Author Topic: Technologies that will shape the future of aviation and space exploration  (Read 34462 times)

Offline Star One

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See if you agree with the space related entries chosen by Aviation Week in this round up.

http://m.aviationweek.com/technology/technologies-will-shape-future#slide-0-field_images-1491461
« Last Edit: 07/29/2016 06:43 PM by Star One »

Online Stormbringer

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Offline Elmar Moelzer

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advanced CO2 scrubber/ fuel generator/life support/power source?

https://news.uic.edu/breakthrough-solar-cell-captures-co2-and-sunlight-produces-burnable-fuel
Meh, at 0.04% CO2 in the atmosphere, you need to move one ton of air (or more than 800 m3) for 400 grams of CO2. So you are unlikely to get any relevant amount of fuel out of this unless you move tonnes of air around.
Seems to me like there could be much better ways to use that solar energy than for that.
« Last Edit: 08/01/2016 12:28 AM by Elmar Moelzer »

Offline A_M_Swallow

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advanced CO2 scrubber/ fuel generator/life support/power source?

https://news.uic.edu/breakthrough-solar-cell-captures-co2-and-sunlight-produces-burnable-fuel
Meh, at 0.04% CO2 in the atmosphere, you need to move one ton of air (or more than 800 m3) for 400 grams of CO2. So you are unlikely to get any relevant amount of fuel out of this unless you move tonnes of air around.
Seems to me like there could be much better ways to use that solar energy than for that.

A motor vehicle that uses burnable fuel can be refuelled much faster than a battery powered vehicle can be recharged. Energy can be stored for longer as well.

In the case of Mars rockets have to be used to flights to and from orbit since propellers do not work in a vacuum.

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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advanced CO2 scrubber/ fuel generator/life support/power source?

https://news.uic.edu/breakthrough-solar-cell-captures-co2-and-sunlight-produces-burnable-fuel
Meh, at 0.04% CO2 in the atmosphere, you need to move one ton of air (or more than 800 m3) for 400 grams of CO2. So you are unlikely to get any relevant amount of fuel out of this unless you move tonnes of air around.
Seems to me like there could be much better ways to use that solar energy than for that.

A motor vehicle that uses burnable fuel can be refuelled much faster than a battery powered vehicle can be recharged. Energy can be stored for longer as well.

In the case of Mars rockets have to be used to flights to and from orbit since propellers do not work in a vacuum.
It still does not make sense. Just moving the huge volume of air towards those things would take a lot of energy for what little you get out of it in fuel.
Maybe for ISRU on mars, if there are no better options. But totally pointless on earth.
« Last Edit: 08/01/2016 06:45 AM by Elmar Moelzer »

Offline CameronD

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advanced CO2 scrubber/ fuel generator/life support/power source?

https://news.uic.edu/breakthrough-solar-cell-captures-co2-and-sunlight-produces-burnable-fuel
Meh, at 0.04% CO2 in the atmosphere, you need to move one ton of air (or more than 800 m3) for 400 grams of CO2. So you are unlikely to get any relevant amount of fuel out of this unless you move tonnes of air around.
Seems to me like there could be much better ways to use that solar energy than for that.

A motor vehicle that uses burnable fuel can be refuelled much faster than a battery powered vehicle can be recharged. Energy can be stored for longer as well.

In the case of Mars rockets have to be used to flights to and from orbit since propellers do not work in a vacuum.
It still does not make sense. Just moving the huge volume of air towards those things would take a lot of energy for what little you get out of it in fuel.
Maybe for ISRU on mars, if there are no better options. But totally pointless on earth.

There's plenty of waste CO2 in raw natural gas so perhaps there's an application there in helping clean up the raw gas stream from the well-head prior to processing ..but as for it's use in the atmosphere someplace? Yep, I'm with you - it don't make much sense here on Earth.
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline KelvinZero

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Meh, at 0.04% CO2 in the atmosphere, you need to move one ton of air (or more than 800 m3) for 400 grams of CO2. So you are unlikely to get any relevant amount of fuel out of this unless you move tonnes of air around.
Seems to me like there could be much better ways to use that solar energy than for that.
All Horticulture relies on making money off this principle though. :)

I assume to be interesting it is claiming to outperform biofuels etc, which seem a lot less fiddly to do the same thing. You are probably right about energy but there are also plastics and other things that use hydrocarbons.

If this actually did outperform leaves, I wonder if one day all our vegetables will be cyborgs :)

Offline RanulfC

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See if you agree with the space related entries chosen by Aviation Week in this round up.

http://m.aviationweek.com/technology/technologies-will-shape-future#slide-0-field_images-1491461

Pretty much, though in a non-space commentary I'll note two things from the article:
Teams and Swarms: Well at least we're a "bit" ahead of the game as according to the Gundam series "BITS" don't appear till the late 21st Century :)

New Shapes: Well the whole reason for developing 'podded' aircraft engines rather than ones buried in the wings was to facilitate maintenance and accessibility, but I suppose this will vindicate the designers of the V-Bombers :)

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline Robotbeat

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Meh, at 0.04% CO2 in the atmosphere, you need to move one ton of air (or more than 800 m3) for 400 grams of CO2. So you are unlikely to get any relevant amount of fuel out of this unless you move tonnes of air around.
Seems to me like there could be much better ways to use that solar energy than for that.
All Horticulture relies on making money off this principle though. :)...
This.
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Offline Elmar Moelzer

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All Horticulture relies on making money off this principle though. :)
Does not change a thing.

I assume to be interesting it is claiming to outperform biofuels etc, which seem a lot less fiddly to do the same thing.
Biofuels are not exactly efficient either.

You are probably right about energy but there are also plastics and other things that use hydrocarbons.
Makes even less sense for plastics. Less than 1% of the oil is used for plastic. The rest is transportation.

I stay with my original statement, would be better to just use regular solar panels and use those to directly power all those things that burned the fossil fuels to produce the CO2 in the first place.

Offline Robotbeat

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We're going to use electric vehicles for transport. However, niche fuels and plastics will be able to benefit.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline daveklingler

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See if you agree with the space related entries chosen by Aviation Week in this round up.

http://m.aviationweek.com/technology/technologies-will-shape-future#slide-0-field_images-1491461

The parts of that article I enjoyed the most were all aviation-oriented.  I hadn't ever seen that hairy-looking open rotor turbine before.

They did mention the attempt to get a small NTR back into testing by 2024, which I think is currently the most significant thing happening in exploration spaceflight.  Solar electric may be very significant for moving cargo between the inner planets, and the combination of the two may put humans into Mars orbit.

From Mars orbit, deep inside Phobos or Deimos, the synthetic vision systems AW mentioned can help us pretend that we have Mars surface colonies.  That'll save a lot of money and people won't get caught out on the surface during solar storms and cosmic ray bursts.  :)

Offline muomega0

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New Shapes: Well the whole reason for developing 'podded' aircraft engines rather than ones buried in the wings was to facilitate maintenance and accessibility, but I suppose this will vindicate the designers of the V-Bombers :)
Maintenance was not the initial reason as pods cause drag and currently restrict the bypass ratio in larger aircraft--a main driver in fuel burn reduction.   

The de Havilland DH 106 Comet was the world's first production commercial jetliner.  It featured buried engines in the wings  and the aircraft would change aviation.  The Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8, would differ by employing podded engines held on pylons beneath the wings. 

Boeing stated that podded engines were selected for their passenger airliners because buried engines carried a higher risk of catastrophic wing failure in the event of engine fire.

Offline Robotbeat

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....That'll save a lot of money and people won't get caught out on the surface during solar storms and cosmic ray bursts.  :)
The surface of Mars is one of the safest places you could be during a solar particle event. The 40 grams/cm^2 shielding from the atmosphere reduces all solar flares to levels that wouldn't even make you sick.
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Offline RanulfC

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Still semi-off-topic but :)
New Shapes: Well the whole reason for developing 'podded' aircraft engines rather than ones buried in the wings was to facilitate maintenance and accessibility, but I suppose this will vindicate the designers of the V-Bombers :)
Maintenance was not the initial reason as pods cause drag and currently restrict the bypass ratio in larger aircraft--a main driver in fuel burn reduction.

Actually while pods cause more drag they do NOT restrict the bypass ratio but allow it to be higher which is why all high-bypass turbofans are in pods. Incorporating high-bypass engines into the wing requires some very creative design which conversely usually means the maintenance and servicing functions are impaired. It's self limiting to a you can't use the bigger diameter fans without having a larger wing housing for them with the drag of that larger and thicker wing...

It's one of the drivers behind 'distributed' multiple fans being driven by a single turbojet system.

Quote
The de Havilland DH 106 Comet was the world's first production commercial jetliner. It featured buried engines in the wings  and the aircraft would change aviation.  The Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8, would differ by employing podded engines held on pylons beneath the wings.

The Comet had buried engines to reduce drag but on the same hand they were harder to maintain and work on due to that instillation. Boeing and most US jet design used to pods because drag was seen as less of an issue and a higher priority was placed on maintenance and servicing by the 'customers' for the airframes.

Quote
Boeing stated that podded engines were selected for their passenger airliners because buried engines carried a higher risk of catastrophic wing failure in the event of engine fire.

Which isn't 'wrong' mind you ;) But more specifically the driving 'customer' for the airframe (the US Air Force) required, (not requested) that podded engines be used in the design for both maintenance and servicing requirements as this had already been shown to be easier for both during operational use. Airlines and other manufacturers agreed and maintenance and servicing the Comets engines showed this in operation so the idea of buried engines fell by the wayside.

Circumstances and the situation has changed and the concept is making a comeback.

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline CameronD

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Circumstances and the situation has changed and the concept is making a comeback.

Speaking of podded engines:  Besides drag, there's also the issue of asymmetric thrust.  Modern avionics can compensate to some degree but I know this annoys the s*** out of many airline pilots; at least those who enjoy actually flying the plane once in while.

It's also the reason you don't see podded engines on front-line jet fighters (well, not since the Me262.  Channelling my inner Colonel Kilnk: "If have Tommy in your gun-sights, do not touch zee throttle!!!" ;) )..
 


« Last Edit: 08/04/2016 04:45 AM by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

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Offline Impaler

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All Horticulture relies on making money off this principle though. :)
Does not change a thing.

It shows that low carbon content of the atmosphere is not an insurmountable barrier, the trick is to use a foliated high surface absorption membrane and rely on ambient air movement rather then large air handlers using fans, that is basically what plant leaves are.

I assume to be interesting it is claiming to outperform biofuels etc, which seem a lot less fiddly to do the same thing.
Biofuels are not exactly efficient either.

No argument that Ethanol is a boondoggle, other bio-fuels are their own story and are a mixed bag, wood is a real net power source though it has it's own environmental issues.

You are probably right about energy but there are also plastics and other things that use hydrocarbons.
Makes even less sense for plastics. Less than 1% of the oil is used for plastic. The rest is transportation.

I stay with my original statement, would be better to just use regular solar panels and use those to directly power all those things that burned the fossil fuels to produce the CO2 in the first place.

Wrong, do some research next time, 4 percent of oil is turned into plastics, specifically liquids associated with natural gasses are very popular for plastics, and plastic consumption is huge and continues to rise even as the transport fuel uses for oil are starting to level off and be supplanted by electrification.  If fossil fuel usage is to cease we would certainly need a replacement for plastics as well as the wider petrol-chemical industries feed-stocks.

Offline john smith 19

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A side note on historical podded engine choices.

Bill Gunston in one of his books said De Havilland went with the buried approach because someone in the British aircraft industry (either they or RAE Farmborough as it was at the time) mis-calculated the drag levels of podded versus buried engines.  A mis-calculation which had major repercussions for the British industry and the V bomber designs, although I have to admit the Vulcan and Victor looked good.

IIRC the B36 was flying and the had pusher props buried in the wings and engine pods so I guess the USAF had a pretty good idea of how easy (or difficult) either was proving to be in the field.

As for the Boeing line about being able to accommodate turbo fans.  What?? AFAIK No aircraft was flying a turbofan at that time. All were turbojets. A turbojet too wide to fit in wing of the time would have had generated enormous thrust.

Let's recall the USAF already operates a big modern aircraft with buried engines in the form of the B2.

I'll note that things like accessability  and maintainability is all in the details. The ability to alter them when a problem is found (before mfg) is where modern CAD based mfg really shines. So a modern design of buried engine could have it's own structural framework which locks into the aircraft structure (precisely aligning with the inlet and exhaust systems) with all connectors brought out on a few (ideally one) panels. At this point the engine is either lifted or dropped out. In the case of the B2 lifted would give a smoth undersurface with no openings to preserve stealth. Commercial aircraft would probably drop them out.



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Offline CameronD

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A side note on historical podded engine choices.

Bill Gunston in one of his books said De Havilland went with the buried approach because someone in the British aircraft industry (either they or RAE Farmborough as it was at the time) mis-calculated the drag levels of podded versus buried engines.  A mis-calculation which had major repercussions for the British industry and the V bomber designs, although I have to admit the Vulcan and Victor looked good.

That's not the full story. Drag is obviously part of the equation, but asymmetric thrust is a far bigger problem if you're designing something that needs to accelerate quickly in flight (like a fighter) - especially at supersonic speeds.  Get it wrong and you'll rip the wings off.

I'll note that things like accessability  and maintainability is all in the details. The ability to alter them when a problem is found (before mfg) is where modern CAD based mfg really shines. So a modern design of buried engine could have it's own structural framework which locks into the aircraft structure (precisely aligning with the inlet and exhaust systems) with all connectors brought out on a few (ideally one) panels. At this point the engine is either lifted or dropped out. In the case of the B2 lifted would give a smoth undersurface with no openings to preserve stealth. Commercial aircraft would probably drop them out.

Maybe.  There are a multitude of ways to deal with the accessibility/maintainability issue and aircraft designers now have decades of experience with what works and what doesn't.  Probably the most ingenious I've seen is engine removal on the Sabre jet: the entire tail section comes off.


