Major SE Challenges
There are many technical challenges facing the construction of the space elevator. We are at the point where we are still dealing with a few critical items that could severely impact the basic design and construction. Beyond these issues there will be a large number of engineering issues that will need to be addressed, but they will all be solvable with a small army of engineers.
The primary issue we face is the production of carbon nanotube material on large scales and in mass quantity. Many are working on this issue though not as many as we would like;--resources are limited in spite of the fantastic commercial potential. Because this is the 800-pound Gorilla problem of the space elevator, we will discuss it on a specific page ( CNTs ). Beyond the CNTs, we have a set of critical items that need to get addressed and this effort is an ideal way to do it.
The top issues we need to and can address are
- Energy in ribbon
- Optimal ribbon design
- Ribbon Splicing
- Experimental tests of ribbon in atomic oxygen
- Radiation protection for humans in transit
- Climber tracking
- Spooling of initial ribbon for launch
- Detailed modeling of ribbon degradation lifetime
- Ribbon attachment mechanism
- Full system design of climber
- Full budget analysis of operations.
Some of these are at the Ph.D. thesis level and others can be addressed by a team of engineers with the last one as the oddball that is ideal for a good set of business people in collaboration with the technical people here.
The starting point as been stated on each individual page, the rest of the work is what we need.