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VASIMIR

Posted by: Andy Hill - Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:35 am
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VASIMIR 
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Post Re: VASIMIR   Posted on: Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:36 pm
VASIMIR is a plasma rocket. The plasma is not charged at all. The plasma is being treated as a gas, then handled, expanded through magnetic fields instead of metal walls.

This probably only makes sense for fairly high (for beyond Earth escape) acceleration. Probably ion rockets will outperform on efficiency. VASIMIR is going to be relegated to rather high power levels, also--on order of tens of KW while ion rockets can be of almost any size, from one watt to KW, and with specific impulse from less than 1000 to over 20,000.

One type, the colloid thruster can emit both + and - charge so no separate neutralizer is needed.

All this means is that VASIMIR is not a magic carpet. A choice can be made only after there is some means to escape Earth by other than NASA. That has to be done first.


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Post Re: VASIMIR   Posted on: Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:01 am
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Probably ion rockets will outperform on efficiency.

VASIMIR is going to be relegated to rather high power levels, also--on order of tens of KW while ion rockets can be of almost any size, from one watt to KW, and with specific impulse from less than 1000 to over 20,000


You're right about the plasma being neutral, I forgot about that, but you're wrong on the above two points.

First of all, the special thing about VASIMR is that it's variable specific impulse. Specifically, it's between ~1,000s to ~30,000s. Most ion thrusters are order of 1000s, whereas arcjets and stuff are order of 500-1000. There are some types that go higher, but VASIMR operating in max efficiency mode is by far the best Isp of an existing type (admittedly, I don't think VF-200 is designed for high efficiency). But by varying Isp, VASIMR can provide greater thrust for say a lunar transfer orbit, but can operate in high efficiency for a long duration coast say to mars.

You're right that VASIMR doesn't work except in high power mode, but you understate the magnitude of the challenge. The VF-200 is a 200KW one, and that's small. A practical interplanetary VASIMR will operate on order of 1-10s of MW and requires a nuclear reactor more or less. Keep in mind though this is not a bad thing - the problem with most existing types of EP is that they aren't scalable. You can make a 1Watt-10KW ion engine (engine must be designed for specific power amount though), but you can't go any higher than that. The only alternative is to add more engines which obviously isn't a good compromise. VASIMR can be used for any power level, and in fact I believe it will be possible for a single engine (rather than different ones designed for different power) to throttle its power use though I'm not sure about that.

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Post Re: VASIMIR   Posted on: Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:29 am
ckpooley wrote:
VASIMIR is a plasma rocket.


I'm nitpicking here, but it's VASIMR, with one I, not VASIMIR.
And I'm not targeting you ckpooley, it's spelled incorrectly in many posts and the title of this thread.

Thanks to all the posters, this is an interesting thread.

johno


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Post Re: VASIMIR   Posted on: Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:14 am
Stand corrected on VASIMR. I had just copied the acronym from the previous several posts.

As to that device itself--it will only mean something when large interplanetary rockets are doing things that the present trends will nerver reach. Look at the condition of NASA. It's not functional, and will never get to the need of a VASIMR like rocket.

Also, Ion accelerators can be more efficient because in the plasma generating, handling there is a lot of unrecoverable radiation etc. They are also capavle of variable specific impulse. VASIMR is mainly "today's news" and draws a lot of attention.

Space exploration must re-start on a very small scale (Microlaunchers), and 1 watt colloid or FEEP thrusters are possible and are a fair match to 100-200 gram spacecraft.


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Post Re: VASIMIR   Posted on: Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:41 pm
Just in case anybody has missed the news:
http://spacefellowship.com/news/art2408 ... stone.html

So my "predictions" from about a year ago where pretty good: it will take quite some time before we see the VF-200 on the ISS...

relevant points for lazy people:

Current VX-200 engine performance (@ 200 KW):
Thrust: 5.7 N
Exhaust speed: 50 km/s (as an old Wing Commander fan, I like to call it kps instead ;))
Thruster efficiency: 72% (They claim this is sufficient for a ~60% overall system efficiency.

