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Author Topic: For the Trekkies - Star Trek Engines Being Researched  (Read 2032 times)

Renegade

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For the Trekkies - Star Trek Engines Being Researched
« on: October 04, 2012, 08:52:22 AM »
Beam this one up! :)

http://txchnologist....hers-to-begin-fusion

Quote
Star Trek fans take note: Have a seat before you read the next sentence or prepare to swoon.

University of Alabama-Huntsville (UAH) aerospace engineers working with NASA, Boeing and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are investigating how to build fusion impulse rocket engines for extremely high-speed space travel.

“Star Trek fans love it, especially when we call the concept an impulse drive, which is what it is,” says team member Ross Cortez, an aerospace engineering Ph.D. candidate at UAH’s Aerophysics Research Center.

Stay seated Trekkies, because there’s more.

The fusion fuel we’re focusing on is deuterium [a stable isotope of hydrogen] and Li6 [a stable isotope of the metal lithium] in a crystal structure. That’s basically dilithium crystals we’re using,” Cortez says, referring to the real-world equivalent of the fictional element used to power Star Trek’s Starship Enterprise.

While this engine, if produced, wouldn’t generate a fraction of the velocity as the faster-than-light warp drives envisioned in the TV shows, books and movies, it could produce speeds that exceed other not-science-fiction-based systems that rocket scientists are investigating.

Can I get one on my car?
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wraith808

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Re: For the Trekkies - Star Trek Engines Being Researched
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2012, 09:45:37 AM »
Trekkers, please :)

40hz

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Re: For the Trekkies - Star Trek Engines Being Researched
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2012, 09:50:45 AM »
Hope whatever they come up with is more reliable than the ones on the show. About the only thing that broke more often than the engines were "The Shields" - which seemed to have about two hits worth of damage in them before someone would say the classic line: "All shields down, Captain!".
 ;)

Trekkers, please :)

Does that apply even to the trekkers who are trekkies? (There is a difference, as you probably know.) ;D

wraith808

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Re: For the Trekkies - Star Trek Engines Being Researched
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2012, 10:03:45 AM »
Well, no.  But, yes;D

Renegade

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Re: For the Trekkies - Star Trek Engines Being Researched
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2012, 11:23:40 AM »
Trekker. Trekkie. Can't we all just get along before some brute Klingon disruptorators our butts? :P Yeah, bastardizing words is just a phase I'm going through. Anyone else got any more Q's? I'm going to get back to drinking (water) before I start tribbling on my shirt...
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40hz

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Re: For the Trekkies - Star Trek Engines Being Researched
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2012, 11:49:39 AM »
^The difference between a trekker and a trekkie is similar to the difference between being 'erotic' and being 'kinky.'

Erotic calls for the use of a feather, whereas kinky uses the entire chicken.

(With thanks to Terry Pratchette for coming up with that analogy.)

SeraphimLabs

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Re: For the Trekkies - Star Trek Engines Being Researched
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2012, 11:58:34 AM »
Actual dilithium has a 4-dimensional crystalline structure, that is part of why we haven't been able to find any yet. It's not just a crystallized ordinary lithium.

Also, impulse power does not use the dilithium. The dilithium was only involved when operating at warp speed, as it was used to focus the energy released by the antimatter reaction in order to effectively form the warp field. Even at that, it was a feature only found on 23rd and up century ships, early warp drives ran on pure antimatter power without being focused.

However, I am somewhat concerned that they are trying to build an engine out of a technology that doesn't work yet. To date we haven't made a sustainable fusion reaction for net energy yield, the only exothermic fusions so far have been bombs.

But if we can get fusion to work and provide a net energy gain, I could definately see this being a major boost to space exploration even without warp drive being a viable option for the shuttle in my driveway.

Sadly can't bring home the starship, most of the starships in the franchise were incapable of operating within an atmosphere and had to be parked in orbit for transporter or shuttle basing.

Stoic Joker

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Re: For the Trekkies - Star Trek Engines Being Researched
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2012, 12:09:13 PM »
Also, impulse power does not use the dilithium. The dilithium was only involved when operating at warp speed, as it was used to focus the energy released by the antimatter reaction in order to effectively form the warp field.

That's what I was thinking (but didn't want to say). But it seems like (IIRC) dilithium was used for powering other things.

rgdot

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Re: For the Trekkies - Star Trek Engines Being Researched
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2012, 01:19:25 PM »
Call me when someone invents transporting/beaming  ;)

40hz

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Re: For the Trekkies - Star Trek Engines Being Researched
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2012, 01:30:05 PM »
Call me when either Deanna or Beverly are free for dinner. ;)

rgdot

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Re: For the Trekkies - Star Trek Engines Being Researched
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2012, 01:31:35 PM »
Call me when either Deanna or Beverly are free for dinner. ;)

 ;D

wraith808

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Re: For the Trekkies - Star Trek Engines Being Researched
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2012, 01:33:44 PM »
Call me when either Deanna or Beverly are free for dinner. ;)

Is dinner a euphemism?  No?  It is for me... ;D

40hz

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Re: For the Trekkies - Star Trek Engines Being Researched
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2012, 01:36:44 PM »
Call me when either Deanna or Beverly are free for dinner. ;)

Is dinner a euphemism?  No?  It is for me... ;D

To borrow a line from the A Scandal in Belgravia episode in BBC's new Sherlock series:

                           "I'm not hungry. Let's have dinner."  ;)