paulmarch wrote:EricF wrote:Stoney3K wrote:paulmarch wrote:You can reverse the MLT thrust vector by simply flipping the phases of the applied MLT cap E-field and force rectification B-field by 180 degrees. That E- and B-field phase flip reverses the thrust vector 180 degrees at a goodly percentage of the speed of light. If you want to read more, see my STAIF-2007 paper on the "WarpStar-I" MLT powered Moon ship.
Can you vary the phase in a continuous manner (so you can vary the thrust 360 degrees) or just in a 'forward/reverse' manner?
The first situation would make a very compact single-engine craft which is very maneuverable, the latter would result in bigger, more sluggish turning two-engine craft because you need to throttle the two engines independently to turn.
Even if the thruster itself could only work in a forwards/backwards mode, could you still mount it in a housing that could rotate on two axis to achieve the effect you describe?
The MLT thrust varies with the sine function of the angle between the E-field and the B-field in the cap dielectric, so one can vary the MLT's thrust smoothly between zero thrust to say max +X axis thrust at 90 deg, back to zero thrust at 180 degrees, then on to a peak -X thrust at 270 degrees, and then back down to zero at 360/0 degrees. How smooth this thrust control is depends on the granularity of your phase control system.
Phase locked loops should allow you very fine grained control. Let me know if you need help in that area. I know some things and have had considerable experience.