Institute of Aerospace Systems

Germany

Institute of Aerospace Systems

Germany
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Tinsley T.,National Nuclear Laboratory | Mason F.,French National Center for Space Studies | Detsis E.,European Science Foundation | Gaia E.,Thales Alenia | And 5 more authors.
Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space, NETS 2015 | Year: 2015

A significant number of exploration missions require nuclear propulsion for which power sources are essential and enabling key assets. Associated technological developments however require important financial efforts that can probably only take place in the frame of an international collaboration, sharing the efforts as this has been the case for the International Space Station. MEGAHIT, funded by the European Commission under the 7 Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, was a supporting action aiming at building a European roadmap for Megawatt level nuclear electric propulsion, in preparation of the Horizon 2020 programme. It concluded in September 2014. MEGAHIT was driven by a consortium coordinated by the European Science Foundation and included CNES, DLR, Keldysh Research Center, the National Nuclear Laboratory from U.K. and Thales Alenia Space Italia. The consortium favoured an open and participative approach in order that all interested stakeholders - research centers, agencies and industry-within consortium or not, can establish common research objectives and initiate research alliances. This approach allowed the building of a scientific and technical community on the topic in Europe and Russia. Potential collaboration opportunities at international level with other space fairing nations were also explored. Megahit adopted an approach in 4 phases. • Phase 1: High level requirements. Collected inputs from space agencies and research centers on missionrelated high level requirements. • Phase 2: Reference vision. Built a reference vision of what system we aim at, and what would be the best technological options. • Phase 3: Technological plans. The rationale was that the best people for establishing technological plans are the stakeholders identified as being able to carry out the development. These stakeholders were associated through discussions and workshops on technologies they have expertise in. Main workshop was held in Brussels on December 2013 and was attended by about a hundred specialists. • Phase 4: Road-maps. Aims at a synthesis of the three previous phases, translating into consistent roadmaps what has been established in terms of key technologies and technological plans. The paper and presentation will provide a summary of the project and conclusions on the progress made. The follow on project named DEMOCRITIOS will be discussed in a separate paper.

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