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Title: Mathematical model for the preliminary analysis of dual-mode space nuclear fission solid core power and propulsion systems, NUROC3A. AMS report No. 1239a

Abstract

The three-volume report describes a dual-mode nuclear space power and propulsion system concept that employs an advanced solid-core nuclear fission reactor coupled via heat pipes to one of several electric power conversion systems. Such a concept could be particularly useful for missions which require both relatively high acceleration (e.g., for planetocentric maneuvers) and high performance at low acceleration (e.g., on heliocentric trajectories or for trajectory shaping). The first volume develops the mathematical model of the system.

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Princeton Univ., NJ (USA). Aerospace Systems Lab.
OSTI Identifier:
6741603
Report Number(s):
COO-2393-23(Vol.1)
DOE Contract Number:
EY-76-S-02-2393
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; SPACE POWER REACTORS; DESIGN; SPACE PROPULSION REACTORS; COMPUTER CODES; HEAT PIPES; MATHEMATICAL MODELS; N CODES; PLANNING; REACTOR COOLING SYSTEMS; REACTOR CORES; COOLING SYSTEMS; MOBILE REACTORS; POWER REACTORS; PROPULSION REACTORS; REACTOR COMPONENTS; REACTORS NESDPS Office of Nuclear Energy Space and Defense Power Systems 220800* -- Nuclear Reactor Technology-- Propulsion Reactors; 210600 -- Power Reactors, Auxiliary, Mobile Package, & Transportable

Citation Formats

Grey, J., and Chow, S.. Mathematical model for the preliminary analysis of dual-mode space nuclear fission solid core power and propulsion systems, NUROC3A. AMS report No. 1239a. United States: N. p., 1976. Web. doi:10.2172/6741603.
Grey, J., & Chow, S.. Mathematical model for the preliminary analysis of dual-mode space nuclear fission solid core power and propulsion systems, NUROC3A. AMS report No. 1239a. United States. doi:10.2172/6741603.
Grey, J., and Chow, S.. 1976. "Mathematical model for the preliminary analysis of dual-mode space nuclear fission solid core power and propulsion systems, NUROC3A. AMS report No. 1239a". United States. doi:10.2172/6741603. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/6741603.
@article{osti_6741603,
title = {Mathematical model for the preliminary analysis of dual-mode space nuclear fission solid core power and propulsion systems, NUROC3A. AMS report No. 1239a},
author = {Grey, J. and Chow, S.},
abstractNote = {The three-volume report describes a dual-mode nuclear space power and propulsion system concept that employs an advanced solid-core nuclear fission reactor coupled via heat pipes to one of several electric power conversion systems. Such a concept could be particularly useful for missions which require both relatively high acceleration (e.g., for planetocentric maneuvers) and high performance at low acceleration (e.g., on heliocentric trajectories or for trajectory shaping). The first volume develops the mathematical model of the system.},
doi = {10.2172/6741603},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 1976,
month = 6
}

Technical Report:

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  • The three-volume report describes a dual-mode nuclear space power and propulsion system concept that employs an advanced solid-core nuclear fission reactor coupled via heat pipes to one of several electric power conversion systems. The second volume describes the computer code and users' guide for the preliminary analysis of the system.
  • The three-volume report describes a dual-mode nuclear space power and propulsion system concept that employs an advanced solid-core nuclear fission reactor coupled via heat pipes to one of several electric power conversion systems. The NUROC3A systems analysis code was designed to provide the user with performance characteristics of the dual-mode system. Volume 3 describes utilization of the NUROC3A code to produce a detailed parameter study of the system.
  • A preliminary assessment of the technical feasibility and mass competitiveness of a dual-mode nuclear propulsion and power system based on the NERVA rocket engine has been completed. Results indicate that the coupling of the ROVER reactor to a direct Brayton power conversion system can be accomplished through a number of design features. Furthermore, based on previously published and independently calculated component masses, the dual-mode system was found to have the potential to be mass competitive with propulsion/power systems that use separate reactors. The uncertainties of reactor design modification and shielding requirements were identified as important issues requiring future investigation.
  • A generalized propulsion system analysis relates the optimum'' spccific impulse to (1) the mission characteristic velocity. (2) available propulsion time, and (3) thc ratio of power source weight to jet power, for the cases of one, three, and an infinite number of round trips. The optimum specific impulse is found to be mainly set by the ratio of propulsion time to power source specific weight with less effect caused by changes in characteristic velocity. The analysis includes offoptimum'' specific impulse performance. A unique method of presenting the results which is particularly adapted to superposition of mission requirements was devised. Representativemore » requirements were determined for several satellite, one Moon and one Mars missions to indicate propulsion system choice. Emphasis was placed on insuring the accuracy of comparison of different propulsion systems. (auth)« less
  • An analysis of the thermal design limitations of gascooled solid-core nuclear reactors for rocket propulsion is presented. CIosed-form integrated gas- dynamics equations coupled with variable-property heat-transfer equations are utilized to show qualitative relationships between important parameters. Numerical results from the equations are presented for designs in which H is used as the working fluid, for parallel-plate and parallel-hole core configurations. Of the two principal thermal design limitations ---pressure drop and thermal stress---the latter appears to be more important for conditions of practical interest. Originally published as a portion of a classified document in 1955, the numerical results are evaluated inmore » terms of data available at that time on the thermal-- physical properties of specific graphite types. It is shown that the results of the calculations--optimum core weights and volumes--are very sensitive to these properties. (auth)« less