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starship-design: Re: Still doing stardrives?

> I came on some of your pages at metalab.unc.edu
> discussing starship drives. I like to tout the proton-
> boron fusion reaction cycle, because it produces no
> neutrons, making it inherently cleaner than others. I
> feel this is an important priority whenever there are
> people in the neighborhood, so I put that in my own
> stardrive sketch.
> http://www.geocities.com/~jthunderbird/drive.html
> I like to put my fusion reaction out of the body of
> the ship, back in the jet, also for hygeine. I haven't
> made any quantitative study of the efficiency factor
> in terms of thermodynamics; it seems likely that the
> nearer to the ship, the more efficiently this would
> serve as a reaction engine. Fusion is initiated by
> injection from a boron linac, into the jet of
> (recombining) atomic hydrogen. The primary reaction
> produces alphas only, easily shielded.
> I used a Broussard ramscoop to supplement onboard
> fuel, so your discouraging asessment of the prospects
> of this technology will need further checking.
> If you want to post public coments, I have a speculative
> technology board at http://www.dejanews.com/~liteage
> which also has other neat stuff, like my Paper Cannon
> launch technique proposal. That one will take some
> high-powered simulation to see if it could be workable.
> (It's not for people -- delta-V too high. Just the cheapest
> way I can think of to get packages to orbital velocity.)
> Regards,
> Johnny Thunderbird
> http://fly.to/heavyLight

Hi Johnny,
Glad you liked the site.  We always like to get some interest.  ;)

We did cover the proton-boron cycle, and I listed it in the fusion energy
tables.  I selected the Lithium-proton cycle since its a little more
powerfull, and lithium is a structural metal (hence easier to handel in bulk
without a tank).

I also figured the main power plant should be hung behind the ship.
Fortunatly these cycles are extreamly thermally efficent (virtually 100%) but
the reactors efficency could be less.

I'll CC the group on this reply so they can comment further if they wish.

Thanks again.

Kelly Starks