LEARNING FROM THE PAST TO THINK OUT OF THE BOX
The first idea of an elevator, more than 2000 years ago, required that the person on it pulled a rope to lift the cart, later on the use of a counterweigh was implemented, that meant a big improvement and a huge reduction of energy.
Can we use a weight, or a similar concept to pull the Lift instead of applying energy directly to the cart?
We can put a satellite, lets call it the Counter Weight SatellitE or CWSE for short, into a geosynchronous orbit around the earth but with an inclination of 60 degrees, synchronized with the space station so that the two satellites meet every 12 hours or so exactly in the same two opposite points of their corresponding orbits.
Or even better, we can put a CWSE in an almost geostationary retrograde orbit and a pulley system.
Considering the Space Elevator Ribbon expectations as given, we can connect the two satellites together with a ribbon, and this ribbon can be connected to the climber with some sort of standard pulley system.
The topology is as follows:
· A guiding ribbon will tie the Space station to the Earth Station; this is the ribbon from the known concept.
· An other ribbon; the PULLing ribbON the PULL-ON FOR SHORT: the PULL-ON will be tied to the climber or rather lift, on top of it, all the way to the Space Station going through the pulley system and then tided to the CWSE, its orbit can not be exactly a geostationary retrograde orbit because the PULL-ON has to by pass the earth.
· The Lift will have an extra weight that will be lowered as the lift is reaching the Space Station, in order for the system to have a gravity pull to bring back down the Lift, when the CWSE comes back to the Space Station.
The system can work as follows:
1) The Space Station is put into orbit with the guiding ribbon as proposed en the known model, and with the PULL-ON set too, I am guessing that the Geostationary orbit of the Space Station has to compensate the pull produced by the guiding ribbon.
2) The Space Station carries the CWSE with it.
3) One end of the PULL-ON is tied to the CWSE and the other one is tied to the Lift.
4) The Space Station puts the CWSE in to the mentioned Geosynchronous orbit, its orbit should be modified to compensate the pull that the PULL-ON and the Lift will create (I believe it has to be seen as a larger gravity effect, so the CWSE has to be higher into the space, but this concept and its calculation, if I am right, are totally out of my leagues).
5) The CWSE will pull the Lift up when going north an in opposite direction away of the equator and then bringing it back down to earth using the extra weight under need the Lift that never reaches the geosynchronous level, I believe that the Space Station has to wobble to compensate the North and South pulls that are caused by the CWSE - PULL-ON - LIFT system.
6) Then when CWSE goes south away from the space station again it will pull the Lift up again and so on.
· We have to design a system that can tie and untie the Lift from the PULL-ON.
· With The CWSE orbiting in a retrograde orbit we can use the extra distance to diminish the pulling effect of the system.
· We also have to design a mechanism to smooth the speed of the Lift when taking off and arriving in such a way that will allow to stop the Lift, this can be solved by adding some more degrees of inclination for the CWSE to create some type of margin.
I believe we can play with these ideas to come with one that really solves the pulling of the climber.