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Solar panel nerfer?
Rover 6428 posted a topic in KSP1 Mods DiscussionsIs there a mod/way to make solar panles less effective? It's just that is sometimes feels like cheating because you don't really need panels that much.
Brainstorming: Fusion power via counterweight
HebaruSan posted a topic in Science & SpaceflightWhile mowing the lawn my mind strayed as it often does to power generation and megaprojects. With ITER-style fusion power still decades away from practicality, I wondered about ways to exploit a more established method of fusion: the hydrogen bomb. The problem is how to convert a big impulse of energy into steady day to day flow for residential and commercial use. The Orion drive concept used a "pusher plate" to absorb energy from a nuclear blast for propulsion. Could something similar work for power? Dig a tall shaft into the ground. Put a hydrogen bomb at the bottom, and a massive counterweight on top of it. Detonate the bomb to raise the counterweight, converting the energy of the explosion to gravitational potential energy. Slowly lower it and extract energy to the grid via standard means (cranes/pulleys/turbines, etc.). Repeat with a new bomb each time the counterweight gets to the bottom. A few web searches gave me some scratch numbers for ballparking: Typical energy from a hydrogen bomb: 2.09 × 1014 J (58055 Mwh) Mass of heaviest object ever lifted on land: 23178000 kg (227376180 N) Assuming no losses to friction/drag/etc., height that bomb would lift that object: (2.09 × 1014 J) / (227376180 N) = 919 km So best/worst case scenario, we'd need a vertical shaft 919 km deep. Some further web searches suggest that the temperature at that depth is around 2000° C and the rock may be molten. So that's the baseline for this idea. Not very practical; obviously smaller bombs or bigger counterweights would reduce the needed depth, and frictional losses throughout the system would reduce both the power output and the maximum height of the counterweight. Any other ideas for charging your phone with an H bomb?
Antimatter Economics for Interstellar Extended Mod
iontom posted a topic in KSP1 Mods DiscussionsHello! I'm working with @FreeThinker of the Interstellar Extended mod to try and get his antimatter engine spacecrafts to be more accurate. Primarily, we want to make sure we have the correct exhaust ISP and reactor output for an antimatter reactor. We're looking at beam-core specifically, but while we are at it, looking ant anti-matter catalyzed fusion or being open to even more efficient alternatives would be great. Here is the mod forum link (you can find the mod itself on CKAN) Now, there are a few designs out there in existence which we can reference as-is. However, many of these have specific mission parameters in place at the get go. They also include a surplus of mass for use as shielding against gamma rays generated from the use of the antimatter. That goes way beyond what is necessary in Kerbal, modelling shielding from gamma rays would be a a lot of work. Also, depending on the configuration of the reactor, that shielding might already be in place. Different Physics than Tsiolkovsky The first and most important thing to realize is that the traditional rocket equation no longer holds. Some of your mass wet mass is literally annihilated and converted into energy. This means that you can reach substantially higher delta-V than simply calculated from your Isp. You can read more detail from this source, but here are the basic eqs. The problem for KSP is that once you take the derivative of this to model the fuel loss, you can't solve it symbolically for the total Isp. Ship Designs There are a few different designs out there, some in the VERY early stages of NASA Tech Readiness Level, others are far ahead in fiction alone. Here's a list from Orion's Arm which I summarize below as well, and add ACF. Antimatter Catalyzed Fusion Uses antimatter reaction to trigger D-D or D-T fusion ICAN-II: A study by Penn State Picture by my friend Seth Pulsed Explosions AIMStar Solid Core - (ISP = 1000 s) high energy conversion efficiency, but very high thrust and low ISP - little thermal decay Gas Core (ISP = 2000 s) Plasma Core (ISP = 10^5 s) Beam Core (ISP = 10^7 s) Project Valkerie Project Frisbee Gamma Ray Photon Rocket Right now the mod is focused on Beam Core, Gamma Ray photon rockets are well beyond the scope of any serious study right now. Here's two charts which show the propellent/dry mass and antimatter/dry mass ratios. Beam Core is the best, hands down. For every 1 mT of dry mass, to reach 33% light-speed, you'd only need roughly 2 mT of fuel, or 4 mT for acceleration and decelleration. For