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(Yahoo)   New British engine could make single-stage space access possible, as well as improving a number of other aerospace industry designs, due in large part to a heat exchanger that cools intake air from 1,000 to -150 degrees celsius in 1/100th of a second   (news.yahoo.com) divider line 67
    More: Cool, idea, aerospace industry, Sabres, government investments, mining industry, thermoelectric cooling, European Space Agency, jet  
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5357 clicks; posted to Geek » on 29 Nov 2012 at 11:17 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-29 07:54:16 AM
In other words, it sucks?


Sucks in air I mean. It between those lumpy British teeth.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-11-29 09:20:42 AM
The article reminded me of the Ray Bradbury short story about the spaceship to the sun and its awesome cooling technology.

The company has deliberately avoided filing patents on its heat exchanger technology to avoid details of how it works - particularly the method for preventing the build-up of frost - becoming public.

So I need to get their engineers drunk, learn the secret, file for a patent, and take over the patent-infringing company. Technically you're not supposed to steal trade secrets or patent things you didn't invent, but suppose I'm not a 100% law abiding citizen who wants to get rich.
 
2012-11-29 09:44:13 AM
Their biggest hurdle will be figuring out how to efficiently get the required 50,000 gallons of oil needed to ensure it leaks sufficiently during the entire trip, into orbit.
 
2012-11-29 09:48:36 AM

ZAZ: The company has deliberately avoided filing patents on its heat exchanger technology to avoid details of how it works - particularly the method for preventing the build-up of frost - becoming public.


farkers.

I really wanna know.
 
2012-11-29 10:18:28 AM
Oh, of COURSE British technology could be used to make tea. Who would've guessed that?
 
2012-11-29 10:37:10 AM
No patent, no prototype, no details, private investors only?

I'll believe it when I see it. So far there are a lot of similarities between this and the people who black box water into energy.
 
2012-11-29 10:43:47 AM

Jubeebee: No patent, no prototype, no details, private investors only?

I'll believe it when I see it. So far there are a lot of similarities between this and the people who black box water into energy.


and cold fusion.
 
2012-11-29 11:16:35 AM
Look, you're British, so scale it down a bit, all right?
 
2012-11-29 11:21:26 AM

doglover: ZAZ: The company has deliberately avoided filing patents on its heat exchanger technology to avoid details of how it works - particularly the method for preventing the build-up of frost - becoming public.

farkers.

I really wanna know.


FTA "Using a nest of fine pipes..."

It is basically a series of tubes.
 
2012-11-29 11:21:50 AM
That's ... great ... that it's entirely theoretical and only exists on paper. I have high hopes and I wish them well, but I won't hold my breath. Just like today's National Ignition Facility story, and the Alcubierre "warp drive" laboratory tests that are supposedly going to happen.
 
2012-11-29 11:22:07 AM
Or they could use the same technology to cool down their pissy warm beer.
 
2012-11-29 11:25:56 AM

Jubeebee: No patent, no prototype, no details, private investors only?

I'll believe it when I see it. So far there are a lot of similarities between this and the people who black box water into energy.


I'm a bit skeptical myself. When an inventor doesn't file a patent, it usually means they don't want to be subject to close scrutiny.
 
2012-11-29 11:26:38 AM

Jubeebee: No patent, no prototype, no details, private investors only?

I'll believe it when I see it. So far there are a lot of similarities between this and the people who black box water into energy.


Not only that, but the article is wrong anyway:

The space plane, dubbed Skylon, only exists on paper. What the company has right now is a remarkable heat exchanger that is able to cool air sucked into the engine at high speed from 1,000 degrees Celsius to minus 150 degrees in one hundredth of a second.
This core piece of technology solves one of the constraints that limit jet engines to a top speed of about 2.5 times the speed of sound, which Reaction Engines believes it could double.


We've known how to make engines that shift from being turbojets to ramjets which allow for much higher speeds for, oh, roughly 50 years now.
 
2012-11-29 11:30:32 AM
upload.wikimedia.org

Overcame icing problems a while ago. Let's try to keep up people.
 
2012-11-29 11:32:24 AM

Clash City Farker: Or they could use the same technology to cool down their pissy warm beer.


Mythbusters did it. Just use a saltwater-ice bath and wait ~15 minutes.

Did you want it nowNOWNOW? Use the "copper tube wrapped around dry ice" method.
 
