Orbital Thermoreactive Engineering and Dynamics (ORTHREAD technology)
by Cody G. Carson July, 2007
Definition: Orbital Thermoreactive Engineering and Dynamics "ORTHREAD" is a specialized field of thermodynamics or “thermics” started by Cody G. Carson, for the compilation of data pertaining specifically to the transfer of solar energy into useful mechanical and electrical energy for intra solar system spaceflight, orbital, and moon/asteroid surface applications. In the absence of an atmosphere, temperature differences between direct sunlight and near by shadows can be as great as 900 degree Fahrenheit. These extreme and instant temperature differences cause the rapid expansion and contraction of substances and materials in orbit. Carson’s desire is to build the ORTHREAD database to assist in the engineering and development of spaceflight related thermic applications.
The New Database
ORTHREAD Data, is a record of the temperature related expansion and contraction rates as well as the amount of force exerted when these materials press against each other during expansion or pull apart from each other during contraction. The data would also include a record of types and strengths of fasters and their effectiveness in attaching or bonding parts that will have momentary, prolonged or permanent exposure to the harsh environment of outer space. This would also include the effects of a material's strength integrity and flexibility in relation to prolonged exposure to gamma rays and x-rays.
Although the acronym contains an orbital reference, ORTHREAD refers to any design application intended for the harshness of the outer space whether it is intended to remain in the orbit of a planet, on the surface of a moon/asteroid with no atmosphere, or travel through the void of intra solar system space.Typically thought of as a design challenge for conventional spacecraft, Carson sees the instant temperature shifts as an untapped source of reliable, powerful, and permanent free energy. He thinks it is possible to limit or eliminate the need of orbital nuclear applications. That would reduce the potential environmental dangers of plutonium reentry if a catastrophe occurred in Earth's orbit.Carson said, "ORTHREAD applications can use the free energy of the Sun to produce steam power without having to have steam generators and hydraulic pressure without hydraulic pumps. These applications can be used for everything from creating the microscopic movements of nano engines to generating almost unlimited electrical power for large future space cities with big populations."
The ORTHREAD Cutter
To demonstrate how ORTHREAD data could aid in the design of new applications, Carson explains one of his spaceflight related inventions: "I won't be able to get a patent on this one because I am going into too much detail on it. However, that's okay because there would be such a limited application for this inexpensive invention and the need for only a few to be built. What I have designed is a powerful handheld cutting tool similar to the Jaws of Life used to free trapped victims of car crashes. This Solar Reactive Cutter uses a fluid expansion chamber instead of hydraulics and is ergonomically designed for the limited movements astronauts are capable of while wearing a spacesuit. When the expansion chamber is shielded from the Sun by a small movable blind, the cutter's jaws are open. When the cutter is placed into position, the astronaut moves the blind to expose the fluid chamber. Solar energy causes a rapid expansion inside the chamber that creates hydraulic pressure; the jaws of the cutter then close with great force. The problem with thermics, however, is cooling. To solve this, twenty-one expansion chambers are arranged like a ‘Tommygun’ around the cutter and are in a shielded case. After each chamber has performed its work, it is moved into the sunshielded case and an unexpanded chamber replaces it. This allows the jaws to reopen. This particular design gives each chamber twenty times longer to cool as it does to heat. The database could help tremendously in selecting the type of reaction fluid and the size of the reaction chambers as well as providing the information needed to predict the cutting force of the jaws. Some applications for the cutter would include: freeing a spacecraft from tangled tether lines. The removal of objects where explosive bolts failed, creating a breech in the hull of a spacecraft for repair in an area where there is no access panel, and clipping solar panels and antenna from enemy spy and communication satellites. A cutter could even be mounted on a drone or mini satellite and could be piloted by remote control. It either case, it has these and many other applications for rescue, repair and weaponry.
Other ORTHREAD Inventions
Some of Carson’s other ORTHREAD inventions include an opener and closer of solar blinds for portholes, an ore jumper that springs off of an asteroid’s surface like a grasshopper, a water purifier, and a personal propulsion system for astronauts leaving the surface of low gravity asteroids.
