NASA 1996 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER : 96-1 14.03-7500

PROJECT TITLE : Multipurpose Upper Stage Propulsion Using High Energy Density Fuel

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

A magnetic fusion confinement device that utilizes a high energy density fuel is proposed as a propulsion system that can meet NASA's need in space exploration. This device makes use of a simple magnetic mirror geometry in which a hot, dense fuel is confined for a sufficiently long time to allow energy-producing fusion reactions to take place while allowing a certain fraction of the plasma particles to escape from one end of the mirror to generate thrust. By incorporating energy conversion components into the system the propulsion engine is shown to produce enough power to be self-sustaining. A detailed analytical and computational investigation of the confinement properties and propulsive performance of the system using two fuel cycles, will be carried out to demonstrate that it can lead to a high thrust - high specific impulse engine capable of efficiently allowing unlimited manned exploration of the solar system and beyond. Two methods by which thrust enhancement can be achieved will also be examined.
POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS
The very large specific impulse and thrust expected to be generated by the gas dynamic mirror will enable this device to propell a space transport vehicle resulting in manned interplanetary missions that are achievable in relatively short times.
NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
David A. Horvath,
Advent Engineering Services, Inc.,
P.O. Box 555, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106-0555
NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR
Advent Engineering Services, Inc.,
P.O. Box 555, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106-0555