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(Phys Org2)   European Space Agency develops air breathing electric thruster, paving the way for satellites and spacecraft to be able to re-fuel themselves. Hopefully this could be adapted for atmospheric flight as well?   ( phys.org) divider line
    More: Cool, Atmosphere, air molecules, electric thruster, Electric charge, Electron, X3 ion thruster, scarce air molecules, Atom  
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1495 clicks; posted to Geek » on 08 Mar 2018 at 2:23 AM (32 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



29 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2018-03-07 11:03:40 PM  
Extremely cool. I bet this completely changes spaceflight in the near future.
 
2018-03-07 11:40:00 PM  
Atmospheric flight??  No way.  The thrust from a plasma engine is wayyy too low to overcome drag in the regular atmosphere.
 
2018-03-07 11:41:04 PM  
If, as I understand it, it's anything like the conventional xenon fueled Hall Effect thrusters, the thrust will be *way* too low to be useful for atmospheric flight.

It would seem to be suitable as a station-keeping thruster for a very low orbiting spacecraft, and not much else.

If I'm wrong, I will be very pleasantly surprised.
 
2018-03-07 11:42:02 PM  
I stand corrected!

Well, damn.  that looks interesting.
 
2018-03-08 12:02:09 AM  
A Bussard Ramjet!
 
2018-03-08 12:44:36 AM  

Creepy Lurker Guy: A Bussard Ramjet!


img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-03-08 01:26:38 AM  

lindseyp: I stand corrected!

Well, damn.  that looks interesting.


Yet another tech waiting for breakthroughs in battery technology. If we ever crack the power storage nut in a eureka moment it is gonna be one of those events that changes everything.
 
2018-03-08 02:46:27 AM  

Boudyro: lindseyp: I stand corrected!

Well, damn.  that looks interesting.

Yet another tech waiting for breakthroughs in battery technology. If we ever crack the power storage nut in a eureka moment it is gonna be one of those events that changes everything.


This is why Elon is soooooo very wrong.
Ready?
You don't need batteries.
You need electricity.
Elon does not like space-based solar power. That is his mistake.
Beamed power with object tracking transmitters.
 
2018-03-08 03:28:35 AM  

Boudyro: lindseyp: I stand corrected!

Well, damn.  that looks interesting.

Yet another tech waiting for breakthroughs in battery technology. If we ever crack the power storage nut in a eureka moment it is gonna be one of those events that changes everything.


Maybe that'll be the *Singularity* event? Someone develops a battery/energy storage tech that makes all these new techs actually possible to use?
 
2018-03-08 04:28:05 AM  

mr lawson: Boudyro: lindseyp: I stand corrected!

Well, damn.  that looks interesting.

Yet another tech waiting for breakthroughs in battery technology. If we ever crack the power storage nut in a eureka moment it is gonna be one of those events that changes everything.

This is why Elon is soooooo very wrong.
Ready?
You don't need batteries.
You need electricity.
Elon does not like space-based solar power. That is his mistake.
Beamed power with object tracking transmitters.


Why did I wead this in Elmer Fudd's voise, though?
 
2018-03-08 07:21:51 AM  

Boudyro: lindseyp: I stand corrected!

Well, damn.  that looks interesting.

Yet another tech waiting for breakthroughs in battery technology. If we ever crack the power storage nut in a eureka moment it is gonna be one of those events that changes everything.


"Göksel is hoping for a breakthrough in compact fusion reactors to power his system."

You do not need storage if you can generate what you need at any moment for less weight than having the batteries (whose only function is to store power for when you need more than you can generate)
 
2018-03-08 07:26:13 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-03-08 08:55:16 AM  

covfefe: mr lawson: Boudyro: lindseyp: I stand corrected!

Well, damn.  that looks interesting.

Yet another tech waiting for breakthroughs in battery technology. If we ever crack the power storage nut in a eureka moment it is gonna be one of those events that changes everything.

This is why Elon is soooooo very wrong.
Ready?
You don't need batteries.
You need electricity.
Elon does not like space-based solar power. That is his mistake.
Beamed power with object tracking transmitters.

