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Current issue

ELEKTRO 5/2019 was released on May 15th 2019. Its digital version will be available imediately.

Topic: Lightning and overvoltage protection; Fire and safety technologies

Main Article
Verification of material coefficient defined in the standard STN EN 62305-3
Smart Cities (final part 10)

SVĚTLO (Light) 2/2019 was released on March 15th 2019. Its digital version will be available immediately.

Architectural and scenic lighting
The architectural lighting of Bečov nad Teplou castle
Lighting design in a nutshell – Part 41
The analyse of light picture a little more theoretic

Day light
Biggest mistakes in day lighting design of buildings

How to Build a Space Elevator From Scratch

31.08.2015 | Spectrum IEEE | spectrum.ieee.org

The idea of a space elevator has been around for over a century. The basic concept is simple: a tether descends from a spacecraft in geostationary orbit to a floating platform at the equator, probably in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Because of a counterweight that would extend far into space, the space elevator’s tether would be gravitationally stable, allowing electric elevator cars to make the week-long climb to orbit powered by solar panels and ground-based lasers.

Are we on the verge of building the space elevator?

Researchers from the International Space Elevator Consortium (ISEC) believe, that such a system could eventually slash the cost of raising a kilogram of payload into geosynchronous orbit from roughly US $25,000 to $300 or less. The key word, of course, is “eventually”. Technical challenges are legion, including building the aircraft carrier-size floating platform, designing safe, speedy climbers, and avoiding space debris and other satellites. But the truly fundamental obstacle is the lack of a material strong and resilient enough to form the elevator’s tether.

In current designs, the space elevator’s tether is not a thick round cable as originally proposed, but a paper-thin ribbon, a meter wide and 100,000 kilometers long. Even with such a slimmed-down approach, the strain of simply keeping its own mass aloft would instantly shred any tether made from steel, Kevlar, carbon composites, or even the best carbon nanotubes we can currently make.

Read more at Spectrum IEEE

Image Credit: ISEC

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