STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVES from RFP

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Art Carlson
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STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVES from RFP

Post by Art Carlson »

As requested by Aero on Did anyone actually read the RFP? (This is the RFP.)

STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVES
FOR
ADVANCED GASEOUS ELECTROSTATIC ENERGY (AGEE)
RESEARCH STUDY
31 December 2008
1.0 Scope
This statement Of Work defines the first stage investigation study and tests for the plasma wiffleball development
project.
1.1 Background
This effort will continue the research of Advanced Gaseous Electrostatic Energy technology previously explored
under Broad Agency Announcement Contracts N00014-93-C-0224 and N00014-96-C-0039 and contract N68936-
03-C-0031.
2.0 Applicable Documents
None
3.0 Requirements
3.1 RESEARCH STUDY
3.1.1 Contractor shall review the results from Contracts N00014-93-C-0224, N00014-96-C-0039, contract N68936-
03-C-0031, and any other publically available current documentation regarding the technical research and
development in the field of energy production using a fusion reaction.
3.1.1.2. The review shall primarily investigate the effects of parallel electron heat loss to the coil joints with respect
to plasma stability and electron confinement time.
3.2 TESTS
3.2.1 The contractor will modify/upgrade the existing wiffleball #7 (WB-7) device by installing compact, high
temperature coil joints to investigate the electron parallel heat loss. This modified device shall hereafter be
identified as Wiffleball #7.1 (WB-7.1).
3.2.2 The Contractor shall test the WB-7.1 to measure the plasma beta (ratio of plasma pressure to the applied
magnetic field pressure) and to monitor the wiffleball formation process. The contractor will deploy multiple
magnetic field probes inside the device to generate time varying magnetic field mapping to investigate the wiffleball
formation.
3.3. The contractor shall take the results of the review specified in 3.1 and tests specified in 3.2 and provide a report
detailing workable instrumentation set-ups to resolve the plasma production and physics questions raised in the
review and tests for a final report for contracts.
CLAUSES INCORPORATED BY FULL TEXT
N68936-09-R-0024
Page 6 of 42
5252.211-9509 INCORPORATION OF THE CONTRACTOR'S TECHNICAL PROPOSAL
(NAVAIR)(OCT 2005)
The Contractor's Technical Proposal Number [ ], dated [ ], and any amendments/addendums
thereof, is incorporated herein by reference, unless otherwise specified, with the same force and effect as if set forth
in full text. Nothing in the Contractor's proposal shall constitute a waiver of any of the provisions of the contract,
including the Statement(s) of Work and Specification. For purposes of FAR Clause 52.215-8, “Order of
Precedence”, the Contractor's technical proposal shall be considered a "Specification."

Aero
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Post by Aero »

Thank you Dr. Carlson.

Now, what does it mean? To me, it infers that there is still a problem with cusp losses where the magnetic field lines intersect the connectors between coils. I wonder if it is possible to mount each coil independently to the chamber, using stand-offs, then routing the connections through the stand-offs? Would the stand-offs still intersect the magnetic field lines causing losses? Or would the stand-offs effectively separate the cusp loss problem from the magnetic field lines to metal intersection problem. Or perhaps there isn't a cusp at the point where the coils are connected and it is only a field line to metal problem?
Aero

Tom Ligon
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Post by Tom Ligon »

A few of us who have visited the lab can't say what the actual experience has been.

But most everyone who has looked at those little interconnects have wondered if they still constitute a "funny cusp."

I guess the contract is asking the same question.

It is a fine question to ask. Would the machine be much better without those little nubs right there?

Tom Ligon
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Post by Tom Ligon »

Ah, so here's where my reply went! I was actually responding to the similar post under "news". Returning from the link is evidently a bit cross-wired.

icarus
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Post by icarus »

WB 7.1 eh?

Anything on 0.X development track is not happening in a hurry in my opinion.

Sounds like a job for life on "stay-alive" govt. contracts with "nuanced results", good luck to them.

