SUBJECT: M.S. Thesis Presentation
BY: Rory Myers
TIME: Friday, April 19, 2024, 1:00 p.m.
PLACE: Boggs, 3-47
TITLE: Integrated Steady-State System Package for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Analysis
COMMITTEE: Dr. Dan Kotlyar, Chair (NRE)
Dr. Bojan Petrovic (NRE)
Dr. Fan Zhang (NRE)


Nuclear thermal propulsion is an evolving technology that can be utilized for long-distance space travel. This technology yields the advantage of high thrust efficiencies that provides an edge over the accustomed chemical propulsion processes. Therefore, an examination of potential application arrangements is necessary to enhance its feasibility. The development of nuclear thermal propulsion requires a comprehensive understanding of the property developments throughout operation. This thesis investigates the method of achieving a steady-state solution and applying it to a system. To do so involves full implementation of the turbopump and appropriate system methodology. This includes linking the tank, chamber, fuel, moderator, nozzle, reflector, and piping to the turbopump. The intertwining of these components enables the development of the turbopump solution to map operability in regard to the necessary chamber conditions required to match the desired specific impulse of the rocket. To expand the steady-state analysis, an investigation of the dimensionality is necessary as proper implementation of thermal-hydraulic and thermo-mechanical physics involves expansion beyond state-point analysis. Verification of the package is done through the comparison of previous investigations into similar system designs. Furthermore, sensitivity studies are used to benchmark the capabilities of the package and investigate potential restraints of the system.