EDIT:  It's important to also note that even with podded engines on (sub-sonic) commercial airliners and bombers, they don't take the entire 'pod' off to change out the engine.  The engine 'pod' is used for reasons other than pure maintenance.

« Last Edit: 08/25/2016 01:01 AM by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline RanulfC

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>some snipage involved< :)

There are a multitude of ways to deal with the accessibility/maintainability issue and aircraft designers now have decades of experience with what works and what doesn't. Probably the most ingenious I've seen is engine removal on the Sabre jet: the entire tail section comes off.

I agree with the 'ingeniousness' of the way they did the Sabre, and IIRC the Starfighter was pretty much the same way as it was built around the engine. There has been a great deal of experience gained, which is why accessibility/maintainability are in fact now part of the design criteria :)

Quote
EDIT:  It's important to also note that even with podded engines on (sub-sonic) commercial airliners and bombers, they don't take the entire 'pod' off to change out the engine.  The engine 'pod' is used for reasons other than pure maintenance.

Well it's only one reason and I noted that I think, but it was actually a big reason :) No we don't drop the whole "pod" but all that's left between engine changes is a metal shell and some loose (but capped and bagged! :) ) connections :)

The thing with the pod is that you simply unlatch and raise the whole side of the 'pod' and you have access to the whole engine instantly. Where as buried you have to open access panels, (usually a lot of them) and are then restricted to working INSIDE those areas unless you pull the engine fully.

But yes we've learned enough to make even that much less of a chore than it was in early jet aircraft.

Randy
From The Amazing Catstronaut on the Black Arrow LV:
British physics, old chap. It's undignified to belch flames and effluvia all over the pad, what. A true gentlemen's orbital conveyance lifts itself into the air unostentatiously, with the minimum of spectacle and a modicum of grace. Not like our American cousins' launch vehicles, eh?

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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It shows that low carbon content of the atmosphere is not an insurmountable barrier, the trick is to use a foliated high surface absorption membrane and rely on ambient air movement rather then large air handlers using fans, that is basically what plant leaves are.
You need a relatively large area of plants to generate a relatively moderate amount hydrocarbons per unit of time. Again, you need 1 ton of air for 400 grams of CO2 and this process combines carbon monoxide and hydrogen from water. Carbon Monoxide would only be about 250 grams per ton of air. So even less.
You will need a large area and a/or lot of time for this to work. I think it may make sense when you capture the exhaust from factories or caloric power plants, but that might depend on the situation.

Wrong, do some research next time, 4 percent of oil is turned into plastics, specifically liquids associated with natural gasses are very popular for plastics, and plastic consumption is huge and continues to rise even as the transport fuel uses for oil are starting to level off and be supplanted by electrification.  If fossil fuel usage is to cease we would certainly need a replacement for plastics as well as the wider petrol-chemical industries feed-stocks.
I did and I cant remember where I got the 1% figure from. Yours appears to be more correct. Either way, it is not a major problem compared to just burning hydrocarbons.

Offline CameronD

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Wrong, do some research next time, 4 percent of oil is turned into plastics, specifically liquids associated with natural gasses are very popular for plastics, and plastic consumption is huge and continues to rise even as the transport fuel uses for oil are starting to level off and be supplanted by electrification.  If fossil fuel usage is to cease we would certainly need a replacement for plastics as well as the wider petrol-chemical industries feed-stocks.
I did and I cant remember where I got the 1% figure from. Yours appears to be more correct. Either way, it is not a major problem compared to just burning hydrocarbons.

Given the preponderance of plastic world-wide, it'd be interesting to know if it's possible to convert CO2 (or 'greenhouse gases' generally) directly into acrylates, styrenes or other raw materials for plastics production.  I imagine anyone who came up with that tech would make a lot of money!!
 
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Wrong, do some research next time, 4 percent of oil is turned into plastics, specifically liquids associated with natural gasses are very popular for plastics, and plastic consumption is huge and continues to rise even as the transport fuel uses for oil are starting to level off and be supplanted by electrification.  If fossil fuel usage is to cease we would certainly need a replacement for plastics as well as the wider petrol-chemical industries feed-stocks.
I did and I cant remember where I got the 1% figure from. Yours appears to be more correct. Either way, it is not a major problem compared to just burning hydrocarbons.

Given the preponderance of plastic world-wide, it'd be interesting to know if it's possible to convert CO2 (or 'greenhouse gases' generally) directly into acrylates, styrenes or other raw materials for plastics production.  I imagine anyone who came up with that tech would make a lot of money!!
 
I saw something about that. Critics of the concept are actually using the same arguments, I just used earlier.

Offline Robotbeat

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NASA just awarded SBIRs for converting ISRU products (oxygen, methane, hydrogen, water, CO2, etc) into plastics. And since plastics contain carbon, that means from CO2 on Mars.

Here are two of them:
http://sbir.nasa.gov/SBIR/abstracts/16/sbir/phase1/SBIR-16-1-H1.01-8453.html
PROPOSAL TITLE:   ISP3: In-Situ Printing Plastic Production System for Space Additive Manufacturing


and

http://sbir.nasa.gov/SBIR/abstracts/16/sbir/phase1/SBIR-16-1-H1.01-8191.html
PROPOSAL TITLE:   Compact In-Situ Polyethylene Production from Carbon Dioxide
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Offline Robotbeat

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For aviation, the single new technology that will shape the future of aviation is improved lithium batteries.

Particularly lithium-air, which (along with electricity's high efficiency and other things) can allow electric flight for just as long as current jet liners. And at the same speeds. And potentially /faster/ speeds than current airliners.

Nearer term, really good lithium-ion and lithium-sulfur.
Chris  Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

Offline TrevorMonty

Meh, at 0.04% CO2 in the atmosphere, you need to move one ton of air (or more than 800 m3) for 400 grams of CO2. So you are unlikely to get any relevant amount of fuel out of this unless you move tonnes of air around.
Seems to me like there could be much better ways to use that solar energy than for that.
All Horticulture relies on making money off this principle though. :)...
This.
I think you are right, electric aircraft are future and it is totally depended on battery technology.
First market will be small aircraft (<50 seat ) for short haul (<300km). Low operational costs are critical here as they are competing against ground transport quite often.  It is not just fuel costs savings but also service costs, electric engines and batteries should be almost maintenance free compared to turboprop engine. Batteries will need replacing every few years but battery improvement will result in more range or payload.
For aviation, the single new technology that will shape the future of aviation is improved lithium batteries.

Particularly lithium-air, which (along with electricity's high efficiency and other things) can allow electric flight for just as long as current jet liners. And at the same speeds. And potentially /faster/ speeds than current airliners.

Nearer term, really good lithium-ion and lithium-sulfur.

Offline Robotbeat

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By the way, ISS's ECLSS system works by removing CO2 from the cabin air. It actually produces methane from it. The methane is dumped overboard (which sounds dumb, but the whole point is to recover some of the oxygen atoms from the CO2 in the form of water).

Removing CO2 from the air is a real possibility.

But use it to make rocket fuel, not aircraft fuel. Aircraft should just use really, really good batteries.
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To the maximum extent practicable, the Federal Government shall plan missions to accommodate the space transportation services capabilities of United States commercial providers. US law http://goo.gl/YZYNt0

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I thought at one time, the Navy was experimenting with getting CO2 out of the ocean water.  There is more CO2 in the top 6' of ocean water than in the air.  They were going to make jet fuel from the CO2 and water using excess nuclear power of the aircraft carrier.  I think they can produce double the amount of power the ship needs for redundancy.  So the excess power can make natural gas first, then add to the molecular chain to make jet fuel.  This would make the carriers self sufficient except for food. 

The CO2 in Martian atmosphere will need water to make the CH4 for rocket fuel, and O2.  They may need a source of water on Mars.  The equipment used by the Navy could be carried to Mars for fuel production. 

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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NASA just awarded SBIRs for converting ISRU products (oxygen, methane, hydrogen, water, CO2, etc) into plastics. And since plastics contain carbon, that means from CO2 on Mars.

Here are two of them:
http://sbir.nasa.gov/SBIR/abstracts/16/sbir/phase1/SBIR-16-1-H1.01-8453.html
PROPOSAL TITLE:   ISP3: In-Situ Printing Plastic Production System for Space Additive Manufacturing


and

http://sbir.nasa.gov/SBIR/abstracts/16/sbir/phase1/SBIR-16-1-H1.01-8191.html
PROPOSAL TITLE:   Compact In-Situ Polyethylene Production from Carbon Dioxide
Mars is of course a different matter all together. There is no other source of hydrocarbons there (other than some methane). Bringing it over would cost too much. So of course you need to produce it there.
There is no alternative. It will take a long time though to get relatively moderate amounts of plastic that way. But then all metrics are somehow different anyway when it comes to mars.

For aviation, the single new technology that will shape the future of aviation is improved lithium batteries.

Particularly lithium-air, which (along with electricity's high efficiency and other things) can allow electric flight for just as long as current jet liners. And at the same speeds. And potentially /faster/ speeds than current airliners.

Nearer term, really good lithium-ion and lithium-sulfur.
I agree with you on that one. Better batteries would be an enabling technology for many things related to aerospace. Depending on energy and power density, it might affect the way we do spaceflight too.

Offline CameronD

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I agree with you on that one. Better batteries would be an enabling technology for many things related to aerospace. Depending on energy and power density, it might affect the way we do spaceflight too.

I'd like to agree with you on that one - but unfortunately, I don't. :)

There's more to an electric propulsion system than just batteries:  There's the advanced ultra-light-weight non-existent high-temperature superconductors you need to supply the battery power to the engines and then there's the engines themselves.  As complex as it is, unless the entire propulsion system is as good or better than current highly-efficient, highly-advanced, extremely-bloody-clever, jet engine/pneumatics technologies, it simply isn't going to fly.. (pun intended).
 

« Last Edit: 08/28/2016 10:53 PM by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

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I'd like to agree with you on that one - but unfortunately, I don't. :)

There's more to an electric propulsion system than just batteries:  There's the advanced ultra-light-weight non-existent high-temperature superconductors you need to supply the battery power to the engines and then there's the engines themselves.  As complex as it is, unless the entire propulsion system is as good or better than current highly-efficient, highly-advanced, extremely-bloody-clever, jet engine/pneumatics technologies, it simply isn't going to fly.. (pun intended).
 




Agreed battery powered airliners are not going to happen anytime soon if ever.
We might be see hypersonic transport long before we see a fully electric airliner.

Civil aviation might be able to benefit from hybrid electric technology on certain classes of aircraft.

I also consider fully electric long haul trucks impractical as well though these can benefit from series hybrid technology like what's found on the Chevy Volt.

« Last Edit: 08/28/2016 11:11 PM by Patchouli »

Offline CameronD

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Civil aviation might be able to benefit from hybrid electric technology on certain classes of aircraft.

It already does.  Here's a write-up on the latest tech for GA aircraft as displayed at last year's Paris air show:

http://aviationweek.com/paris-air-show-2015/hybrid-electric-propulsion-rotax
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline Robotbeat

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I'd like to agree with you on that one - but unfortunately, I don't. :)

There's more to an electric propulsion system than just batteries:  There's the advanced ultra-light-weight non-existent high-temperature superconductors you need to supply the battery power to the engines and then there's the engines themselves.  As complex as it is, unless the entire propulsion system is as good or better than current highly-efficient, highly-advanced, extremely-bloody-clever, jet engine/pneumatics technologies, it simply isn't going to fly.. (pun intended).
 




Agreed battery powered airliners are not going to happen anytime soon if ever.
We might be see hypersonic transport long before we see a fully electric airliner.

Civil aviation might be able to benefit from hybrid electric technology on certain classes of aircraft.

I also consider fully electric long haul trucks impractical as well though these can benefit from series hybrid technology like what's found on the Chevy Volt.
Fully electric airliners are way easier than hypersonic transport.

Fully electric long haul trucks are being designed and built by Tesla right now. Provided you can have a big enough battery and have good enough charging infrastructure, there's absolutely no reason fully electric long-haul trucks would be impractical. In fact, due to their being driven a lot more than commuter vehicles, the potential for cost reduction is greater.
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I'd like to agree with you on that one - but unfortunately, I don't. :)

There's more to an electric propulsion system than just batteries:  There's the advanced ultra-light-weight non-existent high-temperature superconductors you need to supply the battery power to the engines and then there's the engines themselves.  As complex as it is, unless the entire propulsion system is as good or better than current highly-efficient, highly-advanced, extremely-bloody-clever, jet engine/pneumatics technologies, it simply isn't going to fly.. (pun intended).
 




Agreed battery powered airliners are not going to happen anytime soon if ever.
We might be see hypersonic transport long before we see a fully electric airliner.

Civil aviation might be able to benefit from hybrid electric technology on certain classes of aircraft.

I also consider fully electric long haul trucks impractical as well though these can benefit from series hybrid technology like what's found on the Chevy Volt.
Fully electric airliners are way easier than hypersonic transport.

Fully electric long haul trucks are being designed and built by Tesla right now. Provided you can have a big enough battery and have good enough charging infrastructure, there's absolutely no reason fully electric long-haul trucks would be impractical. In fact, due to their being driven a lot more than commuter vehicles, the potential for cost reduction is greater.

Perhaps a differentiation should be made here. Electric motor propulsion with some sort of buffer/surge battery is likely on a number of transportation fronts. Whether the bulk energy for those electric motors comes from batteries or a generator onboard is a different story.

Tesla doing a long haul battery only EV semi is somewhat unrealistic due to not only the required energy storage onboard, but the lack of recharge time (as a cargo carrier not in motion is not making money) and the low probability of swappable batteries drags you down. Adding batteries to trailer under the cargo deck, while physically possible and bypassing the recharge at rest problem, increases trailer weight, subtracting cargo load due to axle load or vehicle gross weight limits by law.  Short range semis, like those used near sea ports, that has opportunities for all battery setups, as you can concentrate your recharger,battery swap facilities, cutting capital costs for fleet operators.

