Atomic hydrogen as a launch vehicle propellant
- Palaszewski, Bryan A.
- JAN 1, 1990.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
Free-to-read Unrestricted online access
- An analysis of several atomic hydrogen launch vehicles was conducted. A discussion of the facilities and the technologies that would be needed for these vehicles is also presented. The Gross Liftoff Weights (GLOW) for two systems were estimated; their specific impulses (I sub sp) were 750 and 1500 lb(sub f)/s/lb(sub m). The atomic hydrogen launch vehicles were also compared to the currently planned Advanced Launch System design concepts. Very significant GLOW reductions of 52 to 58 percent are possible over the Advanced Launch System designs. Applying atomic hydrogen propellants to upper stages was also considered. Very high I(sub sp) (greater than 750 lb(sub f)/s/lb(sub m)) is needed to enable a mass savings over advanced oxygen/hydrogen propulsion. Associated with the potential benefits of high I(sub sp) atomic hydrogen are several challenging problems. Very high magnetic fields are required to maintain the atomic hydrogen in a solid hydrogen matrix. The magnetic field strength was estimated to be 30 kilogauss (3 Tesla). Also the storage temperature of the propellant is 4 K. This very low temperature will require a large refrigeration facility for the launch vehicle. The design considerations for a very high recombination rate for the propellant are also discussed. A recombination rate of 210 cm/s is predicted for atomic hydrogen. This high recombination rate can produce very high acceleration for the launch vehicle. Unique insulation or segmentation to inhibit the propellant may be needed to reduce its recombination rate.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19900004968.
Accession ID: 90N14284.
AIAA PAPER 90-0715.
Aerospace Sciences Meeting; 8-11 Jan. 1990; Reno, NV; United States.
- No Copyright.
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