At this website we want to introduce a new method for reaching orbital space. From the employment of this method, a resulting structure can be deployed, which can be definitely cataloged as a Space Elevator.
However, unlike the currently popular system, this structure does not make specific use of a tether or centrifugal forces for its deployment or operation.
Specifically, this proposed method has been defined as a combined method of construction and transportation. The application of this method for the specific deployment of a space elevator has been given the general name of a SpaceShaft.
In this first page I want to introduce both; "the method" and "the system" being described only in a qualitative manner. For a rigorous analysis the reader is invited to request our papers.
Description: Structural appearance !
When the structure is being viewed at some distance by an observer, the SpaceShaft will have the appearance of a chimney that extends high into space.
Another feature the observer would notice is that, although having a significantly larger diameter to mundane chimneys, the structure will seem to be floating in the air, instead of standing on the ground. This fact is due to the inherent buoyancy of the building blocks of the structure.
Also noticeable will be the fact that to keep the structure from flying away anchoring and mooring systems are used.
However, one specific feature that will be unnoticeable is that within the chimney’s wall another important property is being hidden, namely that of an inherent transportation method which will be described in further detail in paragraphs below.
Description: Structural Deployment!
Unlike how it is done by the traditional method of construction known as "mortar and brick", in which a chimney is constructed by adding bricks at the top of a stack, the SpaceShaft’s deployment follows a rather special sequence of events. These events are as follows:
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* Because of the inherent buoyancy of its constituent parts; the stack is permitted to levitate just some what, and; in a "controlled manner". This step is intended as to "free some space below the floating structure", i.e., at the base of the stack, for the emplacement of a new "circular cross section”. Again, this is possible thanks to the inherent buoyancy of the whole structure standing on top. Note also that this process is possible thanks to the controlled procedures inacted by means of "anchoring and ballasting systems", which are not given an in-depth description at this time.
* One space has been made available at the base of the stack, new components are placed forming a new “circular cross section”.
* This new “circular cross section” is then securely fastened to the section immediately above, and so it becomes an integral part of the stack.
* The steps described above are then repeated.
Thanks to the sequence of events described above; with every single new section added, not only is the volume of the SpaceShaft increased, but so are the total inherent upthrust and velocity.
Besides being a transportation method, the SpaceShaft can also be regarded as a huge building that takes advantage of buoyancy, not only for its internal transportation system, but also for its construction and its maintenance. The maintenance word of the previous phrase could be better defined as "automatic structural renewal", which is a property that insures "constant structural integrity", even when bombarded by space debris. This property is significant in a worst-case scenario because, thanks to its buoyancy, the whole thing becomes "inherently safe", implying that the total column will never fall back to Earth! And as an added bonus, should be easily reattachable.
Description: Inherent Transportation System !
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A fully operational SpaceShaft will have several methods of transportation. However only one is qualified as inherent to the structure. Other systems may include a “buoyancy propelled shuttle” or an internal “tether based system” being hoisted up by the SpaceShaft’s ascending tube, see "Drawing 2". In the paragraphs below we only describe the Inherent method.
As explained within the previous section, deployment of the upright structure is achieved by means of the cumulated upthrust force produced from the buoyancy the structure has, i.e.; while floating within the surrounding lower atmosphere, (e.g.; throughout the Troposphere and Stratosphere). Therefore, inducing the inherently "upward and unidirectional movement” that can then be harnesed for transportation use.
This “cumulatively harnessed force” can be used for the transportation of cargo not only through the dense atmospheric regions, but even beyond the separation line of atmosphere and space. This is possible thanks to the fact that the upthrust force is transmitted thoughout the full length of the rigid upright structure. Moreover, specifically into regions of nearby, low orbital space. Even where buoyancy is particularly insignificant, the system keeps pushing up the top mass because sufficient upthrust force is being harnessed at lower heights. Which, consequently, are going to constantly be jacking-up the sections at the top.
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Another characteristic not discussed here is that a fully functional SpaceShaft may be deployed not just as a single tube but may be made from multiple enveloping shafts. Each of these shafts will likely have specific uses, some of which may be unrelated to transportation. However, as an example of the functionality the enveloping shafts may have, a description follows. Assume a SpaceShaft is made of two tubes instead of the simple representation presented here. For instance, the external tube may be intended for the specific use of access to a “hub like buoyant platform”, at which other applications are carried out. While the contained tube may well be intended for access to orbital space, or perhaps for even higher altitudes, or, even if the core shaft is intended to have extra upthrust force by being assembled underwater.
Cargo will be placed within selected building blocks, known by the name of HyperCubes, see "Drawing 3". It is by combining HyperCubes into a closed loop that “cross sectional rings” are constituted, and subsequently by the "sectional rings" that the SpaceShaft is deployed and constituted. Sectional rings are graphically represented in "Drawing 4 ", however in this drawing the HyperCubes have been clustered into a module resembling an upper H character. These building blocks can then also be made to serve as permanent ballast, i.e. non-controllable ballast. A property that can be used advantageously to help insure the necessary upright orientation for the system to work.
It was also claimed within the previous section that the system would be self-renewable. What this means is that the newer “cross sectional rings” laying below, but moving upwards, will eventually displace older sections above by a “jacking-up” force. With some of the older sections having damaged components, caused either by meteorites or by space debris, this upwards movement will help minimize the weakness these damaged sections could impair to the rest of the structure. However, as with any other sections even in good condition, they should eventually either be jettisoned away from the SpaceShaft or returned to Earth when a predefined altitude has been reached.
Example of the Cumulated Upthrust Force: !
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To exemplify the transportation capacity the system has to offer, our assumptions are:
* A theoretical set of buoyant vessels which, unlike being "spherical balloons", have the shape of a freight container, or cube. And having sides measuring about 6 meters or the equivalent volume of 6 m³, see "Drawing 3".
* We will also assume a simple atmospheric model in which our planet's atmosphere has a constant density up to a specific elevation, pretty much like an ocean is.
* Allow these cubes being capable of a net cargo lift of 100 kg of upthrust.
Arranging these cubes into an attached ring of, lets us say, 10 cubes, the lifting capacity of this ring becomes 1 ton. During a controlled ascent, of the constructed ring, a second ring can then be attached just beneath the first ring, therefore doubling the upthrust to 2 tons. The process can then be repeated with a third ring, fourth ring and so on with many subsequent rings “over and over” again and so increasing the elevation of the structure and its upthrusting force.
However, it must be underlined that our planet's atmosphere density is not constant throughout. Although we do not want to use this website for mathematical discussions, I include here below the formula we use to estimate the total mass that the SpaceShaft can transported.
Theoretically, the sum of all the localized upthrust reaching within "sea level" and heights well into the Stratosphere will result in a total upthrust that will be sufficient to further jackup all the upper sections, which have become non-buoyant and therefore or pure weight, into orbital space. And by this sequential process, the SpaceShaft becomes a "unidirectional, high capacity space elevator".
While serving for the transportation of cargo contained within its tubular wall, the SpaceShaft is simultaneously a very tall building structure which could optionally be used for other purposes within the dense regions of the atmosphere or dismantled in space as to use the detached sections for containers or "building block components" in other space structures or applications.