Parametric study of an electric propulsion, nuclear thermal reactor, space vehicle system

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dc.contributor Olcmen, Semih
dc.contributor Emrich, William J.
dc.contributor.advisor Branam, Richard D.
dc.contributor.author Maddox, James Warren
dc.date.accessioned 2020-01-16T15:04:17Z
dc.date.available 2020-01-16T15:04:17Z
dc.date.issued 2019
dc.identifier.other u0015_0000001_0003463
dc.identifier.other Maddox_alatus_0004M_13910
dc.identifier.uri http://ir.ua.edu/handle/123456789/6520
dc.description Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
dc.description.abstract The feasibility of an electric propulsion, nuclear thermal rocket, in-space propulsion system was evaluated by considering both the full range of theoretical possibilities and the likely performance derived from empirical arcjet performance. Joule heating was assumed for the electric propulsion device. The figures of merit were specific impulse and vehicle total initial mass, which quantify engine and mission performance, respectively, with a goal of achieving 1,200 sec specific impulse. Results were compared with state of the art nuclear thermal and chemical propulsion systems to estimate relative performance using a reference mission – a Hohmann transfer from low Earth orbit to low Mars orbit. The results indicate that while performance gains are realized relative to a nuclear thermal rocket, those gains are small – a specific impulse increase of approximately 5% – while the mass penalty is high – an increase of approximately 25%. The 1,200 sec specific impulse goal was not realized. Further, the addition of electricity generating equipment and additional heat loads pose additional mission risks. For all of these reasons, further analysis of the proposed hybrid system is not recommended.
dc.format.extent 294 p.
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher University of Alabama Libraries
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Electronic Theses and Dissertations
dc.relation.ispartof The University of Alabama Libraries Digital Collections
dc.relation.haspart Supplementary materials include a Word document and ZIP files containing code and a supporting spreadsheet.
dc.relation.hasversion born digital
dc.rights All rights reserved by the author unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subject.other Aerospace engineering
dc.title Parametric study of an electric propulsion, nuclear thermal reactor, space vehicle system
dc.type thesis
dc.type text
etdms.degree.department University of Alabama. Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics
etdms.degree.discipline Aerospace Engineering
etdms.degree.grantor The University of Alabama
etdms.degree.level master's
etdms.degree.name M.S.


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