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Characteristics of Space Escalator Carousels vs Space Elevators

Characteristics of Space Escalator Carousels vs Space Elevators

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Published by Jim Cline
Brief 2005 technical paper Characteristics of Space Carousels vs Space Elevators
Brief 2005 technical paper Characteristics of Space Carousels vs Space Elevators

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Published by: Jim Cline on Apr 09, 2009
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Characteristics of Space Escalator Carousels vs. SpaceElevators
J. E. D. Cline
 P O Box 9243, Glendale, CA 91226-0243, USA jedcline@kestsgeo.-com http://www.kestsgeo.com
The common goal of providing efficient and economical meansfor electrically powered movement of high volumes of payload between theEarth’s surface and high earth orbit, in the relatively near future, would beachieved quite differently by the space escalator carousel as compared to theanchored tether space elevator. The near future achievement of that commongoal could be of critical importance to the ongoing progress of civilization,thus both sets of technologies need to be developed. Both would utilize heightreference structures all the way from the ground to high orbital altitudes, so asto overcome the gross inefficiencies of rocket movement of payload. The passive structural forms of anchored tether space elevators utilize extremelyhigh strength to mass tether material, and support is counterweightcentrifugally derived from the rotation of the planet; high power tracking laser  beams deliver power to the elevator vehicles motors. In contrast, the dynamicstructures of space escalator carousels would instead utilize the outwardcentrifugal force of high velocity mass endlessly circulating within an earth-encircling orbital transfer trajectory shaped structure to support the weight of that structure with its loads. This structure provides the hard vacuum for thecirculating mass within the atmosphere, laterally coupled maglev trackedcontra-rotating mass streams balance precession, electrodynamic differential braking provides servopositioning for wind type unbalanced loads, and space-craft are directly lifted electrodynamically by tapping into the escalator carousel structures internal upward bound armature mass stream’s kineticenergy.
1. Background
Adequately energy-efficient high volume continuous access to space could enable continuing the present rate expansion of civilization, without further severely damaging the world ecosystemupon which our life depends. Two such access mechanisms are in sight: the anchored tether space escalator, and the carousel space escalator. Both are concepts for structures connecting theearth surface with space including GEO, where delivered materials need no significant ad-ditional energy input to place them there, thus a likely beachhead for expansion of civilization
into space on a very large scale. In contrast to the tether which requires extreme tensile strengthto mass ratio, the carousel escalator structure would utilize kinetic energy stored within itself to provide most of the structural strength needed to extend from the Earth surface up to GEO.The idea of building a structure so high as to reach space goes way back in time, evento the dawn of civilization, like the infamous Tower of Babel E-Temen-an-ki on the plain of Shinar intended to enable man to climb into Heaven; the children’s tale about a beanstalk to thesky, where treasure was; Artsutanov’s 1960 anchored tether Earth space elevator (reinvented bymany other individuals later including this author in 1969); Cline’s 1972 anchored lunar tether space elevator extending through L-1 toward the Earth, using tapered cross-section, regenerativeelectromagnetic transportation and integrated with structural foam lifting body manufacturing atL-1, which text can be found online as 1990 GEnie file “ORIGINAL MOONCABLE”; in the1980’s Moravec described several kinds of non-anchored Earth orbiting tether “Skyhook” struc-tures; a “Two Body Orbiting Skyhook” is described in the 1989 “LONGTRANS 2”; and in 2002 published writings by Edwards, based upon the impending availability and high power trackinglasers..Parallel transportation structure concept efforts involving strengthening and shaping byenergy of movement stored within the structures were ongoing. Examples of such structureswhich are positioned, shaped and strengthened by internal energy include the inflated tires onone’s automobile, the Hula Hoop, the cowboy’s rope lasso whirling loop, and pressurized fueltanks in conventional launch vehicles. In the 1980’s people were thinking of utilizing internallystored energy to build assists to space access, such as Lofstrom’s 1982 Launch Loop belt to liftrockets to above the atmosphere for launch from there; Hyde’s 1984 Starbridge vertical tower supported by a fountain of electromagnetically coupled energy within itself; and Smith’s iron belt whirling between Texas and GEO. In 1988 Cline uploaded the basics of what is now calledthe carousel space escalator to a GE network in a file called “ENERGY/TRANSPORT SYS-TEM”, emplacement techniques for emplacement of seed structures in “Microelevator Vers. 1”;and by 1989 uploaded files such as “HWY TO EARTH GEO RING” describing expansion of that concept to even include expansion of civilization into space, infilling GEO with 1.5 mil-lion Stanford Torus technology space habitats, room for 15 billion people to live there in comfortwith supporting agriculture and light industry included (a basic habitat design originally en-visioned in 1976 by NASA for construction out of lunar materials launched to L-5); however, thekinetic energy supported transportation structure concept did not get formal publication until inASCEs 2000 space conference proceedings, then expanded in ASCE’s 2002 and 2004 proceedings. Yet