Thursday, December 20, 2012

Turkish Indigenous Reconnaissance and Intelligence Satellite

GÖKTÜRK-2 Satellite is originally an Earth Observation Scientific Research and Technology Satellite Development Project which has been funded by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) resources. The contract was signed by the Ministry of Defense (MoD), The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) and TUBİTAK UZAY-TAI consortium on 13 April 2007.  And was also developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc. (TAI) and The Scientific andTechnological Research Council Space Technologies Research Institute (TÜBİTAK UZAY) Consortium.

Launch and Beyond…

Turkey's second observation satellite GÖKTÜRK-2 was launched successfully from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center (JSLC) in China.

The first national high-resolution optical observation satellite GÖKTÜRK-2, was launched on December 18, 2012 at 18:13 local time in Turkey with a Long March-2D rocket. It left the launcher at 18:25 local time in Turkey. 

 The first transition signal was received successfully from Tromsø SatelliteStation in Norway at 19:39 local time in Turkey.

Gökturk-2 Technical Specs
:Sun Synchronous Orbit
: ~ 700 km
:~ 98 minutes
Daily Ground Station Contact
: ~- 40 min (day time and night)
Imaging by Full Coverage of Earth

Real Time Image Transfer

:< 409 kg.
Image Storage Capacity
:> 15 Gbit
: 2,5 m


The satellite meets the observation, reconnaissance and intelligence needs of the Turkish Armed Forces with high-resolution picture capability.The first pictures from the satellite are expected to be received on December 25-30, 2012.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ion Thrusters and Electric Spacecraft Propulsion

Ion thruster is basically a much better and faster  propulsion system than any other propulsion system already in use.

It sounds like an assertive claim. But you can belive it. Its superior than chemical propulsions in many ways. 

Its an electric propulsion created by accelerating ions. By the method of accelerating ions these thrusters differ as electrostatic and electromagnetic ion thrusters.

Copyright: ESA, Illustration Medialab

Electrostatic ion thrusters use the Coulomb force accelerate ions in the direction of the electric field on the other hand electromagnetic ion thrusters use the Lorentz force. (which is mentioned in almost every article of  this blog)

In my opinion they are better than chemical thrusters in many ways.

-Power and speed of the spacecraft
-The range of a spacecraft.
-Cruising cost
-Pulse preciseness

I will try to explain...
Conventional chemical spacecraft propulsion systems create thrust by thermodynamically expanding heated propellant as through a nozzle. Which can be effective but these systems are limited by the available reaction energies and thermal transfer considerations to exhaust gas velocities of a few thousand metres per second. Electric/electromagnetic propulsion can produce a higher velocity increment for the vehicle. 

A clear comparison table of ESA will show the differences.

Comparison of propulsion technologies



Small monopropellant thruster
Fregat Main Engine (S5.92M)
SMART-1 Hall Effect Thruster(PPS-1350)
Nitrogen tetroxide / Unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine
SpecificImpulse (s)
Thrust (N)
1.96 x 104
6.80 x 10-2
Thrust time (s)
1.66 x 105
1.80 x 107
Thrust time (h)
Propellantconsumed (kg)
TotalImpulse (Ns)
1.1 x 105
1.72 x 107
1.2 x 106
Fregat produces ~ 14 times the total impulse of SMART-1's engine, but uses nearly 70 times more propellant mass to do so. The hydrazine thruster produces less than a tenth as much total impulse while using 65% of the propellant mass.

Another limitation of any chemical propulsion system faces is the storage of the energy or storage of the source of the energy. There are two problems of storage. First it can store a limited supply second they are big and heavy. Bigger and heavier objects are harder to carry to space.
While chemical propulsion systems store their energy in the propellants, the energy required by electric propulsion systems is generated by solar panels so there is no storage to carry to space and there is no limited energy source.

Thats why this could be the only way for mankind to explore outer space.


Outer space  or in orbit;  Ad Astra VF-200 VASIMR electromagnetic thruster was being considered for placement and testing on the International Space Station.

 "The Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket, or VASIMR, uses radio waves to create and speed up free-flying, electrically charged particles known as plasma. The concoction is then herded through nozzles made of magnetic fields, not metals like traditional rocket engines."

LISA Pathfinder
LISA Pathfinder is an ESA spacecraft to be launched in 2013. It will not use ion thrusters as its primary propulsion system, but will use both colloid thrusters and FEEP for very precise altitude control. These kind of precise pulses are possible with electrical propulsion.

Which is a very important part of space flight and navigation.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System

It may sound or look like a sci-fi technology but this system is no longer fiction at all...

