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Record Details

Record 23 of 5545
Magnetized Target Fusion
Offline Availability: Go to Request Form
Author and Affiliation:
Griffin, Steven T.(Memphis Univ., Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept., Memphis, TN United States)
Abstract: Magnetized target fusion (MTF) is under consideration as a means of building a low mass, high specific impulse, and high thrust propulsion system for interplanetary travel. This unique combination is the result of the generation of a high temperature plasma by the nuclear fusion process. This plasma can then be deflected by magnetic fields to provide thrust. Fusion is initiated by a small traction of the energy generated in the magnetic coils due to the plasma's compression of the magnetic field. The power gain from a fusion reaction is such that inefficiencies due to thermal neutrons and coil losses can be overcome. Since the fusion reaction products are directly used for propulsion and the power to initiate the reaction is directly obtained from the thrust generation, no massive power supply for energy conversion is required. The result should be a low engine mass, high specific impulse and high thrust system. The key is to successfully initiate fusion as a proof-of-principle for this application. Currently MSFC is implementing MTF proof-of-principle experiments. This involves many technical details and ancillary investigations. Of these, selected pertinent issues include the properties, orientation and timing of the plasma guns and the convergence and interface development of the "pusher" plasma. Computer simulations of the target plasma's behavior under compression and the convergence and mixing of the gun plasma are under investigation. This work is to focus on the gun characterization and development as it relates to plasma initiation and repeatability.
Publication Date: Jul 01, 2002
Document ID:
20020068809
(Acquired Sep 13, 2002)
Subject Category: SPACECRAFT PROPULSION AND POWER
Document Type: Technical Report
Publication Information: Research Reports: 2001 NASA/ASEE Summer Faculty Fellowship Program; XVIII-1 - XVIII-6; (NASA/CR-2002-211840); (SEE 20020068792)
Financial Sponsor: NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; Huntsville, AL United States
Organization Source: Memphis Univ.; Electrical and Computer Engineering Dept.; Memphis, TN United States
Description: 6p; In English
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: No Copyright
NASA Terms: PLASMA PROPULSION; FUSION PROPULSION; PLASMA GUNS; CONTROLLED FUSION; TARGETS; HIGH TEMPERATURE PLASMAS; MAGNETIC COILS; MAGNETIC FIELDS; NUCLEAR ROCKET ENGINES; HIGH THRUST; HIGH IMPULSE; SPECIFIC IMPULSE; PLASMA CONTROL; INTERPLANETARY SPACECRAFT
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