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Tema: Australia esta construyendo un prototipo de motor de plasma e iones para los viajes espaciales.
- 10/04/2013, 21:22 #1
- 31 may, 07
Australia esta construyendo un prototipo de motor de plasma e iones para los viajes espaciales.
Espero no haberla liado con el titulo traducido , pero parece ser que estan muy cerca de mejorar los motores a nivel espacial para reducir los tiempos espaciales y la cantidad de energia necesaria para impulsar esas naves espaciales, lo cual seria una revolucion para hacer posible y viable los viajes futuros a Marte.
Por cierto como molan los ultimos avances parecen de pelicula
Australia Is Building a Pee-Powered Ion Thruster
Our current level of technological prowess is severely hindering efforts to explore the solar system. Nine months to get to Mars—who's got that kind of time? If a new breed of ion thruster currently under development at the Australian National University is successful, we'll get to the Red Planet in a third of the time.
The drive is known as a Helicon Double Layer Thruster (HDLT) and is being developed with a $3.1 million (AU) grant from the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education. The SP3 Laboratory at Australia's National University (ANU) is collaborating with European firm EADS-Astrium and the Surrey Space Center on the engine design.
The ANU is currently building a testing facility at the the Mount Stromolo observatory to put the HDLT through its paces once complete. "A number of Australian universities teach aerospace and mechantronics. Up until now, there's been nowhere for them to test their spacecrafts – they have to go overseas," explained chief researcher Professor Rod Boswell. "So this will really be providing a major service, not only in Australia, but also in Southeast Asia." But what exactly is an HDLT?
An HDLT is a variety of ion thruster designed specifically for simplicity and weight savings. It works just like other ion thrusters—generating thrust by expelling charged particles—however it does so with no moving parts. Instead, a gas (either xenon or krypton) is injected into the source tube. The tube is bombarded with 13.56 MHz radio waves emitted by a pair of antenna wrapped around the tube, which creates a double-layer electrical field that basically acts as a nozzle, directing the stream of ions as it exists the engine. These radio waves excite the gas molecules to the point of plasmafication and they exit the source tube from its open end. As ANU explains, this double-layer is an intrinsic part of the thruster design:This double layer can be thought of as a thin standing shock wave across which there exists a strong electric field gradient. It is this electric field that accelerates ions from the source plasma to very high exhaust velocities creating thrust. Because the double layer is purely the result of plasma density, system and magnetic field geometry, no accelerating grids are required. Also, because there is equal flux of electrons and positive ions from the thruster there is no need for a neutraliser. It is in this sense that the HDLT is a "true" plasma thruster as it ejects equal numbers of both positive ions and negative electrons.This design is also quite helpful in that it accepts a wide variety of fuel sources, not just super-expensive noble gases like xenon. According to Boswell, "There are no moving parts or grids – this design is just a cylinder. All the important parts that contact the propellant are either glass or ceramic."
That flexibility means means "we can use any type of propellant, including piss," he told the Register. "In the International Space Station, there's a system that extracts water from urine, known as the ‘Russian piss-presser'. The result ends up with a pH around one – we could easily use that. Xenon is expensive – why not use what's already there?"
Its eloquent design also translates into significant fuel savings. Since power is only used to initially create the plasma and maintain the electric field, the HDLT barely sips fuel. According to the ANU, "The 0.5sccm of feed gas represents a mass consumption of 160 mg/hr, so that a typical 5 hour burn would use 0.8g of propellant." That's a huge savings over current-gen chemical thrusters, which account for a vast majority of modern spacecraft weight, and can even be theoretically powered by on-board solar panels.
The plasma thruster was successfully bench tested in 2009 and 2010. Both the final thruster prototype and the test lab are expected to be complete by 2013, and a full scale test flight is being scheduled by the end of 2014. After that: Mars.
[Gizmodo Au - ANU 1, 2 - The Register - Wikipedia - Image: ANU]
Fuente:New Pee-Powered Plasma Thruster Could Allow Astronauts to Travel Farther Into Deep Space | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building
Última edición por F.Alonso; 10/04/2013 a las 21:24"SPANAIR 1986-2012 , Una de las mejores aerolineas europeas de la historia "
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- 12/04/2013, 11:44 #2
- 31 may, 07
Para subir el tema un poco añado esta noticia ya que es otra tecnologia que estan estudiando para futuros viajes espaciales a velocidades impresionantes comprimiendo el espacio
NASA Starts Work on Real Life Star Trek Warp Drive
"Perhaps a Star Trek experience within our lifetime is not such a remote possibility." These are the words of Dr. Harold "Sonny" White, the Advanced Propulsion Theme Lead for the NASA Engineering Directorate. Dr. White and his colleagues don't just believe a real life warp drive is theoretically possible; they've already started the work to create one.
