable nature of these AgNF to different flexible surfaces also allows their easy integration with other sensing schemes.

  20. Nanoporous Silver Film Fabricated by Oxygen Plasma: A Facile Approach for SERS Substrates.

    PubMed

    Ma, Chaoxiong; Trujillo, Michael J; Camden, Jon P

    2016-09-14

    Nanoporous metal films are promising substrates for surfaced-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) measurement, owing to their homogeneity, large surface area, and abundant hot-spots. Herein, a facile procedure was developed to fabricate nanoporous Ag film on various substrate surfaces. Thermally deposited Ag film was first treated with O2 plasma, resulting in porous Ag/AgxO film (AgxO-NF) with nanoscale feature. Sodium citrate was then used to reduce AgxO to Ag, forming nanoporous Ag film (AgNF) with similar morphology. The AgNF substrate demonstrates 30-fold higher Raman intensity than Ag film over polystyrene nanospheres (d = 600 nm) using 4-mercaptobenzoic acid (4-MBA) as the sensing molecule. Comparing with ordinary Raman measurement on 4-MBA solution, an enhancement factor of ∼6 × 10(6) was determined for AgNF. The AgNF substrate was evaluated for benzoic acid, 4-nitrophenol, and 2-mercaptoethanesulfonate, showing high SERS sensitivity for chemicals that bind weakly to Ag surface and molecules with relatively small Raman cross section at micromolar concentration. In addition to its simplicity, the procedure can be applied to various materials such as transparency film, filter paper, hard polystyrene film, and aluminum foil, revealing similar Raman sensitivity. By testing the durability of the substrate, we found that the AgxO films can be stored in ambient conditions for more than 90 days and still deliver the same SERS intensity if the films are treated with sodium citrate before use. These results demonstrate the advantage of the proposed approach for mass production of low-cost, sensitive, and durable SERS substrates. The transferable nature of these AgNF to different flexible surfaces also allows their easy integration with other sensing schemes. PMID:27551811

  1. The first experimental campaign on the Laser Megajoule Facility: characterization of plasma transparency in radiatively-heated slots

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tassin, Veronique; Dulieu, Andre; Courtois, Cedric; Casner, Alexis; Rosch, Rudolf; Caillaud, Tony; Trosseille, Clement; Henry, Olivier; Seguineau, Frederic; Durut, Frederic

    2015-11-01

    The Laser Megajoule Facility has been commissioned in October 2014 with performing the first experimental campaign. The goal of this first experimental campaign was to study the evolution of the plasma transparency in slots machined within radiatively-heated samples. The plasma was produced using a radiation hohlraum drive. The evolution of the plasma transparency was radiographed with a 2D time-resolved imager consisting in grazing incidence X-ray microscopes and pinholes coupled to an X-ray framing camera. We have conducted a series of experiments to study the effect of the slot width, the material thickness and the material nature (either tantalum-oxide aerogel or gold). Experimental results will be compared with 2D and 3D radiation hydrodynamics codes.

  2. Status and Perspectives of Electric Propulsion in Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Svelto, F.; Marcuccio, S.; Matticari, G.

    2002-01-01

    Electric Propulsion (EP) is recognized as one of today's enabling technologies for scientific and commercial missions. In consideration of EP's major strategic impact on the near and long term scenarios, an EP development programme has been established within the Italian Space Agency (ASI), aimed at the development of a variety of propulsion capabilities covering different fields of application. This paper presents an overview of Electric Propulsion (EP) activities underway in Italy and outlines the planned development lines, both in research institutions and in industry. Italian EP activities are essentially concentrated in Pisa, at Centrospazio and Alta, and in Florence, at LABEN - Proel Tecnologie Division (LABEN/Proel). Centrospazio/Alta and LABEN/Proel have established a collaboration program for joint advanced developments in the EP field. Established in 1989, Centrospazio is a private research center closely related to the Department of Aerospace Engineering of Pisa University. Along the years, Centrospazio lines of development have included arcjets, magneto- plasma-dynamic thrusters, FEEP and Hall thrusters, as well as computational plasma dynamics and low-thrust mission studies. Alta, a small enterprise, was founded in 1999 to exploit in an industrial setting the results of research previously carried out at Centrospazio. Alta's activities include the development of micronewton and millinewton FEEP thrusters, and testing of high power Hall and ion thrusters in specialised facilities. A full micronewton FEEP propulsion system is being developed for the Microscope spacecraft, a scientific mission by CNES aimed at verification of the Equivalence Principle. FEEP will also fly on ASI's HypSEO, a technological demonstrator for Earth Observation, and is being considered for ESA's GOCE (geodesy) and SMART-2 (formation flying), as well as for the intended scientific spacecraft GG by ASI. The ASI-funded STEPS facility will be placed on an external site on the

  3. NASA electric propulsion program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1976-01-01

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

  4. Field resonance propulsion concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holt, A. C.

    1979-01-01

    A propulsion concept was developed based on a proposed resonance between coherent, pulsed electromagnetic wave forms, and gravitational wave forms (or space-time metrics). Using this concept a spacecraft propulsion system potentially capable of galactic and intergalactic travel without prohibitive travel times was designed. The propulsion system utilizes recent research associated with magnetic field line merging, hydromagnetic wave effects, free-electron lasers, laser generation of megagauss fields, and special structural and containment metals. The research required to determine potential, field resonance characteristics and to evaluate various aspects of the spacecraft propulsion design is described.

  5. Facility for high heat flux testing of irradiated fusion materials and components using infrared plasma arc lamps

    SciTech Connect

    Sabau, Adrian S; Ohriner, Evan Keith; Kiggans, Jim; Harper, David C; Snead, Lance Lewis; Schaich, Charles Ross

    2014-01-01

    A new high-heat flux testing facility using water-wall stabilized high-power high-pressure argon Plasma Arc Lamps (PALs) has been developed for fusion applications. It can handle irradiated plasma facing component materials and mock-up divertor components. Two PALs currently available at ORNL can provide maximum incident heat fluxes of 4.2 and 27 MW/m2 over a heated area of 9x12 and 1x10 cm2, respectively, which are fusion-prototypical steady state heat flux conditions. The facility will be described and the main differences between the photon-based high-heat flux testing facilities, such as PALs, and the e-beam and particle beam facilities more commonly used for fusion HHF testing are discussed. The components of the test chamber were designed to accommodate radiation safety and materials compatibility requirements posed by high-temperature exposure of low levels irradiated tungsten articles. Issues related to the operation and temperature measurements during testing are presented and discussed.

  6. Xenon ion propulsion for orbit transfer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  7. Antimatter propulsion, status and prospects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howe, Steven D.; Hynes, Michael V.

    1986-01-01

    The use of advanced propulsion techniques must be considered if the currently envisioned launch date of the manned Mars mission were delayed until 2020 or later. Within the next thirty years, technological advances may allow such methods as beaming power to the ship, inertial-confinement fusion, or mass-conversion of antiprotons to become feasible. A propulsion system with an ISP of around 5000 s would allow the currently envisioned mission module to fly to Mars in 3 months and would require about one million pounds to be assembled in Earth orbit. Of the possible methods to achieve this, the antiproton mass-conversion reaction offers the highest potential, the greatest problems, and the most fascination. Increasing the production rates of antiprotons is a high priority task at facilities around the world. The application of antiprotons to propulsion requires the coupling of the energy released in the mass-conversion reaction to thrust-producing mechanisms. Recent proposals entail using the antiprotons to produce inertial confinement fusion or to produce negative muons which can catalyze fusion. By increasing the energy released per antiproton, the effective cost, (dollars/joule) can be reduced. These proposals and other areas of research can be investigated now. These short term results will be important in assessing the long range feasibility of an antiproton powered engine.

  8. Magnetohydrodynamic sea water propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Petrick, M.; Thomas, A.; Genens, L.; Libera, J.; Nietert, R.; Bouillard, J.; Pierson, E.; Hill, D.; Picologlou, B.; Ohlsson, O.; Kasprzyk, T.; Berry, G.

    1991-01-01

    An experimental and theoretical investigation of a large scale MHD propulsor has been undertaken whose objectives are to (1) investigate the transient and steady state performance of the thruster over operating parameter ranges that are compatible with achievement of high efficiency, (2) to quantify the principal loss mechanisms within the thruster and (3) to obtain preliminary hydroacoustic data. The performance of the thruster was first investigated theoretically with a 3-D code to quantify the loss mechanisms and identify experimental parameter ranges of interest. The loss mechanisms of interest are ohmic losses within the channel and those resulting from electrical currents at the entrance and exit of the thruster, and enhanced frictional losses. The analysis indicated that the relative importance of the loss mechanisms was a function of the thruster design and operating parameters. The experimental investigation of the large scale propulsor is being conducted on a sea water test facility that was designed to match the capabilities of a large 6-T superconducting magnet. The facility design was such that {approximately}90{degrees} of all losses occurred within the propulsion test train (inlet nozzle, propulsor and diffuser) thus facilitating isolation of the loss mechanisms. The test thruster itself is heavily instrumented to provide local measurements of velocity, pressure, and electric fields. The predicted overall thruster performance and value of the loss mechanisms will be compared with measured values. Comparisons will also be presented of the voltage gradients between electrodes, overall thruster efficiency, axial pressure gradients across the propulsor, change in velocity profiles, axial and vertical current distributions and exit distribution of the electrolytic gases.

  9. Magnetohydrodynamic sea water propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Petrick, M.; Thomas, A.; Genens, L.; Libera, J.; Nietert, R.; Bouillard, J.; Pierson, E.; Hill, D.; Picologlou, B.; Ohlsson, O.; Kasprzyk, T.; Berry, G.

    1991-12-31

    An experimental and theoretical investigation of a large scale MHD propulsor has been undertaken whose objectives are to (1) investigate the transient and steady state performance of the thruster over operating parameter ranges that are compatible with achievement of high efficiency, (2) to quantify the principal loss mechanisms within the thruster and (3) to obtain preliminary hydroacoustic data. The performance of the thruster was first investigated theoretically with a 3-D code to quantify the loss mechanisms and identify experimental parameter ranges of interest. The loss mechanisms of interest are ohmic losses within the channel and those resulting from electrical currents at the entrance and exit of the thruster, and enhanced frictional losses. The analysis indicated that the relative importance of the loss mechanisms was a function of the thruster design and operating parameters. The experimental investigation of the large scale propulsor is being conducted on a sea water test facility that was designed to match the capabilities of a large 6-T superconducting magnet. The facility design was such that {approximately}90{degrees} of all losses occurred within the propulsion test train (inlet nozzle, propulsor and diffuser) thus facilitating isolation of the loss mechanisms. The test thruster itself is heavily instrumented to provide local measurements of velocity, pressure, and electric fields. The predicted overall thruster performance and value of the loss mechanisms will be compared with measured values. Comparisons will also be presented of the voltage gradients between electrodes, overall thruster efficiency, axial pressure gradients across the propulsor, change in velocity profiles, axial and vertical current distributions and exit distribution of the electrolytic gases.

  10. NASA/DOE/DOD nuclear propulsion technology planning: Summary of FY 1991 interagency panel results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, John S.; Wickenheiser, Timothy J.; Doherty, Michael P.; Marshall, Albert; Bhattacharryya, Samit K.; Warren, John

    1992-01-01

    Interagency (NASA/DOE/DOD) technical panels worked in 1991 to evaluate critical nuclear propulsion issues, compare nuclear propulsion concepts for a manned Mars mission on a consistent basis, and to continue planning a technology development project for the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). Panels were formed to address mission analysis, nuclear facilities, safety policy, nuclear fuels and materials, nuclear electric propulsion technology, and nuclear thermal propulsion technology. A summary of the results and recommendations of the panels is presented.

  11. Pulsed Fission Propulsion Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

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

  12. Nuclear thermal propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.

    1991-01-01

    This document is presented in viewgraph form, and the topics covered include the following: (1) the direct fission-thermal propulsion process; (2) mission applications of direct fission-thermal propulsion; (3) nuclear engines for rocket vehicles; (4) manned mars landers; and (5) particle bed reactor design.

  13. Advanced Chemical Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Alexander, Leslie, Jr.

    2006-01-01

    Advanced Chemical Propulsion (ACP) provides near-term incremental improvements in propulsion system performance and/or cost. It is an evolutionary approach to technology development that produces useful products along the way to meet increasingly more demanding mission requirements while focusing on improving payload mass fraction to yield greater science capability. Current activities are focused on two areas: chemical propulsion component, subsystem, and manufacturing technologies that offer measurable system level benefits; and the evaluation of high-energy storable propellants with enhanced performance for in-space application. To prioritize candidate propulsion technology alternatives, a variety of propulsion/mission analyses and trades have been conducted for SMD missions to yield sufficient data for investment planning. They include: the Advanced Chemical Propulsion Assessment; an Advanced Chemical Propulsion System Model; a LOx-LH2 small pumps conceptual design; a space storables propellant study; a spacecraft cryogenic propulsion study; an advanced pressurization and mixture ratio control study; and a pump-fed vs. pressure-fed study.

  14. Electric Propulsion Apparatus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Patterson, Michael J. (Inventor)

    2013-01-01

    An electric propulsion machine includes an ion thruster having an annular discharge chamber housing an anode having a large surface area. The ion thruster includes flat annular ion optics with a small span to gap ratio. Optionally, a second electric propulsion thruster may be disposed in a cylindrical space disposed within an interior of the annulus.

  15. Plasma Wakefield Acceleration and FACET - Facilities for Accelerator Science and Experimental Test Beams at SLAC

    ScienceCinema

    Andrei Seryi

    2016-07-12

    Plasma wakefield acceleration is one of the most promising approaches to advancing accelerator technology. This approach offers a potential 1,000-fold or more increase in acceleration over a given distance, compared to existing accelerators.  FACET, enabled by the Recovery Act funds, will study plasma acceleration, using short, intense pulses of electrons and positrons. In this lecture, the physics of plasma acceleration and features of FACET will be presented.  

  16. Advanced Propulsion Physics Lab: Eagleworks Investigations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scogin, Tyler

    2014-01-01

    Eagleworks Laboratory is an advanced propulsions physics laboratory with two primary investigations currently underway. The first is a Quantum Vacuum Plasma Thruster (QVPT or Q-thrusters), an advanced electric propulsion technology in the development and demonstration phase. The second investigation is in Warp Field Interferometry (WFI). This is an investigation of Dr. Harold "Sonny" White's theoretical physics models for warp field equations using optical experiments in the Electro Optical laboratory (EOL) at Johnson Space Center. These investigations are pursuing technology necessary to enable human exploration of the solar system and beyond.

  17. 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

  18. Fusion Propulsion Z-Pinch Engine Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. ESA Spacecraft Propulsion Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saccoccia, G.

    2004-10-01

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

  20. Particle-in-cell simulations of magnetic reconnection in laser-plasma experiments on Shenguang-II facility

    SciTech Connect

    Lu, San; Lu, Quanming; Huang, Can; Wang, Shui; Dong, Quanli; Zhu, Jianqiang; Sheng, Zhengming; Zhang, Jie

    2013-11-15

    Recently, magnetic reconnection has been realized in high-energy-density laser-produced plasmas. Plasma bubbles with self-generated magnetic fields are created by focusing laser beams to small-scale spots on a foil. The bubbles expand into each other, which may then drive magnetic reconnection. The reconnection experiment in laser-produced plasmas has also been conducted at Shenguang-II (SG-II) laser facility, and the existence of a plasmoid was identified in the experiment [Dong et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 215001 (2012)]. In this paper, by performing two-dimensional (2-D) particle-in-cell simulations, we investigate such a process of magnetic reconnection based on the experiment on SG-II facility, and a possible explanation for the formation of the plasmoid is proposed. The results show that before magnetic reconnection occurs, the bubbles squeeze strongly each other and a very thin current sheet is formed. The current sheet is unstable to the tearing mode instability, and we can then observe the formation of plasmoid(s) in such a multiple X-lines reconnection.

  1. Feasibility of MHD submarine propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Doss, E.D. ); Sikes, W.C. )

    1992-09-01

    This report describes the work performed during Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the collaborative research program established between Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company (NNS). Phase I of the program focused on the development of computer models for Magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) propulsion. Phase 2 focused on the experimental validation of the thruster performance models and the identification, through testing, of any phenomena which may impact the attractiveness of this propulsion system for shipboard applications. The report discusses in detail the work performed in Phase 2 of the program. In Phase 2, a two Tesla test facility was designed, built, and operated. The facility test loop, its components, and their design are presented. The test matrix and its rationale are discussed. Representative experimental results of the test program are presented, and are compared to computer model predictions. In general, the results of the tests and their comparison with the predictions indicate that thephenomena affecting the performance of MHD seawater thrusters are well understood and can be accurately predicted with the developed thruster computer models.

  2. Measurement of Noise Produced by a Plasma Contactor Operating in Ground Based Facilities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, Steve

    1996-01-01

    Methods to measure electric field fluctuations accurately in a plasma with an active monopole antenna are described. It is shown that the conductive surfaces of the antenna must be adequately isolated from the ambient plasma and that the monopole must be sufficiently short to avoid antenna amplifier saturation. Experimental results illustrate that the noise produced by plasma contactor operation and sensed by the antenna is due to plasma phenomena and is not induced by laboratory power supplies. A good correlation is shown between the current fluctuations in the contactor electrical circuit and the noise detected by the antenna. A large body of experimental data support the conclusion that the majority of noise sensed by the antenna at frequencies less than 1 MHz is due to current fluctuations (electrostatic waves) in the plasma adjacent to the antenna and not to electromagnetic wave radiation. Caution is suggested when comparing antenna noise measurements to conventional specifications for radiated emissions.

  3. Advancing Sensor Technology for Aerospace Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Figueroa, Fernando; Mercer, Carolyn R.

    2002-01-01

    NASA's Stennis Space Center (SSC) and Glenn Research Center (GRC) participate in the development of technologies for propulsion testing and propulsion applications in air and space transportation. Future transportation systems and the test facilities needed to develop and sustain them are becoming increasingly complex. Sensor technology is a fundamental pillar that makes possible development of complex systems that must operate in automatic mode (closed loop systems), or even in assisted-autonomous mode (highly self-sufficient systems such as planetary exploration spacecraft). Hence, a great deal of effort is dedicated to develop new sensors and related technologies to be used in research facilities, test facilities, and in vehicles and equipment. This paper describes sensor technologies being developed and in use at SSC and GRC, including new technologies in integrated health management involving sensors, components, processes, and vehicles.

  4. A Microwave Thruster for Spacecraft Propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Chiravalle, Vincent P

    2012-07-23

    This presentation describes how a microwave thruster can be used for spacecraft propulsion. A microwave thruster is part of a larger class of electric propulsion devices that have higher specific impulse and lower thrust than conventional chemical rocket engines. Examples of electric propulsion devices are given in this presentation and it is shown how these devices have been used to accomplish two recent space missions. The microwave thruster is then described and it is explained how the thrust and specific impulse of the thruster can be measured. Calculations of the gas temperature and plasma properties in the microwave thruster are discussed. In addition a potential mission for the microwave thruster involving the orbit raising of a space station is explored.

  5. Distributed Propulsion Vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Hyun Dae

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Advanced Propulsion Research Interest in Materials for Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cole, John

    2003-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation provides an overview of material science and technology in the area of propulsion energetics. The authors note that conventional propulsion systems are near peak performance and further refinements in manufacturing, engineering design and materials will only provide incremental increases in performance. Energetic propulsion technologies could potential solve the problems of energy storage density and energy-to-thrust conversion efficiency. Topics considered include: the limits of thermal propulsion systems, the need for energetic propulsion research, emerging energetic propulsion technologies, materials research needed for advanced propulsion, and potential research opportunities.

  7. Study of soft X-ray emission during wire array implosion under plasma focus conditions at the PF-3 facility

    SciTech Connect

    Dan’ko, S. A.; Mitrofanov, K. N.; Krauz, V. I.; Myalton, V. V.; Zhuzhunashvili, A. I.; Vinogradov, V. P.; Kharrasov, A. M.; Anan’ev, S. S.; Vinogradova, Yu. V.; Kalinin, Yu. G.

