More Details on Lockheed’s Compact Fusion Project Provided by Team Leader

An article by Daniel Clery at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s news site ScienceInsider reports about new information presented at a news conference held at Lockheed’s Palmdale, California facility on Monday in which Tom McGuire, who is heading up Lockheed’s recently announced ‘compact fusion’ project, gave more information about the work he is involved with.

According to McGuire, the reason the normally very secretive Skunk Works division at Lockheed went public with this news is that they are seeking to find partners to help them in developing their fusion reactor, and expand the small team that has been working on the project. McGuire stated, ““we think we’ve invented something that is inherently stable . . . [but] we are very early in the scientific process.””

Apparently this reactor uses a design referred to as ‘cusp confinement’, which uses magnetic fields to trap particles. They also use ‘magnetic mirrors’ and a recirculation system to ensure that particles do not escape the reactor.

McGuire said that there would need to be shielding around the reactor with a thickness of between 80 and 150 centimeters to prevent the release of neutrons. No data from testing has been release yet, but McGuire said that results would be published next year.

All in all, it seems to me that while scientifically interesting, Lockheed’s system is a long way behind Rossi’s E-Cat reactor in terms of product development, simplicity, safety and performance. When it comes to commercial availability, indications are that the fist commercial E-Cat plant is in the testing phase as we speak (but we can’t count success yet) — and the Lockheed fusion reactors seem to be at least a decade away.

I do think Lockheed is ahead in one area — public awareness and media attention. Since the announcement of this project last week, the Lockheed fusion story has been covered in mainstream media sources across the globe (see here for a sample of links from Google News) — and the video Lockheed released has had almost half a million views so far on YouTube. The recent release of the Lugano E-Cat test report has barely made a ripple in the media.

 

 

  • GreenWin

    Gee, it doesn’t sound like something you’d want in your office, home, shopping center, or neighborhood. When it breaks it becomes a giant radioactive hot box. Lockheed likes doing stuff the big, expensive, hard way.

  • GreenWin

    No. That’s a doctored article.

  • Christopher Calder

    Well, number 1 is a funny joke.

    What do you mean by number 2, “not distributed”? Do you mean you will never have one in your basement? That is an advantage of cold fusion, and I doubt you will ever get a hot fusion reactor in your car or even in an airplane. Fast neutrons need too much shielding for that. 3) Cold fusion is getting very little government funding through NASA, the secret agencies, and the DOE, but I still believe Defkalion is getting some aid. Defkalion told me “they are on it”, which means to me receiving aid, not just applying. LENR is overwhelmingly privately funded as is the Lockheed scheme. Let people privately invest in what they want. I like to have a backup system in case one technology hits a technical roadblock. The Lockheed Martin system may be a very useful tool and it is good to have a full toolbox. You never know when you will need one tool or another.

  • Bernie777

    This is what you said when I suggested Lockheed announced because of E-Cat report, ” it is difficult for me to get away from the thought that you may be thinking the world revolves around what you are keen about, i.e. the E-Cat.” What changed your mind in ten minutes?

  • Bernie777

    “7 things negative people will do to you. They will…
    1. Demean your value;
    2. Destroy your image
    3. Drive you crazily!
    4. Dispose your dreams!
    5. Discredit your imagination!
    6. Defame your abilities and
    7. Disbelieve your opinions!

    Stay away from negative people!”
    ― Israelmore Ayivor

  • Alan DeAngelis

    If you wonderful engineers at ML could only stand up to the captain Blighs of the world, you too could be working on LENR.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3vtKU9bi10

  • GreenWin

    Hello Ivy. What part in this Lockheed transfer do you play? And how do you suppose McGuire intends to contain the millions degree heat and deadly neutrons if his “magnetic mirrors” fail?

  • Ophelia Rump

    What happens if it breaches the containment? I would imagine the confinement causing a sort of pressure inside, Would that be something like a solar flare happening on earth?

  • Christopher Calder

    We should be supportive of Lockheed Martin as this is potentially breakthrough technology that could give us limitless low cost electricity. No electricity has yet been produced by either hot fusion or cold fusion reactors, so we should encourage many different technologies to compete in the marketplace to see which one ultimately delivers the lowest costs. Hot fusion may turn out to be cheaper for very large power plants, and cold fusion and other forms of LENR (Solar Hydrogen Trends) may be better for transportation uses. We don’t know for sure and should not take an us-vs.-them attitude, as long as the “them” are working on products that have *high energy density*, are *reliable 24-7-365*, and *affordable*. The Lockheed Martin design potentially could reach all those goals of usability. Biofuels, wind, and solar will never reach those goals and do far more harm than good.

