Thunderbolts Fleet of Miniature Spacecraft

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Brigit
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Thunderbolts Fleet of Miniature Spacecraft

Unread post by Brigit » Mon Mar 01, 2021 7:56 pm

There was an interesting comment by jackokie on another thread, which I thought would be worth exploring here, on the Future of Science.

by jackokie » Sun Feb 07, 2021 1:24 pm

"Regarding an externally powered sun: I think we're in a similar situation to that of William Harvey and the circulation of the blood. He felt there had to be a connection between arteries and veins, but it couldn't be proved until microscopes were available. I prefer the externally powered sun model because of its simplicity and elegance. We know electric currents cause plasma to glow, so why invent some other mechanism for the sun's plasma? As was mentioned a while back on this forum, virtually all of the measurements of charge from our space probes were taken on or close to the ecliptic. We really have no idea of what we would measure in the vast majority of space around the sun. I wonder if it would be possible to crowd source one or more probes, equipped with instruments targeted to EU/PC requirements, to explore that unexplored region. When SpaceX' Starship is available launch costs are going to be ridiculously cheap."

I love this suggestion that there could be an exponential lowering of cost in spaceflight.

"As was mentioned a while back on this forum, virtually all of the measurements of charge from our space probes were taken on or close to the ecliptic. We really have no idea of what we would measure in the vast majority of space around the sun. I wonder if it would be possible to crowd source one or more probes, equipped with instruments targeted to EU/PC requirements, to explore that unexplored region."

However, for many reasons, I am not a fan of SpaceX. I realize many are, so that is not the subject of this thread, and to each his own. All I would like to suggest is that it is not the only game in town.

There is another development which has already drastically lowered the financial and technological barriers to spaceflight. I came across it on a small documentary about the aurora lights in the northern hemisphere. Tucked and hidden away within this documentary is the work of Ben Longmier, formerly of the U of Michigan.

What he developed is a 30 x 10 x 10 cm plasma rocket. He ionizes the propellant using RF waves. To see the surprise propellant, watch "Ultimate Aurora" on the channel Spark. If pressed for time, Ben Longmier discusses his small plasma rocket at 30 min. He believes that this technology could be used to send microspacecraft to the moon, to Mars, and even to Jupiter for as little as $1 million.

Clearly, with a small portion of the proceeds from personal household power generation which SAFIRE will develop, the R&D department will be looking into the development of space exploration. (:

Perhaps to start, we will be begin with the launching of a fleet of microspacecraft for the Electric Universe team to explore the polar regions of the sun and of the earth.





*Ben Longmier has since moved on to Swarm, a company which is offering "affordable and small satellite communications."
“Oh for shame, how these mortals put the blame upon us gods, for they say evils come from us, when it is they rather who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given…”
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jackokie
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Re: Thunderbolts Fleet of Miniature Spacecraft

Unread post by jackokie » Tue Mar 02, 2021 8:06 pm

brigit:

I appreciate that you felt my comment had merit. First, re Ben Longmier, I discovered that a few years ago he was Principle Research Scientist at Ad Astra Rocket Company (VASIMR), and was behind the technology ultimately commercially realized by Phase Four: The Maxwell Ion Thruster. Two satellites using this device were launched in January, 2021:

https://www.phasefour.io/maxwell/

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-release ... 13668.html

Second, over the past few years i have grown increasingly frustrated that awareness of Electric Universe / Plasma Cosmology concepts is so limited, and even then it's often as fodder for an unscientific, distorted "debunking". Now, my basic approach when confronted with an obstacle is to aggressively go around, over, or through it, which isn't necessarily always the best thing to do. With that preface, here is a snippet from a comment I made on your "Sunward Electrons" topic, and repeated on the "Another observational failure for the mainstream model....." topic:
Since I'm just throwing ideas out here, let me toss out another one: It seems like every week there's some airy-fairy announcement from the consensus folks about something or another (axions, anyone?), and there is no competing response from EU/PC. I don't know how to get there, but when it's a major story, like Deep Impact, I would love to see a corresponding press release from EU/PC that explains the phenomena in EU/PC terms (as Shannon has done at Plasma.Pics). We (EU proponents) are still playing in the semi-pro leagues. No matter the justifications, the current way EU is presented is limiting the audience. I believe it would foster better communication of both by separating the hard science from the speculative anthropological and archeological evidence. The proposed press releases should just lay out the EU/PC explanation, without any reference to the standard model and it's benighted rescue squad. Sure the press releases are bound to be ignored at first, but I believe sooner or later someone will engage their brain and begin to seriously check out the EU model. Well, I can dream, can't I?
I don't know how many people are favorable towards EU/PC concepts, but I have to believe that crowd-funding the investigation we're discussing is not impossible. The IEEE-3 Reboot Project, which unsuccessfully attempted to capture the International Sun-Earth Explorer and place it in Earth orbit, raised $125,000. Ben Longmier's CubeSat Ambipolar Thruster (CAT) project on Kickstarter raised almost $100,000. But I don't see that happening until there is a critical mass of EU/PC enthusiasts, hence my assertion above about aggressively (there's that word again) pushing for EU/PC awareness.

