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Lockheed Martin Skunkworks Announces Fusion Break Through

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posted on Feb, 19 2015 @ 09:19 PM
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originally posted by: stormbringer1701

neutron flux even from the dirtier fusion chains is not anywhere near as intense as from a critical nuclear pile.


It's where a neutron bomb gets its neutrons. D-T gives you one energetic neutron per fusion. About half the output energy of the reaction is carried away by the neutron. It's true that you will only get about 1/1000 (back of envelope) of the neutron flux of a PWR. But - it's monochromatic. All the neutrons you get will have one energy level. THAT makes for a very nice setup for breeding, as you can much more easily predict the interaction between the neutrons and the uranium.

And when you're breeding for weapons production, you don't WANT a huge neutron flux - it's better to have it slow, steady and of a predictable energy, which is what you're going to get here.

One reason the reactor's shielding isn't as dense is that you don't have gammas. You catch the neutrons (for the most part) in a lithium blanket, at least as much as you can. But yeah, absolutely, a production fusion d-t reactor's lifespan is limited due to embrittlement caused by neutron flux. It's the main factor wearing out a fusion rig.

As to the rest of your comment, well, if you have these all over the place, then you've got a really nice high density neutron source that you can stick in a big truck or railroad car and take away, which is a bit harder to do with a breeder. Now any Abdul, Achmed or Harry can set up shop making Pu. Pretty darn good Pu at that.




posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 12:20 PM
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originally posted by: stormbringer1701

originally posted by: Asynchrony
All in good time. I don't like the idea of more mobile nuclear reactors when humanity can't even prevent accidents with the ones we've got that can't move. That's great and all but the last thing we need is a nuclear explosion on the highway when one of these things goes up.
fusion reactors cannot explode. when something goes wrong in a fusion reactor the reactor simply stops producing fusion. fusion is so hard to maintain that the slightest problem halts it. furthermore moment per moment at best a few gigawatts are being produced. really the first reactors will be hard pressed to do a tenth of that. to put it into perspective a lightning bolt produces more. lightning bolts don't amount to an atomic explosion. and a reactor doesn't produce it all at once its a cumulative count.

it is traditional to know the data on a subject before one argues about it. particularly claiming it is going to do something like produce an explosion or atomic explosion or stuff like that.


I was mistakenly of the belief that fusion reactors were nuclear. If not, then I must retract the previous statement. I now know of the fission-fusion duality and the differences of them.



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 12:32 PM
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a reply to: InverseLookingGlass

I kinda agree. I doubt we'll see this on the civvy side for a long time. It'll be so they can put a big laser on a tank or truck chassis and pew-pew anything in line of sight (air or ground) and cut through it like it was butter. All that stuff like FEL and relativistic particle guns needs serious power to run, and having the power supply needed to run them means Lockheed can also sell their other products.



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 12:55 PM
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Until I can throw a banana peel into my Mr. Fusion, I'm not getting my hopes up. Good article though.



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 01:08 PM
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a reply to: pauljs75

The military's interest is naval power plants. I don't think a fusion reactor would be suitable to be exposed on a ground-based war environment.

Or maybe powering the base camp on planet dirt.



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 01:25 PM
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originally posted by: mbkennel
Or maybe powering the base camp on planet dirt.


Hey, baby - more power means more NORMAL LIGHTING! Woot!



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 01:39 PM
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a reply to: mbkennel

Fusion is a different story than fission. Most of the byproduct in fusion wont be "hot" enough to worry about much, even if the reactor is shrapneled somehow. And not only consideration for the weapon, but propulsion. An M1-A1 Abrams is a very thirsty fuel hog. Imagine going electric for the main drive and ditching that turbine, now you have power for both locomotion and weapons that can likely go without a refill for months. A whole vulnerable tier of the logistics chain is eliminated in terms of needed support (those big fat fuel trucks that may as well have a target on the side), if that's not valuable on the battlefield, then I don't know what is.

And some people will argue this thing is going to be fusing hydrogen, and past research with hydrogen in regards to stuff like fuel cells shows it being a royal PITA at times. However nuclear science opens up another avenue of fuel (which may also be the secret sauce here), reading into Teller-Ulam and some related processes, a fusion reactor may benefit from a light-metal fission precursor stage. (Most people are more familiar with heavy-metal fission.) If you can figure a way to split lithium into hydrogen with something akin to a particle accelerator you may be killing two or three birds for subsequent fusion with one stone, and you have a really compact, energy-dense, and safe (it's in almost all the rechargable batteries these days), easy-handling, fuel stock. And if you use lithium as part of shielding, it can be recycled - as it may be doped and a better source for fuel stock. Of course this is the hypothesis of some clever but crazy internet person (and an outsider) reading things on the side and puzzling stuff together, so that 2¢ might not be worth much.
edit on 20-2-2015 by pauljs75 because: (no reason given)

edit on 20-2-2015 by pauljs75 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 01:46 PM
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a reply to: mbkennel

I heard they had to switch to these new fusion devices after the Space EPA while on patrol through that sector found out about the old fission ones being used. The argument was something like "what about the lichens??!!??" Man the Space EPA, I tell you , sometimes.



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 01:55 PM
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A sustained fusion reaction is along the same lines as the hundreds of perpetual motion machines that have been patented and don't work.

Lockheed Martin hasn't even built the unit for testing. I believe their intent is only to garner funding. As far as the engineers who are designing and building it, they just want to retain employment for as long as possible.

