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Thread: Boeing patents a laser and nuclear pellet powered jet engine

  1. #17
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    Re: Boeing patents a laser and nuclear pellet powered jet engine

    Quote Originally Posted by ik9000 View Post
    Two different articles there. The diagram in the Hexus article is for a "propulsion system".
    Yes, the difference is the apparatus in the independent article exists in reality. Effectively the two things use the exact same technology, with the 'propulsion system' using fantasy scales and thrusting mechanisms.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Re: Boeing patents a laser and nuclear pellet powered jet engine

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian224 View Post
    Yes it is wonderful, there is little chance of a commercial development in the next 17 years, and nobody else will now be able to patent this basic concept later, when patents might block development.
    Right, except frivolous patents bog down the patent office, and there's every risk of the patent duration being extended again and again under pressure from 'free trade' agreements, so any direct fusion-based propulsion system will likely fall under it and impede development when it becomes actually viable.
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    Re: Boeing patents a laser and nuclear pellet powered jet engine

    Right, this has been getting a lot of very bad reporting.
    1) It's a spacecraft engine, not a jet engine. It doesn't intake any ambient air (that would be a a bad idea for low-loss lasing).
    2) The fusion pulse is not intended to break even. It's used as a neutron source to pump the Uranium layer.

    This is the old Boosted Fission Sail concept, but using pulsed fusion to trigger Fission rather than an antiproton mist (or waiting for natural decay).

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    Re: Boeing patents a laser and nuclear pellet powered jet engine

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky34 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by zaph0d View Post
    Roll on the Boeing 797 "Chernobyl" series of aircraft, where minor elecrical faults can lead to mushroom cloud formations & long term ghoulification effects
    AFAIK what they propose is nuclear fusion not nuclear fission, the former is fusing two or more lighter atoms into a larger one something our sun does, the latter is splitting a larger atom into smaller ones something nuclear reactors & bombs do.

    One produces large amounts of highly radioactive particles (reactors, bombs), the other produces few radioactive particles with afaik a much shorter half-life.
    Yet it still references using Fissile materials within the core of the engine - this looks to be a hybrid Fusion-Ignition, Fission-Reaction engine.

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    Re: Boeing patents a laser and nuclear pellet powered jet engine

    Uranium-238 isn't a fissile material, or have I missed something?

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    Re: Boeing patents a laser and nuclear pellet powered jet engine

    This idea has similarities with ion propulsion and the laser initiated fusion. Both technologies in use/being developed.

    Therefore it has potential and is definitely worth further research.

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    Re: Boeing patents a laser and nuclear pellet powered jet engine

    You toss a pellet of fuel into that cavity, and then lasers blast the fuel pellet, causing it to release a bunch of energy (by exploding, fissioning, fusing, or whatever).
    Am I the only one who thinks this sounds like A Very Bad Plan?

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    Re: Boeing patents a laser and nuclear pellet powered jet engine

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainAmerica View Post
    Am I the only one who thinks this sounds like A Very Bad Plan?
    No more dangerous than, say, spinning a fan at supersonic speeds, throwing in some extremely high octane gasoline, and tossing in a spark.... which happens in far closer proximity to the general population, on a daily basis, than the proposed idea, which is being developed for space travel.

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