Radiation enhanced dissociation of hydrogen in nuclear rockets

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Abstract

The effect of radiation induced dissociation of hydrogen gas in nuclear rockets is studied. The dissociation degree is obtained by solving rate equations, which include the fast-ion induced dissociation and ionization of atomic and molecular hydrogens. Analytical formulae are used to estimate a change in the viscosity and the specific impulse. We have found that the fast-ion induced dissociation plays an important role in enhancing the specific impulse for nuclear rocket concepts using hydrogen gas at low pressures (< 0.1 MPa) and low temperatures (< 3000 K). It is also shown that the specific impulse is enhanced by mixing helium-3, lithium-6, boron-10, or uranium-235 with hydrogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE 28th Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, 1992
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
EventAIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE 28th Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, 1992 - Nashville, United States
Duration: Jul 6 1992Jul 8 1992

Other

OtherAIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE 28th Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, 1992
CountryUnited States
CityNashville
Period7/6/927/8/92

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