Author Topic: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application  (Read 680318 times)

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #600 on: 09/30/2009 08:56 PM »
Even at liquid nitrogen temperatures, I think there is a market for superconductors for power transmission... But my opinion is obviously a minority. For all the talk about efficiency, we aren't willing to put any capital into changing power-lines to this sort of technology, which could drastically reduce line-lossage. It's pretty much just because of high capital cost. Capital has an artificially high opportunity cost when you have the financial services industry fraudulently claiming guaranteed 15-20% rate of return...
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Offline cuddihy

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Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #601 on: 10/02/2009 02:53 AM »
This research bears a lot in common with Polywell in terms of the skepticism with which most greet the implications if it is actually feasible. Where it differs is that it relies on a novel scientific theory whereas the IEC fusion is not only classically understandable, it doesn't challenge any theoretical physicists with new (or rather familiar old)  conceptions of the laws of physics.

I mean whereas with Polywell most just say the engineering won't work as expected (cross field transport or excesive brehmstrahhlung radiation or excessive electron Maxwellianization to name a few) to produce the agreed conditions that cause fusion...whereas this M-E concept challenges the entire, broad cutting edge of theroetical physics.

And, to top it all off you have to pull a few engineering rabbits out of hats to get the thing to have a useful purpose or perhaps even to have an unequivocal evidence.

Clearly you all are on the right track with first proving the theory, then worry about the practical engineering.
« Last Edit: 10/02/2009 03:30 AM by cuddihy »

Offline Star-Drive

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Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #602 on: 10/02/2009 12:04 PM »
Cuddihy:

"Clearly you all are on the right track with first proving the theory, then worry about the practical engineering."

What would you consider a convincing proof of principle test of the M-E?  Woodward's 2009 rotary data appears to be convincing to those who understand the experiment and the pitfalls of same, (the electrostriction issue), but I think an uninitiated scientist could have heart burn with it.
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Offline kkattula

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Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #603 on: 10/02/2009 09:00 PM »
Cuddihy:

"Clearly you all are on the right track with first proving the theory, then worry about the practical engineering."

What would you consider a convincing proof of principle test of the M-E?  Woodward's 2009 rotary data appears to be convincing to those who understand the experiment and the pitfalls of same, (the electrostriction issue), but I think an uninitiated scientist could have heart burn with it.

Oh, levitation in a vacuum chamber should do it.  :)

Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #604 on: 10/02/2009 09:05 PM »
Cuddihy:

"Clearly you all are on the right track with first proving the theory, then worry about the practical engineering."

What would you consider a convincing proof of principle test of the M-E?  Woodward's 2009 rotary data appears to be convincing to those who understand the experiment and the pitfalls of same, (the electrostriction issue), but I think an uninitiated scientist could have heart burn with it.

Oh, levitation in a vacuum chamber should do it.  :)

Even levitated on a reduced-gravity vomit-comet trajectory would convince me, as long as it was well-scrutinized and reproducible by third parties.
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Offline cuddihy

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Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #605 on: 10/02/2009 10:39 PM »
Cuddihy:

"Clearly you all are on the right track with first proving the theory, then worry about the practical engineering."

What would you consider a convincing proof of principle test of the M-E?  Woodward's 2009 rotary data appears to be convincing to those who understand the experiment and the pitfalls of same, (the electrostriction issue), but I think an uninitiated scientist could have heart burn with it.

Well I think you folks are on the right path: keep pushing the envelope with the materials you have available and focus on reducing or eliminating potential losses, biases, and sources of error in measurements until you can attain a more convincing spread between observed M-E effect and the more mundane sources of force. Personally I'm one of those uninitiated who doesn't know anything about electrostriction but the fact that it's the same order of magnitude as the observed effects would make it tough for me to accept a new theory of inertia based on only the published results to date without me also becoming on expert on electrostriction.

