Electrostatic Levitation Oven

In order to produce glass, metal alloys, or other materials in microgravity from a mixture of lunar soil the FeTiO2 ilmenite is transported into our Electrostatic Levitation Oven (ELO) that electrostatically stablizes  the molten material in a container-less processing technique, to reduce imperfections from chemical reactions. The high-temperature manufacturing of materials including oxides, semiconductors, insulators, and alloys which are only possible in the microgravity environment of space. High-temperature oxide liquids and oxide glasses are synthesized from levitated undercooled liquids by the use of tetrahedra quantum laser beam.

Several electromagnetic levitation techniques are included in our ELO process and includes a conical nozzle for levitation using Bernoulli force lifting regolith into a continuous wave laser beam that heats into a molten material at >2000 C.  Separation of minerals and gases flow through electrostatic magnetic levitation where a rotary gas separator pulls volatile gases into a chamber to be refined.

Molten metal and silicon can be separated using electromagnetic fields producing a smooth, continuous field, propagated in a wavelike manner.  From the perspective of quantum field theory, the field is seen as quantized, being composed of individual particles.

ELO also incorporates acoustic wave or ultrasonic levitation where sound waves techniques and frequency vibrations of metallic metal into patterns and capable of increasing the purification of silicon into higher grade ZBLAN fiber optics.

Frequency vibration affects the thermophysical properties (density, viscosity and surface tension) of high temperature levitated liquids during formation and undercooling to enable resonance patterns and enhanced purity during glass formation owing to the elimination of extrinsic heterogeneous nucleation and from chemical reactions that can occur between the materials and the crucible, causing imperfections and contamination.

The first electrostatic levitator was invented by Dr. Won-Kyu Rhim at NASA's JPL lab in 1993.  A charged sample of 2 mm in diameter can be levitated in a vacuum chamber between two electrodes positioned vertically with an electrostatic field in between. The field is controlled through a feedback system to keep the levitated sample at a predetermined position. Several copies of this system have been made in JAXA and NASA, and the original system has been transferred to California Institute of Technology with an upgraded setup of tetrahedra four beam laser heating system.[1]

On the Moon, the photoelectric effect and electrons in the solar wind charge fine layers of moon dust on the surface forming an atmosphere of dust that floats in "fountains" over the surface of the moon. [2].

[1] W. K. Rhim, S. K. Chung, D. Barber, K. F. Man, G. Gutt, A. Rulison, and R. E. Spjut, Review of Scientific Instruments 64, 2961 (1993).
[2] Bell, Trudy E., "Moon fountains", FirstScience.com, 2001-01-06.

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