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The benefits of using nuclear electric propulsion in space.

Detsis, Emmanouil and Bauer, Waldemar and CLIQUET-MORENO, Elisa and Gaia, Enrico and Hodgson, Zara and Jansen, Frank and Koroteev, Anatoliy and Masson, Frederic and Semenkin, Alexander and Tinsley, Tim and Tosi, Maria Cristina and RUAULT, Jean-Marc and Worms, Jean-Claude (2014) The benefits of using nuclear electric propulsion in space. 65st International Astronautical Congress, 2014-09-29 - 2014-10-03, Toronto, Canada.

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Official URL: http://iac2014.wix.com/iac-2014#!program/cw67


Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) can offer multiple advantages in regards to space exploration. Significant gains can be realised in flight time (by eliminating the need for gravity assists, even for deep space missions), on-board power availability (with a power level an order of magnitude higher of what is available today) and payload mass delivered to the selected target. To deliver a spacecraft in the 2030-2040 timeframe, necessary ground and space demonstration missions will be required. The readiness of the system will be reached by testing of all key technologies on ground and in orbit on subsystem and system level. This includes the core, conversion, thermal management, power management and propulsion subsystems as well as the assembly of all subsystems in orbit by autonomous or remote control robotics. The MEGAHIT project has produced an incremental development plan for the realisation of a NEP spacecraft in the 2030-2040 timeframe. It has developed the high level requirements for a multi-use NEP spacecraft and investigated the preliminary mission architecture for two reference missions: an asteroid mission for planetary protection/exploration and a deep space exploration mission. By using the power source of a nuclear core, power in the range of 1MW will be achievable that can then utilised by the spacecraft for advanced electric propulsion, using clustered ion or hall thrusters. Furthermore, synergies that exist between the proposed spacecraft project development plans and on-going R&D in the nuclear, advanced materials and aeronautics industry highlight the technological and societal benefits from such an endeavour. These synergies also include the potential risks associated with the project and the propose risk mitigation actions and regulations in order to reduce those risks. A spacecraft that is able to deliver and operate a multi-ton payload to the outer planets or to an asteroid would provide a step change in current mission ability and provide real benefit. NEP is seen as a key enabling technology for such a spacecraft, providing additional mission options that are currently not practicable.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/93820/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:The benefits of using nuclear electric propulsion in space.
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Detsis, EmmanouilInternational Space UniversityUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Gaia, EnricoThales Alenia Space ItaliaUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Hodgson, ZaraNational Nuclear Laboratory, UKUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Koroteev, AnatoliyKeldysh Research CenterUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Semenkin, AlexanderKeldysh Research CenterUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Tinsley, TimNational Nuclear Laboratory, UKUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Tosi, Maria CristinaThales Alenia Space, ItalyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
RUAULT, Jean-MarcCNES Launchers Directorate, Paris, FranceUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Worms, Jean-ClaudeEuropean Science Foundation, FranceUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:October 2014
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Series Name:IAC Proceedings
Keywords:nuclear electric propulsion, manned and unmanned space exploration, high power European roadmap MEGAHIT, DEMOCRITOS high power demonstrator
Event Title:65st International Astronautical Congress
Event Location:Toronto, Canada
Event Type:international Conference
Event Start Date:29 September 2014
Event End Date:3 October 2014
Organizer:IAF - International Astronautical Federation
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Exploration of the Solar System, R - Vorhaben Robotische Explorationstechnologie (old)
Location: Bremen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Space Systems
Deposited By: Jansen, Frank
Deposited On:19 Dec 2014 11:21
Last Modified:24 Apr 2024 19:59

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