Pulsed Fusion Propulsion Progress

Magnetic helicity dynamics are important in solar flares and coronal mass ejections. Magnetic helicity is present in the solar wind. Its conservation is very important in dynamo processes. It also plays a role in fusion research, for example in reversed field pinch experiments.

There is now work to create plasma guns and systems that leverage magnetic helicity to fire plasmas at high speeds and enable nuclear fusion for energy production and space propulsion.

They are generating plasma jets. They use multiple guns that merge the plasma jets. Magnetic fields squeeze the plasma.

They are working on compression scaling.

The system scales down to 100 kilowatt systems. It would have increased thrust versus ion drives. It can scale up to many gigawatts and beyond.

They can scale the power by increasing from the minimum of 4 plasma guns to 32 guns and adding power recirculation. This would scale to spacecraft for superior interplanetary travel and then to interstellar capability.

A medium term system would enable a nuclear cargo cycler from the earth. It would be seven times more efficient than chemical rockets. A chemical rocket would need multiple refuelings to take 100 tons to the moon. This system would be half the weight of one fuel load launch but would be able to take 100 tons to the moon repeatedly.

Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com