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How much energy is needed to power a GUNDAM?

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Alexander Te

on 22 November 2013

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Transcript of How much energy is needed to power a GUNDAM?

How much energy is needed to power a GUNDAM?

What is a GUNDAM?
Woah, Minovsky Particles!?
A Minovsky particle’s real-life equivalent is a muon, which is similar to the particle in that it is essentially an electron with mass.
The Mechanics of an I-Field
So we have infinite energy...
We need to figure out how a GUNDAM can fire itself into space! Unlike the space shuttles of today, GUNDAMs launch in a similar manner as airplanes do, accelerating off a runway (usually located in a carrier aircraft).
Properties of a GUNDAM
For all intents and purposes, we will be calculating using the RX-78-2 GUNDAM as our model, the original fully-functional GUNDAM (seen previously).
So now we know what a GUNDAM is!
Aerial movement of a GUNDAM
Previously mentioned, the RX-78-2 GUNDAM has a top speed of 165 km/h, or 2.75 km/s (well over the speed of sound). So how many N must thrust provide to overcome the 425320 N pulling it down?
GUNDAMs and the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation
But the GUNDAMS are suited for space combat, not aerial. As such, the GUNDAM needs enough force to propel itself into space - which can be explored via the Tsiolkovsky rocket equation.
The RX-78-2 GUNDAM, the original fully functional GUNDAM [1979]
18.5 meters tall (approximately 60.7 feet)

43.4 metric tons (approximately 95681 lbs)

165 km/h (approximately 102.526 mph)

1380 kW (approximately 1849.2 horsepower)
Core Block System
an escape module for the pilot should the GUNDAM be destroyed

Learning Computer
a “black box” of sorts, kept recorded data on combatants the GUNDAM has faced for later use

Re-entry Coolant System
used to cool the GUNDAM on any descents to Earth.

Magnetic Coating
used to minimize friction between “joints” and to improve response times
What powers the GUNDAM?
RX-78-2 GUNDAM is powered by an inner reactor entitled the
Minovsky Ultracompact Fusion Reactor
. This reactor was considered revolutionary due to being the first “clean” nuclear reactor. In other words, it emitted zero neutron radiation*.
The reaction produces a stable helium-4 atom and a proton.

Anomalously, however, the reaction also produced a near-massless, non-decaying particle entitled the “Minovsky Particle.”

This particle was detrimental to the GUNDAM and nearby machinery in that its unstable charge would interfere with radio communication to other Gundams, interacting with other Minovsky Particles and creating what was called an I-Field.

The I-Field, however, was later implemented in the reactor as the particles proved to catalyze and regenerate the aforementioned reaction ad infinitum, so for the purposes of our research, we will assume that the GUNDAM has the potential for an infinite energy source.

Furthermore, the I-Fields could be manipulated to create some of the weaponry GUNDAMs used.
A muon is an unstable particle with a half-life of 2.2 microseconds (2.2*10^-6 seconds); not very stable at all. It quickly decays into a positron, neutrino, and a free electron.

However, a Minovsky Particle (which represents both a muon and its antiparticle, aptly named the antimuon) can keep itself from decaying by rearranging themselves into a cubic I-field to maintain stability.
Because the Minovsky particles could be either positively or
negatively charged, the particles repelling and attracting each
other causes them to take a cubic shape.

This I-Field’s
electromagnetism can repel other I-Fields and are generally
impervious to physical damage. GUNDAMSs employ them as a
forcefield of sorts against weaponry that implement Miovsky
For defense, a GUNDAM must possess an I-field generator.

These generators require a great amount of Minovsky particles to react with the helium-3 and deuterium, requiring more energy to collide them.
A heavier-than-air aircraft has 4 forces acting upon it: thrust, lift, drag, and weight.

Calculations are complicated, and to minimize confusion, we will assume a state of no air drag, and that the thrust accommodates the lift, since GUNDAMs do not have aerodynamic integrity like aircrafts do; as such, thrust includes lift.
What’s left is weight, which is calculated by N = mg, in which N equals the force pulling down on the GUNDAM, m being the mass in kg, and g being Earth’s gravitational constant, approximately 9.8.

N = (43400)(9.8) = 425320 N

Thrust must counteract it just to stay at minimum height! And 425320 N is a LOT!
According to the guidebook, the RX-78-2 GUNDAM can achieve a max acceleration of .93 G’s, or 9.114 m/s^2.

