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Concerning the plasma created at reentry

Posted by: Ekkehard Augustin - Fri Aug 13, 2004 10:01 am
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Concerning the plasma created at reentry 
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Post Concerning the plasma created at reentry   Posted on: Fri Aug 13, 2004 10:01 am
If I understand right at reentry from orbit the air around the spacecraft is becoming a plasma and a plasm is electrically loaded gas.

Is it possible to make use of this fact (if I'm right)?

Next in space there's a nearly unexhaustable reservoir of energy and there serious ideas to provide electricity for our whole planet from this reservoir.

Now this last fact might be used to provide a huge amount of electricity for a spacecraft or a satellite in orbit. These electricity might be used to create a magnetic field.

This all might be used as described next:

Only a portion of the orbital spacecraft will reenter and there will be a significant amount of time the reentering portion is still connected to the rest of the spacecraft remaining in orbit by a cable and the cable is a conductor isolated against its environment. The cable provides electricity for the landing portion to create a magnetic field around it. This field might plasma prevent from touching the lander and by this reduce the heating but alternatively it might provide the possibility to use the plasma for deceleration thrust.

At a certain reduced velocity the lander will be disconnected and reach the surface.

Is that too utopic, is it impossible and quite a wrong thinking or might it work?



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Last edited by Ekkehard Augustin on Sun Aug 15, 2004 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Post    Posted on: Sat Aug 14, 2004 8:37 pm
It could work, although it'd be pretty complicated.

If you want the easy way to generate electricity in space, just reel out a cable from a satellite that's not in geostationary orbit. As it moves through the Earth's magnetic field, it'll induce a current in the cable. Depending on the direction that the sat's moving in, the current will either flow down (to absolutely nowhere, thus thoroughly FUBARing the entire works) or flow up (to a large array of batteries in the satellite, or even to a sort of EM transmitter). Cheap, simple, and eminently hard to screw up.

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Post    Posted on: Sat Aug 14, 2004 8:40 pm
I believe that I've read somewhere that the private sector was going to attempt to use that approach to give Mir enough power to keep it in orbit but never got the chance before the government ordered it to be downed.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:25 am
Thank you vary much for this information, eraurocktchick87 - and sorry for answering late.

In between I have an additional thought - the magnetic field might be used for quite another purpose too. Magnetic cooling is possible today and producers of refrigerators are going to use it as essential part of theier products. So might it be possible to cool a spacecraft using the way described? If yes - would this solve the heating problem at least partially?



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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 19, 2004 4:03 pm
I have this idea that you can generate an electric field around the spacecraft which will push the charged plasma particles away and thus reduce friction and aerodynamic heating, reducing the weight of the heat shield.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 19, 2004 7:37 pm
I wish I had the knowledge to help out at least a little, but the answer is better left to those with more experience and education than I.

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Post    Posted on: Thu Aug 19, 2004 8:57 pm
Quote:
If you want the easy way to generate electricity in space, just reel out a cable from a satellite that's not in geostationary orbit. As it moves through the Earth's magnetic field, it'll induce a current in the cable. Depending on the direction that the sat's moving in, the current will either flow down (to absolutely nowhere, thus thoroughly FUBARing the entire works) or flow up (to a large array of batteries in the satellite, or even to a sort of EM transmitter). Cheap, simple, and eminently hard to screw up.


There's one minor, little, insignificant footnote to that: you're converting your kinetic energy into electrical energy, so your orbit decays when you do so. On the flip side, you can push current back the other way and turn electric energy into kinetic energy thus boosting your orbit.

It's entirely possible that the most efficient way of electricity generation in orbit will indeed be to use chemical (or other) propellants to pump kinetic energy into an orbiting body, and then "milk" it back out as electrical energy, but it's certainly not "free" electricity.

Mike


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Post    Posted on: Fri Aug 20, 2004 8:05 am
There seem to be several ways to generate electricity in space:

1. The solution spacecowboy described.
2. The solar panels of the ISS, satellites and interplanetary probes
3. Making use of the relatively large differences in temperatures in space between the sunny side of an object and its dark side.
4. Making use of the solar wind.

How is the ranking by efficiency? What about combining them? Is it possible to reduce the decaying effect of the conversion in case one by combinations?

Additionaly in my idea electric energy is required only at reentry for a while. So it isn't required to generate electricity permanently - it might be sufficient to store it or to generate it only when reentry is to be expected.

Is that valid?



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Post    Posted on: Mon Aug 23, 2004 1:10 pm
The wire dragged throught the earths field has already been tried by NASA from the shuttle (cant remember which flight).

I beleive it was successful until the wire broke, starting up any number of ridiculous conspiracy theories (deliberately snapped by Aliens for nefarious purposesetc)

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Post    Posted on: Tue Aug 31, 2004 8:26 pm
JamesHughes wrote:
The wire dragged throught the earths field has already been tried by NASA from the shuttle (cant remember which flight).

I beleive it was successful until the wire broke, starting up any number of ridiculous conspiracy theories (deliberately snapped by Aliens for nefarious purposesetc)

James

I've heard tell of this several times. Is there any video or photographic footage of this experiment? The oil companies wouldn't be too happy about this.

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Post    Posted on: Tue May 09, 2006 10:37 am
What about using the plasma created at reentry for retrorockets or retor-engines?

I am turning from the electric load to the heat of the plasma here. Could its high temperature be used to heat hydrogen instead of doing this the elctrical way of electric engines? Could it be used for VAPAK?`

Could this be a way of ignition for deceleration at reentry?



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Post    Posted on: Fri Mar 20, 2009 10:04 pm
One thought from time to time coming up to my mind is if the plasma created might be used by a pasma engine behind the vehicle.

And the though is associated if it might be possible to create the plasma for a plasma engine a similar way.



What about it?



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Post    Posted on: Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:34 am
Wow this thread is a little old huh? Heat is energy and interesting fact would be if you gould use this energy the heat might be dissapated in some fashion what do we have that converts heat to elecrtical energy at a rapid rate? Or heat into some other form of energy we can dissipate rapidly. I'm just rambling here humm. Plasma, lighting electrical discharge-- Capacitors-- Lasers-- Plasma, humm help me out here guy's

Monroe

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Post    Posted on: Sat Mar 21, 2009 8:21 am
My focus is on the questions if the plasma created at reentry might be fed into plasma engines and consumed by them and if it might be possible to create plasma for plasma engines by friction if the vehicle isn' entering an atmosphere.

The second question I have because I am wondering if this might be a future alternative to electrical or electromagnetical plasma-creation.



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Post    Posted on: Sat Mar 21, 2009 2:35 pm
I wonder how much plasma we are talking about in the first place? How thick is this layer? I'll look into it more.

Monroe

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