Now Nikola has the right idea, with a microturbine generator (provided they don't try to load follow too much). The same can be said for aircraft, where the tailcone APU becomes a much larger prime mover, to provide exhaust gases to fill in the drag hole of the tail and provide electricity to either conventional motors to conventional propellers (resembling ultrafan/open rotor/turboprop designs), or a distributed electric propulsion system. Even in conventional looking turbofan engines, there have been proposals to effectively go shaftless, using a turbine rotor generator to drive separate compressor motors and counterrotating fan motors (as an evolution beyond the current geared turbofans that are only now becoming reality).


Now for something completely different, there was an interesting (but probably impractical) concept for a plasma combustor engine with some kind of MHD accelerator stage (see Hypermach and their S-MAGJET, which is similar in some ways to the older RIME rocket engine design). With UV lasers assisting ionization MHD acceleration may possible.

Another unusual type is remote beaming of power, though for most purposes laser thermal from space seems the most practical. How one uses the heat without melting everything is tough though, though if one assumes liquid methane as the working fluid/propellant rather than compressed air, some of the problems go away.

Offline Robotbeat

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Tesla doing a fully electric production sedan that can travel 315 miles between charges and do 0-60 in 2.5s is also not "realistic," but it happened.

Battery technology is already much more advanced that most people in this realm realize. Batteries are still considered second-class.

Which is why the electric airliner will catch those folk (who should know better) by surprise. Again. That's why I think even better batteries will dramatically shape the future of aviation.

Also, large, human-scale surface vehicles will be basically exclusively battery-powered.
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let's not go too far down the surface transport discussion road, please.
"I think it would be great to be born on Earth and to die on Mars. Just hopefully not at the point of impact." -Elon Musk
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Offline CameronD

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Battery technology is already much more advanced that most people in this realm realize. Batteries are still considered second-class.

Which is why the electric airliner will catch those folk (who should know better) by surprise. Again. That's why I think even better batteries will dramatically shape the future of aviation.

Keeping this discussion on-topic..  ;)

Whilst I've no doubt battery technology is already well advanced, as I pointed out earlier, the real issue for aviation applications is getting the power (especially megawatts of take-off power!) out of the battery to somewhere it can be useful without losing most of it in the process. ..and ISTM they have yet to work that problem out.

..and until they get a good deal lighter, yes, batteries will always be considered second-class.

« Last Edit: 08/30/2016 04:53 AM by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline Asteroza

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UAV drop "tank" batteries that can return to an airport after doing a BATO might work if commercial aviation can stand allowing drop "tankage", though I would imagine they would be much more amenable to an electric towplane. That said, there has been a serious proposal for an around-the-world record using UAV battery packs to link up with a long range electric flyer periodically before being dropped for a fresh pack.

Offline Asteroza

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For airport takeoff boost, how sane is it to do short range power beaming?

Electric - short range microwave beaming to a rectenna somewhere on the tail

Thermal - microwave/laser beam on a working fluid absorber in the tail, feeding an externally heated (air) turbine.

Offline Prober

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NASA just awarded SBIRs for converting ISRU products (oxygen, methane, hydrogen, water, CO2, etc) into plastics. And since plastics contain carbon, that means from CO2 on Mars.

Here are two of them:
http://sbir.nasa.gov/SBIR/abstracts/16/sbir/phase1/SBIR-16-1-H1.01-8453.html
PROPOSAL TITLE:   ISP3: In-Situ Printing Plastic Production System for Space Additive Manufacturing


and

http://sbir.nasa.gov/SBIR/abstracts/16/sbir/phase1/SBIR-16-1-H1.01-8191.html
PROPOSAL TITLE:   Compact In-Situ Polyethylene Production from Carbon Dioxide
Mars is of course a different matter all together. There is no other source of hydrocarbons there (other than some methane). Bringing it over would cost too much. So of course you need to produce it there.
There is no alternative. It will take a long time though to get relatively moderate amounts of plastic that way. But then all metrics are somehow different anyway when it comes to mars.

For aviation, the single new technology that will shape the future of aviation is improved lithium batteries.

Particularly lithium-air, which (along with electricity's high efficiency and other things) can allow electric flight for just as long as current jet liners. And at the same speeds. And potentially /faster/ speeds than current airliners.

Nearer term, really good lithium-ion and lithium-sulfur.
I agree with you on that one. Better batteries would be an enabling technology for many things related to aerospace. Depending on energy and power density, it might affect the way we do spaceflight too.


Polylactic acid has been widely adopted for 3D Printing (off the shelf solution).  There are others for this application.

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Offline Robotbeat

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Battery technology is already much more advanced that most people in this realm realize. Batteries are still considered second-class.

Which is why the electric airliner will catch those folk (who should know better) by surprise. Again. That's why I think even better batteries will dramatically shape the future of aviation.

Keeping this discussion on-topic..  ;)

Whilst I've no doubt battery technology is already well advanced, as I people ointed out earlier, the real issue for aviation applications is getting the power (especially megawatts of take-off power!) out of the battery to somewhere it can be useful without losing most of it in the process. ..and ISTM they have yet to work that problem out.

..and until they get a good deal lighter, yes, batteries will always be considered second-class.

Where did you get the idea that batteries are low power? Megawatts isn't hard when you have enough battery capacity for long duration flight, and good induction motors are competitive with jet turbines for specific power.

If anything, batteries give you MORE power for takeoff. The few electric aircraft available boast about high power for takeoff vs their conventional cousins.

That's why the long-range Tesla Model S P100D crushes every other production car on the road. It can harness a good half a Megawatt all by itself. And an electric airliner will have roughly two dozen times as much capacity. Megawatts is no problem. The problem remains capacity, and so initial electric airliners will be used for short-haul as we develop the higher capacity lithium-air batteries.
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Battery technology is already much more advanced that most people in this realm realize. Batteries are still considered second-class.

Which is why the electric airliner will catch those folk (who should know better) by surprise. Again. That's why I think even better batteries will dramatically shape the future of aviation.

Keeping this discussion on-topic..  ;)

Whilst I've no doubt battery technology is already well advanced, as I people ointed out earlier, the real issue for aviation applications is getting the power (especially megawatts of take-off power!) out of the battery to somewhere it can be useful without losing most of it in the process. ..and ISTM they have yet to work that problem out.

..and until they get a good deal lighter, yes, batteries will always be considered second-class.

Where did you get the idea that batteries are low power? Megawatts isn't hard when you have enough battery capacity for long duration flight, and good induction motors are competitive with jet turbines for specific power.

If anything, batteries give you MORE power for takeoff. The few electric aircraft available boast about high power for takeoff vs their conventional cousins.

That's why the long-range Tesla Model S P100D crushes every other production car on the road. It can harness a good half a Megawatt all by itself. And an electric airliner will have roughly two dozen times as much capacity. Megawatts is no problem. The problem remains capacity, and so initial electric airliners will be used for short-haul as we develop the higher capacity lithium-air batteries.


There are alternatives out there with better power/weight, and without the dangers of fire of lithium batteries.

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Offline Elmar Moelzer

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There are alternatives out there with better power/weight, and without the dangers of fire of lithium batteries.
Like?
I find this development rather interesting:
http://news.mit.edu/2016/lithium-metal-batteries-double-power-consumer-electronics-0817
« Last Edit: 08/30/2016 04:34 PM by Elmar Moelzer »

Offline Robotbeat

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Battery technology is already much more advanced that most people in this realm realize. Batteries are still considered second-class.

Which is why the electric airliner will catch those folk (who should know better) by surprise. Again. That's why I think even better batteries will dramatically shape the future of aviation.

Keeping this discussion on-topic..  ;)

Whilst I've no doubt battery technology is already well advanced, as I people ointed out earlier, the real issue for aviation applications is getting the power (especially megawatts of take-off power!) out of the battery to somewhere it can be useful without losing most of it in the process. ..and ISTM they have yet to work that problem out.

..and until they get a good deal lighter, yes, batteries will always be considered second-class.

Where did you get the idea that batteries are low power? Megawatts isn't hard when you have enough battery capacity for long duration flight, and good induction motors are competitive with jet turbines for specific power.

If anything, batteries give you MORE power for takeoff. The few electric aircraft available boast about high power for takeoff vs their conventional cousins.

That's why the long-range Tesla Model S P100D crushes every other production car on the road. It can harness a good half a Megawatt all by itself. And an electric airliner will have roughly two dozen times as much capacity. Megawatts is no problem. The problem remains capacity, and so initial electric airliners will be used for short-haul as we develop the higher capacity lithium-air batteries.


There are alternatives out there with better power/weight, and without the dangers of fire of lithium batteries.
As I established, we don't care about better power/weight, as it's already more than good enough. We care about energy to weight.

Additionally, lithium batteries, properly managed, are less of a fire risk than liquid fuels.
« Last Edit: 08/30/2016 04:36 PM by Robotbeat »
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Offline CameronD

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Battery technology is already much more advanced that most people in this realm realize. Batteries are still considered second-class.

Which is why the electric airliner will catch those folk (who should know better) by surprise. Again. That's why I think even better batteries will dramatically shape the future of aviation.

Keeping this discussion on-topic..  ;)

Whilst I've no doubt battery technology is already well advanced, as I pointed out earlier, the real issue for aviation applications is getting the power (especially megawatts of take-off power!) out of the battery to somewhere it can be useful without losing most of it in the process. ..and ISTM they have yet to work that problem out.

..and until they get a good deal lighter, yes, batteries will always be considered second-class.

Where did you get the idea that batteries are low power? Megawatts isn't hard when you have enough battery capacity for long duration flight, and good induction motors are competitive with jet turbines for specific power.

Pls re-read my post.  I'm not claiming "batteries are low power", I'm claiming that the elephant-in-the-room issue is transporting that power from the batteries to the induction motors

Conventional technology for doing this (as used in most EVs, including Telsa ones) uses copper bus-bar - and copper is heavy: very, impractically, heavy when you consider the megawatts of power (not kW as required by a car) needing to be transferred to your induction motors located many metres away from the power source.  Heavy enough that, even if it worked, your resultant aircraft probably won't leave the runway fully-loaded.  Note that "heavy" isn't an issue for ground transport - in fact in some applications like truck and rail, it can be a good and helpful thing - that's why any comparison with ground transport is meaningless.

True, there are other methods to transfer large amounts of power over short distances like generating a high voltage/high frequency plasma (which isn't possible using batteries) and piping it to the motors or using incredibly expensive and extremely fragile high-temp superconductors that wouldn't survive the take-off roll... but most of these methods, on paper at least, generate impossibly large electric fields in the confines of a conventional airframe that would disrupt the aircraft's avionics, passenger's pacemakers, entertainment screens and mobile phones and otherwise generally wreak havoc.
   
Yes, megawatts is very hard.  That's why there are no electric-powered airliners yet.  ::)

With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline Robotbeat

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Bus bar?? No, you'd use high voltage aluminum wire. A very small fraction of the weight you're imagining. You simply design the system to have high enough voltage so the weight of the wiring isn't a major drawback.  And doesn't have to be long, either, the batteries can be fairly near the motors, whether in the wings or fuselage.

High frequency plasma? Why. You're overthinking this.
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Bus bar?? No, you'd use high voltage aluminum wire. A very small fraction of the weight you're imagining. You simply design the system to have high enough voltage so the weight of the wiring isn't a major drawback.  And doesn't have to be long, either, the batteries can be fairly near the motors, whether in the wings or fuselage.

High frequency plasma? Why. You're overthinking this.

Maybe I am.. but I'm still curious to know how high a voltage you're thinking of.

I haven't got the time to run the numbers properly now, but for a quick BOTE calculation for 50MW (the approx. generation capacity of a GE CF-6 at take-off power) could mean 50kV DC @ 1000 Amps - and 1000 Amps worth of aluminium wire is still a hunking great chunk of metal.

I'm also not sure (a) whether you could string enough fancy Lithium batteries together to generate 50kV @ 1000 Amps and still fit it on an airplane (and that's only one engine worth, remember) and (b) whether the high-voltage motor control systems required are possible at >50kVDC with even near-future technology.  Still, even if incredibly inefficient and impractical, it's an interesting concept... :)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-voltage_direct_current
« Last Edit: 08/31/2016 05:12 AM by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline CameronD

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Where did you get the idea that batteries are low power? Megawatts isn't hard when you have enough battery capacity for long duration flight, and good induction motors are competitive with jet turbines for specific power.

If anything, batteries give you MORE power for takeoff. The few electric aircraft available boast about high power for takeoff vs their conventional cousins.

That's why the long-range Tesla Model S P100D crushes every other production car on the road. It can harness a good half a Megawatt all by itself. And an electric airliner will have roughly two dozen times as much capacity. Megawatts is no problem. The problem remains capacity, and so initial electric airliners will be used for short-haul as we develop the higher capacity lithium-air batteries.

Just came across this article on a 100MW lithium battery (roughly enough for an average twin-jet) to be built in SoCal.  Of note is:
Quote
The battery will be installed in one large building at the Alamitos Power Center in Long Beach, Calif
Quote
Zahurancik confirmed that, to the company's knowledge, this is the largest grid-scale electrochemical battery in development. DOE energy storage archives confirm this as well.

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/The-Worlds-Biggest-Battery-is-Being-Built-in-Southern-California

Somehow I don't think that's going in a plane anytime soon!  ;D
« Last Edit: 08/31/2016 06:00 AM by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline Asteroza

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Graphene platelets spun up as fibers for a wire are semi-practical now, that give decent performance at much lower weight. If graphane can be reasonably produced to make matching insulation, then that is a path towards the transmission infrastructure internally to make E-planes happen without superconductors.

As a reminder, ESaero took part in the NASA N+3  aviation tech study, and illustrated a closing series hybrid electric aircraft design using superconducting motors and generators. After the study ESaero went back and using updates in conventional motor/generator tech, made a new closing design in the 737 class (viewable as an image on their home page, a C-130-esqe craft with half the wing being boxed propulsors and the generator turbine mounted halfway on the wing). ESaero is currently working with Joby Aviation on the NASA X-57 Maxwell electric distributed propulsion demonstrator (which currently is battery only?), so it's already edging into the realm of the possible without fancy wires.