it remains unsupported because it has little military application and is very vul-nerable to attack; its equatorial plane structure competes for space with the high velocity satel-lites now utilizing that part of space; has no quick profit applications by corporations at presenttime; and it is far from the thoughts of everyday world of people who might be alarmed at thechanges it could make in their lives, even for the better, if built.The efforts to build transportation structures between ground and space, via anchoredtether elevator and energy strengthened structures, have been parallel efforts to gain adequate ac-cess to space before resources become sufficiently limited to prevent further space access eco-nomically. Conventional launch vehicle access to high earth orbit is extraordinarily extra-vagantly wasteful of energy, a mere 15.7 KWh/Kg portion is all that is actually given to payload by putting it into GEO from the ground at the equator. This lack of transportation efficiencyhas blocked construction of SSPS in GEO since more energy would be put into the solar power  plant’s construction materials’ mass lift to GEO than could be expected to get out of it in solar electric power during its service lifetime. Space elevator or space escalator carousel technologycould change all that.
2. Overall comparisons between space escalator carousel vs elevator
Both the Space Elevator and the Space Escalator Carousel have the potential to bypass the ex-traordinary energy inefficiency of rocketry space access from the ground, in a time when en-ergy is becoming very expensive, perhaps to crippling levels. Electrically lifting spacecraft's payloads to high earth orbit could finally enable the 1960's concept of SSPS to be built there inGEO, and similarly an incredible array of other things of great usefulness to civilization would become possible. Yet, the way the elevator and escalator would do it is very different; and thosedifferences control what can be effectively done with each. Their overall shape is very different,their means of structural support and required materials strength is very different, their means of lifting payload between ground and space is very different, their vehicular traffic flow potentialis different, their control complexity and wind compensation is different. The elevator's shape islinear, to out beyond GEO for counterweight balance, GEO connection is above ground terminalsite; whereas the escalator's shape is elliptical, encircling the planet, its GEO connection is abovethe opposite part of planet relative to ground terminal point. Their means to support their hugestructure's weight is totally different, in that the space elevator utilizes the centrifugal force oncounterweight mass out beyond GEO to exert upward pull to balance the weight of anchoredtether below GEO, thus extreme tensile strength to mass ratio tether material is needed; whereasthe space escalator's weight is centrifugally supported by stored kinetic energy within the planet-encircling structure, thus requires only conventional strength materials. The escalator's shape be-ing approximately that of an orbital transfer trajectory between earth equatorial surface, loop-ing around the planet elliptically to reach GEO above the opposite side of the earth; the arma-ture mass streams travel on inductive maglev tracks sufficiently faster than orbital velocity as tocreate outward centrifugal force somewhat greater than that needed to counterbalance the weightof the stationary part of the structure with its loads. Laterally-coupled tracks carry sets of counter-rotating armature mass streams, both to provide upward-bound kinetic energy on bothsides of the planet, and to balance gyroscopic precession forces. It's basic conceptual complexityis similar to the common CD drive in one's computer, with its combination of rotary and linear synchronous electric motor functions. Perhaps most significantly, they are very different in theway they lift payload from ground to space; the elevator's vehicles need carry an energy sourceto climb up and down tether, or need to receive tracking laser beam energy from ground or GEOlaser sites; upper tether end interference with tracking lasers limits number of vehicles at anygiven time, as well as counterbalance overload limit; whereas in the escalator carousel, vehiclesinductively tap into momentum of high velocity mass stream energy continuously flowing withinstructure all the way between ground and GEO to lift spacecraft with their payloads; servo loopsinclude specific increase in input energy, at the ground site accelerator, needed to lift eachvehicle added, thus hundreds of vehicles can be lifted at any given time. Much of the returningvehicle’s energy is reclaimed by the carousel.The carousel space escalator to GEO is a dynamic transportation structure, in that thecontinuous flow of kinetic energy within the structure is integral to the structure as the materialswith which it is made. Like the air pressurizing one’s car’s tires, or the whirl of a lasso; Thecontinuous stored energy is a requirement of structural formation. Perhaps we are accustomed toonly thoughts of movement as a means of something going from one place to another. Havingmovement stored within a structure may be a sufficiently unusual, thought, as to invite a bit of examination, if not yet comfortable with it.
3. Common Purposes
Much as the railroads brought forth the incorporation of mid-continental United States intocivilization, so also the construction of electrically powered efficient continuous high capacitytransportation between the earth surface and high earth orbit could enable large scale expansionof civilization to there, and then on to the solar system’s vast resources from there. Perhaps mostobvious is to finally be able to adequately efficiently lift the construction materials to GEO for 

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