Currently planned dates for VF-200:
PDR with NASA: end of 2011
Installation on the ISS: 2014

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Post Re: VASIMIR   Posted on: Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:08 pm
Don't like the VASMIR? Get used to not liking things them. This is our future this is the way we are going this IS NEWSPACE.
Chemical rockets are DINOSPACE and are dieing as we speak it's a matter of time only. Hopefully a short time. If you'll pull your head out we cant use chemical rockets in our atmosphere much longer. The world wont stand for it. Burning fuel is going to have to go too. DINOFUEL burning fuel thats all going away to a theater near you.
Start tinkering with Ion and Plasma engines they are the way, Stop wasting time and money burning fuel it's all going away. Make it happen guy's it's what we need.

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Post Re: VASIMIR   Posted on: Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:45 pm
Monroe wrote:
Don't like the VASMIR? Get used to not liking things them. This is our future this is the way we are going this IS NEWSPACE.
Chemical rockets are DINOSPACE and are dieing as we speak it's a matter of time only. Hopefully a short time. If you'll pull your head out we cant use chemical rockets in our atmosphere much longer. The world wont stand for it. Burning fuel is going to have to go too. DINOFUEL burning fuel thats all going away to a theater near you.
Start tinkering with Ion and Plasma engines they are the way, Stop wasting time and money burning fuel it's all going away. Make it happen guy's it's what we need.


Just out of curiosity. What is the above rant in reaction to? Did I miss something? Does someone not like VASIMR? I am afraid that the chemical rockets of dinosaur space will be around until 20 years after it is politically ok to launch nuclear boosters or someone develops a cheap ultra capacitor with twice the energy density of LOX / Hydrocarbon. For getting off earth I mean.


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Post Re: VASIMIR   Posted on: Sun Dec 05, 2010 10:54 pm
Monroe wrote:
Don't like the VASMIR? Get used to not liking things them. This is our future this is the way we are going this IS NEWSPACE.
Chemical rockets are DINOSPACE and are dieing as we speak it's a matter of time only. Hopefully a short time. If you'll pull your head out we cant use chemical rockets in our atmosphere much longer. The world wont stand for it. Burning fuel is going to have to go too. DINOFUEL burning fuel thats all going away to a theater near you.
Start tinkering with Ion and Plasma engines they are the way, Stop wasting time and money burning fuel it's all going away. Make it happen guy's it's what we need.


Serious question, are you drunk? Or did gaetanomorono hack into your account.

It's VASIMR (Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket) not VASMIR. Ion and plasma engines need a power source to operate. To escape the gravity well of Earth they will need to expend a lot of energy in a short amount of time. Currently there is no technology which has been demonstrated which can supply this power from a remote location, so the power will need to be carried with the engine. The fuels that provide the greatest energy densities are pretty much the same ones that are currently used as rocket fuels. In summary, chemical rockets are not going to be replaced by ion or plasma engines for launching stuff into orbit anytime soon.

One last point, the shuttle engines use hydrogen/oxygen and aluminium/ammonia perchlorate, none of which have any connection to dinosaurs.

johno


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Post Re: VASIMIR   Posted on: Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:17 am
No I'm not drunk lol but there is an alternative way to get into space it just hasn't been realized just yet.
That's fine with me I'll do it myself and prove it some day. I don't care what you say burning fuel of any kind will someday not be the answer. Sooner than you think.
We have to stop burning fuel it's a huge waste of energy and time and destroys our atmosphere.

Monroe

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Post Re: VASIMIR   Posted on: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:05 am
Monroe wrote:
No I'm not drunk lol but there is an alternative way to get into space it just hasn't been realized just yet.
That's fine with me I'll do it myself and prove it some day. I don't care what you say burning fuel of any kind will someday not be the answer. Sooner than you think.
We have to stop burning fuel it's a huge waste of energy and time and destroys our atmosphere.

Monroe


I wouldn't argue that there are sure to be viable alternatives to chemical rockets out there to be found. But it may take some time for the technology to reach that point.

