Active Electrostatic Radiation Shielding For Space Craft

NASA is actively soliciting proposals for developing and validating active electrostatic radiation shielding to be used for protecting astronauts and space habitats in long duration human space missions.

The idea of using an electrostatic radiation shield has been around since at least the 1950's; an artist's conception of an electrostatic shield created from inflatable, conductive spheres about 5 meters across for a lunar base is shown below.


(Artistís concept of an electrostatic radiation shield
Image courtesy ASRC Aerospace. )

Rejecting passive shielding as too costly due to weight, NASA is looking carefully at active shielding this time.

Primary candidates for active shielding include but are not limited to: confined and unconfined magnetic fields requiring super-conducting magnets, plasma shields, and electrostatic shields. Recently, a journal publication (Adv. Space Res. 42 (2008) 1043) made a critical analysis and demonstrated why previous approaches of using electrostatic and magnetic radiation shielding were not feasible. Further it clearly established the feasibility proof-of-concept of electrostatic active shielding using the novel approach of quadruple configuration. The biggest advantage of active electrostatic radiation shielding is that by preventing ions from hitting the spacecraft, the unknown harmful biological effects of continuous long duration exposure to space radiation is significantly reduced (~ 70 %) for galactic cosmic rays (GCR) and for solar particle events (SPE), of great concern for radiation exposure, it is practically eliminated. It is believed that the best strategy for radiation protection and shielding for long duration human missions is to use electrostatic active radiation shielding while, in concert, taking the full advantage of the state-of-the-art evolutionary passive (material) shielding technologies for the much reduced and weaken radiation that may escape and hit the spacecraft.

SF fans have been treated to a variety of ideas relating to both active and passive shields on space craft. See the shield from Doc Smith's 1930 novel Skylark Three, the radiation shield from John W. Campbell's 1936 novel The Ultimate Weapon and the Langston Field from Niven and Pournelle's 1974 novel The Mote in God's Eye.

From spaceref via @nyrath.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/19/2011)

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 ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Space Tech ")

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.' - Nat Schachner, 1937.

ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.

Bezos Invites You To New Life In Off-World Colonies
'A new life awaits you!'

Build Your Own Space Suit For Cheap
'I'm going to pump the air from this room... so that the interior will be like airless and pressure-less space.'- Otto Willi Gail, 1929.

 

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

PAL-V Liberty Flying Helicopter Car
'...lifted themselves to skimming flight upon whirling helicopters."

Space Drones - UK's Effective Space To Launch Rocket Tugs
'Twenty rocket tugs towed it from its Earth hangar out into space.'

DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.'

Ancient Russian Walking Excavator Would Be Perfect RV
I don't need it to go fast, it just needs to amble along.

ELROI Satellite 'License Plate'
Robert Heinlein was thinking about this in 1941.

When Robots Beg For Their Lives
"Just what do you think you're doing... Dave.'

Do You Still Want A Folding Screen Phone?
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled...'

'Snapchat Dysmorphia' Now A Thing, Say Plastic Surgeons
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time, subtly smoothing, deleting and coloring.'

Quiet Electric Cars Law Finalized By US Transportation Department
'... a sound tape to supply the noise'

Drone Assassin Fails To Kill Venezuelan President
'The spotter descends, and we think it searches the vicinity, looking for the victim's face...'

Stick-On Tape Speakers, As Predicted By Bruce Sterling
Flexible tape speakers, someday.

Bezos Invites You To New Life In Off-World Colonies
'A new life awaits you!'

Amazon's Rekognition System Sees Criminals In Congress
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.'

Build Your Own Space Suit For Cheap
'I'm going to pump the air from this room... so that the interior will be like airless and pressure-less space.'

CIMON Space Sidekick For Weary Astronauts
I welcome our floating robotic assistants.

SRI MicroFactory Of Microrobots Recalls Dick's Autofac
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants... constructing something...'

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.