Anti-Matter, for 1000 kg dry mass reaching 33%, you'd roughly hit parity. You'd want an amount of antimatter nearly equal to your dry mass. Or twice that if you need to decelerate too. Or seen this way at just direct mass 10^6 g is 1 mT Antimatter Storage Density and Energy Requirements So first, we should look at mechanisms for storing antimatter - it needs to be tight. Generating antimatter is important as well, but the mods that @FreeThinker has does a great job at that. We actually do have antimatter stuck in the Van Allen Belt, and so does Jupiter. It can be harvested. And it's already used, it occurs naturally in lightnight strikes, and PET Scans used in hospitals are actually generating positrons from isotope decay to track gamma rays being generated inside your body. Insane right? Antimatter is NOT for energy production, it's for energy transport. It is the most efficient fuel known to physics. Antimatter can be stored in a number of ways, but here are the most prominent. Antimatter can be an anti-proton, a positron, or anti-hydrogen. Conceivably you could have heavier anti-particles, or exotic anti-particles, but those are for another time. Some of those particles though, pions, are created and destroyed during the annhilation process of larger particles. Positrons might end up being easier to store, but they have much less mass-energy than an anti-proton. Positrons are 0.5 MeV, Anti-Protons are 938 MeV. Ultimately, a LOT of your dry mass will end up being just the components necessary to house the stored anti-matter. Penning Traps - generally pretty large and energy demanding, but can hold large amounts of either anti-protons or positrons. These get a lot better with superconductors. These could potentially scale up into larger electromagnetic holding cells - but it's still pretty risky to keep it all in one place. Micro-Trap Arrays (source)- "Atom chips are now being proposed for trapping antiprotons, positrons and antihydrogen." - Source Intended for positrons at the moment, but microtrap arrays are also used in Quantum Computing and a lot of solid matter physics experiments. You can trap heavy ions in these things, it happens all the time, and these microarrays are far safer. If one fails, you might have an explosion, but not necessarily a chain reaction. A microtrap array would probably be much heavier than a large penning trap, but it could still remain relatively small since you can arrange the traps in 3 dimmensions. It's hard to get a good estimate on possibly storage limits, because most of the time these traps are used in QC where you are trying to have only one atom per trap, not several. But - if you include "cooling lasers" to the mix, it might be possible to scale things up pretty large. There are no listed numbers available for max storage capacity for Microtraps in a serious large scale use - however - "It was computationally shown that each microtrap with 50 µm radius stored positrons with a density (1.6 × 10^11 cm−3 ) even higher than that in conventional Penning-Malmberg traps (≈ 10^11 cm−3 ) while the confinement voltage was only 10 V" Source Since microtraps are basically tiny coils on a wafer, once can see how these could easily scale up. Taking the mass of a positron at 9.1e-31 kg, and the number of positrons at 10V, which is 10^8, you get 1.45e-20 kg/trap. Each trap takes up 50 micron radius, which gets you to a number of 1.47e-9 kg per square meter. So the surface area required to reach 1mT of antimatter is... 6.76e11 m^2 So that's still a lot, and mostly because positrons are so tiny, but you could fold a lot of surface area into a tiny volume if you wanted to. If you stacked all of those traps linearly, you would be 41,000 km long, but only 50 nm wide. Now... I think I did my math right, but I wouldn't mind being checked. You could possibly fold that 41,000 km into thin sheets that were 100m x 100m - assuming that EVERY microtrap has a spacing of 50 nm, I calculated that you could fit the entire aparatus into a box which is 100m x 100m x 164m, or roughly a box that is 117m^3 - again, that's for 1 mT of Antimatter Bump that up to 120m^3 for posterity, and you get a figure that says you have 5.7e-4 kg/m^3 of antimatter, or 0.57 g/m^3 Now, let's say that you bump up the potential from that 5-10 V to something more like 100 V, you now would have 12 KG/m^3, because storage scales logarthimically AND folded arrays scale cubic. You also could possibly shrink the trap size but retain a similar positron count. Realistically, you probably will want more space between the cells - but you'll run things at a somewhat higher voltage because otherwise you can't store enough. The "dry weight" here would probably be comparable