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ADVANCED POWER SOURCES FOR SPACE MISSIONS Committee on Advanced Space Based High Power Technologies Energy Engineering Board Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1989

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National Academy Press . 2101 Constitution Avenue, N.W. . Washington, D. C. 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is au- tonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samuel O. Thier is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. This report and the study on which it was based were supported by Contract No. F49620- 85-C-107 from the United States Air Force to the National Academy of Sciences. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 88-63907 ISBN 0-309-03999-1 Cover art: Robert T. McCall. The cover depicts an artist's conception of a directed-energy space weapon, based on suggestions provided by scientists and engineers working on advanced space weapons. Such a weapon might form part of a U.S. strategic defense system to be used against nuclear missiles. The directed-energy weapon shown at the lower part of the spacecraft is a free-electron laser emitting laser beams downward toward an enemy target. Other related concepts that mav eventually ~ _ ., .. _. . ... . . be part of an actual weapons system in space are also shown. 1 he steady "housekeeping power needed to operate the weapons platform in peacetime is provided by an SP-100 space nuclear reactor, in the upper part of the painting. Here the "battle mode" power is produced chemically by the reaction of hydrogen with oxygen, which produces high-pressure steam to drive turbogenerators. The resulting steam effluent is then released into space, as shown, during battle. The output optical sensors are protected by large clamshell doors until actual operation. Small kinetic-energy vehicles are shown being released as a defense against antisatellite missiles. Actual Strategic Defense Initiative weapons platforms may not closely resemble the system presented in this painting, in which Robert McCall has endeavored to capture the power and essence of a potential space defense system. Copyright (I) 1989 by the National Academy of Sciences Printed in the United States of America

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COMMITTEE ON ADVANCED SPACE BASED HIGH POWER TECHNOLOGIES JOSEPH G. GAVIN, JR. (Chairman), Grumman Corporation, Bethpage, New York TOMMY R. BURKES, Texas Tech University ROBERT E. ENGLISH, Consultant, Cleveland, Ohio NICHOLAS J. GRANT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology GERALD L. KULCINSKI, University of Wisconsin, Madison JEROME P. MULLIN, Sundstrand Corporation, Rockford, Illinois K. LEE PEDDICORD, Texas A&M University CAROLYN K. PURVIS, NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio W. JAMES SARJEANT, State University of New York at Buffalo J. PACE VANDEVENDER, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico Energy Engineering Board Liaison S. WILLIAM GOUSE, The Mitre Corporation, McLean, Virginia Technical Adviser Z. ]. JOHN STEKLY, Intermagnetics General Corporation, Acton, Massachusetts Staff ARCHIE I.. WOOD, Director, Energy Engineering Board ROBERT COHEN, Study Director ANN M. STARK, Study Assistant - ~ 111

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ENERGY ENGINEERING BOARD JOHN A. TILLINGHAST (Chairman), Tiltech, Portsmouth, New Hampshire DONALD B. ANTHONY, Standard Oil Technology Services and Research, Houston, Texas RALPH C. CAVANAGH, Natural Resources Defense Council, San Francisco, California THELMA ESTRIN, University of California at Los Angeles CHARLES F. GAY, Arco Solar, Inc., Camarillo, California WILI`IAM R. GOULD, Southern California Edison Company, Rosemead, California S. WILLIAM GOUSE, The Mitre Corporation, McLean, Virginia NICHOLAS J. GRANT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology JOSEPH M. HENDRIE, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York WILLIAM W. HOGAN, Harvard University ARTHUR E. HUMPHREY, Center for Molecular Bioscience and Biotechnology, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania BAINE P. KERR, Pennzoi! Company, Houston, Texas HENRY R. LINDEN, Gas Research Institute, Chicago, Illinois THOMAS H. PIGFORD, University of California, Berkeley ADEL F. SAROF1M, Massachusetts Institute of Technology MAXINE L. SAVITZ, Garrett Ceramic Component Division, Torrance, California GLENN A. SCHURMAN, Chevron Corporation (Ret.), San Francisco, California WESTON M. STACEY, JR., Georgia Institute of Technology RICHARD STEIN, The Stein Partnership, New York, New York THOMAS E. STELSON, Georgia Institute of Technology LEON STOCK, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois GEORGE S. TOLLEY, University of Chicago DAVID C. WHITE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology RICHARD WILSON, Harvard University BERTRAM WOLFE, General Electric Nuclear Energy, San Jose, California 1V

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Technical Advisory Pane] HAROLD M. AGNEW, GA Technologies, Inc., Solana Beach, California FLOYD L. CULLER, JR., Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, California KENT F. HANSEN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology MILTON PIKARSKY, The City College, New York, New York CHAUNCEY STARR, Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, California HERBERT H. WOODSON, The University of Texas at Austin Staff ARCHIE L. WOOD, Director DRUSILLA BARNES, Administrative Secretary ROBERT COHEN, Senior Program Officer FREDERIC MARCH, Senior Program Officer CARLITA M. PERRY, Administrative Associate ROSENA A. RICKS, Administrative Secretary ANN M. STARK, Administrative Assistant JAMES J. ZUCCHETTO, Senior Program Officer

