publication . Conference object . Part of book or chapter of book . 2004

Feasibility and Performance of the Microwave Thermal Rocket Launcher

Kevin Parkin; Fred E. C. Culick;
Open Access
  • Published: 30 Mar 2004 Journal: AIP Conference Proceedings (issn: 0094-243X, Copyright policy)
  • Publisher: AIP
  • Country: United States
Abstract
Beamed-energy launch concepts employing a microwave thermal thruster are feasible in principle, and microwave sources of sufficient power to launch tons into LEO already exist. Microwave thermal thrusters operate on an analogous principle to nuclear thermal thrusters, which have experimentally demonstrated specific impulses exceeding 850 seconds. Assuming such performance, simple application of the rocket equation suggests that payload fractions of 10% are possible for a single stage to orbit (SSTO) microwave thermal rocket. We present an SSTO concept employing a scaled X-33 aeroshell. The flat aeroshell underside is covered by a thin-layer microwave absorbent h...
Subjects
free text keywords: Caltech Library Services, Thermal rocket, Payload fraction, Propulsion, Thermal, Aeroshell, Physics, Aerospace engineering, business.industry, business, Payload, Rocket, business.product_category, Microwave
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Part of book or chapter of book . 2004
http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.17...
Conference object . 2004
Provider: Crossref
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