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Advanced Propulsion Study Background


This study
was tasked with the purpose of conducting a thorough literature and program
search to carry out and document a technical assessment of the latest concepts
in science and engineering that show promise of leading to a major advance in
Earth-to-orbit (ETO) propulsion.


The study
also reviewed and evaluated a select number of credible far-term breakthrough
propulsion physics concepts pertaining to R&D work done on or related to
gravity/inertia modification, spacetime metric modification, and the extraction
of energy from the space vacuum environment. The results of the study are
presented and summarized in this report. A combined bibliography of advanced
propulsion references was assembled and is presented. The report includes an
overview of the recent history and present state-of-the-art of ETO launch
vehicle and propulsion concepts.


Also
included is an outline and summary of the criteria and operative guidelines
that the author used to examine, select and recommend advanced propulsion
concepts. The author identified and selected five promising advanced propulsion
concepts, and provides a detailed technical evaluation of their breakthrough
potential for ETO propulsion.


The Advanced
Propulsion Study is divided into two phases. Phase I is a review and
documentation of the latest concepts in science and engineering that show
promise of leading to a major advance in propulsion, especially
Earth-to-Orbit (ETO) propulsion. This phase also included a study of all the concepts
pertaining to R&D work done on or related to gravity/inertia modification,
spacetime metric modification (i.e., traversable wormholes, space warps,
polarizable vacuum representation of general relativity, etc.), and the
extraction of energy from the space vacuum environment. At the completion
of this phase the author recommended five promising advanced propulsion
concepts for further evaluation.


The author
then presented an oral review and technical summary of the recommended
advanced propulsion concepts at the AFRL Propulsion Directorate at Edwards
AFB, CA on January 5, 2004. Phase II involved a detailed evaluation of the
concepts identified and selected in Phase I, which were deemed by the
author to have the greatest breakthrough potential for ETO propulsion. Phase II
collated all of the results and presents them in this final report.


The report
contains four chapters. Chapter 1 is an overview of the present
state-of-the-art of ETO launch vehicle and propulsion concepts. The
chapter also outlines and summarizes the criteria and operative guidelines
that were used by the author to examine, select and recommend advanced
propulsion concepts. Chapter 2 is a review and summary of a substantial
number of advanced propulsion concepts the author evaluated for the study.
Chapter 3 presents the author’s five recommended advanced propulsion
concepts, which includes a detailed technical evaluation of their breakthrough
potential for ETO propulsion. Chapter 4 is a review and summary of a
select number of far-term advanced propulsion concepts. The far-term
propulsion concepts are comprised of breakthrough propulsion physics
concepts that are very credible and rigorous. The report concludes with a
combined list of references.


Download the Study



 Advanced
Propulsion Study, February 2004
[103 Pages, 4.3MB]

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