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Preface This study, conducted under the auspices of the Energy Engineering Board of the National Research Council, examines the status of and outlook for advanced power sources for space missions. The study resulted from a request by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) for an independent review relating to the space power requirements of its Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). Initial impetus for the study came from the U.S. Air Force Wright Aeronautical Laboratories, at about the time the SDI Organization (SDIO) was being formed in DOD. Initially, the charge to this com- mittee included these tasks: . Evaluate the planning for the development of advanced space- based high-power technologies to determine the best combination of technology options that should be pursued. Critique current SD! power development plans and objectives. . Identify an alternate power program plan that would meet SDI requirements for space-based power. ~ Identify technology development approaches that could lead to enabling power system capabilities for future space-based defensive systems. To examine the relevant but less demanding power needs of other U.S. space missions, the scope of the study was subsequently broad- ened to include consideration of military space power requirements V11

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- V111 PREFA CE other than those of SDIO and of potential civil space power require- ments, especially those of the National Aeronautics and Space Ad- ministration (NASA), where power will be needed for earth-orbital, interplanetary, and lunar-surface rn~ssions. A forerunner to this study, with emphasis on space nuclear power, was conducted by the National Research CounciT's Com- mittee on Advanced Nuclear Systems, under the chairmanship of John M. Deutch. That study led to the report, "Advanced Nuclear Systems for Portable Power in Space, published in 1983. In accordance with its charter, this committee has taken a broad look at candidate power technologies for space missions, both civil and military. At the same time, special emphasis was given to study- ing the specific space power requirements of the SD] program, and possible programmatic courses of action for satisfying them. In the study, technology options were mainly considered for their capability to provide space-based power for applications other than propulsion. On behalf of SDIO, Richard Verga, Robert L. Wiley, David Buden, and Richard G. Honneywell provided useful inputs and co- operation throughout the study. Richard G. Honneywell, of Air Force Wright Aeronautical Laboratories, initiated the request and contract for the study. By the time the committee began its work, the focal point for government technical interaction with the com- mittee had shifted to the SDIO Power Program Office, headed by Richard Verga. The committee received timely, useful briefings and valuable written material from that office, its contractors, and other individuals. David Buden served as a committee member for several months, at which tone he resigned after accepting an offer to become Richard Verga's deputy. [outs o. Cropp and his colleagues at Sandia National Laboratories furnished the comrn~ttee with numerous tech- nical inputs and publications. Phillip N. Mace and Milan Nikolich, of W. J. Schafer Associates, Inc., frequently provided technical and lo- gistical assistance to the committee in that company's capacity as a support-services contractor to SDIO. Arrangements to conduct the study were facilitated by Dennis F. Miller, Director of the Energy Engineering Board until November 1987. He was succeeded by Archie L. Wood in December 1987. Robert Cohen served as Study Director and as Editor of this report. JOSEPH G. GAVIN, JR., Chairman Committee on Advanced Space Based High Power Technologies

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Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 INTRODUCTION 2 SPACE POWER REQUIREMENTS AND SELECTION CRITERIA .. . .. en - - - 9 Overview of space-based power requirements, 9 SDI power requirements for housekeeping, alert, and burst modes, 9 Requirements of military missions other than SDI, 13 Requirements of civil rn~ssions, 14 Commonality of requirements among civil and military missions, 15 Approaches toward selecting space power technologies to meet SDI requirements, 15 Critical issue areas, 17 System considerations, 19 Qualification of power-conditioning subsystems and components, 19 Influence of SDI survivability and vulnerability criteria, 20 Findings, conclusions, and recommendation, 22 IX

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x 3 SPACE POWER SYSTEM OPTIONS AND SELECTION CONSTRAINTS . e ~ ~ e ~ e ~ e ~ ~ ~ e ~ ~ e e e e e e e e e ~ e e e ~ ~ e ~ e Summary of available space power system options, 24 Nonnuclear power for orbital use, 30 Nuclear power for use in space, 34 Ground-based power beamed to orbit. 44 Co-orbiting power sources, 46 Environmental constraints influencing the selection of space power systems, 46 The natural space environment, 46 Orbital environmental impacts, 47 Conclusion and reco~runendation, 51 7 CONTENTS 24 4 NEEDED TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCES IN SPACE POWER SUBSYSTEMS TO MEET SDI REQUIREMENTS 52 Implications of SDI Space Power Architecture System studies for advances needed in power subsystems, 52 Advances needed in high-temperature structural materials technology, 63 Advances needed in power-conditioning and puise- generating technologies, 64 Superconducting materials, 64 Component technology, 65 Findings, conclusion, and recommendation, 66 5 APPROACHES TOWARD ACHIEVING ADVANCES IN CRITICAL POWER TECHNOLOGIES 68 Advancing-thermal management technologies, 68 Heat-rejection considerations, 69 Survivability considerations, 71 Advancing power-conditioning components and technologies, 71 Advancing the design of conductors, 71 Advancement potential of technology for dynamic power- conversion cycles, 75 Advancement potential for alternator technology, 76 Advancing the state of the art in power system components, 78 Materials advances required for the evolving space power technologies, 83 Magnetic materials, 83

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CONTENTS Insulators, 83 High-temperature structural materiab, 84 Conclusion and recommendation, 85 COMMENTARIES ON THE SDI POWER PROGRAM.. Commentary on SDI spacecraft system needs and their impacts on the space power system, 86 Commentary on SDI program issues, 86 Review of the SDI space power program, 87 Commentary on the SDI space power investment strategy, 91 Finding, conclusion, and recommendations, 98 REFERENCES ....... APPENDIXES A. GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS.. B. BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES . . . C. STUDY CHRONOLOGY.... X1 ...86 ...101 ...104 106 .115 D. POSSIBLE IMPACTS OF EFFLUENTS FROM SDI SYSTEMS 121 E. COMPILATION OF STUDY FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS ~ ~. 129 INDEX. . . 135

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ADVANCED OWER SOURCES FOR SPACE MISSIONS

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