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Propagating Magnetic Wave Accelerator (PMWAC)

for Manned Deep Space Missions


Helical Transmission Coil
Propagating Magnetic Field
(from 2D MHD calculation)
Magnetized Plasma Toroid
Parameter First Stage Final
System length 5 m 25 m
Plasma mass m
p
: 0.2 mg D
2
(same)
Final plasma velocity: 3x10
5
m/sec (I
sp
=30,000 s) 1x10
6
m/s
Acceleration (Force): 2x10
10
m/s (4 kN) (same)
Thrust Power (0.2 kHz rep) 2 MW 20 MW
Propulsion Requirements for Deep Space
Missions
High Specific Power - (kW
thrust
/kg
spaceship
)
> 1 kW/kg
High (and variable) exhaust velocities v
ex
max v
ex
~10
4
km/s (I
sp
= v
ex
/g ~10
6
s)
Continuous power with near zero maintenance for
months
Trip Time and the Specific Power
Requirement
Accelerating a mass M
ss
over a time implies a power P where:
One defines a characteristic velocity v
c
:
where is the specific power.
The trip time
trip
to go a distance L is given roughly as:

2
2
c
v
ss
M
P
v
c
= ( )
/
2
1 2

3 / 1
3 / 2
trip
c
trip
) kg / kW (
) units al astronomic ( L 2
) months (
v
L
2

=
3
0

d
a
y
s
t
a
y
Mars
Sun
Earth
2 1 0 1 2
2
1
0
1
2
A.U.
A.U.
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
3.5
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
0.5
0
time in days
I
sp
(10
4
s)
[ ]
1
) months (
2
) units al astronomic ( S
8 ) kg / kW (
3

=
for M
ss
~20 MT, P
thrust
=20 MW
Rapid Manned Mars Mission Power Requirement
Velocity and Energy Requirements for Deep
Space Missions
( =1 kW/kg)
Destination x
trip
~2 A.U. (Mars) t
trip
~3 months
x
trip
~10 A.U. (Jupiter) t
trip
~12 months
Characteristic v
Mars
~125 km/sec
Velocity v
J upiter
~250 km/sec
Specific
Mars
~ 8x10
9
J /kg
Energy
J upiter
~ 3x10
10


J /kg
Nuclear Power is Necessary for Deep Space Travel
Propulsion System Exhaust (km/sec)
Chemical 5
Electric 30
FRC at RPPL 250
Thermal Fusion 2000
Fuel Specific Energy
Chemical 1x10
7
J /kg
Fission 5x10
13
J /kg
Fusion 1x10
15
J /kg
=v
char
2
/2t
trip

=v
char
2
/2 = t
trip

Current and Planned Breakeven Fusion Experiments
ITER (MFE) PHD NIF (ICF)
ICF
electron thermal
conduction
ICF
MTF
MFE
PHD
MFE
CT Classical
Tokamak
ITER89-P
Mag. Force >
Material Strength
10
20
10
22
10
24
10
26
10
28
10
30
10
32

Density (m
-3)
10
12
10
9
10
6
10
3
10
0
P
l
a
s
m
a

E
n
e
r
g
y

(
J
)
Plasma Density and Energy Regimes
for Different Fusion Concepts

Shiva Star Facility for MTF


~10 MJ
2 Auto Batteries
~10 MJ
High Voltage Energy Storage
V~120 kV
Low Voltage Storage
V~12 V
Fusion reaction rate R:
R =n
D
n
T
<
DT
v>
At T
p
= 10 keV,
<
DT
v> 10
-22
m
3
/sec
For space-based fusion:
G ~3 (thermal electrical)
n
burn
~1x10
20
m
-3
sec
To maintain burn:
E
~
burn
Lawson Criterion: ~ n
E
~1x10
20
m
-3
sec
Plasma pressure <Magnet Yield Limit (2x10
4
Atm):
(T
p
=10 keV) n
fus
=1x10
24
m
-3
and
E
=100 sec
Pulsed High Density (PHD) Fusion Basics
Field Reversed Configuration (FRC) Propulsion
External Field Coils
Center Line
Azimuthal Current
Open External Field Lines
Separatrix
Closed Field Lines
Propellant (plasma) is magnetically insulated from thruster wall
No plasma detachment problem
-plasma (FRC) contained separate a magnetic envelope
Plasma is thermally isolated from thruster walls
-fully ionized plasma is vacuum isolated
Both thrust and Isp can be varied easily over a wide range
-change of gas fill pressure is all that is required
Thrust and Isp are decoupled from plasma thermal energy
-with v
dir
>>v
th
theoretical efficiency can approach unity
Enables a direct, simple method to achieve fusion propulsion
with minimum investment
Flowing Liquid Metal
Heat Exchanger/ Breeder
~20 m
BURN CHAMBER
(R
c
~13 mm)
5 m
1 m
Magnetic
Expansion Nozzle
Accelerator Source
From past FRC experiments:
E
~
N
=1.3x10
-12
x
s
r
p
2
n
1/2
(x
s
=r
p
/R
c
)
with n =n
fus
, r
p
=1 cm (R
c
=1.3 cm)
with l
p
/r
p
=5 E
p
=50 kJ
rep rate =200 Hz 17 MW directed thrust power
PHD Fusion Rocket
FRC formed at low energy (~5 kJ ) and relatively low density (~10
21
m
-3
)
FRC accelerated and compressed by low energy propagating magnetic field (<0.4 T).
FRC is decelerated, compressed, and heated as it enters high field burn chamber
FRC expands and cools converting thermal and magnetic energy into directed thrust
Axial Position (m)
0 2.0 4.0
Shot 238

