Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Aerospace Nuclear Science and Technology

  1. May 13, 2010 #1

    Astronuc

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Yeah - we're still serious about this stuff.

    In February 2011 the Aerospace Nuclear Science and Technology Division (ANSTD) of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) will hold its first stand-alone topical meeting in Albuquerque, NM. The momentum and positive collaborative environment established by the former Space Technologies and Applications International Forum (STAIF), last held in 2008, has been upheld by a�series of discussion forums and technical meetings sponsored by ANSTD in 2009 and 2010 (see SNSF and NETS-2009 on the Prior Meetings Page), and NETS-2011 will bring these formats together in a single venue.

    Topic Areas

    NASA is currently developing capabilities for unmanned and manned missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Strategies implementing advanced power and propulsion technologies, as well as radiation shielding protection, will be an integral part of successful missions of these types. NETS-2011 will provide a communications network and forum for information exchange for the wide cross section of research and management personnel from government, industry, academia, and the national laboratory system that are involved in space nuclear activities. To this end, the meeting will address topics ranging from overviews of current programs and plans to detailed challenges related to space travel, as detailed in the Call for Papers.

    http://anstd.ans.org/NETS2011/AboutNETS2011.htm

    http://anstd.ans.org/index.html [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. May 14, 2010 #2

    LURCH

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    On that:

    I have been wondering if ion propulsion could solve two problems at once. Suppose the magnets that contain the plasma and propell it out the rear of the vehicle were not just mounted at the tail of the spacecraft. Instead, suppose these magnets started near the nose of the vehicle, and spread the plasma out into a thin sheet, which would progress spherically down the length of the craft before being focussed into a tight beem and forced out the back.

    Would these powerfull ellectromagnets then provide an artificiall magnetosphere, and the (highly ionised) plasma, an artificiall ionosphere? I know that each would be much thinner than its natural counterpart, but they are also much more concentrated, so it seems to me they would provide at least some protection.

    What I'm mainly interested in is finding out if anyone else is thinking along the same lines. Let me know if it has come up in any of the meetigns you have attended, or if it comes up in NM, would ya?
     
  4. May 24, 2010 #3
    Sounds like a feasible approach to me, LURCH.

    I was thinking of a similar idea as yours, not as radiation protection and not for spacecraft, but for aircraft. You generate the plasma at the front of the vehicle and use magnets lined along the fuselage to draw it to the rear, thus generating propulsion that would be as quiet as the wind. It turns out that the guy that started Republic Aviation, Seversky, was considering this sort of propulsion for aviation back in the mid 30's.

    One problem that you will have to solve when working with plasma and ions is the disruption of radio communications.

    Marlin
     
  5. Jun 5, 2010 #4

    Astronuc

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Took me a while to remember the name of the concept, but it has been around for about 3 decades.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_sail

    NIAC Study of the Magnetic Sail
    http://www.niac.usra.edu/files/library/meetings/fellows/nov99/320Zubrin.pdf

    http://casa.colorado.edu/~danforth/science/magsail/magsail.html

    Theory of Space Magnetic Sail Some Common Mistakes and Electrostatic MagSail*
    http://arxiv.org/ftp/physics/papers/0701/0701060.pdf
    Alexander Bolonkin

    And there was a variation on the magsail that would collect protons and possibly accelerate them, or induce fusion, which would have to be the (p,B) reaction.
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook