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Proceedings Paper

Nuclear-Pumped Lasers For Space Application
Author(s): W. T. Naff; F. W. French
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Paper Abstract

The value of direct nuclear-pumped lasers (DNPL's) for space application has been appraised in a weight scaling analysis. The analysis showed that the weight of closed-cycle space-based DNPL systems tends to be dominated by cooling facilities. DNPL cooling was investigated using a heat sink, by boiling water with steam exhausted to space, by using a refrigeration cycle, and by using passive radiators. The passive radiator coupled with a reactor constituted an excitation system with no significant expendables. The lack of expendables began to yield significant weight advantages over conventional pumping schemes when longer operating times were approached. The area of the passive radiator scales inversely with the fourth power of temperature. It was concluded that DNPL's which can operate with high efficiency, at high temperature and with low flow requirements are best suited for space applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 September 1979
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 0183, Space Optics II, (27 September 1979); doi: 10.1117/12.957409
Show Author Affiliations
W. T. Naff, W. J. Schafer Associates, Incorporated (United States)
F. W. French, W. J. Schafer Associates, Incorporated (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0183:
Space Optics II
Charles L. Wyman, Editor(s)

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