Standardization and Economics of Nuclear Spacecraft, Final Report, Phase I, Sense Study [report]

1973 unpublished
of their contractors, subcontractors, o r their employees, make any warrantee, express o r implied, or assumes any legal liability o r reponsibility f o r the accuracy, completeness o r usefulness of any information, apparatus, product o r process disclosed, o r represents that its use would not infringe privately -owned rights . ABSTRACT Feasibility and cost benefits of nuclear-powered standardized spacecraft a r e investigated. spacecraft should be anticipated for the 1980's. The standard
more » ... s. The standard spacecraft include structure, thermal control, power, attitude control, some propulsion capability and tracking, telemetry, and command subsystems. One spacecraft design, powered by the radioisotope thermoelectric qenerator, can s e r v e missions requirinq up to 450 watts. The other spacecraft design, powered by s i m i l a r nuclear heat sources in a Braytoncycle generator, can s e r v e missions requiring up to 2000 watts. and trade-offs a r e discussed. successfully tested against a variety of missions. both spacecraft a r e capable of operating in any e a r t h orbit and any orientatior, without modification. Three-axis stabilization is included. Several spacecraft can be stacked in the shuttle payload compartment for multi-mission launches. powered thermoelectric generator system, operating a t an electric power level of 5000 watts, is briefly studied for applicability to two test missions of diverse requirements. craft offers sizable savings in comparison with specially designed solar-powered spacecraft. The study indicates that two shuttle-launched nuclear-powered able to serve the majority of unmanned NASA missions Design concepts The conceptual designs selected a r e presented and The thermal desiqn is such that A r e a c t o r -A cost analysis indicates that use of the two standardized spacei 7 -1 7 -3 7-3 7 -6 8-1 8 -3 9 -1 A-1 A-10 iii Source vii LIST OF TABLBS Table Number 2 . 1 Reference RTG P a r a m e t e r s 2 . 2 Reference Brayton P a r a m e t e r s 2 . 3 Reference Reactor/TE P a r a m e t e r s 3. 1 RTG -Astronomy Missions 3. 2 RTG -Physics Missions 3 . 3 RTG -Comm/Nav 3. 4 RTG -Earth ObserV 3. 5 RTG o r Brayton -Physics Missions 3 . 6 RTG o r Brayton -Comm/Nav 3. 7 RTG or Brayton -E a r t h Observ 3 . 8 Brayton -Comm/Nav 3. 9 3. 10 Brayton -Large Astron. Observ. 3. 11 Reactor Missions 3. 1 2 Mission Characteristics, L e s s than 503 Watts Brayton -E a r t h Observ Required 3. 1 3 Mission Characteristics, Over 500 Watts Required 3. 14 Selected Missions for Design Evaluation environmental factors. F o r example, the same basic nuclear generator (MHW-RTG) is planned to be used in e a r t h orbit (LES 8 / 9 ) and for deep-space missions (Mariner/ Jupiter-Saturn). Moreover, the availability of solar-independent waste heat from the nuclear systems should permit the design of a thermal-control system which is largely orbit-and mission-independent, and which permits the adaptation of various types of mission equipment without redesign of the standard spacecraft. heat can be used to compensate for variations in s o l a r input, e a r t h reflection, and load power consumption, thus maintaining equipment temperature within acceptable limits f o r different orbits and mission-power profiles. This waste 1 -2
doi:10.2172/1033376 fatcat:24wv5vxhfna7pemcpgfzaahhne