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Boeing patents hybrid fusion/fission engine

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posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 05:13 AM
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originally posted by: Bedlam

originally posted by: cavtrooper7
I wonder if they would be quieter.


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


Thought that was the scramjet engine, not a pulsejet?

Either way, i'm a bit concerned that everyday use of an engine that uses radioactive material to generate energy to thrust will leave significant fall out in it's wake...if it becomes commonplace, i fear so too will explosions in cancers and disease.

edit on 8-7-2015 by MysterX because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 11:34 AM
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a reply to: Bedlam

Like that AURORA named stuff...



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 11:42 AM
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lol this is a great vid explaining the patent.





posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 12:13 PM
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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.


It has been my impression that "fission" was the spliting of atomic material and "fusion" was the combinding of materials.
With fission many differing types of daughter materials will be left over and some of them could easily be radioactive; depending upon their nature, this could last for many years.
With fusion very little will be left as the temperatures required and generated will likely burn up even the smallest of particals as even the electrons and propons will try to combined, thus mutual distruction.
The main part I do not get is the size and mass of the containment vessal - engine - which will be required to make this a useful process.

As suggested by Bedlam, the U238 surface material could be replaced with something else, such as cobalt, and there should be less of a tendance to produce radioactive materials.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 12:25 PM
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OMG I want one for an irin man suit!

Seriously awesome news on this technology flag and star!



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 12:32 PM
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a reply to: MysterX

A scramjet is just a ramjet that uses supersonic air instead of having to slow it down. A pulsejet is a totally different animal.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 12:41 PM
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You guys think this could make something like repulsers?



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 12:53 PM
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a reply to: tinymind
If I'm not mistaken, the heat generated is used to run the combustion/power turbine section of a standard gas turbine, in turn running the compressor section and the accessories (generator producing the electricity for the laser, etc...). The heat generating particle bombardment of the U238 takes the place of the fuel/air combustion. You just don't need JPwhatever anymore. One of the PopMech/Sci mags did a story many years ago about it, back when Global Hawk was still dark. I think they were talking about using xrays and some type of x-nium to generate combustion section heat. No expelled radiation since everything is self contained in shielded sections. Just normal gas turbine ops, minus burnt jet fuel.
Couldn't find the article yet, but here's a link to the patent for the Hafnium/xray gas turbine.
www.freshpatents.com...
edit on 8-7-2015 by cavjafo because: additional info



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 01:30 PM
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I read something, a couple of months back, about the heavy element doping of the containment vessel.
The fissile material is undergoing fission, so no radioactive daughter products to be ejected.
The process is more like electrons transferring from one atom to another, but its neutrons instead.
There isn't enough mass of fissile material to initiate fission, and there aren't enough neutron from the fusion reaction to start fission. The neutron is absorbed and kicks out a neutron(at a lower energy state) + an ir wavelength photon, that neutron in turn does the same thing, it gets absorbed and kicks out a neutron+ photon and so on until the last neutron is absorbed by the wall of the vessel.
The exhausted H and He are not capable of being irradiated as they will not capture a neutron.
The shell of the containment vessel will irradiated but not like the vessel in a fission reactor, it will cool down in a very short period of time.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 02:10 PM
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New engines to get us into a Mars injection orbit?

Remember, a LOT of things that never become anything get patented. There are kinds of crazy ideas that never got used in the patent office.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 02:12 PM
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a reply to: punkinworks10
Wikipedia agrees! (I know...!)
"Uranium-238 ... is not fissile, but is a fertile material: it can capture a slow neutron ... 238U is fissionable by fast neutrons, but cannot support a chain reaction because inelastic scattering reduces neutron energy below the range where fast fission of one or more next-generation nuclei is probable. Doppler broadening of U-238's neutron absorption resonances, increasing absorption as fuel temperature increases, is also an essential negative feedback mechanism for reactor control."
Just like you said, gets hot, reaction ends, cools down!

Aircraft powered by rocks and frickin' lasers!

Exactly 100 years ago the Le Rhone was state of the art....



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 03:34 PM
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a reply to: cavjafo

Thanks for the link.
As I read through the info, I remebered the "Car of the Nuclear Age" article which was in Pop Mech. Mag in the late "60's. It discribed a very similar vehicle and included some artist renderings.
The cars looked as if they were train engines on rubber tires. The engine compartments were placed in the rear and looked like a "continental kit" on steroids. I am thinking this would be necessary for shielding from the gamma rays which might exscape the containment.
You are aware of the dangers of gamma rays as well as their abilities of material penetration. The proper protection from them in a "fall-out shelter" was 4 feet of concrete plus 1 inch of steel plate inside.
I would tend to think this could be a drawback for any type of vehicle which is to use atomic energy for a drive system.

Plus the control of a constant, active nuclear explosion.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 03:45 PM
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Couldn't they make this into a closed loop?

And then bleed off the heat to run some steam turbines?



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 04:01 PM
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a reply to: grey580

You could, but the idea here is to not need the steam either. You run the turbine like a gas turbine, only instead of fuel/air combustion to heat the air in the power turbine section, the laser fusion particle bombardment of the U238 creates the heat. This heat creates the gases that escape across the the power turbine blades to run the compressor section and all the engine accessories. This exhaust would be shielded by the U238 and coolant to prevent any sort of contamination outside of the reaction areas. Jet propulsion without jet fuel. It can easily by applied to any power turbine setup (turboshaft, turbofan, etc...).



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 04:06 PM
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a reply to: cavjafo

Sweet.
So as long you feed that thing pellets.
You've got a power generation.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 04:10 PM
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a reply to: tinymind

You're welcome. It's been a concept since the late 1940's/early '50s, but the practicality was just not there due to the shielding requirements and rudimentary reactor technology, not to mention materials limitations. But, I guess it's like everything else, newer methods, materials and ideas kind of keep technology moving forward. Hopefully graphene can be integrated into turbine engine technology sooner rather than later - reducing inertial limitations and increasing both strength and heat tolerance. Faster and hotter is always better!



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 04:21 PM
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a reply to: grey580
Well, nuke boats refuel every decade or so (if not longer), and that's fission. So who knows with this theoretical fusion.



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 04:57 PM
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There is no way they will build a self contained system.. what would the Gas industry do?? Sue the heck out of Boeing!



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 06:00 PM
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originally posted by: TheLotLizard

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?


you are absolutely correct - somehow I utterly missed that para....for which I am rightly called out and suitably embarrassed!!

Mea culpa, and well done for challenging me!



posted on Jul, 8 2015 @ 06:07 PM
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a reply to: TheLotLizard

Which was one of the reasons that the NB-36H, and Tu-95LAL were killed. Besides the fact that the shielding wasn't adequate to protect the crew and aircraft long term, the possibility of a crash was high, and if it were to, it would irradiate a fairly significant area afterwards.
edit on 7/8/2015 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



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