Unlike gas turbine power systems which consume chemical or nuclear energy, the energy consumption and/or cycle efficiency should not be a suitable criterion for evaluating the performance of space solar Brayton cycle power. A new design goal, life cycle cost, can combine all the power system characteristics, such as mass, area, and station-keeping propellant, into a unified criterion. Effects of pressure ratio, recuperator effectiveness, and compressor inlet temperature on life cycle cost were examined. This method would aid in making design choices for a space power system.

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