In the past year many important events have taken place, including the NASA/DARPA Warp Drive Conference, the discovery of the Higgs-Boson particle, the PIONEER gravitation anomaly, progress with nuclear hybrid reactors and other developments. STAIF II proposes to look at these scientific subjects as well but with some interesting variations. For example, the NASA/DARPA conference focused upon developing a warp drive in a century. We prefer to look at this possibility within a decade. We are also interested in defining the confirmation and usefulness of the Higgs-Boson particle with reference to communication, energy, or use in propulsion. STAIF II is always interested in new presentations regarding gravitation as well as the PIONEER anomaly. A STAIF paper regarding hybrid reactor technology has provoked significant interest; does this change the paradigm regarding how we deal with energy?
The April 16-18, 2013 Conferences/Sessions with chairs and co-chairs under consideration were as follows:
Conference A: Conventional Technology Wisdom
Paul Czysz - Chair | Frank Mead - Co-chair
This Conference reviews information based upon concurrent technological investigations. For example, what conventional rocket propulsion systems will be used to go to Mars and beyond? What are the limitations of nuclear or solar propulsion? Are there dual capabilities for these devices? New energetic propellants or unusual uses of propulsion technology would also be of interest. Other topics could include devising a communications network for the solar system, analogous to GPS, to approach real-time data acquisition capability. GPS systems may have limitations for navigation using the outer planets. An alternative approach such as pulsar timing may merit investigation.
Conference B: Plasma Physics
John Brandenburg - Chair | Frank Mead- Co-chair
Recent advances in physics have looked at the possibility of new types of particles that may exist and are under current investigation. For instance, WIMPS are particles that supposedly exist as Dark Matter. After several years of investigation, no WIMPS have yet been identified. Does this mean there is no Dark Matter and if so, how does this bear upon the need for more gravitational mass throughout the cosmos? Other investigations of Kosyrev’s telescope experiments would also be of interest with the ability of looking at the past, present and future with regards to space mechanics. The potential uses of plasma and magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) to support advanced propulsion or energy production are also of concern.
This session is open to discussion of all aspects of plasmas including ignition, containment, transmission and applications. Other papers of interest may focus upon unusual nuclear propulsion and energy concepts.
Conference C: Gravitational Waves
Robert Baker - Chair | Gary Stephenson, Clive Woods
Giorgio Fontana - Co-Chairs
STAIF II generated a large body of literature concerning high frequency gravitational waves (HFGWs). Low Frequency Gravitational Waves (LFGW) with LIGO and aspects of gravity detection/quantification to study gravitational waves are of significant interest. Moreover, the physics community agrees that Einstein’s laws allow for the description of gravity as a hyperbolic partial differential equation. If this is the case, what is the necessary evidence and what are the parameters of interest? Is there any evidence of gravitational anomalies such as concerning the PIONEER, when there was a sudden change and near constant value for gravity at a distance of greater than 30 AU? Similar effects were observed with regard to three other satellites which have traveled to considerable differences. Moreover, given new data on the moons of Neptune, a recent technical paper indicates that conventional gravitation fails and may actually involve the PIONEER anomaly as well. For example, spinning neutron stars or jets from black holes may be generating repulsive gravitation. What is the evidence? What are the physical principles that might allow this to occur? Some papers in this session will also focus on using unification of electromagnetic concepts that might impact gravitational waves as proposed by Gertsenshtein. Other interests include gravitational waves as they may be used for: propulsion, imagery, mapping or communications.
Conference D: Advanced Propulsion, Energy Conversion, and
Frank Mead - Chair | Morgan Boardman - Co-chair
This Conference will examine advanced technology to support the above technical disciplines such as environmental effects or space mechanics. The objective is to develop requisites for technologies dealing with the near-abroad with reference to propulsion, gravitational waves and gravitational models as well as space weather. For example, can the model of a pulsar be developed that may provide insights to create a space propulsor? Objectives will also include technologies to support the far-abroad within the solar system and distant galaxies. Other topics to consider will include approaches that may provide insights for advanced propulsion such as unusual pulsar dynamics and the general character of the space environment. Other topics include mitigating the Near Earth Objects (NEO) originating from the Ort Cloud, the asteroid belt from Mars and Jupiter, and also from the Sun.
Analytical and Experimental Assessments of Technologies
Young Bae - Chair | Paul Murad - Co-chair
This Conference focuses upon analysis used to support the technological disciplines that would contribute to improved NASA TRL standards. Participants will present studies to evaluate these technologies and indicate their potential for the future.
This session also evaluates unusual experiments that are enigmas from the standpoint of conventional wisdom. Many of these are associated with superconductivity. For example, this includes the Podkletnov experiments as well as the recent work in Austria in cryogenics. In general experiments will be presented in which physical evidence challenges conventional wisdom and may support a paradigm shift.
Astrophysical Scientific Anomalies
Paul Murad - Chair | Frank Mead - Co-Chair
We are looking beyond incremental improvements to existing propulsion technology with the objective of getting into space in an affordable, greener and more advanced way. We need to examine both fringe and mainstream thinking that will allow the existence of a warp drive in a decade. Some imaginative experiments have produced anomalous results that appear to contradict the current paradigm. One Russian approach utilizes a rotating magnetic device. Another recent device exhibited changes in weight, both losses and gains that could not be accounted for under standard assumptions. These devices and at least some of the other magnetic-based inventions seem to act as transducers; the question arises as to whether they are tapping into the ZPE.
