genieSL563


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Number: 563  Name: ENERGY/TRANSPORT SYSTEM

Address: J.E.D.CLINE1                Date: 881001

Approximate # of bytes: 10080

Number of Accesses: 26  Library: 3


Description:


This is a technological synthesisutilizing the concepts of SPS/Powersat,power storage rings, Launch Loop, andStarbridge.  The synthesis results ina design that supplies electrical power to the Earth, as well asproviding an enormous space transportationcapability.


Keywords:

energy/transportation,SPS,Powersat,Launchloop,Starbridge,colonization,spacefarin

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ELECTRICAL POWER + SPACE TRANSPORTATION = SPACEFARING


by  J. E. D. Cline      September 31,1988


Ref: GEnie Spaceport file #553


This is a technological conceptual synthesis utilizing theconcepts of SPS Powersat, Power Storage Ring, ElectricalPower Transmission Line, Launch Loop, and Starbridge.  Itsintent is to provide a stimulus for a greatly expanded spaceprogram through its byproduct of providing large amounts ofpollution-free electrical power delivered to meet the moreimmediate needs of people on Earth.


The EXPECTED PROBLEM is that progress is far too slow toachieve space colonization prior to Earth losing too manyspecies' genotypes, and preserving its balanced ecologyneeded to provide indefinite support of a teemingcivilization, and that reaction-engine propulsion technologyuses too much of Earth's resources to be practical formass exodus to space.


The PROPOSED SOLUTION is to merge several leading-edge spaceconcepts into a design which has a byproduct of supplyinggreat amounts of electrical power to Earth-surface powergrids, for the more immediated needs' attention of everydaylife.


The EXPECTED RESULTS are a renewed interest by the averageperson in a greatly expanded space program, resulting in theconstruction of combined electrical power systems and spacetransportation systems such as proposed herein.  This systemwould take the load off the fossil fuel supply now beingconsumed as the primary source of power on Earth, while atthe same time a space transportation "highway" system isproviding massive transport of materials and people betweenEarth surface and space settlements. A spacefaring societycivilization transfers the majority of humanity intoartificial worlds built in Geosynchronous orbit and in theL-4/L-5 libration points 240,000 miles from Earth, while theEarth's ecology is gradually restored to a function ofpreserving a diversity of species genotypes.The conceptual synthesis will be presented next, followed bya brief description of the component concepts, then thesequence of actualization will be described briefly.


The CONCEPTUAL SYNTHESIS: A Solar Power Satellite located ina geosynchronous orbit converts solar energy intoelectrical power.  This electrical energy is used toaccellerate a stream of ultrafast objects headed down anenclosing guide tube or ring toward the Earth's surfaceterminal.  At the Earth terminal, some of the electrokineticenergy is tapped off to feed into the Earth surfaceelectrical power grid, and the rest is redirected backtoward space in the enclosing tower tube or ring.  Themassive stream of ultrafast objects is accelleratedelectromagneticaly to add energy to it, and decelleratedelectromagnetically to extract energy from it.  Some of itselectrokinetic energy is transferred to the tubular guidewayused to keep the air out where it is in the Earth'satmosphere, and to provide support and power for thetransportation system that runs along its length. The resultis an electrical power supply for Earth, and a self-poweredeconomical transportation link connecting the Earth'ssurface with geosynchronous orbit.


The SPS POWERSAT concept was proposed in the "60's by PeterGlaser.  Located in GEO, it converts the endless solarenergy there into electrical energy through use of vastsilicon solar cell arrays, or by using a Helium-Braytonturbine system.  The original SPS concept then used apowerful microwave beam to beam the gigawatts of power tothe Earth's surface.


An ELECTRICAL POWER TRANSMISSION LINE: is what connectselectrical power sources with the users of electrical power.On earth the lines are made of copper or aluminum wires,and connect sources such as hydroelectric, fossil fuel oilor natural gas, nuclear-electric and wind generator powerplants, with their customer homes and industrial users.


POWER STORAGE RINGS: were proposed to store electrical powerproduced during the low-demand hours of the day, and thenadd their energy during peak power demand hours.Hydroelectric power storage is used now. This concept woulduse a huge ring enclosing and guiding a massive stream ofhurtling ultrafast objects, which stores energyelectrokinetically.  Power is added or extracted from thestorage ring stream by accellerating or decellerating themassive stream electromagnetically.