It did lauch several jets since december 2010. Started with the F/A-18E Super Hornet in december 18 2010 at Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst. And a T-45 Goshawk on June 1-2 2010: Successful launch of a T-45 Goshawk. And the largest of all a C2-A Greyhound on June 9-10 2010 all on the same location at Lakehurst. This was the largest of them in terms of size although the F/A-18 has a more max take off capacity it cannot

carry 30 people with equipments so this jets lauch has a tactical value. As far as i can understand it will replace the steam catapults. But it might not stop there because its literally a perfect system; its cheap, its reliable and less damaging on the equipment such as the stress on the airframes... To be spesific, EMALS reduces the overall operational costs and reduces maintenance over steam catapults. System has less stress on the ship and aircraft systems. With this system the "ford-class" may have fixed-wing launch capability. It also needs lesser fresh water.

Video shows a  F/A-18 Super Hornet launch with EMALS.

EMALS uses a linear induction motor (LIM), which uses electric currents to generate magnetic fields that  propel a carriage down a track to launch the aircraft...

Its simple working mechanism makes it even better as i mentioned it will reduce the maintenance costs... The only down side to some is the enormous energy needs of the system which is drawn from ship and stored
kinetically on rotors of four disk alternators.

Each rotor can store more than 100 megajoules, and can be recharged within 45 seconds that time frame is very important because its faster than steam catapults. Its better in all aspects.

My personal view, this technology reminds me of the railgun technology because they are using similar technologies and the only difference is railgun moves a bullet with the same magnetic field generated push and EMALS is lauching a jet but the princple is the same and can be explained by the Loerntz force. So it all started with rediscovery of the magnetic power with the railgun...

On the other hand, ConvertTeam from United Kingdom is also working on a similar technology called electro-magnetic catapult (EMCAT) system for their new upcomming Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carrier/s. This also brings the question, will UK drop their F-35B buy or change it to F-35C which is the carrier variant and also $25 million cheaper version...

Well i thnik that will depend on how well the EMCAT tech performs with  F-35C's but no matter what i personally think UK will buy both versions and later on they will focus and use mainly the  F-35C variant.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Railgun, Electromagnetic Technology and Aviation

I am very thrilled when i am writing this particular piece, because i really admire the electromagnetic power and i have never understood why it has been overlooked but from now on no one will or can even if they want...
A very “high-tech” gun that has no other principle than the homopolar motor and the acceptance of the magnetic-power.

This very technology exsist since 1919 and invented by French inventor Louis Octave Fauchon-Villeplee his choice of name was “Electric Apparatus for Propelling Projectiles” and with that name it was patented in 1922.

It is simple and safe. Railguns are only consists of two parallel metals which are connected to a power source, from that power source an electrical current is given and the current makes the metal pieces behave like an electromagnet with high energy this creates a powerful magnetic field in the region of the rails and towards the position of the projectile. And the rest is taken care of by the good old Lorentz force we all love... This simplycity accelerates a projectile along the rails. Unbelievable isn't it? This is the science project of a 15 year old.
Its hard to say it is a “gun” because you can use it for many purpouses, which i am giong to return...

But the “gun” part is almost perfect, it is safe because there is no explosives used, and it is accurete by the same reason again you can give the same amount of energy(33 megajoules give or take) and you can hit the same target at the same place as mant times as you want. It doesnt have the recoil of a normal cannon, it has
much more power and shoots much faster and it doesnt have the self-damage factor that normal cannons have because of the explosives they use... And did i mentioned it shoots faster-yes i did but i will again because it shoots with an unbeliaveable speed of 3,500 meters/second or 10 mach per hour!

A demonstration shown in the video;

So back to other uses i mentioned before, first of all that is not a weapon that is a perfect “delivery system”. You can use it as a gun and they obviously did. You can launch aircrafts with it and it is done also there is a system called Electro Magnetic Aircraft Launch System and thats mainly the subject of this Blog, its relation with aviation and i am going to write about it.

But there is a much further use of it in development, which is to launch or launch assist of a spacecraft!!!
Yes! A spacecraft. And it will be much cheaper according to I.R. McNab. It can be as cheap as $528 per kg. It is much much more cheaper than todays cost of $20,000 per kg.(This is of course the NASA's cost and there are cheaper ways such as Elon Musk's SpaceX but that is a different topic.) So in short it is 37 times cheaper, cleaner and safer than conventional spacecraft launching. That is the power of electromagnetics it is rediscovered and there is no turning back again... And that is the part where science fiction,  becomes science:

I dont think NASA can or will complete the technology but this idea this vision is out now and later on maybe SpaceX maybe others can achive that. The era of standart explosives and powder is over with this technology.

And i think the era of the Internal combustion engine will also be over with this same technology because both electric motors WILL take over(and they are electromagnetism based) and secondly it will be very hard for the diesel engines to meet the huge energy needs of these weapons.  Of course it won t be a problem for nuclear powered carriers and Rolls-Royce Marine Trent-30 powered Zumwalt class destroyers.