For Polywell, it took Bussard and Krall figuring out the design philosophy of aiding rather than preventing electron recirculation before they could obtain low enough electron loss to get convincing levels of electron containment and then well depth. i.e. if they hadn't gone to conformal cans on WB-6 and then obtained neutron counts at those lower potentials, it is likely that Bussard's Google video talk would have been nothing but an interesting coda to an iconoclast's career. Instead it caused enough notice and impact to revive the Navy's interest in the idea and subsequently obtain funding.

Unforunately your team will likely have to delve much deeper into the engineering improvement just to prove that the physics is correct. The credibility level to aim at is the physics knowledge of the average college sophmore BS in engineering or science.

This means you focus on the familiar. i.e. focus on the torque pendulum methods because every one who took physics understands cavendish's experiment. That might mean trying to improve to the point where you get a visible deflection. Or at least where the M-E effects are 4 or more times the electrostrictive and piezoelectric forces, reliably.

You would know where the low hanging fruit for effort vs. improvement in output would be.

tom
« Last Edit: 10/02/2009 10:43 PM by cuddihy »

Offline Star-Drive

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Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #606 on: 10/03/2009 03:43 AM »
Tom & Crew:

Goods points all and yes the most convincing M-E demonstration would be to levitate a self-contained/battery powered MLT or M-E rotary test article under remote RF or IR control into the conference room, land it, take off several times and then float it out in say a five minute time period.  However our current level of mastery of the M-E is not up to this levitating task yet, so Tom's torque pendulum or ~2 meter ballistics pendulum will probably have to do for a display mechanics for the next generation M-E test articles.  And I assume that we would also have to be able to generate a high enough thrust to weight ratio in the test article so it can push itself at least a couple of inches off the pendulum's null or at rest position for the duration of the power pulse to the MLT before we could convince anyone we weren't just dealing with wishful thinking. 

Now if we insist on a self contained and remote controlled test article needed to rule out a number of false positive candidate effects, I don't see a battery powered MLT test article coming in at less than 500-to-1,000 grams depending on the required drive electronics and its cooling requirements.  With that kind of test article mass, we will need at least 0.1 Newton (~10 gram-force) of thrust to get that much deflection on a 2-meter pendulum.  I think that could be doable with existing High-K caps being run at say 14 MHz and a few hundred volts peak on the cap-ring, or use Low-K caps if we push the frequency up to 28 MHz and its cap-ring voltage up to at least 10kV-p.  However, we still need to get the MLT's cap-ring bulk acceleration levels for either case up into the 100s of gees at the same time and that may take some very creative engineering and resources to accomplish, especially for the MLT. 

BTW, I found out last weekend that my 52 MHz MLT-2009 PTFE test article that I had reported on earlier this year on this forum turned out to be a real dud.  That is because of all its as-built parasitic capacitances and resulting losses that are killing off the counted on resonant behavior needed to reach the high voltages required to express the M-E in a Low-K PTFE cap-ring using my power limited 100W, 52 MHz RF supply.   It looks like I will have to lower its operating frequency and/or rebuild the MLT core to mitigate these parasitic losses before I can get up the high operating voltages I need to see any M-E effects.  And that is assuming I have the bulk acceleration problem solved in this test article, which is a big IF.
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Offline kkattula

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Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #607 on: 10/03/2009 06:18 PM »
Why would a levitator need to be battery powered?

As long as it is clearly not being supported by the power cables.

One that has identical performance in air & in a vacuum ( to discount ion wind) would be convincing.

Offline Star-Drive

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Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #608 on: 10/03/2009 09:45 PM »
Why would a levitator need to be battery powered?

As long as it is clearly not being supported by the power cables.

One that has identical performance in air & in a vacuum ( to discount ion wind) would be convincing.

Using a self-contained battery powered test article takes away the last possibility of some type of back reaction masquerading as real thrust that was occurring through the test article’s remote power leads.