    2015-11-15

    Results of measurements of soft X-ray emission with photon energies of <1 keV under conditions of a plasma focus (PF) experiment are presented. The experiments were carried out at the world’s largest PF device—the PF-3 Filippov-type facility (I ⩽ 3 MA, T/4 ≈ 15–20 µs, W{sub 0} ⩽ 3 MJ). X-ray emission from both a discharge in pure neon and with a tungsten wire array placed on the axis of the discharge chamber was detected. The wire array imploded under the action of the electric current intercepted from the plasma current sheath of the PF discharge in neon. The measured soft X-ray powers from a conventional PF discharge in gas and a PF discharge in the presence of a wire array were compared for the first time.

  8. Magnetooptical Faraday and Light-Scattering Diagnostics of Laser Plasma in Leopard Laser Facility at UNR/NTF

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarkisov, G. S.; Yates, K.; Ivanov, V. V.; Sotnikov, V. I.; Yasin, E.; Wiewior, P.; Astanovitsky, A.; Chaly, O.; Kindel, J.

    2009-11-01

    Laser plasma of the solid target on Leopard Laser Facility at University of Nevada Reno was investigated using polarimetry, interferometry and laser-scattering diagnostics. 50 TW Nd:glass Leopard laser operates on 1056 nm wavelength, 10 J energy and 1ns/400 fs pulse width. Power flux on a target surface varied from 10^14 to 10^19W/cm^2 with 20 μm focus spot from off-axis parabola. The diagnostic of spontaneous magnetic fields in laser plasma was carried out using three-channel polarinterferometer with Faraday, shadow and interferogram channels. Ultrafast two-frame shadowgrams/interferograms with two probing beams with orthogonal polarizations were used for investigation of fast moving plasma phenomena (jets, ionization front propagation). Continuous 1W green DPSS-laser with external modulation was used for light scattering experiments for investigation of the late-time micro-particles generation in laser plasma with expected large charge number of the grain Z ˜ 100-1000.

  9. Extraction simulations and emittance measurements of a Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility electron beam plasma source for radioactive ion beams

    SciTech Connect

    Mendez, II, Anthony J; Liu, Yuan

    2010-01-01

    The Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility HRIBF at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has a variety of ion sources used to produce radioactive ion beams RIBs. Of these, the workhorse is an electron beam plasma EBP ion source. The recent addition of a second RIB injector, the Injector for Radioactive Ion Species 2 IRIS2, for the HRIBF tandem accelerator prompted new studies of the optics of the beam extraction from the EBP source. The source was modeled using SIMION V8.0, and results will be presented, including comparison of the emittances as predicted by simulation and as measured at the HRIBF offline ion source test facilities. Also presented will be the impact on phase space shape resulting from extraction optics modifications implemented at IRIS2.

  10. Extraction simulations and emittance measurements of a Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility electron beam plasma source for radioactive ion beams

    SciTech Connect

    Mendez, A. J. II; Liu, Y.

    2010-02-15

    The Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility (HRIBF) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has a variety of ion sources used to produce radioactive ion beams (RIBs). Of these, the workhorse is an electron beam plasma (EBP) ion source. The recent addition of a second RIB injector, the Injector for Radioactive Ion Species 2 (IRIS2), for the HRIBF tandem accelerator prompted new studies of the optics of the beam extraction from the EBP source. The source was modeled using SIMION V8.0, and results will be presented, including comparison of the emittances as predicted by simulation and as measured at the HRIBF offline ion source test facilities. Also presented will be the impact on phase space shape resulting from extraction optics modifications implemented at IRIS2.

  11. Extraction Simulations and Emittance Measurements of a Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility Electron Beam Plasma Source for Radioactive Ion Beams

    SciTech Connect

    Mendez, II, Anthony J; Liu, Yuan

    2010-01-01

    The Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility (HRIBF) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has a variety of ion sources used to produce radioactive ion beams (RIBs). Of these, the workhorse is an electron beam plasma (EBP) ion source. The recent addition of a second RIB injector, the Injector for Radioactive Ion Species 2 (IRIS2), for the HRIBF tandem accelerator prompted new studies of the optics of the beam extraction from the EBP source. The source was modeled using SIMION V8.0, and results will be presented, including comparison of the emittances as predicted by simulation and as measured at the HRIBF offline ion source test facilities. Also presented will be the impact on phase space shape resulting from extraction optics modifications implemented at IRIS2.

  12. Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Advanced subsonic transport propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1981-01-01

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

  14. The NASA-JPL advanced propulsion program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frisbee, Robert H.

    1994-01-01

    Institute (engine testing), Thermacore (electrode development), as well as at MIT (plume modeling), and USC (diagnostics). Also, the mission performance of a nuclear-electric propulsion (NEP) Li-LFA Mars cargo vehicle is being modeled by JPL (mission analysis; thruster and power processor modeling) and the Rocketdyne Energy Technology and Engineering Center (ETEC) (power system modeling). Finally, the fusion propulsion research activities that JPL is supporting at Pennsylvania State University (PSU) and at Lawrenceville Plasma Physics (LPP) are aimed at far-term fast (less than 100 day round trip) piloted Mars missions and, in the very far term, interstellar missions.

  15. ECR-GDM Thruster for Fusion Propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Brainerd, Jerome J.; Reisz, Al

    2009-03-16

    The concept of the Gasdynamic Mirror (GDM) device for fusion propulsion was proposed by and Lee (1995) over a decade ago and several theoretical papers has supported the feasibility of the concept. A new ECR plasma source has been built to supply power to the GDM experimental thruster previously tested at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). The new plasma generator, powered by microwaves at 2.45 or 10 GHz. is currently being tested. This ECR plasma source operates in a number of distinct plasma modes, depending upon the strength and shape of the local magnetic field. Of particular interest is the compact plasma jet issuing form the plasma generator when operated in a mirror configuration. The measured velocity profile in the jet plume is bimodal, possibly as a result of the GDM effect in the ECR chamber of the thruster.

  16. Aeronautical facilities assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Penaranda, F. E. (Compiler)

    1985-01-01

    A survey of the free world's aeronautical facilities was undertaken and an evaluation made on where the relative strengths and weaknesses exist. Special emphasis is given to NASA's own capabilities and needs. The types of facilities surveyed are: Wind Tunnels; Airbreathing Propulsion Facilities; and Flight Simulators

  17. Evaluation of Cooling Conditions for a High Heat Flux Testing Facility Based on Plasma-Arc Lamps

    SciTech Connect

    Charry, Carlos H.; Abdel-khalik, Said I.; Yoda, Minami; Sabau, Adrian S.; Snead, Lance Lewis

    2015-07-31

    The new Irradiated Material Target Station (IMTS) facility for fusion materials at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) uses an infrared plasma-arc lamp (PAL) to deliver incident heat fluxes as high as 27 MW/m2. The facility is being used to test irradiated plasma-facing component materials as part of the joint US-Japan PHENIX program. The irradiated samples are to be mounted on molybdenum sample holders attached to a water-cooled copper rod. Depending on the size and geometry of samples, several sample holders and copper rod configurations have been fabricated and tested. As a part of the effort to design sample holders compatible with the high heat flux (HHF) testing to be conducted at the IMTS facility, numerical simulations have been performed for two different water-cooled sample holder designs using the ANSYS FLUENT 14.0 commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software package. The primary objective of this work is to evaluate the cooling capability of different sample holder designs, i.e. to estimate their maximum allowable incident heat flux values. 2D axisymmetric numerical simulations are performed using the realizable k-ε turbulence model and the RPI nucleate boiling model within ANSYS FLUENT 14.0. The results of the numerical model were compared against the experimental data for two sample holder designs tested in the IMTS facility. The model has been used to parametrically evaluate the effect of various operational parameters on the predicted temperature distributions. The results were used to identify the limiting parameter for safe operation of the two sample holders and the associated peak heat flux limits. The results of this investigation will help guide the development of new sample holder designs.

  18. Evaluation of Cooling Conditions for a High Heat Flux Testing Facility Based on Plasma-Arc Lamps

    DOE PAGES

    Charry, Carlos H.; Abdel-khalik, Said I.; Yoda, Minami; Sabau, Adrian S.; Snead, Lance Lewis

    2015-07-31

    The new Irradiated Material Target Station (IMTS) facility for fusion materials at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) uses an infrared plasma-arc lamp (PAL) to deliver incident heat fluxes as high as 27 MW/m2. The facility is being used to test irradiated plasma-facing component materials as part of the joint US-Japan PHENIX program. The irradiated samples are to be mounted on molybdenum sample holders attached to a water-cooled copper rod. Depending on the size and geometry of samples, several sample holders and copper rod configurations have been fabricated and tested. As a part of the effort to design sample holders compatiblemore » with the high heat flux (HHF) testing to be conducted at the IMTS facility, numerical simulations have been performed for two different water-cooled sample holder designs using the ANSYS FLUENT 14.0 commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software package. The primary objective of this work is to evaluate the cooling capability of different sample holder designs, i.e. to estimate their maximum allowable incident heat flux values. 2D axisymmetric numerical simulations are performed using the realizable k-ε turbulence model and the RPI nucleate boiling model within ANSYS FLUENT 14.0. The results of the numerical model were compared against the experimental data for two sample holder designs tested in the IMTS facility. The model has been used to parametrically evaluate the effect of various operational parameters on the predicted temperature distributions. The results were used to identify the limiting parameter for safe operation of the two sample holders and the associated peak heat flux limits. The results of this investigation will help guide the development of new sample holder designs.« less

  19. Overview of Advanced Electromagnetic Propulsion Development at NASA Glenn Research Center

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pencil, Eric J.; Kamhawi, Hani; Gilland, James H.; Arrington, Lynn A.

    2005-01-01

    NASA Glenn Research Center s Very High Power Electric Propulsion task is sponsored by the Energetics Heritage Project. Electric propulsion technologies currently being investigated under this program include pulsed electromagnetic plasma thrusters, magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters, helicon plasma sources as well as the systems models for high power electromagnetic propulsion devices. An investigation and evaluation of pulsed electromagnetic plasma thruster performance at energy levels up to 700 Joules is underway. On-going magnetoplasmadynamic thruster experiments will investigate applied-field performance characteristics of gas-fed MPDs. Plasma characterization of helicon plasma sources will provide additional insights into the operation of this novel propulsion concept. Systems models have been developed for high power electromagnetic propulsion concepts, such as pulsed inductive thrusters and magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters to enable an evaluation of mission-optimized designs.

  20. Computational fluid dynamics for propulsion technology: Geometric grid visualization in CFD-based propulsion technology research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ziebarth, John P.; Meyer, Doug

    1992-01-01

    The coordination is examined of necessary resources, facilities, and special personnel to provide technical integration activities in the area of computational fluid dynamics applied to propulsion technology. Involved is the coordination of CFD activities between government, industry, and universities. Current geometry modeling, grid generation, and graphical methods are established to use in the analysis of CFD design methodologies.

  1. Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP)

    NASA Video Gallery

    NASA's history with nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) technology goes back to the earliest days of the Agency. The Manned Lunar Rover Vehicle and the Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Applications p...

  2. Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP)

    NASA Video Gallery

    Future Human Exploration requires high power solar electric propulsion vehicles to move cargo and humans beyond Low Earth Orbit, which requires large light weight arrays, high power processing, and...

  3. Flagellar propulsion near walls

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Arthur; Lauga, Eric

    2010-11-01

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

  4. Advanced propulsion concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frisbee, Robert H.

    1991-01-01

    A variety of Advanced Propulsion Concepts (APC) is discussed. The focus is on those concepts that are sufficiently near-term that they could be developed for the Space Exploration Initiative. High-power (multi-megawatt) electric propulsion, solar sails, tethers, and extraterrestrial resource utilization concepts are discussed. A summary of these concepts and some general conclusions on their technology development needs are presented.

  5. Electric propulsion technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finke, R. C.

    1980-01-01

    The advanced electric propulsion program is directed towards lowering the specific impulse and increasing the thrust per unit of ion thruster systems. In addition, electrothermal and electromagnetic propulsion technologies are being developed to attempt to fill the gap between the conventional ion thruster and chemical rocket systems. Most of these new concepts are exagenous and are represented by rail accelerators, ablative Teflon thrusters, MPD arcs, Free Radicals, etc. Endogenous systems such as metallic hydrogen offer great promise and are also being pursued.

  6. Electric Propulsion Platforms at DFRC

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baraaclough, Jonathan

    2009-01-01

    NASA Dryden Flight Research Center is a world-class flight research facility located at Edwards AFB, CA. With access to a 44 sq. mile dry lakebed and 350 testable days per year, it is the ideal location for flight research. DFRC has been undertaking aircraft research for approximately six decades including the famous X-aircraft (X-1 through X-48) and many science and exploration platforms. As part of this impressive heritage, DFRC has garnered more hours of full-sized electric aircraft testing than any other facility in the US, and possibly the world. Throughout the 80 s and 90 s Dryden was the home of the Pathfinder, Pathfinder Plus, and Helios prototype solar-electric aircraft. As part of the ERAST program, these electric aircraft achieved a world record 97,000 feet altitude for propeller-driven aircraft. As a result of these programs, Dryden s staff has collected thousands of man-hours of electric aircraft research and testing. In order to better answer the needs of the US in providing aircraft technologies with lower fuel consumption, lower toxic emissions (NOx, CO, VOCs, etc.), lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and lower noise emissions, NASA has engaged in cross-discipline research under the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD). As a part of this overall effort, Mark Moore of LaRC has initiated a cross-NASA-center electric propulsion working group (EPWG) to focus on electric propulsion technologies as applied to aircraft. Electric propulsion technologies are ideally suited to overcome all of the obstacles mentioned above, and are at a sufficiently advanced state of development component-wise to warrant serious R&D and testing (TRL 3+). The EPWG includes participation from NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC), Glenn Research Center (GRC), Ames Research Center (ARC), and Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC). Each of the center participants provides their own unique expertise to support the overall goal of advancing the state-of-the-art in aircraft

  7. Solar Thermal Propulsion Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

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

  8. Plasmakristall-4: A microgravity complex plasma facility on the way to launch

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pustylnik, Mikhail; Thomas, Hubertus; Fortov, Vladimir; Thoma, Markus; Lipaev, Andrey; Morfill, Gregor; Molotkov, Vladimir; Usachev, Alexander; Zobnin, Andrey; Tarantik, Karl; Albrecht, Sebastian; Deysenroth, Christian; Rau, Christian; Mitic, Slobodan; Nosenko, Vladimir; Fink, Martin; Prof

    Complex plasmas, a special case of dusty plasmas, are one of the most interesting physical objects to be studied under microgravity conditions. A way from dusty plasmas to complex plasmas was revealed when strong coupling phenomena in the dust subsystem were first theoretically predicted and then observed under ground laboratory conditions. Complex plasmas are, therefore, dusty plasmas, which are prepared intentionally to study generic phenomena of condensed matter physics. Complex plasmas have several advantages in this respect: Real-time, virtually undamped dynamics of the system can be resolved on the kinetic level, i.e. on the level of single microparticles. Under ground laboratory conditions the microparticles are strongly affected by the gravitational force, which has to be compensated by strong electrostatic forces. Therefore, the volume occupied by the microparticles is limited to sheath region. This makes formation of uniform 3D structures under ground condition almost impossible. Microgravity is therefore essential for studying 3D complex plasma systems. The next lab for complex plasma research under mug-conditions will be PK-4, a joint Russian-European project. The special feature of PK-4 (with respect to its predecessor PK-3 Plus on the ISS) is that it will allow to study the fluid phenomena. Geometry of the plasma chamber (a glass tube with the working part of about 200 mm long and 30 mm diameter) implies presence of micropaticle flows along its axis. A custom-made power supply will create either a DC or polarity-switched discharge inside the chamber filled with either neon or argon. In the DC mode the negatively-charged microparticles will drift opposite to the electric field. Polarity switching can be done with up to several kHz frequency, which will allow the discharge to change polarity, whereas heavy microparticles will be insensitive to such fast variations of the electric field. In this way, microparticles will be trapped inside the plasma

  9. Experimental characterization of ultraviolet radiation of air in a high enthalpy plasma torch facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Casses, C. J.; Bertrand, P. J.; Jacobs, C. M.; Mac Donald, M. E.; Laux, Ch. O.

    2015-06-01

    During atmospheric reentry, a plasma is formed ahead of the surface of the vehicle and the excited particle present in the plasma produces radiative heating fluxes to the surface of the vehicle. A high-temperature air plasma torch operating at atmospheric pressure was used to experimentally reproduce atmospheric reentry conditions. A high-resolution and absolute intensity emission spectrum (full width at half maximum (FWHM) = 0.064 nm) was obtained from 200 to 450 nm and then compared with computational results provided by the SPECAIR code [1]. This paper discusses the comparison of the two spectra over this wavelength range in order to confirm the validity of the calculation and provide direction to improve the calculated spectrum.

  10. NASA's Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Houts, Michael; Mitchell, Sonny; Kim, Tony; Borowski, Stanley; Power, Kevin; Scott, John; Belvin, Anthony; Clement, Steven

    2015-01-01

    Space fission power systems can provide a power rich environment anywhere in the solar system, independent of available sunlight. Space fission propulsion offers the potential for enabling rapid, affordable access to any point in the solar system. One type of space fission propulsion is Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP). NTP systems operate by using a fission reactor to heat hydrogen to very high temperature (>2500 K) and expanding the hot hydrogen through a supersonic nozzle. First generation NTP systems are designed to have an Isp of approximately 900 s. The high Isp of NTP enables rapid crew transfer to destinations such as Mars, and can also help reduce mission cost, improve logistics (fewer launches), and provide other benefits. However, for NTP systems to be utilized they must be affordable and viable to develop. NASA's Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) NTP project is a technology development project that will help assess the affordability and viability of NTP. Early work has included fabrication of representative graphite composite fuel element segments, coating of representative graphite composite fuel element segments, fabrication of representative cermet fuel element segments, and testing of fuel element segments in the Compact Fuel Element Environmental Tester (CFEET). Near-term activities will include testing approximately 16" fuel element segments in the Nuclear Thermal Rocket Element Environmental Simulator (NTREES), and ongoing research into improving fuel microstructure and coatings. In addition to recapturing fuels technology, affordable development, qualification, and utilization strategies must be devised. Options such as using low-enriched uranium (LEU) instead of highly-enriched uranium (HEU) are being assessed, although that option requires development of a key technology before it can be applied to NTP in the thrust range of interest. Ground test facilities will be required, especially if NTP is to be used in conjunction with high value or

  11. Coincident ion acceleration and electron extraction for space propulsion using the self-bias formed on a set of RF biased grids bounding a plasma source

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rafalskyi, D.; Aanesland, A.

    2014-11-01

    We propose an alternative method to accelerate ions in classical gridded ion thrusters and ion sources such that co-extracted electrons from the source may provide beam space charge neutralization. In this way there is no need for an additional electron neutralizer. The method consists of applying RF voltage to a two-grid acceleration system via a blocking capacitor. Due to the unequal effective area of the two grids in contact with the plasma, a dc self-bias is formed, rectifying the applied RF voltage. As a result, ions are continuously accelerated within the grid system while electrons are emitted in brief instants within the RF period when the RF space charge sheath collapses. This paper presents the first experimental results and a proof-of-principle. Experiments are carried out using the Neptune thruster prototype which is a gridded Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) source operated at 4 MHz, attached to a larger beam propagation chamber. The RF power supply is used both for the ICP discharge (plasma generation) and powering the acceleration grids via a capacitor for ion acceleration and electron extraction without any dc power supplies. The ion and electron energies, particle flux and densities are measured using retarding field energy analyzers (RFEA), Langmuir probes and a large beam target. The system operates in Argon and N2. The dc self-bias is found to be generated within the gridded extraction system in all the range of operating conditions. Broad quasi-neutral ion-electron beams are measured in the downstream chamber with energies up to 400 eV. The beams from the RF acceleration method are compared with classical dc acceleration with an additional external electron neutralizer. It is found that the two acceleration techniques provide similar performance, but the ion energy distribution function from RF acceleration is broader, while the floating potential of the beam is lower than for the dc accelerated beam.

  12. Design of an XUV FEL Driven by the Laser-Plasma Accelerator at theLBNL LOASIS Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Schroeder, Carl B.; Fawley, W.M.; Esarey, Eric; Leemans, W.P.

