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Using Io's flux tube as energy source?

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Extrasolar Angel Extrasolar Angel's picture
Using Io's flux tube as energy source?
From Eclipse Phase : "For all that, transhumanity’s worst peril on Io is radiation. Ejecta from geysers and volcanoes flow with Jupiter’s magnetic eld to form a titanic, toroidal flux tube that rotates with Io around the gas giant." So-how plausible would be an effort to using the Io's tube as source energy. Does anyone have any information if such concept has been theoritically studied?
[I]Raise your hands to the sky and break the chains. With transhumanism we can smash the matriarchy together.[/i]
Arenamontanus Arenamontanus's picture
Re: Using Io's flux tube as energy source?
I know it has been used in fiction, it powers the Moravec's ship in Dan Simmons "Illium". It has been studied a bit, see the subject of electrodynamic tethers. For example this paper (pdf) calculates that if we deorbit Amalthea we could get 4×10^15 J. This paper claims you can get 1 MW with just an 11 km tether, which is more than current materials can handle. This is just the magnetic field of Jupiter, not the 10^12 W flux tube. According to some papers I have seen this is actually already acting as a giant engine to move Io into a more remote orbit. Putting a cable into it might entice some of those electrons to do some work, so I wouldn't be too surprised if one could get a fraction of those terawatts to power the Jovian Republic doomsday lasers...
root root's picture
Re: Using Io's flux tube as energy source?
root@Piccolo.Muse "I think I'll argue with Jovian command to get capital control of that. With the Mass Driver I could build with that thing, I'd be rich enough to afford a real morph. Er, I mean, I'll be rich enough to support the Jovian Republic! Yes! That is what I meant."
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