Offline Robotbeat

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Where did you get the idea that batteries are low power? Megawatts isn't hard when you have enough battery capacity for long duration flight, and good induction motors are competitive with jet turbines for specific power.

If anything, batteries give you MORE power for takeoff. The few electric aircraft available boast about high power for takeoff vs their conventional cousins.

That's why the long-range Tesla Model S P100D crushes every other production car on the road. It can harness a good half a Megawatt all by itself. And an electric airliner will have roughly two dozen times as much capacity. Megawatts is no problem. The problem remains capacity, and so initial electric airliners will be used for short-haul as we develop the higher capacity lithium-air batteries.

Just came across this article on a 100MW lithium battery (roughly enough for an average twin-jet) to be built in SoCal.  Of note is:
Quote
The battery will be installed in one large building at the Alamitos Power Center in Long Beach, Calif
Quote
Zahurancik confirmed that, to the company's knowledge, this is the largest grid-scale electrochemical battery in development. DOE energy storage archives confirm this as well.

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/The-Worlds-Biggest-Battery-is-Being-Built-in-Southern-California

Somehow I don't think that's going in a plane anytime soon!  ;D
Why would you use a grid battery to power an airplane? They're optimized for different uses.

Also, airplanes are the size of a building. 5 airplanes is the size of a large building.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Bus bar?? No, you'd use high voltage aluminum wire. A very small fraction of the weight you're imagining. You simply design the system to have high enough voltage so the weight of the wiring isn't a major drawback.  And doesn't have to be long, either, the batteries can be fairly near the motors, whether in the wings or fuselage.

High frequency plasma? Why. You're overthinking this.

Maybe I am.. but I'm still curious to know how high a voltage you're thinking of.

I haven't got the time to run the numbers properly now, but for a quick BOTE calculation for 50MW (the approx. generation capacity of a GE CF-6 at take-off power) could mean 50kV DC @ 1000 Amps - and 1000 Amps worth of aluminium wire is still a hunking great chunk of metal.

I'm also not sure (a) whether you could string enough fancy Lithium batteries together to generate 50kV @ 1000 Amps and still fit it on an airplane (and that's only one engine worth, remember) and (b) whether the high-voltage motor control systems required are possible at >50kVDC with even near-future technology.  Still, even if incredibly inefficient and impractical, it's an interesting concept... :)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-voltage_direct_current
It's also possible to liquid-cool the wires, which greatly enhances the power carrying capacity and reduces the wiring mass.

The induction motor on the Tesla Model S is liquid-cooled. And Tesla has, in the past, installed some Supercharger stations with liquid-cooled power cables which make them easier to handle.

It should be noted that Supercharging operates at over 300 Amps over a single cable. An electric aircraft is likely to have several motors (perhaps even a dozen, if distributed propulsion takes off. heh.).
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Offline CameronD

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It's also possible to liquid-cool the wires, which greatly enhances the power carrying capacity and reduces the wiring mass.

That leaves only the enormous magnetic fields to content with. ..and one tiny lightning hit might ruin your entire day.  ::)

I give in: Sure, it may be possible to overcome the hurdles outlined and produce an electric airliner... but it's certainly not an easy road - at least at the outset.

Here I find an interesting parallel with the end of the steam age: Steam engines at the end of the era, both triple-expansion and turbine type, were engineered to perfection and were (and still are!) incredibly efficient at converting live steam into water vapour for maximum output.  Then someone demonstrated 'internal combustion' and changed everything.

Internal combustion aircraft engine technology has, IMHO, gone almost as far as it can converting jet fuel into water vapour for maximum output to the point that engine manufacturers now seem to spend their time focusing on other ways to make them better ('green fuel, low noise, low emissions') that has little to do with performance.  Since  'green fuel, low noise, low emissions' are all an integral part of hybrid/electric engine tech, I, for one, will be watching with professional interest because perhaps that's the game-changer they're looking for.


EDIT:  It still astounds me that in 2016 you can produce enough electrical power from a box smaller than a single-car garage to power an entire town.  ..and then we bolt two of these things (minus the alternator and gearbox) on either side of a B767 airframe and sit back, relax and watch the world go by on either side of the runway.
« Last Edit: 09/01/2016 05:17 AM by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline CameronD

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It should be noted that Supercharging operates at over 300 Amps over a single cable. An electric aircraft is likely to have several motors (perhaps even a dozen, if distributed propulsion takes off. heh.).

It's amazing how quickly these technologies take wings.. (pun intended)

http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/nasas-x-57-electric-research-plane
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline Robotbeat

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It should be noted that Supercharging operates at over 300 Amps over a single cable. An electric aircraft is likely to have several motors (perhaps even a dozen, if distributed propulsion takes off. heh.).

It's amazing how quickly these technologies take wings.. (pun intended)

http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/nasas-x-57-electric-research-plane
Precisely.
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on batteries

these to videos show a batterie  that in a year wil be in mass production



Offline Asteroza

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In the slightly more mundane category, Aurora is now pushing ahead with a half scale demonstrator of their D8 double bubble fuselage design, which might be assigned an X-plane number by NASA.

http://www.aurora.aero/D8/

http://www.aurora.aero/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/APR334_NASA-D8-Funding-1.pdf
« Last Edit: 09/15/2016 10:00 AM by Asteroza »

Offline KelvinZero

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It's amazing how quickly these technologies take wings.. (pun intended)

http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/nasas-x-57-electric-research-plane
It mentions a "five time reduction in energy requirements".. thats pretty incredible.. maybe they will produce a pedal powered version :)

Offline CameronD

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It's amazing how quickly these technologies take wings.. (pun intended)

http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/nasas-x-57-electric-research-plane
It mentions a "five time reduction in energy requirements".. thats pretty incredible.. maybe they will produce a pedal powered version :)

Heh.  Sounds more like someone in NASA's PAO got a little bit over-excited.. :)
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline Robotbeat

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It's amazing how quickly these technologies take wings.. (pun intended)

http://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/nasas-x-57-electric-research-plane
It mentions a "five time reduction in energy requirements".. thats pretty incredible.. maybe they will produce a pedal powered version :)

Heh.  Sounds more like someone in NASA's PAO got a little bit over-excited.. :)
It's not an exaggeration. If you include improvements to lift/drag ratio (the air intake for propeller-driven internal combustion engine general aviation aircraft is high drag in and of itself, so its elimination helps a lot), structural efficiency, much better streamlining and a better wing, and the fact that general aviation aircraft engines are maybe 30% efficient on a good day (versus >90% for battery-to-shaft for a good setup), you could easily get five times the range for a given amount of energy.
« Last Edit: 09/16/2016 01:14 AM by Robotbeat »
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Online Stormbringer

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Water bear derived anti radiation pills/ IV infusions?

http://phys.org/news/2016-09-protein-shields-human-dna-x-rays.html

the little critters resist radiation thanks to a protein they make.

 
Quote
A protein unique to a miniscule creature called a water bear, reputedly the most indestructible animal on Earth, protects human DNA from X-ray damage, stunned researchers reported Tuesday.

Human cells cultivated with the newly-discovered protein, dubbed "Dsup" for "damage suppressor", experienced half as much decay as normal cells when blasted with radiation.

"We were really surprised," said lead author Takuma Hashimoto, a biologist at the University of Tokyo who designed the experiments.


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-09-protein-shields-human-dna-x-rays.html#jCp
« Last Edit: 09/25/2016 01:09 PM by Stormbringer »
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Offline tnphysics

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I think that aviation will be revolutionized by unmanned, small cargo haulers and later fully-automated passenger craft, following (though for different reasons) the spaceflight paradigm.  The big advantage is simple: no crew to pay equals lower expenses and higher flexibility.  It also eliminates pilot error.  On the other hand, it means that the automated control system must be perfect.

As far as spaceflight, not sure.

Offline Robotbeat

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Water bear derived anti radiation pills/ IV infusions?

http://phys.org/news/2016-09-protein-shields-human-dna-x-rays.html

the little critters resist radiation thanks to a protein they make.

 
Quote
A protein unique to a miniscule creature called a water bear, reputedly the most indestructible animal on Earth, protects human DNA from X-ray damage, stunned researchers reported Tuesday.

Human cells cultivated with the newly-discovered protein, dubbed "Dsup" for "damage suppressor", experienced half as much decay as normal cells when blasted with radiation.

"We were really surprised," said lead author Takuma Hashimoto, a biologist at the University of Tokyo who designed the experiments.


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-09-protein-shields-human-dna-x-rays.html#jCp

Yeah, biotech will be transformative to spaceflight.

Radiation mitigation via a pill. Microgravity mitigation, too. Torpor. Even longer term hibernation. Life extension. Humans are actually pretty compact for the capability they bring, provided you could keep them on ice most of the trip and safe during the rest.
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Offline sanman

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Yeah, biotech will be transformative to spaceflight.

Radiation mitigation via a pill. Microgravity mitigation, too. Torpor. Even longer term hibernation. Life extension. Humans are actually pretty compact for the capability they bring, provided you could keep them on ice most of the trip and safe during the rest.

I just wanted to quickly ask - if humans are kept "on ice" during space travel, whether in a slow-metabolic hibernation, or even literally frozen cryogenically - then how would it affect their radiation resistance/tolerance? Sure, your regular active metabolism can cause cancer to grow, but it also fights cancer and radiation damage - so would slowing it down or even stopping it completely then improve or impair your ability to withstand the damaging effects of radiation?

For instance, I could imagine some cryogenically frozen astronaut waking up after a century of space travel, only to find that he's accumulated a century's worth of radiation damage in space, so that his cells quickly start malfunctioning from the cumulative damage after he's thawed out.
Likewise, I can similarly imagine an astronaut waking up after a decade of metabolically-slowed hibernation in space, finding out that he's got lots of tumors growing within him, because his previously slowed immune system wasn't able to repair radiation damage or fight off cancerous growths fast enough.

What's going to prevent scenarios like that?
« Last Edit: 09/27/2016 06:44 AM by sanman »

Online Stormbringer

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I imagine you could put them on an I.V. with things like this and the cruciform veggie extract protein in it. There are other compounds that act in a similar pathway but on other aspects of cellular and genetic  damage. Tumeric is another one just now verified by science. If they all act on different aspects of the same problem then their effects would be cumulative.

The cruciform veggie concentrate (used by astronauts on the ISS now) in pill form more than doubles radiation tolerance/repair if i recall correctly. it is a hyper concentrated form of a chemical found in broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and cabbage. You'd have to eat a swimming pool filled with these veggies to get the amount in one of the aforementioned pills.

It's not the tardigrade gene. It's the protein the gene manufactures.
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Offline Asteroza

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cockroach milk is apparently also an interesting food/protein source...

yes, you read that right...

http://journals.iucr.org/m/issues/2016/04/00/jt5013/

Offline Robotbeat

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Yeah, biotech will be transformative to spaceflight.

Radiation mitigation via a pill. Microgravity mitigation, too. Torpor. Even longer term hibernation. Life extension. Humans are actually pretty compact for the capability they bring, provided you could keep them on ice most of the trip and safe during the rest.

I just wanted to quickly ask - if humans are kept "on ice" during space travel, whether in a slow-metabolic hibernation, or even literally frozen cryogenically - then how would it affect their radiation resistance/tolerance? Sure, your regular active metabolism can cause cancer to grow, but it also fights cancer and radiation damage - so would slowing it down or even stopping it completely then improve or impair your ability to withstand the damaging effects of radiation?

For instance, I could imagine some cryogenically frozen astronaut waking up after a century of space travel, only to find that he's accumulated a century's worth of radiation damage in space, so that his cells quickly start malfunctioning from the cumulative damage after he's thawed out.
Likewise, I can similarly imagine an astronaut waking up after a decade of metabolically-slowed hibernation in space, finding out that he's got lots of tumors growing within him, because his previously slowed immune system wasn't able to repair radiation damage or fight off cancerous growths fast enough.

What's going to prevent scenarios like that?
yes, I think this is an important effect for very long-duration flight. I think that unless you have VERY thick shields, you'll have to wake people up (or at least speed up their metabolism) occasionally so their bodies can repair damage.

Might not be necessary for short flights, though. Keep someone sedated for high-gees of launch and entry, and if the flight is short enough (days, maybe weeks depending on tech), keep them sedated the whole time.
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Offline FinalFrontier

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Composite structures. Before today I honestly can say it would never have occurred to me (especially after venture star) to try and build an entire vehicle out of carbon composites for the primary structures.

If it can be done in such a way that it works reliably and doesn't crack or otherwise fail, its going to be a very big deal in terms of mass reductions. And if you can build your launch vehicle reliably out of the stuff you can build things for surface habitation out of it too.


To expand on that, basically anything that drastically reduces the weight of things you need but still preforms all the same functions is trans-formative. The less mass you have the more stuff you can send.
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Offline CameronD

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Composite structures. Before today I honestly can say it would never have occurred to me (especially after venture star) to try and build an entire vehicle out of carbon composites for the primary structures.

Huh?  ??? You'll find composites used at least somewhere on any modern aeroplane you care to fly on - if not for the entire thing.

Composite structures are old tech now... very 20th century.
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline Katana

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Yeah, biotech will be transformative to spaceflight.

Radiation mitigation via a pill. Microgravity mitigation, too. Torpor. Even longer term hibernation. Life extension. Humans are actually pretty compact for the capability they bring, provided you could keep them on ice most of the trip and safe during the rest.

I just wanted to quickly ask - if humans are kept "on ice" during space travel, whether in a slow-metabolic hibernation, or even literally frozen cryogenically - then how would it affect their radiation resistance/tolerance? Sure, your regular active metabolism can cause cancer to grow, but it also fights cancer and radiation damage - so would slowing it down or even stopping it completely then improve or impair your ability to withstand the damaging effects of radiation?

