Monte Carlo simulation of muonic catalysis in nuclear fusion space propulsion

Beg, OA ORCID:, Beg, TA, Kadir, A, Leonard, HJ, Zubair, A and Kuharat, S 2020, Monte Carlo simulation of muonic catalysis in nuclear fusion space propulsion , in: ICAMET 2022: 16th International Conference on Aero-Mechanical Engineering & Technology, 21-22 March 2022, Dubai. (In Press)

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With ever-increasing interest in manned space missions, engineers are exploring a variety of exciting concepts for deep space propulsion systems. The most promising thusfar are nuclear propulsion systems (NPS) which may be fission-based or fusion-based. Whereas fission involves the splitting of atomic nuclei(and is the primary method employed in terrestrial nuclear power stations), fusion involves their combination and produces significantly more energy (fusion is the basic process for formation of stars). In this regard, muonic catalyzed fusion (MCF) propulsion systems are attracting some attention. MCF is a process whereby the electrons of hydrogen fuel are replaced by a muon, which is 207 times larger than an electron. The replacement of an electron by a muon reduces the Bohr radius of the atom by a considerable amount and furthermore reduces the Coulomb barrier by blocking the Coulomb repulsion between nuclei, which in turn modifies beneficially the cross-section characteristics. This allows the atomic nuclei to approach one another more closely and increase the chance of overlapping wave functions, resulting in an increase in the probability of fusion reaction. To provide a deeper insight into the mechanism of MCF (also known as CF μ) nuclear propulsion systems, in this work a muonic catalyzed fusion cycle is investigated using MonteCarlo simulation. This simulation starts when a muon enters the deuterium-tritium mixture. The cross-sections of the processes which arise in the CF μ cycleare utilized and this is the same process as that which the muonic atoms experience in their frequent collisions. To simulate the dynamic process, a numerical code based on Monte-Carlo simulation is deployed. This code also features a time parameter in order to enable computation of the time spectrum for different events, which occur when the CF μ cycle is reached. Additionally,the time spectrum for neutrons resulting from fusion is evaluated. Furthermore, the energyspectrum of the muonic atoms is calculated at different times and these results are depicted graphically. It is feasible to determine the fusion yield (χ), the cycle rate (λc) and, also, the total sticking coefficient (W)in different hydrogen isotopic concentration conditions using the MonteCarlo computations. To validate the present computations, results are compared with alternative computational methods and experimental data. The simulations demonstrate the feasibility of MCF-based nuclear space propulsion drives.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
Journal or Publication Title: ICAMET 2022: 16th International Conference on Aero-Mechanical Engineering & Technology
Publisher: World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology (WASET)
Depositing User: OA Beg
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2020 13:43
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 04:25

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