Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Point out news stories, on the net or in mainstream media, related to polywell fusion.

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D Tibbets
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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Post by D Tibbets »

The question is if this is a thermalized machine. In these machines- such as a Tokamak it is very difficult to heat the plasma to temperatures where the average energy fuel ions are participating. It is the high energy thermal tail that does the majority of the fusion. This requires the ~ 100 X easier to fuse D-T reaction for profitable energy production. If the average temperature could be raised significantly, the bremsstruhlung losses from the high energy tail becomes increasingly painful. D- D reactions might be doable, but not the higher temperature D-He3 or P-B11 reactions. I'm not sure of the plasma characteristics in a FRC, but if thermal, the bremsstruhlung issues seem formidable for aneutronic fusion. The DPF approach is thermal and recognizes the bremsstruhlung problem but they cheat by invoking quantum mechanics effects at the stupendously high magnetic fields that they operate in to suppress the Bremsstruhlung issue, and still have to utilize high efficiency direct conversion of the X-rays in order to make an energy profit.

Even in the Polywell with it's claim of non thermal plasma, they have to dilute the boron and use dynamic electron energy distributions across the machine to achieve claimed profitable P-B11 fusion (the methods whereby they overcome Riders concerns).

PS: Even if they could only achieve D-D fusion or even D-T fusion, the machine size with a high Beta could have a very large advantage in financial terms compared to huge and costly low Beta Tokamaks. As mentioned, the lithium issues with D-T fusion might be compounded with the smaller size.

Dan Tibbets
To error is human... and I'm very human.

bennmann
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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Post by bennmann »

5 years. Looks like a polywell coil to me too.

EMC2 still holds a special place in my heart, but I can't say skunk works doesn't make me want to cheat.

Skipjack
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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Post by Skipjack »

Well, Rostoker, Monkhorst and Binderbauer seem to be convinced that they can make PB11 work with their FRC device.
That said, on closer look, the thing really looks like one of the coils of a Polywell and not an FRC. At this point it is all guesswork though...
I am kinda annoyed by the fact that they present their device and expect people to jump on the bandwagon, but they dont provide any technical details about how it works.

mvanwink5
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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Post by mvanwink5 »

ladajo wrote:Yes, they said they are using RF. It sounded more like a part of the stability testing than functioning unit. But, to be fair, EMC2 has also played with RF, but not as a primary heating source as I recall. They were using it for ECF.

This thing really does smell like a Polywell or Polywell variant.

Hmmm.
Why make it cylindrical then? A potential well needs to be spherical, no?
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

ladajo
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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Post by ladajo »

Think 3D.

What is a cylinder but an elongated sphere.

Instead of a spikeyball(tm), we get a spikeycan(tm).

All rights reserved...

:)
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)

KitemanSA
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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Post by KitemanSA »

Would RF heating work as well shooting across a sphere as it would shooting down a cylinder?

paperburn1
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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Post by paperburn1 »

KitemanSA wrote:Would RF heating work as well shooting across a sphere as it would shooting down a cylinder?
First thought is that it would be far better down the long end of a tube as far as a energy transfer and causing standing waves in an enclosure with resonant conditions with microwaves to help control the plasma and with heating. Radiation patterns inside the cavity are difficult to characterize but I could imagine a scenario with a standing wave pattern helping control and "herd" the plasma to the center of the tube. think of cavity resonance and design but instead of mitigation of oscillation you use it to enhance plasma density.
note its 4 am and I have only a guess and no numbers or science to back this up. Just a idea that popped into my head.
edit
It seems like the guys at oakridge have stolen my idea and built the machine in the last two hours. :lol:
I am not a nuclear physicist, but play one on the internet.

Joseph Chikva
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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Post by Joseph Chikva »

Skipjack wrote:I am kinda annoyed by the fact that they present their device and expect people to jump on the bandwagon, but they dont provide any technical details about how it works.
Instead there are too many words on energetic challenges that humanity has and how fusion is good: 6 orders of magnitude more energy density than hydrocarbons. :)

Statement about advantages of fields increasing in process of increase in distance from plasma is very common for any magnetic traps (mirror machines) as well as for Stellarators. All those provide that feature. Nevertheless I've found certain mirror machine's (Polywell) fans only here after registration in this forum as before thought that those were buried in oblivion long time ago. The last Stellarator (Large Helical Device) is living the last days too.

A little bit strange presentation.

mvanwink5
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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Post by mvanwink5 »

Joseph Chikva wrote:A little bit strange presentation.
Smelled like a political fund raiser.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

D Tibbets
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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Post by D Tibbets »

Comments that this may be similar to the Polywell seems very likely. After viewing the video and the single pertinent photo, along with mention of high Beta, and narrow loss pathways (cusps), and good magnetic field curvature. The machine seems very similar to a concept that I have been persueing for ~1.5 years. In my slow way I have considered applying for a patent, but it seems that the Skunk Works is already a long way down the road in this regard. Certainly their brief comments seem to reinforce much of the Polywell assertions. Essentially, the EMC2 patent claim that only a polyhedren arrangement of magnets can work is not true (argument). I will start another thread in the theory section describing my thoughts on this sometime in the next several days.

Dan Tibbets
To error is human... and I'm very human.

DeltaV
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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Post by DeltaV »

If this is a two-coil cylindrical machine, maybe Lockheed is using a circular array of their "magnetic beam" devices to block the ring cusp between the coils.

Image

hanelyp
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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Post by hanelyp »

The few open field lines description suggests the design isn't a polywell. But most of the description fits a polywell.
The daylight is uncomfortably bright for eyes so long in the dark.

choff
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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Post by choff »

They presentation used the word coils in the plural, and at the back left in the picture appears what looks like the inner arc of a coil of equal radius to the one in the foreground. U of Wisconsins web site suggests they've pushed the IEC grid concept as far as they could with multigrids, RF, focusing, etc. The only reason they didn't do polywell was the patent restriction, now that the restriction is gone, the same researchers can apply all that expertise to virtual magrid concept at skunkworks.
CHoff

ladajo
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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Post by ladajo »

Maybe they will get it done in time to fix this:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicd ... oubleatsea
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)

David_Jay
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Re: Lockheed Martin Skunkworks - Compact Fusion

Post by David_Jay »

Now, where does one store the borax aboard ship?
In the galley, under the sink... :wink:
not tall, not raving (yet...)

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