The Military Sucks

Discuss life, the universe, and everything with other members of this site. Get to know your fellow polywell enthusiasts.

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MSimon
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The Military Sucks

Post by MSimon »

The US Military sucks a lot of fuel. About $3 million worth of fuel a day.

*

http://www.forbes.com/2008/06/05/mileag ... 5fuel.html

*
So where does it all go? To the Air Force, mostly. Jet fuel accounts for 71% of the entire military's petroleum consumption, in part because flyboys move around the majority of men and a lot of heavy equipment. When it's time for an Army battalion to deploy, they hitch a ride on a cargo plane through the U.S. Transportation Command (TransCom).

"TransCom is like a very large airline," says Army Col. Vern Beatty. "When the time is right, a C-17 will land and pick you up and take you where you need to go."
I have heard rumblings from Air Force people who think that if Polywell was small enough and cheap enough it would be good for aircraft. It would have to be a B11 job. Shielding is too heavy to carry in an aircraft.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

djolds1
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Re: The Military Sucks

Post by djolds1 »

MSimon wrote:I have heard rumblings from Air Force people who think that if Polywell was small enough and cheap enough it would be good for aircraft. It would have to be a B11 job. Shielding is too heavy to carry in an aircraft.
Now THIS is interesting. Certainly a compact Gen 1 Polywell (smallest effective vacuum chamber possible) might be able to power larger aircraft - transports, bombers, etc. Don't see it for fighters/U(C)AVs.

Perhaps BFR powered ICBMs/cruise missiles? They could orbit in the air for months at a time before landing to be serviced. Or if expendable one-shot units, you might be able to build "sloppy" BFRs intended for short lifespans.

Duane
Vae Victis

rj40
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Post by rj40 »

How would a BFR produce thrust? I can imagine one on a C-130 using electric power to turn props, but other than that, what are the other options?

I think I have seen some references to rocket power and such, but I cannot imagine how that would work.

I think some of this was covered on this site, but don’t know where to look, and if I found a description, I suspect it would be above me.

Any good links for the layperson on Polywell rocket power? Something, perhaps, with lots of pretty pictures? Something that might be used in the USA today newspaper?

JohnP
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Post by JohnP »

A semi-portable BFR in the field powering an ethanol or hydrogen fuel plant would be a boon to the military. Less need for fuel tanker convoys.

JohnP
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Post by JohnP »

How would a BFR produce thrust? I can imagine one on a C-130 using electric power to turn props, but other than that, what are the other options?

I think I have seen some references to rocket power and such, but I cannot imagine how that would work.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusion_rocket

rj40
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Post by rj40 »

JohnP

The wikipedia entry is interesting, but that doesn't seem like something that could be used to power a commercial aircraft. Or could it?

JohnP
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Post by JohnP »

he wikipedia entry is interesting, but that doesn't seem like something that could be used to power a commercial aircraft. Or could it?
I'm no expert on that, but I'd think the limiting factor would be the size of the aircraft. Maybe you could do it for larger planes but not smaller ones.

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Post by MSimon »

I'm thinking large transports. Heavy lifters.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

rj40
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Post by rj40 »

So the jet engines on a 747 would be replaced with ... ? Jets that shoot out hot plasma from the core of a BFR? How would that work?

So Msimon, what you are really saying is:
"Not the local bulk cruisers, mind you, I'm talking about the big, Corellian ships."
:D

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

I have heard that the AF folks are looking into superconducting motors.

"Not the local bulk cruisers, mind you, I'm talking about the big, Corellian ships."

I like that.
Last edited by MSimon on Sun Jun 08, 2008 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

93143
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Post by 93143 »

I came up with an idea a while back for an ion turbine engine. It would use the magnetic field generated by the ion current in the acceleration section to substitute for the large permanent magnets that would otherwise be required for the electric motors driving the compressor. This would allow the high-temperature mechanical turbine to be dispensed with, and permit magnetic shielding of the acceleration section (electron counterflow heating of the airstream would be substantial) and maybe even a magnetic nozzle at the outlet. The same physical engine could transition to ramjet, scramjet, rocket, even VASIMR-type operation if you got crazy enough with the design.

Unfortunately, this system required (at a very BOE guess) a voltage stepdown of at least 200:1 from p-B11 native, which for gigawatt-range DC is probably prohibitively heavy...

Probably you could just combine superconducting motor magnets with QED and have yourself a combustionless turbojet without all the mess I just described. Or you could forget about pretending you're running a Brayton cycle and just spin a ducted fan with BFR power (but then we're back to that nasty voltage stepdown)...

I'm assuming that for super-heavy long-range subsonic transports you don't want to burn your coolant...

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Post by MSimon »

Voltage step down weight is a function of operating frequency. If you could get Power MOSFETs that could handle the required current at 1 MHz with efficient switching (did I hear SiC?) the weight might be tolerable. The idea that a 10 day fuel supply might come in at 100 lbs (50 kg) is really an attraction.

http://global.mitsubishielectric.com/pd ... 08_RD1.pdf

and

http://www.ecn.purdue.edu/WBG/Device_Re ... Index.html
The power device development described in this section is supported by a MURI grant from the Office of Naval Research (ONR). A PowerPoint-style presentation summarizing device development under this program (with emphasis on SiC power MOSFETs) can be viewed at our ONR/MURI Website.
Well isn't that interesting.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Scupperer
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Post by Scupperer »

93143 wrote:Probably you could just combine superconducting motor magnets with QED and have yourself a combustionless turbojet without all the mess I just described.
Nasa already has a design. No one will build it, though, since there's no way to power it once you get off the ground (yet). The estimated prototype cost, at $2 million, is pretty much nothing, though.

I wonder if they'd be more quiet, too?

This would open up the skies for military "floating fortresses." Flying aircraft carriers, cities in the sky. Fun stuff!

93143
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Post by 93143 »

Yeah, I saw that article a while back. It's interesting, all right, although the writer seems to have had some trouble trying to describe how it works...

Is DC/AC and AC/DC conversion okay at 1 MHz? POPS might be able to produce low-bias AC with proper choice of floating voltages, but I need DC for the ion engine, and I doubt a ducted fan would run well with input power at 1 MHz...

Wait... wouldn't hundreds of MW at 1 MHz put off a massive radio signature? I suppose you could shield it...

Just so you know, I haven't actually tried to calculate the effect of electron counterflow in this atmospheric-pressure ion drive of mine. (Although I do know that I want the voltage as low as possible.) It's not unlikely that even at relatively low ionization levels it would just be a fancy arcjet, in which case there's no point...

This is why QED is so nice - it doesn't need power conversion for the heating beam; just for ancillary stuff. The lack of low-speed capability is a problem, though...

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Post by Keegan »

I thought site was meant to be a bastion of serious fusion related scientific discussion.

Polywell aircraft ? We have both worked in Aerospace and Simon you have got to be kidding me :) Im with you on the miniscule amount of fuel required, but the size and aerodynamics of the reactor space, the cooling sytems, the power supplies, the electric engines, the wieght, the complexity all scream to me "Engineering Abortion"

I hope the USAF succeeds in "growing" their own fuel. I know they have a few programs running at the moment. They probably will succeed before a polywell reaches net power. Which is kinds nice, cause then we can bring all that money and time to the real party. Polywell Space Transports.
Purity is Power

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