Nette

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The Lightcraft
Project

Nette Brocks

Columbia High School

Introduction

“The industry concerned with the
design and manufacture of
aircraft, rockets, missiles,
spacecraft, etc.”

Introduction


A rocket is “any device propelled by the
ejection of matter”


Challenge= finding the cheapest and
most efficient fuel that can be ejected


Chemical fuels


Already operate at efficiencies so high that
progress may be physically unattainable



Introduction


Beamed Energy Propulsion (BEP) for an
“era beyond oil”


Electromagnetic energy is beamed from
a remote source to a craft for direct
conversion into thrust


The majority of system mass is left on
the ground

Introduction

Introduction

Introduction

Introduction

30 km

Review of Literature



Dumas, Larry N., and Amy L. Walton.
"Faster, Better, Cheaper: An Industrial View."
Acta

Astronautica

Vol. 47 (2000)
:
607
-
621
.
Print.


Discussed the “new
approach featuring focused,
technically sophisticated, fast track missions.”


Davis, Eric W., and Franklin B. Mead. "Review
of Laser Lightcraft Propulsion System
(Preprint)." (2007). Print.


Explained the motives, configuration, benefits, life
-
cycle cost, estimated future costs, and
Demonstration Program behind the Lightcraft



Review of Literature


“Ground and Flight Tests of a Laser Propelled
Vehicle,”


Elucidated the experiments of the new technology


“Flight Experiments and Evolutionary
Development of a Laser Propelled, Trans
-
atmospheric Vehicle”


Summarized the background, technology design,
and testing results of the concept.

Review of Literature


Salvador, Israel I., and Leik N. Myrabo.
"Airbreathing Hypersonic Laser Thermal
Propulsion Experiments with a Lightcraft
Vehicle
-

Status Update." Print


Suggested that the formation of blast waves was
dependent of ignition surface


Kenoyer, David A., Israel Salvador, Leik N.
Myrabo, Samuel N. Notaro, and P. W.
Pragulla. "Experimental Investigation of Axial
and Beam
-
Riding Propulsive Physics with
TEA CO2 Laser." Print.


Tested lateral impulses

Hypothesis

Schlieren

Brazil study showed
that different
Lightcraft geometries
affected the formation
of the blast waves

Cylindrical blast
waves will result from
a less intense laser
with a linear focus

AIMD

Beam riding ability

At 25 mm offset the
Lightcraft will exhibit
the greatest beam
riding behavior

Methods and Materials: Schlieren


Two Lumonics K
-
922M CO
2

TEA lasers
were fired


Laser 1 has 17 Jewels per shot; Laser 2
has 13 Jewels per shot


The beams reflected off a series of mirrors
and hit a flat plate in unison


The flat plate set at 45º, 25º, and 0º
angles to mimic different Lightcraft
geometries

Methods and Materials
-

Schlieren






Various plate angles to
determine if blast wave
characteristics are
independent of ignition
surface

Methods and Materials: AIMD


A
ngular
I
mpulse
M
easuring
D
evice


Lateral impulses


The Lightcraft was attached to the AIMD in an
extended

and a
retracted

position







The center of the Lightcraft was offset in increments
of 5 mm



The offsets represented a range of
-
10% to
+55% of the engine diameter


Methods and Materials
-
AIMD


Laser 1 fired



An oscilloscope, attached to the AIMD,
recorded the motion of the test engine


Methods and Materials: AIMD

Calculations: AIMD


Equations derived using the Equations of
Motion




r
c
2
= distance from spin axis to impulse
(extended)=.1135 m


r
c
1
=
distance from spin axis to impulse
(retracted)=.0786 m


I
R
= moment of inertia of the motor


ω
=Angular velocity at moment after impulse; in
radians per second

1
2
)
)(
(
)
)(
(
)
(
)
(
c
c
retracted
R
extended
R
r
r
I
I
impulse
retracted
extended





Calculations: AIMD


I
R
= moment of inertia of the motor


Extended= 2.336E
-
4 Nms
2


Retracted= 9.804E
-
5 Nms
2


used the equation


K
=spring constant=155.1N/m


r
= spring distance from the spin axis =
.04604 m


T
=period (s)


Extended=0.1675


Retracted=0.1085





2
2
2
)
2
(

T
Kr
I
R

Calculations: AIMD


ω
=Angular velocity at moment after
impulse; in radians per second


The oscilloscope measured volts and
seconds


Data was transferred from the
oscilloscope to an excel chart


By taking the slope (volts/seconds) of
the output voltage vs. time plot and
converting using a known calibration
(0.1367 volts = 1 radian), angular
velocity in radians/second was calculated


QuickTime™ and a
decompressor
are needed to see this picture.
Calculations: AIMD


Since the angular velocity and the
resulting slope changed rapidly with time,
the range over which the slope was
determined was reduced to a small range
immediately after the laser pulse
(E325:E425, D325:D425)


At the
-
10mm offset this domain yielded
error; in this case the slope function was
restricted to (E340:E425, D340:D425)


Calculations: AIMD


Once impulse was calculated using this
information, it was multiplied by a factor of
1000000/17 to produce the momentum
coupling coefficient