    2006-09-01

    We present a design for a compact FEL source of ultrafast, high-peak flux, soft x-ray pulses employing a high-current, GeV-energy electron beam from the existing laser-plasma accelerator at the LBNL LOASIS laser facility. The proposed ultra-fast source would be intrinsically temporally synchronized to the drive laser pulse, enabling pump-probe studies in ultra-fast science with pulse lengths of tens of fs. Owing both to the high current ({approx} 10 kA) and reasonable charge/pulse ({approx} 0.1-0.5 nC) of the laser-plasma-accelerated electron beams, saturated output fluxes are potentially 10{sup 13}--10{sup 14} photons/pulse. We examine devices based both on SASE and high-harmonic generated input seeds to give improved coherence and reduced undulator length, presenting both analytic scalings and numerical simulation results for expected FEL performance. A successful source would result in a new class of compact laser-driven FELs in which a conventional RF accelerator is replaced by a GeV-class laser-plasma accelerator whose active acceleration region is only a few cm in length.

  13. Simulating x-ray Thomson scattering signals from high-density, millimetre-scale plasmas at the National Ignition Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Chapman, D. A.; Kraus, D.; Falcone, R. W.; Kritcher, A. L.; Bachmann, B.; Collins, G. W.; Gaffney, J. A.; Hawreliak, J. A.; Landen, O. L.; Le Pape, S.; Ma, T.; Nilsen, J.; Pak, A.; Swift, D. C.; Döppner, T.; Gericke, D. O.; Glenzer, S. H.; Guymer, T. M.; Neumayer, P.; Redmer, R.; and others

    2014-08-15

    We have developed a model for analysing x-ray Thomson scattering data from high-density, millimetre-scale inhomogeneous plasmas created during ultra-high pressure implosions at the National Ignition Facility in a spherically convergent geometry. The density weighting of the scattered signal and attenuation of the incident and scattered x-rays throughout the target are included using radial profiles of the density, opacity, ionization state, and temperature provided by radiation-hydrodynamics simulations. These simulations show that the scattered signal is strongly weighted toward the bulk of the shocked plasma and the Fermi degenerate material near the ablation front. We show that the scattered signal provides a good representation of the temperature of this highly nonuniform bulk plasma and can be determined to an accuracy of ca. 15% using typical data analysis techniques with simple 0D calculations. On the other hand, the mean ionization of the carbon in the bulk is underestimated. We suggest that this discrepancy is due to the convolution of scattering profiles from different regions of the target. Subsequently, we discuss modifications to the current platform to minimise the impact of inhomogeneities, as well as opacity, and also to enable probing of conditions more strongly weighted toward the compressed core.

  14. Electric propulsion and its applications to space missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finke, R. C.

    1981-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Gravitational Wave Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fontana, Giorgio

    2005-02-01

    There is only one experimental proof that gravitational waves exist. With such a limitation, it may seem premature to suggest the possibility that gravitational waves can became a preferred space propulsion technique. The present understanding of the problem indicates that this is not the case. The emission of gravitational waves from astrophysical sources has been confirmed by observation, the respective detection at large distance from the source is difficult and actually we have no confirmation of a successful detection. Therefore the required preliminary discovery has been already made. This opinion is enforced by many different proposals for building the required powerful gravitational wave generators that have recently appeared in the literature and discussed at conferences. It is no longer reasonable to wait for additional confirmation of the existence of gravitational waves to start a program for building generators and testing their possible application to space travel. A vast literature shows that gravitational waves can be employed for space propulsion. Gravitational wave rockets have been proposed, non-linearity of Einstein equations allows the conversion of gravitational waves to a static gravitational field and ``artificial gravity assist'' may become a new way of travelling in space-time. Different approaches to gravitational wave propulsion are reviewed and compared. Gravitational wave propulsion is also compared to traditional rocket propulsion and an undeniable advantage can be demonstrated in terms of efficiency and performance. Testing the predictions will require gravitational wave generators with high power and wavelength short enough for producing high energy densities. Detectors designed for the specific application must be developed, taking into account that non-linearity effects are expected. The study and development of Gravitational wave propulsion is a very challenging endeavor, involving the most complex theories, sophisticated

  17. Facility and the method for MEIS analysis of layers redeposited in plasma devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bulgadaryan, D.; Kolodko, D.; Kurnaev, V.; Sinelnikov, D.

    2016-09-01

    The experimental facility for surface analysis by means of middle energy ion scattering (MEIS) is described. Experimental results are compared with SCATTER computer code simulation. The simulation shows the possibility to determine the thickness of very thin redeposited layers of heavy elements by keV energy hydrogen ions scattering spectroscopy.

  18. Nuclear Electric Propulsion Technology Panel findings and recommendations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doherty, Michael P.

    1992-01-01

    Summarized are the findings and recommendations of a triagency (NASA/DOE/DOD) panel on Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) Technology. NEP has been identified as a candidate nuclear propulsion technology for exploration of the Moon and Mars as part of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). The findings are stated in areas of system and subsystem considerations, technology readiness, and ground test facilities. Recommendations made by the panel are summarized concerning: (1) existing space nuclear power and propulsion programs, and (2) the proposed multiagency NEP technology development program.

  19. Modeling fundamental plasma transport and particle-induced emission in a simplified Test Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giuliano, Paul Nicholas

    This work involves the modeling of fundamental plasma physics processes occurring within environments that are similar to that of the discharge and plume regions of electric propulsion devices such as Hall effect thrusters. The research is conducted as a collaborative effort with the Plasma & Space Propulsion Laboratory at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as part of the University of Michigan/AFRL Center for Excellence in Electric Propulsion (MACEEP). Transport physics, such as particle-particle collisions and particle-induced electron emission, are simulated within the UCLA experimental facility and its representative electric propulsion environment. Simulation methods employed include the direct simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) and particle-in-cell (PIC) techniques for the kinetic simulation of charged, rarefied species on high-performance computing architectures. Momentum- (MEX) and charge-exchange (CEX) collision cross-section models for Xe and Xe+, both total and differential, are successfully validated at collision energies of ˜1.5 keV within the novel facility. Heavy-species collisional transport models are validated and the importance of scattering anisotropy in this collision-dominated environment is shown. The theory of particle-induced electron emission (PIE) is then investigated in the context of the relevant energies and environments of the UCLA facility and electric propulsion devices and diagnostics. Reduced, semi-empirical models for total yield and emitted electron energy distribution functions that are easily implemented in a DSMC-PIC code are developed for the simulation of secondary-electron emission due to low-energy ions and high-energy atoms, even in the case of incomplete target-material information. These models are important for the characterization of electric propulsion devices due to the problematic nature of low-temperature plasma diagnostic techniques in which the emission of electrons is physically indistinguishable

  20. Propulsion IVHM Technology Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chicatelli, Amy K.; Maul, William A.; Fulton, Christopher E.

    2006-01-01

    The Propulsion IVHM Technology Experiment (PITEX) successfully demonstrated real-time fault detection and isolation of a virtual reusable launch vehicle (RLV) main propulsion system (MPS). Specifically, the PITEX research project developed and applied a model-based diagnostic system for the MPS of the X-34 RLV, a space-launch technology demonstrator. The demonstration was simulation-based using detailed models of the propulsion subsystem to generate nominal and failure scenarios during captive carry, which is the most safety-critical portion of the X-34 flight. Since no system-level testing of the X-34 Main Propulsion System (MPS) was performed, these simulated data were used to verify and validate the software system. Advanced diagnostic and signal processing algorithms were developed and tested in real time on flight-like hardware. In an attempt to expose potential performance problems, the PITEX diagnostic system was subjected to numerous realistic effects in the simulated data including noise, sensor resolution, command/valve talkback information, and nominal build variations. In all cases, the PITEX system performed as required. The research demonstrated potential benefits of model-based diagnostics, defined performance metrics required to evaluate the diagnostic system, and studied the impact of real-world challenges encountered when monitoring propulsion subsystems.

  1. Laser Propulsion Standardization Issues

    SciTech Connect

    Scharring, Stefan; Eckel, Hans-Albert; Roeser, Hans-Peter; Sinko, John E.; Sasoh, Akihiro

    2010-10-08

    It is a relevant issue in the research on laser propulsion that experimental results are treated seriously and that meaningful scientific comparison is possible between groups using different equipment and measurement techniques. However, critical aspects of experimental measurements are sparsely addressed in the literature. In addition, few studies so far have the benefit of independent confirmation by other laser propulsion groups. In this paper, we recommend several approaches towards standardization of published laser propulsion experiments. Such standards are particularly important for the measurement of laser ablation pulse energy, laser spot area, imparted impulse or thrust, and mass removal during ablation. Related examples are presented from experiences of an actual scientific cooperation between NU and DLR. On the basis of a given standardization, researchers may better understand and contribute their findings more clearly in the future, and compare those findings confidently with those already published in the laser propulsion literature. Relevant ISO standards are analyzed, and revised formats are recommended for application to laser propulsion studies.

  2. Efficiency of fish propulsion.

    PubMed

    Maertens, A P; Triantafyllou, M S; Yue, D K P

    2015-07-30

    The system efficiency of a self-propelled flexible body is ill-defined, hence we introduce the concept of quasi-propulsive efficiency, defined as the ratio of the power needed to tow a body in rigid-straight condition over the power it requires for self-propulsion, both measured for the same speed. Through examples we show that the quasi-propulsive efficiency is a rational non-dimensional metric of the propulsive fitness of fish and fish-like mechanisms, consistent with the goal to minimize fuel consumption under size and velocity constraints. We perform two-dimensional viscous simulations and apply the concept of quasi-propulsive efficiency to illustrate and discuss the efficiency of two-dimensional undulating foils employing first carangiform and then anguilliform kinematics. We show that low efficiency may be due to adverse body-propulsor hydrodynamic interactions, which cannot be accounted for by an increase in friction drag, as done previously, since at the Reynolds number Re = 5 000 considered in the simulations, pressure is a major contributor to both thrust and drag.

  3. Philosophy for nuclear thermal propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Buden, D.; Madsen, W. ); Redd, L. )

    1993-01-10

    The philosophy used for development of nuclear thermal propulsion will determine the cost, schedule and risk associated with the activities. As important is the impression of the decision makers. If the development cost is higher than the product value, it is doubtful that funding will ever be available. On the other hand, if the development supports the economic welfare of the country with a high rate of return, the probability of funding greatly increases. The philosophy is divided into: realism, design, operations and qualification. Realism'' addresses such items as political acceptability, potential customers, robustness-flexibility, public acceptance, decisions as needed, concurrent engineering, and the possible role of the CIS. Design'' addresses minimum requirement,'' built in safety and reliability redundancy, emphasize on eliminating risk at lowest levels, and the possible inclusion of electric generation. Operations'' addresses sately, environment, operations, design margins and degradation modes. Qualification'' addresses testing needs and test facilities.

  4. The NASA Advanced Propulsion Concepts at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leifer, S. D.; Frisbee, R. H.; Brophy, J. R.

    1997-01-01

    Research activities in advanced propulsion concepts at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are reviewed. The concepts were selected for study because each offers the potential for either significantly enhancing space transportation capability or enabling bold, ambitious new missions.

  5. Characteristics and performance of a superconducting bumpy-torus magnet facility for plasma research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roth, J. R.; Holmes, A. D.; Keller, T. A.; Krawczonek, W. M.

    1973-01-01

    The NASA Lewis bumpy-torus facility consists of 12 superconducting coils, each 19 cm i.d. and capable of 3.0 T on its axis. The coils are equally spaced around a toroidal array with a major diameter of 1.52 m; they are mounted with the major axis of the torus vertical in a single vacuum tank 2.6 m in diameter. Tests of the facility mapped out its magnetic, cryogenic, vacuum, mechanical, and electrical performance. The design value of the maximum magnetic field on the magnetic axis, 3.0 T, was reached and exceeded. A maximum magnetic field of 3.23 T was held for a period of 60 minutes. When the coils were charged to a maximum magnetic field of 3.35 T, the coil system went normal without apparent damage or degradation of performance.

  6. Electric Propulsion Applications and Impacts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curran, Frank M.; Wickenheiser, Timothy J.

    1996-01-01

    Most space missions require on-board propulsion systems and these systems are often dominant spacecraft mass drivers. Presently, on-board systems account for more than half the injected mass for commercial communications systems and even greater mass fractions for ambitious planetary missions. Anticipated trends toward the use of both smaller spacecraft and launch vehicles will likely increase pressure on the performance of on-board propulsion systems. The acceptance of arcjet thrusters for operational use on commercial communications satellites ushered in a new era in on-board propulsion and exponential growth of electric propulsion across a broad spectrum of missions is anticipated. NASA recognizes the benefits of advanced propulsion and NASA's Office of Space Access and Technology supports an aggressive On-Board Propulsion program, including a strong electric propulsion element, to assure the availability of high performance propulsion systems to meet the goals of the ambitious missions envisioned in the next two decades. The program scope ranges from fundamental research for future generation systems through specific insertion efforts aimed at near term technology transfer. The On-Board propulsion program is committed to carrying technologies to levels required for customer acceptance and emphasizes direct interactions with the user community and the development of commercial sources. This paper provides a discussion of anticipated missions, propulsion functions, and electric propulsion impacts followed by an overview of the electric propulsion element of the NASA On-Board Propulsion program.

  7. Nuclear electric propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keaton, Paul W.; Tubb, David J.

    1986-01-01

    The feasibility is investigated of using nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) for slow freighter ships traveling from a 500 km low Earth orbit (LEO) to the Moon's orbit about the Earth, and on to Mars. NEP is also shown to be feasible for transporting people to Mars on long conjunction-class missions lasting about nine months one way, and on short sprint missions lasting four months one way. Generally, it was not attempted to optimize ion exhaust velocities, but rather suitable parameters to demonstrate NEP feasibility were chosen. Various combinations of missions are compared with chemical and nuclear thermal propulsion (NTR) systems. Typically, NEP and NTR can accomplish the same lifting task with similar mass in LEO. When compared to chemical propulsion, NEP was found to accomplish the same missions with 40% less mass in LEO. These findings are sufficiently encouraging as to merit further studies with optimum systems.

  8. Advanced Chemical Propulsion Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woodcock, Gordon; Byers, Dave; Alexander, Leslie A.; Krebsbach, Al

    2004-01-01

    A study was performed of advanced chemical propulsion technology application to space science (Code S) missions. The purpose was to begin the process of selecting chemical propulsion technology advancement activities that would provide greatest benefits to Code S missions. Several missions were selected from Code S planning data, and a range of advanced chemical propulsion options was analyzed to assess capabilities and benefits re these missions. Selected beneficial applications were found for higher-performing bipropellants, gelled propellants, and cryogenic propellants. Technology advancement recommendations included cryocoolers and small turbopump engines for cryogenic propellants; space storable propellants such as LOX-hydrazine; and advanced monopropellants. It was noted that fluorine-bearing oxidizers offer performance gains over more benign oxidizers. Potential benefits were observed for gelled propellants that could be allowed to freeze, then thawed for use.

  9. Implementation of a spark plasma sintering facility in a hermetic glovebox for compaction of toxic, radiotoxic, and air sensitive materials

    SciTech Connect

    Tyrpekl, V. E-mail: vaclav.tyrpekl@gmail.com; Berkmann, C.; Holzhäuser, M.; Köpp, F.; Cologna, M.; Somers, J.; Wangle, T.

    2015-02-15

    Spark plasma sintering (SPS) is a rapidly developing method for densification of powders into compacts. It belongs to the so-called “field assisted sintering techniques” that enable rapid sintering at much lower temperatures than the classical approaches of pressureless sintering of green pellets or hot isostatic pressing. In this paper, we report the successful integration of a SPS device into a hermetic glovebox for the handling of highly radioactive material containing radioisotopes of U, Th, Pu, Np, and Am. The glovebox implantation has been facilitated by the replacement of the hydraulic system to apply pressure with a compact electromechanical unit. The facility has been successfully tested using UO{sub 2} powder. Pellets with 97% of the theoretical density were obtained at 1000 °C for 5 min, significantly lower than the ∼1600 °C for 5-10 h used in conventional pellet sintering.

  10. Parameter manipulation in the Synthesis of Ti-Cd-C Films via Reactive Sputtering in a Magnetized Sheet Plasma Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villanueva, Matthew Bryan; Ramos, Henry

    2013-09-01

    Titanium-cadmium-carbon (Ti-Cd-C) deposits were achieved through reactive sputtering in a magnetized sheet plasma facility (MSPF). Titanium and cadmium metals (99.9% purity) were used as sputter targets, and high purity methane as the reactive gas. Parameters investigated were target bias, deposition duration, filling pressure, gas ratio, gas type such as acetylene, and magnetic configuration. Through X-ray diffractometry, peak signals at 2 θ = 23.3° for the treatment which implemented an independent sputtering step at -200 V target bias, and 2 θ = 12.34° for direct reactive sputtering only with -800 V target bias were recorded. Both XRD results are indicative of the formation of Ti2CdC, a theorized solid solution of Mn+1AXn phase variety. Department of Science and Technology for the project grant.

  11. Modified Miniature Thomson-Type Analyzer For Measurements Of Mass- and Energy-Spectra Of Ions Within Plasma Facilities

    SciTech Connect

    Czaus, K.; Malinowski, K.; Sadowski, M. J.; Skladnik-Sadowska, E.

    2008-03-19

    The paper describes important improvements in the construction and operation of a miniature mass- and energy-analyzer of the Thomson type, which was developed especially for measurements of ions inside vacuum experimental chambers. The described analyzer constitutes a modified and improved version of the prototype miniature mass-spectrometer, which was designed several years ago. The paper describes experimental tests of the modified analyzer, which were carried out in the RPI-IBIS facility equipped with a multi-rod plasma injector. Results of the detailed measurements of energy distributions of protons and deuterons (from deuterium discharges) within the energy range from about 20 keV to about 300 keV are also presented.

  12. Implementation of a spark plasma sintering facility in a hermetic glovebox for compaction of toxic, radiotoxic, and air sensitive materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tyrpekl, V.; Berkmann, C.; Holzhäuser, M.; Köpp, F.; Cologna, M.; Wangle, T.; Somers, J.

    2015-02-01

    Spark plasma sintering (SPS) is a rapidly developing method for densification of powders into compacts. It belongs to the so-called "field assisted sintering techniques" that enable rapid sintering at much lower temperatures than the classical approaches of pressureless sintering of green pellets or hot isostatic pressing. In this paper, we report the successful integration of a SPS device into a hermetic glovebox for the handling of highly radioactive material containing radioisotopes of U, Th, Pu, Np, and Am. The glovebox implantation has been facilitated by the replacement of the hydraulic system to apply pressure with a compact electromechanical unit. The facility has been successfully tested using UO2 powder. Pellets with 97% of the theoretical density were obtained at 1000 °C for 5 min, significantly lower than the ˜1600 °C for 5-10 h used in conventional pellet sintering.

  13. An X-ray Imaging System for Hard-to-Reach Facility Diagnosis Using Femtosecond Laser-Plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oishi, Yuji; Nayuki, Takuya; Nakajima, Chikahito; Fujii, Takashi; Zhidkov, Alexei; Nemoto, Koshichi

    2010-04-01

    For hard-to-reach facility diagnosis, a radiographic testing system that consists of a compact laser-plasma X-ray (LPX) generator and a compact X-ray imaging sensor is shown to be competitive to that based on the isotope imaging. A 1-mm-thick CsI charge-coupled device (CCD) sensor supplied with a cooling system was developed to tolerate a long X-ray exposition. Even without optimization of X-ray yield from a Ta thin film irradiated by 230 mJ, 70 fs laser pulses, clear X-ray images of a SUS304 pipe (outer diameter 34 mm with 4.5 mm thickness) with an elbow were produced.

  14. Space Transportation Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  15. Propulsion controlled aircraft computer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cogan, Bruce R. (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    A low-cost, easily retrofit Propulsion Controlled Aircraft (PCA) system for use on a wide range of commercial and military aircraft consists of an propulsion controlled aircraft computer that reads in aircraft data including aircraft state, pilot commands and other related data, calculates aircraft throttle position for a given maneuver commanded by the pilot, and then displays both current and calculated throttle position on a cockpit display to show the pilot where to move throttles to achieve the commanded maneuver, or is automatically sent digitally to command the engines directly.

  16. 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).

