Analyzing the engineering feasibility of the direct fusion drive

JAIN, Yuvraj and KAKADE, Priyanka (2023). Analyzing the engineering feasibility of the direct fusion drive. Acta Astronautica, 206, 57-71.

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The Direct Fusion Drive (DFD) and its terrestrial counterpart, the Princeton Field Reversed Configuration Reactor, have seen significant developments in the past decade. Various groups conducted detailed research on the required specifications of the engine and associated technology for power delivery to onboard avionics and payloads. Multiple studies have also addressed the thrust generation mechanism using empirical specific power scaling relations and plasma flow simulations. Recent studies have designed spacecraft for missions to Earth’s second Lagrange point, Mars, transneptunian bodies like Pluto, and the neighboring star systems Alpha Centauri A and B. However, significant work is needed to design the engine components in detail using scientific scaling relations and ab inito calculations to develop the physical systems for prototyping and testing. After critically analyzing the reference design of the DFD and the underlying fusion reactor, this paper addresses the technological gaps and suggests avenues to improve specifications toward targets outlined in previous studies while considering costs. Further, the authors present a prototype engine and magnetohydrodynamic power conversion system design to study the engineering hurdles relevant to the practical implementation of the DFD.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** Article version: AM ** From Elsevier via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for AM version of this article starting on 08-02-2023: **Journal IDs: issn 00945765 **History: issued 10-02-2023; accepted 06-02-2023
Identification Number:
Page Range: 57-71
SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2023 15:08
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 17:01

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