Homepage Forums Innovative Confinement Concepts (ICC) and others New compact fusinon design from Lockhead Martin super secret lab

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #1445
    Avatartheanphibian
    Member

    There was a recent talk in Google’s Solve for X series about a compact fusion reactor design. The series focus is on “moonshots”. Here is the video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAsRFVbcyUY

    The most surprising thing is how little we actually know about it. If you don’t have time for the video, here is a blog post with pictures and summary of it.

    http://nextbigfuture.com/2013/02/new-google-solve-for-x-lockheed.html

    I know of almost no technical details, aside from it being called a “High Beta configuration”. The lab it comes out of is called Skunk Works. It’s super secret, proprietary, and aimed at super high risk projects.

    Have I just not looked hard enough, or is the idea really so information poor? I just wanted to bring it up here.

    #12494
    Avatarzapkitty
    Member

    … just the PTB placing a marker in the race for “dirty” fusion?

    You’re not imagining things insofar as it was a bombshell which shed surprisingly little light for all the noise it’s caused.

    #12496
    AvatarKeithPickering
    Participant

    A quick search of Google Scholar shows nothing published by Chase or McGuire on fusion in the recent past. Apparently they’re playing it very close to the vest. That’s okay, I suppose, but it leaves me thinking that so far this is nothing but vaporware. Building a reasonably leakproof magnetic bottle for plasma isn’t that hard: Dyson did years ago with the polywell. Still waiting for that one to work. So they’re going to need a lot more than a new bottle.

    Lawson criteron number, anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

    #12497
    Avatarzapkitty
    Member

    KeithPickering wrote: … years ago with the polywell. Still waiting for that one to work. So they’re going to need a lot more than a new bottle.

    Polywell might well be working somewhere behind the Navy info curtain.

    … in fact there’s some idle speculation that the lockmart device might actually [em]be[/em] a polywell since emc2 doesn’t have the patent.

    http://www.talk-polywell.org/bb/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=4273

    #12499
    AvatarMatt M
    Member

    Sounds like this might be the Carlo Rossi of Fusion Energy.

    I think this is Pie in the Sky talk. Not a real on-going SkunkWorks project.

    #12500
    Avatartheanphibian
    Member

    … in fact there’s some idle speculation that the lockmart device might actually be a polywell since emc2 doesn’t have the patent.

    mind = blown

    I think this is Pie in the Sky talk. Not a real on-going SkunkWorks project.

    His talk does show a team, indicating that they have or had a group on it at some point. Their machine also looked pretty expensive. What I don’t get is how any manager could have possibly greenlighted a project like this that. Do they at all understand the similarities to what other people are doing? Do they really have a design tweak that gives them a chance diverse from the other approaches? Maybe they just think that their organization could put the resources into it to succeed when others couldn’t.

    #12501
    Avatarzapkitty
    Member

    Matt M wrote: Sounds like this might be the Carlo Rossi of Fusion Energy.

    Except this is from a manager at Lockheed Martin. Regardless of the type, scale or current stage of the project I seriously doubt that he suddenly just decided to drop by for the fun of it.

    Matt M wrote: I think this is Pie in the Sky talk. Not a real on-going SkunkWorks project.

    Well, if it’s the skunkworks…

    … (or is it?)…

    … how would one tell?

    But if fusion, as an immediately viable concept, is finally forcing its way into the public eye then it is simply inevitable that the PTB would prefer that it was “dirty” fusion.

    #12502
    Avatarbenf
    Participant

    zapkitty wrote:
    Well, if it’s the skunkworks…

    … (or is it?)…

    … how would one tell?

    I don’t think you can go around using Lockheed’s name without really representing it.

    When I display the video full screen, the device looks rather Whiffleball-like…v.9?

    #12503
    Avatarzapkitty
    Member

    benf wrote: I don’t think you can go around using Lockheed’s name without really representing it.

    I don’t think there’s really much doubt that this was official Lockheed… just some people suffering first from the shock of the news and then from being further traumatized by a snarky zapkitty.

    benf wrote: When I display the video full screen, the device looks rather Whiffleball-like…v.9?

    I don’t see much or well but after spending too much time trying to piece it together I think I can make out, through a port, one (1) coil that looks like it came straight off of a polywell magrid array… and not much else.

    It might be a polywell variant… but the shot seems designed to excite speculation without giving out much information.

    #12504
    AvatarDr_Barnowl
    Member

    that runs on plentiful and cheap deuterium and tritium (isotopes of hydrogen).

    I think they left a significant comma out of that one. Deuterium may be plentiful and (relatively) cheap, but tritium is anything but.

    #12513
    Avatarbenf
    Participant

    Here’s some more info from smartplanet.com, which also favorably links to LPP articles. It would be nice if Steve Jurvetson would consider diversifying his investments in fusion research, as other Silicon valley VC funders with interests in green and clean technology have done.

    #12516
    Avatarvansig
    Member

    zapkitty wrote: … just the PTB placing a marker in the race for “dirty” fusion?

    You’re not imagining things insofar as it was a bombshell which shed surprisingly little light for all the noise it’s caused.

    well, this noise should help to place tokamak on the back burner where it belongs; maybe to the benefit of all alternative fusion schemes?

    #13484
    AvatarIvy Matt
    Participant

    Aviation Week has more details on the Skunkworks project:

    http://aviationweek.com/technology/skunk-works-reveals-compact-fusion-reactor-details

    Overall, McGuire says the Lockheed design “takes the good parts of a lot of designs.” It includes the high beta configuration, the use of magnetic field lines arranged into linear ring “cusps” to confine the plasma and “the engineering simplicity of an axisymmetric mirror,” he says. The “axisymmetric mirror” is created by positioning zones of high magnetic field near each end of the vessel so that they reflect a significant fraction of plasma particles escaping along the axis of the CFR. “We also have a recirculation that is very similar to a Polywell concept,” he adds, referring to another promising avenue of fusion power research. A Polywell fusion reactor uses electromagnets to generate a magnetic field that traps electrons, creating a negative voltage, which then attract positive ions. The resulting acceleration of the ions toward the negative center results in a collision and fusion.

    The plan is to produce a test reactor each year for the next five years, culminating in an ignition prototype, followed by another five years of development to produce a 23×43 foot, 100-MW production reactor. The fuel used will be DT at first, although aneutronic fuels may be possible with this design.

    #13487
    Avatardelt0r
    Member

    I missed this thread. Here was a post i made in another:

    Indeed interesting. Sunkworks is reputable. But .. hmmm

    first some better links.
    http://aviationweek.com/technology/skunk-works-reveals-compact-fusion-reactor-details
    http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/news/press-releases/2014/october/141015ae_lockheed-martin-pursuing-compact-nucelar-fusion.html
    http://pdfaiw.uspto.gov/.aiw?PageNum=0&docid=20140301519
    http://pdfaiw.uspto.gov/.aiw?PageNum=0&docid=20140301518
    http://pdfaiw.uspto.gov/.aiw?PageNum=0&docid=20140301517

    Now from the patents, this is a cusp field configuration. Not really that new. However they are trying to recycle the particles that escape from the cusps around the internal magnets. Only the end pole (mirror) losses are present in a first order approximation. So this is a cups/mirror system which is not new. They are high beta, but then so are reverse field configurations. And I can’t see anything that prevents flute instability around the mirrors. Unless they are doing the gas dynamic trap trick (the Russians still do mirror fusion work).

    It will be interesting to see how it works. As it stands we have seen nothing to indicate that it has worked better than any other cusp configuration. And that was worse than Tokmaks or whatever.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.