  17. Nuclear thermal propulsion program overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bennett, Gary L.

    1991-01-01

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

  18. Direct drive options for electric propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamley, John A.

    1995-01-01

    Power processing units (PPU's) in an electric propulsion system provide many challenging integration issues. The PPU must provide power to the electric thruster while maintaining compatibility with all of the spacecraft power and data systems. Inefficiencies in the power processor produce heat, which must be radiated to the environment in order to ensure reliable operation. Although PPU efficiencies are generally greater than 0.9, heat loads are often substantial. This heat must be rejected by thermal control systems which generally have specific masses of 15-30 kg/kW. PPU's also represent a large fraction of the electric propulsion system dry mass. Simplification or elimination of power processing in a propulsion system would reduce the electric propulsion system specific mass and improve the overall reliability and performance. A direct drive system would eliminate all or some of the power supplies required to operate a thruster by directly connecting the various thruster loads to the solar array. The development of concentrator solar arrays has enabled power bus voltages in excess of 300 V which is high enough for direct drive applications for Hall thrusters such as the Stationary Plasma Thruster (SPT). The option of solar array direct drive for SPT's is explored to provide a comparison between conventional and direct drive system mass.

  19. Characterizing Hohlraum Plasma Conditions at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) Using X-ray Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrios, Maria Alejandra

    2015-11-01

    Improved hohlraums will have a significant impact on increasing the likelihood of indirect drive ignition at the NIF. In indirect-drive Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF), a high-Z hohlraum converts laser power into a tailored x-ray flux that drives the implosion of a spherical capsule filled with D-T fuel. The x-radiation drive to capsule coupling sets the velocity, adiabat, and symmetry of the implosion. Previous experiments in gas-filled hohlraums determined that the laser-hohlraum energy coupling is 20-25% less than modeled, therefore identifying energy loss mechanisms that reduce the efficacy of the hohlraum drive is central to improving implosion performance. Characterizing the plasma conditions, particularly the plasma electron temperature (Te) , is critical to understanding mechanism that affect the energy coupling such as the laser plasma interactions (LPI), hohlraum x-ray conversion efficiency, and dynamic drive symmetry. The first Te measurements inside a NIF hohlraum, presented here, were achieved using K-shell X-ray spectroscopy of an Mn-Co tracer dot. The dot is deposited on a thin-walled CH capsule, centered on the hohlraum symmetry axis below the laser entrance hole (LEH) of a bottom-truncated hohlraum. The hohlraum x-ray drive ablates the dot and causes it to flow upward, towards the LEH, entering the hot laser deposition region. An absolutely calibrated streaked spectrometer with a line of sight into the LEH records the temporal history of the Mn and Co X-ray emission. The measured (interstage) Lyα/ Heα line ratios for Co and Mn and the Mn-Heα/Co-Heα isoelectronic line ratio are used to infer the local plasma Te from the atomic physics code SCRAM. Time resovled x-ray images perpendicular to the hohlraum axis record the dot expansion and trajectory into the LEH region. The temporal evolution of the measured Te and dot trajectory are compared with simulations from radiation-hydrodynamic codes. This work was performed under the auspices of the U

  20. The NASA Electric Propulsion Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stone, James R.; Byers, David C.; King, David Q.

    1988-01-01

    The NASA OAST Propulsion, Power, and Energy Division supports an electric propulsion program aimed at providing benefits to a broad class of missions. Concepts which have the potential to enable or significantly benefit space exploration and exploitation are identified and advanced toward application in the near and far term. This paper summarizes recent program progress in mission/system analysis; in electrothermal, electrostatic, and electromagnetic propulsion technologies; and in propulsion/spacecraft integration.

  1. Overview of high performance aircraft propulsion research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Biesiadny, Thomas J.

    1992-01-01

    The overall scope of the NASA Lewis High Performance Aircraft Propulsion Research Program is presented. High performance fighter aircraft of interest include supersonic flights with such capabilities as short take off and vertical landing (STOVL) and/or high maneuverability. The NASA Lewis effort involving STOVL propulsion systems is focused primarily on component-level experimental and analytical research. The high-maneuverability portion of this effort, called the High Alpha Technology Program (HATP), is part of a cooperative program among NASA's Lewis, Langley, Ames, and Dryden facilities. The overall objective of the NASA Inlet Experiments portion of the HATP, which NASA Lewis leads, is to develop and enhance inlet technology that will ensure high performance and stability of the propulsion system during aircraft maneuvers at high angles of attack. To accomplish this objective, both wind-tunnel and flight experiments are used to obtain steady-state and dynamic data, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) codes are used for analyses. This overview of the High Performance Aircraft Propulsion Research Program includes a sampling of the results obtained thus far and plans for the future.

  2. Electron temperature measurements inside the ablating plasma of gas-filled hohlraums at the National Ignition Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrios, M. A.; Liedahl, D. A.; Schneider, M. B.; Jones, O.; Brown, G. V.; Regan, S. P.; Fournier, K. B.; Moore, A. S.; Ross, J. S.; Landen, O.; Kauffman, R. L.; Nikroo, A.; Kroll, J.; Jaquez, J.; Huang, H.; Hansen, S. B.; Callahan, D. A.; Hinkel, D. E.; Bradley, D.; Moody, J. D.

    2016-05-01

    The first measurement of the electron temperature (Te) inside a National Ignition Facility hohlraum is obtained using temporally resolved K-shell X-ray spectroscopy of a mid-Z tracer dot. Both isoelectronic- and interstage-line ratios are used to calculate the local Te via the collisional-radiative atomic physics code SCRAM [Hansen et al., High Energy Density Phys 3, 109 (2007)]. The trajectory of the mid-Z dot as it is ablated from the capsule surface and moves toward the laser entrance hole (LEH) is measured using side-on x-ray imaging, characterizing the plasma flow of the ablating capsule. Data show that the measured dot location is farther away from the LEH in comparison to the radiation-hydrodynamics simulation prediction using HYDRA [Marinak et al., Phys. Plasmas 3, 2070 (1996)]. To account for this discrepancy, the predicted simulation Te is evaluated at the measured dot trajectory. The peak Te, measured to be 4.2 keV ± 0.2 keV, is ˜0.5 keV hotter than the simulation prediction.

  3. Measurements of plasma temperature in indirect drive targets from the shock wave velocity in aluminum in the Iskra-5 facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vatulin, V. V.; Zhidkov, N. V.; Kravchenko, A. G.; Kuznetsov, P. G.; Litvin, D. N.; Mis'ko, V. V.; Pinegin, A. V.; Pleteneva, N. P.; Senik, A. V.; Starodubtsev, K. V.; Tachaev, G. V.

    2010-05-01

    Results are presented from the development of a method for measuring plasma temperature in indirect (X-ray) drive targets by recording the shock wave velocity in the Iskra-5 facility. The samples under investigation were irradiated by X-rays in a converter box, and the shock wave velocity was determined from the time at which the wave reached the back surface of the sample and the surface began to emit visible radiation. This emission, in turn, was detected by a streak camera. The results of experiments on the interaction of X radiation with a hot dense plasma, as well as the accompanying gas-dynamic processes in aluminum samples, are analyzed both theoretically and numerically. In experiments with Al and Pb samples, the shock wave velocity was measured to vary in the range U = 8-35 km/s, and the range of variation of the temperature of the box walls was measured to be T e = 140-170 eV.

  4. SPE propulsion electrolyzer for NASA's integrated propulsion test article

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    Hamilton Standard has delivered a 3000 PSI SPE Propulsion Electrolyzer Stack and Special Test Fixture to the NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC) Integrated Propulsion Test Article (IPTA) program in June 1990, per contract NAS9-18030. This prototype unit demonstrates the feasibility of SPE-high pressure water electrolysis for future space applications such as Space Station propulsion and Lunar/Mars energy storage. The SPE-Propulsion Electrolyzer has met or exceeded all IPTA program goals. It continues to function as the primary hydrogen and oxygen source for the IPTA test bed at the NASA/JSC Propulsion and Power Division Thermochemical Test Branch.

  5. A 12 coil superconducting bumpy torus magnet facility for plasma research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roth, J. R.; Holmes, A. D.; Keller, T. A.; Krawczonek, W. M.

    1972-01-01

    A summary is presented of the performance of the two-coil superconducting pilot rig which preceded the NASA Lewis bumpy torus. This pilot rig was operated for 550 experimental runs over a period of 7 years. The NASA Lewis bumpy torus facility consists of 12 superconducting coils, each with a 19 cm in diameter and capable of producing magnetic field strengths of 3.0 teslas on their axes. The magnets are equally spaced around a major circumference 1.52 m in diameter, and are mounted with the major axis of the torus vertical in a single vacuum tank 2.59 m in diameter. The design value of maximum magnetic field on the magnetic axis (3.0 teslas) was reached and exceeded. A maximum magnetic field of 3.23 teslas was held for a period of 60 minutes, and the coils did not go to normal. When the coils were charged to a maximum magnetic field of 3.35 teslas, the coil system was driven normal without damage to the facility.

  6. Propulsion system noise reduction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1975-01-01

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

  7. Solar Electric Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    LaPointe, Michael

    2006-01-01

    The Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) technology area is tasked to develop near and mid-term SEP technology to improve or enable science mission capture while minimizing risk and cost to the end user. The solar electric propulsion investments are primarily driven by SMD cost-capped mission needs. The technology needs are determined partially through systems analysis tasks including the recent "Re-focus Studies" and "Standard Architecture Study." These systems analysis tasks transitioned the technology development to address the near term propulsion needs suitable for cost-capped open solicited missions such as Discovery and New Frontiers Class missions. Major SEP activities include NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT), implementing a Standard Architecture for NSTAR and NEXT EP systems, and developing a long life High Voltage Hall Accelerator (HiVHAC). Lower level investments include advanced feed system development and xenon recovery testing. Future plans include completion of ongoing ISP development activities and evaluating potential use of commercial electric propulsion systems for SMD applications. Examples of enhanced mission capability and technology readiness dates shall be discussed.

  8. Pulsed Fission Propulsion Concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

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

  9. Advanced cryo propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tabata, William K.

    1991-01-01

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

  10. General Aviation Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    Programs exploring and demonstrating new technologies in general aviation propulsion are considered. These programs are the quiet, clean, general aviation turbofan (QCGAT) program; the general aviation turbine engine (GATE) study program; the general aviation propeller technology program; and the advanced rotary, diesel, and reciprocating engine programs.

  11. Turboprop Propulsion Mechanic.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chanute AFB Technical Training Center, IL.

    This instructional package consists of a plan of instruction, glossary, and student handouts and exercises for use in training Air Force personnel to become turboprop propulsion mechanics. Addressed in the individual lessons of the course are the following: common hand tools, hardware, measuring devices, and safety wiring; aircraft and engine…

  12. Overview on NASA's Advanced Electric Propulsion Concepts Activities

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frisbee, Robert H.

    1999-01-01

    Advanced electric propulsion research activities are currently underway that seek to addresses feasibility issues of a wide range of advanced concepts, and may result in the development of technologies that will enable exciting new missions within our solar system and beyond. Each research activity is described in terms of the present focus and potential future applications. Topics include micro-electric thrusters, electrodynamic tethers, high power plasma thrusters and related applications in materials processing, variable specific impulse plasma thrusters, pulsed inductive thrusters, computational techniques for thruster modeling, and advanced electric propulsion missions and systems studies.

  13. The facile fabrication of tunable plasmonic gold nanostructure arrays using microwave plasma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsu, Chuen-Yuan; Huang, Jing-Wen; Gwo, Shangjr; Lin, Kuan-Jiuh

    2010-01-01

    Fabrication of isolated noble metal nanoparticles embedded in transparent substrates is the fasting growing demand for innovative plasmonic technologies. Here we report a simple and effective methodology for the preparation of highly stable plasmonic nanoparticles embedded in a glass surface. Size-controllable (10-70 nm) Au nanoparticles were rapidly prepared when subjected to the home-microwave plasma. Accordingly, the optical extinction maximum of the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) can be systematically tuned in the range 532-586 nm. We find that the plasmonic structures are exceedingly stable toward immersion in ethanol solvents and pass successfully the adhesive tape test, which makes our system highly promising for efficient transmission-LSPR nanosensors. Besides, the attractive features of substrate-bound plasmonic nanostructures include its low cost, versatility, robustness, reusability and a promising ability to make a multi-arrayed LSPR biochip.

  14. Note: Experimental platform for magnetized high-energy-density plasma studies at the omega laser facility

    SciTech Connect

    Fiksel, G.; Agliata, A.; Barnak, D.; Brent, G.; Chang, P. -Y.; Folnsbee, L.; Gates, G.; Hasset, D.; Lonobile, D.; Magoon, J.; Mastrosimone, D.; Shoup, III, M. J.; Betti, R.

    2015-01-12

    Here, an upgrade of the pulsed magnetic field generator magneto-inertial fusion electrical discharge system [O. Gotchev et al., Rev. Sci. Instrum. 80, 043504 (2009)] is described. The device is used to study magnetized high-energy-density plasma and is capable of producing a pulsed magnetic field of tens of tesla in a volume of a few cubic centimeters. The magnetic field is created by discharging a high-voltage capacitor through a small wire-wound coil. The coil current pulse has a duration of about 1 μs and a peak value of 40 kA. Compared to the original, the updated version has a larger energy storage and improved switching system. In addition, magnetic coils are fabricated using 3-D printing technology which allows for a greater variety of the magnetic field topology.

  15. Note: Experimental platform for magnetized high-energy-density plasma studies at the omega laser facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fiksel, G.; Agliata, A.; Barnak, D.; Brent, G.; Chang, P.-Y.; Folnsbee, L.; Gates, G.; Hasset, D.; Lonobile, D.; Magoon, J.; Mastrosimone, D.; Shoup, M. J.; Betti, R.

    2015-01-01

    An upgrade of the pulsed magnetic field generator magneto-inertial fusion electrical discharge system [O. Gotchev et al., Rev. Sci. Instrum. 80, 043504 (2009)] is described. The device is used to study magnetized high-energy-density plasma and is capable of producing a pulsed magnetic field of tens of tesla in a volume of a few cubic centimeters. The magnetic field is created by discharging a high-voltage capacitor through a small wire-wound coil. The coil current pulse has a duration of about 1 μs and a peak value of 40 kA. Compared to the original, the updated version has a larger energy storage and improved switching system. In addition, magnetic coils are fabricated using 3-D printing technology which allows for a greater variety of the magnetic field topology.

  16. Note: Experimental platform for magnetized high-energy-density plasma studies at the omega laser facility.

    PubMed

    Fiksel, G; Agliata, A; Barnak, D; Brent, G; Chang, P-Y; Folnsbee, L; Gates, G; Hasset, D; Lonobile, D; Magoon, J; Mastrosimone, D; Shoup, M J; Betti, R

    2015-01-01

    An upgrade of the pulsed magnetic field generator magneto-inertial fusion electrical discharge system [O. Gotchev et al., Rev. Sci. Instrum. 80, 043504 (2009)] is described. The device is used to study magnetized high-energy-density plasma and is capable of producing a pulsed magnetic field of tens of tesla in a volume of a few cubic centimeters. The magnetic field is created by discharging a high-voltage capacitor through a small wire-wound coil. The coil current pulse has a duration of about 1 μs and a peak value of 40 kA. Compared to the original, the updated version has a larger energy storage and improved switching system. In addition, magnetic coils are fabricated using 3-D printing technology which allows for a greater variety of the magnetic field topology. PMID:25638132

  17. Note: Experimental platform for magnetized high-energy-density plasma studies at the omega laser facility

    DOE PAGES

    Fiksel, G.; Agliata, A.; Barnak, D.; Brent, G.; Chang, P. -Y.; Folnsbee, L.; Gates, G.; Hasset, D.; Lonobile, D.; Magoon, J.; et al

    2015-01-12

    Here, an upgrade of the pulsed magnetic field generator magneto-inertial fusion electrical discharge system [O. Gotchev et al., Rev. Sci. Instrum. 80, 043504 (2009)] is described. The device is used to study magnetized high-energy-density plasma and is capable of producing a pulsed magnetic field of tens of tesla in a volume of a few cubic centimeters. The magnetic field is created by discharging a high-voltage capacitor through a small wire-wound coil. The coil current pulse has a duration of about 1 μs and a peak value of 40 kA. Compared to the original, the updated version has a larger energymore » storage and improved switching system. In addition, magnetic coils are fabricated using 3-D printing technology which allows for a greater variety of the magnetic field topology.« less

  18. Texas Experimental Tokamak: A plasma research facility. Technical progress report, November 1, 1993--October 31, 1994

    SciTech Connect

    Wootton, A.J.

    1994-07-01

    The purpose is to operate and maintain TEXT Upgrade as a complete facility for applied tokamak physics in order to elucidate the mechanisms of working gas, impurity, and thermal transport in tokamaks and in particular to understand the role of turbulence. So that they can continue to study the physics that is most relevant to the fusion program, TEXT completed a significant device upgrade this year. The new capabilities of the device and new and innovative diagnostics were exploited in all main program areas including: (1) configuration studies; (2) electron cyclotron heating physics; (3) improved confinement modes; (4) edge physics/impurity studies; (5) central turbulence and transport; and (6) transient transport. Details of the progress in each of the research areas are described.

  19. A 12-coil superconducting 'bumpy torus' magnet facility for plasma research.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roth, J. R.; Holmes, A. D.; Keller, T. A.; Krawczonek, W. M.

    1972-01-01

    A retrospective summary is presented of the performance of the two-coil superconducting pilot rig which preceded the NASA Lewis bumpy torus. The NASA Lewis bumpy torus facility consists of 12 superconducting coils, each with a 19 cm i.d. and capable of producing magnetic field strengths of 3.0 teslas on their axes. The magnets are equally spaced around a major circumference 1.52 m in diameter, and are mounted with the major axis of the torus vertical in a single vacuum tank 2.59 m in diameter. The design value of maximum magnetic field on the magnetic axis (3.0 T) has been reached and exceeded.

  20. Center for Advanced Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

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

  1. Focal Point Inside the Vacuum Chamber for Solar Thermal Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

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

  2. 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.

  3. Fluidic electrodynamics: Approach to electromagnetic propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Martins, Alexandre A.; Pinheiro, Mario J.

    2009-03-16

    We report on a new methodological approach to electrodynamics based on a fluidic viewpoint. We develop a systematic approach establishing analogies between physical magnitudes and isomorphism (structure-preserving mappings) between systems of equations. This methodological approach allows us to give a general expression for the hydromotive force, thus re-obtaining the Navier-Stokes equation departing from the appropriate electromotive force. From this ground we offer a fluidic approach to different kinds of issues with interest in propulsion, e.g., the force exerted by a charged particle on a body carrying current; the magnetic force between two parallel currents; the Magnus's force. It is shown how the intermingle between the fluid vector fields and electromagnetic fields leads to new insights on their dynamics. The new concepts introduced in this work suggest possible applications to electromagnetic (EM) propulsion devices and the mastery of the principles of producing electric fields of required configuration in plasma medium.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage Affordable Development Strategy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doughty, Glen E.; Gerrish, H. P.; Kenny, R. J.

    2014-01-01

    The development of nuclear power for space use in nuclear thermal propulsion (NTP) systems will involve significant expenditures of funds and require major technology development efforts. The development effort must be economically viable yet sufficient to validate the systems designed. Efforts are underway within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage Project (NCPS) to study what a viable program would entail. The study will produce an integrated schedule, cost estimate and technology development plan. This will include the evaluation of various options for test facilities, types of testing and use of the engine, components, and technology developed. A "Human Rating" approach will also be developed and factored into the schedule, budget and technology development approach.

  7. Hydrodynamics of Peristaltic Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Athanassiadis, Athanasios; Hart, Douglas

    2014-11-01

    A curious class of animals called salps live in marine environments and self-propel by ejecting vortex rings much like jellyfish and squid. However, unlike other jetting creatures that siphon and eject water from one side of their body, salps produce vortex rings by pumping water through siphons on opposite ends of their hollow cylindrical bodies. In the simplest cases, it seems like some species of salp can successfully move by contracting just two siphons connected by an elastic body. When thought of as a chain of timed contractions, salp propulsion is reminiscent of peristaltic pumping applied to marine locomotion. Inspired by salps, we investigate the hydrodynamics of peristaltic propulsion, focusing on the scaling relationships that determine flow rate, thrust production, and energy usage in a model system. We discuss possible actuation methods for a model peristaltic vehicle, considering both the material and geometrical requirements for such a system.

  8. STOL propulsion systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Denington, R. J.; Koenig, R. W.; Vanco, M. R.; Sagerser, D. A.

