Accession Number : ADA317264

Title :   Design and Testing of a Low Cost Solar Thermal Rocket for Orbit Transfer.

Descriptive Note : Technical paper,

Corporate Author : SRS TECHNOLOGIES HUNTSVILLE AL

Personal Author(s) : Gierow, P. A. ; Clayton, W. R. ; Cody, J. C.

Report Date : DEC 1995

Pagination or Media Count : 8

Abstract : Solar thermal propulsion offers the capability to transfer payloads from low earth orbit to high orbits at much lower propulsive stage mass and transport cost than with current propulsion systems. The performance benefits of solar propulsion depend primarily on achieving propellant working temperatures on the order of 2273 K (4091 0R). The high propellant temperatures require the efficient design of an absorber which can transfer the incident solar energy into the propellant working fluid. This paper will present the design of an un-insulated, non-isothermal absorber. The absorber design utilizes a secondary concentrator to heat the absorber. The absorber is constructed from high temperature material such as plasma sprayed tungsten or carbon-carbon carbon-composite. The paper will present recent results of the absorber which was fabricated then tested at the Air Force Phillips L%boratory's Solar lab located at Edwards AFB, CA. The design process also included analytical studies and performance projections for the solar rocket tests. Comparisons between the analytical results and actual test results will be presented.

Descriptors :   *SOLAR ROCKETS, TEST AND EVALUATION, ORBITS, TEMPERATURE, AIR FORCE, PAYLOAD, EARTH ORBITS, LOW ORBIT TRAJECTORIES, MATERIALS, HIGH TEMPERATURE, SECONDARY, EFFICIENCY, COSTS, PROPELLANTS, PROPULSION SYSTEMS, CARBON CARBON COMPOSITES, SOLAR ENERGY, CONCENTRATION(COMPOSITION), FLUIDS, TRANSFER, HEAT, PLASMA SPRAYING, TUNGSTEN, CORN.

Subject Categories : Rocket Engines

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE