Experimental Flying Object (EFO)

- Đ Frank Ellinghaus -

I N D E X - G E R M A N

POST & AUTHOR & Vision
STS - Solar Thruster Sailor
RSS - Ring Segment System LTH - Launcher Transport Head EFO - Experimental Flying Object RSC - Rotational Slingshot Catapult

Space craft with a thruster ring of more than 10000 m diameter. The thrusters mounted at the center of the disc provide an theoretical speed lever of 10000 or more. If we hadnīt the theory of relativity this craft could spin as fast that itīs outer points reach or pass light speed.

The EFO is also a gigantic gyroscope as well as an flywheel, bringing rotational speed and size, orders of magnitude above all gyroscopic devices. With the absence of friction this is an ideal invention for rotational studies were concentrating on rotational and gravitational forces is possible.

With this device scepticists and believers of rotational anti gravity and the theory of relativity could work together to prove their opinions. We also could find out some things we donīt know or assume yet.

New Jan. 22/2003 - cranky or illucid?
I have to thank Eric Max Francis of crankDOTNET, who placed this page onto his crank net "technology-page" and put it into the categorie "illucit". As I see it now, this page might not be as clear as I wished. So in advance of refurbishing this site you can read my email to Max here:

"Hello Max,

Thanks for your link.

I think not all of your link recipients are delighted about them :-)

However they seem to bring some traffic. So I would like to introduce some more possibilitiies to give me links:

http://solar-thruster-sailor.info/sts/sts.htm a solar sail combined with thruster steerage.

http://solar-thruster-sailor.info/rss/rss.htm a segment system from pipes and belts to arrange huge low cost space structures/space platforms

http://solar-thruster-sailor.info/lth/lth.htm launcher transport head to get those ring segments into space

http://solar-thruster-sailor.info/rsc/rsc.htm Rotational Slingshot Catapult to slingshot small, lightweight space object into orbit.

I am curious, which categories you would use.

As you denominated the EFO-page as illucid I like to try again and explain better what I mean.

I hope youīll take the time to think it over and perhaps tell me if itīs still not understandable.

The EFO is just an application of lever rules. If you move the "short end" of the lever for instance 1 m, the leverīs long end is moving for instance 10000 m as in the EFO.

So if you have a thruster mounted 50 cm of the structures center driving the structure to rotate a point on the structures outer ring will rotate 10000 times as fast as the ring is 5000 m from the EFOīs center.

One full rotation of the thruster will make 3,14 m of distance at thruster level while one full rotation at outer ring-level will let a point on the ring move 31400 m.

I guess you wouldnīt object against this statement?

I did like this thought as much, that I tried to think further. What would happen, if we could reach the speed of a thrusters output at thruster level?

If we take a typical ion thrusters output we get 30000m/sec. Multiplicate this with the lever factor of 10000 and youīget light speed.

I admit there is not only the theory of relativity which will prevent the craft from reaching this kind of speed.

The thruster will also need 10000 times the force (or 10000 times the time) to reach this speed and since ion thrusters are already weak even reaching 10 % of light speed is illusional with this hypothetical device.

But using this principle with a more powerfully but slower chemical thruster as proposed with the Rotational Slingshot Catapult (RSC)
could produce speeds not reachable with this kind of propulsion when used directly.

The second obstacle besides Relativity is material weakness.
The craft woīnt stand against the enormous rotational force applied on itīs outer regions. It will crash rather sooner than later even with carbon fibre reinforced plastics which are already stronger than steel, when it reaches considerable speed.

But my point is, there is no real limit for the principle besides relativity since thruster- technology and material technology will improve constantly and push the reachable speed higher and higher. This device could show those limits.

We will get stronger thrusters and of carbon fibres we already can read about compositions which could become 100 times as strong and 6 times as light as steel.

Hope I get a response.

Best wishes

Frank "

How do we get this mysterious speed lever?

It isnīt as mysterious as it sounds. The driving thrusters are mounted about 50 cm from the center of the disk. If they move one meter, a given point on the outer ring of the disk, which is about 5000 m away, will move 10000 m. If the thrusters can reach their full speed of 30 km/sec. the outer point would move with ... well, with light speed. If you mount the thrusters only 25 cm of the center, they could even move with hypothetical double light speed.

