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Megawatt Class Nuclear Space Power Systems (MCNSPS) conceptual design and evaluation report. Volume 1: Objectives, summary results and introductionThe objective was to determine which reactor, conversion, and radiator technologies would best fulfill future Megawatt Class Nuclear Space Power System Requirements. Specifically, the requirement was 10 megawatts for 5 years of full power operation and 10 years systems life on orbit. A variety of liquid metal and gas cooled reactors, static and dynamic conversion systems, and passive and dynamic radiators were considered. Four concepts were selected for more detailed study. The concepts are: a gas cooled reactor with closed cycle Brayton turbine-alternator conversion with heat pipe and pumped tube-fin heat rejection; a lithium cooled reactor with a free piston Stirling engine-linear alternator and a pumped tube-fin radiator; a lithium cooled reactor with potassium Rankine turbine-alternator and heat pipe radiator; and a lithium cooled incore thermionic static conversion reactor with a heat pipe radiator. The systems recommended for further development to meet a 10 megawatt long life requirement are the lithium cooled reactor with the K-Rankine conversion and heat pipe radiator, and the lithium cooled incore thermionic reactor with heat pipe radiator.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Wetch, J. R.
(Space Power, Inc. San Jose, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 5, 2013
Publication Date
September 1, 1988
Subject Category
Energy Production And Conversion
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.26:179614-VOL-1
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 586-01-11
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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