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How will the electromagnetic motor spacecraft
For many decades the only means of space travel had rocket engines that worked on the jet motion. Today, in the early 21st century, aerospace engineers develop innovative ways that will carry us away to the stars, including the engines on fusion energy and antimatter . However, there are other types. Type of spacecraft that will be pushed into space by electromagnets, we can take away more than any of these methods.
When cooled to extremely low temperatures electromagnets exhibit unusual behavior: during the first few nanoseconds after the application to them of electricity they vibrate. David Goodwin, program manager for the Ministry of High Energy and Nuclear Physics of the U.S. a few years ago suggested that if this vibration to send in one direction, it would provide enough thrust to send a spacecraft farther and faster into space than any of the methods movements that are under development.
July 8, 2001 Goodwin presented his idea at a conference in Salt Lake City. Let’s see, how could work electromagnetic propulsion Goodwin and how it could one day become the basis for future spaceships.
Push into space
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), as a rule, does not develop propulsion systems for NASA, but is constantly working to develop superconducting magnets and a very fast and powerful solid-state switches. In the mid-90s Goodwin organized the project in NASA, in which it was necessary to devise a system without propellant engine that would use high-energy potential and overcome inertia.
“It seems that there is some way to use this technology, if you combine the DOE scientists and objectives NASA, and in principle, and hence all gone,” – said Goodwin. From DOE Goodwin was the idea to use in the propulsion system of the spacecraft supercooled superconducting magnets, vibrating 400,000 times per second. If this powerful impulse to send to one side, you can create highly efficient propulsion system with the ability to get up to speed about one percent of the light.
During the first 100 nanoseconds (billionths of a second) solenoid is in an unstable state, which allows it to pulsate very often. Once this period passes, the magnetic field reaches a steady state ripple and stops. Goodwin describes her as a conventional electromagnetic solenoid, which is basically a superconducting magnet wire wrapped around the metal cylinder. The whole structure has a diameter of 30.5 cm, its length 91.4 cm, weight – 25 kg. Wire made of niobium-tin alloy. Some of these wires in the cable are wrapped. Thereafter electromagnet cooled by liquid helium to -269.15 degrees Celsius.
To the magnet to vibrate, call the asymmetry in the magnetic field. Goodwin had planned to introduce a metal plate in a magnetic field to increase the vibrational motions. This plate may be made of copper, aluminum or iron. Aluminum and copper plates conduct better and better influence the magnetic field. The plate is charged and isolated from the system to create asymmetry. After the plate will lose electricity for a few microseconds to a magnet hovered in the right direction.
“And so, the question is whether we can use it as an unstable state to move in the same direction?” – Asks Goodwin. – “There is a very controversial point. That’s why we wanted to conduct an experiment. ” In cooperation with Boeing, Goodwin awaits funding from NASA, to conduct this experiment.
A key part of the system is a solid-state switch, which would become a mediator for the electricity supplied from the power supply to the electromagnet. This switch is mostly an electromagnet turns on and off 400 000 times per second. Solid-state switch looks like an oversized computer chip – the microprocessor imagine the size of a hockey puck. His job is to take a stable power supply and turn it into a boost at 400, 000 times per second to 30 amps and 9000 volts.
Where will this food?
Beyond the solar system
U.S. Department of Energy is also working on plans for a nuclear reactor space for NASA. Goodwin believes that this reactor could be used to power the electromagnetic movement systems. The Department of Energy has worked to secure funding and a 300-kilowatt reactor, which could become a reality by 2006. Power plant transformed to thermal energy generated by the reactor into electrical energy.
“In deep space, Mars and beyond, you need nuclear power to move any weight,” – says Goodwin.
The reactor is capable of producing power in the process of induced nuclear fission, which produces energy by splitting atoms (for example, 235). When one atom decays, it produces a large amount of heat and gamma radiation. A pound of enriched uranium used to power a nuclear submarine or nuclear aircraft carrier and successfully replaces 3.8 million liters of gasoline. A pound of uranium the size of a golf ball can be on a spaceship for quite a long time, especially without taking up space.
Thermal energy from a nuclear reactor is perfect for powering spacecraft.
“You do not get to the nearest star, but fly to the heliopause – well” – says Goodwin. – “If all goes well, you can get up to speed in one percent of the light. Even at such a rate to reach the nearest star could be hundreds of years, quite impractical. ”
Heliopause – is the point at which the solar wind from the sun meets the interstellar solar wind created by other stars.
In order to transport people, should be built large device, but quite small size electromagnet could push a small research ship on a fairly large distance. The system according to Goodwin, is extremely effective. The question is whether scientists convert energy of motion without destroying the magnet itself. Fast vibration is likely to put a magnet to the question to be or not to be.
Skeptics say that Goodwin could make the magnet to vibrate quickly and often, but it may not lead to anything. Goodwin admits that there is no evidence that it will operate the power plant. But one chance out of ten there. In the end, a hundred years ago people were adamant that we never get to space.
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Tags: NASA , Space flight , Electricity .
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