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Novel Lorentz propulsion for interplanetary and interstellar propulsion.



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 24th 11, 07:27 AM posted to sci.space.policy,sci.astro,sci.physics,rec.arts.sf.science
Robert Clark
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Posts: 1,150
Default Novel Lorentz propulsion for interplanetary and interstellar propulsion.

On Aug 23, 8:11*am, Nomen Nescio wrote:
http://www.orbitalvector.com/Deep%20...rentz%20Microp
robes/LORENTZ%20MICROPROBES.htm

I saw this yesterday on Disovery Science and hadn't heard of it
previously. The goal would be to use charged nanobots which would be
accelerated by Jupiter's magnetic field (Lorentz force) to great speed.
The charge would then be turned off after which they'd shoot away into
space. The guy who invented it said that with current technology we
could get up to a couple of percent of lightspeed and up to lightspeed
in the future.

Maybe NASA should give this a try, just to see if it's workable.


I like the idea. According to linked articles on that page, the
proposal
received a grant from NASA's Institute for Advanced Concepts:

Starship on a Chip.
Big distance, tiny spacecraft.
By Tony Reichhardt
Air & Space Magazine, November 01, 2006
http://www.airspacemag.com/space-exp...-Starchip.html

Mmmm, Space Chips.
Little spacecraft could hitch a ride on Earth's magnetic field to
search for alien life.
By Gregory Mone Posted 08.06.2007 at 2:00 am
http://www.popsci.com/military-aviat...mm-space-chips

It might also receive funding through DARPA's recent request for
proposals on
interstellar flight. I gather the proposal arose in 2006. Then it's
possible the impetus
for the idea came from this discussion on sci.astro:

Newsgroups: sci.astro
From:
Date: 19 Jan 2006 06:53:39 -0800
Subject: My crazy idea for an interstellar probe with near-present
technology
http://groups.google.com/group/sci.a...363c965de65193

That it might have been inspired by this discussion from 2006 is also
suggested by
the fact it proposes using a version of Robert Zubrin's magnetic sail
idea for the
propulsion, also mentioned in the sci.astro discussion. What's
different is that it is much
more currently feasible in that it recommends using centimeter scale
probes rather than
ones at the micro/nano scale and it would use the Earth's or Jupiter's
magnetic fields to
propel the probes rather than Earth-bound high energy accelerators.
Also, in the description of this proposal the many separate probes
would not have to link
up, since it's possible now to carry real microsensors and
microcircuits on the centimeter
scale probes. Even for the probes many kilometers apart they could
still form an effective
radio telescope by being linked by radio signals. A problem though is
that far apart they
could not act as a single optical telescope since we still can't do
optical astronomy with
separate scopes that widely separated. So the separate probes could
only form separate
images from centimeter scale apertures.
For this reason It would be a good idea to see how these centimeter-
scale probes could be
made to link up. That may give us insight into how the micro/nano
scale probes could be
made to link up.

Bob Clark
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  #2  
Old August 24th 11, 11:41 AM posted to sci.space.policy,sci.astro,sci.physics,rec.arts.sf.science
eric gisse
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Posts: 303
Default Novel Lorentz propulsion for interplanetary and interstellar propulsion.

Robert Clark wrote in
:

[...]

For this reason It would be a good idea to see how these centimeter-
scale probes could be
made to link up. That may give us insight into how the micro/nano
scale probes could be
made to link up.

Bob Clark


Getting the probe there is half the challenge. Getting it to talk back is
the other half. I have a difficult time imagining how a centimeter scale
probe could have the power source and physical antenna size required to
send anything to Earth.
  #3  
Old August 24th 11, 06:48 PM posted to sci.space.policy,sci.astro
Rick Jones
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Posts: 685
Default Novel Lorentz propulsion for interplanetary and interstellar propulsion.

In sci.space.policy wrote:
On Aug 24, 3:41*am, eric gisse wrote:
Getting the probe there is half the challenge. Getting it to talk
back is the other half. I have a difficult time imagining how a
centimeter scale probe could have the power source and physical
antenna size required to send anything to Earth.