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Brigit
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Re: Thunderbolts Fleet of Miniature Spacecraft

Unread post by Brigit » Wed Mar 03, 2021 6:48 am

by jackokie » Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:06 pm

"I don't know how many people are favorable towards EU/PC concepts, but I have to believe that crowd-funding the investigation we're discussing is not impossible. The IEEE-3 Reboot Project, which unsuccessfully attempted to capture the International Sun-Earth Explorer and place it in Earth orbit, raised $125,000. Ben Longmier's CubeSat Ambipolar Thruster (CAT) project on Kickstarter raised almost $100,000. But I don't see that happening until there is a critical mass of EU/PC enthusiasts, hence my assertion above about aggressively (there's that word again) pushing for EU/PC awareness."

Thank you for the update on Ad Astra, and that is interesting about Ben Longmier's Kickstarter account! It must have given him just the pick-me-up he needed to co-found Swarm. In a world dominated by giants, it is nice to see his company get started. CubeSat Ambipolar Thruster (CAT) is such a wonderful name.

And I'd like to think that crowd-funding further investigation is not impossible. In my post, in order to get the ball rolling, I did sneakily volunteer SAFIRE to take on the task of creating household power generators (since nat'l energy grids are being broken by nutty policy); that way, just a small fraction of the R&D revenue would go to other projects like launching space probes. It'll just go, if we don't run out of time.

It is true that more people need to hear about Plasma Cosmology, and about Electric Universe. It seems that Plasma U has its own challenges reaching the general public.

I am sure they would like to have a Plasma Today in every check-out lane.
Last edited by Brigit on Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
“Oh for shame, how these mortals put the blame upon us gods, for they say evils come from us, when it is they rather who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given…”
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Brigit
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Re: Thunderbolts Fleet of Miniature Spacecraft

Unread post by Brigit » Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:17 am

by jackokie » Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:06 pm

"I don't know how to get there, but when it's a major story, like Deep Impact, I would love to see a corresponding press release from EU/PC that explains the phenomena in EU/PC terms (as Shannon has done at Plasma.Pics)....The proposed press releases should just lay out the EU/PC explanation, without any reference to the standard model and it's benighted rescue squad. Sure the press releases are bound to be ignored at first, but I believe sooner or later someone will engage their brain and begin to seriously check out the EU model. "


Between Space News and POTD, there has been very good coverage of current events. We'll see what the plan is next. I certainly have followed Stephen Smith to his new site, electric-forces.

I am one of those people who appreciates channels and publishers who get entirely away from the current news cycle to talk about something else. (:
“Oh for shame, how these mortals put the blame upon us gods, for they say evils come from us, when it is they rather who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given…”
~Homer

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Brigit
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Re: Thunderbolts Fleet of Miniature Spacecraft

Unread post by Brigit » Wed Mar 03, 2021 8:19 am

Jackokie says, "No matter the justifications, the current way EU is presented is limiting the audience. I believe it would foster better communication of both by separating the hard science from the speculative anthropological and archeological evidence."

That is probably not an uncommon sentiment.

Although I think that evidence of electrical scarring of the moons and planets is one of the most consequential aspects of the Electric Universe, for the sciences.

Also, it would interest most people to know that planets and stars can be formed rapidly in an electric z-pinch. Hopefully the message gets through.
“Oh for shame, how these mortals put the blame upon us gods, for they say evils come from us, when it is they rather who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given…”
~Homer

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Re: Thunderbolts Fleet of Miniature Spacecraft

Unread post by Rick » Wed Mar 03, 2021 7:29 pm

Interested people could and should take the time to read the literature available on the TB web site, view the videos and read Dwardu Cardona's books.