R
a
d
i
u
s


(
c
m
)
40
0
Formation Accelerator Confinement
FRC mass:
0.4 mg Deuterium
FRC terminal velocity:
v
d
= 2.5x10
5
m/s
Average FRC acceleration:
(5 - 30 sec)
a
avg
= 9x10
9
m/s
2
FRC Energy (final)
15 kJ
FRC Acceleration and Heating Expts. at UW
Thermal Conversion of
FRC directed Energy
0 100 200
0.6
0.4
0.2
0
T
p
(keV)
time (sec)
First pass
of FRC
FRC after reflection
in downstream mirror
B
upstream
B
dc
B
down
0
Upper plot of flux contours taken from numerical calculations for discharge 1647
during the acceleration of an FRC at UW.
Bottom plot illustrates phasing of the accelerator coils
Each coil in turn is switched on for one complete cycle.
Phase of each coil at time of calculation is indicated by arrow
FRC Acceleration Method Employed in UW Expts.
For transmission line:
For shell capacitor (per unit length):
Inductance (per unit length):
From these eqs. Solving for R
c

and finally for the phase velocity:
C
P
Power Supply
Switch
C
L
Dielectric Shell
Outer conductor
Inner helical conductor
C
L
Z
C L
1
2
p
v
2
= =
V
S 0 c
R 2
C

=
2
n
2
c
R
0
L =
2
B
2
c
S
V 2
c
R

=
n 2
c
2 / 1
S
3
c
R
V 2
P
v


=
s / m
n R
10 x 35 . 1
v
5 . 1
c
5
P
=

S
=5x10
6
V/m
=2500*
0
V =25 kV
BaTiO
3
1 cm
v
P
= 10
6
m/s B = 0.5 T
for R
c
= 5.5 cm n = 10 turns/m
Propagating Magnetic Wave Accelerator
213456
16
V0
1
17
16
X4
sw
I
L
1
17
17

10
11
VLoad
24
RG
10K
1 2
L1
64n
2
9
C1
100n
2 3
L2
64n
3
13
C2
100n
3 4
L3
64n
4
14
C3
100n
4 5
L4
64n
5
15
C4
100n
5 6
L5
64n
6
18
C5
100n
6 7
L6
64n
7
19
C6
100n
7 8
L7
64n
8
20
C7
100n
8 21
L8
64n
21
12 9 13
R2
.0001
13 14
R3
.0001
14 15
R4
.0001
15 18
R5
.0001
18 19
R6
.0001
19 20
R7
.0001
20 12
R8
.0001
10
11
RLoad
1
11 11
10 10
25 17
CS
1u
10 10
11 11
1 1

1
25
VSource
1 1
25
25
6
V6
IL10
21 22
L9
64n
22
23
C9
100n
12 23
R9
.0001
R1
.0001
24 9
22 10
L10
64n
10
11
C10
100n
11 23
R10
.0001
C8
100n
10 10 10
10
11 11 11
11
ILoad
25 24
LS
200n
24
24 24 24
IR1
K12
L1
K13
L1
K14
L1
K23
L2
K24
L2
K25
L2
K34
L3
K35
L3
K36
L3
K45
L4
K46
L4
K47
L4
K56
L5
K57
L5
K58
L5
K67
L6
K68
L6
K69
L6
K78
L7
K79
L7
K710
L7
K89
L8
K810
L8
K910
L9
IL6
3
30
20
10
0
-10
-1 0 1 2 3 4
-1 0 1 2 3 4
Vacuum load
Dissipative load (plasma)
1 6 10 1 6 10
1 6 10
40
I
(kA)
Time (sec) Time (sec)
PMWAC SPICE Calculation for Constant Z
R
(m)
0.2
0
0.2
Z (m)
6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Time
(sec)
5
10
15
17.5
20
Resistive 2D MHD Calculation of FRC with
Propagating Magnetic Field (0.4 T)
6.0
4.0
2.0
0
v
FRC
(10
5
m/s)
0 5 10 15 20
Time (sec)
T
(keV)
1.2
0.8
0.4
0
T
i
T
e
V
accel
= 30 kV, M
FRC
=
Time
(sec)
5
10
15
20
25
30
R
(m)
Z
(m)
0.2
0
0.2
6 5 4 3 2 1
0
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
v
FRC
(10
5
m/s)
4.0
3.0
2.0
1.0
0
M
FRC
=0.2 mg
T (sec)
a =1.2x10
9
g
V =3.5 kV B
acc
=0.2 T
PMWAC Can Also Be Employed to Provide
High I
sp
, High Thrust Electrical propulsion
Gas feed
Capacitor
SS Switch
Coil straps
Strip-line
feedplates
Magnetic field
Magnetized plasma
Inductive Magnetized Plasma Accelerator Source
Developed with NASA STTR funding at MSNW
PMWAC Development Program
Phase 1:
Determine Accelerator Requirements and Parameters
Design Proto-Accelerator for Electrical Validation
Construct Accelerator and Measure Electrical Performance
Develop Full Electrical Model with Plasma Interaction
Phase II:
Design and Construct Full-scale Accelerator
Install Accelerator and Demonstrate FRC Acceleration
to Fusion Velocities (~10
6
m/s).