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Dusty Plasma Nuclear Reactor Design

Posted by: sanman - Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:47 pm
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Dusty Plasma Nuclear Reactor Design 
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Space Walker
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Post Dusty Plasma Nuclear Reactor Design   Posted on: Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:47 pm
Here's a new and interesting design for a nuclear reactor which I've never seen before:

http://www.rbsp.info/rbs/RbS/PDF/aiaa05.pdf

It's harvesting the kinetic energy of fission fragments via magnetic fields, converting it directly into electrical energy. They say that past obstacles over heat build-up are addressed by having the fuel as a dusty plasma, which has high enough surface area to alleviate heat build-up through thermionic emission.

I wonder if this could somehow be adapted to a nuclear rocket design? Perhaps instead of the magnetic fields converting the fission fragment kinetic energy into electricity, the magnetic fields could instead somehow directly transfer the kinetic energy of the fission fragments to a propellant flowstream.

If you create a perturbation in a magnetic field, is it possible to have it propagate to something else also in that field?
If you have these fission fragments shooting through a magnetic field, can their kinetic energy be transposed onto other objects (particles) via that magnetic field? If so, then I wonder what the conversion efficiency would be?


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Post Re: Dusty Plasma Nuclear Reactor Design   Posted on: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:56 pm
Sounds similar to a gas-core thermal nuclear design. Those are only paper at this point, but a theoretical ISP of 3000-5000.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_core_reactor_rocket
Also:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_thermal_rocket

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Post Re: Dusty Plasma Nuclear Reactor Design   Posted on: Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:15 am
Yeah, but dust might not leak as easily as gas could. It could also operate at a lower temperature.


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