Military looks at SSPS - polywell an alternative?

Discuss ways to make polywell research more widely known or better understood. Includes education and outreach.

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ANTIcarrot
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Military looks at SSPS - polywell an alternative?

Postby ANTIcarrot » Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:04 am

Petrol in Iraq costs ~$200 per gallon. Electricity is about as expensive. Transporting enough to keep the base generators running accounts for a huge percentage of the US military's logistics trail.

Recently the military has shown interest in SSPS technology; that is launching a large deploying a large solar array (~1-50MW) into geostationary orbit and beaming the power down as microwaves. This technology was first proposed with in the 1970s & 1980s by NASA; but current launch costs translate to $0.50/kWh+, which means no one is interested - except the US military who need power sent cheaply anywhere in the world.

The Space Show recently did a show on the subject. Please listen to it before thinking 'LOL! Space fantasy!' which is the typical reaction to this technology.
http://archived.thespaceshow.com/shows/ ... -08-01.mp3

If they are this interested in SSPS, would they also be interested in polywell reactors? Enough to fund development Bury it under a couple of meters of sand and water and it should be relatively immune from RPGs and motars.
Some light reading material: Half Way To Anywhere, The Rocket Company, Space Technology, The High Fronter, Of Wolves And Men, Light On Shattered Water, The Ultimate Weapon, any Janes Guide, GURPS Bio-Tech, ALIENS Technical Manual, The God Delusion.

JoeStrout
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Re: Military looks at SSPS - polywell an alternative?

Postby JoeStrout » Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:13 pm

ANTIcarrot wrote:If they are this interested in SSPS, would they also be interested in polywell reactors? Enough to fund development Bury it under a couple of meters of sand and water and it should be relatively immune from RPGs and motars.

I don't think it serves quite the same need. They want to be able to beam power instantly to wherever they need it — possibly even to individual vehicles. Polywell reactors would certainly be helpful in other ways, but don't really serve this need.

However, polywell reactors would make superb energy sources for ships, which is probably why the Navy was funding it. However, we all see what happened with that — I wouldn't be all that excited to see the DoD involved in funding polywell research again. It would almost certainly mean another publishing embargo, and could be more of a setback than anything else, unless they decided to fund it at a level where it could actually be pushed through to completion.
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ANTIcarrot
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Re: Military looks at SSPS - polywell an alternative?

Postby ANTIcarrot » Mon Aug 20, 2007 10:25 pm

JoeStrout wrote:I don't think it serves quite the same need. They want to be able to beam power instantly to wherever they need it


Not quite. The rectennas needed to receive the power would have non-trivial weight, volume, and deployment time. 'Instantly' in this case translates to 'a few days after the trucks get there'. The requirement is to provide fairly constant power for stationary bases for prolonged periods of time, not moving vehicles. A modular polywell could probably be built for this requirement.

Though I share your concern with military embargoes, it's not the only kind of embargo to worry about.
*The 'US export license' department has a really nasty reputation when it comes to sharing with the other children.
*The US military can still put an embargo on an idea or product for reasons of national security.
*The US DoE regulates all things nuclear - including test facilities. An over zealous inspector could bring an R&D programme to a scretching halt.

Now the best way to develop polywell would be privately. But if that fails, the US Army may be an acceptable backup plan.

If you think I'm being a little paranoid, I would recomend the book 'Halfway to Anywhere' by GH Stine as a catalog of dirty tricks people can pull during an R&D programme; in this case the DC-X.
Some light reading material: Half Way To Anywhere, The Rocket Company, Space Technology, The High Fronter, Of Wolves And Men, Light On Shattered Water, The Ultimate Weapon, any Janes Guide, GURPS Bio-Tech, ALIENS Technical Manual, The God Delusion.

Nanos
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Postby Nanos » Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:08 am

It appears (Can anyone confirm?) in the UK that one would need a radiation license to do research;

http://www.fusor.net/board/view.php?sit ... 1187604404

Which rather makes it difficult unless you happen to have your own property to begin with.

MSimon
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Japan

Postby MSimon » Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:06 pm

Japan has an IEC Program.

They may be the actual backup.

TallDave
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Re: Military looks at SSPS - polywell an alternative?

Postby TallDave » Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:05 am

JoeStrout wrote:I wouldn't be all that excited to see the DoD involved in funding polywell research again. It would almost certainly mean another publishing embargo, and could be more of a setback than anything else, unless they decided to fund it at a level where it could actually be pushed through to completion.


Hehe, speak of the devil. And, lo and behold, they are funding the whole shebang!

Maybe they read your post.


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