0
161

[–] bedstraw 0 points 161 points (+161|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Hold the fecking phone.

What boeing have just "patented" is the use of Inertial Confinement Fusion (aka Nuclear Fusion) bread with regular fission for air travel. Apart from the direct application, it's not a new idea, it's just very very technically difficult. That's like patenting the use of time travel to play the stock market.

Also, the idea of using waste heat from secondary fissile reactions to recover power to energise the laser rig is beyond insane. This is a scatter-gun patent with no real use and is a brilliant example of big companies abusing the patent system.

EDIT: I too want some tasty Fusion Bread, but I'm glad to see that v/ is a little more light hearted with the spelling nazis than r/

1
40

[–] InternetExoSuit 1 points 40 points (+41|-1) ago 

*bred.

Sorry - spelling fascist here.

1
26

[–] Abandon_Ship 1 points 26 points (+27|-1) ago 

Also, Inertial Confinement Fusion Bread is a very different, and far more delicious thing.

1
11

[–] AstroVortex 1 points 11 points (+12|-1) ago 

*bread.

Sorry - bread fascist here.

1
4

[–] plankO 1 points 4 points (+5|-1) ago 

This is the first spelling correction I've seen on voat.

1
4

[–] Aradiel 1 points 4 points (+5|-1) ago 

I had thought it looked odd, but was unable to swap "bread" for "bred" in my head.

0
15

[–] HangedCole 0 points 15 points (+15|-0) ago 

Sorry, I'm a little ignorant. What does it mean when you say "abusing the patent system"? How does this benefit them in anyway if it's as somewhat useless as you say?

0
41

[–] Rebootkid 0 points 41 points (+41|-0) ago 

Because if someone gets even remotely close to making something similar to this, they pull out the patent, site it as prior art, and sue the person/company/etc into oblivion, or extort licensing fees.

0
3

[–] supernatendo 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Boeing holds Quinquadecillion US patents! Your tax dollars are safe with us!

[–] [deleted] 0 points 12 points (+12|-0) ago 

[Deleted]

0
9

[–] FloraLou 0 points 9 points (+9|-0) ago 

I've got a patent for a morphing wing, we don't have any demonstrators because there aren't any materials that would work but with a CAD model and some simulations we got the patent

0
5

[–] libby 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

A model is generally good enough. I've done some micro fluidics work and simulations are generally plenty.

0
6

[–] aclay81 0 points 6 points (+6|-0) ago 

Do big companies have an easier time patenting ridiculous things than, say, an individual would? Is it just because they have more resources or is it something else?

Either way, yeah it's insane.

0
6

[–] Real_Deal 0 points 6 points (+6|-0) ago  (edited ago)

I'm not an expert, but my understanding is that there are two main reasons that many people think large companies have an advantage:
1.) Patent prosecution (the process of submitting your application to the PTO, the PTO rejecting it, you tweaking it and resubmitting, and repeat) is a back-and-forth process, and the longer you can afford to keep that going, the more likely you are to get concessions from the PTO examiner. The process can take years and years, and many inventors either cannot afford to keep it up after the first few rejections, or else they don't think it will be worth it to keep trying. Boeing can afford to keep trying, even if they never get the patent granted.

2.) Some people feel that larger companies (Google, Apple, Boeing, you name it) get priority in examination and are afforded more leeway in the process. I'm not sure if there is any proof of that, but it seems like the kind of thing that would be hard to prove either true or untrue.

That's my understanding anyway.

0
2

[–] bedstraw 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

/u/Real_Deal got most of the core issues bang on, but there's another factor;

Big Firms have money and dedicated staff for each step in the laborious process of patent development, application, and enforcement. A stand alone inventor has to either have crap tonnes of cash to pay lots of experts (at massive hourly rates) for each step in the process, or self-teach in enough of these fields to stand alone (statistically this is a bad ideatm).

6
41

[–] DILLIGAF 6 points 41 points (+47|-6) ago 

If there was just some way they could cram a shark into the engine as well.

[–] [deleted] 1 points 11 points (+12|-1) ago 

[Deleted]

2
6

[–] Indiana_Jones 2 points 6 points (+8|-2) ago 

There must be a way to get a living shark in this...

or to get this thing into a living shark.

Thinking of it. Is there something like shark-marmelade? Because now I want shark-marmelade

0
4

[–] RedditSucksNow 0 points 4 points (+4|-0) ago 

This is clearly not an engine at all but rather a shark-vaporizing device.

0
1

[–] IAmTheZeke 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

"Boeing just patented a Sushi Bar powered (and operated?) by lasers and nuclear explosions"

[–] [deleted] 4 points 4 points (+8|-4) ago  (edited ago)

[Deleted]

1
2

[–] Pawn 1 points 2 points (+3|-1) ago 

a terrible joke at best.

0
0

[–] Detente01 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

This 'tech' post is a joke is why.

[–] [deleted] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

[Deleted]

0
0

[–] ZappyKins 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

What about a Grumpy Grouper? Or maybe a Naughty Nautilus?

0
26

[–] Deathstalker 0 points 26 points (+26|-0) ago 

They probably have no idea how to do it and are just hoarding patents.

0
11

[–] Jarde44 0 points 11 points (+11|-0) ago 

Yup, it even says this in the article

0
2

[–] squishysquid 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I don't think we'll get this within 20 years.

1
1

[–] bleb 1 points 1 points (+2|-1) ago 

True, especially after this patent. The patent could deter research in this area, securing Boeing's existing technology against competition.

0
0

[–] Netto 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

This is true. Source: I may work here

0
0

[–] Caerlocc 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Keeping nuclear laser engines from the rest of us when it's feasible ಠ_ಠ

0
8

[–] TheDevilYou_Know 0 points 8 points (+8|-0) ago 

This sounds cool as fuck. But what happens if there is an incident with the engine. Would there be possible contamination concerns?

