[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

starship-design: Mini-Magnetospheric Plasma Propulsion, M2P2 , system

I wonder if this could be used effectively as an interstellar break?  Nothing 
in the paper talks about effective ISP or power consumption vrs thrust.



The Mini-Magnetospheric Plasma Propulsion, M2P2 , system provides a 
revolutionary means for spacecraft propulsion that can efficiently utilize 
the energy from the space plasmas to accelerate payloads to much higher 
speeds than can be attained by present chemical (oxidizing propulsion 
systems.  The system utilizes an innovative configuration of existing 
technology based on well established principles of plasma physics. It has the 
potential of feasibly providing cheap, fast propulsion that could power 
Interstellar Probe, as well as powering payloads that would be required for a 
manned mission to Mars. As such the proposed work for missions out of the 
solar system and between the planets. The project is interdisciplinary 
involving space science, plasma engineering, and aeronautics and space 
transportation, which are key components of NIAC's program. The M2P2 system 
utilizes low energy plasma to transport or inflate a magnetic field beyond 
the typical scale lengths that can be supported by a standard solenoid 
magnetic field coil. In space, the inflated magnetic field can be used to 
reflect high speed (400 - 1000 km/s) solar wind particles and attain 
unprecedented acceleration for a power input of only a few kW which can be 
easily achieved by solar electric units. Our initial estimates for a minimum 
system can provide a typical thrust of about 3 Newton continuous (0.6 MW 
continuous power), with a specific impulse of 104 to 105s) to produce an 
increase in speed of about 30 km/s in a period of 3 months. Proposed 
optimization could allow the development of system that increase the 
acceleration with less expenditure of fuel so that a mission could leave the 
solar system could become a reality.