I think it could be done. The real trick will be shielding from the 500KeV X-Rays (neutron absorption gammas). Neutron shielding is easy and light weight. Water (4" to 6" - 10 to 15 cm) and B10.Keegan wrote: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.
However, since you don't need to carry fuel (well maybe just a little for an emergency APU) you have a lot of mass available for whatever.
Cooling? Air flow should be able to handle it. With the water neutron shield handling take off rqmts (some boiling allowed). Cool it between take offs by flying at 20,000 ft and slowly venting.
It will take some thought to get the rqmts right. Maybe a failure or two. I'm pretty sure it can be done.
I see two major obstacles.
1. Shielding from X-Rays
2. Volume/weight of power conversion eqpt.
Obviously you build a few on the ground with mock up airframes before flying. I actually saw the S1W prototype from inside the building. I didn't get inside the hull. One of my instructors took me over there to have a look.
Once we get a reactor built that works the race will be on to shrink it and its associated eqpt.