Its another government contractor money pit that won't produce any usable technology.
edit on 20-2-2015 by eManym because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 08:12 PM
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i just read an article on engineers wanting to replace vehicle spark plugs and glow plugs with lasers. no erosion or fouling of electrodes that way. this is probably a direct spin off of high energy physics research and fusion physics R&D

on another front ion engines are now more powerful than the specs of the proposed ad astra VASIMR plasma engine. 3rd and 4rth generation ion thrusters such as 3rd generation hall effect thrusters and 4rth generation ELF thrusters can now go to Mars and the outer solar system faster than a future VASIMR could. So Dr Diaz will probably need to improve his specs or abandon VASIMR plans.



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 08:24 PM
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originally posted by: eManym

Its another government contractor money pit that won't produce any usable technology.


I believe this one to be coming out of LM's pocketses, but I could be wrong.



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 08:40 PM
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a reply to: Bedlam

To my knowledge, government contractors rarely provide their own funding for development. They design and propose projects and seek funding from interested parties, namely the US government.
edit on 20-2-2015 by eManym because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 09:02 PM
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a reply to: eManym

Lockheed has produced many projects out of their own pocket to prove the concept works. Then they turn around and sell it and make their money back.



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 09:10 PM
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originally posted by: eManym
a reply to: Bedlam

To my knowledge, government contractors rarely provide their own funding for development.


It sort of depends on what's going on. If it's an RFQ, then the gubmint is asking YOU to do something.

If it's the sort of thing you want to keep and have for your very own with a much lower developmental expense and patents to what you come up with, you do it yourself and sell the finished product, or you go far enough to tie up the key concepts with patents and THEN pitch it.

Because otherwise, there's a very real possibility that the gubmint will say "Gee, thanks!" and award it to your competition to compete against you with your own work. BT,DT.

eta: And this never went around on the RFQ circuit that I saw, and no-one else is pitching it, and the folk I know there say it's their very own. Time will Tell.
edit on 20-2-2015 by Bedlam because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2015 @ 10:05 PM
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a reply to: eManym

Here's a current project Lockheed has funded for about four years using their own money.

www.flightglobal.com...

The Polecat UAV is another example of recent projects paid for from their own funding.



posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 02:07 AM
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a reply to: Bedlam

So, what is their purpose of advertising it. Seems to me if it could be done then they would keep it quiet until they have a working model.

If they do produce a working model, it will be extraordinary.


edit on 21-2-2015 by eManym because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 04:04 AM
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a reply to: eManym

Because at some point they need to for additional funding. Just like the project I linked above.



posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 04:39 AM
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Here's a current project Lockheed has funded for about four years using their own money.

Thought Metal Storm was pushing a type of self defense system as well.



posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 05:16 AM
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originally posted by: GetHyped
a reply to: MysterX

Let's wait until some actual evidence is presented first. You also seem to fall into the trap of thinking that potential validation for one piece of research automatically validates every idiotic scam and wild claim even vaguely related. I'm afraid it doesn't work that way.


That's not what i said...it's what you said.

I've lived long enough to get a good handle on Humanity and our ways of manipulating each other, and our childishly arrogant and pretentious attitudes towards paradigm continuation, and the deliberate hindrance of new thinking and ideas.

Of course there are scammers and people on the make..not only in this field of research, but in every other area of human endeavour you could mention. If humans are involved, there'll be scammers in the mix at some point. Always has been, probably always will be.

IOW, i don't believe for a micro-second that an announcement by the Skunk works regarding breakthroughs in Fusion energy experiments must validate each and every claim of similar breakthroughs ever made by anybody who has claimed it...that would be patently ridiculous and extremely naive considering what i said about knowing some of us humans to generally be the bunch of egotistical liars that we can be.

BUT...this announcement by one of the premier US research and engineering establishment contractors, does validate the principles of the technology...it validates others who have long argued for more research grants, more scientists to devote their careers to pursuing fusion research.

It DOES go a long way to validating at least some of the claims from way back.

For instance, it goes a long way to validating the work, performed back in the late 1980's of Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann and their announcement of a fusion breakthrough that was mockingly rubbished, reluctantly tested and then the entire fusion principle was resoundingly rubbished again..and Pons and Fleishchmann were offered up on the sacrificial altar to the existing paradigm and labelled as quacks and liars, fraudsters and hoaxers.

Rossi has suffered the ATS 'experts' slings and arrows in a similar way to Pons and Fleishchmann too, yet their project has attracted real world investment of not insignificant value...and yes, while it doesn't offer hard proof that reliable and sustainable fusion has been achieved by individual efforts, such as the Rossi team mentioned here, their efforts to inform the world fusion is a real and attainable phenomena, certainly ARE somewhat validated by a prestigious US mainstream research body such as LM, claiming that fusion is real, attainable and within our grasp.

Before this, the entire concept of fusion has been rubbished as a hoaxers pipedream.

Not so much anymore i suspect, although those threatened by this emerging technology, those with more than a nose in the old energy paradigms, will undoubtedly rattle out their vitriolic spew of negativity about fusion and those claiming breakthroughs, until the bitter end.

SO no mate...i don't believe this announcement validates anyone in particular, but i do believe it validates the belief that fusion is a real and attainable technology, exactly what others have been screaming from the rooftops since at least 1989.



posted on Feb, 21 2015 @ 10:11 AM
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originally posted by: pauljs75
a reply to: InverseLookingGlass

I kinda agree. I doubt we'll see this on the civvy side for a long time. It'll be so they can put a big laser on a tank or truck chassis and pew-pew anything in line of sight (air or ground) and cut through it like it was butter. All that stuff like FEL and relativistic particle guns needs serious power to run, and having the power supply needed to run them means Lockheed can also sell their other products.


I think you are wrong. There is so much money to make by selling this to the public...billions, that we will most definitely see it very shortly after its been proven to work.

There is no way on earth they won't be selling this tech to anyone who can afford to buy it.



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