KC Space Pirates
The KC Space Pirates is a team that competed in the 2006, 2007, 2009 Space Elevator Games beamed energy climber competition and is planning to enter in the Elevator:2010 climber competition. The team is affiliated with, but is not sponsored by, the KC Robotics Society; the competition is put on by the Spaceward Foundation. The goal of the competition is to encourage universities and groups to research and create designs for beaming power to distant objects, but for the competition Spaceward has used the Space Elevator concept to make it more challenging and to show how beamed power could work. NASA has put up the top prize of up to US$2,000,000 for the 2009 competition; the 2 meters/second prize was won during the 2009 competition so only the 5 meters/second category remains for 2010. The competition is in the form of a race, 1 km straight up; the climbers are unmanned, have a maximum allowed weight of 25 kg, may use no fuel or batteries to climb—they must only be powered by beamed energy. So far, the top designs have been reflected laser.
The KC Space Pirates used sunlight reflected off of a large array of mirrors concentrated onto a efficient array of solar cells in 2006 and 2007. They switched to using an infrared laser for the 2009 competition and will continue to do so in 2010; the KC Space Pirates was the only 2009 team to have a automated laser tracking system. They fell short of the money. Space Elevator Competition web site KC Space Pirates web site 12 minute broadcast segment on the competition by PBS Nova NASA page on the Space Elevator CNN article
A linear motor is an electric motor that has had its stator and rotor "unrolled" so that instead of producing a torque it produces a linear force along its length. However, linear motors are not straight. Characteristically, a linear motor's active section has ends, whereas more conventional motors are arranged as a continuous loop; the most common mode of operation is as a Lorentz-type actuator, in which the applied force is linearly proportional to the current and the magnetic field. Many designs have been put forward for linear motors, falling into two major categories, low-acceleration and high-acceleration linear motors. Low-acceleration linear motors are suitable for maglev trains and other ground-based transportation applications. High-acceleration linear motors are rather short, are designed to accelerate an object to a high speed, for example see the coilgun. High-acceleration linear motors are used in studies of hypervelocity collisions, as weapons, or as mass drivers for spacecraft propulsion.
They are of the AC linear induction motor design with an active three-phase winding on one side of the air-gap and a passive conductor plate on the other side. However, the direct current homopolar linear motor railgun is another high acceleration linear motor design; the low-acceleration, high speed and high power motors are of the linear synchronous motor design, with an active winding on one side of the air-gap and an array of alternate-pole magnets on the other side. These magnets can be permanent electromagnets; the Shanghai Transrapid motor is an LSM. In this design the rate of movement of the magnetic field is controlled electronically, to track the motion of the rotor. For cost reasons synchronous linear motors use commutators, so the rotor contains permanent magnets, or soft iron. Examples include coilguns and the motors used on some maglev systems, as well as many other linear motors. In this design, the force is produced by a moving linear magnetic field acting on conductors in the field.
Any conductor, be it a loop, a coil or a piece of plate metal, placed in this field will have eddy currents induced in it thus creating an opposing magnetic field, in accordance with Lenz's law. The two opposing fields will repel each other, thus creating motion as the magnetic field sweeps through the metal. In this design a large current is passed through a metal sabot across sliding contacts that are fed from two rails; the magnetic field this generates causes the metal to be projected along the rails. Piezoelectric drive is used to drive small linear motors; the history of linear electric motors can be traced back at least as far as the 1840s, to the work of Charles Wheatstone at King's College in London, but Wheatstone's model was too inefficient to be practical. A feasible linear induction motor is described in the U. S. Patent 782,312, for driving lifts; the German engineer Hermann Kemper built a working model in 1935. In the late 1940s, Dr. Eric Laithwaite of Manchester University Professor of Heavy Electrical Engineering at Imperial College in London developed the first full-size working model.
