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Capacitor Arrays in Space

  1. May 13, 2006 #1
    Could Capacitor Arrays in Space be used to collect free Electrons in mean free orbit?

    If so, Could using Capacitors with open Space Dielectric constants between Plates be sufficient for building a Capacitor Space Array?

    all plates exposed to open Space and no casing.:bugeye:

    If you think it might work then I may have an idea for NASA on building a certain type of Satellite propulsion, Providing Free Electrons can be harvested from deep space as well.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. May 13, 2006 #2
    What would keep them on the plate? Where's the potential difference? etc?
     
  4. May 14, 2006 #3
    Hi Moose.
    I think that this question has already been answered by standard Vacuum Capacitor Technology, I wouldn't want to re-invent the Wheel.:bugeye:

    The only difference is the Capacitor Array would be open faced to Outer Space instead of encased and many Array Plates exposed to open space to collect Electrons if possible for extemely large EMP Bursts for a Specific Propulsion System onboard Satellites.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2006
  5. May 14, 2006 #4

    Astronuc

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    Staff: Mentor

    There is usually a postively charged nucleus nearby. Ions and free electrons are transient because + and - charges tend to recombine. The collision of high energy particles ionizes atoms, but an electron will sooner or later find an ion and recombine.
     
  6. May 14, 2006 #5
    Hi Astronuc.

    Does that mean that the efficiency of Collecting Electrons would be low or do you mean that it wouldn't work at all?

    If the case was just low efficiency wouldn't using larger volume Array Plates make up for the low electron collection by increasing the collection area?

    Is there any Data on the amount of mean free electrons per meter^3 in space starting at the Sun's outer Photosphere onwards out to Deep Space?
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2006
  7. May 14, 2006 #6

    Astronuc

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    Staff: Mentor

    The photosphere is quite cool at ~5800 K. That's the part that radiates visible slight. Just above the photosphere is the chromosphere, which is little hotter, and about that is the corona which has temperatures of several million K.

    In the photosphere, there are a high proportion of neutrals due to recombination. Ionization of H requires energies of 13.6 eV (~158000 K), and even at that temperature, neutrals may momentarily exist until the next collision. The temperature in the chromosphere is on the order of 10,000-20,000 K, and the particle density is ~10 billion to 100 billion particles per cubic centimeter, vs air on earth, which as a density of something like 1019 molecules/cc. Still the corona has temperatures on the order of 1 million K.

    NASA Worldbook (Sun)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromosphere
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corona

    http://www.nasa.gov/worldbook/sun_worldbook.html

    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/solar/suncon.html#c1
    http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/sun/basics.html
    http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/

    Solar Wind
    http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/solar/solwin.html


    One might investigate the Van Allen radiation belts - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Van_Allen_Belts
    http://www-spof.gsfc.nasa.gov/Education/wradbelt.html
    http://www-spof.gsfc.nasa.gov/Education/wmap.html
    http://farside.ph.utexas.edu/teaching/plasma/lectures/node22.html
    http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/earth/magnetic.html
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2006
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