For instance, I could imagine some cryogenically frozen astronaut waking up after a century of space travel, only to find that he's accumulated a century's worth of radiation damage in space, so that his cells quickly start malfunctioning from the cumulative damage after he's thawed out.
Likewise, I can similarly imagine an astronaut waking up after a decade of metabolically-slowed hibernation in space, finding out that he's got lots of tumors growing within him, because his previously slowed immune system wasn't able to repair radiation damage or fight off cancerous growths fast enough.

What's going to prevent scenarios like that?

A good question.
Have anybody done experiments on frozen cells in lab?

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Composite structures. Before today I honestly can say it would never have occurred to me (especially after venture star) to try and build an entire vehicle out of carbon composites for the primary structures.

Huh?  ??? You'll find composites used at least somewhere on any modern aeroplane you care to fly on - if not for the entire thing.

Composite structures are old tech now... very 20th century.
It is about large composite structures that can withstand relatively high pressures and cryogenic fuels.

Offline CameronD

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Composite structures. Before today I honestly can say it would never have occurred to me (especially after venture star) to try and build an entire vehicle out of carbon composites for the primary structures.

Huh?  ??? You'll find composites used at least somewhere on any modern aeroplane you care to fly on - if not for the entire thing.

Composite structures are old tech now... very 20th century.
It is about large composite structures that can withstand relatively high pressures and cryogenic fuels.

Do you mean COPV's?  ..or complete rockets like RocketLab's Electron? ..or maybe SS2??

ISTM they're all current technologies, developed over decades, finding their niche in commercial aerospace now.  Either way, for many reasons carbon composites aren't a replacement for metal structures in all cases, they're an addition to.
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

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C14 Diamond Nuclear Batteries:

These things are low power but extreme^29th power longevity and endurance. I suppose you'd just put a number of them together to meet the requirements of whatever equipment was onboard. This would be ideal for probes to nearby stars.

If you are someone that thinks postage stamp sized interstellar probes are a real contender but this is not because of the low power...there is something wrong with your philosophy. In fact:

Quote
Unitam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant!
  :P

http://phys.org/news/2016-11-diamond-age-power-nuclear-batteries.html

Quote
Despite their low-power, relative to current battery technologies, the life-time of these diamond batteries could revolutionise the powering of devices over long timescales. Using carbon-14 the battery would take 5,730 years to reach 50 per cent power, which is about as long as human civilization has existed.

Professor Scott added: "We envision these batteries to be used in situations where it is not feasible to charge or replace conventional batteries. Obvious applications would be in low-power electrical devices where long life of the energy source is needed, such as pacemakers, satellites, high-altitude drones or even spacecraft.


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2016-11-diamond-age-power-nuclear-batteries.html#jCp

« Last Edit: 11/28/2016 09:15 AM by Stormbringer »
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Offline NIVbV-O77OdV-VSVN-Op-SLE7

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I'm no believer in global warming, but the idea of a global ice age now and again seems plausible.

http://www.nature.com/articles/srep15689

Given the beginning of a new ice age next week across the US, I'm thinking about energy.

How does a nation use energy to withstand a mini ice age?  I say stored thermal energy!  MJ/day tech stored in summer (30-50 deg F), and released during the rest of the year.

Offline rocx

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I'm no believer in global warming
It doesn't depend on your belief. Temperature records are being set year after year. http://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature/

And what you are calling an ice age is what most people would call 'winter'. That said, thermal energy storage is a promising technology that could reduce dependence on the fossil fuels that have been warming the climate. But it's not rocket science.
Any day with a rocket landing is a fantastic day.

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yeah about that. we were "recently" in an ice age. just entering an interglacial period. so yeah the globe will warm and it does not matter one darn what we humans do it will still warm and warm and warm until it cools and we enter another period of glaciation. no amount of paying people to pretend to plant trees or how we tax the stuffings out of people or corps, sign away national sovereignty to a bloated evil oppressive multinational organization or even if we switch our entire energy sector to wind solar geothermal and tidal power the planet will still go on warming. It has been warmer in the past it is cooler now and actually life on earth does better when it is warmer.
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Offline NIVbV-O77OdV-VSVN-Op-SLE7

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Well there are already cow suits...

Offline Robotbeat

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yeah about that. we were "recently" in an ice age. just entering an interglacial period. so yeah the globe will warm and it does not matter one darn what we humans do it will still warm and warm and warm until it cools and we enter another period of glaciation. no amount of paying people to pretend to plant trees or how we tax the stuffings out of people or corps, sign away national sovereignty to a bloated evil oppressive multinational organization or even if we switch our entire energy sector to wind solar geothermal and tidal power the planet will still go on warming. It has been warmer in the past it is cooler now and actually life on earth does better when it is warmer.
It most certainly does matter what humans do. Modifying the chemistry of the atmosphere doesn't happen without any consequence! And the fact that the climate changes and has changed in the past shouldn't be a "comfort" to us. Remember, just a few degrees is enough to put Boston under a ~mile of ice. https://xkcd.com/1732/

4 degrees C is enough to put like half of Florida underwater. It's already happening.

It's also really weird to be concerned with a "bloated evil oppressive multinational corporation" when most of the largest corporations in the world are, in fact, fossil fuel companies ( here's a list compiled from various sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_companies_by_revenue ). How much spin can literally trillions of petro dollars buy you?

An interesting point is that never in the history of our species have we experienced 400ppm CO2 levels. 180-300ppm, yes. But our current level is unprecedented in human existence. Interestingly, we're also spending a lot more time indoors, where CO2 levels are even higher. If we do nothing, we'll probably see north of 900ppm by the end of this century. You can start to notice it getting stuffy at around 600ppm. Start seeing measureable reduction in mental speed for some tasks at around 900-1000ppm. It won't hurt you, but it will slow you down slightly. Basically, the entire globe will be a bit like a stuffy room (and actual rooms will be worse, of course). And I can guarantee you that the heirs of those fossil fuel fortunes who made the entire world stuffy will own CO2 scrubbing devices for their homes. Plants will be fine (might even like it) until we get to 2000ppm (at which point it starts being toxic to them, too... and hey, I wouldn't put it past us to try), rich folk will be fine, but the rest of us will all be just a little bit slower. Source: http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/wp-content/uploads/advpub/2015/10/ehp.1510037.acco.pdf

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Offline Robotbeat

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So, interesting that by the end of the century, life support systems like we use on ISS may become in demand on Earth for rich folk who want that "peak performance only possible with a pre-industrial atmosphere..."

That would be a case of space exploration technology shaping our future on Earth.
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Well there are already cow suits...
Fake or not- That's funny.

But I'd say its just like the govt to make a working space suit for a cow (tongue in cheek) before they make a really good one for humans :)
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When antigravity is outlawed only outlaws will have antigravity.

Offline LM13

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I just wanted to quickly ask - if humans are kept "on ice" during space travel, whether in a slow-metabolic hibernation, or even literally frozen cryogenically - then how would it affect their radiation resistance/tolerance? Sure, your regular active metabolism can cause cancer to grow, but it also fights cancer and radiation damage - so would slowing it down or even stopping it completely then improve or impair your ability to withstand the damaging effects of radiation?

For instance, I could imagine some cryogenically frozen astronaut waking up after a century of space travel, only to find that he's accumulated a century's worth of radiation damage in space, so that his cells quickly start malfunctioning from the cumulative damage after he's thawed out.
Likewise, I can similarly imagine an astronaut waking up after a decade of metabolically-slowed hibernation in space, finding out that he's got lots of tumors growing within him, because his previously slowed immune system wasn't able to repair radiation damage or fight off cancerous growths fast enough.

What's going to prevent scenarios like that?

If they're sedated, they only need about 0.1 m3 of pressurized volume each for the trip.  It's much cheaper to put an arbitrarily large amount of radiation shielding around a smaller volume than a large one.  I imagine that, if hibernation ever does become a useful technology for human space travel, the humans would be stored in tiny drawers between the propellant tanks, with a heavy layer of radiation shielding around the entire unit. 

Offline john smith 19

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oh hey- I found a thing:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2116040-future-air-conditioning-could-work-by-beaming-heat-into-space/

a new(?) Heat Rejection idea?
This is quite astonishing.  The nearest I recall for this was an EE Smith story about thermopiles on 2 different planets. I've always wondered if you could enhance surface emission by making pits sized to the radiation to be emitted as a sort of resonance effect.

This is clearly a "high tech" solution, starting with the 10^-6 Torr vacuum in the chamber to the ZnSe window and the sub micrometre thick layers of the Al/Si/SiN sandwich.

Interesting points are that this being in the near IR a cheaper window material could be used that was not even transparent to visible light. That still leaves the high quality vacuum and the emitter technology.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
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oh hey- I found a thing:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2116040-future-air-conditioning-could-work-by-beaming-heat-into-space/

a new(?) Heat Rejection idea?
This is quite astonishing.  The nearest I recall for this was an EE Smith story about thermopiles on 2 different planets. I've always wondered if you could enhance surface emission by making pits sized to the radiation to be emitted as a sort of resonance effect.

This is clearly a "high tech" solution, starting with the 10^-6 Torr vacuum in the chamber to the ZnSe window and the sub micrometre thick layers of the Al/Si/SiN sandwich.

Interesting points are that this being in the near IR a cheaper window material could be used that was not even transparent to visible light. That still leaves the high quality vacuum and the emitter technology.
i was wondering if it could be used to get rid of thermal waste heat in space?
« Last Edit: 12/13/2016 10:52 PM by Stormbringer »
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Offline Asteroza

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Thermal dumping in space is hard, because you generally only have radiative.

These atmospheric IR window targeting narrow band emitters are simply exploiting a convenient hole in the blanket that is our atmosphere. If you are in space, as long as your primary radiator surface isn't facing the sun and the earth, you can radiate in a much wider band generally towards deep space, so no need for these frequency converting narrowband tricks.

Offline AnalogMan

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Use of selective surfaces to modify radiative properties might be used to keep things like LOX storage tanks in space below 90K by purely passive means.  Here is a presentation from a year ago modeling such surfaces - predicting potential cooling to 47K in the presence of illumination by the sun.

Offline john smith 19

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Thermal dumping in space is hard, because you generally only have radiative.

These atmospheric IR window targeting narrow band emitters are simply exploiting a convenient hole in the blanket that is our atmosphere. If you are in space, as long as your primary radiator surface isn't facing the sun and the earth, you can radiate in a much wider band generally towards deep space, so no need for these frequency converting narrowband tricks.
True, but in space the problem is backward. In the article the goal is "cold as possible." In space you're likely to be running at a (more or less) fixed inlet temperature. That implies you want maximum emission at that temperature with minimum surface area.

So the technique could have some use in terms of lowering the size of radiators in space, which is an under appreciated but very significant mass on most long term crewed exploration missions.

The obvious case would be a liquid metal cooled reactor. These can run very hot but the radiator size trade off means they tend to have fairly high exhaust temperatures (from the power conversion system) to keep the radiator mass down. A more efficient emission surface (and this one looks pretty rugged as it depends on layering, rather than surface topology) could lower that outlet temp, improving overall efficiency without sacrificing radiator mass to do it. For example a LBE loop running around 300c would need to optimize emission at 0.05eV roughly
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
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Offline john smith 19

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Use of selective surfaces to modify radiative properties might be used to keep things like LOX storage tanks in space below 90K by purely passive means.  Here is a presentation from a year ago modeling such surfaces - predicting potential cooling to 47K in the presence of illumination by the sun.
Intriguing.

Not good enough for LH2 of course but putting this on top of an MLI blanket should cut the work the MLI has to do to begin with by quite a bit. I don't know about Barium but TiOx is very cheap in powder form given it's used in everything from toothpaste to paint.

[EDIT While not quite good enough for LH2 it should be fine for long term storage of Methane. Now what it needs is a space test. Ideally a small LOX bottle sitting in the payload bay of an X37 on orbit for 240 days, but that's very unlikely. Maybe a few hours on an F9? Either way it's chipping away at the long term space storage problem ]
« Last Edit: 12/14/2016 11:08 AM by john smith 19 »
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
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Offline Robotbeat

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That's correct. Both oxygen and methane are "space storable" using passive means.
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I just wanted to quickly ask - if humans are kept "on ice" during space travel, whether in a slow-metabolic hibernation, or even literally frozen cryogenically - then how would it affect their radiation resistance/tolerance? Sure, your regular active metabolism can cause cancer to grow, but it also fights cancer and radiation damage - so would slowing it down or even stopping it completely then improve or impair your ability to withstand the damaging effects of radiation?

For instance, I could imagine some cryogenically frozen astronaut waking up after a century of space travel, only to find that he's accumulated a century's worth of radiation damage in space, so that his cells quickly start malfunctioning from the cumulative damage after he's thawed out.
Likewise, I can similarly imagine an astronaut waking up after a decade of metabolically-slowed hibernation in space, finding out that he's got lots of tumors growing within him, because his previously slowed immune system wasn't able to repair radiation damage or fight off cancerous growths fast enough.

What's going to prevent scenarios like that?

If they're sedated, they only need about 0.1 m3 of pressurized volume each for the trip.  It's much cheaper to put an arbitrarily large amount of radiation shielding around a smaller volume than a large one.  I imagine that, if hibernation ever does become a useful technology for human space travel, the humans would be stored in tiny drawers between the propellant tanks, with a heavy layer of radiation shielding around the entire unit.
Exactly how much shielding is needed to reduce all types of space radiation (in a worst case scenario) to earth background radiation levels? X inches of X material at X weight mass per square unit of area format :)
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Offline Robotbeat

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About 10m of water. Roughly.
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10 *meters?* 

anyway I'd prefer not to have a consumable used as a shield particularly if there is a leak or a micrometeorid or something like that.

so 10 meters of water is equivalent to a little over three inches of lead? cause if i remember my old days (30+ years ago now) of reading about fall out shelters a yard of water was equal to an inch of lead for radiation shielding or was that a yard of earth equal one inch of lead?
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Offline john smith 19

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10 *meters?* 

anyway I'd prefer not to have a consumable used as a shield particularly if there is a leak or a micrometeorid or something like that.

so 10 meters of water is equivalent to a little over three inches of lead? cause if i remember my old days (30+ years ago now) of reading about fall out shelters a yard of water was equal to an inch of lead for radiation shielding or was that a yard of earth equal one inch of lead?
Not to mention it takes a big rocket to take that into orbit in the first place.