    1972-01-01

    The selection and the characteristics of quiet, clean propulsion systems for STOL aircraft are discussed. Engines are evaluated for augmentor wing and externally blown flap STOL aircraft with the engines located both under and over the wings. Some supporting test data are presented. Optimum engines are selected based on achieving the performance, economic, acoustic, and pollution goals presently being considered for future STOL aircraft. The data and results presented were obtained from a number of contracted studies and some supporting NASA inhouse programs, most of which began in early 1972. The contracts include: (1) two aircraft and mission studies, (2) two propulsion system studies, (3) the experimental and analytic work on the augmentor wing, and (4) the experimental programs on Q-Fan. Engines are selected and discussed based on aircraft economics using the direct operating cost as the primary criterion. This cost includes the cost of the crew, fuel, aircraft, and engine maintenance and depreciation.

  9. Hybrid propulsion technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1990-01-01

    Technology was identified which will enable application of hybrid propulsion to manned and unmanned space launch vehicles. Two design concepts are proposed. The first is a hybrid propulsion system using the classical method of regression (classical hybrid) resulting from the flow of oxidizer across a fuel grain surface. The second system uses a self-sustaining gas generator (gas generator hybrid) to produce a fuel rich exhaust that was mixed with oxidizer in a separate combustor. Both systems offer cost and reliability improvement over the existing solid rocket booster and proposed liquid boosters. The designs were evaluated using life cycle cost and reliability. The program consisted of: (1) identification and evaluation of candidate oxidizers and fuels; (2) preliminary evaluation of booster design concepts; (3) preparation of a detailed point design including life cycle costs and reliability analyses; (4) identification of those hybrid specific technologies needing improvement; and (5) preperation of a technology acquisition plan and large scale demonstration plan.

  10. Hypersonic missile propulsion system

    SciTech Connect

    Kazmar, R.R.

    1998-11-01

    Pratt and Whitney is developing the technology for hypersonic components and engines. A supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) database was developed using hydrogen fueled propulsion systems for space access vehicles and serves as a point of departure for the current development of hydrocarbon scramjets. The Air Force Hypersonic Technology (HyTech) Program has put programs in place to develop the technologies necessary to demonstrate the operability, performance and structural durability of an expendable, liquid hydrocarbon fueled scramjet system that operates from Mach 4 to 8. This program will culminate in a flight type engine test at representative flight conditions. The hypersonic technology base that will be developed and demonstrated under HyTech will establish the foundation to enable hypersonic propulsion systems for a broad range of air vehicle applications from missiles to space access vehicles. A hypersonic missile flight demonstration is planned in the DARPA Affordable Rapid Response Missile Demonstrator (ARRMD) program in 2001.

  11. Cryogenic Propulsion Stage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, David

    2011-01-01

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

  12. High heat flux testing of divertor plasma facing materials and components using the HHF test facility at IPR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patil, Yashashri; Khirwadkar, S. S.; Belsare, Sunil; Swamy, Rajamannar; Tripathi, Sudhir; Bhope, Kedar; Kanpara, Shailesh

    2016-02-01

    The High Heat Flux Test Facility (HHFTF) was designed and established recently at Institute for Plasma Research (IPR) in India for testing heat removal capability and operational life time of plasma facing materials and components of the ITER-like tokamak. The HHFTF is equipped with various diagnostics such as IR cameras and IR-pyrometers for surface temperature measurements, coolant water calorimetry for absorbed power measurements and thermocouples for bulk temperature measurements. The HHFTF is capable of simulating steady state heat load of several MW m-2 as well as short transient heat loads of MJ m-2. This paper presents the current status of the HHFTF at IPR and high heat flux tests performed on the curved tungsten monoblock type of test mock-ups as well as transient heat flux tests carried out on pure tungsten materials using the HHFTF. Curved tungsten monoblock type of test mock-ups were fabricated using hot radial pressing (HRP) technique. Two curved tungsten monoblock type test mock-ups successfully sustained absorbed heat flux up to 14 MW m-2 with thermal cycles of 30 s ON and 30 s OFF duration. Transient high heat flux tests or thermal shock tests were carried out on pure tungsten hot-rolled plate material (Make:PLANSEE) with incident power density of 0.49 GW m-2 for 20 milliseconds ON and 1000 milliseconds OFF time. A total of 6000 thermal shock cycles were completed on pure tungsten material. Experimental results were compared with mathematical simulations carried out using COMSOL Multiphysics for transient high heat flux tests.

  13. Emerging Propulsion Technologies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keys, Andrew S.

    2006-01-01

    The Emerging Propulsion Technologies (EPT) investment area is the newest area within the In-Space Propulsion Technology (ISPT) Project and strives to bridge technologies in the lower Technology Readiness Level (TRL) range (2 to 3) to the mid TRL range (4 to 6). A prioritization process, the Integrated In-Space Transportation Planning (IISTP), was developed and applied in FY01 to establish initial program priorities. The EPT investment area emerged for technologies that scored well in the IISTP but had a low technical maturity level. One particular technology, the Momentum-eXchange Electrodynamic-Reboost (MXER) tether, scored extraordinarily high and had broad applicability in the IISTP. However, its technical maturity was too low for ranking alongside technologies like the ion engine or aerocapture. Thus MXER tethers assumed top priority at EPT startup in FY03 with an aggressive schedule and adequate budget. It was originally envisioned that future technologies would enter the ISP portfolio through EPT, and EPT developed an EPT/ISP Entrance Process for future candidate ISP technologies. EPT has funded the following secondary, candidate ISP technologies at a low level: ultra-lightweight solar sails, general space/near-earth tether development, electrodynamic tether development, advanced electric propulsion, and in-space mechanism development. However, the scope of the ISPT program has focused over time to more closely match SMD needs and technology advancement successes. As a result, the funding for MXER and other EPT technologies is not currently available. Consequently, the MXER tether tasks and other EPT tasks were expected to phased out by November 2006. Presentation slides are presented which provide activity overviews for the aerocapture technology and emerging propulsion technology projects.

  14. Chemical propulsion technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Priem, R. J.

    1980-01-01

    An overview of NASA's low thrust liquid chemical propulsion program is presented with particular emphasis on thrust system technology in the ten to one thousand pound thrust range. Key technology issues include high performance of cooled low thrust engines; small cryogenic pumps; multiple starts-shutdowns (10) with slow ramps (approximately 10 seconds); thrust variation - 4/1 in flight and 20/1 between flights; long life (100 hours); improved system weight and size; and propellant selection.

  15. Interstellar Propulsion Concepts Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forward, Robert L.

    2000-01-01

    NASA is investigating the feasibility of conducting extra-solar and interstellar missions over the next 10 to 50 years. An assessment of technologies supporting these near and far term objectives is required. To help meet these objectives the Principal Investigator assessed the feasibility of candidate propulsion systems for the proposed 'Interstellar Probe', a mission to send a spacecraft to the Heliopause at 250 AU and beyond.

  16. Numerical Propulsion System Simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Naiman, Cynthia

    2006-01-01

    The NASA Glenn Research Center, in partnership with the aerospace industry, other government agencies, and academia, is leading the effort to develop an advanced multidisciplinary analysis environment for aerospace propulsion systems called the Numerical Propulsion System Simulation (NPSS). NPSS is a framework for performing analysis of complex systems. The initial development of NPSS focused on the analysis and design of airbreathing aircraft engines, but the resulting NPSS framework may be applied to any system, for example: aerospace, rockets, hypersonics, power and propulsion, fuel cells, ground based power, and even human system modeling. NPSS provides increased flexibility for the user, which reduces the total development time and cost. It is currently being extended to support the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate Fundamental Aeronautics Program and the Advanced Virtual Engine Test Cell (AVETeC). NPSS focuses on the integration of multiple disciplines such as aerodynamics, structure, and heat transfer with numerical zooming on component codes. Zooming is the coupling of analyses at various levels of detail. NPSS development includes capabilities to facilitate collaborative engineering. The NPSS will provide improved tools to develop custom components and to use capability for zooming to higher fidelity codes, coupling to multidiscipline codes, transmitting secure data, and distributing simulations across different platforms. These powerful capabilities extend NPSS from a zero-dimensional simulation tool to a multi-fidelity, multidiscipline system-level simulation tool for the full development life cycle.

  17. The MAP Propulsion Subsystem

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, Gary T.; Bauer, Frank H. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    This paper describes the requirements, design, integration, test, performance, and lessons learned of NASA's Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) propulsion subsystem. MAP was launched on a Delta-II launch vehicle from NASA's Kennedy Space Center on June 30, 2001. Due to instrument thermal stability requirements, the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrange point was selected for the mission orbit. The L2 trajectory incorporated phasing loops and a lunar gravity assist. The propulsion subsystem's requirements are to manage momentum, perform maneuvers during the phasing loops to set up the lunar swingby, and perform stationkeeping at L2 for 2 years. MAP's propulsion subsystem uses 8 thrusters which are located and oriented to provide attitude control and momentum management about all axes, and delta-V in any direction without exposing the instrument to the sun. The propellant tank holds 72 kg of hydrazine, which is expelled by unregulated blowdown pressurization. Thermal management is complex because no heater cycling is allowed at L2. Several technical challenges presented themselves during I and T, such as in-situ weld repairs and in-situ bending of thruster tubes to accommodate late changes in the observatory CG. On-orbit performance has been nominal, and all phasing loop, mid-course correction, and stationkeeping maneuvers have been successfully performed to date.

  18. A pulsed cathodic arc spacecraft propulsion system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neumann, P. R. C.; Bilek, M. M. M.; Tarrant, R. N.; McKenzie, D. R.

    2009-11-01

    We investigate the use of a centre-triggered cathodic arc as a spacecraft propulsion system that uses an inert solid as a source of plasma. The cathodic vacuum arc produces almost fully ionized plasma with a high exhaust velocity (>104 m s-1), giving a specific impulse competitive with other plasma or ion thrusters. A centre trigger design is employed that enables efficient use of cathode material and a high pulse-to-pulse repeatability. We compare three anode geometries, two pulse current profiles and two pulse durations for their effects on impulse generation, energy and cathode material usage efficiency. Impulse measurement is achieved through the use of a free-swinging pendulum target constructed from a polymer material. Measurements show that impulse is accurately controlled by varying cathode current. The cylindrical anode gave the highest energy efficiency. Cathode usage is optimized by choosing a sawtooth current profile. There is no requirement for an exhaust charge neutralization system.

  19. Solar Thermal Propulsion Optical Figure Measuring and Rocket Engine Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bonometti, Joseph

    1997-01-01

    Solar thermal propulsion has been an important area of study for four years at the Propulsion Research Center. Significant resources have been devoted to the development of the UAH Solar Thermal Laboratory that provides unique, high temperature, test capabilities. The facility is fully operational and has successfully conducted a series of solar thruster shell experiments. Although presently dedicated to solar thermal propulsion, the facility has application to a variety of material processing, power generation, environmental clean-up, and other fundamental research studies. Additionally, the UAH Physics Department has joined the Center in support of an in-depth experimental investigation on Solar Thermal Upper Stage (STUS) concentrators. Laboratory space has been dedicated to the concentrator evaluation in the UAH Optics Building which includes a vertical light tunnel. Two, on-going, research efforts are being sponsored through NASA MSFC (Shooting Star Flight Experiment) and the McDonnell Douglas Corporation (Solar Thermal Upper Stage Technology Ground Demonstrator).

  20. 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.

  1. Atomic physics of relativistic high contrast laser-produced plasmas in experiments on Leopard laser facility at UNR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Safronova, A. S.; Kantsyrev, V. L.; Faenov, A. Y.; Safronova, U. I.; Wiewior, P.; Renard-Le Galloudec, N.; Esaulov, A. A.; Weller, M. E.; Stafford, A.; Wilcox, P.; Shrestha, I.; Ouart, N. D.; Shlyaptseva, V.; Osborne, G. C.; Chalyy, O.; Paudel, Y.

    2012-06-01

    The results of the recent experiments focused on study of x-ray radiation from multicharged plasmas irradiated by relativistic (I > 1019 W/cm2) sub-ps laser pulses on Leopard laser facility at NTF/UNR are presented. These shots were done under different experimental conditions related to laser pulse and contrast. In particular, the duration of the laser pulse was 350 fs or 0.8 ns and the contrast was varied from high (10-7) to moderate (10-5). The thin laser targets (from 4 to 750 μm) made of a broad range of materials (from Teflon to iron and molybden to tungsten and gold) were utilized. Using the x-ray diagnostics including the high-precision spectrometer with resolution R ˜ 3000 and a survey spectrometer, we have observed unique spectral features that are illustrated in this paper. Specifically, the observed L-shell spectra for Fe targets subject to high intensity lasers (˜1019 W/cm2) indicate electron beams, while at lower intensities (˜1016 W/cm2) or for Cu targets there is much less evidence for an electron beam. In addition, K-shell Mg features with dielectronic satellites from high-Rydberg states, and the new K-shell F features with dielectronic satellites including exotic transitions from hollow ions are highlighted.

  2. Heat transfer in aerospace propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simoneau, Robert J.; Hendricks, Robert C.; Gladden, Herbert J.

    1988-01-01

    Presented is an overview of heat transfer related research in support of aerospace propulsion, particularly as seen from the perspective of the NASA Lewis Research Center. Aerospace propulsion is defined to cover the full spectrum from conventional aircraft power plants through the Aerospace Plane to space propulsion. The conventional subsonic/supersonic aircraft arena, whether commercial or military, relies on the turbine engine. A key characteristic of turbine engines is that they involve fundamentally unsteady flows which must be properly treated. Space propulsion is characterized by very demanding performance requirements which frequently push systems to their limits and demand tailored designs. The hypersonic flight propulsion systems are subject to severe heat loads and the engine and airframe are truly one entity. The impact of the special demands of each of these aerospace propulsion systems on heat transfer is explored.

  3. NASA Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Millis, Marc G.

    1998-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. The Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. The Gasdynamic Mirror Fusion Propulsion System -- Revisited

    SciTech Connect

    Kammash, Terry; Tang, Ricky

    2005-02-06

    Many of the previous studies assessing the capability of the gasdynamic mirror (GDM) fusion propulsion system employed analyses that ignored the 'ambipolar' potential. This electrostatic potential arises as a result of the rapid escape of the electrons due to their small mass. As they escape, they leave behind an excess positive charge which manifests itself in an electric field that slows down the electrons while speeding up the ions until their respective axial diffusions are equalized. The indirect effect on the ions is that their confinement time is reduced relative to that of zero potential, and hence the plasma length must be increased to accommodate that change. But as they emerge from the thruster mirror - which serves as a magnetic nozzle - the ions acquire an added energy equal to that of the potential energy, and that in turn manifests itself in increased specific impulse and thrust. We assess the propulsive performance of the GDM thruster, based on the more rigorous theory, by applying it to a round trip Mars mission employing a continuous burn acceleration/deceleration type of trajectory. We find that the length of the device and travel time decrease with increasing plasma density, while the total vehicle mass reaches a minimum at a plasma density of 3 x 1016 cm-3. At such a density, and an initial DT ion temperature of 10 keV, a travel time of 60 days is found to be achievable at GDM propulsion parameters of about 200,000 seconds of specific impulse and approximately 47 kN of thrust.

  7. Low energy highly charged ion beam facility at Inter University Accelerator Centre: Measurement of the plasma potential and ion energy distributions

    SciTech Connect

    Sairam, T. Bhatt, Pragya; Safvan, C. P.; Kumar, Ajit; Kumar, Herendra

    2015-11-15

    A deceleration lens coupled to one of the beam lines of the electron cyclotron resonance based low energy beam facility at Inter University Accelerator Centre is reported. This system is capable of delivering low energy (2.5 eV/q–1 keV/q) highly charged ion beams. The presence of plasma potential hinders the measurements of low energies (<50 eV), therefore, plasma potential measurements have been undertaken using a retarding plate analyzer in unison with the deceleration assembly. The distributions of the ion energies have been obtained and the effect of different source parameters on these distributions is studied.

  8. Early Career. Harnessing nanotechnology for fusion plasma-material interface research in an in-situ particle-surface interaction facility

    SciTech Connect

    Allain, Jean Paul

    2014-08-08

    This project consisted of fundamental and applied research of advanced in-situ particle-beam interactions with surfaces/interfaces to discover novel materials able to tolerate intense conditions at the plasma-material interface (PMI) in future fusion burning plasma devices. The project established a novel facility that is capable of not only characterizing new fusion nanomaterials but, more importantly probing and manipulating materials at the nanoscale while performing subsequent single-effect in-situ testing of their performance under simulated environments in fusion PMI.

  9. Single-pulse driven, large-aperture 2×1 array plasma-electrodes optical switch for SG-II upgrading facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jun; Wu, Dengsheng; Zheng, Jiangang; Zheng, Kuixing; Zhu, Qihua; Zhang, Xiongjun

    2014-12-01

    We demonstrate the design and performance of an optical switch that has been constructed for the SG-II upgrading facility. The device is a longitudinal, potassium di-hydrogen phosphate (KDP), 360 mm×360 mm aperture, and 2×1 array electro-optical switch driven by a 20 kV output switching-voltage pulse generator through two plasma electrodes produced at the rise edge of the switching-voltage pulse. The results show that the temporal responses and the spatial performance of the optical switch fulfill the operation requirements of the SG-II upgrading facility.

  10. Electrolysis Propulsion for Spacecraft Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  11. Reactors for nuclear electric propulsion

    SciTech Connect

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

    1981-01-01

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

  12. Operationally Efficient Propulsion System Study (OEPSS) data book. Volume 4: OEPSS design concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, George S.; Ziese, James M.; Farhangi, Shahram

    1990-01-01

    This study was initiated to identify operations problems and cost drivers for current propulsion systems and to identify technology and design approaches to increase the operational efficiency and reduce operations costs for future propulsion systems. To provide readily usable data for the Advanced Launch System (ALS) program, the results of the OEPSS study have been organized into a series of OEPSS Data Books. This volume describes three propulsion concepts that will simplify the propulsion system design and significantly reduce operational requirements. The concepts include: (1) a fully integrated, booster propulsion module concept for the ALS that avoids the complex system created by using autonomous engines with numerous artificial interfaces; (2) an LOX tank aft concept which avoids potentially dangerous geysering in long LOX propellant lines; and (3) an air augmented, rocket engine nozzle afterburning propulsion concept that will significantly reduce LOX propellant requirements, reduce vehicle size and simplify ground operations and ground support equipment and facilities.

  13. Auxiliary propulsion system flight package

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Collett, C. R.

    1987-01-01

    Hughes Aircraft Company developed qualified and integrated flight, a flight test Ion Auxiliary Propulsion System (IAPS), on an Air Force technology satellite. The IAPS Flight Package consists of two identical Thruster Subsystems and a Diagnostic Subsystem. Each thruster subsystem (TSS) is comprised of an 8-cm ion Thruster-Gimbal-Beam Shield Unit (TGBSU); Power Electronics Unit; Digital Controller and Interface Unit (DCIU); and Propellant Tank, Valve and Feed Unit (PTVFU) plus the requisite cables. The Diagnostic Subsystem (DSS) includes four types of sensors for measuring the effect of the ion thrusters on the spacecraft and the surrounding plasma. Flight qualifications of IAPS, prior to installation on the spacecraft, consisted of performance, vibration and thermal-vacuum testing at the unit level, and thermal-vacuum testing at the subsystem level. Mutual compatibility between IAPS and the host spacecraft was demonstrated during a series of performance and environmental tests after the IAPS Flight Package was installed on the spacecraft. After a spacecraft acoustic test, performance of the ion thrusters was reverified by removing the TGBSUs for a thorough performance test at Hughes Research Laboratories (HRL). The TGBSUs were then reinstalled on the spacecraft. The IAPS Flight Package is ready for flight testing when Shuttle flights are resumed.

  14. Polar lunar power ring: Propulsion energy resource

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Galloway, Graham Scott

    1990-01-01

    A ring shaped grid of photovoltaic solar collectors encircling a lunar pole at 80 to 85 degrees latitude is proposed as the primary research, development, and construction goal for an initial lunar base. The polar Lunar Power Ring (LPR) is designed to provide continuous electrical power in ever increasing amounts as collectors are added to the ring grid. The LPR can provide electricity for any purpose indefinitely, barring a meteor strike. The associated rail infrastructure and inherently expandable power levels place the LPR as an ideal tool to power an innovative propulsion research facility or a trans-Jovian fleet. The proposed initial output range is 90 Mw to 90 Gw.