    • Ophelia Rump

      I support all good science, I hope this falls into that category, but hot fusion has not had a good track record so far. This will need to have some redeeming qualities up front to win much support.

  • Charles

    From E-Cat World 2013/03/01: “The NASA Aeronautics Research Institute (NARI) held a ‘Seedling Seminar’ during the last week of February to consider ‘potentially revolutionary’ innovative ideas in aviation. One presentation was by Doug Wells, a systems analyst at the Aeronautics Systems Analysis Branch, NASA Langley Research Center, and on February 25th he gave a
    presentation on ‘Low Energy Nuclear Reaction Aircraft’.

    One would assume that the Skunks know about this, not to mention Lugano. Has a panic stampede set in?

    • GreenWin

      Lockheed sees its “knowledge monopoly” slipping away. Its protective front guard Academia is collapsing as commercial LENR projects simply tell the ivory tower skeptics to get lost. The USPTO, wallowing in corruption and a salary scandal can no longer be relied on to kill off alternative energy applications. The JTRIG covert operations detailed by NBC News and Glenn Greenwald have been exposed to the public and are damaging the good work of those agencies.

      There is little for Skunk Works to do but accept that ANY form of hot fusion cannot compete with LENR – commercially, technically, geopolitically, or in humanitarian benefit. The only reasonable thing for McGuire and Lockheed to do is come and join the feast. There IS plenty for everybody.

    • bachcole

      Nice fact. That certainly helps the “they know all about it” position.

  • Billy Jackson

    As a global company with a long history of innovation and commitment to quality. any announcement by Lockheed is going to get attention far beyond what an experimental start up or “scientific finding” can. I am only calling attention to the timing of it in conjunction with the last report from Rossi.

    • bachcole

      You are probably right, Billy. Lockheed Martin has a heck of a record.

  • Job001

    The best presumption about HF news timing is funding bias, not some conspiracy. Hot fusion applied research funds are under serious threat for these reasons, IMO.

    1.ITER is fundamental physics research and the EU budget is strained, seeking likely USA support.

    2.Extremist politics has inviting an administrative backlash against obstructive GOP politics.

    3.Applied HF learning curves are weak, i.e. 20 yrs out+ to market, SOP.

    4.The USA has achieved FF innovative oil cartel disruption sufficient to stabilize world economies.

    5. RE learning curves for wind, storage, solar, use, fuel cell, buildings, and DG are excellent.

    6.LENR has independent commercial level demonstrated observational science success.

    7.Fundamental LENR science will take longer to model and gain general acceptance, but this is not a serious hurdle for engineering, certification, and marketing.

    8.The DOE funded a study of HF funding direction the results of which are rocking the HF world.

    See http://news.sciencemag.org/physics/2014/10/u-s-fusion-plan-draws-blistering-critique

    9.Utilities favor IP, regulator complexity, and monopoly power to maintain higher prices and hurdles to protect against market entry competition and to boost profits.

    Thus, LENR will experience strong funding bias backlash from those threatened by losing HF grants and funding exist for the above reasons.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funding_bias

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases

    Conclusions: HF and fission nuclear is favored over LENR is as a profit boosting market entry hurdle for competition. The more threatened HF funding is, the more extreme the LENR skeptics, no conspiracy required. Modern cognitive research results for mental biases and heuristics is a truly excellent explaination. Follow the money!

  • Billy Jackson

    The problem i have with this is the timing. I have no issue with what they say they are working on. but it seems to me that they are riding the wave of energy news that the e-cat has generated. By not having to prove anything for 10 years it seems less of an announcement and more of a look at me too …

    • bachcole

      The timing is curious, but I am stuck with the thought that too many of us are being too self-centered and thinking that what we are keen about is the axis around which the world revolves. It isn’t, yet.

      • Billy Jackson

        true we are sensitive to challenges to the e-cat and i will admit even prone to emotional investment for its success. So while i stare at the timing with suspect. I do so with the knowledge that my viewpoint is colored by my bias toward the e-cat.