The momentum coupling coefficient is
equal to force thrust divided by beam
power

Results: AIMD

-150
-100
-50
0
50
100
150
-40
-20
0
20
40
60
Cm (N/MW)
Offset in Millimeters
Graph 1:
Cm(N/MW) v. Offset in Millimeters
Original #200-2/3 w/
Delrin (Brocks)
#200-2/3 Delrin (Kenoyer)
#200-2/3 Airbreathing
(Kenoyer)
#200-2/3 w/Delrin
(Brocks)
Results: AIMD

-150
-100
-50
0
50
100
150
-40
-20
0
20
40
60
CM (N/MW)
Offset in Millimeters
Graph 2: CM (N/MW) v. Offset in Millimeters
Original #200-2/3 w/
Delrin (Brocks)
#200-2/3 Delrin
(Kenoyer)
#200-2/3 Airbreathing
(Kenoyer)
#200-2/3 w/Delrin
(Brocks)
Discussion

Qui ckTi me™ and a
decompressor
are needed to see thi s pi cture.
Qui ckTi me™ and a
decompressor
are needed to see thi s pi cture.
Conclusion


Both hypothesizes were supported



The inside of the shroud was lined with
Delrin
,
and 00.028 grams were ablated during AIMD
testing


Chipping of the propellant caused irregular results


Thanks to


Dr. David Kenoyer


Dr. Israel Salvador


Dr. Leik Myrabo


Ms. Heidi Gleason


Ms. Strauss


Older and current Science Research
students


Friends and family

Bibliography



“Aerospace.” Dictionary.com. Website.



Aldrin, Buzz, and David Nolan. "A Bolder Mission." August 2009.
Popular Mechanics
. Print.



Chaikin, Andrew. “For Neil Armstrong, the First Moon Walker, It Was All About Landing the


Eagle
.”


Davis, Eric W., and Franklin B. Mead. "Review of Laser Lightcraft Propulsion System (Preprint)." (2007).
Print.



Discovery Channel.
NASA in Your Home.

Discovery Channel. Website. 12 Dec. 2009.
http://www.dsc.discovery.com/tu/nasa/home
-
and
-
city/home
-
and
-
city
-
html.



Dumas, Larry N., and Amy L. Walton. "Faster, Better, Cheaper: An Industrial View."




Acta Astronautica
Vol. 47 (2000)
:
607
-
621
.
Print.



Edwards, Owen. “One Giant Leap.”
Smithosian.
Website.


Goldwasser, Samuel M. "Sam's Laser FAQ
-

Laser Safety."
Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ: Home Page (Drexel
ECE Mirror)
. Web. 08 Oct. 2010. <http://repairfaq.ece.drexel.edu/sam/lasersaf.htm#safyor0>.


HowStuffWorks. Website. 12 Dec. 2009.
http://www.science.howstuffworks.com/nasa
-
inventions.htm.



Kenoyer, David A. "Combined Experimental and Numerical Investigations into Laser Propulsion Engineering
Physics." Diss. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2010. Print.


Kenoyer, David A., Israel Salvador, Leik N. Myrabo, Samuel N. Notaro, and P. W. Pragulla. "Experimental
Investigation of Axial and Beam
-
Riding Propulsive Physics with TEA CO2 Laser." Print.


Kenoyer, David A. Personal interview. 23 July 2010.



"Laser
-
powered Jet Engine."
Halfbakery
. 14 Mar. 2008. Website. 28 Dec. 2010.
http://www.halfbakery.com/idea/Laser
-
powered_20Jet_20Engine.




Bibliography


Lightcraft: A Laser Push to Orbit
. Centauri Dreams. 14 Sep. 2009. Website. 14. Jan. 2010.
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.centauri
-
dreams.org/wp
-
content/uploads/2009/09/lightcraft1.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.centauri
-
dreams.org/%3Fp%3D9413&usg=__ZzH_L4UmMDSsCajgmC2vR7zpYHw=&h=342&w=500&sz=30&hl=en
&start=10&tbnid=vGhTa_lLOEQvDM:&tbnh=89&tbnw=130&prev=/images%3Fq%3DLightcraft%26gbv%3
D2%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Dactive



Lord, Morgan. “NASA’s New Modular Spacesuit Wil Handle Any Mission.”
Popular Mechanics
August 2009.
Website.


Mead, Franklin B., and Leik N. Myrabo "Flight Experiments and Evolutionary Development of a Laser
Propelled, Trans
-
atmospheric Vehicle." (1998). Print.



Mirror.co.uk.Website. 12 Dec. 2009.
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/topstories/2009/07/21.




Oberg, James. “How we'll return to the Moon.”
Astronomy

August 2009: 37(8), 24
-
29. Website.



“Rocket.”
The American Heritage Dictionary Of The English Language
. New College Edition. 1978. Print.


Salvador, Israel I., and Leik N. Myrabo. "Airbreathing Hypersonic Laser Thermal Propulsion Experiments
with a Lightcraft Vehicle
-

Status Update." Print


Salvador, Israel I. "Static and Hypersonic Experimental Analysis of Impulse Generation in Air
-
Breathing
Laser
-
Thermal Propulsion." Diss. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2010. Print.



Siuru, Bill. "Laser to Lift Lightcraft Into Space."
Mechanical Engineering.

Sept. 1990. 54
-
57. Print.



Simpson, Bruce.
My Jet Engine Projects
. 12 Apr. 2009. Website. 12 Dec. 2009.
http://www.aardvark.co.nz/pjet
.


Any questions?