Are you beginning to see why asteroid redirect is potentially a major game changer for exploration?
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
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Offline Robotbeat

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10 *meters?* 

anyway I'd prefer not to have a consumable used as a shield particularly if there is a leak or a micrometeorid or something like that.

so 10 meters of water is equivalent to a little over three inches of lead? cause if i remember my old days (30+ years ago now) of reading about fall out shelters a yard of water was equal to an inch of lead for radiation shielding or was that a yard of earth equal one inch of lead?
No, lead sucks for the kind of radiation in deep space. Makes it worse due to secondaries. It's just about the worst material to use.

But you don't need 10m of shielding. Really, humans can tolerate a low dose just fine, which is why we get x-rays, ct-scans, fly on airliners, etc. I mean, do you ever go outside on a sunny day? You're exposing your skin to UV radiation that has basically the same kind of effects as other ionizing types of radiation.
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10 *meters?* 

anyway I'd prefer not to have a consumable used as a shield particularly if there is a leak or a micrometeorid or something like that.

so 10 meters of water is equivalent to a little over three inches of lead? cause if i remember my old days (30+ years ago now) of reading about fall out shelters a yard of water was equal to an inch of lead for radiation shielding or was that a yard of earth equal one inch of lead?
Not to mention it takes a big rocket to take that into orbit in the first place.

Are you beginning to see why asteroid redirect is potentially a major game changer for exploration?
I'm all for redirecting the metal bits or the bits that can be made into ceramics or stuff. the rest of it can stay in place...that and big honking space cruisers with meter thick hull armor...
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Offline john smith 19

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Use of selective surfaces to modify radiative properties might be used to keep things like LOX storage tanks in space below 90K by purely passive means.  Here is a presentation from a year ago modeling such surfaces - predicting potential cooling to 47K in the presence of illumination by the sun.
BTW Methane melts at 91K

Assuming they can get the coating to work on a large scale this means that in fact on orbit sub cooled storage (except for LH2) becomes quite feasible.

In fact it may be a little too efficient. Left on their own both tanks would freeze solid at 46K. This suggests that a system with those propellants would actually need a heat leak into it to stop that.

It also opens up the interesting idea that if some stop gap existed while the tanks were cooling down you could dispense with the mass of a large radiator as you could (depending on how stuff was sized) dump excess heat to the tanks and they would radiate enough of it to keep the contents (just) liquid.

I'm not sure if this would still need the bulk of both propellants to be in a single settled mass to avoid excess boil off. From Saturn V results that would need a continuous 1-10 micro g of acceleration.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
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room temperature super conductor with options to remain superconducting to the melting point of tin

http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2016/12/researchers-at-japan-tokai-university.html

Got deleted from EM drive thread even though searching showed many posts about superconducting EM drives. oh well.

Anyway the things such an conductor could be used for is nearly unlimited space apps included.
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oh hey- I found a thing:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2116040-future-air-conditioning-could-work-by-beaming-heat-into-space/

a new(?) Heat Rejection idea?
This is quite astonishing.  The nearest I recall for this was an EE Smith story about thermopiles on 2 different planets. I've always wondered if you could enhance surface emission by making pits sized to the radiation to be emitted as a sort of resonance effect.

This is clearly a "high tech" solution, starting with the 10^-6 Torr vacuum in the chamber to the ZnSe window and the sub micrometre thick layers of the Al/Si/SiN sandwich.

Interesting points are that this being in the near IR a cheaper window material could be used that was not even transparent to visible light. That still leaves the high quality vacuum and the emitter technology.
i was wondering if it could be used to get rid of thermal waste heat in space?
It's just a radiator.  That's already how cooling works in space. This is actually much less efficient that conventional atmospheric convective cooling.  But convective cooling only works at room temperature, obviously.  Yes the temperature can be low, but the rate of heat removal is also probably very small.  So useful in niche markets, with very small loads, but not much use elsewhere.
In other words, since it is at about 180 K, the same area at twice the temperature, 360K, or 90C would radiate out 2^4, 16 times more energy.



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But convective cooling only works at room temperature, obviously. 
Convective cooling only operates in an atmosphere.

This coating (assuming it can be scaled up)  stops heat being absorbed by the tank above that temperature, allowing the tank itself to continue emitting until it gets closer to the ambient temperature, in this case 3K.

One joker in this pack for SX is that the question "At what temperature does a composite tanks start to develop brittleness issues " AIUI SX want to run LO2 close to its melting point, which is well below that of Methane. 47K should be OK but I don't think anyone really knows. 
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
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the Japanese seem to have found a room temperature up to the temperature of molten tin superconductor. Not a creepy disjunction filled microscopic here or there useless bits and pieces superconductor in name only but a real let's make a damned conductor out of it already superconductor.
« Last Edit: 12/22/2016 04:25 AM by Stormbringer »
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the Japanese seem to have found a room temperature up to the temperature of molten tin superconductor. Not a creepy disjunction filled microscopic here or there useless bits and pieces superconductor in name only but a real let's make a damned conductor out of it super conductor out it already superconductor.

Not according to the (badly worded) article you linked to above.. instead, they've discovered a promising line of research.  Most research folks need to do that to keep their funding.
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline Robotbeat

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Yeah, I'm not yet sold on the high performance organic superconductors. But the hydrogen based ones look very real and reproducible. Only a matter of time until someone demonstrates a room temperature (or 0 degrees C... Close enough in this field) superconductor. But it'll be at extremely high pressures (at least initially), like hundreds of GPa.
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Offline john smith 19

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Not according to the (badly worded) article you linked to above.. instead, they've discovered a promising line of research.  Most research folks need to do that to keep their funding.
Yes, it's suggestive something is going on but nowhere near an actual product.

A perennial problem with superconductors is the materials tend to be brittle and this one looks to be no different. The REBCO tape materials that MIT is planning to use for their compact fusion reactor seem to avoid this problem, although they are looking to operate around LH2 temperatures (27K?)

TBH I'm not sure how much benefit space exploration will see from fusion.  :(

The standard tokomak design has even more severe scale down problems than LH2 turbopumps. I'd say you'd need SLS to put a fusion reactor into space assuming the MIT team can get funding to demonstrate the ARC reactor plan.

That said if they could get it to work ARC can deliver a large amount of low radiation energy from a very abundant source indefinitely provided you can live with the (by space standards) very large minimum mass requirement and radiator size.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
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Offline Elmar Moelzer

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Not according to the (badly worded) article you linked to above.. instead, they've discovered a promising line of research.  Most research folks need to do that to keep their funding.
Yes, it's suggestive something is going on but nowhere near an actual product.

A perennial problem with superconductors is the materials tend to be brittle and this one looks to be no different. The REBCO tape materials that MIT is planning to use for their compact fusion reactor seem to avoid this problem, although they are looking to operate around LH2 temperatures (27K?)

TBH I'm not sure how much benefit space exploration will see from fusion.  :(

The standard tokomak design has even more severe scale down problems than LH2 turbopumps. I'd say you'd need SLS to put a fusion reactor into space assuming the MIT team can get funding to demonstrate the ARC reactor plan.

That said if they could get it to work ARC can deliver a large amount of low radiation energy from a very abundant source indefinitely provided you can live with the (by space standards) very large minimum mass requirement and radiator size.
There are other promising fusion reactor designs that would be even more compact than ARC. Spherical tokamaks (instead of the regular tokamak shape) could further reduce the size of a reactor based on the overall ARC design. This is what the UK company Tokamak Energy is planning to do. They are collaborating with Dennis Whyte from the MIT/ARC on that.
And then there are several other designs that are currently getting attention, in example designs based on field reversed configuration or a Z-Pinch that are potentially quite compact making them applicable for aerospace use.

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There are other promising fusion reactor designs that would be even more compact than ARC.
True. However ARC is attractive because it leverages the architecture most fusion physicists have worked on for the last half century but applies some clever materials and some reverse thinking (essentially making the inside the vacuum chamber inside everything else and making it replaceable).

The attraction is there is no new  or unexplored physics involved in the design. That radically lowers the risk of the design having some X factor that stops it working and that's very attractive to investors. OTOH they are still talking about $300m

In principle any design that needs a strong magnetic field can benefit from the REBCO technology, if they can operate at the temperatures it needs.
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But convective cooling only works at room temperature, obviously. 
Convective cooling only operates in an atmosphere.

This coating (assuming it can be scaled up)  stops heat being absorbed by the tank above that temperature, allowing the tank itself to continue emitting until it gets closer to the ambient temperature, in this case 3K.

One joker in this pack for SX is that the question "At what temperature does a composite tanks start to develop brittleness issues " AIUI SX want to run LO2 close to its melting point, which is well below that of Methane. 47K should be OK but I don't think anyone really knows.

I see, I got it completely wrong  :-)  As a very reflective coating, it does a lot of work with a single layer. I wonder if you can combine this with multilayer insulation to reduce heat gain further?

Can't be much gain left at these temperatures?





Offline john smith 19

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I see, I got it completely wrong  :-)  As a very reflective coating, it does a lot of work with a single layer. I wonder if you can combine this with multilayer insulation to reduce heat gain further?
Yes that's the idea. Making it the outermost layer of an MLI blanket.  I think ULA were talking about 30+layer blankets to give 1 week on orbit storage. Lowering the energy input (using this coating as the outermost layer) means either you could have a blanket with fewer layers or longer storage. I think this becomes more important as the temperature you're trying to maintain falls. LH2 needs around 20k. This coating won't give you that but will reduce the heat leaking in.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
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Offline Robotbeat

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How did this relatively mundane technology of a reflective coating come to dominate this thread? It deserves its own thread.
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Offline john smith 19

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How did this relatively mundane technology of a reflective coating come to dominate this thread? It deserves its own thread.
Perhaps when it was noted by Robert Braun that better on orbit propellant management could cut the inital payload to LEO needed for a Mars mission by about 63%, suggesting this is a technology which offers massive leverage for missions BEO.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
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Offline Robotbeat

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Okay, sure, but at this point this is the tail wagging the dog for this thread. Lots of ways to do the same thing without this invention. Believe it or not, propellant storage is not intractable even without this.
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Lots of fusion news lately.

Magnetic reconnection behavior looks very promising and potentially relevant to space flight considering that it could improve plasma containment and therefore address:
•   Fusion reactors performance.
•   Plasma acceleration based thrusters (with no fusion involved).
•   Fusion based thrusters.

related article:

>> http://www.pppl.gov/news/2017/01/pppl-physicist-uncovers-clues-mechanism-behind-magnetic-reconnection

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https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-03-scientists-unveil-giant-anti-aging.html

well that's that then. :)
It's certainly intriguing, and the possibility of near term human trials is encouraging.

"radio protectant" drugs are one of those logical ideas that NASA never seems to have funded at all.

Which is odd because if you're not going to seriously reduce travel times between Earth and anywhere else, or do so inside something with the shielding level of an asteroid, it's your only real way to avoid a massively increased radiation dose, given that the usual NASA Aluminum can offers < 5% of the Earths atmosphere.
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https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-03-scientists-unveil-giant-anti-aging.html

well that's that then. :)
It's certainly intriguing, and the possibility of near term human trials is encouraging.

"radio protectant" drugs are one of those logical ideas that NASA never seems to have funded at all.

Which is odd because if you're not going to seriously reduce travel times between Earth and anywhere else, or do so inside something with the shielding level of an asteroid, it's your only real way to avoid a massively increased radiation dose, given that the usual NASA Aluminum can offers < 5% of the Earths atmosphere.
oh yes; thats the best thing of all. Human trials as early as 6 months from now with possible clinical/commercial implementation in three to five years.
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i am no fan of suspended animation ( ahem "vegging out") at all for solving transit problems for solar system missions but here is something that may help that particular line of exploration:

https://phys.org/news/2017-04-naked-mole-rats-oxygen.html

a mole rat turns into a potato when oxygen deprived. how cool is that?

I guess the only type of suspended animation i would like to see is a temporal stasis cloak and only for food, beer, wine, alien specimens, and medical emergencies where the patient cannot be stabilized on site. Other than that i think the lazy dullard bastiges that design and build space ships should design something other than cramped sardine tins powered by flaming cow flatulence to get from one place to the other.

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Oh Hey! look at the section on Naval CICs for warships from Project Rho!

http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/spacewartactic.php

Doc E.E. Smith's Fictional warship Directrix CIC ideas was used by Chester Nimitz for managing battle information at Midway we had a CIC and the Japanese didn't and the rest is history.

Also Matt Jeffries of Star trek fame was influential on similar things for NAS San Diego.

Quote
The entire set-up was taken specifically, directly, and consciously from the Directrix. In your story, you reached the situation the Navy was in—more communication channels than integration techniques to handle it. You proposed such an integrating technique and proved how advantageous it could be. You, sir, were 100% right. As the Japanese Navy—not the hypothetical Boskonian fleet—learned at an appalling cost.

And

Quote
The bridge of the classic Star Trek Enterprise was designed by Matt Jeffries. In a second stunning example of science fiction innovation it influenced the design of the U.S. Navy master communications center at NAS San Diego. On US naval vessels, their bridge design does not look anything like the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, but the Combat Information Center in a navy vessel does have some resemblances (mostly the Captain's chair in the center of the room). Again, refer to The Great Heinlein Mystery: Science Fiction, Innovation and Naval Technology by Edward M. Wysocki Jr.

Mind blown. rebooting....





« Last Edit: 04/25/2017 09:43 PM by Stormbringer »
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Offline Elmar Moelzer

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i am no fan of suspended animation ( ahem "vegging out") at all for solving transit problems for solar system missions but here is something that may help that particular line of exploration:
I have been in a medically induced torpor before. Waking up from it was neither pleasant nor quick. Though I have to admit that I do not know how much was the torpor and how much of it was the underlying condition.
It is a good idea but I am not sure it is the right solution.

