Lockheed Martin “Skunk Works” (Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs (ADP)) has provided new details to the public about its work in compact fusion. “At Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, we’re making advancements in the development of fusion energy, the ultimate form of renewable power. Our scientists and engineers are looking at the biggest natural fusion reactor for inspiration – the sun. By containing the power of the sun in a small magnetic bottle, we are on the fast track to developing compact fusion reactors to serve the world’s ever-growing energy needs.”
Lockheed Martin defines fusion as “the process by which a gas is heated up and separated into its ions and electrons. When the ions get hot enough, they can overcome their mutual repulsion and collide, fusing together. When this happens, they release a lot of energy – about one million times more powerful than a chemical reaction and 3-4 times more powerful than a fission reaction.”
With a torus in which magnetic fields confine the fusion reaction with a huge energy cost and thus little energy production capabilities—Skunk Works’ Compact Fusion Reactor has a radically different approach to anything people have tried before.
With a design small enough to fit on a truck it could provide enough power for a small city of up to 100 000 people. Or if successful, why not future airplanes and spaceships.