Why did I wead this in Elmer Fudd's voise, though?


I am Elon R Musk
Billionaire
I own a mansion and a spaceship.


Kind of works in elmer fudd voice
Ill-allow-it.gif
 
2018-03-08 10:01:49 AM  

Smoking GNU: Boudyro: lindseyp: I stand corrected!

Well, damn.  that looks interesting.

Yet another tech waiting for breakthroughs in battery technology. If we ever crack the power storage nut in a eureka moment it is gonna be one of those events that changes everything.

Maybe that'll be the *Singularity* event? Someone develops a battery/energy storage tech that makes all these new techs actually possible to use?


I tried hoping for that a few weeks ago. A lot of Fark's armchair physicists are 100% there is no way we will ever have significantly dense technology that is truly transformative and foundational to replace batteries as we have them now.

They were definitive that we cannot have wireless power, beamed power, power pulled from other dimensions or universes... I'm not even sure they were accepting of the premise of super capacitors or similar tech, basically anything passed incrementally better batteries is apparently incomprehensible.

Sorry, man. I was hoping too.
 
2018-03-08 10:14:08 AM  

Quantumbunny: Smoking GNU: Boudyro: lindseyp: I stand corrected!

Well, damn.  that looks interesting.

Yet another tech waiting for breakthroughs in battery technology. If we ever crack the power storage nut in a eureka moment it is gonna be one of those events that changes everything.

Maybe that'll be the *Singularity* event? Someone develops a battery/energy storage tech that makes all these new techs actually possible to use?

I tried hoping for that a few weeks ago. A lot of Fark's armchair physicists are 100% there is no way we will ever have significantly dense technology that is truly transformative and foundational to replace batteries as we have them now.

They were definitive that we cannot have wireless power, beamed power, power pulled from other dimensions or universes... I'm not even sure they were accepting of the premise of super capacitors or similar tech, basically anything passed incrementally better batteries is apparently incomprehensible.

Sorry, man. I was hoping too.


Just like we'd never be able to fly, never be able to get into space and the whole concept of the cellphone being a complete waste of time? Yeah, i'm sure their predictive skills are top notch.
 
2018-03-08 10:17:13 AM  
Air-breathing electric thruster is the description of a girl I once dated.
 
2018-03-08 10:51:29 AM  

mr lawson: Boudyro: lindseyp: I stand corrected!

Well, damn.  that looks interesting.

Yet another tech waiting for breakthroughs in battery technology. If we ever crack the power storage nut in a eureka moment it is gonna be one of those events that changes everything.

This is why Elon is soooooo very wrong.
Ready?
You don't need batteries.
You need electricity.
Elon does not like space-based solar power. That is his mistake.
Beamed power with object tracking transmitters.


Would this count as 'beamed power'?  Isn't one of Hawkings' ideas for long distance travel of a probe that it has sails and we fire a laser at it to push it, for instance?
 
2018-03-08 10:59:45 AM  

dready zim: Boudyro: lindseyp: I stand corrected!

Well, damn.  that looks interesting.

Yet another tech waiting for breakthroughs in battery technology. If we ever crack the power storage nut in a eureka moment it is gonna be one of those events that changes everything.

"Göksel is hoping for a breakthrough in compact fusion reactors to power his system."

You do not need storage if you can generate what you need at any moment for less weight than having the batteries (whose only function is to store power for when you need more than you can generate)


Yeah, I thought about it more after I posted. Should have said battery and/or power generation system. We've got so much stuff just waiting for a safe, small, and lightweight high power unit it's almost maddening.

Finding it is gonn
 
2018-03-08 11:03:47 AM  

Boudyro: dready zim: Boudyro: lindseyp: I stand corrected!

Well, damn.  that looks interesting.

Yet another tech waiting for breakthroughs in battery technology. If we ever crack the power storage nut in a eureka moment it is gonna be one of those events that changes everything.

"Göksel is hoping for a breakthrough in compact fusion reactors to power his system."