  15. Nuclear propulsion systems engineering

    SciTech Connect

    Madsen, W.W.; Neuman, J.E.: Van Haaften, D.H.

    1992-01-01

    The Nuclear Energy for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA) program of the 1960's and early 1970's was dramatically successful, with no major failures during the entire testing program. This success was due in large part to the successful development of a systems engineering process. Systems engineering, properly implemented, involves all aspects of the system design and operation, and leads to optimization of theentire system: cost, schedule, performance, safety, reliability, function, requirements, etc. The process must be incorporated from the very first and continued to project completion. This paper will discuss major aspects of the NERVA systems engineering effort, and consider the implications for current nuclear propulsion efforts.

  16. Nuclear propulsion systems engineering

    SciTech Connect

    Madsen, W.W.; Neuman, J.E.: Van Haaften, D.H.

    1992-12-31

    The Nuclear Energy for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA) program of the 1960`s and early 1970`s was dramatically successful, with no major failures during the entire testing program. This success was due in large part to the successful development of a systems engineering process. Systems engineering, properly implemented, involves all aspects of the system design and operation, and leads to optimization of theentire system: cost, schedule, performance, safety, reliability, function, requirements, etc. The process must be incorporated from the very first and continued to project completion. This paper will discuss major aspects of the NERVA systems engineering effort, and consider the implications for current nuclear propulsion efforts.

  17. Advanced propulsion concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sercel, Joel C.

    1991-01-01

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

  18. Resource Prospector Propulsion System Cold Flow Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Hunter; Holt, Kim; Addona, Brad; Trinh, Huu

    2015-01-01

    build efforts, including the analytical modeling, have been performed. The cold flow testing of the propulsion system was set up and conducted at a NASA MSFC test facility. All testing was completed in the summer of 2014, and this paper documents the results of that testing and the associated fluid system modeling efforts.

  19. Additive Manufacturing of Aerospace Propulsion Components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Misra, Ajay K.; Grady, Joseph E.; Carter, Robert

    2015-01-01

    The presentation will provide an overview of ongoing activities on additive manufacturing of aerospace propulsion components, which included rocket propulsion and gas turbine engines. Future opportunities on additive manufacturing of hybrid electric propulsion components will be discussed.

  20. Z-Pinch fusion-based nuclear propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-02-01

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

  1. Assessing Potential Propulsion Breakthroughs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Millis, Marc G.

    2005-01-01

    The term, propulsion breakthrough, refers to concepts like propellantless space drives and faster-than-light travel, the kind of breakthroughs that would make interstellar exploration practical. Although no such breakthroughs appear imminent, a variety of investigations into these goals have begun. From 1996 to 2002, NASA supported the Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project to examine physics in the context of breakthrough spaceflight. Three facets of these assessments are now reported: (1) predicting benefits, (2) selecting research, and (3) recent technical progress. Predicting benefits is challenging since the breakthroughs are still only notional concepts, but kinetic energy can serve as a basis for comparison. In terms of kinetic energy, a hypothetical space drive could require many orders of magnitude less energy than a rocket for journeys to our nearest neighboring star. Assessing research options is challenging when the goals are beyond known physics and when the implications of success are profound. To mitigate the challenges, a selection process is described where: (a) research tasks are constrained to only address the immediate unknowns, curious effects or critical issues, (b) reliability of assertions is more important than their implications, and (c) reviewers judge credibility rather than feasibility. The recent findings of a number of tasks, some selected using this process, are discussed. Of the 14 tasks included, six reached null conclusions, four remain unresolved, and four have opportunities for sequels. A dominant theme with the sequels is research about the properties of space, inertial frames, and the quantum vacuum.

  2. Assessing potential propulsion breakthroughs.

    PubMed

    Millis, Marc G

    2005-12-01

    The term, propulsion breakthrough, refers to concepts like propellantless space drives and faster-than-light travel, the kind of breakthroughs that would make interstellar exploration practical. Although no such breakthroughs appear imminent, a variety of investigations have begun. During 1996-2002 NASA supported the breakthrough propulsion physics project to examine physics in the context of breakthrough spaceflight. Three facets of these assessments are now reported: (1) predicting benefits, (2) selecting research, and (3) recent technical progress. Predicting benefits is challenging, since the breakthroughs are still only notional concepts, but energy can serve as a basis for comparison. A hypothetical space drive would require many orders of magnitude less energy than a rocket for journeys to our nearest neighboring star. Assessing research options is challenging when the goals are beyond known physics and when the implications of success are profound. To mitigate the challenges, a selection process is described where: (1) research tasks are constrained to only address the immediate unknowns, curious effects, or critical issues; (2) reliability of assertions is more important than their implications; and (3) reviewers judge credibility rather than feasibility. The recent findings of a number of tasks, some selected using this process, are discussed. Of the 14 tasks included, six reached null conclusions, four remain unresolved, and four have opportunities for sequels. A dominant theme with the sequels is research about the properties of space, inertial frames, and the quantum vacuum.

  3. Overview on hybrid propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calabro, M.

    2011-10-01

    Aside of research works, this historical survey shows propulsion units used by students for small satellites and for gas generation, or those for the Space Ship One, even if LOx/HTPB was studied and tested in large motors for its potential very low cost; however, this combination highlights a series of technical problems without any performance advantage over the existing LOx/Kerosene family and never been operational for ETO applications. The particularity of hybrid propulsion is to use the state-of-the-art of both liquids and solids; the only show stopper is the propellant itself. The past work focused on LOx/HTPB (selected for its low cost) appears to be a dead-end (combustion problems and global low performances resulting from a high level of residuals). The solution that appears through the past experience is the addition of hydrides to a binder (HTPB or other) or to a binder and a homogeneous fuel or a mixture of both, with or without others additives; within these solutions some will not present any manufacturing problem and some may have a low cost. Nevertheless, the studies of the following phases have to demonstrate the compatibility of the potential regression rate range with a high-performance global design of a hybrid Motor and the manufacturing at a reasonable cost of a hydride giving a high level of performances.

  4. Ship propulsion system

    SciTech Connect

    Kimon, P.M.

    1986-01-21

    This patent describes an improved efficiency propulsion system for a ship operated at both deep and shallow water depths, and at variable loaded and ballast waterlines. This propulsion system consists of a number of elements interactive in their operation. The first component of the system detailed is a variable diameter propeller means equipped with a mechanism for varying the diameter of the propeller between a maximum extended diameter and a minimum diameter. The next component of the system depicted in the patent is a propeller shaft mounting which enables the propeller to rotate in the stern portion of the ship. The propeller shaft is characterized as extending parallel to the bottom keel of the ship and having an axis of rotation displaced from the bottom keel a distance less than one-half the maximum diameter of the propeller means but more than one-half of the minimum diameter of the propeller means. As a consequence of the systems design characteristics the ship may obtain maximum propeller efficiency by means of the extension in diameter of the propeller means when it is operated in a fully loaded condition in deep water.

  5. Integrated airframe propulsion control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fennell, R. E.; Black, S. B.

    1982-01-01

    Perturbation equations which describe flight dynamics and engine operation about a given operating point are combined to form an integrated aircraft/propulsion system model. Included in the model are the dependence of aerodynamic coefficients upon atmospheric variables along with the dependence of engine variables upon flight condition and inlet performance. An off-design engine performance model is used to identify interaction parameters in the model. Inclusion of subsystem interaction effects introduces coupling between flight and propulsion variables. To analyze interaction effects on control, consideration is first given to control requirements for separate flight and engine models. For the separate airframe model, feedback control provides substantial improvement in short period damping. For the integrated system, feedback control compensates for the coupling present in the model and provides good overall system stability. However, this feedback control law involves many non-zero gains. Analysis of suboptimal control strategies indicates that performance of the closed loop integrated system can be maintained with a feedback matrix in which the number of non-zero gains is small relative to the number of components in the feedback matrix.

  6. Quality Issues in Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McCarty, John P.; Lyles, Garry M.

    1997-01-01

    Propulsion system quality is defined in this paper as having high reliability, that is, quality is a high probability of within-tolerance performance or operation. Since failures are out-of-tolerance performance, the probability of failures and their occurrence is the difference between high and low quality systems. Failures can be described at 3 levels: the system failure (which is the detectable end of a failure), the failure mode (which is the failure process), and the failure cause (which is the start). Failure causes can be evaluated & classified by type. The results of typing flight history failures shows that most failures are in unrecognized modes and result from human error or noise, i.e. failures are when engineers learn how things really work. Although the study based on US launch vehicles, a sampling of failures from other countries indicates the finding has broad application. The parameters of the design of a propulsion system are not single valued, but have dispersions associated with the manufacturing of parts. Many tests are needed to find failures, if the dispersions are large relative to tolerances, which could contribute to the large number of failures in unrecognized modes.

  7. Nuclear electric propulsion systems overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Doherty, Michael P.

    1993-01-01

    The topics are presented in viewgraph form and include the following: nuclear propulsion background; schedule for the nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) project; NEP for the Space Exploration Initiative; NEP on-going systems tasks; 20KWe mission/system study; and agenda.

  8. Exotic power and propulsion concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forward, Robert L.

    1990-01-01

    The status of some exotic physical phenomena and unconventional spacecraft concepts that might produce breakthroughs in power and propulsion in the 21st Century are reviewed. The subjects covered include: electric, nuclear fission, nuclear fusion, antimatter, high energy density materials, metallic hydrogen, laser thermal, solar thermal, solar sail, magnetic sail, and tether propulsion.

  9. Progress in NASA Rotorcraft Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DellaCorte, Christopher; Johnson, Susan M.

    2008-01-01

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

  10. Propulsion Flight-Test Fixture

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palumbo, Nate; Vachon, M. Jake; Richwine, Dave; Moes, Tim; Creech, Gray

    2003-01-01

    NASA Dryden Flight Research Center s new Propulsion Flight Test Fixture (PFTF), designed in house, is an airborne engine-testing facility that enables engineers to gather flight data on small experimental engines. Without the PFTF, it would be necessary to obtain such data from traditional wind tunnels, ground test stands, or laboratory test rigs. Traditionally, flight testing is reserved for the last phase of engine development. Generally, engines that embody new propulsion concepts are not put into flight environments until their designs are mature: in such cases, either vehicles are designed around the engines or else the engines are mounted in or on missiles. However, a captive carry capability of the PFTF makes it possible to test engines that feature air-breathing designs (for example, designs based on the rocket-based combined cycle) economically in subscale experiments. The discovery of unknowns made evident through flight tests provides valuable information to engine designers early in development, before key design decisions are made, thereby potentially affording large benefits in the long term. This is especially true in the transonic region of flight (from mach 0.9 to around 1.2), where it can be difficult to obtain data from wind tunnels and computational fluid dynamics. In January 2002, flight-envelope expansion to verify the design and capabilities of the PFTF was completed. The PFTF was flown on a specially equipped supersonic F-15B research testbed airplane, mounted on the airplane at a center-line attachment fixture, as shown in Figure 1. NASA s F-15B testbed has been used for several years as a flight-research platform. Equipped with extensive research air-data, video, and other instrumentation systems, the airplane carries externally mounted test articles. Traditionally, the majority of test articles flown have been mounted at the centerline tank-attachment fixture, which is a hard-point (essentially, a standardized weapon-mounting fixture

  11. Electromagnetic emission experiences using electric propulsion systems: A survey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sovey, James S.; Zana, Lynnette M.; Knowles, Steven C.

    1987-01-01

    As electric propulsion systems become ready to integrate with spacecraft systems, the impact of propulsion system radiated emissions are of significant interest. Radiated emissions from electromagnetic, electrostatic, and electrothermal systems have been characterized and results synopsized from the literature describing 21 space flight programs. Electromagnetic radiated emission results from ground tests and flight experiences are presented with particular attention paid to the performance of spacecraft subsystems and payloads during thruster operations. The impacts to transmission of radio frequency signals through plasma plumes are also reviewed.

  12. The NASA Electric Propulsion Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Callahan, Lisa Wood; Curran, Francis M.

    1996-01-01

    Nearly all space missions require on-board propulsion systems and these systems typically have a major impact on spacecraft mass and cost. Electric propulsion systems offer major performance advantages over conventional chemical systems for many mission functions and the NASA Office of Space Access and Technology (OSAT) supports an extensive effort to develop the technology for high-performance, on-board electric propulsion system options to enhance and enable near- and far-term US space missions. This program includes research and development efforts on electrothermal, electrostatic, and electromagnetic propulsion system technologies to cover a wide range of potential applications. To maximize expectations of technology transfer, the program emphasizes strong interaction with the user community through a variety of cooperative and contracted approaches. This paper provides an overview of the OSAT electric propulsion program with an emphasis on recent progress and future directions.

  13. The Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Levack, Daniel

    1993-01-01

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

  17. Magnetohydrodynamic Augmented Propulsion Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  18. Status of Magnetohydrodynamic Augmented Propulsion Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Litchford, Ron J.; Lineberry, John T.

    2007-01-01

    Over the past several years, efforts have been under way to design and develop an operationally flexible research facility for investigating the use of cross-field MHD accelerators as a potential thrust augmentation device for thermal propulsion systems, The baseline configuration for this high-power experimental facility utilizes a 1,5-MW, multi-gas arc-heater as a thermal driver for a 2-MW, MHD accelerator, which resides in a large-bore 2-tesla electromagnet. A preliminary design study using NaK seeded nitrogen as the working fluid led to an externally diagonalized segmented MHD channel configuration based on an expendable beat-sink design concept. The current status report includes a review of engineering/design work and performance optimization analyses and summarizes component hardware fabrication and development efforts, preliminary testing results, and recent progress toward full-up assembly and testing

  19. Anatomy of Nanoscale Propulsion.

    PubMed

    Yadav, Vinita; Duan, Wentao; Butler, Peter J; Sen, Ayusman

    2015-01-01

    Nature supports multifaceted forms of life. Despite the variety and complexity of these forms, motility remains the epicenter of life. The applicable laws of physics change upon going from macroscales to microscales and nanoscales, which are characterized by low Reynolds number (Re). We discuss motion at low Re in natural and synthetic systems, along with various propulsion mechanisms, including electrophoresis, electrolyte diffusiophoresis, and nonelectrolyte diffusiophoresis. We also describe the newly uncovered phenomena of motility in non-ATP-driven self-powered enzymes and the directional movement of these enzymes in response to substrate gradients. These enzymes can also be immobilized to function as fluid pumps in response to the presence of their substrates. Finally, we review emergent collective behavior arising from interacting motile species, and we discuss the possible biomedical applications of the synthetic nanobots and microbots.

  20. 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.

  1. A Method for Calculating the Probability of Successfully Completing a Rocket Propulsion Ground Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Messer, Bradley

    2007-01-01

    Propulsion ground test facilities face the daily challenge of scheduling multiple customers into limited facility space and successfully completing their propulsion test projects. Over the last decade NASA s propulsion test facilities have performed hundreds of tests, collected thousands of seconds of test data, and exceeded the capabilities of numerous test facility and test article components. A logistic regression mathematical modeling technique has been developed to predict the probability of successfully completing a rocket propulsion test. A logistic regression model is a mathematical modeling approach that can be used to describe the relationship of several independent predictor variables X(sub 1), X(sub 2),.., X(sub k) to a binary or dichotomous dependent variable Y, where Y can only be one of two possible outcomes, in this case Success or Failure of accomplishing a full duration test. The use of logistic regression modeling is not new; however, modeling propulsion ground test facilities using logistic regression is both a new and unique application of the statistical technique. Results from this type of model provide project managers with insight and confidence into the effectiveness of rocket propulsion ground testing.

  2. An inertial fusion propulsion scheme for solar system exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kammash, Terry; Galbraith, David L.

    The paper analyzes a novel fusion scheme that combines the favorable aspects of both inertial and magnetic confinement approaches as a propulsion device for potential application in solar system exploration. An appropriate set of equations for the plasma dynamics and the magnetic nozzle is used to assess the system's propulsive capability by applying the results to a round trip mission to Mars. It is found that such a device would allow a massive vehicle to make the journey in less than five months. It is shown that catalyzed deuterium-deuterium fuel results in a somewhat poorer propulsion performance than deuterium-tritium though at a significantly lower neutron production. The velocity increment generated by this system and the corresponding trip time are in excellent agreement with the predictions of Irving and Blum (1959).

  3. Experimental investigation of a unique airbreathing pulsed laser propulsion concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Myrabo, L. N.; Nagamatsu, H. T.; Manka, C.; Lyons, P. W.; Jones, R. A.

    1991-01-01

    Investigations were conducted into unique methods of converting pulsed laser energy into propulsive thrust across a flat impulse surface under atmospheric conditions. The propulsion experiments were performed with a 1-micron neodymium-glass laser at the Space Plasma Branch of the Naval Research Laboratory. Laser-induced impulse was measured dynamically by ballistic pendulums and statically using piezoelectric pressure transducers on a stationary impulse surface. The principal goal was to explore methods for increasing the impulse coupling performance of airbreathing laser-propulsion engines. A magnetohydrodynamic thrust augmentation effect was discovered when a tesla-level magnetic field was applied perpendicular to the impulse surface. The impulse coupling coefficient performance doubled and continued to improve with increasing laser-pulse energies. The resultant performance of 180 to 200 N-s/MJ was found to be comparable to that of the earliest afterburning turbojets.

  4. Electric Propulsion for Low Earth Orbit Communication Satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven R.

    1997-01-01

    Electric propulsion was evaluated for orbit insertion, satellite positioning and de-orbit applications on big (hundreds of kilograms) and little (tens of kilograms) low earth orbit communication satellite constellations. A simple, constant circumferential thrusting method was used. This technique eliminates the complex guidance and control required when shading of the solar arrays must be considered. Power for propulsion was assumed to come from the existing payload power. Since the low masses of these satellites enable multiple spacecraft per launch, the ability to add spacecraft to a given launch was used as a figure of merit. When compared to chemical propulsion ammonia resistojets, ion, Hall, and pulsed plasma thrusters allowed an additional spacecraft per launch Typical orbit insertion and de-orbit times were found to range from a few days to a few months.

  5. Survey of Propulsion Technologies Applicable to Cubesats

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mueller, Juergen; Hofer, Richard; Ziemer, John

    2010-01-01

    At present, no Cubesat has flown in space featuring propulsion. This was acceptable as long as CubeSats were flown mostly as university experiments. As CubeSats become of interest to other users in the government and industry communities as well, a larger range of capabilities may be required than exhibited so far, while maintaining the uniqueness of the Cubesat platform. Propulsion capability is crucial in increasing mission capabilities of future CubeSats, such as orbit change and raising, formation flying, proximity operations, fine attitude control, or drag-make-up and de-orbit. While some of these tasks may be accomplished with propellantless devices, their applications are limited, applicable mostly to a single task, and bear their own risks. In this study, a survey was conducted of propulsion technologies applicable to CubeSats. Only few off-the-shelf design solutions exist today. The survey was thus expanded to such devices as well that are under significant development, and are approaching the required design envelope for CubeSats with respect to mass, volume, and power. In some cases, such as electric propulsion devices, CubeSat architectures themselves may need to be adapted, required to feature deployable solar arrays to increase power capabilities. Given the vast scope of this survey, only thruster technologies could be surveyed. However, valves and other feed system components, as well as their integration, are equally important, but have to be left to a future survey. Three major propulsion technology areas applicable to CubeSats emerged when conducting this review: (1) Existing technologies, such as butane systems, pulsed plasma thrusters, and vacuum arc thrusters are applicable to CubeSats today with no or only minor changes, (2) New thruster technologies under significant development, such as hydrazine monopropellant systems, ion engines, or colloid thrusters could be adapted to CubeSats with some further development, especially also in other

  6. Solar electric propulsion thruster interactions with solar arrays

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parks, D. E.; Katz, I.

    1977-01-01

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

  7. Operationally Efficient Propulsion System Study (OEPSS): OEPSS Video Script

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wong, George S.; Waldrop, Glen S.; Trent, Donnie (Editor)

    1992-01-01

    The OEPSS video film, along with the OEPSS Databooks, provides a data base of current launch experience that will be useful for design of future expendable and reusable launch systems. The focus is on the launch processing of propulsion systems. A brief 15-minute overview of the OEPSS study results is found at the beginning of the film. The remainder of the film discusses in more detail: current ground operations at the Kennedy Space Center; typical operations issues and problems; critical operations technologies; and efficiency of booster and space propulsion systems. The impact of system architecture on the launch site and its facility infrastucture is emphasized. Finally, a particularly valuable analytical tool, developed during the OEPSS study, that will provide for the "first time" a quantitative measure of operations efficiency for a propulsion system is described.

