Aviation Week on the Lockheed Skunkworks CFR

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: Aviation Week on the Lockheed Skunkworks CFR

Postby D Tibbets » Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:06 pm

tokamac wrote:
DeltaV wrote:I count 5 coils. Numbering 1-5 as nearest-farthest, coil 3 (center coil) appears to have the largest diameter.

Ignoring the two end coils, this looks like an "inverse" of Torulf's "synthetic" FRC


Indeed.



From http://newsdaily.com/2014/10/lockheed-s ... y-project/


I again disagree. Based on my feeble level of understanding the Central (3rd coil could form a FRC with the 2nd and 4 th magnest, but why two. And the end magnets (1,5) are to small in diameter to form the other end of the FRC setup (I think).

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

D Tibbets
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Re: Aviation Week on the Lockheed Skunkworks CFR

Postby D Tibbets » Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:29 pm

birchoff wrote:
AcesHigh wrote:the answer to your question must be here... if you can make sense of it... words in an article rarely explain things that well.

" Instead of constraining the plasma within tubular rings, a series of superconducting coils will generate a new magnetic-field geometry in which the plasma is held within the broader confines of the entire reaction chamber. Superconducting magnets within the coils will generate a magnetic field around the outer border of the chamber. “So for us, instead of a bike tire expanding into air, we have something more like a tube that expands into an ever-stronger wall,” McGuire says. The system is therefore regulated by a self-tuning feedback mechanism, whereby the farther out the plasma goes, the stronger the magnetic field pushes back to contain it. The CFR is expected to have a beta limit ratio of one. “We should be able to go to 100% or beyond,” he adds."

" one of the reasons we think our physics will work is that we’ve been able to make an inherently stable configuration.” One of the main reasons for this stability is the positioning of the superconductor coils and shape of the magnetic field lines. “In our case, it is always in balance. So if you have less pressure, the plasma will be smaller and will always sit in this magnetic well,” he notes."


Still doesnt answer my question I believe. It sounds like they are saying they basically have two sets of magnetic field generators. The rings inside the chamber and those blue tubes on the outside of the blanket. Where the goal is to create this magnetic field gradient where the farther away from the center the plasma goes the steeper the magnetic field gradient becomes.

That is all good. But if your burning DD or DT some constant rate of neutrons being generated will hit the Ring inside the chamber that houses the super conducting magnet. Since neutrons do not interact with magnetic fields then they will eventually embrittle the ring housing and damage the superconducting material that makes up the electro magnet in the ring which would inevitably lead to quenching as I understand it. This is not necessarily an insurmountable problem, but it would be nice if they explained how they were going to deal with that problem. Again assuming they plan on burning DD or DT. Like Mcguire said, they took the ideas of a bunch of reactors and mixed them together to see if they could make something work. Which could also mean they plan on buring 3He or pB11. In which case the neutron problem pretty much goes away, or at least is reduced to the point were having to simply refurb the reactor over some economically viable period of time is not that big a deal.


Ah... the plasma surrounding the magnets. At first this worried me as it sounded different from my concept of the system, but perhaps not :idea:

With the large central ring magnet, the two line cusps on either side of the central magnet are orientated more towards the ends rather than laterally. With the two end magnets and nothing to intercept the plasma escaping the two central line cusps, it will circulate between the 1st - 2nd and 4th- 5th magnets and back towards the central axis where they will have an opportunity to flow back towards the central (3rd) magnet through the point cusp. This is recirculation through a separate cusp (sort of), where as in the Polywell all of the recirculation is through the same cusp from which the electrons escaped. The issue of electron upscattering would need to be addressed, but perhaps with appropriate differential positive charges on the various magnets, it might work. Because of the direction of the line cusps, recirculation around the central magnet to reenter from the other side may be minimized. I suspect this route would not allow for manipulation of the electrons KE as may be the case with the 1st and 5th magnet routes. Those electron would need to be intercepted befor completing their loop.This have you cake and eat it too approach may be significant- You avoid upscattered electrons from reentering the core by slowing most of them down, not just rejecting them as in the Polywell. I do not see how this would pertain to the two magnet illistration.

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

DeltaV
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Re: Aviation Week on the Lockheed Skunkworks CFR

Postby DeltaV » Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:46 pm

Conjecture --
The larger diameter of the central coil increases the diameter and volume of the fusion region, compared to having a smaller central coil, making it less "2-lobed". Off-axis fusions become more likely, at the cost of higher central coil current. Coil currents will be tuned to obtain the optimum (highest fusion rate) compromise between active region volume and density. I'm guessing that the coil on the right in the T4 picture below is the central coil.