In a single sided version the magnetic repulsion forces the conductor away from the stator, levitating it, carrying it along in the direction of the moving magnetic field. He called the versions of it magnetic river; because of these properties, linear motors are used in maglev propulsion, as in the Japanese Linimo magnetic levitation train line near Nagoya. However, linear motors have been used independently of magnetic levitation, as in Bombardier's Advanced Rapid Transit systems worldwide and a number of modern Japanese subways, including Tokyo's Toei Oedo Line. Similar technology is used in some roller coasters with modifications but, at present, is still impractical on street running trams, although this, in theory, could be done by burying it in a slotted conduit. Outside of public transportation, vertical linear motors have been proposed as lifting mechanisms in deep mines, the use of linear motors is growing in motion control applications, they are often used on sliding doors, such as those of low floor trams such as the Citadis and the Eurotram.
Dual axis linear motors exist. These specialized devices have been used to provide direct X-Y motion for precision laser cutting of cloth and sheet metal, automated drafting, cable forming. Most linear motors in use are LIM, or LSM. Linear DC motors are not used due to linear SRM suffers from poor thrust. So for long run in traction LIM is preferred and for short run LSM is preferred. High-acceleration linear motors have been suggested for a number of uses, they have been considered for use as weapons, since current armour-piercing ammunition tends to consist of small rounds with high kinetic energy, for which just such motors are suitable. Many amusement park launched roller coasters now use linear induction motors to propel the train at a high speed, as an alternative to using a lift hill; the United States Navy is using linear induction motors in the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System that will replace traditional steam catapults on future aircraft carriers. They have been suggested for use in spacecraft propulsion.
In this context they are called mass drivers. The simplest way to use mass drivers for spacecraft propulsion would be to build a large mass driver that can accelerate cargo up
The SCMaglev is a magnetic levitation railway system developed by Central Japan Railway Company and the Railway Technical Research Institute. On 21 April 2015, a manned seven-car L0 Series SCMaglev train reached a speed of 603 km/h, less than a week after the same train clocked 590 km/h, breaking the previous land speed record for rail vehicles of 581 km/h set by a JR Central MLX01 maglev train in December 2003; the SCMaglev system uses an electrodynamic suspension system. Installed in the trains' bogies are superconducting magnets, the guideways contain two sets of metal coils; the current levitation system utilizes a series of coils wound into a "figure 8" along both walls of the guideway. These coils are cross-connected underneath the track; as the train accelerates, the magnetic fields of its superconducting magnets induce a current into these coils due to the magnetic field induction effect. If the train were centered with the coils, the electrical potential would be balanced and no currents would be induced.
However, as the train runs on rubber wheels at low speeds, the magnetic fields are positioned below the center of the coils, causing the electrical potential to no longer be balanced. This creates a reactive magnetic field opposing the superconducting magnet's pole, a pole above that attracts it. Once the train reaches 150 km/h, there is sufficient current flowing to lift the train 100 mm above the guideway; these coils generate guiding and stabilizing forces. Because they are cross-connected underneath the guideway, if the train moves off-center, currents are induced into the connections that correct its positioning. SCMaglev utilizes a linear synchronous motor propulsion system, which powers a second set of coils in the guideway. Japanese National Railways began research on a linear propulsion railway system in 1962 with the goal of developing a train that could travel between Tokyo and Osaka in one hour. Shortly after Brookhaven National Laboratory patented superconducting magnetic levitation technology in the United States in 1969, JNR announced development of the its own superconducting maglev system.
The railway made its first successful SCMaglev run on a short track at its Railway Technical Research Institute in 1972. In 1977, SCMaglev testing moved to a new 7 km test track in Miyazaki. By 1980, the track was modified from a "reverse-T" shape to the "U" shape used today. In April 1987, JNR was privatized, Central Japan Railway Company took over SCMaglev development. In 1989, JR Central decided to build a better testing facility with tunnels, steeper gradients, curves. After the company moved maglev tests to the new facility, the company's Railway Technical Research Institute began to allow testing of ground effect trains, an alternate technology based on aerodynamic interaction between the train and the ground, at the Miyazaki Test Track in 1999. Construction of the Yamanashi maglev test line began in 1990; the 18.4 km "priority section" of the line in Tsuru, opened in 1997. MLX01 trains were tested there from 1997 to fall 2011, when the facility was closed to extend the line to 42.8 km and to upgrade it to commercial specifications.
