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Nuclear Thermal Rocket Element Environmental Simulator (NTREES)To support the eventual development of a nuclear thermal rocket engine, a state-of-the-art experimental test setup has been constructed to evaluate the performance characteristics of candidate fuel element materials and geometries in representative environments. The test device simulates the environmental conditions (minus the radiation) to which nuclear rocket fuel components will be subjected during reactor operation. Test articles mounted in the simulator are inductively heated in such a manner as to accurately reproduce the temperatures and heat fluxes normally expected to occur as a result of nuclear fission while at the same time being exposed to flowing hydrogen. This project is referred to as the Nuclear Thermal Rocket Element Environment Simulator or NTREES. The NTREES device is located at the Marshall Space flight Center in a laboratory which has been modified to accommodate the high powers required to heat the test articles to the required temperatures and to handle the gaseous hydrogen flow required for the tests. Other modifications to the laboratory include the installation of a nitrogen gas supply system and a cooling water supply system. During the design and construction of the facility, every effort was made to comply with all pertinent regulations to provide assurance that the facility could be operated in a safe and efficient manner. The NTREES system can currently supply up to 50 kW of inductive heating to the fuel test articles, although the facility has been sized to eventually allow test article heating levels of up to several megawatts.
Document ID
20080015668
Document Type
Conference Paper
Authors
Emrich, William J., Jr. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
February 10, 2008
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion and Power
Meeting Information
Space Technology and Applications International Forum, STAIF-2008(Albuquerque, NM)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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