Frankly I am not sure which rotational speed such a disc could reach in reality but think itīs worth trying to find it out. Based on the Ring Segment System (RSS) it would be possible to get such a large but yet light weight structure into space with todays technique for a reasonable price.

When this disc should not work out to be useful for scintific studies just do some modifications. This would make it possible to use it as a solar sail or as a rotating base for a space station, delivering artivicial gravity to the astronauts, carrying solar cells for power generation and greenhouses to produce oxygen and vegetarian food.

What factors could prevent the craft to reach rotational light speed on itīs outer ring?

The mass of the craft in combination with the relative weak force of the ion thrusters?

On the other hand this craft is really light weight, only some pipes and belts out of carbon fibre reinforced plastics and some ion thrusters with fuel. Those "weak" ion thrusters are already used to propell satellites. If used far away from gravitational influences and with enough time to accelerate they should get the disc rotating - fast. If there are also complementary thrusters on the outer ring pushing a force lever to get the rotation up to ion thruster speed the inner thrusters taking over afterwards the process should be even faster.

Einsteins Theorie of Relativity?

As much as I adore Albert Einstein, I would like him being wrong in reference to the maximum reachable speed. But even if he is right, it would be nice to have one more option to prove his theorie. And that is what the the EFO could deliver.

parts and weight

Ring skeleton 10000m diameter, consisting of about 2096 segments of 15 m pipes, 50 cm overlap, each pipe with an diameter of 8 cm.
This means cumulative segment length about 31400m with overlap about 600 m = 32000 m.

With 1,6 mm thickness of the pipe hulls about 13 cubic metre of compressed light weight plastics are used for the ring structure (3,14 x 0.08 m x 0.0016 m x32000 m). Not much for such a large construction.

Belts The belts needed to carry the payload in the center of the disc do add some more weight since each of them is 10000 m long. With 1 mm material thickness and 6 cm width each of them will have a volume of 0,6 cubic meter. If using 16 belts this will make up to 9.6 cubic metre. Alltogether 22,6 cubic metre of plastics doesnīt seem a lot for the main parts of the structure.

Fig. 6 - EFO - Experimental Flying Object for scientific studies


Wouldīnt this structure brake before it reaches itīs full speed?

Having the EFO crushing would be a huge success. This would mean the reached speed was so high that rotational forces could win against a material stronger than steel. It would show the limits and weak points of material and construction and perhaps help to do it better the next time.

Besides one more weak point of my idea is the power of the thrusters. They could be just to weak as to reach their full speed since with a speed lever of 10000 you need also much more force to reach this speed. So to consider crushing the construction could be hypothetical.

But - would you consider to reach a - say 100fold speed the fastest ion thruster could deliver would be an improvement?
If we found that the limit of such a construction would lies at about 100fold instead of the 10 000 for light speed the data for that spacecraft wouldnīt look as giant and this is only 10 % light speed. So the rotational forces canīt be as limitating.

I do know already a real use for such a craft take a look under Rotational Slingshot Catapult - RSC The Rotational Slingshot Catapult could deliver flyby mini and micro spacecraft to their destination using this speed lever of say 100.

Those space crafts wouldnīt need an own propulsion system or only a rudimental one and could be made even lighter. Now we take a look on the material requirements for that hypothetical device.

Diameter 100 m, inner thruster as before 50 cm from the center.
Perimeter 314 m, pipe diameter 8 cm, thickness of pipe material 1,2 mm.
That means 0,0012m x 3,14 x 0,08m x314 m = 0,095 cubic meter carbon fibre plastics for the ring.
16 belts 8 cm wide 1,2 mm thick, 100 m long = 0,15 cubic meter carbon fibre plastics for the belts.
payload platform from carbon fibre plastics for the center. About 2 m diameter, thickness 1,2 mm.
2 m x 2 m x 3,14 x 0,0012 = 0,094 cubic meter
The body of the whole structure will only need about 0,34 cubic meter of ultra light weight carbon fibre plastics. That should be a challenge an ion thruster could handle wouldnīt you say? Ok, we have to add, ion thrusters, xenon gas as fuel, solar cells and steerage hardware. But that's it.

EFO - German Page

I N D E X - G E R M A N

POST & AUTHOR & Vision
STS - Solar Thruster Sailor
RSS - Ring Segment System LTH - Launcher Transport Head EFO - Experimental Flying Object RSC - Rotational Slingshot Catapult