Saturday, February 5, 2011

About using Focus Fusion for propulsion

Since I saw Trent Waddington's post on his blog about this idea, I can't seem to stop thinking about it.

Here's why I like it:  It transmutes electric energy directly into propulsion.  I think it can do this at a much higher rate than say VASIMR's approach.  The reason:  it uses fusion energy to heat the plasma.  That makes it much hotter and more energetic and much more efficient.  It should deliver more ISP (assuming that I am right about that) and possibly much more thrust.

VASIMR's plasma is heated up to 1 million degrees.  The plasma coming out of this thing is at 1 billion degrees.  A thousand times hotter.  

The major problem is that it may generate so much heat that it may melt everything, which is not what we want.  If there is a way to solve that problem, you may be able to run the thing continuously producing thrust at high efficiencies in terms of the power use ( in starting up the fusion) and the propellant use ( which is being fused together, it doesn't take much matter in order to create large amounts of energy ).

The trick is to control the heat and the plasma.  VASIMR does it with magnets.  I don't know if it can be done the same way here, or even if it is necessary.

Cross posted on Facebook.

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