It is obvious that many of the forum inhabitants have done little of any of that.

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Re: Thunderbolts Fleet of Miniature Spacecraft

Unread post by jackokie » Fri Mar 05, 2021 8:01 pm

Just today BeAChooser posted on the latest folly from the consensus crowd:

"Eerie Stars of 'Dark Matter' May Be Behind Largest Gravitational Wave Detection Yet".

Tomorrow and next week will no doubt bring more fantastical "scientific" discoveries. This silliness would be humorous if it weren't so serious. They get away with this because there is no pushback - no alternate viewpoint visible to the audience of these pronouncements. There are huge sums of money tied up in these boondoggles, money that could instead foster a better understanding of the universe as it really is, but there is no constituency for those inquiries large enough to make a difference.

This site is an excellent resource, but it is a boutique operation compared to those of the conventional wisdom. Rick is correct that TB has much to offer "interested people", but how many people reading the "Eerie Stars" press release will find their way to this site? Every time one of these announcements was mentioned on the blogs I frequent, I used to post a comment giving the relevant EU/PC evidence, but it was rare that another commenter would reinforce the EU/PC info. Too often it was "refuted" with misinformation such as promoted by Professor Dave. I haven't given up posting counterpoint comments, but it sure has seemed futile at times. The links below are two I have used to convey EU info. It is telling that in 2021, despite every single one of the comets we've actually visited looking like a rocky asteroid, comets are still generally referred to as "icy" or a "dirty snowball". And I don't see how anyone could find the evidence for plasma arc scarring other than compelling.

Electric Comets:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDa0Ax4TZlU

Electric Craters
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGKhrETwhl0

It's unclear to me what the folks at electric-forces plan in promoting the EU. Certainly I don't begrudge their desire to monitize all the effort they've put in exploring and explaining the EU. Other than Wal Thornhill's 2007 paper in IEEE Transactions I'm not aware of any EU specific papers published in the 21st Century. We could have that fleet of miniature spacecraft exploring the heliosphere with just a fraction of the money spent on LIGO. The resistance of the consensus crowd to electricity in space is truly stunning. I'm almost persuaded that those "unidentified aerial phenomena" seen by the Navy are populated by space aliens beaming mind rays to our astrophysicists ala Obi-Wan Kenobi: "These are not phenomena you are seeking". I guess curiosity is no longer a positive attribute in "science".

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Re: Thunderbolts Fleet of Miniature Spacecraft

Unread post by paladin17 » Sat Mar 06, 2021 2:55 pm

Brigit wrote:
Mon Mar 01, 2021 7:56 pm
Perhaps to start, we will be begin with the launching of a fleet of microspacecraft for the Electric Universe team to explore the polar regions of the sun and of the earth.
There is one question: what such spacecraft will be able to do that the already existing ones cannot? I can't think of anything.
The are hundreds of satellites in polar (or sun-synchronous) orbit around the Earth, many equipped with scientific instrumentation - such as magnetometers etc. Plus there is a whole bunch of purely scientific missions.

With regards to the Sun I can agree: there was only Ulysses probe, so having another such project would be great. But it's a whole different level of complexity, as in order to go on a nearly-polar orbit around the Sun one would have to do Jupiter gravity assist. I.e. we're talking about decades long interplanetary mission and the appropriately capable launch vehicle, which would cost around $100 million at least (Atlas V).
Maybe if the probe would be really small, then Falcon 9 would be enough, but it's still ~ $30 million. I'm not even talking about the costs of engineering and construction and the additional decade+ it would take.

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Re: Thunderbolts Fleet of Miniature Spacecraft

Unread post by Brigit » Sat Mar 20, 2021 3:26 am

by paladin17 » Sat Mar 06, 2021 7:55 am

"There is one question: what such spacecraft will be able to do that the already existing ones cannot? I can't think of anything.
The are hundreds of satellites in polar (or sun-synchronous) orbit around the Earth, many equipped with scientific instrumentation - such as magnetometers etc. Plus there is a whole bunch of purely scientific missions."


The mission for this independent microfleet would be to explore earth's connection to the Sun.

The argument that this would be a redundancy with say, THEMIS, is a fair objection but I do not see a problem with independent scientists replicating the work of global science unions, etc.

