design to cost

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"Design to cost is a management strategy and supporting methodologies to achieve an affordable product by treating target cost as an independent design parameter that needs to be achieved during the development of a product." [1]

Applications of this methodology includes the dollar-a-gallon gasoline project.

(Fast links)

The above articles are somewhat out of date but interesting for the objections raised. Current slide set here:

  • Mining Asteroids (Asteroid mining is a natural outgrowth of mining for power satellite parts.)
  • 2015 July
  • We made this animation of transporting parts to GEO and building a thermal power satellite for a contest. We came in second, a team supported by the Chinese government won. 3000 of these could entirely replace the three cubic miles of oil (equivalent) of fossil fuel the human race uses each year. By the early 2030s if we got on it soon.
  • Transport analysis abstract.
  • Preprint
  • Recent developments
  • A power satellite animation in orbit around earth.
  • Space construction cube unfolding to square power satellite fram on youtube


Most recent article on the power satellites project

Article which justifies the 1-2 cent per kWh and $30-$50 per bbl oil assumption.

From Spring 2014 issue of Ad Astra magazine, page 41. (Table of contents only) The article with artwork.

April 2014 article on laser propulsion concept

Slides for talk at Electric Utilities and Environment Conference Feb 2014. Graphics for 3 GW heat radiator and optics.

Laser propulsion station and 3 GW radiator paper draft March 1

Much more ambitious, 100 GW asteroid burner by Dr. Lubin at UCSB.

Historical background.

Topics that need wiki pages

Damage (or not) to the ozone layer from Skylon water exhaust and NOx

Multi GW thermal radiator to get rid of waste heat from the lasers.

Programing to keep the laser beam from intersecting with satellites in lower orbits.

If anyone wants to scope out one of the problems with building power satellites via laser propulsion, I would sure appreciate it. The problem is the big laser beam that provides the energy needed to heat hydrogen for the propulsion into space. It tracks along the equator for about 4000 km accelerating a reusable vehicle into LEO, and does this 3 times an hour. It's not acceptable for the beam to intersect tens of millions of dollars worth of global positioning satellite with 20 MW/m^2.

Either the beam has to be briefly cut off to allow a satellite to pass through, or the acceleration and timing needs to be adjusted to avoid such intersections of the beam and working satellites. The problem isn't that different from the problem of satellites running into a space elevator cable.

Listing of launch sites with consideration for the initial power coming from the Earth.

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