to an average data center, but I'll have to calc that out when I have more time. Buckyball, CNT, Physical Binding- more coming soon. Neutral Molecular Binding - look up positron dynamics, this is a very promising technique too, definately a hell of lot easier to create en-masse than a 3D circuit of microtraps that is ~100m in diameter. Here is the chart @FreeThinker put together for his storage estimates on his antimatter tanks. - I will review tomorrow - but I think splitting tank types might be a good idea, since tech level will determine storage capacity. Diameter 0.625m 1.25 m 2.5 m 5.0 m 10 m 20 m Antimatter (mg) 1695 13192,25 105538 844304 6754432 54035456 432283648 Antimatter (kg) 0,013 0,1 0,84 6,75 54 432 Tank Mass (kg) 25 50 100 200 400 800 1600 Tank Mass (ton) 0,025 0,05 0,1 0,2 0,4 0,8 1,6 Antimatter Beam Core Reactor Energy More to come on this soon - will try to derive from the charts above. Help appreciated. Magnetic Nozzle Exhaust Velocities I will expand on this soon. Basically though, it's variable based on what reactor you use, but enough sources out there claim an upper limit of about 10,000,000 ISP, while some only predict 100,000. ISP, Exhause Velocity and Delta V are again related, but not via the traditional ratios of the rocket equations. See above. ALRIGHT - this is my first draft - I'll update this first post with relevant information as we revise things. Also - I'll probably post another thread for the MagScoop Sail too - since that can handle the bulk of deceleration (interstellar 'wind' drag) andthus cut your fuel needs down by nearly half.
Elliptical Orbital Mechanics
Whyx posted a topic in Science & SpaceflightOkay, I wanted to try and find a way to apply circular motion and gravitational field calculations to elliptical orbits to prove why all orbits must have opposite periapsis and aopsis and only one of each (as oppose to for example two opposite aopsis and two opposite periapsis) but I couldn't do it. Anyone with more experience give me a hand, it would be handy if the derivation tried to use relatively simple mechanics because I'm second year A level in the UK. Cheers
Solar panels won't generate power
Obsidiman posted a question in KSP1 Technical Support (PC, modded installs)So here's the thing. I decided to go ahead and mod my install, after seeing some of the wonderful things that exist via Scott Manley. So I went around and picked a few mods that looked interesting to me and installed them. None of them said that they would have any problems with existing games, so I loaded into my career save that I've been playing on, and everything was going great. No problems, just smooth sailing-- or whatever the space equivalent of "sailing" is. But after a while I noticed that my probes, bases, and ships were running low on power. I though, 'that's odd', and looked into why. Turns out, none of the solar panels in my game work anymore. I'm pretty sure that they still worked after installing the mods, so it must have somehow happened after that. For reference, here's a list (raw copy/paste from AVC) of the mods that I currently have installed: KSP: 1.3 (Win64) - Unity: 5.4.0p4 - OS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (6.1.7601) 64bit Community Category Kit - 2.0.1 Community Resource Pack - 0.7.1 DynamicBatteryStorage - 1.1 Extraplanetary Launchpads - 5.8.2 Kerbal Attachment System - 0.6.3 <b><color=#CA7B3C>Kopernicus</color></b> - 18.104.22.168 KSP-AVC Plugin - 22.214.171.124 NearFutureElectrical - 0.9.5 NearFutureProps - 0.1 NearFuturePropulsion - 0.9.4 NearFutureSolar - 0.8.6 NearFutureSpacecraft - 0.7.3 Kerbal Planetary Base Systems - 1.5.1 TweakScale - 2.3.6 So one of the symptoms of this problem is the solar panel parts not having any part info. In the R&D center: https://imgur.com/PKyVQsa Same panel, in VAB: https://imgur.com/qYLWL3T One from Near Future Solar, VAB: https://imgur.com/kykOKLQ Stock retractable panel, VAB: https://imgur.com/Qp3QNtI And for reference, one of the stock batteries, WITH part info: https://imgur.com/SamNSWg To top it all off, I can't actually right click the panels like I should be able to while during a mission. This is a bit harder to show in a picture, so the closest I can really get is just highlighting the panel: https://imgur.com/BZhoSmP Sorry that last one's a bit dark, I should honestly have waited for Minmus to rotate, but I was rushed with the screenshots. If anyone has any idea as to what might be wrong here, that'd be great. I looked around on the internet and I couldn't find anyone with a similar problem. And if nobody knows what the heck is going on, I guess I'll just backup my saves and do a fresh install and see if that fixes it. And yeah, that's about it.
