Magnetically levitated space elevator to low-earth orbit.

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The properties of currently available NbTi superconductor and carbon-fiber structural materials enable the possibility of constructing a magnetically levitated space elevator from the earth's surface up to an altitude of {approx} 200 km. The magnetic part of the elevator consists of a long loop of current-carrying NbTi, composed of one length that is attached to the earth's surface in an east-west direction and a levitated-arch portion. The critical current density of NbTi is sufficiently high that these conductors will stably levitate in the earth's magnetic field. The magnetic self-field from the loop increases the levitational force and for some geometries ... continued below

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Hull, J. R. & Mulcahy, T. M. July 2, 2001.

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Description

The properties of currently available NbTi superconductor and carbon-fiber structural materials enable the possibility of constructing a magnetically levitated space elevator from the earth's surface up to an altitude of {approx} 200 km. The magnetic part of the elevator consists of a long loop of current-carrying NbTi, composed of one length that is attached to the earth's surface in an east-west direction and a levitated-arch portion. The critical current density of NbTi is sufficiently high that these conductors will stably levitate in the earth's magnetic field. The magnetic self-field from the loop increases the levitational force and for some geometries assists levitational stability. The 200-km maximum height of the levitated arch is limited by the allowable stresses of the structural material. The loop is cryogenically cooled with helium, and the system utilizes intermediate pumping and cooling stations along both the ground and the levitated portion of the loop, similar to other large terrestrial cryogenic systems. Mechanically suspended from the basic loop is an elevator structure, upon which mass can be moved between the earth's surface and the top of the loop by a linear electric motor or other mechanical or electrical means. At the top of the loop, vehicles may be accelerated to orbital velocity or higher by rocket motors, electromagnetic propulsion, or hybrid methods.

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  • 3rd International Symposium on Linear Drives for Industrial Applications, Nagano (JP), 10/17/2001--10/19/2001

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  • Report No.: ANL/ET/CP-104232
  • Grant Number: W-31-109-ENG-38
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 797875
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc737377

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • July 2, 2001

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  • Oct. 19, 2015, 7:39 p.m.

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  • March 22, 2016, 3:33 p.m.

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Hull, J. R. & Mulcahy, T. M. Magnetically levitated space elevator to low-earth orbit., article, July 2, 2001; Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc737377/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.