Presentation on theme: "Slides composed by Brad Edwards."— Presentation transcript:
1 Slides composed by Brad Edwards. Prior to giving this presentation, please read the bookThe Space Elevator (available on Amazon). Reading andunderstanding this book will help an individualgive a good, credible presentation.Basic system consists of a climbable ribbon extending from Earth to beyond
2 The Space Elevator … building our future Slides assembled by Brad Edwards.Please read the book The Space Elevator (Edwards and Westling, available at Amazon) prior to presenting so an understanding of the basic program can be understood.
3 Space Elevator BasicsBasic system consists of a climbable ribbon extending from Earth to beyond
4 The SE in LiteratureArtsutanov, Y V Kosmos na Elektrovoze, Komsomolskaya Pravda, (contents described in Lvov 1967 Science 158:946).Isaacs, J.D., Vine, A.C., Bradner, H., and Bachus, G.E Satellite Elongation into a true ‘Sky-Hook’. Science 151:682.Pearson, J The Orbital tower: a spacecraft launcher using the Earth’s rotational energy. Acta Astronautica 2:785.Clarke, A.C The Space Elevator: ‘Thought Experiment’, or Key to the Universe. Adv. Earth Oriented Appl. Science Techn. 1:39.
6 From SciFi to NASA Capture an asteroid and bring into Earth orbit Mine the asteroid for carbon and extrude 10m diameter cableAsteroid becomes counterweightMaglev transport systemTall tower baseLarge system300 years to never...From Smitherman, 1999
7 Proposed System: Overview First elevator: 20 ton capacity (13 ton payload)Constructed with existing or near-term technologyCost (US$10B) and schedule (15 years)Operating costs of US$250/kg to any Earth orbit, moon, Mars, Venus, Asteroids
8 Carbon Nanotubes (CNTs) Carbon nanotubes: measured at 200 GPa (54xKevlar)– Sufficient to build the elevatorMitsui(Japan): 120 ton/yr CNT production, US$100/kg– Sufficient to build the first elevatorCNT composite fibers: 3-5% CNTs, 3 GPa, 5 km length– Not strong enough yet but a viable plan is in place to get there (Carbon Designs, Inc.)5km continuous 1% CNT composite fiber
10 Ribbon DesignThe final ribbon is one-meter wide and composed of parallel high-strength fibersInterconnects maintain structure and allow the ribbon to survive small impactsInitial, low-strength ribbon segments have been built and tested
11 Initial Spacecraft Deployment spacecraft built with current technology Photovoltaic arrays receive power from EarthAn MPD electric propulsion moves the spacecraft up to high Earth orbitFour 20-ton components are launched on conventional rockets and assembled
12 Climbers Climbers built with current satellite technology Drive system built with DC electric motorsPhotovoltaic array (GaAs or Si) receives power from Earth7-ton climbers carry 13-ton payloadsClimbers ascend at 200 km/hr8 day trip from Earth to geosynchronous altitude
13 Power BeamingPower is sent to deployment spacecraft and climbers by laserSolid-state disk laser produces kWs of power and being developed for MWattsMirror is the same design as conventional astronomical telescopes (Hobby-Eberly, Keck)
14 AnchorAnchor station is a mobile, ocean-going platform identical to ones used in oil drillingAnchor is located in eastern equatorial pacific, weather and mobility are primary factors
15 Challenges Induced Currents: milliwatts and not a problem Induced oscillations: 7 hour natural frequency couples poorly with moon and sun, active damping with anchorRadiation: carbon fiber composites good for 1000 years in Earth orbit (LDEF)Atomic oxygen: <25 micron Nickel coating between 60 and 800 km (LDEF)Environmental Impact: Ionosphere discharging not an issueMalfunctioning climbers: up to 3000 km reel in the cable, above 2600 km send up an empty climber to retrieve the firstLightning, wind, clouds: avoid through proper anchor location selectionMeteors: ribbon design allows for 200 year probability-based lifeLEOs: active avoidance requires movement every 14 hours on average to avoid debris down to 1 cmHealth hazards: under investigation but initial tests indicate minimal problemDamaged or severed ribbons: collatoral damage is minimal due to mass and distribution
16 Technical Budget Component Cost Estimate (US$) Launch costs to GEO 1.0BRibbon production 400MSpacecraft 500MClimbers 370MPower beaming stations 1.5BAnchor station 600MTracking facility 500MOther 430MContingency (30%) 1.6BTOTAL ~6.9BCosts are based on operational systems or detailed engineering studies.Additional expenses will be incurred on legal and regulatory issues. Total construction should be around US$10B.Recommend construction of a second system for redundancy: US$3B
17 Annual Operating Budget per year in US$M SE Operating BudgetAnnual Operating Budget per year in US$MClimbers eachTracking system 10Anchor station 10Administration 10Anchor maintenance 5Laser maintenance 20Other 30TOTAL (50 launches) 135This is ~US$250/kg operating costs to any destination.
18 AdvantagesLow operations costs - US$250/kg to LEO, GEO, Moon, Mars, Venus or the asteroid beltsNo payload envelope restrictionsNo launch vibrationsSafe access to space - no explosive propellants or dangerous launch or re-entry forcesEasily expandable to large systems or multiple systemsEasily implemented at many solar system locations
19 ApplicationsSolar power satellites - economical, clean power for use on EarthSolar System Exploration - colonization and full development of the moon, Mars and Earth orbitTelecommunications - enables extremely high performance systems
20 Global AttentionHave briefed Congress, NASA HQ, NASA MSFC, AFRL, NSA, NRO, DARPA, FCC, FAA, and satellite insurance companies. Invited talks at Harvard/Smithsonian CfA, APL, GSFC, Berkeley, National Space Society, SPIE, Space and Robotics 2002, ISU, etc.Held the three Space Elevator Conferences. One session at Space and Robotics 2002, two sessions at the IAC meeting in Oct., 2004, and Space Exploration 2005 are focusing solely on our work.ESA, Japan, Canada and Australia have expressed interests in being involved.Reported positively in New York Times, Washington Post, Discover, Wired, Seattle Times, Space.com, Canadian National Post, Ad Astra, Science News, Maxim, Esquire, etc.Globally over 1000 media spots including live interviews on CNN, Fox News, and BBC.
21 Next StepsMaterial development efforts are underway by private industrySpace elevator climber competition will demonstrate basic conceptEngineering development centers in the U.S., Spain and Netherlands are under developmentTechnical conferences continuingGreater public awarenessIncreased financial support being sought
22 SummaryThe space elevator is a revolutionary Earth-to-space transportation system that will enable space explorationDesign, deployment and operational scenarios for the first space elevator have been put together. Potential challenges have been laid out and solutions developed.Development of the space elevator requires an investment in materials and engineering but is achievable in the near future with a reasonable investment and development plan.