Birkeland propulsion?

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Birkeland propulsion?

Unread post by Metryq » Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:36 am

Have there been any proposed space propulsion systems that might take advantage of Birkeland currents? According to EU concepts, Birkeland currents already run between all the interesting places within the Solar system and star-to-star. (Why would someone want to fly off into "empty" space? Now that I think of it, I'm reminded of a Jetsons episode where George and Elroy are doing a scout trip on the Moon. Elroy gets separated from the group because he went to the "dark side" of the Moon to change the film in his camera.)

Birkeland himself created a "rail gun." Could the space currents be ridden like a projectile in a rail gun?

Or how about this: we already have various electric engine designs using ion or plasma propulsion. Even if a spacecraft could not ride a Birkeland current like a rail gun projectile, could a Birkeland current be tapped to run an electric engine? Forget Solar sails. I mean "plug in" to the potential that's already out there.

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Re: Birkeland propulsion?

Unread post by spark » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:37 pm

Such technologies already exist for decades but undisclosed to this date.

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