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Hypothetical space station orbiting inside a plasma torus

  1. Sep 27, 2009 #1
    Consider, if it were the case, that the plasma torus left in Io's path as it orbits Jupiter followed the same orbital path as the moon and was not deformed by Jupiter's magnetosphere...thus a space station orbiting Jupiter could effectively orbit in Io's plasma torus.

    Yes, this is going somewhere ;)

    The station is protected from solar and cosmic radiation by a magnetic bubble, made quite large by being puffed-up by the plasma medium of the torus, and the station itself and it's occupants are protected from the radiation of the plasma and the magnetic bubble by judicious application of material science we'll gloss over for argument's sake.

    That said, how would communications between this station and another station orbiting Jupiter, also in the torus, and communications between this station and, let's say, a satellite or free entity outside the torus, be affected?

    What communication methods might be required? I imagine interferences of all sorts would be enormous, preventing radio communications. Would lasers (from any part of the spectrum) work better, or would the beam interact with the magnetic bubble and/or the plasma medium? What would happen if a communication tether was deployed to pierce the magnetic bubble? Would the cable interact with it and create an electrical current that'd fry the station?

    Please tell me if I'm in the wrong sub-forum :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2009 #2
    As long as the frequency of EM waves you use for communication if much larger than the plasma frequency ([itex]~\sqrt(ne^2/m_e)[/itex]) of the surrounding medium you'll be fine.
  4. Oct 3, 2009 #3
    Sounds nice, thanks!
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