Foundations of Interstellar Studies Workshop 2017

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Organising Committee:

  • Co-Chairman: Kelvin F. Long, Initiative for Interstellar Studies, Stellar Engines

  • Co-Chairman: Professor Roman Kezerashvili, CityTech

  • Secretary: Elena Ancona, Initiative for Interstellar Studies

  • Session Chairman: Harold ‘Sonny’ White, NASA Johnson Space Centre

  • US i4is Lead: Robert Kennedy III, Institute for Interstellar Studies

About the Workshop

The 2017 workshop took place in the wonderful city of New York in the United States of America. The opening social evening took place at the Harvard Club of New York City, and whilst enjoying their drink and food, the participants were serenaded by a three-piece classical orchestra. They were also joined by art work exhibited by eight different artists.  

Download Art Event booklet here

Download Art Event booklet cover here

The technical component of the workshop took place at New York City College of Technology. This was three days of scientific discussions on interstellar flight, focussed on the themes of (1) Energetic Reaction Engines (2) Sails and Beams (3) Breakthrough Propulsion.

Download Workshop Proceedings here

The three days was represented by a diverse and international collection of scientists all working on different elements of the interstellar problem. The speakers included:

Session One: Energetic Reaction Engines

  1. The Fusion Fuel Resource Base in our Solar System, Robert Kennedy III, Institute for Interstellar Studies.

  2. Heat Transfer in Fusion Starship Radiation Shielding Systems, Michel Lamontagne, Icarus Interstellar.

  3. Plasma Dynamics in a Z-Pinch Fusion Engine, Robert Freeland, Icarus Interstellar

  4. Continuous Grid Inertial Electrostatic Confinement Fusion, Raymond J Sedwick, University of Maryland.

  5. Direct Fusion Drive for Interstellar Exploration, Samuel Cohen and Charles Swanson, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

  6. High Beta Cusp Confinement: A Path to Compact Fusion, Regina Sullivan, Lockheed Martin Skunk Works.

  7. Positron Propulsion for Interplanetary and Interstellar Travel, Ryan Weed, Positron Dynamics.

  8. Combined Thermal Desorption and Electrical Propulsion of Saicraft using Space Environmental Effect, Elena Ancona and Roman Ya Kezerashvili.

Session Two: Sails and Beams

  1. Solar Sail Propulsion: A Roadmap from Today's Technology to Interstellar Sailships, Les Johnson et al, NASA Marshall Spaceflight Centre.

  2. Enabling the First Generation of Interstellar Mission, Philip M Lubin, University California Santa Barbara, Breakthrough Initiatives.

  3. The Andromeda Study: A Femto-Spacecraft Mission to Alpha Centauri, Andreas Hein et al, Initiative for Interstellar Studies.

  4. Reflective Control Devices for Attitude Control of Solar Sails, Jeremy Munday.

  5. Gram-Scale Nano-Spacecraft Entry into Star Systems, Al. A. Jackson, Lunar and Planetary Institute

  6. Effects of Enhanced Graphene Reflection on Performance of Sun-Launched Interstellar Arks, Gregory Matloff, City University New York, Breakthrough Initiatives.

  7. Rigid Light Sail Dynamics and Control for Launch and Acceleration Using Controlled Optical Metamaterials, Eric T Malroy, NASA Johnson Space Centre.

  8. The Prediction of Particle Bombardment Interaction Physics due to Ions, Electrons and Dust in the Interstellar medium on a Gram-Scale Interstellar Probe, Kelvin F Long, Initiative for Interstellar Studies, Breakthrough Initiatives.

  9. Accelerator Technologies for Simulation of Dust Impacts at Starflight Velocities, Andrew J Higgins, McGill University, Quebec.

Session Three: Breakthrough Propulsion

  1. Pilot Wave Model for Impulsive Thrust from RF Test Device Measured in Vacuum, Harold G White, NASA Johnson Space Centre.

  2. Tests of Fundamental Laws and Principles of Physics in Interstellar Flight, Roman Kezerashvili, City University New York.

  3. Mach Effect Gravitational Assist Drive, Heidi Fearn et al., California State University Fullerton

  4. Entanglement and Chameleon Acceleration, Glen A Robertson.

  5. Breakthrough Propulsion Capability Development Strategy, Ron Litchford.

  6. Self-Sustained Traversable Wormholes and Casimir Energy, Remo Garattini, Initiative for Interstellar Studies and University of Bergamo, Italy.

  7. Human Exploration of the Solar System as a Precursor to Interstellar Travel: Outlook and Realities, Ralph McNutt, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

  8. The Equivalence of Internal and External Energy Source Interpretations of the Casimir Effect and their Implications for Interstellar Travel, Robert L DeBiase.

  9. First Stop on the Interstellar Journey: The Solar Gravity Lens Focus, Louis Friedman and Slava G Turyshev, The Planetary Society, California Institute of Technology.

Several posters were also presented at this meeting including:

  1. Mach Effects for In-Space Propulsion: An Interstellar Mission, Heidi Fearn et al.

  2. Continuous Electrode Inertial Electrostatic Confinement Fusion, Raymond Sedwick et al.

  3. A Bussard Ramjet with Twist and Flare, Pete N Ness.

  4. Fostering Breakthroughs in Interstellar Propulsion, John G Hartley.

  5. Reflective Control Devices for Attitude Control of Solar Sails, Jeremy N Munday et al.

  6. The Equivalence of Internal and External Energy Source Interpretations of the Casimir Effect, Robert L DeBiase.

photos from the 2017 workshop

The following is a random collection of photos from the 2017 Foundations of Interstellar Studies workshop that took place in New York. We had a lot of fun, and we are sure that the second workshop will be just as successful. Thank you to all that participated.