Mega-Scale Kite Aerogel (MSKA) Apps
Dan'l's recent posts about aerogels and atmospheric electricity do indeed
point toward interesting AWECS. The two ideas even intersect (see below).
We are on to many real sci-fi style trails with these concepts. JoeF has
reintroduced, after a lapse of centuries, the vacuum-balloon, in the form
of micro-balloons like Bucky Balls as a bulk "levitating" medium (somebody
should run the numbers, maybe there is a perfect carbon ball far bigger
than C60 able to resist 15 psi). The new elastic (even nickel) super-foams
will at least replace pressurized air for Wayne German's blow-molded
membrane wings. Mega-Scale Kite Aerogel (MSKA) made from lattice-work of
just conventional string and kites is a revolution in itself, a Key to the
Sky. Its fundamental apps include:
- -Wind Momentum passing thru the lattice can be converted into
internal waves harvested for power at the surface.
- -Water Vapor Condensate might be harvested in useful quantities
(artificial rain). Existing Fog Harvesting tech is pre-suited to fly as
MSKA ( PP mesh).
- -Electrical Charge could be collected far more efficiently than by
any prior aerostructure, but maybe still not good enough to compete with
~Dave Santos 19Nov2011
Comment and development of this topic will be occurring here.
All, send notes, drawings, and photographs!
Terms and aspects:
- encased helium
- caged helium
- balloon versus caged helium
- lattice waves
- fog-harvesting technology
- PP mesh:
- Wayne German's blow-molded membrane wings
- aerogels versus designer micro and nano matrices, lattices,
Commentary is welcome:
AFAIR, Joe's idea was to encapsulate a light gas, not a vacuum. Aerogel,
etc. is interesting, but I don't think there is much need for it in any
useful wind. Even ultralight aircraft use medium density foams for
A kite to harvest water sounds very interesting. There may be a way to
gather some electrical potential at the same time.
MSKA is a True Aerogel ideally suited for "useful wind". Humans
just have a problem imagining across scaling dimensions, or they would
see these things sooner (as i, robot, do). Its like kilometer-scale
wavelength radio entails "photons" a kilometer across "exist" (as
virtual particles), but folks think of photons as "wee".
If JoeF's idea was to include all lifting media possible to encapsulate
in a nanomatirx, then vacuum counts, If he intended to exclude vacuum,
then you are right. A practical vacuum material would probably be a 3D
structural aerogel matrix with a graphene cover. Surely nanostructure
like C-60 holds vacuum, but can we make variants low enough density to
"levitate"?? Engineered Megamaterial is itself is a bold idea, and the
AWE Forum idiot-savants are the lucky creators.
Early aerogels were quite weak, due to weak polymers, compared to using
true engineering-grade material. Existing ultralights do use cool foams,
but the potential is for far lighter, cheaper, and stronger versions
with amazing new properties. We are talking about a next wave of
revolutionary performance. Never forget Lord Kelvin's blunder to imagine
HTA flight as impossible, even as the Wright's were on it. You will end
up increasingly excited as our newly brainstormed ideas sink in. Just
don't tell ARPA-E yet (a conspiracy), lets have some fun first,
PS: By "Fog" harvesting of course we mean tapping clouds. Some
3 liters of water a day per square meter of poly-mesh is a typical
rate of capture. The Polynesians pioneered this by sending up kites into
clouds with sponges attached (natural aerogel) and squeezing out the
water, a working method at sea or in case of desert island.
PPS: Roddy can pick up his Free Sample of MSKA at the World Kite Museum
during business hours; just ask for the free kite line and kite
materials that come with admission. Some assembly is required, but there
is probably some olde net-maker on Lewis who will knot a
futuristic 3D MSKA matrix for a pint or two.
Dec. 8, 2012:
This microscale graphene aerogel layer shown in the lab is another
scale-structure analogy to add to that of prepared-specimen collagen and
cellulose lattices. The use of ice crystals recalls the
frozen sky joke. We have defined Megascale in AWE as km
scale, so our hand assembled lattices are far larger and much less dense
(sparser) than our micro models.
At the moment, Mega-Scale Kite Aerogel is not limited by lack of
*, or even the (wonderful) kitelines and fabrics available. Cheap
mass-market ropes and tarps actually give far better
power-to-capital-cost performance at present. Pioneering MSKA
engineering-science at the km scale is best done on a "shoestring"
budget. A child can make and fly conceptually advanced megascale
structure in the sky.
The urgent limitations to MSKA development are a lack of grand
imagination and mastery of the simple means (flying strings, rags, and
bits of stick).
* Dave Culp's usage for innovation stalled by unobtainable supply.