You do not need storage if you can generate what you need at any moment for less weight than having the batteries (whose only function is to store power for when you need more than you can generate)

Yeah, I thought about it more after I posted. Should have said battery and/or power generation system. We've got so much stuff just waiting for a safe, small, and lightweight high power unit it's almost maddening.

Finding it is gonn


Damn phone! I bumped the Add Comment button by mistake.

Anyway. Finding a solid power mobile solution is gonna be like going from wood and stone tools to metal. Soon as someone works it out it's gonna be robots, ray guns, and god knows what else.
 
2018-03-08 11:53:13 AM  

Boudyro: lindseyp: I stand corrected!

Well, damn.  that looks interesting.

Yet another tech waiting for breakthroughs in battery technology. If we ever crack the power storage nut in a eureka moment it is gonna be one of those events that changes everything.


This only works in Low Earth Orbit (not enough thrust anywhere else) and you only need batteries for a bit on the night side (expect to need more than one burn per side per year), and remember that LEO orbit is roughly every 90 minutes or so.

It isn't going to "change everything", but might mean that Iridiums and other LEO satellites stay up a bit longer (and make spacex's "Space ISP" a bit cheaper to operate) or require sending far less Xenon fuel up with them (that stuff is *rare*.  You could use Argon [more common than CO2], but that would weigh more and be less efficient.  Air is wildly less [power] efficient, but doesn't cost you mass.  And mass is everything in space).

It isn't going to supply any delta-v to get you to orbit: ions don't have that power.  In fact, no mention of thrust (even the basic "can it overcome drag") was mentioned.  Although an ideal case would be a 3 month ferry to GTO (needs to be 3 months thanks to seasons and elliptical orbits, spiraling out would kill the air supply) after which the ferry (which would mainly be a huge array of solar panels) would aerobrake to a non-elliptical LEO orbit.  Don't hold your breath on this concept, it assumes real thrust where the article says only that they have "flow", not thrust.
 
2018-03-08 12:24:55 PM  

Colour_out_of_Space: Air-breathing electric thruster is the description of a girl I once dated.


So she's available?
 
2018-03-08 02:19:18 PM  

Boudyro: lindseyp: I stand corrected!

Well, damn.  that looks interesting.

Yet another tech waiting for breakthroughs in battery technology. If we ever crack the power storage nut in a eureka moment it is gonna be one of those events that changes everything.


Farking AAAAA-Men!!!

/Shipstone for the Win!
 
2018-03-08 02:20:07 PM  

mr lawson: Boudyro: lindseyp: I stand corrected!

Well, damn.  that looks interesting.

Yet another tech waiting for breakthroughs in battery technology. If we ever crack the power storage nut in a eureka moment it is gonna be one of those events that changes everything.

This is why Elon is soooooo very wrong.
Ready?
You don't need batteries.
You need electricity.
Elon does not like space-based solar power. That is his mistake.
Beamed power with object tracking transmitters.


"Waldo", by Robert A. Heinlein
 
2018-03-08 02:21:58 PM  

Petey4335: covfefe: mr lawson: Boudyro: lindseyp: I stand corrected!

Well, damn.  that looks interesting.

Yet another tech waiting for breakthroughs in battery technology. If we ever crack the power storage nut in a eureka moment it is gonna be one of those events that changes everything.

This is why Elon is soooooo very wrong.
Ready?
You don't need batteries.
You need electricity.
Elon does not like space-based solar power. That is his mistake.
Beamed power with object tracking transmitters.

Why did I wead this in Elmer Fudd's voise, though?

I am Elon R Musk
Billionaire
I own a mansion and a spaceship.


Kind of works in elmer fudd voice
Ill-allow-it.gif


"I may be cwazy, but I ain't goin' to Alcatwaz!"  (hops away merrily)
 
2018-03-08 04:05:48 PM  

yet_another_wumpus: Boudyro: lindseyp: I stand corrected!

Well, damn.  that looks interesting.

Yet another tech waiting for breakthroughs in battery technology. If we ever crack the power storage nut in a eureka moment it is gonna be one of those events that changes everything.

