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Energetic Combustion Devices for Aerospace Propulsion and PowerChemical reactions have long been the mainstay thermal energy source for aerospace propulsion and power. Although it is widely recognized that the intrinsic energy density limitations of chemical bonds place severe constraints on maximum realizable performance, it will likely be several years before systems based on high energy density nuclear fuels can be placed into routine service. In the mean time, efforts to develop high energy density chemicals and advanced combustion devices which can utilize such energetic fuels may yield worthwhile returns in overall system performance and cost. Current efforts in this vein are being carried out at NASA MSFC under the direction of the author in the areas of pulse detonation engine technology development and light metals combustion devices. Pulse detonation engines are touted as a low cost alternative to gas turbine engines and to conventional rocket engines, but actual performance and cost benefits have yet to be convincingly demonstrated. Light metal fueled engines also offer potential benefits in certain niche applications such as aluminum/CO2 fueled engines for endo-atmospheric Martian propulsion. Light metal fueled MHD generators also present promising opportunities with respect to electric power generation for electromagnetic launch assist. This presentation will discuss the applications potential of these concepts with respect to aero ace propulsion and power and will review the current status of the development efforts.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Litchford, Ron J. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2000
Subject Category
Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry
Meeting Information
Advanced Space Propulsion Research(Pasadena, CA)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.