And yes, running the test article in vacuum verses air would be another verification method, but that could be simulated by just running the test article in a Faraday Shield can that would first kill off any thrust producing ion wind circulation, and also electrically shield the test equipment from stray EMI from the test article.  That is the way I built the Mach-2MHz MLT, but that test article was still powered remotely instead of being self-contained.

BTW, if the thrust signature is large enough, and by large enough I mean at least 0.1 Newton (~10 gram-force) in size, most of these alternate explanations for the thrust production sources become too small to be credible, especially if the test article is run in a Faraday Shield enclosure and/or in a vacuum chamber at 1x10^-6 Torr.
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Offline 93143

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Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #609 on: 10/04/2009 03:18 PM »
Ion engines will work inside a Faraday cage.  It only blocks fields from outside.  You really want a vacuum chamber to be sure.

Offline Cinder

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Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #610 on: 10/04/2009 05:04 PM »
2D travel over an air hockey table isn't enough?
« Last Edit: 10/04/2009 05:04 PM by Cinder »
The pork must flow.

Offline Star-Drive

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Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #611 on: 10/04/2009 05:29 PM »
Ion engines will work inside a Faraday cage.  It only blocks fields from outside.  You really want a vacuum chamber to be sure.

Have you ever seen a helicopter stall close to the ground due to air recirculation around its main rotor?  In a like manner an ion wind lifter will kill its lift if you put it in a small enough box that creates a recirculating air mass flow that kills its lift.  The same goes for any thrust producing device that is put in a small enough CLOSED box, with the size and shape of the box being the key issues, because when the reverse propellant mass flow circulating around the engine equals the outgoing mass flow from the engine, its net thrust goes to zero.

Edit:  I added the word CLOSED above because if an ion engine in a vacuum chamber has active vacuum pumping going on during its run, any recirculating mass flows established around the engine will be siphoned off by the vacuum pumps.  In a related manner if a rocket engine was placed in a closed container it would pressurize it while setting up its mass flow recirculation pattern, which would no doubt stall the engine's combustion process when the internal box pressure reached the operating pressure of the rocket.
« Last Edit: 10/04/2009 05:49 PM by Star-Drive »
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Offline Star-Drive

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Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #612 on: 10/04/2009 05:37 PM »
2D travel over an air hockey table isn't enough?

If you mount the M-E test article in a Faraday shield can sized so that it will kill all normal mass flow rate related thrust signatures, an air hockey table would do very nicely IMO. 

BTW, the directed M-E gravinertial flux is not affected very much by nearby barriers because its effective wavelength is much longer than the barrier thickness presented by a normal thickness Faraday shield or standard glass or stainless steel vacuum chamber walls.   
« Last Edit: 10/04/2009 05:38 PM by Star-Drive »
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Offline cuddihy

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Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #613 on: 10/05/2009 04:05 AM »
Tom & Crew:

Goods points all and yes the most convincing M-E demonstration would be to levitate a self-contained/battery powered MLT or M-E rotary test article under remote RF or IR control into the conference room, land it, take off several times and then float it out in say a five minute time period.  However our current level of mastery of the M-E is not up to this levitating task yet, so Tom's torque pendulum or ~2 meter ballistics pendulum will probably have to do for a display mechanics for the next generation M-E test articles.  And I assume that we would also have to be able to generate a high enough thrust to weight ratio in the test article so it can push itself at least a couple of inches off the pendulum's null or at rest position for the duration of the power pulse to the MLT before we could convince anyone we weren't just dealing with wishful thinking. 

Now if we insist on a self contained and remote controlled test article needed to rule out a number of false positive candidate effects, I don't see a battery powered MLT test article coming in at less than 500-to-1,000 grams depending on the required drive electronics and its cooling requirements.  With that kind of test article mass, we will need at least 0.1 Newton (~10 gram-force) of thrust to get that much deflection on a 2-meter pendulum.  I think that could be doable with existing High-K caps being run at say 14 MHz and a few hundred volts peak on the cap-ring, or use Low-K caps if we push the frequency up to 28 MHz and its cap-ring voltage up to at least 10kV-p.  However, we still need to get the MLT's cap-ring bulk acceleration levels for either case up into the 100s of gees at the same time and that may take some very creative engineering and resources to accomplish, especially for the MLT. 

