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Acoustic rocket engine

Impulse (rocket) propulsion via acoustic tech only
  [vote for,

I wonder if it would be possible to construct an entire propulsion system using only acoustic tech. One would maintain superchill for fuel like RP-1 using thermoacoustics... Since principle of acoustic ignition is also based on shockwave passing through a gas, could the same system be used to both cool propellant & later ignite it? If you linked these two systems via something like NASA's Bellocq Compression Wave Pump could you cool the propellant, keep it under pressure, pump it to the ignition chamber, and ignite it all using one (acoustic) system rather than multiple systems? I'm picturing a much-simplified engine, somehow, with only one major component, although I haven't had enough coffee today yet that I can picture it playing Van Halen in the parking lot... I suppose something much similar could also be used as a naval torpedo, although it would probably drive sonically-sensitive sea creatures--such as whales and dolphins--nuts. Lord knows it might spoof up a sonar array...and come to think of it might also tend to do interesting things to a sonic boom...
cloudface, Aug 25 2004

Bellocq link http://www.unusualr...om/Pump/bellocq.htm
[cloudface, Oct 05 2004]

Thermoacoustic scientific gobbledygook PDF http://www.td.mw.tu...eratur/NiPoliJoos00
I have no idea what any of this page means. [cloudface, Oct 05 2004]

Thermoacoustics for Dummies http://www.er.doe.g...s_Discovery/25.html
[cloudface, Oct 05 2004]


       If, [contracts], you are implying that this idea will not work due to the absence of an atmosphere in space, I think you will find that all of the acoustic activity is to occur inside of the rocket, conducted by the medium of the fuel itself, in either a liquid or exploding state.   

       There may be other reasons this idea won't work, but that is not one.
GutPunchLullabies, Aug 25 2004

       The idea is not to use soundwaves for power, just for cooling/ignition. The only purpose seems to be to reduce the number of systems and simplify the engine.
GutPunchLullabies, Aug 25 2004

       I saw a shuttle launch once from about a mile or so from the cape. It was definitely acoustic. Unbelievably so.
bristolz, Aug 25 2004

       Bris-for what it is worth, you could probably squidge something together with a purely acoustic system that might cancel out some of the launch noise. Not sure how you would do this, but if you're doing everything else by propagating vibration, why not precisely cancel out air vibes while you're at it? Probably save on wear and tear to the vehicle. Note: not a new technology; I think US could already use this on certain military vehicles. Second note I have no idea what I'm talking about (the 3 gizmos I mentioned, are, according to a Higher Authority, all very different).
cloudface, Aug 26 2004

       Does a pulse-jet qualify as an acoustic impulse engine?
Fussass, Aug 26 2004

       Resonant waveguides are already in use as igniters. Fully baked, I'm afraid.
boris, Sep 03 2004

       Maybe this thing could be fabbed on a chip somehow...
cloudface, Sep 03 2004

       I remember a Frank Zappa concert that really "impulsed" you. Also the structure I was perched on, to my great alarm.
finflazo, Sep 04 2004

       Does a pulse-jet qualify as an acoustic impulse engine? Fussass, Aug 26 2004   

       Yes!:-) we call it acoustic compression combustion, complex as hell but it works well, a big pressure jet type engine is 150 dba at one metre, and gives up to 3 atm of compression in the combustion chamber, but for what this idea needs you would have to apply Macrosonics (patented) to stop shock wave formation to get higher compression ratios.
Viv, Jun 18 2005

       Anything like a pulse jet?
travbm, Oct 29 2015


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