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NASA testing hypersonic MHD turbine design

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posted on Nov, 30 2007 @ 07:11 PM
NASA has begun testing a hypersonic turbine engine design using a magneto hydrodynamic energy bypass system. It would slow the air entering the turbine, and provide power to the aircraft, or to accelerate the exhaust. This would theoretically push turbines up to Mach 7, where their current speed is around Mach 3.

A concept explored by the power generation industry 50 years ago is being dusted off by NASA as a possible way of enabling jet engines to operate to higher speeds, to power hypersonic vehicles and reusable spaceplanes.

The magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) energy bypass engine would electromagnetically extract energy from air entering the inlet, slowing the flow and allowing the turbine engine to operate to a higher Mach number.

The electricity generated could be used to power aircraft systems or to electromagnetically accelerate the engine's exhaust flow, increasing thrust. One concept developed in Russia, called Ajaxa, was outlined in a paper in 2001 by its authors Claudio Bruno at the University of Rome and Paul Czysz at St Louise University, Missouri.


This would be a seriously awesome engine if they're able to develop it. They're looking at possibly using it for the first stage of the new space plane.

[edit on 11/30/2007 by Zaphod58]

[edit on 11/30/2007 by Zaphod58]

posted on Dec, 1 2007 @ 10:09 AM
There are a lot of design issues as well as some fundamental laws of thermodynamics to deal with before an MHD energy bypass engine becomes feasible in the real world. See my posts on it here:

In that thread I have referred to the MHD energy bypass engine as an inverse Brayton Cycle engine, which it is.

posted on Dec, 1 2007 @ 08:45 PM
Your not going to get any more energy out of the engine than you put in it just utilizes it better.
What I am unclear on, is how they are extracting electrical energy directly from the air flow.
Magnetohydrodynamics refers to the electrical charge generated by the cirulation of a hi-temp conductive fluid, ie molten metals, salts or salt water under pressure. They will generatet a magnetic field and thus electrical fields as well.
Air is not a very conductive fluid at all.

posted on Dec, 2 2007 @ 11:46 AM
Basically if you cross an electric and magnetic field you can generate a Lorenz force on the fluid, which can be used to impart energy or extract energy. Another way of looking at an MHD generator is that a conductive fluid moving through a magnetic field generates a current in the fluid. If you place electrodes appropriately you can create an electrical circuit that can be used in the same way electricity from a battery is used. As you said, this energy has to come from somewhere, and in the case of MHD it comes from the kinetic energy of the moving fluid.

A couple of other notes: The fluid does not have to be high-temperature, it just has to be conductive. Low temperature air is not very conductive by itself, and so at the core of MHD technology are the methods used to make it conductive. In the past it's been heated and seeded with cesium ions, but more recent research is on using electron beams to sustain ionization in low temperature flows. This is the technology that is at the core of the NASA paper that this thread references, not an MHD engine itself. The researchers wrote a paper that showed they could get high levels of conductivity in relatively low temperature air and the MHD guys want to make this into a more effective MHD generator. As far as I can tell by reading the paper, no one has actually done the cycle analysis on the proposed engine as a whole to show that it will work. I imagine when they do, they'll eventually realize that it's not the miracle technology they were looking for.

posted on Dec, 2 2007 @ 11:58 AM

NASA's idea is to exploit recent advances in high-voltage pulse power systems to increase ionization efficiency. "We need a very efficient way of ionizing the flow field. If we can increase ionisation efficiency by 40% we can be very competitive with classic over-and-under turbine-based combined-cycle engines."


recent advances in high-voltage pulse power systems to increase ionization efficiency.... finally NASA is opening their eyes to methods used in vortex science... knowledge that suppressed enginiers have had for years

posted on Dec, 3 2007 @ 07:30 PM
I'm not sure how you got from "high-voltage pulsed power systems" to "vortex science" which, according to has something to do with:

What is Vortexian Mechanics?

Vortexian Mechanics is the study of “paths of motion”, their characteristics, and that the results of motion. These paths of motion are the unseen currents upon which the two opposing forces of our Universe gather, control and recycle the energy from background ‘wave fields’ to observable, sensed, physical three-dimensional form we call matter. Then matter is re-distributed into an unseen energy state of potential along certain ‘paths of motion’.
These ‘paths of motion’ are vortexes. They are the Workhorses of Nature


Judging by the rest of the site, i.e.

Where do we find free energy?

All around us, everywhere, in every dimension. use of it is made through vortex mechanics. Free Energy is an accomplished fact and has been exhibited through machinery many times in the last century. Each one of them was suppressed in the past. We supply lengthy descriptions and plans from our own files to fill the need for free energy.


I have to say that this looks more like science fiction than anything else. Before you say something like "yeah, that's because it's suppressed, THEY want you to think that it's fiction!" just be advised that whatever "vortex science" is selling, I'm not buying. If they want to publish their "research" in a reputable, peer-reviewed journal so that others can replicate their results, I'll definitely be interested. Until then, suppressed or not, there's no real science going on.

posted on Dec, 8 2007 @ 02:07 AM
reply to post by mtmaraca

mtmaraca, glad to see you on ATS board and it’s a pleasure reading you posts.

As to “vortex sciences”, back in the 90s a kiwi friend of mine ran eddy simulations under UW grant in their labs. Water tanks, three-dimensional flow vortex laser tracking, high speed/high rez multi-spectral cameras, supercomputer simulations, the whole thing.

We argued. I hated to be the pessimist, but the project failed as I predicted. Anti-gravity and “free” (transitional) energy will not be achieved via such primitive approaches.

Same goes for Mach 7 turbine, it’ll never happen. If you want to go faster then Mach 5, you can’t have any moving parts, it’s as simple as that.

posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 02:58 AM
I’ll just put it this way.

The core is hollow, and I’m pretty sure they figured that out the last time they went into orbit to run the tests. If they used a cannular instead of a sphere they would have gotten more data, but since they still messing with supercolliders who know what they got anyway…

micro grav tension “management”, spatial-temporal distortion filtering, etc, they’re just like kids asking for a spanking.

posted on Dec, 10 2007 @ 03:49 PM

Originally posted by iskander

Same goes for Mach 7 turbine, it’ll never happen. If you want to go faster then Mach 5, you can’t have any moving parts, it’s as simple as that.

I wouldn't say that, it's all just fuctions of relative air density, speed and temperature, if you can regulate airflow to the engine to be constant at all speeds and altitudes so that it creates the same amount of thrust regardless of external conditions (in effect running an independant low pressure compressor/regulator stage, then passing a constant source of compressed air to the high pressure stages ), this is just a way to get rid of the heat generated when affecting the airstream in such a way, while hopefully generating some usefull power out of it.

I'm not saying it's going to work (in fact the weight penalty will probably outweigh that of a seperate turbine + Ram/Scram design), but hey, it keeps them busy

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