In 2009, Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Tourism decided that the SCMaglev system was ready for commercial operation. In 2011, the ministry gave JR Central permission to operate the SCMaglev system on their planned Chūō Shinkansen linking Tokyo and Nagoya by 2027, to Osaka by 2045. Construction is underway. Since 2010, JR Central has promoted the SCMaglev system in international markets the Northeast Corridor of the United States. In 2013, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe met with the 44th U. S. President Barack Obama and offered to provide the first portion of the SC Maglev track free, a distance of 40 miles. In late 2015, JR Central partnered with Mitsui and General Electric in Australia to form a joint venture named Consolidated Land and Rail Australia to provide a commercial funding model using private investors that could build the SC Maglev, create 8 new self-sustaining inland cities linked to the high speed connection, contribute to the community. 1972 – LSM200 1972 – ML100 1975 – ML100A 1977 – ML500 1979 – ML500R 1980 – MLU001 1987 – MLU002 1993 – MLU002N 1995 – MLX01 1997 – MLX01 2002 – MLX01 2009 – MLX01 2013 – L0 Series Shinkansen 2020 – Revised L0 Series Shinkansen MAGLEV 2000 Transrapid Krauss-Maffei Transurban - Electromagnetic suspension technology had been transferred from Krauss-Maffei.
An ion thruster or ion drive is a form of electric propulsion used for spacecraft propulsion. It creates thrust by accelerating cations by utilizing electricity; the term refers to gridded electrostatic ion thrusters, is incorrectly loosely applied to all electric propulsion systems including electromagnetic plasma thrusters. An ion thruster ionizes a neutral gas by extracting some electrons out of atoms, creating a cloud of positive ions; these thrusters rely on electrostatics as ions are accelerated by the Coulomb force along an electric field. Temporarily stored electrons are reinjected by a neutralizer in the cloud of ions after it has passed through the electrostatic grid, so the gas becomes neutral again and can disperse in space without any further electrical interaction with the thruster. Electromagnetic thrusters on the contrary use the Lorentz force to accelerate all species in the same direction whatever their electric charge, are referred as plasma propulsion engines, where the electric field is not in the direction of the acceleration.
Ion thrusters in operational use have an input power need of 1–7 kW, exhaust velocity 20–50 km/s, thrust 25–250 millinewtons and efficiency 65–80% though experimental versions have achieved 100 kW, 5N. The Deep Space 1 spacecraft, powered by an ion thruster, changed velocity by 4.3 km/s while consuming less than 74 kilograms of xenon. The Dawn spacecraft broke the record, with a velocity change of 10 km/s. Applications include control of the orientation and position of orbiting satellites and use as a main propulsion engine for low-mass robotic space vehicles. Ion thrust engines are practical only in the vacuum of space and cannot take vehicles through the atmosphere because ion engines do not work in the presence of ions outside the engine. Additionally, the engine's minuscule thrust cannot overcome any significant air resistance. Spacecraft rely on conventional chemical rockets to reach orbit; the first person to mention the idea publicly was Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in 1911. However, the first document to consider electric propulsion is Robert H. Goddard's handwritten notebook in an entry dated September 6, 1906.
The first experiments with ion thrusters were carried out by Goddard at Clark University from 1916–1917. The technique was recommended for near-vacuum conditions at high altitude, but thrust was demonstrated with ionized air streams at atmospheric pressure; the idea appeared again in Hermann Oberth's "Wege zur Raumschiffahrt”, published in 1923, where he explained his thoughts on the mass savings of electric propulsion, predicted its use in spacecraft propulsion and attitude control, advocated electrostatic acceleration of charged gasses. A working ion thruster was built by Harold R. Kaufman in 1959 at the NASA Glenn Research Center facilities, it used mercury for propellant. Suborbital tests were conducted during the 1960s and in 1964, the engine was sent into a suborbital flight aboard the Space Electric Rocket Test 1, it operated for the planned 31 minutes before falling to Earth. This test was followed by an orbital test, SERT-2, in 1970. An alternate form of electric propulsion, the Hall effect thruster, was studied independently in the U.