Other unconventional devices will be considered such as magnetic devices that were observed to levitate when an experimenter accidentally shorted the output. Other inventors claim a consistent COP greater than 1.0 and can use a version of this device to charge an electric car. These claims have some credibility based on contemporary observations by skilled engineers and could conceivably form the basis of advanced propulsion schemes.
Inventions are a form of art and the best ones feature a large intuitive component. The inventor of the Magnetic Energy Converter mentioned above had a dream about a magnetic tornado and translated the image into a mechanical and electrical equivalent. We need to seriously examine unconventional concepts and identify the solution paths to find results. This session will also include “interesting failures” and “interesting physical phenomena” that defy conventional assumptions.
Conference E: Mars and Other Planets Space Colonization Session
John Brandenburg - Chair | Shelley Thomson - Co-Chair
We are interested in other exploration within the entire solar system. Currently the human landing and settlement of the Mars system compared to going to the Moon will be a watershed event in human history. It will dwarf the Apollo Moon landings in significance. For the first time humans will journey across deep space and set foot upon another living world. This key challenge defines a new millennium. The attainment of Mars requires a quantum leap in space flight technology and imagination.
Advanced propulsion and space power are key enablers for a human Mars and other planets mission. Chemical rocket technology was sufficient for the Moon, but is inadequate for the greater challenge of colonizing Mars. New higher performance propulsion technologies must be developed. Using nuclear or electric heating for thrust presents new dangers and technical difficulties. Conceivably, early missions to Mars can operate with large-scale solar electric propulsion, using the MET (microwave Electro-Thermal), which uses water propellant and has a sufficient exhaust velocity.
A power source for human settlements must be developed. Mars receives only half the sunlight intensity of earth, and dust storms can reduce that to zero for months. Nuclear power would appear to be mandatory for any extended human stay on Mars. However, not all of Mars’ realities are as harsh as the Moon’s. There is evidence that it may have once supported life and perhaps there is evidence to be found that it still does. We need to understand Mars’ history and evolution. Among other puzzles, some geological evidence eons ago may suggest that Mars saw surface nuclear events.
Mars is not only a planet but also a system; its two moons Phobos and Deimos provide ready-made space stations. The inner moon Phobos is 10 km long; it provides abundant material for radiation shield and perhaps propellant. Its weak gravity means that visitors do not land on Phobos but dock with it. The absence of a magnetic field at Mars eliminates the hazards of a van Allen belt and allows easy access to Phobos’ surface for astronauts. For a surface landing, Mars’ atmosphere provides a convenient brake and also a resource for making rocket fuel for liftoff. Mars has water, useful as propellant as well as a necessity of life. Mars presents us with a historic challenge on one hand, but with abundant resources and help on the other.
We seek technical papers that will develop mission concepts and strategies to address these key issues of Mars and other planets. For example, serious development of exploration of the Moon will provide a means of testing the technology needed to develop Mars. While there are environmental differences between the Moon and Mars with respect to both temperature variation and terrain; the Martian environment is in many ways more hospitable. Both have water, which is a strong reason to explore both celestial bodies.
Conference F: Environmental Sciences
Morgan Boardman - Chair | TBD - Co-chair
The Environmental Sciences Section explores game-changing technologies to remediate the environment for Earth as well as planets. This conference addresses climatic and environmental Black Swan events that fall outside the limits of statistical prediction. The frequency of environmental Black Swans is increasing, creating situations in which multiple challenges must be dealt with simultaneously—a kind of 'Mega-Black-Swan' event.
This conference aggressively investigates any outlying technology or strategy directed towards solving problems such as weather control, pollution abatement (as in the recent B.P. disaster), and the Daiichi nuclear reactor tragedy. Papers will review green/clean energy solutions, alternative practices, effective philosophies of communication, and social integration. We would span the hard sciences as well, as not leaving any philosophic stone unturned with respect to solutions to our current dire state. Moreover, this section will focus on applications and theory that can mitigate, solve, or eradicate environmental threats and identify leading indicators of environmental collapse. This section is solution oriented, seeking fixes that may be available in the advanced sciences.
Conference G: Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR)
George Miley - Chair | TBD - Co-chair
With recent LENR developments, the paradigm can change the way energy can be produced from an individual to society level capability. These developments are not mature and require additional work such as extensive testing and evaluation as well as a better foundation to the theory. If these approaches are real, what are the other bounds that are required? Does LENR replace hot nuclear fission or fusion?
Conference H: Space Economic Frontier
Morgan Boardman - Chair TBD - Co-chair
The challenge is to define situations in which it is profitable to go into space. For example, if an astronaut were to spend 6 months on the Moon surveying land that would be sold to investors on the Earth, more than adequate funds may be obtained. For example if a 2 billion dollar investment were used to fund the propulsion and supply requirements, a property about the size of Alaska could potentially yield $40 billion, which is a considerable return on investment. This Conference should also consider mining requirements on the planets as well as the Moon.