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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True. However ARC is attractive because it leverages the architecture most fusion physicists have worked on for the last half century but applies some clever materials and some reverse thinking (essentially making the inside the vacuum chamber inside everything else and making it replaceable).
Spherical tokamaks have the potential to be more compact than regular tokamaks and they are essentially established by now in terms of physics. Their biggest problem has been engineering because there is no little space at the "core of that apple". REBCOs seem to help with that problem which is why they are on the map again now.
That said, I am more interested in alternative reactor designs. Some have come quite a long way.

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i am no fan of suspended animation ( ahem "vegging out") at all for solving transit problems for solar system missions but here is something that may help that particular line of exploration:
I have been in a medically induced torpor before. Waking up from it was neither pleasant nor quick. Though I have to admit that I do not know how much was the torpor and how much of it was the underlying condition.
It is a good idea but I am not sure it is the right solution.
The correct solution involves not flying in a light weight flimsy minimalist sardine tin and in going much much *FASTER!* :)
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OK here is another one i am not fond of but some people propose to grow humans and other things at the end of a centuries or milenia long journey across space. To do that you'd need a full artificial womb. So here is a fair start towards that:

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-04-unique-womb-like-device-mortality-disability.html

i have read about unrelated but similar experiments through the last decade as well.
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In my continuing unbridled and probably unfounded optimism for the future syndrome department:

https://phys.org/news/2017-04-iceball-planet-microlensing.html

Here is a "planet Earth on ice" that we will one day "tractor beam" into orbit between Earth and Mars around Sol or Alpha Centauri A or B.

All we gotta do is invent fast interstellar travel and all ancillary technologies followed by planetary scale tractor beam technology. Easy!

EDIT:  Who named our solar system stuff anyway? why do we have to have a sun named Sol? why not something cool like Antares or Iridani? Why is our planet named dirt? it wasn't arrogant xenophobic aliens that named our stuff trying to insult us; it was us! I guess at least Terra sounds a little better... but do we use that? Nooooooooo! we're on a planet named after dirt. And it's not even the case that our planet is ugly or poor or anything. No, the planet is beautiful, rich in resources and life but had dippy parents that named it an awful name thats going to ruin it's whole life because they didn't know any better.
« Last Edit: 04/27/2017 02:03 AM by Stormbringer »
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Offline A_M_Swallow

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In my continuing unbridled and probably unfounded optimism for the future syndrome department:

https://phys.org/news/2017-04-iceball-planet-microlensing.html

Here is a "planet Earth on ice" that we will one day "tractor beam" into orbit between Earth and Mars around Sol or Alpha Centauri A or B.

All we gotta do is invent fast interstellar travel and all ancillary technologies followed by planetary scale tractor beam technology. Easy!

EDIT:  Who named our solar system stuff anyway? why do we have to have a sun named Sol? why not something cool like Antares or Iridani? Why is our planet named dirt? it wasn't arrogant xenophobic aliens that named our stuff trying to insult us; it was us! I guess at least Terra sounds a little better... but do we use that? Nooooooooo! we're on a planet named after dirt. And it's not even the case that our planet is ugly or poor or anything. No, the planet is beautiful, rich in resources and life but had dippy parents that named it an awful name thats going to ruin it's whole life because they didn't know any better.

It is a good functional name. Earth has a monopoly on dirt.

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It is a good functional name. Earth has a monopoly on dirt.

FWIW, there is far more water on Earth than "earth"... Most folks just happen to live on the "earth" parts of Earth, that's all.

Anyways, let's not take this discussion too far off-topic shall we?
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline john smith 19

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OK here is another one i am not fond of but some people propose to grow humans and other things at the end of a centuries or milenia long journey across space. To do that you'd need a full artificial womb. So here is a fair start towards that:

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-04-unique-womb-like-device-mortality-disability.html

i have read about unrelated but similar experiments through the last decade as well.
Actually not. It's very much designed to preserve life at (or just before) the 24 week termination limit.

In the SA idea the best I've seen are people who've had major heart/lung surgery where there circulation has been completely shut off and their blood drained out to allow the work to take place at low (near 0 c temperature).

AFAIK the record for this is less than 10 hrs but extending that (or doing it in cycles) would radically reduce consumable usage on long duration space flight.

However for me the most amazing sight was the re-emergence of brain activity after restoration of circulation and gradual warming.

IOW the spontaneous cold boot of a human brain. Something the human body has never evolved to do, ever.
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Hey "Tellus" was considered and used in some sci-fi in place of both Earth and Terra... 'course that could easily have led to calling ourselves Tellosians or Tellerites so...

Randy :)
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Since we're off topic anyway: is there a language where Earth (the planet) is not a homonym to dirt? In the few Western/Northern European languages that I know somehow, they are.

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Since we're off topic anyway: is there a language where Earth (the planet) is not a homonym to dirt? In the few Western/Northern European languages that I know somehow, they are.
In ancient (biblical) Hebrew the word used meant dirt, region, kingdom or country, countryside, the land and (arguably) everything but the modern full understanding of planet.  The usage that come closest to it is "world" but it basically meant all known peoples, inhabited lands or seas around you :)
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Actually not. It's very much designed to preserve life at (or just before) the 24 week termination limit.


I mentioned reading other older articles on similar research that has already been carried out. I might try to find it though my google-fu is weak.

I seem to recall that they had done far far more than in the present cite. Things about having successfully emulating some critical functions of the gestational environment in other artificial womb experiments.

Mind you, as far as using this for colonization- I find this even more appalling than suspended animation/torpor. For other uses such as helping a couple have a baby when they cannot naturally do so; I am more favorable for that.
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Hey "Tellus" was considered and used in some sci-fi in place of both Earth and Terra... 'course that could easily have led to calling ourselves Tellosians or Tellerites so...

..so, instead, we're left with "Earthlings"?!?  As in "ducklings", only bigger?!???

"Cute widdle Earthlings.."

Go figure.  If there IS anything else out there, we'd be the laughing-stock of the galaxy.  ;D
 
« Last Edit: 04/30/2017 11:57 PM by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

Offline A_M_Swallow

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Hey "Tellus" was considered and used in some sci-fi in place of both Earth and Terra... 'course that could easily have led to calling ourselves Tellosians or Tellerites so...

..so, instead, we're left with "Earthlings"?!?  As in "ducklings", only bigger?!???

"Cute widdle Earthlings.."

Go figure.  If there IS anything else out there, we'd be the laughing-stock of the galaxy.  ;D
 


Unless we fight dirty. Then they aliens will take the name as a warning.

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Not according to the (badly worded) article you linked to above.. instead, they've discovered a promising line of research.  Most research folks need to do that to keep their funding.
Yes, it's suggestive something is going on but nowhere near an actual product.

A perennial problem with superconductors is the materials tend to be brittle and this one looks to be no different. The REBCO tape materials that MIT is planning to use for their compact fusion reactor seem to avoid this problem, although they are looking to operate around LH2 temperatures (27K?)

TBH I'm not sure how much benefit space exploration will see from fusion.  :(

The standard tokomak design has even more severe scale down problems than LH2 turbopumps. I'd say you'd need SLS to put a fusion reactor into space assuming the MIT team can get funding to demonstrate the ARC reactor plan.

That said if they could get it to work ARC can deliver a large amount of low radiation energy from a very abundant source indefinitely provided you can live with the (by space standards) very large minimum mass requirement and radiator size.

ARC is designed for 1 GW. I think VASIMR have shown that 100 MW version of their engine can get u to Mars in about 40 days. Tokamak energy have a plan for such a reactor and it would fit in a couple of rooms.

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exercise in a pill:  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170502142024.htm

This alone would have direct long term space travel applications but another thing exercise does is apply stress to bones tendons and ligaments which results in maintaining and improving bone tendon and ligament strength. If this "exercise in a pill" discovery does not include the skeletal system then there would naturally be an analogous pill for that because the stresses on that system also have to have a signalling protein etc.
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exercise in a pill:  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170502142024.htm

This alone would have direct long term space travel applications but another thing exercise does is apply stress to bones tendons and ligaments which results in maintaining and improving bone tendon and ligament strength. If this "exercise in a pill" discovery does not include the skeletal system then there would naturally be an analogous pill for that because the stresses on that system also have to have a signalling protein etc.

GW1516 comes with nasty side effects: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GW501516

Offline Elmar Moelzer

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ARC is designed for 1 GW. I think VASIMR have shown that 100 MW version of their engine can get u to Mars in about 40 days. Tokamak energy have a plan for such a reactor and it would fit in a couple of rooms.
TEs reactor would be even smaller than ARC because it is using a spherical Tokamak rather than a conventional Tokamak designs. Otherwise, the concepts will be quite similar. MIT's Dennis Whyte has been working for TE as a consultant. So his work for ARC is directly benefiting TE.
IMHO, if you have a working fusion reactor, it is probably better to just directly exhaust the plasma for thrust every so often than to go the detour of making electricity to power a VASIMIR.
There are also a few other fusion reactor designs that look very promising for spacecraft propulsion. I for one am quite optimistic about fusion in space.

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exercise in a pill:  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170502142024.htm

This alone would have direct long term space travel applications but another thing exercise does is apply stress to bones tendons and ligaments which results in maintaining and improving bone tendon and ligament strength. If this "exercise in a pill" discovery does not include the skeletal system then there would naturally be an analogous pill for that because the stresses on that system also have to have a signalling protein etc.

GW1516 comes with nasty side effects: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GW501516

That does look like a showstopper but sometimes a slight manipulation of the structure of a drug's molecular structure can remove the worst effects without altering the primary salutory effects of it. Hopefully they are experimenting with different alterations to see if it can retain efficiency of the desired effect while removing or reducing the side effects.
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http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2015/04/transparent-spinel-aluminum-for.html

So the new dimensional limit for this stuff is 30 inch panels. Later maybe conformal panels as wide as a chamber on a space station or space shipcould be fabricated. Multiple layers of the stuff with a vacuum/nitrogen cell between or lead quartz glass sandwiched in there or clear heavily hydrogenated polymers.

You could also have several types of additional protection such as an armored shutter with wiffle shields that can be automatically raised or lowered rapidly in front of it. or a laser/radar combination covering the approaches to it. or an explosively or magnetically launched sacrificial armor plate to intercept impactors.

might eliminate the current "no large porthole rule" for space station or spaceships that is the preferred design mode with few exceptions.
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Offline gospacex

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http://www.nextbigfuture.com/2015/04/transparent-spinel-aluminum-for.html

So the new dimensional limit for this stuff is 30 inch panels. Later maybe conformal panels as wide as a chamber on a space station or space shipcould be fabricated. Multiple layers of the stuff with a vacuum/nitrogen cell between or lead quartz glass sandwiched in there or clear heavily hydrogenated polymers.

I don't see why this material should be singled out.

This is, essentially, a high-performance glass: most glasses are oxides, and they range from cheaper, "ordinary", not particularly tough, not particularly precisely formulated ones we have in ordinary windows, to pure SiO2 (tough, refractory, low thermal expansion), to precisely measured pure SiO2/TiO2 mixtures with precisely zero thermal expansion, to many other special glasses, ceramics, oxides, nitrides, carbides...

The glass in the article is MgAl2O4. Essentially, they found a way how to form this glass into large, homogeneous sheets, lenses and blocks. With homogeneity and transparency good enough even for optical applications.

Which is an important advance (I guess, I'm not a specialist in this field) for this particular material, which is good, but this is hardly a "transparent aluminum". With a strong impact, it will not bend, it will crack like a glass or ceramic. Neither it is a never-before-seen ultra-tough glass - the well-known material, aluminum oxide (aka sapphire aka corundum) is probably tougher.
« Last Edit: 05/09/2017 06:01 PM by gospacex »

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i think one of these spinel glasses is twice as tough as steel if i recall correctly.
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Offline john smith 19

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This is, essentially, a high-performance glass: most glasses are oxides, and they range from cheaper, "ordinary", not particularly tough, not particularly precisely formulated ones we have in ordinary windows, to pure SiO2 (tough, refractory, low thermal expansion), to precisely measured pure SiO2/TiO2 mixtures with precisely zero thermal expansion, to many other special glasses, ceramics, oxides, nitrides, carbides...

The glass in the article is MgAl2O4. Essentially, they found a way how to form this glass into large, homogeneous sheets, lenses and blocks. With homogeneity and transparency good enough even for optical applications.

Which is an important advance (I guess, I'm not a specialist in this field) for this particular material, which is good, but this is hardly a "transparent aluminum". With a strong impact, it will not bend, it will crack like a glass or ceramic. Neither it is a never-before-seen ultra-tough glass - the well-known material, aluminum oxide (aka sapphire aka corundum) is probably tougher.
Actually it's not. Glass is less a material than a state of matter. Specifically a glass has no long range order. It's usually described as a supercooled liquid, more like very cold treacle, or golden syrup, than most solids.

This stuff seems to be sintered micro crystals of the material. By making the crystals small enough and pressing them together without air pockets the material attains most of its bulk properties without needing to grow a single crystal. That's important because this stuff melts around 2300c, while crystals can be sintered around 1600c (or possibly lower with the right additives).

But I woudn't call it transparent Aluminum. A spec sheet
http://www.skyworksinc.com/uploads/documents/magnesium-aluminate.pdf

gives its tensile strength at 19.3 ksi or 133 MPa, while Aluminum alloy is around 400+ MPa.
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progress towards room or high temperature superconductors:

https://phys.org/news/2017-05-laser-pulses-reveal-superconductors-future.html

I think the significance of this article is two-fold. First it says they verified that a missing up till this point prerequisite for room temperature superconductors to even be possible has been observed (...for the first time?)Secondly; it appears that they have discovered a potent sensor imaging tool that should increase the velocity of research.
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https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23431264-500-plasma-jet-engines-that-could-take-you-from-the-ground-to-space/

ground to orbit plasma engine. A few enabling techs need to some work; but the engine works at appropriate thrust levels even at one atmosphere of ambient air pressure to be able to do it already.
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Who needs LCARS displays?  My star cruiser will use these:

https://themerkle.com/scientists-create-a-nano-hologram-visible-to-the-naked-eye/

That article tells you nothing and the picture is misleading.  This is really what the research is about:

Quote
Consumer devices could one day generate holograms

https://www.nature.com/articles/n-12310766

It's still pretty cool (and developed here in my home town).. but is a long way from what you might think it is.
« Last Edit: 05/26/2017 12:54 AM by CameronD »
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

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https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23431264-500-plasma-jet-engines-that-could-take-you-from-the-ground-to-space/

ground to orbit plasma engine. A few enabling techs need to some work; but the engine works at appropriate thrust levels even at one atmosphere of ambient air pressure to be able to do it already.