S. and the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s. Hall effect thrusters operated on Soviet satellites from 1972 until the late 1990s used for satellite stabilization in North-South and in East-West directions; some 100–200 engines completed missions on Soviet and Russian satellites. Soviet thruster design was introduced to the West in 1992 after a team of electric propulsion specialists, under the support of the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, visited Soviet laboratories. Ion thrusters use beams of ions to create thrust in accordance with momentum conservation; the method of accelerating the ions varies, but all designs take advantage of the charge/mass ratio of the ions. This ratio means that small potential differences can create high exhaust velocities; this reduces the amount of reaction mass or propellant required, but increases the amount of specific power required compared to chemical rockets. Ion thrusters are therefore able to achieve high specific impulses; the drawback of the low thrust is low acceleration because the mass of the electric power unit directly correlates with the amount of power.
This low thrust makes ion thrusters unsuited for launching spacecraft into orbit, but effective for in-space propulsion. Ion thrusters are categorized as either electromagnetic; the main difference is the method for accelerating the ions. Electrostatic ion thrusters use the Coulomb force and accelerate the ions in the direction of the electric field. Electromagnetic ion thrusters use the Lorentz force to move the ions. Power supplies for ion thrusters are electric solar panels, but at sufficiently large distances from the Sun, nuclear power is used. In each case, the power supply mass is proportional to the peak power that can be supplied, both provide, for this application no limit to the energy. Electric thrusters tend to produce low thrust. Defining 1 g = 9.81 m / s 2, the standard gravitational acceleration of Earth, noting that F = m a ⟹ a = F / m, this can be analyzed. A NSTAR thruster producin
A space fountain is a proposed form of an tall tower extending into space. As known materials cannot support a static tower with this height a space fountain has to be an active structure: A stream of pellets is accelerated upwards at a ground station. At the top it is deflected downwards; the necessary force for this deflection supports the station at the top and payloads going up the structure. Spacecraft could launch from the top without having to deal with the atmosphere; this could reduce the cost of placing payloads into orbit. As downside the tower will collapse if the containment systems fail and the stream is broken; this risk could be reduced by several redundant streams. The lower part of the pellet stream has to be in a vacuum tube to avoid excessive drag in the atmosphere. Similar to the top station this tube can be supported by transferring energy from the upwards going stream to the downwards going stream. Unlike a space elevator this concept does not need strong materials anywhere and unlike space elevators and orbital rings it does not need a 40,000 km long structure.
As downside it does not provide orbital speed on its own: Payloads released from the top have zero ground velocity. Launch loop Mass driver Megascale engineering Non-rocket spacelaunch Orbital ring Space elevator Space gun
Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky was a Russian rocket scientist and pioneer of the astronautic theory. Along with the French Robert Esnault-Pelterie, the German Hermann Oberth and the American Robert H. Goddard, he is considered to be one of the founding fathers of modern rocketry and astronautics, his works inspired leading Soviet rocket engineers such as Sergei Korolev and Valentin Glushko and contributed to the success of the Soviet space program. Tsiolkovsky spent most of his life in a log house on the outskirts of Kaluga, about 200 km southwest of Moscow. A recluse by nature, his unusual habits made. Tsiolkovsky was born in the Russian Empire, to a middle-class family, his father, Edward Tsiolkovsky was a Polish forester of Russian Orthodox faith who emigrated to Russia. His father was successively a forester and minor government official. At the age of 10, Konstantin became hard of hearing; when he was 13, his mother died. He was not admitted to elementary schools because of his hearing problem, so he was self-taught.