  • Bernie777

    It is sooo obvious the timing of this Lockheed nightmare was made to over shadow the E-Cat test results. I am beginning to wonder even if the industrial E-Cat is a success, if “the powers that be” will allow it to be publicized? I hope the owners of the E-Cat are smart enough or have the incentive to create another industrial test site outside the US.

    • bfast

      “I am beginning to wonder even if the industrial E-Cat is a success, if “the powers that be” will allow it to be publicized?”
      Have you not realized that the internet is mighty! Even in war torn, and dominant dictator ridden countries, news now gets out. In the days preceding the ubiquitous internet you may be correct. Not any longer.

      • bachcole

        Yes!!! It seems that Bernie777’s paranoia about TPTB is so strong that he fails to appeciate the power of the Internet. The E-Cat is already unstoppable, and I doubt if it is even a tiny, single blip on the radar of powerful people.

        • Bernie777

          See my reply to you above.

      • Bernie777

        I started following Rossi and LENR in 2010, since then it has been reported on the internet of its replication hundreds of times. If the internet is so powerful there would now be billions of dollars in LENR research.

        • clovis ray

          With one exception, IH, did not want or need , publication of Dr Rossi’s find, and still don’t,, they will come out when they feel the need to. there is still work to be done, Dr. Rossi knows exactly what he is doing, better than anyone.
          MF/MF, in my opinion , are most likely to succeed, they need , money, if someone , knows how they can help with funds please do, while MIT has all the funding, we have to beg for hand outs, this is a shame, on earth.

          Dr. Rossi if you guys, want or need an independent open lab to reproduce your cat please consider, MF/MF, and if not, these young scientist, could use help, in order to continue their important work. hopefully your NDA has not totally gauged you, from teaching .

  • Donk970

    Companies like Lockheed Martin support Skunkworks projects for strategic reasons. They don’t know for sure that a project like this one will amount to anything but it allows them to move in a new direction more quickly. IMHO the timing and the fact that they are looking for partners suggests that the brass looked at the E-Cat report and decided that their Skunkworks fusion project wasn’t going to pan out. Instead of cutting the program they told the program manager that if he could get some outside partners on board they would allow the project to continue.

  • Gerard McEk

    I wonder why IH does not do more to promote Ecat. I guess it is because they first want to have something undenyable in operation at some ‘customer’, otherwise they could be crucified and doomed.Maybe they do not want to challenge the world before being ready for the commercial rollout.
    How different it is for this Hot Fusion phantom. Nevertheless I hope this also will succeed, although it will not fit in my car. 🙂

    • malkom700

      For our car perhaps for a long time will suffice quite inexpensive electricity.

  • Zapece

    I think IH will get the 1MW reactor up and running in real world conditions and publicize then, at that point it will be undeniably commercially viable and whatever any skeptics say just will not matter.

  • Freethinker

    I want them to succeed with this. It could not be a bad thing to finally pull this carcass of scientific field into the land of the living, with working products.

    But what do we have here? Do they really have a prototype that they have tested with positive result? Break even? How much? Where is the data at?

    They have been at this for some 4 years, and they think they will have a product fairly soon but “we are very early in the scientific process”. What does that mean? Computer modelling and simulations?

    To me all this sounds like a lot wishful thinking and a lot less solid ground.

    LENR will beat them to the punch, and they will have to be very competitive to fill a niche on the market.

  • Gerrit

    Part of the company must be aware of the status of cold fusion. According to the June 1998 EPRI final report (TR-107843). SRI international is/was a Lockheed Martin Company (see page iii of the document). And we know that Lockheed Martin would have funded a cold fusion research program at MIT, but was blocked by higher ups on both MIT and Lockheed Martin’s side.

    It looks like there is a similar situation going on within the company as we see in the physics science world. The “real” fusion gets the funding, but the cold fusion gets put on ice.

    • http://magicmusicandmore.com/ Barry S

      Gerrit, those who supported CF at LM are long gone.

  • http://magicmusicandmore.com/ Barry S

    If IH put out a story and a video it would get a lot more press, but I don’t think press is what they want right now. Wish they would stop thinking like mega-capitalist and support the Ecat’s legacy because it leaves Rossi to deal with a lot of the negative criticism.

    • mcloki

      Negative press is irrelevant in the long run. The more important question is. How Long is the half life of the waste of LM new reactor. There’s the PR battle.