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Author Topic: magnetic radiation shielding  (Read 1194 times)

Offline chiralSPO

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magnetic radiation shielding
« on: 14/11/2013 03:58:24 »
Any long manned mission through space would require a way to protect the passengers from radiation. An obvious first choice would be a strong magnetic field, which could deflect charged particles (no good for gamma rays though...), akin to what earth's magnetic field does. However, a single magnetic field strong enough protect a spacecraft would likely be bad for people and on-board equipment.

Would it be possible to achieve adequate shielding without subjecting the interior of the craft to a strong field by employing several electromagnets arrayed about the craft in a spherical fashion?

I am envisioning a spherical web of wires, studded with solenoids capable of generating very very strong local fields. They would be arranged so that their fields would largely cancel out at long range, but be strong enough to deflect particles that passed near to a single solenoid.

(apologies for the poor diagram...)

A few potential problems I foresee with this arrangement are:

1) Power consumption. Even if the wires are superconducting, you would need to supply constant energy to deflect the particles. What is the least amount of energy it would take to deflect a constant flux of solar wind?

2) How strongly would the solenoids interact with each other and how much tensile strength or energy would be required to keep them in position?

3) What is the fate of the deflected ions? Are they just deflected and ejected back into space? Do they build up orbiting around the solenoids? Would it be worth intentionally collecting them (either for study or as a resource?)

4) How would one communicate through this mutant Faraday cage? If the magnetic field is localized enough to have working electronics inside and outside the cage perhaps lasers and/or fiber optics could be used to relay signals across the magnetic field. A large antenna outside the cage could be used for communication and/or observation.

5) Any other obvious limitations or flaws that I am missing?


 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: magnetic radiation shielding
« Reply #1 on: 14/11/2013 07:29:53 »
Fridge magnets! Very strong local field with rapid falloff.

No problem with communications - just fix the antenna outside the cage and poke the wire through the bars.

You may however be making things worse. If you deflect a charged particle it will radiate photons which are more penetrating than the original particle.
 

Offline Pmb

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Re: magnetic radiation shielding
« Reply #2 on: 14/11/2013 12:37:07 »
Quote from: chiralSPO
5) Any other obvious limitations or flaws that I am missing?
Yes. The most prohibitive factor of using electromagnets is the weight of the electrmagnets. They weigh so much as to make it near imossible to employ such a  system.
« Last Edit: 14/11/2013 12:41:54 by Pmb »
 

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Re: magnetic radiation shielding
« Reply #2 on: 14/11/2013 12:37:07 »

 

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