Aero
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Post by Aero »

Tom Ligon wrote:A few of us who have visited the lab can't say what the actual experience has been.

But most everyone who has looked at those little interconnects have wondered if they still constitute a "funny cusp."

I guess the contract is asking the same question.

It is a fine question to ask. Would the machine be much better without those little nubs right there?
This probably overlaps with Design, but: About those "little nubs," do they have their own magnetic field? If they do, does it help or hurt, re. losses? Can their field strength be changed, increased or decreased?

Do the nubs carry the positive charge of the Magrid? Does it help or hurt? Can the nubs be made of a non-conductor? Are they so made?
Aero

D Tibbets
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Post by D Tibbets »

As I recall, Bussard mentioned these joints(?) in his Google talk and said they could be shielded also. How that would be done is open to debate. I would guess that a charge wouldn't help due to that old - no effective electrostatic field inside a hollow sphere argument. And, I don't see how a magnetic field associated with the small number of wires that could be packed inside these much smaller interconnects could magnetically shield as well as the thicker magrid. The suggestion of mounting each coil on ceramic standoffs that are in the 'shadow' of the grid seams reasonable to me- if recirculation is mostly ocillation or bouncing within a single cusp, rather than orbiting through another cusp. If burning p-B11 these supports could possibly also serve as mounts for the energy capturing decelleration grids

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

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

D Tibbets wrote:As I recall, Bussard mentioned these joints(?) in his Google talk and said they could be shielded also. How that would be done is open to debate. I would guess that a charge wouldn't help due to that old - no effective electrostatic field inside a hollow sphere argument. And, I don't see how a magnetic field associated with the small number of wires that could be packed inside these much smaller interconnects could magnetically shield as well as the thicker magrid. The suggestion of mounting each coil on ceramic standoffs that are in the 'shadow' of the grid seams reasonable to me- if recirculation is mostly ocillation or bouncing within a single cusp, rather than orbiting through another cusp. If burning p-B11 these supports could possibly also serve as mounts for the energy capturing decelleration grids

Dan Tibbets
That is my take as well.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Tom Ligon
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Post by Tom Ligon »

From my first read thru the Valencia report, I thought the nubs would have to go. If the coils must be spaced to avoid the funny cusp, I just instinctively felt the nubs must be a loss path. They may be orders of magnitude less so than the old geometry, but I felt they would bleed off high-energy electrons.

I wanted them to try ceramic support of the coils individually from outside the chamber from that moment. This also has the benefit of allowing individual coils to be replaced, and of allowing better cooling mechanisms where copper-coil machines are used. In fact, when we started considering the very first water-cooled copper machines, I wanted to use that approach.

KitemanSA
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Post by KitemanSA »

This seems to be a retake on a prior discussion several months ago.

The discussion then suggested that the cross brace (stub?) between the coils be coated in diamond or other high thermal, low electrical conductor. That way it could accumulate a negative charge and become a point rejector for the leaking electrons. Further, It was suggested that the brace be moved outward from the plane of the coils to be less attractive to the ions. This probably wouldn't eliminate the electron losses, but may reduce them significantly.

Looks like some of this is going to be tested.

Another issue that has come up in the same vein is: if the coils are made more polygonal (square for the cube and pentagonal for the dodecahedron) rather than round, would the results on the wiffleball then make it better to put two braces away from the "funny cusp" and perhaps more covered by the mirror of the wiffleball?

Solo
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Post by Solo »

Sounds like it's time for someone to ask Indrek to do some more of his amazing field visualizations!

choff
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Post by choff »

On rereading the spec's , I noticed the completion date 31/12/09, and the words 'final report.' A final report would imply a final decision, possibly in the 2010 new year, unless the experiments and write-up's are completed sooner. It looks like any decision for a full scale project won't happen in '09 without a fast-tracking.
CHoff

TallDave
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Post by TallDave »

Thanks Art.

It's encouraging they didn't find any unexpected problems and are looking at the joints, which we've always known would be a problem. That's a logical intermediate step before building a WB-100.

