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Boeing patents hybrid fusion/fission engine

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posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 12:19 AM
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I just read this,

It seems Boeing submitted a patent for a hybrid fusion aircraft/rocket/spacecraft engine.



Last week, the US Patent and Trademark Office approved an application from Boeing's Robert Budica, James Herzberg, and Frank Chandler for a laser-and-nuclear driven airplane engine.




Here is how it works



Boeing's new jet engine works by firing high-power lasers at radioactive material, such as Deuterium and Tritium.









The lasers vaporize the radioactive material and causes a fusion reaction — in effect a small thermonuclear explosion.














At the same time, the inside wall of the engine's thruster chamber — coated in uranium 238— reacts with the high-energy neutrons produced by the nuclear reaction and generates immense heat.







The engine harnesses the heat by running coolant along the other side of the the uranium-coated combustion chamber.







This heat-energized coolant is sent through a turbine and generator that produces electricity to power the engine's lasers. Yes, lasers


Other than the radioactive material, the engine requires very little in terms of external energy.





The patent app






www.businessinsider.com...
" target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">Boeing's new engine

I am now certain that the spaceplane has been conducting fusion experiments in orbit .

 It seems just a little to coincidental that both Boeing and Lockheed, who have been collaborating on stuff, would both make fusion breakthroughs in the same year.




posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 12:25 AM
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So thrust is generated by the fusion reaction and the turbine is there to power the lasers. I wonder how much thrust these engines can produce.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 12:38 AM
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a reply to: PandaLord
We will have to wait and see.
It sounds like a engine type described by Scifi author, Peter Hamilton.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 12:40 AM
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I wonder if they would be quieter.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 12:48 AM
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Coming soon: spreading radioactive material to a town near you...

What happens when(not if) one of these planes crashes? Is the material fail safe?



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 12:49 AM
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a reply to: punkinworks10



There is a little clue in the patent paperwork,
all three of the listed inventors are from southern ca, not at Boeing's headquarters in Wash.
I'll bet ya that LM and Boeing are doing work that stems from a common breakthroughs idea , but are on different paths now.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 12:49 AM
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originally posted by: TheLotLizard
Coming soon: spreading radioactive material to a town near you...

What happens when(not if) one of these planes crashes? Is the material fail safe?


It would be crashing on enemies from drones so they probably don't care.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 12:52 AM
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a reply to: TinfoilTP

Haha right? Sounds like a legal commercial dirty bomb with wings.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 02:37 AM
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originally posted by: cavtrooper7
I wonder if they would be quieter.


Nah. Sounds like a pulsejet. Leaves weird little contrails, with knots in.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 02:47 AM
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originally posted by: punkinworks10
I just read this...

Here is how it works


The engine harnesses the heat by running coolant along the other side of the the uranium-coated combustion chamber.



 It seems just a little to coincidental that both Boeing and Lockheed, who have been collaborating on stuff, would both make fusion breakthroughs in the same year.



And just think, the stuff that proceeds to be openly patented is generally the bid that lost.

Now. How might one do this thing better? Hm.

Let's see. If I were trying this in a similar but different way, instead of having a fixed U-238 lined chamber that's going to be really awfully saturated with hot daughter products in minutes, I might instead go for more of a system that uses the waste heat to vaporize U238 and inject it into the chamber right behind the hohlraum. Or, you could package your hohlraums with U238 shells, that would help contain the fusion and get you better efficiency. And the really hot stuff goes out the tailpipe.

Also, instead of turbines that are going to be radioactive as hell but still need maintenance, why not put a little MHD rig back there? All the power you'd like.

Either way, though, you're going to be leaving a radioactive streak across the countryside, unless the thing is only used in space.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 03:18 AM
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originally posted by: TheLotLizard
Coming soon: spreading radioactive material to a town near you...

What happens when(not if) one of these planes crashes? Is the material fail safe?


Nothing happens - there are no radioactive materials involved.

Fusion generates neutrons to make heat - while the engine is running these are dangerous - as soon as it stops there are no more neutrons.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 03:23 AM
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originally posted by: Bedlam

originally posted by: punkinworks10
I just read this...

Here is how it works


The engine harnesses the heat by running coolant along the other side of the the uranium-coated combustion chamber.



 It seems just a little to coincidental that both Boeing and Lockheed, who have been collaborating on stuff, would both make fusion breakthroughs in the same year.



And just think, the stuff that proceeds to be openly patented is generally the bid that lost.

Now. How might one do this thing better? Hm.

Let's see. If I were trying this in a similar but different way, instead of having a fixed U-238 lined chamber that's going to be really awfully saturated with hot daughter products in minutes, I might instead go for more of a system that uses the waste heat to vaporize U238 and inject it into the chamber right behind the hohlraum. Or, you could package your hohlraums with U238 shells, that would help contain the fusion and get you better efficiency. And the really hot stuff goes out the tailpipe.

Also, instead of turbines that are going to be radioactive as hell but still need maintenance, why not put a little MHD rig back there? All the power you'd like.

Either way, though, you're going to be leaving a radioactive streak across the countryside, unless the thing is only used in space.


Hmmm, I respect your expertise in this field sir. So, if you say this engine is going to leak radiation like a Chernobyl exhaust pipe, then I agree, they must be using it in space. So, that said, what craft will this thing be stuck on and how far can it take them



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 03:35 AM
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originally posted by: Aloysius the Gaul

originally posted by: TheLotLizard
Coming soon: spreading radioactive material to a town near you...

What happens when(not if) one of these planes crashes? Is the material fail safe?


Nothing happens - there are no radioactive materials involved.

Fusion generates neutrons to make heat - while the engine is running these are dangerous - as soon as it stops there are no more neutrons.


Ok so forget about the rest of the paragraph that says once turned off it stays radioactive for 50 years. What if it were to crash? Where will the radiation go to?



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 03:56 AM
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a reply to: Aloysius the Gaul
Aloysius ,
You nailed it , neutrons from the fusion reaction are converted to heat.
Their is no fission reaction, radioactive as hell in the exhaust or engine, while running .
But , turn it off and it's cold. The containment vessel would be hot for a few days after operation, but would cool quickly.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 04:02 AM
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originally posted by: Aloysius the Gaul
Fusion generates neutrons to make heat - while the engine is running these are dangerous - as soon as it stops there are no more neutrons.


The only issue here is that neutrons cause secondary activation in non-actinides, and the U238 that's fissing leaves all manner of radioactive daughter products.

So the engine will be really active after it's used once. But it can't melt down or detonate by itself.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 04:11 AM
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Here is a wild thought and is a question for any resident experts on lasers seeing as we are on the subject of laser powered engines.( I am no expert in the slightest so be gentle )
What if due to the current level of lasers ( and the stuff we don't know about yet ) a craft was built to a specific design that could reach high as it could on conventional engines. If you had a satellite in space that could then propel that vehicle with a laser, i.e sort of power/push it along, would it then be able to travel extremely high and fast ?



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 04:13 AM
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a reply to: nelloh62

There are laser ablation engines, but they've got lots of issues.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 04:27 AM
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a reply to: Bedlam

Thanks for the info bedlam. I'm off now to research that , and probably blow my pea size brain !



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 04:48 AM
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a reply to: nelloh62

There are also laser driven light sails but that's even a bigger bag of problems.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 05:02 AM
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a reply to: Bedlam

Haha, steady on man ! I,m still getting my head around laser plasma thrusters. Your'e gonna give me a migraine !!




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