They might store power from solar cells for burst transmissions to
the bus that brought them, which then relays to Earth.


What bus? I thought the whole point was to discard the bus and just
accelerate the sugar cube (as it were) to speed. I think I saw one
suggestion that there be something of a "train" of them, acting as
relays for each other. It would be a pretty delicate train though,
with boatloads of cars.

Just how much power can a centimeter sized solar array generate in
inter-anything space? Particularly inter-stellar. How weak a signal
can dishes tease-out from the noise? I am guessing that one would
need some Really Large Dishes to receive the signals from the Really
Small Probe(s).

rick jones
--
firebug n, the idiot who tosses a lit cigarette out his car window
these opinions are mine, all mine; HP might not want them anyway...
feel free to post, OR email to rick.jones2 in hp.com but NOT BOTH...
  #4  
Old August 24th 11, 06:55 PM posted to sci.space.policy,sci.astro
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 148
Default Novel Lorentz propulsion for interplanetary and interstellar propulsion.

On Aug 24, 3:41*am, eric gisse wrote:
Robert Clark wrote :

[...]

*For this reason It would be a good idea to see how these centimeter-
scale probes could be
made to link up. That may give us insight into how the micro/nano
scale probes could be
made to link up.


* Bob Clark


Getting the probe there is half the challenge. Getting it to talk back is
the other half. I have a difficult time imagining how a centimeter scale
probe could have the power source and physical antenna size required to
send anything to Earth.


They might store power from solar cells for burst transmissions to
the bus that brought them, which then relays to Earth.

As for linking them up for optical telescopy, that'd require us to
know how to compare phase information from two images.


Mark L. Fergerson
  #5  
Old August 24th 11, 10:12 PM posted to sci.space.policy,sci.astro,sci.physics,rec.arts.sf.science
Brian Davis
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Posts: 126
Default Novel Lorentz propulsion for interplanetary and interstellar propulsion.

On Aug 24, 2:27*am, Robert Clark wrote:

Nomen Nescio wrote:

The charge would then be turned off...


That's not exactly easy to do. You can't "turn off" a charge... and if
it was easy to bleed off then you'll have trouble maintaining it.

The guy who invented it said that with current technology we
could get up to a couple of percent of lightspeed...


Any pointer to calculations? I'd like to know at a minimum the
assumptions underlying them.

...and up to lightspeed in the future.


Yeah... pedantically, you can't make it "up to lightspeed". More
pertinently, throwing something small at high speed *anywhere* is
going to be a problem (interstellar erosion is going to be tough for
significant-sized objects... it will be far far worse for very small
objects (square-cube law bites again). 'Course, you can make them
really really cheap and numerous so there's a lot of redundancy in a
"cloud"... but you're not likely to do anything up around relativistic
speeds.

Starship on a Chip.
Big distance, tiny spacecraft.
By Tony Reichhardt
Air & Space Magazine, November 01, 2006
http://www.airspacemag.com/space-exp...-Starchip.html

Mmmm, Space Chips.
Little spacecraft could hitch a ride on Earth's magnetic field to
search for alien life.
By Gregory Mone Posted 08.06.2007 at 2:00 am
http://www.popsci.com/military-aviat...007-08/mmmm-sp...


I'll have to look at those, thanks.

--
Brian Davis
  #6  
Old August 24th 11, 10:14 PM posted to sci.space.policy,sci.astro
Brian Davis
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 126
Default Novel Lorentz propulsion for interplanetary and interstellar propulsion.

On Aug 24, 6:41*am, eric gisse wrote:

I have a difficult time imagining how a centimeter scale
probe could have the power source and physical antenna size required to
send anything to Earth.


Even from interplanetary space... not to mention the much much MUCH
harder problem of doing it from interstellar distances. You might be
able to power them not with photovoltaics, but beamed power,
illuminating the constellation of nanosats when they are near
something of interest... but in that case you're re-inventing Starwisp
(but with a poorer transmission ability). Personally, Starwisp seems
more plausible.

--
Brian Davis
 




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