An air force technologists perspective on the military utility of space nuclear power Conference Paper uri icon


  • 1991 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. Air Force technologists at the Phillips Laboratory have studied the integration and use of space nuclear power (SNP) with DoD missions. The missions studied include tactical warning and attack assessment, space based radar, space surveillance, and electric orbit transfer. Based on the results and conclusions of these studies, the AF, DOE, and SDIO initiated a joint program aimed at developing thermionic technology in parallel to the SP-100 program. The goal of this joint program is to develop compact, survivable SNP as a cost effective power system option for mission applications in the early 21st century. Key elements of the program include developing a baseline thermionic SNP system design, assessing Soviet thermionic technology, demonstrating critical technologies, and developing the infrastructure for a viable flight demonstration program, should such an option be pursued.

published proceedings

  • AIAA/NASA/OAI Conference on Advanced SEI Technologies, 1991

author list (cited authors)

  • Schuller, M., & Mulder, M. D.

complete list of authors

  • Schuller, M||Mulder, MD

publication date

  • January 1991