Abstract

Energy sources powering space missions range from highly energetic nuclear reactions to short-lifetime and low-output batteries. The proper selection of a power system is dependent on the mission duration and destination and oftentimes energy sources that may be optimal for the former may be unsuitable for the latter. Various limitations of these power sources hinder the capacity for regular and frequent space exploration. However, the ability to harvest heat for electrical power generation would allow for long-distance and long-duration missions at a reduced cost. By employing a regulated, self-propagating, exothermic chemical reaction between solid fuel and oxidizer, we hope to devise a slow-burning reactant system capable of generating heat at a harvestable rate. Eighteen energy-dense fuel and oxidizer combinations were selected to assess for their slow-propagating potential. One ceramic and one graphite propagation cell were designed to monitor combustion along a linear length of pyrolant powder and to measure reaction temperatures. Each reaction was ignited through heating of a nichrome wire placed at one end of the pyrolant mixture and four thermocouples were placed at 1 cm intervals along the length of powder following the wire. In addition to the propagation cell, a multi-step selection process was devised to evaluate each pyrolant. By this process, the pyrolant mixture between lithium peroxide and boron was selected, and the best propagation rate achieved by this system was measured to be 1.49 cm/s.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2021

Semester

Summer

Advisor

Kapat, Jayanta

Degree

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)

College

College of Engineering and Computer Science

Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Degree Program

Mechanical Engineering; Thermo-Fluids Track

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0008634;DP0025365

URL

https://purls.library.ucf.edu/go/DP0025365

Language

English

Release Date

August 2021

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

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