High thrust in space propulsion technology development r joseph cassady aerojet
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High Thrust In-Space Propulsion Technology Development R. Joseph Cassady Aerojet. 22 March 2011. Technology Development Needs a Framework. Critics attack the technology development efforts because they tend to “wander in the desert”

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High thrust in space propulsion technology development r joseph cassady aerojet

High Thrust In-Space PropulsionTechnology DevelopmentR. Joseph CassadyAerojet

22 March 2011


Technology development needs a framework

Technology Development Needs a Framework

  • Critics attack the technology development efforts because they tend to “wander in the desert”

  • Lack of a defined destination is cited as a flaw by the critics

  • It is important to include ties to examine technologies with a framework that allows their relative merits to be examined in an applied manner – not abstract academic considerations!

  • In this same vein, it is important to look for synergies between technologies. This should be a Figure of Merit (FOM)

  • Elements that serve as building blocks and that are useful to multiple missions / destinations are also desireable – this is another key FOM

An Example…


Architecture study framework

Architecture Study Framework

Mission Phases

Destinations

Lunar Orbit or L-2

NEOs

Phobos

Mars Surface

L2

In-Space Propulsion Options

CrewCargo

LOX/H2LOX/H2

LOX/CH4SEP

NTR NTR

ISRU

Launch Propulsion Options

SDLV (Baseline for Comparison)

HC-ORSC Core

HC-GG Core

H2/O2 Core

Solid/Liquid Booster Options

Liquid Upper Stage Options

Launch and In-Space Phases linked by:

Total in-space mass and volume requirements

Launch Vehicle/in-space hand-off orbit

Launch Manifest

Commonality opportunities

‹#›


Delivered mass requirements for destinations

Delivered Mass Requirements for Destinations

DR=Direct Return

O=Option

Multi-Destination Mission Elements enables affordable approach

‹#›


In space propulsion options

In-Space Propulsion Options

  • Only included options which are realistic for next 20 years

  • Performance metrics were defined from already demonstrated ground testing

  • Complete Stage Mass models were developed for each technology to use in the Concepts of Operations

  • For each propulsion option we established several CONOPS options to trade

    • Crew and cargo split, direct return vs. LEO basing, LMO vs. Phobos, how Orion is used, ISRU, etc

  • IMLEO was then calculated for each CONOPs

[i] Manzella, David, et. al., “Laboratory Model 50 kW Hall Thruster,” NASA TM-2002-211887, September 2002.

[ii] Herman, Dan, “NASA’s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) Project Qualification Propellant Throughput Milestone: Performance, Erosion, and Thruster Service Life Prediction After 450 kg,” NASA TM-2010-216816, May 2010.

[iii] Aerojet, “NASA Completes Altitude Testing of Aerojet Advanced Liquid Oxygen/Liquid Methane Rocket Engine,” May 4, 2010.

[iv] http://www.astronautix.com/engines/rd58.htm, cited: January 17, 2011.

‹#›


Example conops crew segment of neo mission reusable space habitat version

Example CONOPS: Crew Segment of NEO Mission (Reusable Space Habitat Version)

‹#›


Example conops crew segment of phobos mission

Example CONOPS: Crew Segment of Phobos Mission

‹#›


Conclusions from architecture comparison

Conclusions from Architecture Comparison

  • High thrust in-space propulsion options include:

    • Lox-hydrogen for Earth departure

    • Lox-methane for landers and ascent vehicles

    • Nuclear thermal rockets for crew transit

  • Each of these shows benefits by itself, but can also be employed in a way in an overall architecture that enhances the standalone merits

  • Supporting technologies like ISRU (and SEP) provide major combinative benefit

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Final comment

Final Comment

  • Selection of one technology as a principal thrust can have ripple impacts

  • From the example:

    • If ISRU were selected as a key long term investment priority, then a focus on lox-methane for deep space cryo stages (not EDS) would be advised

    • If NTR is selected as a key long term technology, then CFM for long duration storage of hydrogen would be advised and perhaps use of lox-hydrogen for deep space cryo stages is better

Thank you for the opportunity to present

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