43Fw: How to make N2O from N2, O2?
- Sep 27, 2009Hum, ideas?
----- Original Message -----
From: "mechdan" <mechdan@...>
Sent: Saturday, September 26, 2009 2:58 PM
Subject: [sfconsim-l] How to make N2O from N2, O2?
> I've been thinking about the potential usefulness of "aeroscoop"
> satellites which scoop up nitrogen and oxygen from the upper
> atmosphere and use an electric thruster to counteract drag.
> LOX is obviously a useful resource, and liquid nitrogen could
> be useful for aeroramjet fuel (if aeroramjet technology is
> successfully developed, of course).
> What about nitrous oxide? Is there a good way to convert
> nitrogen and oxygen into nitrous oxide without too much
> If so, then N2O could be useful both as an oxidizer for biprop rockets
> (along with fuel from Earth) and as a sustainable monoprop fuel.
> I'm also pondering the design of the aeroscoop satellite itself. In the
> past, I've suggested a solar powered design which uses an elliptical orbit
> for brief dips into the upper atmosphere. However, I wonder if it might
> not be better to use a near circular orbit.
> See, a lot of the losses involved in an electric rocket is the energy
> required to ionize the propellant. I expect it will be made even worse
> than usual for this application, since you don't have the choice of an
> optimized propellant--you'll be using 80/20 nitrogen/oxygen propellant,
> rather than something optimized for easy ionization.
> As such, I'm thinking to avoid ionizing the propellant by using reaction
> mass that's already ionized--namely, the intake gas. The ramscoop
> compression heats the intake gas into hot plasma. There's not going to be
> a more efficient time to run this reaction mass through your electric
> thruster. Since solar power provides a constant trickle of energy, you're
> going to want a constant duty cycle...sort of.
> Of course, you don't actually get 24/7 power but rather 12/7 power. So
> you could have a near circular orbit which spends the night at a higher
> lower drag altitude.
> Does that make sense?
> Isaac Kuo
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