This only works in Low Earth Orbit (not enough thrust anywhere else) and you only need batteries for a bit on the night side (expect to need more than one burn per side per year), and remember that LEO orbit is roughly every 90 minutes or so.

It isn't going to "change everything", but might mean that Iridiums and other LEO satellites stay up a bit longer (and make spacex's "Space ISP" a bit cheaper to operate) or require sending far less Xenon fuel up with them (that stuff is *rare*.  You could use Argon [more common than CO2], but that would weigh more and be less efficient.  Air is wildly less [power] efficient, but doesn't cost you mass.  And mass is everything in space).

It isn't going to supply any delta-v to get you to orbit: ions don't have that power.  In fact, no mention of thrust (even the basic "can it overcome drag") was mentioned.  Although an ideal case would be a 3 month ferry to GTO (needs to be 3 months thanks to seasons and elliptical orbits, spiraling out would kill the air supply) after which the ferry (which would mainly be a huge array of solar panels) would aerobrake to a non-elliptical LEO orbit.  Don't hold your breath on this concept, it assumes real thrust where the article says only that they have "flow", not thrust.


Know how I know you didn't read the article lindseyp linked?
 
2018-03-08 08:24:14 PM  
Good on our friends at ESA.
 
2018-03-08 09:35:32 PM  

mr lawson: Boudyro: lindseyp: I stand corrected!

Well, damn.  that looks interesting.

Yet another tech waiting for breakthroughs in battery technology. If we ever crack the power storage nut in a eureka moment it is gonna be one of those events that changes everything.

This is why Elon is soooooo very wrong.
Ready?
You don't need batteries.
You need electricity.
Elon does not like space-based solar power. That is his mistake.
Beamed power with object tracking transmitters.


I like to think space solar power has been his grand scheme all along, and he just shiat talks it to keep the competition off his scent.

As for compact power sources, I kinda believed the guys who had the heavy acetone sonofusion experiments shut down, when they said that it was actually the military burying the technology.
 
2018-03-08 11:06:43 PM  

weddingsinger: mr lawson: Boudyro: lindseyp: I stand corrected!

Well, damn.  that looks interesting.

Yet another tech waiting for breakthroughs in battery technology. If we ever crack the power storage nut in a eureka moment it is gonna be one of those events that changes everything.

This is why Elon is soooooo very wrong.
Ready?
You don't need batteries.
You need electricity.
Elon does not like space-based solar power. That is his mistake.
Beamed power with object tracking transmitters.

Would this count as 'beamed power'?  Isn't one of Hawkings' ideas for long distance travel of a probe that it has sails and we fire a laser at it to push it, for instance?


The problem with "beamed power" is most power beaming schemes are one small technical glitch away from being death rays.

And most of your energy goes into heating the environment rather than providing useful power. Converting electricity to lasers and back again is a rather inefficient process--something like 3% of 3%. Even with much more efficient lasers than what we can build today a tremendous amount of energy gets lost as waste heat--waste heat that has to be rejected into the environment safely.
 
2018-03-08 11:11:46 PM  

Boudyro: Boudyro: dready zim: Boudyro: lindseyp: I stand corrected!

Well, damn.  that looks interesting.

Yet another tech waiting for breakthroughs in battery technology. If we ever crack the power storage nut in a eureka moment it is gonna be one of those events that changes everything.

"Göksel is hoping for a breakthrough in compact fusion reactors to power his system."

You do not need storage if you can generate what you need at any moment for less weight than having the batteries (whose only function is to store power for when you need more than you can generate)

Yeah, I thought about it more after I posted. Should have said battery and/or power generation system. We've got so much stuff just waiting for a safe, small, and lightweight high power unit it's almost maddening.

Finding it is gonn

Damn phone! I bumped the Add Comment button by mistake.

Anyway. Finding a solid power mobile solution is gonna be like going from wood and stone tools to metal. Soon as someone works it out it's gonna be robots, ray guns, and god knows what else.


The laws of physics don't care what cool stuff you'd get up to if you could bypass them. And the universe is definitely under no obligation to give us a magic power source just because we want one.
 
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