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2020 ANS Virtual Winter Meeting
November 15–19, 2020
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More from UWC 2020: Round 2
This year’s Utility Working Conference had a dynamic opening plenary and a packed roster of informative sessions. Following are recaps of some of the 2:00 p.m. (EDT) sessions that took place.
Don't miss Newswire's coverage of the opening plenary and the sessions at 12:00 pm.
F.R. Chang Díaz
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 43 | Number 1 | January 2003 | Pages 3-9
Overview | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST03-A11963555
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The development of the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) was initiated in the late 1970s to address a critical requirement for fast, high-power interplanetary space transportation. While not being a fusion rocket, it nevertheless borrows heavily from that technology and takes advantage of the natural topology of open-ended magnetic systems. In addition to its high power density and high exhaust velocity, VASIMR is capable of “constant power throttling” a feature, which allows in-flight mission-optimization of thrust and specific impulse to enhance performance and reduce trip time. A NASA-led, research team, involving industry, academia and government facilities is pursuing the development of this concept in the United States. The technology can be validated, in the near term, in venues such as the International Space Station, where it can also serve as both a drag compensation device and a plasma contactor for the orbital facility. Other near-Earth applications in the commercial and scientific satellite sectors are also envisioned. This presentation covers the evolution of the VASIMR concept to its present status, as well as recent accomplishments in our understanding of the physics. Approaches and collaborative programs addressing the major technical challenges will also be presented.