Anatomy of an EchoLance

The construction of starships could be standardized to bring down their costs. The nuclear industry in the United States is an example of non-standardized construction. Each plant seems to differ from all others, which delays certification.

Enzmann Echolance – Model by E. Pangman, project engineer

The Echolances may be divided into sections. There are multiple rationales for the division.

Construction would be in sections such that sections could be built on the surface of the Earth then carried to shipyards in space for assembly. In a Starfleet operating far from Earth, sections could be moved from one ship to another, adding enormously to the safety of a fleet should ships be damaged or malfunction in part or in whole.

The construction of starships could be standardized to bring down their costs. The nuclear industry in the United States is an example of non-standardized construction. Each plant seems to differ from all others, which delays certification.

Standardized construction tends to improve quality it was the standardization of armories, then assembly lines that brought the United States into the machine age, and opened for all of us the cornucopia of creature comforts we live in.

Crow’s nest, bridge, gyrane mechanisms, shield beam controls, scoop beam controls, inter-fleet shuttle decks, cone shields, controls for the athodyd, frame for the athodyd, frame for snowball fuel-sphere lock-on.

Fission reactors, fission-fusion reactors, fusion reactors, thermal radiators, power transmission, cooling of echolance superconducting magnets, thrust development in Echolances.

Living quarters, facilities, recreation, schools, hospitals, malls, ANP decks, fanjet decks, refueler decks, logistics decks, repair and maintenance decks, garden decks, animal areas, supply storage, mini-factories, rotator belts, doubly-rotating spheres.

Radioactive dump as after-burn, radioactive refining, heavy metal fabrication, fuel refining, ore beneficiation.

A vital part of the Echolances is their crane frames. These may be used as cranes, gangplanks, pipelines, conveyor belts, or walkways. Crane frames may be used to grapple other ships to assist them. They may be extended as landing pads and deployed on comets and asteroids in refueling operations when a starship finds a body small enough to permit it to land. It could land on a body where the gravitational field at the surface would cause weights to be perhaps 1/25 to 1/50 of that of Earth or less. On such a body a 100,000-ton ship could be supported on a framework designed to carry weights of 2,500 tons, 1,000 tons, or less.


Lance and Echolance

ION PROPULSION is the simplest form of a particle beam drive for spaceships. In an ion drove particles can be electrically accelerated such that their equivalent temperatures are on the order of tens of thousands of degrees. These temperature equivalents may be attained without melting container walls.

LANCE PROPULSION is in effect an electrical transformer used such that electrical energy conducted into its primary (accelerating coils) is transformed into the momentum of a secondary conductor. The energy in the primary is transformed into the momentum of the beam.

(note: development of beam weapons will move the explosion of mankind out into interstellar space by decades – perhaps centuries. A beam weapon is a rudimentary Lance Drive. Beam weapons convert energy into momentum. The momentum carried by a beam may be the equivalent of a thousand-point artillery shell moving at speeds of miles per second. Yet, at rest the mass of such beams are infinitesimal fractions of a gram)

ECHO LANCE is a word coined by the writer. (RDE) I apologize for this but wish to explain that the curious designation “echolance” is used to emphasize one of the most important aspects of rocket physics: a rocket functions with maximum efficiency when its exhaust velocity exactly equals its forward velocity.

At relativistic speed, Lance Drives can expel particles rearward. In doing so they will not only gain a forward component of reaction energy but in addition, the relativistic mass of the beam. Ideally, the beam would be left motionless in space with a trivial rest mass, while the ship would gain both the forward impetus of its forward reaction against its beam and the inertial mass of the beam.

One of the centermost aspects of starship design is the mass ratios of fuel to payload. Here, the payload includes the ship, its frame, its engine, its cargo, life support systems. The mass ratio is a ratio of fuel to everything else including fuel tanks.

Dr. Robert Bussard has long realized that if hydrogen fuel could be gained from the interstellar environment it would make a startling difference in mass rations. It would not only make a difference, but it would also be one of the most attractive routes to designing a vehicle that could reach speeds well over 99% of that of light.

Many scientists and engineers have developed upon the Bussard Scoop. It is an attractive concept.

All scoop designs I have seen use material scoops. It is not at all necessary to build a scoop of metal, Mylar, or any other material substance. A scoop may be fashioned of light beams.

The simple computations below suggest that scooping fuel from the interstellar continuum with beams of light totally eliminates the need for massive structures extending tens, hundreds, even thousands of miles about a starship.

Scooping of fuel with light beams is not only possible with relatively lightweight equipment, but it increases the efficiency of a starship in other ways, for example:

Waste heat of the fission and/or fusion reactors may be beamed forward to augment the scoop.

Waste heat will be Doppler shifted by the starships speed such that it will appear to have a much shorter wavelength relative to the hydrogen, deuterium, etc. in the inertial spaces between the stars.

The substance scooped will have its temperature raised to near fusion temperatures wherewith they may be used in an interstellar athodyd which will be considered in the next section on PROPULSION SYSTEMS.