Nuclear and future flight propulsion-modeling the thrust of the direct fusion drive

Stephanie J. Thomas, Michael A. Paluszek, Samuel A. Cohen, Alexander Glasser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


Direct Fusion Drive (DFD) is a revolutionary fusion propulsion concept that would produce electric power and propulsion from a single, compact fusion reactor. DFD research is being supported by several NASA grants, including a Phase II NIAC grant and a STTR. This paper presents the latest work on modeling the thrust of the DFD engine. We present new magnetic field shapes for the scrape-off-layer, the critical region where energy from the fusion products is transferred to the propellant. The thrust model includes the relationship between the thrust, exhaust velocity, and efficiency obtained from numerical simulation of the scrape-off-layer. The paper includes a brief introduction to DFD before discussing the numerical tools and presenting results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2018 Joint Propulsion Conference
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624105708
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Event54th AIAA/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, 2018 - Cincinnati, United States
Duration: Jul 9 2018Jul 11 2018

Publication series

Name2018 Joint Propulsion Conference


Conference54th AIAA/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference, 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Nuclear and future flight propulsion-modeling the thrust of the direct fusion drive'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this