skip to main content

Title: Advanced Fusion Reactors for Space Propulsion and Power Systems

In recent years the methodology proposed for conversion of light elements into energy via fusion has made steady progress. Scientific studies and engineering efforts in advanced fusion systems designs have introduced some new concepts with unique aspects including consideration of Aneutronic fuels. The plant parameters for harnessing aneutronic fusion appear more exigent than those required for the conventional fusion fuel cycle. However aneutronic fusion propulsion plants for Space deployment will ultimately offer the possibility of enhanced performance from nuclear gain as compared to existing ionic engines as well as providing a clean solution to Planetary Protection considerations and requirements. Proton triggered 11Boron fuel (p- 11B) will produce abundant ion kinetic energy for In-Space vectored thrust. Thus energetic alpha particles' exhaust momentum can be used directly to produce high Isp thrust and also offer possibility of power conversion into electricity. p-11B is an advanced fusion plant fuel with well understood reaction kinematics but will require some new conceptual thinking as to the most effective implementation.
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21539140
Resource Type:
Miscellaneous
Research Org:
NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; ALPHA PARTICLES; BORON 11; KINETIC ENERGY; NEUTRON REACTIONS; PROPULSION SYSTEMS; SPACECRAFT POWER SUPPLIES; THERMONUCLEAR FUELS; THERMONUCLEAR REACTORS