New Mars Forums

Official discussion forum of The Mars Society and

You are not logged in.


Announcement: As a reader of NewMars forum, we have opportunities for you to assist with technical discussions in several initiatives underway. NewMars needs volunteers with appropriate education, skills, talent, motivation and generosity of spirit as a highly valued member. Write to newmarsmember * to tell us about your ability's to help contribute to NewMars and become a registered member.

#301 2022-05-04 09:21:27

From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 1,894

Re: Internal combustion engines for Mars

tahanson43206 wrote:

For Calliban re radiator ...

At 700°C, that radiator would need to be 2.5 x 2.5m, ignoring conduction losses into the vehicle.

Please add detail ... we only (appear to) have 2 dimensions given in the specification.

I'm assuming there are pipes into which the sodium flows, separated by sections of flat metal.

Detail: between episodes, the sodium will solidify in the radiator pipes.  It this intended to be a one-time-usage emergency backup?

If so, would maintenance / remanufacturing consist of melting the entire device down and separating the elements for re-use?

I like the automatic safety feature for the base station.  It would (of course) not be available to the mobile units.


We need a design that assures that fuel cladding remains intact following any reasonably foreseeable malfunction.  Otherwise, a malfunction could leave us with a toxic mess to clear up.  This could be provided by liquid sodium flowing through a radiator driven by natural circulation.  If the cooling circuit opens by melting plugs, then you have a passive activation that would occur without any operator action.  It would be irreversible and would write off the asset, but would maintain the core intact.

No operator being present for refilling is a bit of a problem.  Maybe propellant line insertion could be automated?

"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."


#302 2022-05-04 09:50:49

Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 10,394

Re: Internal combustion engines for Mars

For Calliban re #301

Thanks for expanding a bit on your basic ideas!

The automation of a delivery hose is well under way on Earth.  Commercial offerings are definitely in discussion.

For SpaceNut ... please keep a watch for announcements along those lines.  Science Fiction has had them for decades, and I'm not sure what I am thinking about is from science fiction or advertising of actual products.

I ** think ** Tesla has plans for automated plug capability, and a few beta sites may exist.  i'm just not sure.

In any case, it is definitely needed for the Mars mining operation.

The same is true for GW Johnson's on-orbit refueling system.

GW, like you, started from an assumption there would be people on the scene, because that it how it has always been done, but we are now in the age of remote manipulation, and have been for several decades in satellite designs.



#303 2022-05-04 20:14:33

From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 25,668

Re: Internal combustion engines for Mars

I sort of described its use as well as the turbine for the equipment for the 1 meter regolith water gathering as calliban had suggested that the air intake might make use of a turbine to get a greater level of co2 gathered.

Lets we forget the earth engines are of all different cylinder sizes so sizing of a mars engine will work the same in the design of power to make use of in the variety of uses that we will have,

The cylinder is 1 bar of air an the ration of that air is related to 14.7 psi so we are using 14.7 parts to 1 part fuel in the cylinder. So while we are making use of high pressure tanks for the mars gasses we are only still looking to send in a near 1 bar solution for creating rotation power whether its by a turbine of a piston makes little difference in the end.

As far as radiators we have the KRUSTY design which will work, I gave a refrigerators style but we can also use a flat plate solar collector as the electronic heat-sink design as well.

The flat plate we would alter as we do not need the glass and we can use thinner metal with holes in it to make the plate radiate the heat that enters through the tubing.



Board footer

Powered by FluxBB