Image

Image

tokamac
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Re: Aviation Week on the Lockheed Skunkworks CFR

Postby tokamac » Wed Oct 15, 2014 7:51 pm

I see it that way, with three coils. Two small end coils, and a larger one in the middle, as shown in the picture published by LM in previous page (EDIT: and by DeltaV just above my present post).

Let's have an electric current running in the same direction inside the two smaller coils, like a Helmholtz coil configuration in a classic magnetic mirror machine. The magnetic field is uniform in the middle. But there is a magnetic pressure gradient Pm = B^2 / 2µ0 that doesn't confine the plasma well in such a system. That magnetic pressure even completely blows the electric discharges away under low pressure air.

Then, the trick: Add this larger coil in between the two coils, and run the current inside it the opposite way. The magnetic field is then minium at the center, and the magnetic pressure gradient makes a potential well directed inwards, confining the plasma in the middle. The magnetic structure:

Image

This 3-coil confinement system has been published for the first time in peer-reviewed literature in 1977, as a way to confine a plasma near a wall, despite the magnetic pressure, which has a tendency to blow electric glow discharges away from the device. At that time it was intended not as a fusion reactor, but as an air-breathing magnetoplasmadynamic accelerator (MHD aerodyne). The confinement configuration is similar though.
The original paper: New MHD converters: induction machines

In 2009 I copublished with that same author a paper detailing the non-linear confinement behavior due to magnetic pressure, explaining it with the scalar electrical conductivity σs and the Hall parameter β.[1] The paper was entitled Non-Equilibrium Plasma Instabilities.

The concept was further detailed with experimental results confirming this theoretical point of view in 2012 in the paper Wall confinement technique by magnetic gradient inversion. (Actually those experiments had been already done in 1975 but not filmed nor peer-reviewed at that time. Mistake fixed 37 years laters… better late than never)

I think LM reuses this idea for their reactor. They just got rid of the walls and the technique involving eddy currents for MHD acceleration… and kept the confinement coils, inside a hollow cylinder.

The magnetic field lines below (just remove the walls of the aerodyne where the plasma is confined in this picture, and then the plasma would be confined in the middle of the device (in the bottom of this half axis-cut picture):

Image

[1] If you want to understand how this works, check the article about the electrothermal instability in magnetohydrodynamics that I wrote in Wikipedia in 2008. Is sums up the calculation about this effect.
Last edited by tokamac on Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.

choff
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Re: Aviation Week on the Lockheed Skunkworks CFR

Postby choff » Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:00 pm

Looking at it, the center coil would have line cusps that practically feed parallel to the axis, any plasma that escaped from the core through them could be recirculated by the end coils on a return path along with any escaping electrons. You can actually see the gap between the center and adjacent coils when viewed from near axis.
CHoff

Skipjack
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Re: Aviation Week on the Lockheed Skunkworks CFR

Postby Skipjack » Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:24 pm

I wonder how simillar this concept is to thisÖ
https://e-reports-ext.llnl.gov/pdf/366958.pdf

mvanwink5
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Re: Aviation Week on the Lockheed Skunkworks CFR

Postby mvanwink5 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:03 pm

I wonder if "breakthrough" might be overstating what has been actually achieved by the LM team, and instead this is a slick effort to rope some VC money into funding a really risky effort? I mean, if there were some really solid results at this point, with LM's resources, why share? Just ask'n...
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

mvanwink5
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Re: Aviation Week on the Lockheed Skunkworks CFR

Postby mvanwink5 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:33 pm

Skipjack wrote:I wonder how simillar this concept is to thisÖ
https://e-reports-ext.llnl.gov/pdf/366958.pdf


4.7. TARA at MIT
Tara (also operated in Korea as Hanbit) was built at MIT in the 80's to study axisymmetric tandem mirror confinement. Tara had an axisymmetric central cell bounded by axisymmetric plugging cells with outboard minimum-B anchors. Although the experiment was prematurely terminated it operated for a few years (86-88) and a lot was learned. Findings included divertor and pondermotive stabilization of the central cell [4.7.1], m=1 stability in the central cell (Irby et al, PF 88), radial transport in the central cell (Brau et al, NF 88) and trapped-particle-mode limitations on stability [4.7.3-4]. Tara also had very innovative antenna designs for the heating of axisymmetric plasmas (Golovato et al, PF 89). The central-cell density was relatively high (mid 1012 range) and [b]they did not succeed in creating sufficient plugging[/b[ to observe operation in which the radial transport dominated the central cell plasma loss.

