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March 26, 2010

George H Miley Presentation on Nuclear Fusion Rockets and Spaceplanes

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This is follow up coverage of the dense plasma focus fusion rocket research article.

The work and the presenation involves George H Miley who has been producing research in all aspects of nuclear fusion including dense plasma focus fusion, IEC fusion, laser fusion and cold fusion.

Recently George H Miley was involved in computational studies that could enable aneutronic fusion using lasers

George H Miley also announced the possibility of cold fusion batteries



Dense Plasma Fusion for Space

* Ideally suited for p-B11 – High density pinch plasma and no B field induced radiation loses
* Can provide the necessary exhaust velocity; Specific Impulse from 2000 second to million second ISP, trading off lower values with higher thrust
* Can provide the necessary specific energy: ~ 100 times higher than conventional chemical systems

* Fusion Propulsion is one of the main options for deep space propulsion

* Of the various fusion propulsion schemes,the DPF, initially using D-He3, then p-B11 is an outstanding option.

* Much R&D is needed, but compared to the present DOE terrestrial fusion power programs, the DPF development would be cheaper and faster. Also, there are intermediate uses possible, including as a neutron source and for a light source for semiconductor mfg

DPF Asssumptions

* Fine structure fusion dominates giving high Ti/Te ratio
* Pinch lifetimes, can be extended an order of magnitude longer than present experimental values
* Fusion fuel and charged fusion products are confined during entire pinch
* Refection of Bremsstrahlung above 50%

The assumptions lead to :
* For 500 kN, 2000 sec Isp p-B11 DPF, the required pulse power, energy, and voltage are:
Power 800 Megawatts
W = 80 megajoules
Vo = 400 kilovolts
Q = 3.07

Physics Issues from 2005 Study

Physics Issues Ascertained From Study:
* Investigation of achieving a high Ti/Te
* Methods of increasing pinch lifetime
* Reflection of Bremsstrahlung
* Direct energy conversion of plasma; e.g. B field penetration

A Recent Study of Key p-B11 Issue by R. Thomas EAFB- Bremsstrahlung Control
* Investigate reflection physics for high energy Bremsstrahlung radiation emission during p-11 B fusion
* Identifies 2 potential approaches - Hohlraum Cavities and Super Multilayers

For 500 kN Thrust Level, ~ 10 µm of Reflector Material Ablated per Day (10 Hz Pulsed Continuously)

Proposes - Filament DPF. Filament DPF simulates the Sandia Labs “Z Machine”, but is much more compact











ADVANCES IN DENSE PLASMA FOR FUSION POWER AND SPACE PROPULSION, with George Miley, Ph.D.




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