1998-09-28

An AJAX Technology Advanced SSTO Design Concept 985527

This paper presents an advanced single stage-to-orbit (SSTO) design concept based on our understanding of Russian AJAX technologies. The concept brings together a unique set of subsystem components to enhance the performance of an advanced combined cycle engine powered SSTO design concept. A magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) generator-accelerator energy bypass system is used to maintain subsonic flow in the engine combustion chamber. And, an electromagnetic drag reduction system is used to reduce wave and base drag during ascent and reentry. The performance of the advanced highly reusable SSTO is compared to a reference advanced air-breathing rocket-based combined cycle ejector ram-scramjet powered SSTO design concept. The results indicate an approximate 15% performance increase compared to the reference design.

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