As a reclusive home-schooled child, he passed much of his time by reading books and became interested in mathematics and physics. As a teenager, he began to contemplate the possibility of space travel. Tsiolkovsky spent three years attending a Moscow library where Russian cosmism proponent Nikolai Fyodorov worked, he came to believe that colonizing space would lead to the perfection of the human race, with immortality and a carefree existence. Additionally, inspired by the fiction of Jules Verne, Tsiolkovsky theorized many aspects of space travel and rocket propulsion, he is considered the father of spaceflight and the first person to conceive the space elevator, becoming inspired in 1895 by the newly constructed Eiffel Tower in Paris. Despite the youth's growing knowledge of physics, his father was concerned that he would not be able to provide for himself financially as an adult and brought him back home at the age of 19 after learning that he was overworking himself and going hungry. Afterwards, Tsiolkovsky passed the teacher's exam and went to work at a school in Borovsk near Moscow.
He met and married his wife Varvara Sokolova during this time. Despite being stuck in Kaluga, a small town far from major learning centers, Tsiolkovsky managed to make scientific discoveries on his own; the first two decades of the 20th century were marred by personal tragedy. Tsiolkovsky's son Ignaty committed suicide in 1902, in 1908 many of his accumulated papers were lost in a flood. In 1911, his daughter Lyubov was arrested for engaging in revolutionary activities. Tsiolkovsky stated that he developed the theory of rocketry only as a supplement to philosophical research on the subject, he wrote more than 400 works including 90 published pieces on space travel and related subjects. Among his works are designs for rockets with steering thrusters, multistage boosters, space stations, airlocks for exiting a spaceship into the vacuum of space, closed-cycle biological systems to provide food and oxygen for space colonies. Tsiolkovsky's first scientific study dates back to 1880–1881, he wrote a paper called "Theory of Gases," in which he outlined the basis of the kinetic theory of gases, but after submitting it to the Russian Physico-Chemical Society, he was informed that his discoveries had been made 25 years earlier.
Undaunted, he pressed ahead with his second work, "The Mechanics of the Animal Organism". It received favorable feedback, Tsiolkovsky was made a member of the Society. Tsiolkovsky's main works after 1884 dealt with four major areas: the scientific rationale for the all-metal balloon, streamlined airplanes and trains and rockets for interplanetary travel. In 1892, he was transferred to a new teaching post in Kaluga. During this period, Tsiolkovsky began working on a problem that would occupy much of his time during the coming years: an attempt to build an all-metal dirigible that could be expanded or shrunk in size. Tsiolkovsky developed the first aerodynamics laboratory in Russia in his apartment. In 1897, he built the first Russian wind tunnel with an open test section and developed a method of experimentation using it. In 1900, with a grant from the Academy of Sciences, he made a survey using models of the simplest shapes and determined the drag coefficients of the sphere, flat plates, cylinders and other bodies.
Tsiolkovsky's work in the field of aerodynamics was a source of ideas for Russian scientist Nikolay Zhukovsky, the father of modern aerodynamics and hydrodynamics. Tsiolkovsky described the airflow around bodies of different geometric shapes, but because the RPCS did not provide any financial support for this project, he was forced to pay for it out of his own pocket. Tsiolkovsky studied the mechanics of powered flying machines, which were designated "dirigibles". Tsiolkovsky first built a model of it; the first printed work on the airship was "A Controllable Metallic Balloon", in which he gave the scientific and technical rationale for the design of an airship with a metal sheath. Progressive for his time, Tsiolkovsky was not supported on the airship project, the author was refused a grant to build the model. An appeal to the General Aviation Staff of the Russian army had no success. In 1892, he turned to the new and unexplored field
Maglev is a system of train transportation that uses two sets of magnets, one set to repel and push the train up off the track another set to move the'floating train' ahead at great speed taking advantage of the lack of friction. Along certain "medium range" routes Maglev can compete favorably with high-speed rail and airplanes. With Maglev technology, there are no moving parts; the train is the only moving part. The train travels along a guideway of magnets which control the train's speed. Maglev trains are therefore quieter and smoother than conventional trains, have the potential for much higher speeds. Maglev vehicles have set several speed records and Maglev trains can accelerate and decelerate much faster than conventional trains; the power needed for levitation is not a large percentage of the overall energy consumption of a high speed maglev system. Overcoming drag, which makes all land transport more energy intensive at higher speeds, takes up the most energy. Vactrain technology has been proposed as a means to overcome this limitation.
