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Advanced Concept Ramjet Propulsion System Utilizing In-Situ Positron Antimatter Derived from Ultra-Intense Laser with Fundamental Performance Analysis

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DOI: 10.4236/jamp.2014.25003    4,120 Downloads   5,282 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

The fundamental performance analysis of an advanced concept ramjet propulsion system using antimatter is presented. Antimatter is generated by ultra-intense laser pulses incident on a gold target. The scientific foundation for the generation of antimatter by an ultra-intense laser was established in the early 1970’s and later demonstrated at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 2008 to 2009. Antimatter on the scale of 2 × 1010 positrons were generated through a ~1 ps pulse from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Titan laser that has an intensity of ~1020 W/cm2. The predominant mechanism is the Bethe-Heitler process, which involves high-energy bremsstrahlung photons as a result of electron-nuclei interaction. Propulsion involving lasers through chemical rather than non-chemical interaction has been previously advocated by Phipps. The major utilities of the ultra-intense laser derived antimatter ramjet are the capability to generate antimatter without a complex storage system and the ability to decouple the antimatter ramjet propulsion system from the energy source. For instance the ultra-intense laser and energy source could be terrestrial, while the ramjet could be mounted to a UAV as a propulsion system. With the extrapolation of current technologies, a sufficient number of pulses by ultra-intense lasers are eventually anticipated for the generation of antimatter to heat the propulsive flow of a ramjet. Fundamental performance analysis is provided based on an ideal ramjet derivation that is modified to address the proposed antimatter ramjet architecture.

 

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Moyne, R. and Mastroianni, T. (2014) Advanced Concept Ramjet Propulsion System Utilizing In-Situ Positron Antimatter Derived from Ultra-Intense Laser with Fundamental Performance Analysis. Journal of Applied Mathematics and Physics, 2, 19-26. doi: 10.4236/jamp.2014.25003.

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