The Brayton Cycle for Space Power 630394

This paper reviews the basic features of the Brayton cycle and discusses the selection of such cycle parameters as working fluid, pressure, and temperature. System performance, weight, and reliability characteristics are then considered in order to determine the suitability of this type of system for the intended space applications. It is shown that the Brayton cycle can be considered suitable for low-power solar and intermediate-power nuclear applications where low specific weight is not a critical requirement. To achieve the low specific weights required for electrical propulsion missions, turbine-inlet temperatures in the 3000 R region at power levels in the 500–1000 kw range appear to be necessary.


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