The conclusion that has been reached is that the earth is connected to the Sun through magnetic portals which take place tens of thousands of miles above the earth's surface, and that these occur about every 8 minutes. Some of this theory may have more of a basis in modeling of magnetic reconnection than in reality. Whether that is the case or not, I have never seen any reason for the 8 minute cycles in any electric sun model. Why wouldn't the electrical connection between the Sun and earth be stable?

Naturally I would like to see what could be observed of sunward electrons from the planets towards the Sun, since these magnetic portal connections are found between the Sun and the other planets.

But I don't want to start any allergic reactions to this thread.

We are also using microspacecraft, at an estimated cost of one million per CubeSat Ambipolar Thruster, with a simple payload to be determined. Who knows, maybe they'll give us a 50% discount.
“Oh for shame, how these mortals put the blame upon us gods, for they say evils come from us, when it is they rather who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given…”
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Re: Thunderbolts Fleet of Miniature Spacecraft

Unread post by jackokie » Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:07 pm

Over the past weeks I have been looking at the factors involved in launching Brigit’s “Thunderbolt’s Fleet of Miniature Spacecraft”. After much thought and research, I believe it can actually be done. The following posts are an overview of what I see those factors to be, plus my guesses on the best way to proceed.

It is not my intention to be disruptive on this forum, but I will acknowledge having a “bee in my bonnet”, or perhaps more apt, a “burr under my saddle”. Just the other day I ran across the blog of a purported astrophysicist whose 2015 post “debunking” Electric Universe theory alleged that EU denied the existence of neutrinos. It only took me a couple of minutes to find a post from Wal Thornhill from 2001 discussing the problems with confirming solar neutrino conversion. If this sloppiness on the part of the blogger were exceptional then, so what. But as others have shown on this forum, it is virtually universal. Related: While searching I ran across notes for a professor’s class where he lists his expectations for his students, including being able to show how SON confirmed solar neutrino conversion. Since SON’s results, after much computation (and cherry picking?) of the neutrinos observed at Earth, aligned reasonably well with theory they were “confirmed”, no matter we have no measurement of the neutrinos leaving the sun. My disgust with this kind of mendacity is only peripherally related to EU theory; it’s because it is WRONG! Have we come so far from the dark ages only to fritter away the hard-won commitment to open inquiry and the scientific method? Much is made of Galileo’s troubles with the Church, but I direct your attention to Giordano Bruno, burnt at the stake for among other heresies asserting the belief that “Earth is a star (an archaic term for any heavenly body), and the stars include innumerable worlds”. So I can’t see how one can be committed to real science and open inquiry and not feel compelled to push back at the current perversions of science. Hence any pugnacious overtones you might detect in my comments. ;) I see this EU fleet as big-time push back.

I’ll step down from my soap box to address our circuitsats in my next post.

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Re: Thunderbolts Fleet of Miniature Spacecraft

Unread post by jackokie » Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:10 pm

First, the goal. Brigit’s reply to paladin17 on March 6th said “The mission for this independent microfleet would be to explore earth's connection to the Sun.” I had rather imagined that in order to document the solar circuit, one would have to have data from various points in a (perhaps flattened) sphere englobing the solar system. I see this being realized in a series of steps, beginning with a proof-of-concept mission of ten or so probes to confirm our understanding of where to look, and to generate enough interest that the next step is funded. The intent for this first effort is to be reasonably above and below the plane of the ecliptic. I have no clue as to whether the folks at electric-forces would want to participate or even acknowledge the project.

Second, the means. SpaceX (sorry, Brigit) and NASA’s MarCO cubesats that accompanied the Perseverance lander to Mars are leading the way to low-cost space exploration. There is a now a vibrant ecosystem for cubesats and nanosats, including guidance from NASA on planning missions and constructing the ‘sats. There is also cubesatshop.com and other portals, which broker various components. I see this project as an opportunity to engage people in considering EU/Plasma Cosmology. To be able to afford these spacecraft we’re going to have to make rather than buy almost all of the necessary components, and by “make” I mean farm out construction to whatever high school or university labs and workshops we can enlist. High schools in particular are looking for projects for their STEM students – if they can build an airplane they should be able to build something for us.

Rather than trying for a gold-plated super reliable spacecraft for this initial step, I have taken a page from the SpaceX Starship iterations – close enough is good enough, and success is if five out of ten probes actually accomplish their mission and return useful data. The components I’ve identified for our craft are

Power
Solar cell arrays seem the only reasonable choice. Cubesatshop.com has a number of interesting designs.

