.:Together, we can make history.

 

Low cost access to space could enable so many things -- and soon.:

Cities in space.

Mining asteroids for precious metals for export to Earth.

Human habitats on the Moon and Mars.

Build massive detection systems capable of finding life elsewhere in our galaxy -- or even further.

Clean up orbital debris before exponentially increasing collisions might turn low Earth orbit into a killing field. Pictured below, space debris being tracked as of 2019. Objects too small to track also could kill, or trigger cascades of deadly new particles.

 

.: Key Technology: ISIT's Superconducting Pulsed Transformer

ISIT's Superconducting Pulsed Transformer would be an essential component of any gun launch to orbit system using superconducting quench, defined as what happens when a superconducting current suddenly goes non-superconducting. Today, when it becomes necessary to quench a superconductor, it requires quickly boiling off its liquid helium (video here).

Our innovation is to instead convert a superconducting current via a controlled quench into an electromagnetic force that propels a projectile. See a video here of how this might enable low cost Earth to space launch.

However, there is a crucial problem with this video. The narrator says that each superconducting coil would automatically quench, converting its energy into accelerating the launch vehicle. While it is true that each coil as shown in this video would automaticallyquench, this only would happen once, and likely would release its energy too slowly to effectively accelerate the launch vehicle. Worse yet, unless a quench is carefully and SLOWLY managed, this could damage the system.

Fortunately, our calculations show how to solve this problem. But calculations aren't enough. We must build a working model based on these, and test it.

Unfortunately, right after we finished this research, DARPA cancelled its hypervelocity launch technology program.

.:You can help us.

 

Your tax deductible donation will fund these activities:

(1) Build and test our design of a repeatable superconducting quench switch. The switching device is an essential component of any Earth to space quench launcher Estimated cost: $100K.

(2) Fund a team of students to build a prototype quench using this switching device. Estimated cost: $200K. If you are a student or professor interested in joining our team, please email our lead researcher, Dr. Harry Fair, at fair[at]isitaustin.org.

(3) Build a payload hardened to 200 gs Estimated cost: $100K.

(4) Send this team to test launch a vehicle and a payload at America's Cup, an intercollegiate rocketry competition managed by the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA), held each June at Spaceport America in New Mexico, USA . Estimated cost: $100K..

How likely is it that we will succeed? We don't need any scientific breakthroughs. What we need is to hone and test recent technology developments. See ISIT's report to DARPA for details.

What you will receive for supporting this research.

Your receipt will enable you to take a deduction on your U.S. income tax. (For other nations' tax forms, see your nation's regulations.)

We will keep you updated on our research via email, and invite you to our first launch at the annual Spaceport America Cup, along with the opportunity to meet our team.

You will be the first to hear about job opportunities with the research you helped to fund.

For the sake of history, we also will record you as a member of the team that may well help to build new civilizations in space.

After accomplishing the first Spaceport America Cup launch. the next, more expensive research phases should become feasible through the power of private enterprise -- either existing aerospace companies or new ventures. Indeed, people from major aerospace companies and at least one venture capital powerhouse will be at America's S spaceport for our first launch.

Next Research Phase (partial list)

Aero thermal heating.

Atmospheric drag.

Aerodynamic forces to enable faster atmospheric exit

Rocket-based orbital insertion system.

Scale to 7-10 km/sec muzzle exit velocity and mass (minimum 5-10 kg)

Develop freight systems hardened to 200 gs

.: Management and Organization


The Institute's focus areas. Click on a specific area for more information.





    August 2021: ISIT's Dawna Coutant and Carolyn Meinel had been combating COVID-19 in IARPA's FOCUS program. We did better than the big modeling teams for the first six months of the pandemic. Then we were about even with the models until Delta arrived. Wow, what a surprise this was to most of us. See what we had forecasted for 2021 as of August 8, 2020 at Covid_forecasts_2021.html

     

    May 2020: ISIT's Carolyn Meinel explains how she used Natural Language Processing to forecast geopolitical questions in a webinar hosted by Basis Technology: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall -- which Country Will Rule them All?

     

    January 2020: The team of ISIT and KaDSci, LLC came in 4th place in IARPA's Geopolitical Forecasting Competition out of over 100 initial competitors by forecasting 305 questions within just 5 1/2 months: Details here.

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