The Mass Driver Project: A Preliminary Design of a Material Transfer System for Space Construction Projects Using Open Source Design Principles
thesisposted on 2021-05-25, 07:19 authored by Dean Anthony Marjan Gerl
This project attempts to adapt open source software development principles to the evaluation and design of a mass driver system capable of transporting construction material from the Earth's surface to orbit as a stream of inline, discrete material packages following one after another. The design process does not identify any "show stopper" physical effects. The final design of the system proposes using a novel launch rail concept to send a stream of 10 kg. material packages to a 10 000 km apogee altitude, where a rocket motor fires to place the material package into a highly elliptical orbit. A satellite, in a similar orbit, collects the material packages and distributes than to a space construction project. Further work is required to evaluate the aerodynamic issues related to the material package stream. Open source collaboration on the design did not occur; however seven potential collaborators were identified.