Attitude
Reaction wheels avoid the overhead of the reaction mass thrusters need for pointing.

Orbit Location
The “lost in space” requirement can be met with a star tracker and a sun sensor.

Communication
It is unlikely that communication with the Deep Space Network can be arranged for these proof-of-concept probes, so the UHF band commonly utilized for cubesat communication is assumed. This is feasible if the probes are launched so their orbits arc back to rendezvous with the Earth at the end of their journey, with the probes storing the data collected until arriving back at Earth.

Propulsion
Options for the probes to attain the velocity required to complete the mission within the probes’ estimated lifetime are:
1. On-board thruster and propellant.
2. Mini-booster released from launch vehicle deploys probes after boost.
3. Launch vehicle provides necessary delta-V.
4. Some combination of options 1, 2, and 3.

Option 2 is almost certainly out given the associated hazards. Option 1 could provide part of the required delta-V, but working within the cubesat constraints there is not enough room for the propellant needed to provide all of the required delta-V. So option 3 seems to be the only viable option for the initial delta-V, with the on-board thrusters altering the trajectories as required to reach the desired orbits.

I have not attempted to define the data to be collected or the means thereof. I have left it to others more knowledgeable than I for those specifications. Except that it must be cheap! :)

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Re: Thunderbolts Fleet of Miniature Spacecraft

Unread post by jackokie » Sat Apr 03, 2021 4:15 pm

Mission notes
Starting out I set an ambitious (insane?) goal of $3500 per probe, independent of other costs, thus allowing ten proof-of -concept circuitsats for an investment of $35,000. The cheapest off-the shelf sun sensor I’ve found costs around $2600, while star trackers are much more expensive, so to get anywhere close to that target will require coming down heavily on the make side of the make or buy equation. It appears that fabricating most or all of the necessary components is feasible, given people with the necessary skills working in appropriately equipped labs / shops.

Thrusters
The thrusters seem to be the biggest challenge.
• Ben Longmier was involved in two projects to create Cubesat Ambipolar Thrusters (CAT), one at the University of Michigan using Xenon, and the other a Kickstarter project in partnership with the University of Michigan to develop a CAT using water as a propellant. These efforts have led to two commercial products, the Xenon thruster evolving to Phase Four’s Maxwell thruster, and the water propellant thruster evolving to Tethers Unlimited’s Hydros thruster.
• NASA’s Perseverance project included two cubesats (MarCO) using thruster specifically developed for JPL by VAACO. VAACO has a number of thrusters specifically targeted for cubesats.
• Professors Alina Alexeenko and Steven Collicott at Purdue University have developed an innovative Film Evaporation MEMS Tunable Array (FEMTA) Micropropulsion System. The first demonstration is scheduled for launch some time in the future on a Blue Origin New Shepherd vehicle.

If legal issues don’t interfere, the initial Xenon thruster prototype developed at UM might serve as a starting point for development of our probe’s thruster.

Star tracker
The star tracker looks to be an easier project than the thruster. IEEE Express has a link to a paper from the University of Chile entitled “SOST: An Ultra-Low-Cost Star Tracker Concept Based on a Raspberry Pi and Open-Source Astronomy Software” that seems promising.

Technology notes
• Robert Zubrin’s Dipole Drive is an interesting idea for a propellantless thruster, but it is only a concept for now.
• I don’t know the details, but the technology demonstrator of Ben Longmier’s water propellant Kickstarter thruster was apparently launched without FCC approval under the auspices of Swarm, his new company, resulting in a $900K fine.

I am hoping for and welcome your feedback.

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Brigit
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Re: Thunderbolts Fleet of Miniature Spacecraft

Unread post by Brigit » Sun May 02, 2021 2:50 am

by jackokie » Sat Apr 03, 2021 9:15 am

"Mission notes
Starting out I set an ambitious (insane?) goal of $3500 per probe, independent of other costs, thus allowing ten proof-of -concept circuitsats for an investment of $35,000."


There you are. I think we can work with this figure in this workshop for now. Who knows, with a little push we could set it off, we could send it rocketing skyward.

