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Plasma Engine

02/15/2021 8:22 AM

Researchers at Princeton University in the United States have announced the development of a new plasma engine. It is reported that in the future it will help spacecraft accelerate ten times faster than now, and this should open up new opportunities for humanity to conquer the universe.

According to scientists, with a new type of low-thrust engine, people can master the solar system on high-speed spaceships. The new unit is based on super-powerful magnetic fields, expelling particles, plasma, which provides movement.

After the completion of the design work, computer modelling was performed. It turned out that the new plasma engine is capable of generating exhaust at a speed of hundreds of kilometres per second, which is ten times faster than similar units currently used in the space industry.

Scientists believe that this technology will provide high-speed travel between the planets of the solar system. The thruster is equipped with powerful magnetic fields that allow you to increase or decrease thrust, accelerating or decelerating the spacecraft.

Do you think this will be realized soon?

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Anonymous Poster #1
#1

Re: Plasma Engine

02/15/2021 8:49 AM

No.

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Anonymous Poster #1
#2

Re: Plasma Engine

02/15/2021 8:50 AM

Yes.

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#3

Re: Plasma Engine

02/15/2021 8:51 AM

Any reader who wishes to respond to this poll may simply vote by using the GA facility against the two options #1⇑ and #2⇑.

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#4

Re: Plasma Engine

02/15/2021 9:55 AM
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#5

Re: Plasma Engine

02/15/2021 1:05 PM

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#6

Re: Plasma Engine

02/15/2021 6:35 PM

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/01/210128134739.htm

Some details...

"A new concept for the generation of thrust for space propulsion is introduced. Energetic thrust is generated in the form of plasmoids (confined plasma in closed magnetic loops) when magnetic helicity (linked magnetic field lines) is injected into an annular channel. Using a novel configuration of static electric and magnetic fields, the concept utilizes a current-sheet instability to spontaneously and continuously create plasmoids via magnetic reconnection. The generated low-temperature plasma is simulated in a global annular geometry using the extended magnetohydrodynamic model. Because the system-size plasmoid is an Alfvenic outflow from the reconnection site, its thrust is proportional to the square of the magnetic field strength and does not ideally depend on the mass of the ion species of the plasma. Exhaust velocities in the range of 20 to

500 km s−1500 km s−1, controllable by the coil currents, are observed in the simulations."

https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022377820001476

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#9
In reply to #6

Re: Plasma Engine

02/16/2021 3:22 PM

The article failed to make it clear that the plasma engine would be used as the final upper stage of the rocket. The lower stage(s) would continue to be powered by chemical fuels. The plasma engine would provide the final acceleration of the payload.

My experience with plasmas began as a junior in high school (1959) after reading an article in Scientific American. Another student and I constructed a water cooled plasma jet to enter in the Illinois Science Fair. The following year, after visiting a researcher at the University of Chicago who also was using plasma jets, we switched to using argon and had a much better device. The art of generating plasma has gone far beyond our crude efforts six decades ago.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Plasma Engine

02/16/2021 8:18 PM

Plasma engines don't have high enough thrust for launching into orbit. Plasma engines have a higher Isp, (the amount of time 1 lb of propellant can produce 1 lb of thrust), but that would be useless if the plasma engine burned longer without leaving the launch pad.

In space, however, a higher Isp is an advantage, everything else being equal. Some consideration has to be made for the weight (mass) of the engine.

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#12
In reply to #10

Re: Plasma Engine

02/18/2021 1:09 PM

Children will make the future, please encourage them.

https://makezine.com/projects/ionic-thruster/

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#7

Re: Plasma Engine

02/16/2021 9:08 AM

You can only expel the gas faster because hydrogen is so much lighter than current fuels. But storing 1 lb of liquid hydrogen requires about 14x the volume needed for 1 lb of the conventional liquid oxygen -hydrogen fuel that is being used to compare energy outputs. Rocket weights at take off typically comprise 95% fuel and 5% fuel containment, pipes, engines and payload. A rocket of the same length but 4x the diameter could contain approx 14x the volume of fuel. That equates to a fuel container about 7 times heavier. Multiply the fuel containment weight by 7 and you need over 100% the weight in fuel to lift the combined weight of the fuel and rocket and that is without adding the weight of the magnets and the electricity generators to power them.

Do I think this will be realize soon? No. I think this needs a fuel mixture of hydrogen - anti gravity fluid to get off the ground.

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#8

Re: Plasma Engine

02/16/2021 10:03 AM

Pretty sure something like this would need to be assembled in space as it will be huge and heavy.

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#11

Re: Plasma Engine

02/18/2021 9:34 AM

Conquer the universe ? Man can't even conquer mother nature. So, the answer is no.

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#13

Re: Plasma Engine

02/19/2021 3:17 AM

See "Ion Propulsion." A throttleable design would be most efficient keeping the exhaust velocity at maximum and controlling impulse by varying the ion injection rate?

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#14

Re: Plasma Engine

03/26/2021 10:17 AM

Someone here shared the link to the full article; thank you. I join the majority of users here and agree that this technology is too advanced to be implemented soon. However, such ideas should appear from time to time because they mean we develop. But please, tell me, is this technology necessary for us now?

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