BTW, I found out last weekend that my 52 MHz MLT-2009 PTFE test article that I had reported on earlier this year on this forum turned out to be a real dud.  That is because of all its as-built parasitic capacitances and resulting losses that are killing off the counted on resonant behavior needed to reach the high voltages required to express the M-E in a Low-K PTFE cap-ring using my power limited 100W, 52 MHz RF supply.   It looks like I will have to lower its operating frequency and/or rebuild the MLT core to mitigate these parasitic losses before I can get up the high operating voltages I need to see any M-E effects.  And that is assuming I have the bulk acceleration problem solved in this test article, which is a big IF.

BTW, one thing I don't get -- it seems like a lot of sources of error come in from the effects of different dielectrics like electrostrictive effects. If you had a big capacitor without dielectric (vacuum), obviously you couldn't put as much power through it, but electrostriction goes away, permeability is no longer an issue, voltage can be arbitrarily high,etc.

I mean the power issue alone makes it no go for useful purposes, but for measurement, why doesn't this work?

Offline 93143

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Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #614 on: 10/05/2009 08:03 AM »
In a like manner an ion wind lifter will kill its lift if you put it in a small enough box that creates a recirculating air mass flow that kills its lift.

Okay, but it won't kill ALL lift, and you've got to convince reviewers that they're seeing a really exotic physical effect instead of a mundane one they already know is present.

If you had a big capacitor without dielectric (vacuum), obviously you couldn't put as much power through it, but electrostriction goes away, permeability is no longer an issue, voltage can be arbitrarily high,etc.

I mean the power issue alone makes it no go for useful purposes, but for measurement, why doesn't this work?

If I'm not mistaken, the device needs to operate on the atoms in the dielectric in order to oscillate their mass.  If there isn't a dielectric, there's nothing to oscillate.

Offline Star-Drive

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Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #615 on: 10/05/2009 03:02 PM »
In a like manner an ion wind lifter will kill its lift if you put it in a small enough box that creates a recirculating air mass flow that kills its lift.

Okay, but it won't kill ALL lift, and you've got to convince reviewers that they're seeing a really exotic physical effect instead of a mundane one they already know is present.

If you had a big capacitor without dielectric (vacuum), obviously you couldn't put as much power through it, but electrostriction goes away, permeability is no longer an issue, voltage can be arbitrarily high,etc.

I mean the power issue alone makes it no go for useful purposes, but for measurement, why doesn't this work?

If I'm not mistaken, the device needs to operate on the atoms in the dielectric in order to oscillate their mass.  If there isn't a dielectric, there's nothing to oscillate.

"Okay, but it won't kill ALL lift, and you've got to convince reviewers that they're seeing a really exotic physical effect instead of a mundane one they already know is present."

Yea, OK but that ups the price of the experiment by at least the ~$12k needed for the 1x10^-6 vacuum system.  And if I don't go that low in pressure, I get into glow discharge problems with the test article.

"If I'm not mistaken, the device needs to operate on the atoms in the dielectric in order to oscillate their mass.  If there isn't a dielectric, there's nothing to oscillate."