I can see that we already have two teams forming: Team Solar and Team Plutonium. For my part I would make a case for borrowing as many pages from the Voyager probes mission as possible, since they have given so many years of service. Plutonium dioxide is the clear choice to generate the power needed for the instruments and save the limited weight capacity of the cubesat for the science payload and the propellant.

jackokie says:
Star tracker
The star tracker looks to be an easier project than the thruster. IEEE Express has a link to a paper from the University of Chile entitled “SOST: An Ultra-Low-Cost Star Tracker Concept Based on a Raspberry Pi and Open-Source Astronomy Software” that seems promising.


Voyager I and II were also equipped with gyroscopes. What have you got against those? (; On the other hand I have nothing against Raspberry Pi and I would like nothing more than to bring on some of the amateur brilliance of people who build things with Raspberry Pi and Open Source. I think I know someone. Just think how delicious it would be to pull it off!

Forgive me for not getting back sooner jackokie! In April I had so much catching up to do.
“Oh for shame, how these mortals put the blame upon us gods, for they say evils come from us, when it is they rather who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given…”
~Homer

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Re: Thunderbolts Fleet of Miniature Spacecraft

Unread post by jackokie » Sun May 02, 2021 7:07 pm

Brigit:

It's great to hear from you! No problem on the delay - I've had months like that too. It gave me some time to review the concept.

My goal was to come up with something that was not only as cheap as possible, but also that could be launched as soon as possible, hence off the shelf components where feasible. As a software engineer I know iterative, agile development works - we don't need to mimic the SLS. I see the first iteration confirming
1. That we can do it.
2. That our choice of instruments was correct.
3. That our choice of areas to measure provided meaningful data.
4. That we learned enough to commit to a more powerful and expensive circuitsat design that allows us to expand and refine the scope of our survey.

Re power: I agree plutonium dioxide is a superior approach. What are the obstacles that we must overcome in order to use it? Whatever they are, I imagine they would have a significant impact on our timeline to launch. Given the constraint that these initial circuitsats must rendezvous with Earth after data collection in order to transmit their results to us, I felt a maximum lifetime of three years was about all we could hope for.

I think solar power works for our initial probes because we can get off the ground quickly. If we can afford twenty circuitsat v.2s using solar power for every v.2 using nuclear power, my vote has to go for solar. As they say, quality trumps quantity, but quantity has a quality all its own. It seems to me that our top goal must be coverage - like temperatures in our atmosphere, we can extrapolate (i.e., make guesses) between two widely separated points, but experience has shown that there can be wide fluctuations between nearby locations. The more measurements from different locations the better our picture of the solar circuit will be. Would our understanding of the heliopause be better if we had twenty voyager 1s and 2s, particularly if some were on the opposite side of the sun, or well above and below the ecliptic? I have to think so.

Re star tracker: There are two problems to solve - orientation and location. I agree gyroscopes handle orientation well. I don't see how we determine the three dimensional coordinates needed for each measurement without solving the "lost in space" problem, which as far as I have been able to determine requires a star tracker and probably a sun sensor.

At any rate, these are just my initial impressions. I guess you could say we're in the whiteboarding phase, and I'd a whole lot prefer we end up with good ideas whether any of them are mine or not.

Again, it was a kick to hear from you. If you haven't noticed the info about Ben Longmier's projects coming to fruition, check it out.

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Brigit
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Re: Thunderbolts Fleet of Miniature Spacecraft

Unread post by Brigit » Tue May 11, 2021 5:16 pm

jackokie says, "I think solar power works for our initial probes because we can get off the ground quickly. If we can afford twenty circuitsat v.2s using solar power for every v.2 using nuclear power, my vote has to go for solar. As they say, quality trumps quantity, but quantity has a quality all its own."


For the cheaper instruments and the quicker launch of course, you are right, "quantity has a quality all its own". I am having trouble adjusting to the cheap, proof-of-concept space probes but I will catch on. In particular, I don't think my heart could take re-entry of the CATs into earth's atmosphere with all that data. You are trying to kill me! (: I will work on the solar array instead.

For the mission to the sun's polar regions, the aim would be longevity. There would be no prototype. So I thought perhaps we could use lasers to separate the U isotopes, and then someone could use He to load it for us!
ref: https://www.britannica.com/technology/n ... processing
(;

At least keep an open mind because the poles of the sun may be where all the action is, and observations for at least one solar cycle would be divine.
“Oh for shame, how these mortals put the blame upon us gods, for they say evils come from us, when it is they rather who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given…”
~Homer

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