Re: Sharing Models, was: Intestinal Fortitude

From: Adrian Tymes (
Date: Mon Mar 19 2001 - 23:29:00 MST

Spike Jones wrote:
> In the next few weeks we could suggest visions of what we want
> to do with a team-effort expandable web-accessible extropian
> space exploration model. If we cant work it out here on this
> simple problem, many of our lofty visions will likely stay just visions.

Well...I was going to wait until I'd actually done it to announce it,
but this is as good a cue as I'm going to get. This past weekend, I
managed to collate together what appear to be the equations necessary
for a simple plasma engine. I was going to toss them into a
spreadsheet when I got time (probably next weekend), but what if I
converted them to Javascript and posted them in an HTML letter to this
list instead, along with a brief description of the engine as a system?
Granted, I'm not 100% sure I got all the equations correct - but asking
for someone to double-check would be part of the point of posting it.
This would seem to satisfy both the "open source" (Javascript is a
specification that people can write interpreters for) and "GUI"
(equationss encoded into a form, so you just plug in numbers and click
a button to see the results; or if you want to edit the equations, save
to HTML and hack around with the code, then open the page again)

Some of these equations would be specific to plasma engines (for
instance, the amount of power required to contain the plasma), but some
would apply to all RLVs (for instance, the rocket equation that
determines how much fuel mass you'll need). We could take that as a
base, then add different sets for different propulsion technologies.
(I'd favor simple chemical rockets, and the versions of same that have
actually been deployed, as an early add-on for reference if nothing
else.) Host a page with all the models on a site where someone with
the bandwidth to maintain this project can incorporate new models that
have been submitted (possibly two versions: one for all submitted ones,
and one for ones where one or two people who did not write it have
checked the code and failed to find any flaws - a simple implementation
of peer review, hopefully with the same benefits).

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