Magnetic Heat Shield To Protect Spacecraft

A new superconducting magnetic heat shield has been developed by European researchers to protect spacecraft from the heat of reentry. EADS Astrium, with support from German aerospace centre DLR and the European Space Agency, created the device.


(Aqualta)

The magnetic heat shield will be launched from a submarine on a suborbital trajectory to land in the Russian Kamchatka region.

As the air heats up around the test vehicle, the shaped magnetic field from the superconducting coil should deflect hot atmospheric gases away from the vehicle's surface. In theory, this should either eliminate the need for ablative materials or cut down on their use, which could save weight on the total vehicle and thereby increase payload.

This is an ongoing area for spaceflight research. The US Centennial of Flight Commission states "Although various people, including Wernher von Braun and experts at Douglas Aircraft Company's Project RAND, had studied spaceflight during the 1940s, nobody began thinking about how a vehicle would actually return from space until the early 1950s."

Actually, Robert Goddard did think about it. He wrote in 1920 "... if the outer surface of the apparatus were to consist of layers of a very infusible hard substance with layers of a poor heat conductor between, the surface would not be eroded to any considerable extent..."

E.E. 'Doc' Smith wrote in detail about an ablative shield in his 1934 novel Triplanetary.

Another sfnal take on this story is to refer to the idea of a "shield" or "deflector shield" that a spacecraft could project to defend itself from harm. See the story Deflector Shields For Spacecraft? for more discussion of this topic.

Via Flight Global with thanks to Winchell Chung.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/25/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Space-Based Solar Power Roundup
Who first thought about this concept?

'Aerogel' Sheets For Martian Gardens
'Sealed to the ground along all the sides, Honey, he growled...' - Raymond Z. Gallun, 1951.

Michelin Self-Sealing Tires On Ford's Explorer
'...a seal of compressed plastifoam to save the air.' - Jack Williamson, 1941.

Mining Of Golden Asteroid Foretold In 1898 Science Fiction
'This must be a golden planet—this little asteroid.' - Garrett P. Serviss, 1898.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

China Deploys Robot Traffic Police
'The robot came up smooth and fast as a rocket...'

Better Than Dune Chromoplastic? This Guy Might Have Done It
'But when Old Father Sun departs, the chromoplastic reverts to transparency in the dark.'

Gather, An AI Warehouse Inventory Drone Startup
'It extended three of its tiny arms sideways to lock onto the registration pins...'

China's Artificial Intelligence-Enhanced Education
'The grey gas not only cut off his vision, but also his other senses...'

Orbital Manufacturer 'Made in Space' Gets $73 Million NASA Contract
'Mass-produced in the orbiting factories...'

Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
'I enjoy watching this way, but - He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Uber Eats Pairs Cars With Drones
Fresh grub? Let's hope they aren't delivering grubs.

Space-Based Solar Power Roundup
SF writers popularized and elaborated on this idea a generation before the first patents were filed.

Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning
'The autopilot would need data before it could begin a translation...'

'Aerogel' Sheets For Martian Gardens
'Sealed to the ground along all the sides, Honey, he growled...'

France's 'Red Team' Of Science Fiction Authors
'They're the only experts we have.'

Dim The Sun With Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment
'Those twin volcanoes; d'ye see them, Mr. Renner?'

Mashambas Skyscraper Farm Design Wins
'...a towering eighty-story structure like the office In-and Out baskets stacked up to the sky.'

Self-Driving Tractors From China Plan Ahead
'Machines that seemingly with full consciousness walked out into the fields to do their daily work.'

Jet-Powered Hoverboard Works!
L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace!

Nobe 3-Wheel Electric Vehicle Parking Like I, Robot
Spidercar, Spidercar, does whatever a spidercar does.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.