In the meantime, rockets burning fuel seems to be the way to go. And, the impact to the atmosphere is only concerned with it's source. If the rocket fuel in question was refined from fossil fuels, then it does destroy the atmosphere. If things worked the way they should work, and I think someday will work, then that fuel would be coming from a field in Iowa, or maybe more like an algae vat in the New Mexico desert. Rocket fuel made from air, water, and sun, just like our fuel (i.e. human-fuel) is. The question is more of when that will start to happen.


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Post Re: VASIMIR   Posted on: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:53 am
Just a hint, why don't we start now? It's only going to happen when we say enough! I say it's enough and it's time I voiced it. I'm working on a new solar tracking panel system for another company right now. Solar power works right now. Ion and plasma engines work right now. We need to start funding our future not our past. All I'm saying there is a great future ahead for all of us if we just say so. And I say let's make it so.

Monroe

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Post Re: VASIMIR   Posted on: Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:22 am
Monroe wrote:
Just a hint, why don't we start now? It's only going to happen when we say enough! I say it's enough and it's time I voiced it. I'm working on a new solar tracking panel system for another company right now. Solar power works right now. Ion and plasma engines work right now. We need to start funding our future not our past. All I'm saying there is a great future ahead for all of us if we just say so. And I say let's make it so.

Monroe


It sounds like you are suggesting using solar panels and ion engines to replace chemical rockets. That is beyond moronic. It is the most stupid ridiculous thing I think I have ever heard, and I have heard plenty of stupid things.
Ion and plasma engines won't work in an atmosphere.
Even if they did, none of the current designs come even close to generating enough thrust to lift their own weight in Earth gravity well. Not even 1% of their weight IIRC.
Even if they did, you'll need to provide gigawatts (terawatts maybe) of energy to the engine which I'm now assuming you think you can do with solar panels. You're going to need hectares of solar panels to achieve that or else you will melt the panels with the amount of power you are going to beam at them. And where will you get the electricity to run your huge microwave beaming station from? The electricity grid perhaps? Which is fed by coal power stations...

So there's 3 pretty big problems for you to start solving.

johno


Last edited by johno on Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: VASIMIR   Posted on: Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:39 am
Haha Well, we will see just how moronic things get. Problems you mean challenges right! Ahh it wont be nearly a tough as you make it sound. I'm working my way up there bit by bit. I cant spill all the beans for ya. Just stay tuned and let's see what you think. I believe within 3 years we will have exactly what I'm talking about. That's without funding and only on what I can make and scrounge out of next to nothing.
Solar power works right now any house can be solar powered right now. People just are not doing it yet. Soon enough people will get the message. As for rockets there ARE ways right now to produce the needed impulse. It will become more apparent in the near term as we develop our nearspace capabilities. Anything we do can be scaled.
Spacesuits are another thing that will be much more wearable in the near term just you wait as soon as people start spending enough money on NEWSPACE there will be even more changes.
This is all right around the corner you'll soon see. Commercialization of spare will become a reality.

Monroe

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Post Re: VASIMIR   Posted on: Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:49 am
Monroe wrote:
Just stay tuned and let's see what you think. I believe within 3 years we will have exactly what I'm talking about. That's without funding and only on what I can make and scrounge out of next to nothing.
Solar power works right now any house can be solar powered right now. People just are not doing it yet. Soon enough people will get the message. As for rockets there ARE ways right now to produce the needed impulse.


Ok, I'm going to add you to my deluded idiot list, right below Dan and Gaetanomorono. You talk about revolutionising launch technology and you can't tell the difference between thrust and impulse. What is this "stay tuned for 3 years" rubbish. Put up or shut up. Or at least shut up until you have something to talk about.

johno


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Post Re: VASIMIR   Posted on: Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:04 pm
Make me shut up if you can give me some proof that I'm mistaken. I intend to keep talking until it becomes a reality.
"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition form mediocre minds"
I've got what it takes to back up my claims with hardware I just don't have the funding today. So I'm going to spew whatever comes to my little mind until then. $250,000 would be all I need. You got that and I'll shut up. FOR A WHILE.

Monroe

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