mach thrusters

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kunkmiester
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mach thrusters

Postby kunkmiester » Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:15 am

Evil is evil, no matter how small

kunkmiester
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Postby kunkmiester » Sun Dec 12, 2010 5:49 am

Thought I'd poke this, since there's a bit more activity on the ME thread. It's still something that interests me though there may be a few months before I have spare cash to spend on it. There's a fair amount about how MLTs work, and documentation on the experiments done by others, but info useful for a science fair type project is hard to pick out.
Evil is evil, no matter how small

djolds1
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Postby djolds1 » Tue Dec 14, 2010 2:35 am

Vae Victis

Diogenes
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Postby Diogenes » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:47 pm


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Postby krenshala » Wed Dec 15, 2010 11:42 pm


GIThruster
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Postby GIThruster » Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:05 am

Kunk, the questions you're asking have a series of complex answers. For instance, the ppt on MLT construction is very good. I built a series of about 8 for Jim Woodward a couple years ago. The trouble with them is that at the time that thruster was designed, we did not appreciate the importance in generating "bulk acceleration" in the dielectric. We were just accelerating the mobile ion in the BaTiO3 rather than the entire lattice, which is what's necessary. That's why that design produced such disappointing results (although it did produce thrust more than an order magnitude above the noise floor of the ARC Lite it was tested on.)

Long story short, if you want your time spent to be well rewarded, you probably don't want to use an old design. There are however many other possibilities.

You can write Paul March, tell him your skill level and ask him how he thinks you can contribute, what sort of project he'd recommend, etc. For myself, just guessing I'd say either build an MLT and spin it in order to generate the bulk acceleration, or build an MLT with a highly piezoactive dielectric like PZT. Paul is favoring the former. I'm favoring the latter just because the bulk accelerations are much higher, in the tens of millions of gees, using PZT.

Another option is build a UFG instead. That's simpler in many ways. Fact is, I would work with any EE student if he thinks he can build the power system to drive my UFG Thin design. Just saying though, it's a real bear because I have this custom dielectric from Japan with a perfect form factor, a k of 30,000 and that has been characterized as having a flat response to 500 Mhz. Trouble is, the wafer has such fangdangeous capacitance and only takes 50V, that is it VERY hard to drive. I was working with a PhD EE on this until he found he just does not have the time to build the power system the way he thought he would. However, I still have the uber-dielectric, the PZT discs it is intended to be sandwiched between, etc. and my ex-partner in this still has my Mettler H20. Just needs serious EE work to complete the project. . .probably is much more complex than a student can manage. It was a challenge for an Ivy League PhD at the top of his field.

FYI, building the thrusters is always easier than building the power system to run them. Odd as it may seem, the biggest challenges are in the standard EE work.

Another good option might be to do a replication of the rotator experiment. That experiment demonstrates M-E without generating thrust, so in it you avoid all the difficulties of having a thrust stand, vacuum, etc. It's relatively easy compared to building and testing a thruster. In like fashion, you might choose to be the first to build a GravInertial Levitation Chamber (GILC). Like the rotator, it demonstrates M-E without having to take measurements with a thrust stand. It does however use vacuum, just inside a test tube.

There are plenty of other options. Don't run out and buy an expensive dielectric. My shop is full of hundreds of the caps used over the years and I'd be happy to send you some if you decide that's what you want to work with. Shoot me a private note, or one to Paul, and we'll see how we can get you connected. If you want to work on an MLT, best first choice is certainly Paul. And as his student in ME work the last half decade I can say without qualification that he is an excellent teacher.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

GIThruster
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Postby GIThruster » Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:44 am

"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

TDPerk
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Postby TDPerk » Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:25 pm

molon labe
montani semper liberi
para fides paternae patria

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Postby Diogenes » Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:26 pm


kunkmiester
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Postby kunkmiester » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:46 am

Evil is evil, no matter how small

GIThruster
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Postby GIThruster » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:41 am

"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

TDPerk
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Postby TDPerk » Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:27 am

molon labe

montani semper liberi

para fides paternae patria

GIThruster
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Postby GIThruster » Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:26 pm

"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

GIThruster
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Postby GIThruster » Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:47 pm

"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

Diogenes
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Postby Diogenes » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:08 am



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