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Investigation of gaseous nuclear rocket technologyThe experimental and theoretical investigations conducted during the period from September 1969 through September 1972 are reported which were directed toward obtaining information necessary to determine the feasibility of the full-scale nuclear light bulb engine, and of small-scale nuclear tests involving fissioning uranium plasmas in a unit cell installed in a driver reactor, such as the Nuclear Furnace. Emphasis was placed on development of RF simulations of conditions expected in nuclear tests in the Nuclear Furnace. The work included investigations of the following: (1) the fluid mechanics and containment characteristics of one-component and two-component vortex flows, both unheated and RF-induction heated; (2) heating of particle-seeded streams by thermal radiation from a dc arc to simulate propellant heating; (3) condensation and separation phenomena for metal-vapor/heated-gas mixtures to provide information for conceptual designs of components of fuel exhaust and recycle systems; (4) the characteristics of the radiant energy spectrum emitted from the fuel region, with emphasis on definition of fuel and buffer-gas region seed systems to reduce the ultraviolet radiation emitted from the nuclear fuel; and (5) the effects of nuclear radiation on the optical transmission characteristics of transparent materials.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Kendall, J. S.
(United Aircraft Corp. East Hartford, CT, United States)
Date Acquired
August 7, 2013
Publication Date
September 1, 1972
Subject Category
Nuclear Engineering
Report/Patent Number
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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