There will be no need of on-board propellant in this technology (Zero Fuel Technology). MECHANISM:There will be two part of this engine. The first part will move freely in a cylindrical tube but second part will be stable. Two motors will be fixed in this engine as per the diagram. The (1) motor will work to press the first part towards the front side while (2) motor will work to press the second part towards backside. Two lever system will be attached with each motor.These levers will work to press their side springs when both motors will move. There will be Pull Back system attached in the first part of this engine. This pull back system will work to get back the first part of this engine on its position with the help of a motor and electromagnets. Two magnetic brackets will be attached with first part as per the diagram and springs of first part's will be attached with a magnetic system. This engine will get energy with solar panels. HOW WILL THIS ENGINE WORK? When both lever systems will work to press their side springs then a kinetic force will create on both springs. when the (1) lever will press the spring of first part then the spring get stretch due to pressure and at a point of pressure this part will be detached with its side magnets and will move towards front side due to kinetic force. But in second part of the device when (2) lever will press the spring towards backside then spring will work to push this device towards front side after removing lever pressure. In this way both parts of this device will help to push forward this device. The magnetic bracket will work to catch this first part so that this part couldn't move with back force, otherwise this engine will move towards backside due to back force. The pull back system will work to attach this first part with the help of electromagnets.The first part will be detached with magnetic brackets when pull back system will work on this part with electromagnets then the springs of this part will be attached with their side magnets again and pull back system will be detached. BOTH LEVERS WILL WORK AT THE SAME TIME WITH EQUAL FORCE IN THIS ENGINE. The first part of this device will get back its position again and both parts' levers systems will be ready to work on their side springs again and again. The first part will move freely in a cylindrical tube but second part will be stable. Two motors will be fixed in this engine as per the diagram. The (1) motor will work to press the first part towards the front side while (2) motor will work to press the second part towards backside. Two lever system will be attached with each motor.These levers will work to press their side springs when both motors will move. There will be Pull Back system attached in the first part of this engine. This pull back system will work to get back the first part of this engine on its position with the help of a motor and electromagnets. Two magnetic brackets will be attached with first part as per the diagram and springs of first part's will be attached with a magnetic system. This engine will get energy with solar panels. HOW WILL THIS ENGINE WORK? When both lever systems will work to press their side springs then a kinetic force will create on both springs. when the (1) lever will press the spring of first part then the spring get stretch due to pressure and at a point of pressure this part will be detached with its side magnets and will move towards front side due to kinetic force. But in second part of the device when (2) lever will press the spring towards backside then spring will work to push this device towards front side after removing lever pressure. In this way both parts of this device will help to push forward this device. The magnetic bracket will work to catch this first part so that this part couldn't move with back force, otherwise this engine will move towards backside due to back force. The pull back system will work to attach this first part with the help of electromagnets.The first part will be detached with magnetic brackets when pull back system will work on this part with electromagnets then the springs of this part will be attached with their side magnets again and pull back system will be detached. BOTH LEVERS WILL WORK AT THE SAME TIME WITH EQUAL FORCE IN THIS ENGINE. The first part of this device will get back its position again and both parts' levers systems will be ready to work on their side springs again and again. In this way this engine will work. This will be a radical step for deep space missions. There will be no need of on-board propellant in this technology (Zero Fuel Technology).