Maglev systems have been much more expensive to construct than conventional train systems, although the simpler construction of maglev vehicles makes them cheaper to manufacture and maintain. Despite over a century of research and development, maglev transport systems are in operation in just three countries; the incremental benefits of maglev technology have been hard to justify against cost and risk where there is an existing or proposed conventional high speed train line with spare passenger carrying capacity, as in high-speed rail in Europe, the High Speed 2 in the UK and Shinkansen in Japan. In the late 1940s, the British electrical engineer Eric Laithwaite, a professor at Imperial College London, developed the first full-size working model of the linear induction motor, he became professor of heavy electrical engineering at Imperial College in 1964, where he continued his successful development of the linear motor. Since linear motors do not require physical contact between the vehicle and guideway, they became a common fixture on advanced transportation systems in the 1960s and 70s.
Laithwaite joined one such project, the Tracked Hovercraft, although the project was cancelled in 1973. The linear motor was suited to use with maglev systems as well. In the early 1970s, Laithwaite discovered a new arrangement of magnets, the magnetic river, that allowed a single linear motor to produce both lift and forward thrust, allowing a maglev system to be built with a single set of magnets. Working at the British Rail Research Division in Derby, along with teams at several civil engineering firms, the "transverse-flux" system was developed into a working system; the first commercial maglev people mover was called "MAGLEV" and opened in 1984 near Birmingham, England. It operated on an elevated 600 m section of monorail track between Birmingham Airport and Birmingham International railway station, running at speeds up to 42 km/h; the system was closed in 1995 due to reliability problems. High-speed transportation patents were granted to various inventors throughout the world. Early United States patents for a linear motor propelled train were awarded to German inventor Alfred Zehden.
The inventor was awarded U. S. Patent 782,312 and U. S. Patent RE12,700. In 1907, another early electromagnetic transportation system was developed by F. S. Smith. A series of German patents for magnetic levitation trains propelled by linear motors were awarded to Hermann Kemper between 1937 and 1941. An early maglev train was described in U. S. Patent 3,158,765, "Magnetic system of transportation", by G. R. Polgreen; the first use of "maglev" in a United States patent was in "Magnetic levitation guidance system" by Canadian Patents and Development Limited. In 1959, while delayed in traffic on the Throgs Neck Bridge, James Powell, a researcher at Brookhaven National Laboratory, thought of using magnetically levitated transportation. Powell and BNL colleague Gordon Danby worked out a MagLev concept using static magnets mounted on a moving vehicle to induce electrodynamic lifting and stabilizing forces in specially shaped loops, such as figure of 8 coils on a guideway; these were patented in 1968-1969.
Transrapid 05 was the first maglev train with longstator propulsion licensed for passenger transportation. In 1979, a 908 m track was opened in Hamburg for the first International Transportation Exhibition. Interest was sufficient that operations were extended three months after the exhibition finished, having carried more than 50,000 passengers, it was reassembled in Kassel in 1980. In 1979, in the USSR, in the town of Ramenskoye was built an experimental test site for running experiments with cars on magnetic suspension; the test site consisted of a 600-meter ramp, extended to 980 meters. From the late 1970s to the 1980s five prototypes of cars were built that received designations from TP-01 to TP-05; the early cars were supposed to reach the speed up to 100 km/h. The construction of a maglev track using the technology from Ramenskoye started in Armenian SSR in 1987 and was planned to be completed in 1991; the track was supposed to connect the cities of Sevan via the city of Abovyan. The original design speed was 250 km/h, lowered to 180 km/h.
However, the Spitak earthquake in 1988 and the Nagorno-Karabakh war caused the project to freeze. In the end the overpass was only constructed. In the early 1990s, the maglev theme was continued by th