The idea of a Low Orbital Ring, abbreviated "Lorbital ring, " is to provide a high transportation efficiency transportation structure between points on the ground. A variation of a Circular KESTS or Solid KESTS, this particular configuration would operate high in the planetary atmosphere, have an essentially circular shape encircling the planet, most easily done if within the equatorial plane.
This continuous ribbon or band would spin around the planet at far above the orbital velocity at that altitude, its excess velocity expressing as tensile stress in the circular ribbon and thus be able to carry loads along itself, in the form of vehicles carrying passengers and goods.
At places under its path, this idea connects to an idea created by other people instead of myself, that of towers made of steel tubing which is internally pressurized, a balloon with steel skin and enormous internal pressure enabling heights up to 20 miles, per the originators of the inflated tube tower idea. In the context of my application of such towers, the inflated steel-skinned towers would only reach perhaps to 10 miles up, where the top would provide both a position stabilization point for the Lorbital ring and a terminal for connection to the ground.
Thus passengers could travel between such points around the planet, including crossing oceans, at very low energy expenditure.
Another possible means of connection to a Lorbital ring wound be by means of aircraft which would fly up to the ring and latch on, for a ride around the planet to nearest their destination, then detach and continue flying from there, saving much fuel.
In practice, a Lorbital ring would actuallc consist of many individual circular ribbons next to each other, and would have matching mass sets which travel in the opposite direction, much as the other forms of KESTS would.
Copyright © 2008 James E. D. Cline. Permission granted to reproduce providing inclusion of acknowledgment of the author and concept designer James E. D. Cline.