Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

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rashudo
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Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Postby rashudo » Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:35 am

So a new player has arrived on the fusion market. And this time it's not some crazy italian professor, but Lockheed Martin, and they're planning to have a working full-scale prototype in 2018.

http://nextbigfuture.com/2013/02/new-go ... kheed.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAsRFVbcyUY

Does anyone of you know Charles Chase?

If this is all true, and it looks to be, then we're going to have fusion very soon.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Postby MSimon » Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:44 am


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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Postby JLawson » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:50 pm

When opinion and reality conflict - guess which one is going to win in the long run.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Postby KitemanSA » Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:51 pm


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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Postby Skipjack » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:39 pm

Seems like they have discovered a new possible configuration for a fusion reactor. Wished there were more details revealed about the exact nature of that.
High Beta does sound interesting!
I agree with Msimon that D+T is not ideal, but then their reactor is very compact and has a comparably simple cylindrical configuration. That makes the design as well as maintenance and construction of these reactors a lot cheaper and more efficient, which might help mitigating the high neutron problems a bit.
The 2018 timeframe sounds fantastic!
Personally, I am intrigued.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Postby paperburn1 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:10 pm

I am not a nuclear physicist, but play one on the internet.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Postby JLawson » Thu Feb 14, 2013 7:47 pm

When opinion and reality conflict - guess which one is going to win in the long run.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Postby ladajo » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:51 pm

The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)
What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Postby Torulf2 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:14 am

The neutron problem in T+D fusion is to get enough breeding of T.
If you have solve the breeding there are not many neutrons how can be dangerous outside the reactor.

Does someone know watt kind of reactor this is?
I goggled on “High Beta configuration” and most of it was on FRC and some sites
on High Beta tokamaks and High Beta stellators. From the form and size it looks like an FRC.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Postby Maui » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:08 am


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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Postby 93143 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:33 am

This is (probably) a thermal reactor. Bremsstrahlung suppression tends to be difficult or impossible in a thermal plasma. Focus Fusion is hoping for quantum magnetic suppression, but even they have to use layers of lead foil as photovoltaic panels.

On the other hand, the Skunk Works presentation did mention the possibility of direct conversion, though the slide it was on was a fairly general 'introduction to fusion power' and only showed the D-T reaction...

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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Postby glemieux » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:51 pm

The only thing I've been able to find possibly related to this talk is a what looks like a PhD paper from the "inventor" of this new concept, Tom McGuire, mentioned in the presentation:

http://ssl.mit.edu/publications/theses/ ... Thomas.pdf

He's also listed on this (pretty outdated looking) research summary on IECs at MIT:

http://ssl.mit.edu/research/Fusion.html

Again, I have no idea if this is actually the guy working on this. It's just the closest hit I found trolling the net.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Postby Skipjack » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:57 pm

I was thinking FRC too, but I do have to wonder how they managed to solve the problems the other teams have had with FRCs.
Either way, it is high beta (=1), so shouldnt it allow for advanced fuels to be used, at least theoretically? FRCs theoretically can.
The cylindrical layout and the much smaller device would certainly help mitigating some of the problems that tokamaks have, even if they were to use only DT. E.g. a reactor like this could be easily enclosed with a blanket of spent fuel for a hybrid reactor that burns nuclear waste. The lithium blanket would also be a lot simpler and easier to handle than in the tokamak.
John Slough describes this as one of the advantages for this FRC based concept and it makes sense to me.

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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Postby kcdodd » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:25 pm

I don't think it's FRC. But I'm just guessing.
Carter

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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Postby Skipjack » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:27 pm

Yeah, the currently available information is quite sketchy on that.


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