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Paul Birch papers on Orbital Ring Systems?
Does anybody have copies of Paul Birch's original papers on orbital ring systems?

Edited to add:
oops. never mind. The pages are all there but out of order.

One of the things that's been bothering me about orbital ring systems as described in OA/EG is that I haven't found any mention of how their energy gets replenished after it's been absorbed by the objects they support.

I found a PDF purporting to be a copy of what was published in 1982 by the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society ( ) but it's incomplete.

Specifically, pages 481 and 482 clearly are missing text which should be in between them: equation numbers jump from 64 on page 481 to 72 on page 482 while the start and most of the remainder of section 3.3 are missing. The initial paragraph on page 482 starts in the middle of a sentence incompatible with the end of page 481, while its second paragraph seems to be continuing a discussion of atmospheric drag, which would be relevant to my concerns.
They consume energy, and therefore radiate waste heat. Because they use high-temperature superconductors (a not-invented-yet technology, of course) this wastage should be fairly small, but not zero.
Incidentally, if the Orbital Rings papers are out of order, that is exactly how we received them; but we could try to improve on that by creating a new PDF in the right order for the sake of historical conservation.
I have copies of all his pages, but there's also an OA archive of Birch's work here:

When I get a spare moment, I can use one of my PDF tools to fix the page issue in the copy you linked to (I checked and it was apparently a product of JBIS and is reflected in our copies as well).

Regarding your question about energy replenishment:

Orbital ring systems and dynamic compression members such as are described by Birch and in OA essentially require constant energy input to replenish losses due to supporting themselves and whatever else they are supporting, as well as whatever inefficiencies there may be in the system.

The good news is that these systems tend to be very efficient and can store large amounts of kinetic energy in their mass streams, such that even if the power is cut for some reason they can operate for hours, days or longer (depending on the particularly type of system and circumstances )before starting to run out of energy and fail. And most designs also lend themselves to various forms of multiple redundancy so that multiple independent power sources driving multiple independent mass streams (each capable of holding up the structure by itself) are all possible.

As far as actually putting energy back into the system, this can be done from magnetic accelerator stations at various points in the overall structure that boost the mass stream ribbons or pellets back up to speed (and may redirect them as well in some designs).

Hope this helps,


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