Document No: P-4874 Year: 1972 Pages: 17
Title: The Very High Speed Transit System.
Robert M. Salter
Keywords: Air pollution; City planning; Pollution; Urban transportation
Description of a very high speed transit
(VHST) system operating in its own rarefied atmosphere in evacuated tubes in underground tunnels. Most cases considered took less time to go
coast-to-coast (e.g., 21 min)
than it takes an aircraft to climb to an efficient operating altitude.
VHST's tubecraft ride on, and are driven by,
electromagnetic (EM) waves. In accelerating, it employs the energy of the surrounding EM field; in decelerating, it
returns most of this energy to the system. Tunnel systems would be shared by oil, water, and gas pipelines; channels
for laser and microwave waveguides; electric power lines including superconducting ones; and freight systems.
Environmental and economic benefits are substantial, and the technology for building and operating the system exists.
Document No: P-6092 Year: 1978 Pages: 35
Title: Trans-Planetary Subway Systems: A Burgeoning Capability.
Robert M. Salter
Keywords: Railroads; Tunnels; Underground structures; Urban transportation
ABSTRACT: Describes a subway concept called
"PLANETRAN" comprising electromagnetically supported and propelled cars
traveling in underground evacuated tubes, able to cross the United States in one hour. It is designed to interface with
local transit systems, and the tunnel complex also contains utility transmission and auxiliary freight-carrying systems.
Tunnels represent a major problem area and most of the cost. They will be placed several hundred feet underground in
solid rock formations. It will require advanced tunnel-boring machines, such as hypersonic projectile
spallation, laser beam devices, and the "SUBTERRENE" heated tungsten probe that melts through igneous rocks.
PLANETRAN is rated as a
system high in conservation of energy. For every car being accelerated, there is one decelerating in an adjoining tube.
The decelerating cars return energy to the system. The tubes have a reduced atmosphere, making drag losses much
smaller than for aircraft. Coast-to-coast energy costs are expected to be less than $1.00 per passenger. (Presented at
the AAAS Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., February 1978.) 35 pp.
Document No: N-3280-AF/NASA Year: 1992 Pages: xxiii, 94 ISBN: 0833020099
Title: Space and Surface Power for the Space Exploration Initiative: Results from Project Outreach.
Author(s): Calvin Shipbaugh, Kenneth A. Solomon, Dan Gonzales, Mario L. Juncosa, Theodore W. Bauer,
Robert M. Salter
Cost: $ 7.50
Keywords: Electricity in astronautics; Space vehicles--Auxiliary--Power supply;
Note: RAND/WD-5192-AF/NASA; RAND/N-3283-AF/NASA; RAND/N-3284-AF/NASA; RAND/N-3287-AF/NASA
ABSTRACT: This Note describes the findings of the Space and Surface Power panel, one of eight project panels evaluating submissions to the Space Exploration
Initiative (SEI) Outreach Program, or Project Outreach. The submissions screened by the Space and Surface Power panel proposed systems that can be classified
into at least one of five technical areas: (1) power generation (solar power, nuclear power, fuel cells, batteries, and "other"), (2) power transmission, (3) energy
storage, (4) thermal management, and (5) handling. The panel screened 167 submissions and selected the 22 highest-ranked ones for further analysis. The
submissions that appeared to offer the best overall potential dealt with nuclear power sources, power beaming, the development of in-situ resources (including the
use of solar dynamic power), and thermal management. Some lower-ranked submissions also contained interesting and potentially useful system concepts, and the
authors evaluated some concepts not suggested in the submissions, including rechargeable high-energy density batteries, high-speed flywheels, and superconducting
storage rings. A number of space and surface power issues became apparent and were examined by the panel members: (1) environmental implications of SEI
power systems, (2) use of in-situ materials, (3) nuclear vs.
non-nuclear power, (4) start-up vs. evolutionary power needs, (5) manned vs. unmanned system
requirements, and (6) development of new power transmission methods.
Note: This document
regarding extraterrestrial power supplies, co-authored by R.
Salter, is included for your review in advance of one question.
Could Salter have been advocating the idea of sending remotely
controlled "Subterrene" TBMs to the Lunar or Martian
subsurface [ahead of time?] to melt [airtight!] tunnels in which
later arriving astronauts could live and work in? Furthermore,
couldn't the Subterrene power-packs be used after underground
construction for powering regular underground base operations?
It would seem a logical and economical approach (surface bases
require re-enforced materials that are imported from Earth. What
an expense that would be!)