"SETI League photo, used by permission."
Listen tonight @ 10pm eastern.
Tom Ligon will be will be the featured guest tonight on The Space Show.com
1. The Tuesday, May 8, 2007 Space Show from 7-8:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time welcomes Thomas Ligon to the show. Tom Ligon is a science fiction author and a former employee of Dr. Robert W. Bussard's Energy/Matter Conversion Corporation. Tom will discuss Dr. Bussard's unique method for producing fusion, called Inertial Electrodynamic Fusion. A prototype device was run successfully in late 2005, and could lead both to terrestrial powerplants and high performance space propulsion systems. Listeners can talk to Mr. Ligon or the host using toll free 1 (866) 687-7223, by sending e-mail during the program using email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or chatting on AOL/ICQ/CompuServe Chat using the screen name “spaceshowchat.”
The Space Show.com
Please watch this video and pass this around:
IEC Fusion for Dummies video.
......please rate the video too, thanks.
Dr Bussard is the former Assistant Director of the US Atomic Energy Commission, he was the father of the US Fusion effort from the 1970's into the 1980's. As the Assistant Dir. of the AEC, Dr. Bussard went to Congress and pushed the fusion research programs in the 70's that developed the Tokamak design.
Dr Bussard now advocates a different design. For the last 11 years he has been working under US Navy contracts, building small test devices.
WB4 in 2003. Yes, low levels of fusion can be created in a very small device.
WB6 in 2005. WB6 was run in steady state operation for a number of tests before a short stopped testing.
At the end of 2005, the Navy did not renew his contract. Since then Dr Bussard has given many lectures including the (famous in fusion circles) google tech talk of 2006.
Google Video here
DR Bussard was awarded the International Academy of Science Outstanding technology of the Year Award for 2006.
Why is this important? World oil production peaked in 2005
Dr Bussard says he can build a proof of concept reactor by about 2011. The ITER reactor in Europe will be finished by 2013, and the concept may be ready for power generation by 2025. The ITER is slated to cost 13.3 billion. More importantly $3 million keeps Dr. Bussard working. The next step is build variations on the 3 foot square WB6, to test tweaks in the design, before building a full size model. DR Bussard envisions the full size reactor core to be about 9 foot square. This means the cores can be mass produced and trucked or shipped by rail to generation sites.
When the father of modern fusion tells you the Tokamak wont work, he bears listening to. Funny thing about fusion, it occurs naturally in a sphere (the SUN), just like Dr Bussards design. The ITER reactor will try to create fusion in a donut or torus, which doesn't happen in nature. Its been pointed out to me that that is an oversimplification, yes it is, but I like it none the less.
Heres an overview of Bussards recent work with some really cool pictures.
This will give one a good sense of how the program has advanced over the years, and what to look forward to. Word had gotten around earlier this month that Dr. Bussard had received more funding thru the US Navy. This apparently is not true, Tom Ligon set that rumor straight.
Dr. Bussard's website.
Are you going to be in Dallas at the end of May?
The 2007 International Space Development Conference
(ISDA) will be held, May 25th thru the 28th, in Dallas Texas. Tom Ligon will be speaking on Sunday, about IEC/Polywell fusion and the potential for these devices to power space flight. This event is sponsored by NASA.
If the Navy could power its fleet with fusion, they wouldn't need very much oil, and if the need for oil went down dramatically, we wouldn't need that many Navy ships to help invade oil rich nations.
Private funding is needed, its so obvious that the Exxon military industrial complex doesn't even want to look at this anymore.
The table below is from this paper by DR. Bussard, the right hand column shows exhaust speed of a particular fuel (left hand column).
QED Direct plasma thrusters
Exhaust speed m/s p + 11B --> 3 4He 6.926 E13 11,800,000 m/s p + 6Li --> 4He + 3He 5.472 E13 3He + 6Li --> 2 4He + p 1.277 E14 6Li + 6Li --> 3 4He
1.596 E14 17,800,000 m/s 3He + 3He --> 4He + 2 p 2.059 E14 20,300,000 M/s De + 3He --> 4He + p 3.505 E14 26,500,000 m/s
The p~b11 fuel does not result in radioactive waste, so it doesn't irradiate the reactor or its surroundings. The generated alph aprticles can directly generate electricity.
Saturn in under 3 months, Mars in a month. Who needs friggin EXXON?