2012-11-29 11:33:03 AM
i731.photobucket.com
 
2012-11-29 11:34:24 AM

my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food: doglover: ZAZ: The company has deliberately avoided filing patents on its heat exchanger technology to avoid details of how it works - particularly the method for preventing the build-up of frost - becoming public.

farkers.

I really wanna know.

FTA "Using a nest of fine pipes..."

It is basically a series of tubes.


Well they aren't using dump-truck technology that's for sure.
 
2012-11-29 11:34:59 AM
revingred.files.wordpress.com

What a reusable British spacecraft design may look like.
 
2012-11-29 11:35:21 AM
Good luck to them. I hope they make it work.
 
2012-11-29 11:37:33 AM
 
2012-11-29 11:38:10 AM
heat exchanger that cools intake air from 1,000 to -150 degrees celsius in 1/100th of a second

Just tell the air that it looks like it's putting on weight. Worked with my ex.
 
2012-11-29 11:38:11 AM
I suspect that "heat exchanger" isn't actually what they meant, Article. Mainly because that would mean they would have to be evaporating liquid oxygen or something similar as fuel. Probably they're relying on a compression stage of some kind.

//I'm assuming their goal is to make space access _less_ expensive, not more.
 
2012-11-29 11:40:25 AM

elffster: In other words, it sucks?


Sucks in air I mean. It between those lumpy British teeth.


At least they are real teeth:
t2.gstatic.com
 
2012-11-29 11:45:11 AM

Jim_Callahan: I suspect that "heat exchanger" isn't actually what they meant, Article. Mainly because that would mean they would have to be evaporating liquid oxygen or something similar as fuel. Probably they're relying on a compression stage of some kind.

//I'm assuming their goal is to make space access _less_ expensive, not more.


Liquid helium is used to cool the incoming air.
The helium is in turn cooled by the liquid hydrogen fuel which is then fed to the engine. Added bonus that warmed hydrogen has a higher calorific value.
Link to Wikipedia
 
2012-11-29 11:46:20 AM

ZAZ: The article reminded me of the Ray Bradbury short story about the spaceship to the sun and its awesome cooling technology.

The company has deliberately avoided filing patents on its heat exchanger technology to avoid details of how it works - particularly the method for preventing the build-up of frost - becoming public.

So I need to get their engineers drunk, learn the secret, file for a patent, and take over the patent-infringing company. Technically you're not supposed to steal trade secrets or patent things you didn't invent, but suppose I'm not a 100% law abiding citizen who wants to get rich.


Incredibly suspicious as well, but maybe there's an alternative explanation. Maybe they don't want their asses sued for patent infringement. If they don't tell anyone, then they don't get sued.
 
2012-11-29 11:49:25 AM

elffster: In other words, it sucks?


Sucks in air I mean. It between those lumpy British teeth.


It's gone from suck to blow.
 
2012-11-29 11:49:49 AM

Sybarite: Look, you're British, so scale it down a bit, all right?


Those are action words. Scale it down a but more.
 
2012-11-29 11:51:40 AM

dittybopper: Jubeebee: No patent, no prototype, no details, private investors only?

I'll believe it when I see it. So far there are a lot of similarities between this and the people who black box water into energy.

Not only that, but the article is wrong anyway:

The space plane, dubbed Skylon, only exists on paper. What the company has right now is a remarkable heat exchanger that is able to cool air sucked into the engine at high speed from 1,000 degrees Celsius to minus 150 degrees in one hundredth of a second.
This core piece of technology solves one of the constraints that limit jet engines to a top speed of about 2.5 times the speed of sound, which Reaction Engines believes it could double.

We've known how to make engines that shift from being turbojets to ramjets which allow for much higher speeds for, oh, roughly 50 years now.


Yeah, the scramjet has been known and tinkered with for a long time. This company thinks it has found a way to do something different by solving a jet-engine limitation by 'instantly' cooling hot compressed air to -138c nearly instantly. Ignoring the energy cost to do such a thing (enormous), I don't see what differential they are using to cool the air. Moving that much heat is going to require the mother of all radiators unless they are injecting liquid O2 into the intake - in which case why not just go the scramjet route. This screams cold-fusion.
 
2012-11-29 11:51:59 AM
Does it leak oil?
 
2012-11-29 11:52:37 AM
I'd be willing to bet a lot of money that what they are doing is a "low-tech solution to a high-tech problem" sort of answer, like putting some kind of felt coating on the wire so the frost can't stick and form (just an example, have no idea if something like that would actually work).
 
