KESTS to GEO For Beginners

Author: Jim Cline

"The man with a new idea is a crank, until the idea succeeds." -- Mark Twain

Follow along this path of reasoning, developing the concept afresh in our minds now, given the potential benefit of a major new technology's massive access between space and the earth's surface. Start with the goal of using existing known principles and reasonable extentions of existing technology, to create a transportation system between the earth's surface and high earth orbit, a transportation system that can quickly emplace solar-electric power plants in GEO to provide all the energy it needs thereafter to provide a high capacity, continuous operating way of moving goods and people between ground and high earth orbit, at a million times present-day's average payload transfer rate, using a thousand-fold less energy per kilogram to deliver the payloads. This goal, because it could solidly bridge civilization into the immense resources of our solar system, shifting civilization's load off of the earth's complex and fragile ecosystem.

Approach to be used : do cognitive processing by simplifying and observing functions, then filling in to compensate for the simplifications. Reference patterns of analogies and morphological equivalences

First, simplify by hypothesizing an airless path between ground and space. Simplifying by this condition of no air between the ground and GEO, in the area of concern here; we will compensate for this later in the mental process.

Along the airless path, from the ground, electromagnetically launch a stream of projectiles into the equatorial plane in the form of an Orbital Transfer Trajectory between R=1 (earth's radius) and R=6.6 (Geostationary Earth Orbital radius), cyclically returning to the earth contact point compensating for 24 hour rotation of the planet. Once launched in this airless path, the projectile stream would continue to encircle the earth, spanning between the ground contact at the equator, extending up to GEO at its high point then continuing on around to its starting point at earth's surface, forming a stream of projectiles continuously going around the planet along this Orbital Transfer Trajectory ("OTT") path. The velocity of these projectiles is everywhere exactly equal to that required to provide an outward centrifugal force balancing the force of gravitational attraction on the projectiles, as defined by an orbital trajectory. This stream of projectiles creates a virtual structure, much as a water fountain does.

Next, increase the velocity of these projectiles while confining their path to that of the aforementioned OTT, such that their increased outward centrifugal force almost exactly balances the weight of the tracks which define their path, along with the weight of the tubing that maintains the airless path within they travel in the atmospheric portions of the trajectory.

And finally, increase the projectiles' velocity even more, to provide energy all along the upward-bound portion of their path, energy for use in lifting payload-carrying vehicles up from the ground to high earth orbit.

Fill in the conceptual design by making the tracks magnetic levitating to minimize frictional losses, easier because the induced magnetic field increases as the square of the velocity, and the projectiles are moving very fast indeed.

The stream of projectiles become as discontinuous segments of a giant electical motor. Dynamic braking of vehicles relative to the upward-bound armature projectile stream, can be used to lift the vehicles to space. This is the main point of the concept, note. Put more maglev tracks on the outside of the structure, along with the vehicles move to and from space Dynamic braking can also provide some servopositioning of the structure, compensating for live loads of vehicles and atmospheric wind loads. Make the armature mass streams move along tracks in pairs of opposite direction, and laterally couple the tube structures to which the magnetic levitation tracks are attached, so as to balance out gyroscopic effects and to provide places where upward lift energy is available everywhere along the structure.

Such a transportation structure could be built initially of very small capacity, just enough to be used to lift the materials to build more girth onto itself, eventually scaling up to full working capacity size. So develop ways to make the intial emplacement of the first seed structure, techniques that will have little environmental impact when they fail to be successful, as surely the first tries will experience, in the lerning curve.

Thus the basic concept is developed. some basic questions are explored below, and the concept is much more fleshed out in the many pages of this website, as well as in the two formal technical papers published on the concept so far.

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Several basic questions:






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Page updated on 2002 05 03

Copyright © 2002 by James E D Cline