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The Application of LENR to Synergistic Mission Capabilities
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Author and Affiliation:
Wells, Douglas P.(NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, United States);
Mavris, Dimitri N.(Georgia Inst. of Tech., Atlanta, GA, United States)
Abstract: This paper presents an overview of several missions that exploit the capabilities of a Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) aircraft propulsion system. LENR is a form of nuclear energy and potentially has over 4,000 times the energy density of chemical energy sources. It does not have any harmful emissions or radiation which makes it extremely appealing. The global reliance on crude oil for aircraft energy creates the opportunity for a revolutionary change with LENR. LENR will impact aircraft performance capabilities, military capabilities, the environment, the economy, and society. Although there is a lot of interest in LENR, there is no proven theory that explains it. Some of the technical challenges are thermal runaway and start-up time. This paper does not explore the feasibility of LENR and assumes that a system is available. A non-dimensional aircraft mass (NAM) ratio diagram is used to explore the aircraft system design space. The NAM ratio diagram shows that LENR can enable long range and high speed missions. The design space exploration led to the conclusion that LENR aircraft would be well suited for high altitude long endurance (HALE) missions, including communications relay and scientific missions for hurricane tracking and other weather phenomena, military intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) and airspace denial missions, supersonic passenger transport aircraft, and international cargo transport. This paper describes six of those missions.
Publication Date: Jun 16, 2014
Document ID:
20150000549
(Acquired Feb 13, 2015)
Subject Category: AIRCRAFT PROPULSION AND POWER; AIRCRAFT DESIGN, TESTING AND PERFORMANCE
Report/Patent Number: NF1676L-17708
Document Type: Conference Paper
Meeting Information: (AVIATION 2014) AIAA Aviation and Aeronautics Forum and Exposition ; 16-20 Jun. 2014; Atlanta, GA; United States
Meeting Sponsor: American Inst. of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Reston, VA, United States
Contract/Grant/Task Num: WBS 694478.02.93.02.13.60.23
Financial Sponsor: NASA Langley Research Center; Hampton, VA, United States
Organization Source: NASA Langley Research Center; Hampton, VA, United States
Description: 12p; In English; Original contains color and black and white illustrations
Distribution Limits: Unclassified; Publicly available; Unlimited
Rights: Copyright; Distribution as joint owner in the copyright
NASA Terms: NUCLEAR REACTIONS; CHEMICAL ENERGY; HIGH ALTITUDE; HIGH SPEED; PROPULSION; NUCLEAR FUSION; AIRCRAFT ENGINES; ENGINE DESIGN; AIRCRAFT CONFIGURATIONS; MASS RATIOS; RECONNAISSANCE; SURVEILLANCE; TRACKING (POSITION); REACTOR STARTUP TESTS; ENERGY CONSUMPTION; ENERGY BUDGETS; AIRCRAFT FUELS; FUSION REACTORS; FUSION-FISSION HYBRID REACTORS; SUPERSONIC TRANSPORTS
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