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# magnetic pulse drive

propulsion of the far future
 (+1, -3) [vote for, against]

Remember this is halfbakery I realise this is a far out scheme. This is a propulsion idea using rail gun type pulses to propel a ship in space. Here's how it would work.Giant doughnut shaped electromagnets would be built in orbit around the sun. These would be solar powered and the more of them the better. A spacecraft or probe would be brought up to a fairly high speed using conventional means, it is then directed through the magnetic rings. The rings could be moved to intersect the path of a spacecraft in order to maximize the number of times a given craft could use a given ring, they might also be put in oblong orbits like comets for the same reason. Spacecraft would be sent in mass matched sets or pairs in opposite directions to negate the acceleration to the rings themselves.
 — pydor, Dec 14 2006

Gravitational slingshot effect http://en.wikipedia...itational_slingshot
[Ling, Dec 14 2006]

BBC report on the ISS. http://news.bbc.co....ci/tech/6189457.stm
The sun causes enough problems for stuff in orbit around the earth. Anything we put in orbit around the sun is likely to be hugely unreliable. [DrBob, Dec 19 2006]

An orbital magnet, if massive enough (but smaller than a planet), could be used. After each slingshot, it would need to be re-accelerated. See link for how the gravitational slingshot works.
 — Ling, Dec 14 2006

Not a railgun. bone.
 — Galbinus_Caeli, Dec 14 2006

I don't think your understanding what I'm trying to explain. Imagine a series of rings floating in a line in space each ring is an electromagnet your spaceship or probe flies through the rings getting a little push from each one. The rings would be spread out so acceleration could be accrued over a period of potentially years. Kind of like a solar system sized particle accelerator where the particle is a ship. Thus the rail gun like pulses. I am well aware of the slingshot effect I consider that "conventional means".
 — pydor, Dec 19 2006

How would the "doughnut shaped electromagnets" stay in place?
 — BJS, Dec 19 2006

[BJS] They would be in orbit around the sun. Spacecraft of equal mass going opposite directions would alternately use the same doughnut... pushing it first one way then back.
 — pydor, Dec 19 2006

 And what does this have to do with a rail gun? This is a COIL gun. Entirely different beast.

 A rail gun has two conductive parallel rails charged as an annode and cathode. A conductive projectile is inserted touching both rails. The current through the projectile creates a magnetic force parallel to the rails driving the projectile off the ends of the rails.

 A coil gun is what you have decribed. A series of magnetic coils that pass a magnetic projectile through their centers, typically without touching.

Completely different concept.
 — Galbinus_Caeli, Dec 19 2006

and like a coil gun once the ship is pullled to the nearsest magnet the magnet could then be shut off so the ship will not stick to said magnet which to me is a better idea than using a rail gun type system.
 — Blue Wizard, Dec 19 2006

Your rings are going to end up in very inconvenient locations unless you propel them. You're better off by several orders of magnitude to just propel the craft.
 — BunsenHoneydew, Dec 19 2006

[Galbinus] I stand corrected I should have said COIL gun however that's not really the idea here. Yes [Bunsen] the rings would move that's why I had mass matched ships going through in opposite directions. The rings would also need maneuvering jets and stabilization just like any other modern satellite. Referring back to the original idea the probe or ship is brought to a high velocity before entering the ring system it is then further accelerated over a period of months or years to speeds not normally attainable Thanks for the comments and for reading my responses.
 — pydor, Dec 20 2006

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