pgtruspace's blog

about things that interest me.

Electronic Engine Proposed

Helical Engine Proposed

A new concept for in-space propulsion is proposed in which propellant is not ejected from the engine, but instead is captured to create a nearly infinite specific impulse. The engine accelerates ions confined in a loop to moderate relativistic speeds, and then varies their velocity to make slight changes to their mass. The engine then moves ions back and forth along the direction of travel to produce thrust. This in-space engine could be used for long-term satellite station-keeping without refueling. It could also propel spacecraft across interstellar distances, reaching close to the speed of light. The engine has no moving parts other than ions traveling in a vacuum line, trapped inside electric and magnetic fields.

Computer simulation results of Helical Engine

Proposed: SPACECRAFT PROPULSION AND POWER study results of computer simulations

16 page .pdf on a study of computer simulations for a proposed electronic space propulsion system. Nothing real here but an interesting study on the possibility of electronic propulsion none the less….pg


4 responses to “Electronic Engine Proposed

  1. p.g.sharrow October 22, 2019 at 8:36 am

    @Simon; you might find this interesting, Lots of art drawings and graphs not much in the way of written arguments, A mental experiment for a proposed further research project I assume, Computer simulation runs based on the formulas. Maybe GIGO…pg

  2. Simon Derricutt October 23, 2019 at 6:21 am

    pg – Though the underlying idea is workable, in practice they’re going to be accelerating charged particles so they’ll lose a load of energy in (effectively) synchroton radiation. Maybe they missed that basic fact when thinking of what would work….

    The basic idea is push something while it’s more massive, then pull it while it’s less massive. Since you’re accelerating the particles with angular momentum to increase and decrease the mass, there will also be a torque produced by the system that they haven’t included.

    Probably a lot easier to use the non-conservative property of an EM wave, where that non-conservation can be deduced using well-known textbook physics and a bit of thinking, providing you first realise that momentum is transferred by fields and thus isn’t necessarily always conserved. I suppose I’m not that interested in thought-experiments that can’t easily be done in real life and get a result, so something that can practically be made (and measured) is more useful.

    The two-loop experiment is practically possible, but needs a bit more work to improve the Q of the loop antennae to increase the effective currents being used before I can expect it to produce enough thrust to measure. I may have some results on that by the end of the year.

  3. Walter Sharrow November 27, 2019 at 7:46 am

    You should do the capacitor dome experiment in the setup I suggested. I think it would be very enlightening.

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