  8. Australian Science and Technology with Relevance to Beamed Energy Propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Froning, H. David Jr

    2008-04-28

    Although Australia has no Beamed Energy Propulsion programs at the present time, it is accomplishing significant scientific and technological activity that is of potential relevance to Beamed Energy Propulsion (BEP). These activities include: continual upgrading and enhancement of the Woomera Test Facility, Which is ideal for development and test of high power laser or microwave systems and the flight vehicles they would propel; collaborative development and test, with the US and UK of hypersonic missiles that embody many features needed by beam-propelled flight vehicles; hypersonic air breathing propulsion systems that embody inlet-engine-nozzle features needed for beam-riding agility by air breathing craft; and research on specially conditioned EM fields that could reduce beamed energy lost during atmospheric propagation.

  9. Electric propulsion and interstellar flight

    SciTech Connect

    Matloff, G.L.

    1987-01-01

    Two general classes of interstellar space-flights are defined: endothermic and exothermic. Endothermic methods utilize power sources external to the vehicle and associated technology. Faster exothermic methods utilize on-board propulsive power sources or energy-beam technology. Various proposed endothermic electric propulsion methods are described. These include solar electric rockets, mass drivers, and ramjets. A review of previously suggested exothermic electric propulsion methods is presented. Following this review is a detailed discussion of possible near future application of the beamed-laser ramjet, mainly for ultimate relativistic travel. Electric/magnetic techniques offer an excellent possibility for decelerating an interstellar vehicle, regardless of the acceleration technique. 20 references.

  10. Enabling Electric Propulsion for Flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ginn, Starr Renee

    2015-01-01

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

  11. NASA research in aircraft propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beheim, M. A.

    1982-01-01

    A broad overview of the scope of research presently being supported by NASA in aircraft propulsion is presented with emphasis on Lewis Research Center activities related to civil air transports, CTOL and V/STOL systems. Aircraft systems work is performed to identify the requirements for the propulsion system that enhance the mission capabilities of the aircraft. This important source of innovation and creativity drives the direction of propulsion research. In a companion effort, component research of a generic nature is performed to provide a better basis for design and provides an evolutionary process for technological growth that increases the capabilities of all types of aircraft. Both are important.

  12. Enabling Electric Propulsion for Flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ginn, Starr

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Manrating orbital transfer vehicle propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, L. P.

    1985-01-01

    The expended capabilities for Orbital Transfer Vehicles (OTV) which will be needed to meet increased payload requirements for transporting materials and men to geosynchronous orbit are discussed. The requirement to provide manrating offers challenges and opportunities to the propulsion system designers. The propulsion approaches utilized in previous manned space vehicles of the United States are reviewed. The principals of reliability analysis are applied to the Orbit Transfer Vehicle. Propulsion system options are characterized in terms of the test requirements to demonstrate reliability goals and are compared to earlier vehicle approaches.

  14. NASA's Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Magnetized Target Fusion in Advanced Propulsion Research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cylar, Rashad

    2003-01-01

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

  16. Numerical Investigation of Laser Propulsion for Transport in Water Environment

    SciTech Connect

    Han Bing; Li Beibei; Zhang Hongchao; Chen Jun; Shen Zhonghua; Lu Jian; Ni Xiaowu

    2010-10-08

    Problems that cumber the development of the laser propulsion in atmosphere and vacuum are discussed. Based on the theory of interaction between high-intensity laser and materials, as air and water, it is proved that transport in water environment can be impulsed by laser. The process of laser propulsion in water is investigated theoretically and numerically. It shows that not only the laser induced plasma shock wave, but also the laser induced bubble oscillation shock waves and the pressure induced by the collapsing bubble can be used. Many experimental results show that the theory and the numerical results are valid. The numerical result of the contribution of every propulsion source is given in percentage. And the maximum momentum coupling coefficient Cm is given. Laser propulsion in water environment can be applied in many fields. For example, it can provide highly controllable forces of the order of micro-Newton ({mu}N) in microsystems, such as the MEMS (Micro-electromechanical Systems). It can be used as minimally invasive surgery tools of high temporal and spatial resolution. It can be used as the propulsion source in marine survey and exploitation.

  17. A Method for Calculating the Probability of Successfully Completing a Rocket Propulsion Ground Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Messer, Bradley P.

    2004-01-01

    Propulsion ground test facilities face the daily challenges of scheduling multiple customers into limited facility space and successfully completing their propulsion test projects. Due to budgetary and schedule constraints, NASA and industry customers are pushing to test more components, for less money, in a shorter period of time. As these new rocket engine component test programs are undertaken, the lack of technology maturity in the test articles, combined with pushing the test facilities capabilities to their limits, tends to lead to an increase in facility breakdowns and unsuccessful tests. Over the last five years Stennis Space Center's propulsion test facilities have performed hundreds of tests, collected thousands of seconds of test data, and broken numerous test facility and test article parts. While various initiatives have been implemented to provide better propulsion test techniques and improve the quality, reliability, and maintainability of goods and parts used in the propulsion test facilities, unexpected failures during testing still occur quite regularly due to the harsh environment in which the propulsion test facilities operate. Previous attempts at modeling the lifecycle of a propulsion component test project have met with little success. Each of the attempts suffered form incomplete or inconsistent data on which to base the models. By focusing on the actual test phase of the tests project rather than the formulation, design or construction phases of the test project, the quality and quantity of available data increases dramatically. A logistic regression model has been developed form the data collected over the last five years, allowing the probability of successfully completing a rocket propulsion component test to be calculated. A logistic regression model is a mathematical modeling approach that can be used to describe the relationship of several independent predictor variables X(sub 1), X(sub 2),..,X(sub k) to a binary or dichotomous

  18. Auxiliary Propulsion Activities in Support of NASA's Exploration Initiative

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Best, Philip J.; Unger, Ronald J.; Waits, David A.

    2005-01-01

    The Space Launch Initiative (SLI) procurement mechanism NRA8-30 initiated the Auxiliary Propulsion System/Main Propulsion System (APS/MPS) Project in 2001 to address technology gaps and development risks for non-toxic and cryogenic propellants for auxiliary propulsion applications. These applications include reaction control and orbital maneuvering engines, and storage, pressure control, and transfer technologies associated with on-orbit maintenance of cryogens. The project has successfully evolved over several years in response to changing requirements for re-usable launch vehicle technologies, general launch technology improvements, and, most recently, exploration technologies. Lessons learned based on actual hardware performance have also played a part in the project evolution to focus now on those technologies deemed specifically relevant to the Exploration Initiative. Formal relevance reviews held in the spring of 2004 resulted in authority for continuation of the Auxiliary Propulsion Project through Fiscal Year 2005 (FY05), and provided for a direct reporting path to the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate. The tasks determined to be relevant under the project were: continuation of the development, fabrication, and delivery of three 870 lbf thrust prototype LOX/ethanol reaction control engines; the fabrication, assembly, engine integration and testing of the Auxiliary Propulsion Test Bed at White Sands Test Facility; and the completion of FY04 cryogenic fluid management component and subsystem development tasks (mass gauging, pressure control, and liquid acquisition elements). This paper presents an overview of those tasks, their scope, expectations, and results to-date as carried forward into the Exploration Initiative.

  19. Program test objectives milestone 3. [Integrated Propulsion Technology Demonstrator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaynor, T. L.

    1994-01-01

    The following conclusions have been developed relative to propulsion system technology adequacy for efficient development and operation of recoverable and expendable launch vehicles (RLV and ELV) and the benefits which the integrated propulsion technology demonstrator will provide for enhancing technology: (1) Technology improvements relative to propulsion system design and operation can reduce program cost. Many features or improvement needs to enhance operability, reduce cost, and improve payload are identified. (2) The Integrated Propulsion Technology Demonstrator (IPTD) Program provides a means of resolving the majority of issues associated with improvement needs. (3) The IPTD will evaluate complex integration of vehicle and facility functions in fluid management and propulsion control systems, and provides an environment for validating improved mechanical and electrical components. (4) The IPTD provides a mechanism for investigating operational issues focusing on reducing manpower and time to perform various functions at the launch site. These efforts include model development, collection of data to validate subject models, and ultimate development of complex time line models. (5) The IPTD provides an engine test bed for tri/bi-propellant engine development firings which is representative of the actual vehicle environment. (6) The IPTD provides for only a limited multiengine configuration integration environment for RLV. Multiengine efforts may be simulated for a number of subsystems and a number of subsystems are relatively independent of the multiengine influences.

  20. Environmental benefits of chemical propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hayes, Joyce A.; Goldberg, Benjamin E.; Anderson, David M.

    1995-01-01

    This paper identifies the necessity of chemical propulsion to satellite usage and some of the benefits accrued through monitoring global resources and patterns, including the Global Climate Change Model (GCM). The paper also summarized how the satellite observations are used to affect national and international policies. Chemical propulsion, like all environmentally conscious industries, does provide limited, controlled pollutant sources through its manufacture and usage. However, chemical propulsion is the sole source which enables mankind to launch spacecraft and monitor the Earth. The information provided by remote sensing directly affects national and international policies designed to protect the environment and enhance the overall quality of life on Earth. The resultant of chemical propulsion is the capability to reduce overall pollutant emissions to the benefit of mankind.

  1. Environmental benefits of chemical propulsion

    SciTech Connect

    Hayes, J.A.; Goldberg, B.E.; Anderson, D.M.

    1995-03-01

    This paper identifies the necessity of chemical propulsion to satellite usage and some of the benefits accrued through monitoring global resources and patterns, including the Global Climate Change Model (GCM). The paper also summarized how the satellite observations are used to affect national and international policies. Chemical propulsion, like all environmentally conscious industries, does provide limited, controlled pollutant sources through its manufacture and usage. However, chemical propulsion is the sole source which enables mankind to launch spacecraft and monitor the Earth. The information provided by remote sensing directly affects national and international policies designed to protect the environment and enhance the overall quality of life on Earth. The resultant of chemical propulsion is the capability to reduce overall pollutant emissions to the benefit of mankind.

  2. The Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Vehicle Integrated Propulsion Research Tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lekki, John D.; Hunter, Gary W.; Simon, Don; Meredith, Roger; Wrbanek, John; Woike, Mark; Tokars, Roger; Guffanti, Marianne; Lyall, Eric

    2013-01-01

    Overview of the Vehicle Integrated Propulsion Research Tests in the Vehicle Systems Safety Technologies project. This overview covers highlights of the completed VIPR I and VIPR II tests and also covers plans for the VIPR III test.

  4. Trajectory correction propulsion for TOPS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1972-01-01

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

  5. Numerical simulation of air-breathing mode laser propulsion by nanosecond laser pulse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Lei; Zhao, Shanghong; Chu, Xingchun; Yu, Kanmin; Ma, Lihua; Zhan, Shengbao; Li, Yunxia

    2009-07-01

    Based on Navier-Stokes equations, numerical simulations of air-breathing mode laser propulsion by nanosecond laser pulse are carried out. An analytical model of the thruster's inner flow involving the simple processing of the ignition zone is established. The evolvement of the laser sustained plasma shockwaves is systemic analyzed; also the effects of pulse energy and thruster's structure such as focal length, scale and open angle on propulsion performance are researched. The simulated results show that the focal length dominates among the structural factors of thruster in the propulsion by nanosecond laser pulse. The larger focal length leads to better propulsion performance. It is also evident that for single pulse propulsion, nanosecond laser pulse is better than microsecond laser pulse, the momentum coupling efficient achieved by the former is 2~5 times of the latter's, which is highly agree with the existing experimental results.

  6. 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.

  7. Nuclear Propulsion in Space (1968)

    ScienceCinema

    None

    2016-07-12

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

  8. Modeling of Two-Plasmon-Decay Experiments at Polar-Direct-Drive Ignition-Relevant Plasma Conditions at the National Ignition Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solodov, A. A.; Rosenberg, M. J.; Myatt, J. F.; Epstein, R.; Regan, S. P.; Seka, W.; Shaw, J. G.; Hohenberger, M.; Moody, J. D.; Ralph, J. E.; Turnbull, D. P.

    2015-11-01

    The two-plasmon-decay (TPD) instability can be detrimental for direct-drive inertial confinement fusion because of target preheat by high-energy electrons generated by TPD. The radiation-hydrodynamic code DRACO has been used to design planar target experiments that generate plasma and interaction conditions relevant to ignition polar-direct-drive (PDD) designs. The use of planar targets allows TPD to be decoupled from cross-beam energy transfer, which reduces the laser absorption in current National Ignition Facility (NIF) PDD implosion experiments. The laser-plasma interaction code LPSE has been used to investigate TPD using the predicted plasma profiles and laser irradiation geometry in three dimensions. The energetic electrons generated by LPSE are propagated into the planar target using the Monte Carlo transport code EGSnrc. This enables a direct comparison between the simulated and experimentally observed Mo Kα fluorescence and hard x-ray bremsstrahlung. The plasma profiles have been post-processed for stimulated Raman and Brillouin backscatter gains. Comparisons of these results with recent experiments at the NIF and the implications for ignition-scale PDD experiments will be presented. This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration under Award Number DE-NA0001944.

  9. Space and transatmospheric propulsion technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1994-03-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. Asymmetrical Capacitors for Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Canning, Francis X.; Melcher, Cory; Winet, Edwin

    2004-01-01

    Asymmetrical Capacitor Thrusters have been proposed as a source of propulsion. For over eighty years, it has been known that a thrust results when a high voltage is placed across an asymmetrical capacitor, when that voltage causes a leakage current to flow. However, there is surprisingly little experimental or theoretical data explaining this effect. This paper reports on the results of tests of several Asymmetrical Capacitor Thrusters (ACTs). The thrust they produce has been measured for various voltages, polarities, and ground configurations and their radiation in the VHF range has been recorded. These tests were performed at atmospheric pressure and at various reduced pressures. A simple model for the thrust was developed. The model assumed the thrust was due to electrostatic forces on the leakage current flowing across the capacitor. It was further assumed that this current involves charged ions which undergo multiple collisions with air. These collisions transfer momentum. All of the measured data was consistent with this model. Many configurations were tested, and the results suggest general design principles for ACTs to be used for a variety of purposes.

  12. Hybrid Propulsion Technology Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  13. Mars Rocket Propulsion System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zubrin, Robert; Harber, Dan; Nabors, Sammy

    2008-01-01

    A report discusses the methane and carbon monoxide/LOX (McLOx) rocket for ascent from Mars as well as other critical space propulsion tasks. The system offers a specific impulse over 370 s roughly 50 s higher than existing space-storable bio-propellants. Current Mars in-situ propellant production (ISPP) technologies produce impure methane and carbon monoxide in various combinations. While separation and purification of methane fuel is possible, it adds complexity to the propellant production process and discards an otherwise useful fuel product. The McLOx makes such complex and wasteful processes unnecessary by burning the methane/CO mixtures produced by the Mars ISPP systems without the need for further refinement. Despite the decrease in rocket-specific impulse caused by the CO admixture, the improvement offered by concomitant increased propellant density can provide a net improvement in stage performance. One advantage is the increase of the total amount of propellant produced, but with a decrease in mass and complexity of the required ISPP plant. Methane/CO fuel mixtures also may be produced by reprocessing the organic wastes of a Moon base or a space station, making McLOx engines key for a human Lunar initiative or the International Space Station (ISS) program. Because McLOx propellant components store at a common temperature, very lightweight and compact common bulkhead tanks can be employed, improving overall stage performance further.

  14. Propulsion Technology Needs for Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, Thomas

    2007-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Recommended Practice for Pressure Measurements and Calculation of Effective Pumping Speeds During Electric Propulsion Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dankanich, John W.; Walker, Mitchell; Swiatek, Michael W.; Yim, John T.

    2013-01-01

    The electric propulsion community has been implored to establish and implement a set of universally applicable test standards during the research, development, and qualification of electric propulsion systems. Variability between facility-to-facility and more importantly ground-to-flight performance can result in large margins in application or aversion to mission infusion. Performance measurements and life testing under appropriate conditions can be costly and lengthy. Measurement practices must be consistent, accurate, and repeatable. Additionally, the measurements must be universally transportable across facilities throughout the development, qualification, spacecraft integration, and on-orbit performance. A recommended practice for making pressure measurements, pressure diagnostics, and calculating effective pumping speeds with justification is presented.

  19. Interplanetary missions with the GDM propulsion system

    SciTech Connect

    Kammash, T.; Emrich, W. Jr.

    1998-01-15

    The Gasdynamic Mirror (GDM) fusion propulsion system utilizes a magnetic mirror machine in which a hot dense plasma is confined long enough to produce fusion energy while allowing a fraction of its charged particle population to escape from one end to generate thrust. The particles escaping through the opposite end have their energy converted to electric power which can be used to sustain the system in a steady state operation. With the aid of a power flow diagram the minimum demands on energy production can be established and the propulsive capability of the system can be determined by solving an appropriate set of governing equations. We apply these results to several missions within the solar system and compute the trip time by invoking a continuous burn, acceleration/deceleration type of trajectory with constant thrust and specific impulse. Ignoring gravitational effects of the planets or the sun, and neglecting the change in the Earth's position during the flight we compute the round trip time for missions from Earth to Mars, Jupiter, and Pluto using linear distances and certain payload fractions. We find that a round trip to Mars with the GDM rocket takes about 170 days while those to Jupiter and Pluto take 494 and 1566 days respectively.

  20. Effect of quantity and configuration of attached bacteria on bacterial propulsion of microbeads

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behkam, Bahareh; Sitti, Metin

    2008-12-01

    Flagellated chemotactic bacteria have been utilized as actuators for propulsion of polystyrene microbeads by randomly attaching several bacteria on their surface. In this work, a plasma-based bacteria patterning technique is developed and used to limit bacteria attachment to approximately half of the microbead's surface. Consequently, the effect of quantity and configuration of the attached bacteria on propulsion speed is studied experimentally. It is shown that the correlation between the propulsion speed and the number of bacteria is a strong function of the configuration of the bacteria and it follows one of the two distinct trends quantified by the proposed stochastic model.

  1. Providing the Nation a Significant "High-Test Peroxide" Propulsion Test Capability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bruce, R.; Taylor, G.; Beckmeyer, D.; Warren, S.; Dracon, S.; Powell, B.; Goodwin, D.; Rieder, P.; Nichols, R.

    1999-01-01

    Renewed interest in high-test peroxide, as a propellant, required the development of a facility capable of testing rocket propulsion systems. The development of this capability at the NASA Stennis Space Center (SSC), MS, focused on meeting this requirement. The challenges, accomplishments, and lessons learned associated with developing the SSC E3 Test Facility's high-test peroxide capability are presented herein.

  2. 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.)

  3. Negative Mass Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winterberg, F.

    Schrödinger's analysis of the Dirac equation gives a hint for the existence of negative masses hidden behind positive masses. But their use for propulsion by reducing the inertia of matter for example, in the limit of macroscopic bodied with zero rest mass, depends on a technical solution to free them from their imprisonment by positive masses. It appears that there are basically two ways this might be achieved: 1. By the application of strong electromagnetic or gravitational fields or by high particle energies. 2. By searching for places in the universe where nature has already done this separation, and from where the negative masses can be mined. The first of these two possibilities is for all practical means excluded, because if possible at all, it would depend on electromagnetic or gravitational fields with strength beyond what is technically attainable, or on extremely large likewise not attainable particle energies. With regard to the 2nd possibility, it has been observed that non-baryonic cold dark matter tends to accumulate near the center of galaxies, or places in the universe which have a large gravitational potential well. Because of the equivalence principle of general relativity, the attraction towards the center of a gravitational potential well, produced by a positive mass, is for negative masses the same as for positive masses, and large amounts of negative masses might have over billions of years been trapped in these gravitational potential wells. Now it just happens that the center of the moon is a potential well, not too deep that it cannot be reached by making a tunnel through the moon, not possible for the deeper potential well of the earth, where the temperature and pressure are too high. Making a tunnel through the moon, provided there is a good supply of negative mass, could revolutionize interstellar space flight. A sequence of thermonuclear shape charges would make such tunnel technically feasible.

  4. 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.