It's also encouraging they have a year to do so.

I notice Rick hasn't stopped by in a while. Let's hope that means he has better things to do!

Aero,

The interconnects have no magnetic field; they just keep the thing from flying apart. Presumably they have the same charge as the Magrid, which is bad from the perspective of being a target of electrons.

Tom's vision of insulated external supports for each coil seems logical.

ekribbs
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Post by ekribbs »

Tom Ligon wrote:From my first read thru the Valencia report, I thought the nubs would have to go. If the coils must be spaced to avoid the funny cusp, I just instinctively felt the nubs must be a loss path. They may be orders of magnitude less so than the old geometry, but I felt they would bleed off high-energy electrons.

I wanted them to try ceramic support of the coils individually from outside the chamber from that moment. This also has the benefit of allowing individual coils to be replaced, and of allowing better cooling mechanisms where copper-coil machines are used. In fact, when we started considering the very first water-cooled copper machines, I wanted to use that approach.
Hello All, since I am new to Talk-Polywell, I will Introduce myself. My name is Ed Kribbs. My undergraduate degree was in Physics. My master was in engineering science, and I also did two years working on a doctorate in engineering mechanics, which I did not finish for financial reasons. I am an engineer, mathematician, numerical analysis expert with a specialty in finite element theory and methods.

Before I had read Tom Ligon's conclusion, quoted above, I was also convinced that the "nubs" had to go, for electron loss considerations.

In the current design, however the "nubs" are the structural components which hold the magnet assembly together. They are in tension due to the outward pointing magnetic forces. If you increase the B field to improve performance, those "nubs" are going to see ever increasing forces, and could fail, as well as be electron sinks. The ceramic supports currently do not see much loading beyond the weight of the structure.

If you change the design so that the magnets are supported from the walls of the pressure vessel (and I agree that this needs to be done), there are going to be problems with structural considerations. In the photo on the EMC2 website of the WB-6 in its pressure vessel, one can see that there is a considerable distance from the pressure vessel walls to the magnets. The magnet support structure needed for elimination of the "nubs" would resemble towers connected to the pressure vessel inner wall and be fairly long. These cantilevered structures would allow bending due to their length. Now everyone who has ever played with household magnets knows that pushing two "norths" or two "souths" together causes not only large axial forces, but also large lateral forces that make the magnets slip to the side of each other. Since the magnet towers are long and the lateral magnet forces are large and non-linear, this arrangement will certainly cause the support towers to bend, and may even cause a sever vibration problem. Any bending will cause ceramic insulators in the support towers to break. Bending in the support towers will also cause the inter-magnet spacing to change.

Clearly a good finite element analysis needs to be done to address these issues.

Current versions of Nastran have the ability to model magnetic fields in three dimensions, but I doubt that there is any structural analysis code out there which supports magnetic field and force interaction with structures. Force deflects structure, structure deflection changes magnet position, magnet position changes magnetic field, magnetic field change changes magnetic force, etc. Round and round until equilibrium is attained or a vibration situation develops. This may be a particularly difficult problem to solve in view of the non-linear nature of the magnetic forces involved.

A solution may be to insert ceramic insulating "bumpers" at the cusps, and pre-load the structure so that they do not fall out, which will stop lateral movement of the magnets. Electron and Ion re-circulation can still occur through the long spaces between the magnet tubes. These ceramic bumpers will be in compression, which is fine for brittle materials like ceramic insulators, as long a no vibration occurs and the compression stress is not too large.

I sent an e-mail to EMC2 along with my resume, hoping for a reply, but got none. I believe the next step needs the metal "nubs" removed, but someone, if not myself, needs to address the structural problems outlined above.

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Post by MSimon »

I would build a tension cage inside the vessel to support the ceramic/metalic stand offs. Then your standoffs need not reach the wall.

Of course ultimately an integrated structure is desired.

I think COMSOL (sp?) which does integrated physics/mechanics can handle the problem. It is rather pricey - for an individual.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

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