Sunday, April 06, 2014


Leverage G-force concepts from the Interplanetary Volume to modify current concept of space elevator.
BACKGROUND. Current Concept of Space Elevator. This table reviews "transport via tether"; how a very long cable can provide vehicle transport from the Earth's surface into space or orbit, without large rockets.
TE Solution.  TE proposes alternative non-rocket transport method from the Earth's surface into space. Replace physical tether with virtual cable of ions.
BACKGROUND: Current Concept of Space Elevator
This concept proposes vehicle transport from the Earth's surface into space or orbit, without large rockets.

APEX ANCHOR (previously known as “counterweight”) rotates at GEO orbital velocity to maintain  high tension.  It will keep the tether taut (much like a tether ball stretching a rope from a pole).

Geostationary Orbit (GEO) Node processes climbers as they transit GEO.  GEO objects circle the globe in exactly one day.  Thus, a GEO object can"park" directly over any point of Earth's Equator.  

Co-located habitat provides comfortable quarters for over 1,000 people.  Like other habitats throughout the Solar System, it will simulate Earth's gravity via spin induced centrifugal force and obtain power from solar light reflected via attached mirrors.

Tether connects the GEO platform to both top (spaceward) and bottom (Earthward).  Earthward tether connects to Marine Anchor on Earth's equator. Spaceward end might extend to 100,000 km from Earth to Apex Anchor.  Theoretically possible, but tether seems extremely impractical.  Is there something more practical than 100,000 km of tether?

Current Climber Concept:  Use "rollers" to grab ribbon to travel up/down entire length of cable. Planners now assume climber velocity of 200 kph (130 mph) for a 7 day transit time between GEO Node and Marine Anchor.  This is 7 days of confinement, surviving on sparse supply of oxygen and other consumables, enduring low gravity and high radiation, and risking tether disaster.  Perhaps there is a quicker, safer, more comfortable way!!!

Thought Experiment (TE) Solution
Leverage G-force concepts for some useful changes.
Apex Anchor is not needed for this alternative solution.
A Geostationary Equatorial Orbit (GEO) is a circular geosynchronous orbit in the plane of the Earth's equator approximately 35,786 km above mean sea level.
A GEO platform could be available to process climbers for transit between upload and download trips.
Adjacent to the platform could be a previously discussed habitat with:
1) room for over 1,000 people;
2) simulated Earth gravity via centrifugal force from carefully controlled spin about the longitudinal axis;
3) power and light provided from Sol's light reflected via large, colocated mirrors.
Replace Extremely long, physical cable by a "virtual" cable of ions.  Thus, the permanent cable and associated problems can go away. Replace the climber with a "beam rider" vehicle to use a high speed, particle beam to go from Earth's surface to the GEO platform.

TE assumes collective particle momentum accelerates vehicle at 10% g-force. By midway to GEO node (about 17,900 km), g-force elevator gains velocity of about 6 km/sec (an enormous speed!!!); thus, elevator must decelerate back to 0 km/sec before it reaches GEO Node.

Vehicle repeatedly carries pax/cargo from base station at Earth's Equator to Node at GEO.
At 10%G ((0.1 G acceleration) to midway (17,900 km)
and 0.1 G deceleration from midway (17,900 km), 
climber takes about 200 min to travel the 35,800 km between Earth surface and GEO.
NOTE: TE assumes above acceleration and deceleration are due to "net resultant forces" which overcome other relevant forces such as Earth gravity, orbital forces, and perhaps even centrifugal.
Safely nestled among the retired vessels which make up Marine Anchor, a particle accelerator can generate streams of high speed ions to between platform at GEO and base station at Earth's equator.  

Negative electrons lead positive ions upward to climber’s ion collectors.  

TE speculates that properly powered propulsion of g-force elevator can use particle beam
  • to accelerate SE vehicle as required up to GEO Node (likely midway).
  • to decelerate SE vehicle as required for safe return back to Marine Anchor.
Speed Up Climber to greatly reduce:
  • travel time,
  • radiation risk,
  • boredom.
TE proposes ion beam from base station particle accelerator to accelerate vehicle to midway, about 17,900 km above Earth.

To minimize vehicle damage from high speed particles, combine electromagnetic fields with on-board tokamak to store/release plasma as needed.

Tokamak stores protons from Base Station's particle stream which was used to push vehicle up to GEO.

From tokamak, protons go to a ring of cyclotrons placed under the outer hull (with nozzles pointing upside) and located as shown. Cyclotrons then emit protons against motion of vehicle to slow it down to zero velocity exactly at GEO.

During the 100 mins of deceleration, TE assumes total mass of high speed protons as less than 1% of vehicle mass; TE further assumes high speed particles (perhaps 10% light speed, c) do not damage orbiting structures such as GEO Node and adjacent habitat.
SUMMARY: Change current concept of Space Elevator.
a) Replace physical cable (carbon nanotubes) with virtual cable, beam of high speed particles.
b) Replace cable climber with beam rider vehicle to reduce transit time from 7 days to 200 minutes.



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