• Published Papers
  • Open Access
  • Advanced Concept Ramjet Propulsion System Utilizing In-Situ Positron Antimatter Derived from Ultra-Intense Laser with Fundamental Performance Analysis
  • DOI: 10.4236/jamp.2014.25003   PP.19 - 26, Pub. Date: April 24 , 2014
  • Author(s)
  • Robert Le Moyne, Timothy Mastroianni
  • The fundamental performance analysis of an advanced concept ramjet propulsion system using antimatter is presented. Antimatter is generated by ultra-intense laser pulses incident on a gold target. The scientific foundation for the generation of antimatter by an ultra-intense laser was established in the early 1970’s and later demonstrated at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 2008 to 2009. Antimatter on the scale of 2 × 1010 positrons were generated through a ~1 ps pulse from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Titan laser that has an intensity of ~1020 W/cm2. The predominant mechanism is the Bethe-Heitler process, which involves high-energy bremsstrahlung photons as a result of electron-nuclei interaction. Propulsion involving lasers through chemical rather than non-chemical interaction has been previously advocated by Phipps. The major utilities of the ultra-intense laser derived antimatter ramjet are the capability to generate antimatter without a complex storage system and the ability to decouple the antimatter ramjet propulsion system from the energy source. For instance the ultra-intense laser and energy source could be terrestrial, while the ramjet could be mounted to a UAV as a propulsion system. With the extrapolation of current technologies, a sufficient number of pulses by ultra-intense lasers are eventually anticipated for the generation of antimatter to heat the propulsive flow of a ramjet. Fundamental performance analysis is provided based on an ideal ramjet derivation that is modified to address the proposed antimatter ramjet architecture.


  • Ultra-Intense Laser, Antimatter, Positron, Antimatter Propulsion, Antimatter Generation, Ramjet Propulsion
  • References
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