PB666 posted a topic in Science & SpaceflightWe have been having a running discussion in this subforum for the last year or more concerning a type of energy that does not require an apparent mass to generate momentum. Although energy can be converted into light which has momentum it has very little momentum given the energy contained within, and so finding something that has a magnitude more momentum per input energy created alot of discussion. In the end here I hope to show that it really matters little. To start off this analysis lets imagine the settlers of the mid 19th century American west. To accomplish their journey they had wagons with supplies and draft animals to pull the supply, this carried them across an expanse that was devoid of trade goods to either feed themselves or their livestock. Along the way the live stock feed, and because high energy foods spoiled they would kill animals and butcher them for meat and fat. There was a thing called winter, at which point unless you had settled in, it would not be a good thing to be in space. Conceptually speaking all major exploratory journeys are like this, if we imagine the discovery ships, they had to have supplies to last them several weeks, they might stop at islands to pick up water and supplies, and they would not want to be caught in a hurricane. Therefore the concept of expanse, resource management and risk have been dealt with. So now lets consider the trip to or any planet. Our Mississippi river is the LOE, we first have to get our ship up across the problem of drag and its desire to fight orbits. During this phase of the journey we cannot rely on any space resource and so it is a given that the initial state provides the energy and mass to create momentum. Once we have a semi-stable orbit we then can examine the problem of space. Space is a name, it has a sort of implicit meaning that it has no stuff in it. Actually space has alot of stuff, at least our local space, relative to the vast expanses of emptiness between galaxies. The stuff in space however tends to get concentrated into inertially defined bodies. Between these bodies are gases and for a traveler these gases are always in motion and because the gases are almost always charged (that means gas is a mixture of plasma and gas), the gas is maintained in a rarefied state by momentum and electromagnetic energy from the sun, as a consequence it can at times be non-inertial. To be clear here, the density of gas, even in the atmosphere of the sun, is so dilute it is of little practical use. That is to say in the time frame of our journey their is neither the time or a relevant volume of space to collect this an use it. The material state of vacuum space is more than an annoyance if anything, in LOE it creates drag and in interplanetary space it carries ions that can damage equipment or injure travelers. The bodies in our space fall basically into three categories. The smallest of these are asteroids and comets. Asteroids are the left overs from planetary genesis, the gas from our sun slows down and hits things out in the outer system, cools, and gases and dust that did not form large bodies eventually coalesce into dirty ice balls that get tugged by our planets and burn up, eventually. The planets clear orbits and thus are clearly inertially defined in their motion, since they are no longer colliding. Finally you have the bodies in which atomic conversion is a major character of the bodies visible appearance, at high enough energy these also emit gases. To our traveler these are the resources of space, so lets define these as such 1. Asteroids and Comets. Resources - Mass (Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen, Nickle, Silica, Aluminum): sub resources (metal for building, water for drinking or fuel cells, carbon for food or electronics, all for momentum), trivial amount of inertia, and transitory or impermanent destination. 2. Planets and Moons. - Inertia (as in they warp space), destinations, and the resources of #1. 3. Stars - Electromagnetism, Inertia, trivial emission of Gas and Plasma (as such also a source of electric charge) 4. Not 1 to 3 above - Quantum space - Non-zero rest energy of fields that permeate our universe (which of yet we are not fully aware or know how to exploit). So basically above we can define space as a list of virtual items, in this we can then rank them to our Space traveler. My ranking may shock but . . . A. [Quantum] space - this is the most important resource of space because it permits long distance travel and because its fields make it possible to establish travel strategies. The physical distance between destinations is in the >109 meters, traveling in drag affords speeds of 100s of meter per second, therefore matter just slows down the process. Matter also creates lots of other problems like gravitational collapses