Sum of all F = m * a
T - 425320 = 43400 * 9.114
T = 820867.6 N
As such, assuming no air drag or aerodynamic assistance:
A GUNDAM takes over 800000 N of force to maintain constant
max acceleration! And that’s just in the air!
The rocket equation explains the motion of vehicles that have similar properties to a rocket, which a GUNDAM possesses; it has four thrusters and a deployable fuel tank.
Here, t represents time, m represents mass of the rocket AND propellant, while Δm = the mass of the propellant. V represents velocity.
The RX-78-2 possess six detachable propellers (2 weighing 24000 kg, and another 4 weighing 1870 kg).
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures
The reaction produced was:
* In modern physics, a nuclear fusion
reaction never produces zero neutron radiation.
Launching a GUNDAM
The Tsiolkovsky Equation
Δv = change in velocity
ve = exhaust velocity
ln (natural log)
mo = initial total mass
m1 = mass without propellant

165 km/h = veln(60000)/(43400)
165 = .323885ve
ve = 509.44 km/h (316.55 mph)

The exhaust must be discharged from the GUNDAM at approximately
509.44 km/h in order to achieve ideal flight.

Energy required for launch into space?
We know a GUNDAM's thrusters must go provide 820867.6 N of force to accelerate upwards at top acceleration. Furthermore, based on the definition of space according to NASA, to achieve flight high into space, the GUNDAM must propel itself 81 kilometers upwards.
Air resistance, friction, and gravity can be disregarded in space and we can assume the GUNDAM is equipped with an auto balancer.
The time needed to do a full 180° turn is 1.1 seconds assuming the GUNDAM is equipped with magnetic coating.
P = mv

P = momentum
m = mass
v = velocity

We will assume the RX-78-2 GUNDAM is propelling at its max speed which is 45.83 meters per second.

P = 43400 * 45.83
P = 1,989,022 kg * m/s
Space Maneuverability
Remember that gravity has been disregarded due to the GUNDAM in space. Space battles may or may not be specifically near-Earth, so the gravitational constant for Earth cannot be simulated.

Sum of all F = m * a
T = 43400 * 9.114
T = 395547.6 N
Joule Conversion: J = 395547.6g * m

In short, it would take 395547.6g joules to move it 1 meter, g being the gravitational constant of a celestial body has the most impact on GUNDAM maneuverability.

The RX-78-2 is typically equipped with the following:
Two 60mm Gatling Cannons "Vulcan Guns"
Two Beam Sabers

Other equipment include:
Beam Javelin
BLASH-XHB-L-03/N-STD 380mm Hyper Bazooka
BOWA-XBR-M-79-07G Beam Rifle
GUNDAM Hammer (later upgraded into the Hyper Hammer)
RX-M-SH-008/S-01025 Shield
Super Napalm
Converting to energy (J)
Calculating energy is relatively simple; J = Nm, where N equals newtons and m equals distance, measured in meters. Since space is a hefty 81 km, 81000 m away...

J = (60000)(9.8) * (81000)
J = 4.7628 * 10^10 (47,628,000,000 J)

So the thrusters, ejecting Minovsky particles at a rate of 509.44 km/h, produce 47.628 billion joules of energy simply to launch...slightly higher than the joule output of a lightning bolt!
Vulcan Cannon
Stored on the sides of the GUNDAM's head. Having the greatest rate of fire of all the GUNDAM's weapons these are primarily used to ward off advancing enemies, shoot down missiles, or hit other fast moving targets. They also made good use as an anti-aircraft and anti-personnel weapons.
It takes 4000 N per second to operate a Vulcan Cannon. With two equipped:

4000 * 2 = 8000 N

Therefore, the GUNDAM would expend 8000 N per second to operate every Vulcan Cannon.

Joule conversion: J = 8000 * m
Beam Sabers
The beam sabers use Minovsky particles held in place by an I-Field to form an effective cutting surface that can slice through nearly any material. The particles for the beam sabers are stored by E-cap in the hilt of the saber, which is recharged from the GUNDAM's reactor when the saber is returned to its socket. Once activated, beam sabers do not rely on the mobile suit's reactor and can be thrown or discarded as decoys.
It takes 380000 N of force collide enough Minovsky Particles to generate an I-field that can sustain one self-sustaining Beam Saber. With two:

380000 * 2 = 760000 N

Therefore, it would take the GUNDAM 760000 N to activate two Beam Sabers for combat.

Joule conversion: J = 760000 * 13.875 = 10,545,000
13.875 represents the length of the Beam Saber.
Simulating a battle at a theoretical location with g = 5 that is 500 km away...

Total energy for flight on Earth: 47,620,000,000 J
Total energy for a 1 meter flight in any given point in space: 395547.6g
- Energy for flight in a battle in this situation: 988,869,000,000 J

To operate all weapons simultaneously: 4,010,545,000 J

AND THE GRAND TOTAL IS: 1,040,499,545,000 Joules to operate a GUNDAM!
Derivation of the Tsiolovsky Rocket Equation
The equation shows that the sum of the forces as time approaches 0, the difference in the change in mass times velocity and the change in exhaust mass divided by time; while complicated, diriving the difference between P2 and P1 leaves us with the Tsiolovsky Rocket Equation.
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