2012-11-29 11:53:28 AM

cgraves67: Jubeebee: No patent, no prototype, no details, private investors only?

I'll believe it when I see it. So far there are a lot of similarities between this and the people who black box water into energy.

I'm a bit skeptical myself. When an inventor doesn't file a patent, it usually means they don't want to be subject to close scrutiny.


No it doesn't it means the inventor wants to keep his invention a trade secret. With applications particularly for fighter jets it is probably beneficial for them to keep details quiet. A patent puts your invention in the public domain and some countries(cough China) aren't exactly clamping down on patent infringement plus if it indeed has military applications would a lawsuit really stop a government copying.
 
2012-11-29 12:02:26 PM
i1151.photobucket.com
Her Majesty cordially invites you Yanks to blow it out your enormously overfed arses!
 
2012-11-29 12:11:27 PM
I will believe it when I see it. Yes it sounds fantastic, but keep in mind that Reaction Engines Limited has been around since 1989 and hasn't produced anything yet. These engine tests are as about as close as they've got past pretty ooh and ah concept art.
 
2012-11-29 12:14:19 PM

oldfarthenry: [i1151.photobucket.com image 499x300]
Her Majesty cordially invites you Yanks to blow it out your enormously overfed arses!


Got news for ya: The UK isn't that far behind the US in obesity rates. I'm guessing that the only reason you haven't overtaken the US yet is that your poor dentition prevents you from taking in as many calories.
 
2012-11-29 12:14:48 PM

madgonad: dittybopper: Jubeebee: No patent, no prototype, no details, private investors only?

I'll believe it when I see it. So far there are a lot of similarities between this and the people who black box water into energy.

Not only that, but the article is wrong anyway:

The space plane, dubbed Skylon, only exists on paper. What the company has right now is a remarkable heat exchanger that is able to cool air sucked into the engine at high speed from 1,000 degrees Celsius to minus 150 degrees in one hundredth of a second.
This core piece of technology solves one of the constraints that limit jet engines to a top speed of about 2.5 times the speed of sound, which Reaction Engines believes it could double.

We've known how to make engines that shift from being turbojets to ramjets which allow for much higher speeds for, oh, roughly 50 years now.

Yeah, the scramjet has been known and tinkered with for a long time. This company thinks it has found a way to do something different by solving a jet-engine limitation by 'instantly' cooling hot compressed air to -138c nearly instantly. Ignoring the energy cost to do such a thing (enormous), I don't see what differential they are using to cool the air. Moving that much heat is going to require the mother of all radiators unless they are injecting liquid O2 into the intake - in which case why not just go the scramjet route. This screams cold-fusion.


To me it sounds like this is sort of what they did, although I imagine there is probably some sort of twist on the basic concept. I'm not sure how they cool it so low...unless they somehow use the speed of the air to create some sort of ultra-low pressure zone without also heating things up with the speed of said air...or maybe some kind of superconductive material to wisk away the heat, although you are still left with needing to dump it somewhere. Maybe they simply control *where* the frost forms and continuously expel it? Ya know, don't necessarily "solve" the icing problem, just control where it ices and create a sytem to constantly move it.

/Or it could just be magnets. Everything is magnets.
//It is an awfully high rate of heat transfer...
 
2012-11-29 12:15:39 PM
...come in Swindon
 
2012-11-29 12:17:08 PM

my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food: To me it sounds like this is sort of what they did, although I imagine there is probably some sort of twist on the basic concept. I'm not sure how they cool it so low...unless they somehow use the speed of the air to create some sort of ultra-low pressure zone without also heating things up with the speed of said air...or maybe some kind of superconductive material to wisk away the heat, although you are still left with needing to dump it somewhere. Maybe they simply control *where* the frost forms and continuously expel it? Ya know, don't necessarily "solve" the icing problem, just control where it ices and create a sytem to constantly move it.

/Or it could just be magnets. Everything is magnets.
//It is an awfully high rate of heat transfer...


I'm wondering if this is one of those "Hey, this is a neat effect we can induce in the lab" things that doesn't scale up.
 
2012-11-29 12:18:01 PM

dittybopper: oldfarthenry: [i1151.photobucket.com image 499x300]
Her Majesty cordially invites you Yanks to blow it out your enormously overfed arses!