LAUNCH LOOP: a powerful space transportation concept byKeith Lofstom, would be similar to the power storage ringconcept.  However, it only touches the Earth's surface atone point; from there it bounces up to geosynchronous orbit,then circles back down around the Earth to reconnect at thesame point on the surface.  In the version proposed by EarlSmith in "The Texas and Universe Railroad" the Earth surfaceterminal would be located in Texas, resulting in requiring passing over only one other country, and being subject tothe state's lenient railroad regulatory agency.


STARBRIDGE: another powerful space transportation conceptproposed by Ron Hyde in about 1983.  It would be adynamically-supported Earth tower, reaching from the Earth'ssurface toward space.  Located at the slope and base of amountain, Earth-sourced electrical power is used toaccellerate a vast stream of ultrafast beryllium disks(which have a magnet attached to each one) in anelectromagnetic accellerator on the mountain slopes.  Theaccellerator directs the stream down the mountain, around ina loop, and back up the mountain slope; the stream thencontinues upward in a vacuum withing a tube supported byenergy extracted from the electrokinetic energy containedwithin the moving stream.  At the top end of the Starbridgetower, a reflector returns the stream of objects back downthe tube to return for re-accelleration in the mountainsideaccellerator.  This transportation system would consumeprodigious amounts of Earth resource electrical power, butwould be able to lift payload mass equal to that of everyhuman being on Earth in a matter of a couple of weeks!The Launch Loop and the Starbridge concepts...or aderivative of them...offer a way to create a "highway"between Earth surface and space.  Their source of powerwould be electrical, and once such a megaproject is built,in this conceptual synthesis it would  enable poweringitself by a dedicated Solar Power Satellite, thus taking theburden off the Earth for the energy to transfer payloadsbetween EArth and space.  In principle it takes only a fewcents' worth of electricity, about 16KWHr, to lift akilogram to geosynchronous orbit from the Earth'ssurface...in contrast to the thousands of dollars it costsper kilogram of payload using conventional reaction enginepropulsion systems. Supplying excess electrical power fromthe Powersat to energize the Earth surface electrical powergrid would pay for the construction of the energy/transportsystem, and help take the load off of fossil fuel reserves,preserving them for the much more critical petrochemicalfeedstocks needed for the future.


SEQUENCE OF ACTUALIZATION of this concept starts with powerfrom conventional electrical power sources being used tolift and power-up the structure of such a transport system,then components of a prefab Solar Power Satellite is sent upthe system for installation at its geosynchronous orbitterminal.  Thereafter solar energy from the SPS is used tosupport and run the transportation system and also to supplyelectrical power to Earth's surface, put into theconventional power grid at the bottom end of the structure.Power is transferred along the transportation sturcture inthe form of the kinetic energy of a stream of extremelyfast moving objects.  Power is put into, and taken out of,the syustem by electromagnetically accellerating ordecellerating the stream of objects.  The stream flows in anairless tube which is itself supported by electrical dragon the massive stream of ultrafast objects within itself.Energy is supplied to Earth surface, and a highway to spaceis created to enable civilization to move into space.Although still conceptual in nature, the potential of suchconcepts for moving absolutely enormous amounts of materialand people from Earth and space in a short time atrelatively very low cost using somewhat elevator-like means,could totally change the way things are built in space.These concepts suggest that a "highway" to space may befeasable using near-contemporary technology, supplyingelectrical power to Earth as a byproduct, and enablingcivilization to have an exodus into artificial worlds builtin near-earth space, and start the healing of Earth'secology and preservation of a maximum of diversity ofspecies genotypes.  It is important that we do start thissoon.


     J.E.D.CLINE1 (GEnie address)

     James Edward David "Jim/Jed/Dave" Cline

     5632 Van Nuys Blvd. #110

     Van Nuys, CA 91401

     (818) 909-0143


Apologies are offered for all errors or ommissions.  Allcomments which can be used to improve future rewrites ofthis will be appreciated.  Perfecting analysis, engineeringrealism and socioeconomic factors are needed to providefeedback to improve the conceptual synthesis' viability.