Yes. A real warp drive, Scotty.RELATED READING: Astronomers estimate there are 17 billion Earth-sized planets just in our Galaxy. That means our Universe is bubbling with life, perhaps with as many as 7.99 billion civilizations. How many of those have warp travel capability?When it comes to space exploration, we are still cavemen. We got to the Moon and sent somebadass robot to Mars. We also have those automatic doors that swoosh wide open when you get near them, but that's about it. It's cool, but we are far from being the space civilization we'll need to become to survive for millennia.
With our current propulsion technologies, interstellar flight is impossible. Even with experimental technology, like ion thrusters or a spaceship's aft pooping freaking nuclear explosions, it would require staggering amounts of fuel and mass to get to any nearby star. And worse: it will require decades—centuries, even—to get there. The trip will be meaningless for those left behind. Only the ones going forward in search for a new star system would enjoy the result of the colossal effort. It's just not practical.
So we need an alternative. One that would allow us to travel extremely fast without breaking the laws of physics. Or as Dr. White puts it: "we want to go, really fast, while observing the 11th commandment: Thou shall not exceed the speed of light."
Searching for warp bubbles
The answer lies precisely in those laws of physics. Dr. White and other physicists have found loopholes in some mathematical equations—loopholes that indicate that warping the space-time fabric is indeed possible.
Working at NASA Eagleworks—a skunkworks operation deep at NASA's Johnson Space Center—Dr. White's team is trying to find proof of those loopholes. They have "initiated an interferometer test bed that will try to generate and detect a microscopic instance of a little warp bubble" using an instrument called the White-Juday Warp Field Interferometer.
It may sound like a small thing now, but the implications of the research huge. In his own words:Although this is just a tiny instance of the phenomena, it will be existence proof for the idea of perturbing space time-a "Chicago pile" moment, as it were. Recall that December of 1942 saw the first demonstration of a controlled nuclear reaction that generated a whopping half watt. This existence proof was followed by the activation of a ~ four megawatt reactor in November of 1943. Existence proof for the practical application of a scientific idea can be a tipping point for technology development.By creating one of these warp bubbles, the spaceship's engine will compress the space ahead and expand the space behind, moving it to another place without actually moving, and carrying none of the adverse effects of other travel methods. According to Dr. White, "by harnessing the physics of cosmic inflation, future spaceships crafted to satisfy the laws of these mathematical equations may actually be able to get somewhere unthinkably fast—and without adverse effects."
He says that, if everything is confirmed in these practical experiments, we would be able to create an engine that will get us to Alpha Centauri "in two weeks as measured by clocks here on Earth." The time will be the same in the spaceship and on Earth, he claims, and there will not be "tidal forces inside the bubble, no undue issues, and the proper acceleration is zero. When you turn the field on, everybody doesn't go slamming against the bulkhead, which would be a very short and sad trip."
The energy problem, solved
There was only one problem with all this: where does the energy come from? While we knew that warp drives were theoretically possible, physicists have always argued that they would require a ball of exotic matter the size of Jupiter to power it. Clearly, that was not practical. But thankfully, Dr. White has found a solution that changes the game completely.
The Eagleworks team has discovered that the energy requirements are much lower than previously thought. If they optimize the warp bubble thickness and "oscillate its intensity to reduce the stiffness of space time," they would be able to reduce the amount of fuel to manageable amount: instead of a Jupiter-sized ball of exotic matter, you will only need 500 kilograms to "send a 10-meter bubble (32.8 feet) at an effective velocity of 10c."
Ten c! That's ten times the speed of light, people (remember, the ship itself would not go faster than the speed of light. But effectively it will seem like it does).
That means that we would be able to visit Gliese 581g—a planet similar to Earth 20 light years away from our planet—in two years. Two years is nothing. It took Magellan three years to circumnavigate around our home planet—from August 1519 to September 1522. A four year roundtrip to see a planet like Earth is completely doable. And there are even closer destinations where we can send robots or astronauts.
The important thing is that there is now a door open to a different kind of exploration. That, like Dr. White says, "perhaps a Star Trek experience within our lifetime is not such a remote possibility." We may be witnessing the very beginning of a new age of space exploration, one that would finally take us from our pale blue dot back to where we belong.
I don't know about you, but I'm more excited than when Captain Kirk got his first unobtonanium underpants."SPANAIR 1986-2012 , Una de las mejores aerolineas europeas de la historia "
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