Got news for ya: The UK isn't that far behind the US in obesity rates. I'm guessing that the only reason you haven't overtaken the US yet is that your poor dentition food choices prevents you from taking in as many calories.


/FTF Meat Pies and Spotted Dick
 
2012-11-29 12:20:06 PM

oldfarthenry: [i1151.photobucket.com image 499x300]
Her Majesty cordially invites you Yanks to blow it out your enormously overfed arses!


That pic is amazing.

// still LOLing
// SATAN IS LORD
 
2012-11-29 12:22:23 PM
img264.imageshack.us

\ A post so nice is worth posting twice.
 
2012-11-29 12:22:29 PM

dittybopper: my_cats_breath_smells_like_cat_food: To me it sounds like this is sort of what they did, although I imagine there is probably some sort of twist on the basic concept. I'm not sure how they cool it so low...unless they somehow use the speed of the air to create some sort of ultra-low pressure zone without also heating things up with the speed of said air...or maybe some kind of superconductive material to wisk away the heat, although you are still left with needing to dump it somewhere. Maybe they simply control *where* the frost forms and continuously expel it? Ya know, don't necessarily "solve" the icing problem, just control where it ices and create a sytem to constantly move it.

/Or it could just be magnets. Everything is magnets.
//It is an awfully high rate of heat transfer...

I'm wondering if this is one of those "Hey, this is a neat effect we can induce in the lab" things that doesn't scale up.


Possibly. Even if it will work outside of a lab, that is still probably a long ways from having a system reliable enough to put on an aircraft (at least if you plan on doing anything important with the aircraft) and that is ruggedized enough to withstand all the repeated exposure to the crazy forces/shockwaves involved in super/hyper-sonic flight.

/Worth studying still IMO, even if it is a longshot
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-11-29 12:26:30 PM
Under U.S. law when you file a patent application the government is allowed to seize your patent, ban you from talking about it, and use it for military purposes. Maybe the UK is similar.

The U.S. government tried to suppress RSA encryption when the inventors filed for a patent. They sent a patent secrecy order to R, S, and A. As I heard the story, S got the letter at home in Israel and laughed. Anyway, the Scientific American article couldn't be called back.

RSA is an example of somebody patenting a previously invented but secret technique. Governments already knew about prime factor cryptography.
 
2012-11-29 12:31:31 PM
So basically they took a lesson from ricers: stick a cold-air intake on it and it goes faster.

/Still awesome though
 
2012-11-29 12:34:44 PM
The BBC link from the prompt repeat thread gives a lot more detail. In particular, it describes the cooling loop -- helium gas circulates through the tubes, after being chilled in a liquid nitrogen boiler. I'm wondering exactly how much liquid nitrogen they need to boil during ascent, and how many grams of payload their "single stage to orbit" lifter will be able to handle if it's hauling along a big nitrogen tank.
 
2012-11-29 12:52:19 PM
Pic of prototype making its takeoff run.....
pixxan.files.wordpress.com

/hot, like exhaust
 
2012-11-29 01:30:35 PM

Mad_Radhu: [revingred.files.wordpress.com image 580x350]

What a reusable British spacecraft design may look like.


Shame they only built the one and that explosive bolt didn't fire. By all accounts it was working fine until that point.

Ok, it wouldn't of gone very far but you know what I mean.
 
2012-11-29 02:41:43 PM

Mad_Radhu: [revingred.files.wordpress.com image 580x350]

What a reusable British spacecraft design may look like.


That was the first episode of TG:UK I showed my dad. Thought he was going to have a heart attack from laughing so hard.
 
2012-11-29 03:18:05 PM
Artist's approximation of heat exchanger:

images.wikia.com
 
2012-11-29 03:41:22 PM
Yes, but will said heat exchanger work on say, a giant, nuclear powered robot armed with rockets and particle beam weapons? We already have the carbon nanotube muscles, and can make a nuke reactor pretty small.
 
2012-11-29 03:55:58 PM

Jim_Callahan: I suspect that "heat exchanger" isn't actually what they meant, Article. Mainly because that would mean they would have to be evaporating liquid oxygen or something similar as fuel. Probably they're relying on a compression stage of some kind.

//I'm assuming their goal is to make space access _less_ expensive, not more.


Uh, there are heat exchangers on almost all jet engines that don't evaporate LOX. It's a very broad term. Look up "gas turbine recuperator".
 
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