Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The NASA slides

  1. Dennis Bushnell, "NASA and LENR," http://newenergytimes.com/v2/government/NASA/20110922NASA-Bushnell-GRC-LENR-Workshop.pdf.
  2. Gustave Fralick et al., "LENR at GRC," http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/sensors/PhySen/docs/LENR_at_GRC_2011.pdf.
The first set of slides were prepared by Dennis Bushnell, chief scientist at NASA Langley Research Center, and provided to Steven Krivit on November 25, 2001, by way of a FOIA request.  Bushnell's slides are the work of a man who is convinced that LENR is real.  His list of applications is fairly fanciful and raise the question of whether he might be a little credulous.  He suggests that since 2006 the LENR theories have begun to favor weak force interactions over fusion proper.  He mentions in passing a work by Zawodny et al.

The second set of slides are by three individuals at NASA Glenn Research Center.  The slides describe several experiments.
  • One that was carried out in 1989, Fralick, Decker and Blue (1989) NASA TM-102430, presumably at NASA, used a Johnson Matthey HP Series palladium membrane hydrogen purifier.  They saw no neutrons, and a 15 C temperature increase when deuterium was used and no increase when hydrogen was used.
  • Another, J. Niedra, I. Myers, G. Fralick and R. Baldwin (1996), NASA TM-107167, looked at an H2O-Ni-K2CO3 system, using an inactive cell as a control.  This experiment was negative.
  • A third experiment looked at thin palladium films.  Craters were found in D20 and none were seen in H20.  John Wrbanek, Gustave Fralick, Susan Wrbanek,  & Nancy Hall “Investigating Sonoluminescence as a Means of Energy Harvesting,” Chapter 19, Frontiers of Propulsion Science, Millis & Davis (eds), AIAA, pp. 605-637, 2009.
The authors of the second set of slides were involved in some of the experiments the slides describe.  After 1989, LENR was studied primarily at Navy, DARPA and various university labs (not NASA).  Work at NASA started back up in 2009.  There was apparently a positive finding in a 2009 experiment, although this is not apparent from the graphs in the slides.  Publications mentioned include ones by Parmenter and Lamb; Chubb and Chubb; Maly, Vavra and Mills; Widom and Larsen; Hora and Miley; and Kim.  There may be a proof of concept by Mounir Ibrahim, a professor at Ohio State University, using a Stirling engine.  There is a set of full references at the end of the slides.

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