polywell reactor for booster rocket applications?

Discuss how polywell fusion works; share theoretical questions and answers.

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Postby 93143 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:13 pm


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Postby Skipjack » Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:51 pm

I thought NERVA was cancelled because there was no political will to do it. You know with the environmentalists and all that.
Also people thought that it was not really needed and that the disadvantages (difficult handling, radioactivity, environmentalists going nuts over it, etc, etc) were outweighing the benefits. That was IMHO not really true, but anyway...
If a polywell reactor could replace a gas core reactor then we would have a winner. Otherwise... guess we will have to hope for some other miracle... Been doing that all my life... Its not been going to well so far ;)

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Postby icarus » Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:34 am


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Postby Skipjack » Thu Mar 19, 2009 11:26 am


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Postby Mike Holmes » Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:00 pm


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Postby ohiovr » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:43 pm


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Postby KitemanSA » Thu Apr 23, 2009 5:09 pm


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Postby D Tibbets » Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:19 pm

I think the relativistic electron beam and other acellerater based schemes that Bussard talked about were low thrust high efficiency designs that would not come close to the thrust needed for a booster. For a booster a working fluid like hydrogen is heated by the reactor and ejected much like the fission rocket designs. Heavier molecules would provide greater thrust, but at lower efficiency (also would probably be more dense so smaller tanks would be needed-there are trade offs). I believe that one of Bussard's proposals was an air breathing design like a scram jet, except the heat came from the reactor instead of chemically burning a fuel (or perhaps a combination of both). Onboard reaction mass was carried for the final exoatmospheric acelleration.
The main advantages of a Polywell fusion approach (especially P-B11) is the lack of radiation concerns, especially from an accident stand point (I presume alot of weight dedicated to containing the dangerous plutonium in the case of a crash or reactor breach). Because the Polywell fusion reactor (or perhaps DPF or reverse field pinch approach) presumably would have a much higher energy density that an equivalent Tokamak (very large and heavy) it would be much more pratical. Would it be lighter than an equivalent fission reactor and associated equipment (ignoring safty concerns)?

[Edit] An interesting link-
http://www.ibiblio.org/lunar/school/Int ... stems.HTML


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Postby MSimon » Fri Apr 24, 2009 2:48 am


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Postby 93143 » Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:47 am


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Postby ohiovr » Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:53 pm


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Postby MSimon » Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:41 pm


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Postby D Tibbets » Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:15 am

To error is human... and I'm very human.

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Postby 93143 » Sat Apr 25, 2009 4:29 am


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Postby D Tibbets » Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:09 pm

To error is human... and I'm very human.


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