This is where EMC2's research provided the cusp plugging breakthrough for LM?
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

djolds1
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Re: Aviation Week on the Lockheed Skunkworks CFR

Postby djolds1 » Wed Oct 15, 2014 10:55 pm

Skipjack wrote:Seems like they borrowed a lot from others. The neutral beam injection reminds me of what Tri Alpha is doing.
What I don't understand is, if they can achieve a high beta, why cant they burn advanced fuels?
My bet is that they can, but just like Helion Energy, LockMart is understating expectations until results are solid.

birchoff wrote:Since they have a blanket given the image below. That must mean they are planning on burning neutronic fuels like DD or DT. Which begs the question, wouldnt those superconducting rings be operating in a very extreme neutronic environment. Which would mean they should be gin degrading pretty quickly over time. Though a simple solution given arrangement would be to move the magnetic rings to be outside the blanket instead of inside the blanket.

Image
Trust LockMart Skunk Works to release absolutely accurate schematics of a pending project?? :)

D Tibbets wrote:The race is on to achieve major funding for this general approach. Tokamakians beware... :twisted:
At least three approaches look close to payoff. Polywell/mirror confinement variants, The Lerner FRC, and the Hellion/Tri-Alpha colliding beam variants.
Vae Victis

choff
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Re: Aviation Week on the Lockheed Skunkworks CFR

Postby choff » Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:28 am

Would be interesting if they're using some of Tibbar Tech's ideas and wall stabilization from the mirror machine research.
CHoff

Skipjack
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Re: Aviation Week on the Lockheed Skunkworks CFR

Postby Skipjack » Thu Oct 16, 2014 12:57 am

djolds1 wrote:My bet is that they can, but just like Helion Energy, LockMart is understating expectations until results are solid.

A steady state reactor wont be able to do Tritium suppressed and He3 boosted D+D though, unlike Helion's pulsed reactor, which can do just that.
So they would have to go all the way to PB11, which is a lot more challenging.

bennmann
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Re: Aviation Week on the Lockheed Skunkworks CFR

Postby bennmann » Thu Oct 16, 2014 2:52 am

It makes the most sense in the world to advertise D D reaction and then after the NDA is signed reveal pB11 to a potential funding source.

Can't let the free market have the best until your money is already 5-10 years ahead of it. All these fusion concepts have an incentive to hide pB11 with DD propaganda. Note, the only pictures we have of the plasmas for these devices so far are through windows - no lithium in sight.

Which reminds me, isn't Carbon 12 + carbon 12 a potential fusion energy maker and incredible heat (gamma ray absorption) source if you build an ITER sized electro-static reactor? Just saying, unlikely, but possible?


JohnFul
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Re: Aviation Week on the Lockheed Skunkworks CFR

Postby JohnFul » Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:19 am

@Hanleyp

Now that was helpful. I'm not a lawyer, and definitely not a patent lawyer, but I do have multiple patent submissions where I am the named primary inventor. I do get the gist of "patent speak". It looks like here, they've found a novel way of containing the plasma to the vessel that reacts stronger as the "pressure" or density increases. I certainly don't know if that will work, but sounds promising.

On another note, LM is a publicly traded company and is subject to SOX rules. They will be very leery of making bold claims in public statements especially their quarterly 10K filings because this would have severe negative implications for their C suite (like potential jail time). Look for "Forward Looking Statements" and other disclaimers in any press releases. The latest 10K I see is from 2013, and I didn't find any mention of the technology there. This may or may not be telling; the 2014 10K will likely be the clincher. 3rd party reports like the aeronautics magazine article are one thing; the real deal comes down to what they report in official statements/filings where jail time for execs is on the line. When I see it in the 10K, I'll believe it's real.

mvanwink5
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Re: Aviation Week on the Lockheed Skunkworks CFR

Postby mvanwink5 » Thu Oct 16, 2014 8:42 am

I'm not used to the big splash for a Dark Horse fusion project. Wow! LM's announcement has really hit the 'airwaves' and blogosphere. In spite of the many significant Dark Horse project fusion announcements that have come out since the beginning of the year, and there are even projects that I had no idea were serious (such as Dynamak, which I did not even know about), it took an announcement from LM to make the 'News.' Shows how clueless the media is, but y'all knew that. So, with the LM fusion news splash, I would posit that Dark Horse fusion will no longer be able to be ignored politically, the big gubbermant big project political brick wall has been media-breached. Unlike all the previous Dark Horse fusion ground shaking announcements that the media completely failed to comprehend, LM has made Dark Horse fusion (more) commonly known. It remains to be seen what falls out of the money trees now (or doesn't), and which projects will successfully compete for project money.

LM seems to have done the conceptual 'proof of concept,' and road mapped 5 generational steps to a prototype. To my thinking that puts it into the serious category. The patents really fleshed out what LM is doing and backs Tokamac's read on it. So many good posts so far by others, too. I wonder if which project was early, and then for the late comers, who has the slick story is going to be what rules the new money. I wonder if EMC2 is too late and not slick enough?

Place your bets...
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.


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