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Brayton-Cycle Power-Conversion Unit Tested With Ion ThrusterNuclear electric propulsion has been identified as an enabling technology for future NASA space science missions, such as the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) now under study. An important element of the nuclear electric propulsion spacecraft is the power conversion system, which converts the reactor heat to electrical power for use by the ion propulsion system and other spacecraft loads. The electrical integration of the power converter and ion thruster represents a key technical challenge in making nuclear electric propulsion technology possible. This technical hurdle was addressed extensively on December 1, 2003, when a closed- Brayton-cycle power-conversion unit was tested with a gridded ion thruster at the NASA Glenn Research Center. The test demonstrated end-to-end power throughput and marked the first-ever coupling of a Brayton turbo alternator and a gridded ion thruster, both of which are candidates for use on JIMO-type missions. The testing was conducted at Glenn's Vacuum Facility 6, where the Brayton unit was installed in the 3-m-diameter vacuum test port and the ion thruster was installed in the 7.6-m-diameter main chamber.
Document ID
20050217253
Document Type
Other
Authors
Hervol, David S.
(Analex Corp. Cleveland, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
June 1, 2005
Publication Information
Publication: Research and Technology 2004
Subject Category
Fluid Mechanics And Thermodynamics
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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IDRelationTitle20050228985Analytic PrimaryResearch and Technology 2004