My extrospecial friends,
I don't recall quite how it happened, but the other day a method of cooling
Jupiter brains just popped into my head. It was one of those "Oh, my,
that's nifty!" kind of ideas, and I let it sit awhile, so that, in case
there was something obviously silly about it that I was missing, maybe I
would see it and not make a fool of myself, and then have to do one of my
"confession of wrongness" routines. But, I haven't found a major problem
with it, so here goes.
In an elliptical orbit in relation to the jupiter brain, you have the
"coolant". However, rather than being a point mass, like, say, a comet,
it's ring-like: particles (carbon black?) of the appropriate material and
size evenly spaced along an elliptical orbital path.
Now normally you think of an orbit as being outside the outer surface of
the planet. If it were otherwise, it would slam into either (1) the
atmosphere of the planet, or (2) the planet itself, and, kersplatt!, could
not properly be called an "orbit". But if there were a tunnel through the
planet, that coincided with the orbital path, then the orbiting material
could actually zip right through the planet, entering one side and exiting
the other, and then head on out to the furthest reaches of the ellipse far
out in space. Not hard to see where this is going. Obviously, to avoid a
problem with atmospheric drag, the Jupiter brain would have to be sans
atmosphere ( I mean what does a Jupiter brain need an atmosphere for?), or
alternatively, the ends of the tunnel/tube would have to reach above the
outer reaches of the atmosphere. So, you see, the coolant goes in cold,
absorbs heat from the brain, zips out the "exhaust pipe", and radiates away
its heat as it makes its circuit out and then back again.
Finally, examining the geometry, we see that the tube will mostly pass
through just one side of the JB. So, to more evenly and efficiently cool
the JB--which I picture as being more or less solid and more or less
spherical--I envision two coolant flows, with the major axes of the two
ellipses lying along the same line, but the planes of the two ellipses
turned ninety degrees relative to one another, like two links in a chain
looping through one another, thus providing cooling symmetrically to the
opposite hemispheres of the JB. Internal radiators, internal (ie
non-orbiting) coolant flows, and the various other JB components, would be
built around the coolant tubes so as to optimize their function (well, duh!).
Perhaps there would be some challenge keeping the coolant aligned with the
tubes, ie, keeping the orbits stable (do orbiting rings ever orbit in
ellipses?), but I'll leave that for the orbital mechanics girls and
boys--Amara, Doug?--to mull over. Why should I have all the fun?
But, anyway, it seemed beautifully elegant to me.
Ain't it wonderful to be alive? Have a terrific day.
Best, Jeff Davis
"Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
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