and complex body problems. B. Destinations (virtual and physical) - travelers will eventually need resources or a travel interest. C. Electromagnetic radiation - discussed below. Essentially EM is the purest source of energy, that is not to say it is the sole source of energy, but rest mass as an energy source has an investiment cost (in space this translates into mass). D. Inertially derived warping of space time - for the occasional Oberth effect. E. Mass - E = mc^2, p = m * v These are the resources what are their costs. A. Space - Not suitable for biota, no push-off mass, all* momentum must be derived within (*the status of the rf resonance cavity thruster goes undefined), energy required to reach space and return, energy taken by contamination within vacuum space. B. Destinations represent almost always a non-inertial logic, a dV required to reach them, we talk about space-time, we also have to consider dT. Destinations may have other problems like too much or too little of some other resource (Namely light). C. EM - heat dissipation with too much, energy conversion for use in propulsion and systems. D. Oberth masses - Friction or obstructions, space-time (see B). E. Mass - collection, landing, mining, conversion (not to mention cooling equipment) So basically we have a list of issues for our traveler. Breaking this down much of traveler concerns are non-inertial movements in space-time which require energy and for the most part momentum derived from mass ejection. The above is not the intent of the article, it simply breaking things down into abstractions that the next part can deal with. So what is the problem of traveling (not the traveler). If you are not going to something that cross the same space-time (in some relevant timescale) point dV needs to be applied somewhere. We derive dV Light - almost never used, but requires no mass (we have to assume at this point that the rf resonance cavity thruster is not this type of drive) Chemical - the fuel becomes the ejection mass - limited to bond breaking partial bond formation energy of the fuel. Basically at high temperature unfavorable bonds break the most stable reform as the cool. There is a finite limit on how much energy can be obtained from a chemical bond, it is defined in calories per mole and typically is in the form of O-O, H-H, N-O, N=O, C-C, C-H, C-N, C=C, C=N. Electrodynamic - the mass becomes energized by the input of energy and accelerates. (Ion, plasma, VASIMR, Hall effect, rf resonance*) Atomic - a source of heat is used to rarefy gas or liquid which then expands like chemical energy drive. We can see we need energy to produce light, we need to carry mass to produce chemical energy, we need to carry a nuclear reactor or we need to accelerate ions. Unless you want to carry all the energy with the craft there is a limitation of space, right now its solar power, (given the high mass issues with nuclear and cooling issues) Space gives effectively about 1N of thrust for every 233kg of solar panels (C). This gives a maximum 4.2 mm/s2 of acceleration (0.0004g), with that one needs about 233 meters of space. You can assume that a manned spacecraft this will be 10% of the mass so you are effectively limited to about 0.04g. I have created new ion drives and panels in the game to reflect this (HiPep design thrusters). The major problem is orbiting, this designed requires another source of accelation and is not suitable around low hv objects. Nuclear is worse, the reactors cost as much as the panels in terms of weight but much more in terms of cooling. if we argue that solar is kg per sqm then any means of reducing this improves the portability of the system. Modern age silicon lens are light weight and can focus light on a panel of much lower size and weight. This type of system works great in interplanetary flight, however only at a tangent to orbit, so inefficient transfers are not optimal unless the lens are placed on tracks that can move their positions. They also do not work well in non-inertial manuevers close to inertial bodies, this is because the incident angle shift with prograde motion. The mass of the ion drive is trivial (the most efficient drives of a few kilograms will easily consume all the energy we can currently produce), at 9000 dV the mass of the fuel becomes trivial (because you cant produce enough energy to eject it), the mass of energy production facility is just about everything. Find a way to lower the mass of energy production and Manned missions to (but not landing on) are possible.
Helium-3 vs Thorium?
Souper posted a topic in Science & SpaceflightWhich is the best reactor fuel? (Taking into account startup cost, operational costs, output and environmental friendliness. My money's on He3. It would not only be more ecofriendly but it would also explore more of the moon than we ever had before.