American company is developing a fusion reactor for spacecraft

(ORDO NEWS) — The Pentagon has ordered the development of a fusion reactor for spacecraft, although such a power plant would be useful in other areas. The energy that the reactor produces will be very expensive at first.

The device is called the Orbitron, and if successful, it will become a kind of battery that will produce megawatts of energy. By 2027, the prototype is planned to be sent into space, as stated by the head of the company, Robin Langtry.

Development details

– The Orbitron is based on the principle of an ion trap: the device captures high-speed ions, which begin to rotate around the cathode in a tiny orbit.

The smaller the orbit, the higher the probability of fusion of light atomic nuclei into heavier ones – this reaction is accompanied by the release of a large amount of energy. Similar reactions occur, for example, on the Sun.

– The idea is relatively simple in words, but in practice there are a lot of problems. For example, very high voltage is required for operation.

If the engineers manage to solve all the difficulties, the compact fusion reactor will change the rules of the game in many areas. Such a device could become the main energy source of the future.

– So far, the prototype operates at a voltage of about 100 kilovolts, but the developers expect that soon the performance can be tripled.

It should be noted that at this stage of development, the price per kilowatt of energy is very expensive.

As the price drops, more and more markets open up for something like this. I think we’ll start with a million dollars per kilowatt.

When we get to $100,000 per kilowatt, more applications will probably open up: aviation, drones. And then when we get to $10,000 or $3,000 per kilowatt, we start competing with other forms of terrestrial energy like fuel cells, batteries, and so on, ” Langtry says.

Recall that in May, the Pentagon announced the conclusion of contracts with companies working in the field of nuclear technology to create “next generation nuclear engines and energy systems.” Avalanche Energy is one of them.

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