Follow the latest progress of the Sphere project.
Several panels of the sphere will be able to deploy to perform different functions: photographing, measuring, analyzing and communicating.
A multi-directional hydrogen drive is planned. The sphere will automatically reposition according to what the various sensors reveal on the hull. In order to better photograph, analyze and take as much information as possible.
The outer panels of the sphere will be photovoltaic panels.
We hope to expand the limits of this technology through superconductivity. Extend the wavelengths absorbed by cells by placing them on several layers, and by combining new optical technologies (such as polarization). This will multiply energy sources and make them more efficient thanks to superconductivity.
Generating a magnetic field with superconductivity will protect the sphere from a number of radiation. Associated with an optical technology, the protections will be all the more effective. The magnetic field will also be adjusted according to the sensors that will be on the hull, in order to provide the best protection according to the danger encountered.
The shell of the sphere, will be composed of multilayers made of different composites: carbon fiber, fiberglass, titanium fiber, insulation and a multitude of other layers of materials to perform the different functions. Such as magnetism, the heat shield, an energy generator. The shell of the sphere will be loaded with sensors and adapted to superconductivity and normal conductivity.
The sphere’s frame will be made of laminated titanium. An expensive and complex process but which has many advantages, both in terms of mechanical strength and the possibility of interposing different other elements that this process allows in order to make it as adaptable as possible to the technologies that will be used such as superconductivity.
We remind you that this project is collaborative, so we are open to arguments that you can bring.
Superconductivity is a technology on which we bet to advance and advance the technological limits but also the limits of our minds, this is why this project is collaborative. We want to link superconductivity to various functions of the sphere. SSD hard drives, propulsion, sensors, solar panels, fuel cell, artificial intelligence driving the sphere and many other tracks.
The possibilities of superconductivity in this context have yet to be explored, and we will get down to it. Always keeping in mind to adapt this existing technology to other existing ones as well.
To obtain the quantum state of the materials of superconductivity in the space conditions as often as possible, it will be necessary to control at best all the heat exchanges which will take place.
The elements allowing the control of these parameters can be done by different means, thermal insulation, magnetic fields, controlled movement or even by chemistry (liquid nitrogen for example). Mastering these aspects is likely to be one of the biggest challenges. Every idea is welcomed. And remember what Forrest Gump said "only stupid stupidity"
There is no guarantee that we will meet the conditions for superconductivity for the hundreds of years of travel of the sphere, so it would be prudent to provide a means of operation in normal conductivity. For this it is necessary to develop circuits and conductors that can operate in the 2 modes. It will be a technological innovation, associated with a switch that will switch from one to the other depending on the temperature.
Numbers of parameters remain to be defined, numbers of tests which remain to be carried out. But the knowledge base on which we are going to rely exists. We just need open minds but also closed minds.
Superconductivity was discovered in 1911 by the Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, who noted that at a temperature below 4.2 K (-268.8 ° C), mercury no longer exhibited any electrical resistance.
What characterizes more fundamentally a superconductor is its capacity to exclude the lines of magnetic field: if one immerses a superconductive object in a magnetic field, a surface current appears which produces a magnetic counter-field such that the total magnetic field is null at l inside the object. It was in 1939 that W. Meissner and R. Ochsenfeld observed this effect (called the Meissner effect) on lead. It is on the Meissner effect that magnetic levitation is based.
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What is it exactly:
Simply put, superconductivity is a state of matter with zero resistance to the passage of electricity. Knowing that the best conductors in the world, whether copper or optical fiber, have a certain resistance to the passage of electricity which generates considerable losses and a very low efficiency compared to a superconductor.
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Conditions for using superconductivity
There are two conditions for the use of superconductivity that must be met. The conductors must be made of materials capable of reaching the state of quantum matter related to superconductivity and these same conductors must bathe in an environment at a temperature allowing to reach this state of matter.
Some of these potentially superconductive materials must be subjected to pressure.
The temperature in space
The temperature in the interstellar vacuum can reach -272 ° C. In space, the face of a satellite in Earth orbit exposed to the Sun without protection (or that of an astronaut's spacesuit) can potentially go up to +150 ° C, while that in the shade will go down to -120 ° C since, unlike the beach on Earth, there is no ambient air. For information, the average night temperature on Mars is -140 ° C.
The disadvantages of superconductivity
Superconductivity has few drawbacks, but they are serious:
Today, in the current state of innovation, superconductivity is not something profitable, at least on earth. In fact, the temperatures necessary for a material to reach a state of quantum matter is very low, of the order of -140 ° C. A temperature which is extremely expensive to reach. This makes this parameter the main obstacle to this technology.
Fortunately for us, we believe that in the interstellar vacuum, the situation changes. This is why we will put superconductivity forward for this adventure.
Superconductivity has many advantages:
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