Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Dual-Gas Combustion Satellite Cannon

This has been my greatest idea and passion. I have not done anything yet, but I continue to build it in my mind. This idea has been eating at me for a couple of years since the Ansari X Prize competition. It is based on Project Harp and more recent Project SHARP. Since then the private industry has taken off and is making greater strides than NASA and all their money. The largest road block to space is the cost per kg. The current cost is in the thousands of dollars per kilogram. This is a good reason why ground-based launching, which includes rail and scram guns, is better since the infrastructure is reusable. The turnaround cycle for multiple launches would be faster as well.

My idea is a little bit different. Most of the designs I have seen only use a L shape structure. My launcher looks like an inverted T. The launch vehicle will be placed at the base blocking the junction between both wings of the T. The basic example would be that oxygen and hydrogen would be injected into each wing separately. Two rams would compress their respective gases against the body of the vehicle. As the rams reach the center junction the vehicle will be moved forward(mechanically) and the gas would be ignited, causing the vehicle to travel down the barrel of the launcher.

There are a couple of improvements that I have thought of to get as much energy into the gas and thus the vehicle. The gases could be heated as they go into each wing chamber. Each chamber could be prepressurized with the gas, adding to the over-all pressure at the combustion junction.

Similar ideas have been tested by professionals and have been fruitful. I am just trying to get my thoughts down and hopefully improve the design process. I just need to be more productive in life in general anyway.

Some key areas need to be covered:
What would it take to build a gross proof of concept?

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