That is correct per Woodward.  If the mass or vacuum density fluctuations are actually occuring in the space and E-& B-fields around the ions though, then a vacuum dielectric may work, (See Sonny White's STAIF-2007 presentation posted in this forum.).  However, to see measurable forces in a 2-meter ballistics pendulum, it takes running the cap cavity at ~2.45 GHz with ac peak voltages measured in the thousands of volts.  Such an experiment is in the works by White.
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Offline 2.71

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Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #616 on: 10/05/2009 06:17 PM »
@Star-Drive

I know I'm a little late on this response, but what would the problem be with using vacuum caps? Like these:

http://www.jenningstech.com/pdf/cap/vacfix/MMHC-450-50S.pdf
http://www.jenningstech.com/ps/jen/caplist.cgi

I tried scanning back through the thread, and I don't recall if the M-E effect relies on a dialectric with mass. I seem to remember that it does.

Although, if it does, then comparing results between the vacuum cap and a ceramic cap could be another way of demonstrating the effect, right? In other words, using a vacuum cap as a control.

2.71

You know, these conversion factors don't really matter when we're nonchalantly throwing out improvements of three orders of magnitude.

Isn't it 4 orders of magnitude over what has been demonstrated?

And that actually puts it currently into the "less technically certain than the space elevator" column, as that only requires a 2 order of magnitude improvement in demonstrated materiel properties like tensile strength.

Anyway, it does seem kind of premature to assume that expending lots of resources in the direction of capacitor research could necessarily produce these results.

You haven't been looking at the equations? The chief gain is not from boosting cap K, it's from increasing the frequency of the driver to above the MHz range, refining it and getting the kinks out.

Actually if one could come up with a dielectric with a WELL BALANCED set of cap dielectric parameters for the M-E MLTs, like a relative permittivity of ~1,000, a magnetic permeability of ~20, a well controlled piezoelectric response, a dissipation factor of less than 0.5% at 10 MHz in a dielectric that had a 1,000 hour or greater operating lifetime under full power conditions, we would be ready to start building levitating M-E test articles.  As noted, nobody in the high energy cap storage business is thinking about this kind of cap parameter mix until we show them it’s worth their time and money to do so.  And to do that we first have to make a convincing M-E demonstration using COTS parts and a much more optimized MLT or rotary M-E drive design and that will just take a lot of time (years) using our existing resources.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #617 on: 10/05/2009 06:30 PM »
Why would the caps need matter in the dielectric? Energy has mass (as seen in the fact that a proton weighs much more than the sum of its quarks), so a vacuum cap that stores energy would have a mass fluctuation (assuming the Woodwardian theory is correct). Prove to me why this isn't the case!
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Offline 2.71

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Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #618 on: 10/05/2009 06:34 PM »
My previous post was a question, so no proof is necessary.

2.71
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Offline Star-Drive

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Re: Propellantless Field Propulsion and application
« Reply #619 on: 10/05/2009 07:02 PM »
Why would the caps need matter in the dielectric? Energy has mass (as seen in the fact that a proton weighs much more than the sum of its quarks), so a vacuum cap that stores energy would have a mass fluctuation (assuming the Woodwardian theory is correct). Prove to me why this isn't the case!

Well, I have to modify my original statement on further reflection in answer to your above vacuum assertion.  To start off, if we ask the question does the energy flux in the E- and B-fields contained in between the electrodes of a vacuum capacitor have ANY inertial mass to fluctuate, what is the answer?  On first pass one could easily say like I did in this thread that hell no it’s a featureless & massless vacuum!  However, per the tenants of GRT all mass and energy concentrations should be able to bend spacetime to one degree or another, and therefore even dilute energy concentrations in the guise of weak E&M fields should have some inertial mass to fluctuate, but it’s going to be a whole lot smaller, (that 1/c^2 thing), than a massive dielectric being in its place.  So in reality it all boils down to how much mass fluctuations one can obtain from a diffuse energy concentration provided by the E&M fields in the vacuum cap, verses a much more concentrated form of mass/energy called mass.  I suppose that if the d^2E/dt^2 power flux and bulk accelerations are large enough, even a vacuum cap should be able to sing the M-E.  The next question is under what operating conditions will such an M-E device generate a detectable mass fluctuations signal?  Back to the drawing boards…
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