Yahoo and Google Groups
Carson built a yahoo group and a google group so that anyone may contribute useful information to help build the ORTHREAD database and/or reference it. The information submitted should be organized, in English, and in layman's terms were applicable so that younger students may reference the data in science projects. The groups are located at: email@example.com and http://groups.google.com/group/orthread?hl=en ORTHREAD HistoryCarson first conceived ORTHREAD four years after his experiment with inertial drive propulsion won his high school science fair in 1982. His experiment, called the Centrigrav was first drawn up as a pulling force generator mounted on the front of a spacecraft. At that time, Carson was unaware of the Dean Drive http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_drive and mistakenly thought he was the originator of the idea of inertia drive. His particular application was, in fact, very different from Dean’s work. Also, Carson was only 17 years-old when he invented the Centrigrav.
The concept of providing spacecraft propulsion by generating a pulling force instead of a pushing force inspired his radical rethinking of spacecraft structural design. Some of those design concepts were depicted in the model spacecraft that he built for his science fair display. This Carsonian Drive Unit would have required much more electricity than solar panels could have produced at that time so the drawings depicted a nuclear powered interplanetary spacecraft. Carson did not have the funding or skill to build a functioning inertia drive propulsion system for testing or display. His mockup of the design was not sufficient to win the district level of science fair competition, however, because it was unable to prove that it was not in violation of Newton’s Third Law of Motion. Carson then delayed plans to construct a working model until he was sure his invention would truly produce a unidirectional force.
Carson was in college at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville thinking of a redesign for his propulsion concept when the space shuttle Challenger disintegrated seventy three seconds after launch on January 28, 1986. Carson realized that if his propulsion concept had worked the plutonium necessary to build a mini nuclear power station for his spaceship design would have to be transported into orbit. He thought about what might have happened if the Challenger (or any other shuttle) had a catastrophe in the upper atmosphere while transporting radioactive materials potentially lethal to our ecosystem. When considering an alternate source of heat for a steam driven turbine generator, he realized that the temperature difference between sunlight and shadow was adequate to rapidly change water into steam and then back into water again. If the right kind of conductive materials were used and the design of the generator was built specifically for the conditions encountered in space, nuclear power could be avoided as long as the spacecraft was designed to travel outside of the solar system. His handbook of chemistry and physics was somewhat helpful in the consideration of various materials, but he desired a more specific database to reference. Carson realized that his design concept for a space based solar reactive power plant also had a direct potential application to the International Space Station and the potential to power much larger future space stations, space factories, and even space cities. Even if his Carsonian Drive engine never became more than the subject matter for future sci-fi novels, his solar reactive power concepts are based on simple physics and can be easily and cheaply built. However, the science of photovoltaics has improved a lot over the past twenty-five years making newer solar panels much more efficient. NASA also prefers photoviltaics over alternate forms of power generation because it eliminates the ware out and failure of movie parts. Solar thermodynamics, however, is still better suited for some high heat applications, and Carson believes that with the proper engineering, ORTHREAD applications can be more efficient and cost effective than solar photovoltaics.
The first word in the name Orbital Thermoreactive Engineering and Dynamics refers to the solar orbit and are, therefore inclusive of thermodynamic applications anywhere within the solar system. This would also include the surfaces of moons and asteroids where no atmosphere is present. However, solar thermic applications lose efficiency in proportion to their distance from the Sun. Therefore, the moons of Jupiter may be the limit of ORTHREAD designs.
Thanks to President George Bush's spaceflight directives regarding future moon and Mars missions, Carson is excited about the potential applications of his ORTHREAD based inventions. He hopes to procure investors for project development and is hoping to find a local college that will assist in building a simple and inexpensive working model of his power station on a very small scale. He also has dreams of his own Arkansas based technology company that would serve as a lab for inventing and developing his many inventions and concepts.