  5. Ion electric propulsion unit

    DOEpatents

    Light, Max E; Colestock, Patrick L

    2014-01-28

    An electron cyclotron resonance (ECR) thruster is disclosed having a plasma chamber which is electrically biased with a positive voltage. The chamber bias serves to efficiently accelerate and expel the positive ions from the chamber. Electrons follow the exiting ions, serving to provide an electrically neutral exhaust plume. In a further embodiment, a downstream shaping magnetic field serves to further accelerate and/or shape the exhaust plume.

  6. An Overview of Electric Propulsion Activities at NASA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  7. Research Opportunities in Space Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rodgers, Stephen L.

    2007-01-01

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

  8. Swimming & Propulsion in Viscoelastic Media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arratia, Paulo

    2012-02-01

    Many microorganisms have evolved within complex fluids, which include soil, intestinal fluid, and mucus. The material properties or rheology of such fluids can strongly affect an organism's swimming behavior. A major challenge is to understand the mechanism of propulsion in media that exhibit both solid- and fluid-like behavior, such as viscoelastic fluids. In this talk, we present experiments that explore the swimming behavior of biological organisms and artificial particles in viscoelastic media. The organism is the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a roundworm widely used for biological research that swims by generating traveling waves along its body. Overall, we find that fluid elasticity hinders self-propulsion compared to Newtonian fluids due to the enhanced resistance to flow near hyperbolic points for viscoelastic fluids. As fluid elasticity increases, the nematode's propulsion speed decreases. These results are consistent with recent theoretical models for undulating sheets and cylinders. In order to gain further understanding on propulsion in viscoelastic media, we perform experiments with simple reciprocal artificial `swimmers' (magnetic dumbbell particles) in polymeric and micellar solutions. We find that self-propulsion is possible in viscoelastic media even if the motion is reciprocal.

  9. 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.

  10. LISA Propulsion Module Separation Study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merkowitz, Stephen

    2004-01-01

    The Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) mission is a space-borne gravitational wave detector consisting of three spacecraft in heliocentric orbit. Each spacecraft is delivered to it operational orbit by a propulsion module. Because of the strict thermal and mass balancing requirements of LISA, the baseline mission concept requires that the propulsion module separate from the sciencecraft after delivery. The only propulsion system currently baselined for the sciencecraft are micronewton level thrusters, such as FEEP or colloid thrusters, that are used to balance the 30-40 microN of solar radiation pressure and provide the drag-free and attitude control of the spacecraft. Due to these thrusters limited authority, the separation of the propulsion module from the sciencecraft must be well controlled to not induce a large tip-off rotation of the sciencecraft. We present here the results of a design study of the propulsion module separation system that is shown to safely deliver the LISA sciencecraft to its final operational orbit.

  11. Propulsion System Modeling and Simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tai, Jimmy C. M.; McClure, Erin K.; Mavris, Dimitri N.; Burg, Cecile

    2002-01-01

    The Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory at the School of Aerospace Engineering in Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a core competency that enables propulsion technology managers to make technology investment decisions substantiated by propulsion and airframe technology system studies. This method assists the designer/manager in selecting appropriate technology concepts while accounting for the presence of risk and uncertainty as well as interactions between disciplines. This capability is incorporated into a single design simulation system that is described in this paper. This propulsion system design environment is created with a commercially available software called iSIGHT, which is a generic computational framework, and with analysis programs for engine cycle, engine flowpath, mission, and economic analyses. iSIGHT is used to integrate these analysis tools within a single computer platform and facilitate information transfer amongst the various codes. The resulting modeling and simulation (M&S) environment in conjunction with the response surface method provides the designer/decision-maker an analytical means to examine the entire design space from either a subsystem and/or system perspective. The results of this paper will enable managers to analytically play what-if games to gain insight in to the benefits (and/or degradation) of changing engine cycle design parameters. Furthermore, the propulsion design space will be explored probabilistically to show the feasibility and viability of the propulsion system integrated with a vehicle.

  12. Betatron radiation based diagnostics for plasma wakefield accelerated electron beams at the SPARC_LAB test facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shpakov, V.; Anania, M. P.; Biagioni, A.; Chiadroni, E.; Cianchi, A.; Curcio, A.; Dabagov, S.; Ferrario, M.; Filippi, F.; Marocchino, A.; Paroli, B.; Pompili, R.; Rossi, A. R.; Zigler, A.

    2016-09-01

    Recent progress with wake-field acceleration has shown a great potential in providing high gradient acceleration fields, while the quality of the beams remains relatively poor. Precise knowledge of the beam size at the exit from the plasma and matching conditions for the externally injected beams are the key for improvement of beam quality. Betatron radiation emitted by the beam during acceleration in the plasma is a powerful tool for the transverse beam size measurement, being also non-intercepting. In this work we report on the technical solutions chosen at SPARC_LAB for such diagnostics tool, along with expected parameters of betatron radiation.

  13. Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Research Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Millis, Marc G.

    1996-01-01

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

  14. Automated Rocket Propulsion Test Management

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walters, Ian; Nelson, Cheryl; Jones, Helene

    2007-01-01

    The Rocket Propulsion Test-Automated Management System provides a central location for managing activities associated with Rocket Propulsion Test Management Board, National Rocket Propulsion Test Alliance, and the Senior Steering Group business management activities. A set of authorized users, both on-site and off-site with regard to Stennis Space Center (SSC), can access the system through a Web interface. Web-based forms are used for user input with generation and electronic distribution of reports easily accessible. Major functions managed by this software include meeting agenda management, meeting minutes, action requests, action items, directives, and recommendations. Additional functions include electronic review, approval, and signatures. A repository/library of documents is available for users, and all items are tracked in the system by unique identification numbers and status (open, closed, percent complete, etc.). The system also provides queries and version control for input of all items.

  15. Main Propulsion Test Article (MPTA)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snoddy, Cynthia

    2010-01-01

    Scope: The Main Propulsion Test Article integrated the main propulsion subsystem with the clustered Space Shuttle Main Engines, the External Tank and associated GSE. The test program consisted of cryogenic tanking tests and short- and long duration static firings including gimbaling and throttling. The test program was conducted on the S1-C test stand (Position B-2) at the National Space Technology Laboratories (NSTL)/Stennis Space Center. 3 tanking tests and 20 hot fire tests conducted between December 21 1 1977 and December 17, 1980 Configuration: The main propulsion test article consisted of the three space shuttle main engines, flightweight external tank, flightweight aft fuselage, interface section and a boilerplate mid/fwd fuselage truss structure.

  16. The Need for Fusion Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cassibry, Jason

    2005-01-01

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

  17. Materials Advance Chemical Propulsion Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2012-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Current Status of the Gasdynamic Mirror Fusion Propulsion Experiment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Emrich, William J., Jr.

    2002-01-01

    Nuclear fusion appears to be the most promising concept for producing extremely high specific impulse rocket engines. One particular fusion concept which seems to be particularly well suited for fusion propulsion applications is the gasdynamic mirror (GDM). An experimental GDM device has been constructed at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center to provide an initial assessment of the feasibility of this type of propulsion system. An initial shakedown of the device is currently underway with initial experiments slated to occur in late 2001. This device would operate at much higher plasma densities and with much larger L/D ratios than previous mirror machines. The high L/D ratio minimizes to a large extent certain magnetic curvature effects which lead to plasma instabilities causing a loss of plasma confinement. The high plasma density results in the plasma behaving much more like a conventional fluid with a mean free path shorter than the length of the device. This characteristic helps reduce problems associated with 'loss cone' microinstabilities. The device has been constructed to allow a considerable degree of flexibility in its configuration thus permitting the experiment to grow over time without necessitating a great deal of additional fabrication.

  20. 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.

  1. Study of hypersonic propulsion/airframe integration technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartill, W. R.; Goebel, T. P.; Vancamp, V. V.

    1978-01-01

    An assessment is done of current and potential ground facilities, and analysis and flight test techniques for establishing a hypersonic propulsion/airframe integration technology base. A mach 6 cruise prototype aircraft incorporating integrated Scramjet engines was considered the baseline configuration, and the assessment focused on the aerodynamic and configuration aspects of the integration technology. The study describes the key technology milestones that must be met to permit a decision on development of a prototype vehicle, and defines risk levels for these milestones. Capabilities and limitations of analysis techniques, current and potential ground test facilities, and flight test techniques are described in terms of the milestones and risk levels.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Propulsion Risk Reduction Activities for Nontoxic Cryogenic Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Electrolysis Propulsion Provides High-Performance, Inexpensive, Clean Spacecraft Propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    deGroot, Wim A.

    1999-01-01

    An electrolysis propulsion system consumes electrical energy to decompose water into hydrogen and oxygen. These gases are stored in separate tanks and used when needed in gaseous bipropellant thrusters for spacecraft propulsion. The propellant and combustion products are clean and nontoxic. As a result, costs associated with testing, handling, and launching can be an order of magnitude lower than for conventional propulsion systems, making electrolysis a cost-effective alternative to state-of-the-art systems. The electrical conversion efficiency is high (>85 percent), and maximum thrust-to-power ratios of 0.2 newtons per kilowatt (N/kW), a 370-sec specific impulse, can be obtained. A further advantage of the water rocket is its dual-mode potential. For relatively high thrust applications, the system can be used as a bipropellant engine. For low thrust levels and/or small impulse bit requirements, cold gas oxygen can be used alone. An added innovation is that the same hardware, with modest modifications, can be converted into an energy-storage and power-generation fuel cell, reducing the spacecraft power and propulsion system weight by an order of magnitude.

  6. A fusion propulsion system for rapid interplanetary travel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kammash, T.

    2000-07-01

    A propulsion system with capabilities that far exceed conventional and nuclear thermal systems is proposed for human exploration of the solar system and beyond. It makes use of fusion nuclear reactions, and is based on the magnetic mirror configuration which was studied extensively as a potential terrestrial power reactor. Unlike the conventional mirror machine, however, the proposed device will confine a plasma of such density and temperature as to make the ion-ion collision mean free path much shorter than the plasma length. Under these conditions the plasma behaves like a fluid and its escape from the machine is analogous to the flow of a gas into vacuum from a vessel with a hole, hence the name gasdynamic mirror (GDM) (See Fig. 1). Recent studies of this system reveal that the conditions for its performance as a propulsion system are much less stringent than those imposed by an economically viable power reactor. This is reflected by the small energy magnification factor Q (ratio of fusion power to injected power) required by the propulsion system when compared to that of the power reactor. The plasma confinement in this device is provided by a magnetic field that is stronger at the ends than it is at the center thereby providing the necessary reflecting force for containment while allowing a certain fraction of the energetic particles to escape to generate the thrust. The plasma dynamics and the corresponding propulsion characteristics of GDM can be obtained from a set of coupled conservation equations which yield, among other things, the specific impulse and thrust of such an engine. Typical values of the specific impulse is 1.26 × 10 5 seconds and a thrust of tens of kilonewtons for a system with a dry mass of about 230mT. Such a propulsion system is shown to be about 44 m long and to make a round trip to Mars in less than five months. In this paper we examine the various physics and engineering considerations that lead to the modest vehicle mass noted above.

  7. Current technology in ion and electrothermal propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finke, R. C.; Murch, C. K.

    1973-01-01

    High performance propulsion devices, such as electrostatic ion engines and electrothermal thrusters, are achieving wide user acceptance. The current technology and projected development trends in the areas of ion and electrothermal propulsion systems and components are surveyed.

  8. Studies of Pulsed Plasma-Ion Streams During Their Free Propagation And Interaction With Carbon-Tungsten Targets In PF-1000 Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Skladnik-Sadowska, E.; Malinowski, K.; Marchenko, A.; Sadowski, M. J.; Scholz, M.; Karpinski, L.; Paduch, M.; Zielinska, B.; Gribkov, V. A.

    2008-03-19

    The paper presents results of recent experimental studies within the PF-1000 plasma-focus facility [1], which were performed during the free propagation of pulsed plasma-ion streams inside the vacuum chamber, and during their interaction with different targets. Optical spectra were recorder by means of a Mechelle registered 900 spectrometer operated with some delays in relation to the discharge current peculiarity (dip) and with exposition varied from 100 ns to 100 {mu}s. The recorded spectral lines were used to estimate the density of the free-propagating plasma stream. The electron concentration, as estimated from the Stark broadening of the D{sub {beta}} line recorded at a distance of z = 30 cm from the electrode ends, changed from about 4x10{sup 17} cm{sup -3} to 2x10{sup 16} cm{sup -3} in about 30 {mu}s. Analogous spectroscopic measurements were carried out in experiments performed with targets made of carbon and sintered tungsten, which were placed at a distance of 15 cm from the electrode outlet, where q = 10{sup 10} W/cm{sup 2}, and at a distance of 30 cm, where q = 10{sup 9} W/cm{sup 2}. Particular attention was paid to investigation of a plasma layer formed in the front of the target. In that case the electron density, as estimated on the basis of carbon-and deuterium-ion lines, changed from about 3x10{sup 18} cm{sup -3} to 3x10{sup 16} cm{sup -3} in 30 {mu}s. For the target made of the sintered tungsten, which was placed at a distance of 30 cm, the recorded optical spectr a showed intense D{sub {alpha}} and D{sub {beta}} lines as well as CII-CIV lines, which covered tungsten (WI and WII) lines.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Development of a Micro-Thruster Test Facility which fulfils the LISA requirements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hey, Franz Georg; Keller, A.; Johann, U.; Braxmaier, C.; Tajmar, M.; Fitzsimons, E.; Weise, D.

    2015-05-01

    In the context of investigations for a sufficient attitude control thruster for LISA, we have developed a thruster test facility which consists of a highly precise thrust balance coupled with plasma diagnostics. In parallel to the test facility development, investigations to downscale a High Efficiency Multistage Plasma Thruster (HEMP-T) are also being carried out. The thruster has been used to demonstrate the measurement capabilities of the facility. The setup allows a parallel operation of all instruments and can also be used for other types of μN propulsion systems including cold gas thrusters. The thrust balance consists of two pendulums. As read out a heterodyne laser interferometer is used. Differential wave front sensing (DWS) enables the measurement of the pendulum tilt which, via suitable calibration using an electrostatic comb, can be converted to a thrust. The whole setup is a symmetric configuration enabling a common-mode rejection of the dominant noise sources (e.g. seismic noise etc.). The thrust balance has a demonstrated precision of 0.1 μN. Based on our unique design, this precision can be attained down to 10-3 Hz. Thus, the measurement setup is especially suitable for characterising the thrust noise of potential eLISA propulsion candidates. We give an overview of the design, the present performance and the future plans.

  12. Characterization of Plasma Discharges in a High-Field Magnetic Tandem Mirror

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chang-Diaz, Franklin R.

    1998-01-01

    High density magnetized plasma discharges in open-ended geometries, like Tandem Mirrors, have a variety of space applications. Chief among them is the production of variable Specific Impulse (I(sub sp)) and variable thrust in a magnetic nozzle. Our research group is pursuing the experimental characterization of such discharges in our high-field facility located at the Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory (ASPL). These studies focus on identifying plasma stability criteria as functions of density, temperature and magnetic field strength. Plasma heating is accomplished by both Electron and Ion Cyclotron Resonance (ECR and ICR) at frequencies of 2-3 Ghz and 1-30 Mhz respectively, for both Hydrogen and Helium. Electron density and temperature has measured by movable Langmuir probes. Macroscopic plasma stability is being investigated in ongoing research.

  13. The Future of Spacecraft Nuclear Propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jansen, F.

    2014-06-01

    This paper summarizes the advantages of space nuclear power and propulsion systems. It describes the actual status of international power level dependent spacecraft nuclear propulsion missions, especially the high power EU-Russian MEGAHIT study including the Russian Megawatt-Class Nuclear Power Propulsion System, the NASA GRC project and the low and medium power EU DiPoP study. Space nuclear propulsion based mission scenarios of these studies are sketched as well.

  14. Comparison of Mars Aircraft Propulsion Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Colozza, Anthony J.

    2003-01-01

    The propulsion system is a critical aspect of the performance and feasibility of a Mars aircraft. Propulsion system mass and performance greatly influence the aircraft s design and mission capabilities. Various propulsion systems were analyzed to estimate the system mass necessary for producing 35N of thrust within the Mars environment. Three main categories of propulsion systems were considered: electric systems, combustion engine systems and rocket systems. Also, the system masses were compared for mission durations of 1, 2, and 4 h.

  15. Advanced NSTS propulsion system verification study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wood, Charles

    1989-01-01

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

  16. Liquid Oxygen/Liquid Methane Integrated Propulsion System Test Bed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Flynn, Howard; Lusby, Brian; Villemarette, Mark

    2011-01-01

    In support of NASA?s Propulsion and Cryogenic Advanced Development (PCAD) project, a liquid oxygen (LO2)/liquid methane (LCH4) Integrated Propulsion System Test Bed (IPSTB) was designed and advanced to the Critical Design Review (CDR) stage at the Johnson Space Center. The IPSTB?s primary objectives are to study LO2/LCH4 propulsion system steady state and transient performance, operational characteristics and to validate fluid and thermal models of a LO2/LCH4 propulsion system for use in future flight design work. Two phase thermal and dynamic fluid flow models of the IPSTB were built to predict the system performance characteristics under a variety of operating modes and to aid in the overall system design work. While at ambient temperature and simulated altitude conditions at the White Sands Test Facility, the IPSTB and its approximately 600 channels of system instrumentation would be operated to perform a variety of integrated main engine and reaction control engine hot fire tests. The pressure, temperature, and flow rate data collected during this testing would then be used to validate the analytical models of the IPSTB?s thermal and dynamic fluid flow performance. An overview of the IPSTB design and analytical model development will be presented.

  17. NLS propulsion - Government view

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smelser, Jerry W.

    1992-01-01

    The paper discusses the technology development for the Space Transportation Main Engine (STME). The STME is a liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen engine with 650,000 pounds of thrust, which may be flown in single-engine or multiple-engine configurations, depending upon the payload and mission requirements. The technological developments completed so far include a vacuum plasma spray process, the liquid interface diffusion bonding, and a thin membrane platelet technology for the combustion chamber fabrication; baseline designs for the hydrogen turbopump and the oxygen pump; and the engine control system. The family of spacecraft for which this engine is being developed includes a 20,000 pound payload to LEO and a 150,000 pound to LEO vehicle.

  18. Drag and propulsive forces in electric sails with negative polarity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez-Torres, Antonio

    2016-02-01

    An electric solar sail (E-sail) is a recent propellantless propulsion concept for a direct exploration of the Solar System. An E-sail consists of a set of bare, conductive tethers at high positive/negative bias, prone to extract solar wind momentum by Coulomb deflection of protons. Additionally, a negatively biased E-sail has been proposed as a concept for de-orbiting space debris with drag forces produced in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). The present work focuses on the negative-bias case with a sheath that must be correctly modeled for a flowing plasma ambient. Ion scattering within the sheath and the resulting force are determined for several plasma conditions. Since the plasma flow does reduce the effective range for the ion scattering within the sheath, the resulting force is then reduced. Tethers at very high negative bias should be required for extremely high plasma flow.

  19. Four-channel X-ray microscope for plasma investigations on the Sokol-P laser facility

    SciTech Connect

    Vikhlyaev, D A; Gavrilov, D S; Kakshin, A G; Potapov, A V; Safronov, K V

    2011-03-31

    The design, assembly, and alignment of a Kirkpatrick - Baez X-ray microscope are described. A technique for the experimental evaluation of the resolving power of the microscope is outlined. This microscope permits obtaining simultaneous images of laser target plasmas in narrow energy regions belonging to the 0.3 - 1.5-keV X-ray range with a resolution of {approx}2 {mu}m. (interaction of laser radiation with matter)

  20. Propulsion Systems Panel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1993-02-01

    Topics addressed are: (1) cryogenic tankage; (2) launch vehicle TPS/insulation; (3) durable passive thermal control devices and/or coatings; (4) development and characterization of processing methods to reduce anisotropy of material properties in Al-Li; (5) durable thermal protection system (TPS); (6) unpressurized Al-Li structures (interstages, thrust structures); (7) near net shape sections; (8) pressurized structures; (9) welding and joining; (10) micrometeoroid and debris hypervelocity shields; (11) state-of-the-art shell buckling structure optimizer program to serve as a rapid design tool; (12) test philosophy; (13) reduced load cycle time; (14) structural analysis methods; (15) optimization of structural criteria; and (16) develop an engineering approach to properly trade material and structural concepts selection, fabrication, facilities, and cost.