"A few enabling techs" basically sums up to "light-weight, high-volume energy generation and storage", if I'm not mistaken. Which seems to be the same problem we have with all these other awesome engines. Very frustrating.

https://www.nature.com/articles/n-12310766

It's still pretty cool (and developed here in my home town).. but is a long way from what you might think it is.

If they mean the 'inward' variant of holograms, then it may not be Star Wars, but it's definitely good enough for a real Star Trek viewscreen... Well, maybe. What's the theoretical depth limit?

Offline whitelancer64


"A few enabling techs" basically sums up to "light-weight, high-volume energy generation and storage", if I'm not mistaken. Which seems to be the same problem we have with all these other awesome engines. Very frustrating.


My kingdom for a battery with the energy density of gasoline...

heck, I'd take a battery with the energy density of sugar.
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Lithium-air does. But it needs oxygen (or carbon dioxide, interestingly...).
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Bigeblow ...up balloon corporation's in space testing on ISS survived several detected/suspected micro-meteoroid hits in its first year and the remaining testing is about internal radiation dose levels. Thus far levels are comparable to other modules on the ISS or projected crew cabins for planned manned capsules.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/First_Year_of_BEAM_Demo_Offers_Valuable_Data_on_Expandable_Habitats_999.html
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"A few enabling techs" basically sums up to "light-weight, high-volume energy generation and storage", if I'm not mistaken. Which seems to be the same problem we have with all these other awesome engines. Very frustrating.


My kingdom for a battery with the energy density of gasoline...

heck, I'd take a battery with the energy density of sugar.

My electric hedge trimmer has a lithium ion battery that has over 2 times the voltage of the biggest heavy truck battery i ever saw (which was 24 volts.)  The trimmer battery is smaller than a lawn tractor battery or motorcycle battery but produces 56 volts. That is nearly 4.5 times the voltage in a typical car battery. By now that trimmer battery technology is not even state of the art because it is at least a few years old.

I know the difference is probably crank amps or watt hours. The trimmer can go for nearly forever between recharge cycles. A whole afternoon's work with it and it can hold a charge for about a year in my experience last year end of season to this years beginning of season. I did a little work this year before deciding to recharge it not because it ran out -but it felt a little weak so i recharged it. Probably subjective because these are designed to run at full power until depleted rather than gradually stopping.
« Last Edit: 06/02/2017 08:43 PM by Stormbringer »
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Offline Robotbeat

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Volts don't really tell you much, just how many cells are used. Can get arbitrarily high voltage by using a bunch of teeny tiny cells in series. It's watt-hours we care about.
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Volts don't really tell you much, just how many cells are used. Can get arbitrarily high voltage by using a bunch of teeny tiny cells in series. It's watt-hours we care about.
even there, -watt hours for a given form factor of even standard (automotive) batteries have increased from 50 to over 100 percent over the last few years unless i am mistaken?
« Last Edit: 06/03/2017 08:12 PM by Stormbringer »
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Offline john smith 19

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heck, I'd take a battery with the energy density of sugar.
Now a fuel cell that could run on a sugar solution with anywhere near close to the efficiency of a modern Lithium battery would be a huge game changer.

Sadly there would probably a lot more flies hanging round the filling stations.  :(
[EDIT Although I think that's a problem people would be prepared to live with for a fuel supply you can make essentially by growing a plant, crushing it up with water and straining the juice.  :) ]
« Last Edit: 06/05/2017 06:40 AM by john smith 19 »
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hmmmm. maybe this is the hull plating for mah star cruiser?

https://phys.org/news/2017-06-carbon-harder-diamond-flexible-rubber.html

bendy and stretchy as rubber but harder than diamond?
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Offline sanman

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hmmmm. maybe this is the hull plating for mah star cruiser?

https://phys.org/news/2017-06-carbon-harder-diamond-flexible-rubber.html

bendy and stretchy as rubber but harder than diamond?

Hardness is good against abrasion, but not as useful as structural strength.

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hmmmm. maybe this is the hull plating for mah star cruiser?

https://phys.org/news/2017-06-carbon-harder-diamond-flexible-rubber.html

bendy and stretchy as rubber but harder than diamond?

Hardness is good against abrasion, but not as useful as structural strength.

Maybe, but who says the hull has to have just one material? have some of this layered with kevlar bladders of advanced formula shear thickening fluid armor, pressurized vacuum hardening hole patching goop, glassified steel, tungsten or titanium, heavily hydrogenated polymers and water bladders... It could be as simple as this layered with titanium or glass steel with multiple alternating layers with some velocity tuned spaces interspersed in between the layers to use the wiffel shielding effect as an additional layer of protection.
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Offline sanman

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But if you want abrasion resistance - then what abrasives are you protecting against, and where do you expect to encounter them?
« Last Edit: 06/28/2017 07:40 AM by sanman »

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Generally- flour particle sized or below rocky or metallic grains with a incident rate of one impact per square meter of frontal cross section per day. Possible sand grain sized and (barely possible) larger than sand grain sized at a much reduced frequency. However, in the event of even larger impactors, the shielding should be capable or reducing or eliminating penetration to the habitable portions of the ship or the vitals of an unmanned probe.

A probe or ship that must spend years or centuries at relativistic speeds will encounter thousands and thousands of particles of grit. Rather like being sand blasted or being caressed by a power grinder.

Anywhere in the local bubble within ten or 20 light years or so. (Outer Spaaaaaaaaaaaace)
« Last Edit: 06/28/2017 09:41 AM by Stormbringer »
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Offline KelvinZero

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"A few enabling techs" basically sums up to "light-weight, high-volume energy generation and storage", if I'm not mistaken. Which seems to be the same problem we have with all these other awesome engines. Very frustrating.
They also mentioned beamed power as an option. For a while that was my favourite concept for a spaceship that can land and take off at will the way every spaceship does in SciFi: The heavy part stays in orbit.

For a while I was put off by the fact it would also be a weapon, but nuclear missiles can already reach more of the planet with more damage and less investment, so maybe it is not worth the worry.

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Generally- flour particle sized or below rocky or metallic grains with a incident rate of one impact per square meter of frontal cross section per day. Possible sand grain sized and (barely possible) larger than sand grain sized at a much reduced frequency. However, in the event of even larger impactors, the shielding should be capable or reducing or eliminating penetration to the habitable portions of the ship or the vitals of an unmanned probe.

A probe or ship that must spend years or centuries at relativistic speeds will encounter thousands and thousands of particles of grit. Rather like being sand blasted or being caressed by a power grinder.

Anywhere in the local bubble within ten or 20 light years or so. (Outer Spaaaaaaaaaaaace)

The energies involved in orbital velocity collisions are several orders of magnitude higher than sandblasting or grinding. Not sure that hardness is really what you want.

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Generally- flour particle sized or below rocky or metallic grains with a incident rate of one impact per square meter of frontal cross section per day. Possible sand grain sized and (barely possible) larger than sand grain sized at a much reduced frequency. However, in the event of even larger impactors, the shielding should be capable or reducing or eliminating penetration to the habitable portions of the ship or the vitals of an unmanned probe.

A probe or ship that must spend years or centuries at relativistic speeds will encounter thousands and thousands of particles of grit. Rather like being sand blasted or being caressed by a power grinder.

Anywhere in the local bubble within ten or 20 light years or so. (Outer Spaaaaaaaaaaaace)

The energies involved in orbital velocity collisions are several orders of magnitude higher than sandblasting or grinding. Not sure that hardness is really what you want.
i was not referring to orbital velocity collisions which are bad enough. one grain penetrated 20 cm into a structural bit of the ISS. i was talking interstellar velocities which are hugely worse. and the sand blasting analogy was merely to point out that with the days adding up even ten hits per day would add up 10 or 100s of thousands of dust mote sized impacts over the total trip time each with the tunneling power of an AP rifle round or above. if animated and sped up those impacts would resemble being sand blasted. and whether accompanied with fancy graphics or not the ship that finished the journey would be pocked with a multitude of pits gashes and tunnels.

this is counting on the statistics to prevent impacts by anything peas sized or larger.

if such high velocity trips are ever undertaken a multi-system set of protections and precautions will be needed to make the journey survivable.

Hull materials themselves plus their arrangement and relation to each other will need to be modeled designed optimized. the materials themselves will have to be engineered. more than one protective measure will be needed to compliment the technology in the hulls. things like capture by molten metal droplet radiator streams, electrical, magnetic and plasma shielding. laser target acquisition and kinetic defense. AI controlled auto evasive maneuver without killing everybody and breaking everything on board.
« Last Edit: 06/29/2017 09:21 PM by Stormbringer »
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https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/07/nasa-will-test-simple-nuclear-power-system-which-will-be-in-the-1-to-10-kilowatt-power-range.html

well that's that then. :)

That's what?  ???  Looks like JARP (Just Another Research Project) to me.. with zero application to the future of aviation and very little for space exploration anytime soon.
With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine - however, this is not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they are
going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them as they fly overhead.

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https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/07/nasa-will-test-simple-nuclear-power-system-which-will-be-in-the-1-to-10-kilowatt-power-range.html

well that's that then. :)

That's what?  ???  Looks like JARP (Just Another Research Project) to me.. with zero application to the future of aviation and very little for space exploration anytime soon.
if we ever get to tool around the solar system or have permanent settlements on mars for example we will need to have matured a number of technologies or subsystems as a prelude. one route to making these things feasible is nuclear reactors. Fission is something we could ready very quickly as opposed to fusion which may or may not happen any time from 5 years from now to a century or more from now. solar becomes troublesome the farther away from the sun you go and beamed power takes infrastructure that some tout but which would take a lot of development and a lot of design and a lot of putting nuts to bolts in new construction enviroments and therefore a lot of lift and bob the builder construction dudes in space. none of that seems to be a near term thing. But space rating a fission reactor seems that it could be done like tomorrow if someone important (like a president or congress or a random rich egocentric billionaire dude or dudette)committed to it.
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Online Stormbringer

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This sort of AI development is key to unmanned probes to deeper regions of space:

https://www.space.com/37326-curisoty-rover-picks-its-own-targets.html

direct real time control of a dumb probe will not be possible even in the outer solar system let alone interstellar space of around nearby stars. probes will therefore need to be able to make decisions and implement them on their own without deciding to laser spectroscope a random space cootie which might find the procedure objectionable.
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there's no chance a self-driving surface probe could effectively navigate Earth's frontiers, much less another Planet's.

I disagree. I have thought for a while on how new rovers could operate. Rovers with large batteries and plenty of power, but with the need to return to a charging station. Rovers could do exploration similar to how Curiosity operates. But when the charge gets low, it could self drive 20km back to the charging station quickly on a known path and then return quickly to its exploration location. Rovers with high power needs can not rely on RTG with 150W output and they can not rely on solar panels mounted on their back in the future.

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just send a roomba :)
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Offline john smith 19

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BTW.

Current generation of Mars rovers already do a certain amount of autonomous route planning.  AFAIK the exact path is not sent to the rover. What's sent is the final destination. The rover then integrates data from its various sensors to plan the route to that point.

While the surface of Mars is very uneven and dusty it does have the advantage that there are very few moving objects on it to avoid.

This technology has (gradually) been improving. Slightly improving processor power (to run it) radically improves the amount of science collected, given the bandwidth constraints to Mars for instructions. Also the cost of the processor is a one time cost, while the DSN bandwidth costs are ongoing.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
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how to see stuff really really well.

https://phys.org/news/2017-12-breakthrough-sensor-photography-life-sciences.html

probably just totally buffed all telescopes so they can see exoplanets :)
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bring me my armor!

https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/12/two-layer-graphene-becomes-a-diamond-hard-material-on-impact-which-could-make-super-armor.html

A double layer of graphene turns diamond hard under pressure. could make ultralight bullet proof coatings. Or if you separate these in two layer units but in a composite you could maybe have something for space craft impact protection?

I wonder if borophene acts the same way? Borophene is stronger than graphene i think.
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Offline john smith 19

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how to see stuff really really well.

https://phys.org/news/2017-12-breakthrough-sensor-photography-life-sciences.html

probably just totally buffed all telescopes so they can see exoplanets :)
I think you'll find that level of capability has existed for large telescopes for decades.

Orbiting telescopes and ground instruments often have specialized imaging devices made by people like E2V and their counterparts around the world. Mult megapixel and quantum level imaging IE sensitivity in multiple photons, have been SOP for quite some time in Astronomy.
"Solids are a branch of fireworks, not rocketry. :-) :-) ", Henry Spencer 1/28/11  Averse to bold? You must be in marketing."It's all in the sequencing" K. Mattingly.  STS-Keeping most of the stakeholders happy most of the time.
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Online Stormbringer

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how to see stuff really really well.

https://phys.org/news/2017-12-breakthrough-sensor-photography-life-sciences.html

probably just totally buffed all telescopes so they can see exoplanets :)
I think you'll find that level of capability has existed for large telescopes for decades.

Orbiting telescopes and ground instruments often have specialized imaging devices made by people like E2V and their counterparts around the world. Mult megapixel and quantum level imaging IE sensitivity in multiple photons, have been SOP for quite some time in Astronomy.
i mean pretty much all institutional level telescopes even the smallest/oldest. perhaps even amateur scopes. plus there was an older article on making small scopes have an effective mirror size something like ten times their actual size without complex mechanical stuff.
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