Space rocket engine on the base of the reactor-pumped laser for the interplanetary flights and earth orbital applications

Gulevich, Andrey V.; Dyachenko, Peter P.; Kukharchuk, Oleg F.; Zrodnikov, Anatoly V.
January 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 504 Issue 1, p1202
Academic Journal
In this report the concept of vehicle-based reactor-laser engine for long time interplanetary and interorbital (LEO to GEO) flights is proposed. Reactor-pumped lasers offer the perspective way to create on the base of modern nuclear and lasers technologies the low mass and high energy density, repetitively pulsed vehicle-based laser of average power 100 kW. Nowadays the efficiency of nuclear-to-optical energy conversion reached the value of 2–3%. The demo model of reactor-pumped laser facility is under construction in Institute for Physics and Power Engineering (Obninsk, Russia). It enable us to hope that using high power laser on board of the vehicle could make the effective space laser engine possible. Such engine may provide the high specific impulse ∼1000–2000 s with the thrust up to 10–100 n. Some calculation results of the characteristics of vehicle-based reactor-laser thermal engine concept are also presented. © 2000 American Institute of Physics.


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