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Re: starship-design: FTL and Special Relativity
In a message dated 1/24/00 5:11:22 AM Pacific Standard Time,
> Subj: RE: starship-design: FTL and Special Relativity
> Date: 1/24/00 5:11:22 AM Pacific Standard Time
> From: Chris.Walker@BSKYB.COM (Walker, Chris)
> Sender: email@example.com
> Reply-to: Chris.Walker@BSKYB.COM (Walker, Chris)
> To: STAR1SHIP@aol.com ('STAR1SHIP@aol.com')
> CC: firstname.lastname@example.org ('Starship Design')
> Hi Tom,
> > Please, Do not call my "Electric Armor" by any other name such as SMA
> > Name your own inventions if you wish not mine. Your suggested name SMA
> reminds me
> > of government jargon and I do my best to be jargon free in speech.
> > Should your name catch on by accident...
> Not my name! Industry-standard acronym. Just felt it described the
> more precisely (ie. it's a shield made from a shape memory alloy). But,
> you say, it's your invention not mine. Yes - I do realise that many people
> may very well not have heard of the acronym and so you wish to avoid using
> this jargon in a broad public context. However, I was using it for
> for this mailing list.
I did not invent the alloy, I invented the electric armor as I discovered
what happened when the restoring force (heat or electrical current) was
applied during or before the deforming force unlike the thousands of other
inventions filed with each of those applying the restorative force after the
deformation. Visualize a car door panel of electric armor dented by a kicking
foot. I found it more fun to break the foot than simply watch the dent pop
out. The foot will see the door panel as 1/4 " thick steel instead of the
1/32 " sheet metal. Thus increasing the "effective" thickness of the metal
without the added mass making it ideal for space ship protection.
> I was just thinking about the material fatigue issues. For example, say you
> have an average of one particle impact every second. For a year-long
> mission, you will have over 30 million impacts to deal with. This means
> thermal and mechanical cycles that the electric armour will undergo. I'm no
> materials scientist (you guessed? ;) but I think that fatigue failure would
> be likely to occur more than once per year in this case, leading to
> So, why not just use a big lump of material instead? Then, you just have to
> deal with the erosion effects - needs replacing less often. Presumably, you
> feel that the electric armour offers a sufficiently greater advantage to be
> worthwhile using?
As I said above in other words each pound not sent to the stars will result
in another like each pound of your flesh. I do not believe you are familiar
with the rain drop effect from laws of probability in particle collisions.
The faster speed eliminates most of the erosion you fear. There is also no
"flexing" cycles to consider causing fatigue because the armor does not
deform and than change back to the original shape.
The physical stress is on the colliding particle.
> > Then and only then will I chose or not to replace the many pieces that
> > been replaced periodically in routine maintenance.
> Fair enough. Out of curiosity, do you envisage carrying the replacement
> materials with you (costly), or manufacturing them on the voyage (eg. from
> mining passing asteroids or planets)?
For a star journey most systems will be triple redundant including the engine.
Forges and mining equipment along with machine shops would be expected to
handle the same skills required in colonization of an inhabitable world for
an indefinite time. An earth like environment would be nice to find but not
necessary for survival.
> > I have addressed all the issues many years ago you raise now. I value
> > feedback and hope to complete a FAQ(jargonsorry). That I can refer new
> > of my patent from 1988.
> Would be a good idea. You may have addressed all the issues, but we don't
> know your solutions until we ask ;)
See FAQ, for now, remains ..see links...
The US Patent Office has determined (Oct 13,1988) the subject matter ( <A
HREF="http://members.aol.com/tjac780754/indexb.htm">Plasma Rocket Engine</A>
) of my application to:
be "useful in the production or utilization of special nuclear material or
atomic energy" as recited in 42 U.S.C. 2182 (Department of Energy(DOE)).
"have significant utility in the conduct of aeronautical and space
activities" as recited in 42 U.S.C 2457 (National Aeronautics and Space
The attached U.S. disclosure document No.210758 " <A
HREF="http://members.aol.com/tjac780754/indexda.html">A Definitive Analysis
of Atomic Power</A> " containing my bomb design "Genie Bottler" was filed
Sept 19th 1988. The document contains the first working diagram of my plasma
rocket engine invention
> > You do worry a lot you need to get out more.
> As a spacecraft subsystem engineer by trade (attitude and orbital control),
> it's a job requirement to be conservative and worry about problems, both
> likely and unlikely. My question (though intended more tounge-in-cheek as a
> dig towards NASA's recenet "mishap") dealt with a simple risk assesment
> issue. The chances of a launch going wrong and sending the craft towards
> Earth may be low, but the consequences are very serious indeed.
Some of my training in inertial guidance systems for the B52 (Journeyman
level autopilot mechanic) parallels yours somewhat and I also try and
anticipate problems before they occur. The consequences you fear seem to
assume that I claim to have a craft that goes form launch to light speed or
greater in a very short amount of time. This is strictly forbidden by Special
Relativity. My craft takes a year(356 days) to reach that velocity
accelerating at one g. A 105 ton craft launched from the moon and misdirected
towards earth would leave a very small impact crater.
> Get out more to where? ;)
Well, If you have net meeting 3.01 with video cam and mic and since I have
high speed cable modem, I would offer to give you a personalized tour ride on
my star ship and laboratories, but I usually reserve that for the ladies.
Would Chris be short for Christine? :)