0
7

[–] 007ace 0 points 7 points (+7|-0) ago 

At least we won't have to worry about any jet fuel near our steel beams.

0
2

[–] TheDevilYou_Know 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

This...

0
1

[–] N0n_Chr1st1an 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

You just keep your steel beams away from our jet fuel and their wont be any problems, ok!

0
3

[–] IUFMarine 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

upvoating the question because I was thinking the same thing, and I really would like to know the answer... could this possibly lead to "runaway" reaction or mini-meltdowns? Would an aircraft using this system crashing cause a small nuclear explosion? (I would guess small amount of material would mean it would only be on the scale of a tiny tactical nuke... but still just a guess!)

0
2

[–] MCvarial 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

As you need lasers to power the fusion reaction which in term powers the fission reactors, shutting down the lasers shuts down the reactor. There would still be waste heat from radioactive decay but this likely be removed by convection. A nuclear explosion is impossible, you'd need highly enriched uranium (which is mainly U235 instead of U238).

0
2

[–] TheDevilYou_Know 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

I don't think a nuclear explosion could be an end result for this engine or a meltdown for that matter. It's a very different process of making energy. Im just worried that the radioactive materials would contaminate the area of a crash site or spew out radioactive waste into the atmosphere.

0
1

[–] JambalayaOfOceanus 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

There's no risk of runaway Fusion reactions. Also no risk of a small nuclear explosion either, you need much more than just some radioactive or even fissile stuff to set off a reaction. The uranium "blanket" on the other hand isn't terribly likely to create a runaway reaction (like fukishima) because there just isn't a whole lot of it there and it'll have an easy place to dump heat. If you can also look up "breeder nuclear reactors" (that is essentially what is going on here to produce the heat) they're remarkably safe as long as the proper systems are in place.

0
1

[–] BoracicBaronetYr 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I don't think that this is how it works but the last science education I took part in (besides reading shittyaskscience haha,) was 2 weeks of o-chem sophomore year before I realized being a doctor was stupid (for me) and I couldn't double major in profitable areas and take classes I found interesting for the fuck of it and not die still in student debt, upgoats for you both for visibility/answers(?)

0
1

[–] MCvarial 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Yes, there will be 3 possible contamination sources;

  • The tritium fuel: Tritium is a beta emitter which can't penetrate the skin, so the danger comes from ingestion.

  • Uranium blanket: This is the most dangerous one, the blanket will become heavily contaminated due to fission products.

  • Neutron activation: Both the fusion & fission proces will emit neutrons which will activate the materials in the engine itself making it radioactive similar to a reactor vessel.

1
-1

[–] JambalayaOfOceanus 1 points -1 points (+0|-1) ago 

The tritium fuel is safe, though not super common.

The Uranium blanket isn't dangers at all. It just sounds like it is because, well, it's uranium. U238 is actually not that bad.

Th most interesting thing about the uranium "blanket" is that it is essentially a micro-scale nuclear reactor (https://jisibhlphysics.wikispaces.com/8.4.7+-+Neutron+Capture). Though I think the most important thing to stress here is that the actual amount of U238 used in "blanket" won't amount to more than a few tenths of a millimeter or so. and because of this more than anything, even if the thing were to land on your kitchen table the only real worry you'd have is not getting hit by several hundred pounds of metal.

0
0

[–] plankO 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Yes, the engine would have to placarded radioactive as well

0
6

[–] Zjcaptcha 0 points 6 points (+6|-0) ago 

Imagine how much training they would have to pay for for maintenance

0
3

[–] Slid3r 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Wow, the thing about this is that it actually makes sense when you think about it. Although the idea behind using lasers to power aircraft seem pretty farfetched, the concept is actually pretty simple. Something like this would make an enormous positive impact on our ecosystem by eliminating massive amounts of fuel consumption by aircraft across the globe.

As someone that works in the aviation industry, albeit a lower flight line controlling position, I am excited for this if it is something that can take off. (Topkekm8)

Talk about innovation!

0
1

[–] reed 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

Yeah. Nothing's ever gone wrong with nuclear fuel that would hurt the environment.

[–] [deleted] 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago 

[Deleted]

2
2

[–] umilmi81 2 points 2 points (+4|-2) ago 

Actually nuclear energy has an excellent safety record compared to all the alternatives. More people died in the first half of this year mining coal than have died in 70 years of nuclear power.

0
0

[–] yesthisistom 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

Plus the energy density of nuclear fuels is MUCH higher than that of conventional fuel. I don't know what the efficiency is, but it has the potential of decreasing the fuel tank size and fuel weight significantly.

[–] [deleted] 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

[Deleted]

0
2

[–] Speculater 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

0
2

[–] yewbontheboat 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago  (edited ago)

That just seems like an incredible amount of things that could possibly go wrong.

0
2

[–] trolleyfan 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

You mean, as opposed to thousands of metal blades spinning continually at thousands of RPMs right below their melting point while we spray in kerosene, then do this three more times and put them all right next to the passenger compartment?

[–] [deleted] 0 points 2 points (+2|-0) ago 

[Deleted]

0
1

[–] yewbontheboat 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

It makes sense for space flight, I guess I was looking at this from a commercial flight perspective.

0
0

[–] LeYang 0 points 0 points (+0|-0) ago 

2
-1

[–] GAD 2 points -1 points (+1|-2) ago 

No, no we are looking at this all wrong what we need is sharks with frickin laser beams, combine two in one and get a double net gain on batshit crazy. Maybe throw in a chupacabra powered nuclear detonation and you would really be all set, the defense industry would eat it up!

load more comments ▼ (48 remaining)