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#1 2018-05-30 19:52:42

Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 3,011

Magnetic Bubble Scoop

The idea may or may not be valid of course.

I am thinking about it primarily for Venus and Mars, with variations for each planet.

I am thinking of it being used to scoop plasma from the upper atmosphere of these planets, and also perhaps to maintain orbit for a skyhook system.

The basic idea is to have a magnetic bubble orbiting around the planets.  The magnetic bubble may dip into the uppermost atmosphere in an attempt to scoop up mass.  The magnetic field must be switchable.  It has to be possible to turn it off or throttle it down when it encounters a Solar Head Wind pushing counter to it's orbit, and then would be increased in strength when the Solar Wind was pushing in in the direction of it's orbit.

So the device would have methods to shape it's orbit, such as drag on the atmosphere, and push from the solar wind.  The push could be aiding the orbit or opposing the orbit.  It would be preferred to avoid the opposing push for purposes of giving the orbit maximum power, but the opposing push may be used to modify the orbit so that the orbit will be more circular and less elliptical.  The preference being to graze the atmosphere at maximum efficiency of collecting atmosphere.

As Mars has fossil magnetic fields, this may complicate things.  However the orbital device may be able to "Pogo" to and against those fossil fields by altering it's magnetic polarity and intensity for that purpose.

If the device were to be used with a skyhook, then we could perhaps forget grazing the atmosphere, and instead use a scoop at the end of the skyhook to "Grab" atmospheric gasses when the skyhook was down in the tenuous atmosphere.

One trick would be to supercool the scoop, and adsorb the gasses into it.

This is used in some vacuum pumps (Adsorption).

The sorption pump is a vacuum pump that creates a vacuum by adsorbing molecules on a very porous material like molecular sieve which is cooled by a cryogen, typically liquid nitrogen. The ultimate pressure is about 10−2 mbar. With special techniques this can be lowered till 10−7 mbar. The main advantages are the absence of oil or other contaminants, low cost and vibration free operation because there are no moving parts. The main disadvantages are that it cannot operate continuously and cannot effectively pump hydrogen, helium and neon, all gases with lower condensation temperature than liquid nitrogen. The main application is as a roughing pump for a sputter-ion pump in ultra-high vacuum experiments, for example in surface physics.

smile Did a lot of different things during my working life.

But maybe skyhook systems could intercept sub-orbital rockets as well.

So, if you mine the upper atmospheres of Venus and Mars, what do you do with it?

This is one thing: … s-air-fuel

You could also fill up synthetic gravity devices with atmosphere.

For Venus those synthetic gravity devices might be built in association with some dry body such as the Moon or Mercury, and then transported to Venus orbit and filled with atmosphere.  How you get your Hydrogen is another matter.  NEO's (Near Earth Asteroids)?

Near Mercury Objects?'s, Near Venus Objects?'s, Near Mars Objects?

Or do you get it from the surface of Mars?  Or perhaps even the clouds of Venus?  Or from the solar wind, or else something else.

It gets obvious that if you are putting the atmosphere of Venus into giant canisters, then if you really want to you can draw the atmosphere of Venus down to .5 bar of a Nitrogen/Oxygen mix.  (Include sun blocking clouds also).

I am not sure that is what I would like to see for Venus, but it might be an option.

I guess that is plenty.


Last edited by Void (2018-05-30 20:13:22)

I like people who criticize angels dancing on a pinhead.  I also like it when angels dance on my pinhead.


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