VASIMR Tesla-range Magnetic Fields and the Enterprise

vasimr engine diagram

Wikipedia notes this about the VASIMR electric propulsion engine:

“Powerful superconducting electromagnets, employed to contain hot plasma, generate tesla-range magnetic fields. They can present problems with other on board devices.”

That’s a good reason to keep the engines as far away from people and equipment as possible. So the long engine hulls of the Enterprise are convenient because the VASIMR-like engines can be placed at the far aft end of them.

Once again, the form of the Really Big E offers a nice functional fit for building the world’s first supership in space.

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10 Responses to VASIMR Tesla-range Magnetic Fields and the Enterprise

  1. AKOkie says:

    I’ve been following VASIMR development for a number of years. I can’t wait until the first test in space with the VF-200.

  2. John says:

    It would be great if the products of cold fusion were used as the proppellant for the VASIMR engine at the far ends with a bunch of EMdrives between the far aft ends and the beginnings of the three engine hulls to take up the space and provide thrust. If it works, the EMdrive would be useful in that way as there would be no need for an open end with an external passageway to blast out proppellant, perfect for all the available hull space. I wonder what acceleration that design could get?

    • BTE-Dan says:

      Unfortunately the end product of cold fusion is copper (at least as claimed by Rossi for his ecat). Copper might be good for something aboard the Enterprise, but not as propellant for the VASIMR.

      There is not enough public info on the EmDrive to say much about it.

      • John says:

        Copper is the product of a fusion of nickel and hydrogen but cold fusion is simply a light element fused with a heavier element. There are probably others besides nickel and hydrogen that could work to produce proppellant. You’re right about the EMdrive but I was talking about in an optimal situation where everything works. Cold fusion is peer reviewed so it should work. If our world was just Newtonian there would be no way the EMdrive could work as too many laws dictate it can’t, however Relativity exists so it quite possibly could work. What I’m curious about is what acceleration could be achieved if the optimal scenario I described happened where no propellant other than the nuclear reactants and products existed and there were many EMdrives (assuming they work) in the engine hulls behind the VASIMR engines. Does anybody have a rough estimate or even a wild guess of what acceleration could be produced in that scenario?

  3. Christian Corralejo says:

    “Once again, the form of the Really Big E offers a nice functional fit for building the world’s first supership in space.”

    Is it still 960ms in length or would there be an increase in length if we have to include radiators? Personally I would to see a 2km long enterprise for the Gen 4 for something like that.

  4. dror says:

    “…tesla-range magnetic fields. they can present problems with other on board devices.”
    on the other hand, they can be used as radiation shield for the saucer. or can’t they?

  5. Lord Penguin says:

    The main issue I see is if the magnetic fields interfered with the nuclear reactors close to each set of VASMIR engines. It may be possible to somehow combine the engines with “hot” fusion reactors, seeing as they both require a plasma and powerful magnetic fields.

  6. Pingback: Superconducting Electromagnets in the Enterprise | BuildTheEnterprise

  7. Kor says:

    I think what you are all failing to realize is that the Enterprise is a fictional starship, that being said lets play a little. The engine nacelles off the secondary hull are the primary engines or the warp engines, if you were to use a vasimr in thier spot you no longer have fater than light capabilities making it by definition not a starship. The vasimr engines are closer to the impulse engines which are located in the primary hull or saucer section.

    This being said i dont think most of you care about the functionality of ship as long as it looks like the Enterprise which isnt a very good design for a spaceship. The ‘neck’ section would likely snap under the forces put on it by most of what the Enterprise endures on a daily basis. Just my two cents on it? There are several star trek designs that might work but the Big E isnt one of them guys.

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