696 research outputs found

    Research on gravitational mass sensors Research contract status report, 15 Sep. - 15 Oct. 1965

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    Gravitational mass sensor - piezoresistive and barium titanate transducers, and torsional stress sensor

    A Gedanken spacecraft that operates using the quantum vacuum (Dynamic Casimir effect)

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    Conventional rockets are not a suitable technology for deep space missions. Chemical rockets require a very large weight of propellant, travel very slowly compared to light speed, and require significant energy to maintain operation over periods of years. For example, the 722 kg Voyager spacecraft required 13,600 kg of propellant to launch and would take about 80,000 years to reach the nearest star, Proxima Centauri, about 4.3 light years away. There have been various attempts at developing ideas on which one might base a spacecraft that would permit deep space travel, such as spacewarps. In this paper we consider another suggestion from science fiction and explore how the quantum vacuum might be utilized in the creation of a novel spacecraft. The spacecraft is based on the dynamic Casimir effect, in which electromagnetic radiation is emitted when an uncharged mirror is properly accelerated in the vacuum. The radiative reaction produces a dissipative force on the mirror that tends to resist the acceleration of the mirror. This force can be used to accelerate a spacecraft attached to the mirror. We also show that, in principal, one could obtain the power to operate the accelerated mirror in such a spacecraft using energy extracted from the quantum vacuum using the standard Casimir effect witha parallel plate geometry. Unfortunately the method as currently conceived generates a miniscule thrust, and is no more practical than a spacewarp, yet it does provide an interesting demonstration of our current understanding of the physics of the quantized electromagnetic field in vacuum.Comment: 18 pages, 3 figure

    Light levitated geostationary cylindrical orbits are feasible

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    This paper discusses a new family of non-Keplerian orbits for solar sail spacecraft displaced above or below the Earth's equatorial plane. The work aims to prove the assertion in the literature that displaced geostationary orbits exist, possibly to increase the number of available slots for geostationary communications satellites. The existence of displaced non-Keplerian periodic orbits is ¯rst shown analytically by linearization of the solar sail dynamics around a geostationary point. The full displaced periodic solution of the non-linear equations of motion is then obtained using a Hermite-Simpson collocation method with inequality path constraints. The initial guess to the collocation method is given by the linearized solution and the inequality path constraints are enforced as a box around the linearized solution. The linear and nonlinear displaced periodic orbits are also obtained for the worst-case Sun-sail orientation at the solstices. Near-term and high-performance sails can be displaced between 10 km and 25 km above the Earth's equatorial plane during the summer solstice, while a perforated sail can be displaced above the usual station-keeping box (75 £ 75 km) of nominal geostationary satellites. Light-levitated orbit applications to Space Solar Power are also considered

    Research on gravitational mass sensors Quarterly progress report no. 1, 15 Oct. 1964 - 14 Jan. 1965

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    Lunar orbiter and deep space probe gravitational sensor for determining mass distribution of moon and asteroid

    Research on Gravitational Mass Sensors

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    Gravitational sensor development to measure mass distribution of moon and asteroid

    Research on gravitational mass sensors quarterly progress report no. 2, 15 jan. - 14 apr. 1965

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    Cruciform sensor head, phase shift tuned amplifier, and air bearing support for sensor for detecting presence of small moving mass through gravitational interaction

    Rotating gravity gradiometer study

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    Two rotating gravity gradiometer (RGG) sensors, along with all the external electronics needed to operate them, and the fixtures and special test equipment needed to fill and align the bearings, were assembled in a laboratory, and inspected. The thermal noise threshold of the RGG can be lowered by replacing a damping resistor in the first stage electronics by an active artificial resistor that generates less random voltage noise per unit bandwidth than the Johnson noise from the resistor it replaces. The artificial resistor circuit consists of an operational amplifier, three resistors, and a small DC to DC floating power supply. These are small enough to be retrofitted to the present circuit boards inside the RGG rotor in place of the 3 Megohm resistor. Using the artificial resistor, the thermal noise of the RGG-2 sensor can be lowered from 0.3 Eotvos to 0.15 Eotvos for a 10 sec integration time

    Advanced propulsion concepts study: Comparative study of solar electric propulsion and laser electric propulsion

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    Solar electric propulsion (SEP) and laser electric propulsion (LEP) was compared. The LEP system configuration consists of an 80 kW visible laser source on earth, transmitting via an 8 m diameter adaptively controlled phased array through the atmosphere to a 4 m diameter synchronous relay mirror that tracks the LEP spacecraft. The only significant change in the SEP spacecraft for an LEP mission is the replacement of the two 3.7 m by 33.5 m solar cell arrays with a single 8 m diameter laser photovoltaic array. The solar cell array weight is decreased from 320 kg to 120 kg for an increase in payload of 200 kg and a decrease in specific mass of the power system from 20.5 kg/kW to 7.8 kg/kW

    Apparent Endless Extraction of Energy from the Vacuum by Cyclic Manipulation of Casimir Cavity Dimensions

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    In 1983, Ambjorn and Wolfram produced plots of the energy density of the quantum mechanical electromagnetic fluctuations in a volume of vacuum bounded by perfectly conducting walls in the shape of a rectangular cavity of dimensions a(1), a(2), and a(3), as a function of the ratios a(2)/a(1) and a(3)/a(1). Portions of these plots are double-valued, in that they allow rectangular cavities with the same, value of a(2)/a(1), but different values of a(3)/a(1), to have the saint total energy. Using these double-valued regions of the plots, I show that it is possible to define a "Casimir Vacuum Energy Extraction Cycle" which apparently would allow for the endless extraction of energy from the vacuum in the Casimir cavity by cyclic manipulation of the Casimir cavity dimensions