Author Topic: Role of NTR/BNTR/NEP in future architectures  (Read 151578 times)

Offline Asteroza

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Re: Role of NTR/BNTR/NEP in future architectures
« Reply #500 on: 12/26/2017 10:13 PM »
The idea is that it doesn't need cooling. It just incandesces at a certain temperature. Like the filament of an incandescent bulb the material has to be able to withstand that temperature. Overheating would imply a different temperature. You would just turn down your reactor. You are only interested in heat being dissipated through incandescence.

I don't think this would work for pumped lasers because they always need cooling because they will always have high entropy heat that has to be dissipated in addition to the low entropy laser beam.

I also like the idea of beamed laser light, but for this thread the subject is NEP. I can think of reasons people may want this autonomy in the future but that is way off topic. Just treat it as a technical problem.

I was just thinking about my incandescent idea again. I googled around and found this:

miniature power generator converts infrared to electricity

As a minor followup, Sandia labs were working on the FALCON (Fission Activated Laser CONcept) nuclear pumped laser in the early to mid 90's, for a 10-100MW CW laser, ostensibly as an alternative to electric lasers in support of Dr. Kare's beamed power heat exchanger SSTO work, and other civil uses like fancy pants thick welding. Sandia hasn't done much with it since the SDI program closed, but felt the technology is mostly novel uses of existing mature technologies, with a low pressure reactor design.

trolling around the OSTI archives for FALCON brings up a few more details, such as the interesting takeaway that Dr. Kare's beamed power rule of thumb (1MW/1 Kg payload) may actually extend up 1MW/3Kg.