The Space Elevator Analysis Spreadsheet

August 10th, 2011

Long-time space elevator fan Maurice Franklin has created a very interesting document, the Space Elevator Analysis Spreadsheet.  He explains it as follows:

The Space Elevator Analysis Spreadsheet provides you with the ability to calculate the characteristics of a Space Elevator and vary the inputs to those calculations.  Thus the spreadsheet allows you to see the impact upon the mass, capacity, time to build and other important aspects of a Space Elevator when different strength of ribbon, type of deployment spacecraft, efficiency of climber power array or other critical choices are made.  As provided, this spreadsheet follows closely the choices and calculations made by Dr. Bradley Edwards in his NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts proposal, though the author has attempted to validate the calculations independently of his work.

The author has three goals for this spreadsheet.  First, that Space Elevator enthusiasts wishing to dig into the physics (and thus the math) behind the dynamics of a Space Elevator will find this spreadsheet a useful tool for that purpose.  Second, that individuals who have critiques of the physics of a Space Elevator as laid out by Dr. Edwards, and interpreted here by the author, will have a reference against which to make a case for different calculations.  Third, that anyone proposing alternative Space Elevator configurations will have be able to use this spreadsheet to work through the impacts of their configuration across the many aspects of the Space Elevator system in a consistent and complete manner.

The author looks forward to getting feedback from users of the spreadsheet, whether it be improvements in usability, alternative configuration scenarios, corrections to the physics and math, or anything else.  Contact information for the author can be found on the first tab of the spreadsheet.

In addition to creating this spreadsheet, Maurice is a former employee of Microsoft and is one of the chief organizers of the Space Elevator Conference.

This spreadsheet is going to have a permanent home on my blog.  At the top, in the section which used to be marked “Translation Project” is now the “SE Spreadsheet”.  As new versions are created, they will be updated here and be made available to all enthusiasts and potential collaborators (the Translation Project page is now on the ISEC website).

Thanks Maurice - this is one cool document and should prove be of great use!

Entry Filed under: News / Announcements

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brian Turner  |  August 10th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Cool cool cool! I look forward to diving into it.

  • 2. Vern McGeorge  |  August 19th, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I’d love to download and tinker with this. Where can I find it?

  • 3. Ted Semon  |  August 19th, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Vern, as the post indicates, you can find the spreadsheet on the Navigation bar of my blog. When you download it, you can find the contact info for the author if you have any questions or comments on it…

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